Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A quick post, after a day of Christmas cookie baking with Conor, Travis and Alyssa. Lots of fun, and good cookies made. We have cut the types of cookies down considerably. We decided the types that were required to make each of us happy, and that is what we are making. Peanut blossoms (with Hershey kisses on top) were favorites of everyone and we had to make Candy Cane Cookies because I don't think there has been a Christmas that I haven't had those cookies. The original recipe was torn out of a woman's magazine in the 1950's by my mom. We made date filled cookies for my brother Tim and chocolate chip cookies, using the original Nestle's Toll House Cookie recipe cut from the back of the package by my grandmother, for my brother James. It's nice to be making these memories with my children. We listened to old fashioned Christmas music as we were baking. The kids have gone to get Taco Bell now. Ah, to be young again and able to eat fast food at 1 a.m.

We didn't do much decorating this year, but the Christmas figural candles were brought out and put out by Caitlin and Travis last week. We have just a few. I couldn't get them all into the photo, so had to take two. Some of these are from my childhood, some friends have given me, and some I have bought on E-bay. It's not Christmas without them. It turns out that the tiny Christmas tree in the first picture in the front to the right of the cat in the boot is the favorite candle of both Travis and Caitlin.

I must go to bed. Tomorrow is our 2nd annual White Christmas viewing party. Travis made homemade French Onion dip, which is awesome and he's making more appetizers tomorrow, and it's going to be a fun time. Andrea is coming, and has never seen the movie, so I'm excited to be initiating her into the White Christmas tradition. I can't wait to see Bing and Rosemary and Danny and hear all those wonderful songs again.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Caitlin!

Today my beautiful, kind, gentle, caring, funny and other adjectives too numerous to mention, daughter is 22 years old. I don't know where the time has gone. She had to work today (boo), but doesn't have to work tomorrow, so she can enjoy a little get together with her friends tonight.

Happy Birthday, darling daughter!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A quick post before bed. I am very tired from shoveling ice bergs from the end of the driveway. I've never seen such large chunks of ice created by a plow. And that darn Conor has been going to school, so he wasn't here to help. Advil and a heating pad will be my friends tonight.

I spent the afternoon making my portion of the December Spindies paint box. The color this month is champagne. I combined cormo wool, milk fiber, soysilk and angelina. They are very beautiful, if I do say so myself, but I haven't had a chance to photograph them. I need to build a light box now that I can no longer count on being able to take photos outside.

I have some good news. My cousin did very well with her surgery and there is minimal speech or vision loss, and what has been lost should return in time. She will be going home soon. It is a wonderful thing.

My niece Emma, who has been severely anemic, and was told she might have Crohn's disease or Celiacs was found to have a polyp, which is a runner's polyp and was probably the cause of her anemia, so that was excellent news also. I have been saying for years now that exercise is really not all it's cracked up to be, and this is positive proof. It can actually endanger your health.

Jane is feeling a bit stronger. She made a trip to the grocery store with Marty, something she hasn't done in a while. Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference

Tim has spent a few days in Melbourne and is enjoying it, and is now heading to Tanzania, which is a 12 hour ferry ride from Melbourne. I told him about the lovely weather we have been having, and he tried to make me feel better with the news that the temperature is in the mid-50's and it is rainy, but it didn't help much. Here is a link to photos of his trip from Sydney to Melbourne.

Yesterday was a snowy, freezing rain, windy day here in Massena, but the wonderful school superintendent decided not to cancel school, despite the fact that all the other schools in the area closed. He did an early dismissal at 1:45, which is 40 minutes before school is normally out, right when the freezing rain was starting. We were not very happy with this decision. I drove Conor to school, got stuck going up a hill, finally got going and spun out and had a lovely slide from lane to lane, but was not hurt. The traffic coming toward me stopped and I got the car under control before I reached them. It was quite an adrenaline rush. I came home and spent the rest of the day knitting. Trina came for a long visit, as did my neighbor Neeny who was off from school, and Suzanne stopped by as well. It was wonderful being inside with knitting and friends.

My third red scarf is done. I ended up doing a basketweave out of some Knitpicks Alpaca I had in my stash. I am now going back to frantic Christmas knitting. I am making Travis a Rasta hat. It takes a long time to knit a hat that will contain all those dredlocks. Right now Gerard is guarding it while sleeping.

Isn't he cute. It is a good thing that he is cute. I just went to make a cup of Stash Lemon Ginger tea, yum, and walking past my spinning wheel noticed that something has chewed through the drive band. I am 99% sure it would be that cute cat-maybe that is why he is hiding his eyes. It's not really a problem except that the last time I remember having the string I use for the drive band was when I gave it to Travis to truss a roasted chicken. What are the odds that it was returned to my spinning basket? Not very high.

My typing has become dyslexic, so I thinkcit is time to toddle up to bed. Clean flannel sheets tonight-yippee.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Friday to All!

It's the 4th of December and my third post in December. I hope I'm not setting a precedent I can't live up to.

It snowed again today, but not for long. I guess winter is really coming our way, but I'm not getting the winter dishes out until December 21. Yes, I have winter dishes, fall dishes, and spring/summer dishes. It's crazy I know, but it is a small thing that makes me happy. I am on a hunt for some spring dishes, but haven't come across the right set yet. I'm thinking vintage dishes with some spring flowers. It's good to have a goal to work toward. I am also working at replacing all the Pyrex bowls that have been broken over the last few weeks. It makes going to garage sales and thrift stores fun to have something to look for.

I received good news this evening. My cousin had brain surgery today. She had a non-malignant brain tumor, but it had been growing for 20 or so years, so by the time it was discovered it was quite large. It was successfully removed, but she will probably have some language impairment and also possibly some vision impairment. They won't know for a while, so I would ask that you keep Gail and her family in your prayers.

More good news! I just received an email from Tim that he arrived safely in Melbourne. It was about a thousand mile drive, so I'm glad that they made it safely. He was too tired to write much, but I appreciate his letting his slightly concerned mother know he was OK. I am improving all the time-no longer anxiety laden, just slightly concerned. A few more weeks and he won't even need to write to me. No, I don't think I want to get that relaxed.

Can you stand it? Even more good news. I finished my second red scarf, and I even have a photo, although not a very good one. It's been raining or snowing here for several days, and since I take my photos outside, I haven't had a chance to take a good photo. As much as I am not loving the scarf knitting, I think there is time to squeeze a third one in. This was an easy knit, and I would link to the pattern but I can't find it. I thought it was on the Red Scarf page, but it seems to have disappeared.

My sister is feeling better since she had 18 pounds of fluid drained from her abdomen the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, I said 18 pounds-that is 8 liters of fluid. She said for the first time in a long time she could enjoy sitting at the kitchen table. It's the small things in life that matter. I am hoping to go and spend some time with her next week. I also have a child going through a difficult time, so that may keep me from visiting, but I hope we are heading in the right direction with him, and things will be better next week.

I'm thinking it might be time to get out a few Christmas decorations. I need to get my advent table set up too. I know I'm a bit behind, but that's OK. Time to get the candles and begin gathering the bits and pieces that will be added each week. The first week is stones, shells, crystals and bones. I can do all those things except the bones-lots of stones and shells thanks to many years of young boys and girls gathering treasures at the beach.

Look, cats sleeping in Tim's chair and on his ottoman. The bad thing is that Tim is very allergic to cats. I wonder how they know this is the one chair they shouldn't be sleeping on. Last night Gerard got up in the chair and pushed Seamus off. I've never seen them fight over a chair before. It must be the fine Ikea craftsmanship that is attracting them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Thoughts

I know this is shocking, but I am posting two days in a row. Don't get used to it though. I recently rearranged my wool room, and now have an actual desk with my laptop on it, which definitely makes writing posts easier. And now that I have organized the room, I actually enjoy being in here. Maybe it was a good thing that Tim brought his whole household here and deposited it in my house.

Today was a very fibery day. Spinning group during the day, and knitting at the library in the evening. We asked them to turn the fireplace on in the library, which made it very warm and toasty, but also sleep inducing. We broke up a little early because we couldn't keep our eyes open. I was knitting my second red scarf and that may have added to the soporific feelings. I now know that I really do not enjoy knitting scarves. I would rather knit 10 pairs of socks than one scarf. I have always wondered why scarves are often suggested to new knitters as a great beginner's project. They are boring and dull, at least in my humble opinion. I'm more than half way done with my second red scarf though, so should be done in plenty of time for the December 25th deadline.

If you would like a chance to win one of my Hand Dyed, Hand Carded Batts, visit the Phat Fiber Blog and enter the contest. You just have to visit my Etsy shop and leave a comment on the blog telling of one item from my shop that you like. Jessie said some very kind things about me, which I really appreciate. I think she is pretty awesome too, so I guess it is a mutual admiration society. This is the batt that is being offered in the giveaway. It is very lilac and very soft and sparkly. Sparkly is one of my favorite things in batts.

I'm listening to Christmas music as I type this. We had the annual official beginning of the Christmas music season driving to Tim and Lisa's on Thanksgiving with the playing of our John Denver and the Muppets CD. We also had an album and tape, and this is the second CD, the first having somehow migrated to Saranac Lake and returned scratched and unplayable. I was very sad when I discovered it was no longer being made, but Tim found me on on-line last year, thank goodness. It wouldn't be Christmas without John and the Muppets. I'm sure my children feel the same way, or at least they do in my imagination. Do you have a favorite Christmas or holiday CD? I'd love to hear what it is. I am also very fond of Peter, Paul and Mary, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood and Vince Gill's CD's, and of course the perennial favorite of Bing Crosby. Christmas isn't Christmas without White Christmas, both song and movie.

I was going to show you a Christmas picture, but it seems that I have none on my computer. That makes me quite sad. They must have all been lost the last time my computer crashed. How about goats in the snow-it's almost as good as a Christmas photo. Aren't they cute?

I must go to bed now. My friend Judy is coming to Massena tomorrow and we have an exciting lunch planned, so I'd better rest up.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

One Never Knows, Do One?

The day I have been fearing for months has arrived. It's snowing! When I lived in New Jersey, I couldn't wait for it to snow. I looked forward to those beautiful flakes gently falling from the sky. I now realize the reason for the love of snow was that it never lasted more than two days. That is not the case here though. I know that now the beautiful white stuff has begun falling, it's going to keep falling until March at least. And this year I witnessed a snow storm on May 30th in Saranac Lake, so I view the advent of snow with more trepidation than wonder. I do appreciate it's beauty still, but wish it wouldn't hang around so long.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving at Tim and Lisa's house. The turkey was nice and juicy, cooked to perfection by Lisa and carved to perfection by Travis. Lots of good food and good company, and I really appreciated celebrating the holiday away from home this year.

Here is a photo of the festive table before dinner.

And this is some of the delicious food waiting to be eaten.

Cousinly love-that's Blake, my nephew on the left, and Conor on the right. Silly boys.

We were able to video chat with Tim Thanksgiving night, which was Friday afternoon for Tim. He had picked up a camper and was setting off on a journey south for a few days with two German tourists he had met-one a doctor and one an engineer. I believe after he returns to Sydney from the trip, he is headed south to Melbourne. He really is having a great adventure, and says Australia is one of the happiest places he has ever been. I guess it would be quite a change from New York City.

Travis and Alyssa were able to stay for a few days, along with Begonia. She is a very funny dog, and we enjoy having her here.

I don't think the cats like having her here quite as much as Conor and I do. This is where Seamus spent most of his time while Begonia was here. He also hung out on the tall bookcase in Conor's room.

We had some very devastating news two days before Thanksgiving. My sister Jane, who has been battling breast cancer for 11 years now, was told that she has no more treatment options. Her liver has basically stopped working and she has anywhere from two weeks to a few months to live. She has fought this disease with such grace and strength, that I think I believed that she would be victorious over it, but that is not to be. Jane lives in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, which is about 4 hours from here. I had plans to call her on Wednesday, but instead my brother called and asked if I wanted to go and see her for a couple of hours. I said sure, packed enough knitting for at least a week, and we went to see her. I think she was very surprised and pleased. We told her we came to have lunch with her. I felt better having seen her and am going to try to go over every couple of weeks if I can. That's another reason I hate snow. I drive a car that is horrible in the snow, so it limits what I can do. The plan is to get snow tires though, and that will help. Now I just have to sell a lot of yarn and fiber so I can buy the snow tires. So if you are reading this, and you believe in prayer, I would ask you to keep my sister Jane and her husband Marty and children Ethan and Emma in your prayers.

I will leave you with a foot photo. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while may remember that I like to take photos of my feet. It actually came in handy recently when I was trying to remember what I had worn on my feet last fall when going to a particular activity. I just looked at old photos and found the answer. This is Lisa and me on Thanksgiving. Look at those nice cozy shearling lined slippers we are wearing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Lazy, Movie Watching, Knitting Sunday

Today has been a quiet, relaxed day. I have spent the day watching movies-Juno, X-Men and The Golden Compass, as well as 3 episodes of Dr. Who. While watching this eclectic mix I have been knitting on my scarf to be donated to the Red Scarf Project for the Orphan Foundation. The deadline is December 15th, so I figured it was time to start my scarf. These red scarves are sent in care packages by The Orphan Foundation of America to college bound students who have aged out of the foster system. I think it is a wonderful cause-to be supporting young people who have no family to support them. Donations are also gladly accepted, as well as gift cards for national chain stores, and notes of encouragement for these courageous young people. If you donate and let Norma, of the blog Now Norma Knits, know about your donation, for every $5.00 donated, your name will be entered in drawings for some fabulous prizes.

I am also working on some Christmas knitting. I got a bit nervous when I looked at the calendar and realized how quickly December 25th is approaching. How can it be that Thanksgiving is this Thursday? We are still trying to figure out our Thanksgiving plans. Caitlin is working from 7-7 and thinks she won't be too interested in turkey after having spent the day looking at it at work. Conor is having oral surgery on Tuesday, so I'm thinking he might not be in too much of an eating mood, so we may wait until the weekend to have dinner together. No sense in rushing into making plans-Thanksgiving is four days away after all.

On the Australian front, Tim is getting ready to leave Sydney and begin his bike ride. He's planning to stop at a surf school on the way. He is a little worried that he might have waited a bit to long to start his ride, as the temperature is supposed to be around 100 in the next few days. Tim's computer was broken, and so, once again, I didn't hear from him for several days. I didn't assume he was dead though, as I did the last time I hadn't heard from him in several days. I am very proud of me for that.

I'd better get back to my scarf knitting. I'll say Happy Thanksgiving, just in case I don't make it back here before Thursday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hello, Remember Me?

Sorry for the prolonged absence. Since my Mom's death and Tim's departure for Australia, I seem to have been in a prolonged funk, and writing blog posts has seemed impossible. It's hard to write a post when all one feels like talking about is how much they feel their life stinks at this particular point in time, so I figured I would save you from hearing my maudlin thoughts and not post.

I have been feeling better recently. I think I am adjusting to Tim's being a million miles away, and am very grateful for the Internet as a way of keeping in touch. I did have a few anxious days when I didn't hear from him. Turns out he went on a trip to the Blue Mountains in an old VW bus with four Germans who are in Australia on the same type of visa that Tim is. Silly boy thought that if he was only gone for four days that I wouldn't want to know. This anxious part of my make up is something that I have really worked on quelling over the years, but with Tim's departure to a place so far away, the anxiety monster seems to have reared it's ugly head. I think I am getting it back under control, something I am sure that Tim is happy about.

My knitting mojo seems also to have disappeared at this time. I'm working on a couple of things for Christmas gifts, and have a sweater from Clara Parkes' The Knitters Book of Wool that I want to start, but I can't seem to get started. I have been crocheting some granny squares from some of my hand spun that is autumn colors and I am having fun with that, so maybe I need to go the way of crocheting for a while. I did take some time to design a hat using some of the patterns from Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. I was quite impressed with myself for the design, although it was quite simple. Once it is finished, I will post some photos.

Over at Spindies, the Hyenacart group I share with some other very talented fiber artists, we are offering a giveaway that ends at midnight tonight. These are some of the fibers that are part of this month's box. If you don't win the giveaway, there are more boxes for sale in the Spindies store. It is 5 ounces of fiber from different Spindies dyers for $25.00. It's a great way to try out different fibers and I think it would be perfect not only for spinners, but felters as well.

To enter the giveaway, please visit each individual Artist’s Spindies Store and tell us in this thread what your favorite item is in each one and why. If you help us spread the news, just write in the same post where you’ve been talking, twitting, blogging etc. Guild meetings and spinning clubs count and you can continue to revise and add these to your post until the contest ends at midnight CST Sunday 11/15/09.

I lifted that right from the Spindies Blog. The wonders of modern technology.

I'll leave you with a fall photo, since no blog post is complete without at least one photo. And I do promise to be a more regular blogger. Not only is it a fall photo, but a rainy fall photo as well, which pretty much sums up this fall.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sorry, I'm a Bad Blogger

Hello. I am writing this in my living room, looking at two rooms full of stuff that has engulfed my house, thanks to the arrival of a U-Haul truck bearing Tim and all his worldly possessions. It is a good thing that I have a very large house, as this is the second household I have acquired since moving here six years ago. When my parents moved in with me I also received all their stuff. Much of it is still in boxes in my basement, waiting for my siblings to gather here and go through the boxes. I'm seriously considering selling the things on e-bay, since it's been five years and we haven't managed to sort through things yet. But that's another story.

Not only did Tim arrive, but Travis and Alyssa, along with their dog Begonia, and Caitlin with her cat Sterling. Again, it's a good thing this is a really big house so we can keep Begonia and the cats apart. We've already had one casualty, some antique plates, and Seamus was hanging from a curtain rod earlier, but fortunately it's a sturdy rod and it did not break. Gerard has taken up residence on top of the refrigerator. He is grey and the refrigerator is black, so he blends in and looks amazingly like a cat statue sitting among the rooster statues that are up there. Sterling just pulled Tim's mattress over on top of herself. Fortunately it didn't break anything on it's way to the floor, and she escaped unscathed.

It is sort of like Christmas here, with Tim handing out tea kettles and blenders. Conor is getting a double bed, to replace the twin bed he has been complaining is too small for quite some time. I think by the time Tim is back, Conor will be in college, so Tim can reclaim his bed. And Tim brought the most comfortable chair I have sat in for a long time, which is going in my wool room, I believe. It's from Ikea, and doesn't really fit the decor, but comfort trumps decorating any time in my opinion.

In between getting ready for the arrival of everyone I have been dyeing yarn and fiber. I have a couple of custom orders, and I am also dyeing fiber for the October Spindies Paintbox-the color this month is deep plum/ burgundy. I had a good time creating a deep plum color and have dyed some Superwash Bluefaced Leicester in tonal variations of the color. I may make some batts from them, or perhaps leave it in roving form. I am still on the fence about that.

Travis is making roast pork with apples for dinner, along with roasted potatoes and squash. Yummmm! A great fall dinner.

Friday, October 16, 2009

On the Road Again

I'm going to Rhinebeck. I'm on my way upstairs to pack and will be leaving to meet Judy in a half hour or so. I'm very excited!!! I can't wait to start inhaling the yarn fumes. I am packing lots of extra woolens, because the forecast is for quite cold, but it will be invigorating, I'm sure.

I am bringing my computer, so perhaps there will be a post from there, but I'm not promising anything, especially since I don't know if there is Internet access at the motel. I'm thinking probably not.


Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Almost Time for Rhinebeck!!!

It's almost time to go to Rhinebeck and the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. I am really excited to be going, although it looks like it may be a bit rainy, or even snowy on Friday. That's OK though. I have learned that when packing, layers are a good thing to remember. I am going to work really hard at not letting the wool fumes overtake me, and I am actually going to write myself a list of what I am looking for, rather than wandering aimlessly with no plan as to what I need to buy. That's my plan, we will see how it goes.

I thought I would share a few pictures from last year.

Beautiful fall foliage.

Sheep that look like cows.

Judy, my friend, checking out her loot on a little rest break.

This is what I plan to eat for lunch both days, chicken pot pie and a baked potato. Maybe a few too many carbs, but it's only once a year.

We definitely have to have a meal at the Eveready Diner. Last year our motel was right across the street, which was quite convenient.

I decided today that I needed a new scarf to wear at Rhinebeck, as well as a pair of fingerless mittens. I chose some merino/mohair worsted weight yarn that I had dyed in the colorway "Lichen".

I am knitting a Knitspot pattern, la Novia and am enjoying the knit, it's going quickly and I think that I may actually finish in time.

Time for Dancing With the Stars. I hope to see some of you on the fair grounds.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How can a week have passed since I last wrote? Time sure flies whether or not you are having fun.

Last weekend Conor and I went to visit Travis and Caitlin in Saranac Lake, hoping to take lots of fall foliage photos. Unfortunately, it rained and no foliage photos were taken. It is really beautiful this year. Brilliant reds, fluorescent oranges, pale yellows, all offset by the different shades of green still present in the forest. We had a lovely visit, went out to eat with friends and arrived safely home, not having hit any deer or moose driving through the mountains.

I'm working on my Phat Fiber samples for October. The theme is Masquerade Ball and I am sending in Merino Superwash yarn samples and two hand carded batts, one black with angelina, and one pinky, purple with lots of sparkles, bfl, alpaca, romney and jacob sheep. The black fiber is all from local farms, which I think is a fun thing.

Next weekend is Rhinebeck. I can't wait! There is a bus going from here, with many of my friends taking the bus, but I am driving with Judy. This is our third year of going together and we have a good routine in place for enjoying the festivities and avoiding a lot of the crowds. I am going to try to be good this year and not spend too much, but I'm not guaranteeing anything. I am also looking forward to a visit to the Eveready Diner-great, relatively inexpensive food. I think it would be fun to check out the Culinary Institute as well.

I'd better get back to my Phat Fiber samples. I need to mail them tomorrow morning. Just wanted to say hello, and let y'all know that I really am trying to get back into a routine of regular blog posting. Obviously, I'm not doing so well right now, but I am going to keep working at it.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Autumn has arrived on my doorstep. Conor wimped out and turned the heat on yesterday. He doesn't seem to understand the concept of putting a sweatshirt on when he is cold. It was 58 degrees inside, but I wouldn't have turned the heat on. That's why we have a pile of afghans and fleece blankets on the couch.

In other news, I was at knitting on Wednesday and my cell phone rang. It was my oldest son, sounding excited, wondering if I had a moment to talk. I said sure I had time, and he told me that instead of just going to Australia for a vacation in November, he plans to quit his job, give up his apartment in New York City, and stay in Australia for at least 6 months. I have known that he wasn't very happy with his job, and that he was tired of living in New York, but the thought that he might move halfway around the world, if only for a short time, had never crossed my mind.

Tim is a planner and does not do things that are illogical, so I knew that he had given the move serious thought, and I think it is an awesome opportunity for him. When I had more time to talk to him later, his plan made a lot of sense to me, and I think he is going to have a great adventure and I am proud of him for being so brave and adventurous. I did make him promise not to fall in love with an Australian, and that he wouldn't stay longer than 6 months. I know these are not binding promises, but I felt better having said them.

Now I would like to say that being a parent stinks. My full time job for the last 27 years has been being a mother and raising my children. I tried to teach them to be independent and think for themselves, and tried really hard not to put my many fears on them (my mother was a great worrier, and she taught me how to worry about everything) and wanting them to have the opportunity to explore the world that I had never allowed myself to explore. Look what a great job I have done! And I want him to go and have a wonderful time, to do this while he has the opportunity, but at the same time I want to tell him not to go, not to be so far from me. I would never, ever do that, and if you're reading this Tim, know that I am serious when I say that I want you to explore and have all the adventures that you can. So I guess what I am trying to say is that doing a good job as a parent is to make yourself obsolete and out of a job, and that stinks. In what other profession would you work toward a goal of not being needed anymore?

I do get a consolation prize though. Tim is going to bring his belongings here, and I get to use his HDTV while he is gone. He is also hoping to spend a week or so before he leaves, which, for me, is a much better consolation prize. And there are a lot of sheep in Australia, which means there must be a lot of wool in Australia, so maybe this whole adventure can work for me too. Maybe he can get a job on a sheep ranch or something. I'll have to suggest that to him.

When I have not been processing this whole Australian undertaking, I have been locked in my wool room putting things in my Etsy shop and the Spindies shop. I still have lots more to add, and much to label, but I'm slowly working through it all.

"Twilight Pumpkin Patch" in Merino Worsted Weight Yarn.

"Gothic", named after one of the Adirondack High Peaks in Merino/Tencel roving.

"Golden Days of Autumn" in Mulberry Silk.

Tomorrow I am going to be a participant in a Meet the Artist day at a local gift shop, Seasons. I will be spinning and will bring a bit of yarn and fiber to sell. I am hoping it will be a warmer day than it was today, as I believe that I am going to be outside on the porch. Let's also hope that it is not raining. I'd better go and get more yarn labeled.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday's Are For Spinning

Today is the day my spinning group meets. I am looking forward to seeing everyone after not being able to attend meetings for a few weeks. Trina is having it at her house, which is nice because she lives in Massena too. Our little group is spread around the area, and most weeks involve a little bit of time spent in the car.

I was very busy yesterday taking photos and listing items on Etsy. I just realized that I am close to 100 orders and think I must do something extra special for the 100th sale in my shop. My drum carder has been put away for a while. Maybe it needs to come out and make a special batt for the 100th customer, if the person spins, of course. Otherwise, I'll have to come up with an extra special skein of yarn.

Here are two of my new colorways that are yet to be added to the shop.

Before I put my drum carder away I made some really pretty batts for the Spindies' Artist's Paintbox for October. The color for this month is warm orange/rust. Of course, I forgot to take pictures before I sent the samples off. Duh! I'll chalk it up to grief brain. If you've not experienced it, I can assure you that it can be quite annoying. And time consuming because I tend to spend a lot of time retracing steps and trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing.

It is quite chilly here and there is a forecast of snow for this evening. I know it is the last day of September, but I am not ready for this yet. Fortunately, my wool room, which is exploding right now with all the fiber and yarn I am labeling and getting onto Etsy, is warmer than the rest of this very large house.

Jodi, who is now living in Florida, asked for a photo of some fall leaves. This is Crazy Neighbor's tree. The leaves this fall are really stunning, although just beginning to change here in the St. Lawrence Valley. The Adirondacks are another story. I haven't seen such bright reds since we moved back, and some of the oranges are almost fluorescent. It's beautiful, but I haven't had the opportunity to take photos yet.

I couldn't find Seamus yesterday, and then discovered his secret, warm sleeping place. This is the reason I put the fiber I am selling in totes. Can you find Seamus?

And here is Gerard, doing one of his favorite things, sitting in a box. He barely fit in this one, but spent quite some time in there. If a box comes in our house, he has to check it out. Right now he is on top of my arms as I am typing, purring away. It makes blog writing a little difficult, but he is very warm. And for me there is something extremely comforting about a warm, purring cat keeping me company while I do things.

Time to get ready for spinning, and then back to more photo taking and Etsy listing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Return To What Passes As Normal

I'm settling back into my life after the passing of my Mom on September 20th. It was a very peaceful death, and my brothers, sister and I were with her. I am just beginning to process it all, and am not looking forward to this grief journey again, but know it is necessary. I keep thinking I need to go to the nursing home, after 4 1/2 years of going to visit Mom there, I guess that makes sense.

I was unable to participate in the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival this past weekend, as I had planned to do. There is no way I could have done it I was so wiped out and exhausted from the previous two weeks, even though I would have been sharing the booth with my friend Judy from Liberty Fibers. I did a lot of dyeing in between nursing home visits even though I wasn't sure I could go to the show, so I have lots to add to my Etsy shop. Here's a small sampling of what I will be adding.

Fields of Lavender

Ghost and Goblins


Mists of Autumn

This weekend was National Alpaca Weekend, and I have a friend who was having lots of fun festivities at her farm, Angel Knoll Alpacas, so I took some of my fiber, yarn and my spinning wheel and went to the farm. What a perfect sunny fall day it was, and just what I needed-20 minutes from home, a 5 hour day, and friends to spin and chat with. I also sold a bit of yarn and several thrum mitten kits, which was an added bonus to the lovely day.

Angel Knoll Alpacas

Buddy, the dog guarding Farrah, the angora rabbit

A friendly alpaca out for a stroll

Two beautiful horses and their owner John taking visitors for a ride on the farm. They were all very tired at the end of the day.

My yarn and fiber

Now that things are returning to what passes for normal in my life (actually I have no idea what normal is, but for the first time in 6 years I am only responsible for myself, and not for my parents) I hope to be more consistent in posting. I must go now and get together some Spinidie offerings to mail.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Things here are still pretty awful. I have spent many hours at the nursing home this past week, being with my Mom. It has been a very painful, heart breaking process to experience. The good thing is that we are able to keep her comfortable and without pain. Yesterday she was quite perky, and was much more alert than she has been. A Great Dane came to visit her, which put a big grin on her face, a wonderful thing to see. Mom also has Pumpkin, a nursing home cat, who spends many hours sleeping next to her on her bed. I know that brings her a great deal of comfort.

Today, though, she has taken a turn for the worse, and is having great trouble breathing, and she has had a fever at times, and at other times seems really cold. It was very difficult leaving her tonight, but I had to go and pick up Tim, who has been able to come home and work from here. Poor Tim had a 9 hour bus ride to get here, but I am very happy he was able to come.

In between nursing home visits I have been running home to try and get a little dyeing done for the Southern Adirondack Fiber Fest that is next weekend. This is some of the yarn I had dyed earlier, on a chair on the porch at camp. I spent a peaceful afternoon on the porch re-skeining the yarn while chatting with friends who came to visit for the afternoon.

I had better get to bed. I'm thinking that tomorrow is going to be another stressful, busy day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What A Difference A Week Makes

Warning: Not a bit of knitting, spinning or dyeing content, and sad besides.

Last Sunday I was enjoying a beautiful day at Cranberry Lake surrounded by family and friends. This Sunday I am writing this as I prepare to go to the nursing home where my mother is a resident to continue our vigil at her bedside as she lies dying. My mom, whose name is Carol Lee, has been a resident there since she fell and broke her hip 4 1/2 years ago. (Keep exercising, and build strong bones.) Last Tuesday I received a call from her nurse saying Mom had pretty much stopped eating and drinking and did we want to put her in the hospital. No, was my answer. Mom will be 90 on September 24 and if it is time for her life to end, then we do not want to prolong it with artificial measures. Hospice was called and is helping us help Mom through her final days on earth. Her leaving us is tremendously sad, but what is sadder is watching her lie in a bed, essentially reduced to being an infant again, although she can speak enough to say I love you when we tell her we love her.

Here Mom is 3 years ago on her birthday. I just searched through my digital photos and this is the only one I have of her, since when she was living with me I did not have a digital camera, and I lost a ton of digital pictures when my lovely son erased them. But that's an other story. Anyway, this is Mom on her 86th birthday.

Mom has a deep religious faith which has helped her through a not always easy life. Last night our friend Noel, a Presbyterian minister, came and read the 23rd Psalm to her and prayed with us. Even though we sometimes wonder where she is because it is obvious she is moving between living and dying, I could see a sense of peace descend on her and her body totally relaxed as Noel was reading the Psalm. And she fell truly asleep for the first time all day. It was quite a powerful thing to witness, and makes me wish I had that much faith in an unseen power. But that is probably not a topic for this blog.

So that is the reason I have not been posting. By the time I get home I am exhausted and can only sit and vegetate, or try to sleep. If you believe in such things, please keep my Mom and our family in your prayers. And I will be back when I am able.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Off to the Mountains!!!

I am waiting for Conor to finish packing and then we will be on our way to Camp Fi-Be-Gar. Or I thought we would be on our way. He just informed me that he needs to do laundry because I put his wet clothes in a laundry basket and didn't tell him and now they are smelly and he has no clothes. Argh!!Tim and his friends were already on the Garden State Parkway above the city at 2:15, so they'll be here earlier than I had thought they would. They may get there before we do.

Here's the boy who is on his way home. I can't wait to see him. We are going to have a good time.

It was a good day at the farmer's market. What a gorgeous day to sit outside and watch the world go by, and spin and talk with friends. I am plying some of the yarn I dyed in Harrisville with a natural colored BFL, and I am loving the way it is coming out. I need to get huge quantities of the BFL, because it is not only great to ply with, but fun to dye too. There is a real depth to the colors because of the color of the BFL.

Bye for now. I will be back on Monday. No Internet access in Cranberry Lake, which is a nice thing sometimes. Here's where I will be in the evening, with just a little fire, because there will a slight chill in the air, I'm sure.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The First Day of the Last School Year

Today was the boy's first day of his Senior year of high school. I am already planning a graduation party, not for him, but for me. His oldest brother's first day of school was in September of 1988, so I've been doing this school thing for a while, and there will be a huge celebration when June 26, 2010 arrives. I'm thinking the party will have to last at least a weekend, if not a week, in order to properly celebrate this momentous event. My ecstasy will not come because my last child will be leaving the nest, but because I will never have to deal with a school again.

But before you can see the boy, you must see his new shoes. Usually I share photos of my feet, but these shoes are too beautiful not to share. Purple and brown and very large. I think I may be inspired for a new colorway of yarn to match his shiny shoes.

Here he is, all handsome and ready to begin his Senior year, in all his sartorial splendor. I was going to try to find a kindergarten picture to show you how darn cute he was then, and how he has changed, but that would have necessitated an extensive search through the archives of photos, and I might have been lost for days.

He was very kind in posing for me. I'm not sure why, but most of the pictures came out blurry. Maybe I need a new camera. Yeah, that's it. I need a new camera so I don't take blurry photos anymore.

Tomorrow is the farmer's market and then we will be headed for Cranberry Lake. Tim and 8 of his friends are coming from New York City, Pennsylvania, and Rochester, NY. It will be quite a gathering and I am really looking forward to it. And the most amazing thing is that the weather is supposed to be sunny and warm. Tim has not had much luck in the weather department when visiting Cranberry Lake in recent years, so it's nice that this will be a good weekend. One of his friends said that she is looking forward to drinking wine and knitting with me. That is a girl who has her priorities straight.

Here is where we will be knitting when we are not on the front porch, gazing at the tranquility that is the lake. Notice the magazine on the bottom of the coffee table. If there is a historical event you would like to read about in either Time or Life magazine which took place from the early 60's to the early 90's, come and visit me and take a look through history.

This is one of the things I will be knitting-my Susie Hoodie. I am going to continue and finish. Not like one, who will remain nameless, who chose this sweater to knit, got us all to join along, and now has abandoned the sweater.

This is the fiber I will be spinning. It is what I dyed at Harrisville. I plan to spin it all and then perhaps make some Twisted Sister socks.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. When I return from the lake I will be madly dyeing because my friend Judy and I will be selling our wares at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake next weekend. I'm feeling a bit stressed, because I need to get a lot of dyeing done. I'm sure things will be fine. que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.

Bedtime now. Must rest so I can party with those young people this weekend.