Thursday, October 14, 2021

Autumn is my favorite season

Delaney is absolutely taken with this New Yorker issue and studies the cover at length.

She points to the bubble and names the contents, then goes back and names the people.  She and her parents are the family in upper left corner.
PlayDoh is such a mess and I regretted buying it as soon as we opened the first container.  Tomorrow is her last day so I dug it out for one last time.  She loves it.
She was on a roll and would have opened every single color when I got the idea to place the Amazon toy catalog on the table and it was an instant winner.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!
With her daddy's help she made me this birthday card which I will treasure until it's in tatters.
Tuesday was my birthday but since we were babysitting we went out for my dinner on Monday.  The tradition has been for all the family to go out to dinner on the birthday but we are shrinking already.  Grandson Logan and girlfriend moved to Kalispell this month and Son Matt, Julia and Delaney will be back in Reno this Sunday.  

I'm moving too - back into the world of adults after 2 1/2 years of being focused on a baby.  Wednesday was my book group and I hosted.  Kathi brought me these flowers which she said she instantly thought of as "Sharon colors."  They are gorgeous!  We had seven for our book discussion, first time to gather indoors since Covid hit.  We were so happy to be together again that we talked for three hours - yikes!  What did we read?  The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
I love the colors of autumn and I love that our yard is beautiful.  It's also successfully blocked from maraudering deer.  There's plenty for them to eat outside the fence, which these guys were doing when I left for my walk Wednesday morning.
I am walking with friends in places other than my neighborhood now and our walk Monday along the Deschutes River was spectacular.  Ian bought me a pair of walking sticks to protect me from taking another header.  I'm stunned at how many people I know who have been injured while hiking.  My cousin tells me that it's called FOOSH - fall on out stretched hand.  Yep, that's exactly what I did.  One MRI, two x-rays and three doctor visits later, I don't want to do it again.
My root project piece is finished and due this Saturday.  It's a simple pencil rendering and when I see the lovely pieces by other participants I feel like using mine to start the wood stove.  But if you don't enter, you don't get to play.  I remind myself that I couldn't get started until the splint came off my hand.  Lame excuse :-)

If you are of the praying kind, I sure would appreciate prayers for my daughter Chris on this coming Thursday as they replace a heart valve and repair an aneurysm.  I will go down to be with her on the 26th since I won't be able to see her until she's released from the hospital.  We've compiled a list of campy movies to watch together in her recovery, starting with Galaxy Quest.



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

And another month

I've been playing around some more with turned taquete.  I'm getting a plaid of sorts.

I started this warp thinking that we might be able to have a guild holiday bazaar after all, but now I realize I won't be here, since I need to be in Reno for my daughter's surgery.  I attended our guild's rigid heddle loom study group via zoom today and got infected by their wreckless design aspirations. They are all about texture and color.  I'm having second thoughts about taking classes for difficult structures and think I may need to return to my original love, color and texture.


Meanwhile, I've been participating in Pat Clark's root project.  Pat has been a powerful and unifying force in our local art community and I'm super fortunate to have become a part of that group.  I didn't get the splint off my hand until Monday so signed up for a sketch time with her on Tuesday.  That's because Pat is in hospice and sketch times with her are limited.  We are sketching this root that was extracted from her yard and has been hanging in her garage for the past two years.

This is Pat's sketch.    I gathered up my things to leave at the end of my session and she took me aside to wish me the best with my family and said, that when life had thrown her a curve, she had learned that the word she needed was "adjust."  I treasure that piece of wisdom. 
We have another artist in the family.

Grandpa's grrl.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Unexpected

I took Delaney to the park this afternoon, hoping to tire her out for a long nap.  It's a beautiful day and wonderful to be out from under the choking smoke.

She is just starting to get the hang of the play equipment, but the slide still baffles her.
She absolutely loves the swings.  It's her favorite and she squeals "Whee) on every forward swing.  And here is where I tell you the bad news.  Her parents have decided to sell their house and move back to Reno. After watching Delaney for 2 1/2 years, this is tough to swallow.  They have a list of reasons and I understand where they're coming from, but I don't like it.  I plan to enjoy her right up to moving day.
I'm lucky to have an engrossing hobby to help me move forward.  I checked out this rigid heddle loom from the guild equipment library and made this scarf with sock yarn as my first project.  It turns out someone else wanted to borrow it for a class, a beginning weaver, and so I hurried up to finish this and return it.  It was fun but I don't know that I'll be buying one anytime soon.  A Girl Scout is collecting 100 scarves for a badge so I put this one in that collection.
And I'm fortunate to be in the middle of a shadow weave workshop with Jennifer Moore.  I bought the yarn as a kit from Lunatic Fringe and chose the autumn colorway.  We had the option of 5/2 and 10/2 yarn.  Because of babysitting I am only able to attend two of the four recorded sessions of the instruction and they have been excellent.  I am able to replay spots that confuse me.  We had the option of using a four-shaft loom or an 8-shaft loom.  With the splint on my wrist I opted for four-shaft and 5/2 yarn or the class, then will do the eight-shaft later.
During Delaney's nap today I experimented with supplementary yarns, ones that weren't part of the kit.  The last session will be Thursday but the kids have asked me to babysit because they're going to a funeral in Reno on Friday.  I'll watch the instructions and will have all day Friday to weave, or until my back gives out.
I'm still knitting chemo caps and have four done so I need to drop them off.  There's still quite a bit of the yarn from Triana so I think I'll have enough for a dozen by the time I'm done.

And here is where I tell you the bad news.  Delaney's parents have decided to sell their house and move back to Reno. After watching Delaney for 2 1/2 years, this is tough to swallow.  They have a list of reasons and I understand where they're coming from, but I don't like it.  I plan to enjoy her right up to moving day. Matt dropped Delaney off the morning of the 31st and said he had an announcement to make.  I actually thought he twas going to tell me that they were separating.  I've sensed heaviness from both of them for at least a month.  But it's not a health issue.  I have to remind myself of the things their news is not, a crutch for now.

That afternoon my daughter called with even worse news.  She is going to need open-heart surgery and they're hoping to be able to do it in October.  It's called Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease and it's a birth defect.  Her father also had this surgery.  I've lost sleep over this and somehow it makes Delaney's move a little less traumatic.  Chrissie has to stay in the hospital for a week and another six weeks at home after the surgery.  I'll go down as soon as she wants me there.  I will be so glad when this is behind us, the sooner the better and before the snow flies.


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Can't we do better than this?

We decided to buy a bigger chair for the front room.  Our current chair is too small to hold us and Delaney when we read to her.  I went to Lazy Boy and fell in love with this chair.

I measured the area and the chair was just too big.  Plus as much as I loved it, it didn't seem to fit in.

I went back and bought this one instead.  We fight over who gets to sit in it.  We might need a second one, after we pay for this one :-)

Potty training Delaney is still in the thinking stages.
I took her to the park that's just a mile from here.  She loved it and I had to tear her away after an hour.  I'm surprised at how well preschool kids communicate without a whole lot of language.
I finally finished some dish towels which I'm hoping will do well in our guild holiday show and sale.  But I need to try something new.

For now that something new is Jennifer Moore's double weave class that starts in another week.  Getting ready has been hard on many levels, not the least is the limited use of my hand.  I ordered yarn kit from Lunatic Fringe, the most expensive yarn I've ever purchased.  It's 5/2 mercerized cotton and it's  a devil to work with, the way it wants to spiral and corkscrew.  It's awfully pretty and awfully difficult.

Covid has placed our hospital in crisis mode once again and the governor has sent in nonclerical national guardsmen to help with the overload.  They've announced that 98% of those hospitalized are non-vaccinated.  The break-through infections have us masking up again, sigh.   Can't we do better than this?


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Hot and Smokey Daze

 I fell into a creek while on a hike into Todd Lake when Alexia was here.  I got very wet and jammed my thumb.  When it didn't get better after a couple of weeks I went to Urgent Care at our medical clinic.  They diagnosed Gamekeepers Thumb and put a giant splint on my forearm and referred me to The Center, the orthopedic care facility.  I took the splint off and waited.  My thumb was still sore and weak.  Finally last Monday I got called in to see Dr Holt.  He said, yup - you have Skiers Thumb.  It's the same thing as previously diagnosed but he's young and we don't have gamekeepers here in Bend.

I got called that afternoon to see if I could take an MRI appointment the next morning at 7:10 and I said sure!  Then I got called Thursday to see Dr Holt again and was fitted with this handy little splint.  He was surprised by my MR which shows a partial tear.  I have to wear this 23 1/2 hours a day until September 20 and hope to avoid surgery.  I can knit simple things but weaving isn't workout out yet.

The reason I wasn't baby sitting that Thursday is because I was scheduled to take a warp painting class but a friend died on August 3rd of brain cancer and the celebration of life was scheduled for that same day.  The service was outdoors in the Prayer Garden at our church and in spite of being 99 degrees, it was surprisingly comfortable.  Triana was a prolific knitter and all of our knitting group has received yarn from her stash.  Some are knitting toys for the pediatric ward at the hospital because toys were Triana's speciality, she said, because they don't have to fit anybody.

I've decided to knit chemo caps since I hate sewing toys together.  This is the first one I've finished and it's from acrylic.  It's the Rikki pattern in Ravelry and since over 12,000 people have logged in as knitting it, I figured that was as good a recommendation as any.
This is the second cap I've finished using the Foaming Waves Chemo Cap, also from Ravelry.  The yarn is Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino and feels very soft to me, but I'm reading that wool can be irritating on the bare scalp and that acrylic and cotton are the preferred yarns.  I'm going to take both of these into Oncology this week and get their advice.

Our tomatoes have started coming in this week.  We only planted Early Girls and it's paying off.  BLT sandwiches are what's for dinner tonight!
I sowed wildflower seed in a little strip of cleared dirt along out eastern fence and they're also doing quite well.  A Japanese friend gave me this ikibana vase and explained the sun, moon and earth order of arranging flowers.  I have had fresh flowers in the house for the past month and absolutely love them.

Delaney loves Disney Now and especially a show called Bluey.  We clear off the coffee table on the days we watch her and it's usually covered with toys and books, but she got sucked into the story and parked herself on it.  I love how she folds her hands when she's engaged.  Language is slowly picking up.  I had stripped the sheets from our bed to wash them.  She picked up a pillow and handed it to me saying, "make the bed."  Yes Ma'am!!  We'll be starting potty training very soon - yikes!

Saturday, August 07, 2021

August already!

 I've been knitting on a cardigan pattern from the winter Vogue Knitting issue and had been having misgivings about the size, hoping I had enough yarn.  I kept knitting thinking that surely it would be fine.  This is when I realized I didn't have enough yarn for both sleeves, so I took stitches off the needles and measured on the kitchen table.  It was way off.  At some point I had begun to loosen my gauge and it was a couple sizes too big.

There was nothing I could do but start over.  Actually frogging and reconditioning yarn is pre-starting over.  It's been my Olympic knitting and I am halfway to the armholes right now.  It's a complex pattern and I recognize that it probably won't be a garment before next year.

The county fair shaped up at the last minutes which left everyone scrambling so I was really impressed at what we were able to do for the fiber arts exhibit and demonstrations.  I haven't been weaving so the bright towels on the left were all that I had to enter for judging.  I didn't deserve a ribbon and I didn't get one.  But attendance was surprisingly good considering the short notice and high temperatures.  It was the 100th birthday of the fair and I think they were loathe to miss another year after last year.
Our guild's spinning study group put together this "sheep to shawl" display along with information on rare breeds and wool samples that said "touch me."  People seemed to be happy to have their fair back and were curious, though all entries were down, all except quilts which were more than they had ever had.  We think it's because the Sister's quilt show was last month and they accepted half as many entries as usual which meant that quilters were happy to have a place to display their work. 
Our displays were attractive and it was nice to be indoors, which I'm sure is what our visitors thought too, with temperatures approaching the century mark.  Some of the displayed pieces were submitted to be judged but we also beefed up the visual appeal with items "for display only" like my turquoise and copper scarf on the table.
We've had returning deer these past couple of weeks.  I seemed to be the only one who hadn't seen the new neighborhood fawns but then a couple of days ago the twins shot by me at the start of my morning walk.  One raced across the street but this guy stopped to double check before scampering off.
And on the other side of our fence, the wildflower seed that I sowed have taken root and are producing cheerful little meadow flowers.  I thought I distributed the seed evenly but it looks like I tipped up the bag and dumped it out.  I think it will even out next year but it's sure a cheerful addition to our yard right now.  According to the package the annuals will flower this year and next year the perennials will bloom.
Alexia has been displaying a lot of interest in weaving this year and is asking me really intelligent questions.  At first I was thinking I would order a 16" rigid heddle loom and having it shipped to her but then I remembered this Dorset loom that I bought to use in workshops.  Since discovering zoom weaving workshops, I've decided to skip the workshops where I have to fill the back end of my car with equipment and unload, reload, unload, etc. It occurred to me that its a perfect starter loom for Lexi.  They're coming up in October to pick it up.  

With all the time that pandemic and quarantine have provided me, I have done just about no weaving.  I finally have a warp on one of my looms.  Instead of trying to learn something new or use workshop information, I've defaulted to my old friend, turned taquette, and boy does it feel comfortable to be on my own home turf.  

I've started taking Delaney to the library once a week.  She gave up naps when she outgrew the Pack-n-Play so on the recommendations of her parents, I take her for a car ride after lunch which causes her to fall asleep and take a two-hour nap.  The trick is to get to the library without her falling asleep first!  The conditioning is so good that she falls asleep within the first mile and the library is three miles from the house.  It's tricky.


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Dog Days of Summer

I took Matt, Julia and Delaney to the High Desert Museum just a week after I took Melissa.  I had just assumed they would have been there by now and so it was nice to be able to share some of my passes with them.  Delaney absolutely loved it.

I have taken a picture of all five of my grandkids on this bronze elk and this photo completes my collection.  There are many bronzes and pieces of art on the campus but this is the only one children are invited to sit on.
I lost track of the gauge on my latest sweater for Delaney and Alexia jokingly tried it on.  Pretty but wrong.

With the second ball I don't have to worry about running out of yarn so I've swatched and started over.
Meanwhile Alexia has become a knitting fiend.  And it's pretty easy to get the right size.  She's the smallest one offered in the instructions.

And in no time she was done!
We attended a stash sale of a friend where she got a bunch of free magazines and four skeins of Cascade 220 to make a scarf.  The pattern was in one of the magazines and was designed by Deborah Newton.
We cancelled our trip to Tacoma and Vashon Island because of the extreme heat and have more or less been hunkered down in the house.  This was our one foray - Todd Lake, from snow meltwater.  There were a lot of people and many had packed in portable kayaks.
There was even a sunbather.  Something for everyone.  The hike got cut short when I tipped myself into a small stream and was soused.  I wanted to cool off but not like that!
The yard is surviving the heat but Ian has to water everything by hand about midday, another reason we didn't feel like we could leave.  And the wildfires started about a week ago and are punishing for our firefighters.  God bless them, every one!!
I finished these three towels, thinking the blocks were random but they're not.  I'll enter one in the fair - that's all I've completed but I'm trying these again.  I'm hoping that this time I'll get a more random placement.