Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Spring Blossom in hdt Snowflake
This is the second snowflake I did from Jon's book. I did it first in purple variegated size 10 thread and it's new home is my daughter-in-law's tree. The thread is a size 20 in Marilee's hdt "snowflake" and measures about 2 1/2 inches across. I'd like to do this in a smaller thread, but I'll need a magnifying glass to do that.(Enjoy the picture- I still haven't figure out how to post and leave a comment so I can get more that one at a time and leave a blur with each one. Something for Becki to teach me!)
Sunday truly was a mixed day of blessings. I guess I should have known when I found Harry had passed on it was not going to be a completely great day. After a fantastic choir program at church I received news Becki's flight out of Alaska was canceled. Believe it or not Seattle was snowed in not Alaska! Then she can't get a flight out until Christmas eve and over night in Seattle and fly in on Christmas day. Fortunately people from church in Ketichan have 'adopted' her and are providing her with a place to stay until her flights. This is a blessing. I know that where ever my baby goes there will always be a built in family from our church all over the world who will watch out for her. Becki is such a people person that everyone falls in love with her great smile and sunny nature. Actually all my children have bright and sunny natures-they definitely get that from their dad. Me I think they get a good work ethnic and a warped sense of humor.
I know that what ever is to be this Christmas season will be and I am just grateful that all my family is well and safe.
Wednesday night will be spent with my brother and his family-4 daughters and 5 grandchildren. I get to practice- my children are slow in that department. Only one of my children is married and haven't been able to make it work yet and it is a little hard on them. I now it will happen in time. Becki's dating prospects are about as great as being eaten by a whale- zero. So it is wait and see. There is the Internet or she could be moving to Juneau- one just doesn't know. You have to believe that everything will work out the way it should. I didn't know my husband until 12 weeks before I married him and here it is 29 years later and he is still the love of my life!
Christmas day is a trip to the airport(hopefully) and dinner and family time with my husband's side and all my children. It is just great to see my nieces get so excited about Christmas. We as a family do the Christmas story and then thank the Lord for all our blessings we have as a family. It is nice to see that there is balance and it is not all about the commercial thing.
I want to wish everyone happiness and love this Christmas season and that you and your loved ones will be blessed and kept safe. TaTa for now.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Harry 1995-2008

It is with a very sad heart I mark the passing of a very dear pet, Harry.
Harry came into our life in the early spring of 95 in a very unusual way. My husband and brother-in-law worked construction for the same company. Jon-my brother-in-law and another worker were outside talking when Harry landed on a piece of equipment. The other worker took off his baseball cap and caught Harry. He put in a box and put him in the break room. Harry has a special gift and hence his name Harry Houdini. Well another worker found Harry flying around the break room and caught him again and put him in a box. We already had several Budgies whats one more, When my husband came home with him and told his story we called him Harry.
Harry loved to watch TV and he was my CSI buddy while I watched and tatted or crocheted. He would sit on the top of the couch and was part of the family. He "talked" to us regularly. Yelled at us regularly and really liked his space. In latter years he had arthritis in his wings and claws. This prevented him to fully open his claws so he walked on his elbows. You will be greatly missed Harry.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yeah Snow Day!

Yeah! It's a snow day. This is a picture(2nd one) of a maple leaf made from size 50 "sugar maple" hdt by Yarnplayer and the first round of "Snowflake", pattern by Eileen Stafford in 2000 made in a size 3 Perle hdt " Summertime" also dyed by Yarnplayer. You can find her at Esty.com. (You have to check Yarnplayer out. She can also be found at http://yarnplayersart.blogspot.com/ )
The 1st one is called "MIlky Way" pattern by Jon Yusoff from her book "Tatted Snowflake Collection" and the thread is a Perle size 3 hdt also by Yarnplayer. I forget the name but as you see it didn't fit completely on the scanner. It makes a lovely doily and will look nice on my daughter-in-laws coffee table my husband made!

I finished all my tatted ornaments for my kids (19 in all) and passed them out yesterday. Sunday I finished my afghan for my secret Santa gift, crocheted several snowflakes and got my fudge made. I also got the centers to my truffles done. I will use today to dip my truffles and fudge. After tomorrow I will make crocheted rugs and dish cloths for Christmas presents. Yes I am crazy but idle hands are the Devils tools so I just keep mine busy and making things I can to give to others I can't get into trouble!
Becki had to call us two nights in a row to tell us her concerts went well ( she is the music teacher in a small town in Alaska). Actually she was squealing with delight. And last night her tuba playing was a big hit at the Community concert. It made my husband and I grateful for all our blessings and how great our kids are. Also all those band concerts I went to it was like reliving all those great memories again in her tales about her children at school. I miss the sound of practicing in the home sometimes. My husband plays several instruments and I I enjoy when he takes his banjo out. My thing is crafts though I enjoy singing. It will be nice to have everyone home for Christmas and the music that will fill our house. (We all like to sing together and drag out the instruments.)
Well my truffles are not going to dip themselves so-TaTa for now!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ice, snow and cold.

I love December- ice, snow, cold and all the fun driving that goes with it. This week I had my first really bad thing that ever happened in a bus and that was a dog ran out in front of me. I hit a patch of ice as I hit the brakes and clipped this dog. Fortunately my little guys on the bus didn't see it and the dog was ok except for a slight limp. I was in shock when I called it in and the neighbor came out and told me there was nothing I could do nor was it my fault. She also took care of the dog as I could not leave my bus load of children. Great lets be know through the neighborhood as the bus driver that takes out your family pet! ( The owners need to know one thing- first it was an accident and second that is why there are leash laws). I still feel bad .
On a brighter note, my tatting, crocheting and candy making projects are going along fine. I am 1/4 done with my secret Santa gift, 2/3 done with my tatted snowflakes for my children on my routes and have a full 6 days to get all my other projects done for Christmas after school is out! My husband has learned to just smile and walk away (for his own safety). On December 26Th I am approachable again.
It is less than a week before my daughter's first concert as a music teacher in Alaska and she is reaching that calm place and having faith that the kids will do just fine. As the parent who went to many of those concerts through the years you don't hear the wrong notes. You are just too proud that is your child up there and aren't they doing the best job of any other child on that stage. And it will be the same for Becki's parents. Unless you are a music person you don't hear any of the mistakes.
Well my projects are calling me. Hopefully I will take pictures of everything I get done so I can share with you. Ta Ta for now!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Can't Believe It's December

Here is a 5 point version of Jon Yusoff''s Pirouette done in Yarnplayer's HDT Snowflake. Ok there is a GOOD reason it has 5 point and not six- I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing! I'm sure that never has happened to anyone else. I got frustrated because I had to start the center about 3 times and then take out the last join about 7 times because I kept getting a twist at the join( yes I did read Jon's blog about joins after the fact).

Well it is 2 days before my birthday which means it's 18 days before Christmas and I still don't have all my projects done. I have been doing alot of tatting and haven't got my rugs crocheted yet, fudge made, or truffles made.

Last weekend Jim( my sweety) and I did the Milwaukee run. I haven't been on 43 since they opened all the lanes and the last time was with a school bus. So we are in the right hand lane to go to McKinley exit and the next thing I know I'm on the off ramp for Madison.(Now you know why my phone has GPS) Well not to worry all streets will get you to Old World Street (3 ) if you go the right direction. When I found the Bradley Center I knew I could find the chocolate store. After a nice visit and lots of money later we did the Spice store and the Cheese Store. If you have never been in the Spice Shop you don't know what you are missing. You have to stand still and take a deep breathe to smell all the wonderful smells. It reminds me of when you are at you Grandmother's and she has been cooking all day. Great smells! Of course the Chocolate Tree smell like Christmas with the deep chocolate smells and other candy-yum! OK NO trip to Milwaukee is complete without a trip to the Cheese Store. First there are the samples then there are all the different kinds of stinky cheese that taste great you can't get in Illinois. Ok can you tell I like to go over the border and shop in Wisconsin? And I'm not a "cheese head".(Sorry all you Wisconsinites)
I had hoped to go see Yarnplayer's booth up at the Harbor in Milwaukee yesterday, but my husband dragged me off to Christmas shop and have Anniversary lunch with my son and his sweety( 1 year). So that didn't happen. Someday I hope to meet Marilee and tell her how much I appreciate all her talents. I love her yarn and am working on jewelry from her book. You would think because we are about one hour away from each other I could get to something she is in. Oh well I just have to keep reading her blog and hope my schedule and hers can cross. It is hard when you but in 10-12 hours days at work and Saturday is your only free day.
Well I hope this makes up for the long break. I just have to figue out how to add pictures without it messing me up. Hope all had a great Thanksgiving and appricate what our fore fathers sacrifices have mean to us. Ta Ta for now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Leaves and Snowflakes

Here is a leaf from Tammy Roger's pattern and Yarnplayer's hdt "Sugar Maple" thread in a size 10.

The snowflake is from Jon Yusoff's "Tatted Snowflake Collection"using size 10 Flora thread.
It is hard to have lovely fall colors and snowflurries at the same time, but welcome to Illinois in November!
Did I mention how much I like Yarnplayer's hdt!? There is such a difference in working. ( Marilee's tats like a dream Flora twists alot).
Here it is 2 weeks from turkey day and Christmas music has been playing since the 1st. Is it me or are we being pushed into one big money holiday to the next? I like Christmas music but AFTER Thanksgiving. As I drive around people are putting up and lighting Christmas decorations. True now is the time to do lights(before snow) and to tat the tree decorations ( several new one every year), but please leave the commercializm out of Christmas and bring back why we have the reason for the season.
Becki has made plans to go to Juneau for Thanksgiving to her new friends. She says she misses cooking for large groups of people. OK she doesn't know how to cook for only one- she wasn't taught that way. You can only eat homemade potatoe soup so many days in a row. (No one in the family makes single serving batches). So she is excited to have someone else to do holiday cooking for. Met kind of becomes deserted at holidays. There are so many who have family elsewhere they all kind of leave the Island for the weekend. I think it really is they have Island fever and just can't stay on one Island without going to the Main land.
While in Juneau she will be seeing how other schools do their program and get to meet all the people that are there that can help her with her job. I enjoy listening to her adventures.
On another note- I have had a special time talking to my daughter-in-law about parenthood. Her family has told her all these horror stories about birth and I have tried to reassure her that there is nothing to be afraid of. Pain passes quickly as soon as you how that precious bundle in your arms.
Well time to go back to my tatting. I am working with another Marilee color "morning glory" and I love the look. I'll have to scan it as soon as I finish and share. TaTa for now!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dragons, Becki and other mythylogical pursuits

Yeah I finally got a ok picture of my tatted dragon. This is from Anne Bruvold's pattern Flying Norwegian Dragons. This is the third one I needle tatted and I did make a couple of mistakes-but I am not telling where.
Becki has returned from her adventures - voiceless but no worse for the wear. Her student and her were the only school that didn't stay in a hotel and had to sleep at the school. Also they were the only ones who where not allowed a eating out budget. They had to prepare all their food at the school microwave-yum. This lead to a very limited menu. They did have purchase orders they could use at a store-1 1/2 miles away. No car, 2 days of rain and snow don't make for adventuring to go shopping.
It probably wouldn't have been the end of her very-awful-very-bad-week if it hadn't have been the fact the school talked her into becoming a volleyball referee. How to have hate mail without really trying. No one "likes" the ref. and when you are on a small island with no real way to quickly get off you have to have a death wish for this job. Lucky for her Met won or they might have burned her at the stake. Someones got to wise this girl up.
So life continues. I am going to try some of the snowflakes from Jon Yusoff's book "Tatted Snowflake Collection". She sent me a lovely tatted snowflake to go with it. Thanks Jon!
I've read alot of different views on shuttle and needle tatting-I do both . The secret to make needle look like shuttle is to use as small of needle as possible to tat with. I can do just about all the different tatting techniques with needle tatting there is, but wasn't that gifted with then shuttle. Pinched nerves cause me to drop the shuttle(alot) so to keep doing what I love I have become more proficient on the needle. Today I figured out how to do split rings on the shuttle and I am relearning how to hold my shuttle so maybe I won't loose feelings in my fingers as quickly. I have been seeing a massage therapist and it is helping. Healing take time.
Well it is time to go , but for anyone who thinks they can't do something I say- suck it up and give it a try! All you can do is have to try again! TaTa for now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost the Weekend! Yeah!

Here is my first "celtic" attempt at Tammy Roger's Maple leaf pattern. There are no tatting mistakes only celtic interwinding mistakes. I tried to take pictures of my dragons and it hasn't worked out yet. The thread is from Yarnplayer at Esty.
Becki has been delayed several times because of weather. They have had 60 mile and hour winds and a foot of snow. Only Becki could get excited with snow in October. The concert went well though and her student had a great time! ( This will excite other students for next year to do it)
Here it is the last day of my work week and yeah! I didn't have my regular route for two days and I feel sorry for thier regular driver half days and changes cause the children seating challenges!( What part of sit don't they get)

Well it is time to get to work so TaTa for now!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Daughter adventures

Well my daughter is in alaska and doesn't think I was very creative in my blog name. Sure get critical- her dad suggested the name. That tells you that I haven't done this as much as she.

Becki is enjoying Haines, Alaska with her student for Honors Band. She talks about snow and how lovely it is there. There it is lovely- here in Illinois it isn't. I think she forgets all the "fun" driving in it there is.

I'm proud of her adventuring out in the last frontier there is. I think it is in her blood. My family way back were adventures (pioneers) and so were her father's people. I spent time living in Australia and her father lived in Germany,Austria an Switzerland for a time before we met.

In fact it was an adventure getting her to Alaska. Did I mention we drove a 14 foot fully loaded to the gills U- Haul to Bellingham, Wa. (4 day drive) and then spent 37 hours on a inner passage ferry to Ketchikan and another 1 1/2 hour ferry to Metlakatla, Alaska? That wouldn't have been too bad but to get to Washington there are several steep mountain ranges you drive thru and I don't really like water or winding roads much. I do recommend Mount Rushmore. The pictures just don't convey the feeling of patriotism one feels at the foot of that mountain. You stand there in wonder and it is very emotional. The view is breath taking.

By the time we made it to where Becki was to live, I was almost adventured out for one trip. You can almost walk the entire village in one day, but it has a spectactular view of the ocean. ( To see more go to Becki's Blog "Life as I know it" at http://beckiinalaska.blogspot.com and see her pictures.) It is nice to still "live" thru your children's adventures without leaving home. Thank you google! Well there will be time for more, and I'm sure Becki will keep all of us entertained with her adventures. TaTa for now!

Sunday Morning

Here it is another day to thank God to be alive. I just read my daughter's blog and decide that I wasn't teched challenge enough so here I am writing a blog.

I have had to cope with Becki moving away, oldest son marrying, and all the other changes that happen as you age. Oh yeah, they forgot to put in the "getting older" handbook about all those aches and pains that just suddenly show up. Or how about the failing eyesight( computer screens don't seem to help.) Or that there are not enough hours in the day.

I can only say I am proud of how my children have turned out. Becki seems to enjoy Alaska and is learning the world of being responsible. My son James and his wife are expecting their first child next summer, and I haven't the heart to tell them babies don't come with instruction books and their is no way to be prepared for parenthood.(It is a fun and exciting ride with alot of twists and turns that are all well worth it!)

My work keeps me driving around in circles- literally, and the weekend is just not long enough! I did finish my first tatted dragon and an working on Halloween decorations( not like waiting to the end). Yes tatting is a passion and I am surprised at the number of people who do it. As soon as I figure out how to add pictures I do load some of my work( taking picture BEFORE giving it away would help). From Illionis all I can say is enjoy the day because you never know what tomorrow will bring!