Saturday, August 29, 2009

Garden Harvest

Yep, that's it, friends..... Have I mentioned that I don't like digging in the dirt?
☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺

Friday, August 28, 2009

My "Golden" Couch

Two Golden Retrievers - bliss.... That's Terre's Izzy on the left and my dear Cassie on the right.
Terre has flown to Daytona Beach today and will bring my Mom back tomorrow to live here with me and my 4 leggeds.

Kendra's Yarn

Target is the handsome donor of the yarn pictured below. He lives with and is loved by Jen and Chris at Diversified Alpacas just down the road in St. Louis, Michigan

I love getting pictures of my fiber after it has been spun. This lovely yarn below was spun by 24 year old Kendra. Kendra has been spinning for two years after learning on a drop spindle at her County Fair. This year she won the honor of Best Handspun Finished Article. You go, Kendra!
This is a link to Kendra's spinning progress: Here
Kendra's mom Barbara Klause who lives in California is the perfect mom 'cause she ordered this fiber for Kendra. In fact, she just ordered 6 more ounces of it (opps, hope that's not a surprise)

Monday, August 24, 2009

'Paca Play

My mom in Florida is moving in with me so Nik and the grandgirls came over to help me do some furniture rearranging and cleaning. Thanks, Meredith, for doing the bathroom. Of course, we had to go out and play with alpacas for a while.

JR and Elizabeth ↑

Meredith and JR - they both look like they are wondering just what they are supposed to do with that mint. ↑

...and here Elizabeth and I are trying to get a nose rub from Snickers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rainbow Remembrance

I think this rainbow into the bean field from yesterday evening was a gift to help ease me through today. It was a year ago that Smitty died.

I find myself doing so much reflecting and remembering.....but it's good. I don't think so much of the last horrid, yucky month, but more of the good times. Sort of like the symbolic rainbow after the storm.
Smitty's energy and spirit is very strong and surrounds the kids and me every day (although they may not accept it). I didn't really understand before when the churchy folks would say things like "his spirit lives on", but I get it now. In fact, he has made his presence known to me by doing things like turning on and off the tv and electric fireplace. Not a bit spooky, but sort of amusing and comforting. He was always in control of the remotes ☺
The only times now that I have my heart hiccups is when I think of the kids and grandgirls missing him. That usually brings the tears on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Single Ply Experiment

This is the handsome Target who lives with Chris and Jen at Diversified Alpacas in St Louis, MI. His lovely fiber is what I used for this project.

I am determined to find a way to spin and use a single ply for knitting. My nonknitting friends may not know that normally we spin 2 singles and then ply/spin them together going in the opposite direction. Supposedly if we knit with a one ply the project will take on a slant in the direction the single was spun. You can imagine a sweater leaning/slanting off to the right.
My idea is to knit a lengthwise scarf (you know, cast on a couple hundred stitches and knit 10 or 12 rows). I don't think the slant would matter.
So, what I did was spin a single from some roving that is alpaca/merino that I hand dyed in my crockpot. I spun it tighter than I normally spin, then I wound it on my winder, tied it off, washed it, and stretched it back on my winder to dry. The picture below is of it drying right now on my deck (Yep, that's Cord in the background)
When it's dry, I'll cast on and start my experimental scarf. I'll let you know how it looks when I'm done.

Smitty memories - I thought this week was going to be more difficult that it's turning out to be. Am staying busy. Friday marks one year from his death. Daughter Terre and I are going to do something together and then Nik, my other daughter, and the grand girls will be around for the weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More to Eat, Less to Mow

I have been on a committment to cut down on mowing grass. This is my latest idea. Put temporary gates on the end of the drive to the shop/garage/tractor shed. This was always a real booger to mow but, you can see, the alpacas are doing a super job trimming it all up.

Today is another anniversary. A year ago Son Rob and I, with the help of Hospice, brought Smitty home from the hospital. I'm thinking a lot of that day. So glad that Rob was home from Scranton to help. Smitty called about 6 and asked if after chores, could I bring him home. He had had enough. Of course, said I. I called his doctor and by the time we got there, Gregg had taken care of all the necessary discharge stuff and hospice was waiting to help us.
Smitty had a good sized garden and because I don't really enjoy digging in the dirt, I planted wild flowers and grass where it was. Billie (across the street neighbor) has helped me try to stay ahead of the weeds. I did save some of the strawberry patch. Below is a shot from this morning of how it's coming along. Hopefully, some day it will take care of itself and be a little memorial to Smitty.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Help in the Pasture

I've been waiting for some rain to soften up the ground so that I can pop out some more burrs in the little boys' pasture. We have had 5 1/2 inches in the last couple of days. My ground is mostly clay so you can imagine how hard it is without moisture. Today seemed the perfect day to finish up. It always surprises me how little time my chores take once I get at them. Finished the entire pasture in less than two hours.
I'm glad that I had my camera in my pocket so that I can share the pictures of my helpers. On the left ↓ is little JR with his best friend, Snickers.

Slammie (Orion) was there to help also ↓

I think that I have become quite the pro at thistle removal. If they are little I can just slide my shovel under, loosen the roots, and pull them out by the roots. Of course, I wear my thickest leather gloves 'cause those babies are sharp. If they have grown tall, I push the top down and hold it with my foot, then take my "sharp" shovel and whack it at ground level.
Here's the hat that I just finished knitting and put in my Etsy Store.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chinella & John at the Fair

Here's John and Chinella after their costume class at the Alma Fair last Monday.

Posting here has been difficult for the last month and I'm not totally sure why. It is somehow related to Smitty's death (8/21/08), but I just don't understand how the upcoming anniversary is keeping me from blogging.
I am doing sort of a weird thing but it feels necessary..... Everyday I check my calendar from a year ago to see what was going on. A year ago Thursday we checked him back into the hospital for his last stay there and this coming Wednesday was when he came home - with Hospice's help.
All these little anniversarys are helpful to remind me of all that has changed and how grateful I am to my family, friends, and dear 4-leggeds.