Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sort of Stalled

I've been a bit "on hold" since August.

When I left our family reunion in Minnesota, I knew that Mom's days were numbered. The realization almost paralyzed me-- how would I be able to function without being able to call her and ask for advice and information-- What are the ingredients for that salad? What kind of plants were those we saw in Hawaii? Who was that lady who used to play cards with Grandma? How can I handle this sticky situation? And how could I imagine my life without her presence? She taught me to knit, to cook, and the best example of how to raise my children.

This wonderful woman raised 9 children, inspired 26 grandchildren, and lived and loved at the side of our Dad for over 60 years. She courageously battled ovarian cancer for some 12 years, never complaining, aside from "being a bit tired."

We were so thrilled that she felt able, along with Dad, to be with us at The Daughter's graduation from Virginia Tech in May. She handled her increasing frailty as she handled everything else.. with grace and calmness. She flew her kite in front of Burruss Hall, and loved seeing Lane Stadium in person.

In August she told me that she would probably stop the chemo treatments. This round had been going on for about a year, and it didn't appear to be helping any more. She told me that she didn't want me to worry, because "worrying is a waste of time."

She died late on the last night of September. During her last days she was surrounded by family, with Dad at her side. We spent the days after her death going through thousands of pictures, remembering family times, travels, and celebrating her remarkable life.

I saw a "sunbow" the other evening, and the automatic words from my mouth were "Hi, Mom!"

Her spirit is with me and with my brothers, sisters, our spouses and children-- and of course, with Dad.

So I'm giving myself time to get it together.

And I hope to be back soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's Been A Long Time....

And a lot has happened.

In June I went to the Midwest for The Parents' 60th anniversary. It was an amazing time, and I was able to re-connect with a cousin I hadn't seen for many years. Her husband and daughters are delightful, and it is wonderful to have them in our lives.

July brought the annual family reunion. Words fail me-- the blessings we have, the happiness we experience when we're together, the time with my children, my parents, and my sibs, spouses and kids. The Husband wasn't able to be there-- otherwise it was perfect, although a bit chilly. I was able to spend time with my parents-- there's never enough time--- so we cherish the time we have.

I golfed. I really did. For the first time in my life. Can you even believe it? I hit a lot of grounders. Maybe I was born to putt. I seemed to do it for a couple hundred yards on every hole-- and my actual putting wasn't awful.

Now I'm here, commuting between the greater DC area and Winchester. The Son is moving into a townhouse, and we've spent the last couple of weeks getting him set up. I painted for a few days last week, and with time and large quantities of ibuprofen, my thighs are finally functioning without excruciating pain from climbing up and down the ladder. The knee is another story. I turned in a store, and twisted the silly thing. I hope I haven't done a lot of damage-- it doesn't hurt, but feels a bit "stuffy." We'll see.

Knitting? Not so much. I'm halfway through the sock I started in June. I've been preoccupied with some major things, and my focus isn't there. Maybe if I just do it, I'll be able to get back in the groove.

Just got home from seeing Julie and Julia--

I highly recommend it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Good Morning

Shall we build an Ark???

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We remember and thank those who have made our lives, as we know them, possible. Their sacrifices eclipse our imaginations, and their stories dwarf our accomplishments. We pray for them, and we thank them.

We Have Hanami
Here she is, being modeled gracefully by the office chair last night...

...and being blocked today:

I started Hanami on March 11, and completed the knitting portion on May 14th. It was blocked today, and I'll add the finishing touches within the next couple of days. This is a gift for my Mom, who saw it already in its un-blocked and crumpled state. I gave her a shawl pin for Mother's Day, and couldn't resist showing her what I had in mind for it.The shawl pin is from nicholasandfelice's shop on Etsy. Hammered aluminum, very light and reasonably priced. If you click on the link, you will see the matching sterling earrings that I got for moi. (The Mother doesn't wear the pierced earrings, and they were just too wonderful to pass up.)

The Big Event

that brought us together was The Daughter's graduation from Virginia Tech.

I am such the proud Mama.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shall We Build an Ark???

It's been raining for several days-- and Lord knows we need it.

The weather report says sun tomorrow.

It would be a good thing.

In other matters-- nearly halfway done with Hanami. Pictures soon (maybe tomorrow???)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hanami rogress Report

Into repeat 5 of the Basketwave chart on Hanami.

That is all.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gonna Go To Class

I really like taking classes-- Craft classes, management classes, nursing classes, it really doesn't matter too much. I like learning new stuff.

And I'm so excited that I'm going to be taking Olga's Hairpin Lace Class at Knit Happens a week from tomorrow.

This is the same Olga who designed the awesome Petal Halter that is all over Interweave (featured in the spring 2009 issue!!!) and is just simply brilliant. And we get to just sit and knit with such brilliance!

Anyway, she's going to teach me how to do the Hairpin Lace! (Not the Petal Halter seen above.) There are all sorts of things you can do with this. It makes long strips of open crocheted fabric that can be connected together to make shawls or afghans, or you can use a strip as an insert in a knitted object.

I tried to find a good picture to put in here, but I couldn't find one quickly that fit the bill. After class, there will be a picture.

I saw a demo of hairpin lace on a tv show, and thought it looked like fun, but I really couldn't make much sense of it when I tried to review it in my head.

I'm one of those tactile learners, I guess!!!

(and hey-- if you want to learn, there might still be room in the class!!!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In Like A Lion...

March has been an interesting month.

It started with (finally!) welcome, beautiful snow

followed a week later by popping crocuses

and as we approach the end of the month,

the forsythia are out

the daffodils are making an effort,

the back fence-neighbor's camelias have made an appearance

the apricot tree is in full bloom (too bad it doesn't make apricots)

and The Husband's newly planted azelias just might bloom this year.

Work started out crazy busy, then tapered off-- again. It seems to go in fits and starts. Either we're begged to work overtime, or we're asked if we want to be off so someone doesn't get mandatory cancellation.

I've made it to The Shop for several actual weeks in a row, which seems to be what I needed to get centered. I've completed a couple of projects, including
a helmet liner for the son of a friend who is in Afghanistan, and a pair of tiny socks for the new baby of a co-worker.

Baby socks-- they're a good thing. They're little, and fun to knit. As a small gift, they can be accompanied by some purchased onesies or something grander. I started out a few years ago doing sweaters, and it just got to be too, too much time and energy.

But the thing that is really centering me now is Hanami. I've jumped on the bandwagon, as many of the KH Irregulars are doing it as an informal KAL. After I "got into" the pattern, it's moving along, although it is going to take quite awhile.

The first section is a 32-row basketweave pattern that gets repeated 7 times!!! (I'm nearly through the third.) I'm doing it as a prayer shawl as a gift for a very dear one who continues to fight the fight.

I'm knitting with a laceweight silk/mohair blend on size 3's. Knowing what a fan I am of instant gratification, I see this as focus and continuity that will sustain me, but from which I may need to periodically get a break.

Maybe by some baby socks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting It Together

And I really am.

I've done some knitting-- which really centers me.

I've made progress on a lot of work projects.

I've been to Late Night at The Shop-- got to see some friends and share some chat.

I'm making progress on the house.

Life is good.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Life Gets Away...

And all of a sudden it's February 2009, and I haven't blogged since December.

In that time, we went to the Orange Bowl-- a wonderful experience for our family and some close friends. The Hokies won, and that made it even better.

Both Offspring have marked another year, as has The Husband.

I've made some adjustments to my work schedule to allow me to do some extra things without feeling totally stressed.

I've worked many nights, resulting in some major fatigue.

I have not been to Knit Happens, and really miss my friends there.

I've done precious little knitting, and my hands are itching to get into a project. I just can't decide what to do.

And so it's time for some New Year's resolutions-- a couple of months late.

1. Focus on family
2. Focus on friends
3. Don't "over-" work
4. Take time to knit, read and relax instead of becoming exhausted.

We'll see how it goes....