Saturday, November 27, 2010

What A Beautiful Mess

What a beautiful mess I'm in…
Spending all my time with you.
There's nothing else I'd rather do.

Thanksgiving wasn’t over the river and through the woods but it was at grandmother’s house. Well, Pappy’s house and that’s close enough. Pappy’s ‘nother one house as the kids said. The mountain house is just big enough but when we all go, the walls close in and no matter how hard we try, things just get in a mess. A beautiful mess, though, because we are enjoying each other. There were some people missing and it would have been even better if they’d been there. But they were in our thoughts, and we were in theirs. It’s fun, it’s tiring, it’s caring and it’s sharing. It’s family.
Belle...still and quiet? What's up with that!?!
Helping Pappy and loving it!
This sums it up!!! Thanks for Thanksgiving 2010.
I hope everyone got to spend time with people who are important to them. Be thankful for the wonderful things in your life.

What a beautiful mess,
What a beautiful mess I'm in…

There was some yarn play during the holiday. I took a bunch of hanks that needed to be wound. I have a swift and a ball winder. I took them to the mountain house and while there was room I set it up on the counter and wound some of the hanks. The boys were mesmerized. Of course they wanted to help so with a little guidance they wound yarn too. I didn’t get finished with all I had but I got a good start. Then I wondered why I have so much.
Caleb says, "All  your yarns is rainbow colors Mames!"
I also made a couple of Christmas scarves. They are just scraps but I like how they look. And they are lengthwise so they are fast. The kids liked them so I made two more little ones. I also finished the Gaiter and started on Ty’s scarf. I knitted on the way home in the dark and got about a foot done. Surprisingly I can do this pattern in the dark with not too many problems.
Ty's Gaiter and scarf in the works.
Christmas Scarves
Christmas in a different hue
Knitayear is also still going on. I did get behind up there but caught up for this post and have one more November post to go. Then maybe I can be caught up for a while. Doubtful! Day 236, November 22 was a little frenzied. I was trying to get things caught up at work and also get things going at home so we could leave. I chose a green yarn with little ribbons hanging off of it. Day 237, November 23, I was getting ready to go. Then plans changed and we weren’t going that day. I shut down. Then plans changed and we were going that day. Make up your mind!!! But I’m ready, regardless. It’s my good friend’s birthday today too. And she’s older now! I choose maroon worsted with colored flecks. November 24, day 238 was a good day. I’m glad to be at the house. Glad for the mountain air and the trees. I’m not as glad for the stairs and the two hundred times going up and down to unload! I chose dark green wool for the trees. It’s day 239, Thanksgiving, November 25, and I’m thankful we can all be together. I wish the boys were here and that Dustin was home but I know it will come soon enough. It would have been fun to have Junie and mom and dad too, but they’ll be there Christmas. We didn’t really plan a Thanksgiving supper but the turkey was in the smoker and it took a little longer than expected. We had a sausage snack to tide us over then had a wonderful supper. It was all the usual favorites. I made a standby that we call Sour Cream Salad and the little guys ate it like there was nothing better. I like it when that happens! I chose Artist Fleece wool silk in orange, green and blue. Day 240 was the calm after the storm. November 26 is Black Friday but we skipped it. When they start opening stores at 3:00 am or midnight it’s not fun anymore. We occasionally went for some things in the past, ate breakfast out and came home. That wasn’t too bad. But to stay up and out all night? Well, it’s not worth the money saved to me. We hung around the house and just relaxed. I chose yellow bamboo. Day 241, November 27, Callye and I ventured out. We were lucky and found some leftover Black Friday things without the crowd and the early hours! We also went to a dollar store and just had fun finding little stocking stuffers and the like. I chose Flame Trend superwash in a color called party. It’s really rainbow colored but I could only use a bit so it’s bright green. I feel fortunate and very lucky that we had this holiday together. I think I already said it but the cherry on the Sundae would have been the boys being able to be there. The wild times, the messes…the memories made. That’s what counts.
Is it your eyes?
Is it your smile?

What a beautiful mess…

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You’ve Got A Friend...

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am,
I'll come running. To see you again…

Yes, you do.
You’ve got a friend.
You can say it.
It’s okay.
Guess what?
I do too.
No, it’s not you.

All you have to do is call,
And I'll be there.
You've got a friend...

I’m making a military gator or gaiter, depending on the pattern you look at, for my poor baby boy who is freezing in Utah. He wanted green and of course, there’s no green wool yarn to be found. So I ordered green yarn and it’s not here yet. Maybe tomorrow? But in the meantime I found some as well. I’ll be heavy on green wool now! For now he’s getting gray. I hope it’s what he wants. Knitayear is also still in progress. Day 230 is November 16, and I’m sick. Sick enough to call in. I just don’t feel good and haven’t for a while. Old age I guess. I chose rust, green and blue eyelash for no particular reason except I thought it was kind of ugly today and it reminded me of sick! Day 231, November 17, I’m feeling like a slacker. I really did work but it was cleaning off the desk, putting things away, that kind of stuff. I really haven’t gotten to do anything like that since I moved offices. I picked a pale green suede yarn. It seemed like a steady yarn to me. November 18, day 232, I’ve regained my ambitious attitude! I’m planning for an upcoming workshop, fixing a booboo that happened and just working on things that need to be done. The yarn I picked is alpaca from one of the WHIBSIB weekends. It’s blue, green, yellow and red. It’ busy like I was! Day 233, November 19, I’m enlightened even more, but not in a good way. I’m driving to Austin for work. I’m glad to be going. I picked yarn that is black, white and red. Day 234, November 20, and I’m working on a Saturday. But it’s a fun work environment. I’m industrious and we stay busy until after 4:00. Then I’m on my own. I explore a bit but I’m so tired I can’t even take advantage of being in Austin, which I love. I choose teal Noro. And finally, day 235, November 21. I’m feeling self indulgent, sleeping in, taking my time, getting a Starbucks. I picked a pale blue ribbon for this day. 
I’m making a side trip before going home. I’m going somewhere called Paige, Texas, to a wonderful yarn store called Yarnorama. It’s the opposite way I need to go but it’s a needed break. .

"A Playground for the Fiber Obsessed"
The drive is pretty too. There are tall trees in some parts of Texas! The owner is very nice, just letting me look. I wander around and touch yarn and look at things for an hour or more. 

She has a lot of beautiful things to look at and choose from. She’s also a spinner and weaver and she dyes her own yarn as well. All those things I want to do someday when I have the extra time. Ha ha…I’m not holding my breath waiting for extra time!
I did want to thank my friend SinĂ©ad, for the inspiration of her beautiful yarn store pictures.  Otherwise, I might have never thought to ask!
My haul!
I managed to pick up a few things to bring back to West Texas with me. The trip was 806 miles in all. Thank goodness for satellite radio. But it went well and I’m back to reality where having a friend might not be all that it’s cut out to be.

You've got a friend...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Daddy’s Hands

I remember Daddy´s hands, working 'til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.

Wow! My dad asked me to be his friend on Facebook. Who would have ever thought? Being the good daughter I am, I accepted. Facebook asked if I wanted to write on his wall and/or look at his profile. I click so I can write him a note to say hello. While I’m there I look around and see who his friends are and what he’s filled out on his profile. He’s added the usual information, his email, where he lives, his home town and his birthday. Wait! His birthday? There has to be a typo! According to what he’s filled out he will be 73 years old on November 15. How did he get to be so old? How did I?
My mom and dad just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary at the end of October. That’s a long time. I remember my dad as a young mechanic, working at a car dealership. She stayed home with us. Mom would make his supper and we’d take it to him because he was working late, either on something of his or someone else’s.

My dad has loved cars for as long as I’ve known him. His interest began in high school if not earlier. He was fortunate enough to have a car to drive. He’d tinker with it and get it running just how he wanted. My mom said about that time my granddaddy would decide it was time for a new one. Granddad had this thing about getting new cars on a regular basis. Anyway, the new car would get there and dad would start again.

Ford is the only make of car there is as far as my dad is concerned. He worked at Ford dealerships almost exclusively. He won Ford mechanic of the year in 1970. He was one of the top 20 Ford mechanics in the country. He got a huge trophy and he and mom got to go on a cruise to Jamaica. It was a real honor.

Dad raced cars too. Of course they were always Fords. His racecars were always painted red and yellow. His number was 33. I don’t know how many he had through the years. We would go, every Saturday night, sometimes Friday too, and watch him race. He usually did pretty well.
One time he was in a bad wreck. It was around 1966. He rolled his car, six or so times, end over end down the track. He was in the hospital for a while. I was probably in the third grade. I wrote him a poem to make him feel better. It went like this.
 A Man Named James

There was a man named James.
Hot-rodding was his game.
He raced round and round that track,
Til he rolled and hurt his back.

He had to stay in bed.
His face turned mighty red.
He had to wear an icepack,
Right upon his head.

Soon he got better
And so did the weather.
Soon he got back
Right out on that track.

Said James, “Hot-rodding is my game.”
My mom told me years later that he’d carried that hand written poem in his billfold until it wore out.
My dad also competed in a couple of demolition derbies. The object is to have the last car running. Everyone in the event rams their cars into each other trying to knock them out of the competition. Dad knew all kinds of tricks. He was in one derby in Gallup, NM, somehow connected with the Navajo Indian Reservation. He won. All the little Navajo children were running around trying to get a piece of something off his car. They called him the “Demolition Derby Champion of the Navajo Nation”! He won a trophy and some kind of prize money.
Dad finally retired from mechanics. Sort of, anyway. He doesn’t do it as his job anymore. But he still plays with his cars. He got to build a garage/shop behind the house and he spends time out there, piddling, fixing things and just playing with his cars. He’s got a couple of vintage cars and even some motorcycles to experiment with. He’s set up some of his new trophies out there. He’s still winning them. He needs to set up some of the older ones and it will seem a little like a museum. It’s his history.
It’s hard to believe how the places in life have changed. The GKids are where my kids were, my kids are where I was, I’m where my dad was and my dad is where my granddad was, seems like only a few years back. My dad will always be my dad. And he’ll always have his cars. I guess growing older is mandatory, but growing up is optional. As long as he keeps playing with his cars he’ll be young forever.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

So what is knitayear? It’s a project I read about in a tweet. The recipe is basic; cast on some stitches, knit at least two rows every day using a color that fits your mood or feelings that day. If you want, you can journal or blog as a kind of documentation of your feelings, ultimately creating a personal record of the year. I thought it sounded interesting, so I decided I was going to do it. I thought about it. This idea could apply to anything that was of interest. If you read, choose a book and reflect after the amount you’ve chosen to read each day. Explore poetry and document your interpretation. If you like music listen to a new artist each day or a favorite song or a theme, like a song with Monday in the lyrics. Then reflect if you want. You could choose to try something new every day, a food, a project, an idea. You could take this idea wherever you wanted.

My daughter decorates cookies. Amazing cookies! When I first told her about my project I told her she could do it with cookies too. She started, but life, as it often does, got in the way. Now she’s started it again. If you want to keep up with her 365 days of cookies go to her blog,
Day 225, November 11, was a fairly easy day. I had a haircut which much improved my disposition and my looks for sure! I stopped by the homemade wine store on the way home and also finally got those pancakes I’ve been wanting. I chose brown fancy fur. The fur is my hair and the colored dots are happy dots! November 12, day 226, was another nice day. It wasn’t my day to work but I traded because I had to work Saturday. After I got to work I wished I hadn’t traded! But not many were here so it was an easy day, one I could catch up with. I did end up getting quite a bit done and was content with my progress. The yarn for the day was Hushabye in a color called crayon. It’s white with bright colored spots. Day 227, November 13 was Saturday and I had to work. It’s not hard work at all, it’s just the fact that it’s Saturday and I have to come in. My intern is a nice guy though, so I don’t mind. None of the other people working wanted to talk so I got some work and some knitting done. And we did get out early. I was industrious, getting some things I needed to finish, done. I chose yellow yarn because it was bright and seemed industrious. Day 228, November 14 was another productive day. I got a lot of things done around the house. I called home to wish dad a happy birthday since I would be out most of the day on his birthday tomorrow. I chose yarn called snowflake in apricot dream. It’s a pretty orange and turquoise yarn. November 15, day 229 is my dad’s birthday. He’s 73 years old today. It doesn’t seem possible he’s that old, or that I am! I went to Ft. Stockton for the day for work, with a few other people. Something happened and I feel let down, again. No particular reason I guess. Anyway, I did get to come home early so that was a benefit! I chose a maroon and dark blue sock yarn. It’s one that Junior tried to knit with. It’s dark, kind of fitting for the day. But it’s a happy day, still. Happy birthday dad!

But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Put the Lime in the Coconut...

She put the lime in the coconut, she called the doctor, woke him up,
And said, "Doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take,
I say, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?”

Ah-choo!!! Cough, cough, sniff. I feel a cold coming on. It brings back memories of when I was little. Back then when I got a cold my mother would put Vicks VapoRub on my chest and neck. Then she’d get an old wool sock (clean) and wrap it around my neck. She’d safety pin it so it didn’t come off. I would wear that to bed. She swore it cured the cold. Now if you happened to get a cold at my grandmother’s house you actually had to eat the Vicks. She would rub it on your chest but she also made you take a big glob and swallow it, to cure your sore throat. If she was out of Vicks she used Mentholatum. She also made me put Vicks in my nose. I know I shouldn’t like it, but it’s a habit now, and I do like it. I don’t eat it, but if you’re around me much you might notice a menthol odor every now and then. I love Vicks. Through the years I’ve probably eaten or inhaled a case of it!
My friend and neighbor, who lived across the street from me when I was growing up, had to do something different when she got a cold. Her mother had a lot of interesting cures. It was still Vicks VapoRub, the magic salve, but she had to rub it on her feet. Then she put socks on and went to bed. This was her mom’s remedy. And interestingly enough, it seems to work.
Having a headache at my friend’s house brought out the vegetables. Her mom would cut a potato, make whoever had the headache lay down with the raw potato on their forehead, and wait until the headache went away. She said the potato drew out the pain. I was thinking maybe lying down and being still might have helped, right? Another vegetable cure was for colic. When my son was a baby they said he had colic because he’d cry. Maybe it was colic but it was because his tummy hurt that he cried. The cure was to boil onions in water. After they were boiled, the onion ‘tea’ went in his bottle. He’d drink that, his stomach would ease and he’d be okay. He’d belch and it was almost unbearable. He had the worst breath ever for a baby! I guess it helped things move around in there and it really did help his belly.
Treating cosmetic ailments was another of her specialties. If you had a pimple, she had a cure. Whenever someone had a blemish she would cut up the nipple to a baby bottle and tape a square of the rubber over the pimple. It had to stay there for at least three hours. I don’t know if it worked but it kept the fingers away from the spot. If you did give in and caused the rubber patch to fall off, you had to keep it on longer next time. If it was night you could put toothpaste or calamine lotion on the spot and go to bed.
I used to get sunburned when I was younger. Someone told my mother about a magical cure that would take the burn out and keep you from peeling. I am fair skinned and sunburn very easily. I don’t just get pink. I blister and swell up. It’s not fun. When I got a sunburn she would have me rub vinegar on it. I’d put the vinegar all over the burned area and it seemed to take the heat out. It stunk to high heaven as well, but it was worth it. After a while the smell went away. If you did it at bedtime you could sleep pain free and you didn’t stink too badly in the morning! Funny thing though, and I don’t know if I just thought so or what, but it worked as far as I could tell. It did take out the heat. But I still peeled.
It’s interesting, the family remedies you learn of that were depended on to take care of all ailments. They are similar from family to family but different at the same time. Of course there was always plain old chicken soup that is common in most families. But I don’t remember getting soup too much. Were my mother and grandmother secretly trying to kill me? Why didn’t they just give me hot tea or chicken soup? Instead I had to eat large quantities of petroleum jelly flavored with camphor. It clearly says on the box that it is for external use only!
It also says do not use by mouth, with tight bandages, in nostrils or on wounds or damaged skin. Well, gee…we did all of the above! Just imagine the power the Vicks would have had if it had just been melted in the chicken soup! Boy, I’m glad they didn’t think of that!
What unique cure-alls did your family use? I’d like to know!

Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both together,
Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better,
Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both up,
Put the lime in the coconut, and call me in the morning

The knitting is continuing. I’m on day 221, which is November 7. I had great plans of getting up, going to get the pancakes I’ve been craving, going to the Merry Marketplace, stopping in Lubbock then on to Amarillo. But because I procrastinated I didn’t get anything done but the trip to Amarillo. I did stop by Starbucks in Lubbock and that was refreshing. And I stopped to see the kiddos and that’s always a good feeling. I’m a little apprehensive about the trip but that’s because it’s for Susan’s funeral. The good thing is I’m spending the night with my dear friend Mindy. I chose gray wool for the day. It’s kind of a dark day but not completely black. November 8 is here, day 222, and I’m in Amarillo. It’s a sad day. But there are a lot of us here so it’s good in that respect. I haven’t seen some of the cousins in years. The service is very nice. I’m glad I was able to be there. I’ll take my time going back home. I chose teal with a sparkle, something called Grand Opera. It’s pretty and it reminds me that today was a sad day but there was a little sparkle when we were able to visit and the preacher did a great job for Susan. Day 223, November 9, I’m back on the road, to San Angelo for work. I will have driven almost 900 miles by the time I get back. But this is a good session. I’m enlightened! I can actually tell my bosses what this grant we are facilitators for is about. It’s good to finally know what it’s about should I be asked to explain! I chose something called Snowflake in a color called cloudy. It’s white and gray with a bit of color thrown in. It looked brighter in the skein than it does knit. November 10 is day 224. I’m meeting my daughter in law after work. Well, she’s not really my daughter in law but if I could hand pick, she’d be the one. We visit and laugh and generally have fun. I choose a light aqua colored dishcloth cotton. It’s a self striping and it’s only one of the colors. But it’s cheerful looking. Sniff. Sniff. I’ve got to stop knitting. I feel the need for some Vicks in the nose…
I say Doctor! Let me get this straight.You put the lime in the coconut, drink them both up,
Put the lime in the coconut, you such a silly woman!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly flow the days.
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers,
Blossoming even as we gaze...

If you’ve ever heard anyone say they live out in the boonies, they are probably talking about living out here! There isn’t a lot to look at. There aren’t many tall trees. There are no big rivers. There aren’t any lakes. But you can see for miles. Really. Off my front deck on a clear night I can see the lights of a town about 60 miles away. And there are gorgeous sunsets. This year there was some extra rain. The average rainfall out here is 12 inches. So far we’ve had around 20 inches. When it rains here things immediately turn green and bloom! It’s a nice change. The downside to that is when it is fall all the plants dry up and there’s huge fire danger.
Wild Sunflowers
The roadside was covered with flowers

After you live out here for a while you come to appreciate a certain beauty in the surroundings. You’ll swear you can see to the end of the earth. The sky is clear and beautiful, no smog or pollution. There’s plenty of room to move around.You can see the rain as it falls miles away.
The windmill in my backyard
The sun through the mesquite tree
My backyard
Clear, blue sky
Raining over Odessa
I really like the sunsets. I like sunrises too, but I don’t like to get up early. So, I see more sunsets than sunrises. The sunsets out this way are exceptional. The colors are from an artist’s palette, swirling reds, yellows, pinks and oranges. The backgrounds are blue, gray or black.Some look like water color paintings.
Sunset on the way home
Sunset by McCamey
Clouds in the sunset by Seminole
More clouds by Seminole
Hole in the clouds
In the early fall, before daylight savings time, it’s dark when I leave for work. By the time I get there or shortly before, the sun is rising. That’s the time I get to see the sunrise. After daylight savings time kicks in it’s rare I’m up early enough to enjoy the rising sun. It’s almost dark though, when I get home, so I can see the sun in various stages of going down. I guess it’s a fair trade off.
Sunset on another cloudy day
Almost dark
The sunrise is just as pretty. The vivid color isn’t there but the sun peeking through the clouds is magnificent. If there is a picture of heaven, the sunrise could be it.
Sunrise on the way to work
Early morning sun
Sunrise on the horizon
Of course the inviting colors attract me. I have some yarn that reminds me of the sunsets. I don’t know what it will be yet but I’m sure it will be pretty.

The sunrise begins the countdown to the end of another day. The minutes and hours fly by until another day is gone. Before we even notice, it’s a week gone. Soon a month, two months and finally a year pass. And we wonder why time passes so quickly. Would it slow down any if we stopped every day to appreciate the sunrise and the sunset? Probably not.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

Knitayear is passing more quickly than I thought too. It was just the start of a new strip and now it’s already the second month. If you wonder why my blog dates are a little off it’s to keep it with the knitayear. You’d be surprised how confused I can get with a list of dates! Day 218, November 4 was a bit disappointing. Is there someone in your life that you let hurt your feelings over and over? You know it will happen and it makes you sad, but you don’t break away? It was that kind of day. I picked blue trellis yarn. It’s dark blue, light blue and white. It’s a ribbon yarn with little squares of ribbon then an open spot. Day 219 was much the same as yesterday. Different people, different reasons, same disappointment and hurt. Besides that it’s almost like I’m invisible, concealed behind some desk, not knowing anything. Oh well, I need to accept that it’s this way and move on. It’s November 5, and I found an off white cotton with little color dots. The offwhite symbolizes invisible and the little spots of color, which if you don’t look closely you won’t see, are the bright spots, the days I can be seen. Yes, they are far apart. It’s bound to get better. It’s Saturday, day 220, November 6, and I’m feeling renewed. I got to be with a group of ladies I like, we visited, snacked (of course) and knitted. It was a very much needed break for me. I picked yellow because it was bright. This yellow is cotton with a red and blue thread twisted around to make a solid strand. It’s like the group of friends, each with a different personality, a different life, but held together with a common thread as well. This day brought a happy sunset, and the hope that the sunrise tomorrow brings an even better day.
Now they must learn from one another,
Day by day.
Sunrise, sunset...