Friday, November 25, 2011

Back in Black

I hit the sack. 
I've been too long I'm glad to be back. 
Yes, I'm let loose, 
From the noose, 
That's kept me hanging about... 

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, the ‘beginning’ of the Christmas shopping season. It’s called Black Friday and it’s a crazy day! It’s not really a holiday but most people who don’t work in the retail business have the day off. Everyone deserves the chance to participate in the shopping frenzy!
 The news is already full of stories of people who have their Thanksgivings dinners delivered or prepared in the parking lot of a business where they’ve taken temporary residence while waiting for the magic hour when the sales begin!

There was a time when I was an avid Black Friday shopper. The husband and I would head out early in the morning to whatever store we had chosen, hoping to snag a bargain. We’d get lucky sometimes and actually get what we went after. But we weren’t aggressive shoppers and agreed that if we scored it was good but if we had to get physical to negotiate the deal it wasn’t worth it. We’d finish up and go to IHop or Golden Corral for a great breakfast then head home for a nap. Most often we’d finish and be back at the house by 9:00 am.
I’m not sure whether it’s old age or just the trouble of getting out in the crowd, but there’s seldom a bargain strong enough to attract me now. I haven’t even looked at the ads to see what I’m missing! My daughter is planning to participate. My husband is even talking about it. Me? I’ll stay in with the littles. We’ll make pancakes and hang out in our pj’s til they all get back.
We tried these. They didn't turn out as pretty as hers but they were tasty!
I’m starting to listen to the tv and I’m hearing some tempting commercials. I do need a Christmas tree and I hear there’s one for half price. Then there’s that Crockpot, a fancy one, for just 16.98. And I could buy a sweater and get jeans free and……nah. That old Black Friday Magic almost worked. But not quite!

I've been looking at the sky 
'Cause it's gettin' me high.
Forget the hearse 'cause I never die.
I got nine lives,
Cat's eyes,
Abusin' every one of them and running wild...

Thanksgiving dinner was nice. As expected, it wasn’t finished on time, but that was an oven error on my part. We had too many baked dishes this year, and even with two ovens there wasn’t enough room. We added some new cuisine this year, just for a change. Two dishes I had actually made before but it’s been so long nobody remembered. Callye added fresh Brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon. I don’t really care for Brussels sprouts, but bacon makes anything palatable!

We cooked and cleaned all day and now there is some relaxing to be done! I’m working on a shawl for my sister to give to someone. It’s alpaca, purple, red and blue yarn, depending on how you look at it! I’m on a deadline so I have to get it finished and in the mail. I’m ready to hunker down with a good movie or two and knit on!

Surprise! There are some Black Friday specials…online! That kind of shopping I can do. Especially if there is yarn involved! I like shopping even more if I can knit at the same time!
Check Our Creative Spaces for lots of cool projects!

'Cause I'm back.
Well, I'm back 
Yes, I'm back 
Well, I'm back in black 
Yes, I'm back in black

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

We've come to the time in the season 
When family and friends gather near 
To offer a prayer of Thanksgiving 
For blessings we've known through the year. 
To join hands and thank the creator 
And now when Thanksgiving is due, 
This year when I count my blessings, 
I'm thanking the Lord He made you. 

I'm grateful for the laughter of children, 
The sun and the wind and the rain. 
The color of blue in your sweet eyes, 
The sight of a ball and train. 
The moon rise over a prairie, 
Old love that you've made new. 
This year when I count my blessings, 
I'm thanking the Lord He made you. 

And when the time comes to be going, 
It won't be in sorrow and tear. 
I'll kiss you goodbye and I'll go on my way 
Grateful for all of the years. 
I thank you for all that you gave me, 
For teaching me what love can do. 
Thanksgiving day for the rest of my life, 
I'm thanking the Lord He made you... 

Happy Thanksgiving! 
∩ │◥███◣ ╱◥███◣      
╱◥◣ ◥████◣▓∩▓│∩ ║
│╱◥█◣║∩∩∩║◥█▓ ▓█◣   
      │∩│ ▓   ║∩田 ║▓ ▓ ▓∩ ║          

•°*”˜˜”*°• From my house to your house •°*”˜˜”*°• 
•°*”˜˜”*°•Happy Thanksgiving•°*”˜˜”*°•
to family and friends

This year when I count my blessings, 
I'm thanking the Lord He made you. 
**song by Johnny Cash

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything...

I just wanna lay in my bed.  
Don't feel like picking up my phone  
So leave a message at the tone. 
Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything… 

Well, not anything I don’t want to do. How about that? I’m tired! I’m not tired like a normal tired. I have no energy for anything. By the time I get home from work I could just go to bed. Add fixing supper, cleaning up after and other little chores and I’m exhausted. I’ll look at the computer for a bit, knit some if I’m lucky and go to bed. It’s as early as 10:00 pm on some nights. That’s not like me at all!

The past two or three weeks have been really busy. Lots of travel, a funeral and the everyday fun at work makes for long days. I decided to take all next week off. Of course I’ll spend most of it getting ready for Thanksgiving, but at least I can start and stop when I want. No 5:30 am for me for a whole week! One thing that irritates me though is that now Tuesday is an early release day. Those going to work get to leave at 1:30. So I take one of my comp days, worth 8.5 hours and I feel cheated. It should only count as a half day off. But work isn’t fair. And it never will be. I’d have to take the day anyway because I have to go to the doctor with my husband for one of those “turned 50” procedures. Life isn’t fair. And it never will be.

We had a trip planned for Thanksgiving, to the mountain house. It’s pretty there and there are actually ‘seasons’. It would be nice but it’s far. We’d have a great time and we’d put off coming back home as long as we could. It would lead to starting another week being tired. So we will stay home and have family over to enjoy the day. There’s a lot to be done to get ready for the holiday but I’m comforted in knowing I can do it, at my own pace, without having to report to anyone. I don’t even have to get out of my pajamas if I don’t want! I can have a glass of wine. I can knit a row or two. And what if I decide to take a nap in between? Heck, I might just do that!

No, I ain't gonna comb my hair 
Cause I ain't going anywhere 
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, oh… 

I have a bad habit of keeping things in the plastic store bags they were placed in when bought. And if I don’t already have them in a bag I tend to put them in a bag. So today, while rearranging some of these plastic bags I ran across a couple of projects that I finished knitting but never finished.
Remember to check out Our Creative Spaces to see some great projects!

They need the ends worked in and probably would benefit from blocking. But the knitting is done!
Montego Bay scarf
Couple of dishcloths.
Chianti shawl
Something with a ruffle...I forgot what it's called

I know there are more, some I’ve probably even forgotten doing, and I’ll find them…eventually. Then I’ll have a big blocking party. Who knows? If I got to it before Christmas I might even have some shopping done!

I'll be lounging on the couch, 
Just chillin' in my snuggie… 

I’ll be watching corny Christmas movies, knitting and relaxing. Because today, I just don’t feel like doing anything.

Yes I said it. 
I said it I said it cause I can. 
Today I don’t feel like doing anything...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Put Me In Coach

Oh, put me in, Coach - I`m ready to play today.  
Put me in, Coach - I`m ready to play today… 

As we traveled to the funeral, my mind was filled with an assortment of conflicting emotions. I looked forward to visiting with my relatives and seeing my mom and dad but my heart ached for the loss of my dear uncle and the sadness his immediate and extended family was feeling. It’s ironic how a funeral becomes a family reunion. The despair of losing a loved one is evident but at the same time memories of good times are revived.

My uncle was a great man. I knew it but it was reaffirmed today. He was born in 1926 and was my mother’s oldest brother. He grew up in a small town called Jayton, Texas and went to school there through the tenth grade. The family moved to Wolfforth, Texas, and he graduated from Frenship High School in 1944.

Sonny served in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne, from 1944 to 1946. The interesting thing about that is my nephew is in the same division. They talked about it at the family reunion this summer. I thought it was cool and it made me proud.
U.S.Army, 101st Airborne. Hooah!

Wilford “Sonny” Arthur, influenced many in his life. He was a teacher and a coach. He began his coaching career in 1950 at Pettit, Texas. The population was about 100 people. Now, the town does not even appear on the state map and the 2000 population is unknown. He went on to Spade, Texas then back to his hometown, Jayton, Texas.
Pettit HS, Pettit, TX Photo courtesy Stephen Taylor

Sonny coached in Jayton from 1952 to 1967. Until the last three years of his time there he was the only coach. Finally, another coach was hired to help with the girl’s athletic program. During his career in Jayton he had forty-four straight wins in football. Five of those were trips to Regional, which at that time was as high as you could go. Besides the success in football he also had thirty-one straight wins in basketball with two trips to Regional. As coaches do, Sonny moved to another school to coach for six more years. At Ropesville, Texas, he added even more wins to his successful coaching career. Overall, he achieved a lifetime record of 73% wins in football and 69% in basketball. That’s by far better than the average bear!
Jayton Jay Birds

After coaching, Sonny began his career as a Superintendent of Schools in Quail, Texas. He stayed there for six years then moved to Lakeview, Texas and stayed there as Superintendent until his retirement in 1989.

Retirement didn’t mean stop working to Sonny. He took care of his ranch and was active in the community, especially as a fan of the Jayton Jaybirds athletics program. He and my aunt Ruth, were honored as Fans of the Year in 2008.

Perhaps one of the things Sonny was most proud of in his coaching career was his induction into the 6-man Coaches Hall of Fame. He is famous for his experience in this area. I remember once when I was at a training with a friend in Waco, that we went down to the hotel lounge to hang out a bit. It was when former Texas Tech coach, Spike Dykes, was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The room was filled with active and retired coaches. My friend had a brother who was also a coach and she knew some of the people there so we started visiting. I mentioned that my uncle was a coach, and said his name. The majority of the people in the room knew him! He was not only well known but highly regarded in the coaching circle.

The church where the funeral was held was packed with people. One of his former students was asked to pay homage to Sonny. He asked how many in the congregation had been coached by Coach Arthur. An incredible number stood up. It was heartwarming to see how his influence affected these boys, old men now, so much that they came, years after high school, to pay respect to their ‘coach’. I can only hope that in my career in education I may impact one tenth of the people Coach Arthur inspired in his lifetime. I’ll forever hear him call me ‘hon’ and tell me I get prettier every year. Sonny, you’ll be missed.

 Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We`re born again, there`s new grass on the field.

The only advantage to traveling long distances, to whatever event, and not driving, is that there is a lot of knitting time. I finished another cowl, just needing blocking, and think that I have found the never ending skein of sock yarn! It’s part of one cowl, a complete other cowl and there’s still some left.
One cowl, two cowl...

I had thought I’d finish it in the second cowl but if I had continued to knit until it was gone it would have been long enough for a giraffe’s neck! As it is, I stopped and I’ll figure out something to use it with.
It keeps going and going and going...

If you’ve not seen Our Creative Spaces, head on over! I missed this week’s deadline, with all that was going on, but there is plenty to see. Check it out!

Well, it was a great weekend and I’m ready to hit the week with a positive attitude. I’ll give it my best shot. It’s just a game and I’m ready to play.

Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today.
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today…

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Somedays we forget, 
To look around us.  
Somedays we can't see,  
The joy that surrounds us.  
So caught up inside ourselves,  
We take when we should give…  

Thirty days hath November. It’s soon to be Thanksgiving. Then shortly after that, it will be Christmas. The stores have had Christmas decorations out since October. It’s become a hurry up world.

The beginning of November is when it’s really fall to me. Then the leaves are gone. The wind blows and it’s winter. Not officially of course, but winter, never the less. November is the beginning of the holidays. It’s the time when family gets together. This is the month my dad was born. This is the month my dear cousin passed away. It’s a birthday month for some close friends. It’s a month of beginnings. It’s a month of endings. But mostly, when I think of November I think of it as the month for being thankful.

I feel sorry for myself sometimes and sometime even wish I was somewhere, someone, else. But I have a lot to bet thankful for. And I need to remember that. I’m thankful I have a family. Are they perfect? Not at all. But I have a good husband who loves me. As my ‘friends’ say, he must be a saint. Nobody else would put up with you! Saint, no, but he’s been there beside me, through the good times and the bad. I have three wonderful kids who have grown up to be three wonderful adults. I have a fantastic son by marriage and I have three of the best grandkids in the world. I’m glad they want me to be a part of their lives. I’m thankful I have both my parents. I worry about them more as they age and I’m glad for the times we have together. I’m thankful I knew my grandparents, all of them, including a great grandmother and grandfather. I know, through a roundabout way, they helped make me who I am today. I’m thankful I have a sister and a brother I love and who love me. I have cousins, aunts, uncles…all important in my life.

I’m glad I have a house to live in. I know there are people who have to go to a shelter or stay in their cars. It’s not just a house, and it’s not perfect, but I have a home. I’m thankful I have clean clothes to wear. Not everyone does. Some are tight and that means there is plenty to eat. Nobody here is hungry. I’m thankful for electricity. There is a washer, dryer, stove and refrigerator. I am fortunate to have luxuries, not just the necessities.

I’m thankful for the Internet. Dumb? Probably. But it has allowed me to connect with people I’d never have met or talked to otherwise. It lets me keep up with my sons, out of the state and out of the country, and my daughter, who is busy with her own life. I know what my sister, my cousin, my friends, are doing and they keep me connected with the rest of the family and world who don’t have the Internet.

I know I’m lucky; probably luckier than a lot of people. I am thankful for superficial things as well as for meaningful things. I am thankful, and I hope you can find a reason to be thankful too.

So for tonight we pray for 
What we know can be. 
And on this day we hope for 
What we still can't see. 
It's up to us to be the change 
And even though we all can still do more 
There's so much to be thankful for. 

I finished the autumn chickadee cowl. I just love sock yarn. The colors are so pretty and the patterns the yarn makes when knitted is beautiful. But I have no desire to make socks. Well, maybe one pair, someday, just to see if I can. But until then I’ll use it for other things.
Chickadee with three sock yarns
Folded over

With a pin

I’m starting a gift for my sister. Not for her, but for her to give her friend. It’s not a variegated yarn but it’s pretty. It’s purple with a pink and blue color mixed in. I don't have a picture yet.
Linen Stitch
 And bad as it sounds, I’m thankful I have yarn, probably too much, to work with when I want. But I won’t take it for granted.
Autumn colored yarn

So for tonight we pray for 
What we know can be. 
And every day we hope for 
What we still can't see. 
It's up to us to be the change. 
And even though we all can still do more. 
There's so much to be thankful for…