Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Snowbird Kind of Winter

It's gotten a bit chilly here in the desert; even some frost!  Today is a picture postcard kind of day with snow in the closer mountains.  It rained last night, which is great for this region.  I started making myself some fingerless mitts yesterday and hope to be done by Saturday when we have to stand outside in line for a movie at the film festival.  Why buy something when you can stress yourself out trying to make it, right?

Wishing everyone a safe, happy New Year's Eve.  We're looking forward to a good and healthy new year.

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....

Christmakkuh.  Well, not really but I'm doing my best.  I love lights and used to have them up all year on the bushes in our driveway island in Seattle.  Here in the desert it just doesn't seem like December when the sun is out every day.  We had a couple of days of clouds and drizzle but it's still pretty warm.  So in this gated community, I'm doing the best I can.

Lights on a potted palm.  Very festive, don't ya think?

Happy holidays to all!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Over the Freeway

and through the desert to the Princess' house we went.....

Not quite to Grandma's house, but better.  Even though I arrived on Tuesday to help prepare and cook, Thanksgiving dinner was hosted by the Princess and Prince Charming this year.  Although lack of leftovers is a problem, using someone else's house for the big dinners is always good.  And getting to spend a couple of days with grown children who we rarely get to see was wonderful!

I drove from Palm Desert to Las Vegas on Tuesday, DH flew in on Wednesday after dialysis, Mr. Hollywood and his gf drove over from LA and my sister and brother-in-law flew in from Seattle.  We enjoyed having dinner on the dining room table we had sent down to the Princess when we got ready to move last fall and also relaxing on our old sectional.  Old memories were enjoyed and new memories were made.

DH helped Prince Charming with his barbeque technique and a fabulous turkey was the result.  Here they are in their matching jackets:

Ms. Hollywood admiring the excellent bbq job:

Mr. Hollywood watching and learning (and maybe waiting to snag a taste):

No good photo of the whole group, but you get the idea:

The kids all playing cards:

After dinner we had the pleasure of watching the Seahawks beat the 49ers.  We were geared  up and had as much fun listening to Mr. Hollywood (the biggest fan of all) comment, cheer, and lament the frequent bad calls as we did watching the game.

We had breakfast with the kids at the hotel the next morning (if you go to Vegas and want to stay off the strip, I recommend the M hotel with no hesitation).

Then it was time to head back over the freeway and back south to our respective homes.  An excellent time was had by all; good food, great company, a super football game, and sitting outside in 70F degree weather smelling the cooking turkey.  It doesn't get any better than that.

I hope your day was as awesome as ours was.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


The good news is that the Princess was released from the hospital on Tuesday and she's able to eat fairly normally.  The bad news is that I came down with an illness (not surprising since I was in that hospital so much and barely eating).  I've changed my plans to go home about five times and now plan to drive to Palm Springs on Monday. See, the complication is that DH  recently started dialysis and I can't be around him with a low grade fever. Luckily the kids seem to like having me around so it hasn't been bad. I finally went to urgent care yesterday after neti pot and other home remedies resulted in my fever going up and got some meds. I think I will be able to leave on schedule now. 

In knitting news, I finished the big sweater and everyone is really happy with it. It's plenty oversized now that my 5'9" Princess has shrunk to 105 pounds or so. When she's back to normal it will still be great as it fits me with plenty of room, too. iPad photos in the sunshine aren't the best, but.....

We decided on purple for the pockets and buttons and after a little searching, acquired just the right ones. I'm really happy with it!

I've also been working on a infinity cowl for her out of a beautiful Plucky Knitter Single yarn that also happens to be purple. Quite the theme going on. It will be done tomorrow but I'll take it home to block and bring it back. Then I'll be out of projects and itching to get back to see what came in the mail while I was gone. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Hospital Diet Plan

So I've been a good girl for awhile; no refined sugar, no gluten or much grain at all, no dairy, no alcohol, exercise. Did I lose any weight?  No.  Here's the method that works. Fly at short notice to Nevada to keep your DD company in the hospital. She has a flare up of IBD and can't eat, so she's skin and bones. I sit here and knit (that's going well) and try to find palatable and healthy food to eat. That's apparently impossible in a hospital :). So I seem to have lost about 3 pounds since Friday. Not the most recommended way, but hey whatever works!! ( I'm not really serious here, ya know.)

The Princess is managing well, her pain has lessened, but she can't tolerate food. So we're in a holding pattern, waiting to see what happens. I've been knitting her a big cardigan sweater and am almost done. It was going to be a surprise, but I showed her and she likes it. We've been planning a bright color for the pocket linings so I'm going to explore a yarn store here today and see what I can find. Traveling without my stash at hand is very unsettling. I also need to find buttons. I'll post a photo when I can. Eventually I'll end up in the desert with DH, and I'm looking forward to that.   Looking forward to better days and getting out of here!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Two in a Row

I'm busy finishing up things here in the Northwest so I can head down and join DH in the desert in a little over a week.  I got a bit distracted this morning by the Great Blue Heron who stood motionless on our beach for a long time waiting for a chance to catch his breakfast.  I had to photograph him from inside the house so as not to open a slider and scare him, but I did the best I could.  He was big and beautiful.  (Heron's gender is chosen arbitrarily as I don't really know that it was a male!)

I think he was unsuccessful in his fishing here and majestically flew away after spending at least a half hour here.  His wingspan was very impressive as was his graceful flight over the water.

In crafting news, I've been working on a big sweater called Warm Wishes.  It's going to be big and cozy and a gift, so I won't say more about that.  I'm using Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted in the Thunderstorm colorway.  This yarn is amazing and I've already been stalking destashes on Ravelry in the quest to get more.  I don't remember where I got this yarn but I'm glad to actually be using something from my stash.  The problem will be if I find more to replace it right away.  Don't need it, don't need it, don't need it.....

Anyway, this sweater has the most interesting construction I've every done.  You do a provisional cast on (I used an extra KnitPicks circular needle and left the stitches on the cable, which worked great) and then knit bottom up from the armpits to the collar.  Then you turn around and, using the held stitches, knit down toward the bottom.  After a few inches, you make the fronts of the pockets.  I thought these were going to be way too high but they turned out not to be.  You knit across the back, then the other pocket section.  Very amazing but easy if the (very specific) directions are followed carefully.  It's going more quickly than sweaters usually do for me and I think it's because it's so interesting.

Lastly, I did some spinning.  My wheel has been very lonely since Tour de Fleece, but I got busy and spun a nice braid of Squoosh Fiber Arts Merino/Silk.  I spun it worsted and tried to make it a bit thicker than my usual, so it's probably between DK and worsted weight.  I think it's soft and pretty.

A cool thing that I accomplished a couple of months ago was taking apart my Woolee Winder and cleaning it.  I have two Lendrum double treadle wheels and a Woolee Winder for each.  Both winders were in the desert, and I was having trouble with one.  So I brought it home for the summer, intending to have DH help me take it apart and see what was wrong.  Well, I decided to do it myself one day.  I had the specific cleaning directions that came with it and I carefully followed them and successfully got it apart, washed, and back together.  Success!  It works now, too.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Okay, okay

The hordes have been clamoring for a blog update (well, two have anyway) so here I go.  What's been going on since I last provided any real information?  A lot, which is probably why I fell down on the job of reporting.

My last informational post was last March (!) and a couple of weeks after that, DH suffered a stroke.  Fortunately it was mild as strokes go, but boy do you learn to appreciate the ease of thinking, walking, speaking, and writing when those things become difficult.  He started therapy right away and after a couple of sessions, was released to follow up on his own.  The warm pool at our condo complex in the desert was great for him to work in and he did that regularly until we left to come up north.  His first goal was to play golf and dance at his son's wedding on May 17th.  I'm happy to report that he did both.

He's doing pretty well now, in fact he put together numerous Ikea chairs and bookcases as we furnished our new house in Washington.  Great Occupational Therapy!  He also built a large raft and firepit, which came out beautifully.  He still gets tired quite easily and frustrated and there's a lot of room for improvement, but he was able to drive a fully loaded car from Seattle to Palm Desert by himself and that's a great accomplishment.

We came north in May to prepare the house for the arrival of the two kids who were not getting married, enjoyed their visit and the wedding, and then went back to pack up the car and drive home for the summer.  Since DH was limited in his endurance, we planned a nice trip through Las Vegas to see kids, Zion National Park, Salt Lake City, Boise, Walla Walla and then home.  We took a week and had a great time seeing places we hadn't visited together.  We also listened to an audio version of The Boys in the Boat, which you should listen to or read if you're one of the three people in the US who hasn't yet.

We went on two hikes at Zion.  This one had you walking in rushing water on slippery rocks to continue on the trail.  We went for awhile but it got sort of deep and I didn't think it was a good idea to go too far.  Beautiful sights, though!

We made it home safely after spending a nice night by the River Walk in Boise, and doing some wine tasting in Walla Walla.  All in all, a very enjoyable way to get here.

When we left off last time, I had said that I put longer sleeves onto my Brynna cardigan.  Indeed I did, and I wore it to an evening movie, where it was just the right weight and coverage.

As far as other knitting goes, the big things I have finished:  Neon,

  Posh Petals,

and Transmute.

There are always socks and other random small items I'm working on.  For example, I'm making some golf club covers for DH.  He bought new clubs so he can start playing more often, so what else to ask for than knitted covers, right?  Here's the brightest one so far:


I've become obsessed by yarn from The Plucky Knitter and have added quite a few skeins to my collection, but at least I'm using some of it, right?  All the projects pictured here use that yarn.  Hey, must be time to get more!

So this doesn't get too tedious, I'll stop now and continue on real soon, I promise!  Have a great day!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Too amusing to pass up

It's been a long time between posts; not altogether my fault.  I tried to do some updates from my iPad during a recent road trip but the darn thing wouldn't let me post any of my photos.  I had done it before but just couldn't figure it out this time, so I packed up my crayons and went home.  I'll be back with some knitting updates and road trip adventures, but I saw something the other day that made me laugh.  And I don't think you have to be a grammar queen to appreciate it.

DH and I have been settling into our new lake house in the Pacific Northwest, and a couple of days ago a house two doors away went on the market.  I walked over and picked up a flyer to see the price.  It was your average sales flyer with photos, price, and description of house.  The last item on the bulleted statements amused us to no end.

- Bald eagles souring overhead, while drinking your favorite beverage.

Can't you just picture those eagles soaring sourly with wine glasses in hand?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Yes, the title is a bit of a joke, as I am in sunny Palm Desert and their idea of a big storm is the wind blowing and the temperature dropping to a chilly 75F.  I've been here since January, my first official season as a "snowbird."  We are due to head back north to the Pacific Northwest in May.  Number One son is being married mid-May and we need to arrive ahead of the other kids to get the rooms furnished in the new house that I moved into right before leaving town.  DH and I will spend the summer getting things squared away there and landscaping done but for now we need to have appropriate sleeping places set up for the other kids who will be arriving to stay with us before the wedding.

I've been knitting and spinning here, but kind of lost my mojo for a little while.  It's been warmer than usual and my winter knitting just didn't seem to interest me.  I did reconfigure a sweater that I made last summer, the Brynna cardigan.  I didn't like the way the short sleeves flared out due to the lace pattern, so I took them apart and made the sleeves longer.  I used up most of the rest of my 4th skein of The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, which I loved.  I will post a photo when I get one taken.

I finished some charity mittens for afghans for Afghans.  Mittens and socks are good to work on when it's warm, ya know.  I also spun some Corriedale from woolgatherings and, as it's not a real soft yarn, I'll use it for some mittens or a hat.

But back to the weather.....  It really does get windy here.

And it's exciting.  People stop in the middle of the road when something (tree bark) blows by.  Not quite like getting stuck in the snow, but these guys run into each other anyway.

Here's a video I took of the hummingbirds trying to catch up to the feeders.  When they get there, they get a ride along with their snack.

More later.  I'll show you the lap blanket I made for DH when I first got here and it was really know, 70 or so.  He said he wanted a blanket to put over his legs and as a knitter, I immediately told him that I could make one.  Let's see, buy one in twenty minutes at Target or take two months to knit one.  No decision, right?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Making breakfast in my new kitchen and looking out at the ducks.  Pretty great. 

The only thing that would make it better is if my family were here with me. I'll see them all soon!