Saturday, November 27, 2010

Don’t get Around much anymore…

Don’t worry….I’m still around….I just don’t get on the computer as much as I used to.
As I mentioned in previous blogs, I have been knitting up a storm!  I have 6 scarves I am working on at the same time.  If I get tired of one color, I switch.  I try to work a little on each color every day.
My Grandson now calls me from his current Army school in North Carolina.  He is allowed to use his phone on the weekends and Wednesdays.  This week, because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, He got his phone on Wednesday and was able to keep it through the weekend.  It’s nice to hear his voice.  He is now allowed to have a computer or TV so I am going to be sending a flat screen TV/Monitor to him.  When he comes on Christmas break, He can purchase a cheap desktop computer and just take what he needs back.  He bought himself a new X-Box 360 and some games and accessories, which he will also take back if his mother doesn’t send them to him.
Today is the first day of my other 2 grandsons Basketball games.  At least through the winter I will have something to look forward to on Saturdays. I will be taking lots of pictures again this year and hopefully will get some nice ones with my new camera.
For thanksgiving, we went to my Niece and Nephews home in Butler, Ohio. (Just outside of Knox County where news was made recently by a young man who kidnapped 2 women and 2 children, killed the women and one of the children and the family dog and stuffed them in a hollow tree after he dismembered them!)  It was supposed to be for “All” the family, but it ended up being myself, one son, my husband, my mother-in-law, my nephew, his wife and 2 girls, and his mother (my sister-in-law). It was very nice even with the rain that stuck around all day…Quiet! When we finally returned home, my mother-in-law wanted to pick up some yarn from one of the stores, where people had already started to congregate for the sale the next day! For us, it was a short trip.  She also picked up a wireless adaptor to get on line using my wireless network.  I picked up a few grocery items I needed. I think all of us were in bed by 9 p.m.!!!
Did any of you brave the crowds on “Black Friday” looking for those special deals??  I avoid going shopping that day if I can help it, at least until after the noon hour!  My husband works at Target and had to be there at 4 a.m. on Friday.  He said when he got to the store around 3:30, the line stretched halfway down the strip mall to the T. J. Maxx store!  My theory is, if I want something and I go at noon to get it and it isn’t there, I wasn’t meant to have it.  I had a few errands to run Friday, so my mother-in-law and I ventured out around noon.  I wanted to see if Wal-Mart still had any of their 4GB memory cards left for $8.  My past experience has told me that some of the items stick around for a long time, and if you wait, you can get them.  I found plenty of the cards left and also picked up a 4GB flash drive for the same price. My mother-in-law had her eye on a 6qt. crock pot at J.C.Penny’s for $9. (her last one got a short in it while cooking this month).  The had plenty left. )It was actually $19 with a $10 mail in rebate).  We made a stop at Hobby Lobby to check out their Knitting needles.  My Mother-in-law bought a round needle to learn to make scarves from me.  She can cast on, knit and purl….it’s just the getting started she’s not sure of.
My next stop was to pay my cell phone bill….at least the past due amount!  Then it was off to K-Mart to see if they had a cheap bundle of CDRs. That was a quick in and out as they had none on sale.  While near a grocery store, I went in to get some BBQ sauce for a package of wings in my freezer and we both played the lottery.
Two more stops….Big Lots, where I found a 50 pack of CDRs for $8 and bought some spice drops.  I wish I had seen the $18.88 Cam-Corder they had on special, as I would have purchased one to put into my camera case.  But alas they were all gone….oh well, next time!  Our final stop was Jo-Ann Fabrics. More yarn, more knitting accessories…They had a 50% coupon and I couldn’t resist get something!
So now, I’m caught up.  I am waiting for this evening to see the basketball game.  This year should be exciting as the coach from last year has been replaced for this year.  Hopefully, this coach will know more than the one last year and the team will come together as one instead of the “I” factor that ruled last year’s team.
So for now, Hugs and Love to all my wonderful friends reading! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
See you in the funny pages!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can you get calluses from Knitting?

Well, I now have been knitting for about a month.
I have completed 6 scarves, worked on a hat (that I really need to take apart and use a smaller needle for as I could hide  my dog in the “small” sixe!) and still have not made a big dent in my large box of yarn….Of course it doesn’t help that when I showed a scarf to my mother-in-law, she gave me more yarn!  Now I have bought more needles, and the yarn box has doubled in size.  I spent several hours un-tangling some partial skeins that were given to me.
scarves part 2 002
I have a few ideas for some of the scarf color schemes.  The one my mother-in-law wants is pastel pink, lavender and yellow.  I have enough of those colors to make another one exactly like it…Here’s a warning for all those thinking about doing such a project…I have 3 brands of yarn; Caron, Red Heart and Bernat….all 3 have a different shade of the “Lavender”…one is actually “Lilac”, one very slight difference in color….I remember years ago I was working with a purple yarn….I ran out and did not take a sample of the yarn I needed to the store when I was buying more.  Long story short, before it was over, I had about 10 different shades of purple!
I have several skeins of variegated yarn which I will work as their own scarf…No need to change colors, just knit until it’s long enough…One is a variegated red/white/blue which I have decided to use as the middle of a scarf with the individual colors flanking it.  There are some odd colors…like a sage green and this weird shade of brown which I decided would we nice worked together as a man’s scarf.
Plus I have pastel green, baby blue and white I will work into a scarf…And of course my “Harry Potter” house scarves….
I have pretty much learned one thing, I don’t like the smaller needles and baby and sport yarn are a real pain to work with at my speed….It just frustrates me to work slow enough to make them look nice.
I have  pattern for a baby blanket that I want to try…It’s kind of a lace pattern that I have never done….I may wait for the snow to fall to work on that. (which according to our weather man may come as early as next weekend!)
In the meantime, My grandson has graduated from Basic Training and was on a bus the very next day for his next school in North Carolina.  He called me on his cell phone and we talked for quite a long time…It was nice to hear his voice. I really miss him. My daughter took her 2 younger boys to his graduation and sent this cell phone photo to my grand-daughter, who sent  it to me.
Next Saturday, Basketball begins. And I will be out with my camera taking pictures of my grandsons again.  I was disappointed to learn that the younger one will not be wrestling this year.  His mother is too proud to ask me to help with taking over some of the practice schedule.  She still isn’t talking to me, but I have learned to let that go.
My son has my car for a few days.  He went to spend some time with his best friend and his god-daughter 2 weeks ago.  While down there, his truck broke down and he spent all his money replacing head gaskets to get it running.  Just 30 miles out on his 90 mile ride home, the truck began knocking.  He called me and I suggested he limp on the shoulder to the next exit, which just happened to be a truck stop.  He went in and asked if he could leave his truck there until this weekend.  I drove the hour trip one way to get him in time for him to go to work that day.  His friend and him are going to tow it back to his house today and see if they can figure out if this is a major repair or something simple. No word yet on that.
I have been spending most of my time in my room….watching Christmas movies and knitting. It keeps me occupied and gets me in the spirit of the season.
To all my wonderful friends, Hugs and much love! Thanks for reading and for being there to listen!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It’s nice to feel appreciated…

Tonight was the football banquet and I was a little apprehensive.  My Grandchildren haven’t spoke to me in over a month and I was not sure what would happen.  I had  a busy day…playing “rush around town”.  I had to add money to my card for my car insurance payment, buy something to make to take to the Banquet and finish a photo project I was making for the assistant coaches.  My mother-in-law rode along so she could make a copy of a Veteran photo I had and buy some Thanksgiving cards. 

While waiting for the “Useless lump” to get home from work with the money, I made a new book on line of the Veterans in my family…Somewhere I have a poem I want to add to it, and some photos of flags I took at various things over the years that would make a great cover photo.  So it’s not quite done.

I made Tuna casserole and while it was cooking, I ran back to the store to pick up some one hour prints I had made.  I got back just in time to take my mother-in-law to Bingo on my way to the Banquet.  Thank goodness I had thought far enough ahead to put everything I was taking right by the door! 

I was a little early for the banquet, but I had brought along some knitting as I knew that later I would be waiting for the Bingo to end to give my mother-in-law a ride home. 

I had been up in the air about whether I should give my grandson the book, as I have in past years, even though he wasn’t talking to me. Part of me wanted to hear him ask for it and speak first.  But the grandmother in me said I should give it to him without any stipulations….and that is exactly what I did.  As soon as I saw him, I gave it to him and said “Happy Birthday”….followed by a snide “Thank-you grandma, I love you grandma”….which he repeated.  It was a hit with him and all the other football players he showed it to, and I was proud of my decision.

As you know, I took photos all season long of the football team.  Every year one of the coaches makes a DVD of photos he compiles….This year, I provided all but 10 of the photos he used…Talk about a big hit! Everyone loved the photos and the video! You should have heard the kids when they saw their own picture or some of the plays….the tackles, the runs, the expressions….And I was secretly proud of being a big part of it. 

Much to my surprise, The head coach called me up and thanked me for helping with “all the Little things” he doesn’t like to mess with. He handed me a card and inside the card was $20.  I also got $10 from the Team Mom for all the help….And another coach gave me a laminated copy of the article about our girl football player.  I didn’t do any of it for the money….But the recognition sure made me smile….

Perhaps my best recognition came when many of the parents went up to the coach and asked for copies of the DVD and the book….My daughter had told some of the parents that I was the one who made the book…..So in her own way, she may have even been a little proud of me.  I politely walked away when she began giving the coach her phone number, as I know she doesn’t want me to have it……

Even my grand-daughter spoke to me….As I type now, I have tears of happiness in my eyes…I love them all and maybe in time, I will once again be a part of their lives.

Hugs and Love to all my wonderful friends!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I’ve been so quite….

Nothing against any of my wonderful friends, but I have not been on-line much lately. I get on for an hour or two a day to check e-mail or play one or two games; but basically I have been busy doing other things.

With football now a thing in the past until next July, I have been looking for other things to keep me busy. I started knitting scarves the last week or so of football before Halloween as the weather had gotten pretty cool in the evenings.  As a matter of fact, we had record breaking cold temperatures!  I knitted a scarf for me and one for a coach; and then decided I would just keep on knitting scarves….I have 2 patterns inspired by the “Harry Potter” movies that I follow. I thought if I could get some “house” scarves done before the release of the next movie on November 19th that I might be able to make a little extra money.

Then my mother in law asked if I had any patterns for baby afghans, as she had several skeins of baby yarn she wanted to get rid of.  So I found a pattern I want to at least try.  Generally, I can follow simple patterns with no problem….I have no idea how to do complicated cable knits or fancy stitches.  As a matter of fact, the only other thing I ever knitted was mittens…Because that is what I originally learned how to knit….Compared to mittens, scarves are easy!  I found a favorite site “The leaky Cauldron” that has a variety of “Harry Potter” inspired crafts to knit or crochet.  I doubt I will try socks, but I am going to try some hats and arm warmers…And I have a pattern for leg warmers.  My mother in law gave me several books mostly of crochet patterns, and there are some things I may try to do like doilies and even a skirt.

One day I was going to go buy more yarn as I wanted some different colors and I had to buy a new circular knitting needle.  My mother in law stopped me and gave me several pairs of regular (straight) knitting needles as well a a fairly large box of odds and ends yarn she had….

November 8 004

Some were full skeins but most were partial skeins. I have plenty to keep me busy at least for awhile.  My son wanted a scarf with the light and dark blue so I decided I would try that on a smaller circular needle.  The scarf won’t be as wide as the “Harry Potter” scarves and hopefully I will have enough of the two colors to complete it without having to go out and try to match the colors. 

An ex-sister in law saw a photo of the 2 I completed for myself and asked for one in her favorite Team colors; blue, yellow and white.  So I started a third scarf….Now this may seem a little hectic to some, but I now have 3 scarves going at once!  Every day I knit about 40 rows of each scarf…and sometimes even more.  My sister in law’s scarf is almost complete.

Now with all this knitting going on, one may wonder if I have time for anything else.  The answer is yes I do…Yesterday I spent about 2 hours gardening.  I cut back my mother in law’s Hostas that she has beside her side of the duplex…a project she had started but just didn’t have the energy to finish…It took me less than 20 minutes with a good pair of pruners.

250px-Hosta33 Hostas

Then I looked into the backyard and decided to do some fall cleaning and pruning there, too.  We have a variety of flowering plants including Day Lilies,  roses and various bulbs.  I had already dug up the wonderful marigolds that bloomed all summer, and my husband helped with our “volunteer” cherry tomato plants that mixed with the morning glories on the rear fence…I pruned some of the dead branches from the roses, dug up a wild ground cover that had taken over most of the garden, cut the lilies down to encourage new growth in the spring and even planted a few dozen more bulbs. I cut down several Tree sprouts that had invaded from the neighbor’s yard and trimmed back their wild growing Japanese tree that the owners planted practically in our yard along the fence….It’s wild, ugly and uncontrollable!  

Lately, my mother in law and I have been sharing the cooking duties.  One day, she made a huge pot of vegetable soup.  She took out what she could eat and gave the rest to us.  Yesterday, she gave me some polish sausage she had in the freezer and some cabbage to fix for dinner.  I added cubed potatoes  and put it all in the crock pot…When done, I took a bowl over to her.  Today, she brought over a bag of frozen vegetables for me to fix to go along with the steak and gravy she has in the oven.  It worked out great for all of us as we never have to worry about leftovers or making too much.  I take her to the store and she has been known to pay me back with some of the “Buy 1 Get 1” offers she comes across.  Last weekend, I made a meatloaf and took her over a healthy slice….

My best buy this week was a 20 pound turkey…for $2.80!  Whenever possible, I use coupons or special buys.  The turkey was a special buy with an additional $10 purchase…(Who goes to the store and doesn’t spend $10??  I even have coupons for the craft and fabric stores….40% of any one item, 10% off entire purchase….

So I haven’t forgotten my friends.  And I am not trying to ignore anyone….I am just trying to keep my mind and my hands busy to keep from missing my grandchildren.  Tomorrow is the Football banquet.  I have to make a dish, finish a project for the assistant coaches (A photo collage), and give the book I created on-line to my grandson…(a birthday present I have made for him for the past 4 years)….even though he has not talked to me in over 1 month.  I was shocked when I finished the book one day, paid for it the next and received an e-mail confirming it was completed and shipped the same day!!  I hope he likes it.

Love and Hugs to all my wonderful friends!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop…

Then I must be in Heaven…..
In 2 weeks time, I have:
Created and Painted 3 Football Banners
Attended 8 Football games
Knitted 3 scarves
Created 3 hard back photo books on-line
Printed over 50 pictures
Played umpteen  Facebook games
Given 1 haircut
Played 1 night of Bingo (Note; I did not win!)
Written 6 letters to my grandson
I also have ran my own errands as well as taken my mother in law to do her errands, ran my husband to the Flea market and my son to the mall, as well as shopping, picking up pictures from the photographer and many other things too numerous to name.
Needless to say, I have kept myself busy.  Not only does the knitting keep my hands and my mind busy, but I hope to be able to sell the scarves for  little extra income.  My son had found a pattern on-line several (about 6 or 8) years ago for knitting “Harry Potter” scarves.  The first Pattern he found me was the “Chamber of secrets'’ pattern; basically two tones worked in alternate rows of 20 each color knitted in the round  until there are 11 of one color and 9 of the other….With fringe, these scarves measure over 72” in length (1.28 meters) .  Lots of length and width to wrap around your head and neck with plenty of tail to tuck in to coats or jackets….and warm!
Then when the“Prisoner of Azkaban” came out, the patter changed to what is know as the ‘trapped bar’ pattern….27 rows of the darker color, 3 rows light, 5 rows dark, 3 rows light continued on until you end with 27 rows of dark….fringe on both ends….
November4 003 I made these for football using 3 colors for the first.
The main problem I had with knitting is I had to find the right size circular needle.  I have one I have used many, many times.  I never knew what size it was as it was given to me and there was no packaging or marking….The problem is, I have used my needle to knit so many of the scarves over time that mine poor needle was beginning to show it’s age.  One I used was totally plastic and began to fray.  The most recent one had aluminum needles with plastic cording….and one end kept coming off dropping stitches.  No problem , right? You just go to the local fabric or crafts store and find one the same size….Three stores later, after purchasing one and having to return to the store to replace one the wrong size, I now have a new Bamboo circular needle….size 8- 24” long…..This time, I slipped the older needle into the package and put the whole thing in my kitting bag.
I made one scarf for the coach of one of the youth football league teams in his team colors….yellow and red.  The team who won the championship was one we had been with 7 or 8 years ago and the Head coach of that team actually has 2 scarves I made for him…one in team colors and one in all white…I have picked up more yarn to create at least 3 more scarves in team and “Harry Potter” colors (with the new movie coming out) .  Payday, I will get more yarn, extra needles and I have a patter for matching mittens and hats….which I will need needles in 2 smaller sizes…..if I can find them.  I may have to order them on-line.
Today I got a nice surprise.  I had not heard from my grandson in over a month and I knew he was busy.  I was hoping that was the reason I had not heard from him.  I didn’t think his mother would be able to turn him against me but you never know.  Spite and Hatred are evil things and they make people do stupid things.
When I went to the mailbox today, I had a letter from my grandson.  He told me how busy he had been in the field with different artillery, PT and classes.  He went on to tell me the next 2 weeks were going to seam boring compared to the past month.  He graduates from Basic training on November 19th…
Cody Basic Training 001 .
I couldn’t stop smiling….especially when I found his picture in the bottom of the envelope…He told me he has order other prints and a book to show me when he gets home.  I can’t wait for his Christmas leave….I really miss him.
Hugs and Love to all!