Posted in Chickens, Family, traveling

Chicken Fever

Over the Holiday break, my mom drove down and brought my nephew, Anthony, with her. It was an extra treat for me to have both of them. Anthony is a sweet, creative, gentle boy with too much energy to be confined inside.

The first morning they were here I got up and went to let out the chickens as normal around 7am. Just as I was walking to the coop Anthony came barreling out the door with a long sleeve shirt in hand and one shoe still not on. He desperately wanted to go see the chickens with me! I said I would wait until he was properly clothed. Makes me laugh even now.

Dressed now, we headed up the hill. I let the chickens out of the coop and after they all ran out I teased him he would have to clean up the chicken poo. He, of course, was not interested in that. He only had eyes for the chickens, I’d say he had already caught the Chicken Fever after only one night here.

We had really nice weather, most of the day’s mom and Anthony were here it was in the upper 50’s and low 60’s. This was so nice because we spent a good amount of time outside. Which, of course, meant lots of time with chickens. He got up the nerve to pick up one of the chickens and he snagged Agnes! She is an Ameraucana and is very sweet and gentle.

I know the picture quality stinks but I snapped this from far away and had to zoom in

After just a few days he was very comfortable with the chickens. He gave them snacks every day. He even hunted the dirt for worms to give them. No doubt he would be a great Chicken Keeper. Katie? Andy? What do you think? Can he come to live here and take care of the chickens? I’m sure he wouldn’t even mind cleaning up the poo! He loved collecting all the eggs and was very excited about the blue ones. He asked if he could take home some eggs for mom and dad. He also ate eggs almost every day while here. He knew exactly which chicken gifted the egg he was eating. I’m sure that makes them taste better.

Anthony with Dottie, the White Leghorn.

As I’m writing this I’m watching the chickens via a closed circuit camera. I’m doing this because I’m trying to determine which one of my True Blues are laying. Currently, Louise, the chicken that was broody last fall and then molted, is in a nesting box. I really thought the blue egg layer was Kittie as she did not molt. Having said that subconsciously I must have thought really it was Louise because that is who I marked as laying in my chart as well as writing her name on the eggs.

A bit of egg-laying background. As the days get shorter chickens lay fewer eggs and some stop laying all together. The end of November we saw a definite decline in egg laying in our hen house. You know, just as Chuck starts doing extra baking of cookies, cakes, and bread. Hens do not lay eggs in the dark, so with the shorter days leading up to the Winter Solstice, this is normal for egg-laying. Now that we are on the other side of the solstice the days are beginning to get longer and therefore more eggs begin to be laid.

The nesting boxes have been like Grand Central Station today. So far I have an egg from Agnes, Ida, and Coco. Louise is still sitting in a box, she has been in and out for the last hour or so. She has been in four different boxes. I guess she is trying to get inspired. Perhaps Kittie has been the layer, and now with Lou, maybe I’ll get two True Blue eggs today. Yesterday I collected my first Cuckoo Maran egg from Gertrude since November!

I’ll keep watching while I do my chores. I hope today is another 5 egg day. We have had three of those this week. For the last month, we’ve been averaging 2 eggs a day. I actually had to buy a couple dozen eggs. With the longer days it will make for busier chickens.

Come for a visit and see if you catch the Chicken Fever, too! We will see how contagious it is with my brother-in-law, Pete, and his family here this weekend. Then the following weekend my oldest two boys, Charlie and Ricky, arrive from Michigan. Also, Charlie’s girlfriend, Agatha, is coming with them. Charlie said she wants to learn to knit, I can definitely help with that, and I think she is the most likely to catch Chicken Fever. I’m looking forward to these visits!

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Chicken Fever #chickens #backyardchickens #fresheggs #eggs #chickendustbath #Chickens

Happy knitting and happy egg collecting.

Posted in Family, traveling, Williamsburg, VA

Spring Break


This year we sort of got to have a spring break! ON the heels of Chuck’s family reunion my brother and his family came during their spring break. We don’t really have a spring break in our house. My youngest is 21 and she is attending Paul Mitchell Beauty School in Tulsa, OK.  She doesn’t have a spring break there, it’s run more like a 9-5 job year round.

My brother, Andy, and his wife, Katie, have two children. Anthony and Sam.

They all arrived on Monday. Chuck had taken off from work the whole week. So it was like a big vacation for us, I guess really a stay-cation. Katie had wanted to take the kids to the ocean so we purposefully waited ourselves to do that with them. Tuesday we loaded up the van headed headed to the Atlantic Ocean, Virgina Beach specifically.  Being April the water was really cold but that didn’t stop us!

Sam and I decided it really was tooooooo cold

Anthony had brought the metal detector he had so he could comb the beach looking for treasures.  With a little discreet help from uncle Chuck both kids made out with a few dollars worth of change. Not too bad. Anthony is totally a “Ferdinand” and could probably spend all his days looking at the small details and beauty life has to offer, he’s so sweet. Sam… Sam is a very determined to be the best at everything, and she “already knows that” and isn’t shy to point it out. She was totally intrigued by the bigger kids at the beach trying to climb to the top of the climbing ropes. She jumped right in, and kept at it, until she made it to the tip top! It was pretty impressive watching her.

Dad made sure she didn’t fall, but he didn’t need to!

 

 

It was pretty fun down at the beach. The playground was popular with the kids. Even though it was spring break the beach wasn’t very busy. I can’t imagine going there during peak time. It must be a zoo! This way it felt like our own personal beach.

We had a great day for sure!

Continuing on in our stay-cation we took the kids to Jamestown settlement. I like Jamestown because it’s interactive. With an Indian village, Ships, and Fort it offers a rich history experience while out in the fresh air.

Since we were on kid time we skipped the inside museum and movies but those are worthwhile if you get a chance. We also were able to watch glass blowers at work, Anthony was really interested in that. And, frankly, so was I. Jamestown Settlement  tells all about life in the 17th century when the British were arriving to this area with the Virginia Company.

The next day we headed over to what in my opinion is the star of the historic triangle area, Colonial Williamsburg. This is a living history village that is focused around the birth of country. There are recreated and preserved buildings and places that were there in the 18th century. Places where our founding fathers met, where important discussions took place. and where the actual writing of the Declaration of Independence happened.  It’s pretty amazing to be able to experience this through the costumed interpreters. There are also actors all around portraying very real people. The day we were there we saw General Washington riding his horse through the Palace Greens!

It was a perfect weather day. Until, exactly as the Weather Channel predicted, at about 1:40pm there were brief, heavy showers.  We found shelter in one of the stores. It only lasted about 15 minutes.  Then the kids went on with Katie and my mom to the children’s interactive area where they were able to play period games and see children in period costumes going about their daily chores.

They liked this game the best. Anthony picked it up immediately. Sam took a little longer, but she doesn’t give up easily.

 

 

Chuck, Tim, Andy and myself headed off to explore elsewhere. I was really thrilled to share the Joinery with brother. He is a joiner, or as he would be called in today’s words, a finished carpenter. It was nice to see it through his eyes and here him talk about the tools and stuff.

It was a fast, short time with them. I hope they come back soon. We still have to hit up Yorktown! It was really nice to get this time with everyone, especially since my mom was here. too.

Why do I never think to get a group photo!?!

I hope you go out and explore the cool places you live near. Have you ever been to Colonial Williamsburg? If so tell me what you like the best, if not come visit us and we will go again with you!

 

 

Posted in Family, Home, knitting, traveling, Williamsburg, VA

The Reunion


The month of March was a whirlwind. It was a flurry of house things and guests and crazy. So, what was it all about? Family.  New family and known family.  This will be a long post so be prepared……

The end of November, 2017 we were at dinner with very dear friends saying goodbye as we were leaving a couple days later to move from New Mexico to Virgina. This was an extremely emotional time on it’s own. Then……My husband received an email and then a phone call in quick succession.  Chuck said “I think this might be my brother!” everyone at the table was like- WHAT!?!

The story in a nut shell. Way back when, Richard, [Chuck’s dad] in Vietnam had had a relationship with a Vietnamese woman. This relationship created two children, both boys. At some point there were family commitments that required Richard to break off the contact to Vietnam. It wasn’t until many years later, when his American kids were adults that he shared he had had this relationship and two children. I can’t say what information was shared as I wasn’t part of that, but I do know that names and specific places were left unspoken. Therefore no contact had ever happened. Until that dinner!

This is Pete

Pete began a long search to try to find his long lost father. It took a lot of sleuthing and creative thinking. Eventually, Pete had a DNA test done and uploaded it to Ancestry.com. This made a connection! But not quite what he was hoping for. The DNA connected to Ron Anderson, a cousin, not a direct connection to Pete’s dad. There had been a family disconnect many years ago with the Anderson’s and the Hretz’s, leaving more questions than answers. It seemed like a dead end.  But Pete is persistent and wasn’t about to stop there. He contacted a DNA Detective he had met through a Facebook group. This person took all the of the collected info and starting digging. Within 5 hours there was a name, Richard Hretz, he had 5 daughters, 2 sons and had lived in Florida. This matched the most up to date information Pete’s mom had known. Since Hretz is not a typical spelling and all along Pete’s mom was saying his name was Richard Rets, that was a complication that had to be overcome for the connection to be made. Pete was armed with email addresses and phone numbers. He had never been closer! He sent out a flurry of emails to all the addresses. My husband being the only living sibling with the last name still Hretz was the first connection.  And he did indeed make that connection! Pete had found his lost family at last. Facts were shared and plans to meet were made.

Pete and Chuck the day they first met in person

As we had moved to Williamsburg, VA we were only 3 hours from where Pete and his family live in Raleigh, NC. Pete came for a visit to meet Chuck and they starting making plans to get all the family together to meet Pete and Loc (the other brother) and since we are pretty centrally located between all the siblings we offered host everyone.

the siblings,  just missing Carolyn – Pete, Margaret, Chuck, Mary, Jane & Loc

Back to my loss of the month of March.  Having just bought and moved into our house in February there were so many things I wanted to do to make it a home. [I basically updated every aspect of the house!] A home I would be sharing with almost every immediate member of both Chuck’s family and mine. I really wanted it to look it’s best. We had 50 people for the reunion, serving dinner both Friday and Saturday.  Our oldest daughter, Stevie, came down from Alexandria, VA on the train. Which was so amazing. (I reallllllly like her!) As a added bonus we had the pleasure of Chuck’s sister, Jane, and her family stay with us for the whole weekend. And, I have to say, I think that was my favorite part of the weekend!

Jane is lovely and her husband, Bill, is so funny. She has two beautiful, charming daughters who brought their boyfriends for a wonderful spark of youth and enthusiasm. They arrived Thursday evening giving us some extra time to visit with just them. It was great. I truly hope they will come back often!

Carolyn’s family is missing and so are 3 of my children and others but we had a really good turn out and even Ron Anderson is here!

So who all came? I’ll list them in order by age of the siblings and I won’t include boyfriends and girlfriends to simplify things. The order; sibling, spouse and children.

Mary, Keith and Beth and Laura.

Ruth, Ray.

Chuck, Kym, and Stevie, Tim and Max and my mom.

Margaret and Joey and Jillian.

Jane, Bill and Sarah and Abbey.

Loc and Alyssa.

Pete, Lin and Sean and Richie.

Even Ron Anderson, who really was the link that connected everyone, was able to make it! Such an amazing thing, this finding of lost family, I know my shortened version is not nearly enough to really show what a blessing this is for everyone. Pete said this was the happiest day of his life. I’m honored and humbled to have been a part of it. It is wonderful to have so many together for a happy occasion.

Don’t worry, no-one missed any important basketball games

And I really want to say this house was great for entertaining. Many of the cousins gathered in the dining room to play games. The siblings collected themselves in the family room to share their lives with each other. Pete being new to the whole sister thing seemed to have his heart bursting with joy. Pete fondly referred to them as “the sisters” which was adorable. Everyone else  fit comfortably into the living room and kitchen. There really was a perfect balance. At least, from my perspective.

Probably the biggest last minute push to get the house ready was our Shed. We had the entire exterior of the house painted and had the roof, brick and shed power washed previously. The shed definitely was shabby. And it has so much potential! Bill, from Virginia Painting CO, made an extra effort to squeeze in the shed for us. I really don’t think the pictures do it justice!

before the water damaged siding was replaced and it was repainted, we had the trellis added when we put in the fencing.

even thought the color change is subtle it seems cheerier with the new cream paint, navy shutters & white trim

 

We replaced the door and added exterior lights in addition to wood siding repair and all the painting.

 

 

 

My mom had identified the windows each of the shutters belonged to and hung them when she was here last. Essentially rescuing the shutters, the previous owners had left  them abandoned on a pallet behind the shed. Did I mention my mom also arrived on Friday, I love having her here! We still plan to add flower window boxes, in ground gardens around the front and side. The door will be painted red. I can’t wait to have flowers blooming all around. Plus, we will install a fence that will enclose behind the shed as if it were it’s own backyard. The chicken coop is on the right side that looks like an add-on of the shed. The fence will allow the chickens yard time that is safer from predators when I can’t be there for them to free range the entire yard. I do realize the hawks will still pose a problem even when I am there. My youngest daughter, Hanna, said I have a chicken problem. I told her it was how I was coping from missing her.

There’s ten chickens

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment. They are so cute. I’m going to put together a new brooder in the big watermelon box I got from Sam’s Club tonight so they have enough space.  They currently are in the largest storage box I could find.  The new bigger brooder will require them to move from the living room to the mud room.  I’ll miss hearing all the chirping. They are about five weeks from heading outside to their forever home. The previous owners also had chickens in this space. We are upgrading the inside of the coop so it is everything a happy chicken needs. Very exciting!

My brother and his family were here last week. I want to tell you about that but it will have to wait until next time.

I’m going to go knit on my Find your Fade. I’m on the sixth color and really want to get this finished. I, of course, managed to get another terrible cold. All the extra germs from guests I suppose. Autoimmune Diseases suck! At least I wasn’t sick with my niece and nephew here.

Happy knitting.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Home, Queens Lake

Hanna’s Guest room


For the time being Hanna’s room will act as our guest room. Hanna is away at school in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  She has chosen some really great things to go in her room. The color she is working around is a emerald green. The room has built in cabinets on two walls. because of this, even though it is a larger room, it feels small. It needs to be as bright and airy as possible.

I think I will paint the room a very pale version of the green she likes. She chose some pillows and a throw blanket that are white with silver sparkle.  Great for reflecting light. I will pick up a white duvet to keep it light and easy to wash. She’s always cold so we need plenty of layers for her.

I’m keeping my eye out for the perfect green sheets and hopefully some matching she

shear curtains.

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Hanna found some perfect green pillows and these

sequenced ones on Etsy.

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Also on Amazon a pretty throw in green.

 

 

 

 

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There is a desk as part of the built ins and Hanna spotted a clear plastic chair at World Market that will suit the desk nicely. She will be using this to do her make up so a good light up mirror will also need to be added. The desk is in front of the window so there will be natural light during the day.

 

 

 

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Chuck found some great night stands join Amazon other day. Hanna is a big reader andt

hese will give her a place for books with out

cluttering up the tops.  The even have the hint of green on the sides.

With our oldest daughter, Stevie, coming as soon as we move in to help unpack I want to get this area set up for her top stay in. And as we get closer to Easter we have all kinds of people coming to visit including Chuck’s sister Jane and her family.

 

Posted in Family, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Hanna’s Exoskeleton and a KAL


This sweater isn’t charming or sweet. It’s odd. It’s definitely quirky. It was a fun knit. I’m smitten with it.  So is Hanna! The Shusui Shrug by Susanne Sommer

Hanna looking radiant
I rarely use black yarn because it’s so hard to see the stitches. The contrast for white and black Brioche works really well. I can easily see the stitches as the Brioche technique combines both colors for each stitch. This is great for all the inevitable mistakes that happen when knitting a big project.  I certainly had my far share of those!
Knitpicks Hawthorne Speckle
When I first saw this project on The Woolshop Podcast I went directly to Ravelry and bought the pattern. Immediately starting the search for yarn.  Find read more about that on this previous post. I have the yarn to make one for me and I really want to start that now, I’m going to hold off so I can instead focus on a KAL I want to participate in.
Hanna was excited to have a fun photo shoot for her Exoskeleton on a super cold day in the snow. She likes it, she really, really likes it.


Hanna, Hannah [Hanna and her BFF do indeed share a name] and I went to my local yarn store. Which is unbelievably exciting. I am so happy to have a LYS. It’s a great shop. The store is The Flying Needles and the owner Susan is wonderful! She is fun, charming and you can tell she has enthusiasm for the yarn she carry’s. There are so many samples in the store. It’s a feast for your eyes, bright colors in every corner, and it gives you an irresistible urge to touch all the things. Susan has a large variety of big brands, Indie and local yarns.  I’ve had no shortage of things I wanted on both occasions I visited and therefore came home with new yarns.
The first time we went in I had mentioned I was looking to add to my own yarns to knit another Find your Fade and amazingly Susan was planning a KAL for the Find Your Fade and Free your Fade patterns by Andrea Mowrey. The casting on party is January 17th during the knit in, these take place from 5-7pm every Wednesday. I attended my first one this week. There’s a nice mix of ladies and there was lots of laughter and sharing.  I was thrilled to see the different color combos shared for the KAL. I am sure these evenings will brighten my life. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the knitting world here in my new little corner in Virginia.
My Find your Fade colors
I’m actively trying to look ahead to all the wonderful things our life in Virginia is presenting. If I spend too much time dwelling on what I’ve left behind in New Mexico I might not put myself out there and find good things like the LYS. I really miss my Tuesdays and Thursdays supporting people in their knitting journey. I reallllllly miss my Monday afternoon knitting with my friends who all met at my house. I miss starting my days with Raquel, who was Tim’s caregiver, but also my friend, if I had a sister it would be her…….it is her, she will always be my sister of my heart.
Onward and upward!
Happy knitting.



Posted in Family, knitting

Made to Order Hats


A couple months ago my nephew, Anthony, called me.  He asked me to make him a hat. Is anything cuter than a kid asking for a hand knit hat!?! I inquired about what color he would like, he gave me very detailed guidelines. Blue, with green, white and black stripes. it would have to have earflaps for sledding. I asked if he would like a pompon and he quickly replied those were for girls………and speaking of girls- his sister, Sam, would probably need a hat, too. He told me she would want purple, pink and more purple, stripes, and with earflaps of course. Oh, and a pompon, you know, because she IS a girl.

Anthony and Santa with Baily my mom’s dog

When we went to D.C. in November and while I was there we hit up Fiberspace in Alexandria. It’s a really great LYS that has a large selection of yarns and I knew it would have all the colors I need in a washable wool. I choose Berroco Ultra Wool. They did indeed have lots of colors to choose from. While we were there Hanna’s boyfriend requested her to knit a hat for him since it was so cold to our New Mexico blood. I grabbed a skein of yarn for him, too. I didn’t have the right size needles with me, they had exactly what I needed in Knitter’s Pride, so those came home with me too. I also picked a skein of Neighborhood Fiber, CO fingering weight, wool/cashmere blend. This yarn is locally dyed in Baltimore, MD they have a variety of colors named after neighborhoods in and around D.C. I picked the color Rosemount as this is the neighborhood Stevie lives in, in Alexandria.

Back to Anthony’s hat. With the crazy November I didn’t really get to start knitting his hat until we left for Virginia. I planned to use the pattern SureFire Hat by Susan B Anderson.  Driving across the country with a car slammed full of our stuff, my husband, son, and three dogs there wasn’t much space for knitting. I had thought I would knock the hat out quickly. Not so much in reality. I worked on it in the evenings at hotels and finished it here in Virginia in our temporary apartment. After I wove in all the ends and washed it, did the crocheted edging, braiding and then really looked at the finished hat I realized it was going to be way too big, It was even big on me! So I started knitting the hat again with a smaller needle.  The smaller needle was just what was needed. the second hat was perfect!
I did add a pompon to the larger hat
but of course not to Anthony’s

I had about a week to knit Sam’s hat. Hats are quick so I would have plenty of time to get them in the mail for Christmas. I used another Susan B Anderson pattern she put out with Spud and Cloe. it’s a very cute pattern. I knit the hat quickly, everything went as expected. I wove in all the ends and washed it and put it on drying rack next to Anthony’s. Wait!!! It was HUGE! Oh my GOSH! No Way!

Sam’s hat next to Anthony’s hat

I was so frustrated. What the heck! I knit this hat with the same yarn and same the needles as Anthony’s. Why was it so big? I still couldn’t believe it. I went to bed with a heavy heart.  In the morning, after I had coffee, I revisited the hat drama. I double checked the needles. Size 6, that was right. I pondered awhile.  I read through the pattern, and then did it again.  What did I do?  In desperation I counted the stitches. Geeze, that was it. I made the Woman’s size, I needed the Child’s size. UGH! What stupid mistake. So I did the only thing I could do. I cast on another hat.

This time I decided not follow the pattern for the extended decrease section on the crown and worked a traditional one decrease row, one knit row crown. I didn’t really like the slouchiness the pattern has. I thought it had too much weight and might not stay on so well sledding down hills, I also didn’t do the extra pompons and tassels, not because the weren’t absolutely adorable [which they totally are] but because I didn’t think I’d have enough yarn.

 

the size difference is apparent

I didn’t get them out in time for Christmas. I sent the kids their Christmas gifts after and they had New Year’s Eve Christmas gifts instead. That probably made them even more special since they didn’t get lost in the jumble and chaos of the holiday.  I’d say they were a win as the kids gave me two thumbs up! And as a bonus Charlie and Leah also received great New Years Eve hats!

Anthony and Sam December 31st, 2017

My mom said they are loving their hats and are wearing them through the really cold snow filled outings.  Mission accomplished!

It’s clearly making the cold more bearable

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Home, traveling, Williamsburg, VA

New Year, New everything


Well, We’ve made a major life change. I never thought I’d make a big move again. We had been in Las Cruces, NM for the last eight years for my husband’s work, and again work as brought us across the country. NOW we are Virginians!

we spent New Year’s Eve in D.C. celebrating Stevie’s birthday

July 1st brought major contract changes at Chuck’s work and it was quickly clear working for the new company had lots of negatives. Chuck started looking for work in June/July and had a few job offers but nothing was quite right. We had specific criteria that needed to be met to make us to move. 1- closer to family; 2- services for present and longterm for Tim; 3- comparable cost of living/ salary ratio to Las Cruces; 4- benefits and retirement options closer to what Boeing had.  That was it. When Virginia started looking like the win, it was a good fit. Stevie would be just a few hours away in D.C sooooooooo……………The actual decision to move happened really fast. The official job offer in Williamsburg, VA. was given on November 7th, 2017 and we were all in yes.

November 8th [Hanna’s 21st birthday BTW] we all flew to Washington D.C. on a previously planned family vacation. Our oldest child, Stevie, and her husband relocated there the year before. All 6 kids were there and the spouses/boyfriends came too.  This was not connected to the accepted job in VA we have had it in the works pretty much since they moved. It takes time to organize everyone’s schedules. We spent a week there exploring the city and enjoying each others company. It was the first time we went on vacation with all our children as adults. It was a whirlwind of busy days filled with museums, shopping, eating good food and a lot of.

I love how the girls gather in the quiet spaces, finding camaraderie, blurting their thoughts, opinions and quips at the boys in unexpected moments. The boys usually ended their days with each other, beers (or harder stuff) and ridiculousness. There seems to be an ongoing battle of whit, each very funny in their own right, arguing over whose terrible jokes cost a quarter. Charlie thinks he’s the best person to pass the final judgment. I think we all agree Matt wins the game.  I

t was nice that we started our day gathered at Stevie’s and Matt’s then could split off into smaller groups for individual preferences and again join up to end the days together. My favorite part was everyone together over dinner as a family sharing ourselves.  Stevie served us a delicious Thanksgiving dinner in her home on Saturday.  With room for all of us and she and Matt graciously extended the invite to a few invaluable friends, Resa, Alvin and Elizabeth. I’m very thankful for this trip and everyone making the time to be there.

this is our last meal together
Matt had to work so Charlie helped him join us in spirit

When we returned home there was a mad rush of packing and getting our home ready to be on the market. I stalked Zillow and Realtor.com trying to see what housing would be like and researching Williamsburg, VA. Chuck made a zillion calls and arranged a place for us to stay and planned out all the travel arrangements. We had everything packed up and shipped across country by Dec1st. It was an overwhelming time of goodbyes and tears. Max and Hanna drove to Tulsa, Ok. and we headed to Virginia on Dec 2nd.  I still can’t comprehend all that happened in November, I’m not sure there really was a November in 2017. I miss many aspects of NM, especially my friends.

Now we are starting out in 2018 with an accepted offer on a new house in Williamsburg, we close January 31st. Hopefully moving in on February 1st. Then all the fun will begin for real. First order of business will be to become official Virginians with new Drivers licenses and State Id’s so we can start getting Tim on track with services and therapies. Hanna has been here with us, having flown here the second week of December from OK. She has her friend Hannah visiting for a few weeks before they both head out to their schools in Oklahoma and New Mexico. Max was expected yesterday but there was the crazy snow explosion that shut everything down for a couple days. He will be here tomorrow and we plan to enjoy a delicious meal at Sal’s by Victor, probably our favorite restaurant in Williamsburg. We have a few more weeks before Hanna leaves so it’ll be real cozy in the two bedroom apartment we are staying in, 6 adults all cramped in. I’m sure it will be fine. It’s just a few weeks………….

I hope to keep track here of all the house plans and decorating. In general, all that is the making of a house into a home. I’m overexcited about this new house. I have so many plans swirling around in my head. I need to start making them real.

This is the new house!

Just looking at this picture I can see removing all the shrubs and replacing them with roses or hydrangeas, something flowering and inviting. I need to add some color. I’m sure my little metal bistros table with be super cute up on the porch, perhaps with a colorful oil cloth  tablecloth, maybe a rocking chair or two, red ones.  Maybe I’ll paint the chairs to the bistro table bright green or yellow……..Hurry up already January 31st!

My knitting mojo has been all screwy. I knit hats for my nephew and niece that both turned out too big so I had to reknit them. I sent the larger ones to my son and daughter in-law. In the end it was great mistake!  I will detail the hats better in another post.

 

Charlie and Leah seem pretty ok with my mistake
they’re pretty sweet themselves

I also, just last night, finished my Shusui Shrug so information coming soon on that too.

Happy Knitting!

 

Posted in Family, knitting

Louise Cardigan


I have finished my sweater, Hanna finished her sweater and Peggy finished hers! We all used the Louise Cardigan pattern. We all used Cascade Eco + yarns but Peggy’s purple yarn was one she picked up in Germany.

My finished sweater

 

I used buttons recycled from dishes

 

Hanna’s sweater, she used antique buttons
from my grandmas button box

 

Peggy’s sweater, she used wood buttons

 

Peggy added a touch of fairisle to hers. I made my sleeves too long so I think I may go back and shorten them. There’s always room to make a pattern your own.
SO…. I want to talk about the pattern itself. I purchased the pattern on Ravelry and was excited about it. I loved the look, it was my first bottom up adult sweater so I was looking forward to working on the new-to-me style. It went really quickly, I knit the body and the sleeves, all going well. At the joining part for the yoke it all seemed chaotic… unaddressed things, omitted things, confusing things, I know I talked about this before. I worked my way through it, I made notes, helped Hanna sort the pattern out and she finished hers. Talked extensively with Peggy about the pattern as she worked through her sweater. Now, Peggy is an extremely experienced sweater knitter, she agreed the pattern had some issues. She went through all the notes on Ravelry, as I had, finding no significant complaints either. SO bizarre.
I contacted Madder, they responded to my email. Madder said they would review my notes and see if they felt the pattern needed an errata or updating. As of today I haven’t seen any changes to the pattern on Ravelry.  That’s okay. I’m happy with my final sweater, Hanna Is happy and Peggy is happy. Bring on the sweater weather!
Happy Knitting xo

Perfect Day?


The weather is amazing. While walking the dogs I had amble opportunity to enjoy the sun and beautiful colors. It made me think.

I wondered how soon the days would have bone chilling winds. Heavy coats and looking for that lost mitten you had just moments before. How miserable I would be scraping ice from my very hard to reach van window. Or worse, scraping frozen poop off frozen grass. It was depressing.

So instead I tried to concentrate on how, with a day like today, in let’s say in May, it is filled with excitement and things to come. Trips to the garden center and placing yard ornaments in the perfect spot. Going out with no coat or even shorts if you dare.

That’s when I realized I could just enjoy the day. Because it’s today. A beautiful day. Filled with the wonder of having four seasons. Fall is a great time of the year. Enjoy every day.