Thursday, June 28, 2012

Five years on

Next week marks the fifth anniversary of Bill's passing.

William Henry Schauer
December 28, 1943-July 5, 2007

Has it been five years really?

Over the past five years I have gone through a lot.  Trials and tribulations.  There had been a lot of tears and frustration, anger and sadness.  And emptiness.  Then gradually I realized that to get out of the void I had to take the first step.  

It was a great leap of faith.

And I found joy.  I found that there is love to be had.  That you don't lose anything by loving and allowing yourself to be loved again.  

I found happiness.  Once again.

I was happy once.  Very happy.

I am happy again.  Very happy.

And I'd like to think that Bill is up there watching.
And I'd like to think that he likes what he sees.

One thing I know for sure:  I am one damned lucky woman!
And I would not have changed a thing.

Friday, June 08, 2012

A picture paints a thousand words

And a new Nikon 3100 can capture all of them!

Once again the hydrangeas are in full bloom at my house.  They seem to do well every other year and this year they are exceptionally gorgeous.

Hydrangeas are fun to grow.  They are like litmus paper.  The colors of the flowers depend on the acidity of the soil.  Acidic soil turns them blue while alkaline soils turn them pink.  If you have pH-neutral soil you will get purple-hued hydrangeas.

Another fun factoid about hydrangeas is that they have individual feeder roots that feed each stem.  Therefore you can "customize" your blooms by adding peat (for blue) or lime (for pink) near the roots you want.  I had fun doing that earlier this spring.

The results are I have blue hydrangeas.

And pink hydrangeas.

And those in between

The mophead hydrangeas are showy, but I do like the open, flat-head kind as well.

You can't have enough!

Not in my yard

These are the "baby hydrangeas"  They flowers are tiny and very close together. 

Together they form a tight mophead, almost a bouquet on its own!

I know, I know, gratuitous pictures.  But who doesn't like hydrangeas?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The new Runty

I  had the Volvo for eight years and it had been a very good car.  It was the first car that I picked on my own and drove it just about solely for the duration.

But it is eight years old, over 100,000 miles and was giving me grief.  Not to mention costlier to maintain each time I took it to the shop.

It's time to say goodbye.

Meet the spanking new Runty!

Of course it's blue.  What did you expect?

Friday, April 06, 2012


That I am, and I am so grateful.

I was in training all afternoon this week.  And that made it a 12-hours day week.  At the end of each day I was so glad to get on the road back home so I was quite surprised when Carl asked if I went back to the office after training Tuesday afternoon.  Of course not.  I could not wait to get home.

Wednesday morning I walked in to the office at five a.m. and understood why he asked.

This was on my desk.

These were inside:

One dozen blue roses.  Blue roses.

Came with their own blue vase.

And the note:

How can you be more loved?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Senior Moment...

Well, my birthday is coming up in a week.

 Let's not discuss the number, but this picture tells all about the very first "senior moment" in history...

Now we know what actually happened to the dinosaurs.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pride and Joy

My grandchildren. I am so proud of them...

Ingrid, Faith, Nate, Elsa and Grace.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring has sprung!

Life is renewed once again.

Flowers are blooming around the yard.  But I am really excited about this:

We planted asparagus last year.  We bought two-year-old roots and let them grow all summer without picking any.  Now is their third year and we can pick!  Yesterday was the first harvest.

Three whole spears!  Hey, that is a great start.  If I pick 3-5 spears every day we should have plenty by the end of the week.  And then some!

Even the Easter Bunny has come by!

Things are looking nice on Maury Road.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Friday, March 09, 2012

Life is Good!

Especially if you are a squirrel chez moi.

Hmm.. Is it lunch time yet?

Now where are the peanuts?

There are the peanuts.  Finally!!


Life is good...

Friday, February 17, 2012

A match made in heaven!

I love my Matchless.
This has to be the most beautiful yarn I have made to date.

This is 50% Blue-faced Leicester and 50% silk fiber from Julie Spins.  The original braid looks like this:

Five ounces of gradient dyed beauty.  I simply split the braid lengthwise and spun it worsted.  I spun the singles with the Scotch tension on the Matchless, but plied using the Double Drive feature.  The result is a two-ply, light fingering weight yarn, about 18 wraps per inch gradient yarn.  I got an amazing 600 yards out of this.  I think it is the high silk content that contributed to the high yardage.

It is so pretty.

I love BFL.
I love the Matchless.
I could not get enough of this!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Here comes number two

Second pair of socks done!

These are the biggest socks ever!  They were made for Geo, who is 6-3 and wears size 12 shoes.  I was afraid I was going to run out of yarn I opted for black heels and toes.  Good thing I did because I would not have had enough yarn otherwise.  Finished and delivered to the birthday boy on Superbowl Sunday.

Onto pair number three:

These are for Geo's little sister Callie, who is not small either.  Well, these are being knitted from Wollmeise which is over 500 yards in a skein so I should have plenty of yarn. 

It is only February and I am on socks #3.  However, I haven't got a pair to keep  yet!  Everybody and his brother is asking for socks!

In the meantime I am spinning up an absolutely gorgeous 50 % BFL (blue-faced Leicester) and 50% silk fiber from Juliespins.  The colorway is Ice Eyes.

 I have two 5-oz braids of this beauty, but one should be enough for a good sized shawl.  I am spinning it on my new Sidekick. 

Did I tell you about my new Sidekick?

The latest folding, traveling wheel from the Schacht company.  She weighs only 13 pounds and folds up to fit in the overhead compartment of a Boeing.  Not that I plan to haul her anywhere except for the spinning open house at Uniquities.    In fact I love it so much that two weeks after I bought her I sold by Aura back to the shop and bought her bigger sister, the very aptly named Matchless.  Now I have the dynamic duo!

Just need more hours in the day to spin!  :-)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Where are the kittens?

Cause here are more mittens!

Mitten number two.  Wheel-spun leftover yarn from a BLF/silk braid from Bee Mice Elf (pronounced:  "Be myself").

And then there are three.

Mitten three was spindle-spun!  Yeah!!  Merino/silk from Fluff Fibers.
I am on a roll.  And I almost finished socks #2 too.  And it's not even February yet.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spindling fun

One of my new year's spinning/knitting resolutions is that I am determined to become proficient in spindling.  Unlike most spinners, I did not start with a spindle but jumped right on to the wheel.I decided I would try spindling during last year's Tour de Fleece and got bit by the spindle bug --  mostly in collecting the spindles.  This year,however, I am determined to put them to use.

Two events helped reallized this.  The first one is the "monthly spinning club" on the Spindle Candy group on Ravelry.  You pick a fiber, a spindle, set to work and post your picture on the group thread.  The second one is that my Snobby Spinners group on Ravelry has launched a "handspun smitten mittens swap."  These miniatures mittens are based on a free pattern "Smitten" on the Knitpicks website.   Each mitten only takes about 20 feet of yarn.  I figured this would be perfect for leftover handspun scraps and, more importantly, practicing my spindling!  I only need  to start small and got almost an instant gratification that would encourage me on.

The first spindling  was done in a couple of days.

Less than an ounce of merino/camel/silk batt from Corgi Hill Farm was spun on a Bosworth Midi, Mini and a Golding spindles.  The three singles were plied on my brand new Schacht Matchless Wheel.

I was surprised how much yarn I got - almost 50 yards, three-ply, light-worsted weight.  And here is the first mitten:

I have enough yarn left for another mitten.   We are supposed to knit one mitten a week, to have enough to exchange in the fall to make a holiday garland.  At the rate I am going I could have several garlands.

Friday, January 13, 2012

12 in 2012

A tall order?  Maybe not

Almost everybody does it.  Almost nobody follows it through.

The New Year Resolutions, that is.

But I am not resolving to lose weight.  Nor to eat right.  Nor to exercise.  I am already good with that.  I am not going to stop buying yarn or fiber either.

We are talking spinning and knitting folks.  All things woolly and wonderful.

Here are the goals:

Twelve pairs of socks;

Twelve handspun items:  spun and knitted, at least one spindle-spun.

Spindle every day!

Finish 12 WIPs (works in progress), including at least one sweater on the needles for two years now.  Shame on me!

Get rid of the yarn I no longer like or want.  Sell it or give it away.  Get in out of the house.

Tall order?  Maybe, maybe not.  We'll see.  I am off on a good start though.

The first pair of socks are already in the bag.  Actually given away.

BFF Ann's Pittsburgh Steelers socks.  Well they may look more like bumblebees, but I finished them in time for the Steelers play-off.  They lost, but that was not the point.  So that's one pair of socks down, eleven to go.

I also have one handspun item in the bag too!

Icy Honeycomb Cowl, test-knitted for a fellow snobby spinner on Ravelry.

Not bad for a start, eh?  And we are not even half way through January yet!

I'm not the only one!

Squirrel lovers of the world, unite!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let it snow!

We had our first snow of 2012 yesterday. Not much, but still it was pretty.

Nutty didn't mind. He kept munching away.

But Nibbler says: "I am staying in where it's dry!"