Monday, May 20, 2019

526 miles, and never more than 40 miles from home.

It all started last Sunday, Mothers' Day: I met Carmen in Mayfield and she took me out to lunch. The local restaurant she had selected wasn't open, so we went to Cracker Barrel (also in Mayfield, but not 'local.') I introduced her to their kale salad, which my friend Mary had introduced me to a couple of months ago.  When I had been home about an hour, Alyssa called and asked if I could help her out with Calla. Head Start is over, but Calla is not yet in day care. Her other great-grandmother (they call her Bma) was going to keep her for the week, but was on her way home from VA or NC that day. So I went to Metropolis and got Calla and kept her for the night. All that was 111 miles.

Monday: I took Calla to Bma's house, met Carmen in Mayfield, and then drove to Metropolis for Lily's program at school. By the time I returned home, I had driven 107 miles.

Tuesday: My normal trip to The Ice House in Mayfield to knit. 40 miles.

Wednesday: My normal trip to Paducah for the noon Eucharist service at Grace Episcopal Church, followed by knitting with friends at Itty Bitty Knitty Shop. However, I went by way of Bardwell to drop off a couple of bags of clothing at West KY Allied Services, and to stop at the county court house to renew my car registration. About 75 miles total, I think.

Thursday: I think I stayed home all day and didn't even unlock the door.

Friday: I picked up Calla from Bma's house, met Carmen in Mayfield, and headed to Metropolis. We took Calla to Alyssa's house (She had someone to babysit the little ones), then went to the high school for Lexi's graduation. Lexi was one of the honor students, who sat on the front row and got their diplomas first. They also had gold tassels, while the rest of the class had school-color ones. I couldn't possibly be more proud of Lexi.

After the graduation, we went back to Alyssa's house for birthday cake for my 78th. After dropping Carmen off in Mayfield, and returning home, it must have been at least 120 miles.

Saturday: Alyssa asked if I could keep Lily for the night, so I drove to Metropolis to get her. We came back through Mayfield and met Carmen at the A Taste of Mayfield festival. So that was another 100 miles.

I actually kept Lily two nights. We got up early this morning and left about 7:30 to drive to Metropolis in time for school. Brady's kindergarten graduation was this morning at 9 o'clock. He is now finished with school until August, but Lily has to go until Friday.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

That Was The Week That Was

{Do you remember that show?}

My week was quite tiring for this old person. On Monday I had an appointment for my annual check-up. My blood pressure was a bit high. I told Dr. Pat what my week was going to be, and she said to come back when it was over and things have settled down a bit, and have the nurse check it again. I didn't tell her that part of it may have been sitting in the waiting room at least 45 minutes after my appointment time before being called back, and thinking that I may not make it to Metropolis in time to hear the high school jazz band play.

I did make it in time, but just barely. They were playing at the Mexican restaurant. On the way up from Mayfield, I was grateful for red lights as I was driving through Lone Oak - they gave me a chance to text with Susie about the kids. We met at the restaurant, and I took Lily and Calla and sat at the table with Lexi's Gill grandparents. Brady ate with his Ragsdale family. Lexi, of course, was the reason we were there. She plays trumpet in the band. After supper, we went to Alyssa's house, where I spent the week until Friday night. Alyssa works for the American Quilters Society and this was "Quilt Week" in Paducah. AQS has been putting on this event for a long time. People come from all over the world; Alyssa was really surprised a how many there were from Japan. So Alyssa was working looooong hours, and asked me to stay at her house to take care of the kids. Nothing like sleeping on the couch for four nights!

Susie (Stephen's mother) came over each morning and got the kids ready for school and then took them there. She's been doing this since Alyssa started working at AQS, because she needs to leave earlier than the kids do. Susie usually picks them up from school, as well, and takes them to her house until Alyssa get home, but I relieved her of that duty this week.

On Tuesday evening, I took the three kids and met Carmen at Mellow Mushroom in Paducah, again to hear the jazz band play. We got  medium pepperoni pizza for the kids and a small holy shitaki one for the two of us. Unfortunately, Alyssa was not able to attend either of those performances, but she should be able to go to the mall when they play there on Tuesday evening.

So that was two nights I didn't need to cook. On Wednesday, I did cook. I fed them the goulash Mother used to make frequently - ground beef, elbow macaroni and Campbell's tomato soup concentrate. I had peas as a side dish.

On Thursday, the school had a family reading night, with spaghetti and meatballs and breadsticks from Fazoli's, so I didn't need to cook that night either. Lexi asked if I wanted her to go with us, and I said it was up to her. I am SOOO glad she did; I don't think I'd have survived without her help. I think the kids enjoyed it. They had tables set up with activities related to books most of the kids are familiar with.

Friday afternoon, Brady went home with his grandmother Susie, and I took Lily and Calla to their other great-grandmother near Mayfield. So other people fed them that night. I don't know why the cooking seems so arduous for me - I guess because I've been feeding only myself for so long. I used to be a good cook, but I think I've forgotten how.

It was good to sleep in my own bed last night.

Today I drove in to Mayfield and went to the used book sale at the library. I went mainly for children's books, but of course I looked at the adult ones, a well. I bought 15 children's books, including one on insects and another on chipmunks and beavers (I think Lily especially will like those), and 8 books for me. All that for only $15.25.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

New computer

I recently bought a new computer. The one I had was at least 12 years old and had Windows XP operating system, which is no longer being supported. This one has Windows 10 and a much larger memory. It is taking some getting used to. Carmen went with me to buy it, and then set it up for me. There are still some things she needs to do on it, but I've found most of the things I want.

I will be spending most of next week in Metropolis with Alyssa. She works for the American Quilters' Society and next Wednesday through Saturday is the annual Spring quilt show in Paducah. She will be very busy, leaving the house earlier than usual, and getting home much later than usual. So I'll be there to help with the kids. I'll take my laptop and plenty of knitting to work on during the day while they're in school. I'll need to pick them up from school, help with homework, give them supper, and put them to bed. Stephen's mother will continue to come in the morning to get them ready and take them to school. Since she has her routine on that, I see no reason to upset it for the week. Besides, the less I need to go up and down those stairs, the better.

Yesterday, I picked Calla up from Carmen's, where she had spent two days, and took her back to Metropolis. Then I took her, Lily and Brady to the Easter egg hunt at the church they go to. I've been there enough that that some of the faces are familiar to me, although I don't know any of the names. One of the women said to me, "Yes, I know your number is 102." She is a teacher or aide at the elementary school and takes down the numbers of those of us in the pick-up lines in the afternoons. I've picked up Lily and Brady enough times that she recognizes my car, knows who I'm picking up and what their number is. I guess that, by this time of year, she and the others know many of the numbers.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Merit Weekend at UK

Lexi, Alyssa and I drove to Stanford on Thursday evening and spent the night in my sister Pauline's townhouse there. Of course, before we left, I drove 123 miles, going to Metropolis to pick up the three little ones from school and delivering Brady to his grandparents in Metropolis and Lily and Calla to their Grammy Carmen near Pryorsburg KY, then returning to Metropolis. When Lexi was home from school and Alyssa from work, we set out for central KY. I rode for that 240 miles.

Friday we drove from Stanford to Lexington, to the UK campus. It was a busy day, especially for Lexi. She had to take a couple of placement tests, while Alyssa and I attended some information sessions to find out more about UK. Alyssa also talked to someone in the finance (or something) office about the money, and Lexi had a meeting about band. At the end of the afternoon, we visited the dorm Lexi will be living in. (I didn't take the tour.) It is a dorm that will have mainly people in the Fine Arts majors - she may be the only one from Arts & Science (She plans to major in Psychology.) She was impressed by the practice rooms and art studios. She will be in the marching band and the pep band that plays at home ball games, so the practice rooms might be useful for her. It was about 10 pm when we got back to Stanford.

On Saturday, we went back to UK. Lexi had more small-group meetings and met with her adviser to set up her schedule for the fall semester. Alyssa and I were in more information meetings. At the end, we were told that if we hear of more orientations during the summer, ignore them, they are for the 'regular' kids. These three weekends in March were for the 'cream of the crop.' The average high school GPA of this group was 4.1 and their average SAT score was over 1300. Then after our free lunch in the Champions dining room [sort of like a food court in a mall, except you pay one price (usually about $10) and eat as much as you want from the various vendors], there were a bunch of tables set up in the ballroom with information about campus organizations, services, etc. I finally got home about 9:30 pm.

Tiring couple of days, but I'm so glad I went with them. I had thought I'd be able to show Lexi where I lived at her age, but we left too early and got back too late to see anything. I'll have to visit her some weekend this fall and take her to see Stanford and Berea (where I went to college).

Sunday afternoon, Carmen brought Lily and Calla to me to spend their Spring Break here. We're doing nothing today, but tomorrow we will go to Mayfield to visit the Ice House (Art Guild) and the library, and to do some grocery shopping. I'm not sure what we'll do after that.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Two Months?!?!?!

Once again, my brother has reminded me that I haven't posted here for a looooong time. That must mean that I've been busy, right? Between weaving, knitting, and driving 'Grandmother's Taxi', I do keep busy. I drive about 300 miles a week, much of it care for and transport my great-grandchildren. They're worth it.

On the weaving front, I've woven a small scarf for 2-year-old Violet and an adult-size one for 13-year-old Rose, and I am working on a shawl for the prayer shawl ministry at church. Violet's is currently with Lexi, who is braiding the fringe for me. It is pink, and Rose's is red and black (school colors). I just realized that I don't have pictures of either of them.

The shawl is several shades of gray, a long rectangle, suitable for a man. I don't know how I'm going to finish the ends - short loose fringe? knotted fringe? twisted fringe? I guess I need to talk to some men. I'm doing this, plus one that I'm knitting, because the parish nurse said in the parish newsletter that more shawls are needed, particularly ones suitable for men.

And of course, I'm always knitting. In addition to the shawl mentioned above, I'm currently working on a baptismal blanket and a hat. One project that I have finished recently was a special request from Lexi. Last fall for one of the "dress like a . . ." days at school, her costume included a shawl I made several years ago. One of her teachers made such a fuss over it that Lexi asked me to duplicate it for the teacher. I gave it to Lexi a few days ago; don't know when she'll give it to the teacher.

The weather has not been bad this winter - no snow. BUT there has been a lot of flooding. Paducah has had the gates in the flood wall for a few weeks, and many roads in the area have been flooded. In mid-February we had a little ice storm - not nearly as bad as ten years ago, when I lost electricity for three weeks. Fortunately, the electric company had been here the day before trimming trees away from the lines. They took out one limb from one of my pine trees, that I had been concerned about for a year or two. Then the storm broke off another large limb from that tree. That one didn't endanger the power lines. I need to get someone with a chain saw to cut it up so we can burn it.

Then on March 14 there were a couple of tornadoes in the area. I had a luncheon at church that day, and also some errands in Paducah. I was checking emails when the power went out about 9:20. There had been a few flash-flood and tornado warnings, but I decided to head out anyway about 10. About ten miles from home, just after I turned onto US62, there was a "Water over roadway' sign. There wasn't actually water on the road, but it was lapping at the shoulder. (If you are familiar with KY roads, you know that the shoulders on 2-lane roads are about 6 inches wide.) About 7 miles later, I saw a house with about 1/3 of it's roof missing and a lot of trees down, and people starting to clean up. Another 1/4 mile and each lane was blocked by a vehicle. The drivers were trying to move a good-sized tree from the road. I was able to back up and get onto KY726. In about two miles, I turned right on KY286 and shortly got back on US62. But, in about 3 miles, traffic was stopped. The vehicle in front of me finally pulled up enough to back into a driveway and turn around. I did the same and turned onto Gholson Road, following its curving route up to US60. Smooth sailing on 60 until the edge of Paducah. Then a fire truck was blocking both east-bound lanes of the road, and I could see utility poles leaning at about a 60-degree angle. I made a couple more turns and got back on US60, but the traffic lights were out until I was east of I-24. Finally made it to the church for the luncheon, and one of the women told me I had followed the tornado. It did a huge amount of damage to a large church, as well as to a vault company. There is a preschool/day care in that church, but they have drilled on their tornado plan, and followed it that day, so the kids and teachers were all safe. Just before it hit the church, it lifted a large, metal grain bin, rolling it across the road, along with a tractor-trailer. The truck driver had some minor injuries.

The daffodils have been blooming for about a month, and now the forsythia and Bradford pears are in full bloom. I've even seen a few dandelions, and my flowering crabapple is showing a lot of green. Soon it will be dogwoods and redbuds.

Lexi gave me the dates in April and May that the high school jazz band will be playing at a couple of restaurants and the mall, so that's a few more trips to Metropolis and Paducah. Then on May 17 she will be graduating from Massac County High School. Unbelievable! She will enroll in the University of Kentucky this fall. In fact, on Thursday, she, her mom and I will drive out there after Alyssa gets off work and spend Friday and Saturday morning at an orientation-tyoe event. That should be interesting.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

I'm Weaving Scarves!!!

Every year I say I'm going to weave scarves and other things when I get my loom back from the Walk through Bethlehem and get the rugs off. This year I'm actually doing it!

On December 29, I put a 7-foot warp on the loom, using Lion Brand Ice Cream yarn in the colorway Strawberry. The Ice Cream is a variegated yarn with quite long runs of each color. Using it as both warp and weft resulted in a plaidish appearance.

 When the girls saw it, Lily said, "Can I have it; I like pink." I told her it is much too long (62") for her, but I have more of the yarn, so I can make one her size. Then Calla popped us, "I want blue." I have that yarn in the colorway Moon Mist, so I was able to do that, too.

With fewer threads, it doesn't look plaid. This picture shows the color better.

After the girls got their scarves, of course, Brady couldn't be left out. He wanted dark blue. I found some navy and some medium/royal blue unknown acrylic, worsted weight yarn for a striped warp, and used Bernat Hot Sox in navy for the weft. I put on a 3-yard warp and got two 35-inch scarves. I used a different treadling sequence for each scarf and let Brady choose which one he liked better. One of them reminded him of the Minecraft video game he likes to play, so he chose that one. They are not really as messy as they appear in this picture, although my selvedges should be a lot better. 

I now have a 6-yard warp on in red and white. For the weft on the first scarf, I alternated 3 inches of navy with 6 inches of white, for a total of 66 inches in plain weave. After I take it off the loom and wash it, I expect it to be about 60 inches. I don't have a picture of it. The second one is all white weft. I'm using a different treadling sequence and getting a more interesting cloth.

And in another craft, I took a class at the Itty Bitty Knitty Shop on Corner-to-corner crochet. I had printed out a baby blanket pattern and couldn't figure it out. Since the class was coming up, I decided to take it. Here is the little scarf I crocheted.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas, day three

Last week was one of those weeks - I drove 471 miles and was never more than 40 miles from home.

On Sunday (12/16) I went to Metropolis to see Lily, Brady, and Calla sing a few Christmas songs with the other Sunday School kids at Immanuel Baptist Church.

On Monday (12/17), I was back in Metropolis for Brady's Christmas program at school at 2 pm. Then I hung out at Alyssa's house for a few hours and went to the High School band and chorus concert at 6:30. Lexi and Devin both play trumpet.

On Tuesday (12/18) I was back at Metropolis Elementary School for Lily's Christmas program at 2 pm.

Wednesday (12/19) I went to Paducah for a bit of shopping and to knit at the yarn shop.

On Thursday (12/20), it was back to Metropolis at 10:30 am for Calla's Christmas program at Head Start.

Back to Metropolis on Friday (12/21), this time by way of Wickliffe, which added 20 miles to the trip. A church in Wickliffe had some gifts for Lily and Calla, and Alyssa asked me to pick them up for her. Then I stayed with the kids while Alyssa and Stephen went to do some shopping.

I think I stayed home on Saturday.

Then started all the Christmas meals.
Sunday (12/23) I had Carmen and her friend, Alyssa and Stephen, Lexi, Lily, Brady, and Calla over for supper and to open the gifts I got for them (Hallmark ornaments). Last year I decided I wanted family over for chili on Christmas Eve, and wanted to make that a new tradition. This year Christmas Eve Eve worked out better for the working people. I had chili, broccoli/cheese soup and carrot/raisin salad, and Carmen and Alyssa both brought some sweet stuff. When I told the kids a few days before what my menu would be, Lily said she definitely didn't want the broccoli/cheese soup.

On Monday (12/24) Lexi called from her grandparents' house where she had spent the night. She said her Nana had cooked a whole lot of food, and then her father called and said he and his wife and step-daughters couldn't come. So Lexi wanted me to come over and help eat it. Her grandparents are some of my favorite people, so I was glad to spend some time with them. Alyssa and Stephen and the three little ones were there, too. Beverly (Nana) had a children's table set up in her back room, like I had here. (But her children's table is not 74 years old like mine is.)

Then on Christmas morning I went and had brunch with Carmen and Lanny and visited with them for a bit. 

So I think I'm all Christmased out, and will enjoy a few days alone. The kids don't go back to school until January 7, so I'll probably be called upon to babysit some next week.

 Probably Lexi's best gift was notification that she has been accepted by the University of Kentucky. She got an acceptance letter from University of Tennessee - Martin a few weeks ago, but UK is her first choice.