Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm keeping busy

I've watched several Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel in the last few days, and done some knitting while I was at it. I haven't watched much TV for years, but did enjoy the movies. They're mostly sort of sappy, and it doesn't take much to figure out how they're going to end, but then I didn't want anything serious. The commercials drive me nuts though.

My l0om came home yesterday. Teresa, who was one of the main 'movers and shakers' of the Walk through Bethlehem, and her son brought it. I'm glad she brought help. I won't be using it until my ankle is completely healed, of course. I had them put it in the room where it belongs, but I can't put it exactly where it belongs and open it out until after Lexi spends a couple of nights with me this week - her cot is where the loom goes.

By Special Request

A few days ago I started the pink and purple legwarmers Lexi requested. She'll need to try them on when I bring her here Tuesday after my doctor's appointment. I hope she likes them and that they fit. They look big to me, but I measured her legs last weekend, so they should be OK.
Using up the Leftovers

One of the items I knit recently is a laprobe in miscellaneous bits of leftover yarn. I like working this way. I pick up stitches along the edges of squares I've already worked, so I don't have any seams to sew. However, I did have a million ends to run in. Lexi helped me with that last weekend. We were sitting on the couch together, each of us with a large yarn/tapestry needle, working on opposite ends of the laprobe. It felt good to have her helping. The picture shows about a quarter of the blanket. This is the sort of project that I go from thinking, "Ugh, it looks awful." to thinking, "Not bad!" after I've done a few more squares. I read somewhere, several years ago, that if you use enough colors, they all go together.

When my granddaughters were young, I made bibbed skirts for them (pink for Alyssa. lavender for Sara), probably from a pattern in Mon Tricot. The one I made for Alyssa is here, and Lexi wore it to church last Sunday. I looked at it and thought it looked very sad. The main color has faded so much that the flowers don't show unless you look real close (it actually looks better in the picture than in person). The next day I shopped my yarn stash and found some bright rose, light-weight silk to brighten the skirt up. I'm duplicate-stitching over the flowers. In the lower, right-hand corner, you can see the difference that's making. I think it's going to look good. Lexi likes the idea of silk - she knows it's a luxury fiber. The skirt is cotton.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Good Weekend

Friday was a beautiful day! Warm! So I went into Mayfield and took care of some things. Later, in the evening, Alyssa brought Lexi out to spend the weekend with me. She took back with her some of the things I've been trying to get out of my house. When she came yesterday to get Lexi, she said she had taken the stuffed animals to Goodwill. I hope some of them will be under Christmas trees tomorrow night.

Lexi and I had a good weekend. I had gotten out three different sizes of Weave-it looms on Friday to re-learn how to use them. I taught her on Saturday, and she did most of the work of one on the regular (4") loom and one on the small (2") loom. We also started working on a jigsaw puzzle on the dining table; it will probably be there for at least a week before it is finished.

She had a little TY beanbag-size horse that her teacher had given her, and was playing with it quite a bit. About 8:15 pm she said it needed a backpack. I immediately picked up a different set of needles and some yarn and spent the next fifty minutes creating the backpack. I had already crocheted two headbands with ribbon inserts for her that day. She and her mother both want legwarmers, also, but I haven't started on them yet.

Sunday, we went to church, then had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and finally went to the yarn shop for a knitting guild sort-of meeting. We spent about two hours there, knitting, talking, drinking coffee or punch, and eating cookies. Lexi spent some of the time playing under the table with her TY horse. It was about 5 pm before we got home.

Since this week and next are the school's winter vacation, Lexi was able to spend a third night here. We didn't do anything special yesterday. Alyssa came in the late afternoon to pick Lexi up. I had asked Alyssa a few days before if she could take at least one of my trash cans down to the end of the driveway when she came. It was actually Lexi who took both of the cans down - I guess she wanted to prove that she's big enough. I assume CWI emptied the cans this morning. The next two times I go someplace, I'll bring a can up. I roll down my window and hold onto the can as I drive up to the house.

Lexi will spend a couple of days with me next week, as well. Then school will be back in session and I won't see so much of her. As she gets older, she's able to be more helpful to me, which I need now with my fractured ankle. She liked taking this 'boot' off me at night and putting it back on in the morning. That's not difficult for me to do, but I think she liked using all the velcro.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Cancellations

I haven't left the house since I got home Saturday night - well. maybe just out on the porch. I had planned to meet Mary at the Murray Art Guild on Monday morning and ride with her to the LAFA meeting, but decided against it due to the weather forcast. Sunday the temperature got to about 57 and then in the evening suddenly dropped 30 degrees; it hasn't gotten above freezing since then. During the night there was sleet which is making the ground look white.

Tuesday morning, the Cancer Group called to say that they were not opening the Mayfield office, which is where I was supposed to go for my first dose of Velcade. They wondered if I wanted to get it in Paducah instead. I said that I didn't plan to leave my house, so they rescheduled me for December 30. I figure delaying the medication is not likely to kill me any time soon, but an auto accident because of icy roads might. I don't think I'm afraid to die, but I don't want to do it for a few more years.

I've spent the last three days mainly sitting with my feet up, knitting. A friend and my son both told me that I'm lucky that someting I enjoy doing is exactly what I need to do now with the fractured ankle. I take short 'work breaks' every couple of hours to vacuum a room or put in a load of laundry or such, but mostly I'm knitting.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Too Much Wind

Tonight's Walk through Bethlehem has been cancelled because of high winds. The torches would probably have been OK, but the fires would have been very dangerous. This was the last night. The whole event was very successful. Unfortunately, I missed two nights, but I enjoyed participating, and will be glad to do it again next year if they want me to. I like 'showing off' my fiber abilities, and always hope someone will be interested enough to start weaving or knitting or spinning.

I'm glad they cancelled, because my right thigh is sore. I guess it's from favoring the left leg/foot, but also from working all the treadles on the loom with my right foot for the last two nights.

My ankle

When I went to the orthopedist on Friday he said that I have 'stable fracture.' I need to wear this boot for four weeks, and then they will give me a smaller brace that I can wear with a regular shoe. I'll wear that for four weeks and then should be back to normal by mid-February. In the meantime, I have the perfect excuse to NOT do certain things, but to spend a lot of time sitting with my foot up, knitting.

I was going to go to a fiber arts group meeting tomorrow, even with the ankle problem, but the weather forecast is calling for ice, so I plan to stay in the house. I will need to go to Mayfield on Tuesday afternoon for a dose of Velcade, so I hope the weather is better then.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Defending knitting and women

When I called Dr Jackson's (orthopedist) office Monday morning, I was unable to get an appointment with him until Friday. They asked me to get the x-rays in the meantime and said I could fill out registration papers online to speed things up when I go in. I called the hospital about the x-rays and picked them up yesterday. I was expecting a big envelope, but I handed one that's only about 6 x 9 inches.

After getting the x-rays, I went to the Senior Citizens Center. The receptionist, Tamy, is back after some gynecological surgery. It was good to see her. She says she's feeling well.

I ate lunch there and talked with several people. I found it hard to believe that I actually enjoyed talking to Larry. I guess while I was working there (bookkeeper for six years) my attitude toward him was colored by my boss. He is her husband's uncle, and she doesn't like him. He told me I should come there more, and I said that my couch in my living room is the most comfortable place to knit, which is what I do a lot of. He said, "Knitting is for . . ." I didn't hear exactly how he finished that sentence because Byron walked up just then to ask me something, but I'm sure it was derogatory. I replied that knitting is for everyone who enjoys it, which includes me. Byron's question concerned the heating systems in the building. There are three of them, and the one for the dining room and activities rooms is on the blink. He knows that the part has been ordered, but is so pigheaded that he can't accept that as a reason for the rooms being cool. I was quite comfortable. He said that he thought it was just that the women who run the place don't know what they're doing. I slapped his arm a couple of times. They were both just teasing me, of course. That reminded me of my brother-in-law telling me several years ago that he liked to tease me because I don't get bent out of shape when he does.

Perhaps it's because I've been teased all my life. I have a sister who's two and a half years older than I am (two years, four months and five days, to be more precise) and who used to tease me a lot, as most older siblings do. I guess I just figured it was part of life and one had to get used to it. Pauline reminded me recently of that more precise age difference that Mother pounded into our heads. Another thing Mom made sure we knew was the birth order of her and her siblings. I think all four of us could say Hulda, Ida, Carl, Mabel, George, Ethel, Esther, Paul, Nina. Ruth, Florence and Richard by the time we started school. I was surprised to find out about fifteen years ago that none of my cousins knew the order. I thought it was something one had to know to be considered part of the family!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The ankle is broken

I got to the emergency room about 2:15 pm yesterday and left about 6:30 pm. I had some knitting with me, of course, so waiting wasn't bad. There were eighteen to twenty others in the waiting room as well. I was not surprised that I was the only one doing any needlework, but I was rather surprised that no one was reading.

After about two hours, I was finally called into an exam room. I sat there for fifteen minutes or so before a man came with a wheelchair to take me to x-ray. He took three 'pictures' and then took me back to the exam room. Fifteen or twenty minutes later a woman came with a wheelchair and said they wanted to do a CT scan of the ankle. After she got me back to the exam room, there was another wait. At first they said the ankle was broken in two places, but then after the scan they said it was only one fracture. They put on a walking boot with lots of padding and about a dozen velcro belts, and told me to keep it elevated and to call an orthopedic doctor on Monday. They also gave me a prescription for pain medication, but I don't feel any need for it. I have only mild pain.

I plan to call Dr Jackson, who did my hip replacement, tomorrow morning. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to see him tomorrow afternoon after my oncology visit. It would be really nice to take care of both things on the same trip to Paducah.

After I got out of the ER, I went to the Nazarene church. I had phoned from the hospital and told them the reason I wouldn't be there to weave in 'Bethlehem.' I sat in the parish hall and watched the people who had visited Bethlehem and came in for a hot drink (coffee, chocolate or cider) and cookies. I even ladled out some of the cider during one very busy period. There had not been many visitors on Friday, but there were last night. At the end of the evening, I asked if there was someone who would like a brief weaving lesson - mainly how to open and close my loom and how to advance the cloth so there's room to weave more. I met a woman at the garage of the parsonage this afternoon for the lesson. For some reason the two middle harnesses want to hang onto each other, so she's afraid she'll mess something up. At least they can open the loom, and make it look like the weaver has just stepped away. Perhaps next weekend I can participate again, using only my right foot to work the treadles. I guess that depends on what Dr Jackson says and does about my ankle. Since, according to my computer it is 29 degrees, I'm glad I'm not there. Someone said Friday night that the potter's water was freezing as she was trying to keep her clay wet.

I'm trying to get used to this boot. It's hard to get it into the car. I have to move the seat back as far as it will go and then pull it back up to drive. At least this gives me a chance to wear the sock whose mate needs mending. I'm only using a sneaker sock on the left foot because the swelling makes one with a top difficult.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Walk Through Bethlehem

Last night was the first night of this event at the Mayfield Church of the Nazarene. I'm weaving there. It's outdoors. We're having a cold spell. It is also tonight and tomorrow night (6 pm to 8 pm each night) and next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I started off real good! On the way down to my loom, I slipped and fell, twisting my left ankle. I was ahead of most everyone else, but there were two men there who were getting the fires going and lighting the torches. They wanted to help me up, but I told them it was better for me to do it myself. I had to sort of crawl a little way to find an area that didn't feel slippery to me. I hobbled the rest of the way (not far) to my station and opened my loom. At first it was hard for me to tromp on the treadle with my left foot, but after a while it was OK. At the end, someone came and got me in a golf cart. For the next two nights, they will transport me both ways in the cart. They encouraged me to go to the emergency room for an x-ray, and even said the church would pay for it. I didn't, but this morning I've been thinking that perhaps I should go into town a couple of hours early today and have that done. If I don't, I'm sure Dr Balbastro will fuss at me when I see her on Monday. When I got home, I pulled the car into the carport, which I usually don't use for the car. There are usually lawn mowers and a wheelbarrow in the way, but I had moved them yesterday when Theresa came to get the loom.


Monday I had an appointment with a neurologist because the neuropathy I've had for months in my feet and fingertips is now affecting the area around my mouth. He had me resist his efforts to move my arms, hands, feet, etc. My arms are strong, but my legs are not - I need to do more walking. Tuesday I went back and he hooked me up to a computer and gave me electrical shocks, and then put needles (like acupuncture needles) into my muscles and did more of the resistance stuff. He also ordered a bunch of blood tests. I think they took about a dozen vials of blood. Dr Balbastro should have the results of all this when I see her on Monday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Expensive Pizza

I did drive to Mayfield Saturday for Snappy Tomato's pizza buffet and I enjoyed the pizza. They cut each pie into 16 pieces, so I sampled several - all good. I did a couple of other things while I was in town, as well. On the way home, I side-swiped a deer. It left a dent (not bad) in the left front fender and took off the driver's side mirror. It was dark and I didn't stop, so I had no idea what happened to the deer, but he must have gotten back to the woods, because I saw no sign of him Monday morning when I drove that road again.

Monday on my way to the Lake Area Fiber Artists meeting in Murray, I stopped at the junkyard in Mayfield to see if they had a mirror to fit my car. They didn't, so I went to the junkyard in Murray. They had the mirror. I may have been able to replace it myself, and probably would have fifteen or twenty years ago, but decided to stop at my regular mechanic as I came back through Mayfield to let them put it on. Both the junkyard guy and the mechanic reminded me that I was lucky I only side-swiped the deer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Think I'm Bored!

That's VERY unusual. My kids and grandkids know that I hate that word. I've always told them that the cure for boredom is action, so I'm trying to figure out what I want to do.

I'm also cold. And that makes me hungry. Someone asked me last week, when I mentioned taking steroids four days a month, if the steroids make me hungry. Not that I've noticed, but cold does. I'm reminded of a song Garrison Keillor (sp) sang on his show a few years ago. The refrain was, "I'm just a Minnesota man bulking up for winter." That's how I often feel in cold weather. I think some pizza would be good. I wonder what time Snappy Tomato's pizza buffet starts on Saturday. And does it make sense to drive 18 miles (each way) for it?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Well, it's been a week and a day since I posted - what have I done?
Last Friday morning I bought the yarn for an afghan for my great-nephew. It will be like the one I made for my grandson, but in a different colorway. Then I dropped glass and plastic bottles and jars off at the recycling center, took about a dozen scarves and three or four caps to the Seaman's Church Institute, and then went to the Hartland Lace Guild meeting. These women are making bobbin lace. I find the process fascinating to watch, but I don't want to try doing it. It makes me feel that my knitting is rather prosaic.

On Saturday I went to my friend Shirley's house. I had received an email from her executors a few days before, saying that they would be there to give away more of her yarn. They are trying to get the house cleaned out. Russ said he's made about sixteen trips to Goodwill. I came away with some yarn for me and some for another friend, plus about an eighteen inch stack of fiberarts books, leaflets and magazines (and several paperback novels). Some of the books will go to the fiberarts library being created at the Mayfield Art Guild. I need to list them so Jo can decide which ones should go there.

Sunday after church, lunch and a visit to the Hallmark store, I went to With Ewe in Mind, the yarn shop in Paducah, and knitted and talked with ten or twelve other women. It's always good to get together with them and to see what each one is working on. There are some new knitters in the group, and some of them are in a scarf class Maureen (the owner) is teaching, so they were working on the scarves. Maureen also demonstrated needle felting; she made a pumpkin while we were there. She is another one of the people who try everything. And I think she has some kind of engineering degree!

The week has been very quiet. I've spent most of the time knitting and reading. I did go outside on Tuesday to get rid of the old burn barrel and set up the new one which I bought about a week and a half ago. The old one had a number of holes rusted through around its mid-section. When I grabbed the top rim above the worst holes and lifted toward the opposite side, the top half broke away easily. Then I shoveled half of the ashes into the wheelbarrow and dumped it into an unplanted quadrant of the herb garden which I'm trying to fill. By the time I shoveled the rest of the ashes into the wheelbarrow, I didn't have the strength to dump it. I went out today and dumped the ashes, and also put the new barrel in the special spot (a circle of gravel surrounded by edging 'bricks'). I was going to burn some stuff, but it's a little breezy. I don't know what I'm going to do with the old, rusty barrel; I don't remember what I did with the last one. Perhaps Dominic will remember and let me know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bobby's Afghan

I finished knitting it yesterday, and washed it today - I always wash things after I finish then. It's knit of Hobby-Lobby's I Love This Yarn in Naturals Stripes colorway. There are several different dye lots, but I didn't think it would matter much in this yarn and with the way I was working. That one skein was a lot lighter than the rest of them, though. The mitered squares are adictive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Compliments Are Always Nice

Yesterday I got an email message that someone had left a comment on a post from last year. The reader said that I write well. Thank you! If that reader is talking about content and style, I can only say thank you. If the reader is talking about grammar and spelling, I say thank you, and want to step up on my soapbox. I have become disappointed recently with some of the radio news people, who are frequently saying 'gonna' and 'wanna' instead of 'going to' and 'want to.' While those words are in the Websters dictionary I have, I consider them sub-standard. Also, on All Things Considered today, there was a segment on some current music composer. The reporter said, "He is one of the only composers who . . .." Wait a minute! He is either the only composer who does it, or he is one of the few composers who do it. Do I sound like I majored in English instead of math?

Stepping off the soapbox now. Thanks for letting me complain.


Yesterday was my November visit to the oncologist. Blood work shows things basically unchanged, so there is no change in my medications. However, I mentioned that a few days ago I had numbness in my lips and around my mouth. (No, I had not just eaten something with hot peppers.) I've had the neuropathy in my fingers and feet for quite a while, but this is the first in my lips. Because of that, Dr Balbastro said she will consider another medication and will find out how Medicare feels about it. She has also referred me to a neurologist, whom I will see a week before my next visit to her.

I also ordered my new glasses yesterday. I'll probably get them toward the end of next week. Since my prescription is so strong, they need to be sent to another lab. That is something I've been used to for years. I'm always a bit envious of the people who can have their glasses done in an hour or two - for the quick service, of course, but also for the good vision (compared to mine).


I had the eye exam last Monday, and planned to order the glasses last week, but had to put it off each day because a roofer was supposed to come to give me an estimate on a new roof. One came on Tuesday just before it got dark, a second one about 3:30 on Friday, and a third on Saturday morning, which is when he said he'd come. I didn't like the first one, but did like both of the others. I think I'll have the third one do the job, because his bid was lower and because he was recommended by a friend. The roof damage was caused by Hurricane Ike; I've already received a check from the insurance company. Roofers two and three asked if I've had any leaking during the recent rains; they said there is a bare spot up there. However, it is on the 'gable' over the front porch, so not as bad as if it was over the living space. I have not been aware of any leaks.
Another shawl completed. It is really a solid color somewhare between the yellow and the orange that show here; the skeinbands call it gold. The shawl measures approximately 30 inches by 62 inches without the fringe.

I'm almost finished with the afghan for my grandson Bobby. I could probably finish it tonight, but I think I'd rather go to bed and read. I'll finish the blanket tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Autumn Colors

The wonderful red-orange of nandino berries.
The red of dogwood leaves.

Bright yellow of my neighbor's maple tree. The neighbor on the other side has a huge one also.

The cherry-size crabapples of my young flowering crabapple tree. Lexi and I each bit into one a couple of days ago, and decided they're not meant for people. I already knew that, but I figured she should learn it for herself.
Last week I finally started cutting up the tree that blew down in my front yard in February. It's soft wood and not very big, so I'm having no trouble cutting it with a pruning saw. The hardest part is dragging the pieces to the back, near the burn barrel. I will eventually burn it all and put the ashes into one of the unplanted quadrants of the herb garden.
Since Lexi did not have school today, she wanted to go with Alyssa and me when we voted. Alyssa has not yet changed her voter registration, so she came out here to vote. One of the things I like about living in a tiny town is not having to wait in a line to vote. There was no one ahead of us today; there has never been more than two people in front of me here. Even in a small town like Mayfield (ten or twelve thousand) there were always a dozen or more.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


That stands for Lake Area Fiber Artists. I spend a lovely three hours or so with the group yesterday. The meeting was at the Janice Mason Art Museum in Cadiz - about 70 miles from here. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the drive, except for the bridges over Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Those bridges are narrow. They are widening the road, so I think they will be building new bridges in the next few years.

I was part of LAFA (the group didn't have a name then) for the first couple of years I was in western Kentucky, but had to drop out when I went to work full-time. Now that I'm retired, I'm back in it, but have missed many of the meetings for various reasons. It's an informal group that usually meets in people's homes. There were about a dozen of us yesterday. We were all working on various fiber projects; I was knitting, of course, but others were quilting, doing bobbin lace, or other things. And of course we talked about all sorts of things, fiber related or not.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Renee!

I spent the weekend with my siblings. The baby of the family turned 60 on Friday, and she and her daughter had an open house party at the condo's party room to celebrate. I drove to Louisville on Thursday and my brother and other sister, and their spouses, flew in from Florida that day as well.
On Friday we all went to Cynthiana to visit our aunt Edna. She is our only relative in Kentucky - most of them are in Minnesota and points west. She's a lovely lady, and we all enjoyed our visit with her. One thing she told us that none of us had known was that when we visited her and Uncle Raymond (Daddy's brother) in 1951, they did not know we were coming. I had not realized it, but Pauline said Mother liked to surprise people. Can you imagine a surprise visit from a family of six (children aged 3, 6 1/2, 10 1/2 and almost 13) plus a mid-sized dog? Perhaps I shouldn't count the dog as an imposition since it actually belonged to Raymond; he had left it with us a few years before when he went to the Pacific Northwest to school.
Renee's birthday was actually on Friday, but the party was on Saturday. She had made signs with numbers adding to sixty, and had them hanging around the room. Her daughter Autumn, who turned thirty last month, thought it appropriate for them both to be photographed with this sign. I agree.
The invitations said 'no gifts' but there were a few, plus many cards. The large 'book' you see in the lower left of the picture is a scrapbook Autumn put together with pictures from our family, with the largest part being of Renee's life. She did a great job!
On Sunday, we all went to Renee's church. I love the windows in the sanctuary. I should have taken pictures of the banners hanging there, also, because Renee made them. She said that they've told her she's the official banner-maker for life.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

P B & J

doesn't only stand for peanut butter and jelly, which is what I had for lunch. It also means Paducah Bone & Joint; I smile every time I pass that place.


I went to the oncologist today for my regular monthly visit. Nothing has changed significantly, so I continue on the same treatment, but with slight tweaking of the coumadin dosage.


I'm working on a shawl that I thought might go to the prayer shawl ministry being started at my church, but that might not be a good idea for this one. I think there's been more cussing the cat than prayer while I've worked on it. The cat will be gone, one way or another, within a week. I told Alyssa this morning that if it is still here next Thursday morning when I leave for Louisville for the weekend, I'll put it outside and I don't care what happens to it.


I warpped the loom Tuesday so my friend Jo can weave on it at the Renaissance Faire on Saturday while I spin on a drop spindle. She may want to kill me before the day is over. I've heard that linen is a bear to warp with, but I thought a small stripe near each edge of a 16 inch runner wouldn't be too bad. And it wasn't during the winding on and threading. Then I wove about an inch, and the linen caused me some problems. It's hairy and the reed rubs some of that hair down with each beat, so I wound up with clumps of hair in the cloth. Oh well, too late to change it now. Not really I guess, but I'm not going to change it.

I can't find my sleying hook, so I had to use a crochet hook to thread the heddles and sley the reed. The crochet hook is much shorter than the sleying hook, so I had to sit right against the breast beam to work. Last night as I was lying in bed reading, I touched my breastbone and it felt bruised (but there's not discoloration). It took me a minute or two to figure out why - from leaning against the beam on the loom for so long.

It had been two years since I last warpped the loom, so I had to pull a book off the shelf to refresh my memory on a couple of things.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Special Olympics scarves

I've knit three scarves for the Special Olympics. I'm pleased with the way they turned out. The yarn - brand and colors - was specified, but knitters and crocheters can use any pattern they like.
The first one I made was garter stitch mitered squares. I like the way I turned the squares so the center stitch, where I did double decreases, zig-zags up the scarf.
The second one is all in double seed stitch, with large sections of white and four sections with blue stripes. The striped sections alternate two rows of blue and two rows of white. I like the effect that gives.
The third one is mainly garter stitch, but with a slip-stitch pattern every eighth and ninth row. It has a right side and a wrong side, but I like the way both sides look.
I did all of these pretty fast - bought the yarn on Tuesday, finished them on Saturday. Since I'm retired and I'm too lazy to do much housework or yardwork (besides, a wheel fell off the lawnmower and I need help to get it to the repair shop), I spend a lot of time knitting.
The owner of the yarn shop in Paducah is going to collect the scarves and ship them.

My blood was a little thick when they checked it Thursday, so we changed the Coumadin dosage slightly again. I go back next week for my regular monthly visit with the doctor, and they'll check it again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Leaves

That's the name of the shawl Lexi is modeling here. I mentioned it a few posts ago. I donated it to the Art Guild for the silent auction at the Gourd Festival. When I dropped in there about noon Saturday, there was one bid - for $30. I had said that if the first bid was not at least $25 I wanted it back. I hope there were more bids on it. People seem to forget that the purpose of a benefit auction is not to get something cheaply, but rather to raise money for the sponsoring organization.

Last weekend's storm

I heard yesterday at church that the wind last Sunday was hurricane strength. There are a lot of trees down, and some of them damaged houses. The local public radio station is doing its semi-annual fund drive this week; one if the 'guest beggers' this morning said that a large trash can was blown through a window at his church. Fortunately, that window was in a hallway and there was nobody there at the time.

Since the power came back on last week, it has at times been weak, or lights have flickered. I figured they were still working on the lines, so didn't call about it until today. The man I talked to this morning said they might not come today, but they have been here already. They came up the driveway to make sure they were at the right place and then went back out on the road and worked for a few minutes. I really can't tell if they fixed the problem until it starts to get dark, but I expect it to be OK.


I decided on Wednesday that the neuropathy in my fingers may not be all bad. While cooking supper, I splashed some hot liquid (chicken broth and oil) on my hand and it didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it should. I'm joking here about the neuropathy not being so bad. I know that because of the reduced sense of touch I need to be extra vigilent about scrapes and burns and such.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I just noticed that it's again been a week since I posted. This time I have a really good excuse - I had not internet service from mid-morning Sunday until 1 pm Thursday, thanks to Hurricane Ike. I was only without electricity until 3:45 Tuesday. Sunday morning Lexi and I were watching shingles fly off the roof. Only about two dozen and I can't see any bare spots. Right now we're having some lightning and thunder, so some rain may be coming (there was only a little 'spitting' on Sunday). I guess that will tell me if I have a problem. I Drove into Bardwell on Tuesday morning to report the shingle loss to the insurance company, but haven't had a roofer out here yet to assess the damage.
Lexi has started soccer this fall. Here she is in her uniform, and in the picture on the field, she's the one in the middle.
She was taking pictures last weekend and I like this one of the cat Ginger. Lexi found it interesting that the fan looks like it's off, even though it wasn't.
I think I'll shut off the computer until this storm blows over.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shades of 1973!

Ther may have been other times since then of lines at the gas pumps and only being able to fill up on odd- or even-numbered days according to the last digit of you license-plate, but 1973 is the one that sticks in my mind because my husband has just died. They haven't done any rationing now, but there are lines at the pumps and plastic bags covering some of them because they are empty.

Alyssa called me this morning to say that she was not able to find gas in Mayfield, so I took her five-gallon gascan from the shed and went to see if the Milburn station had any. They did, but were limiting people to $30 worth. The five gallons was slightly under $20, so I was well within that limit. I used about 1.25 gallons doing that good deed, but at least she should have enough gas to get to work today and tomorrow. I'm getting weak - that forty or so pounds was difficult for me to lift into my trunk.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I don't know the source of the noise I've heard twice in the past twenty minutes or so, but it makes me think of the 'horses' in the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie. The first time I heard that movie, I was scraping wallpaper, so I didn't see much of it. It is one of my favorites.

Yesterday I heard sounds that are rare in Milburn. I think there must have been a traffic accident west of town, because there were police, ambulance, firetruck sirens, and then a while later ambulance sirens going the other way.


Today was my quadweekly oncologist visit. The lambda lightchains number on August bloodword was good, so there is no change in the treatment regimen.

My blood was too thin four weeks ago, so I've gone back for them to test it every week. It got a bit thick and then too thin again, but today it was good. I've adjusted the coumadin dosage each time, and today Dr B wrote down how she wants me to take it for the next two weeks and then come back for another test. She wrote it on a sticky note, so I will post that in the shelf where I keep my medications - very handy!

This is my second of four days on dexamethasone (steroid) and my feet are already swelling, my face is red and puffy, and my vision is getting blurry. I'm not planning to go anywhere until Wednesday and the blurriness will be gone by then. I just hope I don't need to transport Lexi during that time. I probably see as well as twenty-five percent of people driving, but I don't like to drive when I feel I don't see well enough.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Maybe fall really is on its way. It was really nice today. I was comfortable in jeans, although I got hot when I mowed, and my hair is still wet from sweat. I mowed out one tank of gas, which usually takes me about an hour and a half. Then I sat on the back porch for about an hour to cool off and did some knitting. After that I mowed for another hour.

Leaves have not started changing color yet, but that's probably not too far off. Goldenrod is blooming. I love it - yellow is such a cheerful color. It's almost a shame I don't want to dye any wool with it.


I finished that shawl - it's not exactly a triangle, but almost. Now I'm working on a scarf with the leftover yarn, using the same embossed leaf stitch pattern. With only 25 stitches, the yarn is making stripes of three to five rows. I need to get Lexi or Alyssa to model the shawl and take pictures of it.

I also finished the counterpane (I love that old-fashioned word) for Yvette, and will take it to her mother on Monday

Monday, September 1, 2008

Comment and Houses

The comment on Thursday's entry floored me! Joe, how did you find my blog? Are you the one who was at Dawn and Terry's wedding six years ago and prepared a lot of wonderful food?

Alyssa and Alexis will be moving to Mayfield this month, but not into the house they had planned to. Things didn't work out with that one, so they'll be in one that is a little larger and is in a different part of town. They'll be a block from the library rather than from McDonalds - sounds better to me. Their landlord will be the brother of my first landlord in Mayfield. Alyssa's boyfriend's mother will be helping with some cleaning and painting. She apparently loves to do those things. I'm glad someone does - I don't.


I made that shawl I mentioned a week or so ago, doing the decreases differently, but it still was an odd shape for a shawl. It finally struck me that it was basically a mitered square, which in my opinion is not a shawl shape. So I'm reknitting the yarn, using the leaf stitch pattern but doing decreases at the edges as well as in the middle so it will be a triangle. I plan to donate it to the Art Guild for the silent auction at the Gourd Festival.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28, 1963

I was in Washington DC that day, but I had no idea what was going on. I was coming back from a summer in Germany and going to Annapolis MD where I had a job waiting. I had spent a few days in London and then taken a ship (Empress of Canada) from Liverpool to Montreal. From Montreal, I took a train to DC and then a bus to Annapolis. I didn't know anything that was going on in this country all summer, although I did hear part of JFK's speech from Berlin.

Now to the present: When I went to pick up Lexi from school, I went to Walmart first - mainly for half'n'half for my coffee. They didn't have any because of a cooler breaking down last night. That's not really important, but I'm glad I went that way rather than only to the school. When I passed Huddle House, their sign read "In Memorium Adam S Hogarty," which gave me a jolt. I was hoping it was not the one I knew, but I've just read his obituary. He was 17. I haven't seen his mother or his aunt for several years (we used to go to church together), but I saw his grandmother several times in February and March when I was taking my son-in-law to physical therapy. Pat was having tharapy also. I'll have to go to either the visitation tomorrow evening or the funeral Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Singin' in the Rain

Or rather in the shower. Lexi has recently begun to take showers. A few nights ago, during her shower, she was singing. It sounded cute! I didn't recognize the tune - perhaps she was making up her own like Dominic used to do.

Sunday morning Dr Ginn (the one I saw last Thursday when Dr B was on vacation) called to say that my blood was too thin. He said to stop taking Coumadin for a couple of days and have it checked again on Tuesday. When they called on Monday to make the appointment, I told them i=that Wednesday would work out better for me. So I went there yesterday and gave them a few drops of blood. It's in the good range, so I resumed taking 2.5 mg of Coumadin last night, and they want me to have it checked again in a week.

While in Paducah, I went to Hobby Lobby for yarn - as though I don't have enough! I recently came across a leaflet with eight shawl patterns on it. To give you an idea of how old it is, the price marked on it is $.50; you can't get one pattern for that now. It was from Spinnerin Yarns which I think has been out of business for ages. I made one of the shawls about forty years ago, and have often thought I'd like to make it again, and do the center decreases correctly this time. The other one came out a rather funny shape. I used it for a long time, but have no idea what happened to it. The pattern is called Autumn Leaves and the yarn I bought is Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in Autumn Stripes. I should have waited to start it until I finished Yvette's counterpane, but I didn't. I started the shawl when I got home and am already into the second 5 oz skein - I just can't seem to put it down.

I also went to Kroger and bought the onions, garlic and chicken broth I needed for the tomato-basil soup to freeze for winter use. I've cooked it this morning; now I need to puree it and put it into the freezer containers. I had to do something with the tomatoes I've been harvesting from my three plants.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Friday Out

Usually Alyssa drives Lexi to school, but she asked me to do it on Friday so she could get a little extra sleep. On Thursday night, the two of them picked out the clothes for Lexi to wear, so I didn't have to deal with that. Lexi's grandmother Gill was to pick her up after school, because this is her weekend with har dad, so I could have come home, but decided to stay in town for the day.

After I dropped her off, I stopped at WalMart for bobby pins and then went to the Senior Citizens Center. I sat in the lobby there knitting and talking for several hours. I worked there for six years, so I know a lot of the people who work there and who go there regularly. However, it has been two and a half years since I retired and I haven't been going back very often, so there are quite a few that I don't know. I ate lunch there also, and did more knitting and visiting until 2 o'clock or so. Then I wandered around Big Lots for a while - only bought a jar of rhubarb-strawberry preserves (don't find rhubarb often).

From there I went to the Art Guild. There was a reception scheduled there from 4 to 6 for the community exhibit and the Laurel Oaks Garden Club's flower show. Many of the entries from the garden club members were inspired by the artworks, and were displayed in front of the pieces that inspired them. There are some really talented flower arrangers in the group! But I didn't go in as soon as I got there. Instead I sat on a bench in the garden beside the building (the garden was planted and is maintained by the garden club) and knitted. When I had to use the ladies room, I went in and then went to the front porch and did more knitting. I finally headed home about 5 o'clock. I was tired, so it was nice to have the house to myself.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good News!

Today was my monthly visit to the oncologist. My regular doctor is on vacation, so I saw one of her associates. The visits had gotten to be rather boring, until last month. In June's bloodwork the lambda lightchains number had jumped drastically. Dr B said that if it was also up in the July bloodwork, she would do more testing like at the beginning of this whole process, and change the medication. I was glad to learn today that that number is back down in the OK range. Who knows what caused it to spike that one time. Anyway, I continue with the thalidomide and dexamethasone.

My appointment time was originally 9:45, but they called on Monday and asked to change it to 1:30, so I had plenty of time beforehand to do some other things. I went to a book store in the mall that has very deeply discounted prices. I bought two books for $3.99 each. One is what I call knit lit. When I got home, I discovered that I already have it. Oh well, it was only four dollars - I'll find someone to give it to. I need to print out my list of craft books, especially the knitting and knit lit sections of it, and carry it in my purse. I used to have it there, but don't any longer.

We've been having some wonderful weather for the past few days, so I've had the windows open and the A/C off. Tonight, however, Lexi and I both felt hot, so I closed windows and turned the A/C back on. I think the humidity has gone up - the temperature is a comfortable 74.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nice Weather

After about a week of hot (mid- to high-90's), humid weather, we're having some really nice days - temperatures in the mid- to high-80's with comfortable humidity. Yesterday I actually did some mowing in the middle of the day rather than waiting until after supper. Then I sat in the back-yard swing (it's on a frame of heavy timbers) and knitted. The swing gets some sun early in the morning and late in the afternoon, but is shaded most of the day. There was a frequent light breeze yesterday, as well, so I was very comfortable sitting there until the late afternoon sun started hitting me. This morning I had my coffee onthe back porch and after Alyssa and Alexis left, I spent some time cutting the cypress vine off the porch furniture. That stuff seems to take forever to start growing each year, but once it starts, it grows like mad and winds its way around anything that doesn't move. I also watered the plants that are in pots, and harvested the few tomatoes that are ripe.

Now I have three hours to knit or read before I need to drive into Mayfield to pick Lexi up from school. She and Alyssa will be moving into Mayfield soon, so Alyssa registered her in the school there, using her boyfriend's address. Alyssa takes her in the mornings, but I have to pick her up on days that she works. We went in Tuesday and saw her classroom and met her teacher. This is the second year in the new school, so everything is still bright and shiny. Alyssa told me that evening that the teacher is the ex-wife of her boyfriend's mother's boyfriend.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I was out early this morning spraying weed killer and noticed my neighbor sitting on his patio. I called, "Good Morning" and he replied. Then he asked if I was going to the picnic. Around here, on the first Saturday in August, one doesn't need to ask what picnic. It's the one in Fancy Farm ( I said some barbecued mutton would be nice, but I wasn't going to go there to get it. The picnics that the various Catholic churches put on during the summer are about the only places you can get barbecued mutton. I've gone to the picnic a couple of times, but I really don't like such mob scenes. Anyway - a few minutes ago there was a knock on my back door. When I opened it, Robbie grinned and handed me a bag with a mutton sandwich in it. How's that for a good neighbor!

Friday, August 1, 2008

No Phone? Or Internet?

Tuesday morning I took the two items I'm entering in the Art Guild's annual Arts in the Community exhibit to the Guild and then sat there knitting and talking to my friend Jo. Alyssa came in and said she had been trying to call me, but the calls went directly to voicemail. We figured the cable must be out - my phone and internet service are both provided by Galaxy Cablevision. It was still out when I went to bed that night. Wednesday morning, before I got out of bed, I picked up the phone and was glad to hear that I had service. However, about mid-day it was off again, and stayed off through Thursday. I kept wishing Alyssa would come so she could call the company on her cellphone, but I wasn't concerned enough about it to ask to use a neighbor's phone. When I found that it was back on this morning, I called the company to find out if I could expect it to stay on. They said that it should, and they are going to give me a small credit - I hadn't thought of that. I've never been one for talking on the phone much, but I really don't like not having it available.

I thought that on Saturday I had finally convinced the cat that I don't like her sitting on my lap and trying to eat my yarn while I knit. I hardly saw her at all for several days; I think she was in Alyssa's room much of the time. Today she was back to trying to eat my yarn.

I have two new projects I'm working on. One is a replacement for the crocheted bedspread listed in the sidebar. When I started working on it again last week, I decided that the neuropathy in my fingers (caused both by the myeloma and by the medication for the myeloma) makes working with such a small hook too uncomfortable to continue. I plan to give Yvette what I have done so far, plus the rest of the thread, the pattern and the crochet hook, and suggest that she find someone else to finish it. Or she can learn to crochet and finish it herself. However, I want her to have something completed by me, so I'm knitting a counterpane/afghan using worsted-weight yarn and size 10 needles. It's going quickly, so she'll definitely have it by her fourth anniversary in about two months.

The other project is a cape for a friend. It's a basic pattern, starting at the neck and increasing two stitches at three points every other row. I've done several short (18 to 20 inches) ones and donated them to a nursing home. This one will be longer. I don't know how long - that will depend on how far the yarn goes. I always use some easy lace stitch. The cape also is going quickly.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Knitting, Books, etc

I left the house before 7:30 yesterday morning and drove to Paducah. I joined a few others of the Ewe-nique Knitters at the Market Square Coffee shop and knitted, drank coffee and talked. I left there about 9:30 and went to the Paducah Library's semi-annual used book sale. I filled a large paper grocery bag with books and only had to pay $2. I was just scanning the titles and authors, and dropping books into the bag if they sounded interesting in some way. You know - "Oh, Pearl Buck - I haven't read anything by her for years." Same with Catherine Cookson. "Ah, The Far Pavilions - I'd like to read that again." Then there's a Mrs 'Arris book by Paul Gallico which should be fun, and one that has a piece of knitting on the needles on the front - I thought that was a good enough reason to drop it in the bag. When I got home and took them out of the bag, I discovered that I had 18 books for me and three for Lexi. That should keep me in reading material for a few months.

After that I went to the drug store to get a refill on my Coumadin, then to Hobby Lobby for yarn for a special project. That was the first time I bought yarn (except two or three balls of sock yarn) for over a year and a half.

From there to J C Penney. They were busy! I stood and watched Alyssa working for a while. When she got home, she said that it never did slow down. I bought some capris - only I tend to call them pedal pushers. I guess that dates me, doesn't it? Alyssa's been asking me what size I wear, because sometimes they have things marked waaaaay down. I've told her I didn't know, because I hadn't bought any clothes for six or eight years and I've lost about 25 pounds since then. Now that I've tried some things on, she'll know what size to look for.

By that time, it was about noon and I was tired and just wanted to get home and sit down to knit.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bottle Lady

Wednesday, Lexi and I drove down to the WalMart in Funton KY (South Fulton is in TN) to buy cat litter. That store is about three miles farther than the one in Mayfield, but I like the drive. On the way down we counted bridges; there are ten of them. On the way back, we counted graveyards; there are five, most of them either beside or across from churches.

We shared a Pepsi on the way home, and this is what Lexi did with the bottle and a few craft supplies. What looks sort of like legs and feet on the back picture is actually part of the label that wouldn't come off.

She's with her daddy now for the last week of summer vacation - school starts the first week of August. Then she'll be back to every other weekend with him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I did a bit of Knitting In Public yesterday. Monday afternoon, when Alyssa returned to work from her lunch break, she heard a POP and liquid started leaking under her car. She left it in the parking lot overnight and had her boyfriend fetch her home. She had yesterday off, so we went up there in the afternoon and called AAA. She and Lexi went into the store, while I waited outside for the towtruck. I decided I might as well be comfortable - it was too hot to sit in the car. I took one of the camp chairs I carry in the trunk and my knitting and sat in the shade of a tree beside the building. There was a pleasant breeze and I was quite comfortable. I was almost disappointed that the truck came so quickly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Three More Blankets

These are tha latest three baby blankets I've completed. The one on the left is a simple alternating mitered square one in pale green and off-white. At least off-white is what the ball band called it, but I call it palest yellow. I like it with the pale green though.

The middle one is also mitered squares, but very small ones. I think I managed to do random colors in this one - random always gives me problems. Lexi keeps on calling it a quilt, even though I've told her that it is not, and have tried to explain what a quilt is. That reminds me of an incident a few years ago. My boss at the Senior Center needed a baby gift for friends of one of her sons. One of the Center regulars said she had some baby quilts for sale, so she'd bring a few in for Pam to choose from. I don't think Pam has ever done any quilting, but she certainly knows what a quilt is and what isn't a quilt. She was dismayed when the 'quilts' the lady brought in were crocheted blankets - Pam could have done them herself. She did buy one, but she wasn't really happy about it.

The third one is the one I'm going to enter in the Community
Exhibit at the Mayfield Art Quild. That's the reason for the hanging sleeve on the back of it. When I showed it to Dana and Paula at the Guild on Thursday, they said I need to name it and they suggested a price way more than I had thought of. One of them said, "Most people can't do what you do." Well, yeah, most people don't even knit, much less design their own projects. I do think that anyone beyond a rank beginner knitter who can't figure out the seed-stitch background - cast on an uneven number of stitches and work knit 1, purl 1 until the piece is the desired length - is pretty dumb. Am I being too acerbic? I have to bite my tongue a lot, and refrain from replying to posts on the knitting and crocheting lists I follow.

The fish on the front are another matter. I did sort of follow a chart I found in a book by Edina Ronay, a British actress/knitwear designer for the yellow and orange one, but the others are all my make-it-up-as-you-go designs.

Lexi's favorite is the pink starfish. Not surprising. As a typical seven-year-old girl, her favorite color is pink, and her middle name is Starr. I think my favorite is the red and orange one - maybe the shape is similar to mine, but I also like the blue and turquoise ray fish - especially the tail.

Now we need to decide on a name for the piece - and a price. Lexi thinks it should be 'Fish Sticks' but I think 'Coral Reef' would be better. I'm open to suggestions

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Recycling walkers

What do you do if you come into possession of old, non-folding walkers? Here are a few suggestions. A rack for a water hose. This way I don't have to carry the hose from the faucet which is near the northeast corner of the shed to the tomatoes which are near the southwest corner of the shed. I've run it along the north side of the shed, behind the hosta and across the back of the shed, then wrapped it in a figure eight around the walker. It's only about another twenty feet from here to the tomatoes.

And here is the tomato garden, with marigolds. You can see one of the walkers being used as a tomato cage. The other two plants are in genuine tomato cages. None of my tomatoes have ripened yet, but my neighbor gave Lexi some from his garden yesterday to give to me. I think we'll have BLT's for lunch (Lexi says she'll just have a BT - she doesn't like lettuce). I didn't get my plants in as early as the neighbors did.

And another use: to mark baby trees so my legally-blind neighbors don't destroy them when they mow my yard. Robbie suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident three years ago, which left his vision extremely impaired among other things, but he likes to use his riding lawnmower, and often mows some of my yard. The first time he did it last year, he did cut down one of my baby trees, which I had not protected with a walker. That tree has come back and is now doing very well. I still have a walker around the smallest, thinnest of the trees. And there is a tomato cage around the one you see in the background. I should pull that one up (the cage, not the tree), but I need to wait now until we get some rain to soften the ground around it.

Note the differences in the walker designs. This one would not work well for hanging the hose on.

In the front yard, I have one walker by my crepe myrtle, which is blooming now. Unfortunately, I cannot see it from the house because the tree which blew down in February is still lying between it and the house. I need to start cutting that tree up, branch by branch, and dragging it to the burn barrel, but I'll probably wait until October when it gets cooler. I put the walker by the crepe myrtle a few weeks ago when Melissa asked if they could mow the front yard for me, too, and asked if there was anything there that I needed to protect. Actually, the bush is large enough that I think I didn't need to put the walker there.

Melissa's poor vision is the result of an inoperable brain tumer. She's at her parent's farm near Frankfort this week, and is seeing her doctor in Lexington. They're afraid the tumer has grown.

Here are a couple more pictures of my yard. First my herb garden from another vantage point, showing the south end of the house. The double window is over the kitchen sink. It's great for look out of when washing dishes. (There's a dishwasher here, but I don't like dishwashers.) There was euonymus planted under this window when I moved in that was blocking the light and the view. I trimmed it back, but within weeks it was back up in front of the window, so I got rid of it completely. I want to transfer some of the daylilies there, but haven't gotten around to doing it yet. The two small windows on either side of the chimeny are in the living room. The fireplace was at one time a working one, but now has gas logs in it. However, the valve in the gas line has a problem, so I can't use the logs. That really doesn't bother me.

And in front of the house, there is plenty of pennyroyal and goldenrod.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Not Quite Boring

When Dr B first came into the exam room this morning, I told her about writing that the visits were getting rather boring, and that one of my sisters (maybe both of them) said she hoped they remained that way. Dr B agreed that boring is good. Then she looked at the results of last month bloodwork and said, "Be careful what you wish for; God will give it to you."

My kappa lightchains number in April was 9, which is good. In May it was 13 - up a little but still good. In June it was 39 - not good. She kept the treatment the same, but if it is still up when they do the tests on today's blood, there will be changes. She will order x-rays of my back and take bone marrow for biopsy, then determine how to proceed. It may mean an IV drug twice a week for two weeks then a week off, etc. I wasn't wishing for excitement! I agree that boring is good.


I'm almost finished with another baby blanket. I decided last night that I want to enter it in the annual community show at the Mayfield Art Guild next month, so I took it with me today and picked up stitches along the top to knit a 'sleeve' for them to hang it with (I can easily unravel the sleeve after tha show). Actually I want to do a 'show and tell' for the nurses in the treatment room, but this made it less obvious that I was doing that. I'll take a picture when I sew the last fish (a starfish) on and post it here. I had to go from Paducah to Mayfield to the bank, so I stopped at the Art Guild to find out how big I need to make the 'sleeve.'

After filling the gas tank ($47) and making a bank deposit, I went to Wal-Mart. I needed some things from the pharmacy department and from the grocery department. I went to pharmacy first and then went to the back of the store to get the cold groceries first. They have taken out all of the fabric and most of the yarn. The remaining yarn is not discounted, so I didn't buy any. They've also removed the bed and bath linens. I can't believe they're getting rid of that, so maybe they've just taken it out to remodel. I'll check next time I go there.

I splurged on some Starbucks Java Chip ice cream - rewarding myself for losing 2.7 pounds in the last month. The checker commented that her husband would kill her if she spent that much on ice cream (that's one of the advantages of not being married). I love coffee ice cream and it is very hard to find around here. On the east coast, all the stores carry it. I think this Wal-Mart may have some by Bryers, but I never look at the Bryers, because I don't like many of their products.

I need to change clothes and wash dishes. Alyssa just called and said she was still int the store (J C Penney in Paducah). She was supposed to get off at four and it is now 5:30. She said she had called Lexi and told her not to eat at Nana's, because she's going to make taco salads when she gets here. We'll be eating a bit late, that's all.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Garden

This is the one quadrant of my herb garden that has herbs in it so far. The thyme on the right and garlic chives in the middle have been there for about three years. The cilantro in the back, which is pretty much finished, reseeds itself each year. I also set out parsley (I think it has died), lavender, camomile, oregano and stevia this year. In the pots, the basil and rosemary are doing well. I thought I had killed the rosemary last year by not watering it enough, but it's looking great this year. In another place I also have regular chives in a large pot. The chives and rosemary have been in those pots for about four years. The marigold plant is one Lexi brought home from school for Alyssa for Mother's Day.

In the background, you can see the yellow patch in the lawn. That was caused by the solar cover for the pool. Someone removed the cover from the pool one night and also let a lot of water out of the pool - over the side. When Alyssa and I picked up the cover we had to let a good bit of water run off it. Then I spread it out on the grass to dry. It was there no more than five hours, but it sure browned-out the grass.

If I sit in the right chair on the back porch, I can look across the herb garden and a section of lawn and see my day lilies, which were here before I was. The flowering crab apple tree doesn't look very healthy, does it. The leaves are supposed to be sort of rusty looking, but it seems to have lost a lot of them. Lexi calls this her climbing tree, because it's the only one she can climb a little. All of the others that are big enough to climb do not have branches low enough for her to reach yet.
I was sitting on the back porch yesterday and noticed that the cypress vine has started climbing up a table leg. It's a plant I want in some places, like on the fence and climbing the rough 'trellis' I made for it out of tree limbs and twine, but it self-sows so readily that I have to keep pulling it from the rocks between the porch and garden and in the paths of the garden. Some people call it hummingbird vine, and the hummingbirds do like it. It has small red flowers in the shape that hummingbirds like. When it fills the fence and blooms, it's really quite pretty.
As I was sitting out there, I was also watching the clouds. It looked like we were really going to get a lot of rain, but I think it was only about a quarter inch.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dominic just phoned to say that I needed to post here again. He finds my mentions of Shirley depressing. He knew her, too.

I didn't realize it had been a week and a half since I posted. Most of that time I have been alone in the house. Alexis has been with her father's family, and Alyssa has spent more time with her boyfriend than here. Several days ago I turned off the A/C and opened the windows. I'll need to close windows and turn on the A/C when Lexi and Alyssa come home. With several ceiling fans working, it has been comfortably warm for me. It's summer - it's supposed to be hot!

I've done some mowing, and last evening, after the sun disappeared behind the black locust trees, I weeded the herb garden. I discovered that one of my many walkers, several of which are used like tomato cages, is helpful in getting up and down for weeding. I need to buy a scuffle hoe so I don't have to get dwon on hands and knees.

Mostly, I've been reading and knitting. I'm still working on baby blankets. I finished one this morning in pale green and the yellowest off-white I've ever seen. I couldn't believe Caron called that color off-white - it should be called palest yellow, in my opinion. I have two other blankets on the needles. I think when I finish them, I need to switch to something else.

My reading has been knitting and gardening books

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shirley's 'Stuff'

A few days ago, my friend Shirley's executors notified a bunch of us 'fiber people' that they would be at Shirley's house this morning, and said we could come and see what weaving, knitting, etc supplies we would like. They were not putting prices on anything, just asking that people figure for themselves what things are worth. There was very little yarn I wanted - she had mostly wool, which is not suitable for the charity knitting I'm doing now, but I came out with several books. I also got about eight pounds of 'loopers' - like the loops for potholder looms. These are terrycloth ones, mostly white with some gray ones. I think Lexi and I will figure out some use for them - maybe I'll offer them to the art teacher at her school. I also got a 16-needle, circular knitting machine (by Mattel). I'll have to teach Lexi how to use it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Baby Blankets

Here are four of the baby blankets I've made recently. I'm not sure why the multicolor one looks so fuzzy. You can see it better in the other picture. It's an odd shape. I first made two triangles, then picked up stitches on the short sides of the triangles and worked mitered squares. It's all garter stitch alternating Red Heart's Reef Stripe and Cornmeal every two rows. I like it, but I don't know if anyone else will. I'll have to take it to a knitting group and see what reaction it gets.

The solid color blanket has twelve squares with a different stitch pattern in each square (I love my stitch dictionaries!). It's all worked in one piece with a garter stitch border and garter stitch 'ribbons' between the squares. I like the alternating color mitered square blankets, as well. They're very easy to knit. I need to see what other colors I have yarn to do them in. Dana (Art Guild director) said they could use some baby things in the gift shop, so perhaps I'll make some for sale.