Sunday, July 27, 2014

Knitting again

Today I am going to totally veer off from all that has been going on and talk about knitting. 

As you know I am a multi knitting project kind of gal. I've been seduced a way from some of my projects. Just the other night my basket of yarn beckoned me to come on over and wind up a skein. After I gave it a good tossing I resisted the urge and pulled out a couple of works in progress. 

This sock was completed before we left for SD but I was nervous about having enough yarn for the second sock. I did not have enough time to weigh the sock and the remaining yarn to see if it would all work out so they stayed home. 

 Poor lonely almost finished sock.

I've been on a bit of a greens and blues kick lately so I decided to add in a touch of red. Plus I wanted to make another sock from my Folk Socks book. I chose Socks with Clocks and thought it would look good in red too. 

Alas this project stayed home too because I wanted some plain knitting that I would not have to pay attention to. It is fine and good to think that I can knit more complicated things while distracted, but I've found that I like to keep things simple while traveling. 

This sock went to SD with us and got a finished mate while there too. D even wore them on the train home! I do love finishing projects while I am away. It seems like such a bonus to have new socks with you're away. It is just magical how knitting entertainment gets turned into more clothes just when you need them.

I did get a chance to weigh these before we left and did need extra yarn for the toes. But this time I figured it out before one of the socks was done. Now he has matching navy blue toes that really do match the yarn. At first glance you would not know I had an issue.

I took my little Zauberball along with me as a traveling instant knitting kit and cast on the day after I finished D's newest socks. I always think of these balls as perfect travel knitting. The yarn is wound and the colors are so interesting. Turns out I can knit about a half of a sock in a couple of days. Even working on it at vacation pace, which is much slower when you're trying to chase down where you should be on the train rather than riding it.

Now that I am home I am looking forward to finishing a sweater that is mostly done. The sleeves are tucked inside and all that is left is the ribbing on everything: cuffs, body and collar. I'm deciding if I want to go plain or try something fancy since the sweater is so plain itself. I'll leave that decision for another day and knit some more on a sock.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

So Hard

We're back from South Dakota and I must say it was not the trip I thought it would be. We had a few issues flying in but nothing horrible. We had a lovely dinner and breakfast at my in-laws home. And we were a third of the way to my family's side of the state when I received a call from my Mom.

My Dad was in the hospital and it was all confusing for my Mom. She ended the call with "just get here." I went into panic mode till I realized this was the closest I've ever been when something bad happened. We were on our way and there was nothing I could do to get us there faster.

I got a hold of my brother in law, who explained things were not quite as dire as I had envisioned.

I can tell you it is surprising the first time you see a parent in a hospital bed. But my Dad still looked like my Dad. He was not talking like my Dad though. He was extremely confused and frustrated. He felt like no one was helping him, even though they were. He complained of being there "Damn near three hours!" when he had been there for over 24.

The hardest part for Mom was accepting that Dad needed more care than she could give. This means Dad is now living in a nursing home. I think she took comfort in the doctor telling her that with Dad's advanced age and a Parkinson's diagnosis of more than ten years, Dad had already beaten the odds.

This just confirmed what I had already known, Mom took care of him with all her heart and soul. And now it is time to step back from that role. She has done her part and it is at an end.

We're hopeful that Dad will continue to beat the odds for as long as he can.

I do have some pleasant stories for you but I needed to get this out here before I lost my nerve.
Pray for us please.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In a month

In a month my garden went from little plants shown freshly planted to...

Plants that need a little support and in bloom.

Look I have a pregnant purple pepper plant!

You just tried to say that phrase five times fast in your head didn't you?

 I have some wee tomatoes that are still safe from the tomato chomping husband.

My marigolds make me like yellow and orange, especially together.

All in all it feels great to be growing things again. We missed the recommended planting weekend by a couple of weeks this year but I got it planted. And that is all that matters this time. I even went to the farmers market by myself I was so determined this year. You can take the farmer's daughter off of the farm and you can tamp down the growing urge, but only for a couple of years then the farmer starts reasserting itself. Now I need to look into getting that electric fence so I can keep the hubby out of my tomatoes. Oh that is right he said he would stop paying the electric bill if I did that. Just save me a couple will you Hon?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

My traveling brain

Summer time is creeping up on us and that means I am planning a trip home to South Dakota to visit the families. Our families live on opposite sides of the state so that means bonus road trips too. If you will remember we tried something new. We flew into Omaha NE and drove up to D's family for a day or so then on to my family. We spent a few more days with D's family and drove back down to Omaha to take our first Amtrak ride.

Turns out I liked it so much we will be doing the same thing this year. We hope to avoid getting turned around leaving Omaha. That added some unexpected travel time. And I will remember to eat earlier and not turn into the traveling, ravenous Yarnkettle monster. I am super grumpy when I am hungry. However when I was able to eat I had the best Subway sandwich ever. Hunger really keys in those taste buds.

It really is funny to book a trip like this. Comparing air travel and train travel has pluses and minuses. The flight gets us in a few hours after leaving NY while the train takes over 24 hours of travel. But it is such fun travel for us. Good food, the best night of sleep for D and all the farm country I can handle.

My knitting is getting sorted and planned out. The train allows for plenty of knitting time. Plus I know I will sit around some kitchen tables and visit too. Maybe I will be able to leave some knit gifts behind if I plan it right. Or maybe I will just end up mailing them, I like my knitting to be stress free without deadlines. I just know I've started five or six projects in my mind and will start many more before the actual trip.

I do worry about Gus while we are gone. He will be staying at the vet's office so he can be closely monitored. But I know even with his ball of yarn, his bed and Grandma's flannel blanket, it will still be the vet's office to him. Sigh, sometimes in order to be a good daughter you have to be not a great Momma. I keep telling myself we need to go home but it is still tough.

Anyways, I will soon start making my packing list which I so enjoy that I start it months before we leave. We have a six hour layover in Chicago on the trip home which I will research this time. I want to see if I can hit a yarn store and get some deep dish pizza. Last time we walked up and down a street only to settle on Subway. I was so disappointed when I got home and saw we were only one street away from a huge park. Missed opportunity there, I love parks. Regent's Park was one of the first things we went to see in London. Well after we hit a pub, because you know how demanding the traveling ravenous Yarnkettle monster can be. Food then park = happy traveling Yarnkettle monster.

I am thinking of an audiobook for our road trip time. Right now it is between Mr Mercedes by Stephen King and An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. D has turned me into a Stephen King fan via Under the Dome and Lisey's Story. On the flip side he enjoyed an NPR interview with Chris Hadfield. I guess it will be a in-the-car decision.

So don't worry about my traveling brain it is most happy when it is planning for a trip, even one we make every year. I welcome suggestions if anyone has any. It gives my brain even more to chew on.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Outside Playing

My boys are really loving the summertime this year. 

Jack eats grass like a cow then horks it up a bit later. Don't ask me I don't understand it. I just know that he does not have hairballs.

Gus is still trying to use heat therapy ease some joint pain. I don't think it is successful but I do know it makes him happier. He seems a bit more relaxed out there too.

Unless he is telling mom to stop taking pictures and knit a sock instead.

Jack remains Jack as ever.

Gus is continuing to decline. But at least the sunshine and smells give him something to look forward to.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Turning shoulda into did

We've been trying to add together time into my exercise routine. Sundays seem to work best for us. We have gone for a couple of spins on our bikes and did a walk or two. Yesterday we took a hike. 

What differentiates a walk from a hike? I would say walking is on a path or road. A hike is rougher terrain, with less than ideal conditions. You know a trail that almost sucks your shoes from your feet. 

Yeah, we took a hike yesterday. Turns out I have a bit of a potty mouth when my shoes are leaving my feet, just one time though. I must say it was fun even though I grumbled a bit. Of course it was much easier to say I enjoyed it once we were back in the car and I was no longer worried about falling into the sopping wet, muddy trail. I wonder why we left our shoes outside last night?

Earlier that morning we did something else I'd been meaning to do again. We planted our garden. Really I should just call it a tomato patch but this year I added peppers and marigolds. If all goes well we will be purple pepper eatin' people.

We put in four tomato plants: Carolina Gold, Supersonic, Grape and Chocolate Cherry. Marigolds are supposed to deter insects. Guess we'll test that theory again too. I don't remember noticing a difference last time we tried. I do know beer in a shallow dish does take care of slugs. The ground is covered with fresh grass clippings to keep the weeds from growing. That has worked for us in the past. There may not be much contrast in picture but give it a couple of days the grass turns brown and all you see is the green plants.

Now if I can just figure out a way to keep D from eating all the tomatoes before I get home. He does love tomatoes ever so much.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stash fluffing

The other day was such a beautiful day. It called to me to bring out the stash for some airing. Don't worry I aired myself and the cats too. Gus did not really want to go back inside but he knows a packed up yarn basket means Mom is on the move.

While I was out there I took a couple of pictures. You know after I let it lay around sunning itself. I figure it is good to give it some air to deter some moths. For all I know I just brought the moths inside. 

It sure is pretty though. D came out to check on me and asked if this was all of the stash... I said no but it is "most" of the stash.

 I think somewhere around half of it is from my various Rhinebeck trips. The oldest one in there is from 2009, at least it is not a decade old...yet. 

I am finding it easier to give up some of the yarns I bought for myself to D's benefit. It used to be that I would only knit socks for him from yarn I bought specifically for him. In my mind though more than half of that is still socks for me. Good thing it is only in my mind, I am allowed to be yarn selfish there aren't I?

Yes my beloved Zauberballs ride on top, what makes them great vacation yarn also makes them difficult to tuck neatly in the stash. Spheres tend to roll. That is your yarn physics lesson for the day.

Tomorrow's lesson will be titled "String theory: how to make it into one giant cosmic knot."