Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ejyafjallajökull - that's easy for you to say!

It's done! The Ejyafjallajökull shawl is blocked and dry and lovely! And just in time, too, as I leave for Scotland via Iceland and the Ejyafjallajökull volcano/glacier on Monday! Yep, on Tuesday night, I'll be sleeping at the base of the volcano....shawl in hand and camera at the ready. I'll have three nights and four days in Iceland. There's so much to see! We're going to stay on the southern part of the Ring Road, #1, and visit geysers, springs and waterfalls.

So, here's my Ejyafjallajökull shawl by Anna Dalvi. Looks a lot like lava, don't you think?

Ejya Shawl

More from Iceland next week!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

It's been a beautiful weekend here- just right for Memorial Day celebrations. I've been trying to squeeze as much "fun"as possible into the three day weekend. Here's what's been happening around here:
A little sock knitting...I'm almost ready to decrease for the toe. Note to self- knit toe up the next time!

I'll spend a little time working on the flower beds behind our house. They've been neglected too long. The plants are (l to r) hellebores, variegated hostas, Ruby Slipper Oak Leaf hydrangea, Creeping Jenny, and red leafed Coral Bells.
...and I'm sure there will be more cat cuddling- that's in high demand around here....but look at that face....who could resist?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another Round of MIA Blogger Syndrome

Well, another year has rolled around and I've been a MIA blogger and a MIA knitter. I have no excuse about the blogging. Just laziness.  I have been knitting, but just not finishing anything. We have, however,  had some momentous family occasions since my last post, so let me get you all caught up!

First, in August 2012, our oldest son Nick married his lovely bride, Meagan.  We gained a lovely daughter and had a fabulous time at their lovely wedding.

Then the school year began.

I loved my students, but it was not a good year.
Roller coaster.
Enough said about that as it will be over in a couple of short weeks.

Peter, one of our twins, enlisted in the Air Force and went to BMT in January.  It was difficult not being in communication with him for eight weeks, but we cherished those rare calls.

While Peter was at BMT, his dear Granny,  my sweet mom-in-law, became very ill.  All of the family gathered to say our good-byes in March.  Her service was a wonderful tribute to her life. She is loved, cherished, and greatly missed.

About a week after Mom's funeral, John, Alex, and I traveled to San Antonio to be with Peter at his BMT graduation.  We were so proud of him! He was an expert marksman and an Honor Graduate.
He's just completed the first part of his Technical Training at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. Last Thursday, he moved to Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas for the remainder of his training.  He'll finish in mid-August.  Avionics....that's his field.  He hopes to learn the location of his first base assignment in the next few weeks!

Then there's Alex, the other twin brother.  He's doing been busy completing his Junior year at GMU and doing this:

....and this:
...and this:
What can I say?

That's a quick family update to fill in the gap of the past 11 months.  There's a big trip scheduled for this summer, so I'll try to find my blogging groove before then!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Whole Lot of Knittin' Going On

Finally - if you look on the right hand side of this blog, you'll see a "Knitting Meter". It's been at ZERO all this year. This week, I FINALLY was able to update it as I completed the Birthday Aestlight, a birthday gift for my friend Kim. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and she likes it a lot, so I'm counting it as a success!
Breezy Aestlight
 There are several other shawls in various stages of progress. First, the Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl by WendyKnits. This is a KAL and we're waiting for the final clue, coming on Tuesday.
 SSMS Clue D
 Next is the Wollmeise Vortex Shawl KAL with the Wollmeise group on Ravelry. This might turn into an "eternal knit". If I had not decided to put beads on the shawl, it would be a perfect TV knitting project. I only have about 40 stitches per section right now, so there's a lot left to do. :(  I like it, though!
 Vortex 40 stitches
 And last, is the Rockefeller KAL with Stephen West. I was going to wait to start this one, but was enticed by all the pretty photos posted in the Ravelry group, so I started mine too.  I'm using Wollmeise 100% in Cassis WD and Gazpacho. I really like the colors together.
 Beginning Rockefeller
 Summer is quickly coming to an end. We have begun the countdown to DS#1's wedding, then it's back to school time. This week, we'll catch a baseball game and next week head for the beach. Here's hoping there will be lots of knitting time there, too!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Things You Need to Know-Just in Case!


Here are a few helpful hints, just in case, Heaven forbid, you ever have to have abdominal surgery. First, you are going to be swollen and bloated for awhile. This applied to C-sections too, because I've had two of those and know from experience. To be more comfortable post-surgery, I recommend buying new undies 1 to 2 sizes larger. Also, pick up several pairs of exercise pants, also in a larger than normal size. won't want anything tight around your abdomen for awhile, so you might as well be comfortable.

Now, about body know....the rotation, twisting motion of the waist that must occur in order to take care of certain hygiene-related procedures in the bathroom. In other words, wiping your bottom. :) Is this TMI? Well, trust me, the nurses and doctors at your hospital won't think about it. Here's the scene: It's your first hour back at home and suddenly, it's bathroom time. You go in, do your business, and discover that you are either 1. too sore in the abdominal area to rotate to wipe or 2. too scared that you are too sore in the abdominal area to wipe. What do you do? Call your husband/SO for help and be mortified? Grit your teeth through the pain & do it yourself? Here's how I solved the problem, thanks to my OT friend, Kim. Salad tongs. Yes, salad tongs....just wrap a baby wipe around the end and the salad tongs will provide about a foot of additional reach until you recover your waist rotation. This worked very well and I think Kim is a very clever person!
 La Bells

OK - that's enough helpful advice for now. CLAP - on to knitting news. Here's what happened in my knitting room this week:

Clue C of the WendyKnits Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl has been completed!;
Clue C finished

I'm also knitting in the Vortex KAL over in the Wollmeise group. Here's mine so far.
Vortex2 @about 22st

Family news: the countdown is on for Nick and Meagan's August 11 wedding. I'll finally have another girl in the family...YIPPEE! Here she is at her shower:

Meagan's Bride hat And that's it for now because the power is off again. :( Here we go again!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things You Learn

It's been almost a year since my last post...and what a year it's been! You see, last August, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Everything happened very quickly-diagnosis followed by total hysterectomy, then chemo beginning in October. I finished my treatments in January, then promptly started falling apart. ....first, I fell off my Danskos in February and hobbled around for days. Next, my chest port became infected and landed me back in the hospital for four days. Finally, I had a spontaneous internal bleed caused by the blood thinner I was taking. This caused a deep hemotoma that put pressure on some nerve on my left side. It was very painful & made walking pretty much impossible. It also put me back in the hospital where I received 3 units of blood to replace what I'd lost in the bleed. I began physical therapy to help me with walking and am almost back to normal. I still have some numbness in my left thigh though. Then there's the neuropathy in my feet from the chemo. Oh, well - it's not stopping me, as I walked another 3.2 miles this morning. Only my heel blisters are slowing me down. Grrrrr.

 Kirchner family at Shamrock

 So, what did I learn through all of this? The main thing I learned how much love people have to give AND how much I am loved. This was very humbling and overwhelming. Despite the medical issues, I feel so blessed. I have always been blessed, I know, but it took having sucky cancer to open my eyes to just how much. I never-ever want to forget that again....everyday I am blessed and so are you. Don't forget it! It's easy to get overwhelmed with daily positive, count and acknowledge your blessings each day and give thanks for them. ( Here's one of my blessings pictured below)

 Love you Kim!

I also learned that some people give me energy and others, though well-intentioned, drain every ounce of energy right out of me...right to the bottom. I still love them, but have had to work at learning to put up my deflector shields. That was an eye-opening experience.

I learned that under all that hair I do not have a Tweety Bird head. My head is actually on the small side and has a very nice shape. My hair is growing back now and almost looks like a really short hair cut. BUT - it's not as red as before.  Maybe the second growth, after cut #1, will be redder.

Well, that's where I've been and what I've been I also had neuropathy in my hands and fingers, so knitting was not enjoyable at all. I started knitting FULL FORCE about a month ago and have heaped my knitting plate FULL for the summer. I think I'm up to three KALs now, plus two other shawls still on the needles. Below is WendyKnits Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl Clue A. I'm knitting it in Wollmeise 100% in Frosch.


To add a little more joy and distraction to the summer, DS#3 helped convince me to adopt cat #3. Meet Augustus, named after Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. He's feisty like Gus and fits in just fine with Gunston and Bella.


There's even more fun on tap for this summer, but I'll save that for
another time. Now get busy! Go and tell someone that they are one of your


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fleecey 4th!

DH & I ventured out to the "wilds"of West Virginia and spent the 4th of July at his brother's river "cabin", although I think we're now calling it a "lodge".
River sign

Yep, it was pretty lazy out on the river.
down river

But not inside, as Merry and I began the process of spinning up my newly carded Jacob batts. After two afternoons of spinning, I ended up with two pretty evenly weighted bobbins of singles.
Two bobbins of Jaocb

Then my dear m-i-l presented me with a little bag of black fluff, the sheddings of her little dog, Buddy.

Since I was already in spinning mode, I spun him up, too. Look! He's almost blue!
Buddy's fur
Prior to our long weekend away, two new additions were added to my spindle addiction, I mean collection.

They are Bosworth Minis in 1. Cedar, and 2. Purpleheart/Tulipwood. Love-love-love those minis!
Cedar and Purpleheart/Tulipwood Minis

This week there will be more spinning, more knitting, and some time visiting with dear friends. Goodness, but I love summer break!