Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Goodbye to Another Year and Another Decade

 It is New Year's Eve.  It could also be called New Decade's Eve.  2019 is about to end.  The 2010 decade is about to end.  I can honestly say these past 10 years went by fast.

This picture was taken at Christmas 2009.  We didn't know it at the time but this was the last picture of my parents with all of their children together.

Here are my siblings and I from this Christmas.  I might be biased but I think we've held up quite well.

The past 10 years took my family on a lot of adventures.  We started the decade with vacations that usually involved long weekends at Norris Lake.

I visited New York City for the first time in December 2010.  I've visited a number of times since then, including seeing Ground Zero (very moving) and seeing a play on Broadway.

In 2014 for our 25th wedding anniversary, we went to Maui for 10 days.  It was heaven!!

Other vacations included Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Orlando, Naples, Florida and Panama City Beach.

2015 started a biannual tradition of going to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.

Kristin and I toured the Chicago Art Museum while we were visiting various dental schools.

Ed and I have started taking trips just the two of us to places like Savannah. 

As a family we ventured to Iceland.  It was incredible and I hope to go back someday.

For our 30th anniversary, Ed and I cruised to Alaska.

Browsing through Facebook for pictures to include in this post, I noted how many of my pictures are of weather events.  Watching the weather is something I inherited from my dad.  He mentioned once that he would sit on his back porch with his dad and watch storms go by.   It is curious how interests are somehow genetic.

This is the tree in front of my house buried in snow from a late winter storm in 2013.

In 2014 I saw a rare weather phenomenon called snow rollers.  Snowballs like this were all over the place near my house.

And of course there were some incredible sunsets over the past 10 years.

Some close to home.

Others a bit farther away like this one on July 4th while we were in Maui.

Or this one in November 2015 at Indian Lake.

The past decade brought many changes.  

The kids are now all grown.  They've graduated high school and have ventured out on their own.  Kristin has 5 more months and then she becomes Dr. Kristin, DDS.  Blake has another 3 semesters to complete for his bachelor's degree.  Trisha is well established in her job as a surgical nurse and is now planning her wedding to Craig.  They became engaged on Christmas Day.

Another change was a change of careers for me.  In November 2015 I left the company that I worked at since 1984.  After a few months off to decompress, I started working for myself as an independent IT consultant.  I now go downtown to work for the State of Ohio, my current client.  I'll continue this gig as long as they'll keep me or I turn 60, whichever comes first.  In 2024 I plan to call it quits and officially retire.

The biggest changes over the past decade have been the most emotional.  My family home is no longer in the family.  This is a picture from one of the last times I slept at the house.  This is from the fall of 2014.  A few months later Mom was moved into the a nursing home and my nephew took over the house.  He later bought it from us and then subsequently sold it.  It is now being 'renovated'.  Not sure what the house will look like when the people are done, but it will be different.  The trees in this picture are now all gone.  They were cut down as part of the renovation process.

And the biggest change was saying good-bye to Mom and Dad.  My faith tells me that I will get to see them again someday, but that doesn't make missing them now easier.  I was blessed with the best parents.  They were incredible role models. 

It is time to look forward to what the new year and the new decade will bring.  Some things I know, like a new son-in-law and maybe grandchildren.  Also watching my children move away.  Kristin is probably moving to Texas and Blake intends to stay in Cincinnati.  We'll see what else life has coming.

Hope you have a wonderful new year and new decade.  Hope all of your dreams come true!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Glimpses of the Christmas Knitting

Here's a quick look at the Christmas knitting for this year.

Trisha got a Pastiche Brioche hat made in Manos del Uruguay Sueno.

Craig got a basic beanie hat made in black Berroco Vintage.

Kristin got a big blanket made with Bernat Big Blanket chenille.  It is a beast on 35 needles.  Of course, now the other 2 kids want their own.

Blake got a pair of Woodland Loafers made with Berroco Vintage Chunky.

Ed's gift isn't started yet.  I was going to make him a pair of loafer also but he requested socks instead.  Off now to find a pattern.

After that my plans are to relax this week and enjoy some quiet time at home.  Something like this will be happening all week.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Came Fast

As you probably can tell from my absence that time has gotten away from me. I started on a good pace, getting the first few a several knitting projects done in good order.  My kids had short lists and I was able to get most of them checked off quickly thanks to online shopping.   Then things fell apart a week ago.  I scheduled a routine medical procedure on Thursday to get it out of the way before the end of the calendar year.  I thought I'd use the rest of the day of the procedure to get a lot of the knitting done.  That didn't happen.  I came home from the procedure and slept, waking only enough to eat a bowl of chicken soup.  I went to work on Friday, feeling mostly fine in the morning, but after lunch I started feeling horrible.  Mid-afternoon I went home and collapsed on the couch.  Following another several hour nap, I woke up with abdominal pain and fever.  After a call to the doctor, my husband and  I were off to the Emergency Room to make sure I wasn't having any complications from the procedure.  After several hours of being poked and scanned, I was told it was just a viral infection and sent on my way.  Back at home I slept off and on all the way through Saturday until Sunday morning.  When I got up Sunday morning I felt better, but not yet 100%.  That was 48 hours ago.  I was able to finish the project for my son but decided to give up on the rest.  

Here's the score for the Christmas knitting:

Trisha gift - done
Trisha's boyfriend's gift - done
Knitted cowl requested from a coworker for his wife - done
Blake's gift - done
Kristin's gift - still on the needles with a promise to finish first after Christmas
Ed's gift - not started but will next in line after Kristin's
Siblings' gifts - only 2 out of 6 done so the idea I had was tossed in the trash and I went to plan B
A friend's gift - not started but we won't see each other until January 3 so I have time.

Here's the cowl I made for my coworker.  It is Starshower cowl by Hilary Callis.  This is the third one I've made.  I love the pattern and highly recommend it for a quick knit.

It is now Christmas Eve.  My in-laws will be here in about 3 hours.  The roast is in the oven and it is time to get moving with the final preparations.

Squeaks has been helping me arrange the gifts under the tree.  She really thinks a tree skirt is not a good idea.

I hope all of you have a very blessed Christmas.  If you celebrate a different holiday this time of year, blessing for that also.

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Only Four Weeks to Knit

Every year I leave the Christmas knitting to the last minute.  Maybe when I don't work full-time I'll get better organized and start my knitting earlier.  I have requests from the girls and Trisha's boyfriend.  Neither Blake nor Ed has asked for anything.  I have an idea for Blake which I might also make for Ed.  It hit me the other day that I better get started because Christmas is only a little over four weeks away.  My other WIPs are getting relegated to the holding queue while I get a few things made for the big day.

On top of the family knitting, a co-worker asked me to make something for his wife.  He saw one of my Starshower cowls and asked if I'd knit one so that he can give it to her for Christmas.  He asked for it to be black.  I wasn't sure black would be the best for this pattern, so I made an executive decision to find something I thought was a little more suitable.  While at VKL Market, I found a skein of  Modestar from ModeKnit Yarn in Pewter.  It is a tonal dark grey with Stellina.  Very lovely.  Close to black but not so stark.  I think the Stellina will work perfectly with the texture of the pattern.   Ravi approved the yarn so now I can get started.

In the below photo, the color is a bit more blue than it is in real life.  It is turning out as lovely as I had hoped, but the nickel needles are a pain to work with.  The yarn is slipping too much.  I was getting frustrated last night when I started this.  Hoping that as it gets larger, and my hands get used to working with this yarn/needle combination, it will go more smoothly.

Trisha asked for a hat like the one I made from my VKL Brioche class.  She asked for one in green/olive.  I have one repeat of the brioche pattern finished.  I should be able to get this done in a couple more nights.  That'll be one thing checked off the list.  

Trisha's boyfriend also wants a hat.  He wants a basic beanie in black or dark grey.  I'll do a stash dive later and pull out some Lopi I know I have that will work out great.

Kristin's ask will take a bit longer.  She wants one of those big blankets.  Someone she knows made one in a class.  Kristin sent me a picture with a request for one.  I found some super bulky chenille online that should work for this.  As you can see it is quite fat.

Here's a picture of the ball with Squeaks for comparison.

I started casting on, but I'm not happy with the tension.  I'm going to rip this out and try something else.  It is really confusing my hands switching between this and the fingering weight for the Starshower cowl.

Time now to sign off and get some things done.  Thanksgiving is coming up in a few days.  After Ed gets home this afternoon we're going to get our grocery shopping done.  Well, at least started.  There is at least one item I'm going to have to go on a hunt for.  My family likes 'green' noodles, AKA spinach fettuccine, with their turkey.  The store where I always found them has closed and I know our Kroger doesn't carry them.  It might just have to be a retired tradition.