Saturday, November 21, 2020

Do Rainbows Travel Around the World?

Last weekend was bachelorette party weekend for Trisha.  A group of us travelled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to celebrate.  More on the weekend later in this post.  While driving back on Sunday, we had rain on and off the entire trip.  After we got a couple hours away from home, we started noticing rainbows in the clouds.  The rainbows lasted for almost the remainder of the trip home.

This morning while reading through some of the blogs I follow, one talked about seeing a lot of rainbows while out on a walk.  The lady who writes the blog lives in Wales, UK.  The post was from Thursday.  It struck me that given where she and I live and the way weather patterns are, it very well could be the same weather system that was in the Ohio area on Sunday.  It struck me that maybe God is sending rainbows around the world to let us know that things are going to be better soon.  That's my hope at least.

Still slogging away on the sweaters for the kids.  No pictures, though, to show progress.  You'll just have to trust that what I say is true.  The second sleeve of Blake's is almost done.  I'll finish that today and then see what's to be done to assemble it.  Both girls' sweaters are at least up to the armscye.  Kristin's is front panel is complete.  I'll get the back panel of hers going today also.  Overall, I'm happy with the progress I am making.

I've started my Christmas shopping.  There was something I tried to get each of the kids back in the spring with the lockdowns first happened.  The game I wanted was nowhere to be found, not even Amazon.  The other week I did find it and was able to get one for each of the kids.  I also found some stocking stuffers. yesterday while I was at World Market buying the brining bag for our Thanksgiving turkey.

As mentioned earlier, the girls and I went away for the weekend for Trisha's bachelorette weekend.  

We stayed in a nice cabin in the Smokey Mountains.  It was beautiful even though the trees were past their prime color.

Friday night after everyone arrived, I made a big lasagna dinner.  It happened to also be Trisha's birthday, so we had cake to go with the lasagna, salad and wine.

After dinner we did our own wine and paint party.

The girls went on a hike during the day Saturday.  I stayed at the cabin because I had too much wine Friday night.  Saturday evening a party bus picked us up and took us into to town where we had dinner and cruised around for a few hours.  As you can see in the picture above, Trisha had a very good time.

COVID restrictions have ramped up again here in Ohio.  The wedding is 3 months away.  I just pray that she get the special day she is hoping for.  No matter what happens, Trisha and Craig are getting married on February 14, 2021.  We just don't know how big the party will be.  Let's hope those rainbows were a promise of better days soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hello November

It is Sunday, November 1, 2020.  I have to keep telling myself what day of the week it is.  I've noticed that I lose track of the days since I don't get out of the house much.  It is week who-knows-anymore of work from home.  I heard this past week that I'll probably not go back to the office until April.  That works for me.  I don't want my first day back to be in the middle of winter anyway. I much prefer working from home.  I feel like I have a bit more control of my life.  I just wish my husband would find a job so that the pressure of bringing in money is taken off of my shoulders a bit.

Since it is Sunday, I will spend my morning watching my favorite YouTube podcasts and knit.  My absolute favorite is Arne and Carlos.  Their podcasts are always entertaining and make me smile.  They don't get political or preachy.  They are warm, genuine and love to share the things in their lives that bring joy.  We certainly need more of this outlook in the world today.

Maybe its because I am spending more time at home, but I actually pulled out my autumn decorations earlier than I normally do.  I don't have much around the house, but it is making everything feel cozy.  Autumn is my favorite season.

Last post I showed a shawl I was making out of Shetland wool I bought from a LYS.  I was trying to do something with sequential knitting but the pattern was getting lost because the yarn is too rustic.  I frogged it and started again with a different stitch pattern.  This is my own design and may someday get written up and published.  Right now I am just enjoying creating something that is uniquely mine.

This past week the girls and I did a cookie decorating class.  It was a lot of fun.  Here are our creations.  We each got 6 cookies to decorate.  Mine are the ones on the lower left.  Ed and I have eaten all but one.  We have the Boo! cookie left.  It'll be my afternoon snack with some tea.

I've noticed with the cooler temperatures moving in that Squeaks has changed her sleeping location.  She now prefers our bath towels.  She'll sleep there until about 4:00 am and then move onto our bed with us.  She likes to lean against my legs, which makes it a bit uncomfortable for me.  For a tiny kitty, she feels like she weighs a ton when she's on my legs at night.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Not Rhinebeck Weekend

 Like everything else in the world this year, the New York Sheep and Wool Festival is not happening because of COVID.  Since two of my sisters and I have gone on odd-numbered years, we weren't affected by the cancellation.  However, since this year was cancelled, and if next year does take place, I have a feeling it is going to be overflowing with people if we go in 2021.  My oldest sister texted yesterday to see if any knitting activity was happening in honor of Rhinebeck.  My other sister and I were able to positively reply.  (More later on what I was doing.)

The weather here has definitely turned autumnal.  Leaves are changing color and the temperatures have dropped.  We've had near freezing temperatures the past two nights.  Since I didn't put in a garden this year, I didn't have anything to worry about but I noticed my neighbors covered their tomatoes hoping to keep them for a few more days.

I think I mentioned last time about the stress in my life. The stress level is still fairly high, but the stressors have changed a bit.  

  • (Less stress) Blake is back in Cincinnati, attending class and hanging out with his friends.  He doesn't expect to be home until Thanksgiving.  It is a relief that he is back into his routine. 
  • (Less stress) Kristin is now working full time at the dentist office.  In fact this past week she ran the place on her own since the head dentist took a long overdue vacation (first one in over 2 years).  
  • (More stress) Ed's last official day of work was September 30.  He is now spending every day looking for employment.  He's had a couple interviews, but no offers yet.  Still praying something comes soon.
  • (More stress) We are currently without health insurance.  We can sign up for COBRA, but we haven't done that yet hoping that he'll find something with benefits before the enrollment window closes.  Since we don't go out much, I'm not concerned about getting ill. If anything, Kristin would bring something home from the dental clinic.  My biggest concern is for Blake.  I'm not worried about him getting sick.  I'm just a little worried he'll hurt himself because he and his friends like to go rock climbing.  We investigated plans from the (UN)Affordable Healthcare Marketplace, but the prices there were absolutely insane.  To get coverage comparable to what we had we would spend over $25,000 annually on the monthly premium.  The plan with the least expensive premium would be $17,000 a year with a $15,000 deductible.  And that plan doesn't cover any routine/preventative.  Praying hard that Ed finds something soon so we don't go into poverty because of AHA.
  • Trisha and Craig's wedding is 120 days away.  Although they have a lot done, there is still quite a bit to do. I still need to look for a dress.  I was hoping to have lost a few more pounds by this point but the stress level around here has made focusing on my diet hard.
I'm not going to dwell on anymore stressors.  On to other topics.

In honor of Rhinebeck weekend, I took a drive out to a yarn shop that I discovered back in August.  The shop features Shetland wool that is locally sourced.  I have been wanting to design a shawl and decided to give it a try.

The design I'm going for is a cozy shawl made out of worsted weight yarn.  The patterning is all done with textures and no lace.  The textures are inspired from sequence knitting.  The above photo shows what I came up with so far, but I'm wondering if this yarn is too rustic for this design.  The stitches aren't popping like I had hoped.  I think I may have to designate this yarn for a simpler pattern and find some smoother yarn for my shawl design.

Progress is being made on my Christmas knitting.

The body of Blake's sweater and most of one sleeve is done.

Trisha's sweater is done up to where it divides for the armsyces.

Kristin's sweater is moving along.  I want to get this to the point Trisha's is before working on the fronts and backs.

Last week I checked a pile of Arne and Carlos books out of the library, one of which was their Christmas balls book.  I made this one out of some Berocco Vintage I had on hand.  If I get time, I'll make a few more.  Not sure yet if they'll go on the tree or become cat toys.

Squeaks is casting her vote for cat toy, filled with catnip.

There's a lot more I could write about but I'm going to sign off now and enjoy a quiet Sunday morning.  A cup of tea and a pumpkin muffin are calling my name.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Mid-September Update

The weather has cooled significantly.  According to a YouTube channel I follow, the eastern US is going to have a cooler than normal autumn.  The channel also says central Ohio is due for a significantly worse winter than normal.  I hope we do get more winter.  We haven't had much snow the past few years.  As long as it doesn't mess up Trisha and Craig's wedding on February 14.

Speaking of the wedding plans, we went to an Open House at the venue to taste the food and look over linens, table decorations and flowers.  The cupcake flight allowed us to sample some of the flavors for the cake.  I think Trisha and Craig decided on Red Velvet for one tier, White Almond Sour Cream for another tier and White Chocolate Raspberry for the third.  We will soon meet one-on-one with the planner to work out the exact details.

Working from home continues.  Latest word is that we won't be back into the office until after the new year.  I'm just hoping that gets extended to the spring.  I really don't want driving downtown in the snow and cold to be the first time back.

Back when we first started working from home, I noticed a bird in my front tree that I had never seen before.  The little guy wouldn't hold still long enough for me to get a picture of him.  After a lot of back and forth with my oldest sister and brother-in-law, who is an ornithologist, we concluded it was some type of warbler.  Mystery bird disappeared over the summer months, but returned this past week.  Thanks to a massive aphid infestation in my front tree, he hung around long enough for me to snap a few pictures.  Mystery bird has been identified:  a Magnolia warbler.

Blake has gotten the all clear from the surgeon to resume normal activities.  He is still at home and plans to return to Cincinnati at the end of this next week.  It's been great having him home, but to be honest I'll be glad to have a little less commotion in the house during the day.

Ed is out of work now.  The company he was with agreed to pay him through the end of the month. He's looking but no bites so far.  My prayers are that he gets something soon. 

Christmas sweater knitting is coming along.  I have the back of Blake's Rift done and the front almost completed.  I am really loving how this is turning out.

I cast on Trisha's Weekender.  It's about 6 inches long now.  Great TV knitting!  Kristin's will get cast on soon.  I found an extra US 9 circular needle.  I'll be able to go back and forth between them for a little variety.

I spun the dark Shetland wool that I purchased from Yesterday's Ewes.  It became a bouncy 2-ply.  It was a very fast project, but it was less than 2 ounces of roving.

It looks like I got about the same weight as the purchases skein.  I have the ball of light roving to still spin.  I should be able to get that done quickly too.  My plan is to make a hat or gloves out of these.  It'll be a project for me.  Something warm and wooly.