Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Season of Contrasts

I received an email yesterday from our son in Michigan. He has received his hat, it fits (Yayyy!), and he says it is just in time for the latest snow fall...

When he sent me these photos..a while back.. he said they had already had 52" of snow... amazing... These photos are just of the latest blowing snow drifts at the time. I can't imagine.. 52"!! However, it is pretty. I don't really mind snow.. it's the inevitable ice and slippery driving that comes with the "almost" melting that I don't like. And the slick snow pack. And invariably having to go out to some place that parks on the side of a hill! That's a hoot..

And this is what I did yesterday. After I came home from the Red River Historical Museum Craft Saturday (more about that on Fabric Follies Two )... I took pictures of the daffodils blooming along the back fence. This morning as I sit here blogging, I am watching the first woodpecker of the season cleaning DH's favorite tree and the first 3 robins of the season hunting for worms on the ground. I think Spring has Sprung!
It never ceases to amaze me the differences within this nation of ours. Living up north... even just as far north as northern Arkansas... it was different to have all 4 seasons. It seemed to take forever to heat up to comfortable levels... but at least there were all 4

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Victor Valeriano

First...saying goodbye. This is a hard post.

Vic Valeriano served with my husband in a LRRP/Ranger unit in Vietnam. I met him at a reunion in San Antonio several years ago.

Vic was supposed to be around for at least another 20 reunions. He was fun, intelligent, soft spoken and always made a point of making everyone feel included. As far as I have heard, he never missed a reunion after being found by accident while in Washington DC. Vic died yesterday of complications of an infected foot injury and diabetes. He will be sorely missed.

Victor Valeriano... Ranger Hall of Fame member.

The following is courtesy of the Fort Benning Ranger Hall of Fame website....


Sergeant Victor Valeriano is inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame for exceptional valor during
participation in armed conflict. In numerous encounters with the enemy from December 1966 through January 1968, and in particular, on January 20, 1968, Sergeant Valeriano displayed uncommon courage and outstanding leadership qualities. While leading a 6-man LRRP unit in Thien Phouc on January 20, 1968, Sergeant Valeriano and his men came under a withering crossfire from a superior enemy force which quickly resulted in every member of the team being wounded, with three ultimately dying from their wounds. Unable to withdraw his team due to the crossfire, Sergeant Valeriano, though wounded himself and the only remaining effective fighting element f his team mounted a defense of his team’s position, successfully repelling both a frontal and flanking assault. During the ensuing firefight Sergeant Valeriano returned a number of enemy grenades thrown into his position. His tenacious defense of his team’s position eventually caused the enemy element to withdraw. Sergeant Valeriano’s courageous actions and steadfast commitment to his team saved the lives of the three remaining members. His conduct reflects the highest standards of the Ranger tradition.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's Tuesday...

I finally finished a rough draft of the Spindling booklet I'm trying to put together for the class that I will be teaching at the Red River Museum Craft Saturday in March. I ran off a color copy and sent it to our son in Mesa, AZ to proof. Technical writing was one of his majors in college, so I'm sure it will return to me with at least a few red

This class will be a beginner's class to learn to spin wool on a spindle. The class will put together a bottom whorl spindle just like the one in the picture so they will have an idea how to make their own. The actual spinning lesson will be with an Ashford top whorl beginner's spindle that I have purchased. There will be room for 14 in the class. Now that the booklet is almost finished, I am really getting excited about this class.

This is the embroidery work that I am doing for Hannah's quilt. I thought the blocks needed a bit of definition, so the red and green embroidery will be done on the seams, then there will be borders...then hopefully the backing and quilting. I have to hold myself back from really going all out... I have already considered painting the orange squares with little baby Or maybe doing ribbon roses... however... I think Perhaps on something for when she is older.. ;o)

Have I shown you my teapot bracelet? I just love it. It was ordered when we went to our daughter Bev's for Thanksgiving. She was hosting a jewelry party and taking early orders. As soon as I saw this I knew it was for Not that I have a thing for teapots, or anything like that... !!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook 02/16/2009

For today: February 16, 2009

Outside my window: the daffodils by the fence are budding. They are always later than the ones I planted under the oak that are already blooming. I hope these have as many blooms this year as they did 3 years ago. What a lovely sight that was every day.

I am thankful for: oatmeal. It's not just a grain or a cereal. It's a bond with the past. That familiar smell that I've had from as far back as I can remember. It's family... it's's gossip over's warmth when I'm's love when my babies were sick.. It's magical...that everyday oatmeal.

From the kitchen: comes a stop no entry! The kitchen table is covered with beads instead of food!

I am wearing: my favorite housedress... I promise I really will get dressed at some point

I am reading: Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Knitter's Workshop. I enjoy her sense of humor and the confidence she instills by taking things one at a time but at the same time showing other ways this lesson can be use. I'm very glad I bought this book.

I am hoping: that my booklet teaching basic spindle spinning is finished. It will be sent to our son in Arizona for proofreading and some final editing.... maybe a few suggestions...

I am creating: a play size quilt for new granddaughter Hannah. It will be embroidered a bit, but not so much that I will be devastated to see it squooshed on the floor with her standing all over She is now 9 months old and can stand at the coffee table, but not steady enough yet to walk.

I have just finished this:

Around the house: I am walking around trying to keep my eyes closed... there is much to do that I don't want to

One of my favorite things: is this... both gifts from my lovely daughter...

I am hearing: my sweet DH just talking away about the VA as I am writing this. If this makes no sense at all...that is why... I am listening and typing at the same time.... :o)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Of Knits and Beads

About 3 years ago I found this at JoAnn's for $10. Since I was doing a lot of ribbon embroidery and crazy quilt embroidery at the time, it was a steal. I haven't been doing very much of that for a while... until a couple of days ago....

Did I tell you that my two Elizabeth Zimmerman Knitting books finally got here? Well, they did. And in following her pattern for knitting a hat I found that I needed knitting markers.. soooo.. voila '. I dug out the beads, made several wrong purchases at Hobby Lobby...followed by one right purchase at Hobby Lobby...and finally got it right. It took several days of trying one thing then another, but I finally have a wrist abacus I can use that really works and several sets of knitting markers. I love it... And it's good to finally have a good use for all those beads!

This is the cap that I am knitting for one of our sons. And these are the knitting markers that are my absolute favorites... ;o)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It Looks Like Spring!

A few days ago when DH and I were coming in from the hot tub, I looked over at the huge oak tree and lo and behold... the daffodils were blooming! I grabbed my camera and ran to take some pics, but they came out terrible. This morning I went out and took some more.

Then I opened the front door to see if just perhaps..maybe... Fed Ex had delivered my 2 Elizabeth Zimmerman books that I ordered from Amazon a week ago.. (they hadn't..sigh).. and I saw the weigela blooming in all it's glory!

While I was taking the pics of the weigela, I noticed the

I know we have several more weeks before we can count on the weather staying warm...but I love this time of year when the colors begin to show and the spirits begin to lift from the dull winter "browns" .. as opposed to the dull winter "blues". ;O)

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook 02/09/2009

For today: February 9, 2009

Outside my window: the rain has slowed, but with the coming of the sun the watery drops glisten on the twigs of DH's favorite tree. I can almost smell the rain from in here.

I am thankful for: the immediacy of the internet. It's very good to be able to click on a blog and make sure a friend from as far away as Australia is ok during this horrible time of raging fires that burning entire villages. My heart breaks, but I am thankful that Linda B. has only had soot and chaff falling around them up until now. She does beautiful embroidery work.. Chloe's Place and is working to find a way to accept any help we might want to send to the many who have lost their homes and all of their belongings in the coming months. If you would like to help, check her blog.

From the kitchen: comes only the wonders of every day cooking. I made pumpkin bread a couple of weeks ago and wound up eating almost every bite by myself. I won't make that mistake again any time soon!

I am wearing: one of my favorite house dresses that I bought on sale at Dillard's about 3 years ago. It's dark blue with pale blue and gold vines woven into it.

I am reading: The Alpine Quilt by Mary Daheim. When I first began to read her books, I was a little underwhelmed...and couldn't figure out why I kept reading Her heroine is somewhere in her 50's and the setting is a small village in Washington State... I guess I just felt a bit of kinship with the ordinariness of the people and place.... Anyway, she seems to have clutched onto me as this is the second book of hers that I am reading...

I am hoping: that our grandson who has been in the Army now for a couple of weeks is doing well. This makes 3 grandsons in the Army and one son in the Marines.

I am creating: more dishtowels on my Kromski Harp loom. I do love this loom. But there have been many things in the works this week. They will be chronicled in my post to Fabric Follies Two this morning. I finished my knitted scarf last night, so the evening "watching tv" craft will have to be something new now. I will be starting a new small quilt for new grand daughter Hannah this morning.

Around the house: we are enjoying the new tile floors in the den, hall and office. Sure saves the nerves when the coffee droplets are noticed on the It was a real pain in the pazooza while going down, but soooo worth it.

One of my favorite things: is feeling my DH put his arm around me and give me small kisses on the back as we turn to go to sleep at night.

I am hearing: the whir of the computer. I remember the first computer I ever sat down and used... at my oldest son's ... a few (ok...more than a few) years ago... I was amazed then and have never gotten over it.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

Time does pass... even as we don't notice...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pumpkin Bread....

When the kids were small I would make pumpkin bread and it never lasted out the Last week I made some and without them around, it still would not have lasted out the day if I hadn't finally just made myself stuff it in the freezer... Do love that stuff... However, this is a rare occurence since DH has diabetes.

The weather is warming up and that's good. It's off to McKinney this morning to the allergist and I'm hoping we can stop off at the Londoner for lunch...but not holding my breath.

I've been working on this take-off of the basketweave stitch scarf for a couple of days. It is 100% Merino/Romney X handspun. It's turning out well. I found a site that talks about an abacus you wear on your wrist... so, I had to try to make one...

And what does this have to do with the basketweave scarf...

I am forever having to stop and count rows.. and then I miss every now and then and wind up with uneven basketweaves. Believe it or not, this really works. I must work on this some more and come up with a better one or find someone who makes them. This is great. And it would be wonderful for card/tabletweaving also to count the turning of the cards.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook 02/02/2009

For today: February 2, 2009

Outside my window: the sun is shining and it is 50 degrees. This is Texas weather and by tonight it could be either 70F or 20F. Changeable...that's us. But the squirrels that I watch through the window each day don't mind either way. They just love to play on the 8 foot tall tree stump that we planted the trumpet vine around.

I am thankful for: the ease of internet shopping. A week or two ago I did my first shopping through and ordered a spinning book and a rigid heddle loom book. Today it was Elizabeth Zimmermann... didn't have to go out, rain or shine to the book stores that don't carry them here in our little city anyway. Love that.

From the kitchen: has come the sound of my wonderful DH cooking for me after the latest cardiac cath last week. Yummm Good!

I am wearing: Stretch green/khaki pants with a Donkenny ... can we say washes and dries like a dream... red/black/green khaki print blouse.

I am reading: Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Davenport and The Alpine Quilt by Mary Daheim

I am hoping: that this black, horrible feeling of dispair about the state of our country will pass soon....

I am creating: a knitted scarf with the tan homespun Romney/Merino X. I am trying to figure out how to come up with a better wrist abacus than the one I made yesterday. This one works, but I know I can do better if I just sit down and think about

Around the house: DH and I rearranged the kitchen cabinets a bit this morning. Makes for a much easier "get up" and "make coffee"... ;o)

One of my favorite things: is coming across an idea and then making it that.

I am hearing: the sound of the letter opener as DH opens the latest mail...the sound of the squeak as he leans back in his chair and the shuffle of the paper as he reads it. Life is good.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Where Were You?

Between fetching glasses of ice tea, I was on the sofa in East Dubuque, Illinois...snow knee deep outside and 19 years old. Two young sons ..ages 2 and 1 ... toddling around our new house that we had just moved into sometime around Christmas. The television was a portable on a opposed to a real piece of furniture television. There was not a party as they have today, but the excitement was there in our house just the

"Super Bowl"... what kind of name is that ... and why do they call it Super Bowl #1? Does that mean there will be another one?... lol... Ahhh..... The hubris of the young...