Baby Blankie finished this week

Most Thursdays, while getting ready for my Needlework Group, I go to CARL’s Ice Cream for a frozen Vanilla Latte to go.
For weeks and weeks, my order was done by a gal who had just the right touch, proper amount of ingredients, and remembered my ‘no whip cream’ request.
She was getting greater with child each week, and I looked forward to having my goodie, and to seeing her.
Starting just before Christmas, someone else made my latte.
I asked about the missing Server. Doctor’s orders.. off her feet.

Baby Boy is Due any time now,
and I’m told there will be a way to send a gift to the new family.

Crocheted of BERNAT Softee Baby yarn, 3-ply sport weight, color His Jeans. Began on New Year's Day, finished 11 January 2012

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Crochet | 3 Comments

Outside my Window–First Snowy Day

When I opened the window, Oscar, of course, jumped up to sniff the air.
Would he stay still long enough to be in the shot? NO
Still, I love the view when I turn my chair to look out there

Got the Ironing done this morning while listening to Bon Jovi _Lost Highway_ cd. Nice to hear a song about Summertime when there is a near blizzard going on outside. Will soon have to venture out into it. Today is my Needlework Group, and I wanna be there. I’m crocheting a baby doll blankie for a friend’s daughter, who found a new friend under their tree on Christmas morning.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Where the Dollar (Coin) makes a difference

Some of my Holiday Gift loot went to the purchase of a roll of Presidential Dollar Coins. After reading an article in the Chicago Tribune about how the government is going to cut back the production of the coins, I figured I should buy some while I still can.
I have a roll of Hayes, and of Garfield, just waiting to be passed along.

Some of the coins will go to family members who collect them. When I get around to packing and sending in the mail is anybody’s guess, but the box is waiting. Others will be left as Tips for a server at breakfast. They like getting them. One gal says she has used my coin to pay for her daughter’s tooth.

But mostly, the dollar coins will go to the Christian Ed’s Noisy Offering at church.

Awhile back, I was a Substitute in a pre-school Sunday School class.
One of the boys walked into the room, almost threw a dollar bill at me, then went over to the car area to play. I asked him what it was for. He looked at me as if I am nuts, then said “Offering”. I looked around. There was no basket or slotted bank to tell me about any ‘offering’. My Lesson Plan had not mentioned time for ‘offering’.
At last, after shuffling and searching much of the shelf unit, near the crayons box I found a little pile of cash under a napkin.
After class, I carried the money in my hands to a member of the Christian Education Committee and asked her what to do with it. She cupped her hands, I dropped the cash into them, and that was that.

Not too many Sundays later, the Youth Pastor announced the Noisy Offering.

At Children’s Story time during the Worship Service, as the kids walk up to the front, a couple Ushers stand near the stage with small metal buckets. The idea is for the kids to bring loose change of any size so that the sound of the coin hitting the metal be most satisfying. Last year, the Noisy Offering Total came to a little over $600. Really nice amount of small coins added up.
I watched a boy hold all the coins from his grandpa in one hand, then use the other hand to thud each coin one-by-one into the bucket. A little girl gave her handful an extra push so the coins landed so hard they bounced against the sides to make double noise.

Well, I don’t have younguns that little anymore, but I had some dollar coins in my purse, so I gave one to a little guy, who hurried to drop it in quite proudly.
The next week, a different boy asked if he could put in my dollar. Sometimes I give it to a little girl whose family has been unemployed for a year, so I know she doesn’t have any extra for the bucket. Sometimes I hand over an extra quarter to a different kid because my dollar has already been claimed by someone else.

After this had gone on several Sundays, a mother came over to me to tell me how much she appreciates the dollar coin for the offering. It’s not just the spare change aspect, it’s the attention I give to the kids. She said that her husband was making sure all the kids had coins for the offering, but the youngest would not take money from his dad. “No” he said. “Diane will give me the yellow one”.

So on Christmas morning, Husband came to church with me. This was so very nice to have him, and many friends were glad to see him. I told him that I do like to sit in the back under the speaker so I can better understand what is being said in the microphone. This spot also allows me to stand up several times to save my back and/or foot from ache. And to keep watch on who is playing at the water fountain.

Anyway, the Service was already begun when I remembered the dollar coin. I hunted one down in the back pocket of my purse, then sneaked over to the family. Youngest son was not there… mom said he had gone to the bathroom. I handed her the dollar saying it would be for him.
Back at my seat, I see the little boy looking around the corner nearest the rest room. He had hesitated seeing a man sitting at the table, but came over to me. I told him the dollar was with his mom.
He looked crestfallen, but walked on to his seat.
Later I asked his mom about that look. She says when she has the coin, she holds it until time for the Noisy Offering, otherwise he plays with it so much, and drops it on the tile floor.
Da Boy is all Boy– gotta love him.

So that’s the main reason I buy the Dollar coins at the bank. A little something different for the church treasurer to count at the end of the Worship Service. I don’t get any kind of tax break by being behind-the-scenes, but I get much Sunday joy from a coin and youngsters.

I think if the US Government would stop printing paper dollar bills, more or less forcing the citizens to use coins, or even a $2 coin, then they would be more popular.
And all the Tooth Fairys would be happy, too.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Personal | 2 Comments

Happy New Year 2012

Found this image on a Free Wallpaper site, and it expresses my sentiments exactly

Posted in Thinking | 2 Comments

Second Grade. Underwear. Bells.

One day during the last week of school before this Winter Break, I was a TA Sub in a Second Grade classroom. My assignment for part of the morning was with a Math Group, with the Resource teacher doing the actual lesson, while I sat between two of the students who need the most help to stay on task.

We were working along swimmingly, with the subject being “partial Sums addition”.
I haven’t had to use the methods of “partial Sums addition” since Spring 2006 during my own studying in the Math for Elementary Teachers 102 class at the community college, but I managed to keep up. An old broad with an Associate’s Degree should be able to look fine to Second Grade students.

Then the Resource Teacher had to leave the room for a moment. We waited several seconds, then Second Graders do what most kids do, and began pestering each other.
I stood up, walked to the front, and picked up the marker.
Five little faces stared back at me.
“Do You know how to use the Smartboard?” asked one girl.

In response, I kept the addition problem going, right where the teacher had left off. They managed to get to the answer on their own writing boards, and the teacher returned soon enough, being quite grateful for my help.
Second Grade is hard, folks. No matter when you are in it.

That evening, I went to the store. There were some nice bargains going on, happening those few days before Christmas. I texted a friend saying that underwear should come in colors other than white, especially my size.
I did find a package, with only half the number being plain white.

On the way home, a song came on the radio. I’ll Be Home with Bells On
I think it’s done by Dolly Parton. You can look on You Tube, I’m sure it’s there.

Just as I took my foot off the gas to skim across the railroad tracks, a memory came back to me so strong that I almost pulled over into a parking lot.

It must have been the combination of Second Grade, purchase of new undies, and mention of bells.

I drove home the last couple blocks while the song finished, then sat in the car in the driveway letting the memory re-fill my brain.

It was just after Christmas break, when I was in Second Grade. That was the year that President John Kennedy was assasinated, and Second Grade was not the best of times in any case, let alone when all of our nation’s society was in a tizzy.

But Christmas had been good for me– I suppose I got some toys, and I remember new mittens, but most important for this story is the new underwear from my grandma.

Not regular undies or briefs. No, these were what Mom calls petti-pants.
Looking at Google Images, I would say they are close to bloomer leggings.

Back in my day, even in public school, we girls had to wear a dress or skirt to school.
I would wear lined corduroy pants under my dress, then take ’em off in the coat room. Our teacher would send in boys and girls separately to put away our cold weather gear, for the reason that we girls usually would show our undies in the process.
Modern Schools don’t have a coat area for each classroom. And everybody wears pants in cold weather (um, except for the girly girls).
Many teachers hang their own coats on the back of their chair, and the student cubbie can barely fit a backpack, and never boots.

So there’s my new petti-pants. Grandma had made them even more pretty by crocheting a little cotton lace border along the hem. And had worked in a little jingle bell. I had thought that was the neatest thing when I saw it Christmas day, having little bells to go under my skirt.
Second Grade high fashion, here comes Diane.

We worked at our seats in the room through much of the morning, then came time to walk in a line down the hall to the gym, or music…. someplace else in the building.
and yeah, That is still done the same way in Elementary School “My hands are by my side, I’m standing straight and tall, my mouth is very quiet, I’m ready for the hall” and keep to the right, and wait at the corner, and do not push through another class’s line.

I was about in the middle of our class line. And my little bells on my petti-pants were jingling oh so joyfully.

The Teacher’s hand came up as a signal for us to HALT.
She turned around and looked sternly at the boy who usually displayed bad behavior.
“Hand me the bell” she demanded, holding out her hand, palm up.
He was 2 kids in front of me in line, and looked completely bewildered.
“I don’t have a bell” he replied indignantly. She made him turn his pockets out.

I had gone to Sunday School all my life, but I did not ask Jesus to help me to speak up and be honest at that minute.
She harrummphed, turned and walked back to the lead position. We were going to be late to the next place, and probably cutting into her personal bathroom break time.

I tried to hold quiet the bells on my petti-pants through my dress, but that made it so hard to walk, and there was a bit of hurrying going on now, and well, they jingled.
We reached the door of the room, the teacher allowed the first students to pass in, then she saw me clutching and wrinkling my dress with my hands.
She pulled me out of the line. I could not ever remember little darling me ever being called out of line before, not at school.

“Diane, what is in your pocket?”
“My dress does not have pockets, m’am”
“Why are you holding it that way?”
“for the bells, m’am”
Yes. I carefully lifted the hem of my dress, showing just the crocheted edge and jingle bells on the hem of my petti-pants.
“My grandma gave me bells for Christmas” I announced proudly. Second Grade girls just love cutesy stuff.

She straightened tall to her full height, which was about as tall as my mom,
who is to this day taller than I am.

“You are not to have bells at school. When you go home at lunch time, change into different underpants”

She might as well have slapped me. I would not be allowed to wear my new gift to where I spent so many hours every day.

At home, at lunch time, I changed into regular undies, and shoved the petti-pants between my bed and the wall.
A long time later, I pulled them out, cut off the bells, and wore the very comfy undies.
At some time doing the laundry, my mother noticed the bells had been cut, and the crochet lace was unraveling.

“Diane, why did you cut this? it’s ruined” yelled my mother.
“Teacher says I cain’t have bells at school” I yelled back. My misery was compounded by my mother yelling about my childish fix for the situation.
“well, you could have saved this pair for church. My mother worked hard to give you something nice for Christmas!”

My mother cannot crochet, and has no idea how easy it was for Grandma to use a hook and thread to make edging. I was just beginning to learn myself.

I no longer wanted the petti-pants for any reason. They got bunched up and wrinkled under corduroy pants, I had been motioned out of the line by the teacher, my mother was yelling.

I don’t think I ever put on those petti-pants again. With all the daughters at our house, I’m sure my mother lost track of them, either as hand-me-downs or rags.

But that memory came back to me last week.

Second Grade. Underwear. Bells.

On tv is a show about a woman who can remember everything. It’s based on some folks in real life who know all the details.
The rest of us, well, at least me, have little tidbits to open up the dam of memory.
I sat in the car in my driveway, turned off the radio, and remembered.

Be kind to the Second Grade kids in your surroundings.
They have only one life to live long and prosper.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Crochet, Family | 4 Comments

Latest Little Yarn Things

Everyone keeps asking if I am ready for the Holidays. I am not.

But I have been helping many OTHER folks to find some cheer. Already helped decorate 3 trees in various classrooms settings.

This morning, snapped a picture of the last of the mini-stockings I crocheted.
Total 52, and I wore out my interest in making any more. Put away the proper hook, and the bin is now only 1/3 full of little yarn balls. Went rummaging thru other boxes until I found scraps of pinks and reds to knit the gift bag on my red plastic peg loom.
Favorite colors of a little girl in Kindergarten. Now it’s done, so my next yarn project will be a blankie for a baby due middle of January.

last of the mini-stockings, and a gift bag for Christmas 2011

We rode our bicycles on a nice sunshine morning out for breakfast. Three of the stockings went to the Servers at the pancake place on the corner of Main and Raab.
The lime green was chosen by the youngest gal, saying it is her son’s favorite color. There is a mission effort to work on Prayer Shawls, but I tell ya, a little crocheted stocking at a good place and time can give a whole bunch of cheer.

Today will have some grocery shopping. It’s my turn for Fellowship Hour Hostess at church tomorrow. Also need to work up a batch of Puppy Chow (by Request) for a Holiday party this evening. And the wrapping of the gift for the game at the party. Then the going to the party.
Might move past the door to the storeroom in the basement for digging out the house decorations. I set up fewer each season, even if more and more come along over the years.
HHhhmmm… the Bah! Humbug attitude could kick in anytime. I’m too busy to notice.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Oh, I almost forgot: a knitted hat for Youngest Son’s sweetie. She likes the color, and says the LION Brand Tweed Stripes Yarn is nice and soft and warm.

Adult hat knitted of LION Brand Tweed Stripes color Wildfire

Posted in Crochet, Knitting Loom | 3 Comments

What I’ve been doing

Crocheted stocking ornaments. So far this Holiday season, I've given away 28 of the cute little things

These stocking ornaments take only about 20 minutes for me to crochet, especially after I changed to an ETIMO crochet hook with a comfortable grip handle. A great way to use bits of 4-ply acrylic yarn. I didn’t like the way the one done in cotton turned out, so pulled it back out.
Most fun I’ve had for giving away was to tuck the Tip into one for the waitress after breakfast. I went over to the cash register to pay, then glanced back just as she picked up the stocking from the table. Look on her face was so joyful.
I printed the pattern from a blog. If you want a link, let me know in Comments, and I’ll hunt it down.

Right now, I gotta scoot to the Mennonite Women’s Holiday party at church. As the Incoming President, I’m on the planning committee. I have to get there early to set up the crockpot of warm spiced cider.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Latest crafty items

Child size hats for the charity tree at the public library 05 December 2011

treat holders Holiday 2011

Newborn Baby hats for the hospital. Along with several from other members of my Needlework Group, delivered total 18 today, 05 December 2011

Posted in Crochet, Knitting Loom | 3 Comments

Cat. Yarn. Typical story of the day

It’s a lovely morning outside, even if the porch thermometer said 27°F when I looked at it almost dawn.

There were 2 jobs on SubFinder for this fine Wednesday,
but I turned them away to be able to stay home waiting for a schedule to have some strong guys come carry away our old freezer. Phone connections and terse FAQ attendants on the other end are not for the faint-of-heart. My patience wears thin. The appliance has taken space in the laundry room for too long already.
Husband managed to get it empty and moved closer to the bottom of the stairs, but now we have both new and old freezers plugged in.
I hope to soon learn that perseverance will pay off.

Anyway, this is how Oscar used up our morning 30 November 2011
It seems he has reclaimed his sunny window
from younger cat invader Scratchy, who has moved out with his favorite humans to their own apartment.

other than breakfast, reading the paper, and being on hold for the phone
I tried to begin a worthwhile project.

Getting acquainted with my new Martha Stewart Crafts loom kit

Mine was ordered on sale from an online source. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I learned that our local MICHAEL’s store has the kit on the shelf. Reading the small print on the store coupon, I learned that Martha Stewart Crafts are not valid for the discount, so I’m not quite as disappointed as I might have been. Would rather shop here in town if a promotion is good.

It comes in its own rather flimsy box, but the other day I went shopping for a preferred carrying case. Found a fishing tackle (ahem girly pink-n-purple) box almost the right size, but will have to keep looking. The longest straight pieces of the loom are about 14″ long, so the case being 14.25″ is a bit short, and they fit crossways, leaving room for little else.

Since I already know how to knit a hat, a blue one will be my first project

Just putting in the pegs has my finger sore. Will have to build a callous

and I definitely will be watching the LION Brand online Tutorial videos for doing straight edges for dishcloths, scarfs, and the weaving feature. Might be a major effort for personal education over Winter Break from school. Once I absorb the knowledge to do a crafty something, there is usually someone else who wants me to give a lesson, especially within my Needlework Group at the Activity Center.

Well, I should be doing something else. Not sure what, since nothing here in the house would bring wages my way.
I suppose I could start putting already done items into boxes, getting ready for shipping. Tomorrow starts December, and relatives live far away.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Knitting Loom | 4 Comments

Oh, yeah, I remember this place

Husband says I need to write something for my blog.
Finding myself with an open evening, I’m wondering what I should write about.
The only pictures on my camera chip are of Scratchy in a small box, and I already sent a copy out to my Dear Ones+ by e-mail.
Totally forgot to take a picture of the 7 hats knitted and already gone for the charity tree at the nursing home.

He says I should write about my feelings of righteous indignation connected with this post If you can’t stand the heat
but I don’t want to get myself all worked into a snit after such a fine afternoon with friends in my Needlework Group.
However, next time some guy says in a public prayer to God that our children should stay strong-in-the-Lord whenever they meet a homosexual, well, I’ll move with my first instinct, which is to say rather loudly “the Jesus I know loves everybody in the world, no exceptions” then harrumph out the door with my crochet bag in hand.
When I mentioned that to a teacher who had also been in the same meeting, she said she would have been trotting just a few steps behind me.
Politeness should be set aside for some good reasons. Now for courage to make it so.

I could go over to knit more rows on the latest hat, which is lovely blue, but Husband says I need to write something for the blog.

My brother-in-law’s birthday is today. Not sure what to get for a guy who has everything he needs, and very few wants. I sent a book about personal experiences
No One but You by Douglas Wood
and got a text message saying Thanks. Now his phone number is in my Contacts.
Heh Heh. Ulterior motives abound.

The supper dishes are waiting all over the counter, and need to be loaded into the dishwasher. I am such a messy cook, and there are alot of dishes and pans, but it has been quite awhile since I wrote something for the blog.

Son Chris has moved himself, his sweetie, and some stuff to an apartment, but Scratchy cat is still waiting here with us while they get more settled in over there. The last couple days, little fur friend is lonesome. Watching the door, sitting by the window, being nice to Oscar. Where has this side of him been for several months?

I have had some TA Sub jobs, mostly in Pre-K at risk class. I love the flexibility of time and buildings. Once I don’t have to be a cat referee (aka Scratchy goes to be with his more favorite human) then I can work more into schedule out of the house. Geriatric cat Oscar sleeps long hours when left on his own. His last check-up says he is fine for his 16 years.

Folks all over have been asking plans for Thanksgiving. Husband and I are going to be with friends at a restaurant on the holiday. First time ever for me, and I think for him, too. Younguns are making plans of their own.
I will be buying a frozen turkey while on sale, to be cooked some other time. Nothing quite like leftovers.

Husband is on the treadmill. Sounds like it needs some maintenance, having been used for as many miles as he walks on it.

Ho hum, here is proof that I did write something for the blog.
But the dishes are waiting, the knitting is calling, and it would be be very wrong if I were to pee on the keyboard.
Yep, I’m going elsewhere, away from the bright screen.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Family | 2 Comments