She went to Where?

Always a fan of Karen at Chookooloonks, but this latest report of her trip is amazing

the Visit to the White House

Now, Me, I am home with yarn in my hands, hearing guys doing the work to replace the roof on the house.

I’m hoping to get some hats peg loom-knitted for charity projects at the Christmas holiday.
Plus, I am behind on crocheted bookmarks for various reasons.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Reviews | 2 Comments

Products from last part of Summer/early Autumn

My camera was AWOL for a month, but this morning I did find it in the bottom of a tote bag. Perhaps I use too many bags for the various yarn projects, or more likely, I just was not interested in doing photography, so hunting down camera not top priority.
Husband is the guy who usually has a little one in his pocket, and feels the need to stop his bicycle on the way home from breakfast.

for me, It’s not so much the ~~taking pictures~~ as the “processing” them. Getting photos from memory card, then out where others can see them seems like a whole lotta work.
However, today I am at home, with the hope of having the guys get started on their job for a new roof on the house.

and now I will show you the reason my blog has been neglected.
There have been so many opportunities for donating Crafts in September and October, with more events happening closer to the Christmas holidays.

the photos are all sized the same to fit the column, but the items themselves are a variety of size and usefulness

a baby blankie, crocheted of BERNAT Softee yarn

Tote Bags of various scraps of yarn. Cannot tell you how many little balls got knotted together for these

Bedspread cotton crocheted gift bags
these were carried to Women’s Retreat at camp for the Crafts table
someone bought 4 of them within half hour after I set them out
and the Christmas colors was gone before breakfast in the morning

these size Newborn, and size 6 months, baby hats are knitted on 2 different peg looms from the very same skein of sport weight yarn. Notice the little ball of leftover
I love how the color pattern looks distinct from the other. I think it’s because one round loom has an even number, and the other has an odd number of pegs

Having fallen in love with LION Brand yarn, Tweed Stripes I bought a skein of each of several colors to knit adult hats

here are some children size hats knitted on peg looms

and then my old favorite take-along: potholders crocheted of 4-ply cotton yarn
These sell very well from Craft tables

Some things are already out doing their thing in the world, before I thought about getting pictures.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Crochet, Knitting Loom | 4 Comments

Rethinking the Donation Goodies

On Friday, 8am, I was out the door heading for the grocery store to get fresh supplies for baking. I had signed on to make Chocolate Chip cookies, and Puppy Chow. I’m told these are great for sales, folks have even done a request for the Puppy Chow.
I know how much was spent on high quality ingredients.
Meanwhile, Husband cleared the kitchen table so I would have plenty room to work, and have space for cookie racks for cooling.

Home again at 9:45, I pulled out equipment, turned on the oven to pre-heat.

Measuring, stirring, Timer. You know kitchen routine.

Turned off the oven at 1:40pm. While the cookies were cooling, I set up the double boiler and got going on the Puppy Chow.

While it was cooling on paper lined trays, I plated, wrapped, and labeled the cookies.

After they were set in the box, I dipped the Puppy Chow into 9oz paper cups, covered with plastic wrap, and taped labels.

Setting the boxes out of the way on the coffee table in the living room, I filled the sink with water to wash equipment. Laid a towel on the cleared off table, and stacked dishes to dry over there.

My mother-in-law came in and viewed the heap. My goodness, that means so much work!

at 4pm, Delivered 3 boxes of goodies to the gal who had promised to chauffeur them to the retirement center.

So that means I had been fretting my task for 8 hours.

This morning, a friend picked me up so we could go be Volunteers at Fall Fest.
She was in Baked Goods, and I was in the Boutique/ Crafts.

Before I was due to report, I perused the vast array of donations for yumminess on several long tables. When I got to the spot where my cups of Puppy Chow were set out, I gulped so loud that a couple gals came hurrying over to see if I was going to be sick.

Guess the price on the label for a cup of Puppy Chow?
Here’s the list of ingredients as copied from my little label– PUPPY CHOW ingredients: CRISPIX cereal, Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted), creamy natural peanut butter, dairy butter, powdered cane sugar.

Looking at my grocery receipt, the total for that list is almost $10 per batch. Understood is only one cup peanut butter, and only one stick butter used in each. I got 16 servings from a batch.

Quickly in my head, I figured just the supplies would be close to 60¢ per cup. + standing & stirring. Golly, the stirring.
So when I saw a price of 25¢ on each cup, well, I did that big intake of breath.

I told the leader that price just would not do. I said $1 per cup, but she said she wants to make sure they walk out the door, not sitting around for being over-priced.
She said she would split the difference– 50¢ per cup, told her assistant to place new labels over the lower one.
It was all I could to to not sweep my arm across to let them land back in my box to bring home again!!

I had to get to my station, so I did not get back to the Baked Goods room for a couple hours. That’s when I spied a couple plates of my Oatmeal Choco chip cookies.

Three on a plate, in a zipper-grip bag were priced at 50¢ — yep 1/2 dollar. At a coffee shop, I know ONE cookie that size is 49¢ and here were 3 of mine which tastes even better, at 16½¢ apiece. Daa-yum– I am in the wrong mindset.

Now, I’m willing to let go a bit of price on yarn projects. Much of the time, yarn is from a donation bag, plus, I like to be working with my hands while I’m watching tv or something. A hat can sit in the Done Basket for weeks, yet still be fine when sold.

But baked goods mean that I want to use recently purchased, fine ingredients. I do the work at the last possible minute so treats will be fresh and tasty for whoever is doing the buying. Baked goods costs more, both in supplies and energy.

So I am feeling discouraged. In the first place, any amount of money will help a worthy cause. I know I am donating whatever I do, therefore my output is all profit for the Charity. Also know that folks want a good bargain when they buy something.

Ah well. All done. Of course my sweet treats all sold out.
Actually, All the tables in Baked Goods section were empty.

I left several of my yarn leftovers for the Activity Director to use for whatever seems good.
I did bring home again the bookmarks. Will donate them to an elementary school librarian who is a stickler about using something to mark the reading place in a book. “Never ever fold down the corner of the page”

Gotta go. Mailman down the Court.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Food | 7 Comments

One Way to quench thirst

So I had a post all ready to copy onto the blog, when the box locked up. It has done this 4 times in 8 days, so I guess I should pester my Tech Guy to tell me that I have the worst luck with the stupid thing.
Sadder still, even tho I had done a Control C to copy, it did not stay in the hidey place after I pulled the plug for a restart. Poof went a half hour of typing. And you all know how I don’t like to type, which is why I do other things, and the blog gets neglected for weeks and weeks.

Now the dryer is buzzing. You folks might never know the story.
Finally, here it is:
on Friday morning, friends gathered in the church parking lot for the car pool to Women’s Retreat. There were 10 of us, five in each van, with our stuff, plus some other stuff, and a 5 hour drive ahead of us, going to southwest Michigan.
We headed to Camp Friedenswald, where we met up with other friends, some who we hadn’t seen since the third weekend of September last year.
You know how it is when friends get together, Talking, and huggs, and alot of “now where was I” so I won’t go on about it.

There -is- a story I want to share, so I will write it down here so my blog Archives can find it some other time.

The speaker in the service on Saturday morning had a bit of coughing spell, so she asked for a glass of water. A gal who is on camp Staff, hopped up, went out a side door, and a minute later we see the golf cart/transport go by the window. I thought about the rest room at the back of the chapel, then remembered need for a glass.
the speaker tried to go on, but I’m sure the Fall foliage had other ideas about sinus troubles, as another spasm caused her to step away from the microphone.
She said “I’m sure she’s taking her time on purpose”, which brought some laughter to relieve the situation.

Soon enough, the golf cart came back, and the Staff gal came in with a large glass of water. The speaker took a big gulp, swallowed, and said ever so sweetly “Thank You for hurrying” just as the water girl walked by me. There was a hoot of laughter from the audience.

I got a questioning look, so I whispered “there’s a story for later” so she nodded okay.

After the service, I told the water carrier the story, and others added more detail.

I have never been able to pull off a joke like that. My brain ain’t quick enough, my mind goes a different direction.

In the evening, when I went back to the chapel for a bit of rehearsal for the Scripture reading, there was a big picnic cooler of water on the corner of the stage, with a brite pink plastic cup resting on top, and a note taped to it “for Lorraine Only”
The joke is ongoing, yet no one is harmed.

When the speaker came to the microphone,
her first words were “Thank You for taking care of my needs”.
More giggles all around.

Later, during a more informal time, I noticed name tags. The speaker, and the water bearer have the same last name, and there was an older lady also at the table. The women are married to brothers, and their mother-in-law, all at Retreat. They have had years of laughter to pull pranks on each other.

I am a wee bit envious. My relatives are not woven the same way, although I do love them dearly. Sweet talk ain’t natural.

Well, this does not read as smoothly as my first attempt, but I hope it goes to post.

I have to do a couple more household chores before the premiere of JEOPARDY!

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Family | 2 Comments

Wrong time of night for walking the dog

Called my mom the other evening, just to chat. There was nothing good on tv, plus it has been awhile since I learned any news from her. In an emergency, one of my sisters would let me know, but Mom is back in her own house after she has had some health issues in the last few months, so she wants me to call to show I care.

So we were talking about how time has slowed down a bit for the Summer. Mine seems to be humming along in an almost boring fashion, but I’m trying to save money in small ways. Outgoing bills actually hover over our heads, for we are gathering paperwork to take out a loan to have some major work and replacement of the roof on the house.

Also the subject of her next birthday party came up. My sisters are planning a big shindig, and I have offered to pay my sibling share for the caterer, but the date is in January, and I don’t want to be worrying for snowstorms and icy roads just because she decided to enter the world during Winter.
Mom broke in saying that I loved to travel when I was a kid. Over the years we went to Niagra Falls a couple times, Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, Mount Rushmore, Disney World just a year after it opened. And countless trips to Cedar Point and Kennywood Park to ride roller coasters. Dad loved a roller coaster.

Her saying that I loved to travel– well, she is a bit mistaken on that. I liked seeing other places, but the getting there, crammed in a car with both parents together at the same time, and arguing with my sisters over whose turn to be in the back of the station wagon caused some of my most traumatic memories.
My husband did love to travel when he was a kid. He got to play on the beach while at a cabin in Maine. His mother and older sister are Planners with a Capital P, and details seemed to fall into place from the youngest boy’s point of view.

When our sons were little, there was no money for us to go anywhere. We both had low income jobs for a long time. Having a car in good condition for a road trip didn’t happen for years. I hope they do have fond memories of Summertime, with a bunch of younguns running thru the water sprinkler, catching lightning bugs to look at in pickle jars, and making homemade frozen yogurt pops.

Anyway, Mom thinks I need an adventure, some traveling, especially if it means visiting her again now that she is feeling better than when I was there the end of May.
Myself, I am not looking for anything out of the ordinary, but manage to have some things land in my lap.
Shopping for a new lawnmower meant I got to ride in a big flatbed truck. The road looks quite serious from a seat so high off the pavement.

A favorite book author of mine is Richard Peck, “an American novelist known for his prolific contributions to modern young adult literature”. You can look up more information about him on Wikipedia if you want to. My introduction happened when I was in one of the junior high schools, being a TA Sub Tutor for a Reading Group which had been assigned a book written by him.
Most of his books are about little details of daily life. It is always a big deal when the people leave their own small place in the world, and travel–either into town, or to visit a great-aunt at the Chicago World’s Fair. Sometimes, the whole book takes place in a single farmyard. He is an author with many awards for writing about normal happenings of regular people.
Maybe I should take on that perspective. I haven’t left the city limits in weeks, but life is moving along.

As for drama, we did have some on Friday evening. our Borrowed Dog, Annie had the afternoon here at the house while son Chris and his sweetie were at their jobs and/or social events. I walked her down the Court about 7 in the evening. Shortly after 10, Chris walked her down the other street in the opposite direction.
When they returned to the house, we smelled SKUNK. Yep, the sweet little doggy girl got a dose of stink.

So George goes looking on the Internet for remedy (not tomato juice, which we have none), Chris is scooting himself and dog together into the shower, after handing all his clothes to me around the bathroom door. I carried those outside and got ’em to soaking in a tub with a vinegar rinse.
Cannot tell how many gallons of water were used, but almost a gallon of white vinegar, the bottle of dish liquid is down a cup, also a spritz of hydrogen peroxide. Plus I had to put 2 loads thru the laundry machines.
Having a skunk do its squirt on a dog right at bedtime was enough adventure for me to last the weekend.

However, it was my turn to be Fellowship Hour Hostess at church. Saturday was some grocery shopping; then Sunday set-up, serving, clean-up ending at 1pm, which wore me out enough that an afternoon hour nap on the couch was much appreciated. Got many praises and expressions of gratitude on Facebook.

When we went to Chicago for a day trip a few weeks ago, we were walking through a park. A gal was sitting on a blanket on the lawn, so I asked what was she waiting for?
She said there would be some music later. When I saw the sign, I read the start time for the concert would be in 2 hours. She must have really wanted that particular spot to be holding it so early.
Folks don’t have to squat for a good place on the west side of Cook Hall. Monday evenings in July is Concert on the ISU Quad. and last evening’s JAZZ was just delightful.
I crocheted a whole potholder because cotton yarn was all my sweaty hands wanted to bother with.
Ya see, we have the same events that could happen other places, even the big city.

the buzzer for the washer sounded. Better get those things out on the line so they get dry by sunset. Or sooner, but I don’t plan to bring them in until then.

Husband and I are waiting for the arrival of his sister. She is traveling, on her way to a school reunion, but stopping here for awhile. Her last e-mail says she wants Lunch when she gets here, so I suppose plans should commence. Have not done grocery shopping for the house, plus it’s too hot to cook. 95° according to the voice on the phone. Wonder where we should pay for our meal?

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Family | 4 Comments

These are the ways we remember

a Jewish song dedicated to people we love who are no longer physically with us

There are stars up above
So far away we only see their light long
long after the star itself is gone
And so it is with the people that we loved.
Their memories keep shining
ever brightly
though their time with us is done.
But the stars that light up the darkest night
these are the stars that guide us
As we live our days these are the ways we remember,
we remember.
As we live our days these days we remember, we remember.
– Hanah Senesh

When I was a wee little lassie, a toddler actually, my grandma lived on the other side of our house aka a duplex.
The basement was shared, but there was a wall built just past the furnace, and the door of it had a lock on each side. Sometimes, if the door was open, I could go down the steps on our side, go around the huge coal furnace, then feel my way up the steps on Grandma’s side. One of my most early memory, being at the top of the steps as she stood at the sink. Startled her, the first time I seem to have had that honor.

My mother reports there were times when I would announce that I was running away from home. I would go out our back door, down off the porch, cross the yard, then stand at Grandma’s back door and yell for her. Perhaps I had not been taught that polite people knock on a door. Even then, it was easier to be company for Grandma than put up with my mother.

This time of year, when the gardens were producing at full speed, Grandma was the canning chief. She could bark orders at daughters, grandkids, son-in-law, and everybody would do whatever we were told! We didn’t always like it, but rarely questioned, because we did not want to prolong the pain.
I remember sitting with a bowl in my lap, breaking green beans, and watching her criticize methods at somebody washing jars in the sink.
I envied her ability to have us all doing such things. My dad said being aboard ship in the Navy was easier than working with his mother-in-law in the heat of the kitchen.
In his secret heart, Dad loved all of it. And Grandma did, too.

When my husband and I were first married, living in married student housing, I took my own toddler up the road to pick blackberries. In the tiny kitchen of the apartment, with toddler underfoot, I managed to make the juice, wash the jars, measure the sugar, and all the other needs to produce 7 jars of jelly. As it was, I used 2 of those jars to barter haircuts for me and the kid.
Oh how I wished to have someone else there as an assistant, to look after the kid, to wash out the pan… some small form of camaraderie for a task well done.

Alas, this is not to be. Very soon into our relationship, I realized my spouse is not one to take orders. If given a task, he has to put his own little touch on it so that it comes out a bit different than I like, and rarely ever gets it done as soon as I want it. He says I want my own way too often, and seem to make everything into an emergency.

I didn’t do much canning until my sons were old enough to help with some of it. And that’s when the genetics showed up in the younger boys, who balk at doing something just for being told to do it, and it takes too long to give explanations. Plus we had a dishwasher machine by then, so washing jars got alot easier.

Nowadays, my canner pot has been in the storeroom for years, and I gave away 6 boxes of jars to a lady who has a booth at a farmer’s market every week. She and her siblings and offspring know how to work together! That family is not my family.

One time when my mother-in-law was visiting here, she watched my husband doing something, turned to me and said he looked and acted just like his father.
I don’t think it was meant in a bad way, and I know it’s true, but all hell broke loose. Getting a diagnosis of Attention Deficit shone a whole new light on our living circumstances. Our family on all sides has quite a history of crazyness.

Been thinking of Grandma’s ability to have everybody co-operating. She had a whole passel of kids of her own, helped her sister’s girls, then went to live with her daughter Sylvia to help raise grandkids. My Uncle John’s funeral was almost the first I remember. How old was I? Kindergarten? wait, there was somebody before then, on dad’s side.
I grew up with relatives all over my small hometown by the river, and we were always doing something at one house or another. If not chores, then having a party, and family was the first called to be invited.

Perhaps I grew to resent all those folks playing busybody. I was glad to find a guy to marry who was not from the Ohio Valley. But we do not share duties well. If he is doing a task, I can sit and watch and be quiet, or not be around at all. The day our king-size bed was delivered, he told me to be sure to accept a TA Sub job.
He and son Chris did all the prep work.

Chris has moved back here to our house. We have the bedroom, kitchen, electricity, water. But it is awkward, this living with a grown kid. For the last 4 summers, I’ve had a personal routine regarding hook/yarn time, running the vacuum cleaner, playing music, loads of laundry. It was only me and the cats all day long while head-of-household was out at his job, and this summer would be minus Mahalia, making it even more easygoing without her medicine schedule.
But the kid sleeps late, so there goes time in the cool of the morning with vacuum cleaner. Dust mop is more quiet, but less detail. I want to start a load of laundry just as the shower curtain closes.
He and his girl like to watch movies late in the evening, after she is done with her job. Closing our bedroom door to keep out the light and sound makes it so hot in there, plus old Oscar needs to go out to the litter box.

We are still making adjustments. And I am whining to the max.
Grandma didn’t complain to me, even as she got older. I’m sure she often found herself in a place she didn’t expect, and managed to still get along with people around her.
Even while living with them.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Family | 3 Comments

Granny Squares Blankie

The other day, I received an e-mail which had the words “I hate to ask this” written within, which means the person might be asking for me to do something I might find odious, such as having Sarah Palin as an overnight guest.
But no, all she wanted was a crocheted bookmark. There was more words regarding circumstances, including an offer to pay with money, which is not allowed within my certain circle of friends.
Money is expected from the boorish woman who saunters into the back room of the Activity Center every now and then, more or less putting in a purchase order for her next gift-giving occasion, but we haven’t seen her in awhile. More telling is that no one has asked, nor offered, information about her.

Back to the subject of bookmarks, I crocheted some

Bookmarks first week of July-- all crocheted on the front porch on lovely summer mornings

Soon as I get done here, I’ll be folding those little beauties into envelopes, getting ready to mail while the post office is open on Saturday. One is going to the gal who made the request, one for sympathy, others… well, they’ll learn why.

You might notice that I haven’t mentioned the ironing, which is being procrastinated on a humid afternoon. The idea of using a steamy appliance right now is not at all appealing to me– I would much rather do a little typing while sipping my homemade latte.

Also fresh off the hook is a baby blankie, just finished the white border this morning

Granny Squares Blankie for Bill's grandbaby

Tried 3 different yarns and patterns before deciding on Bernat Cottontots and my 4.0mm Etimo crochet hook.

Oh, if that project had words… come to think of it, words are inadequate to describe supplies and effort. In fact, looking at the photo, I still want to reach over and switch a couple of the squares to a different place, all the better to be eye-catching or balanced, but there was limited amounts of certain colors, I bartered for a skein, and I did spend more than I first intended. First time in quite awhile that I bought yarn AT FULL PRICE, but the border needed to be white, and I didn’t have any.

The cotton granny squares blankie is crocheted for the baby on its way to a fella I haven’t seen since he was a baby himself.
Actually, I’ve known my friend Bill since church camp days, he was a groomsman in our wedding, so soon as I heard the news that his son and wife are expecting, seeing Bill will become a Pappy in early August, I began scheming hook and yarn gift.
Very glad it turned out okay to me, the new parents will have final say for its uses.

Did I mention the ironing? the board is set up, the clothes in a pile waiting.
Normally, I put some tunes on the stereo and wade right in. Today, not so much. Doesn’t seem like a Friday thing to be doing. Time was, the ironing got done Sunday afternoon, getting Husband’s work shirts all done for the work week ahead. Often, the rhythm of working out the wrinkles is good for me.

Maybe I’m into the mid-Summer blahs. Or the letdown of having completed a crochet project, not knowing what to begin next. The Fall Fest at the nursing home always needs crafts, so I will dig through the hobby room to come up with something.

A friend stopped by to pick up some rug yarn I had mentioned. I brought it home from the Activity Center– we needed the space in the storeroom. I’ve crocheted a half dozen tote bags, but yarn donations keep coming, and my friend is getting adept with her crochet hook. She’s planning a tote bag. I have an ancient pattern book for rug yarn toys, but no modern person would use the final item.

Well, anyway. the Ironing Board is in the way of packing envelopes, so one task at a time. It’s time I left the seat awhile, my backside ain’t getting any smaller.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Crochet | 5 Comments

the Lovely month of June

By Popular Request, a new writing for the blog is needed

In case you are wondering what I’ve been up to (and it does seem as if concern about non-updates is rampant) then I should show proof that I have been otherwise occupied.

About a month ago, we bought a new king-size bed. I signed papers declaring I have to give somebody else a money payment every month for the next 2 years. First thing we have scheduled in awhile, but our savings account is earmarked towards the roof which needs replaced in the worst way.

In order for that bed to be delivered, our old queen-size bed would get moved across the hall for son to use, and the old twin bed would be set in the littlest bedroom, so there had to be a whole lotta rearranging done.
Husband and son Chris did a bunch of the hauling around while I was at my last day at school working as a TA Sub. They said it was quieter thataway. Both had aches and sneezes for days afterward.

Oldest Son’s former room has become my Hobby Haven. Stuff jumbled on shelves, and in bins, and hanging in bags on hooks along the wall. Actually, it doesn’t look much better these days, except there is a bed in there holding up some of the stuff, with a corner open and comfy blankie for Scratchy the cat to be able to sit and look out the window.

In the course of stirring up dust, I had to empty out the plastic bin which holds the wrappers from various yarn goodies. Cannot tell ya the last time I could see the bottom of the plastic, but it’s been awhile

yarn label bin-- about 6 months worth May 2011

aahh, the memories this brings back--my hands were busy!

Evidence that yarn is used for worthy causes. Paper bin recycle got filled

So the bed was delivered, then I went on a trip to my hometown for a high school reunion, and to visit relatives. Too few of the folks I would love to be with again, but driving alone across 2 states, I did enough.

When I returned to our little house on the prairie, we realized that getting settled in, and making open spaces, is going to take quite awhile. Boxes in places I don’t want them to be, but there seems to be nowhere else for them to go. Must get over being sentimental so much.
Son Chris lives here again, and there are adjustments on so many levels.

Even though I just finished my fifth year, all new paperwork for my Teaching Assistant Substitute job had to be turned in, including a current Physical, TB test, DPT booster shot (which my arm still has an ache) and Contact person in case of emergency.
And a first for my connection with the school system: my own e-mail address! Yay! So much easier than phone machine messages.

Meanwhile, I am crocheting like a fiend to keep up with social events.
Graduation parties, we have already been to one wedding, with another this weekend. And a couple bookmarks for Sympathy cards. I don’t remember to take a picture of everything I make of yarn, but this is from the most recent week.

wedding bag, graduation, sympathy bookmarks Third Week June 2011

On my hook today is potholders in red and black, due for a reception happening on Sunday afternoon.

I had to get printed photos for relatives who do not do the computer, then used up much of Monday with writing labels and addressing envelopes, and getting information from the Post Office about postage rates. 84¢ times 10 packages, add 7 more cards with notes, and then needing to hand to a real clerk the “lumpy” envelopes so they know I’m a trustworthy person and the knot inside is not a bomb threat. Sometimes I make a reason to go to the post office, just to see the nice people there.

Husband and I are taking a Community Education Cartoon Drawing class at Heartland College. We are liking it alot, with him doing much more practice than I am.
It seems I am carrying on my habit of going to hook and yarn when the creative urge strikes, rather than picking up a pencil and sketchbook. But I’m learning so much, taking notes, and we really like the guy Instructor. Maybe sometime in future, what I learn now will come in handy. A picture is worth so many words, et al…

Looking at my Planner book, and realize that Summer is one third over. Two months from the date of the solstice starts the new school year.
It is not good for morale to be doing a daily countdown, especially when so many blocks on newer pages have something written as an upcoming and fun event.

Anyway, it is almost my turn in the shower, so I gotta git.

This afternoon is Needlework Group, with some of my best buddys.
Hope your Summer is fine.
Ain’t warm weather better than shoveling snow?

~~love and Huggs, Diane

ps my Decrepit Old Fool has a bit of his own nostalgia

notebooks — yarn wrappers—

Posted in Crochet | 4 Comments

Belated Memorial Day

My dad was a Veteran of the Navy. He had intended to make a career of being aboard ship, there wasn’t much back in the Valley with a hold on him. One time when he was home on Shore Leave, his brother arranged a date with a friend of his girl, which is when Dad and my mother met, and later married.
the Conflict in Korea happened along, and Dad was injured. Medical Discharge put the kabosh on any Navy Career plans. He claimed a 60% Disability the rest of his days. Someday I plan to ask the Veteran Affairs Dept for the papers pertaining to his situation, because details are mixed up, and memories fade.
Back in the Valley he would live and work and raise a family.

flowers on the grave of David M. Schiffman, Sr. Memorial Day 2011

Dad had several operations on his left leg, where he was physically wounded, and a couple on his right leg. All the time of favoring his sore leg made the other one weaker. Most of his visits would have been to the Veteran’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, although I remember trips to other hospitals for consultations.

There is a poem about soldiers in a cemetery, which speaks a line about red poppy flowers. That particular bloom has come to be a symbol for Veterans all over.

In the time when my dad was making regular visits to a Veteran’s Hospital, the red poppy flowers were folded of paper by the patients themselves, at least those who had use of their hands. Dad’s injury/latest surgery being on his leg, often in a cast and wheelchair, meant he could use his hands for a long time.

Some of my words may not be historical fact, but my own memory. I suppose I could look up all kinds of details and dates, but I was 16 years old, and what did I know?

I remember being a Volunteer a big room in the hospital probably First Floor, surrounded with guys wearing bandages and casts, and in wheelchairs, such as Dad.
Most were older, veterans of WWII, and Korea. But some were guys not many years ahead of me, back from Viet Nam.
And we were cutting red paper, and trimming wire ends, and packing carefully so all the effort did not smush during transit. Having a 16 year old girl as an assistant was distracting for some old soldiers, but the Leader said I was good for morale.
The boxes of folded flowers, with green wire stems attached, were carried away and sold for donations all over the place, usually on Remembrance Day by members of the Disabled Veterans Auxiliary.

Those silly paper poppy flowers brought in much needed money to keep programs going. Some of the Veterans were permanent residents of the hospital, so programs to help cheer them up are appreciated.
Another time, in my hometown, I helped to fold poppy flowers at the VFW Hall. The lady leader then was amazed that I knew so many shortcuts to help make them pretty.

When my brother David and I were shopping for some flowers to put on Dad’s grave, I went automatically to the bouquet with the poppy flowers. He wanted another, but since I was paying, he said my choice would be fine.
On the way out to the cemetery, as he was driving, I told the story of my teenage times and how I had helped fold about a gazillion red papers into flowers for Veteran’s Day.
There is more than years between the oldest and youngest of Dad’s offspring. It is so sad that Dad died when the kid was only 14 years old, but we make the best of it.

Driving across half the mid-West on Memorial Day to get back to my house on the prairie, I listened to radio announcements about patriotic events in small towns.
At one Rest Area, there were old soldiers with fake poppy flowers, asking for donations in a can. I dropped in a dollar coin, but did not accept a flower. The ones given out today are not folded by hand, nor made of paper. They look like the fabric petals come off an assembly belt, much the way the poppy flowers in that bouquet in the picture.

Good intentions will have to be enough. David was pleased that the cemetery staff had already put a small American flag on the graves of all Veterans. It must take them days to set ’em out, then pull them in again ready to mow.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

related links: Decrepit Old Fool, Memorial Day 2011

Silver Fox Whispers, Memorial Day Thoughts

Posted in Family | 1 Comment

Hello for just a minute

Hello, My Dear Ones,
We are under a Tornado Watch, well actually, the sirens went off and the lights flickered
so Husband and I grabbed Annie the visitor dog, our own cat Oscar, then went down to the basement to finish our supper of Chinese take-out, using tv trays. I brought over a freshly laundered throw rug for Annie to rest on. She does not like lightning, nor being in a basement with semi-strangers, but we do our best.
Chris’s cat Scratchy would not allow himself to be wrapped in a towel for carrying, and he ran off to hide under Chris’s bed, so I told him to stay there!

I mentioned to Husband if it did not clear good enough within 20 minutes, then I was going to play hooky from the meeting at church this evening, but then the phone rang, with our Kind Leader saying the meeting would be Cancelled,
she does not want anyone blowing away tonight, so stay home and dry

Ooie — that lightning was close!! but the wind has eased off still raining, so we are back upstairs at glowing screens

I am still getting ready to be driving tomorrow to the Ohio River Valley for the MFHS Alumni Banquet
the storm system is supposed to pass over by Friday, with the weekend okay sky, even 2 states to the east

My guys will be at home doing housely things, I’m not sure what’s what, but it’s gotta be better than the present

Will be off the computer while I’m gone. the basic emergency cell will make do as always
We are looking into getting me a new mobile device, with text messages
but I figure that’s a Summer Project learning curve.

My take-along crochet project will be starting a cream color bedspread cotton baby blankie, using a big cone of thread found when we moved stuff/ made room for beds.
Who knows when I bought it on Clearance (the sticker said $1.10 for 16 ounces of crochet thread) but it surfaced at a most Blessed time of Financial woes, what with new water heater, property taxes, and new king-size bed this month.
Nothing quite like already paid for supplies to feel like a bargain now.

My To-do List has several items not crossed off, so I should be getting back to it. Usually this screen is procrastination, but tonight is best for a nice chat.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Posted in Crochet, Family | 5 Comments