Saturday, May 30, 2009

On Looking At You:

I got the computer glasses yesterday morning. Nothing grand, just serviceable ‘maroon’ (not my favorite color) frames.

I read blogs and knitted. Hi Guys, I missed you all even thou I did manage to read a few things each day.

I read all the blogs I’d been missing these last few days. You guys have been busy. And I knitted on the test sweater again. Sorry, I didn’t comment much, I had knitting in my hands again.

The pullover sweater is now back to the taking shape stage. I’m on row 35 already.

I read more of, each of the books, I’m currently in the middle of. And I knitted on the socks in my ‘take along project’ bag even though I only went to pick up my glasses and spent not one minute in a waiting room chair at the eye doctors office.

I finished a bit of lace for the wedding that had been nearly done when my glasses fell apart in my hand. I did Sudoku puzzles. I played video games on the computer again. I… I… I……..

I gave myself eye strain.

I went to bed early with a cool wash cloth on my eyes.

Feeling great today. I’ll be slowing down on the eye strain stuff, but not the knitting. Today I’ll sit and knit until my hands can knit no more. Well, maybe I'll step outside for a minute or two. The sun is out again after days of rain and I haven't seem how the garden is doing for days.

I’m glad to have you guys back. Like I said, I missed you. Thank you for being patient with me while I melted down about a little temporary thing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

On Can You Buy Gumption?:

Today I get out of the house. The car is fixed and my computer glasses are ready.

I’m still working on finding a pair of frames for daily wear, but when I can see the computer screen clearly again that will be a big help in finding them.

I did find out a few things about myself while being half blind. One is that I don’t like change as much as I once did. Even bad things that happened had an element of challenge that I used to like.

Am I loosing my ability to adjust? Or maybe I’m just fearful of loosing my eyesight? What I don’t want to be is a fearful old ninny locking myself away from life.

Yes, I know that no one in their right mind wants to loose a working part of themselves. But I wasn’t very resilient about a temporary condition.

Maybe it was just the fact that I rely on my crafts to keep me busy and out of trouble. Whatever the cause, I’m not happy about how I handled it. I have long since learned that being cranky doesn’t fix a thing and often makes the situation worse.

Once Mountain Man had the part the rain was keeping him from putting it in as fast as I was hoping. He stayed out in the rain building a stone wall instead of coming in the house just to avoid being in the same space with my mood.

I must say that I am ashamed at that. Why do we let small things bother us so much more and pull up our boot straps when the big bad things come our way?

I’m looking for some gumption, know where I can get a truck load? Apparently I need some.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

On While I Search for New Glasses:

I ordered a pair of computer bifocals in a modern frame at the eye doctors to hold me over and give me more time to find the right frames for my daily wear, distance bifocals. This computer pair should be ready in a few days.
Thank you to Jen for her suggestion on another web site for glasses.

We were driving behind a car that ran into the back of a construction vehicle on the bridge we were crossing. I missed seeing the crash because I was looking out the window at the river below, Mountain Man was driving. No one hurt, but his car is totaled. I did get to call 911 on the cell phone for the guy. Nice to know that I can do that with my cell phone while not being able to see the numbers.

While home, I’ve been playing Zelda Twilight Princess on my Gamecube. I’d forgotten how big and how much fun the Zelda games are. Even having the walkthrough book for reminders of what is coming next and running straight thru the game, it is going to take days to get to the end with so much to do there.

I’m also cleaning the house and eating too much out of creative frustration. We thought we would go for a drive yesterday afternoon, to get me out of the house, or I should say refrigerator, but the alternator on the car died. Mountain Man has the car apart in the yard after having a neighbor drive him to get a new part last evening.

Helena Handbag: Regarding your prize. The package came back to me all ripped and chewed up. The black lace handkerchief was fine though. I put it in a new box along with a little something extra because you’ve been so good about the wait. I’ll have it in the mail again as soon as the car is running.

(If you are eating you can skip this next part.)
Today I’m going to clean out the refrigerator, right down to the gunk on the bottom, under the drawer. That should turn off the munchies for a while.

My fingers are itching for some knitting, bobbin lace, tatting, doll house things… Any crafting at all. And I think I’ll invest in a new voice activated writing program for the computer so I can dictate stories to it if this ever happens again. Just think of the knitting I could do while I’m writing stories that way. I’d only have to stop knitting to make corrections in the end.

Boy, I wish I had some simple knitting on my needles that I could work while I’m not looking. Maybe I’ll start a new scarf if I could just decide on what I yarn I would use.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Blind Below the Belt:

I’ll start with the facts. I have a small head. This is not a problem except when I want to look like the grown up I am, and I’m choosing hats or glasses.

I like to wear Victorian clothing and to me they look silly with modern plastic framed glasses on my face. I like the round wire frame look from days gone by. At one point I even wore some very old frames while reenacting, but they didn’t stand up well to an active lifestyle.

I wear bifocals. I have astigmatism and I’m near sited. So going without lenses is not possible. My lenses change mostly on the lower near sited part every time I go to the eye doctor. I usually just have them put new lenses in my old almost Harry Potter looking child size frames.

The winds came through yesterday and brought time with it. Together they took my glasses frames with them. (They came apart at the nose.) I am sitting back as far as the cord on my computer keyboard will allow, with the screen on large print and my four year old glasses on my face. I am half blind. I can see through the top at a slightly blurry distance but not through the bottoms for close things like reading, doing crafts, taking pictures or writing stories.

(I am stuck playing video games on the larger TV screen at a distance to keep from boring myself to death from lack of crafting. It’s raining outside so I can‘t even garden.)

Have you ever really looked at the selection of glasses frames in the children’s sizes?

One: The selection is small.
Two: Of this small selection only the larger of them fit my head. (I need 115mm width, with a 15mm nose gap, and 130 - 135mm arms. 35 to 40 mm roundish lens opening.)
And three: Stylish they are not. No, I’d have to say that they are more colorful then stylish.

You would think that with the popularity of Harry Potter that there would be at least one style in that vain left on the shelf for me to choose from.

I am on a hunt for new glasses frames and I can’t see very well what I’m looking at on the computer screen. So if you know of a website that has glasses frames with round, wire, child size frames ‘that are not toys’ could you please send me a link? If you have done business with Eyeglass Warehouse (Vintage) or Zenni Optical (Modern) and their products I’d like to know that also?

Thank you kindly for the help.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On Winds from the East:

What a difference. The wind is coming from the east today.

Yesterday was a glorious day, start to finish. Not too hot or cold, breeze enough to be comfortable but not chilly, not a cloud in the sky.

We had been having afternoon showers for days. Cool in the mornings and hot in the afternoon. The air would be so still at times that it took on an ominous quality then next thing you knew it was blowing your hair back and tossing things at you with thundershowers. Changeable. Un-predicable. A little wild and unruly.

Today the wind has changed direction. It doesn’t often come in from the east. It is cold and blustery outside today. I had to put a fire in the woodstove this morning. My fingers were cold and didn’t want to type.

I don’t know what it is, but when the wind is from the east, I feel different. An exciting kind of energy is in the air. I want to break out of old habits and my well worn, comfortable, rut.

I used to be a mover and shaker, setting trends, on the cusp of new things. But something changed ten, maybe twenty years ago. It didn’t matter so much anymore. I found a comfortable place to be in my own self, I became more centered. The wild child in my core didn’t feel the need to break out as much anymore. An inner calm replaced the turmoil that drove me to do things that at times were not in my best interest.

This did not happen all at once. No switch was flipped. No mind altering was applied. I just found a good place to be and settled down in my comfortable rut of a life.

But when the wind blows from the east I feel like letting my hair down again. No, not to looking for trouble. I do want to mix things up a bit. Rearrange the furniture. Paint the walls.

I usually direct this feeling into my crafting. Attempt new things.

Who knows what I’ll be up to today. I may even decide I like house work and clean like a banshee, although that is highly unlikely. But whatever I get into today it will be an adventure. The wind is from the east today.

Monday, May 25, 2009

On Memorial Day 2009:

Here in the USA it is Memorial Day. A day to honor the soldiers of our country who have died. There will be parades, barbeques, and visiting of cemeteries. Flags will fly over each fallen soldiers grave world wide and in the yards of homes in America. We remember.

As a child it was a day of fun. People were home, having the off work, and stores were closed in respected for the dead. We got up early, food was prepared and clothing was readied in red, white and blue. We each were given a flag to wave as we watched the parade of soldiers from town in their crisp uniforms and the high school marching band go by. Neighbors would catch up on local news in the crowd on the curbside as they held children high to see over the heads of the people in front.

We followed the parade and the crowd that followed it to the end. And it always ended in the cemetery by my house. My cemetery. Children fidgeted in the now quiet of the early afternoon as grownups listened to the speeches in the sun. The ending of it all was the 21 gun salute. Seven soldiers shot off their guns three times in a row while children covered their ears. Taps was played. Everyone dried their eyes and we went home.

We would line up our little hand held flags in the flower garden that ringed the yard at grandmas house. We always went to my grandmothers house to spend the rest of the day for the picnics or barbeques that followed. There were games for the kids to keep them busy and away from the food at the fire and the cook. Later there would be roasted marshmallows and burning cattails/punks to keep the bugs away.

Family, fun and cemeteries. I couldn’t wish for more as a kid.

When I was older I came to realize at what cost. The lives of the young people cut short for our freedoms and values. The lives of the living wrought with memories of the wars they lived through.

Here today, the parade was yesterday in the nearest city. It was fire crackers I heard instead of gun salutes. The pomp and circumstance of honor and respect I grew up with is missing, or at least bent, in favor of deep discount sales at retail stores and backyard beer parties.

Mountain Man served in the war in Viet Nam. We fly a flag in the yard and over his fathers grave for his service in the World War II. We don’t forget what this day is really for. We take a moment to honor the fallen who served our country at home and stay away from the shopping mall.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

On Missed Calculations:

I know what I have to do but I’m not happy about it. I was knitting away at that test sweater for Judith of Coffee and Tea Gals and I got up to the arm holes. I put it aside for a few days. Something else in life came up and I knew I couldn’t give it the attention it deserved.

I pulled it out last night to take pictures and start humming away at it again only to find out I read the pattern wrong and I made a few missed calculations.

I have to start over.

I could blame it on my messed up math skills from my chemo brain, but I won’t. It was me in a rush because I was having fun. I know that I have to read patterns over three to five times since the cancer to get the order of the things in a pattern straight in my head. I know I have to check and re check my math, think it through and do the math again one last time before I highlight the numbers that are mine in the pattern, and doing that, have a trouble free knitting experience.

The pattern is a good one, most anyone can see that. I trust the maker, I’ve made her stuff before.

I jumped the gun (and the part of the pattern I needed to succeed), penalty on my side, I have to start over.

I took the time to read and re read the pattern and I understand it so much better now. It is not complicated to do things in a step by step fashion. It was my choice to flit and fly.

I throw in the dice and move my playing piece to the starting square on the board again. ‘Return to go’ ‘Skip a turn’ ‘Do it over’ it’s all the same.

I have to take this sweater all out and start again.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

On Alone Time:

Wisteria with only a few blossoms left.

There is a difference in living with someone when no one works at a job away from the house. Retired people know what I mean, as do those that work together at a family business.

Mountain Man is going off on his own today. I’ll have the house to myself. Just me and the dogs until suppertime. He has his things to do with a group from his church and I have the day to myself.

We usually hang out together. Not that we live in each others pockets. We are each busy doing our own thing, but mostly within shouting distance. I don’t drive since the seizures, so I generally don’t go anywhere off the property without him either.

Don’t get me wrong. We can spend days hardly seeing each other. He’ll be out in the woods taking down trees for the wood pile and I’ll be in the house making lace or crafting. Or I’ll be out walking the woods and bird watching and he’ll be at the house fixing the car or a fence. We get plenty of alone time.

But there is a difference in time alone and having an uninterrupted hunk of time. You plan it different. You tackle projects with a hunker down mentality. That ‘now I can really get into this’ philosophy. No one to interrupt with a ‘Can you help me with this?’ or ‘Do you have to do that there? I need that space to make lunch now.’ You don’t have to plan a meal with anyone else’s tastes in mind either, a have it your way day.

I am Queen of the day today. The question is, Will I get anything done or just sit back and enjoy it?

Friday, May 22, 2009

On Old TV Land comes back to Haunt:

I’ve been outside a lot lately. I have an MP3 player but I haven’t always been using it while working on the spring pruning and garden work. I usually have music running in my head like a movie theme to my life so I don‘t miss it much.

But lately I’m getting TV commercial jingles… Old TV commercials. Speedy Alka-Seltzer singing of stomach relief, Zippy the postal code teaching you about the five digit code, Sani-flush toilet bowl cleaner, Coronet paper towels, even beer, liquor, and cigarettes.

Maybe it was Baldy Fella’s blog and his old theme songs last week. Those are always close by in easy reference in my head and I‘m not the only one. People ponder a question and someone in the room starts singing the theme to Jeopardy, someone is searching for something like they are on a quest and you hear the Mission Impossible theme, or something strange happens and you hear do, do, do, do… from the old TwilightZone in chorus.

Almost all of the jingles in my head lately are from before the 70’s. When I close my eyes I see them in black and white. ‘See the USA in a Chevrolet’ ‘Plop, plop fizz, fizz, Oh what a relief it is’ Marlboro Man on a horse in the Western Sunset guitar theme in the background.

Summer theme songs of places to play. ‘Palisades Amusement Park, Swings all day till after dark… You’ll have fun, so come on over.’ Freddy Cannon’s ‘Down at Palisades Park’ not withstanding. (Okay, so I’ve said before, I did grow up just outside of New York City.)

Commercials these days have current or old top forty songs more often then not. The kicky jingle, that stuck in your head to distraction, seems a thing of the past. Even TV shows are reusing music for their themes. Is all the music that is fit to hear used up?

Will we be hearing the old jungles come back too? If so, they can be referenced in my head anytime of the day or night. ‘I’m a Chiquita Banana and I’m here to say, if you want to enjoy your banana in an easy way… but never ever, ever put it in the refrigerator.’

Don’t blame me if they start popping up in you head. They were there all along, I just stirred them up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On Greens for Dinner:

I am quickly running out of space. The plants waiting to go out in the garden are taking over. They can’t get into my garden yet because just a few days ago we had a fairly heavy frost. We wait until the start of June.

Dinner lurks around the edge of a later harvest, and breakfast is more often eaten over the sink or at the desk. Lunch we have the table back if the day isn’t too rainy.

I’m not complaining here. I like all the green things growing. I was just wondering how much bigger they would get before they make it outside for good.

For now we move them in and out of the door each day and watch them grow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Springing Day:

Sorry I'm late today. I was waiting for the sun to come around the tree so I could take this picture.

The trees are now mostly bloomed out. My allergy meds have been reduced and I have a more energy. I want to run and play in the shade of the newly formed leaves.

The laundry can now be dried outside on the clothes line. It smells sunshine fresh without having to use chemical fabric softeners. (Which I don’t do, ever, by the way.) I tuck bits of last years, dried lavender in between the linens on the shelf. Very old fashioned I know, but it works.

Like a child, I feel like I can’t stand still. Bug and birds flit and roam, going about their business. Plants explode in growth, blooms and color. I want to hugs it all to me. I avoid the lilacs that I once loved. They make my face itch and nose run, but the spirea, or ‘button bushes’ as I called them from childhood, are hanging heavy with white buttons lined up in a row on every branch ready for me to hug close.

I want to play house in the garden with teacups and saucers. I dust off my fairy wings and put them on. I banish winter with my magic green fairy wand, a crown of silk flowers and leaves and streamers, giving me such power, on my head.

If I lived by the sea I would dance with the waves, but I don’t so I dance with the breeze in the air.

I love the starkness of Winter. The grays and nakedness of the Winter world. But now I’m ready for Spring. Beetles on plants, bees in the air, the butterflies not far behind. Spring.

I will eat out of doors and drink in the beauty of it all. The summer heat will chase me indoors again soon. But for now I’m am an outdoor girl with wings and a china tea cup, sipping herb berry tea and eating cubed melon with little bamboo cocktail forks under the wisteria vines.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Tears and Cheers:

I thank you for your support, but don’t pity me. There are mothers out there who have lost their children to violence, or worst abduction… never to be seen again.

I handle my grief in my own way and have the luxury of time to not have to impose my moods on others around me. It was cold here in the northeast I went to the cemetery and although I wanted to walk in the woods, I lost myself in video game landscapes. I peeked in on others blogs for a short time, but wasn’t feeling sociable enough to make comments.

The day was not all woe and dower thoughts. My niece had a baby boy. The family will have birthday celebrations again to go to on this date. Babies make me smile. Life moves on and balances out. The tears have stopped until another day.

This morning I woke to frost on the grass and flowers. My wisteria blooms, fleeting as it is around here, will likely fall to the ground by this afternoon. But I took the time to smell them and enjoy their flowing show. I had a warm day to sit with them and drink in their beauty. It will be enough until next year.

The volume of the rhythm of the living is louder today. My grief is swallowed up again, I move on and enjoy life, cheer it, live it and hold my tears at bay.

Life is tears and cheers. Some days have more of one then the other, but the life of one is lucky, that finds a good balance to most of their days.

Monday, May 18, 2009

On A Child’s Headstone:

When my son died in a car accident, almost ten years ago, he was no longer a child. He was twenty-five years old and no longer living at home. But, always and forever, he will be my little baby boy.

The first reaction I had to hearing of his death was a pain in my uterus that almost floored me. My body knew where the first connection to him was and it felt like it tore in two when he was gone.

In honor of my son’s birthday, I give you children’s headstones.

I made the pictures black and white so you could see them better.
I had to remove the names. And the one is so old I had to do an outline of the little tiny body, no longer than seven inches, laying on a pillow on the top of the stone so you could see it.

The child climbing the rocks is life sized. (It took some playing with the photo manipulator to get to see him here. There was a green patina on the stone that made it blend in with the background when it was in color.)

(This one is my avatar.) The boy child turned angel is in a local cemetery, all the others are in Boston.

The children under glass are life sized white marble statues of the children buried there. (It is said that some of the statues of children in the cemeteries were made from their death masks. A common practice in the Victorian period.) A boy in a boat with his toys and a girl standing with flowers in her hand. They were their mother’s only children and their mothers are now buried next to them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

On Wisteria in Bloom:

The wisteria is blooming. I’ve taken to sitting under it in a white wicker chair, making lace and floating away on the scent.

Wisteria is one of my favorite flowers. It lasts for only a short time each year usually in May. So I drink in as much as I can, while I can.

I’ve been distracted lately. A lot on my mind. I don’t do drugs in the recreational sense. I don’t drink or smoke. I try to get my highs from life. And one of those highs for me is when my wisteria blooms.

Wisteria… My grandmother had it growing on the shed in her back yard. I’d play under it and pretend that the shed was my house. There was no playing in the shed itself. It was packed to the rafters with Christmas yard decorations and garden tools. But it was cute on the outside and I couldn’t get enough of playing just outside of its door when the wisteria was in bloom.

I planted it at the corners of the house when we were first married. On the east side it hangs over an arbor that has the path to the door running through it. On the west end is grows on a little enclosed area with lattice on a half roofed, half arbor frame. The wisteria grows so heavy it needs help keeping the blooms off the ground. (In the picture, you can see the wooden poles helping to hold it up and my chair through the lattice if you look close enough.)

In a few short weeks, when each and every bloom has been spent, I’ll be cutting it back it a reasonable size. But for now I sit here under the wisteria on my little porch outside my bedroom door. I’ll be making lace and dreaming my castles in the air.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Contest Winners in May:

The winners this month are Helena Handbag and Sooticas Dreams. Pick your prize and email me with your contact info please. I’ll email you also.

I am not likely to have another Epitaph contest again this month and do to computer problems and trips I only had one in April. So I’m going to have two winners this time around and start fresh with a clean slate next month.

One contest a month until further notice. Easy to remember and easier on me.

My memory is not what it once was. Yes, it is still filled with useless junk and fond memories, but the access portals are no longer in tip top shape. And for some reason I can’t hold on to as many things at one time in working short term memory. (Damage from chemo not withstanding.) I’m not a spring chicken any longer nor do I want to be. I just want to remember what I’m doing at any given moment of the day.

If you see me walking aimlessly around in circles point me in the right direction and send me home please. Ha, ha!

No, its not that bad yet, but I do miss my old mega multi-tasking memory. Sigh…

There is a post for tomorrow on the timer, but I’m not sure I’ll be on the computer. I’ll be back on Tuesday. So, if I don’t answer as fast as I usually do, I’ll catch up with you later. I’m not ignoring you, just busy at the moment. Your support has been invaluable to me. Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, May 15, 2009

On White:

After watching the white mist of a thick fog creep over my garden this morning for almost an hour, I sat for an equal amount of time and stared at my white stark computer screen.

Not that I wasn’t inspired to write things. I was just enjoying being lost in thought.

There is an art form to it if you don’t want to feel guilty afterwards. The secret is to tell yourself you were looking for inspiration. If it doesn’t show up, it is not your fault, and if it does you get rewarded.

White is nice. It opposes black. Illumination. Clarity. Good. God. Freedom. Death. Balance.

What was that in the blank looking space on this page?
A polar bear sleeping in a snow storm?
A snowflake convention?

No, just a calm space to think.

Now go get inspired and write me an epitaph. Or not, but don’t tell me you didn’t find the space to be inspired to write one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

On Ups and Downs of Memories:

Today I’m feeling some what better. Special happy events in my daughters life combine with sad anniversaries from the past have been making my days bitter sweet lately.

Yesterday was not a good day for me. I was weepy and moody. I didn’t get a lot done around here. I haven’t been sleeping well. Nightmares and bad dreams keep me up at night leaving my days lacking. Monday is coming.

Monday would have been my Son’s 35 birthday. He died in a car accident almost ten years ago.

I’ve been all stirred up this year. My daughter’s graduation last month and her up coming wedding in August, combined with the up coming tenth anniversary of his death in July, is making more of my days a roller coaster ride of memories.

I gauge my day’s work load by how I feel when I wake up in the morning. Some days feel like time hasn’t passed at all since that night he died and others are blissfully normal.

How do you move on and leave your child behind? I still don’t know. I do it most days, but I don’t know how I got there.

Yesterday I pushed myself to clean and do things around here. I posted my blog here and a story on my Thrill or Shiver blog, (which I have been sadly neglecting lately.) Everything was a chore and my crafts went untouched.

Today feels regular and more even. I will probably go back to my knitting and go through my day like many others before it. Happiness and perkiness in place and not forced.

I’m back on the roller coaster of memories because my son’s birthday is coming again. How long does it take to forget to remember? And, What do you do with the guilt when you do?

On Monday I’ll post pictures of children’s headstones. I’m loading it on the timer today. On Monday I’ll be in the cemetery, but not on a pleasure day. I’ll be riding the waves of memory and broken promises at my son’s grave side on his birthday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On Silly Holiday the Thirteenth, May, 09:

Backward Eating Day.

Children all over delight in the Backward Eating Holiday. Started by a child asking the age old question of, “Why don’t we ever start a meal with desert?”

One mother didn’t have an answer so that was how Backward Eating Day was born.

Meals like spaghetti were served in sundae dishes with tomato sauce and meat balls on top, Pizza’s of cookie dough topped with fruit and whipped cream, and salad’s made in banana split fashion with tuna or chicken salad on a bed of lettuce replacing the ice cream and carrots substituted for bananas started showing up in dinning rooms and kitchens all over the world.

Pita bread made to look like over large sandwich cookies with peanut butter and jelly filling for lunch. (Some mother’s even went so far as to use a cookie cutter to make her sandwiches look more cookie like.) Meals finished off by brownies made to look like meat loaf with ice cream like mashed potatoes and chocolate sauce for gravy and cubed peaches instead of carrots.

Mother’s got very inventive, and dessert made from main course ingredients started each of these meals, followed by the main course made from the ingredients usually found in desserts.

The children, thou not exactly getting what they had expected, ate their meals with gusto, because as every child knows, it is fun to mix things up every once in a while.

So, start with dessert today, but leave room for the main course.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On Finished Projects From the Past:

I promised pictures of these things to people so here they are.

One is the socks I just finished last month. Don't I look stylin' with my pants legs hitched up like that? I made these with Red Heart, Designer Sport, Acrylic, in Black and Grape. I finished these for my trip to Boston. I made them for my Doc Martin’s boots and plan to make more but in wool next time.

The other is a Blackwork Embroidery. Someone, sorry I can’t remember who at the moment, emailed me some months ago and they asked if I embroidered, and if so, what was my last project? I didn’t have a picture of this until I visited my daughter, because I made and gave it to her as a Christmas gift a few years back.

(I didn’t have a picture of it without my daughter in it. And I have a firm commitment to ‘not’ put pictures of my family into the blog. They don’t like it.)

I found a similar project in a book of craft projects, I think it was to be a pillow, and re-made the tree to my liking.

Monday, May 11, 2009

On Part 2 Monday, May 11:

The promised picture of the prizes you can choose from for the Epitaph Contest.

The lace is sewn together but not yet sewn onto the black handkerchief.

The three note cards pack of Lady Deathwatch in the cemetery.

And the tatted necklace. I still have colored ones in this style. White with white glass beads, and red, blue and purple with black glass beading.

If you win you can let me know what prize you would like sent to you and where to send it. I don’t share any personal info I get from you.

On I Forgot What Day it Was:

Okay, So I forgot it was Mother’s Day until after I put my blog out yesterday. I do try to get it out by 8:00 AM in the morning and usually get it out closer to 7:00 AM.

I didn’t get the handkerchief done or anything else ready for the picture because I wasn’t here to do it. I had a nice day out with Mountain Man.

I’ll try to catch up and get them here later on today.

Here are the rules for writing your own headstone epitaphs and having them shown on my blog or entered into the contest:

1. No more then 12 lines, but the shorter the better.
2. It does not have to rhyme.
3. Just words. No pictures, cartoons etc.
4. Nothing ‘overtly’ sexual, violent, disgusting, or racist will be considered.
5. Leave a name of who sent it. (It doesn’t have to be your real name.) But it will be attributed to that name. No name, no entry.
6. If the words are not your own. Add the original authors name if you know it. Otherwise just add ‘Anonymous’ and add ‘Sent in by’ and your name after that.
7. Spelling counts. Please proof read it before you hit the send button.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Getting Back in the Groove:

It’s been long enough. This past week has just flown by for me. What with coming home from my Boston trip and getting back into my routine.

I finally caught up with the laundry, no thanks to the weather. It rained at some point every day, so that I had to dry it all in the family room by the wood stove, one load at a time.

The Epitaph Contest is back on. I’ll pull a name from the hat on Saturday night the 16 th. So, get those epitaphs in.

Let me see… a prize to choose from.
1. I’ll finish making the black, bobbin lace edged handkerchief today.
2. A Tatted lace necklace.
3. Note cards.
I’ll post the rules and the picture of the prizes to pick from tomorrow.

I have cemetery pictures to show you.

Doors on mausoleums (above ground) and crypts (partially or totally under ground). Some are metal and others carved stone. I blurred out the names so I could show them to you, which is a shame because some of them were quite beautiful.

I know that they don’t look it, but these doors are all large enough to get a tall man through, carrying his end of a coffin, without his having to duck down.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

On Knitting, But Not Getting There So Fast:

Or, I re-discovered I need to loose weight:

I had to restart my sweater. It is done in cotton, which doesn’t have the stretch of other yarns. And I was in such a hurry to get started that I forgot to cast on with larger needles than I was knitting the rest of it with.

I went to try it on to see if my decreases were landing in the right places and all but the cast on row fit.

I love working with this yarn so I’m still having fun, but I also want to have the finished sweater by my daughter’s wedding.

This slightly form fitting sweater is a challenge for me. The pattern is easy and written well. The yarn feels good in my hands. The only reason is the fact that I’m short and fat.

I need to reduce 15 inches to 12 for the length from the hem to the arm hole. I’m short waisted.

My hips are larger then my shoulders and ample bust so I have to start at a much larger size and work my way twice as fast down to the size I need for the bust, so I don’t get lost in the thing.

I fell in love with this slightly form fitting pattern in the first place, because
I need to show the fact I do have a waist or I look like a potato dressed for the circus.

After much mathematics for my shorter row count, all seems to be getting in order. The arm holes will land in the right place. Me and my double D’s will be able to breath with ease and you will be able to see that I have a waist without looking like I‘m a sack of rocks tied in the middle.

Now, all I have left to do is adjust the pattern make my fat 15 1/ 2 inch arms fit in the sleeves. Yes, you heard it here. The woman has upper arms the size of most men’s shirt necks.

I’m going to enjoy re-knitting this sweater in a year or two when I lose more of this extra weight. But for now I’m going with what I got, because I’m determined to wear it to my daughters wedding in August.

And for now I'm avoiding mirrors.

Friday, May 8, 2009

On All Tangled Up:

The package came in the mail yesterday afternoon. Six skeins of the most lovely cotton yarn. I took out the first skein and Mountain Man, hands at the ready, held the yarn so I could roll it into a ball. I promptly started my test swatch. The yarn was ever so soft and smooth. I couldn’t wait to get started on the project.

I carefully put the project aside for dinner, picking it up again after the dishes were done. In the early evening I was knitting away collecting rows on my needles when Mountain man came in from working on the wood pile. While he washed his hands to help me roll another ball of yarn, (so I wouldn’t have to stop my progress when the first came to an end) I went about untying the knots that held the yarn together on the second skein.

I sneezed just at that moment. A small thing really, when you think about it. Just one moment in time. A sneeze as I turned my head away, jerking my elbow up to protect the yarn draped over my hands ready for transfer.

This sneeze led to two and a half hours of my time being lost. How you ask? I’ll tell you.

As I sneezed I dropped the newly unknotted skein of yarn, King Tut cotton in a non pull skein. I had my hands in the loop of its silky smoothness. It flowed like water as it went down in slow motion, a honey colored ripple. 182 yards of tangled mass lay at my feet.

It took a little more then two and a half hours to untangle and wind it into a ball. I put it safely away for its turn in the making of the sweater that I am test knitting for Judith of Coffee and Tea gals.

Four more balls to go. This time they will be safely in the hands of Mountain Man as I untie and wind the balls.

I hope you never have to untangle a skein of yarn and that all your yarn transfers are sneeze free. Happy Friday folks, the weekend is almost here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Part 2 of the Day:

I was looking at the blogs I follow and came upon Crazy Aunt Purl’s blog from yesterday.

If you know me, you know that I wish that life was like a musical and so does Aunt Purl.

Hop (with the link) on over and give a look see to what a friend showed her on YouTube. It made me cry tears of pure joy. (She said, as she opened up yet another box of tissues.) It was well worth the time it took to get it to load with my very slow dial up service. Happy Spring!

On Spring is Upon Me:

My spring allergies have kicked in and are kicking my butt. Or I should say my head.

I have the whole gambit of symptoms and my head was sooo heavy I didn’t feel like I could lift it off the pillow this morning.

I feel a bit better after I took my medication. And boxes of tissues are at hand. Ah Spring… Ahchoooo Spring!


On the Friday before I left Boston I finally got into the cemetery when the office was open. I was allowed to take all the pictures I wanted, but I couldn’t and can not publish the names on them without the written permission of the family members of the deceased.

So here are some pictures that I can publish. More to come after I blur out the names on them.

Two overviews.

Babies small headstone.

Life sized woman atop grave marker.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Spring has Sprung:

So, the week I was in Boston the weather was fairly nice. A few hot days, a few cool days, and any rain was just light intermittent showers. Over all, good weather to do most anything in. It rained at home a few times while I was away, but I missed it.

On Sunday, when I was coming home, it rained. It’s been raining since and today will be the only day of full sunshine for the week. This rainy week is great for the plants but I’ve been wanting to check out the labyrinth (Mountain Man was working on it while I was gone, here and there when he could find the time.) and I wanted to get some pictures of spring emerging.

When I left the buds were barely showing their heads and not only have they come and gone but the new leaves are out in full. The grass in the yard is knee high in patches and the work in the labyrinth is getting harder because of all the growth in there is trying to be wild and take over again. The apple tree is in full flower. Green is everywhere and I missed it sprout.

Today I’ll be outside working and trying to catch a few pictures as I make my way through what feels like a jungle compared to the state of things when I left. (Pictures to come on that front.)

Life is always in transition in the country and I have to try to catch up to it today… now that I’m home again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On Blogiversaries:

Today is the first anniversary of my first blog posting.

I’ve grown so much and found some truly wonderful people here over the last year. New friendships have been formed and I’m happier then ever.

I have become a better more focused person through trying to post every day. (I only missed a few days in the last year and they happen within the last month or two.)

It would have never been possible for me to continue at times if not for the people that commented or emailed and kept me sane.

I have also learned a lot of things from the other people that have their own blogs. The styles, interests, and panache of others have inspired me to try harder to put out a better blog.

Changes will come as time goes by. Life is fluid and not stagnant, so change is part of the process, but I like to temper change with a grounded sense of stability. I will not be making any major changes in content any time in the near future.

I have been thinking of changing the look of the blog and I’m open to suggestions if you have any.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. Whether you commented or not, follow me regularly or just pop in every once in a while, I thank you for your time and interest. Without you, I’m just a fool shouting in the dark.

Thank you my friends, Lady Euphoria Deathwatch

Monday, May 4, 2009

On Home:

I am home.

A short sentence for a large thing. I peal the layers back like an onion and breath. Not that I didn’t enjoy my trip to Boston, because I did. But there is no place like home when you like the place you live.

(I’ll talk more about my Boston trip in the days to come.)

We got home at 10:30 last night and fell into bed. Not that we don’t stay up for the 11:00 news sometimes. But we were just dog tired from the trip itself.

The dogs themselves were glad I finally came home. Lady Short is not doing as well as she had been before I left. Her days are numbered. Lady Long is still miffed I left at all.

There is a mountain of laundry and housework to get to. The grass needs cutting. The car is only half unpacked. But I don’t care because I’m home.

I really did like staying at my daughters place. Places to go, people to see, things to do. She lived on a fairly quite street in a fairly nice, midline neighborhood.

City living… I could do it. Trains, buses, taxis, walking, cars. Movement, but steady. Rhythmic, yet chaos. Going up, coming down. Spreading out, pulling in. Fast. The dance of move along, nothing to see. I could do that living in the city. But I don’t want to.

Country living… It has it’s limits. Car, walk, car, walk, car. Movement of nature. Rhythmic, yet growing. Still but fluid. Life and death, bearing fruit. Seasonal and shrinking. Slow. The luxury of sitting and smelling the roses. I’d rather be here. This is where I feel at home.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

On Day Eight, Boston:

On Connecting In The End:

My daughter and I reconnected this week. We hadn’t had time to do that much while she was in school these pass three years.

Yesterday we went to a street fair and there was a labyrinth there made of little flags and marked with tape. I had fun talking to the people that put it up in the grass for the day. Mostly children were using it, but a few adults where winding themselves through the pathways in and back out. I was told that it was also International Labyrinth Day on May second.

Lady Sheltie, my daughters dog, also had a connection. We found this cute marionette of her at the street fair and had to bring it home.

Today my friend from the web and I will finally get to see each other. A day late and for a much shorter time, but some is better then none. After which I will be heading home.

I’ll be meeting Mountain Man in Rhode Island for that connection.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

On A Little Miss Directed:

The best laid plans and all that.

On May first I didn’t blog because everything was crazy around here with running around, getting ready, and people arriving for the two days of graduation. I even managed to get myself lost a time or two for short lengths of time. Her father and grandfather came from out of state and her uncle who lives closer, all were there for her big day.

My daughter was a recipient of an award and was hooded on Thursday at the convocation and she got her degree on Friday at the graduation ceremony. Once the state test for her licensing is done she will be a fully fledged Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She has been an RN for a while now. I’m proud enough to pop my buttons.

There have been dinners and parties. Too much food and not enough time. Places to go and people to see.

In between graduation stuff, shopping was good. We went to a few thrift shops (One of my favorite places to go no matter where I am is a thrift shop.) and I picked up some clothing, music and other goodies. So much for coming home lighter then I left. Even my luggage is heavier. But despite the wealth of food choices I was good with my diet. I may not have lost weight but I didn’t gain because my clothing didn’t get any tighter.

I also got this blog today out late because we got home so late last night after wonderful dinner party at my daughter’s uncle’s house. The dog was sick and I had packing to do.

I did not get to my friend house today because I missed the window of opportunity before my daughter had to be elsewhere. That will be left to fit in between leaving Boston and meeting up with Mountain Man in the afternoon for the long ride home.

Plans met or not, I am still having a good time, but I am longing to be home at my quiet country life again.