Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Need to get outta this funk...

We have something good on the horizon for us. My husband may have a new position which would make things much nicer for us when he retires for good, and that would also come sooner than anticipated when this goes though.

On the other hand we have friends all around us with bad things happening. Marriages in trouble, health problems, financial problems with the economy the way it is, and just general sadness. My heart breaks for those with problems and I really wish there was a way to make their problems disappear. But, there is no magic wand to wave and have everything fine and dandy.

That makes it a little difficult to enjoy what is happening for us right now. It's hard to be happy about our prospects when there is so much sadness around us. It has led to many sleepless nights for me. (which doesn't help my fibromyalgia)

I truly hope things start looking up for those around us so we may all rejoice!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day...

One bad thing about getting older is you send fewer and fewer Mother's Day cards. When I first married I sent cards to all the grandmothers, the mothers and even a few "second moms" that I had growing up. Now I'm down to just 2 cards, my mother and my mother-in-law.

That aside, I've had a fairly nice one today. We have gorgeous weather for a change. I was beginning to think we might have to build an ark here with all the rain we got. Today is beautiful blue skies and perfect temps too. I have the house opened up and am enjoying it all.

We found lots of deer tracks in the backyard this morning. Of course we put out deer feed so that helps. I love being able to watch the "wildlife" here. We have deer, groundhogs, foxes, red tailed hawks, eagles, and on and on.

Today has definitely been one of those "Life is Good" days. I have quite a few of those and I never get tired of them either.

I have lots of cleaning to do Mon and Tues since we have company coming in on Wed. So, I'm enjoying the day today and taking it easy. I hope all the other moms out there had a great day too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Alpaca fun!




This past weekend I went to an alpaca farm and spun alpaca fleece while they sheared the herd. It was soooooo much fun! Their alpacas are so sweet. They had some babies too. The one in the photo is only about 2 months old. They were all so fuzzy and fluffy, then when they got sheared they looked so fragile. They seem to love getting their necks scratched. LOL

The weather was gorgeous and sunny. We had fun with all the alpacas, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and got lots of work done. I was invited to come back again in October to spin while they shear. I will definitely try to make it because it was so much fun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Too much fun at Dayton

Dayton was an amazing few days. I got to be around "color/winter guard folks", see some shows, meet some new folks and even catch up with an old friend!

I got to Dayton on Thursday and spent time with my daughter and a few of her friends from Sacred Heart. I cannot remember the last time I was in a mall. LOL

Fri was spent mostly at UD Arena. I got there early to watch guards leading up to Sacred Heart. There were some awesome shows this year! Kudos to all the guards who competed.

With this being my daughter's last year it was quite emotional for me. When I looked to see Sacred Heart was in the tunnel waiting to set up for their show I started crying. This could be IT - it could have been her last show ever. The guard did great and she had a fantastic show personally. Once they had performed I left to go wait with her at the hotel to see if they made finals. They made finals!

Friday night the guard was back at the Arena to watch Scholastic A Finals and I went to watch as well. Saw some great shows again, and spent time with my daughter.

Saturday I was in a better frame of mind for the final show. We knew they were not in the hunt for a medal, so they were going out onto the floor to have a good time with the show. (Tina Turner by the way) I did good until about midway through the closing song. I started crying. :o( It was my baby's last time to compete and I will miss that terribly. They had a fantastic show again and in fact, they were the first guard of the day not to drop any piece of equipment. As soon as the show ended, my daughter was in tears on the floor, ran to one friend and they stood hugging and sobbing for a minute or two. Yeah, that really got me crying then.

After retreat and awards I followed back to my daughter's hotel and we had our congratulatory cigars. It's a tradition of sorts in our family. We smoked cigars after finals in '07 when my son aged out of DCI. I had tons of fun with my daughter and am so glad I was able to be there for her.

While in Dayton I ran into an old friend from high school!!! It was great to catch up with her and watch some shows together. I'm hoping to make this a yearly trip and will join her since she comes every year too. :o)

Unfortunately I didn't get enough sleep, and being around thousands of people from all over I ended up getting sick once I got home. I got home Sunday and by Tues I was running a high fever and trying to cough up a lung. Still feel like crap and am almost done with my antibiotics. At least I'm not running fevers anymore.

Hoping to feel normal soon since I get to go to an alpaca farm to spin while they shear their flock this Saturday. I hope to take lots of pictures and post some next week of all the fun.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm at a loss for words...

I received the news this morning that my grandmother had passed away. She was my last living grandparent. It's a bit odd to think I no longer have grandparents here on earth with me. My kids are almost 21 and almost 24, so they were fortunate to have a great grandmother as long as they did.

I find myself remembering fun times with her and all my family. The times going to White Sands, the rodeo, and so many others. The time she bribed me with a brooch of hers if I would let my father pull the splinter out of my foot.

I also find myself in some sort of a loss for my "place". For more than 45 years I was a grand daughter, daughter, mom and aunt. Now I'm just a daughter, mom and aunt.

I guess it's the cycle of life and we all move through this. I've been here before and I know I'll pass through and come out the other side fine. It just hurts in the meantime.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dayton, here I come!

This past weekend I was able to buy my tickets to fly to Dayton, OH for WGI championships! I also got my hotel and rental car. My ticket for finals is bought and I will buy my ticket for prelims/semis when I get there.

This is a bittersweet trip for me. This will be our daughter's last year with WGI/DCI. When our son aged out of DCI in 2007 it was difficult but I knew I still had our daughter to watch on the floor and on the field competing. Now, I will no longer have a child competing in either WGI or DCI.

I'm not totally sure why this is hitting me so hard. I always went to practices and competitions. When we moved to MD and she stayed behind in ME it was difficult to lose that connection with our daughter and the guard world. I no longer had a close connection with the guard world. I guess that must be it.

I continue to work with guards, but I don't have that close connection I felt when working with guards with my daughter and being there like I used to be. I almost feel like I'm grieving for a lost friend. I still have guard there and I can follow DCI and WGI every year, but it's just not the same.

I can't wait to get to Dayton to watch all the shows, but I know I will be a mess of tears once she has left the floor for the last time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Something warm for a beautiful spirit...



A very sweet mama I met online is going through a rough patch at the moment. She is such a sweet and loving person that I just had to make something for her. These socks were just a small thing I could do to let her know I care and am hoping she gets back on track soon.

I can post this now since I got an email from her letting me know she got them. :o) I hope they will bring her comfort for years to come.

Winter Wonderland...



I woke up this morning to a gorgeous sight - snow! For Southern MD this is a major snow storm and I am loving it. I have missed snow since moving away from Maine and I finally got a taste of it again.

The first photo is of our driveway - it's under there somewhere. :o) The other photo is of a man made creek and pond in our backyard. Everything just looked so pretty. I loved it when the sun came out and everything was all sparkly and glinting in the sun.

I watched the scene from my sliding glass doors all day and we continued to have flakes wafting gently towards the ground. I was in heaven all day watching it. I wish the photos would have come out when we hit sunset. It gave this beautiful pinkish hue to everything and just took my breath away.

I will miss the snow when it melts and is gone, but for now I am enjoying every minute of it!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why does this always happen...

I know it is partially due to the fibromyalgia and all, but when ever I have a big push to finish something (in this case the winter guard uniforms) I end up getting sick! ugh It's like my body can no longer deal with stress and handle it as well as it used to.

I am well acquainted with stress. I'm a mom of 2 and spent over 24 years as a military wife. I used to handle stress like it was a mere ripple in the water, nothing to be concerned over. Now I just seem to either end up run down and sick or just kind of glaze over it and get by ignoring it.

So, here I am dealing with this crud that is going around and trying to get better. I am doing better than I was a few days ago. But I'm still at the stage where doing things just wears me out. I did 4 loads of laundry, ran the dish washer and wiped down the kitchen counters and I feel like I've run a marathon! What I wouldn't give to feel "normal" again. sigh

Here's hoping this week will be better and I will feel like spinning and knitting again.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free at last!

This afternoon I finally finished all 12 Winterguard uniforms and the 12 belts that go along with the uniforms. Now, I can enjoy Valentine's Day tomorrow with my husband. :o) I plan to enjoy taking a break for a couple of days and then getting back to my normal routine. My poor spinning wheel probably feels neglected. I can't wait to get back to spinning some - especially the alpaca! mmmmmmmmmmm

Monday, February 9, 2009

Work in progress on the uniforms...



This is the uniform I am working on for the winter guard. You can see photos of the uniform on which they based this uniform here. I explain in that post what they wanted changed. Well, this is the result! I'm pleased with how they are turning out since I had to draft my own pattern form just pictures of the uniform. I got the basic pattern done and have to grade it for each girl and her measurements. So, it's slow going! I have 4 finished at the moment, one is 2/3 done and then I have 7 more to go. My goal is to have them finished and shipped off in time for them to wear them at their next competition.

Flags done!




I finished both sets of flags for the winter guard I'm working with. The first set was just plain purple organza so I did not take photos of any of them. :o) The second set I did take a photo. The design is by one of the staff members. The colors were supposed to be rose and dusty rose silk with gold lame`. The place they bought the material from did not have the rose silk, so she bought a brighter pink.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mandi's mittens!



First of all, I had a smudge on the lens of my camera and did not realize it when taking the photos. I need to remember to retake them and repost.

So it seems that all things Twilight are the rage - and most especially Bella's Mittens! Mandi has read all the books and since she's still stuck in the "cold, white north" of Maine I decided to make a pair for her.

The next pair I make I think I will use a bulkier yarn. I also hope the next yarn I use doesn't color my hands that way this did. I used a yarn from Knit Picks and love their yarns. But this one left my hands a blue-ish green when I worked with it.

I now have the mittens soaking in water to help exhaust the dye used for this yarn. I really don't think Mandi will want to walk around with blue/green hands the rest of the winter. :o)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ugh!





So, I was approached about making color guard uniforms. They showed me some pictures and wanted a sample made. As rough as it is I think I managed to do a decent job for my first time sewing lycra!

And yes, when you look at the actual garment and my sample I manage to reverse the top piece. LOL That will be changed if I make them for the guard. I ended up cutting the top portion away from the middle 2 times in the midst of tweaking the fit. It was also made with the largest measurements given to me for the group. My dress form doesn't go that big so it's kind of big for the form.

They didn't want the "skirt" on the back of the outfit, but wanted more of a pallazo pant for the bottom. I left them unhemmed for them to take a look and let me know where they want the hem to fall.

I'll be starting their flags tomorrow. I have all the material for one set. For the second set I'm waiting on a second color of silk from them.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

As promised...



Here are some photos of the Navajo plied yarn I spun recently. I've never done a Navajo ply and have wanted to try it. I watched a few videos on You Tube and then just went for it. I actually think I did better on my first skein than my second. I had a tendency to over spin on my second skein. ugh Oh well, more practice will help that.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Calm before the storm...

No, not another wind storm. It's the calm before our daughter gets here to visit.

Since we knew she was coming down the first week of January, we decided to wait on our big holiday meal until she got here. It was only 3 of us, I figured we'd have lots of leftovers so why not wait for her to be here to help. ;o)

She should make it to the house about 10 pm Sunday night. I'm looking forward to spending some "Mom and me" time with her. She'll help with the cooking and we always have fun with that.

We have her Christmas gifts here for her to open too.

Sadly, she leaves on Friday. But, it's better to see her for a few days rather than not at all. Having been a military family for over 24 years we roll with the punches. We also learned that you can celebrate on different days too. It won't be the first time we've done Christmas at another time of the year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Windy days...




As you can see by the photos we had some high winds here! I have no idea when the tree went since I did not hear it. Looked out the window, saw it and hollered something about holey excrement. ;o) No wonder we had weather alerts.

I have actually taken time to spin some the past few days and I enjoy that time! Will take photos to share soon. I've been spinning some alpaca and some merino cross breed wool.

I'm really excited to have some merino roving on the way to me from Paradise Fibers. I'm not sure how long the sale price will last, but if you buy 16 oz or more of the undyed merino it is only 90 cents and ounce!!!! Snapped up 2 pounds for myself.

Now I have colors dancing around in my head. I also have to decide if I want to dye it as roving or spin it and then dye. I have one colorway in mind that I hope I can pull it off as nice as it looks in my head. I want to do a light, light ice blue and some silver. I'm looking for that impression of a cold, snowy day. (can you tell I miss Maine?!)

Spinning will go on the waiting list though now. We have company coming in tomorrow, they leave on Sunday morning and Sunday night our daughter comes in to visit! It's been a long time since we've seen Mandi. I haven't seen her since April '08 and my husband hasn't seen her since Nov '07. We held off on the big holiday dinner since it was just 3 of us here. While Mandi is here we will be doing the big dinner and it sounds like she can't wait to have all that home cooking too.

Here's to the New Year being wonderful for each and every one of you!