When I was not looking…

It never ceases to amaze me that when you least expect it life happens, and sometimes what happens is so amazing you are awed by the experience.  Consider me awed, gentle readers!

In West Michigan, Autumn has come to stay.  The days have been lovely, sunny and warm.  The nights, beautifully cool and crisp.  The perfect combination, in my opinion.  The colors are changing slowly in the trees, and each day it seems there is something new to see.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to put socks on after a long summer!  Simple things, to be sure.  But, a nice feeling!

I am going to try and keep up with the Harlot this year and not turn the heat on for as long as possible.  It should prove an interesting challenge!  Stay tuned to see how I handle this feat.  You may not know this, but I need to have a window open to sleep.  I dislike the feeling of a closed up house, most especially in the bedroom.  I promise to keep your inquiring minds posted on how this progresses!

Today is also my first night at work!!  Yes, the change begins today!  I have been trying to stay up later and, therefore wake up later.  In theory that sounds right, does it not?  Well, would someone please tell my internal clock???  I have been going to bed later, but waking up near the same time.  I would stay in bed, tossing and turning – sleeping the sleep of restlessness.  I am fatigued today, and will hope that the nap I have planned for this afternoon works out.  Either way, keep me in your thoughts tonight!!

School is off to a rousing start for all the kids.  This weekend is home coming and I had some previews of the frivolity this weekend from Heidi and Jordan.  Okay, can someone tell me when kids got all decked out for home coming???  I feel decidedly old!  I am about ready to pack up Miss Heidi and send her off to a nunnery to be clothed in sack cloth and ashes!  Sam will be home for the weekend to be with the most darling and enjoyable Brea.  Young love is a wonderful thing!!

Come to think of it, love at 47 is most incredible as well, just sayin’, gentle reader.  Most incredible indeed.

Anyways, I digress… stay tuned for the Red Carpet Photos from the upcoming weekend!  All the news that isn’t fit to print will be shared here, you can rest assured!!

Not all of you know, but next Monday I have surgery scheduled.  At. Long. Last!  Nothing dire, just a small arthroscopic repair to a little problem in my supraspinatus, for the inquiring mind out there.  I will be off work a bit, but that will be just fine.  My hope is that knitting will be my solace in recovery,  Carla – I will keep you posted as to how I am feeling and my holler at you for advice!  So, a bit of a “forced” vacation to enjoy my favorite season is just what the doctor ordered!

I wish that you all find joy in the world around you where you least expect it.  Have a glorious day!

It’s a dog’s life!

There are days when I wonder why I even bother to make my bed.  Let me present my case to you, gentle reader, follow along with me as I ramble on about this and the many and varied thoughts that fill my brain.  I promise that by the end of this post, you too will believe that I have latent ADD tendencies!

So, I have these dogs.  A matched set, so it were.  Him and Her.  Copper and Penny.  Truly the Yin and Yang of doghood!  What Copper is, Penny is not.  Yet, they love each other dearly.  For some time now Copper, who is more than a kilo or two over weight, cannot drag his carcass off the floor level to sleep in my bed.  At the end of the day, the ritual is for me to ask him if he is ready for bed.  He wags his tail and waits patiently for me to hoist him off the floor to the waiting soft bed.  Penny has already been there for some time by now.  She gets in bed and moves to the choice spot when I begin my bedtime ritual.  So, this has long been the rite of passage for the evening for a good long time.  However, sometime between my waking and my leaving the house I make the bed for the day.  Granted, this is not always done.  But, on the most part it is.  Today, in a meager attempt to find fodder for this blog, I decided to share with you why making the bed is an exercise in futility with Penny in the house.  Her entire day revolves around “unmaking” the bed.  Yes, that is right – she digs the covers back.  Pushes pillows around until she finds the perfect spot.  And, then this is what she does, for as long as she is able.

DSCF0914_edited by you.

Thus, you can see my dilemma.  Who could tell her no?  I rest my case.  Copper, on the other hand spent the day snoring away under the bed sleeping.  No picture attempted, there was not enough light!

About 2 weeks ago, I shared with you that Heidi turned 18.  Yes, I now just have one minor child left and count me blessed as they are all good kids, for the most part anyways!  Heidi, however, has a quick mind and rapier sharp wit.  She is a daughter after my own heart!  Suffice it to say, she tries for the shock factor and it tests my parental skills daily to not show my shock!!  Fortunately, her father gives her the shock value she needs to keep her attempts with me just below a fevered pitch!  All I can say is thank God for Clairol, because only my hairdresser knows how much grey hair these kids have put on my poor head!  Here is the birthday girl with her best friend, who calls me her “other mother”, Jordan.

DSCF0910_edited by you.

Heidi is on your left, Jordan is on the right.  Heidi is still wearing her sling from her shoulder surgery in August.  But, this should be off this week.  Keep your fingers crossed!!  Senioritis has not set in, for which I am eternally grateful!  It looks to be a lovely year for her.  Happy Birthday, Heidi.  I could celebrate all year with you!!

Sam is enjoying school as well.  And, he has a very steady girlfriend – Brea, whom I love and adore.  However, Sam came home last weekend with a hickey on his neck.   So, as the boy and I are talking, I ask about said mark on his neck.  To which he replies, “don’ worry, I did that shaving”.  And, he tries to change the subject.  Being the mother, and female (I know, convenient isn’t it???) I adeptly steered the conversation back to this mark and announce how convenient it was that this ‘razor burn’ looked exactly like a hickey!!  Sam, being male and young (convenient again, I assure you!) says, “no, I swear.  It happened shaving!”  I will just have you know that appropriately timed laughter has saved me as a mother on more than one occasion and I am happy to share that it did not fail me this time.  Once I started laughing, so did Sam and the conversation that followed was good for me and I hope good for him.  Brea and Sam were over the other night and after an obvious inspection of their necks prior to leaving for a movie.  The motto of “No Sucking Marks” has been adopted!  Sam laughed riotously, Brea blushed and giggled.  As they were leaving, I heard Sam say to her, “I told you Brea, my mom is funny”.

Funny or not, I love them all dearly.  I have been learning some new things, meeting some new people, and thoroughly enjoying my life.  I hope you all are in a similarly situated place.  All be it, just not in such an ADD scattered brain as mine!!  Have a great remainder of the week all!

It’s all about me!

Or, I had nothing better to do that give you all a Meme for Monday!

It has been a busy week.  Heidi turned 18, yikes!  It was not as painful as Rachel turning 18, so I expect Sam becoming 18 to be a walk in the park!  Also, my “other” daughter had a birthday last week.  We all sent her a birthday card!  I cannot tell you how it felt to have her call and tell me she felt like she was one!  We laughed about her analogy.  It was a week of tears and laughter!  I will save Heidi’s birthday antics for another post.  Stay tuned for that!

Now on to a Meme I found on a new blog!  Citizen Jane posted it here.

Without further adieu, more useless information you did not know you were dying to find out about me!
1. Were you named after anyone?
In a round about way, yes I am. My mother and I share a name, likewise I have shared that name with my daughter.

2. When was the last time you cried?
Well, I cried on Saturday, if you must know.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
Yes, I like my handwriting. I particularly enjoy the process of filling a blank sheet of paper with writing. It is amazing to me that my handwriting has not changed much in a very long time. I kept journals for much of my life and the handwriting is much the same.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Well, it would have to be corned beef.

5. Do you have kids?
Oh yes, a plethora of them, teenaged and hysterical. At least I spend a great amount of time laughing at them so as not to cry!

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
Why, yes, I believe I would!

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Does Carter have pills? Yes, sarcasm is my middle name!

8. Do you still have your tonsils?
Nope, I do not and I am missing many varied and sundry body parts. If it was not needed, it has been removed!

9. Would you bungee jump?
Absolutely not, no way, no how.  Although, I love being on the edge.  It is where it is at, gentle readers.

10. What is your favorite cereal?
Co-co Wheats. What is not to love about chocolate breakfast cereal, I mean really!

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Now really, if I untied them when I took them off, what would I do in the morning when I put them on?

12. Do you think you are strong?
I am bull-headed, does that count? But, seriously, yes – I am not weak willed. As for physical strength, while I am cannot bench-press anything, I can move mountains if necessary!

13. What is your favorite ice cream?
Oh my, anything coffee.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their eyes, the window to the soul. People who avoid eye contact are people I avoid!

15. Red or pink?
Green! Oh, that was not a choice – I’ll try again. Ummm, Orange!! So, obviously I am not a red or pink kind of gal!

16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself?
My outspokenness? My feeling that others are actually interested in my opinion? I don’t like that I have been tagged at times as a “Know It All”. It sets up a barrier I don’t want to have there. Just smack me if you see this behavior emerging!

17. Who do you miss most?
Oh, hands down, my Nana. I miss her daily, still.

18. What color shoes and pants are you wearing?
Shoes? Who has shoes on??? Not me. But, aren’t you glad I have pants on!

19. What was the last thing you ate?
Crackers, cheeses, pate, and olives.

20. What are you listening to right now?
NPR The Diane Rehm Show, naturally.

21. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
I’d want to be a glorious shade of green, not grassy – not teal. But, a good earthy green shade!

22. Favorite smells?
New born baby smell, oh my! Also, all the Thanksgiving meal smells! As for perfume or cologne, if I can smell it from here, no thank you. If I have to be next to smell it – I will probably want to get closer!

23. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
That would be the most amazing and wonderful planetKnit! She called to wake me up this morning!!

24. Favorite sports to watch?
College Football and Basketball, ‘nuf said.

25. Hair color?
Natural or the flavor du jour?

26. Eye color?

27. Do you wear contacts?
No, but I do wear glasses.

28. Favorite food?
I have to pick one??? Seriously, food is my favorite!

29. Scary movies or happy endings?
Well, I will never pick scary movies – ever.

30. Last move you watched?
La Vie en Rose. With subtitles. Great movie, amazing music.

31. What color shirt are you wearing?
Dark grey.

32. Summer or winter?
Autumn! Hmmm, not a choice it seems. Are you noticing a trend here, gentle readers? Yes, I like to be different!

33. Hugs or kisses?
I love to give hugs! I am an extremely touchy person. Just warning you, in case you bump into me! I also love to kiss, from a peck on the cheek to melt in a puddle, I love you kisses!

34. Favorite dessert?
Chocolate, sinfully dark and slightly sweet!

35. What book(s) are you reading now?
Jen Lancaster’s “Such a Pretty Fat – One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big or Why Pie Is Not the Answer” Hysterical, insanely hysterical!

36. What is on your mouse pad?
Not anything to write home about, or blog about either!

37. What did you watch on TV last night?
Mad Men.

38. Favorite sound?
Waves on the shore, birds singing, the wind rustling through the leaves…you know, natural sounds!

39. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
Oh man, here we go again. All of the above at certain times.

40. What is the farthest you have been from home?

41. Do you have a special talent?
I like to make people laugh. I also am a fairly good cook! Are those special talents, probably not. Hmmm, so add to that my ever upbeat and cheerful personality and you have me. Let’s sit down and laugh, I’ll cook something for you, and you will feel warmly welcomed! The door is open!

42. Where were you born?
The ever un-amazing Zeeland, Michigan.

43. What time is it ?
Where? Oh, here? Michigan Radio just told it is six minutes after twelve o’clock!

Just in time for school to start!

Yes, I am all ready for school to start, kindergarten here I come!

What, you say, you think I am a bit old for kindergarten??

Not so, gentle reader!  I just got my MMR shots and I assure you, I am all set to start school tomorrow!

Yes, that is right!  Evidently, having a diligent mother who kept us current on or vaccinations is not enough to establish immunity.  It seems that while measles and rubella both worked just fine, I am woefully lacking in mumps protection – and knowing that a virulent mumps outbreak is lurking right around the corner – I found myself in need of a bit of re-immunization!  Keep your fingers crossed that in 30 days I am found to have mumps titer in my blood or I don’t know what will happen!!

In light of my return to kindergarten, I thought it might be nice to wow the teacher with my knitting talents and to confuse my other classmates by knitting up “Hey Teach” from this summers Knitty.  Imagine the fun all my fellow students will have trying to figure out who is the teacher tomorrow when I show up with my new sweater on!!

Since Heidi and Sam are up north with their dad for the weekend, and Rachel is off to college, I found myself in the bathroom trying to snap a photo or two of this sweater!  Hey Teach! by you.

I have to tell you, I love this pattern!  So much so, I am casting on again with some gorgeous yarn I got from the Michigan Fiber Festival from the creative and talented Rita of Yarn Hollow fame.  This time I will knit 3/4 length sleeves to bring the sweater to a more Autumnal focus.  This sweater is definitely Cast-On Worthy if you are trying to be monogamous with another project, give in to the urge to cheat with this sweater.  It is a quick knit and is easy to memorize.  You know you have something in your stash that will work for this, so go grab some needles and cast on!  Just sayin’.

I was on the “A” list also for a fun celebration recently.  I got an invitation from Mike of Windswept Farm Fame to come and celebrate the Harvesting of the Hops!  So, I packed up an assortment of cheeses, some crackers, a couple of olives, and some fig jam and headed south for the afternoon.  I found myself to be quite proficient in plucking the Hops from the vines and filled my bucket while enjoying a Chocolate Stout, courtesy of Mike.  As an added lure, Windswept Farms has recently had some new additions to the flock – yes, the fall lambs are being born!!  Imagine my joy at seeing two tiny seven day old lambs!  I spent some time out in the field with the flock, spending a little one on one time with wool on the hoof!  Mike’s daughter, Sam, called the sheep and the sight of them running to come and see us is one I will not soon forget!  It was a wonderful day and I look forward to helping again at next years Harvest – and I will be vying for the “Hops Queen” Crown!!

And, as we enter September with reluctance, leaving behind the waning summer – we find ourselves immersed in politics that are both historical and exciting – regardless of your party choice.  I am truly proud to be witnessing the political history being made right before my eyes.  It should be an exciting Autumn!

In case you thought I have deserted spinning, fear not!  I have been working diligently on improving my skills!  I present to you my first singles, worthy of remaining single!! 

I give you some spun gold – just call me Rumpelstiltskin!!  This is just over 4 ounces of Romney – about 420 yards – spun with Abby’s Supported Long Draw.  This is my most consistent fiber spun to date.  If you had not had an affair with the Long Wools… you don’t know what you are missing!  The color in this picture is so true as well!  I have 12 more ounces to spin up – I see a shawl in this wools future, something to wrap around my shoulders to keep me warm!

Romney Single Laceweight by you.

Here is a close up – note the lovely halo that the Romney  has!  And, yes, there are a few spots where it wants to twine back on itself, but that will vanish in blocking!  I got this lovely Romney from The Divine Miss Beth in Howell.  Call her, she has more of this crack!  And, she’d be happy to send it happily on its merry way to your home!!  Just sayin’.

Alright, here is hoping that your Labor Day was without labor and filled with what you love!

Have a wonderful week!