Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Shop

Finally put a new item on my Etsy shop.  Check it out:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Moment

Just a quick story.  Thursday I got a call from the young man that usually drives Santa's fire engine at the Manhattan Stroll.  He wondered if it would be possible for Santa to stop by early on Christmas Eve because his mother-in-law was dying and he just wanted to keep the kids' spirits up during this hard time.  Turns out he lives next door to my daughter-in-law's sister.  Stan stopped by yesterday and saw the man's kids and he could tell it was a really tough time for the family. 

Got a call from my daughter-in-law a while ago.  The mother-in-law passed away this morning.  He told Millie's sister that having Santa come made Christmas for them.  What a privilege Stan has to touch lives like this!

Our Day

It was a quiet day here, with only five of us-Steve, Sydney, Stan, myself, and my sister from Helena.  I miss the big group-setting up the extra tables, tons of food everywhere, playing dominoes (Syd got a Wii so there were no dominoes today) and me making lattes for everybody.  Hardly worth firing up the espresso machine today.  It was a good day though.  I could set the table in my pretty linens and goblets, and the meal was easier.  Not sure why that was because I made pretty much the same things and the same quantities as always-lots of leftovers for us.  A big prime rib, Hubby deep fried a turkey, parmesan potatoes, salads, and topping it off with raspberry cheesecake.  Whew!  It was surely a lot of food.

We were all so excited about Sydney getting a visit from Santa.  You'll never guess who was the last one out of bed-yup, Syd.  He was worn out from all the anticipation, I guess!  He loved his gifts, especially the Wii that Santa brought him.

We have another get-together with Stan's family tomorrow, and with the oldest son and his family on Friday afternoon.  We'll have a long spread-out Christmas, but that isn't so bad.  We've done it this way for as long as I've been married, and I think it's better for the kids because they don't suffer so badly from sensory overload.  My kids never did wake up at 4:00 to see what Santa brought them because they had opened all their other presents the night before.

Hubby gave me a new office chair for my sewing room-my old one is so goofy it keeps trying to buck me off!  He thinks he should have given me a new camera he saw too, something with lots of bells and whistles but tinier to fit in my purse.  I said it was OK, I was happy with what I got, but he wants to stop by Office Depot tomorrow and pick it up.  What a guy!

I've been knitting frantically, but it's all stuff I can't reveal yet.  After Friday I'll post what I made and who it goes to.  I'm even still knitting on one gift for Hubby and I'm hoping to get it done by Friday.

Hubby is needing me right now so I'd better finish this.  He makes jelly every year and gives it to his siblings and he needs my help with decorating the jars, so I'd better boogie so I can go to bed on time tonight.

I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Busy Day for Santa Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the Manhattan Christmas Stroll.  Of course Stan will be the Santa for it.  He will be at the school library first then ride a fire engine (I know-cool!) downtown to the bank where he will pose for pictures with a couple hundred kids.  The pictures are compliments of the Manhattan State Bank, something they do every year.  They print the photos right away and put them in a nice framed keepsake card.

The cool thing about tomorrow?  My three youngest grandkids get to ride in the big fire engine with Santa!  The fireman is a good friend of ours and said it would be just fine.  The firefighters are super to us anyway, they always give Stan a check to help defray the cost of his Santa goodies and the gas he burns making all his trips.  His favorite thing is to show up (prearranged) at someone's house and watch the kids' faces.  He loves it, but in recent years he has done more gatherings, clubs, churches, and day cares.  He's pushing 70 now and it's just less tiring to see the kids all at once.  Of course he's the Santa for the Manhattan grade school program too.

He still does as many house calls as he can, but the number is dwindling.  More and more of the parents are opting for the larger group setting.  For sure he visits the grandkids and he loves it when a charity group asks him to deliver gifts.  He has been asked to be a Mall Santa for years but has always turned them down.  This year his good friend, the main Mall Santa, had another important Santa job and asked him to cover for him at the mall.  He finally said yes, but they had already found someone.  It's fine, he was still not sure about that scene anyway.

I have to work but I get off at 5:00 so I'll fly home, change my clothes and pop in at the bank.  I'll miss seeing the fire engine ride but I've been promised lots of pictures.  And I'm sure the kids will be so excited I'll hear all about it!

Afterward it's our tradition for just the two of us to have a late dinner at Sir Scott's Oasis, a landmark Mom-and-Pop steakhouse.  A good day!

Here he is with Sam, our youngest grandchild.  When Sam wrote his letter to Santa this year, he made his dad add a P.S.-"I know you're really my Poppa!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I asked Sydney when we should put up the Christmas tree and the answer was "now!"  So that's what we did today.  I also put up my Santa wall hanging, but I'll wait a day or so to put up the rest.  Still getting over my 10 hour shift on Black Friday.  The tree does look really nice since my redecoration opened up the front window space.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

She's Home!

In her new one, that is.  She was pretty nervous and just didn't think she would be able to remember so many new things.  The sister from Billings is going to stay with her for a couple of weeks just to get her settled.  The girls got her apartment looking nice and homey with her plants and her recliner, then she started to relax.  I could see a lot of panic in her voice, as she wondered where her stuff was, like her hair curlers and her nightie.  Changing a routine when someone has dementia is really tough and this is her second change.  Hopefully it will be her last and she can live quite a while in her pretty new digs.  (When I told her that she informed me that it didn't matter as she couldn't see it anyway!)  Oh Gram!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow, Snow and More Snow!

It has been snowing here since last Thursday.  Every day Mother Nature dumps several more inches on us.  And now, as the snow might be letting up, the forecast is for very cold temperatures.  Interstate highways have been closed in the area on and off all day, and right now I-90 is restricted to essential traffic until morning.  I am so over this!  The one bright spot is we don't have to travel for Thanksgiving and by Black Friday, my first official day of work, things should start getting nicer.

It is very pretty, though:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good News

They have determined that Gram is doing well enough to be released to an assisted-living facility.  She is so strong-she wants to die but her body is too tough!

She'll be going to the Bozeman Lodge on Saturday.  All her kids will be here to help.  I have to work a long one on Friday, so will miss out on the furniture moving, but am hoping to help with Gram's actual moving day.  We have decided to start Hospice care, mostly because we don't think she can get along by herself with just the care they have there.  Just because Hospice is involved doesn't mean she'll leave us any time soon, but that she'll have more people doting over her.

She is really ready to get out of the rehab center.  I stopped in at noon on Saturday and she was fuming over the cold food!  She's very nervous about the new place but realizes it's necessary.  My sister in law from Billings is going to stay with her for a couple of weeks just to help her transition into the new routine.  They have a beautiful dining hall but she can't see well enough to find her own way, and if someone doesn't take her there, she'll sit in her apartment and starve.  She can't believe that she doesn't have to do any housework, even though we constantly reassure her.  With the slight dementia, it's going to be a slow transition, pray it works well for her.

A Little Something to Get Us in the Mood

Just had this video posted by a relative on Facebook.  As far as I'm concerned Christmas can't start until I've heard this piece a few times.  I've requested that it be played at my funeral.  (In 30-40 years!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Tradition-With a Twist

My husband's family is very, very close-even down to second and third cousins. We have had a tradition for as long as my husband can remember of renting a big hall and bringing all our food. We can have anywhere from 20 to 70 people. We carve our turkeys-2 or 3-make the gravy and give thanks. It's a great time to catch up on relatives who, even though they mostly live in the area, may not have the time to get together during the rest of the year. After the dishes are washed, we bring out the games-the oldsters play Pitch, the kids do Uno or Apples to Apples, and the rest of us gather around our favorite games.

This is when the important part of the day happens: My sister-in-law brings out her homemade popcorn balls, a tradition started the year they were married and didn't have money to make anything else; I open up my homemade Almond Roca, a required offering-I'm not allowed in the building without it; and the rest of the family sets out various other goodies and nuts. We start our celebration about noon, and we play games and snack all afternoon and into the evening. Then someone decides it's time for "Turkey Buns," turkey cut up into gravy and served over my husband Stan's homemade rolls, topped with a big slice of onion! Nobody's hungry but we know it's a precious tradition, so we all make a valiant effort to eat just a bit more.

Then we clean up the hall (for many years it's been the Belgrade Senior Center) and go out into the cold, hugging and promising to "do this more often!"

Our Thanksgiving is the stuff of legend, and anybody is invited-my son's friend from Brocton calls every year to see if it's still on!

This was the story that I submitted to our local TV station.  They decided I won, and turned it into a skit to broadcast on the Friday Evening News.  This is the revised version of our celebration:!/video/video.php?v=593209107266&oid=94711736971&comments

Hope you all are on Facebook so you can see this!

Friday, November 12, 2010


2 1/2 years ago, I made the decision to quit my job and stay home with the retired hubby.  The plan was to sew my brains out and make the circuit of the local craft shows and farmers' markets.  Well, that didn't quite work out as well as planned-people in Montana just aren't giving up their spare change for crafty stuff.  I turned to Etsy thinking I would reach a broader audience, again with no results.

Money was getting tighter-had to trade in my beloved Buick since she was burning oil, and our health insurance took another big jump.  So for about a year now, I've been scanning the job market, looking for something with some freedom in case we wanted to travel but fun to do.

I stopped to visit with a former Bon Marche' co-worker last week in the mall, and she asked me if I wanted to come back to work for them-now the store is Macy's.  I jumped at the chance, so today I did my paperwork and next Thursday I will do my training.  I think I'm going to work in accessories, but any department is fine.

The only thing is-Macy's people wear all black.  I have some black clothing, but not nearly enough.  They gave me two coupons for discounts on a couple of items to get started, but I think I'll wait a bit.  I did stop by Jo-Ann's and got 3 1/2 yards of a nice stable black knit that would make a soft jacket or a swooshy skirt.  Used my Jo-Ann's coupon on that one.

I won't be blogging as much, maybe, but I'll try to keep up on it because I love this way of expressing myself.  The job is part-time Christmas for now, but I'm sure if I impress them with my hard work, I could be considered for permanent down the line-there's lots of turnover in retail.

Well, I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm very excited to have something of my very own again, and I won't be in the house all day with a retired man-LOL!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


That is one tough old girl!  She is no longer confused, and her breathing is much better.  We got to take her to church (right across the street) on Sunday, and all of her kids came to see her, bringing coffee and cookies to keep alive the tradition.  My sweet son Steve stopped by the Golden Arches and brought 8 large coffees, complete with sugars and creamers.  Gram was a bit miffed that she couldn't go out to lunch with all of us, but that would have been a bit too much for her at this stage.  She'll get there!

We toured a beautiful assisted living facility on Saturday and my sister-in-law went back on Monday to put a deposit on an apartment.  It'll be a bit before Gram is ready for that, but they are only 50% full right now, since they are brand new, so when she is ready it will be there for her.

In the meantime, Stan, Norma, Irene and I are trying to get her apartment emptied out.  We paid for another month's rent on it, so hopefully that will give us enough time.  Most of her stuff is going in a storage unit until she moves into her new place.  We have, however, been hauling out bag after bag of trash!  She is a frugal hoarder and saves everything, including the tags you cut off your new clothes.  There are collectibles, and even some antiques.  The antiques were probably new when she got them!  It is a fun walk down memory lane, though.  Every now and then one of us will stop what we're doing and show everybody what treasure we've found.  I came home with a stack of dittoed sheets that were at collection of book reports written by Stan's class in the 5th grade.

We're wearing out, but there is more help out there, especially when we get to the big stuff, so we'll just keep plugging along.  We were too busy to visit Gram yesterday-better not miss it today, we'll hear about it from her if we do!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Update on Gramma

Her pain is almost gone-no more muscle spasms. But she is still pretty congested-pneumonia they say. She is really confused-not sure where she really is-wonders why her bed is in the living room, and are we coming to her house for coffee after church. Amazing how her lucidity was so tied in to her routine, and now that routine has been disrupted so she can't think clearly.

I wonder about this-she said her brother Henry came to see her yesterday and even pointed to where he stood. Henry has been gone for 8 years. Did she dream it or are they gathering an escort party? I have a friend who went septic and almost died. She could see people standing around her bed like they were waiting for her. Then her late dad's voice said, "Kid, it isn't your time," and all the people vanished. That was the moment the antibiotic kicked in and her vitals stabilized.

I believe there is a thin wall between this world and the next, and sometimes we are given a tiny glimpse into that next world.

My bloggy friend, Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl is going through some of the same emotions and experiences with her grandmother who was moved to a nursing home this week. She talks about mourning in advance. I now know what she means. When I lost my own mom, it was quick, and there was really no time for goodbyes. With Gram I feel my mind is working on accepting the new reality, the one without her. I can say "I love you" one more time, I can kiss her once more and squeeze her hand. There is never enough time for goodbyes, but at least I have a fighting chance this time.

When Stan's uncle passed away at the age of 99 1/2, we visited him one last time. I was the last one to leave his room and as I turned to go, he said my name. I came close to him and he whispered, "Thank you." Not for anything specific, I believe, but just a sweet goodbye. As I got into the car I had the overwhelming feeling he would be going home soon. I imagined him saying to my mom, "I saw Marty just before I left. She's doing fine and sends her love."

Lots to think about, lots to work through. I do know that I am privileged to be around someone who will get to see the Glory soon, very soon. I hope her changeover is easy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We got Grandma settled into the rehab center. She doesn't have much pain, so that's good. I don't like the sound of her breathing but hopefully they're watching that. Sooner or later she'll be mad at us for putting her there, even though she HAD to go there. It's OK, we know we did the best thing.

I rode in the van with her from the hospital to the center. It was kind of a weird ride. I kept thinking that this was the last ride for her-the end of the line, I guess. We rode by the old hospital where my kids were born as well as some of hers, we rode by the building where she and Pappy used to have a sewing machine store, then we rode by the church we still attend and is right across from the home. And the last kicker was when they took us to her new room-number 232-the very room where Pappy was when they first put him in the rest home.

Really was a weird ride. Hope she is happy there these last months of her life. Okay, Marty, don't cry!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Update on Gramma

We met with the doctor today. He told us she won't be with us much longer, her lung cancer is much bigger and her back is full of fractures from osteoporosis. She is still in much pain. We are meeting with Hospice tomorrow to set up her care, and later this week she will be moved to a nursing home.

Sad to see a tough, strong-willed lady go out this way. Why can't we all be changed in the twinkling of an eye? Oh yeah, that's just when Jesus comes back.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Prayers for Gramma

My mother-in-law Liz fell last night. I got a call from the Lifeline people and met the ambulance at her apartment. I am so happy she had presence of mind enough to press the button, even if she waited two hours because she is so independent she thought she could get rid of the pain herself.

After an all-nighter in ER, it was determined that she has a compression fracture in a vertebrae in her upper back. We were told this is an extremely painful injury, but one that heals well. She is at the hospital tonight and will be there for a bit until the pain is more under control.

Due to memory and dizziness problems we've been looking for just the right assisted living facility. My SIL thinks she's found one. It now becomes way more urgent to get her moved. She'll be in a walker for a while, and will probably have to use a cane for balance from now on-quite a period of adjustment for such a tough lady.

Pray with me that her injury heals quickly and she can return to her normal feisty self!
Old age ain't no place for sissies.
~Bette Davis~

Monday, October 4, 2010

Busy Saturday and My First Blogger Video

What a day! Hubs, son, and Syd all took off at 8:00 for the lake, where they happily spent the day catching "Really big fish, Gramma!"

I took off for Sam's flag football game at 10:00.

And before his game was over, I headed to the high school to watch Chris play football against Livingston. The Panthers won 34-6!

After the game, Gracie and I headed to Bozeman for lunch at the Co-op and a few errands. The kids just love to eat on their balcony-so pleasant! (So do I!)

And since Gracie had been begging to come to my house for forever, we headed home, where she proceeded to rake my leaves, with Chloe supervising. I pitched in when it became obvious that this pile was for jumping.

And here is where the fun started. The fishermen came home, and Gracie's mom and brother showed up-the leaf pile didn't stand a chance!

Good times-the kids will carry that memory all their lives.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I got everything I had cut out done for the dolly.

A nice warm coat complete with hood. It's lined and I learned the hard way that I should have hemmed the sleeves before sewing the side seams. Got to be kind of a pain given the tiny openings

A dress to match-this is what I lined the coat with too. Both the dress and the nightie are open in the back and close with snaps-easy for a 6-year-old. Sorry for the bedhead-the poor thing has been in Gramma Liz's closet for about 40 years. Might have to hire a dolly hairdresser.

The nightie is made of the same flannel that I used to make pajamas for Gracie. I thought she would appreciate the thought, but I did have to put a seam in the front to make it work-almost didn't have enough fabric. It's OK-it's just for sleeping, after all!

Petticoat and undies-I tried to snap the panties too, but the clever little doll wouldn't let Blogland see her undies. She looks kind of bored with the process anyway.

This dress is one that Gramma Pat started before she died. It's really supposed to fit one of those 20" bed dolls, but I adapted it. She had crocheted around the neck and sleeves, so I added the ruffle at the bottom:

I made some button loops and sewed buttons on the back-about 1" in from the edge so it would fit snugly. She got a ribbon around the waist, too.

I'll try to find shoes and socks, but even if I can't, this will still be a really meaningful Christmas gift for a little girl from several people that love her.

A Sale!!

I have marked down my hand-knitted baby booties. Here is the link to my shop.

They make lovely baby gifts. Plus check out the hankie bonnets that would go really well with them.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another 15-Year-Old!

Today is Chris' birthday. He's three weeks younger than his brother-try explaining that to people! He came first to the family, even though Isaac is older. He's the kid that turned us into grandparents-toddling into our lives with curly hair, a fertile imagination and chocolate colored eyes. He's a great kid and totally dedicated to football. I hope and pray he can take that love into his adult life. Whether he goes pro or coaches, he can do a lot of good in this world.

Still has the curly hair and chocolate eyes-a real heart breaker! Happy birthday, Chris. I'm glad you started this grandkid thing!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Small Town Stuff

I know I've talked about the Manhattan Potato Festival. We live here in Manhattan and always are sure to take in the festivities.

I grew up in a small but growing town just 10 miles east of Manhattan-Belgrade. Back in about 1962 they started their own Fall Festival and have carried on the tradition ever since. It's really in the family because right from the beginning, my Mom started dressing in outlandish costumes and walking in the parade. She "retired" from that in the 1990's and I still have people telling me the Belgrade Fall Festival will never be the same without her.

BUT-now the next generations are coming along. This year my 15-year-old grandson rode the football players float. Not Mom's outlandish costumes, for sure, but at least the tradition is still there. Actually, Chris would DIE before he tried anything like that. He probably would die of embarrassment watching her if she were still around to do it.

The curly-haired one, number 85 is our Belgrade Panther pride and joy.

Honoring our firefighters.

There was a pancake breakfast at the Senior Center, a free barbecue, crafts in the park-a true small town celebration.

Afterward, Stan and I drove 25 miles to the cement plant where he worked for 39 years. It was the plant's 100 anniversary and they had a barbecue, giveaways, and tours of the plant. I wasn't going to go on the tour, I had toured a few years ago, but they convinced Stan he had to see the new equipment in the control room (he was a lab technician there), and I didn't want to sit around waiting for him so we went together. The reason I didn't want to go was because the kiln where they fire the cement rock gets VERY hot-over 2,000 degrees-and we spend quite a bit of time fairly close to it. Being at that "magic age," I could really sweat! Well, I donned a hardhat, picked up some earplugs and went on in anyway. It was alright to see it once more, but I did get tired of our tour guide continually asking me if I was OK. What was up with that? I wasn't even the oldest one on the tour! I didn't even start sweating til we left the plant!

Big day-we could have gone back to Belgrade for the homecoming game, but we decided we had traipsed around the valley enough for one day. Besides, it was unseasonably hot for September and I hadn't cooled down from the kiln yet.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lucky Doll!

My sister-in-law dug up this doll at her mom's house. It was Norma's as a child. Norma has two small granddaughters, but since there was only one doll and I only have one granddaughter, she gave the doll to me to give to Gracie.

The only thing was the poor thing was basically naked! I was contemplating what kind of clothes to design for the doll (she's about 10 inches tall), when I found this retro pattern:

So I started cutting! So far, a dress, panties, slip, nightgown, and a coat. I also found in my mom's things a bed doll dress that she had started, so I am adapting and finishing that as well. This will be a three-way Christmas gift-from Gramma, Auntie Norma, and Great-Gramma Pat. Something to remember us all by.

Monday, September 6, 2010

He's 15!

How did that happen? Seriously, he's a great kid. Gets good grades, loves kids and animals, just a really nice guy.

Happy birthday, Isaac-Grandpa and I love you lots!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What We did Today

Well, actually we started a few weeks ago, ordering carpet and clearing the "stuff" out of the two extra bedrooms. The carpet finally came in and yesterday we worked like dogs carrying things out to the garage. Then today two nice young men came and put in some very pretty carpet.

We did two rooms-we need to redo the master bedroom and the bathrooms but I think that can wait a bit-costs money and it's a boatload of work! I know in my heart that some of the stuff filling up my stall in the garage won't make it back upstairs. Craigslist here we come!

It's a bit lighter than I anticipated, but it's in the bedrooms and we can get some throw rugs. The carpet came just in time because we are gaining two roommates-our son Steve and his son Sydney. Steve's wife has asked him for a divorce, and Sydney will be living mostly with his dad but some with his mom, too. They'll be here for a couple of months, but they're both a pleasure to be around so it shouldn't be any problem.

In other news, I finished Grandma's socks! I used the self-striping Deborah Norville sock yarn that is a blend of merino wool, nylon and bamboo. It's so warm and soft-she sleeps in socks even though, being an elderly lady, she wears nylons during the day. She'll have some cozy nights.

I own three pairs of US size 2 sock needles, so I knitted these together until I got to the heel gusset. That way I was assured of a stripe match and I got it-I think they are a perfect match! Too bad that will be lost on Gram because of her macular degeneration. She'll still enjoy them. Oh, and did I mention these are part of my ambitious sock Christmas? Got a few more to do-started right out on a blue variegated for a five year old boy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Shirt

I've been trying to upgrade my shirt collection lately. I bought one new pattern on sale a Jo-Ann's, and dug out some of my tried-and-true patterns.

Cute pattern, but not exactly what I was feeling at the moment.

I've made this one-turned out nicely, except I made it out of velour and I found myself constantly tugging and adjusting.

So I went with this one-probably bought in the 90's or earlier, but I think it will work fine. I'll just eliminate the shoulder pads. It's a big shirt and will be nice to wear by itself or with a tank top underneath.

Now what fabric-the one I bought in Billings a couple of weeks ago:

Or this one from my stash:

Turns out, that without some creative laying and pinning the green piece wasn't enough for the big top. Being in a hurry, which is normal for sewing for myself, I opted for the larger teal print. It's all cut out, but I had to get thread, and I still don't have buttons for it-why don't they make buttons that match the fabric that they manufacture? They could get together on this and make more money, I think!

I'm home from church with a bug, or I'd be sewing right now. I read about these bloggers that sew or knit when they're sick, but all I'm capable of is sitting in my recliner with the remote, moaning and blowing my nose!

I managed to get a job interview the other day. This would be a receptionist for an insurance agent. They have a ton of applications, given the economy, so I'm not holding my breath. But at least I know I have enough qualifications that someone wants to meet me.

Oh yeah, and the youngest grandkid started Kindergarten this week!

He was ready and rarin' to go-no shyness here!

Well, back to my recliner!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I spent some time on my deck this afternoon. It hasn't been too hot, so a late afternoon iced coffee and knitting session is a lovely experience. I'm almost finished with Gram's socks. Just finishing the ribbing on one, then I just have to turn the heel and knit up the leg on the other.

I did finally sew buttons on a baby sweater, though. This is a pattern I downloaded from Ravelry. No special goal-it went in to my gift stash for future babies.

The buttons aren't a perfect match-better than the picture-but not bad. I used the gray from the trim to sew them on to direct attention away from the not-quite-perfect color. I scoured Bozeman and these are the closest I could come.

I think this sweater will be one I make often. It's done in a bulky yarn so it goes pretty fast and it turns out pretty cute if I say so myself!

I love sitting under the trees. The birds serenade me nonstop and I love the shadows the sun shining through the leaves makes.

Add my own homemade mocha blended coffee and it was a perfect afternoon. Too short, but perfect.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Birthday Boy

Our youngest grandchild is five today! He's so excited about going to kindergarten-such a big boy now!

He's a cutie pie, too! And crazy about tires. He wants to own a tire shop when he grows up.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Road Trip

This time we met up with our son and DIL's church group, Imagine, and spent some time in Virginia City, MT. This is an old mining town that has been lovingly restored and is visited by thousands of tourists each year. They have two theater groups, The Brewery Follies-a bawdy, laugh filled musical revue that plays in the old brewery, and The Virginia City Players, a group that performs period plays from long ago, plus having a variety act. The Players are rated G, the Follies are PG, so since this was a church group with kids along we opted for the Players.

The Players have been holding plays in an old livery barn since the early 1950's-started by director Larry Barsness. Down through the years they have lovingly tried to stick with the original model and quite successfully, I might add. Stan's family started coming in the very beginning, even when money was tight. They would budget enough to get there at least once in the summer. I talked with the present director and he was tickled to know that there were three generations of people present who had kept the tradition alive. If Gram had been there it would have been four, but she was visiting my brother-in-law for the weekend.

About an hour's drive, so enough time for some knitting. I'm making a pair of socks for Grandma for Christmas. I decided, since it's the self-striping yarn, I would more or less work them together so the stripes would match. I got all the way up to the gusset by the time we got home.

Noses pressed to the window. Fascinating stuff for 5 & 6 year olds.

Pastor Randy checking out the weathered buildings. Some of these buildings were slapped up quickly to take advantage of the gold mining boom.

Isaac checking out the "Ye Olde Photo Shoppe."

As we left the Playhouse, we were treated to a bride and groom being carried around in a horse and buggy. We saw two weddings there-this must be something new, but quite a good moneymaker.

And finally and MOST importantly, homemade ice cream-made by a girl in pioneer dress with an old fashioned ice cream freezer.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom

She would have been 85 today. I still miss her as much now as I did when she died 7 years ago.

You still live in my heart, Mom. We'll see you again someday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dog Vs. Yarn

Both my Westies have the same habit-when I am knitting and my yarn is hanging down, they love to walk under it, letting it run along their backs. It must feel good.

The other day, I was knitting at my computer (blogging and knitting-the ultimate in multitasking) and Merlin was behind the recliner next to me. Suddenly a grasshopper coughed or something and Merlin flew out from behind the chair, under my yarn-couldn't leave that step out, and up on the back of the chair in the picture window. He immediately had my yarn securely tangled-around his neck, in his radio collar, around his feet. I grabbed him and the yarn, but he kept getting away and turning in circles, barking frantically the whole time. Every now and then he'd try to take off, but I did have hold of the yarn and he'd go back up on the chair, still turning circles and barking.

Of course I got the giggles, but I was concerned that I wouldn't get him loose before he got hurt. Finally, I got him to stand still long enough to untangle, but oh, what a circus!

I was knitting hats with a triple strand of yarn at the time, so the mess was even bigger:

Here they are, hanging out waiting for something else to bark at. Merlin's Radio Fence collar has done a number on my window sill. We're going to do some rearranging soon, so we can keep the barking machines out of the window and redo the sill. Wish us luck!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Road Trip

Well, Hubs had a coupon from Harbor Freight burning a hole in his pocket, so I grabbed my Hancock Fabrics flier and we hopped in the car and headed to Billings.

From Belgrade to Billings is enough time to get this much of a sock done:

This is sock number two of a pair. It's a Christmas gift-and I can't say who it's for but suffice to say I had to make the foot extra long to accommodate a size 13 shoe.

We haven't been to Billings since the tornado on Father's day, so I was sure to get some pics of the damage to the Metra:

Breaks my heart, but they are doing a great job of accommodating the acts they had lined up for the season. They set up tents for the Antiques Road Show, and moved Celtic Woman to Bozeman. (Yay!) It was the strangest thing-the tornado picked and chose what it tore up. The rest of the Metra grounds are untouched. The businesses north of the Metra were hit in the same way-some places destroyed and some didn't even have windows broken. I guess this is our welcome to the world of tornadoes-something Montana rarely sees.

My sis says all her cars sustained severe hail damage and they had to re-roof their house.

Anyway, Hubs got his tools and in return he had to wait for me to pick out some fabric at Hancock. Oh-here's a plug for Hancock Fabrics: I'm not crazy about Jo-Ann's because of all the fragrances they have. There's tons of candles, potpourri, you name it. I commented to the lady at Hancock that I noticed they didn't have those fragrances and she said it is a store policy not to have all that "crafty" stuff. It wouldn't pay anyway, since Hobby Lobby is right next door, but I thoroughly appreciate not having an asthma attack just shopping for fabric. I was in our mall the day before and it took hours before I could breath clearly again!

This is the fabric I bought. The three on the left are Lycra for some dressy T's and the other is a sueded polyester for a nice shirt. If you look closely in the upper left hand of the picture you can see a packet of sewing machine needles. I had a coupon, and my rule is-if you can't find something to use the coupon on, always buy needles.

This piece is what I bought in Mazatlan-also a Lycra. I got two meters-my Spanish hasn't developed to fractions yet, so I just got an even amount. I love these for tops and you can't usually find much Lycra in the States, but the Mexican fabric stores are full of it. Gonna have to take an empty suitcase one of these times. Their fabric is CHEAP!

Oh yeah-I got something at Harbor Freight. I got a hand held laser thermometer that you just point and shoot and it gives an accurate temp reading. Last time I got a ton of microfiber cloths that I have ambitious plans of making into Swiffer mop heads. Don't tell Hubs I like that store-gotta use the guilt factor whenever you can!