Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Ahoy, maties! Avast ye lowly landlubbers...arg! Wild man is dressing up as a pirate for tonight's excursion out Trick or Treat-ing. He looks so darn cute with that foam pirate's hat and foam sword! He has somehow figured out how to slash and jab with no regard to his surroundings - namely me. I've been poked and jabbed and slashed at with the appropriate sound bites and to tell you the truth - it's all I can do to keep from laughing my head off! He's just so darned cute! favorite holiday. When else can we dress up in silly or scary costumes, dye our hair outrageous colors, wear piercings and tattoos and appear perfectly nor..mal..huh... Ok, when else can a perfectly straight laced person dress up in a silly or scary costume, dye their his or her hair an outrageous color, wear fake piercings and tattoos and fit right in! LOL!! Those of us on the fringes LOVE this time of year! I can't wait until the wild man is old enough for Halloween parties. I'm going to have so much fun catering and decorating and stressing out for those events! I'm making harvest cupcakes with cream cheese frosting sometime today or tomorrow. I'll decorate each cake with luscious swirls of frosting and sugary leaf sprinkles, mmmmmm!

Briefly, the FIL situation is growing worse. He's still in the hospital and the dementia seems to be taking over. It's making him act crazy and behave like a nut. It's enhancing his naturally mean and manipulative state to the point where I just don't want to expose my family to him. Yet I can't very well tell my husband he can't see his sick father or prevent my son from seeing his Grumpy. Fortunately the FIL is not mean and nasty around my son. If he were...well that's another story. We are all just waiting to see what this weekend brings then he may get discharged and admitted to another nursing facility. The fun never ends. Neither do the tears or empathy for what my MIL and IL's are being put through. Hubby says he doesn't care anymore but I think he does and what my FIL is doing is really hurting hubby. I can't make it better for him but I can love him and support him when he goes to visit and comes home thoroughly disgusted and unhappy.

On the knitting front, I only have another inch or so of stockinette for the body of the never ending hubby sweater. Then several inches of K1, P1 ribbing and I can start on the sleeves...YIPPEE!! We're getting there, folks! It's painfully slow but I am definately making progress! I'm about to cast on for my dad's felted moccasins. I think I've got the right needles so I feel ready to start. I also still have my SIL's socks to finish. I'm hoping by Thanksgiving her socks will be done, the moccasins should be mostly done and the hubby sweater should be done as well. If that's the case, I'll be celebrating Christmas early! No, I'll probably just move on to some easy hats and scarves.

No real cooking or baking has happened lately other than another batch of supurb Donut Muffins. I've got the temp and timing down for melt in your mouth tastiness! Next up should be the Harvest Cupcakes then on to cookies, cookies and more cookies! Between the knitting and the baking (and preserving) I should be able to whip up several baskets of goodies for Christmas presents.

I'm still reading up a storm. I'm now onto Dee Henderson's series, the O'Malley's . Very very good. I think if I can find more authors like her I'll really be able to enjoy Christian themed genres more often. I've read the first 3, I'm now on the 4th and I have 2 more to go to finish the series. Then it's off to the 4th installment of the Temperence Brennen series by Kathy Reichs. I also have The Last Lecture to go through as well. In addition, I've been trying to get more Bible reading under my belt. It's heavy stuff and I can't always sit down with such a weighty tome. My Bible study class is helping. It's not heavy duty, in fact, it's geared to the beginner so to speak. Which it turns out is exactly where I want to be right now.

Well, it's off to watch the rest of Eleventh Hour before the wild man wakes up!

Have a safe and wonderfully Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Flu Bug, Flu Bug, Go Away!

Yup, you guessed it. We've been down and out all week with a bad case of the flu. The wild man is recovering well but still has a nasty cough every now and then. Me? I'm feeling old as well as sick. It's a harsh realization to find out that my body doesn't just bounce right back after a bad bout of the yucks like it used to. I can't seem to shake the cruddy feeling in my ears or the nasal congestion. At least I have my voice back! I've felt so crappy that I haven't felt like doing anything but going to bed early at night. I've barely been able to keep up with family emails and reading some of my favorite blogs. Knitting fell by the wayside, as did cooking, cleaning, showering, moving...yeah, right. Fortunately my Dad was willing to take over for a while. He was pretty cool actually. He did the dishes, cooked, cleaned up, did some grocery shopping and, get this, watched the wild man for several hours so I could nap! That's why I say he was pretty cool. His great reward? Slapped down with the same crud we were whacked with. Poor man.

There's also been a ton of news on the FIL front. He's back in the hospital but they've solved most of the riddles. They now know what's going on with all his repeated ailments. After the first infection about 8 weeks ago his body started declining. With decreased ability to fight his infection his diabetes roared to life. It damaged parts of his frontal lobe which affect reasoning. It also sped up the neuropathy in his legs causing him a lot of pain. When he was told he could no longer function in an assisted living facility he became increasingly depressed. The depression bred anxiety and panic attacks (I can relate) and caused his huffing and puffing breathing problems. The original infection isn't totally gone yet either. In any case, he's been assessed by a team of Dr's including a Psych Dr, which is totally what he needed. The Psych Dr increased his sleep medicine to counteract his sleep deprivation. If he manages well on the new dosage he can go back to overnight dialysis. (He had been removed as he was a danger to himself and other patients). He has been given the proper dosage for his anxiety and over the past two days has shown marked improvement in his attitude. Sunday and Monday he was asking to stop dialysis and just let him die. Now he is trying to do as the Dr's suggest and seems to be behaving himself. He may be released back to his nursing home this weekend...we'll see. The dementia that resulting from his frontal lobe damage will only continue to decline so even though things look a lot better than they did at the beginning of the week, we know that he will continue to get worse until the time comes when decisions will need to be made with regard to his ability to continue any kind of normal existence. At that point his Dr's will weigh in and he will be reassessed. Until then, we soldier on!

I pulled out the never ending hubby sweater the other night and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of progress I've done on the body. I thought I was merely picking at it but didn't think how many rows I was adding on every day. I have maybe 4 to 6 more inches left until I can do the bottom ribbing. I think I'll do 4 inches and do extra rows on the ribbing. Yippee!!! While the end may not be in sight at least I can see myself moving on to the sleeves sooner rather than later!

I've got lots more to relate but need to get back to the little guy. It's snuggle time before nap time and I'm looking forward to it, too!

Until next time (I hope it won't be so long!) - Have a wonderful weekend and happy knitting!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Been Too Long!

I can't believe I'm not posting as often as I want to. I admit to being distracted this week with catching up on my reading. I borrowed 5 books from our church library - all fiction - and I've been spending the week with the Sisterchicks. Surprisingly a very good series! I'm not that into romance so I tend to pass it by and I was afraid that any Christian fiction I came across would be an even worse imitation of the romantic crap out there. To my embarrassment there are a whole host of authors writing in the various genres that are Christian writers. Imagine my surprise to find a cadre of mystery/suspense and women's fiction that appealed to me. The Sisterchicks series is a classic example of women's fiction with a very pleasant Christian twist. I love the freedom all the various female characters have in expressing their love of God and their admiration of His creations. And the books are also so beautifully written - full of vivid images and colors - so clear one can imagine oneself right there next to the main character. So in case you haven't gotten it yet, I highly recommend this series. And if you are afraid these books are "pushy religious stuff" you would be wrong. They are stories of wonderful women and their friends who happen to be Christian and they are celebrated as such.

I have managed to knit a little bit this week. But in addition to reading A LOT I've been battling a sore throat and cold so my motivation has been off. The last two nights I've retired to bed really early - about 5 minutes after we put the wild man down! So not so much time spent on knitting. Also, I've been resisting the urge to start another project because the vast amount of stockinette stitch I've been doing on the never ending hubby sweater is REALLY boring. I don't think I'll be doing another sweater like that again. If and when I do another one it will have more interesting stitchwork. Nevertheless the urge to pick up my laceweight yarn and go forth on the swallowtail shawl is great indeed.

I have to relate something that struck me yesterday when the wild man and I were out walking about the farm. I've been in a fairly grouchy mood so my tolerance level with him is practically nil. My fault, not his. He's been a really good boy lately. Anyway, I was grumpily walking around behind him as we were exploring down by the barn and around when I happened to look up into the trees. I was stopped in my tracks by the vibrant fall colors and intensely blue sky. I felt so small and petty. I felt like God was shaking his paint splattered finger at me as if to say, "Wake up and enjoy all I have given you! And by the way, you need to stop acting so selfishly. Now go and play with your son with a light heart." I was ashamed of the way I had been acting and when I looked back down at the wild man it really was with different eyes. I need to be poked at frequently and reminded that children learn through play and what may be boring and dull to me would be fun and interesting to him. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself for not feeling well and not getting any breaks and I grabbed my son's hand and walked with him up the hill and there we played for a long time. After playtime was done, the wild man looked at me and said, "Up Mumma" (we were rolling up and down the hill). When I looked up at him I could see a rainbow behind his head. I know it was the angle at which I was lying down but I couldn't help but think that God hung that rainbow there just for me.

On that note, I'm taking my little wild man outside for the morning so we can both enjoy the beautiful, though chilly, day before all the wonderful fall colors fade and fall. Oh, before I go? The wild man is busily emptying my cotton yarn bin and playing with the I disturbed by this? Surprisingly no...but I should still stop him before he gets to the other stuff!

Or before he yanks the dogs tail again!!!

Enjoy your weekends!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FIL, Pirates and Knitting Nonsense

It's official. My MIL emailed us today that my FIL is officially out of assisted living. He'll be living in the rehab nursing home for 90 days then will be evaluated. After that he'll move to one of the regular care wings in the same Home. The Home is actually pretty nice considering it's one step from living in a hospital. In all fairness I can see why my FIL is having a hard time. The place may be nice and it may have nice amenities but it's still a full care nursing home and that has to suck. We went to visit him on Sunday and while it was really beautiful out we still had to contend with his self pity. The wild man did his utmost to cheer his Grumpy up. It worked for a while then when we said we had to leave (to give lunch to the wild man and see his Mem) my FIL slipped back into self pity. Like I said, it's understandable but it's still pretty hard to take.

My MIL wasn't feeling well that day. We still had a nice visit even though the wild man refused all attempts at napping. He finally conked out in the car around 5pm, of course. Since we were nearly home we let him catnap.

Saturday we went to a birthday party and had a good time! Wild man dressed up like a pirate and even had fun at the vernacular, AR Maties! The food was good and the company the best!

Nothing new on the knitting front. Still working on the never ending hubby sweater and I've done a few more rows on the second Trekking sock. Sad but I haven't felt much like knitting these last two days. Probably because I borrowed 5 books from the church library and have almost plowed through the first one! Sisterchicks do the Hula. It's really good!

Here's a few pics of the little pirate, the birthday girl & her bro, and the birthday girl with my BFF to leave you with...

Friday, October 10, 2008

FIL, Cooking, Knitting, Dyeing

Sorry I haven't posted much this's been a bitch of a week. Hubby's been up way early every morning to get to work and my Dad has been driving my batty. Wild man is doing really well and isn't the source of my anxiety for a change! We got one of those dreaded night time calls from my MIL. They had just been told that my FIL won't be moving back to his Assisted Living room (which he loves - which we all love!) and he was really really depressed. He now has to stay in a full care nursing facility and it's a major blow to his ego. He didn't realize he was that bad off. He kept hoping he would recover to at least his pre-hospitalization condition. The Dr's and staff don't hold out a lot of hope for that considering he's been steadily declining (while deluding himself that he's maintaining status quo). My MIL can't continue to cover for him anymore. He can't do the minimum required activity to qualify for a lesser care home. He can't stand on his own, shower, potty, wipe, etc anymore. The next step is finding him a permanent room. Right now he's in a nice facility in a rehab ward. They will wait and see how he does and if, by some miracle, he shows improvement, they may (fat chance) approve him for lesser care. Anywho, they called Wednesday night around 8:15pm and they were both total wrecks. She because of his meanness and inconsideration, he because he finally has to admit he's not doing as well as he thought he was. He gets bad news and takes it out on her. So hubby, sweet man that he is, drove all the way up there to calm the situation down. He sent his mum home around 10pm then settled in to have a heart to heart with his dad. Hubby came home around midnight absolutely fagged out. I got the jist of the update, then he crashed hard. We'll be going up tomorrow morning to get some of my FIL's stuff out of his old room and take it to my MIL's house until a more permanent solution is made. Wild man and I will either take in the Mall or Joker's. I still have to pick up a birthday present for my BF's daughter. She's turning 4 already!

After FIL errands in the morning, we'll head up north for the birthday party. I'm hoping wild man will snooze on the way up. The party is at 1pm and he's going to be really really tired after. I'm hoping to put him down for a nap there if he'll let me. Too much excitement with his friends so I'm not sure if he'll be up for it! I'll pack his PJ's in anycase, so when we head home he'll be comfy.

I didn't cook as much as I thought I would this week. Generally because my dad was a pain in the ass. He gets grouchy sometimes and I suppose when you're 77 you've earned the right to be grouchy whenever and whereever you choose! Still doesn't make it easier. Grrrr.... Here's the beef jerky and mini muffins I did get around to doing!

On the needles: the never ending hubby sweater which is actually making progress! My goals seem to be working. It's about 3/4ths done lengthwise, then the sleeves and finishing. If I don't think about where I am on this garment I don't notice how much I've done until I hold it up. It is turning out nicely. Also, I've cast on for the second Trekking sock for my SIL. The first one is pretty cool! I like the K3, P1 ribbing. It shows off the subtle, yet striking, colors in the yarn. Pictures really don't do it justice. I've also tacked on two drop stitch scarves, one just finished last week and one done years ago. You tell me which is which!

I've been trying to grow my hair out for 6 months now and I'm really frustrated with it! I realize it's at an "inbetween stage" but it still drives me crazy. I'm thinking it's time to see a stylist for some shaping. I can still let it grow but I need a style otherwise it just limply lies there. I have colored it and it's looks good! Quite a bit darker than my usual colors. Mind you, I've been blonde my whole life, natural and bottle enhanced. It's only been in recent years that I decided to go with the darker tones in my hair. Amazing how well it works! Hubby says he is withholding judgement until he sees it in the sun. I think with a steller makeup job I'll look pretty hot!

Here's my cutie:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend Update, Yarny Stuff and Cooking

Whew! Busy weekend! Friday was my oldest SIL's birthday. (She's 47 - bwa ha ha *smirk*)! Anyway, we had her up for the weekend and had a really great time! She's pretty laid back so we just hung out here, had some steak dinner, played Upwords, had some pumpkin birthday cake with cream cheese frosting...MMMmmmm, we ate almost the whole thing between the 3 of us! Sunday morning we chilled at the park in Alfred with the wild man. He met a couple other kids his size and hooked up with them. They played for over an hour! Then we scooted up to Portland to the Christmas Tree Shop (I swear I was going through withdrawal!) and Michael's. I bought some lovely yarn and SIL bought some tie-dye crafty stuff. We both had a blast trolling the aisles! We ended up heading over to my MIL's house in Westbrook and hung out there for the afternoon while the wild man napped. His first time in a big boy bed!! He was out cold. Of course, it was because his memere' snuggled him up!

My yarn score was 3 beautiful skeins of Patons Lacette in Maroon Mist which is slated for my first ever fingering weight shawl - the Swallowtail Shawl. I would have liked to do my first shawl in something really luxourious, unfortunately I can't afford to. But I think I'll be happy with the Lacette - it really is lovely and has a great sparkle to it! I also picked up 2 skeins of Cotton Ease, one in Almond and one in Cactus to make the wild man a turtle amigurumi. In his case, I wanted yarns I could wash! I am almost finished with the first Trekking sock for the above SIL. I showed it to her because it was supposed to be a birthday present! She'll get it for Halloween instead! Anyway, I have to pace myself. It's getting closer to Christmas and I still need to get hubby's sweater finished. I've only been picking away at it so I'm giving myself a limit. I am not allowed to start another project, no matter how tempting, until the Trekking socks are done and the sweater is done. I believe I can do both by the end of the month. That will put me in good stead for the onslot of Christmas knitting. I will need a list this year! And, I'll need to know who my person is (we pick names) so I can get started on their gift...provided it's not for one of the ones living in FL!!! So as painful as it is for me to say, I have to buckle down and not have umpteen WIP's distracting me from finishing the hubby sweater. *Sigh*

I'm going on a cooking binge again, I can feel it! I am responsible for the snacks for my parent group tomorrow so I'm going to do mini muffins from scratch. I think I'll also do an apple bread since we have so many hanging around! My dad is going to make and can some apple sauce - if only I can convince him to use my food mill to avoid lumps. I still want to make apple jelly so I need to get crackin' on that! But today, oh, today I experimented with another first...homemade beef jerky. Mmmmm! We have a dehydrator and successfully dried some apples so I decided to take the lovely beef round hubby bought and test it. After slicing, marinating and seasoning, and letting it rest for an hour, I stuck it in the dehydrator for about 8 hours. Man, was it yummy!! Hubby loved it too!

Well, I've blabbed on enough for now. Pics will be posted soon! Happy knitting, y'all!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall Photos

I thought I would do a selection of photos taken yesterday rather than posting a long editorial today. I hope you all enjoy some of the beautiful colors around my house!

With the leaves falling so quickly from the trees leaving only bare bones behind, there is still beauty to be had... profound, huh! LOL ;>

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris