Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Well, we're doing it again. The kids had such a great time a couple of weeks ago, we decided to take them camping again. We leave tomorrow for Black Water River. Kurt hunted up a blow-up 4 person boat at work. It will be an adventure to say the least. I wonder if my family will let me stay behind and knit. . .

I'm already exhausted and haven't begun to pack and get ready (unless you count the comedy from yesterday when I tried to make gluten free, casein free hamburger buns for Gregory without the proper equipment). It is amazing though to watch the Lord work and help me through my day. I have no doubt tonight I will look back and find I accomplished everything I needed to do.

For the past few years I thought allergies, chronic infections, etc. constantly zapped my strength and energy. I also thought I was a wimp when it came to handling the aches and pains of impending old age. (I'm 39.) It turns out I most like have fibromyalgia. I'm actually glad there is a reason for it all and I am not just a wimp who cannot handle the aging process with the same grace as everyone else. Now I can quit comparing myself to others when it comes to what I do or do not accomplish day to day. I never thought being told I had a chronic illness could make me feel better, but it sure relieved a lot of guilt!

I am so excited! I ordered my first fleece from Running Moon Farm!

It is from a Gulf Coast Native (Improved) sheep named Merlene. She is a rare breed and I can almost convince myself I have contributed to a worthy cause.

With all the camping and house-cleaning a la The Fly Lady, my projects are progressing slowly. I'm still spinning for Barbara's boucle shawl.

This skein is in the first pass through the plying process. Once all the loops and spirals are created, I will send the yarn through again to over-ply it and then I will cable it back on a silver thread. It is a lot of work, but makes for a beautiful shawl!

Barbara's shawl is coming along, albeit slowly.

I really think this will be the prettiest shawl I have made yet on my tri-loom.

I know Barbara plans to wear it for Seminar in Dallas this year. I am so glad I can finally do something for the woman who has done so much for me through the years!

I just started my second repeat of chart B on my Legends of the Shetland Seas stole.

As hard as it was to rip out so much of my previous work on this stole, I just love seeing it reform in a way I love. I definitely believe with some things, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing right! Even if I end up devoting a full year to this project, which is entirely feasible, it will have been worth it.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Though I only managed to squeeze in about 30 minutes of knitting time, we had a wonderful weekend camping at Falling Waters. The campsites were nice.

The waterfall for which the park is named was a short hike from the campsite. On the way we passed the lake, a portion of which was designated for swimming.

The waterfall was truly beautiful, despite my camera's lack-luster performance.

The water falls from a hill top down rock and into a deep sink hole. A platform allows visitors to safely "ooh and ahh".

The kids and I found looking down the deep sink hole eerie and disconcerting. Kurt enjoyed it and didn't even mind hanging the camera over the side of the platform for a better view.

The waterfall acted like a natural air conditioner. Kurt and I would have been content to sit and stare at it all day. The kids however, were determined to do some swimming.

Kurt and I were both relieved to discover the swimming hole was shallow enough for us to remain on the shore!

I took this picture while standing next to a sign warning visitors to not feed the alligators.

Hhhmmmm. . . I didn't know whether I should worry that there would be HUNGRY alligators swimming in the same lake with my children. . .

In the end, we let the Lord worry about the alligators and the kids swam and played all day.

Gabrielle discovered suitable sand for castle building.

Meanwhile, Gregory reinvented "the crawl" stroke. (I.e. he used his hands to "crawl" across the surface of the water.)

As much fun as we had, I am glad to be home. I have mountains of clothes to wash, as well as towels and dishes. We did empty the car, so that is something. I've got my favorite Las Vegas radio station, KILA, playing on my computer and am slowly getting everything else done.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Spring has decorated my world with flowers and bees and butterflies. Azaleas dance in the breeze in a rainbow of pinks.

Creation testifies to the glory of my Lord Jesus!

Due in part to lack of motivation for gardening work and in large part to the allergies that keep me indoors during pine tree pollen season (Spring), we decided to give free reign to the wild blackberries overtaking a corner of our yard.

The carpet of flowers foreshadows a wealth of blackberry jam this summer.

With Spring comes the desire to order my indoor world as well. I don't know why, but the desire to clean over powers me each year at this time.

My big project this year has been my closet. Designed as a walk-in closet, the "walk-in" no longer had relevance. Well, to be completely honest, I had never really finished unpacking in the master bedroom closet when we moved into the house 5 1/2 years ago. Boxes were pushed under the clothes and spilled out onto the floor. Shoes were tossed here and there and formed a second layer which was often covered again by laundry stuck somewhere in the sorting process. More than a good cleaning, the closest required geologic excavation.

Hours and days later, I proved to my husband that our closet did in fact have a floor and that it truly deserved the name "walk-in".

Unfortunately, all of this cleaning has impacted my knitting, spinning, weaving, etc. time. However, I managed to complete my first chart A and B repeats of my Legends of the Shetland Seas stole!

The knitted fabric is much tighter this time and I like it SOOOOO much better! The frogging is thus justified and I feel I made the right decision.

Kurt's sweater continues to grow for a change and this too, is good.

Barbara's boucle shawl progresses slowly however. I am spinning as I go and the process of producing this yarn is labor intensive.

But I have made progress and progress is good.

Tomorrow we leave for our camping trip at Falling Waters. The kids are very excited about swimming, hiking and exploring. I plan to bring my knitting. Hopefully there will be lots of opportunity to relax and knit in the shade over the weekend!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Today we mourn the frogging of the Legends of the Shetland Seas Stole. It is the passing of an era. More than three months of my 38th year were dedicated to the knitting of the Legends Stole and today, that time is gone.

I began knitting the LOTSS stole late last summer. I tackled the pattern as a beginning knitter despite warnings it was for the advanced. Alas, my tension was off and as the stole grew, the problems became more obvious.

For months I struggled with the idea of losing so much time and work. But finally, perfectionism had its day and the LOTSS found itself strung up on my spinning wheel and ball winder, attached to my swift. After removing the knitting needles and markers, I began to turn the swift. . .

Minutes turned into hours as I carefully tugged and twisted. The stole withered and shrunk. . .

Now, all that remains are its component parts and a desire to do better, to achieve greater and more consistent results!

I am jumping right back into the knitting of it so I don't lose heart. As Winter melts into Spring and then fires up into Summer, my LOTSS II will grow! Somehow lace just seems like appropriate warm weather knitting to me.

Kurt has been busy studying for tests for his pre-calc. and chemistry classes this semester. He has two tests this week. We've seen very little of him so when it is all over and he has recooperated, the family is going camping. I thought we'd explore a new place and so have reserved a campsite here: Falling Waters. There is hiking (and knitting) and swimming (and spinning) and fishing (and more knitting) and even a playground for the kids. It will be nice to get away from our normal routine and spend some time together as a family. Please pray for good weather for us!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I thought this was fun! It tells me I am definitely a warm weather person! This map shows all of the states I've visited in my lifetime. It makes sense since I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, (there was a brief move to Montana, burr), attended college in Lousiana, went to law school in California and have since moved to Florida. After living in Florida for 5 years, it is unbelievable I haven't been to Georgia though. . .

create your own visited states map