Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ice Storm

This morning I stepped outside, surprised
to see the trees embellished
in frosty finery -- all ready
for a winter ball. Each blade of grass
bedecked, bejewelled, the stubble 
of last year's corn transformed, limbs
heavy with sparkling sprigs and gemmed berries.
A lone pair of chattering birds discuss
the decor, bending their heads in search
of refreshment. The orchestra starts with
breeze as conductor, the delicate clacking
of crystalline leaves, like dowagers
snapping their fans in rebuke.
It is the deepest part of Winter, the pitch
black bottom of February, the world
reflecting the current gray despair...
Then, this! A delight! A gentle nudge
from our Mother, a sweet reminiscence
that in every season, in each unlikely moment,
there can be dazzling impossibility.
MFS 2/21/2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Busy day today with both boys basketball games and then hours of standing at Ibby's track meet.  She ran in three events, but they were very spaced out...  Her relay team placed 3rd in the 4x800 so that was exciting!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Last Winter Orchestra Concert

When they were little, everything was firsts, but now it seems like last everything.  The orchestra played really well!  I'm going to miss going.  Lucinda is a senior, and Ibby has decided to quit orchestra next year.  I tried to talk her out of it, but once that girl decides something... she is definitely stubborn.  Those quiet ones always get you.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

One Month Down

I decided to try doing a temperature blanket again this year.  My first attempt was last year and I made a few mistakes, that hopefully I learned from.  Mistake number one, was that I chose a stitch that was too large.  It soon became very apparent that my blanket was going to be humongous!  But I was already well into the process before I realized, so I plunged ahead and ended up stopping in May.  My second mistake was not realizing that even though we have extreme temperatures here, a lot of the time it hovers in the mid range so I had better like those colors -- a lot!  Last year, those colors between 50˚ and 70˚ were yellow and orange, which aren't the worst colors in the world, but there can definitely be too much of them.  They're better as highlights -- the center of a flower, for example, is just right.   

To solve the first problem I chose the smallest stitch I could find -- the linen stitch, or sometimes called the moss stitch.  It is basically smaller than a single crochet because the stitch goes down into the space in the previous row.  I also used a 4 mm hook which is smaller than I usually use.  My only worry at this point is that it's going to be too stiff!  But, we'll just have to see what happens!  That's how I like to live anyway.  Life is boring with too much certainty.  I did start and pull everything out at least twice before I fixed on a good width and hook size.  After the second time I even decided to measure and do actual math!  There is a first time for everything.  It should turn out to be a normal size for a human blanket which will be nice.

For the second problem, I decided to not use any yellow at all!  There, that was easy.  I still don't have my absolute ideal color palette, because I am trying to use up some excess yarn that is idling around the closet being useless, but it should be more pleasing this time around.  I am using Stylecraft DK and crocheting the high temperature that was reached each day.

less than 5˚- lobelia
5˚-19˚- lavender
20˚-34˚- turquoise
35˚-49˚- teal
50˚-64˚- grass
65˚-79˚- clematis
80˚-94˚- fuchsia
95˚+- currently undecided

So here is the first month:

New Year's day did not reach 5˚!  But we've managed to get above it the rest of the time -- and several days over 50˚!  Our weather is all over the place!  I can see how this would be a boring exercise in more temperate climes -- a risk I'm willing to take someday (hopefully), but for now, this is making the winter a little more exciting.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Finished this blanket this morning -- just in time for a new year filled with new projects!  Pattern found at attic 24.  I made it for my lovely friend, Amanda, but I was oh so tempted to keep it!  I love the colors and the pattern is so squishy and comfy!  I might just have to make an identical one sometime in the future.

I was trying madly to finish the blanket before Christmas, but then a couple of weeks ago I ran out of yarn on my last row of that color -- so close mushroom, so close! 

So I had to order more -- I just couldn't stand the idea of changing the color so late in the game!  It simply would not do.  The problem is that I order from a place in England, so 1. it takes a while to get here and 2. there is a flat shipping rate, so of course I am compelled to order plenty of yarn to make it worthwhile, am I right?  One of my goals for the next year is to stop spending money!  I know!  Completely insane!  But I must do something about my compulsive impulsivity!  Since I knew that I was going to have this lofty objective, I went ahead and planned all of my crochet projects for the coming year so I wouldn't have to buy any more yarn after my start date... of today!  I'm pretty much all set, with one blanket about halfway done and I think five more waiting in the wings. 

We enjoyed a rousing New Year's Eve party at Rose and Rick's abode -- the boys always manage to stay awake until midnight!  No early birds in this house!  The girls both slept at friend's houses so we didn't have to worry about waiting up for them.  Matthew ran Charles to work around 11:45 and barely missed the countdown.  I received my new year's kiss a couple of minutes late.  Neither of the little boys would deign to let me give them a smooch.  They're really quite affectionate, but not in front of their friends apparently.

Today was a relaxing one for the most part and then we're going to Amanda and Dave's for dinner.  I'm so excited for the new year!  I try to calm down and not get into the cliche of making new year's resolutions, but I honestly cannot even help myself!  The excitement of a completely blank slate yawning and stretching out into the great beyond appeals to the deepest parts of me and I get carried away with hopes, dreams, resolves, affirmations, desires... delusions.  Matthew tries to temper my fervor by telling me to stick to just a few goals, or not be so strict and absolute, but I generally ignore him and forge wantonly ahead with "50 million actions of improvement" that are going to utterly transform my life!  Hurrah!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Boxing Day Highlights

::working on the puzzle o' year

::reading new books, playing new games, nibbling chocolate -- bien sur!

::the Christmas cactus actually bloomed on Christmas!  I was stunned by its punctuality!

::sleeping under the Christmas tree = dreamy
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