Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The day after Thanksgiving there were projects of great proportion taking place around here.

Thanksgiving decorations were tucked back in the little box that houses them for the year, replaced by the tubs, boxes, and stacks of Christmas decorations housed, from the attic to the basement throughout the year.

Honey has always maintained an iron rule of "Not listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving".

Honestly I've always felt a little bad for him imposing that rule on himself.
Myself, being under no such nonsenseical restrictions, have been enjoying the songs that remind me of Christmas' as a child, for quite a long time.
Remembering Aunt Leona's Christmas party's.
Working on handmade gifts of love for family, with a renewed vengeance.

This year, one epic project was undertaken.

Honey was excited to put up his Christmas lights outside again.
It's what he likes to give to us and to the community. "The kid in all of us".

You see he hasn't done that for a large handful of years now.

Because one year, hoodlums came to our house in the night.
Saddest thing is...they vandaled many houses in our tiny town that year.
That put the kibosh on a lot of people doing Christmas decorations like they normally did for many year's.

And while it's not all the way back to his normal idea of outdoor decorating, it is well on its way!
The mistletoe hanging over the sidewalk is proof of that...

Thank you Honey! And helpers!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just Thinking...

Thanks Giving traditions are as varied as families who gather together.
I remember the first Thanks Giving I spent with Honey's family.
I had never seen so much food in one place!
The tables stretched the length of three room's and places were set so close together I wasn't sure there would even be elbow room.
The thing that is still the picture that is recalled to my mind is seeing Honey's mom, feet propped on a chair, sitting at the kitchen table, piled high with bags of bread. There she sat, breaking the bread for stuffing and putting it all in a thirty gallon plastic "stuffing can"!

I was used to a much smaller affair.
My favorite part was that Mom would make her family famous Parker House Rolls, and cranberry sauce.
I miss my parent's and grand parents a lot at this time of year.
In my thoughts. my heart goes home often this time of year... I'm off to make some cranberry sauce.

This year the cooking of the Thanks Giving dinner baton is being passed to the next generation.
That makes me happy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Rough Draft

Frosty and I have made a rough draft for the day.
Arise early.
Finish Monday morning chores.
Get to school in time to get "the different hook".
Run all necessary errands.
Figure out what's for dinner.
Practice writing a name.
Then, we will be editing pictures from a shoot we did Saturday.
That's where I met Frosty.
He doesn't have a magic hat, but I think his shoes rock!!

How it really went down...

Mommy sets out choice of clothes, kisses, snuggles Tiny Dancer, then heads for work.

Fall back to sleep.

Wake up a little late.

Race to get dressed. (It is an unwritten rule that I must lose this race).

Bed made. (Just in case it's all I get done today- At least I did something).

Fix Tiny Dancer's hair while we eat breakfast, with the horses, sheep and a dog or two wandering around the table top.

Shoes on.

Not those!
The Pink boots please.

Find Pink boots.

Thanks Grammy :)

Search for back pack.

Head for car while explaining the the purple sheep needs to wait with me.

Follow back seat directions to preschool.


Make regular Grand Entrance.

Hook chosen. (Not the different one. Its not as traumatic as it once was).

Seat found.

Head home.

Clear kitchen counter.

Edit a picture.

Laundry sorted.

Edit a picture.

Check facebook.

Edit Picture.

Work on new blog post.

Alarm goes off.

Time to run errands before schools out.

That should bring me to 11:00 a.m.

Head to the school in time to hear Tiny Dancer's yell from the door way, "Grammy!?"

Be pointed out by intire preschool class.

Stand by door while Tiny Dancer sees all her friends off.

Back seat directions back home.

Call Mommy.


I sure hope Frosty has an easy idea for dinner,.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shoveling Snow

You know a sound that I really miss when it snows?
My Grampa's coal shovel.
Used so much the edges of it curled up at the corner's. That is what he used, he used it day or night. It's scrapping sound resonated through the neighborhood when ever any amount of snow began to accumulate.
At night I'd sometimes peek out the upstairs curtain's and watch him, working with the same steady methodical rhythm he used when he watered the lawn in the summer time.
He had routine's about such things.
He loved to be outside.
And he loved us.
That is the message that was carried through the night on the grating sound of shovel against cement...
Now we have plastic shovels with a little strip of metal, snow blower's and plow's..
Yet when it snows.
Especially at night.
I still listen for Grampas' coal shovel.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The House Slipper's

Have you ever lived where it gets so cold in the Winter time that you can see your breath when you wake up?

I did once, in another life, my childhood life...

      The little adobe house was almost as old as the scattered town itself. Standing alone on a one acre plot of land, just a hp skip and a jump from the mouth of a windy canyon. It's thick wall's already yellowing from time, were no match for keeping the bitter cold out, not when the North Winds began blowing dried leaves into giant drifts, skirting the little house.
     Inside a miniature wood stove had been situated in the center most part. "The heart of the home", Papa called it. But it looked more like the kitchen to the little girl called 'Caboose'.
     That wasn't her real name, just an endearment name her Papa gave her, and it stuck. Her real name was Maybelle, She thought it sounded like a cows name.
     On cold nights when the winds blew particular cold, everyone would gather around the little stove for warmth and evening story time. Its door pulled open to allow for maximum heating capabilities, was the perfect place for propping feet, warming stockinged feet.
     While Papa wove magic into his tails, Mama would climb the newly built stairs to the newly built rooms in the little old attic, to fetch every ones night clothes, and leave a hot brick under the blankets at the foot of each bed. She said it was to cold for little bodies to change in any of the four tiny rooms down stairs, "And out of the question up stairs!"
     That's where the girls slept, two to a bed two twin sized beds to a room. Grampa Ben had come during the summer to help add on those two badly needed rooms. The girls loved those room's, even though there was no insulation between the slopped walls and the ceder shank shingles just inches away.
     Maybelle new Mama was right about those rooms being cold. Why, you had to keep your nose under the heavy layers of wool quilts, just to keep it from freezing off in the night!   So she was very glad Mama gather the night clothes to the warmth of the kitchen for them. But it bothered her that Mama would just smile and say her feet were toasty enough, when asked to come sit a spell.

     One particularly cold night, toward the end of October, Maybelle had been having a terrible bad dream, and woke up feeling very worried for Mama. So sneaking down the stairs, quiet as a mouse, to make sure mama was alright, she peeked to see mama sitting on the edge of the bed in er night clothes, with her shoes still on, and talking soft with Papa.
     Maybelle knew Mama was alright now, but just couldn't turn herself around to go back to bed. Instead she watched as Mama blew out the lamp then leaned down to take off her shoes.
     A tiny hand flying to catch the gasp that escaped as her Mama's shoes had come off revealing bare feet!  Horrified she stood frozen on the spot watching as Mama rubbed her feet hard, then tucked herself into bed. She was sure Mama's toes would be nestling close to the hot brick tucked in the foot of each bed earlier at night.
Hurrying as fast as sneaking would allow, Maybelle climbed back to her bed where she buried her seven year old self under the covers and snuggled her heaving back against her sister's sleeping back and cried herself to sleep.

next morning found Maybelle running an errand for Mama, "Caboose Honey, I need you to take this bag of bread to Gramma Violet and Grampa Ben's for me. It seems I've over baked again." she smiled and winked, "You stay and help with chores if she asks, but don't just be under foot."

     Once inside Gramma Violet's bright warm kitchen, it was obvious to her wise old eye's that little May, as Gramma called her, was very sad.
"What's wrong May? Are you not feeling well?" She puzzled.   Bursting into tears at the same time she flung herself into Gramma's welcoming arms, she choked out her troubles, around heaving breaths and rivers of tears, "My Mama hasn't got no sock's to help keep her feet warm Gramma!"

    If Gramma was shocked, surprised or sad, she never let on as she soothed little May. Once calmness was restored, a cup of warm milk  offered and happily accepted. As the two sat quietly, a sudden sparkle twinkled in Gramma's old eye's, and Maybelle knew there was a solution coming.
"Child, Christmas time in coming right up. I think its time your learn to crochet. And it should be a pair of house slippers. But I don't want you to tell an soul, ya hear?" she smiled kindly, "I'll talk to your Ma and tell her I need your help here for a while. It will be our Christmas secret. Are ya game?"
     May almost choked on her milk. "I ain't ever had a big Christmas secret before! Do ya really think I can learn crocheting Gramma? Really?"
     Nodding she smiled, "Yes child, you can. And I'll be doin the teachin. You can use one of my old hook's, and I'll get you some yarn."
     Maybelle knew all about 'Christmas secrets', she and all of her sister's each had a special box Papa had made for them, stored under their beds. Her sister's kept their secret projects in theirs she was sure. Hers didn't hold anything this important ever before.
 "Come with me and we'll get you started."  Gramma said as she headed briskly from the room. Little May hot on her heel's.
    First to the yarn basket where Gramma let her choose a big ball of the yarn she had spun from the sheep Papa and Grampa Benn had sheared last spring. The next march was to the bedroom where Gramma retrieved a 'Secrets Bos' all her very own.
     Sitting on the bed, the lid was lifted to reveal a new world of old treasures. Lifting a small bundle of broom straw warped in a tiny piece of homespun wool, unearthing a bundle made from a beautifully embroidered piece of muslin, which was lovingly lifted with reverent old hands. Maybelle knew it was a very important treasure from Gramma's actions and unspoken words alone.  this bundle was unfolded as it lay on the bed, revealing a set of beautifully hand oiled, child's sized wooden crochet hooks. Gramma chose one hook and placed it gently but firmly into little May's sweaty little hand, turned and retraced the procedure just completed, in reverse.
     "Come now child. And mind you don't loose that hook. My grandmother gave them to me when I was about your age. They are very important to me."
     May Clutched it tightly to herself, walking as gingerly as if the worn wooden floor had transformed into egg shells.

     Back to the kitchen little May sat on Gramma's lap with her gnarled old hands helping her yet unlearned hands learn the feel of hook meeting yarn. Morning became afternoon as time disappeared for the two of them. Grampa Ben's boots shuffling across the threshold brought them quickly back to reality. As lunch was prepared Grampa was also sworn to secrecy in the Christmas conspiracy.

   Little May and Gramma spent time together every day, teaching, learning and talking. Soon Maybelle was working her slipper's while Gramma made hr knitting needles fly fairly fly on a few projects of her own.

     Christmas morning arrived to reveal a room so cold Maybelle's breathe seemed to be frozen as it hung in the air before finally dissipating into wondered if it were possible for the hoer frost that blanketed the landscape, to someday be found covering the beds.
Knowing it was time to retrieve her secret packages from their hiding spot in her box, she reached as far as she could while keeping herself under the blankets. The last package she pulled from the box had been wrapped in brown paper and tied with a hair ribbon by Gramma Violet, then smuggled to May by Grampa Ben for her safe keeping, until Christmas morning.

    The rule had always been that breakfast had to be eaten before gifts could be opened. Gramma and Grampa came early to spend the day. chatter was high as anticipation built. Finally, after what seemed like forever, everyone spilled into the room circling the little tree, Papa had brought in and Mama and the girl's had decorated the week before. Gramma asked if little May could present her gifts first.
     "Why Caboose, thank you!" Papa said as he opened the package of cookies Mama had helped her make and wrap as gifts for each.
     "What's this Punkin?", Mama asked with a curious tilt of her head as Maybelle lay a package on her lad, stepping back, fairly bursting at the seems.
     As gently as if it night break apart in her finger's, the paper was pulled back to reveal oddly shaped house slippers, with stitches of the  wide variety of newly learned tension. Lifting them to her heart with one hand and puling Maybelle into a tight hug, she whispered so only she could hear, "This is the most precious gift I have ever received. Thank you so much. How did you know it was what I dearly wanted?"
     Next Gramma Violet passed a package she had brought to each of the family. Mama seemed a little embarrassed to be receiving a second package, and this one noticeably larger than the others. She looked questioningly into Gramma Violet's wise old eye's, then once again peeled back the paper to reveal a new shawl, and two pair of new sock's.
     Tears spilled over as she touched each item and looked again toward Gramma, who in turn smiled through rear filled eyes of her own, as she answered the unasked question with a slight tilt of her head in little May's direction. Where she was dancing around holding, her very own little embroidered muslin wrapped set of wooden crochet hooks.

Every year for the rest of Mama's life, May would gift her with a new pair of house slippers and a flannel night gown.

  Upon Mama's passing, her 'special box' that Papa had gifted his bride with so many years ago, was bequeathed to Maybelle. Inside the box lay a well worn shawl and the worn out pair of odd sized house slippers made from Gramma's yarn and May's uneven stitched from May's own unlearned finger's, with a note tucked inside, written in her mother's aged script:

"I prayed. He answered through you.
This is the most precious gift I have ever received.
I love you, my little Maybelle.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Playing With Strings...

I like making a piece of string into something I can wear. 
~Author Unknown

It snowed today.
Right after the wind blew really hard and then the rains started up, followed closely by sleet, it was at that time the snows came.

Well let me just tell you.
I knew it was going to do this very thing.
I didn't know what day exactly.
But history has been pretty good at proving that this kind of stuff would be happening...again.

So I try to prepare.

Being a Grammy means that it can be sort of scary for the grandchildren, one never knows what I will be coming up with to ward off the cold.
A few years ago I dug out my multi-colored stash of strings and made hats.
Knit hat's, crochet hats, hats with bills and hats without.
I think they even turned out pretty good.
As in, I think everyone liked them.
I think...
The asking for more in additional color's, sort of helped me solidify my thinking there.

And headbands too.
Being a little more nervous about them, because not a lot of people were wearing them, yet.
That has happily changed since.

Feeling bad that I didn't get pictures of everyone in their hat's, I have soothed myself with the ones I did find of Tiny Dancer.

Talking her into modeling this years masterpiece, I further consoled myself with more pictures.

It appears I can not have to many of those either.  

Tiny Dancer is a pretty good model for me, sometimes, usually until she gets tired of it all then starts pulling faces at me and we both start laughing to much.

This hat pattern was my very first etsy store purchase.

I was petrified that I was going to mess things up really bad. However with a lot of help from Ele, our very kind and patient, etsy shop owner, the transaction was a lot of fun too. In fact, if she were my neighbor, I would have baked her cookies to thank her!  

I got my chapeau pattern ordered and made.
In a smattering of various sizes and colors.

So once again when the season's began to change, I was pretty sure that heads and ears would be once again needing some help staying warm and viola! Out my crochet hook's, knitting needles, and umpteen hue's of stings have come... 

This is one of the children's size I made from Ele's pattern two years ago...

This years version received a few extra rows to go down a little farther.
Yep, those are the same yo-yo flowers from two years ago...
That right there is the beauty of making them into pins or clips...

It's my favorite hat to make.
Click HERE if you would like to order this pattern.

Headbands work really good, on windy days. 
Better for the braids to bee seen don't you know.

     It took me years and years of trial efforts to work out that there is absolutely no knitting (or crochet) triumph I can achieve that my husband will think is worth being woken up for.
~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,
At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

Time passes.
It’s ever constant.
Birthdays pass, couples wed, buildings fall and careers end.
“My life is slipping through my fingers,” they say.
My wool passes through my fingers.
I knit for birthdays, housewarmings and those who are ill.
My fingers remind me of the value of my time as I spend it knitting for others and knitting for myself.
The most constant reminder of time is when it’s stolen.
When someone dies,
 knitting has been my solace.
I knit to remember.
I knit to mourn.
I knit to commemorate.
I knit in a connection to time.
To it’s presence on me.
To reclaim the ownership of “me” time.
To pass it.
To relish in it.
To know it.
Time is knitting for me.
Both slip through my fingers.
And both are the fabric of my life.
Nicole Hindes

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Woolly Worm Winter

According to folk wisdom, when the brown bands on fall woolly bears are narrow, it means a harsh winter is coming.

First let me mention that I haven't seen a woolly worm for a very, really, long time, so imagine my surprise when I saw this little guy working it's way up a wall at The Peak last week.

Please keep in mind that I grew up with the likes of,  "Hurricane Daisy" from the Clampett's of Beverly Hill's and her "weather beetle, Cecil". Not to mention my Grampa watching how the spider's were building their webs, so it's not a far stretch of the imagination for me to watch for woolly worms.

He appeared as interested in me, as I was in him. I even got the impression he was posing for me.

If the prediction's are true...this woolly worm is bringing the news of a harsh winter. It may be bringing the news of a lot of snow, it may be bringing news of a lot of crazy cold, it may be bringing a strong combination of the two... I guess we will just have to wait and see :)

Hey? Do you think Woolly Worms have a weather prediction involving the sighting of humans and their weight?

Thick one's mean a harsh winter?

If so this guy went home on the run, screaming a warning to all the woolly worms to batten down the hatches, 'The harshest winter we've seen in a very, really, long time is on the door step!!!'

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last Of The Organizing For This Year...

I have been on a clean and organizing kick over the past few month's. I'm really not sure what kind of bug bit me, but I guess it has been a good thing.
I got the basement done and that was a huge job that I was very happy to get done.
The only room left after the great movement below, was the little toy room above. A huge problem was that I had no idea how to get the results I was dreaming of.
I wanted a way to see the toy's instead of have them all piled to overflowing in a plastic tub or wooden box.
So off to Wally World I did go.
I came home with a small book shelf, that can be used now for toy's and later for some more book's. We cleared a shelf on the big book case and set up a smaller one in the living room, a reading corner with pillows and a day bed in the sunshine in the back bedroom.
We are happy with the results.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I love when the seasons change. In the past they changed at just the right time's. You had a nice period in between to get used to the idea before it actually did change all the way.
Now a day's it seems like it happens over night, and that can be pretty hard on a body!

It brings out a lot more of the colds and flu's and general icky stuff. The coughing, can't sleep kind.

So it comes as no surprise to me that soup's come to mind for dinner's.
Homemade soup always makes you feel better. I don't know why, I just know that it does.

So we have been making a lot of soup's and homemade bread. We were introduce this past week to butter dipped bread stick's and may I just say...Yummy!!!

I suggest that while we all try to nurse ourselves and loved one's through the gom-boos of illness' the changing weather seems to have brought with it, we consider soup!

Wendy got me Terri's mom's Potato Soup recipe

Peel and Chop: 8 large potatoes, 3 large carrots, 1 yellow onion, 3 stalks celery.
Add: 2 chicken bouillon cubes, 1/2 Tbsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. parsley flakes, 5 cups water, 1/4 tsp. pepper. Boil until tender (30-40 minutes). Stir in 1/3 cup butter and 1 can evaporated milk. Heat through. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve.

Friday, November 4, 2011

He Thinks He Is The Boss

Meet Honkie, the other cat that lives at our house, when he's not out catin' that is...

HE is a complainer.

He complains if he can see one spot of the bottom of his food bowl, and wants it fixed five minutes ago.
He complains if he can't have his favorite lawn chair. He wont fight Pooka for it, he just sits in front of her and complains loudly. She's used to her brother and ignores him really good. (She is the real boss around here).
He complains if it is to hot, to cold, to wet, to dry, to light, to dark...

You get the picture I'm sure.

But in his defence, he is a great snuggeler. He's a ladies man. He will run from the far corners of the world when he hears his name called by a certain two females around here. He still only answer's me when I have a bowl of tuna and call 'Kitty, kitty, kitty", then he will trot in my general direction.
He is also a pretty good mouser, judging from the little black spots he has accumulated across his nose and the inside of his mouth.

It is because if this, I jump to fill his bowl when he sees that speck of bottom, snuggle with him until he doesn't want me to anymore, and allow him his spot in the sun unmolested.

He does enjoy his run of the town.
He has his routines and I'm guessing other food hand out places. 
He was fixed at the same time his sister was, way back when they were young-un's.

He is a good cat.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Here We Go

     The wind that blows straight out of the canyon every morning has got the tree's here on a permanent slant. Their branches distorted until they begin looking like unbalanced heads of hair, having been  twisted and tangled, wildly whipping, longer on one side than the other, frozen that way in every season. Looking much more frigid and forlorn, once all the colored leaves have all been severed, strewn across the landscape  by the freezing hooks of the nightly tempests.
     Often these Chinooks linger just outside the doors every morning, awaiting the opportunity to wrap icy fingers tenaciously around you, ripping that first breathe away with a gasp.
Clutching your arms tighter around you as the struggle to block the glacial numbing from overcoming you before you reach the relative safety of the once frost encrusted car begin. 
     Mornings like these are the reason you cinch your chapeau snugly down over your ear's, scrunching your neck down as far into your fashion light jacket, you fought so hard to wear, will allow. Wishing, a little to late, you would have put on something heavier. Grateful, but unaware, that Grammy has fought such battles in her younger life, learning to keep a warm blanket in her car for just such adventures...