Saturday, July 31, 2010

Places Being Seen, Things Being Done

Thank you for all of your kind and welcoming comments!  Returning to blogging after a long absence is kind of like going back to school after having been sick for several days.  It's scary in some weird way.  I appreciate your help in coming back.

How about some pictures of what I've been doing?  Below is The Yellow House Sampler from Sheepish Designs.  I love working on it and looking at it when I'm not working on it.

The fabric is 40-count Iced Cappuccino ... the lightest IC I've ever seen, in fact, and I'm using one DMC thread over two.  It's been such a long time since I've worked with regular old DMC that I'd forgotten how much I like it.  A little voice in my head is telling me to dunk it in come coffee when I finish.  We'll see.

Below is the new pair of socks I'm working on.  As you can see, hopefully, the second sock isn't gonna match up exactly with the first.  I know the idea is to make them look the same, but I couldn't help myself.  I wanted to see how it turns out.
I love the colors so far, but they aren't for me.  They're for a special birthday gift in September.  Someone gave me a pattern for toe-up socks, but it'll take me a little time on the internet to figure out how to start them.  The pattern makes beginning sound extremely complicated, so I'll be searching for a video (the internet is a wonderful thing) to help me.

I've been gone for several days.  We decided to take a little trip to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore (I love it there) again and play some golf.  We had some very exciting weather, so there wasn't much golf, but it was a great getaway.

Earlier this month we took a trip to Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon.  Even though I've lived out west all my life, I'd never been to either place.  Finally, I've seen what "awesome" means.  The Grand Canyon is incredible.  You've seen a million pictures of it, I know, so I won't bore you with mine.  We took two days to visit the South and North Rims, and the drive between is worth your time.  On the way to the North Rim, you can stop at Navajo Bridge, which is 700 feet above the Colorado River.  Here are some rafters who waved and told us to jump (I'm sure they meant it in the nicest way).

First you see them close-up, and now here's a view as we saw them from the bridge.  Pretty cool, huh?  I'm pretty sure I need a raft ride.
  Mesa Verde was also amazing.  I loved it there, so I'm forcing you to look at one picture.
Thinking of how long these dwellings have been there makes looking at them even better.  We got to climb down into a kiva with the other kids (really, there were one or two other adults).  On our way home, we went on a crazy road called the Moki Dugway, which was a blast.  The pictures taken by other people are much better than mine, and you'll get a great idea of what it was like if you click on the link.  If you're ever in that area, do it!

I think that's about it for now.  I have one more full week and a day of summer vacation (gasp! sob!!), which has been reduced by almost three full days because of meetings (yawn) that my new principal and the big bosses think I need to attend.  Meetings aren't my thing, and I'll be doing my best to learn something, but I'll take my knitting just in case my brain needs some help.  I'm naughty, huh?  Make some fun.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Where, Oh, Where ...

... have I been for almost four months?  Well, life took me by the hand, sat me down and said, "Get organized."  So I did.  Chaos of work and real life was making me a crazy person, so I worked on changing a few things.

Regarding work, after making some big changes to our school, our principal resigned to return to a high school classroom.  Interesting, huh?  Then, because he and the IB program left (short version of a long story), the woman who got my job left.  With some help from a few supporters at my school and at the administrative level, I got my job back!  I know!  How exciting!  So, instead of being in a first grade classroom, I'll continue to work with kindergarten through second grade during mornings, and I'll be coaching (yes, you're reading it correctly) other teachers in the afternoons.  I'm not certain I'm mature enough to handle the afternoon part of my job, but other people think I am (golly, they've been fooled), so I'll do my best.  We have a new principal who seems to be level-headed and has a plan, so we'll see what happens next.  I'm hesitantly optimistic about school, which is such a change for me!

During our summer vacation, I've been spending loads of time with this little cutie.
Hasn't he become a tub?  Mother's milk has made Keagan a very big boy.  He'll be four months old tomorrow and he's weighing in at over 14 pounds.  All he wants to do is eat.  That's his job until crawling begins ... if he can lift himself.  Right now he's working on sitting up by himself.  Other than feeling like a milk truck, Nikki is doing well.  Her husband, Grady, has taken a better-paying job so she can stay home with Keags.  I can't get enough of his smiles and giggles.

On the therapeutic activities front, I finally finished stitching Sarah Esh, so here's her not-so-great picture.  How sad that my photography skills haven't improved during my absence.  Oh well.  She's not framed yet, but she's ready to join other A&E samplers when I get something else stitched.  Right now, thanks to a bloggy friend (you know who you are and I love you even though I've neglected you), I'm working on The Yellow House Sampler by Sheepish Designs.

A skill I have acquired while absent is sock knitting.  I know!  I knit socks!  Looky here ...
Shocking, isn't it?  Or should I say socking?  That's my first pair of socks, and I'm at work on a second pair.  In fact, the first sock is finished and I've started the second.  I'll show you a picture in another post.  This summer I've learned that knitting is much easier to manage than stitching is while traveling.  Well, for me it is.  So there's been more knitting than stitching going on.  I've also completed a felted bag for a friend in Maine and a felted bowl.  Wanna see?

As you can see, I haven't lost my obsession for felting.  Hey, it keeps me off the streets and out of the bars.  Sorry to say, I'm just as slow at knitting as I am at stitching!

So much has happened since I've spent more than a few moments in blogland.  Poor Merlin, my old man cat, had to be put down a day after my last post.  All of you pet lovers know how that is.  Dad's been doing ok, by the way.  He struggles, like we all do, but he's working at finding his way through the world without Mom.  During some of my chaos removal, I left the man I hung around with behind. That was hard, but it brought along an opportunity to meet a cool, calm, collected and extremely kind man. My mom always used to tell me that thing about one door closing and another one opening. I really hadn't believed it until now. So we'll see. It's nice to have someone to spend time with besides family.  And he puts up with my hideous golf game!

I hope that those of you who've read here before will start to read here again.  I'll be catching up with what you've been doing and I hope to comment here and there.  I've missed you all more than you know.  The Sisterhood of the Rose is alive and about to move on.  I'll explain where we are with that in my next post.  With any luck, four months won't pass before you hear from me again.

Whatever you do, make some fun!

Monday, March 29, 2010


That's the sound spring break made as it flew by. I tried to dig in my heels to slow time down, but no luck. There were even a couple of snowy days during which I could've sat at my computer to post, but I just couldn't do it. I was busy holding a baby and knitting a little and stitching a little and family stuff and ... well, I don't know!

Please forgive some more grandmotherly picture-bragging, but here's a little of my knitting with Keagan (yes, in my here's-my-new-grandson post, I didn't realize the actual spelling was different from my version ... bad, bad grandma). I knitted this Baby Pea Pod (available on Ravelry) in no time a couple of weeks ago. It was super easy and he loves it. Nikki took the pic with her cell phone, so it's awful, but you get the idea. He's just as cute as he was last time.

In other knitty news, I've been working on a pillow from the book One Skein, and when I checked out the photo I took on the monitor screen, it was incredibly out of focus. What I was thinking when I took the pic, I have no idea. Chalk it up to old-lady vision. Anyway, I branched out with the pattern, using different-than-called-for alpaca yarn (oooh, pretty and soft) and larger-than-called-for needles to make a larger pillow (yes, it seems I'm a knitting experimentalist), and it's turning out just the right size. I know! Who knew I could wing it? I know enough to realize that one day this knitty thrill-seeking will bite me right in the butt. Until then, look out. I also knitted a felted bowl from the same book (a great book), but I haven't felted it yet. Pictures of the pillow-in-progress and bowl will magically appear in the next post ... whenever that is. Oh, I almost forgot. I also finished a felted bag for Nikki and another one for me. No pictures because I figured you've got to be bored with the bags. So I really have been doing something with my time.

Then there's Miss Sarah Esh. I've been working on her, but work is a little slow. My goal is to finish this week. Uh huh, dream on. Goals are a good thing, right? So sorry for another awful photo.

That pretty much brings us up to date. I'm hustling through this post to get to my purple chair before my eyes close. Keagan and his mom and dad are doing great, school is as it is, and home is a nice place to be. Make some fun.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Look What the Stork Brought!

Our little stranger arrived Saturday night, March 20, at 11:29. His name is Keegan. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, was almost 20 inches long, and he's a healthy little guy. Here he is in the arms of his dad, Grady, during his first hour ...
Isn't he a cutie? Nikki is doing very well, and the whole family is headed home today. Since they were still at the hospital yesterday, I had to go hold him again. He was awake for a little while ...

It's unanimous. We'll keep him! I can't think of a good word to describe what it was like to watch my new grandson being born. I was pretty sure I'd wimp out, but I made it through the whole thing. What a way to start spring break.

I'm pathetically behind on blog reading, commenting and posting, but I have some things to do here at home. Hopefully, I'll return tomorrow with some knitting and stitching pics. It's been a while. Make some fun.

Monday, March 1, 2010

On a Happier Note ...

How about a happier post to cancel out the cranky part of yesterday's post? Good idea! I appreciate all of your comments, and I think it's time to lighten up a little. You're not here to listen to whining and complaining, after all, and I don't really enjoy doing it.

A while back, I promised pictures of Nikki's shower. Warning: the location had some very tricky lighting, so beware of my truly amateur photos. Here's Nikki with her cute mother-in-law. I'm not sure what Nik's looking at, but since she's looking down, there isn't much to see but her tummy! Someone (maybe her mom?) must've made some smartassy remark about her delicate condition.

Here's Nikki and her wonderful friend, Maribel, who hosted the shower. That sweet little guy is Alec, my new best friend. You've never seen anyone as goofy around babies as I am, and I'm happy to report that I got him to laughing pretty hard. A baby laugh is the very best sound in the world. Look at those smiles!

Oh, and the giant bruise on Nikki's arm is the result of an ugly slip down some icy steps, not domestic violence. I'm afraid she got her graceful manner from her mom. I could go on and on, but those are just a couple of pics to show you my happily pregnant daughter. It still doesn't seem possible that she's gonna be a mom. Everyone says this, but how do they grow up so quickly? One minute they're learning to walk and talk, and the next minute they want your car keys.

To show that I really am accomplishing a little something, here's a picture of Nikki's knitting bag in progress. I started it for me, but she loves the colors as much as I do, so as soon as it's felted, it's hers. Another bag for me can wait.

In between bags, because I'm feeling brave, I think I'll give washcloths a try. Something new to sink my needles into. Don't worry, I'm not feeling cocky. A knitting friend assures me that washcloths are a great way to get in some practice and try to become more consistent. We have a plan. I wanna knit socks so badly that I can taste it! Practice, practice, practice.

It's conference week, so today was the first of three 11-hour work days. Our reward is part of Thursday and all of Friday off. Ah ... Friday morning is mine to stitch away. What a treat! For now, my pillow calls. Make some fun.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is It March Yet?

Well, another 12 days has passed between posts. It's been a very long couple of months. I've been stitching and knitting a little, but I'm incredibly distracted by life and work. I have quite a plateful right now. You know about Nikki and her son's birth within the next few weeks, and you know about my mom. I've pretty much stopped telling you about my job. It goes back to what my mom said: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

My job will change in a huge way next year. In my former teaching life, I spent 13 years as a classroom teacher in third through sixth grades, with one very interesting year in middle school. Bekah was born in 1991, and I figured out some at-home jobs (data entry and charting needlework for designers) in order to stay home with the kiddos. In 1996, Bekah died and I got divorced, so I returned to teaching in 1997. During that time, I've worked with small groups of kids who need help learning to read, but I haven't had my own classroom.

Because of our district's enormous budget shortfall, all of that's gonna change. My job has been eliminated and I must be "absorbed" into the school I was unhappily assigned to last year. That means that my only option was to accept the offer that my principal made to me. So, after 19 years out of the classroom, I'll be returning next year as a teacher in first grade (gasp!). I know! How scary! How fun!

I love first-graders, so that's not a problem. I'll be able to catch up with all of the math stuff, so that's not a problem. My teammates are very nice, and I've known them for years, so that's not a problem. My only problem is that I work for an ass. A boob. He's an immature, bird-brained, former high school administrator with negligible leadership skills who knows absolutely nothing about literacy and has no intention of learning. In fact, he never passes up an opportunity to display his ignorance or his lack of integrity. He's the only issue I have with the daunting prospect of enormous change. Unfortunately, it's a very large issue.

So now I'm gonna shop around the district to see if I can find a better spot. Because of the budget, there's not much movement in and out of positions, but there are bound to be one or two. We'll see if anyone is silly enough to hire an old lady who hasn't been in a classroom position for 19 years. It can't hurt to try, and I've heard from several former coworkers (displaced by our school's closure last spring) who want to help me get into their schools. I'm updating and polishing up my 13-year-old resume, and thinking about interviews This could be interesting, huh? Things to remember: it's not life or death, only my job; it's good to be employed.

Thank you for allowing me to whine a little bit. OK, a lot. The stress knot under my shoulder blade feels better already. I wanted to explain my distractibility, because my stitching and knitting progress has been so lame lately. Sarah Esh has been occupying my lap (along with Merlin) while in the purple chair. I love, love the Olympics (another distraction), and Sarah's been watching with me. Once in a while I actually put a stitch in. I'm not completely satisfied with my choice of natural linen, but it's growing on me.

My house is largely back to its former self, minus the ugly beige carpet. At home, life is very good. I'm still allowing myself to engage in some slide therapy after school. Whatever helps, right? So here are some pics for you. The teeny tiny kitchen (note the Cedar Hill kitty on the wall and the bag o' magnets on the counter) ...

The living area (sorry about the glaring sun, and the speaker will move to a less conspicuous spot later on) ...

The small dining area with my piano, my parents' dining set from the 50's (I love it), and the crocheted tablecloth I found in a Rhode Island antique store for $35 (I know!) ...

Home is a happy place to be! Too bad I can't retire and spend more time here, huh? Next, after some recovery time, will be the removal of ugly beige carpet and cheap-ass vinyl in the upstairs bathrooms. Ah, something to look forward to.

I leave you today with a very late look at my TUSAL jar. I took the picture on time a few weeks ago but couldn't remember to post it (duh). I like the look of yarn in there.

Make some fun!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More Fobulous February

Look! I made it back almost as soon as I thought I might. This past week I finished a fob that was started who-knows-how-long ago. It has to be at least seven years, but there's no way to be certain unless I can attach it to another event. Apparently, I can't. You know how things seem to hide once they find their way to a WIP drawer. Or maybe you don't! That thought makes me feel rather lonely.

Anyway, this is a fob from a Sheepish Designs leaflet called Bee Keeper. I stitched it on 36-count natural linen, so it's a little small. Putting it together was harder than I thought it would be. It looked like it'd be easy, and then it surprised me. Note to self: never think finish finishing will be easy. Please don't examine my work too closely. It could be disappointing. And I promise that I'll run right upstairs and tweeze out the little tiny hairs I can see. Ew.

Yes, those little flower clusters are done with silk ribbon. It's been at least a decade since I've tried that, but it wasn't too, too bad. The little bee skep fob is attached to a pair of scissors (I treated myself!) from Yuko. I'm on the lookout for a little brass bee or two to stitch up toward the top. Hopefully, they'll be at my LNS soon.

Slowly but surely, I've been trying to put my house back in order. It's a wonderful feeling to be getting things back to normal (whatever that is), but I want it done now. Here's a pic I took this morning from the top stair. It kind of looks like doll furniture, doesn't it? My eyes think I could just reach in there with my fingers and move a few things around.

I still need to decide which plants (yes, I'm plant-crazed) will go back downstairs, and there are a few more items to be placed, but you get the idea. I have lots of baseboard painting to do, but that will be done here and there over time. The big summer project will be to paint the walls, so stay tuned for more shenanigans. I'll show pics of the dining area (complete with piano) and kitchen on my next post, along with another view of the living area.

My daughter Nikki had a baby shower on Saturday, thrown by her friend Maribel. We had a great time. As soon as I get her approval on some pictures, I'll share one or two with you. There'll be a new baby boy in the family in about a month. Maybe less! I've informed Nikki that it'd be most convenient for me if he could be born before March 19 so I could have my entire spring break (and maybe more) for some serious baby-holding time. As Doris Day would say, "Que sera, sera."

Make some fun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

F Words: Fob and Floor

Every time I post here, I whine about not getting to the computer to post. Nothing's really changed! It's my own fault. I'm just not using my time in this direction. My sister and I are both having difficulty with stitching motivation. We want to stitch, but we're having a hard time deciding what to do. It'll pass, right?

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I finished my Shepherd's Bush 2009 scissor fob. I showed you the fob stitched on 30-count over two and finished as a pin cushion. Here's the same fob stitched over one and finished as a fob.
I used the ribbon from the kit to trim the pin cushion, and then I found some WDW perle cotton to trim the fob. The front was pretty much stitched as charted.

While stitching the back, I found that those backstitched letters just weren't gonna work. I worked it out with a pencil and a piece of graph paper and charted the letters and numbers to work over one. There was just a little rearranging involved. I'm pretty happy with the result.
Of course, all was NOT fine in 2009, but I'll go along with the sentiment. In Mom's words, if you don't have anything nice to say ... I've been working sporadically on another fob, Sarah Esh, Women of the Mayflower, and some knitting, so maybe there'll be something else to show in the near future. Uh huh, sure.
I can't blame all of the non-stitching time on my mood. Part of the problem involves a big ass project on the main floor of my little townhouse. I've been suffering from beige carpet syndrome (I'm pretty sure it's a real syndrome) since I moved here seven years ago. You know how beige carpet picks up every little bit of dirt and mud and cat puke and clings to it with Superman-type strength? After a few years, it really puts the "UG" in ugly. Well, I've been sick of it for a long, long time. So the carpet left my home about a week ago.

In its place now lies some pretty cool mill run maple. It's got beautiful grains and knots and a mixture of colors from very light to medium dark. I'm loving it! I come home every day and slide on it. My son came over and slid on it. My neighbor came over and slid on it. Simple minds, simply entertained, huh? Can you say "dance floor"?

As you can see, there are no baseboards on yet. Hopefully, all will be completed by Friday, and Dylan will come to help me move the furniture back in from the garage and up from the basement on Saturday (after a little sliding session). Being displaced (willingly, of course) has been disorienting. I like order. I'll take some more pics when work is done. Truth be told, I'm so damned excited about this that I can hardly stand myself. It's nice to have something positive going on. Ya'll are probably thinking, "What? That's it? That's the big deal going on at Doris's house? BFD!" What can I say? We've already established that I'm easily entertained!

I'm nursing another annoying cold, so I'm off to bed. Hope everyone in Snowland is staying warm and dry and enjoying those snow days. There's nothing like a snow day! Make some fun.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Knitty, Knit, Knit

So much time has passed! I had such good intentions of returning sooner to show you all the knitting that's been going on. It'll be my luck that what they say about good intentions and the road to hell is true. As you can see, Merlin is less than enthusiastic about my new-found habit. He thinks there isn't enough room on my lap for him and my knitting. Actually, for him and anything. He wants me to focus my entire being on holding and petting. Just so I'd really know how he feels, here's what I found after I laid out the bag and went to get my camera.

Merlin knows how to put those knitted items to good use! Below are said items without the furry beast on them. Do you see any long, black, old-man cat hairs?
The pics are especially crappy because I can't seem to get home before dark. After days of trying, I finally gave it up and took the ugly pics so I could get on with the felting. I couldn't wait!
The most interesting and confusing part of this whole adventure is trying to predict how big you have to knit the bag to get the felted bag the size you want. All of this experimentation is getting kind of expensive. Do you think that'll stop me? NFW!! I'll just have to foist my unwanted creations onto unsuspecting friends and family. That'll teach 'em.

The purple bag was 13 x 16 before felting and 10 x 13 after ... about the size of a small purse or a big lunch bag. I knitted so tightly that my knitty teacher was teasing me that I'd end up with a change purse. The teal, cream, taupe bag was 22 x 16 before and 19 x 11 after. I stepped up a needle size and used the teacher-written directions for a bigger bag. It would be pretty close to the size I want if it were a little taller, but it's a pretty great knitting bag. As you can probably guess, I'm going for it again (yes, I am a glutton for punishment). I'm gonna knit the larger bag and make it taller. And I'm gonna do it in the purple colors. I'm in love with those colors. Besides, I need the larger (than stitching) therapy. I'll keep you posted. You were afraid I'd say that, weren't you?

I've been stitching a little also, but there were so many pictures and so little time that I decided to save the stitchy stuff for next time. There's something else interesting going on here, and if the stars are aligned and I make my way to the keyboard for more than a few minutes, I'll fill you in soon. Until then, make some fun.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

See Doris Knit, Etc.

In what seems like a past life, when I was married and had three young kids, I used to knit. I knitted tiny beaded bags out of perle cotton on size 0000 needles (no, that's not a typo). It was like knitting with large tapestry needles. Now that I'm thinking of that little bag, I'll add a pic if I ever dredge it up from the black hole that has consumed my long-ago-abandoned projects. My silly sister gave me (and went as far as signing me up, schedule unseen) a knitting class for Christmas, because I keep saying, "I wanna make one of those felted bags" and "I wanna knit socks." Get ready for my new knitty experience ...

I know! This is the bottom of a buttonhole bag, which you can see here. While you're over there, check out the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog. It's very fun. So, anyway, I intended to bail on my class and try to get into one next month, when life will hopefully look better. But the lady at the LKS told me it'd be good for me. She was right. I was so quickly hooked that, when I got as far as I could after Lesson #1, I went back and got more stuff to start a second bag (because Sharri's gonna cry 'til she gets one) so I wouldn't forget what I'd learned (great excuse, huh?). And looky here (note Merlin in the background checking out the psycho-woman's new habit) ...

Another bag bottom is ready to go. I'm beside myself in anticipation of the next class, so I'll be showing you more soon (she said confidently). How this new addiction will fit in with the old addiction, I'm not sure. We'll just go with it.

I took some days off last week to be away from people, and I figured I'd start something new to treat myself. I couldn't do it. So I cleaned and sat and watched a movie or two and read some blogs, and there it was. There, in Su's corner of blogland, was just the reminder I needed about a little project, hidden away in my I-wanna-do-this-soon drawer, that I could start and finish in a day. So I did.

It's My Pins, of course, from Shepherd's Bush, stitched as kitted, finished as directed, and stuffed with walnut shells. The ricrac was a little bright for me, so I treated it to a boiling coffee bath to tone it down a little. It didn't help much, but it's cute enough. I appreciate Su's inspiration at just the right moment to get me going.

Then I pulled out the Shepherd's Bush 2009 Fob that I stitched a while back. Anyway, I dragged it out of the WIP drawer and finished it up as a pin cushion. This one is stitched as kitted, finished sort-of as directed (I added knots in the silk ribbon at each corner), stuffed with walnut shells, and photographed (ugh, in artificial light this evening) on the backing fabric I chose (which matches so much better IRL).

I stitched another one over one, which will be making an appearance here as soon as another little button comes in. So another little project is finished and a third is waiting to be finish-finished. Finishing little projects is surprisingly therapeutic.

I'm gonna leave you with many thanks for the uplifting and extremely kind words you've all shared with me about Mom. I sat here last week and cried into my oatmeal more than once, and I probably needed to do that. I'm not gonna tell you how awful work is (except the kids who are lovely), but I'm gonna tell you something positive. I make fun of men a lot, largely because it's so easy (oops, that wasn't nice ... see what I mean?), but I have to tell you about the man I hang around with. He has been nothing but supportive and helpful and understanding during the last few months, and especially since our extremely emotional family Christmas. What a man ... truly. That's just one of the ways that I'm lucky. There are many others, and I'm working at remembering them. And now I'm gonna try to sleep. Make some fun.

Monday, January 11, 2010

One More Post About Mom

My mom, Estelle Brown, died on January 6. She was the only daughter of Doris and Neill Hartman; the sister of Aldean and Larry; the wife of Don; the mother of Doris, Ron and Sharri; the grandmother of Dylan, Nicole, Rebekah, Monica, Kelly, Josh, Meagan and Seth; and great-grandmother to Korbyn and my unborn grandson. She was everything to all of us and the kindest person we ever knew. To say that her family is heartsick is a gross understatement, but we are all relieved that Mom is no longer suffering. In fact, I'm thinking of Mom holding Bekah's hand right now. She called her illness vile, and it was.

I have some pictures to share with you. First is Mom in possibly her favorite role: Mom/Grandma cooks for the holidays. It's from a few Christmases ago, and she's holding what we lovingly call "red stuff" (only because she thought "red shit" was too vulgar ... she was right, of course), which is second only to my brother's favorite "orange crap". I believe that look is on her face because one of the grandkids asked, "Did you make orange crap, too?"
Next is Mom as Sun Princess for the Sun Bowl in the 50's. Isn't she pretty? My niece Meagan said that when she was little, she thought her grandma was a movie star. She saved some of her fabulous dresses from those days, and they were carefully used for Halloween. Wouldn't this make a great Glenda-Good-Witch-of-the-North dress?

Below is Mom as a little, little girl. I have this picture of her in my bedroom, and she's so cute I can hardly stand it. She reminds me of the sweet little kids at school. I think this could be about the age when my grandma got Mom to stop sucking her thumb by offering her very own rocking chair. Mom got the rocking chair and sat in it with her hands in her lap, staring at her thumb.

Some of you will ask about my dad. He's doing ok for now. Mom said from the beginning that she'd need a miracle, so she and Dad had time to talk about the future. She was a great coach and encourager. We've been with him a lot, but all the family left today. We'll call a lot and drop in to make sure all is well. He has a huge support system of friends in their church. They have plans, and that's a good thing. He is very involved in genealogy, and he wants to travel to see where some of our ancestors lived. Dad and Mom already traveled to Germany and Pennsylvania in the last couple of years, and I think he'll continue with some trips he had stopped planning.

I think another question you'll have is Mom's And They Sinned. She wasn't really feeling like stitching a lot of days, so I've been working on it when I visited their house since October. I picked it up again when we were all at the hospital, and now Sharri has it. She's almost finished (Sharri is one of those super-speedy stitchers). In our minds, it's the perfect gift for someone, but we'll see. I'll be sure to get a picture for you and fill you in on its future.

Thank you all again for your prayers, good thoughts and kind notes. It used to be hard for me to imagine how much comments from people I've never met would mean to me. Next time: stitchy talk and other regular stuff. Make some fun. Do it now.