Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Florida style

**lots of photos**

Well, I'm back from vacation!  My family and I went to Florida for Christmas this year and it was absolutely perfect.  As you've seen from my pictures I left a lot of snow and chill and arrived in 80 degree beach weather!  In the area we went it was actually unseasonably warm but I was soaking it all up like a lizard on a rock.
My brother met my Mom and I and we all stayed at my Grandma's house.  This is the first day at the beach.  The time stamp will be off on all my pictures due to the time zone difference.  This is Coquina beach, it was just gorgeous.  The sand was like sugar, white and powdery.  
Joab and I stayed until the sun went down, it was so beautiful.
It was great watching the ball of light drop down, down, down and then disappear below the horizon.  It reminded me of watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve.  Counting down, then celebrating the reward of beauty, peace and color.

From the time we started planning the trip I said I wanted to go to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.  Joab said he'd go with me and I'm glad he did, we had SO much fun together.  I don't know what I was expecting, but it hadn't occurred to me that there would be roller coasters!  The dragon ride in the Harry Potter area was a blast, we rode it 4 times!  

We also rode a bunch of other rides, the Hulk ride was amazing!  I'm actually afraid of heights and get vertigo easily so I had to take a break after a couple rides in a row.  After the Hulk ride, we got off and looked at each other, "want to go again?" YEP! Then we'd race back around the line and go right back on!  By closing I wanted to cut my feet off they hurt so badly but it was worth it!
One of the big treats for all of us was going to see my Uncle George at the theater!  He was the general in a musical called A White Christmas, based on the movie.  It was so, so special!  He did such a good job and everyone had a great time.  I have a small family that is far-flung, so it was really meaningful that we could spend this holiday together.
On Monday we went to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.  Their house is also available for viewing and we sat out on the terrace that overlooks the bay.  My Uncle George and his wife, Betty, were with us and we had lots of time to stroll and chat and enjoy the day together.
On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, Joab and I took our last trip to the beach for a couple hours.  The temps had dropped a bit (70 degrees is rough! LOL) so people were scarce on the beach.  We were beach bums, just laid right in the sand on towels and just soaked it all in.  

Christmas Eve night was very special.  My Grandma's church had a candlelight service and we didn't know until the day before that Grandma was going to be singing in it!  Oh, what a treasure that memory is.  Watching her sing Happy Birthday to the King is indescribable.  Tears just streamed down my face.  And then, at the end the whole congregation was in a big circle in the dark, taking turns lighting each other's candles.  Something about each of us lighting the other's candle just hit my heart and I was crying again!  Oh well, I think it's pretty expected for me to be emotional :) 

George and Betty had us all over for Christmas dinner, it was wonderful!  This is their Dickens Studio 56 Christmas village lit up at night.  Doesn't it look almost real?  My imagination sometimes works overtime.  Betty cooked "standing rib" which turned out to be prime rib.  When they said standing rib I was picturing ribs all in a circle with the meat on the bottom.  It was perfect, delicious.  And, true to our family form there was lots of pie to (over)indulge in!  Best.

I think all in all it was the best trip possible.  With everything that has happened this year, Scott being gone, I really needed to be around my family.  I'm so glad that they were game.  And now, here I am at home, alone with my pooches.  My mind is swirling with memories, my heart is full and yet also broken, bittersweet.  We just never know what the future will hold and so I am thankful for my memories, new and old.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

life is not fair

***I'm sorry, I really have been trying to keep more upbeat on the ol blog but really had to get this out***

Tomorrow is Scott's birthday.  He would be - SHOULD BE turning 38.  He should be celebrating and enjoying life.  But he's not and it's not fair.  I know, I know that no one ever said life was going to be fair but dammit this is too much.  I wanted to write a nice post about all the wonderful things about him that everyone should know, about how much I miss his face, every single thing about him but I can't do it because I am too overwhelmed by the cruelty that he is not here when he should be.  I know I'm not the only widow in the world but sometimes it really feels like it.  There is an ache in my heart that feels like it will never heal.  When I should be thinking of nice, comforting memories full of love I have flashbacks from his funeral of the man who gave me the folded flag and thanked me.  The whole year Scott was in Korea I worried so much about him, but truly never thought he'd die.  He was 23 and invincible and I guess I always thought he would be.  I loved watching him get older.  I loved the wrinkles by his ears where the face meets the ear.  I loved teasing him that he might need bifocals soon because he had trouble adjusting vision when he'd look up from something near to far.  I loved watching his body change from a young guy into a man.  He was always big and strong but in the last few years had really filled out and others could see what I always had.  He was larger than life, the most funny person I ever met, so witty and clever, the most talented, the best at everything.  He knew how to do just about everything.  Fix a roof - yep.  Play guitar - yep.  Run 10 miles like it was nothing? you got it.  He could draw, paint, play any instrument and yet also was a sharpshooter and awesome fisherman.  Any, and I mean any, friend of his will tell you the same thing - he would help anyone at the drop of a hat and at any time of day or night.  He made you feel like you were something special.  When we'd be at the grocery store he'd talk to the cashier, really talk to them and ask them how their day was and it was sincere.  Or a waitress/waiter - same thing.  These are the things that are public knowledge, things everyone knows about Scott.  The deeper, more personal things are what are so crushing that they're gone.  I knew the Scott that he didn't show to the world, the things that were just between us.  How he felt about people and things that he didn't tell everyone else.  When the laughter stopped, when the show was over, the real Scott, I knew a side of him he didn't share with others.  He knew everything about me and still loved me. Yes, no relationship is perfect and ours certainly wasn't - but he was my best friend.  He was my confidante.  My hopes and dreams for the future that I had prayed and believed for are gone, just gone, in literally a heartbeat.  When his heart stopped mine was shattered.  I'd give anything for him to be alive somewhere and happy and celebrating his birthday tomorrow.

more pouches

Yesterday was warm - in the upper 30's I think and so a bunch of snow melted off.  Then, temps dropped and the melt froze, and then fog rolled in.  So, this is what it looks like when fog freezes.  It's quite lovely, really.

I have been busy making pouches!  Besides these that are pictured I made 3 for Charese and 1 for Jan but didn't get picts before giving them away.  These join the first two that I made and will be filled with knitting projects :)  
These I've made with all fabrics that are really fun and that I love.  I should have gotten pictures of the linings too because each one is fully lined with another fun print!    The smaller one in the middle has houses on it and I like to pretend what it would be like to live on the top of one of those rolling turquoise hills.  I feel like I might have sheep and tulips :)

For this bag I used two fat quarters from the same line but the prints are just a little bit different.  I got this fabric while Mom and I were in Ft Bragg September 2012.  In the picture above you can see that this side is a little bit different, the other side is like close-ups of each character.  

I experimented a bit with the bottom gussets.  Um, I'll have to take a picture of what I mean b/c trying to explain it otherwise doesn't make sense.  But, from the picts you can kind of tell that some have "fatter" bottoms.  And, I've decided I like to use a zipper bigger than I really need and then cut it down.  That's what I do for garment sewing so I should have known that would be what I'd prefer with these but - eh.

Have I bored you enough with sewing talk?  Tee hee, sorry about that.  I guess there's not much else going on around here!  I am going to see Frozen this afternoon, so that will be fun.  I've heard it's really good.

Friday, December 13, 2013

warm weather, please

I have a fun trip planned that is coming up soon (I'm super excited!).  I'm not going to say when for security purposes in case there's any creepers reading.  So anyways, I'm thinking of knitting projects to take and it's a fun prospect thinking of the time I will have to leisurely knit away.  I've been making more pouches! I want to have one for each project to keep them tangle free and mobile.

I'll share picts when they are all done, they are turning out super, super cute!  Mostly because I'm using fun fabrics that I have tucked away for a rainy (snowy more like!) day.  I need to get more interfacing and am wondering if they make a 10 inch zipper?  12 inches was too long and 9 inches is just all wrong.  I didn't realize that until after I made one for Jan's birthday gift bag to put the scarf in.  Anyhow.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

knitty cowl

Okay I have like 2 minutes to update! I finished the infinity scarf/cowl for Jan last night.  All I really had left was to weave in ends so no biggie.  So, a few months ago I started noticing on Pinterest that Jan was pinning pictures of chunky scarflike things.  She even started a board of things I might like or that she could bribe me to make for her.  I got the hint! I saw this pin and it looked like one I could actually figure out.  I went to Ravelry and found a pattern and on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving cast on.  The pattern says cast on 131 but I did 153 and then only did 8 inches wide instead of 11.  Jan is super tiny so I didn't want it to swallow her whole! I'm really happy with how it turned out.

This is how it looks doubled.  It's super squishy!  It's a seed stitch, so really easy, a little teensy monotonous but easy is good!  I really hope she likes it :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

disgruntled snow day

I'm having a dilemma today, a tricksy dilemma.  Usually on Saturdays I drive over to Eagle Point to the national cemetery where I can take flowers for Scott's grave and tell him all about my week.  I knew winter was coming and eventually it would be too snowy/icy to make the trip.  This morning I woke up and it snowed even more over night but had stopped snowing.  I checked the road cams and the road was white with temps like 7.5, which means icy.  I kept checking up until about noon or so and then chickened out.  Going over wouldn't be so bad, but there's this one hill that I find intimidating coming back that is downhill.  Next Sunday is his birthday so I'll save my brave snowy driving for then.  In the meantime, here I am with all this time on my hands, and it looks like winter wonderland outside.  I know most of you might enjoy a day inside (snow day!) with nothing to do.  I have a soup in the crock pot, the dogs are super snoozy.  Perfect, yes?  Ugggggg. I think I just feel antsy because I'm out of my routine and I feel slightly panicky.  Trust me, I have lots to do!  To make!  Christmas is coming, tick tock. But I don't want to do anything that I should be doing.  So, I did put out some Christmas decor.  Here is my collection of nutcrackers (that I lurve!).
I also put out some of my light up village.  I didn't have room for all the houses.  I have some fake snow out in the craft house storage area to add.  I also put  up my Christmas wreath and runners, quilt, etc.  
It still just doesn't feel right.  Scott loved Christmastime.  I loved to start decorating the day after Thanksgiving and we'd put up a tree and decorate it and put lights around the windows and have Christmas music playing, hot chocolate.  I debated putting anything up but I think I'll be glad I did.  Just not today.  So, I'm working up to going out to the craft house to try and redeem this day a little bit.  I am drinking some yummy Prince of Wales tea in my real English tea cup that my mother in law brought back for me a few years ago.  I put honey and milk in it and it's yummy.

I'll end on a good note: did I tell you I finally figured out my ipod??? If I did, humor me, cuz I'm so glad I did!  Scott bought me an ipod a few years ago and I put a couple cds on it and was happy with it just like that.  But, my friend had put the cds on it for me and I've been wanting to update.  I have an itunes account and couldn't figure it out!  Good thing for google.  It turned out it was synced with my friends itunes, not mine!  Tee hee.  I've been having fun adding songs and setting up playlists.  I've gotten emails with free downloads from klove for years and never used them so now it's cool that I can get a new mix.

Alright! I've got some pouches to make!

Friday, December 6, 2013

first snow

We had our first snow today.  When I went out to start my car this morning it was spitting little ice chunks, which usually means it's not serious about snowing.  But 15 minutes later when I left for work it was for reals snowing!  And it snowed allllll day. There were  a bunch of accidents, 29 reported, last I heard.  We lost power at work because someone ran into a power pole and power was shut off to our grid to fix the pole.  The good news is that it's actually warmer! Yesterday at 7 am it was 3 degrees, and this morning at the same time it was 22 degrees.   When I got home I snapped this picture super quick while letting the boys out:
I have a bunch of projects that I must, absolutely must, work on this weekend!  So I let the boys run around - Joey loves the snow! and then I went to Joann's to get zippers and more interfacing.  Also I had bought the wrong thickness of yarn to finish up Jan's infinity scarf.  So, you can see from the picture that the snow was pretty deep.  I wore the absolute wrong shoes for snow today so I was dreading coming home and getting snow in my shoes.  BUT!  Oh man.  My neighbors had shoveled my parking spot, the sidewalk and my walkway and steps!!!!!  I was blown away by the kindness! And promptly started to cry.  Seriously though, how awesome was that?!

Um.  Okay.  Not sure if I mentioned that Joey is an allergy dog.  He must take after me ;)  His ears always bugged him and that's what lead to the hematoma from him shaking his large floppy ears.  I've changed his food to hypoallergenic (super expensive!) and he gets a vitamin supplement.  Also did some allergy testing that is still awaiting results.  His ears are doing so, so much better after almost a month on the new food.  No itching, no gunkiness, no flapping ears.  Maybe he flaps once or twice a day, which really I think is probably normal.  But now his poor paws are suffering.  He has been chewing, licking nonstop.  I finally got a good look at them and there are blisters between his pads! Poor guy!  I picked up some steroid/antibiotic salve from the vet tonight and put it on his paws.  All this long story to lead up to this picture:
I've had this old pair of socks in my drawer and thought several times I should get rid of them (they actually have holes) but never did because I love them! And now, they have a new life!  To keep Joey from getting at his paws.  It's either socks or the cone and I thought he'd like this better.  I love this picture, it really captures both of my boys as they are.  Joey, just chill, like what have you done now.  And Rocky, a whirl of energy and always so concerned about what's going on with Joey.  

Tonight I am so thankful for my warm house. And my job to provide funds to pay the bills. Thank you God!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Well, hello December.  I've been dreading your arrival.  My birthday, Scott's birthday, Christmas, our 16th anniversary and then we're on to New Year's. Harumpf.  At the beginning of every month Scott and I would say Happy _______ and try to say all the holidays in that month before the other one could.  December was the most fun because we had all our special days all in the same month.  I could always count on him calling me a cheater if I won, he'd laugh and say no no no you mispronounced birthday or something silly just so that I couldn't possibly be the winner.  We'd both be trying to talk so fast and over the other one, it was just fun.  He was a goof that way.  Oh man, and January 1st?  Look out!  We'd try to get every holiday for every month of the year out!  That one I legitimately would lose because I'd forget some obscure holiday like Groundhog day and he wouldn't forget.  Man, I miss him so much.

But! I will try not to get sucked into the vortex of sadness however easy that might be.  Scott would not have wanted that.  Instead I went to church this morning and then came home and started sewing.

So, the last zippered pouch I made was just by me trying to figure it out.  It is lined but the seams show and I just hate that.  I've been sewing so long that I can figure most things out, but some things just don't make sense to my brain right now.  I did a little google search and came across a few tutorials for lined zipper pouches and found one that was written well  and thought "ha!"  I had taken my other one into work and Charese saw it and wanted me to make her one.  But there was no way I would be giving her one with exposed seams.  I like the way these turned out.  I went with a medium weight interfacing, last time I think it was light weight.  Next time I think I'll get shorter zippers, but I just used what I had.

I LOVE that llama fabric.  Let's discuss.   Here's what happens to me.  I read blogs.  I like what goes on on other people's blogs.  I see fabric that screams "buy me!" and click whatever link there is and buy.  What happened in this situation is that I did not pay attention to what I was buying.  More specifically the quantity of what I was buying.  Ummm, I thought I was getting 1 yard of fabric for $8.50 plus S&H.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope and had really bought just a fat quarter.  huh.  A tiny fraction of what I thought I was getting and all the plans I had for this fabric went out the window! It has lurked in my stash since March 2012......waiting for the perfect project.  I am so, so, SO happy I could finally use this bit of fabric :) It's going to be perfect to put some knitting in.