Monday, December 30, 2013

End of the Year

I'm exhausted.  My dad told me the more you sleep the more sleep you need.  Kind of made sense to me.

I've been working with the puppies in the kennel during the day, taking photos and updating both the website and Facebook pages in the evenings.  The past two nights it's been after 2 a.m. before I put the computer down and went to sleep.  I set the clock for 7:30 this morning and slept past the alarm and two phone calls.

We let the fire die out two weeks ago when the weather turned warm.  This morning it got colder and snowed all day.  I split some wood and got the fire going again.  It's not quite at the point where I can turn the thermostat on the furnace back like I normally do.  My mom thought she was freezing to death and I caught her turning the thermostat up to 70.  I usually keep it at 65.

I washed a couple loads of clothes and then worked on C.A.R. end of the year reports and dues notices the rest of the day.  I was trying to find someone to take over the Peggy Shaw Society from me.  No one stepped up yet so I had to file the reports and send in the dues payments to both the state society and national.

Mom and dad went back home on Saturday.  It's quiet in the house without them here.

I'm trying to find a knitting project for myself using 300 yards of merino/angora wool fingering weight yarn.  It's a gorgeous pink and I'm real partial to pink.  I'm thinking a pair of socks.  Ideas???  Patterns???  Suggestions, please.

January 2: When winding the yarn up into balls, I added another yarn.  It's a pink wool yarn I bought way back in 1998 and have been adding to other yarns over the years because it is such a fine yarn.  I like the way it looks wound up together.

January 4: I'm decided on the Simple Autumn Mittens on Ravelry.  I started off using the size 2 circular needles suggested and found the mitten to be small enough to fit one of the granddaughters so I ripped it out and started over with size 3 circs today.

One mitten is finished but I took a break to make another Balaclava for Phil.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

We had a wonderful Christmas here at our house!

My parents arrived on Sunday afternoon.  I've enjoyed having them here.

Our sons, our daughter in law, our granddaughters and Phil's mom plus my parents were here on Christmas eve for dinner; after which, we opened gifts.  The girls had SO much fun opening their gifts!

Christmas morning Phil went duck hunting.  My parents and I sat around the house watching tv and listening to Christmas carols.  We drove to Phil's brother and sister in law's for dinner.  Lovely time with them as always!  Kristopher Kringle and Matilda Claus stopped by to drop off gifts to those not on the naughty list this year.  Matilda said she's been checking Facebook, too, so remember that next year.

My dad on Santa's knee.

Mom and dad left to visit dad's brother and sister in law.  I'm trying to tidy up the house a bit while they're gone.  Mom put in a request for a wood fire so I need to start working on that.

Missing from our Christmas were my sister, brother and their families.  Maybe next year!

God bless!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Six years ago

I get a bit maudlin during this week every year.  Thinking back on where I was six years ago.  So thankful for where I'm at now both mentally and physically.  Cancer does a number on your body and psyche.  Every day you're attacked with the "what-ifs."  Six years ago I was dying in the hospital.  My husband was told I wouldn't make it.  God touched my body and allowed me to leave the hospital the day after Christmas.  We celebrated that year as if it was our first Christmas.  My sister and her partner came up to visit.  My brother, his children and my parents.  Our sons and their girlfriends along with our baby granddaughter were there.  Even though my body was still weak my heart rejoiced at being home with family.  God was good to me and still is.  I thank him every day for what he has done for me.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Memories of my Childhood (Continued)

After breakfast the men would gather in the front room.  Grandpa would sit in his rocker by the warmth of the stove.  The women would all stay in the kitchen putting away leftover food and washing up dishes.  The girls that were big enough would go out to the well and bring in another bucket of water.  I liked to sit by the kitchen wood stove.  The rooms seemed so large when I was a child.

After washing up was done Granny and her girls including mommy would sit at the table and talk.  The little girls sat and listened.  Granny always had a container of Nestle or PDQ that we could put into our glass of milk to make chocolate milk.  We never had that at home so it was a real treat.  Next on the list of chores was making beds and straightening up the house.  By this time the men were all outside either chopping wood and filling the wood box on the back porch or getting ready to go squirrel or rabbit hunting.  If it wasn't too cold the children were allowed to play outdoors.

Lunch and dinner was always a mix of whatever the men had brought home from hunting.  Always a meal of fried squirrel, biscuits and gravy, green beans, brown soup beans and possibly cornbread.  Back then, same as now, I hated squirrel meat.  When it's fried up it's like trying to eat shoe leather.  Just give me the biscuits and gravy!  Granny made her biscuits with Hudson Cream self rising flour, a little buttermilk and lard.  I don't think biscuits taste right made with Crisco.

We kids had the run of the mountain.  No one minded where we went.  We could be gone for hours and no one worried.  We always made sure to stay within ear shot of the house so we could hear someone yelling for us to come back for lunch.  Granny called it supper time.  Dinner was later in the evening.

There were only four rooms in that house.  It was built by hand in 1943 by my Grandpa, Granny's brothers Estil and Wilbur.  Even though Wilbur was confined to a wheelchair he was could still oversee the job.  Great Grandpa Levi Neely and his three sons were carpenters.  Almost all of the children came down with polio in the 1920s but it hit Wilbur the hardest.

Grandpa Pack's mother inherited the farm after her second husband, Chapman Farley, died of cancer in 1928.  The old log house on the farm was built by Andrew Farley and wife Anna Cook (Chapman's grandparents) after they married around 1820.  In 1921 Chapman asked Lithena to marry him (they were both widowed) and she agreed to take care of him and his invalid son in exchange for the 200 acre farm.  In 1942 Grandpa, Granny and their three little ones moved to the farm to live with Grandpa's mother.  The log house was hard to heat and they decided to build a new house and tear down the old one.  As a family historian I look on this as a bad idea but it happened.  I know some of the logs went to building the pig house, the corn crib, the sheds and out buildings where Grandpa kept his farming supplies and hung hams to cure.  The outhouse was not built until the 1950s but that's a whole other story.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

More knitting for baby boy

I started a new knitting project a week and a half ago.  Another pair of pants for our niece's son, Maurizio.  I came across Wool and Chocolate's Arbor Overalls on her blog and decided to make a pair using her pattern.  The knitting has been easy although I do not like short rows!  I'm not good at them yet.  The pants are coming along nicely.  I've just finished knitting the gusset and will start knitting each leg separately.  I wanted to show a photo of how it's looking so far.

I picked the girls up for the weekend.  We had a good time.  On Sunday, Ralph, Jess and Lilly came over as did Joe.  With Phil, me, Jassmine and Dixie that made eight for breakfast.  It was a really great day and I admit the food was good.  We had thick cut bacon, fried potatoes with onions, biscuits, cinnamon buns, fried eggs and scrambled eggs plus homemade raspberry jelly.

After breakfast the girls played while the guys stacked firewood.  Jass decided to put on a ballet recital of her own and Lilly was funny when she turned to me and said, "Grandma, that's over with," meaning look at me and pay attention.  haha  We put up the Christmas tree and hung the lights.  We turned on Christmas music and sang while decorating.  It was a good time.

After everyone left I was home alone for a while.  Phil was out training a client's Brittany puppy.  I picked back up the overalls and started knitting.  The crotch needs to be grafted but the pattern calls for that to be done last.  I've gotten two inches further on one leg.  This is the boring part for me.  Inches and inches of repetitive stockinette stitch knitting.