Mood Music

Music makes my world go ’round.  Lately, I’ve been stuck on XM channel 8, which is all ’80s, all the time.  I guess for three minutes or so at a time, I can remember what it was like to not have a care in the world, other than getting a paper in on time, or whether to buy a new dress for the next formal (duh?  yes?). 

My weekend was, as the trend seems to be going, not much like what I’d planned.  It started Friday afternoon, when a call to my aunt to confirm Sunday’s furniture pick-up turned into “let’s do it next week when we can really enjoy the visit.”  I walked back in the house to this:

Gretchen (aka: Sissy) was four-footing in the woods and tangled with a bee.  It was really rather impressively swollen, but she kept hunting, and trying to learn to walk on fallen trees.  By the time I went to the firehouse for dinner, it looked rough.  The grape children’s chewable Benedryl didn’t do much for it by bedtime, but when I gave her a second one in the morning, within an hour, it was markedly improved, and by noon when the Knight got home, it looked normal.

I wish I had a cute, current shot of Baby G.  Oh my goodness, how she made my WEEK!  From the first moment I held her at just a few hours old, that baby has had my heart like no other.  She knows it too.  She rarely kisses her own father, yet when I shouted her name across the firehouse bays, she threw her arms wide and practically jumped into my arms, immediately pressing against my shoulder with her own little brand of upright spooning.  While I was soaking that up, she picked up her head and gave me a kiss, smack on the lips!  I got another before dinner, and yet another when they were leaving.  It’s the simple things in life…

Saturday, I was up bright and early to head to the River City Knitters meeting with Rosanne.  The bit on podcasts was interesting, but I still think I’m a reader.  If there’s noise, I’d rather have music than someone I don’t know talking to me.  If you go to the Show and Tell page, you can see me with Margaret (blogless) and our socks.  She did contrasting toes, but I wasn’t excited about contrasting toes, for some reason.   Margaret’s look awesome though!

Yes, yes, I finished the second motif sock, just in time to gift on schedule, but that post will have to wait.  After the meeting, a group of us went to lunch together at PF Chang’s.  Robin was having something delightful that I couldn’t resist; I don’t know the name of it, but the shrimp with the melon balls and glazed walnuts was outstanding!  It was great to see Mary again too.  Katie and Alice were there too.  (Hurry up and click on Alice’s name to see that INCREDIBLE waffle weave towel she made!)

Rosanne kicked off my birthday celebrations on Saturday with a great tote full of goodies.  I’m not about to blog about every gift I receive, or even all of the yarn-related ones, but Rosanne is a gifted giver, and as always, there are a couple of items that if I didn’t share them here, I’d be remiss in my duties as an enabler.

Firstly, there were these beautiful stitch markers from Better Bead It! Designs.  They’re truly little works of art, made from glass beads.  I need a better system for storing all of my pretty stitch markers; some are in the pouch Mary made for me, but you know, stitch markers comes in different sizes, and now, I have crochet markers too…  So many accessories, so little well-designed storage!

This is a coffee table cookbook if ever there was one.  SIGH!  The Knight has been watching the cupcake craze, and wishes he’d been able to have a cupcake “cake” in lieu of our wedding cake.  There are some impressive ideas within, and I might – MIGHT! – just be inspired to create cupcakes galore for his next birthday.  The food stager and photographer(s) for this book have my deepest respect, and if you happen to live near Charlottesville, let me know.  I might be in need of an outstanding food artist…  Oh – and be sure to click on the photo and go visit the website.  I haven’t joined the club yet, but you never know…

After a great morning and afternoon with friends, I knitted a bit and then headed to the station for dinner again with the Knight and his duty crew.  Bless the captain’s heart…  He and the Knight prepared a feast, to celebrate his wife’s birthday (Sunday) and mine.  He even made us a cake, and I’m sure you’re sorry the Knight didn’t snap a photo of the two of us blowing out our candles together.  She’s quite a bit younger than I am, so her wise husband simply gave us two candles each.  The guys muddled through just about the worst rendition of “Happy Birthday” I’ve ever heard, so much so that I began singing to my fellow celebrant too, in an effort to drown them out.

Sunday was lunch and thank you cards at the inlaws’ house, followed by the Knight snoring while I knitted.  I’ll do an FO post on the socks soon, and probably before dinner tonight, I’ll finish the hat that’s been languishing for weeks too. 

How was your weekend?





I Spy…

We used to play that game in the car on road trips.  This weekend will find me taking a couple of little trips around the state, and much more.  Saturday morning, I’ll meet Rosanne at our usual spot, and then we’ll journey to our knitting guild meeting.  This month’s training topic is on podcasts, a subject about which I am very curious.  Since I used to be an instructor, I like to do my homework, so if you’re into podcasts, tell me why, and when/how you listen.  I like blogs, love the reading, and it’s something I can do at work.  Podcasts require speakers (something not on the work PC), and listening ears, which I don’t have at home.  In the evenings at home, I’m either trying to get Sissy the exercise she needs or the Knight is watching TV and/or talking to me.  Not exactly a listener’s environment…

Sunday, I think we’re going to stay in town long enough to have lunch with the Knight’s extended family at his parents’ house, but we’ll have to bug out and leave them to start on the Thank You Notes without us.  (Yeah.  SNOL if you will, those who know the Knight.  Like he’d even sign his own name on a TY.)  I feel that’s a fair compromise, because I’m sure they won’t finish tomorrow, and I will have at least a few to help with on Monday at work.  Even if they do finish without me, frankly, I feel it’s fitting and more socially correct for the TYs to come from Pop’s children, not a granddaughter inlaw, right?

Then, we’ll head to “The Gateway to the Northern Neck” and with a rather bitter twist of fate, close out my grandmother’s estate by picking up my furniture inheritance.  They’re calling for storms, but we’ll take tarps and tape, and it will be okay.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to have supper with my aunt and uncle before we head home.  Dodging storms would be nice too.

Never mind that we don’t have room for the furniture.  I want it, and we’ll make it work.  I’m still hopeful that we’ll quit talking about an addition and actually BUILD one some day.  I’m just hoping the big mirrored coat rack bench thingee has storage in the bench.  Guess what I want to hide there?  Of course!  Yarn! 

I’m also going to finish the motif sock this weekend if I have to pull an all-nighter.  I wanted it done for tomorrow’s show and tell at the guild meeting, but that ain’t happenin’.  This will be my last non 2 at a time socks for a while, because I do indeed have second sock syndrome.  I can’t imagine how painful the stockinette foot will be, but at least I have lots of travel time for mindless knitting.  I may have to get Rosanne to stop somewhere tomorrow in the City (Richmond, as opposed to the village I live in) to get me a book light, just in case Sunday evening’s return trip is in the dark.  Sure, it’ll drive the Knight up the wall, but he’ll feel sorry for me and just shake his head…  He doesn’t need to see anyway.  Both of our vehicles can make the trip from the farm home (or vice versa) on auto-pilot. 

Contests Galore

I can’t seem to remember to blog about all the contests going on right now, so here’s a special post, just to note them all.

Darcy’s 200th post contest  ends the 26th at midnight, so you have a little over 24 hours to get your name in the hat for some cool prizes.  Don’t forget to tell her I sent you, at least one of you, okay?

For my fellow Harry Potter fans, philosophers and art lovers, swing by and check out Nymphchild’s contest.  My brain cells aren’t firing well enough to give it a try yet, but I know a bit about her art and her mind, and I’m sure it’s a worthy challenge.  (But don’t win.  I want a piece of her art!!!)

In sharp contrast, dear Nancy’s contest is very quick and simple; leave a comment on said post, and a wonderful prize might be yours.

It seems June 24th was a great day to start a blog.  The Knitting Wildflower has one heck of a prize package already lined up for her contest winner! 

Last, but hardly least, there’s a contest where everyone can be a winner.  See Nic’s special post for details. 

Good luck.  If I don’t win, I hope you do!

Doggone, Thursday Already?

I’d ask where the week has gone, but I’m glad it’s flying by.  I knew it was Thursday, but I forgot all about Dogs on Thursday

Today, we have a guest.  It’s Nick, who has so kindly welcomed Shadow into his home, permanently. 

That’s a shot from Nick, a couple of weeks ago.  He’d just gotten back from the groomer, and was hanging out with Dae, waiting to go home.  Nick really doesn’t like the office.  There’s something about the noise or the concrete floors, but Nick’s a nervous wreck here.

Just to refresh your memories, Nick belongs to my inlaws.  He’s a seven year old sheltie/shetland sheepdog/miniature collie.  He’s a sweet, pretty boy, as you can see.

Wishing you all a nice Little Friday!



In Search of a Title

No, not for my post.  That really is the title for today’s mutterings.  What I need is to know if there’s really a title for the poem below.  It was read at Pop’s funeral with the title of “Gift of Thistle” which Google tells me is a bagpipe instrumental from Braveheart.  As near as I can tell, it’s a collection of friendship quotes from anonymous sources, but if it is indeed a poem, especially if it has an author, I’d like to give credit appropriately.

The best kind of friend
Is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with,
Never say a word, and then walk away
Feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had

It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it,
But it’s also true that we don’t know
What we’ve been missing until it arrivesGiving someone all your love
Is never an assurance that they’ll love you back!
Don’t expect love in return;
Just wait for it to grow in their heart
But if it doesn’t, be content it grew in yours.
It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone,
An hour to like someone,
And a day to love someone
But it takes a lifetime to forget someone

Don’t go for looks; they can deceive
Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile
Because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
Find the one that makes your heart smile

May you have
Enough happiness to make you sweet,
Enough trials to make you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
Enough hope to make you happy

Always put yourself in others’ shoes.
If you feel that it hurts you,
It probably hurts the other person, too

The happiest people
Don’t necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything that comes along their way

Happiness lies for those who cry,
Those who hurt, those who have searched,
And those who have tried,
For only they can appreciate the importance of people
Who have touched their lives

When you were born, you were crying
And everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die,
You’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying




Well?  Can you help a girl with this little mystery?  I’m not much of a sleuth, so any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

In other news, the Knight had a reaction to Z-pak.  The skin on the back of his hands and fingers is peeling away, and our doctor has decided that the antibiotics are to blame.  (Hey, Rosanne!  There’s a new PA there.  Our pal is gone, and the Knight was too happy to ask for details.)  The cure is worse than the “disease” in my opinion; he has to sleep with Vaseline and gloves on until the skin recovers. 

Sorry for the lack of photos, but I don’t think you care to see his hands.  Come back tomorrow for photos, of something dog related anyway.  WordPress doesn’t seem to be interested in returning the tree button…  POUT!

ETA – I don’t know why WordPress won’t center the whole poem.  It’s centered in the box when I compose the post, but no matter what I do, it won’t center the whole thing.  Bad, BAD WordPress!


Powerful Women

I fell in love with Disney movies all over again with Mulan.  Nothing like mainstream girl power, which even the young Page thought was a cool movie at the time.  I’m here to tell you though, there’s nothing like a powerful woman.  I unabashedly admit I am one, but I am ever so thankful for all of the strong women I have around me.

What makes a powerful woman?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  This is the email I started to forward to every woman in my address book, but I knew I’d miss a few:

Powerful Women…….

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, “Oh shit … she’s awake!”

For some reason, that pleased me to no end this morning.  Heck, it’s still making me smile, some ten hours after it arrived in my inbox!

Before going to bed last night so my feet could hit the floor and make Satan shudder, I not only finished the first Motif Sock, but I started #2 as well.  Yeah, it is too big for my custom-made for ME sock blocker, so maybe that’s a hint for some special someone out there, huh?  I love the cool blues against the vivid green of Sissy’s yard, and it does indeed remind me of my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains, meeting the sweet summer sky on a nearly – but not quite – cloudless day.  I have that angst one always has when making socks for someone else…  I just hope they fit!

Ordinarily, I would find the knitting rather tedious on these basically stockinette socks, but right now, the rather mindless round after round is perfect.  I can think well enough to stop and measure every now and then, so they should turn out just fine.  I hope.

Cards and more keep rolling in, letting us know we’re cared for and supported by many.  Sissy was thrilled to receive a box and some brown packing paper from some friends.  I should be grateful she didn’t care to try to eat the peace lily within. 

I just realized I never ate lunch, which means I can have another handful.  Anyone else into the Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds?  OH.MY.GOODNESS.  Get you some, if you even kinda’ like chocolate or almonds.  The linkym’doo will tell you how good they are for you, but to heck with that.  They’re incredible.  Take my word for it and get you some.  These babies and a tall glass of iced tea are all it takes to make my world a better place.  Your kind emails help too, but I can dish these nuts out as I please.  I still don’t know how they dry roast ’em with dark chocolate dust on them, but seriously, this is my ambrosia.  Just let me know if you hear it’s a seasonal item or something, because I must stock up if that’s the case.  (Case.  That wouldn’t be enough.)

The only problem is, I can’t shovel these nuts in and knit at the same time.  I’ve put them away for now, because I do want to finish this other sock this week so I can give them away and tell you where they went.  So, back to knitting.  I guess the Knight’s going to have to take me out to dinner, because the peace lily is on the stove right now, to keep a certain nosey girl out of it until I decide where it will live.





We Now Return to Normal Broadcasting…

I’m writing this just a few hours after that final farewell, because facing the office and that empty chair tomorrow will be hard enough.  Maybe there will be a Motif Sock completed to share tomorrow, but no promises. 

(We interrupt this post to ask why WordPress won’t leave the dang tree/photo insert icon alone?!  It really wasn’t nice to have to struggle a bit on how to post the photo today.  Sure, I figured it out and this works fine, but I was used the the tree, and it’s not like it took up a lot of space on the tool bar…)


Again, I thank each of you for your kind thoughts and support through a very difficult time.  I apologize for this rather impersonal reply, but for whatever reason, trying to say thank you to each of you is just too painful for me.  Forgive me.

Several of you have asked about dear little Shadow.  Heck, one family friend at family night flat-out asked if the puppy in the photo needed a home!  No, rest assured, Pop provided for this change in Shadow’s life almost as soon as the pup became a part of our family.  Pop had asked my inlaws almost immediately if, when something happened to him, Shadow could become their dog.  He is adjusting with the ease of a dog who had a few overnight visits with the inlaws and Nick already, and he will continue to come to work with Dae when the four of them aren’t camping.

I owe a few very special thank yous to some non-blogging friends, who will likely never see this, but nevertheless…  We are blessed to have employees, present and past, who showed up to grieve with us, who set aside their own comfort levels and served as pall bearers, brought food, and otherwise held us together.  Likewise, it was no surprise that one very special family was ever-present throughout our blur of loss.  One son sang and provided the perfect piano music for the funeral, another son served as a pall bearer, and a third travelled half of the state just to give me a few hugs at graveside.  (Hush.  Yes, I know he came up for the rest of the family too…)  My sister, always so supportive, and MJ’s best friend worked their bad backs to their limits to assure that the mourners had the best meal possible after the funeral.  Dae’s youngest aunt was right there all weekend, so that my inlaws didn’t have to answer a phone or even open a door unless they felt like it. 

Then, there were my brothers, the firefighters who always show up as honorary pall bearers, who made sure that I got a hard hug when I needed one, and who sent about half of the sanctuary full of flowers, or so it seemed.  They continue to check on the Knight, and because I am so secure in their love and support, I was able to encourage him to go to the station for a few hours this evening, leaving me my solitude to let the tears flow.  They even know to turn and ask me, right in front of my Knight, how *HE* is really doing.  If you haven’t been a part of the emergency services family, I’m afraid there simply are no words for me to use to help you understand how real that extended family is.

Flowers, cards, little care packages, emails, blog comments, signing the online guest book (no link… sorry… as open as I am, I do have my moments of privacy)…  it was all noted and heartily appreciated.  Those closest to me know this has rocked me in a way even my own grandmother’s death did not, but we are indeed okay.  Pop lived a long life, and the last few days made us all well aware of how many lives he touched, and often deeply so.  I will start working on a post to share with you on his birthday, so you too can know more about the incredible character we’ve lost. 

Now, we return to normal blogging.  The rest of life will fall in line in due time.


Family Time

Pop and some of the family from Thanksgiving 2004. 

I want to thank each and every one of you for you kind, supportive words, prayers, good vibes, etc.  We’re holding our own here.  The funeral isn’t until Monday, so it will likely be Tuesday before I blog again.  There’s so much I’d like to share with you about this remarkable man, but I need a little more time.  Maybe for his birthday, I’ll work on a post I can just publish that day…

I apologize for not responding to each and every comment and/or email.  I’ve read them all though, and have shared some with the Knight too, and we heartily appreciate each and every one!

Bag Boy

Er, tote prince?  Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Isn’t he a cute little purse dog?  I had thoughts of getting Sissy to pose, but she’s just too active.  This also gives you a sad shot of his left eye, which is going blind, but other than him being a little jumpy if someone surprises him on that side, he’s adjusting well.

It wasn’t so long ago that Mugsy was often too active to pose for a decent photo.  It makes me sad to realize he’s aging, and it seems to be  happening rather quickly.  For all the constant chatter about wild, wonderful Sissy, Mugsy is still my prince, my baby man, and one of the best dogs ever.  If anything, Sissy’s antics make Mugsy, even as an active puppy, seem even more like the little piece of heaven that he is.

Also, while the humidity’s down, so it my hair, so here’s a shot of a decent hair day.  I assure you, I am not on drugs, no matter how it looks.  MJ just doesn’t seem to be able to capture me looking anything other than weird.   The idea is that the top and sides are smooth and the bottom flips out.  The bottom is always happy to do its thing, but the sides want to flip too, and the top alternates between being too flat and curling like crazy.  I think I’m still searching for the perfect style, and I’m going to make another appointment soon. 

That’s Dogs on Thursday from here.  Be sure to swing in and check out the others too.  It’s truly a little friday for me; I get to skip out for lunch with a friend, but more on that tomorrow!