Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What do you mean, IT"S SNOWING!!!

For Pete's sake, it is the 25th of February - our snow should be done for by now. But just after lunch it kind of started to hail, then it really started to snow, and by 4:00 when I checked with The Shepherd by radio he said it was coming down pretty hard in the North county and he would call me when he got home. (both companies we work for have the Nextel phones, so I can "beep" him during the day if need be - cool huh?)

At about 4:45, he called - "I think you'd better start home," he said.

I normally work until 6:00 p.m., but we were nearing white out conditions by that time and he feared for my safety - the Jelly Bean is not really the most reliable snow car, and, lets face it folks, we here in Western Washington are a bunch of weenies when it comes to snow.

So I got my stuff together, and started home. One of the fellows I work with helped brush the snow off my car - it was pretty much all covered in a thick layer by then.

Now,I grew up in Eastern Washington, where, in "the old days" we used to get a foot or two of snow every winter. I learned how to drive in the snow. But, it's a "different" snow over there - dryer and not so slippery - and the people who drive in it are not IDIOTS like they are here on the West side.

My normal 20 minute trip took about 40 minutes and it was just about as slippery as I can remember driving in. In fact, even though I had slowed down to about 10 miles per hour when I got close to our road, the knothead that was behind me was following so close that I couldn't brake to turn, it was so slippery - so I had to keep going down the road and come in the back way which involves going up one hill and down another - by this time, I was driving (spinning out) in a white out. Yikes.

Finally got to our driveway - The Shepherd was pacing back and forth - he had shoveled a path from where I park my car to the back door - (I wear Crocs, which inconveniently, at this time of the year, have holes in them....) He is such a nice guy!

Anyhow, all these pictures were taken just after I got home - it had snowed this much in an hour, and I was REALLY glad that I was home before dark, I am pretty sure that, as slippery as it was out there, that I would have ended up in the ditch if I had waited that extra hour to head home.

One thing that The Shepherd rescued off the front porch was my book order from Barnes and Noble - bought with the gift card that my younger sister gave me for Christmas.

I got three books -

#1 "The Crochet Dude's Designs for Guys" by Drew Emborsky - It has some pretty cool patterns in it and two that The Shepherd approved of - looks like I'll be busy, busy, busy -

The second book I got was Sys Freden's new book "Contemporary Crochet, 27 European Designs" -
Oh, man, this one makes me drool. Very, very cool stuff. I think it is going to make me get very serious about making something for myself.

I also got a new paperback, "Firefly Lane" by a local author (and a NY Times Bestseller) Kristin Hannah. I have always enjoyed her books - but it looks like it will be a while before I'm sitting on the front porch to read...

Well, I'm off to finish my church newsletter, and tomorrow night is payroll - so I'll be busy for the next few days. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scarves for Troops

Sometime last fall while I was our "surfin' the web" I stumbled on a website called CitizenSAM, or Citizen Support America's Military.

They have a program where you can make helmet liners (must be knitted and I don't knit) or scarves - (can be crocheted - bingo!). It has to be WOOL, as that #1 - is inherently nonflamable and #2 - a good insulator, even when wet. The items can only be black, charcoal, brown, tan, or combinations of these colors - and I figured that Regina's wool was basically, tan.

I had already spun up about 450 yards of "Regina yarn" when The Shepherd decided that he wanted to ply the Regina and Anna Dee wool. OK, I just set those skeins aside and started on the new stuff, so I figured I'd have enough to make a scarf.

So, here it is. 12" x 42" per the instructions and single crochet so there are no "holes" in it (I guess they don't want it to look like lace???)

I have emailed the lady in charge of the scarf program and am "awaiting my orders" - I hope it is OK. I also hope that they will allow me to put a little note in with the scarf explaining that it is handspun yarn from our own sheep, and that it was made with love and respect for the soldier that will receive it.

I'll keep you all posted.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hi, my name is Tina and I'll be your waitress today...

Who's that lady? Where's The Shepherd?

"Pearl, do you know where he is???"

"I think I heard him say something to her about going to a far away place called Salem, Oregon. Something to do with church, what ever that is."

"He told me she'd take good care of us. I think I remember her from before. Do you think we can talk her into extra kibbles?"

Don't even think about it girls. I'm wise to your ways. You and the boys will get the same great service from me that you get from The Shepherd.

Yup, I'm the Stand-in Shepherd this weekend. The Real One has gone off for our church Annual General Meeting and some R&R -

And I get to stay home and putter around. I have a long list of things I need to get done.

But I had a few minutes to sit with the girls tonight after feeding was over. Do you remember Violet? We brought her home from our friend Nancy's last fall. She is such a sweet little peanut.

And just look at her wool...

I call dibs.....

Look out Black Sheep Gathering - here comes another first place fleece!

Hmmm - think I'll go make that shrimp salad I've been thinking about all afternoon. Yum.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A few random thoughts -

*****I'm tired -It's 1:30 and I still have my blog to update!

*****Tonight was church choir night - I rush home as quickly as I can from work - generally get here between 6:15 & 6:30 - snarf something down (tonight it was popcorn!) and then we have to leave by 7:00 to get to Blaine by 7:30.

Our choir has been shrinking. 10 years ago we had about 16 or 17 members - it is the only choir I've ever been in where there were more basses than sopranos! But we are down to 9 members! We have lost all our basses except for The Shepherd (who is our director) - one of our tenorettes has a broken arm so she's out for the rest of the year - (two retired sisters are tenors so we call them the tenorettes) one of the altos had another meeting conflict and one of our two remaining sopranos is sick, AND our accompanist (92 year old Reah) is just back from being ill with the flu since Christmas! We have a good time though. Tonight we worked on some songs that we haven't sung for a while and we didn't sound half bad.

We are starting to do more things a capella to make it easier on Reah - We have a choir service in March and Easter and Mother's Day coming up too. It is going to be an interesting spring.

*****I get emails from Sunset magazine with recipes, ideas for garden plans, etc. Today it was recipes - 25 reasons to love Bacon. Like I need another reason to love bacon.....

*****On the whole, I am not a very politically "active" person - I AM a card carrying Demo - but all they got from me was $25 - so it wasn't a real big deal - they still sent me an inauguration photo of President Obama (doesn't that have a nice ring to it??) amd a nice letter from VP Biden - I think I may write back to him. It seems to me that the Stimulus money would go a lot farther if they suspend the Davis/Bacon/prevailing wage act. They could put two or three times as many people to work if they would do that, and still pay decent wages.

*****I decided when we got home at 9:30 that I needed to wash two more skeins of the "Regina" yarn that I spun last fall. I'm using it to make the Scarves for Soldiers Scarf (yes, I'll tell you more about that soon) but I ran out just before I got to the required length and didn't get the edging finished either, so one more skein to go. Might as well wash both the skeins that I have left, so I put them in a sink full of hot soapy water and came back to the computer to work on my NO NAIS WA letters to my state representatives and senator. A group of concerned people have gotten bills before BOTH our state House and Senate Agriculture committees to make NAIS VOLUNTARY in Washington state.

I don't think is is possible to stop NAIS - it is already part and parcel of the USDA - BUT they have given the states the option to make it a voluntary program - seems to me the best way to go. I hope that the efforts of these people come to fruition. Anyhow - copy & pasting all those (25) letters into emails took me over an hour or more - remember I had those two skeins of yarn in hot water? Well, it wasn't too hot after all that time - so I just finished rinsing it and hung it to dry. I think it will be OK.

*****During Joys & Concerns on Sunday, someone told of the death of a one year old baby in the community, from complications of croup - a virus that is characterized by a barking type of cough. It seems terribly sad to me that in a country as rich as ours that children can die of a simple childhood disease. Terribly sad.

So, I'm off to bed I guess. My eyelids are so heavy that just about every time I blink I fall asleep - yup, better get to bed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nothing says love any better than a big pot of pretty primroses on the back porch. I see it every morning on the way to work, and every night when I come home. I am one lucky woman.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Looking Back Sunday - The Eighth day of April 2007

Looking for pictures taken on the 8th day of the month I found April 8, 2007 -

Sinda was out playing on the lawn -

This is Regina (of the wool I am using for the Scarf for soldiers) - That is Luna and her brother, I think.

This year's lambs will be her soon - we are scheduled for shearing on the 3rd of March. So, look for the weather in the PNW to turn cold (it always does the week after we shear).

Tulips and pansys - what a beautiful flower pot The Shepherd put together that year.

Michelle at Boulderneigh gave me an award last week, so I'll go fetch it, and I have joined Franna in paying it forward. I can't show you what's "Off the Hook" yet, because it hasn't been delivered, but my Soldier Scarf is coming right along. I'll get to it next week too.

Cheers! And have a great week out there!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Off the Wheel -

Here is another picture of some of the yarn from Regina. I found a web site where you can make scarves for soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan. The scarf can only be made of wool and only in certain colors and one of them is tan - I think this looks pretty "tan" - don't you?

At Christmas time, the ladies in our office (there are only 7 of us) exchange names and do a gift exchange. The young gal whose name I got is also a crocheter - so I thought what a better gift than to spin her up some yarn.

She really likes pink - and Nancy at NW Handspun Yarns had a big basket of balls of "potluck roving" from Kathy Green, a local processer, and one of them was, ta da, this pretty rose color. Since I hadn't had time to spin up the yarn before Christmas, I just gave her the bump of roving in a Christmas bag, with the promise that I would spin it up for her. She was really delighted, because the friends that she crochets/knits with are all self proclaimed "Yarn Snobs" but none of them spin, so she'll really have something special to work with. It ended up spinning out to about 300 yards and was surprisingly soft. Last night I wound it up into three little yarn cakes and took it to her today at work. She was very pleased.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

On the Wheel

I thought I'd show you what I've been working on lately.

This is shettland wool from Regina (one of the girls that we gave to a new home last fall) - I think she was registered as fawn, but her wool spins up to be a very pretty carmel color.

I had probably 3 or 400 yards spun up before The Shepherd decided he wanted something a little different.

I will be plying it with brown from Anna Dee and our friend Denise will take it and knit The Shepherd a sweater vest. She knitted up a sample and it really looks pretty - sort of heathery. We figure that she'll need somewhere in the range of 1000 to 1200 yards - if I can do 200 yards a week I will be happy, (I generally try to spin for about an hour before I go to bed every night) but it may take me longer than that. I have some shetland/alpaca blend that is, as the old saying goes, "burnin' a hole in my pocket", but I kind of promised that I would finish the sweater vest yarn before I start anything else....

Next - off the wheel, on and off the "hook" - as I crochet, I don't knit!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Looking back.....

Hens & chickens that needed to have some of their winter detritus cleaned off was one of the pictures I took a year ago today.

There were lots of pictures of Neelix in that file too, but, even after six months, I am still too sad to include them here.

Hope you had a good weekend.