Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thanks, Gramma!

In just spring...  Remember good old e. e. cummings?

Today was such a beauty. Of course, I went for a drive. It is  still in the 30's here but no snow like the the East's weather. My dear Gramma Minnie  adored the springtime, while my sweet Ma Iona was an autumn girl through and through. Lucky for me, I am both!   


This blog looks like a crochet blog lately. One of my favorite things to do is flip on all the living room lights with a voice command to our "Alexa."    My son is heading out to work, and I quiz Alexa on the weather for seven days, the news flash briefing (which I sometimes cancel), a daily Bible verse, and some album, any music I request...  I sit there and crochet up a storm. 

My latest project is a shawl for a friend who had some upsetting health news. I used a self-striping yarn from Jo-Ann's called "peaches and cream pop" in the Sweet Roll line. It is called a prayer shawl, and as I crocheted, I said a lot of prayers for her. I recently discovered crochet-alongs on YouTube. It is really easy to watch and do, pause and replay! 

I was thinking this week about a little navy blue velvet sofa my Gramma had... She sat with me on that couch for days and days while she taught me to crochet. At that time we used cotton thread and teensy hooks. She could make delicious doilies and lace around a hankie in a flash... My gramma almost never sat down still with nothing brewing to work on. Her hands were busy with embroidery, quilt piecing, crochet, latch-hook, or handwork on something she was sewing. I finally learned to crochet.  We both made granny afghans together from kits. She have hers to Mom, and I gave mine to her.   That sweet woman had such patience with me, and I often stop what I am doing with my yarn and hook (I just never loved working with thread) and whisper a little thanks to her. A few days in 1965... when I was 11 years old have made my recent days so enjoyable. 

My other grandmother Ma... she could crochet beautifully also, and she tried very hard to teach me to tat. Ma could tat in her sleep. I made only three little isolated tats... and I sent them taped in a card with a long-winded tale of the "Three Little Tats"... That card and those yellowed-tape bits and bobs became a treasure I found when we cleaned up Ma's keepsakes long ago on a sad August day in 1976. 

It is always best to crochet with a clean cat by your side!

Have a lovely spring... 


Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Four Years in the Making....

Whimsy and Hugs! Sunday morning I stretched and looked first at my clock to see just how late his new Daylight Saving time had let me sleep. Eeeeek! And then a glance to see if we had sunshine...  Uh, nope. Huge snowflakes and this met my astonished eyes. Now by tonight most of the beautiful white snow had melted...  March in Missouri. Of course, I made chili. My son and I decided chili is my favorite comfort food.

As I have babbled on before, I mean to finish up projects this year in crochet, papercraft, and other horizons. I confess I used to be a project starter. I once sat by my cozy fireplace at home and burned to a crisp  two-thirds of a cross-stitched, afghan-paneled thing I had started for my dear gramma, who has sadly passed away. I just couldn't see my way to ever finish that and not see her face when I gave it to her...  I had procrastinated too long, and I was so angry at myself. Fast forward about 25+ years... I am not sorry about that afghan's demise, but I am sick of little storage spots here filled with starts...  

In February of 2014 I chanced upon a pretty blog called Hopscotch Lane, which seems to have moved or ceased that year. I hadn't crocheted since the 70's or 80's. My sweet gramma had taught me when I was 11...  I made a lot of gifts when I went to college. So I quickly ordered this Bernat Satin yarn and worked on these squares for myself. I am not a perfect crocheter...  And I have improved over the past four years. I have done a few projects in the middle of this, including a baby afghan in this colorway. However, my first "child" remained in process all this time. This morning I finished her... Through the years she has been christened in Diet Coke, washed block by block, and stuffed into bags, totes, fancy 21 bags, and Wal-Mart sacks. She is no longer made in my yarn of future choice, but... she does make me smile. 42 squares of 7 rounds each. And a pretty shell border...  

"Happy Birthday-Christmas-Mother's Day-Easter-Halloween-Everything"  to me. Thank you... Thank you very much. I had no idea you cared!

I think she will be cheery throughout summer with these fresh colors. Hopscotch Lane said at the time it was Kath Kidston-inspired. That's just perfect. 

My son keeps saying a gray or brick colored blanket with grey or black "mortar" in brick-shaped blocks would be cool. I dunno. (Sounds like a guy who pretty much would wear all black if I didn't gift him a colored polo every now and then. He wears them if he needs to do laundry. I was told to keep hands totally off his laundry, so.... I make that "sacrifice.")

Officially not a fan. My kitty was on it about 3 seconds. I had visions of getting a photo of her all curled up, but she got spooked of either the texture or the colors. 

She looked right and left, and then...

Peace. Out.

I heard her running through the house, sharpening her claws and crunching kibble in a panic...  

Have a great week...  Thanks for visiting today. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Spring ... a dozen days from now!

Well, spring will be here in less than two weeks, so I feel as if I am okay to start getting ready for it!

 Loved the wintry coziness and all the projects and hot cups of tea. Right now my dear little gramma and I would be drinking sassafras tea to"thin our blood" for spring. She believed it made us feel better, and I think it might have. I know the sassafras we get now is not the same because the Food and Drug regulated it due to its anticoagulant properties.  So, I guess Gramma was right about thinning our blood! 

My go-to tea right now is Harney and Sons apricot. I just can't get enough of it. In fact, I think a cup right now will boost my energy. If it doesn't thin my blood!

Last Saturday my son and I drove to a huge Ford dealership in Louisburg, Kansas, and he bought a great pickup truck. He had been patiently Internet shopping for seven maonths. He loved the truck he had but it didn't have much going for it right now, and it seemed a good time to get one with a heater and defroster, he said! Oh, my! We have had a pretty chilly winter for those conditions.

I must say I was a lot nervous to drive home in my car through Kansas City and all those exits and Semis. We had met a dear friend who lives near Kansas City, and she boosted my mojo a bit. I kept thinking that facing my fears would help...if I didn't crash.  That was a bit of positive thinking with a whammy. I heard a funny rattle about 75 miles in, and that's when it hit me my teeth had been chattering pretty much the whole time. How funny!

Well... time out. Just got a phone call and I am having company for afternoon tea! How delightful! It's sunny and 40 degrees right now, up from the dreary 24 degrees it was earlier! We had snow this week, but nothing like the East Coast Nor'easter....  I am back! Wow! We had a nice little supper actually. She brought cinnamon bread and fancy cream cheese, and I made chicken salad and had crackers and sharp Wisconsin cheese. 

Next weekend is St. Patrick's Day. The Irish Tedford clan in me is gearing up for that. I almost always had my parents for Irish stew, green jello, and Soda bread. Somewhere at home is a wee collection of chalk leprechauns. Where they be... hard tellin'.

I was thinking about that phrase of, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." That is so true. I can still hear my mother's version of it if I ever lost my temper in a pure tantrum. She would look at me a minute and say, "You can go  ahead and act like Rumpelstiltskin with his beard caught in a crack if you want to, but you will just split wide open in a room spun full of gold."  Uh...  even knowing that fairy tale well did not make me get what she meant at first. But I get it now.

So many of you are looking forward to the warmer weather and maybe a garden or flower bed. In Missouri we have had an old-fashioned winter season, cold, dry, long, gray. I personally don't mind that, but I know most are impatient for the true signs of spring.

By the time I get this posted, it is going to be eleven days until spring, so...  enjoy the weekend!

It is Taco Salad for Sunday here. That's one dish that always makes a hit with my family.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Pink Sugar and Cheer

Such a good question. I haven't blogged in a bit. However, the weaving in of a new month asks for a little wrap up of February's busy agenda. 

Since fair February was robbed of a full moon due to blue moons in both January and March, I felt a bit sorry for her. However, you see here a full worm moon at the end of our drive last night. Stunning.


There has been  recent dilemma. Do I watch TV? Do I read my Kindle? or Do I sleep? I won't tell which one has been winning out except to say I read Jane Eyre again after 56 years. It is free on the kindle app from Amazon. When I was seven, I stole JANE EYRE from my mom's bookshelf. She had forbidden me to read it because I was too young. Well, I had a little 1/2 watt night light from our electric company that I plugged in underneath my big iron bed that had the lion's head in the middle... In the wee hours of the night you could find me scrooched under the bed reading by that night light... and when I came to the chapter 25... where someone escapes from the attic and tears Jane's veil... I just about peed my pants, and I lay there all night too afraid to crawl out from the protection of my bed and too afraid of my mom to call her for help... It was probably my first (not my last) quandary.

This week I ventured forth after 67 days of just staying home for no reason. I don't like the term "recluse" because of the mental association with a certain brown bug....  And I love company...  I just have a ton of projects to accomplish, and I did go out in the world for 36 years nearly every day....  I had some company arrive quite late last Sunday to share some good news. Good friends stopped several times to keep me company. 

And, tragically, there has been such sorrow in both the world news and with several friends here at home. I keep them and grieving families in my prayers.

Say hello to a new little friend! Isn't she beautiful with her lovely auntie above and her beautiful mommie below? And I had them all in school, as well as the super vivacious and proud grand-mum in the last photo. We all had tea.

My dear sister-cousin and I celebrated her birthday on Monday. I made breakfast pizza and cherry cheesecake, coffee...  and this afghan. I got her a couple other little gifts, too. She asked how long it took me to make. Well, of course, I didn't work on it solidly, but it was started at least before Mom fell on Thanksgiving of 2014. Isn't it funny how we use little landmarks of photographic memory to timestamp memories? I recall ordering the yarn for this while I still had my bedroom on the lower level here at Mom's.- 

I am currently working to finish my own Kath Kidston inspired afghan,the first I started even before this one. I revived my interest in crochet after about 25 or more years of non-activity. I told myself I would do Granny afghans until I got tired of them. Something about their finished look just stabilizes my soul although I have been looking at different patterns and different kings of yarn lately. I vowed to finish my started projects, and, so far, I have done three "finishing acts" in 2018.

Finally, I have been enjoying some delicious hot tea as my companion drink. I am more of a coffee, Diet Coke girl, but I have a lovely cupboard with many tea flavors to choose from. Today I drank Yellow and Blue, a herbal blend from Harney and Sons. It is beautiful with blossoms visible in the silk bag ---- chamomile, vanilla, amd lavendar...  Tea makes me think of a pink kitchen, specifically my Gramma's...  She kept her tea by the farmhouse sink I let get away...  Her cabinets, her table, her spirit... all pink and rosy... and full of sugar and cheer...  And that, dear friends, is what I wish for you.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Wearin' o' the Green

I decided to begin Spring cleaning. What a process! It is hard to see all the dust and clutter in the coziness of winter. But let us have one glorious, sunshiny afternoon and the jig's up. I kinda like that anvil in the face (Wile E. Coyote style) when I look at my exhausted butter cream Christmas tree and rescue him for a well-deserved rest after a full SIX MONTHS of service... What was I thinking to leave it out so long??????

My dear, bedraggled little tree limped to the "plunder room," as I affectionately call my dad's bedroom. I heard that old butter cream mumbling weakly something about wasn't he going to be an Easter tree (as well as Halloween, Autumn, Christmas and Valentine).... ?   .... but I just said no!

This year my kitchen has become an Irish haven. Most people find it hard to believe I don't own any green dishes... yet. I am good with that. I do want to find my lovely, green Depression plates in the Adam pattern, though. Kind of afraid they are at my son's house...  (translation: not this year).

I looked back through this blog and discovered how little the scope of my posts has become in comparison to the past. I didn't really seem to realize when my life became narrow, but I recognized it as I flipped back a few short years ago.  I watch a lot of YouTube videos with limited scope so I guess that just translated that it was okay to just go on this way, but I am promising myself to stretch out a bit this year and do more exploring and day trips and excursions. You know that means I will be taking you with me when I do...

My life and my blog reflect the fact I last left this cozy house on December 22. I won't call my existence stagnant because I have had far too much fun, and I do keep stirring the pot by changing things up for the seasons, using different sets of china, altering my menus and rearranging furniture. But how does it happen that I find myself still sitting here as I did the last year I took care of my mom? Then I could not leave, but now???  I online shop till I drop, but the last time I was in a grocery store was December 15, 2015. And not that it matters to anyone, but the last time I was in Wal-Mart was November or early December of 2013. (Yet their doors have remarkably stayed open.)

Tonight I am listening to my very favorite "music," gentle rain pouring on our roof. Mid-Missouri has been in the midst of the dryest winter, but creeks, farmlands and nature are at last getting a chilly drink. 44 degrees and rain, according to Alexa. That's about how I like my root beer!

Since it's only 28 days until spring, I will leave you with my very favorite Carrot Cake recipe. I posted it a few years ago, so here is the link and a picture of that cake. Moist and just about perfect for a crowd, this cake goes through a lot of ingredients, but it is worth it. The original was posted online as Grampa Sam's Carrot Cake. I would love a piece of it with hot Irish Breakfast tea at dawn tomorrow. But... not yet.

Whimsy and Hugs!