Happy Mothers/Mother’s/Mothers’ Day!

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It’s hard to imagine that nearly a month has passed (again) since I’ve posted something about my knitting life – or anything about my life. I wish that I could say that I’ve been on an exotic trip to Africa or on a tour around Europe but I’ve been happily ensconced in my normal day-to-day life in Maine, USA.

Today is Mother’s Day. I heard from all five kids and have eaten my gift of Graeter’s Ice Cream (six flavors, all with chocolate chunks) twice a day since it arrived. I’ve been knitting less and resting my hands more. Sadly, I’ve got some arm aches that lead to thumb pain on Friday and that’s enough to make me slow down.

I took my Orange Peel quilt to the long arm machine yesterday and got it about half-quilted before something happened with the machine. Initially we thought it was a band slipping but as I worked, the noise got worse and it was bad enough to stop using it. With any luck, the repair man is coming on Thursday and maybe I can finish quilting on Friday after class.

I’ve been happy at work at the Yardgoods Center in Waterville. I’m in the store Tuesday and Thursday and I teach on Friday. I love our customers and I love working with creative people. We are participating in the first “Maine Yarn Cruise” this summer and we’ve been getting our planning done. Prizes, patterns, kits, etc. There is a lot of planning to do and 19 or so shops participating from around the state. I love teaching, too. I had 20 students last week – three of whom stayed all day – and I so enjoy helping my students conquer their knitting challenges and learn something new. I also enjoy stretching my own knitting knowledge. Each challenge that students bring to me are a new test of my skills as a knitter and I realize each time that I am really a good knitter, capable of figuring out just about anything that’s brought my way. Confidence building!

I am knitting and making progress.

I cast on for the Joji Locatelli “Starting Point MKAL” and have gotten about half-way through clue number 1. Trying to pace myself. More details will follow but you can also check me out in Ravelry (lindar). I’m nearly finished with a sweater for my sweetie. I’m knitting “Flax” by Tin Can Knits. What a great garment! I’ll have to make more. “Flax” is designed to be worked in worsted weight yarn. I’m using Ella Rae Classic Wool in a really pretty blue color. My husband will look wonderful in the blue! I’ve got most of one sleeve to complete and then the ribbing for two sleeves (after it’s tried on once more).

I have two pairs of socks on the needles – one cuff-down in a speckled yarn and a toe-up pair in Heritage Print by Cascade in Christmas colors. These are the socks that I taught in my adult ed class this past session. One class turned into two … two nights of teaching each week may be one of the reasons I haven’t been posting a whole lot! I also have started another pair of Miriam Felton’s “Footie Socks”. One down, one to go.

I’ve finished husband’s scarf and several “knitted knockers” (www.KnittedKnockers.org). Have also knitted a pair of socks for my new cousin. I’m in the process of making him a flannel quilt like I made for his big sister.

Image (1) knitting-002-199x300.jpg for post 1462My little dog, Lola, has had kennel cough and is now struggling with a goopy eye. Probably spring allergies. Both little dogs are heading to a new groomer on Wednesday and I’m sure that will help – we’re horribly over due for a hair cut! I’m working on finding a new hair dresser, too!

Moving to a new place is a challenge. I’m still working on finding all of the doctors, hair and nail people, groomers, veterinarians, stores to shop in, etc. But we are so glad that we moved to Maine. We are looking forward to more time on the front porch and summer visitors!

Gone knitting!

Another Adventure …

What kind of crazy people are we?

We left Florida on December 20. Three dogs in the back seat and the truck loaded up with presents and a Honey Baked Ham … New York City and Christmas with two of my three children. We planned to spend one night in Richmond, VA on our way and then a night just shy of the city. Only one wrong turn which sent us into Washington, DC … at least we weren’t towing the boat! Smooth sailing!

Almost There!

Almost There!

With my daughter’s help, and having made good time, we ended up in Washington Heights and our little sub-let one night early.

The little apartment we rented was about mid-way between my son’s and my daughter’s apartments. Allowing for adjustments for all the dogs and super convenient for us – not to mention really reasonable rates!

Lobster Feast!

Lobster Feast!

Christmas eve was spent eating (mimosas started off our day) and baking cookies. Our family tradition is Spritz cookies. It’s still more fun to make them when you have someone else to decorate them. I love that my kids all value that tradition – started by my mother – it’s simply not Christmas without Spritz! A lobster feast for dinner, with thanks to my brother the lobsterman, had us all a mess and very happy. Christmas movies and lots of laughs … or was it the wine? I almost forgot to have the kids open their Christmas Eve gifts from Santa.

Christmas Day was low key – relaxing over coffee and muffins, Skyped with the missing daughter and her father in Chicago. The NY kids had to work but we hung with my boy and all the dogs. Ditto on Boxing Day.

IMG_2636Our big outing into mid-town was dinner and going to Kate’s show. We went to Qi for dinner and I love their food. Seeing my girl one more time as the star of Rock of Ages was a special treat for me – and my boy went with his old mom. N decided to skip the show and visited the Strand Bookstore at Union Square which he adored despite a couple of wrong turns and perhaps a wrong address (hence the wrong turn!)

On the 27th we packed up the dogs and presents and tearfully kissed the kids goodbye. Heading north in our truck to our “camp” in Maine.

camp /kamp/ n. A place usually away from urban places where tents or simple buildings (as cabins) are erected for shelter or temporary residence.

Camp Warner

Camp Warner

Think primitive. No running water. No plumbing. Think outhouse with a very (VERY) cold seat. And melting snow on the wood stove to wash dishes. Our mattress on the floor in the living room. Windows frozen with condensation. We carried all of our stuff in from the street with our Christmas snowshoes! A simple dinner in front of the wood stove and I was ready for bed. Too many late nights and I was ready for bed … probably long before I actually climbed in. Despite the “camping” and the cold, I wasn’t ready to leave when we heard that there was a Nor’ Easter coming in! I can’t wait until we are there for all the winter storms!

Next to Marblehead and a visit with my youngest brother and his family. We’ve loved getting to know their friends and love any chance to visit this charming town full of friends and family. So much so that I forgot to take any photos of the visit!

New Year’s Eve day we headed to Connecticut … a trip down memory lane for me at Shady Glen in Manchester and then a visit to the cemetery to check on the headstone for my parents. Then on to Westport to my college roommate’s new apartment … had to check on my “roomie” since we were so close!

What a wonderful trip! I am so grateful that my N loves my family as much as I do and that he’s willing to drive all the way to Maine and back so I can knit!

Gone knitting … Happy New Year!

Pondering my Craft

IMG_2345My little guy is very thoughtful.

I caught him sitting in my atelier today just staring …. I’m not sure if he’s admiring the lovely wool that was gifted to me or if he was missing his favorite porch in Maine (the bags are from my knitting shop in Waterville … circa 1985 bags). Maybe he’s simply pondering my craft.

Gone knitting.

 

Alpaca & Kids & Finished Objects

They're Here!

They’re Here!

It’s a beautiful gray day today and the last of a bunch of fun with my daughter who, with her boyfriend and her new rescued pup, drove from Chicago to visit us. We’ve had some great hot weather and some more typical Maine weather (gray and cool). And we’ve had a lot of low-key fun.

We had lobster twice. I bought some alpaca yarn and knitted an i-cord cover/cozy for her iPhone earbuds. I’ve done a pair before for myself with some scrap yarn. They’re fun & don’t get knotted up in your bag. (Pictures Coming)

Meanwhile, I’ve finished a Friday Knitting Group charity project and I love it!

I bought some new yarn for a charity project ...

I bought some new yarn for a charity project …

It’s a one skein project (at least it was for me) that my Friday knitting group is making for one of our members who is legally blind and having some family challenges. We’re each knitting a square and our teacher will put the squares together. I love the way my square turned out – the colors are vivid and cheerful. The pattern, the Lizard Ridge Afghan, is a free pattern from Ravelry. It only took a couple of hours. The yarn is Noro Kureyon and it’s not too horribly pricey but if you were going to make the full size (24 squares), it’s going to cost you a fortune. It might also be nice with a couple of plain blocks or pattern blocks in a solid color. It starts out looking like an egg crate but I’m told it will block out flat … can’t wait to see the finished results! I’m sure it will be appreciated.

Lizard Ridge Afghan ... one square with love from the Queen Bee

Lizard Ridge Afghan … one square with love from the Queen Bee

My grand-dog, Willow, loved her first couple of boat rides. She particularly likes sniffing all the new smells in Maine – and she loves to watch squirrels. She’s a rescue dog and just moved to Chicago two weeks ago from Missouri and has already driven to Maine. One well-traveled girl!

She is very sweet and calmer than our one-year-old chocolate lab puppy … unless her parents are out of the room! 🙂 She has some “hang ups” (she’s afraid of the dark and has some separation anxiety … howls in their apartment … ) having been a stray who lived on the streets of Saint Louis before she was picked up and has lived in a shelter and then a foster home prior to coming to live with my daughter. I think she’s going to be a great dog. She just needs a lot of love and patience. She’s already making progress.

My new Chicago grand-dog, Willow

My new Chicago grand-dog, Willow

I love having my kids around more than anything. And this visit has been lots of fun. And I even got some knitting done between cocktail cruises!

Cocktail cruise ... daughter "binocularing" and her boyfriend "two fisted drinking" ... four dogs, four adults!

Cocktail cruise … daughter “binocularing” and her boyfriend “two fisted drinking” … four dogs, four adults! Lots of laughs!

Gone knitting!

 

First Morning in Maine

Messalonskee from the porch

Messalonskee from the porch

I slept almost twelve hours last night. We were in bed before nine. So goes life at “camp” (our home in Maine.)

We’ve got internet now. It happened a couple of years ago but we’re still fighting the idea of bringing in a television. It’s never been here. It, frankly, doesn’t seem to fit here. We watch some TV and movies on our computers but … no cable. We read and knit and play games and just sit. Since my knees and feet seem to be working better, I’m looking forward to some hikes, too. And a lobster dinner!

This is my first morning … with my coffee and dogs (all three of them and not without some growling) and it’s perfect. My little family is back together where we would rather be. There’s one fisherman on the “island”, crows are “cawing” (is that a word? I just know the spell check is going to “ding” me here!) the breeze is blowing and the sun is shining. It’s a bit hazy but perfect none the less. I have a lot of unpacking to do but I think it will wait until I have a second cup of coffee and sit here awhile and soak it in.

Gone knitting (maybe.)

Big Brown Dog

I found one of these on the floor in the living room this morning. (They’re all finished and were in my bedroom waiting to be put away.)

Lady Grantham Dinner Gauntlet (a Jimmy Beans Wool KAL) in Lorna's Laces Sport

Lady Grantham Dinner Gauntlet (a Jimmy Beans Wool KAL) in Lorna’s Laces Sport

It must have been this big brown dog!

"Monk"

“Monk”

We’ve adopted/rescued Monk from a family in California and he arrived on Friday. We’d forgotten what it’s like to have a puppy in the house! Lots of walks and lots of ball-throwing in our neighborhood park.

IMG_1265My little dogs would like to send him back! (Not going to happen. We’ve already fallen in love with the big brown dog!)

Welcome Monk!

Gone knitting!

Farewell, Faithful Companion

Max, Faithful Companion, in 2007

Max, my boyfriend’s dog, is old. He’s had Cushing’s Disease for the last three years and probably has an inoperable pituitary tumor in addition. Until recently, the medications prescribed have managed the Cushing’s symptoms and Max has been able to lead a happy (tail-wagging) life.

This summer has been different. He’s not even interested in going outside. He’s fallen off the front porch and rolled off the “sea wall” and into the lake. He struggles to get up when he’s been lying down. N has to carry him to the lake to cool him off and often carries him outside to do his business. He still loves to eat but isn’t as happy to chase a ball or a stick and seems to have a vacant stare most of the time. All night long he does circles. Circling and circling as if he’s going to settle down … but he doesn’t. Even a double dose of Valium doesn’t take the edge off for him.

N has given him a great life! He’s been on many a long ride in the car and loved to ride on the boat, ears flapping in the breeze. He loved to wander off and get into the neighbors’ garbage (and come home bloated with a full belly). He has several warm and comfy beds around the house, unlimited water, excellent food, lots of love, and millions of thrown balls and sticks. He had many a nap on the couch, ball in mouth.

He’s been an intrepid companion, a faithful friend.

Max and the Annoying Littles

Car Ride 2009

Playing the Ball Game in 2008

Death is the natural end to a good life. N has decided that it is time. It’s time to let Max be free from the creaky old body that doesn’t provide a good quality of life any more.

Ned has dug the hole where we’ll bury Max. He’ll be put to sleep here in Maine at home. Max is comfortable here and this place is a constant comfort for N, too.

This is a very sad time. Farewell, faithful friend. We’ll see you again in Heaven.

Gone knitting.