Friday, December 28, 2007

Home Again

Hope y'all had a nice visit with the people who matter to you over Christmas-even if it was not in person-phone calls and e-mails do bridge the distances, too! We are back in FL--we missed the sunshine and warm temps!

Here is the skein of yarn I dyed for each of us-hers is a bit different-only 3 sections of colors and her sock is knitting up with a spiral pattern of color-mine is just little bits of color-I learn something new every time I dye-its great. I am finishing up the socks that we started for Christmas-she was making good progress on her first pair-tho she kept knitting it inside out..........I will investigate the psychology of that!

New furniture arrived yesterday-sure was a challenge to arrange the room but I think we have it for now-in the future, the window behind the couch will be a doorway to the new addition so I will have to make some think?!

The cats approve, too, and that is a good sign!

We both fell asleep in our recliners last was a lot of work moving stuff around and we are retired, you know!

Today I will finish de-cluttering the piles we moved out of the new space, finish knitting the second sock, spin some of my birthday fiber of Merino and Tussah silk from the McKees, laundry and probably will have to spend some time cooking because Bill says he is starting to diet for the new year but it isn't time yet..............HA-have you had that conversation before?!
This will come as no surprise to many of you, Bill has a fascination for weather patterns and for years has called us to let us know about the Doppler status of our area....he takes his weatherman duties pretty seriously and so his kids bought him a very hi-tech weather system...the smile says it all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas to You!

Greetings to all who read this! We are spending a week in Georgia at my Daughter and Son-in-Law's home. Matthew and Caleb arrive tonight so we will have a happy houseful!

Bill and I have spent 33 Christmases together--sure does bring up memories. It seems like yesterday and a hundred years ago both that his parents would come to our house on Christmas Eve and open gifts with our little ones...........Christmas day was always closed out with my parents and siblings and gifts and laughs..................... A ton of changes already have been incurred with the move a year ago so what is a few more!

Weather is a bit cooler in the 40's so we dug out some sweatshirts, sweaters and corduroy! So wonderful to receive real hugs from the grandkids instead of just the phone ones!

Craftwise, I am teaching Marsel to knit socks.........she already knits but never socks so we are making ourselves a pair of toe-ups! Since it is all new to her-why not!? I bought some white superwash with nylon from Knitpicks and dyed it brown, green and purple- each of our skeins are a little bit different and both are knitting up beautifully. Hopefully, we will post a finished sock before we leave!

May all your endeavors enrich your life and those around you-
Have a very Merry Christmas Day!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


How quickly this past year has unrolled. Even in the frustrations of the permits (garage and addition) dim in view of the fact that WE ARE HERE! It is always good to take a good look of the year in review- Health-We always joked that it would take a year for Bill to catch up on his sleep after all the shift is true; he is finally starting to wake up early and get an energy level back! And me? I feel great-rested and relaxed.

Empty Nesters-after a few false starts, we are enjoying living in a home with just the two of us. The housecleaning is easier and so is the cooking! Bill is doing 99% of the shopping-a promise he always gave and is now kept-a result of my dislike of the chore and his love of shopping and shopping for food to boot!(And he always said he could do it better 'cuz he likes going to different stores for the best deals and I didn't do that!)

Grown Children-all of our children are now 21 and older-2 married and 2 developing careers while single. It is wonderful to be able to keep in touch and visit with them(grandchildren are a mere skip and a jump away (8hrs)-even our oldest son will be visiting with his bride from the Northwest this year! (He has never seen our new home and she has never visited FL!)
Weather-is absolutelly perfect-to be outside and in our yard every day is a blessing which words do not do justice..........The sun is out, the air is clear-even the hottest summer heat did not discourage us because it was only 'too hot' for a few hours in the middle of each day-mornings and evenings were still great.
Friends-While we are farther away from many (thank goodness for cell phones and e-mail!) we have moved closer to some and made new ones, too. Finding a church home was a major hurtle overcome pretty quickly after being here-a blessing we still do not take lightly.
Landscaping progress-we added trees, flowers, grass and beat the jungle growth back on most of this 10 acres! Bill even beautified the wet area into a pond and lawn now!

Driveway-graded and laid with asphalt millings so it does not wash out on the road every time it rains! (Tracks less sand in cars and house, too!)
Septic system-we have a whole new system with a drainage field moved out of the way of the new addition!
Well-a new well is drilled and placed where it will be away from the pool area to come--no sulphur either!
Contractors-we have eliminated dozens of them and have a few leads on possible workers in the area!
Power Service-added new pole and laid the foundation for underground service to come with the addition.
Snakes and Bugs-are not an issue-we learn how to deal with ants-(don't go barefoot in an ant hill), roach tablets and a quick swat with a shoe controls the Palmetto bugs (only dealt with 6 in the house so far), spiders all get the shoe or sprayed (no larger ones in the house than we had in the old farmhouse!) the snakes, only 3 so far, startled us outside but haven't seen them in a long time (are told by locals that having cats around the yard eliminates their presence!) Thank you Tommy and Bling!
Birds-an abundance all the time is incredible.........from chickadees to sand hill cranes--all are welcome and in abundance. We have lots of berry trees and it is an 'all you can eat' feast for all the birds (and squirrels, too!) We have tons of the northern robins now-they are looking fat after a few weeks of the aforementioned feast! And we learned that our hummingbirds also go south-er for the winter-Central America in fact!
Seasons-Yes, we do have seasons and it has been wonderful to see Florida for a whole cycle. We have been visiting here for 30+ yrs but have never seen the whole picture-it has been so exciting to see and we have learned so much. Most of the trees that are also found in the North have just about lost all of their leaves now. The colors that started their demise didn't start until November.
Flowers are a feast all year round-many species flower for 6-8 months and then rest a bit until they start all over again-others, like the rain lilies literally sprout a bloom overnight (in the first rains of late spring) and last only a week-all are beautiful and worthy of our attention! Most of the locals take their vacation in the Fall-the weather is truly perfect Sept - Dec, warm, sunny and no humidity (and most will tell you that the snowbirds aren't here yet either!)

Yes, it is good to reflect on the past year....even if they do not all hold the 'firsts' that this year produced! Like most years-it has had its high and low points yet I am so glad this dream of living in Florida has been realized!
In the memorable quote of Jackie Gleason when asked if he had lived here is whole life, he replied, "Not yet!" Lord willing, we will be able to say the same.

[As for pics...most have already been added to this blog under earlier posts!]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tree Skirt

Managed to get the tree skirt finished-it is probably a Victorian idea that the tree stand must be covered-as is proper for all legs....I must admit , it does look framed now. The cats apprciate my effort to make it more comfortable at any rate!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fake Isle Again

Made this over the weekend and still don't feel like it will be the last one! The 'solid' color has much more subtly of color than expected-which is one of the reasons to try to dye it yourself-the color is more of itself! The hat went much quicker this time since I have the confidence of the size and results now. Knit this one with additional stitches around and like the overall proportion even better. Found mitten pattern to match wool size-fingering almost so will start on them today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Faux Isle Hat Take 2

Voila! Now it has a better ribbing, a better shape and proportion and I am smiling. Have enough yarn to make a pair of mittens to match-will start them tonight.

So satisfying to see the labors of your hand-spinning the wool, dyeing the yarn, knitting and now posting it--thanks for sharing y'all!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

'Tis the Season.........

Our usual markers for the passing of time and the arrival of the Christmas season are different......we are working on making new ones that we will remember-always a challenge! We decided that Dec 1st will be put up the tree day...boys up for Caleb's early birthday celebration so we did this with more their help---->
This tree looks like the 'real' one we have cut down each year but this one is a perpetual tree........I had it up in minutes(prelit) improved in my estimation immediately! I now get to make a new tree skirt....hopefully will be done by next week!

Bill surprised me with a Poinsettia-it has already lost most of the leaves.......I have a love/hate relationship with this flower-the good news down here-I will plant it after Christmas-outside and it will grow and so I win!

I sewed some Christmas accessories for the boys..........for my young men (Caleb at 21 is no longer a boy...I need to make the verbal shift!) When I asked them if they were going to decorate they said only if they didn't have to put out any money. I had these in my closet to sew some day-what a perfect opportunity and the amazing fact is that I found them! It required hours and a strong son to find the big box of decorations in the portable garage but he perservered! I had plenty of extras to share from that, too, so they left with an apt's worth of stuff!
The weather is really warm still, very easy to put up some outside lights on the front porch-Jared called while I was putting them up to say that it was snowing for them, here, Bill and other sons were playing golf-shorts and polo shirt-you see why we are having to make some new seasonal markers! We will catch on and Lord willing, will have years to learn the signs!


The bird bath fountain sprung a leak so Bill fixed the leak and put a new sealant on it and I gave it a new paint job!  I had to let the pai...