Wednesday, January 29, 2014

75 snowmen

Purchased pillow.

Yesterday my son had some band mates here to rehearse music they are working on for a school concert.  These kids aren't really friends of his, just fellow band members.  Even though our Christmas tree is long gone, I still have winter decorations up.  Apparently this was remarkable to the band mates, as they asked my son why there were so many snowman things in our house.

My son said, "Umm, they are winter decorations."  The kids were flabbergasted, which surprised me.  Maybe I spend too much time in blogland, but I didn't think it was THAT uncommon to have seasonal decorations.

After his classmates left, my son strolled around our house and counted 75 snowmen-related things.  It was my turn to be flabbergasted.  Seventy-five?  That couldn't be right. Surely it's just 20 or so.  I walked around the house and did my own count.  I was stunned to count 75.

It's not 75 snowmen per se.  Some of those 75 are images of snowmen, depicted in cross stitch or painted on a mug.  But still.  That's a lot of snowmen.  And now I'm being mocked by teenagers.  My husband said, "Mocked by teens? That's inevitable when you're a mother."

It's time to put the snowmen away anyway.  I'm sick of looking at them.  (All 75 of them!)  I'll tell my son to invite those kids back next week so they can laugh at all my Valentine's hearts.

Snowman I cross stitched

Small painting I bought at an art fair

painted my daughter when she was in kindergarten

My daughter and I painted a bunch of wooden snowmen a few years ago

My collection of snowmen figurines.  Combination of my own purchases and things that were given to me

Sock snowmen made by my children.  The one on the far right was knit for me by my aunt.

Fisher Price Snowman.  Old toy repurposed as a decoration.

Pitcher I purchased.

Snowman I cross stitched, paired with an old toy.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

For You

Our friend passed away yesterday after a lengthy illness with cancer.  We knew he was sick for a long time, and we knew his prognosis was not good, but that doesn't make the ending any easier to take.

These sunny photos were taken in April 2012 when we visited him for a few days while he was recovering from surgery.  He took us on a tour of his town's botanical gardens. We walked slowly and talked about the kind of things we had always talked about. 

When we all lived in Minnesota in the early 1990s, we spent a lot of time together, going to baseball games, canoeing, seeing movies, playing cards, going out for pizza and ice cream.  I remember a lot of pizza and ice cream!  

When he first got sick, I made him a scarf.  My husband thought it was silly to send a wool scarf to a man who lived in a warm climate.  I relayed this opinion in the note I tucked into the package.  Our friend's reply? "I'll crank up the air conditioning and wear it around my apartment."  

I am really going to miss that sense of humor!

Here we are in Vermont in the winter of 1996:

I like this picture because the three of us are in it together, and we are outdoors where he liked to be, and I am wearing a hat. I spent two winters living hatless in Minnesota, and any time I complained about being cold he would chide me for not wearing a hat.  I finally broke down and bought a hat.  He was absolutely right:  a hat keeps you warm when it's cold outside.

A hat to warm the head, and good memories to warm the heart.  I am so grateful you were part of our lives.  Peace and love.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Knitting Disaster

I've been humming along with my scarf, adding a few inches to it every evening.  My daughter and I will be out of town the rest of this week, and I planned to bring this along and finish it while we are away.  That is, until last night when I spread it out to look at it and realized with much horror that I made a disastrous mistake about 12 inches back and started ribbing in the wrong direction.  How on earth did I manage to do that?  I will have to rip it back, but it is going to be really difficult for me to figure out what row I am on to start again in the right place.

Not only will my scarf not be finished by this weekend, but it may not be a good take-along project after all, what with all the sweating and swearing it's going to make me do.  I'm sure tears will be shed, too.  I don't want to start a new knitting project, and I really did want to knit on this trip.  SIGH.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First finish of 2014

I have my first finish of 2014!  A cowl I crocheted for my daughter, started January 1 and finished January 5.  The pattern is from Purl Bee and works up very easily and quickly. It is so satisfying to get a project started and finished in less than a week.  My modification was to chain 131 instead of 141.

The yarn is from Knit Picks, in the color Rainforest Heather. 

The weather has been wintry here, to say the least.  I'm sure everyone has heard of the Polar Vortex by now.  Even before Christmas we had lots of snow.  This is what our drive to my parents' house looked like on Christmas Day:

In addition to the 12 inches of snow we got on Sunday, the temperatures have now plummeted to well below 0 Fahrenheit.  My kids were supposed to go back to school on Jan. 6th, but they had a snow day on Monday, and a cold day today, and now the district has called another cold day tomorrow.

Last night was the coldest.  It was -15 F in the early evening.  I abide by the notion that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.  Since we live in a northern climate, we have wool socks and wool long underwear;  wool sweaters, hats, and scarves; and waterproof, insulated boots and mittens.  Last night my husband put on all his gear and walked around the block, shoveling out the ends of driveways where he knows single or widowed women or elderly people live.  He likes the exercise and the challenge of facing extreme temperatures, plus he's an all around good guy.