Thursday, May 16, 2013

Catching Up...

Wedding Cake

There's been a lot going on. Some good, some sad. The good news: my sister got married to the man of her dreams. They are certainly a well-matched pair! So after the bus trip, I made her wedding cake.

Of course, it was only for 30 people or so, so it wasn't a big deal. While I wish I had been there to see her see the cake, I couldn't be. I was at a previously set-in-stone training session and frankly, with my schedule, I didn't have anywhere else to stick in a make-up if I had missed the training. And Hubby, love though he is, says, "Oh, she liked it." Details, dude... I need DETAILS of her reaction!!! Men.

However, my mom knew what I wanted to hear and she told me that Sis gasped and said, "It's exactly what I wanted. How did she know that?" Well, I know my sister, and when she said, "I want simple" it was easy to comply. She's not a girly-girl. Funny, she used to be! But she's got simpler tastes recently. So, it was devil's food, with chocolate buttercream filling (groom's request) and my "everyone loves it" buttercream icing. The flowers and butterflies are silk. She carried a small bouquet of the lavender roses.

Apparently, when she and the groom cut it, she almost dropped the slice on the floor. I wish I would've been there to see know I would've given her grief!

Fluffy scarf in progress
Today, I'm wearing my fish-button-bolero, and thanks to the weight loss, it's kind of swimming on me, but I'm enjoying wearing something I made that's not a scarf! I'm in the midst of knitting one of those Starbella scarves for my mom. On a tip from a lady on the tour bus, I spent an hour or so of my knitting life IRONING the mesh ribbon yarn. Yes, ironing. And you know what? It still curls!! Urgh...I could be making something that I have in stash, but my mom fell in "serious like" with the one the lady on the tour bus was knitting, so in a moment of weakness (will I ever learn???) I said, "Yeah, that shouldn't be too hard."

It's a pain in the butt. I can't understand those folks who said, "Oh, I made 25 of these for Christmas gifts." I swear to  you - I heard it while I was getting my hair cut. What in the world?? And the directions on the ball band aren't exactly clear. Pull out a short length and pull ribbon width-wise to open up. To knit, insert needle into a loop and pull only the loop through the stitch on your needle. Work one stitch with each loop."

Okay...but how do you cast on, and more importantly, how do you bind this bugger off??? I hope my mom likes it. I may (just MAY) make one for Kid #1's girlfriend, though I've already done a couple of knitted things for her. Or I may make one and donate it to a charity auction, since I was stupid enough to buy 2 balls of this crud.

Imagine a pair...
On another, happier note, my hiking socks are done. Of course, since it hit 91* yesterday, I'm finally done with 100% wool socks! Here's what they look like. I did a bit of different work on the top of the second sock, and I think I may make that a habit. Instead of starting in the K1, P1 rib, I did a row of straight knit. That loosens the top band just a hair, and I think that'll be good for the "biker's calves" I have. If you do a couple rows of the straight knit, it makes a nice "ruffle" on the top that's not too floofy and makes the top of the sock fit a bit better. Of course, I can't find the picture, so just use your imagination. This is Cascade 220 heather. I love the color and while you had to buy 2 skeins, I have enough left so that if I bought ONE more skein perhaps in a different color, I could do contrasting cuffs/heels/toes. Not sure yet. Will have to scout that one out. I absolutely love the Kollage square DPNs. I bought a pair for a skein of madelainetosh that I'll put to good use with a nice pair of socks. Maybe then, too, I'll do a different toe: swirl or something. I have a ton of sock books; time to use them!

Safe spot...
And here's what my parking lot looks like today. It's week 3 of "cop training." I have the safest campus in the state right about now! It's been fun having them here. They go from facility to facility to do the training, so as to expand their training base; you don't necessarily want a lot of your patrol out in training far away so if you have local sites, that makes it easier.

And now for the sad stuff. I have an online knitter friend, Mary Lynn. She has started hospice care. She's got lymphoma. I can only aspire to the kind of grace she's exhibiting. She was going through another round of chemo and apparently took a turn for the worse. The chemo was in a port and she suddenly got a fever; they believe the port may have become infected, and you know with a weakened immune system, anything can happen. She is at home, surrounded by her loving family and with a view out her window of her beloved Tennessee River. That's how she planned it, and that's how it's happening. What a blessing indeed. 

This comes up alongside the one-year anniversary of my friend Sonda's death from melanoma. It's going to be a rough couple of weeks here.

Do I smell CAKE??
Madame Tippi and I have the summer off. However, to keep up the spirits of the kids at Lewis, we've posted a series of pictures. The latest one is this one.  We have one of her in a mortarboard, so that will happen this weekend. 

Over Mother's Day weekend, we finished the garden, and Hubby tore out the ailing clematis, replacing it and the arbors with 2 lovely lilac bushes. The veg garden consists of tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, shallots, carrots, cukes and some herbs. I've started dill and lime basil (!) from seed. My French Tarragon came back and I planted some "spicy oregano" in a pot in the front. 

Now to find the 2 hummingbird feeders that went MIA. They're here somewhere...for now, though, we have one up. We'll see what we did with the others.

We got our indigo bunting back, along with a pair of rose-crested grosbeaks, and a black-capped grosbeak. And red-wing blackbirds by the ton. No blue jays yet, though I hear them. Oh, and on my way in to work today, I saw a bat heading for naptime! 

Otherwise, I'm just trying to find time to re-learn some new guitar patterns, work on yoga homework, figure out what project I want to do next, working on that mindless scarf. And planning some trips on the bike, provided Mother Nature stops having hot flashes.

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