Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome 2012

Well, here it is, exactly one year from my last post. Guess I didn't do so well with keeping up my posting.....but then again, 2011 was such a hard year. My Mother passed away on 01/06/2011 with all of us around her. It has been extremely difficult geting through this past year as I did so many things with my Mom and talked to her nearly every day before she got so sick right around Christmas. Watching her drift away was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. One good thing that has come from my Mother's death is that I am closer now than I have ever been to my Dad. He is such a strong, courageous person! I know he has had a rough year too, especially around the holidays. But we did make it through! I plan to visit my Dad on Friday to mark the 1 year anniversary of my Mother's passing. She always loved going to the casinos so we will make a day of it at one of the casinos in her honor.

2011 was not all bad. My parents had a cat that my Dad had found at the local gas station up the street and they had her for about 2 years. Shortly before Christmas of 2010 my Dad discovered that she was expecting. I truly believe this was divine intervention as the cat had not had any kittens prior to this pregnancy and her expecting gave all of us something to look forward to after my Mom's passing. I had decided that I would take 2 of the kittens. I had a beautiful Persian cat for 19 years that I had to put down about 2 years earlier and just did not feel I was ready to get another cat until now. On 02/13/2011, Lucille had kittens, I mean a kitten! Lucy Belle was born and was such a cute little gray tabby cat. We took her home with us from my Dad's on Easter which was about the time my Dad noticed Lucille getting fat again. She gave birth again on 06/17/2011 and this time had 4 kittens---2 gray tabbies and 2 orange tabbies. After much discussion with my husband, we decided to get another one so that Lucy Belle would have someone to play with and hang out with while we are at work. We were going to get an orange tabby but after discovering that there was only 1 female in the bunch who happened to be a gray tabby that looked just like Lucy, our choice was made for us---good thing as it would have been so hard to choose one! We brought home Libby Lou the first weekend in August. I would have never thought that 2 little kittens would bring so much joy to our lives but they have. Since we are not blessed with 2 legged children, we now feel very blessed to be the parents of 2 four-legged furry girls! I now firmly believe the best knitting accessory is a warm cat curled up on my lap!

I have done some knitting over the past year but not as much as I had hoped. I was fortunate enough to attend 2 knitting/fiber retreats this past year. The first was The Studio Knitting Retreat at the Elms Resort in Excelsior Springs, MO, last January. My knitting partner in crime, Social Sandy, went with me and we had a wonderful time, meeting new friends and knitting to our heart's content! We did learn, however, that the best project to take to a social event like this one is a "potato chip knitting project" and not your first lace project. :>( In June, again with Social Sandy by my side, we attended the Fiber U event in Lebanon, MO, and again had a wonderful time. This year, we are again attending the Studio Knitting Retreat but this time it will be at Unity Village which is just up the road from where I live so I should be able to make it, even if the weather turns bad. Also, in March we are going to a Fiber Festival in Jefferson City, MO. We may also make the trek again to Lebannon in June for Fiber U as we had so much fun the last time!

Well, I feel since it is a new year I should include some goals here for 2012. Again, goals and not resolutions. My first goal is to always put my family first as you never know how long you might have with your family--lesson learned in 2010-2011. I of course want to get in to better shape (notice I didn't say lose weight but that is part of it) as I will be turning 45 this year and my knees feel much older than their 44 years. As far as knitting goals, I want to make a Christmas stocking for each of my family members----that means a total of 13 if I include my Libby (already completed Lucy's!) and my Dad's little cat. I know that's very ambitious but who knows....I plan on doing most of them over the summer. I started Lucy's last summer while taking a class and I felt it was a good project to do over the summer so hopefully I can get them done! I seem to get stuck in the hat/mitts/cowl/scarf rut so this year I want to make at least 3 shawls/wraps, 1 sweater and 3 pairs of socks. I did complete my first sock this year but have yet to complete its mate! I also want to get my craft room in order---right now it looks like a hoarder's dream in there! Also there is an eliptical machine in the craft room that I need to dig out to help me work toward my first goal! Once I get this room done, I'm sure it will be well worth it to have all of my crafty goodness out where I can see it and touch it! My final goal is to try to be more organzied and prepared. I have lived my life as a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl and I want to try to change that but also living life to its fullest! Well, I believe I have rambled on long enough here. Thanks for listening and I hope to be back again soon, maybe even with some progress on my 2012 goals! Be happy and God Bless!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hello 2011

Can't believe 2011 is already here! I have neglected my blog this past year but hope to do better this year. 2011 finds me sitting in a hospital with my best friend in the whole wide world in the bed next to me---my wonderful Mother. She has been fighting for nearly 2 years now colon cancer that has spread to her liver. And what a courageous fighter she has been! She had a colon resection in 03/09 followed by radiation which so badly burned her intestines she ended up with another 6 hour surgery in 05/09 to repair them and relieve a blockage. After a long recovery, she regained her strengh and was able to start chemo which held things at bay (only 2 small spots on her liver) until 05/2010 when she suffered 2 seizures thought to have been brought on by 2 strokes, one on each side of her brain. She fought back from the strokes, regaining her original strength on both sides. They thought one of the drugs used to help the chemo is what caused the strokes so they put her on different chemo which finally caused her hair to fall out but did nothing to help with the cancer and the liver lesions grew rapidly. Finally her original surgeon saw her in October of 2010 and encouraged her oncologist to send her to a liver specialist. They decided to try to take out one lobe of her liver in December but once they got in there, it had taken over both lobes so nothing could be done surgically. We are quite angry as were told if she had sought the liver specialist even 6 months earlier, she might have had an 80% cure rate! I only wish I would have researched more and been more adamant about not listening to her 2 oncologists and insisting upon them sending her to a liver specialist. I grew up in a small town and my parents still live in the same little small town and it was like bringing her home when she was admitted to the little hospital here after bringing her home from one of the large supposedly "best" Kansas hospitals. The staff here all recognize her from previous stays and treat her as if she were their own Mother and also treat us as if we are family. There is alot to be said about small towns. I miss that the most now, living in Kansas City. Now her liver has decided to shut down and she is getting weaker and weaker each day. Her spiritis still remain high but I can tell she is getting tired. I won't know what to do when she is gone so not going to think about it right now.

So now you know why I have had such a hard time keeping up with my blogging this past year. 2011 is not starting out so good but with the support of my wonderful family and friends, hopefully we can make it though the roughest time of my life. Will keep you posted. Here's wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year. Please pray for peace and comfort for my Mom and Dad. And also please pray for a cure for cancer....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good-Bye February

Can't believe that February is pretty much over. Seems like the new year just started a couple of days ago. Also can't believe it's been over 2 weeks since I've posted on my blog and I've even had a couple of comments show up---keep'em coming as I love love love to read them! And I finally can't believe the Winter Olympics are nearly over. I will be sad to see the closing ceremonies....it has been very entertaining. My sister alerted me to some great hat patterns over here on My Waffle House's blog---some people are sooo talented!!!

I finally got my pincushion finished and in the mail this morning for my first pincushion swap. I'll post pics after I'm sure Onjoli has received it. It was good to get my sewing machine out and finally use it to create something rather than just repair something that needed a few stitches. I have also finished stitching a couple of cross-stitch ornaments for my 2010 Ornament A Month Blog but haven't finished them---will post pics after they are finished. I'm nearly back on schedule for finishing an ornament a month!

On Valentine's Day I found an awesome light at Big Lots that looks very similar to an Ott light and it was on sale for $19.99! Unbelievable and it works great! I purchased the last one and have been checking every few days to see if they have received anymore as I bought the floor lamp and would also like to have the desktop one to take with me when I go to visit my parents. I highly recommend that you check your Big Lots to see if they have any if you are in the market for one of these lights. Here are a couple of pics of the lamp.

We had a very quiet, low key Valentine's Day as it turned out to be a rather snowy day. There was a 40+ car pileup just west of KC on the interstate that afternoon due to poor visibility. Luckily no one was hurt seriously. The night before we went to a birthday party at Howl At The Moon and had a great time. Here is a pic of what my sweetie gave me for Valentine's Day (after we had already discussed we weren't getting each other anything except for a card). He is such an awesome hubby! I did give him a subscription to Sports Illustrated (thought it was a great idea as I would be able to read it too!). I've already used the Ebay gift card on some cross-stitch patterns. I had never thought about giving/getting an Ebay gift card but think it's a great idea!

Well, I better get off here and get packed. We are heading to our little home town for a pub crawl tonight----pretty funny as you really probably could crawl from one "pub" to the next since there are a total of 4 bars in the town and one of those is the Elks Club! Have a great weekend!!!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Just a quick post to say how much I enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I really liked watching all the athletes enter the stadium and thought the knitted hats, mittens and scarves were especially awesome. My favorite hat had to be the one worn by Team USA. I immediately googled and found it on the Ralph Lauren website for anyone who happens to have a mere $75 lying around---however, I just checked the Ralph Lauren site again and it is already sold out! Here is a picture of the hat---isn't it great?!?!?!?!

I also thought the necklace that Sarah McLachlan was wearing was absolutely gorgeous and she looked great as well. I was unable to locate a picture of her wearing it online but hopefully someone will post a pic so see if you can find it and take a look. Better get to bed as I have tons to do tomorrow as long as the weather cooperates. Later!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great Superbowl Weekend! We kept it pretty low-key, staying home to watch the big game and commercials as the weather was on the verge of turning nasty---of course it didn't get nasty until right before driving home from work tonight!!! Snow did not really materialize last Friday or yesterday into today---just enough precip and temperature drop late this afternoon to make it nice and slick. Not sure why the salt trucks didn't get out in anticipation of the slick roads--maybe they were resting up from the past month's activity. The sun is supposedly going to make an appearance tomorrow which will be nice!

I received several cross-stitch pamphlets I ordered off of Ebay today--will post a pic and titles later in the week.

Go on over to One Artsy Mama's blog and sign up for her give-away. This is an awesome blog I found tonight and she happens to be having a great give-away so check it out.

More to come later in the week--stay warm!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Snow is Coming!!!

I guess we are going to get hit with another 2-4 inches of snow late tonight and into tomorrow here in Kansas City and then another round of snow on Monday. I can't remember getting this much snow since I was in grade school!!! Too bad I don't still have snow days. Sounds like this will be a great weekend to stay in and do something creative.

Go on over and check out the awesome blog of Bed of Roses MQ. She just recently posted her 100th post and is having a great give-away. Her blog is very entertaining and I love her photos.

Hopefully I can get something completed and posted this weekend before the Super Bowl starts!!! TGIF is nearly here!!!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Ground Hog Day

Well, here we are on my second blog post and it's already 2 days in to February which means it's Ground Hog Day! Guess we are going to have 6 more weeks of Winter weather according to both the Pennsylvania groundhog and the Kansas City Zoo's Spike the hedgehog which is ok with me---warmer weather is nice but that means those long, hot summer days won't be far behind. I guess you could say I'm a fall/winter kind of gal, especially as I get older. Can't tolerate the long, hot days as well as I used to.

Another sign of my advancing age---I can't see to cross stitch without reading glasses and an extremely bright light. Earlier this week I started to cross stitch again after being inspired by reading some of the awesome cross stitching blogs. I haven't picked up a needle and floss in about 10 years. I started working on a Prairie Schooler 2007 Santa pattern on 18 count Putty Khaki Davos and am having the hardest time seeing exactly where I am supposed to stitch and also reading the pattern is quite difficult. This wasn't nearly so challenging when I used to cross stitch. Guess it's time to bump up the power on my readers and invest in one of the Ott lights. Let me know if you have an opinion on the Ott or another bright crafty lite. Below is my progress on the Santa---sorry for the poor picture quality but this blog is one of my many works in progress....

I signed up for the Worldwide Pin Cushion Swap over on Freckled Nest blogspot . I'm so excited!!! I haven't sewn an actual crafty project in so long and I'm very anxious to get started. There is also an awesome tutorial on how to make a cool little pin cushion on the blog as well. I also signed up for the 2010 Christmas Ornament Challenge and can't wait to get my first one done. I was accepted on 01/30/2010 so I am behind from the get go but hope to complete 3 by the end of February, old eyes and all.

I was looking through my knitting works in progress (WIP) and have sworn off starting any other knitting projects until these are completed. I have also vowed to step out of my square/rectangle "box" and complete a more challenging project in 2010---perhaps a sweater? Here is a scarf/wrap that I started back in May of last year when my Mom had surgery. It's a simple stockinette stitch on size 19 needles (freebies from Stitch'n'Pitch 2 years ago)and I'm not sure what type of yarn it is as it was given to me.

Here is the Be My Dishcloth that I am knitting using Sugar and Cream. It is from Kris Knits blog (01/29/08 entry). She has several free patterns as well as many others that you can purchase and download---her patterns are awesome as is her blog.

Guess it's time to get started on supper. I'm making creamy spaghetti---adding some cream cheese to marinara sauce. Also using some ground turkey that has all natural Italian seasoning added in. I'll let you know how it turns out. Happy Krafting!