"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

4/30/12

The March for Women

What a weekend! I did something I've never done before on Saturday. I participated in a protest march. I joined the We Are Women March in downtown Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It was a great experience.

I usually avoid talking about politics on my blog because that's not what it's about. I prefer to keep my politics to myself, for the most part. However, this weekend was such a powerful experience for me I just have to share it.

In the last 2 years I've noticed a very disturbing trend in our fine country-the sneaky and steady attempt to erode, undermine, and flat out take away womens rights in both the Federal and State governments. Especially health and reproductive rights!

I know, I know. I don't have a uterus anymore, but I have daughters who do, and friends and family that do. Our mothers and grandmothers fought hard for those rights. Some even died for them. I am not going to stand by and watch them be taken away.

Did you know that since January 2010 there have been over 400 legislative bills attacking womens reproductive health rights alone? This is an unprecedented number of them.

In Georgia state Rep. Terry England referred to women as equal to Livestock. He thinks women should be forced to carry a dead fetus to term because pigs and cows on his farm do. Never mind what carrying around a dead human inside a woman's body might do to her.

In my own state of Idaho, Senator Chuck Winder introduced a Mandatory Ultrasound bill that would force women to have a medical procedure they don't want or need before having an abortion. He actually questions if women would even know what a rape is! 

Did you know that women still don't have equal pay? They still make less than men- 77 cents for every $1.00 men make- doing the same jobs? 

A Wisconsin state senator said money is not as important to women as it is to men. Try telling that to a divorced mother with 3 kids and a dead-beat ex-husband getting paid less at a job than her male counterpart just because she's female.

Did you know Wisconsin governor Scott Walker quietly repealed the state Equal Pay law?

These are just a few of the insane things that have gone on in this country against women in the last 2 years. These things are frightening! These are rights we have being taken away. I can not just stand by and let it happen. I'm too angry, too frightened. I have to do something, so I joined UniteWomen.Org and marched.

I heard about the march the day before. So I didn't have time to make a sign or anything. Fortunately, the organizers brought extras. I got this one. The word 'still' should be between the words are and fighting, but I wasn't gonna argue the point. It was a free sign.

Me and the sign I carried

There were 25 of us. There were men, women young and old, and children in the march.
We even had a dog. My friend Phyllis and her husband brought their little chihuahua Tico. 

Phyllis, Don, and Tico

We started at the Coeur d'Alene Library where we gathered together. 

Getting ready

Someone asked if I'd make this sign for them. Since I was just standing around waiting, why not?

Makin' a sign.

We walked up 7th to Sherman, then walked down Sherman to the city park. As we walked down the street people were honking their horns and waving at us in support. It was exhilarating!

I really like this girls sign

At the park we had a small rally with a few speakers that were very interesting. I actually had some knitting with me, but as you can see, I was too busy listening. I learned some things I didn't know. 

Listening to the speakers

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I feel really good about it. Instead of just sitting around feeling helpless and frustrated, I stood up and did something. I'm taking action!

I'm hoping that before I die the Equal Rights Amendment will finally be ratified and become part of our constitution. I still can't believe it's been 40 years and it still waits for that. We only need 3 states to sign it. I can't understand why all 50 haven't yet!

This probably won't be my last march. I find myself wanting to get more involved in this kind of thing. To stand up for what is right so our children can have a good future and I leave this planet a better place when I die. I will probably post about it from time to time, but not always.

I will not allow debate of politics in the comments of this blog. I will delete such comments. My blog is not the place for this kind of thing. Please respect that. 

Live long and prosper. \\//

4/25/12

WIP Wednesday 4/25/2012

It's WIP Wednesday!

Here is a new knitting WIP. My daughter has designed and written a shawl pattern. I am test knitting it for her.



Doesn't look like much yet, does it? I dug around in the stash and found some 2/24 lace weight machine knitting yarn. I think it's acrylic, but not absolutely sure. The label doesn't say. I bought it years ago at the Super Yarn Mart. I miss that store.

I have officially started the Laura McCabe project. It starts with my favorite stitch, spiral rope.



I need to think of a name for this besides the Laura McCabe project.

This is the African stitch amulet bag I'm making for the Seadbeadersters May challenge. I started out making 4 ladder stitch loops. Now I'm joining them with this sort of crossing loops sort of stitch, which I'm enjoying doing quite a bit.



So far so good. I love the color combination. I have a new blouse this will go with perfectly. I need to figure out what kind of fringe I'm gonna put on it, and strap.

I was cuddling Cable and took this. I am surprised that she actually looked at the camera.



But not as surprised as I was that we were both in the shot, and relatively centered. I'm getting better at this kind of thing.




If you're interested in participating in WIP Wednesday, please join us.

Live long and prosper. \\//

4/24/12

Random Ramblings

We had an awesome weekend weather-wise. It was sunny and warm both days. I spent a good deal of time outside. I did a bit of beading, knitting, puttering in the yard, reading, and playing with the dog. It was quite relaxing.

I bound off the last stitch on the first Stacked Olives fingerless mitt. Still need to weave in my ends.



I worked on the writing of the pattern too. Now I need to knit the second mitt, and get some test knitters.

Sunday it was 79 degrees at my house! I repaired the Market Umbrella out on the deck. It broke the last time I used it last year. It was a fairly easy fix, so there was no sense tossing it and buying a new one, but It took some time. After I was done (and feeling very smart) I opened it up and set up some beading on the table. I beaded for a little while working on an amulet bag for the May beading challenge of the Seadbeadersters group. It's our choice for pattern, so I'm doing one that features an African technique that I've not done before. I will take pictures later.

That evening we went over to Dan and Sue's for the first official family barbecue of the season. T'was awesome. Cable and Tripper played hard for 3 hours. They were exhausted when we headed home. I had trouble getting her out of bed Monday morning.

Keeping cool in the shade.

Yesterday it was 82 degrees. A little too hot. Ordinarily, I would see that as a wonderful temperature, but just 4 days ago we were still getting frost in the morning. To go from that to 82 makes it feel more like 102. I'll adjust eventually. In the meantime, I've taken out the tank tops and shorts.

I have been enjoying the new deck furniture. In the late afternoon it is shaded by the house.



Around 5pm I sat out there in that shade reading a novel and enjoying the cool breeze while sipping ice tea. I finally cooled off and actually fell asleep for a bit. Very pleasant.

Some time ago I think I mentioned I was planning to make one of Laura McCabes necklaces from her book Embellished Beadweaving. It's actually the cover necklace. If y'all remember, I spent all the money I earned working at the fair on the beads for this baby. However, I was having a hard time finding the Keishi pearls required. They need to be flat, or cupped, and center drilled. That center drilled part was the kicker. I couldn't find anything local so I decided to substitute some round ones. However, the more I thought about it, the less I liked that idea. I needed the Keishi pearls for the necklace to look how I want.

I went online. Laura sells them on her web site, but she wants a LOT of money for them, so I went on a quest to find some for less money.  It took me 7 months but I finally found some.

I had no idea it would be so hard to find them, but I did at Beaded Impressions, for $17 a strand, I got exactly what I wanted. They arrived in the mail last week. HURRAY! Now I can start that necklace.



Which reminds me, I've had my eye on a 4pc set of luggage on Amazon for quite some time. I have a big black suitcase that looks just like all the other black suitcases, so it's hard for me to identify it when it comes down the baggage conveyor belt at the airport. I wanted purple luggage (natch!). Well, that luggage went on sale a couple weeks ago, so I ordered it. It was a great deal!



It arrived last week. I am extremely pleased with it. Very good quality luggage, and, it's PURPLE! I shouldn't have any trouble finding it now. What's more, that little bag there in front makes a perfect knitting bag. So I have a knitting bag that matches the suitcases. I will be traveling in style. Now, I need to go on a trip to try it out.

Today the day has started sunny and very warm. There are clouds on the horizon though. I've got Rathdrum Knitalong to attend. So I guess I'll sign off and get ready to go.

Live long and prosper. \\//



4/19/12

Blue Mystery Solved!

There are little bright blue wildflowers blooming at the bottom of the hill around the tv satellite dishes. A small patch of one of them bloomed there in May of 2008. I've been trying to identify them ever since. They aren't in any of my many wildflower books. I even posted a What Is This? entry here on the blog. Never got an answer.

This year those tiny little blue flowers have returned, with friends. They look very different from each other. I took pics on Sunday. After MUCH searching on the Internet by both me and my daughter, we've finally identified them.

These are identical to the flowers that bloomed in 2008. These little bell shaped sweeties stand about 3 inches high and are less than an inch long. They're called Siberian Wood Squill. Also English Bluebell/Wood Hyacinth



Their leaves look like the grass they're growing in. They have blue pollen.



They are such a bright shade of blue! I love them.



About 5 feet away are these little beauties. The same size as the Wood Squills, but so very different.



They are related though. They're called Common Squill.



Will wonders never cease? I would not have expected that.



They don't point down at all before opening. They point up, and the stamens are not anywhere near the same. The petals curl back too, unlike the Wood Squill.


I'm SO glad I know what they are now. It's been bugging me for 4 years! Isn't the Internet amazing?

I wonder how they got to where I found them?

Live long and prosper. \\//

4/18/12

February Lady Sweater Redux

Here it is. Yay!



February Lady Sweater for Sarah

Pattern: February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynn
Size: Medium

Yarn: Pacific by Cascade Yarns in Dark Army Green
Content: 60% Acrylic, 40% Superwash Merino, Worsted weight

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 8

Cast on: February 23, 2012
Bound off: April 10, 2012

Comments: I love the yarn I used for this. Very nice to work with. I can't believe Sarah will fit in something this small.


After blocking

Stitch pattern detail





Antique buttons from the stash.





more pattern detail




Live long and prosper. \\//

4/17/12

Genius He Says!

It was a good weekend. We had beautiful weather on Saturday, so I spent quite a bit of time outside. I swept off both decks, rearranged the furniture to my liking, and puttered a little bit in the yard.

I took Cable for a 2 mile walk around the Parkarosa. She enjoyed it immensely! I saw a few wild flowers. Butttercups and Spring Beauties are in bloom. It was a tough walk for me. I was exhausted when we got back. The past few months have taken their toll. But I did it. 2 whole miles! I plan to continue doing it so I'm in better shape this summer.




It is SO nice to have ENERGY again! That hysterectomy was the best thing I've done in a long time.

On Sunday Sweet Hubby and I installed the new metal wall art on the front of the house. I found the whole process rather humorous. Men are so funny some times. When I installed the butterflies a couple weeks ago, I grabbed a tape measure, hammer, and 3 nails and did the job in 5 minutes. When Sweet Hubby installed the moose et al, he donned a tool belt full of tools and spent quite some time preparing for the job. He even made a cardboard template (that turned out to be useless for the purpose he designed it for but came in handy to protect each piece when he hammered on them to get the nails in the wall further). I tried to explain to him, in advance, the easiest way to do the job, but he's a man with an Engineering degree. I know nothing. So I let him do it his way.

After futzing around for half an hour doing it his way, he ended up doing it my way anyway. Cuz my way was easier. I had to let him discover that himself so he thought it was his idea though. It's how we work together. It gave daughter a good laugh.

We are quite pleased with the results.



Suddenly, the street side of the house looks so much better. (Ignore the Christmas lights. I'll get them down eventually.)



Sweet Hubby actually said I was a genius for thinking of doing this. A genius! That is high praise indeed! I guess he likes it.

Our house is a manufactured home installed backward on the property. This is actually the back of the house that faces the street. I had this done on purpose because I wanted to be able to see the backyard  from the kitchen window and the front yard from the living room window. Unfortunately, those rooms were laid out so I had to do this. Thus, the actual front side of the house faces the back yard. Did that make sense?????

This summer I plan to beautify the 'back' to make it look more aesthetically pleasing from the street and less like the plain back side of a house. The art is step one. Redoing that pathetic front flower bed will be step 2.

I did finish the February Lady Sweater. Woo hoo! I blocked it yesterday and sewed on the buttons. I'll be posting pics later.

Yesterday Cable had an adventure. We're planning a trip for this summer which requires she spend a few days in a kennel. There is a kennel just down the road from us that has an excellent reputation. I never took the Iggies there because it's a kennel for larger dogs.

The fellow who runs it wanted to know if she will climb over a 6 foot fence. I could not answer that question. I had to take Cable down yesterday and let her spend the day there.

Apparently he has a large yard with a 6 foot fence around it that he lets the dogs play in. He's had dogs go over that fence. So now any new clients have to pass the fence climbing test (the dog can't climb it).

Cable passed with flying colors. She did really well. (I'm not surprised having watched her climb up onto my bed.) In fact, he fell in love with her. She's mine! He can't have her. But I'll let him borrow her for a few days this summer.

Live long and prosper. \\//



4/16/12

4/11/12

WIP Wednesday 4/10/2012

It's WIP Wednesday! Here's todays wip. I thought I'd get the FLS done yesterday, but I didn't. I have 12 rounds left to go on that second sleeve. So close!



I will definitely get it done later today. I can hardly wait. Then it's just weaving in the ends, blocking, and putting the buttons on. I am planning to steam block this baby to fix some size discrepancies. The yarn is a merino/acrylic blend so I shouldn't have any trouble fixing them.

Now, for some really great news. SPRING IS HERE! The Crocus are blooming in the front yard.



This one is not quite open yet. I love this shade of purple.



The daffodils have sprouted too.



There are tons of daff sprouts all over. More than I've seen in a long time. I hope the weather is right so they can bloom as prolifically as they've sprouted.

The weather, today, has been spectacular! It's actually 71F degrees. I spent some time outdoors and didn't even need a coat. Dark clouds are headed this way though. The wind has picked up and the sun is behind the clouds. Thunderstorms are predicted for tonight. It's been ages since we've had a thunderstorm.

I went to Cabelas to pick up the second tree metal wall hanging. Now I have all four pieces. They need to be installed. I hate ladders. I wonder if I could get Sweet Hubby to do it for me?


If you're interested in participating in WIP Wednesday, please join us.


Live long and prosper. \\//

4/10/12

Simple Woman's Daybook for April 10, 2012



Outside my window...
Sunshine! We're going to have a beautiful warm day. Prediction is for 70F. Woo hoo!

I am thinking...
I am glad to be alive today.

I am thankful...
that spring has finally arrived. I'm also thankful for my new furniture for the deck. It arrived last Tueday in a HUGE cardboard box. I was not home when it was delivered and it snowed all that day, so when I got home it had a couple inches of snow on top. I didn't unpack it. I waited until Thursday, after the snow had melted and it was just a bit dryer out.

In the kitchen...
is an empty pie dish. For Easter dinner, I made pumpkin pie. I thought "Why do I have to wait until Thanksgiving for pumpkin pie?" Then I went to the store and bought some pumpkin. I made two pies. One is in the freezer. The other one has been eaten. It was the best pumpkin pie I've ever made. I also cooked a leg of lamb roast, and made deviled eggs. We went to brother-in-laws house for dinner.

I am wearing...
my jammies and my leopard print robe. Being lazy about getting dressed this morning, as usual.

I am creating...
the February Lady Sweater for my daughter. It's so close to being done I can smell it. I finished the first sleeve and I'm about 3/4 through the second. I will definitely get it done in time. Yay! However, I have not worked on anything else. A sacrifice had to be made.

I am going...
to Rathdrum Knitalong today cuz it's Tuesday and that is what I do on Tuesdays. I expect to finish off the FLS while there.

I am wondering...
How long is the pain in my right jaw going to hang around. I came down with TMJ about 2 weeks ago. I was waking up in the middle of the night with my teeth clenched together so tight it's a wonder they didn't shatter! The pain got pretty severe, but I've been doing exercises and massage and it's healing fairly quickly. I can chew now without sending myself into a coma. Obviously, there is some stress in my life that is affecting me. I need to figure out what it is.

I am reading...
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest. I've already read the first two books of this triliogy. It's very interesting and hard to put down.

I am hoping...
for a warm normal spring so I can plant my garden.

I am looking forward to...
using my new deck furniture. I've been able to sit out in the sun twice since I set it out on the deck. It is very very comfortable. My husband is quite happy with my choice too, which makes it even better.

I am learning
new recipes. Because the first 36 years of my life were spent in a religious cult that didn't eat pork, I don't have much of a repertoire of recipes for it. Last Friday I tried a recipe for Pork Chop and Potato Casserole. It was SOOOOO good! The hubs loved it. I will be making it again.

Around the house...
are 3 metal wall sculptures that I bought from Cabelas. A fourth is on order. I got a moose, a deer, and two trees to install on the front of our house. I want to pretty it up some.

 

I am pondering...
whether to get back to that book I was writing or not.

A favorite quote for today...
"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

One of my favorite things...
 Cadbury Cream Eggs. Yesterday I went to Kmart and bought some on clearance. I didn't get any for Easter and needed to fix that oversight.  

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I haven't really thought about it. Finish the FLS, and perhaps I can finish the fingerless mitts I'm designing for Ray too. I need to get that done.

Picture thought to share...

What Cable thinks of roast Lamb.


If you want to join the Simple Woman's Daybook, click here


Live long and prosper. \\//

4/2/12

Poinsettia Santa

It was a productive weekend. Another project finished!



I made this Santa and Poinsettia Christmas stocking for Cable. The felt applique kit is available at Herrschners, among other places. It's made by Bucilla. It was quite fun to make. I did do a couple changes to make it unique. I also lined it with some cute fabric I found in the stash.



I worked on the February Lady sweater and I have 6 rows of garter stitch left to go and the body is done.

I have spring fever, really bad. Last week I went to Home Depot to purchase a replacement outdoor light for the one that quit working (urg). The spring fever just kind of exploded out of me and I went a little crazy. I purchased new cushions for the chairs on the deck. I bought little square lamps for the tables. They are solar powered, which is so cool! I bought 2 lamps. One for this table, and one for a future table.



I got a cushion for my rocking chair too.



I have decided my summer goal is yard beautification. It's been neglected for so long because of my poor health. Now that I have the energy, I'm anxious to get started. Along with the chair cushions I also bought this piece of metal art to put on the wall along the deck. I found it at Fred Meyer. When I asked at Home Depot if they had any outdoor wall art, the nice salesclerk sent me there. I absolutely LOVE these butterflies.



I ordered some new patio furniture for the deck too. I am so excited! I finally found a seating set that I like. When I went to Home Depot, I spotted it and fell in love. It's exactly what I've been looking for the past 3 years. I'm chucking the plastic chaise lounges we hardly ever sit on for this set.

Picture taken from Home Depot web site

It's actually quite a bit larger than it looks in the picture. It is SO comfortable, and the sturdy frame is made of metal, painted brown with gold highlights. The pillows are included. I ordered it online because you get free shipping that way. Otherwise I would have to figure out how to get it home myself. I can hardly wait for it to get here.

I'm anxious for the weather to get good enough to start working on the gardening stuff. Should be able to start digging in just a couple weeks or so. I'm looking forward to the grass growing. I'm prepared for it now. I got me a brand spanking new Ryobi cordless weedeater.



I've needed one for several years but every time I've brought the subject up, Sweet Hubby has objected. We have a gas powered one but it's too heavy and almost impossible for me to start. I decided I was getting one regardless of what he thinks. I need tools that I can handle. This weedeater is very light, yet plenty powerful for my purposes. To the weeds I say "Bring it on!".

Tomorrow it's supposed to be nice and get up to 62F degrees. I am so excited. Spring is coming at last. I plan to clean the deck off. Maybe next weekend I can get Sweet Hubby to power wash it before I put the new furniture on it.

Live long and prosper. \\//