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Showing posts from 2008

Peaceful Pastimes

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Graphic from LionBrand I did not plan to make most of the items listed below. The Lord provided the time to do them and an abundance of materials through donations from strangers, from thrift shop bargains, and from long forgotten items in my own closet, so I used those supplies to knit and to sew. Most items were made for charities and a few for gifts and personal use. Charity items are indicated by a *. While I did not keep track of the amount of yarn that I used for these projects, it would be interesting to calculate. I am in awe of the generosity of those who donated the yarn. It is not uncommon for me to come home and find one or two bags of yarn on my doorstep. I have no idea who leaves most of the bags. I feel knitting items for charity is something the Lord wants me to do. I am humbled by this call. January 2008 * Burp cloths (20 for Abba's House) * Cotton bib (for Baby Pack Project) * Guidepost Sweaters (2) * Receiving blankets (18 for Abba's House) * Receivin

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008 Yes, this is Wednesday and not Monday, but life got in the way of the Monday post. Outside My Window. . . the wind has finally stopped howling, and the sky is the color of Paul Newman's eyes. The Christmas displays in my neighborhood are disappearing with each passing day. The electric candles will continue to glow in my front windows until Epiphany . I am thinking. . . about 2008 and the many blessings I enjoyed: the successful start of the Wyoming Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group and newsletter, a scholarship to attend the PHA International Conference in June, relatively good health and being able to eliminate the use of supplemental oxygen, meeting online friends in person, and exceeding my charity knitting expectations. I am thankful... for the year behind me and and the new one that will begin tonight. In the kitchen... is a pot of simmering soup: white chili made with great northern beans, carrots, celery, and leftover Christmas

Stash Socks

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I make a lot of socks. They are portable and work up fairly quickly. Because of this passion, scrap sock yarn has been multiplying in one of my storage baskets, and it was time to take action. I sorted through the odd-sized balls and tried to find coordinating colors and then weighed them trying to find adequate amounts for some short-cuff socks. So far, I have completed three pair (the blue ones at the bottom of the photo are now complete) and have another pair started, using the yarn on the right. Who will wear these socks? I don't have a clue, but at least the yarn has been put to use.

The Greatest Gift

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". . .I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2: 10b - 11, NIV

Christmas Past

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Nancy and Cathy R. approx. 1957 My mother loved Christmas and always made it special with all kinds of sweets, treats, and treasures - most homemade. My parents' room was strictly off limits from October through Christmas. During my childhood all of ourChristmas trees were real. The high school FFA (Future Farmers of America) sold trees at the school, at the local fire house, or at the local grocery store. Many of the trees were pathetic, and my brother would drill holes in the trunk where there were bare spots and attach some bottom branches to improve the appearance. We had "Charlie Brown" trees before the term was even penned by Charles Schultz. My mother hung tinsel on the tree, one icicle at a time. Some years the tree was literally covered with tinsel, applied one bit at a time. The tree sparkled all day in the sunlight and at night from the colorful lights. We always opened gifts on Christmas morning, but not early like most families. My excitement was hard to

Not Quite an Oddball

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The West Coast Oddball Knitting group has completed 10 blankets since July, and other blankets are near completion. You can see all of the blankets on the group blog . I started a blanket on my own in July, but Christmas knitting soon took priority. The blanket was stuffed into a bag and nearly forgotten. In my quest to finish projects before the end of 2008, I discovered the blanket. This week, I have worked on it every evening, and tonight, I finished it. In true Oddball style, I changed the stitch pattern every four inches. I hope that the coordinator can find someone who will crochet a border on the blanket so it can be added to the other completed blankets. The blanket needs a name. Any ideas? Update: Thanks to the suggestions, this blanket is being named Lime Sherbet . Update: January 22, 2009 Lime Sherbet has a border and is now officially complete. Thank you Mary for adding the border.

Last-minute Holiday Baking

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This may become your favorite fruitcake recipe. 1 c. water 1 c. sugar 4 large eggs 2 c. dried fruit 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1 c. brown sugar lemon juice nuts 1 gal. whiskey Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the highest quality. Pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 c. butter in a large, fluffy bowl. Add 1 tsp. sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still OK. Cry another tup. Turn off mixer. Break 2 legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift 2 c. salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey. Now sift the lemon juice and strain the nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don

Finally Finished

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I have no idea how long these socks have been on my needles, but I am relieved they are finally finished. The yarn is Sockotta (45% Cotton, 40% Superwash Wool, 15% Nylon) by Plymouth Yarn. I am a little disappointed that the feet of the socks do not match, but except for the toe, they are pretty close. This pair is a gift for one of the workers at the hospital. Whenever he sees me knitting on my volunteer shift, he wants to know when I am going to make him a pair of socks. I hope he will get a lot of use out of them. The yarn is a perfect weight for those who do not like a thick sock or for those who live in a warmer climate. I like to wear the ones that I have in the summer: the cotton makes them cooler, and the wool wicks the moisture away from my feet. Now, I have only a couple of extended-projects on the needles (my monster socks and a baby afghan). I hope to finish both projects by the end of the year, so I can start 2009 with a new slate of projects.

Holiday Cheer

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My knitting group met last night, and I took some small gifts that I had prepared for everyone. I made some stitch markers and attached them to a small card. Then I attached the card to a packet of Land o Lakes cocoa. The gifts were placed in a small basket, and everyone selected their favorite cocoa flavor and the stitch markers that they liked. Those who did not attend last night will select from the three remaining treats. The holiday card was printed on business card stock which was just the right size to attach the stitch markers. A birthday version of the card is also available.

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Monday, December 14, 2008 Outside My Window. . . the sky is gray, and the air is cold. It is 3 degrees, but the wind chill is -15 degrees. This morning, it was -10 (wind chill was -30) when I left for my volunteer shift. I would have preferred staying home. I am thinking. . . that Hawaii sounds pretty good right now. Hmmm, is it too late to book a Christmas flight? I am thankful... for the heated seats in my car. Nothing like a warm tush on a cold, cold day. In the kitchen... are grocery bags that need to be unpacked and the items stored in the pantry. I seem to purchase more groceries in the winter. I am wearing... sweat pants and a turtle neck. I am creating... a pair of self-striping socks, a garter stitch block for a lapghan, and another hat. I am planning... to make some treats for my neighbors. I usually make a tray of cookies or other treats as a holiday gift. I am reading... Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay. The book is interesting and well written; howeve

One a Day

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Seven hats in seven days, all from scrap and oddball wool. These hats will be given to a local charity. Since the high temperature today was only 4 degrees, I am sure they will be appreciated.

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Monday, December 8, 2008 Outside My Window. . . is a gloomy day. The sun is trying to shine through the clouds, but a storm is looming. I know the wind is blowing, as the smaller tree branches are swaying. I admire trees; they are perfect role models. Their core is strong and hardly moves when the world around them is in turmoil. My goal is to be more like a tree with my faith as the core. Though I may be assaulted with troubles and worries, I strive to withstand the brunt of the storm with my core to keep me steady. Yes, I want to be like a tree. I am thinking. . . that I can not control the actions and behavior of those around me. I can only control my own actions and thoughts. I am thankful... for the opportunity to stay home today. Normally, I volunteer on Monday mornings, but another lady wanted the shift today. I am content to stay home and be lazy. In the kitchen... my breakfast awaits: oatmeal heating in the microwave. I am wearing... my pajamas and robe. I am enjo

Just Keep Knitting, Knitting. . .

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Remember the movie "Finding Nemo"? When the search seemed impossible, Dory gave the sound advice of "just keep swimming, swimming, swimming" It also works when the yarn is piled all over the house and something must be done with it before the department of health intervenes. I made three cowls out of the blue yarn and another one out of some handspun pink/blue and started another one, using scrap sock yarn. The finished cowls are blocked and ready for gifting. Even though I liked the curled edge, they do look better blocked. Thank you for the suggestions. Then an Oddball Baby Blanket arrived in the mail. I worked on Little Boy Blue earlier, but the group needed a pinch knitter, so I volunteered. I rarely see the blankets with so many knitted sections, and it was a treat to see the progression of this blanket. Update: April 25, 2009 Little Boy Blue is finished.

Stash Buster Report

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The yarn featured in the December Pillow Talk provided two cowls (the pattern calls them gaiters), and I have enough left over for a shorter version. It is on the needles and should be finished today unless something comes up and I can't knit. I haven't decided if I want to block the cowls or not. I like the "curl" at the top and bottom, but the recipients may prefer to have a straight edge. I will have to ponder that for a while. Any suggestions? The cowl pattern is in Creative Knitting , November 2008. The stitch is called chevron lace and is an easy lace pattern.

Prayer Warrior's Update

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I am so excited to share this information. Those of you praying for Mason, the young man with pulmonary hypertension, will be pleased to hear this news, too. This was Mason's post on the PHA message board today: I'm finally back home. What a experince it was. A brief review of it what happened while I was there was, respiratory failure, kidney failure, internal bleeding, c-diff. I spent 10 days on the vent and about 15 in icu. I think about 21 or 22 days altogether. I have never been so weak after waking up from the vent. I couldn't even move myself in bed about a 10 days ago and now can stand on my own and walk a few feet. A lot of work to go but making progress. Thank you all for your support. I will post more when I'm a little more alert. I still get dizzy and tired fast." Thank you for your prayers and keep praying for Mason's recovery.

Diminishing Stash

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Stash buster #3 is off of the needles. Adult earflap hat, made with bulky wool yarn. I even used my newly acquired and very limited crochet skills to do the edging and ties. Next on the needles will be the Chevron Lace Gaiter/Cowl.

Woman Prevents Hospital Lawsuit

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Dramatic, yes, but that's my story. Auxiliary members are required to wear an identification badge while working at the hospital. Monday, my ID lanyard broke and scattered beads, literally, all over the lobby. The only option other than wait for housekeeping to come with a vacuum was to get down on my hands and knees to retrieve the hazard before they caused someone to fall and sue the hospital. Not very lady-like, but I was able to get find nearly all of them. ** Once I had the beads picked up, I set out to salvage the lanyard by restringing the beads. The beads were originally strung on wire and the wire came undone on only one side. I got the beads on the wire but could not figure out a way to secure it to guarantee that it would not come undone again. I used dental floss for the repair, and I think it is going to work great. Order has been restored and all is right with the world. ** Only my dignity was harmed in the repair of this lanyard.

December Pillow Talk

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A main goal this month is to use some yarn from my stash. This week, I finished the cranberry shawl from some "mystery" yarn that I purchased at a yard sale. It feels like wool, and I think it has some mohair in it. The shawl is for February's All Crafts for Charity project. The shawl is a simple triangle garter stitch wrap. I will use scraps yarn to make some 12 inch squares for the same project. The lavender hat is made from some wool that I got through Freecycle. A woman gave me three skeins for the wool, some needles. I used a double strand of wool for the brim to keep my ears warm on cold, winter days. She also gave me two balls of purchased wool that is labeled as unscoured wool , a new term to me. I did some research and discovered very little information, but what I did find makes me wonder if I should knit with it. However, I did find some lovely hats on this site made with unscoured wool. Has anyone had experience knitting with unscoured wool? The hank of

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Monday, December 1, 2008 Outside My Window. . . the world is dark except for my neighbor's outside light offering a glow of comfort. I am thinking. . . about putting up a few decorations for Christmas. I don't have the desire to decorate a tree so maybe I'll bring out a few pieces of Christmas cheer. I am thankful... for all the blessings the Lord has given me even though I do not deserve them. In the kitchen... the tea pot is sizzling and releasing a stream of circling steam. It's time to prepare a cup. I am wearing... a skirt and sweater I am creating... some stitch markers for the ladies in my knitting group. It is fun to select the beads to match each person's taste, but I find twisting the wire to secure them difficult. I must be doing something wrong. I am planning... the December newsletter for my support group. I am reading... Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay. The book seems so familiar to me like I have read it before, but I don't t

It's in the Cards

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Christmas is in the air, and it's time to decorate and to play your favorite carols. If you want to find some great photos for your computer desktop, look no further than the box of Christmas cards sitting on the table. Scan the cards before you begin preparing them for mailing. (I scanned the image above from my box of cards.) If you don't own a scanner, you can find some wonderful desktop photos on Jeh's Christmas Page. You will find photos of Classic Christmas Cards and even more on the Wallpaper and Desktop page. Many on this page are animated with falling snow. If you follow the links on the site, you will be taken to a multitude of Christmas pages.

Holiday Mischief

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I may be in handcuffs by Monday, so I want to share my "crime" with you today. Every Monday morning during my volunteer shift, I sit at the front desk at the hospital. For some reason a little tree in the front planter caught my eye about three weeks ago, and I began to formulate a plan. I decided that the long holiday weekend would be the best time to pull off the mischievous act. My mother used to see trees along the side of the highway and comment, "If I had a tree like that in my yard, I would decorate it." Other times, she would exclaim, "Someday, I am going to decorate that little tree." Well, today I decorated the little tree with shatter-proof ornaments in my mom's memory. I also took the suggestion of Teddybear and NatRedKnits and put a wreath on the door of my little shed. I like it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Time for a Face Lift

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Keeping up with annual, exterior maintenance is a nearly impossible chore when I cannot bend and stoop without getting light-headed and short of breath. The alternatives I've used for four years were to ignore the maintenance and to hire someone to do it for me. However, it is getting harder and harder to find someone reliable. This fall, I decided to make as many of the surfaces maintenance-free. It was time for a face lift. The deck has been sheathed in plastic composite material, made from old pop bottles, etc. All I need to do is sweep and hose it off every year. The shed no longer looks like a homesteader's hut but is encased in vinyl siding and matches the house. I am pleased with the outcome, and I am very pleased that these surfaces do not require annual maintenance.

Gifting Containers

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If you are making Christmas treats for your neighbors, for your child's teachers, for your pastor, and for the office staff look no further than your pantry for the containers. You can turn a plastic coffee container into a special gift by using the templates on Folgers ' website. The site has six templates and a blank one so you can create your own, if you wish. The only supply you will need are full-size label sheets and a printer, of course. This is a great way to recycle all those plastic containers and to save some money, too.

Thanks Giving Day

I am thankful for: • my faith helps me through difficult times. My father's illness and death when I was fifteen, a family dispute after my mother and two brothers' deaths, and my illness are the some situations that have tested my beliefs and values. The Lord has been faithful in leading me and carrying me through rough waters. • my sisters anchor me with their unconditional love. • my illness forces me to evaluate my life and my priorities. As strange as it may sound, I see it as a blessing. • my home provides me shelter and security. It is just the right size, and I am blessed to have a wonderful and caring next door neighbor. • my laptop and the Internet are invaluable to me. They help me to cope with my limitations. By using them, I am able to connect with others in all corners of the world as well as gain understanding and knowledge. • my knitting needles keep my hands and mind busy. By making items for others, I am helping myself. • chocolate and f

Down-sizing

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My great-niece called a few weeks ago with a Christmas request: a sweater for her American Girl Doll. I told her that I would try to knit one for her, but I made no promises because I did not have a pattern. A quick Google search resulted in several patterns that could be purchased, but I didn't want to spend money for a pattern that I would only use once. The free patterns I found did not appeal to me, so I asked my sister to measure the doll. Armed with those measurements, I took a baby sweater pattern that I already had and down-sized it. My sister was pleased with the result and asked me to knit another sweater for my other great-niece's baby doll.

Breaking News

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Nearly three months ago I emailed the reporter for the Health section of the only state-wide newspaper in Wyoming, the Casper Star Tribune, and requested she write a story about Pulmonary Hypertension during November. I tried to pique her interest with facts about PH. Then a three weeks later, I presented her with a packet of information and invited her to our September meeting. I hoped that she could attend and interview our members who are scattered across the state. The reporter said she was interested in the topic but that her schedule was full. I was discouraged, but hopeful. Then last week she called and interviewed me over the phone; I gave her contact information for my co-leader and another member and emailed her some photos of our group. Not knowing when the article would appear filled me with anticipation. Sunday's paper always has an ad that hints at the articles to be featured in the coming week, and when I read the paper, there was one of the photos I had sent. Ou

Pinch Knitting

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One of the knitters for Pacific Blues was unable to knit her section, so I offered to "pinch knit" on the preemie oddball blanket for the West Coast group. It knit up very quickly because it is so small. I used the yarn that accompanied the blanket, the same yarn that was used at the beginning. Update: December 12, 2008 Pacific Blues is complete.

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Monday, November 24, 2008 Outside My Window. . . a small crescent moon glows in the approaching sunrise. I am thinking. . . about my day and what I can get accomplished. Hopefully, I can connect with some people on the phone whose calls I missed on Friday. I hate playing "phone tag." I am thankful... that the Pulmonary Hypertension support group is beginning to take root in Wyoming. I think people are starting to feel comfortable with the idea and are now reaching out for more information and help. In the kitchen... the refrigerator is humming, probably because it contains the fixings for the Thanksgiving meal. Hopefully, the turkey inside will be thawed by Thursday morning. I am wearing... my yellow snowman flannel pajamas. I am creating... a prayer shawl from some donated cranberry-colored yarn. I am going... to open an online bank account this week. I thought it was probably time to join the 21st century. I am reading... the many magazines that have ar

Necessary Eyesore

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More and more wind farms are cropping up in Wyoming and additional ones are being contemplated. Wyoming is a prime area for a wind farm because the wind can be quite powerful here, and without a doubt, in some areas of the state, wind is a daily occurrence. In 1965 Lady Byrd Johnson's dream to remove the clutter of bill boards along our nations highway took root. Beautiful vistas were seen and enjoyed for over 40 years. Now, the clutter (in Wyoming at least) is definitely more obnoxious than a bill board: it is the rows and rows and rows of wind turbines that line the ridges. I know that it is important to develop cleaner methods of delivering power to our nation. I know that wind power is a "greener" option, but I miss the view . Update: November 22, 2013 Other than being an eyesore, the wind turbines are also dangerous for wildlife, especially birds. More information can be found here .

Pulmonary Hypertension Association

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The second online community I recommend for those wanting to learn more about pulmonary hypertension is the Pulmonary Hypertension Association . I especially like PHA's site because the medical information is up-to-date and accurate and approved by a panel of medical professionals. PHA's mission is to educate the public about pulmonary hypertension and to obtain funds for PH research. The web site offers information to patients, medical professionals, caregivers, and the media. Members of PHA are supporting expanded research and education, building awareness of PH and public support, and changing the history of this illness. By expanding its membership, PHA can do much more, much sooner. Membership benefits are listed here . PHA hosts an International conference every two years. It is a gathering of patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and exhibitors. The most recent conference was June 2008 in Houston. I attended the gathering and was amazed at the atmosphere: PH

Learning from the Past

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Pioneer Park in Worland, WY "Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait" ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~

Crowheart Butte

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Several months ago, I drove to the "upper country" for a quilt show. On my way home, I decided photograph this famous and distinctive landmark - Crowheart Butte. The flat-topped butte was named to commemorate a battle between Shoshone tribe's Chief Washakie and the Crow tribe's Chief, Big Robber. Chief Washakie won the battle and cut out the heart of his opponent; thus, the name, Crowheart Butte. Even though Chief Washakie was a fearless warrior, he was also a peacemaker and a progressive leader. He saw the expansion of the West and was determined to be an ally of white men. He assisted U.S. Army operations, with military forces and advice, against hostile tribes, particularly the Sioux and Cheyenne. Washakie granted right-of-way through Shoshone land in western Wyoming to the Union Pacific Railroad, aiding the completion of a coast-to-coast rail line. The Shoshone chief also sought the best for his people, requesting schools, churches, and hospitals on Shoshone

Required Reading

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Pulmonary Hypertension: A Patient's Survival Guide is an excellent book and, in my opinion, should be in every public library. This text gives accurate and up-to-date information on Pulmonary Hypertension and answers all the questions that newly diagnosed patients ask. It provides information on PH and its treatments, tests, and resources. Members of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association can purchase the book for $15; non-members, $25. At any price, the book is a bargain. Purchasing information is available here . This is the third edition of this book, and it has been translated into several foreign languages.