Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Christian and Stephanie M.
dye eggs with their Aunt Brenda
at G-ma's house 1992
I hope that all the eggs hidden in the yard or in the house were discovered and collected. After all, nothing is worse than finding a hard-boiled egg a week or more after Easter.

Easter Blessings to you and your family

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oddball Update

The Western Region Oddball Knitters have been busy. Below are the blankets that have been finished since January on which I had the honor to knit a section.

started October 2012
started October 2012
Northern Lights
started November 2012
Fruit Smoothie
started September 2012
started October 2013
Winter Storm
started December 2012
Love You Baby
started July 2012
Little Explorer
started October 2012
The Sky's the Limit
started September 2012
started August 2012
Back to Nature
started June 2012
Snow Cone
started July 2012
Baby Oh Baby
started September 2012

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sand Box

Sand Box
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started March 2013

Size 8 needles, using 126 stitches
Caron Simply Soft (Bone)
Box stitch

Update: September 8, 2013

Update: January 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carving A Path

Brenda and Marilyn M.
(my niece and sister)
standing in the Oregon Trail Ruts
near Guernsey, WY
circa mid-1970s
In 2009, I wrote about the Oregon Trail winding through Wyoming. In my opinion, the most preserved section of the Oregon Trail is in Southeastern Wyoming near Guernsey. The ruts at that location are carved from solid rock as the wagon trains made their way over the hillside.

Dwight, Marilyn, and Brenda M.
(my nephew, sister, and niece)
circa mid-1970s
In the 1970s the ruts were accessible via a cement path straight up the hill. Today, the Oregon Trail ruts are easily accessible, even to the handicapped, via a meandering cement walkway wide enough for a wheelchair. Alongside the current pathway are benches so weary visitors can rest. It is still possible to stand in the ruts and to feel the rock that was steadily worn down by wagons and carts from 1836 - 1869.

Oregon Trail ruts
south of Guernsey, WY
circa 1978
The photo above gives a clear view of the hill's incline. The ruts offer not only a glimpse into the westward migration of the pioneers but also provide a testament to their character. These images reveal that the way was not easy. The ruts illustrate that the determined pioneers forged ahead day after day towards something that they had never seen: they had a goal, and they persevered. In this area, the pioneers carved the trail out of solid rock, and over 150 years later that path can still teach many lessons.

Did any of your ancestors travel the Oregon Trail?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Deep Blue Sea

Deep Blue Sea
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started March 2013

Size 6 needle, using 118 stitches
Caron Simply Soft (Oceana)
Checks and Ridges stitch

Update: July 14, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Foreign Friday - Guest Post

Sign at Todaiji Temple
Nara, Japan
April 2012
Sheila's photo illustrates that the Japanese allow pets on the grounds of the Tadaiji Temple, but dogs must be carried and not on a leash.

Sheila mentioned a wooden column with a hole through its base and that it is a popular belief that those who can squeeze through the hole will gain enlightenment. Sheila was adventurous and made it through the tunnel. 

Sheila's other photos can be seen here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, 
places to play in and pray in, 
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
~ John Muir ~

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; 
for beauty is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament. 
 Welcome it in every fair face, 
in every fair sky, 
in every fair flower, 
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.

 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

How do you define Beauty?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Apple of My Eye

Apple of My Eye
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started December 2012
Originally, I planned to knit a red section on this blanket, but when the blanket arrived at my house, it didn't seem appropriate. Red would have been too much for this precious blanket, so I played it safe and added a stripe of light green.

Size 8 needles - 121 stitches
I used Caron Simply Soft (Pistachio) for my four-inch section
Stitch pattern: Checks and Ridges

Update: May 7, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back in Time - Mrs. Bond

Fern Bond
Sixth Grade Teacher
Pavillion, WY
circa 1962 or 1963
Mrs. Bond was my sixth grade teacher. Actually, I think she taught every one of my brothers and sisters. She appeared to be a gruff lady; however, she was a softy once you got to know her.

No one messed around in Mrs. Bond's class: she was all business. One thing that she pounded into our heads was the difference between "picture" and "pitcher" and how enunciation was important for communication. The picture of George Washington hanging on the wall behind her desk was often used to illustrate her point. Whenever I see that picture today, I remember her insistence in enunciation.

Mrs. Bond was special to me because she went out of her way to help me when I was in her class. I broke both bones in my leg the summer of 1962, and started school that fall with a heavy plaster cast from my toes to the middle of my thigh. Mrs. Bond's classroom was on the second story of the brick building. Every morning, she met me at the bottom of the stairs and helped me up staircase. She helped me down the stairs to go to the bathroom and back up the stairs to class. I had the cast for 17 weeks, and she helped me every day during that time. It was during those long weeks that I discovered Mrs. Bond was a softy.

Long after she retired and I had a classroom of my own in Wheatland, I wrote to Mrs. Bond. I wanted her to know how much I appreciated her help and how much she meant to me.

Did you have a teacher who made an impact on your life?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ribbon Candy

Ribbon Candy
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started November 2012

I knit the last section on Ribbon Candy. I used some scrap balls of pink, red, lime green, and white for my garter stitch section.

Knit on size 8 needles and 126 stitches. Now, it's off to get a border.

Update: April 1, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Foreign Friday

Along the Nakajima River
Nagasaki, Japan
April 1980
These homes are on the bank of the Nakajima River in Nagasaki, near Spectacle Bridge. A previous post of this area can be found here.

The rock wall is typical of those that surround castles in this area.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wee Willie Wonka

Wee Willie Wonka
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started December 2012
This Oddball Baby Blanket will have "chocolate" in each four-inch section. I decided to add a chocolate mint section, using Caron Simply Soft (Chocolate and Soft Sage).

Knit on size 6 needles and 110 stitches

Update: May 7, 2013

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Leanin' Side

Frequently, I find some gems in my inbox. Dorothy sent the following last week, and while it was new to me, no doubt, it has been circulating the internet for years. If you've seen it before, my apologies.

The essay is not mine, but the photos of abandoned buildings in this post are some I took several years ago. Sadly, many all of these old buildings are no longer standing.

Abandoned shed
near Provo, SD
June 2011
Every time I
 am asked to
 pray, I think of the old 
fellow who
 always prayed, 
'Lord, prop us 
up on our 
leanin' side.'


After hearing
 him pray that 
prayer many
 times, someone 
asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently. 

Old barn and corrals
north of Laramie, WY
Spring 1976
He answered, 'Well, it's like this. I got an old barn out back. It's been there a long time; it's withstood a lot of weather; it's gone thru a lot of storms, and it's stood for many years. It's still standin’. 

Old house
near Esterbrook, WY
Autumn 1977
 But one day I noticed it was leanin’ to one side a bit. So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leanin’ side so it wouldn't fall.

Abandoned shed
near Provo, SD
June 2011
Then I got to thinkin’ ‘bout how much I was like that old barn. I’ve been around a long time. I've withstood a lot of life's storms. I've withstood a lot of bad weather in life. I've withstood a lot of hard times, and I'm still standin’, too. 

But I find myself leanin’ to one side from time to time, so I ask the Lord to prop me up on my leanin’ side, 'cause I figure a lot of us get to leanin’ at times. 

Old cabin
north of Lander, WY
date unknown
Sometimes we get to leanin’ toward anger, leanin’ toward pettiness, leanin’ toward lies, leanin’ toward gossip, leanin’ toward bitterness, leanin’ toward hatred, 
leanin’ toward
leanin’ toward a lot
 of things that we shouldn’t.

So we need to
 pray, 'Lord,
 prop us up on
 our leanin'
 side, so we’ll stand 
straight and tall again, to glorify the

* * * * *

From now on, I'll pray for Lord to prop me up on the leanin' side.

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