Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Knitting towards the new year

You've been quiet in the comments, friends. Like me, you've probably been busy during the holidays. Well, tonight I'm ending the year in blissful solitude! Early this afternoon Brian had the opportunity to go swimming with my neighbor friend's grandkids, spent the rest of the afternoon with Rick, then campaigned (successfully) to go to the church's New Year's Eve social. I got to stay home, enjoy a visit from my friend who is home from Saipan for Christmas (until tomorrow), ride my horse, and do some knitting – to which I will return upon finishing this post.

Since Christmas I've been working on this lacy red mohair moebius wrap for a senior friend at church, and this evening I cast on one of Romi's new patterns to join in on a New Year's Eve KAL on Ravelry.

We actually got a little sun today, after waking to more fog – and a few raindrops! We could use a lot more of those raindrops; so far we are experiencing the second driest year on record. But last year we had the second wettest year on record; that's the weather for you. We get what we get, and might as well make the best of it!

Maybe I'll head down and get chores done rather than wait until my guys get home. Then Rick and I can just enjoy some quiet couple time before turning in for the last night of 2013.

I'll be back next year, reporting from . . .

Friday, December 27, 2013

The job of fog

“In nature, everything has a job. The job of the fog is to beautify further the existing beauties!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Our world has been shades of pale gray for days. This morning during chores I saw three big, beautiful Western gray squirrels cavorting round a big maple in the sheep lot (under observation of Blake, who eventually walked over and banished them from his kingdom). I managed to get two of them in the same frame, but shooting through the fog gave disappointing results.

But as I continued doing chores, I spotted wee details beautified (and best biggified) by the fog's condensing moisture, frozen overnight. There were bits of wool on fences,


and webs.

Chores done, I headed back to the house feeling richer by far!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dressy pressie and other surprises

Brace yourself; I took a selfie (and I'm using internet slang; HELP!):

This Christmas was full of both surprises and non-surprises, equally appreciated. The velvety, rhinestone-studded hoody I'm wearing in the photo was a surprise from a friend. Another friend surprised me with the cute sheepy denim apron; the trio of special treats is from my sister.

The biggest surprise arrived in a mystery box. It was postmarked from a town in which I know no one, and the card with the wrapped gift inside said, "Merry Christmas, Michelle" . . . with an indecipherable signature. I racked my brain all day – and finally guessed that the signature said "Ed," which meant the package was the Lark Jenkins Turkish spindle I had requested when I gave Ed the bubinga boards from my dad. But when I opened the package Christmas Eve, it was not one but FIVE Jenkins Turkish spindles – he made me a complete family of his spindles out of the bubinga!
The new ones are all naked; Daddy Egret is at the rear
Besides the Christmas Eve concession, Rick was sweet enough to get me exactly what I asked for, even though he prefers to surprise. Since my middle-aged eyes struggle with the type in my Bible, I requested a large print New Living Translation. He also got me some highlighters made specifically for the thin pages of a Bible, and Brian got me the matching leather Bible case. In addition, Brian got me another rain gauge because the one he gave me last year cracked in our extended cold snap. (A pair of F.I.T.S breeches from Rick are on their way, but they haven't arrived yet.)

So there you have (most of) it. It feels a little awkward to share, but I do enjoy reading about and seeing the tokens of love that have warmed your heart so decided to join in.

That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Too many blessings for one post!

Thanks to a link on Adrienne's blog, I am listening to a beautiful rendition of Silent Night while typing this. My heart is full of thankfulness and peace; my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are unfolding in near perfection. For the first time in 30 Christmases together, we opened presents last night as my family always did, rather than on Christmas morning as Rick's family does. It may sound strange, but that was the nicest present my husband could have given me! To get some other wonderful gifts on top of that was loads of delicious icing on the cake; I'll share some of those in a later post. For now, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, along with plenty to eat,

fine woolens to keep you warm,
good friends,

satisfying vocations and avocations,

and time for a little fun now and then!

Thankful most of all for God's unfathomable love, at . . .

Monday, December 23, 2013

Not quite "sleigh" bells, but "lovely weather"

I had a short to-do list yesterday. Good thing, too, as I only got ONE thing crossed off – and that was to ride my horse! (I know; I demand a lot of myself. Ha!)

We got off to a slow start. Brian burst into our bedroom at 7:00, full of energy and questions. But then he crawled into bed between us and we all fell asleep again – until 9:00! It's been awhile since that has happened, with our boy getting so big and all.

Anyway, after doing chores, I suggested we go for a horseback ride together. Rick pondered that, and decided it might be fun if we could "play" with cows. A long-time friend of his usually has a few steers, so we hauled to his place. With Rick's old cutting horse now gone, all our mounts are clueless, so everything we did was slow, easy, one-on-one introductory work. Then we cooled them out with a short but lovely trail ride through the woods.

Home again, we unloaded horses and tack, cleaned up, and headed to town for caroling. For the second year in a row, one of Rick's draft horse clients brought a team and wagon to convey members of our church around the neighborhood to sing carols and wish everyone we see a blessed and merry Christmas. (This is the same client who has had Brian drive for him at the State Fair the last two years.) 
Gracie on the left and Emma on the right
I walked the whole route in order to take photos, get my exercise, and keep those beautiful brass bells jingling when we stopped periodically for people to listen or come out and pet the horses. The weather was lovely and it is such fun to spread some Christmas cheer in our community!

Calling "Yoo hoo," from . . .

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sweet dreams starting soon

We had a full, fun, family day which has left us pooped. I'll share about our fine times with equines tomorrow.

Nodding off at . . .

Friday, December 20, 2013

All is calm – at least momentarily

After a busy week and even busier day (as Fridays always are), the beginning of the Sabbath hours is a welcome respite. As a child, one of my favorite Friday night traditions were the candles my mom lit around the house. I don't always light candles, but tonight, just before supper, I did.
I had the house to myself for a few minutes, so I turned turned off all lights except for the Christmas decorations and candles.

Sacred Christmas music played softly in the background, and there was peace on earth.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Two great lights

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.
—Genesis 1:16

Last night when I went out to do chores, a full moon was sailing through the clouds. The moon!

This morning when I went out to do chores, the sun was shining. The sun! Shining on a heavy frost, all the sogginess transformed into crystal and lace. Suddenly I saw inspiration everywhere.
I even played with a new-to-me feature on Mr. Lumix, the "Pinhole" setting:


I don't think of myself as much affected by weather. But yesterday was a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" (in quotes because I do realize how minor my problems were in the greater scheme of things), leaving me feeling as foggy and soggy as the atmosphere. (Yes, I shed tears . . . in my hairdresser's chair, no less.) But things did get better towards the end. A dear friend provided the listening ear I needed, my son's attitude and behavior improved (we're at that stage that sheds light on why some animals eat their young), and my husband did everything right. He took Brian for the afternoon, he rubbed my shoulders unbidden, and when he came back from a late-evening emergency he brought this
I kid you not! Yep, I'm keeping him. ;-)


Please visit Susan's blog and share some long-distance love. She had to say good-bye to her Bernice this morning. All of us who have been blessed with those best friends and guardian angels known commonly as dogs know too well the pain of losing them too soon. Always too soon….

That's it for now from . . .