Baby, It's Cold Outside!
Eight degrees F, to be precise! And we even have snow on the ground! Mr. Red Squirrel is glad we keep the bird feeder stocked with sunflower seeds. He is so incredibly quick - it was difficult to get a photo:
Frigid Sundays are for... Packer Games! Jeff and Tori enjoy the show:
Have you ever seen a dog this relaxed? Every Sunday, you can find her in Jeff's lap.
In Fibery News...
I hem stitched, fixed floats, fulled, and finished the chenille and railroad yarn scarf from the January/February 2005 issue of "Handwoven". (Thank goodenss for mechanical fringe twisters!) The article is titled, Weekend Weaver: Night Lights Scarf in Chenille and Knitting Ribbon by Karen Tenney.
Though I threaded it incorrectly (the text of the pattern said "2 per dent in the reed" but the draft indicated 2/1/2/1 - and I'm not that good with drafts yet!), it still came out really soft and drapey, and not too much thinner than intended:
I think the multicolored yarn against the black chenille looks like Christmas lights on houses at night. Do you go out driving around in the evenings, to enjoy all the decorations? I'm going to make a Thermos of cocoa and go out the next time it snows...
Thanks to Pamela, I now know how to do waffle weave on a rigid heddle loom with a pickup stick - and that's what I've started this week:
I used stash yarns (as with the chenille scarf - got to save my money for hippotherapy - see below!) They are a 4/4 cotton for the warp, and 8/4 and 8/2 cottons (both at once) for the weft.
So far, so good!
The cold weather has recently wreaked havoc with my skin. My eyelids were cracked and raw - and too sensitive for anything I tried to put on them. So I consulted Natural Beauty At Home by Janice Cox, and concocted not only a non-stinging, soothing, healing eye cream that worked overnight, but also a gentle lavender and glycerine toner, an olive oil-based cleansing cream, and some lanolin hand lotion for Jeff's cracked knuckles. All are fantastic and really easy to make!
Since I was in the kitchen anyway (rare event!), I made some rosemary olive oil bread, and two loaves of onion caraway rye - one for us and one which we gave to Jeff's grandfather this morning at our Sunday coffee date.
Jeff is making beef stock today - between the smells of baking bread and roasting beef, the dogs are just going bonkers!
Coming up - roast beef, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (I can't help it, I love that stuff!) and my homemade plum pudding for Yule on Tuesday! YUM!
I recently had to fill out a medical report that itemized things I can no longer do due to my... physical different-abilities (which shall remain nameless because I refuse to continue to label-ize myself, thereby subconsciously limiting my optimistic outlook!)
I got so angry and sad when I had to write, "...can no longer take ballet classes... can no longer do aerobics... can no longer power walk... can no longer go horseback riding..." That last one made me literally burst into tears.
"Buck up!" I said to myself. "You might not be able to go over jumps, or even canter any more, but you can probably still sit on a horse, groom one, or at least pet one... and dang if we aren't going to find out where you can do it! You're going to be 40 this year - do you really intend never to get on a horse again?"
"Right-o!" myself answered. Off I went to pick out the black velvet helmet I never had as a girl, along with paddock boots, half-chaps, and skintight riding pantaloons. Who cares if I needed a size Large? Who cares if I look like a complete poseur? I am going to be 40 this year and, like Women Of A Certain Age wearing purple, I'm wearing the damn velvet helmet before I die!
I found a great, young trainer who works with a student with MS, and explained my concers to her. She was completely understanding of my limitations, and... the rest is history - or, I should say, hippotherapy! Here I am on Wizzard:
It might take me two hours to stretch on lesson day, and an hour to get into my clothes, and a couple of hours for stretching and an epsom salt soak afterwards - and it sometimes hurts like the Dickens - but dang if it isn't worth it! For that half -hour (or however long I can take), all of my concerns, worries, aches, and frustrations are gone, and I am in the flow. It is better than meditation, anti-inflammatories, gingerbread lattes, Cabernet, and Christmas all rolled up into one - just heaven - even on a lazy old boy like this guy!
Wizzard is a gentle, four-year-old registered Paint Quarter Horse, trained for Western pleasure and English jumping (no, of course I don't!), and he is for sale for $5,000 -(too rich for my blood for sure!) If you are independently wealthy and interested, you can contact Whisperwood Acres.
And now, I want to remind you of something. It is not your job (no matter what all those commercials on TV would have you believe) to anticipate and fulfill the gift wishes of everyone you know. That's a load of hooey.
It is your right, should you so chose, to give a gift from the heart - whether it be handmade or purchased, a knit hat or a flashlight from the hardware store. If it is something you feel the recipient would enjoy, and you truly want to give it, and it is not a financial hardship for you, then you are doing great!
Do not believe any commercial that implies that you a) have to spend a wad of money, or b) are responsible for the level of appreciation of your recpients. The former is because they are trying to sell you a bunch of crud, and.. the latter? Well, if your recipients aren't gracious enough to appreciate the thought behind your gift (if not your gift itself), then they are the kind of people you will make yourself crazy trying to please... and life's too short for you to be burdened by The Unhappies and Won't-Be-Made-Happies of this world!
The advertising companies know that you, my sweet ones, have the desire to please The Unpleasables in your life, and they are preying upon your good intentions to get you to spend your money. Don't fall for it! That's how they make their money!
So give your gift, and give yourself a gift, too - once it's out of your hands, let it be out of your mind as well!
Peace be with you!
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