Friday, April 26, 2024

Another Week of Blessings

This has been a whirlwind week.  And it has been a week of blessings.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives from week of many activities.  The link will take you to Susanne's blog where you will find lots and lots more weekly blessings

1.  Today we have had sunshine!  After many cold and cloudy days, it was wonderful to wake up to sun.  Driving home this morning from my Bible Study group, I reveled in the bright green of lawns and trees and in the white, pink, blue, purple and yellow blossoms which sparkled in the sun.  Sometimes, we forget to appreciate the beauty that is right in front of our eyes, and this morning I was thankful for this reminder.

2.  On Saturday, a friend and I drove an hour north to Amish country to attend a health/wellness/herbalism conference.  The conference was great and I learned some important information. An added bonus is that we were across the road from Lehman's which is a large store stocked with so much interesting stuff.  I needed a replacement chimney for my old oil lamp (which I love to use) and this store is the only place I have been able to find one.  I always enjoy my trips with this friend.

Amish farmer plowing his field

Drive slowly and carefully in Amish Country because there is often slow traffic on the roads.

3.  Our local beekeeper came this week to check on our hive.  Every time he comes, I learn something more about the bees.  We were also pleased to know and see that our hive is healthy and thriving.

4.  After two weeks of not being able to meet with our coffee friends T and S because of sickness at their house, we had a great coffee and conversation time with them (and one other friend) on Thursday morning.  Their fellowship always is an encouragement and joy to both The Professor and me.

5.  We always enjoy walking with our children grandchildren and granddogs.  This week we have had a few opportunities to get out and walk with them.  Yesterday, we walked 4.25 miles on part of the TJ Evans Trail which weaves along the local stream, Raccoon Creek.  The weather was perfect.  The scenery was joyous.  The puppies behaved.

Bonus:  there are always fascinating barns everywhere!

Note the hawk flying in sky

NOTE:  if you didn't see the post I wrote about my fair isle sweater, you will find it just below this post.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

A Fair Isle Sweater

 Several years ago, I was given some sheep wool fiber.  If my memory is correct, it was from a Jacob wool sheep.  With daughter Mia's help, I cleaned, washed, carded the fleece.  Then, because there was so much of it, I sent it to a place that finished the carding and made several balls of roving.

Then I spun it on my Lendrum spinning wheel.

I decided I wanted to dye it and had heard that Kool Aid makes a great dye.  Think about it.  Have you ever spilled Kool Aid drink on your shirt, or had your child spill on his/her clothes?  It never never washes out.  It's a permanent dye.

And then the yarn just sat there in my stash.  Well, not completely.  I did make some outfits for Eleanor Elizabeth from the yarn.

Finally, in March, I decided that this would be the year I would use the yarn to make a fair isle sweater to wear when I visit Ireland and England in June.  The weather should be cool enough for me to wear a wool sweater, right?  Particularly in Ireland.

So I embarked on an adventure to find just the right pattern.  After browsing many many pinterest photos, numerous knitting books and blogs, I chose the Trek pattern by Tin Can Knits.

I finished the sweater just in time to wear this weekend when the weather decided to cool down into the 40s.

I am really pleased with the final results.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Mid April Faves

It's Friday afternoon.  The sun is peeking out from behind grey rain clouds.  It's time to pause in my week and focus on some good things from my week.  Some weeks are momentous and some weeks are just normal.  This one has been mostly normal.  And I'm thankful for that.  Here are five fairly normal things for which I am thankful this week.  My Friday Fave Fives:

1.  We've had a weather wild week.  Fortunately, as far as we can tell, nothing broke, fell over or flooded.  I am definitely thankful for safety in wild weather.

2.   Garden started.  This week, I tempted the temperatures and planted my tomato, spinach, and kale starts in the garden.  Then I added basil, marigolds and cilantro from the local nursery.  We did have those very strong wind/rain/thunderstorms, but the plants have declared, "We're not dead, yet!"  Hopefully, everything will survive and thrive.

3.  On Tuesday, we drove an hour north and met our friends who drove an hour south to meet in the middle for lunch.  We always enjoy our time with them as our friendship goes back more than two decades from when we attended the same church, and she and I worked at the same Christian school (different campuses).

4.  Another fun thing about driving to meet them is that we took a 'scenic alternate route' and enjoyed seeing another section of our new to us state.  And there were barns to photograph!

a fancy red barn

two old faded red barns

a falling down barn

5.  Last night, I finished the Fair Isle sweater that I've been knitting.  My handspun yarn, hand dyed by me, and now knitted into a sweater.  I am hoping to get some photos taken soon.

And that's a wrap on this week.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Eclipses, Coffee, Movies

Make the Friday Fave Five List!

This has been a week of nearly constant activity.  Wow.  I thought that retirement was a time of rest and relaxation.  Silly me.  But all the activities were ones that have brought me great joy and thankfulness.  When I write my Friday Fave Fives, I always reflect back on the week and am reminded of all these activities and all the joy.

1.  Everyone has been talking about the eclipse.  Yes, we live in one of the states that experienced totality/100%.  Yes, we could have driven to a place where we could experience it.  But we decided that a bit over 99% was good enough.  Therefore, since our home had the best viewing spot, we gathered here at the cottage and pulled out our lawn chairs on the patio.  The eclipse was truly amazing!

My camera didn't take great photos because I didn't have the right lens.  But Little Warrior devised a way to get better pictures using the eclipse glasses.  (I'm trying to get the photos downloaded to my computer but it's not cooperating well)

2.  Afterwards, everyone just hung around.  We ate dinner and watched another part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  We own the extended version, so there are (I think) six movies.  On Saturday evening we had watched the second half of The Fellowship of the Rings (first book), so Monday night, we watched the first half of Two Towers (second book).  Popcorn and ice cream were included.

3.  We had two coffee times this week.  On Saturday we gathered with all the adults who are going on the England section of our summer trip.  Younger Daughter worked out all the various flight schedules and got everyone booked.

4.  Second coffee time was impromptu time with Younger Daughter.  We chatted and knitted and knitted.  And of course, Eleanor loved tagging along.  She doesn't knit, but she loves her coffee.

5.  We have been wanting to have a bradford pear tree removed from our front yard.  Since that tree is an invasive species and no longer allowed to be sold in our state, we decided we'd remove it and replace it with a native tree.  A man in our church is an arborist and owns a tree care company, so we arranged for him to come and remove the tree (and some arborvitae bushes that are growing too close to the house and too high).  He and his crew worked so fast!  We are thankful to have that garden chore checked off our list and done quickly, cleanly and professionally.




Friday, April 05, 2024


How can it be the first week of April?  This year 2024 is racing by.  I try to stop daily and weekly to consider all the blessings of my day/week.  Each evening before I sleep, I jot down in a journal the blessings and events of the day.  If I didn't do that, I'd forget.  When Friday arrives, I can better remember what happened during the week so I can post my Friday Fave Fives and share them with you. (the link takes you to Susanne's blog and you can read more FFFs)

1.  Easter Sunday.  It is one of my favorite days of the year because we celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection.

2.  Some family members were sick last week and during the weekend, so we didn't do any family dinner for Easter.  Sunday evening, grandkids and younger daughter did pop over for a couple of hours to watch a movie and eat popcorn.  I appreciate so much living nearby so we can do these impromptu get togethers.

3.  Our weather has been quite 'active'.  On Tuesday evening, we were under a tornado watch.  Fortunately, we did not have to run to the basement.  But we did have rain, wind, thunder and lightning.  Other areas did have tornadoes touching down, and there was some home damage.  Our area missed it.  I am thankful we have a good weather prediction system, so we know when to be careful.

4.  Between all the storms, we were able to take two walks along the rivers in our area to find out how high the rivers were flooding.  Yes, there is flooding.  Even so, the views were crazy because we could see just how high the water levels were.  And, we got in those walks.

Do you see the huge log up against the bridge?  We watched it flow down the river and there it was, banged up against the bridge we crossed to get home.

5.  I offered to do an embroidery project for someone for an Easter present.  I was able to add the year to the bottom of a new bunny's feet.   While it took longer than I expected, I did enjoy the challenge of designing it.  And Eleanor Elizabeth was excited to spend time with another bunny!

And a small white flower to make you smile.