Saturday, December 13, 2014

Knitting Projects - Mitts

The nieces and nephews this year are receiving mitts for Christmas.  When I asked my sister what the kids would like, her response was they don't need anything, but would LOVE anything hand made.    Other years I have knitted them socks, slippers and scarves.  All of which are easy to mail.

So this year it's mitts... custom made to their hands and taste.  I used an old Patons pattern - mitts on 2 needles and added a cable on the green pair and some rows of seed stitch on the charcoal pair.  Yarn used was a washable wool blend.

The gold fish are back inside after being outside all summer in the rain barrels eating mosquito larvae.  They are much bigger than they were when I first got them four years ago. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Simple Joys

There are some things in life that are so simple yet give much joy.

The laughter of a child,

my rosemary plant blooming for the first time
Christmas Cactus starting to bloom
a new shoot on my orchid..... which means it will be flowering soon
My shamrock blooming
a new ball of yarn

Friday, December 5, 2014

Knitting Projects - Scarf

I'm sharing the first of the Christmas knitting - a reversible easy to knit winter scarf.

This pattern is a free Ravelry download - called The Dudester Scarf.  Knitted in worsted weight with Size 7 (4.5 mm) needles.   I used two skeins of washable wool yarn by "Vintage".  

The pattern is easy to memorize and knitted up quickly.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Count Down is On...

Christmas knitting count down is in full swing.  This year I have knitted a number of items, but can't share all yet as some family members do see my posts. 

Christmas knitting started earlier this year as I have family far and wide and needed to post them last week so they would arrive on time.  For those closer to home, I'm almost done.

December comes too quickly and the month is too busy between year-end activities at work and other commitments.  Starting early this year and keeping things simple has lessened the hustle-bustle and stress and allow time to really enjoy and remember the real reason for this season.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Elf on the Shelf

Now that we are Grandparents we are slowly being re-educated on the toy industry.  I am not one for commercialism, nor getting on the band-wagon for the latest and greatest stuff.  We are minimalists and in the process of trying to downsize.  

One of the most recent crazes is "Elf on the Shelf".   The story goes; Santa has scout elves, which he sends from the North Pole to watch and listen to children during the day.  Each night the elf flies back to the North Pole and reports back to Santa to help him with the "naughty or nice" list.  Each morning the elf is back before the children wake up in a different place in the house.  Children love to wake up and race around looking for the elf each morning.

Growing up my mother had a few elves that would come out each Christmas and would sit in the tree or in various Christmas decorations.    These elves sure took a beating as we would play with them by the hour.

Recently my mother gave me all these elves.  Some were in sad shape.  This one here was loosing his head, his hat was nearly gone and his body in bad shape. 
So, I decided to give it a new body using a little bit of flannel fabric in red and white.
I took apart it's body and used the existing body as a pattern and cut out new parts and sewed them together by hand. 

I re-used the existing stuffing - straw in the main part it's body.  The legs and arms were rolled up newspaper.  By the looks of the newspaper, you have an idea where this first elf was originally made. 
Wish I could read what this newspaper says.

This elf has a new body and has been adopted by a new home now.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Cluttered Mind ...

The mind is cluttered....
Too many things to think about ...
Lists were made.... then forgotten ....
The mind is racing ...
Concentration is gone ......
Can't think clearly ... 
The mind is scattered ....
The heart races ....
The head hurts .....
Bump into things.....
I am clumsy..
Making mistakes .....
Forget where I'm going .... 
Feeling light headed...
Tears come easy ....

Then the worry sets in ....
At least sleep comes easy these days, just can't seem to get enough ....
I'm wearing too many hats...too many responsibilities  ....
At times it becomes too overwhelming......

Am I stressed ?   Are these the signs of burnout?
Must keep healthy .... must stay strong....

A break is needed to clear the head.......
For now my breaks come hiking in the woods ... away from work, responsibilities ....

There, I said it.  Phew, feel better just writing it down instead of churning around in my head.  Going back over previous posts I noticed lately that they are mostly about being outdoors.  This is where I get regenerated.  

A couple of weeks ago I went to an event and the guest speaker was a young woman, who had decided she wanted to run the entire Bruce Trail in 20 days.  The Bruce Trail - is the longest hiking trail in Ontario, from Niagara Falls to Tobermory - 895 km.  She accomplished her goal this past summer. 

She was such an inspirational speaker, and everyone in the room hung onto every word she said.  She described her run in away that I had not seen the Bruce Trail before.    She described the smell of the earth, trees and forest, the feel of moss under her hands, the bark on the trees and the drum beat of the rocks under her feet.    She is legally blind, born with just 8 percent vision.   She had guide runners and relied on blind faith and trust of her guides to keep her on her path.

As such as in life, blind faith and trust keeps us on track.

Last weekend before the snow came, I was out on the trails, away from the noise of the world and  I listened to the trees and the sounds around me.   I stopped and looked and tried to feel and smell the woods as this trail runner had.    It was an invigorating hike and climbing the hills left me breathless at times.  For a couple of hours was lost in nature and took in what it had to offer.  I was able to leave the stresses behind for just a little while and came back refreshed and ready to start another week.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Big Decision

It was a big decision, but in the end it had to be done. 

Took me a while to make the decision.  I had been thinking about it since the ice storm we had last winter and the damage to our only tree in our back yard.

Many limbs were damaged, and still hanging in the top of our over 100 foot Norway Maple which towered over our two story house.

Took weeks before we could get anyone to come and even look at the tree.  Tree companies have been extremely busy since last winter's ice storm.  In the end after leaving messages for about five tree companies to call me... only one called back.  

We were told the tree was beyond its prime.   There was considerable ice damage and many weak limbs which, once this winter's snow ice got into them they would come down.  The tree was planted too close to the house and the root base was mainly on one side of the tree.  We've been lucky there has been no damage to the house foundation.  But, the tree roots have destroyed the underground plumbing to the pool.  

When we moved into this house seven years ago we had a major trim done to the tree.  It looked beautiful.   It gave us wonderful shade on those hot summer days and kept the house cooler upstairs.  It gave us privacy too in the back bedroom window.   

We had a choice... to trim again or to take it down.   After much thought (I'm a tree lover), we decided to have it taken down.   The tree wasn't healthy any more and a good strong wind could bring it down because the root base was mainly on one side of the tree and we were concerned for our neighbours, as the tree most likely would fall in their direction and crush their roof.   

The day came and three young guys came and took it down.  They started at 7:30 am and didn't finish until late afternoon and barely took a break.  In the end, rot had already started in the main trunk of the tree, so it was time.   

So much deliberation over a tree seems silly in the whole scheme of life when so much other "stuff" is going on in this crazy world.

Winter has come early for us this year.   We didn't get nearly the amount of snow our neighbours to the south of us in Buffalo did.   The roads here were terrible to drive on, lots of ice.  One day driving home the highway was just a skating rink and took every ounce of energy I had to stay on the road.   Cars were in the ditch and some were upside down.  The early winter has caught the public works depts off guard, so little was done for salting and sanding.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First Snow of the Season

I woke up this morning to the first snow of the season.    It won't last as we are due for plus temperatures this week. 

Nevertheless, still went out for a three hour hike through the woods.  Air was fresh and crisp and silence was golden. 



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Day in the Woods

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree. 

Emily Jane Bronte 


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving.

I went out on a hike this morning and picked up some leaves 
off the ground and brought them home to make something 
decorative for our Thanksgiving table.  

I rolled up the leaves one at time and created some
flowers for a center piece


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone !

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