We felted today

These little guys are so homely they are cute. Almost. Angora goats with lots of hair. Fiber. I love fiber. I sheered my first goat last fall and still had all of the wool from the sheering. Was not really sure what I was going to do with it, but I was really excited that I had actually done it. They were pretty dirty and kind of smelly, but once I cleaned all of locks they were so soft and curly and the lanolin on the wool feels so good on your hands. The wool has been sitting with all of my stuff, staring me down. Challenging me to come up with something to create with it. I am a terrible spinner so that was completely out of the question. Then while on a kindergarten field trip at the Eggbournsville Farm it hit me! The children could felt wool around bars of soap. Why this came to me while the children were leading Lamas through an obstacle course I do not know. It would be a fun, easy project that they could do and they would have a mothers day gift when they were done. The teacher was excited when I told her about it, she said “great, lets do it on Thursday!”

Crap. Why do I do this to myself.

I collected my stuff. Soap from the Dollar store. Dyed wool from the neighbor to embellish the white wool I already had. A wash board from another neighbor, along with little wooden mats they use to make sushi. A carder to card the wool. Wash tubs and towels for the table. My laptop so I could show the kids the pictures I had taken of them while they were at the farm. I needed to make one more stop before heading to the school. A trip to a local downtown hardware store that carries everything, to buy another washboard. This also happens to be right across from a coffee shop, decaf please. I was set.

Oops, I forgot my power cord for my laptop better run back home to get it. Got it! Off to the school.

I get to the school and I am in the classroom and realize that I have forgotten the soap at home. Rats! OK, I have time to run home and get it. While I am home I remember that I could use baking racks to dry the soap and maybe I will use the Sizzex to make tags. Grab it. Got it. Head back to the school. Get half way to the school and realize that I have forgotten the soap AGAIN! Back to the house. Get the soap. Back to school. This is all because I have given up caffeine. I miss my coffee.

Twenty-one kindergartners and twenty-one bars of soap and LOTS of bubbles later we had felted soap. They did a great job. I hope they like their gifts.

The kiss

I have taken on the task of converting all of my father-in-laws slides to digital. That would be fifty years of pictures, thank you very much. The slides start when they were dating to about 10 years ago. I jump around the decades doing a box here and there. I have been on vacations with them, his graduation from medical school and the birth of their three children. I have met almost everyone in the photos at one time or another and it is so interesting to see them as children.
I love this photo. It is genuine. There is nothing posed about it. It was taken in the late 60’s and I wish I could remeber the type and year of the car they are leaning agianst. Susan is getting ready to celebrate her birthday and I made this into a birthday card for her. I think she will really like it. I just love it!

A beautiful sight

The most amazing things happened this weekend.
Being “laid up” and not being able to lift anything over 10lbs can be a little frustrating. I decided to use it to my advantage and take pictures instead of working in the yard. I shoot with a Nikon D50 and this lens is a 105mm macro, it is just an amazing lens with great bokeh. Isn’t that a fun word? Bokeh! I was just wandering aimlessly around the yard looking for things to photograph. Tulips, Grape Hyacinth, Pansies, Daffodils and Dogwoods are all over making things very “springy”.
I am a people photographer and prefer to photograph expressions and feelings. I tend to get bored photographing objects but I was crawling around on the ground trying to look at things at different angle with different lighting.


The next two pictures are the exact same flowers except the first one is taken into the sun with the aperture open wide. Look at how the sun makes the Tulips become transparent.
The second photo was taken with the sun still to my face but the aperture closed way down. Pretty cool huh? Amazing what you can do with light.
But on to the the AMAZING thing that happened. Now to everyone else this may seem so be no big deal but to me it is HUGE!

My daughter learned to mow the grass!!
Life is so glorious!
I am soo greatful.
WOOHOO!

Evening Rituals

Every evening my husband and I take a walk with the dogs. We walk to a field near our home that is fenced in and not in use at the moment. The owners of the field have had to reseed it and the horses will need to be off of it for almost a year. We have decided that it is the new dog park. We take them on the leash, bring treats and a beer. Kids not invited. OK, maybe occasionally. But this is our time.

We take a Little Tykes bat and hit tennis balls for the dogs. We make them run and run and run. Martha knows the deal. She really is a Golden Retriever. There was no training and explaining for her. She knew what to do right away. The first day that we brought her home 4 years ago, she ran to the end of the driveway and brought the newspaper right to us. Of course that evolved into her bringing all the neighbors newspapers back to us also. She does what she was breed to do, and she does it really well. Hazel on the other hand, really has no clue. May the lord help us with this one. Here she has the tennis ball, I may never see this ball again.

My surgery

I have been out of commission for the past few days and debated whether or not to write about it. One of the many discussions and debates you hear about bloggers is that “they tell complete strangers anything”. I will say, I argued this point with myself many times.
Am I willing to write about my personal situations? Would I write about something that I wouldn’t say face to face?
I have talked openly to friends and acquaintances about the fact that I take Celexa, an anti-depressant and anxiety medication. I started taking it after the birth of my second child. We had just moved to another state and really felt horrible. Going on this medication made a huge difference in my life and I really feel that I could have or should have been on it years earlier. I have talked openly about it too many people and in return have been told that there are many people on medication for this also. I have explained the difference it has made in my life, that I am a much happier person. Not stressing if the house is not perfect and everything is not in its place is not so bad. I am not embarrassed by this and do feel that telling others about it helps others feel that it is not such a horrible thing.
I had surgery on Wednesday. Not fun. But surgery, that I chose to have. Almost every woman I know crosses her legs when they sneeze. I used to chuckle every time I had to do the “stop, cross, sneeze”. I considered it almost a badge of honor; I had 3 children all very large. Unfortunately it started to get worse. It really started getting to me when my son’s soccer team had parents against the kids and I had to abruptly stop playing because I was wetting my pants from running. Then we went sledding in MN over Christmas break. I did one run down the hill and was completely wet. Now I am not an old woman, I am only 39 years old and have been dealing with this for nine years. I had stopped going to the gym. I stopped running. I stopped doing impromptu fun things.
I had a pelvic sling put in place that will support the urethra and will hopefully stop the stress incontinence that I have been having. I will let you know in one month.

For Today….The Washington National Cathedral

Outside the window…is a clear, blue beautiful sky.
I am thinking…that I really should be in the kitchen helping get dinner ready but I will clean up instead.
I am thankful for…the fact that most of the major holidays are done for a while. Well, except for my 40th birthday in June!

From the kitchen..I am smelling a wonderful ham cooking.
I am wearing..My new favorite pair of pants, Old Navy Capri Khakis’( I think they make me look skinny;), a really comfortable cashmere sweater from Cabi that I got at a girls night out clothing swap…thanks Heather.
I am creating….A brown Alpaca scarf on my nifty little portable loom.



I am going….to strangle my kids if they don’t start talking nice to each other.

I am reading…Skinny Bitch, just picked it up at Borders today. I saw it on Crazy as a Loom the other day and it piqued my interest. I love her website and what an awesome name.

I am hoping…That my dogs are being good at the neighbors.

I am hearing…The Master’s on TV and the discussion of the rescue of the Mersk captain. Way to go Navy Seals…I also Love the sound of JETS flying over head.
Around the house…everyone is getting ready for dinner, I am being a slacker…I will clean up.
One of my favorite things….A good cup of coffee in a wonderful mug.
Here is a picture I would like to share with you.
Imagine that the picture is below these words. I, for the life of me, do not know how to get the picture on the bottom.

The Dogwood Tree

The state tree and flower of Virginia is the “Flowering Dogwood”. It is such a beautiful, lacy looking tree. Spring in Virginia always reminds me of winter in Minnesota. Strange I know. There are so many Dogwood trees in bloom that it looks like snow on the trees, and when the wind blows the petals fall to the ground. The wind was really blowing when I was trying to get this picture so it is a little blurry. But is kind of pretty none the less.

A little info you may have not known about the Dogwood tree. Fitting for Easter and for us weavers.

The word dogwood comes from dagwood, from the use of the slender stems of very hard wood for making ‘dags’ (daggers, skewers). The wood was also highly prized for making loom shuttles, arrows, tool handles, and other small items that required a very hard and strong wood.

There is a Christian Legend of unknown origin that proclaims that the cross used to crucify Jesus was constructed of dogwood. As the story goes, during the time of Jesus, the dogwood was larger and stronger than it is today and was the largest tree in the area of Jerusalem. After his crucifixion, Jesus changed the plant to its current form: he shortened it and twisted its branches to assure an end to its use for the construction of crosses. He also transformed its inflorescence into a representation of the crucifixion itself, with the four white bracts cross-shaped, which represent the four corners of the cross, each bearing a rusty indentation as of a nail and the red stamens of the flower, represents Jesus’ crown of thorns, and the clustered red fruit represent his blood

Gomer goes back to Jersey

Gomer has headed back to Jersey. I was very sad to see him leave. Unfortunatly, having 4 horses was too much for the field to sustain and Gome eats a lot of hay and grain. The field was reseeded this spring and the horses may need to stay off of it for most of the summer. So Gome was loaded onto the trailer and hit the road back to Jersey…G’bye St. Gomez, I am going to miss you!
This picture was taken last fall when Hazel was just a puppy, I was hoping to get one of them nose to nose.

Master Carter

My little boy. The youngest. The one who will always be my baby. I know there will come a time when he will hate when I call him my “little boy” but I will do it anyway.
This little guy can make me laugh. The other day he climbed onto the sofa next to me, put his little hands around my upper arms and started to squeeze. “Mom, this feels like blubber. You know, like a walrus.” Thanks kid. I am really hoping that they were talking about the walrus in Kindergarten.
Carter will turn 6 on Thursday and he VERY excited. He thinks he is getting a dirt bike. I have told him several times that there is no way he is going to get a dirt bike, I like my neighbors too much.

Friends

Don’t you just love it when a project is complete. This project started on Facebook with a “make something homemade for a friend”. The first five people to respond would receive something made by me. No virtual gifts allowed. It could be homemade cookies or something doodled and there was no guarantee that you will like it. I was really excited about this. Fortunately or unfortunately, depends on how you look at it only 3 people responded. The fun part for me was to make something for 3 friends from high school that I have not seen in over 20 years. We were friends in school but had no contact since then. It has been a lot of fun chatting, we have all changed a lot. We grew up. We are wives and moms. Priorities have changed. Some are strong Christians, some not so much. Marriages have failed. One is losing a child. I am grateful to have them back in my life even if it is only with small phrases and comments through the week. I hope she likes the scarf I have made for her. It is Alpaca wool and so very soft.