Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back to School

Almost time to head out the door to Church--time for just a few quick thoughts. 
What a week this has been. The last 7 days seem more like 7 months. We have had all week off from school because of power outages on the campus.  I can't say that I made the best use of my time home with respect to getting ahead on grading or lectures. I did write a new lecture and grade a stack of exams.  There is yet another stack to be graded and tons of lectures to be retooled or rewritten. 
I did get a good grip on my Bible reading and preparation for today's Sunday school lesson. Today, we are in Exodus 12, and I want to post about those verses later--what they meant to some of my friends down in Florida.
This morning, I made a huge bowl of potato salad to take to Church this mWe have lunch there on the days of the "3rd Sunday Sing."  Last month, Brother Travis brought Brunswick stew.  It is so good. Today, he is bringing BBQ, so potato salad seemed to be the thing to fix! 

I am grateful that I am better at potato salad than I am trying to get the saran wrap to do right on the bowl.  At 55, I have finally learned some tricks to get the potato salad the way I want it.  I think the best advice I found was to let the potatoes cool before adding all of the fun stuff like mayo, pickle relish and red onions. That has really made a difference.
Well, time to bid you all "Good Sabbath" for now. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Vanna's Yarn, Ravelry, and an Odd Kind of Week

I love Pinterest -- there are so many wonderful crafting, home-decorating and cleaning, and nostalgia--everything!  From there, I found a BEAUTIFUL and so-easy afghan pattern using Vanna's Choice yarn. Vanna's Choice is right up there on my  list of most beloved  yarns with Heartland--both are Lion Brand champions!  Anyway, when I clicked the link to this afghan, I was taken to a spot on Ravelry with this free pattern, complete with pictures, yarn  colors and hook size , and helpful comments about how much yarn you need. Not all patterns are free, but many are. 

This pattern is a simple combination of single and double crochet stitches, and it uses a larger "K" hook.  Those colors are just fabulous.  The stitches remind me of the "Charlotte stitch blanket" Virginia made, but I think it is more simple.I love repetitive stitches that don't have a lot of changes. The one I am working on now seems to have a different ending stitch for every row!  Anyway, when I finish the "Cosy Stripe" (English spelling!), I may try this pattern. I still have several things in the queue ahead of this, but it is fun to think about.  The Vanna's Choice yarn is really a different type of worsted yarn. It is very soft to the touch, and it washes beautifully, but it is a yarn that holds its shape very well.  Caron Simply Soft and Hobby Lobby's Soft Secret drape very nicely--Vanna's has more body, and the stitches are so easy to work.
The reason I have time to think about all of this is that the college is closed for the rest of the week. Apparently, there were some serious problems caused by our little taste of Irma--wind, rain, and downed power lines. I am sure the students are enjoying this unscheduled time away from the books.
Our kids have helped to pick the slack at their various fast-food jobs with so many being out of town or out of power.  
Everything is topsy-turvy, but we will all keep praying as we plug along. 
God bless and keep you all this week. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Our Cross Stitching, Crocheting Home Enjoys the Labor Day Weekend!

Today is going to be a homework day--working at home!  This makes me so happy. It is like a bonus day in the week where I can get a little extra housework done.  I think I can put off most of my school work until tomorrow since Tuesdays aren't teaching days. John Thomas' classes are meeting today, and he has lots of Hebrew homework to get done. James Martin has his normal shift at work, and Virginia has tons of homework to get ahead on (she will be with one of the music ensembles out of class for a week next week!).  M said this was a "paying bills" day. 
Hopefully waiting at the end of the day are my "cosy" stripes of happiness! I have made a little progress:

I need to take some time to darn in those threads. Maybe after my next color tie-off, I will stop and get that onerous task done.  
Speaking of onerous tasks, I am NOT one of those who can so beautifully sew in the "tail ends" on my cross stitching, although I would like to be. I keep working at the process of sewing over, but I still miss some.  Anyway, at HobbyLobby, I found this little treasure (and used my 40% coupon):

It is called a "Tail End Weaver." The package says, "weave loose thread ends on the back of needlework for a professional look."  Well, we'll see . . . 

Pictured above is cross stitch pattern #92 in the queue. I am always on the lookout for Beatrix Potter cross stitch patterns --they aren't easy to find.  I found this one on ebay for a song, actually only about 1/2 a song. I am thrilled as it contains the mat for framing. So, when I am able to start this in 2024, I will have a "tail end weaver" to help with those loose threads. 

Time to get going on some home projects for the day.  Hope your Labor day is full of just what you need--rest, work, reading, quilting . . .

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Week(s) in Review

This week has been typically busy, with fatigue giving way to discouragement at the end of the day. M and I have come to the point where we can recognize that is what is going on.  We would love to get to bed earlier, but it seems increasingly difficult.  We have kept up a nice pattern from the summer--when we go to bed, he pulls out his books to read, and I grab the yarn. I put on Daniel Boone (The Fess Parker tv show from the 60's) or Gunsmoke.  There are tons of them both on youtube for free viewing. He reads a few pages, and I crochet a row or two on the "Cosy Stripe" blanket, and before you know it, we are happy as two clams. 

As you can see, it is pretty slow going, but that's ok. I love it. 
Because it is going to be so wide, this project is a little unwieldy for the car.So I am working on something else as we travel  to Church or the grocery store:

I like the Lion Brand Homespun yarn, but it is unusual to say the least.  The colors are wonderful, and it feels good when you're working with it. Because of the nature of the yarn itself, it is more difficult for me to see how to count and place the stitches. However, I have had some great luck with the old reliable granny-square pattern we know so well. My thought was to make a series of larger squares, each with a black border and each just one color. 100 squares of this size would be big enough for a bedspread for us or a nice couch cover.  If you're thinking about using this yarn, I recommend it whole-heartedly. I have not tried the Hobby Lobby version, but their colors are lovely as well. 

Grateful for the peaceful moments  . . .

Monday, August 21, 2017

What a Couple of Days!

Yesterday was a great day at Church.  Today is M's birthday, but we had a chance yesterday to celebrate a little early.  We had a quick lunch in the Fellowship hall after morning services since it was time for the "3rd Sunday Sing."  Brother Travis brought a GALLON of Brunswick stew; Mrs. Donna brought a 7-layer salad, and we brought sandwich fixins'.  For dessert, Mrs. Rosy brought this cake!  We really were  just about all too full to sing, but we did. James Martin led a song, too!  I was so tickled.  Thanks to Brother Doug Ivie for asking him to lead one.  
As if this weren't all wonderful enough, the Ivies invited us over to their house for a little while before time for Training Union so that we wouldn't have to drive all the way back home. I loved that time with them probably better than anything else.  
Today has had its own excitement--in addition to actually being Michael's birthday . . .

The Eclipse Master at Work

As we had only one pair of truly safe viewing glasses between the three of us home, M made a viewer.  It was really great!  I think he had as much fun making it as he did watching the shadows change shape. Virginia took a good picture--safely using her camera and viewing glasses:

We were all surprised at how much cooler the temps were. 
Lots of fun, and the day isn't even over!!!!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Bookseller . . . .

made quite a lot off of our family this week. But, the most exciting times are those when the books  are delivered.  The way Amazon ships these days, you can get your books in very short order. In fact, we had some arrive today. They were one the step waiting for us after Church.  John Thomas' Hebrew books are marvelous.  He had an entire box full for that one course (it is a year-long class, though). 
Lots of fun at Church today--all day!  More soon on the day's happenings.  

Lots of Excitement

Everyone in our neck of the woods is very excited about the eclipse!  Apparently, we shall have a good view of it here in our part of the state. There are some higher elevations nearby, and we are expecting thousands of eclipse-enthusiasts to come view it from our mountains.  
The university where I teach has actually decided to close the campus for the entire day. I am not sure why.  We do have some central spots out in the wide open that will lend themselves to good viewing. Perhaps there was some concern that we would be overrun by visitors seeking the higher ground. There will be an "Eclipse Party" put on by the Library staff for the students.. They will be passing out free SAFE viewing glasses, sun chips, capri suns, and moon pies!

My friend Janice mentioned yesterday that she was gassing up her van--I think that is really a great idea. With all the people coming through, prices will undoubtedly go up, and there may even be a shortage. I am not sounding the alarm bells, but there sure is a lot of excitement and anticipation over what is going to happen in the next day or so. Michael told me this morning that it will become dark enough to convince the animals that it is time to go to sleep.  Of course, our animals need no reminders--their bed time is ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT. 
We expect Ginger to take all of the hubbub in her usual stride . . .