Decades ago when I was a senior in high school, my boyfriend and I sadly decided to break up because he was going to an out-of-state university while I was going to study in-state. It was at the beginning of February which is the birthday month for each of us. Difficult though it was, I dutifully (well, maybe angrily), cut up his pictures, tossed them in the trash, and tried to move on. High school is such drama! On my birthday two weeks later, the florist delivered an enormous bouquet of brilliant red roses with a note that read "As long as I love you, there will be roses on your birthday." The roses have arrived this year. BF is my much loved DH. And, while life is not always a bed of roses, the roses have arrived every year for my birthday--even through thorny years---the roses kept coming. His birthday? It's the day after mine.

Happy birthday to everyone who celebrates in February.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
---Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Saturday Sky

Do you see the wind? The great Wyoming whoopee wind is blowing here in Colorado with a sky of snow-filled clouds. Noisy, noisy wind and a murky sky. Think I'll knit!



Here are some squares I've knit in the past couple days for a charity blanket. This little garter stitch square is Plymouth Eros Glitz and Bernat Satin knit on 11's.

The two below, large and small, were made with Plymouth Eros Glitz and Caron Wintuk on 11s. These are stockinette with a couple rows of garter on two opposing sides.

This mop-like rectangle is Squiggle and Cascade Fixation made on 11's in garter stitch.

Max is ever helpful in laying out (make that--on) the map of the world afghan. I'm getting ready to attach the third of four strips and just couldn't do it without my faithful knitting assistant! He is lounging across Africa in this pic!

DH and I went to our LBS (little book store) yesterday to use our Christmas gift certificates. He came home with a tall stack while I got these, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.
---St. Francis of Assisi


Wordless Wednesday


Having just arrived home from my annual slammogram---well, quite honestly I did skip it last year---I feel good, at peace, yay-for-me that I had that done. It's not something that anyone truly enjoys, yet all women must take time to slam their mamms. So, if you haven't had an annual mammogram, be good to yourself and schedule an appointment. Make it a Valentine to yourself!
I have finally settled on mindless carry-along knitting. For some reason--who knows?--I have assorted blues and greens in a variety of yarns. I am knitting them into squares and rectangles to put together for a charity blanket. While I'd prefer to pick up stitches to add the next "patch" to the first, doing smaller pieces will make for a convenient knit-to-go project. I work on it during my hours and hours of reading online, too! This little garter stitch square is GGH Vamos fiber on size 8 needles.
Gauge? Huh? What? It's a blanket for heaven's sake!
This square is garter stitch with a strand of softest, variegated eyelash. Since I no longer have the ball band, I have no idea what kind it is. I used it with a strand of Deep Periwinkle Caron Wintuk that is sticking out of my purse. An online angel sent a HUGE box of Caron Wintuk yarn for my charity projects, so I bless her for contributing!

The purse is one I bought in a leather shop in Italy last Fall. I love carrying it not only to remember my trip with my sister, but also because of all of the fun zippered compartments it has!

I am this close to finishing the third strip of four for the Map of the World ghan by Vogue Knitting. I am currently swimming north in the frigid Arctic Ocean and will then be ready to begin the final strip to complete the map. I can't believe it! J will be shocked when I finally give it to him! Bloggers know how heart warming it is when someone takes time to leave a comment. That was magnified a million times for me by the lovely ladies who offered their support on Sunday's post. That day was so painful, blogging was one release. I cannot adequately thank them for their loving words and for anyone who lifted a prayer for my sisters and me that day. I am continually astounded by the triggers to those deep feelings of grief. I had no idea that I would react so strongly that day. God bless you all.

Every act of love is an act of peace, no matter how small. ---
Mother Teresa



Especially thinking of Mother today --- my sisters and I. Today is the first date of her birth since her death. I had already purchased a card for her.
Her voice--in my mind--is saying with a chuckle, "Go on, Honey! Enjoy yourself! I'm fine."
And, she is. God's angel was called back to him.
Even so, I miss her.


A Questionnaire and a Wine Cellar

To Stacey at : Yes, the Wordless Wednesday picture is a wine cellar at a vineyard in Montepulciano, Italy. The cellars, old barrels, wine shop and restaurant are so aged and romantic that it almost seems dream-like now in my memory. The picture below shows a garden in huge pots at the side of the winery. Just look at the rustic stone building! The atmosphere there is like being transported in time.

+++ SP 10 Questionnaire +++
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I enjoy using different types of fibers and yarns. Wool blends are fine, not 100% wool though. Would prefer not to have the "fun fur" type of yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Needles—in a hand-thrown pottery pitcher/Hooks—in a case that I received in a swap.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Since 1962--I learned from books and friends. A "yarn shop lady" helped with assembling my first project, a hooded long-sleeved sweater with a front placket. I wore it for many years!Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Advanced

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, Amazon.

5. What's your favorite scent? Yankee candles/natural scents

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? No, thank you.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? CrochetDo you spin? No, I don't.

8. What kind of music do you like? Contemporary Christian music Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? Yes. I also use iPod.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Yellow, pastels because they are relaxing.Any colors you just can't stand? I'm not too fond of orange.

10. What is your family situation? Dear Husband and I have three adult children and seven grandchildren.Do you have any pets? Yes, our beloved Max, a very handsome Boxer.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves and mittens.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I like variety and don't have a favorite.

13. What are you knitting right now? An afghan that is a world map.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? CircsBamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo and Addi Turbos

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, both

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Probably 4 or 5 years

18. What is your favorite holiday? Fourth of July! Whizzz-BOOM-bang!

19. Is there anything that you collect? Dolls, hand-thrown pottery, owls

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? Can't think of anything right now, but I love surprises! :)What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None at the moment. I decided not to renew them since there are so many resources online and in my files. :)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Not at the moment.

22. Are you a sock knitter? YesWhat are your foot measurements? 10 inches long, 3 ¾ inches wide/Prefer not have wool

23. When is your birthday? February 26

I like making a piece of string into something I can wear. ---Author Unknown


Wordless Wednesday

Plainly Peek-a-Boo

Max and I enjoyed our tip-toe through the tulips---more like tiptoe through the puddles. Not a tulip in sight! As a reminder, we have had the same snow on the ground since December with other layers piled on. I've been referring to it as our permafrost. was a WOW moment when we spotted grass beneath this patch of melting snow.

Q: What do you call snow that's been around too long?

A: Dirty snow!

It appears we're approaching a small lake at the intersection.

Oh yes, thawing is happening!

Moving on to Mata Hari socks... Here is the beginning. I know. Almost too inspiring, isn't it? I'm using two size three circs and black Cascade Fixation yarn.

The little peek-a-boo holes add appealing detail to these otherwise plain socks...plainly peek-a-boo socks! I'm combining information from a few sites to make my socks. The red socks are at where I first saw them. A fab basic pattern is at that's helping me to get started. I have always-always used a knitted cast on. I now have learned the Turkish cast on from the information at this site. I love the feeling of GROWTH! and learning a new technique! Yeah-yeah, old dog/new tricks!! And because I want to knit both socks at the same time, I am referring to Go Addi Turbos, go!

Happy Feet!

***Do you have travel info/suggestions for a trip to Phoenix?*** I am planing a trip during the third week of March and would appreciate any comments/suggestions you might have! Thanks!


Thank you, SP!

SP9 officially ended today with the arrival of a package from my very thoughtful SP, Dawn at . I have to tell about this wonderful lady! She has been so attentive to detail in my questionnaire and on my blog. Every gift is personal and exactly me and I do so appreciate that! First, the yarns: all are cotton yarns. There are three of the red, two of green, and one of the beautiful blue. She included a set of five dpns in size 8 bamboo along with a set of point protectors. The pocket ( or purse) size Bible is perfect since I want to carry the Psalms with me. Now I have the entire Bible in my purse! Finally, there is Max's award to the set of magnetic page clips. Aren't they just the cutest?! This box was definitely put together for me (and Max). My deepest thanks to Dawn for the time and care that went into these very special gifts as with my two previous packages.

If you are interested in information about Secret Pal 10, the details are at this site

Since the temperature is up to 42 degrees today---yaaaay!---Max and I are going to slog through the melting ice and snow to go for a walk. We haven't been for a walk for a verrrry long while since I wouldn't go until the temp got above freezing. Max wasn't too keen on the idea either.
Bad weather always looks worse through a window. --- Tom Lehrer


Saturday Sky Redux

Very much like a week ago---shiveringly cold with heavy cloud cover.

This is especially for Tracey at since she rilly-rilly wants snow.


The World is a Mess!

Curling. Unaligned. Incomplete. That's the state of the world. You've heard it, seen it, read it. You know.

My world will easily be righted with seaming, finishing, edging, laundering, and blocking. This is for DGS-J, who colored a map for me to use as a color guide. He's so excited about it while I am taking way too long to complete it! There are days when I don't even pick it up, but it is gratifying to see the creation occur! True colors didn't photograph well in some parts of the map. Africa and the bottom tips of the third quadrant are deep purple. Europe is red. I'm making it with Plymouth Encore worsted and size 9 needles using a pattern from an old Vogue magazine.

Back to Asia. It is still a developing continent on my ghan.

I watched the DVD of "84 Charing Cross Road", the charming story of a New York writer (Ann Bancroft) corresponding with a London bookseller (Anthony Hopkins). One of my favorite actresses, Dame Judi Dench, had a supporting role as the bookseller's wife. I especially enjoyed seeing her in this 1987 film. I loved the premise and attempted to read the book, however I always find it difficult to read books written in the form of correspondence. Blockbuster Online answered my call and provided the beautifully photographed tale of this long distance friendship that developed over decades, growing to include other people as well. The original Mrs. Robertson, who passed on a year ago, and a much younger Hannibal Lector gave life to an extremely engaging nonfiction work.

Laughter is a problem shrinker. ---Mira Kirshenbaum


Walking to School

A mother was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn't want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe.So she had an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor, Mrs. Goodnest, if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he wouldn't notice her. Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl, Marcy, set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he knew. She did this for the whole week. As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy's little friend noticed the same woman was following them as she seemed to do every day, all week.Finally he said to Timmy, "Have you noticed that woman following us to school all week? Do you know her?"

Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yeah, I know who she is."

The friend asked, "Well, who is she?"

"That's just Shirley Goodnest," Timmy replied, "and her daughter, Marcy."

"Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us?"

"Well," Timmy explained, "every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life,' so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!"

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace. May "Shirley Goodnest and Marcy" be with you today, and always. Amen.