Thursday, December 10, 2015

Merry Christmas


I thought I’d fill you in on our family life this year. Since there is so much to tell and I’m too lazy to write it all down in each and every Christmas card with a pen, you’re getting this note.

#1 is now 23 and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in May. He commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army and is currently stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas.  He left here in July and spent a few months learning everything about his new job as an Intelligence Analyst at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona.  While he was in Arizona, he studied hard, had a great time, met a lot of terrific people and even purchased his first new car – a Honda Accord – which he absolutely loves.  #1 arrived in El Paso on a Friday night and jumped in with both feet first thing on Monday morning. He is currently looking forward to moving into his first apartment – on December 17th.  Gram and I packed his pod with all kinds of “goodies” and shipped it to him right before Thanksgiving. I am so glad we don’t have to unpack it!  FYI: Mr has claimed #1's room as his new Model Train room.

LLB is a Junior Applied Mathematics and Physics Major at VMI. She continues to play the trumpet and is a member of the Regimental Band, the Jazz Band, and the Brass Ensemble. She will be marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena for New Year’s. This is one trip that Marc and I refuse to miss. Watch for us on TV!!

LLB has had an amazing year. She continues to embrace all that VMI has to offer. This past summer, LLB spent a week on a submarine and absolutely loved it. She enjoyed everything about her week - except the flight to California and back. Because the dates of her sea week changed a few times, it turned out that we would be in Canada upon her return. So – we booked her a flight to Burlington, Vermont, and picked her up there.  We brought Captain America with us to Canada. Somehow he managed to survive the family for a few days without her and didn’t hop on the first flight out while we waited for her to arrive at the airport. He was and is a real trooper... 

Mr was LLB's date at the VMI Ring Figure Ball this fall. He dressed up in a tux, didn’t drop the ring, and danced the night away. He enjoyed every minute of the evening. Mr is still at MITRE doing whatever it is he does there. He enjoys sawing fallen trees with his chain saw and mowing our acreage with his tractor in his spare time.  He continues to play bass guitar in the Church Gospel band, and rings bells in three choirs.  I now direct two handbell choirs and ring in one. I am active in the Prayer Shawl ministry at a local United Methodist Church.  Mr and I are involved in the VMI Parents Council and a half dozen other volunteer committees. Basically, we keep busy.  

We had a rough summer and fall. My father contracted West Nile Virus in early July. He fought it valiantly, was doing great, but succumbed to congestive heart failure in early November. We all miss him dearly, but know that he is in heaven with his siblings eating my grandmother’s cookies, donuts, and pie. Zeb, our sweet corgi, crossed Rainbow Bridge this past Sunday. We aren’t sure what happened, but we do know that he and my dad are together – sharing snacks.

If you’re ever in DC, shoot us an email. We’d love to see you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


26 years ago I said, "I do".

I still do.

Happy Anniversary, Mr. Bug.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Our Zeb

Our sweet Zeb crossed Rainbow Bridge on Sunday morning.
He was the best dog. He will be missed.

We have no idea what really happened. He tested positive for Lyme, but...

Saturday, December 05, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like...


How did almost another month go by so quickly?

It's been quite a ride.
Grandpa died just a couple of days after my last post. We miss him, but we know he is in a much better place. I am sure he is eating my grandmother's donuts and hanging out with his siblings.

#1 has moved to Texas and his pod - which we packed with all kinds of goodies including our family room couch -  arrives at his apartment on December 17th. He can unpack his stuff, relax on his couch, and set up his tree just in time for Christmas. FYI - Mr has already called dibs on the empty bedroom - I think a model train room is in our future.

LLB got her VMI ring. It is perfect for her!  Mr and I made dinner for 9 between the ring presentation ceremony and the evening festivities. It was really fun to relax and share a meal with all of them.  Captain America took his mom and LLB took Mr as their dates to "Ring Figure". They danced and laughed and had a terrific time!

We spent Thanksgiving with Captain America and his family. We had great food, awesome conversation, and lots of laughs. On Friday, we skipped the early morning shopping and opted for a little extra sleep.  We got out all of the decorations at Gram's and our house and set up our tree. Gram and I have been decorating and cleaning at both houses ever since.

December is upon us and our annual Christmas Open house is a short 14 days away. We have a lot to do before then... We have bells to play, events to attend, and presents to purchase and wrap.

Friday, November 06, 2015

It's been a long few months

#1 is off learning his Army stuff. He got called to go early - as in July. So we packed him up and shipped him out. He has enjoyed his time out west very much. He bought a car, is learning how to cook, and has made great friends. He will be moving to Texas once his training is done. He told me today that a "Pod" will be arriving soon and to fill it up with whatever Gram and I think he might need. Ooo we will be shoveling out the attics and sheds! I hope his weight limit is large because we have a lot of stuff to donate to the cause.

LLB spent her summer doing research on thin films and analyzing data. I don't understand any of it, but it looks really cool! There was a two page write up about her and the project in the Institute Report. We thought that was pretty awesome, too. Not only is she smart, she is also quite the athlete! She joined the Equestrian Team last spring and the Powerlifting Team over the summer. She loves lifting and is really quite good at it! Who knew?  After she did the research and took a class, she headed off for her Navy cruise. Her cruise time shifted 3 times over the summer and when she finally got her return dates, we found that we would be in Canada for our vacation. So -- We flew her into Burlington, VT, and picked her up there. Her special guy, known here as Captain America, is a Mechanical Engineering major at VMI. He joined us for our trip, survived the uncles, and drove with me to get her in VT. We picked her up and resumed our Montreal extravaganza. We returned through Gananoque and spent a day with Mr's sister. We learned how to play Euchre, took a boat tour, and had a lovely dinner with lots of laughs.

Grandpa had a Lumbar Laminectomy in June at MCV/VCU and had great success. His pain went away and he was doing great. And then he got bit by a mosquito and contracted West Nile Virus. It took 3 weeks to get a diagnosis and in those three weeks he was at 2 hospitals and an acute rehab center. From there he was transferred to another nursing home closer to home and then everything seemed to head south. He had blood pressure issues, dehydration issues, and more. Every time he made progress, he'd have a setback. He is currently not doing well at all. Hospice has been called in and now we wait. It stinks, but in the end, we have no choice in the matter.

In between running to hospitals and appointments, many tiny loads of laundry, and caring for our critters while we were off in Montreal and Lexington,  Gram joined us for The Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center. We have never laughed so hard. We have plans to take her to see LLB and Captain America compete at the State Powerlifting Competiton. We have no idea what to expect, but we know it will be fun!

Mr and I spent our summer packing suitcases, meeting airplanes, and generally driving. Mr and I continue to ring handbells, participate in the VMI Parents Council, and generally keep busy. I'm working at the winery here and there and I now know a wee bit more about wine and grapes than I thought I ever would. Ok, so I know that I like red wine - a lot. The MV Cab Franc is yummy, I love the MV 2012 Merlot, and the mulled wine is to die for! Ok... So I like wine.

What's next? Thanksgiving with Captain America's family, Christmas here at home, and New Years in Pasadena. LLB and Captain America will be marching in the Rose Parade. Look for all of us on TV!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

VMI Graduation and Commissioning

My #1 commissioned into the US Army on May 15th. He graduated from VMI on May 16th. It was three days of pomp, circumstance, and fun. Lots of ceremony. Lots of walking. Lots of hanging around waiting for the next thing. Auntie and Uncle came from Denver and Auntie and Uncle came from Montreal to help us celebrate. :)

Everyone was involved in the ceremony. His grand dyke came and said his military oath with him. It was really special. Mr and I got to put on his shoulder boards and LLB got to put the pin on his beret. (I can't believe that in two short years we will be pinning our LLB. Time sure does fly.)

Graduation at VMI is amazing. The valedictorian is chosen by his peers. The speech the young man gave was funny, thoughtful, and very well received by the graduates.  The graduates don't have mortar boards or tassels. They wear coatee and white gloves.  They throw their gloves. It's really quite a sight.

After graduation, we sent one car home and I helped LLB move out of barracks. (#1 had mostly loaded his car the night before. He and his girl emptied his room and went to lunch.) LLB and I got it all done and headed home just as the first car arrived at home.

We had a celebration open house on Sunday. Many good friends came to congratulate our boy and sit and chat for a bit. It was terrific!

So - now we have #1 at home until it is time for him to head to his first Army assignment. He is working at the winery little bit and looking for a job to keep him busy during the weekdays.  LLB has already returned to VMI for summer session - after which she heads of to a Navy cruise. Things are returning to normal... whatever that is!

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Today our sweet LLB turns 20.
It feels like just yesterday that I woke up early on a beautiful Sunday morning with contractions. I made 5 dozen egg salad sandwiches, took a shower, called the doctor, secured care for my #1, and woke up Mr and told him we needed to go.
Mr was freaked! You'd think that he'd been through this before, and that he would have it down. Alas, that was not the case. The poor man flooded the car when he went to start it. I laughed... Out loud... He was not as amused as I was.
We waited a few minutes and tried again. Vroom! It started right up. In his defense, it was my car and my car didn't require one to push the gas pedal to start it like his did. We got to the hospital in record time.
The nurse asked me my name -- I answered, "Epidural".  She told me that I'd get one this time -- no worries. Ha! Yeah... At 1pm, they went to put that epidural in my back, and sure enough, LLB had other plans. It was time to push. The doc came flying in. He was washing his hands and told me not to push. Really? Are you kidding? I told him to wash his hands faster!
At 1:09, our LLB entered the world. And now, she is 20.
Our LLB is an amazing young woman! She is finishing up her second year of college at VMI with a double major in Applied Mathematics and Physics and a really good GPA. (Can I just say that she is her father's daughter?)  She is at a college with 9% women - not an easy place, but she is handling it. She is doing research at school this summer before she heads off to her Navy assignment. She will most likely not get a real summer again this year, but she is driven. She knows what she wants. She knows what she needs to do to get it. She sets her goals, and she does what needs to be done.
She is one tough cookie -- and she is ours! And we are so incredibly proud of her! :)
Happy Birthday, LLB!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Two down...

We played at the wee episcopal church up the road a piece this morning. The ladies and gentleman (yes, I sucked him in) did a terrific job! I am so proud of them. They worked incredibly hard and mastered 4 pieces for this morning's service. The parishioners were extremely supportive - we got applause and cheers at the end. It was so cool!
The next time we play will be at the end of June. Now I need to find some easy music that has chimes and bells... I am sure I can find something great for them to play.
I am going to shift them around a bit to make things easier for those who ring in more than one choir. Ringing different bells in two or more choirs is hard for experienced ringers, but it's near impossible for beginners. I need them to be successful and if it takes a shift, I'm happy to shift. ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

One down...

We had our very successful bell concert on Satuday and played for 2 services on Sunday. It was a LOT, but my ladies and gentleman handled it all with grace and humor. We put all of the equipment away for the summer, heaved a sigh of relief, and ate pizza. It's what we do.
The church is getting a new pastor in July. I'm not sure if they will want the bells to play for his first Sunday, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. We do plan to do a Ding Dong Daiquiri Party some afternoon by the pool. But, for now, we are done. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Busy is good.

Wow! I've not posted in a while. I have been quite busy, actually.
Easter has come and gone. We went to church an awful lot that week! The bunny did come and he dropped of some really nicely filled baskets for my cherubs plus one. I stopped at Walmart and got some chocolate bunnies last week for half price! My LLB is looking forward to eating those half price lovelies.
My WUMC bell choir has been rehearsing and working hard for our concert this coming weekend. We are ringing 11 pieces from all different genres. I am sure it will be a great performance.  My Leeds group will be playing in church next Sunday. It seems like it's all bells all the time. I'm definitely ready for Summer!
LLB is taking summer classes and doing research at VMI this summer. After which, she is headed to her Navy summer cruise. I think she may be sailing out of San Diego, but I'm not sure. #1 graduates in just a few weeks and will spend the summer pouring wine, exercising, and floating in the pool. Life is good!
We've been working in the yard. Raking, mulching, pruning, and more fill the days when the sun is out. Today was one of those days and I'm pooped. I'm trying to get the yard out by the pool neat and presentable before #1's graduation party. I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So - we've been busy.
Busy is good.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Holy Handbells - it's Holy Week!

Holy Week can be as rough as Christmas for church musicians. I'm at one church or another every day until next Tuesday. Not that I don't enjoy ringing and directing - I do, very much. It's just a lot all at once and it's a lot to keep track of.
Tonight we were at WUMC. Tomorrow and Sunday we are at Emmanuel. Saturday we are at Leeds. It's a lot, but it's fun.
Every year I say, "never again"...
And every year I add one more thing.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

And they're back

back to school, that is.
The week flew by.
LLB was sick, but managed to have a little bit of fun. She shopped, visited with her man and his family, and made some chocolate chip cookies.  #1 worked out, rested, and had a very relaxing break.
I will miss them, but they will all be back in 2 weeks for Easter.
(I sure hope the Easter Bunny gets her act together and gets some chocolate put aside for them.)

While he was home, #1 found out when he will report for his first military service - November. He is nervous but oh so excited to start his career and his life after college. We are very proud of him and know he will do his absolute best for his country and his men. :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

To Zoo or Not to Zoo...

That was the question.
The answer was Not to Zoo. We had to go to the doc's with LLB this morning instead. She is miserable. Her sweet man - who really is the nicest young man ever - is currently trying not to catch what ever she has while curled up with her on the couch watching TV.  She is very disappointed to not be going to the National Zoo today, but she needs to get better.

As soon as it warms up outside, I'll be opening windows and airing this place out. Maybe we can blow the germs out so we can all get better sooner...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Swallowing Glass

That's what my throat felt like by 3:30 yesterday afternoon. I'd been fighting off something, but late yesterday afternoon it hit me like a ton of bricks. I called my regular doc. I called the number at 3:45, 4:00, 4:05, 4:10, 4:15, 4:20, and again at 4:25. All I got was a busy signal.
I called again at 4:30 - knowing they turn the phones off, but hoping I'd get someone. Not so much. I got the machine that says they are closed and to leave a message. We were going to be driving by the office, so I thought I'd take a chance. It was late -- 5:30. I know the last appointment is at 5, but I also know the docs always run late. The cars were still in the parking lot and the doors were open. There was a guy in the waiting room.
I went back to the desk where my doc's nurse is. I asked if there was any possible way they could see me. (They aren't open on the weekends and there is no other doc for 20 miles.) I was told that she was busy and that I'd have to wait an hour. I agreed and went back to the waiting room.
Then, a woman came out and told me it was going to be a two hour wait, I'd need to pay my copay in cash, and then told me a better option was the minute clinic in Warrenton. I went home and called the doc's office one more time to see if I could get the doc on call. After a 20 min. wait, I decided that the urgent care in Gainesville was a better choice.
I was almost there. The phone rang -- it was Mr. He said the doc's office called and that they were waiting for me. Really? They unlocked the door to let me out. I called them and left another message telling them that I knew they really didn't want to see me and that I was on my way to Urgent Care.
I arrived at the Urgent Care. I signed in after holding my breath and hoping they'd take my insurance -- new systems. They did. I heaved a sigh of relief and filled out the paperwork.
The waiting room was nice and orderly and they HGTV on TV. :)
They saw me in a timely fashion.
The people are all fantastic -- even after a very long day.
The rooms were clean.
They decided I did not have strep, but I have tonsillitis. Oh - and they need another culture to send out to the lab in case the rapid strep test is wrong. Yay. Another culture. What ever they wanted, I'd have given them at that point. My throat was on fire, I was fading fast, and I knew a prescription was on the horizon.
They gave me a prescription for the pain and a prescription for the inflamed tonsils.
There was a little bit of an issue at the CVS across the street, but it was all because of new systems - theirs and the doc's.
I came home. I took the medicine and went to bed.
Today I'm a whole lot better.
I knew if I could get ahead of it, I would be better. If I waited until Monday, I'd be on my rear end for the week.
I think I might need to find a doc who is open a little later, who is open on the weekends, and who doesn't leave the phone off the hook on Friday afternoons. Either that or I can just go to the Urgent Care... They really were awesome.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wacky Wednesday

Wednesdays are simply busy.
They are also fun days for me.
In order for me to get where I need to go during Lent, I need to leave the house by 10:30am.  Today, this meant that I had to walk my 30 minutes, make cookies, make a lunch, and get my crocheting together by then. Normally, that's fine, but lately I've been waking up later than I'd like.  Today, my eyes popped open at 8am. I hit the ground running.
Needless to say, I made it out the door on time and to my errand destination. I didn't waste a single moment and made it to the church in time to prep some music for my Monday night choir before the service.
From the church - which I left 10 minutes early, I made it to the next church in time to prep music for that group. The ladies are amazing! I'm so impressed with them. I do think I'm going to have to move some people around before too long and I need to think about how to do that. I don't want anyone to be upset, but I think some are bored and some are overloaded. I need to fix that.

Tonight has been a quiet night filled with marking music, searching for a new afghan pattern, and thinking about what exciting stuff I can write here.

Wednesdays are busy - I'm just glad that by 6:05pm it's over and I can sit still.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday Trivia

1.  Laundry can be lucrative.
I made $1.23 today. I'm living large.

2.  I'm almost finished with a cream colored wool shawl. I don't know who will end up with this one, but I like it very much. I think the next one of these I make, I'll use a little larger hook. I think it needs to be "lighter" or "airier", you know?

3.  Tomorrow morning, I've got to get up and get my rear in gear. I've got to walk my 30 minutes on the treadmill. (I've walked every day since I got it and I don't want to skip any days unless I'm not home.) Then I need to make cookies for the lunch after the noon time service.  I've got to go to Walmart and get some ibuprofen. We are almost out and my sciatica has been acting up a bit the past couple of weeks -- of course days in a row standing for long periods of time certainly don't help the situation. I want to make the noontime service, have lunch with the ladies, and stay for prayer shawl group.  Then I have my Chime group later that afternoon -- I got some awesome music that I'd like to have them try. I just love this group! After that, I'm going to come home and collapse.

4.  Tonight I gave the cat her second dose of Zithromax. It helped a lot that Mr. was available to hold her down while I squirted the stuff down her throat. She was not impressed with our team work, but we sure were.  I think she is getting better. She didn't sneeze as much today and when she did, there weren't huge green gobs shooting out her nose. That in itself is a good thing.

5.  Today Gram and I hung all the pictures and towel bars in the guest room and new bathroom. Grandpa let me use his amazing power drill and screwdriver combo tool thingy. The power almost went to my head -- I felt like I could host a home improvement show! Woo hoo!

Monday, March 09, 2015

It's Monday...

And today I had to take 3 critters to the vet for checkups.  That would be 2 cats and one dog. The dog is the easiest. You put a leash on him, open the car door, he jumps in, and life is good.
That is not exactly how it works with the cats.
Angel is old. She is 12. She knows that when the carriers come out, nothing good can come of it. She sees them and heads for the hills.  I found her on my bed. She must have thought her appointment was after lunch or something. Silly cat!
Finding her was the easy part. Getting her into the carrier was something to see. I tried to wrap her in a a towel and she would have nothing of it. She squirmed and the towel went one way while she went the other. I'm fast. I caught her again. I tried again. She put her feet out so that she wouldn't fit through the carrier door. She grabbed the couch arm on the way down. She hissed. She cried. She went in. It wasn't pretty, but in she went.
Mini was next. I found her on LLB's bed. I scooped her up in a towel, brought her downstairs, aimed her head towards the carrier and in she went. No fuss. No muss. No antics. No tears.
I put them in the car.
I'm sure the neighbors could hear Angel's protests. Mini joined in half heartedly. (I think she just wanted to get it over with so she could come home.) Angel's protests continued all the way to the vet. It was pretty funny.
The appointment was uneventful. They both went into their carriers without protest after they'd been poked and prodded. It was almost anticlimactic.
They are all home. They are all napping - sleeping it off so to speak... Because, a trip to the vet is rough on them, you know.

Friday, March 06, 2015

And we're off...

Like a herd of turtles...

We are headed to VMI for our last Open House of the year. This is when we talk nervous parents of determined VMI bound kids off the edge and gently tell parents of procrastinators that they are virtually too late to the party.

It's fun to meet new people. Diplomacy is an art form, and we've perfected it. We've figured out how to tell parents that the VMI experience will be "hard" (ie: miserable, awful) for their kid the first year, but that it gets better (ie: they are rats no more). We can tell them that their kid will always find something to eat in Crozet (ie: the food is not your home cooking). We can tell them that their kid will not be an engineering major and play NCAA football or basketball because there just aren't enough hours in the day (ie: their kid isn't an athletic Einstein).

We enjoy promoting VMI while giving parents a real sense of what it's like to have a kid there. We can't tell them everything, because that wouldn't leave any surprises... and we can't have that!

We'll catch you all on the flip side!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Yay... it's snowing.

We are getting a lot of snow today. My dearest BFF from up north was flying through DC yesterday and got stuck due to mechanical difficulties. So, she came out here to stay with us for the night. She woke up to this:

a bunch of snow, a rental car, and a long drive to the airport.  (As of this moment, she is on the plane headed home.)

We have about 8 inches on the ground.
Mr is out snowblowing. I'm practicing being a shut-in. I've got my TV, my iPad, my crochet project, and my cup of chai. I think I've got the shut-in thing almost prefect, but I may need a little more practice to be sure... 

Zeb likes to be out, but this was a bit deep even for him.

Mini spent the day like this:

She definitely has the shut-in thing perfected. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I love my Chime Ladies!

We had our second rehearsal today.
I gave them a pretty tough "reach" piece to try. They did very well. I think the only issue was the counting as there was a lot of syncopation. Next week, I am going to go over the counts for the measures that are troublesome and have them write the counts in. I'm sure that will solve a lot of it. We went over the easier pieces and they did a super job! They even got a lot of the dynamics down pat!

I ordered some music to check out with this group in mind. One of the pieces is Frozen -- although, based on the weather we've been having, I may want to wait on that until next winter...

My ladies are super.
I'm so glad they asked me to help them with their choir.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Ice, Ice...

This weather is getting really old really fast.
I'm tired of worrying about getting from point a to point b before everything turns into a skating rink. I'm tired of feeding the wood stove and I'm tired of listening to it, too.

The back deck is a mess... that's not water, my friends. That is serious ice.

The daffodils and the front porch are encased in ice.

I am ready for some 75 and sunny... Heck, I'll take 50 and rainy.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Calm Down!

Oh please... if I get that by voice or in print from either one of my offspring ever again, I'm going to reach through the electronic device and throttle them.

When our children are on the road - whether driving themselves or being driven by someone else -- by either an "old" person or a contemporary - we worry. We don't fret, but we are concerned. We are worried about the other crazies who are going too fast for the conditions, we are worried that the driver may be getting tired, we are worried that it's dark and hard to see -- and the list goes on. We don't fret, but we do watch the clock and wait for the text that says they are where they are going.

Unfortunately, sometimes our offspring don't realize that we aren't fretting. We are just wondering how things are going. They find it irritating and tell me to "Calm Down". And this is when I wish a child just like them on them. (My sincere apologies to their future spouses.)  And I secretly hope that someday - maybe, just maybe - they'll call me and tell me they get it.

Until then, I'll work on finding a way to reach through those electronic devices and throttle them.

FYI: I was always calling my parents and telling them I got where I was going - on someone's house phone because that's all we had. To this day, I make sure my parents know where I am -- because I know they don't fret, but they do worry. (I can honestly say that FB has been a godsend. I post my location and road conditions if they are bad, and they know where we are and when we should walk in the door.)  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mittens and Stuff

I love to crochet.  These are a few of blankets I've made for some special recipients.  The top is a very special brown blanket that took forever. I made it out of Simply Soft by Caron. The yarn is lovely, but it was a pain to work with. This was a gift for a special couple to celebrate their wedding.

The middle is actually a denim blue color - I made it for my #1. He requested a blue blanket for Christmas. It did not photograph well at midnight when I took the picture. I was so excited that I'd finished it, that I just snapped the picture and posted it to FB. :)

This blanket was made for my husband's nephew's baby in Canada. It is soft and snuggly and the recipient and her family love it. 

Mittens are my favorite thing to make. They are useful, warm, they work up rather quickly, and are really nice looking - if I do say so myself.

The chunky yarn works up great. The recipients always seem happy with these.

I love the mohair. They are so soft and warm. I kept this pair for myself. I usually end up giving all my mittens away as gifts. I'd love to sell my mittens, but I am sure no one would want to pay for the time it takes to make these.

I also enjoy crocheting for the younger set. These sweaters are simply adorable! I really enjoy the challenge of making them and watching them turn out. :)

The red, yellow, and white sweater was made for a VMI Alumni baby. It works for boys or girls.

This was for a Citadel Alumni baby.  It is just as cute, but since it is Citadel...

I like to make scarves that are delicate but warm. These are both mohair. The recipients were most pleased. :)

I'm currently working on a taupey/beigey/mushroomy colored shawl for the Prayer Shawl Group at the church.  I like to watch the project grow.  I just have to remember to take a picture when I finish it...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sock Singing

Mini is a great cat, but she has some quirks. She sock sings. She sings the songs of her people after retrieving socks from the sock drawers or the laundry. It depends on the day what sock she chooses. Her favorite person on the planet is Mr. He is her food source. He spoils her rotten. He lets her do things that I will not.

This morning - at 5:15am - you know, when it's still dark out and I am still asleep... Mini decided that Mr's departure was simply more than she could bear. She went and found a sock in the laundry basket. She dragged said sock into the kitchen, deposited it on the rug and began her song of woe. It was long and loud and oh so woeful... I had no idea she had such a set of lungs. (Maybe I should sign her up for American Idol or The Voice.)
Normally, her singing happens right after one of us goes to bed and lasts about 10 or 15 seconds.  And it's cute.
Well, this morning her sock singing lasted a good 10 minutes. It was not cute.
She is currently wandering around getting into things - which is very unlike her. Normally, at this time of day, she is toes up on our bed - resting in preparation of Mr's return from work when getting into things time normally starts. I hope she settles down soon, or I'm going to have to send her outside to play in the snow.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

So much fun!

Yesterday I took on a chime choir that had been dormant for a few years. I can honestly say that it was probably one of the best first rehearsals I have ever had. They can all read music, they play well, they smile when they ring (yes, the music was really easy and I know that will change), and they laugh a lot.
We read and rang through 3 pieces. They did great! We worked on dynamics and notes and making music. It was simply awesome!
I think I'll have to find some more challenging music for them.
I can't wait until next week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bumps and bruises

I have a tendency to walk into corners -- the corner of the hope chest, the arm of a pew, the corner of the coffee table, etc. these transgressions usually result in small circular or oval bruises on my thighs, hips, and shins. Unfortunately, when I do this, I do it more than once and my legs look like I've been in a fight.

Over the weekend, I walked into the arm of a chair. The chair did not move, as it was bolted into the floor. My thigh has a giant bruise on it -- with a lovely blank spot right in the middle that looks exactly like the edge of the arm of that chair. It is most unattractive. And every time I bump that spot, I know I have a giant bruise there. Do you have any idea how often you bump your thigh with your hand, your purse, your laundry basket, or how often you bump into things as you walk? I do. It's a lot.

I keep thinking I will grow out of this bumping into things. Alas, it isn't happening. I used to think it only happened when I was headed to the bathroom in the middle of the night without my glasses. I was lying to myself. It happens all times of the day - with and without glasses and it happens in spurts. I can go weeks without an issue and then, boom... I bump into things 3 times a week for months. What can I say? I'm klutzy.

Oh, and I don't wonder where my kids get it from... I know. They get it from their dad. ;)

Edited to add:
It seems that my arms and hands are not immune to being whacked and bumped. While I was cleaning and washing floors yesterday, I must have whacked my watch and arm at least 50 times on stuff as I whizzed by. I'm amazed my watch is still ticking and that my arm is still attached to my body...

Maybe I need to slow down a little and pay more attention to where my limbs are in relation to furniture and walls... Nah! We all know that's not going to happen!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another Monday

Yup. It's Monday.
I'm in a bit of a mood. I discovered that FaceBook - yet again - isn't showing me my whole feed. Why not? Do they think that I don't want to see my sister's successful skyscraper climb? Or my friend's post about his new home complete with pictures? I'd much rather see that than some crap they want me to see about the Oscars!
I'm not sure I can fix the issue. I'm not sure I can do anything about it but whine to all of you.
Sorry about the whining.
A lovely cup of chai might adjust my attitude. I think I'll make one.
Have a happy Monday.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

That cat!

Mini wonders what she can get into today...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Shh... Don't tell...

It's me, Mini.
They are off to VMI and mom left her computer on. She thinks we don't know how to surf the web! Ha! If they only knew the porn sites we surf: Animal Planet and Petco are the best! Heck we felines know how to work the TV, too. They think we spend our days curled up asleep when they aren't home. We will continue to let them think that. This is our little secret, ok?

I've only got a little time to type this up. It seems the #1 son will be arriving home shortly. I need time to go collect some socks and spread them in the hallway. Mom loves it but it irritates the heck out of Dad. He doesn't like his socks touched. I choose each sock carefully. Sometimes I take them from the dirty laundry and sometimes - when I get the urge - I open the sock drawers and choose from there because it's more of a challenge and the socks aren't smelly.

These snowy days have me cooped up in the house and I'm kinda starting to lose it. There is just not enough cat nip in this house to keep me calm. I need to get outside and chase some rodents! Yeah, I chase 'em for about 10 steps, and then it's nap time. I really need some warm weather so I can get back to my afternoon nap by the pool. This napping on their bed all day is getting really old -- even if their bed is very comfy.

I am even beginning to think that Zeb is starting to go stir crazy. He asks to go out and then proceeds to sit out there on the pool deck with his butt in the snow. In.the.snow. That stuff is cold! I touched it with my paw once. I will not to that again -- that stuff is worse than plain old nasty water.

Oo... I just noticed some papers they left on the counter. They are pristine and need to be munched and shredded. I love to shred paper. Napkins shred the best... I'm just sayin. Hmm... I wonder if we have full toilet paper rolls. Let me check... Why yes, yes we do. I think those need to be unrolled while I have the time.

Ok - well, I've got chores to do before the boy gets home. The best part -- he won't notice anything. He will just whip up some mac and cheese, turn on the TV, and settle in. I'm golden until Mom gets home.

Mini - out.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


I decided to make a triangle shawl for my next project. I've got the buttery mohair mittens on hold until I get the shawl to the point that it will cover my lap. I need to get it big enough to keep me warm while I work on it during Saturday's meeting. :)

I've got 14 rows done. I figure another 5 or six and I will be able to keep warm while I work. Then I'll get back to those yummy buttery mittens.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sunshine, snow, and bitter cold

This is what the front yard looks like this morning. It is deceptively lovely.

I can guarantee you that I'm not ready for any of the predicted weather except the sunshine part. Now, 75 and sunny with low humidity -- I'm all over that!  We don't have much snow - unlike my dear friends in New England and I'm fine with that.   What I'm not fine with is temps that are supposed to drop like a stone to below zero. I live in the south - where cold is supposed to be 40, not -10. 

I'm off to Prayer Shawl today. I think I'll start a shawl or a lap robe today and finish it during the VMI Parents Council Meeting on Saturday. The room is notoriously cold and if I'm working on a larger item, it will keep me warm. See? I'm always thinking. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2 years?

It's been 2 years since I last posted. How can this be?
I guess I'd better get back to it, huh?

I can attribute my return here to a friend who told me that he, too, was censored, but didn't much care what people said.  I thought - you know, he is right. This is my blog. It's my opinion. Opinions are like a$$holes. Everyone has one. If you don't like what I have to say, click the little red button up there in the corner, close the window, and don't come back.

Much has happened in those 2 years. Almost too much to say.
I will post the past 2 Christmas letters and that will catch you up.

For now, it goes like this:
Both of my cherubs are in college.
We are enjoying our empty nest, but we also love spending time with the kids when we visit or when they are home.
I work at a local winery part time and as Mr says, "I've become a wine snob." Nah! I just know what I like. FYI: I like a good Merlot.
I've picked up another bell choir to direct. I start with them in a week and a half and I'm really looking forward to getting to know the ladies and making music with them.

Well, the wood stove needs feeding and the dog needs to go out.
Mini keeps trying to steal my blog and type her own thing. Maybe tomorrow, I'll let her post. If I do that, my next post might actually post sooner than 2 years from now...