Sunday, February 26, 2006

Spring, Purple Martins Return, Bluebird Courtship, Shawl Update, Trellis Scarf and Prayer

Our first Purple Martins have returned from Brazil to our colony site for the Spring nesting season. It is *always* a thrill when the first of the season returns! It is mind boggling to realize these small and beautiful creatures migrate thousands of miles annually to return to *our yard* to nest each season. They are a joy to behold and a true gift from above. Ah, knitting and birdwatching...what could be better? : )

Our Eastern Bluebirds are also actively seeking mates and preparing for housekeeping. They are singing and the males are *wing waving* at the females from atop their chosen houses. You can see that the males are doing their best to attract a female by singing, waving their wings, and preening their feathers....just like men. : )

Here's a picture of my beautiful Granny, Ollie, in IL wearing her new shawl. Isn't she pretty? She's a very young 97 years old! She is currently living with my cousin in IL who has a huge heart and her family has welcomed Granny into their home. They even built Granny her own new bedroom and have her favorite chair next to their fireplace for Granny to enjoy. *Thank You* Sylvia and Bill! And, *thank you* to each of your wonderful children for helping and caring for Granny so very well.

As you can see, the Faroese shawl stays on her shoulders while she walks with her walker. The shoulder shaping makes the difference and makes an excellent choice for a steady and wearable shawl. Since I can't be there to give Granny hugs just now, I hope that she knows that this shawl is doing the hugging for me. : )

Above is a picture of one of my current knitting projects, the Trellis Scarf from the current issue of Interweave Knits magazine. This is a delightful knit. I plan on making the sage color scarf for my mother-in-law, Loraine. I'm also going to knit this scarf for my sister, Cheryl (love you, Sis), in the color Cinnabar...or *red*! Cheryl loves bright colors, and I think this red will look great on her. And, red will go well with her lively personality and beautiful coloring. : )

Updates for Prayer Requests

Remember Will, the young, family man that I had been reporting on concerning a liver tumor and possible cancer? This week there is an update, although the removed tumor was not cancerous, they have diagnosed lymphoma now...or, cancer of the lymph system. He will be seeing the oncologist this week and a treatment plan will be devised. Please remember Will, his wife, and their 3 children in your prayers.

Also, please remember my friend Susan in your prayers. Susan is battling a recurrence of cancer bravely and with unbelievable grace. She is an inspiration to everyone that has met her and we all care about her deeply.

*On a side note, Susan and I are both currently on high dose steroids as part of our differing medical treatments. We've started the Chubby Cheek Club! If you would also care to be a charter member, feel free to join in. We think we're setting a fashion trend for the Spring season...smiling, happy, knitting, and enjoying having *power cheeks*! : )

It encourages my heart this week to realize that if the Lord can make it possible for small birds to travel thousands of miles, across oceans and land, to return to the same yard and colony site for nesting each year, that He is certainly well beyond *able* to care deeply for each of us, His children, and tend to each detail of our hearts and lives. There is *no* situation or concern in our lives of which He is not aware. My constant prayer is for our Heavenly Father to hold Will and Susan closely as they have treatment and return to complete health soon.

Your Friend,


Matthew 18:18-20
18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sorry for the Delay, Hands, and Potato Soup

I'm sorry I've been away for a few days. I've missed everyone. I really did try to post a couple of nights ago, but Blogger and my computer were not communicating well so it didn't materialize.

I've had a very busy week. I have some ongoing medical issues that have sidelined me a bit this week, but I'm getting back into form now. : )


Earlier in the week, my dear husband took me out to eat. I was at the salad bar, peering through the sneeze guard, when it struck me that there were so many different hands in view. Older hands, younger hands, large and small hands, hands of different textures and colors. From this vantage point, I was unable to see any faces connected to any hands...just hands.

I started wondering what the work of each of these hands had been, was, or was going to be? Where had these hands been in their lifetime? How many joys and hardships had they known? What was the mission of each of these hands? Where did each person's heart and mind direct their hands to go?

Hands are an incredible gift. They have incredible comfort others, to caress the face of a loved one, to hug a friend, to pet an animal, to feel the finest fibers, to lift in praise, to create a work of art, make a repair to a home, or to make a phone call or send an email to someone that you miss.

I'm making it my personal goal this week to keep my hands busy with good things, and to express my thankfulness to the Lord for the gift of our hands. Would you care to join me?

Fingerless Mitts for CIC Caregivers

This is the first of a pair of fingerless mitts for the caregivers of CIC. This is a free online pattern posted here by Dawn Adcock. These are quick and easy to knit and are very stretchy to accomodate a variety of hand and forearm sizes. I hope to complete the second of this pair today.

Potato Soup

I'm posting the recipe for my favorite Potato Soup. This recipe was shared with me several years ago by a very good friend, Kathy Drennan. Thanks Kathy!

I'm hoping that Rebecca will be able to enjoy this soup soon since she is recovering from dental surgery.

Ingredients -

6 to 8 Idaho Gold Potatoes (Russets are fine if you prefer) chopped in small pieces with peels *left on*
3 large, peeled, and chopped carrots
1 medium yellow onion diced/chopped
2 or 3 diced/chopped stalks of celery
2 or 3 tbsp. butter or margarine
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Knorr Chicken Boullion - 2 or 3 cubes or tbsps. if using powder
6 to 8 cups of water
1 can evaporated milk

Fill a stew pan with the necessary water, amount depending on the number of potatoes you choose to use. Add Chicken Boullion cubes or powder and bring to boil. Add chopped carrots to boiling water and reduce to simmer. Add chopped onion and celery once carrots have become partially softened. Once vegetables are mostly softened, add chopped potatoes. Cover and simmer, stirring gently occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Go very lightly on the salt since there is salt in the boullion.) Add the butter/margarine to the softened and simmering vegetables. Once all the vegetables are tender, turn off the heat. Only *after the heat has been turned off*, add the can of evaporated milk. Stir lightly and serve with crackers or your favorite bread.

This is outstanding comfort food. It takes only about 30 minutes to prepare and have ready to serve. It refrigerates well and is an easy heat and serve meal.


I pray for everyone to have an excellent weekend, good health, a calm mind, a full and content heart, and joyfully busy hands.

Your Friend,


P.S. I also did cast on for the Trellis Scarf from the current issue of Interweave Knits. This is a delightful knit! I'll post progress pictures soon.

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.

Monday, February 20, 2006

We Finally Got Mail!

Our mailperson didn't make it to our rural area on Saturday. Our weather was dreadful. I don't know if there were massive call-ins at the postal service, or possibly auto accidents, but I was concerned when, for the first time in over 10 years at our farm, the mail never came.

Today is a national holiday and no postal service was expected. So, how surprised was I when I looked out the front window and saw a package setting atop our mailbox? Stunned is a good description.

As you can see in the picture above, Toni of The Fold has certainly brightened my day! My Bosworth Midi spindle in *Oak* was in the box, along with *4* types of roving samples. : ) The rovings are lucious, literally! I have 1 ounce of CVM (I need to look up what CVM is) in a beautiful, golden - fawn color; 2 ounces of greyish-beige Corriedale, 1 ounce of wonderful off-white Cormo; and 1 ounce of very dark brown/almost black Lincoln Lamb. Toni has already got a leader started on my new spindle, now I just need to get out my Spindle Spinning book and get to work. : )

A Finished Object for CIC

In the picture below you can see that I also finished up a size 4 child's woolen vest for CIC. This is the same vest that I cast on last Thursday night at Borders. These are quick, easy, and fulfilling projects. I haven't washed and blocked it out yet, but I did want to get a picture of it up for those that might be considering joining in on the CIC knitting fun! I'll wash it in Eucalan and block it out this evening.

My next project for CIC will be to cast on some fingerless mitts for the caregivers this evening.

I do need to add a very good word for the 100% wool yarn that I used in knitting this CIC vest. It is Cascade Eco+. It is very soft, no knots, and a bulky weight yarn that is an excellent value. Our local yarn shops don't carry Cascade Eco+, so I have had a wonderful experience ordering this yarn from Cedarville Landing Yarn Shop on Ebay. I've also had only positive experiences ordering Cascade Ecological Wool from Mrs Knits Yarn Shop on Ebay. You might check their listings on Ebay. I highly recommend both of them.

You might notice another package of roving in the picture below. This was a gift from Jeanell of our Borders knitting group. *THANK YOU, Jeanell*. This is incredibly soft, white Merino from a local grower and another roving of an unknown sheep. I can barely wait to work with both of them. My husband is going to make Jeanell a nostepinne in exchange for her helping me learn to spin on a spindle. How wonderful other knitters are ... and husbands. They are the very best, in my opinion. : )

I hope that you are each having a wonderful day, enjoying friends and family, and staying warm. Now, I need to put on a pot of my favorite potato soup.

Your Friend,


P.S. That is Toby's tail in the top picture. He's our tuxedo cat. He also likes to be in the middle of everything, all the time.

Isaiah 40:28-31
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Faroese Shawl is Finished! : )

As you can see in the picture above, the *Yellow Shawl* (which I knit in lavender Misti Alpaca sport weight yarn) is completed. It is blocked and ready to package. I'll be sending it to my Grandmother in Illinois tomorrow morning!

This pattern, from the The Best of Knitter's Magazine Shawls and Scarves was filled with errors. I have never before encountered such a frustrating knitting experience. I have contacted the publishers several times and am still hoping for them to rework this pattern and correct the errors. The stitch counts after row 65 are *off* by 22 stitches....which can not be accurately corrected without trying to *figure out where* the shoulder shaping decreases should be placed. Prior to row 65, there are several chart errors, but these are very minor when compared to the problems encountered once you reach row 65!

Last week I was told by the XRX pattern support that they were working on a magazine deadline and would get back with me after the deadline on the pattern problems. I hope to hear from them this week. I think I have now regained my composure to be able to discuss the errors politely and kindly, so it may have been a very good thing that they were too busy last week. : )

This is a flawed and poorly written pattern as it is currently published. It took a big toll on any knitting confidence I had prior to starting, but I do feel quite a sense of accomplishment seeing it through to the end. And, I think I have a much better understanding of what makes a well written pattern....and of the shoulder shaping technique for Faroese shawls.

My grandmother is 97 and walks with a walker. A shawl that won't slip off of her small shoulders is very important. I hope that it keeps her warm and happy and that she knows that I love her each time she sees it and wears it! Since I can't be there in person to give her a hug, I'll be sending this shawl to do it for me. : )

Today is still very cold and we have several farm chores to tend to...and then I'll be back to knitting. The size 4 CIC vest is knitting up quickly and I think I may be able to finish it this evening. If so, I'll post another picture today!

Stay warm and have a wonderful day.

Your Friend,


Psalms 52:8
But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in God's faithful love forever and ever.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

It's Cold Outside and Busy Inside!

We have very cold temps. in OK today! Thankfully, we've also had precipitation. Although our precipitation was in solid form, any amount is appreciated since we have been desperately dry with wildfires abounding.

The ground covered with ice has certainly brought lots of great birds to our many feeders. Although lighting outside was poor, and I was shooting through a window, I got a few pictures worth sharing of our feeder visitors today. Among our usual visitors were Dark-eyed Juncos, Harris's Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, American Goldfinches, House Finches, Carolina Wrens, Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinals, Grackles and Red-winged Blackbird females. We can't fill our feeders quickly enough to keep them all satisified.

The birds are also enjoying the heated birdbath. In this type of weather accessible and unfrozen water is equally important to adequate food supply.

I can get lost watching the birds. Their many colors and behaviors never cease to amaze me...and I am just amazed at God's creativity and imagination. : )

I did get my Grandmother's Faroese shawl soaked in Euclan, rinsed, and have put it out for blocking. It was almost too large to block out on the twin bed in the back bedroom, but I got it to *just fit*. I've tried several options for blocking the shoulder shaping...padding in that area, not padding in that area, etc. I finally decided to just let it block out naturally without padding. If it doesn't look OK when dry, I'll reblock.

I really love the way that Eucalan makes a finished garment smell fresh and sweet. The Alpaca is divinely soft and I'm anxious for the drying process to complete. Then I plan on wrapping in a good amount of tissue paper in a nice box and Priority mailing it to my Grandmother....hopefully on Monday!

Currently on my knitting needles is a size 4 woolen vest for CIC. These CIC vests are simple and quick to knit, and a balm to the heart of the knitter. There's just nothing better than knowing you're knitting an item for a child to stay warm and enjoy...and that many prayers are included in the stitching. I'll also be knitting some fingerless mitts for the caregivers of CIC soon. Many free patterns have been posted and shared on the CIC Yahoo List. Please consider joining. I promise you will enjoy every project and challenge. : )

A Praise Report -

I do have an update on a previous prayer request that I posted on my blog. A couple of weeks back I posted about a young family man named Will that had undergone an 11 hr. surgery for possible liver cancer. The pathology report came back this week, and Will does *NOT* have cancer. The tumor was benign! He is now home and recovering. Thank you sincerely to each of you that thought of, and prayed for, Will and his family.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Your Friend,


I John 3:16-20
16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has this world's goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him--how can God's love reside in him? 18 Little children, we must not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth; 19 that is how we will know we are of the truth, and will convince our hearts in His presence, 20 because if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What use is a pattern? Do we need instructions...or want them?

If I was a much more experienced knitter than I am, I'm sure that pattern flaws wouldn't bother me nearly so much. However, since I am at an intermediate level (on a good day) and still learning new techniques and methods, I find a pattern very important to accomplish a larger project. Add to that the fact that the project is a *gift* and I am getting a bit beyond frustrated. : (

The XRX publishing support help has been helpful, but my last request for help was answered with a note that a magazine deadline was coming this week, so that they would get back with me and go over the pattern as soon as the deadline was passed. I understand deadlines, I understand accidental errors. However, in this instance this book was originally published in *1999*. Isn't that now *7* years? So, after a pattern has been published for *7* years, there are *still* uncorrected errors? Does this seem right?

Wasn't this pattern test knitted before release? Didn't the author of the pattern want to make sure that her efforts were published correctly? Aren't the publishers responsible to check their publications for accuracy in a timely manner?

Evidently this pattern for the *Yellow Shawl* was modified after the pictures of the completed shawl were taken. They decided to delete several of the decreases along the gusset. However, they left the *old, prior to modification* stitch counts in place. Now at row 91....the stitch count is off by several stitches! Yes, I can compensate by doing decreases in *hopefully* proper places in the shoulder shaping. But, why am I having to do this? I purchased the book for the patterns so that I may knit shawls and not have to figure out how to knit, or repair them, on my own at this point.

I'm sorry to sound negative, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with disappointment in this book and the associated publisher.

I am certain this will work out and I will learn something from the process. I just didn't want it to be this hard when I was really *trying and wanting* to follow directions.

So, here I am with instructions in a pattern that I can't follow. This is quite a turn of events, as frequently I've found myself with instructions in life that were clear and caring....and then, of course, I didn't see the need, or want, to follow them.

Obviously, I am very *human*.

My prayer is that we each can see and gratefully accept those gentle, caring, and loving instructions the Lord gives us for our lives. He offers these as a loving parent wanting the best for, and caring for, His children. He knows our hearts, He knows every desire of our being, He knows what is best for each of us to reach our full potential and how to keep us safe.....and, He loves us most. Yes, my prayer is that we accept the Lord's unending love, encouragement, and caring instructions as we grow closer in our walk with Him....and that our knitting patterns are error free. : )

Your Friend,


Psalms 1:1-3
1 How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! 2 Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Psalms 19:7
The instruction of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.

P.S. Please allow me to leave you with a *proud parent* moment. The picture below is of our wonderful son, Zach, the night last fall that he received his Black Belt in Tai Kwon Do. : )

Monday, February 13, 2006

Red Hot Sizzling Socks, Ongoing Shawl Saga, Spindle Spinning, and Hope

As you can see photographed above, I'm preparing to cast on for the Red Hot Sizzling Socks Knit-along. I've chosen Mountain Colours Barefoot yarn in the colorway Ruby River. This is beautiful and soft yarn and I will now try to choose just the right pattern for it.

I'm looking forward to adding sock knitting back into my current efforts. I am in need of a short break in shawl knitting and fighting a pattern that has had errors. : (

I have contacted the XRX publishers corrections support staff today with another problem found in the charted pattern. I hope to have a response soon. I am really looking forward to a completed and lovely shawl being in the mail to my grandmother for her to enjoy. : )

I'm branching out in my interests in fiber related activities. After last weeks spinning guild meeting, I have decided that I really want to learn to spin. I'll be beginning with spindle spinning. My husband asked that I order a Bosworth Spindle for my Valentine's Day gift! This man really knows how to keep his wife deleriously happy!

If spindle spinning goes well, I really hope to continue on and learn to spin with a spinning wheel some day. But, we'll see how it goes with a spindle first.

I hope that spindle spinning goes a matter of fact, I hope that it goes wonderfully well. I realize that it may be difficult initially, but I am full of hope that it will become easier as I practice.

So much of our lives are enriched by the gift of hope...ideas have fledged, dreams realized, and civilizations founded and based on hope. The hope of something better, something more, and health and happiness for our fellow humans. The hope of health and happiness in this life for all is great, but the hope and promise of eternal life with our Heavenly Father is greater still. May we all live diligently helping others in this life, and also keep focused on the gift of grace from our Father above...of eternal life with Him.

I leave you with the picture below. A young Purple Martin female with her newly fledged young of 2005....and I'm certain that she is full of hope for the successful and full life for her young.

Your Friend,


Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Shawl Growth, Nostepinnes, Borders Fun, and Trying to Understand

Shawl Report

I'm thrilled to report that the shawl for my grandmother is officially *half* knitted to completion. The knitting has gotten easier as the pattern has progressed, but I still have a couple of questions to have answered by XRX Publications pattern support.

The lavendar Misti Alpaca is absolutely lucious and a joy to knit. It is softer than you can imagine. It does shed a bit, but not any more than any long staple, very smooth and wonderful fiber. : )


Also, please notice the *nostepinne* (or nostepinde) in the picture above. My kind, loving, and talented husband made this nostepinne for me on his lathe with his own hands. He's also made 2 other nostepinnes for me that are not pictured.

Nostepinnes are used for manually making center-pull balls of yarn from hanks. It is a very relaxing and quite quick activity, and I don't think I'll ever prefer a mechanical ball winder over his hand made nostepinnes.

Nostepinnes have been used for generations in Scandanavia and they traveled to the US in the 1980's with a knitting technique called twined knitting. In Scandanavia (and the US) men, young and old, carve or turn nostepinnes for their sweethearts...and to have something to do while their wives or girlfriends were off knitting.

Nope, no mechanical ball winder is in my future. I'll cherish every nostepinne that my husband creates for me. Also, I'd like to dispell the myth that a flat, cake type ball cannot be wound on a nostepinne. As you can see in the picture above, 2 hanks of Koigu have been wound into center pull cakes/balls on my nostepinne with ease. : )

Borders Fun

Last night was our weekly Thursday Sit N Stitch meeting at Borders. Our meetings are open to anyone that likes to knit, crochet, spindle, or any form of fiber craft. We have such fun stitching and chatting, comparing projects, petting yarn and fibers, and it is a great treat near the end of a busy week.

The picture of our Borders group is of just some of our members. I believe our group has grown to almost 30 members now! So, if you are in Norman, OK on a Thursday evening at 7 PM, come and join us at Borders.

Trying to Understand

This is a picture of Ellie, our senior Dachshund, and *my* sweetie. Ellie is a long-haired Dachshund, black and tan, with a small amount of dappling.

Ellie is in charge of our farm, or at least that is her impression. She keeps all the other dogs, cats, and critters of all sorts in line. : )

She is quiet, brave to a fault, very gentle and snuggly, and quite obsessed with searching for things underground. She loves to keep at least one large hole in progress at all times. And, she's very protective of her hole. She only allows the other dogs to watch from afar.

I understand that Dachshunds were bred to go after Badgers in holes beneath the ground, but we don't have any Badgers on our farm. And, we are evidently short on *holes* for her to search, she makes her own.

Of all the holes that Ellie has dug over the years, she still has never found a single Badger. Yet, she continues as if she knows there is a Badger with the next paw push of dirt.

Ellie gets loads of exercise, tons of love, and has lots of animal friends. However, she remains committed to the search for her elusive Badger. As a result, during the warm and not-so-warm months, Ellie digs holes....and I fill holes. Ellie digs, I fill. Ellie digs... : )

I often wonder if the Lord looks down on me, when I get overly concerned about something, or worried and consumed with *making sure things work out* as *I* had planned....I wonder if He sees me as being obsessed with *digging holes* (figuratively speaking, of course). I pray to keep my mind clear and looking for guidance from above, so that my time is productive, that I'm keeping on track, and that I'm not just feverishly, *digging holes*.

I pray that each of you have a wonderful day, peace in your heart, and that we are each not distracted by the need to *dig holes*. : )

Your Friend,


Hosea 6:3
Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him! Then he will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fun, New Friends, and Challenges

Today has been a delight. I've been with my hubby all day...and there's just nothing better. And, to add to our fun day, we had dinner out together, a quick trip to Borders, and the evening spent with new friends at the Norman Fiber League monthly meeting.

I, of course, went to admire the spinning wheels, drop spindles, fibers of all types, chat, and be with fiber loving friends. My husband went to admire the woodworking techniques and craftsmanship that is used in the making of spinning wheels and drop spindles. But, I did catch him petting both alpaca and Merino/silk roving, as well as Coopworth wool. : )

Hubby is a woodturner in his spare time and has already made me 3 nostepinnes. Now he is going to branch out into drop spindles, I believe. So, I think this was an evening very well spent.

The members of the Norman Fiber League were a delight! They answered our many questions, demonstrated several techniques, explained their wheels, and even let us attempt spindling while they encouraged us every step of the way. I think we even got some of the members to join us in our Thursday night Borders knitting group!

Below are some of the pictures that I took this evening at the Norman Fiber League monthly spinning guild meeting. Enjoy!


When challenges come up in our life, what should we do? How should we react?

I believe it is the way we view these challenges that can make them possible to overcome...with grace, honesty, and even joy amidst tears. These challenges are *not* punishment from above, of that I am sure. But, I also believe how we choose to go forward, even if full of dread, is possible when we realize that no matter what happens we cannot be separated from the Lord. There is nothing that happens to us of which He is not fully aware and with us every step. While our challenges may not be removed, there will always be a way provided by our Heavenly Father so that we may be overcomers. We will not be given a greater burden than we can bear. And, a purpose will be served. We may not understand today, but someday it will become clear. Until then, hold fast His hand and know that it has been, and will always, be there.

My heart is content. My life is full and blessed. I will surely sleep good tonight and look forward to tomorrow (and Thurs. night knitting, too).

Your Friend,


Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 8:37-39
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Road Trip, Persistence, and Patience

What a week this has been! I've had wonderful time with my husband, quality time with new friends, experienced a fun banquet with good friends and family, and had plenty of opportunities to be persistent in knitting....and patient, too!

Above is the picture of one of our sweet cats. This is Gracie, aka *the unknitter* or *frogger*. She is a joy and a kitty loaded with personality. I really feel her IQ eclipses mine by miles on most days. She sneaks into our bedroom in the late afternoon, then hides under the bed for hours, hoping to successfully wait until we've turned out the lights for the night...only to suddenly jump up on the bed and try to snuggle in between us for a long winter's nap. She isn't successful and is abruptly put out of the room, but that does not deter her from trying again, and again, and again.

Gracie is also as thrilled with yarn and fiber as I am. However, I like to knit the yarn... and Gracie's obsession is with *unkintting* the yarn. And, she likes nothing better than a good chew or two on the end of my knitting needles. My Addi Turbos are up to the assault, but my bamboos, wooden, and Denise needles are to be protected at all cost. Gracie is especially fond of bamboo double-pointed needles. This prompted my rapid change to Magic Loop technique on almost any circular project. So far, I'm winning on this battle front with Gracie! But, I won't count my chickens before they are hatched....the jury is still out on who will be the ultimate winner in this battle of wills. Gracie definitely tests my patience frequently, but I admire and even envy her persistence.

Friday evening, I had the pleasure of spending the evening with 4 of the other ladies from our Thursday night knitting group. We had a great time chatting on our way up to the SWAK Friday Night Knitting event. We were treated to Keely's marvelous cooking, fun chatting and getting to meet other knitters, some quality shopping time in a beautiful yarn shop, and hours of knitting together. We enjoyed the fun road trip and I only wish I drove a bus so that more could join in the fun!

Saturday evening was the WildCare Foundation Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. We were in great company with a room packed with others that care for our native wildlife creatures. Rondi presented an informative and interesting slide show with current statistics and numerous pictures of creatures cared for by WildCare over the last year. The dinner was outstanding. Tom had spent the day smoking salmon and barbecuing ribs. And finally, we were treated to a narrated slide show by Nancy of the hurricane Katrina animal care and recovery efforts. It was indeed an awesome and touching evening.

We also got to spend some wonderful time with our daughter, Amanda, and her husband (our newest son!), Ryan. We couldn't be prouder as parents of these two. We have been blessed beyond measure with all of our children. We love you Zach, Amanda, and Ryan... more than we will ever be able to put into words.

Today I'm knitting on my grandmother's shawl while my sweet husband tries to control himself while watching the Super Bowl. I'm enjoying the shawl challenge. When I get to a *just knit all stitches* row, I am really enjoying thinking about what a wonderful week it has been....and daydreaming about the spinning guild meeting that we get to attend on this coming Tuesday. Be still my heart! : )

I've also had some quailty Bible study and prayer time. To have peace in your heart amidst trying or very difficult times is such a gift of the Lord. I would like to ask my online friends a special request for prayer. Please pray for Will, a young man with a family, that had an 11 hr. surgery just days ago at a major E. coast medical center for possible liver cancer. The biopsy results are pending. Also, please pray for a family that lost their oldest son (and brother) in Tulsa this week. The grief and pain of their unexpected loss is tremendous. And, as always, please pray for all the young men and women in service to our country that are in danger and pray for those that lead them.

I know that the Lord is fully aware of each of the above situations. I know that He loves his children - each of us - beyond our possibility to comprehend. My heart has been heavy for each of those mentioned above and I look forward to each opportunity for prayer and praise...and learning more through His word. I pray for health and healing for those mentioned, and that each of us may know that this life is our learning ground for the next life in the presence of the Lord.

I wish everyone a wonderful upcoming week.

Your Friend,


Psalms 94:14, 17-19, 22
14 For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.

17 If the LORD had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in {the abode of} silence. 18 If I should say, "My foot has slipped," Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up. 19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

22 But the LORD has been my stronghold, And my God the rock of my refuge.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Progress, Diligence, and Joy

Can you see that my grandmother's shawl is growing? I finally passed the intimidation factor, and the shawl is growing as hoped! If I continue to get to prioritize the shawl in my knitting time, I hope to have it finished in the next week, or two. : )

I'm also considering knitting up some Opal Socks for my Granny in a matching lavendar/purple colorway. The color is from the Opal Rainforest collection and the colorway is called Fish. My Granny loves bright colors, sparkles, beads, glitter, rhinestones, all these things....and the *louder*, the better! I may add beads to the socks for her because she loves them so very much.

So, I'm glad to report that the shawl knitting is moving forward!

Personally, there is forward progress, as well. Our daughter will be coming to town this weekend (HOORAY!!!!) and we will be attending the WildCare Foundation Volunteer Banquet together...along with my wonderful hubby. Last year, I worked as an avian subpermittee and rehabbed ill or orphaned baby birds (primarily). I specialized in insectivores and some seed eaters. I hope to be able to do it again this season, but it will depend on if my doctors allow it this year. Rehab work is very rewarding, exhausting, and sometimes trying. I enjoyed working with Rondi and the staff of WildCare very much...they are indeed, the greatest. Please support WildCare with donations of time, financial support, donation of needed goods, or becoming a member. It is a wonderful, trustworthy, and dedicated group of folks that give their all in caring for orphaned or injured wildlife of all types.

I'll be posting pictures of some of my very small WildCare babies from last year in the near future. : )

I do have some special medical challenges coming up this next week, specifically Wednesday (Feb. 8th). For those of you that pray, or would care to send good thoughts our way, they would be accepted with special thanks.

I'm spending much quality time this week in Bible study, watching and listening to Worship Network TV (channel 62-3 for those of you that have local TV multicast access via DirecTV), knitting - both at home and with friends, and drinking up precious time with my husband and family.

For those that care to know a bit more about the upcoming challenge this week, just leave a comment of inquiry and I'll contact you by email.

On another topic, I've been reminded this week of the vast difference in experiencing happiness and joy. Happiness if often dependent upon circumstances in life, but joy is consistent in the heart of one that knows the Lord is with them every moment of every day. That His love never ends and that he is an ever present help in times of trouble. Yes, my heart is joyful!

I'll leave you today with a fun picture... fledgling Eastern Bluebirds cooling from the summer heat in 2003.

Your Friend,


Romans 8: 35 & 37-39
35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!