Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Quick & *On Time* Saturday Sky!

Here's our sky in central Oklahoma today .....

Isn't it gorgeous? : )

I'm going to try to keep my Saturday Sky posts short and *on time* from this point forward. I hope that you are each having a wonderful Saturday Sky and a great day!

Your Friend,


Also, be sure to read my regular post located below this one.


Psalm 36:5
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Late Saturday Sky, On The Needles, and Barkley Bartholomew

Well, it's Friday and I'm just now getting the picture of last Saturday's Sky posted. Amanda, our daughter, took the picture for me. Thank you, Apple Dumpling! : )

One of our greatest blessings was getting to move to our farm and enjoying the scenery, quietness, and wildlife. Farm life is busy and demanding, but we wouldn't have it any other way. My husband and I both have had careers in the medical field (me and RN for a very long time, my husband a nuclear medicine technologist) and there has been nothing better than having our farm to come home to after a strenuous day.

Here's a look out from one of the living room windows at our front yard taken a couple of years ago. It is still much the same.

The ducks are releases from Wildcare Foundation after successful rehab, as are some of the geese. The Canada Geese, however, are wild and they stop by for a visit and a meal frequently.

Currently On The Needles

I'm currently working on another little raglan pullover for CIC. It is being knitted in Cascade 220 in the color Tangerine Heather. The yarn was purchased from my favorite ebay seller Cedarville Landing Yarn. Thank you, Jane! She has great prices and outstanding service.

Additionally, I couldn't resist casting on for the Mountain Peaks Shawl from Mimknits. I'm using Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight in the color Mushroom. I purchased this from Margaret at Gourmet Yarn Co. ...and I plan on getting more! : )

My double rolled mittens are currently stalled. The action of knitting in the roving has caused me to develop a wrist issue. When it calms down, I'll get them finished.

Lessons from Barkley Bartholomew

Here's Barkley...

This is just about as excited as Barkley gets. He can lounge and sleep during the most severe thunderstorm. He is calm when our dachshunds are inside and a little too interested in him. Nothing seems to get him upset or rattled. Although this is a Ragdoll breed characteristic, I think Barkley has calmness to spare! : )

I'm hoping that someday I can learn to be calm and still (at all times)in the Lord despite what's happening in my life. I don't want to become unaware and disinterested in what's happeing in the world at all. I want to stay active and participatory, but yet still have peace and rest in my heart and mind....that only our Heavenly Father provides.

Prayer Updates

Little Mackenzie is improving and undergoing treatment for her facial cancer. Please continue to pray for her and her family diligently.

My grandmother has improved physically, but her clarity of mind continues to deteriorate. Hospice is a great help. Please continue to pray for her to be as comfortable as possible in her final days...and for my family in IL that is caring for her.

I pray for each of you to have health, enjoyable days, to continue to help others, and to have the peace of the Lord in your heart and mind.

Your Friend,



John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sockret Pal Information

This is my first knitting/gifting exchange and I'm so ready to have loads of fun with this. I've got plans for my assigned partner already! And, here's the information for the person that has been assigned to me.

I'm really thrilled and can't wait to get to know both my partners on each end! Now, let's have fun!

The Questionerre

The basics:
How long have you been knitting? Actually, I've been knitting about 2 years.

Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep? I'd consider myself and intermediate to advanced sock knitter.

The measurements:
I wear a ladie's size 7 (US) shoe. Foot circumference is 8 inches.

(fiber related) Favorites:
What colors do you love? Nearly any color. I love blues, greens, reds, yellow....just any of them.
Do you prefer solids or variegated? Solids for textured patterns and varigated for simple patterns.
What fibers do you most love to knit with? Wool, alpaca, wool/silk blends, and just about any natural fiber.
Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors? Regia Silk Wool, Opal, Socks That Rock, Barefoot Mountain Colors, etc.
What projects (other than socks, of course*S*) do you most enjoy knitting? Sweaters, socks, anything with lace.

(fiber related) Dislikes:
What fibers can you not stand to knit with? To wear? I find that I don't enjoy acrylic...either knitting with it or wearing it.
What colors would you never wear? The only color I don't wear near my face is orange. I just fade out to invisible when I wear orange.

The Tools:
Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood? I love my Denise Interchangable needles. I also enjoy Addi Turbos for sock knitting. And then I love Bamboo and wood needles, too!
Circs or Straights? Circs most frequently, but I do enjoy using my straights at times.
DPNs or Magic Loop? Either. I use Magic Loop most of the time, but find myself missing my DPN's and use them fairly regularly, too.
Are there any knitting accessories you don't have in your collection but would like?
I never have enough point protectors. I also love anything to do with little sheep. I never have enough of the zip top baggies on hand to hold my yarn and knitting when I need them. I love any little knitting gadgets or goodies.

The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? Not really.
Do you like sweet, sour or salty? I like them all!
Do you have any allergies your pal should know about? Smoke causes me problems.
Favorite scents? I love most scents. Citrus and cocoanut, some floral, and lots of food ... apple, pumpkin pie, etc.
Do you collect anything (other than yarn and knitting toys of course)? Dachshund things : ) Also, bird items...and just about any animal item. I also enjoy having nice notecards to send to friends and family.
When is your birthday? November 19th
Do you spin? Dye your own yarn? I'm learning to spin with a drop spindle. I haven't tried dying yarn yet, but I'm interested.
Your favorite author/band/vacation spot, anything you think will help your pal know you better...

My favorite vacation spot is right here on our farm! We have horses, cats, dogs, ducks, geese, and all types of wildlife. I enjoy anything nature related and autumn is my favorite season.

Most of my books are knitting books. I also enjoy good fiction and fantasy, mystery books, and writings of C. S. Lewis.

I enjoy classical music, Celtic music, and insturmental music of many types.

Basically, there isn't much that I don't enjoy or appreciate. : )

That's about it. If you have questions, please just let me know. And, I hope you're having a wonderful week!

Your Pal,


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Saturday Sky on Wednesday, Knitting, and Words

Saturday Sky

I've been very excited to join the Saturday Sky webring. Folks all over the world just take a picture of the sky on Saturday in their area. The webring can be followed and you can enjoy the wonder and differences in the sky in each area.

Although the picture of the Saturday Sky over our farm in central Oklahoma is being posted on Wednesday, it *was* our view Saturday afternoon of the glorious sky from our vantage point. Enjoy! : )

Knitting News

My knitting has been focused on the current CIC challenge for sweaters for the children in Eastern European Orphanages. My first sweater (as seen below)for the current CIC Yahoo list knitting challenge is complete, and the 2nd is currently on my needles.

Last night Rosemary and I met at Barnes and Noble for some quality knitting time. Rosemary found some new books in the knitting section and brought them to our table. I was so fascinated by the book below and the information and stories inside that I knew quickly that it would be going home with me if it wasn't going home with Rosemary first.

Inside this book, are *5* pages dedicated to Children In Common and the story behind Karen Porter's (the founder of CIC) adoption of her sons and her continued commitment to the children still in the Eastern European orphanages.

Many other wonderful knitting charitable organizations are highlighted and detailed and several basic charity knitting patterns are included. With quality writing, binding, and photography, this book is excellent. I highly recommend it and it has definitely reignited the spark behind my charitable knitting.

The Double Rolled Mitten knitting also continues for the Knittin' Mittens knit along. Slowly but surely, progress is being made. I'm sure these mittens will be very warm, but the process is not easy for this continental style knitter. I'm still thinking that I can finish by the end of the month, hopefully.


The past week has reminded me once again of the importance of words. Words can uplift the heavy hearted, encourage someone facing a task, relay our affection and caring, invite conversation and exchange, or *all too easily* cause pain, rejection, misinformation to go unchecked, relay prejudice, voice unfounded anger, and cause untold injury.

My prayer is that I can more closely be accountable for my words and use the power of my voice to build up, encourage, express kindness, or even discipline or disagreement in a caring and respectful manner. I pray that I always have the courage to ask forgiveness when I've spoken wrongly and the fortitude to admit my wrongs to those I may have harmed.

Although we enjoy talking casually and think it is just *chit chat*, we should be aware that it has more power to injure than we ever realize. And, I pray that I never use my voice out of the emotion of anger, but rather a measured voice of reason, fact, and fairness.

I also pray that I recognize and never back down from using my voice for someone being unfairly maligned.

Thank you for your prayers for my grandmother. She is resting much better this week.

I'll be praying for each of you and hope that you have a wonderful week and that every day you feel the Lord's presence more closely and that your walk with Him is stronger.

Your Friend,


P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Sis, Cheryl, yesterday the 19th!!!! Love YOU, Sis!

And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Rosemary, Jeanell, and Vanessa tomorrow, the 21st!


Job 4:4
Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.

Job 6:10
Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

1 Peter 3:10
For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Farm Wonders and Thoughts

Look what was enjoying our cooler weather outside today! I found these two skeins of sock yarn resting in our old Maple tree. On the left is a skein of Socks That Rock lightweight sock yarn in the *Lucy* colorway (but we don't call it Lucy's the *Barkley* colorway) from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and on the right, a skein of Lucy Neatby's Celestial Merino Dream sock yarn in the Blue Vesuvius colorway. Both are yummy and more socks are in my knitting plans!

Speaking of Barkley, this is our Barkley Bartholo*mew*. He's our Ragdoll cat. He's a mitted sealpoint...and quite relaxed. See his favorite resting position below:

Yes, this is how Barkley likes to sleep....on his back in his favoirte chair with his head hanging off the edge and his front legs outstretched. Doesn't this look like you would wake up with the worst neck ache in the world? However, there isn't much that gets Barkley excited and this is his way of relaxing and catching some ZZZZZZZs. And, no, I didn't change this picture at all. This is Barkley's position almost every day when he's taking one of his MANY naps.

Our big Maple tree also had a blocked Trellis Scarf (pattern from the Spring '06 issue of Interweave Knits) to display.

The yarn is laceweight Jaggerspun Zephyr silk/wool in the color sage. This is lucious yarn and it was a fun, although lengthy (for me) knit. Thanks go to Rosemary for keeping me motivated!

This scarf is now winging its way north, courtesy of the USPS, as a gift. : )

Additionally, I'm working on knitting some mittens using a very old pattern and technique called *Double Rolled* mittens.

The cuffs went quickly. However, when the *double rolling* started with the merino wool roving being wound around the yarn at each stitch, let's just say I lost my pace. I do plan on having them completed by the end of the month and I was hoping our garden bunny would knit a few rows during our photo session, but so far, no such luck.

The pattern and technique for these mittens are found in Robin Hansen's book, "Favorite Mittens". I'm using sport weight, lavendar, Misti Alpaca and a 47", size 1, Addi Turbo circular needle using the magic loop technique and knitting both mittens at once. I'm participating in Canadian Shelley's Knittin' Mittens knit along.

I've also got a CIC children's sweater on the needles. Pictures will be posted soon!


When I was outside taking pictures today in our cooler weather and enjoying the fresh smells of the fall season, I couldn't help but notice the size of the huge tree in our yard. The tree's base is at least 12 feet in circumference.

I don't know the age of the tree. It was here long before this became our farm. We've watched many birds and other animals make this tree their temporary home and raise families here. It's branches hold many of our bird feeders and provide shade for the birdbath that is kept full with fresh water just below.

The tree has grown quite substantially this summer, in spite of our lengthy drought.

The past few weeks have been difficult with reports of continued war, the 5th anniversary of 9-11, the sudden and unexpected death of a wildlife conservationist, and the declining health of my dear grandmother.

At these times when it seems that the world moves too quickly and makes little if any sense, or maybe is too painful to bear, it is comforting to see such a strong example of God's creativity and provision.

The old tree can't produce the rain that it needs, or the sunshine it depends upon to produce food. It has no way of shielding itself from storms or harsh weather. But yet, it survives, grows, makes beautiful and intricate leaves, produces hundreds of little seeds each spring, and continues to stand strong.

I want to be more like the tree....just trusting .... and continuing to stand. I will continue to delight in God's vast creation and plan ... even when my heart breaks and I don't understand.


Please pray for my grandmother, Ollie, who is almost 98 years old. She has become increasingly weak and is having mounting medical problems related to her age. Hospice has been called in to help as she lives her final days with my extended family in IL.
I covet your prayers for her to have peace of mind and heart in her final days and assurance in the Lord's salvation as she prepares to go home to be with Him. Also, please pray for all my dear relatives that are directly involved in her care. Thank you.

I appreciate each of you and hope that you are having a wonderful week and a closer walk with the Lord every day.

Your Friend,


P.S. I want to give very special *THANKS* to Amanda and Kay for our great trip to Tulsa on Labor Day. What fun we had! : )


Colossians 2:2 & 3

2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Philippians 4:6-8

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Friday, September 01, 2006

It's Been a Busy and Productive Time

The last few weeks have rushed by. I didn't intend to neglect my blog, but it seemed that priorities kept pushing it back until the next day....repeatedly.

So, here I am trying to do a little *catching up* with what's been going on in Oklahoma at the Harris household.

I finished some knitting projects. YAY!

A Raglan Sweater for my hubby and the Trellis Scarf for my aunt. Both have yet to be blocked. Blocking is on the schedule for this weekend. I'll also post better pictures of each of these soon.

The sweater pattern is from the Knitting Pure and Simple pattern #991 and knit with Jo Sharp Aran Tweed yarn in the color *Ash*.

This Raglan sweater patter is worked top-down and totally solves the problem of holes at the underarms with this method. Needless to say, I was thrilled! It was a quick, enjoyable and effortless knit. Plus, the wonder of knitting with the Jo Sharp Aran Tweed yarn was delightful! I highly recommend this yarn.

I also completed Amanda's Ribby Cardi from ChicKnits. This is also a wonderful pattern and fun to knit. It knits quickly and is a very good pattern with several options for changes as you desire. I used Jo Sharp DK Tweed yarn in the colors Emporio and Paper Rose for the Ribby. The yarn is butter soft and perfect for next to the skin wear over shorter sleeves when it's cool outside.

Amanda wasn't thrilled during the photo session for this picture. It was only 108 F outside and she had just come inside to cool off. She was also sliding on the slick, hardwood floor. She was standing near the front door, but because of the arched door window shining behind her and turning her into a silhouette, I had her stand *lower*. She was leaning against the front door with her feet about 1 - 2 feet away from the base of the door....and sliding on the hardwood floor. I got tickled and she didn't think it was quite as funny. She loves her cardi, but prefers not to wear it when the temps are >100 outside. : )

I also won something! I guessed what KnitNana was knitting....and look what she sent to me in the mail. A beautiful, hand sewn checkbook cover from her business, Nana Sadie Rose. I love it! It is really a quality made item and I highly recommend her products. I'm sure I'll be ordering soon! Just check out this beauty below. : )

I've also had some fun shopping and I made a knitting find (as seen below).

I've read on several knitting blogs about how many wished there were better and less expensive stitch markers. Kay had requested access to the little marking bands used on her electric toothbrush set. Well, I think I found them....or at least their clones. The Goody brand latex bands look like the perfect knitting stitch markers to me. I'll report later with a review.

I have also committed to shopping for CIC needs whenever I find items of good quality and value during my routine shopping. I just pick up a few items when I'm at the store and put them in a cabinet. As I prepare packages of knitted items to send for the children and caregivers, I add some of the items to fill the box.

My latest shopping for CIC has been focused on health care items.

Previously, I've sent knitted items in boxes also containing educational items for the children along with art supplies.

I strongly encourage everyone to visit the CIC website. It will definitely touch your heart.

For the Birds

We've also released some avian graduates from WildCare recently at our farm. We love being a release site. Last year I helped rehab birds (specifically orphaned or injured baby insectivores) as an avian sub-permitee for WildCare. I sorely missed the baby birds this year, but health issues kept me from being able to help out this year.

However, we were able to continue participating with WildCare as a release site for successfully healed and rehabilitated animals. We recently had 4 young Purple Martins to release. Our colony had already left our site to gather at a premigratory roost in preparation for their migration to Brazil for winter.

The young Purple Martins are dependent upon adults to learn to feed. Since our colony of Martins had already left for the season, we played a recording of Purple Martins colony chatter and successfully called in several adult Purple Martins in just a matter of minutes.

More Purple Martins arrived.

The young Martins were successfully released in the company of several other Martins to care for and teach them until they were fully independent. : )

And, on the current knitting front

I'm currently working on a pair of simple cuffed and ribbed socks out of Opal Lollipop sock yarn in colorway #1010.

I've also joined my first knitting swap. I'm looking forward to having great fun with this. The swap is the Sock-ret Pal swap. If you are interested, please sign up!

And, I joined Shelley's (my friend from Canada) mitten knit along, Knittin' Mittens. Please join us if you have been thinking of mittens.

I have children's sweater patterns swimming in my head and decisions to make. I'll be casting on tonight for children's knitted sweaters for CIC. : )

Prayer Request

My good friend, Dave, called today. He shared with me about a young, 6-year-old girl named Mackenzie Woelbling of O'Fallon, MO. She is battling facial cancer. She has had previous radiation, chemo, and partial removal of her jaw. Now the cancer has returned and a miracle is needed. They plan to do repeated chemo and radiation at much higher dosages. Please pray for Mackenzie and her family. Additionally, her 29 year old father passed away recently from cancer. This family has been overwhelmed with illness, sadness and loss. Please pray for Mackenzie and her family every time you think of them.

Please have a wonderful weekend. I pray that you stay safe and are drawn closer to our Heavenly Father every day....and feel his love and care in your heart daily.

Your Friend,



Psalm 77:14
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

Job 5:9
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.