Gifts- 12/3/2019

A plan is finally in place and not too stressful, I hope. With lots of doctor’s appointments, PT, and hearing clinic appointments between us, we seem to be spending lots of time in waiting room which affords me knitting time. Yesterday, daughter needed help with a sick child so she could go to work, so more knitting time. During hubby’s TV time is even more knitting time. The amount of it though is causing some joint pain with the cold raw weather. I have taken to wearing lots of wool layers from skin out to keep warm.

Hubby needed a new chair as “the Chair II” had failed, and then his laptop crashed so we ordered a new chair and he ended up with a business grade refurbished computer from the computer repair shop. He will only get a stocking stuffed. Child #2 provided a few wishes and wants experiences for her kids rather than more toys. Doable. Child #3’s family is taken care of. Child #1’s family is partially taken care of, that one is still in progress.

This weekend begins 3 weekends of craft events and hopefully, folks will buy my goods as gifts for their families and I will go into the new year low on stock which will make my personal property tax lower next year.

Time to get back to knitting.

Names – 12/1/2019

I was named for my grandmothers, my first name is Frances. Born when I was, I started school just as one of the early “talking” animal comedy movie series was released and I was relentlessly teased. I had been tagged with a corruption of my name as a nickname that was cute for a small child, but I didn’t want to follow me as I grew up. We had a family friend who was Fran and I didn’t care for her, so I didn’t want to be hung with that. As I left for college and into the work force, I used my birth name of Frances, but that too presented it’s own difficulties as Francis is a man’s version and I have spent years using the phrase “I as in his, E as in hers” to educate/correct people. To add to the difficulty, my maiden name was and should have been simple, Sale, just like it sounds, but I got Sales, Sally, Soles, Salle.

After I married, I added Stafford and we get Stratford, Stoffer, Staffer. And I changed jobs and introduced myself as Frances, but one of my new co-workers tagged me as Fran and thus it has been except with my family.

When our children were born, I didn’t want to give them names that could be corrupted with a y or ie on the end. We didn’t want their initials to spell something that would cause them issues and both son’s as they grew up went by their middle names, even being enrolled in school with a first initial, middle name, last name. One son as a professional knows when he receives a call, email, or letter if the person really knows him by whether it is addressed to his first name or his middle name. Younger son chooses to go by his birth first name in formal form now, except by immediate family and we haven’t been able to make the change, so he is still called by his middle name. Daughter grew up with her first name, sometimes first and middle.

Her children’s first names are palindromes.

As an educator, I was exposed to many different names of children and wondered where some of them originated, were they made up, family names, names from countries of origin. Sometimes I worried that they were being teased or bullied because of the name with which they were tagged.

Whew, I’m back then gone again-8/26/2019

These few weeks are on the road. Away last Thursday to help out family with packing and as transportation as they prepare to move. Time was spent enjoying their company and some time alone at their house with empty boxes to fill with books, music, and linens. Thursday was hot when I arrived and after picking up grandson, we waded in the cool creek before preparing dinner.

The tiny fish darting around our feet and a few crawdads skittering away if you disturbed their rock.

Friday was rainy but much cooler and the time that everyone was away from the house was used to pack boxes, clean up the garbage that the bear got into and taking photos of the jewelweed with rain drops on the leaves.

Saturday after grandson’s volunteer time at the library, he and I drove to a local State park and walked a trail that his Mom’s Master Naturalist group had done and looked at some of her art used on the signage. It was a beautiful mild day for a nice gentle walk in the woods.

Sunday after a late breakfast out with everyone, he and I used my Lifetime Senior Pass for the National Park system to drive up on the Skyline Drive and hike a couple miles up a mountain trail, mountain goat on a couple of the rock piles, and back down the trail. I guess there were too many people out to see any wildlife other than a few butterflies.

On the way back off the Parkway, we ended up behind this lanky young man skate boarding down the Skyline Drive wearing earbuds, so he probably couldn’t hear the traffic behind him. Eventually the car in front of us, us, and the line behind us were able to go around him. It was a very long down slope, quite steep at some points causing him to do tight S turns to slow himself. I hope he made it safely without causing anyone else injury because of his stunt.

Other down time was spent spinning on one little Turk and plying on the other slightly larger Turk and knitting on a small shawl. I was so enamored with the last issue of Ply magazine that I read it through cover to cover and took it with me to reread. I had two books with me and finished one, but found the second one of zero interest to me.

I’m home for a few days to get laundry done, the house vacuumed of dog hair, the chicken coop cleaned out, then off again later in the week for a long weekend with friends as a vendor and participant at a fiber retreat. When I return from that, again a few days at home to clean up and unpack to repack and return to help the moving family out for a few more days.

The garden has given up on tomatoes and cucumbers. The sunflowers are drooping and need the heads cut. The tomatillos are not really producing anymore, but I am hopeful that there may be a few more to harvest. The peppers are heavy with fruit and there are a few pumpkins, but the chickens got in my garden every day I was gone and destroyed the fall plantings and the cover crop beds. I guess those beds will just be covered with hay for the winter instead.