Sunday Thankfulness {3]

First fireflies of the year and butterflies abound;

New to me spinning wheel, this beauty is more than 45 years old and spins like a dream, what a lovely craft;

First Mountain Laurel for the season, saw one very early Rhododendron but couldn’t get to it to photograph, and the Flame Azaleas are stunning this year;

Junk finally cleared out of the sinkhole after 7 1/2 years fretting about it;

The health to walk an hour a day on the treadmill, getting back in shape; plus our daily walks with the pup on the local trails, and there are many to explore.

Retirement is grand, my hubby is awesome, my kids and grands are the best, I’m lovin’ life.


       When we bought our farmland 7 1/2 years ago, one of the advertised features was a “waterfall.”  Let me clarify that we have a creek that runs down the northeast side of the farm, stronger at some times of the year than others, but it has never fully gone dry.  Feeding into it at the bottom is a runoff creek that only flows when the ground is wet and we have had a fair amount of rain.  The permanent creek tumbled down a rocky gully create by its flow over the past thousands of years, not truly a waterfall.  This county is noted for its caves, some large enough to explore, some underground creating a nightmare for well drillling and these underground caves sometimes collapse, creating sink holes.  The two creeks terminate in one of these sink holes, some 25 feet down below the surrounding land.  One face of it is a cliff where the water disappears underground except in very unusual conditions.  Twice since we bought this land, we have seen the creek run hard enough to create a pond and overflow down the old creekbed.

     The only dismaying feature of our farm was that this sinkhole had been used probably for several generations as a place to dump trash, not just bottles and cans, but 2 stoves, a wringer washing machine, tractor or truck parts, a water heater, and many hundreds of pounds of old fencing wire, along with the bottles and cans.  In addition, there were a couple hundred old tires, some in the sink hole, most in the edge of the woods.

     Before we began to build, we drove across the state about once a month to obtain permits, get perk tests done, hire a well driller, deal with the power company, etc., and on each of these trips we spent one day hauling the several hundred tires and hundreds of bags of bottles and cans to the dump, having to pay a couple of dollars each to dispose of the tires.  The big stuff we couldn’t handle, much less move it up the 25 foot cliff to dispose of it.  We have been bothered by this for 7 1/2 years as we don’t know if the disappearing water bleeds into our drinking water table or not.

     Today with the help of our neighbor and his son, a 130 foot cable with hooks on both ends, a tow strap with hooks on both ends, our 28 hp tractor,  lots of climbing up and down the slope and cliff face, we hauled it all to the top, awaiting a local fellow who will come pick it up, haul it away to the scrap yard for the bit of money he will get selling it.

     There are still many bags of bottles and cans to pick up, but now we can do it without trying to avoid the piles of fencing and the large chunks of metal.  The sink hole looks cleaner already.  We are exhausted in a good sort of way, I’m sure our neighbor is totally done in as he was the major hill climber and guider of the junk up the slope while I drove the tractor that hauled it to the top.

Turtle toes

Well, my knitting has added one new pair of socks to the sock drawer.  Most of the socks I have made, have been for my daughter or one of her kids.  I have two pair of handknit socks of my own, not counting the newest ones. One pair I made for me, the second pair I made were too small and I ended up trading that pair for a pair a friend made that were too large for her, win/win.

For my non-knitting friends, handknit socks take about 20 hours to knit, a skein of sock yarn costs $15 and up, and  yes, I know you can buy socks at Target, Sears, Penneys, etc, for a couple of dollars, but knitting is relaxing, handknit socks are awesome.  Now the reason, I don’t usually make them for myself, is I am hard on socks and wear them out way too fast.  I have worn out a couple of pairs way too quickly, like after only a dozen wearings.

This is a new pattern for me, an after thought heel.  This means that the heels are knitted after  the cuff and instep and I used a contrasting yarn for the heels and toes, so that when I wear them out, I can remove the heels or toes and reknit them with the remaining contrasting yarn, hopefully doubling the life of the socks.

The pattern is After Thought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman, the yarn is TurtlePurl Yarns Turtle Toes stripe  with the heels and toes knit with Regia.  They were knit two at a time from the top down and since the TurtlePurl is wound double stranded in order to knit two at a time, the stripes match exactly.  I rarely worry about whether they match exactly, so this is unique for me.

Now to see how they actually wear!

Sunday Thankfulness {2}

Today I am thankful for many events from my week and Mother’s Day.

I have wanted a spinning wheel for a couple of years, since I got fairly proficient with the drop spindles.  I keep putting it off because they aren’t inexpensive and I haven’t wanted to let hubby bust the budget that much for a gift.  I have not been the lucky raffle winner at a fiber festival.  Midweek at Knit night, one of the young gals was telling us about her recent vacation to a knitting workshop and she won the grand prize of a new spinning wheel.  She already had one that she had purchased cheap on Craig’s list and she and her boyfriend repaired it to an again usable state.  She is going to sell it to me for what she paid for it and it’s repairs.  Yay, I am going to get my wheel without breaking the bank.

This week the weather has been seasonable and dry for the latter half of the week, thus allowing me to finish planting and mulching the vegetable garden, to weed the perennial beds around the house, plant more perennials, week wacked around the vegetable garden, the house and the fruit trees, all without having heat stroke.

We have managed to get in nearly daily walks on the local trails with the puppy, still enjoying the wildflowers blooming.

We added a treadmill to our rec room, so now I can get up in the mornings, go straight down and put in an hour exercising before the daily schedule gets in the way of taking care of myself.

I have actually spent some time working on two knitting projects, both two socks at a time, adding some socks to my winter wardrobe once they are finished.

Grateful that my hubby took me to Mountain Lake Hotel (where they filmed “Dirty Dancing”) which is only a few miles from our home for their decadent Mother’s Day brunch this morning.  This was slightly dampened as we had no kids with us this year as we have in years past.  But, on the up side, all three kids have called to wish me a happy Mother’s Day, so I have had a special day and week.

Remarkable Days

     A friend posted his five remarkable days and challenged his readers to share theirs.  As he is a reader of my blog, I am going to take him up on his challenge for today’s post.  Like him, they may not be chronological, nor can I place any one of them above another.

1. February 14, 1978, before our family and friends, my husband and I married. This was a small simple ceremony planned in a matter of short weeks.  He had proposed on New Year’s Eve right after a ski trip where I had injured my shoulder and continued to ski for 4 more days, declaring that I was “a keeper.”

2. May 27, 1980, birth of our first son one day before his due date.  He was a beautiful, long, slim baby born quickly and he has grown into a handsome, intelligent man, the father of our first grandchild.

3. November 29, 1982, birth of our daughter, a week past her due date.  This was my easiest birth in spite of her 9+ pound size.  I actually was encouraged to and allowed to “catch” her and bring her to my chest.  What a memory to hold.  She is a beautiful woman, a wonderful mother of two of our grandchildren.

4. February 20, 1987, birth of our second son, way past his due date.  He weighted in at over 11+ and his birth was very memorable in his difficulty and complications that almost cost me my life, thrice, during delivery, a week after his birth and two weeks post birth.  I healed, and he grew a delightful young man, the father of two more of our grandchildren.

5.  December 25, 2007, we were awakened in the wee hours to find our daughter with her 11 month old son, had driven from Florida to join her younger brother who was in cohoots with her to surprise us for Christmas.  Our eldest son and his family were living with us at the time and we had our whole family together for a delightful few days.

It was difficult selecting only 5 days as I had 37 years as an educator, many years as a scouting volunteer, both generating memories that I cherish.


     Today was the first day this week that we haven’t seen rain.  The day was cooler than it has been, but the temperatures are actually seasonal.  In spite of the rain, we have had a few play sessions at the dog park, finding that our “puppy” is now the size of a full grown boxer which proves quite comical as he tries to run and romp with the agile adults.  His feet are as large as my fists and his coordination is both giant dog and puppy awkwardness.  His favorite “friend” is an old 130 lb German Shepherd who is slow and not interested inspite of the puppylike attempts to intice him to play.
     This week is the end of the town population surge, as the students at the local large university have been taking exams and packing up for home.  Tomorrow will be crazy in town as graduation is held, then the town will be returned to the locals for a couple of quiet months.  This has its advantages, such as actually getting in to the local restaurants, but we  miss the young folks when they are gone.
     This weekend is Mother’s Day and since our move here, we have gone to Mountain Lake Hotel for brunch each year.  This tradition we will continue, but this will be the first year that we won’t have any kids with us when we do.

Sunday thankfulness

Last Sunday, I posted a list of what I liked about last Sunday morning and thought maybe I would make it a weekly tradition, at least for a while.  It might be text, it might be pics, maybe a bit of both from the past week.

I love that we are enjoying true spring weather, lots of sun, some rain, warmth.
I’m grateful that we are still experiencing good health, a few age related aches aside.
Thankful that our remaining puppy is well behaved and healthy, he was the least distracted at intermediate training yesterday.
Blessed that I have friends that delightfully surprise me.


Pleased that we live near a small town where they have parades not just for holidays;

and that has pleasant walking trails with wildflowers bordering the path.

Thankful that I am loved and thought of by my family and friends.
To borrow a phrase from a friend, I am truly a fortunate woman.

Career project

     These socks seem like a career project.  In truth, I haven’t been knitting much with puppy walks and gardening, but it seems like I have been working on them forever.  The pattern is After Thought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman.  I thought maybe if I made them and used a contrasting heel and toe, that when they wear out there as they seem to do way too quickly on my handknit socks, I can rip the heel and toe and redo them, making them last longer.  The yarn is Turtlepurl Striped Turtle Toes, The origins of purple colorway.  Maybe I will finish them before the weather cools off again for sock wear.

Farm life, knitting and spinning, cooking and family