Monday, January 28, 2013

Foggy Morning

I took these pictures earlier in January, it was such a sunny morning and the fog was thick!  It looked beautiful and creepy at the same time.  I love these kind of mornings, although I do enjoy when the fog burns off and we have a wonderfully sunny, nice, work-in-the-garden type of day.  I see these mornings more frequently now than a few years ago.  When the puppies arrived, back a few years, I had to switch my sleeping, and became an early riser.  And am still an early riser, LOL.  So seeing these types of mornings when everything is quiet and still outside is a side of the day that still amazes me.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Popcorn Afghan Pattern

I made this small Afghan at Christmas for a friend's mother. She is in a care facility and I know it can get chilly this time of year.  It's not really a popcorn stitch but it kind of looked like popcorn. It is a really easy pattern for the base of it, and I will probably be using it again.  I used the LARGEST circular needle I have and I think I could have used an even larger one and been fine. So pick out the largest circular needle you have.  I doubled my yard, so it took 2 of the one pound skeins of Red Heart yarn.  I cast on 75 stitches, using both skeins and double yarn, but I think next time I will make it larger and use probably 125 stitches.  Then you knit one, purl one all the way across for the first row.  Then you knit one, purl one for row 2.  EVERY ROW IS THE SAME. Can't beat that.  So however many stitches you decide to cast on just make it an odd number and you are all set.  Here is a closer look:

The pattern is very striking up close.  For the edging I changed color, and decided to crochet some.  So I did a reverse crochet around the edge to give it a little texture, that is the stitch that almost looks like rope.  I crocheted three reverse crochet stitches in each corner.  Then I did just a row of single crochet, again three stitches in each corner so the corners turn right and don't curl up.  Then to finish it off I did a shell stitch, 5 double crochets in one stitch, then skip 2 stitches, then 5 double crochets in one stitch, skip 2 stitches etc.  For the corners I just kind of played with each corner to make it lay flat, skipping only one stitch on each side of the corner shell or added a few extra double crochets to the corner shell, or you can see in the first picture I put two shells close together, until it was flat and looked like a nice corner.

Easy, and fun, and fast, and pretty!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


OK I am up to November with my pictures now.  This picture is of my son Dallen.  Two major events for him this year, as he turned 18.  He signed up for Selective Service and he registered to vote.  Amazing how fast they grow up!  And even more fantastic is that it is a presidential election!  How cool is that.  He is such a conscientious, thoughtful citizen.  He looked up the sample ballot for our county online then he and I looked up every single candidate, in every single race and read about each and every one.  He and I both had printed out the sample ballot so we could check the people we each wanted to vote for, and take that in with us.  It even brought tears to my eyes, tears of joy, to watch him cast his ballot.  Here in Burke County NC it is all computerized, so it was easy.  We voted early so it was in and out.  Waited in line maybe 15 seconds.  And he was so proud to be voting.

(Dallen after voting in his first election)

In stark contrast I was at the Driver's License Office today and heard a young woman next to me, she was renewing her driver's license.  The man behind the desk asked her if she was registered to vote, she said no. He asked her if she wanted to register to vote, she again said no.  Sigh.  I have to believe that people know what is best for themselves.  So maybe it is a good thing she isn't voting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snow Boarding and Accomplishments

This is, I believe, the third year the boys have been snow boarding, and this year they are really seeing their efforts pay off. This is really one of the only sports that they have both taken an interest in, worked on and kept up.  I have seen progress over time, but sometimes I don't think they see the progress.  It looks so easy when you see someone glide down the slopes doing tricks, turning around, coming to an award winning (by my standard) stop, spraying snow up in an arching wave you could surf on.  It just looks so effortless.  And I can totally understand the bit of discouragement as it isn't so easy just starting out.  But they have really stuck with it, no pressure at all from me or their dad, but out of a desire to get better.  And today I could revel in their joy as they really saw the progress they have made.  Turns are easier, getting better every time we make that trip up the mountain.  They were just, and I love watching them feel so confident, and proud of themselves.

These are some of the moments that add to the richness of my life.  It also reinforces my belief that I don't need to "push" my children into anything, or to finish anything.  That when they find something interesting, by their own definition, their own inner voice will drive them on.  Their on self motivation is more than enough.  Their hard work is meaningful to them, and their progress joy-filled.  Something we can all celebrate with them.  What a wonderful self directed, passionate life.

Sorry no pictures today, too busy watching my wonderful, joyful  boys glide down the mountain.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


OK I am trying to catch up on my blogging, many pictures, saved over time.  So now I want to blog just a minute about one of my most favorite days of the year.  A celebration of friends.  Our dear friends have a Halloween party and we go, have fun, laugh (lots) and just enjoy each other's company, everyone, all ages, coming and going, great food, even better friends.

Dallen went as a zombie of sorts this year, Phil was some character from Minecraft, I am not sure what he just tells me the idea and I help make it happen.  Jackson was an alien.  Me, I go as an exhausted, mom, celebrating the joy of her boys.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Southeast Women's Herbal Conference

OMG, what a weekend.  I loved this conference even more.  It was kind of an eye opener.  I think I mentioned last year that years ago, when my boys were younger, I was reading about herbs and making some of my own tinctures and oils.  I put that all away as they got older because we are homeschooling, and contrary to the name, we do NOT stay home, LOL.  Just too busy, and my herbs took the back burner.  Last year really inspired me to get my herbs back out and I am so thankful to my good friend, Teri, for encouraging me to go last year.  Well since last year I have been making my own tinctures, oils, infusions, salves and the like. Just so much fun and really learning about the different herbs as I go and add to my knowledge base.  

(That's my friend Nancy in the picture....Hi Nancy!)

The few months prior to this year's conference I have been focusing more on herbs that can be found locally.  Which is amazing to me, how much is out there in my own back yard.  Attending the conference this year was an eye opener of a different sort.  Last year I kind of stayed in the basic classes, my friend was a moderator in that room, and I stayed there, learned a lot, was inspired, met some wonderful people.  Well I thought I would do the same thing this year.  So I started off in a basic class.  And quickly realized that I already knew what they were talking about.  It was still a great class but...well...basic.  So the next session I ventured into the advanced class, outside the door was a sign that said everyone was welcome but it was expected that you already have a basic understanding of herbalism and/or a background in medicine.  UH OH!  OK so I felt I had a basic knowledge of herbalism, but was my knowledge TOO basic, LOL.  And I was a nurse, but that was many moons ago.  

I decided to try it out anyway, just sit in the back and if it was way over my head, I could scoot out the back door without even being noticed.  I soon realized that this WAS the place for me.  I learned so much and really could sit and listen to Dr Joey Noe all day.  She is absolutely wonderful, knowledgeable  and a great teacher.  I sure hope they have her back again next year.  I stayed in the advanced track for the rest of the conference, and it was great.  It is amazing, I have always thought of myself as a beginner, still learning the basics.  

I am planning on attending again next year!  Maybe I will get my nerve up to go into the red tent.  LOL.  It is such a step for an introvert like myself.  I did watch the Red Tent movie, which was wonderful, and I highly recommend.  I am excited to see that Susun Weed will be speaking next year.  I think I have seen all the youtube videos that mention Susun Weed, as well as subscribe to her channel, and read her web site. I have been drinking nourishing herbal infusions for the past year and feeling great.  

Anyway that was my experience at the herbal conference, I encourage anyone interested in herbs, to attend. The registration page isn't up yet, but I see that the scholarship and work exchange info is up.  I will be there so look for me!