Monday, December 15, 2008

Brrrr it's cold here and getting colder

This is California . . . it's supposed to be warm! Winter is not my favorite time of year, I'm cold by September, so tomorrow night's predicted 28 degree temperature is not making me a happy camper. Fortunately I finally finished the fingerless gloves and I can not only type with them on but even knit. I'm now working on a different pattern in black Encore for our 14 yr old grandson who is a skateboarder and wants a pair. Waiting in line is a pair in purple for my sister-in-law. I'll use this pattern
for hers. Scroll down a bit for the pattern in English.

Is your shopping finished? Mine is, save for one gift I'll buy at the last minute because it will be bought in Disneyland when we get there. Everything is wrapped and ready to go.

Tonight I made the decision, based on the predicted freezing weather, that my epies, all 90 pots of them, must be brought into the spare bedroom for wintering. Had we only expected a couple of hours of freezing temps they would have survived fine in our patio with the precautions I'd taken. Precautions have included a double layer of 4 mil plastic on the windows and frost cloth at the ready to protect them. With the low temps expected to last for several hours I decided I have too much time, caring and money tied up in them to lose them to the weather. I managed to bring in a bunch of them tonight and my friend Penni who also raises epies is going to help me bring the rest in tomorrow. Most of my plants are in 4 and 6 inch pots, so it's not a huge deal this year. Next year will be quite another story as these plants will all be in 6 inch or larger pots as they outgrow their starter pots. Not only that, but the plants can get huge as the plant in the photo shows. This photo was taken several months ago when we bought it, and it has since grown at least another foot in length on just this longest stem alone, not to mention the rest of it. This pot is at least a 16 inch pot. It's been sitting on a stool that makes it easily 18 inches off the ground and the 'leaf' (not accurate terminology) nearly touches the ground even though the texture is quite thick and almost leathery. Height is an issue as there is only a limited amount of space between the shelves of each unit. Some may have to sit on the floor, which I've decided to protect with the 4 mil plastic. It won't be pretty, but it will be worth it when the blooms come.
Scarves From The Heart made their first donation to a homeless shelter last week when we took 60 scarves and 15 hats to a local shelter. We also delivered 50 scarves to St. Teresa Cancer Center last week, and this week we'll deliver 50 scarves to both St. Joseph's Regional Cancer Center and Stockton Hematology - Oncology Center. That will leave our reserves very low, so I hope everyone out there who knits and crochets will start a new scarf for SFTH as soon as they've completed their Christmas knitting and crocheting. We'd like to give scarves to a second shelter soon, so we're especially in need of basic scarves in bright cheery colors which are machine washable as many of these people don't have easy access to laundry facilities. If everyone out there is blessed and who knows how blessed they are, as I do, will help us by knitting or crocheting just one or two scarves we will be able to continue to give to these very deserving people who are going through tough times, whether it is because of cancer, or because of financial or other personal problems. If you don't knit or crochet, how about making a fleece scarf? You could maybe do something special to make it your own, so it's not just a simple rectangle, maybe cut some fringe, or make it pieced like a quilt.
Tomorrow will be a busy day with moving all the plants and then making dinner so we can treat Penni to dinner for her help, so it's 1:00 am and it's time I headed for bed. G'nite all! Grab those needles and hooks and start a scarf.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Mid-Holiday Blessings

Thanksgiving came and went, we dined with the Andersons - Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Restaurant that is! Hubby isn't a fan of turkey so eating out meant that I could have turkey if I chose and he could find other options. As it turns out, we both ended up ordering steak, and it was very tender and tasty, as were the accompanying side dishes. We shared our meal (not literally) with hubby's sister and her dh. We get along well and enjoyed the meal then went our separate ways, us home to sit and watch the 'tube' with our cats, and they home to their two dogs. On Friday, our two daughters who live in California arrived loaded with left overs from their feast. One is vegan and so we got to experience some new recipies, my favorite being a dressing with cranberries and pecans in it. We dined on yummy left overs all weekend long, and that's quite a compliment as I will seldom eat left overs.

Some really good news to report - my daughter Kathryn is still fighting cancer, which is now in both lungs, but her current treatment has eradicated a tumor that was in the area of her esophagus, and reduced the size of a tumor in the mid-lung area from softball size to baseball size. Praise God!

I'm really excited about having won two balls of Mini Mochi yarn from the socks and more blog. I love all the colors, so I'm not choosy about which color they send, but I'm especially fond of the one in blues. I was truly surprised when I received the email telling me I was one of the winners. Check out her blog as she has had contests before, and may have more. I'm planning to make a scarf from it, then donating the scarf to Scarves From The Heart.
Speaking of SFTH, we continue to receive scarves, so please keep them coming. We will be taking a box of scarves to one of the local homeless shelters early next week, as well as replenishing the stock for at least two of the cancer centers.
On my knitting needles, as always, more projects than makes good sense. Currently I'm working on two scarves, and two pair of fingerless gloves. One set of the fingerless gloves is to the increase for the thumb, the other just one glove started and a few rows complete. One scarf nearly complete and the other is in time out while my brain generates a pattern for the next square.
Christmas shopping is done, except for two gift certificates which will be done on line, and I'll wait until closer to the holiday to do those. Shopping is pretty easy for us, as we send most of the kids money. We'll be in Disneyland this year with two of our daughters so we've shopped for them, now I have to wrap them.
It's time I accomplished something today as most of my day has left an imprint in this chair!
Happy Knitting and Happy Giving!