Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

As I mentioned on Sunday, I finished up my Sassafras shawl Friday evening. I was giddy as I was casting off at the coffee house during open mic night that it was finally finished. Looking back, it really didn't take too long to make, especially since I had to restart in March. I'm blocking it one more time to get the right shape, but I plan on wearing it this week (the weather is going back down to below 70!). And yes, I did finish Mary Sutter and I loved it! I loved how it was detailed and I love how going along I thought I knew what would happen and was quite surprised at the outcome (but extremely pleased).

Moving on to the present: I am working slowly, but happily, on the corn maize socks. I also decided to make a pair of miniature mittens to send to my State/Country swap that Tracey is hosting. 

I started and finished 50 Shades of Grey  by E L James this past week, too. I picked up the other two books in the trilogy last night so I can find out what happens. I honestly debated if I was going to mention what I was reading. Why? Well, when the trilogy was released, I was mildly interested, but didn't buy. Then I started to hear about it. The radio program I listen to in the morning was discussing it one morning and women were calling in. Mom says a library near here was trying to ban it (do libraries still do this??). If a book is drawing that much attention then I had to give it a read. I will say it is not for the faint of heart. It covers a specific lifestyle choice (which I am fine with), but the author is quite detailed. I think more people (probably mostly women) are reading this in secret.

I ordered Sheepish last weekend (the bookstore was out) and am waiting for it to be delivered today. It will have to sit on the bookshelf for a couple of weeks now, I suppose! Our library doesn't have it in (I really am starting to wonder what they actually do carry lately).

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week thus far.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Thank you to everyone for keeping my father and family in your thoughts and prayers for his surgery.

Dad's surgery was a success, but the surgeon realized once he was in there that there was far more damage than originally they had expected. Ever so thankful that it didn't go another two weeks. 

As of today he is still in the ICU, but most of the wires and tubes have been removed. I haven't been able to speak to him yet, but I am hoping today he will feel up to a brief call. The focus now has been moved to locating the root of the infection in his body and attacking it full force. The pathologist on his team is determined to not let him go home until there is an answer.

My weekend has consisted of:

coffee and open mic night
breakfast with family
more coffee with friends
finishing a book
finishing my shawl
spending time with my little
guy as my bigger guy is out of town on business
Avoiding more homework
Looking forward to more time with family

Joining up with Amanda on this beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Second verse same as the first

Dad is having heart valve replacement surgery this Friday.

When I spoke to him Sunday, he said that after having an MRI late last week, he started to feel ill. Sweats, chills, unable to move from the couch to a chair in the living room easily. He figured he had a flu bug. I asked if he was going to see his nephrologist on Tuesday and his GP later this week if he still wasn't feeling well. He was more annoyed with the fact he injured his hip while getting up on the MRI table. Overall, he sounded good, just tired.

Before I went to bed Monday night, Fara had left me a voicemail. It's one of those moments you know that something isn't right. Fara had taken Dad to the hospital and he was being admitted. I called and spoke with them both briefly. The original thought was the infection he had earlier this year (that led to him being in a coma) wasn't completely out of his system and was rearing its ugly head again. Thankfully he got to the hospital before it got horribly out of control. Monday night he was refusing treatment and just wanting to go home. He was admitted, however, and started on antibiotics.

I figured he was doing pretty good because he was online posting on Facebook and overall seemed in good sorts yesterday.

Today after much testing the news came in that he needs to have surgery on his heart again. The infection has settled into the valve that was replaced last July. It's bad enough that it has to be surgically removed and the valve replaced again. Dad says no bovine valve this time around, he's actually going to have a human heart valve (there goes our "Where's the beef?" jokes). He's also going to need back surgery this year, but that probably won't happen until later this summer. When he and I spoke this evening he said that he felt pretty good and that he'd walk out of the hospital and go home for the next two days if they would let him (they won't). He's pretty optimistic about all of this, more annoyed that it is another set back in his full recovery (and to a lessor extent, his summer plans). The good news is that he should be home by Wednesday. He's also looking forward to another "heart pillow" (you know.. a stiff pillow to hug tight when you need to cough).

Fara says we don't need to head to Delaware right now. Everything seems to be pretty much on the up and up. I'm pretty optimistic that this, too, will be successful.

Please keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers, and also Fara. This has been such a year for them both. I worry more for her and her health these days.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Winding Down, Gearing Up

Things have been quiet on the blogger front in these parts. I feel bad because I have been trying to visit with everyone when I have the free time.

Chase's school year is winding down. I don't know why the schools wait until the end of the year to host not only field day (okay, I understand that part) but also science fairs. And of course on top of that, his Scout den is pushing activities almost weekly again (we've declined a few of those already). Chase's district is going through reorganizing that will be sending Chase to a different school in the district for fifth grade. He's been on pins and needles, so to speak, for two weeks hoping to be assigned the first choice on his list (he was). His best friend is also moving at the end of the school year and that is weighing heavy on his mind and heart. This little girl has email access (and a cell phone) so they're hoping to stay in touch.

So as Chase's school year is winding down, my semester is in full force. I decided that I needed to get back into the swing of things at school after taking the winter semester off. So this spring/summer I am going full time again. I have one class that meets daily until the end of June, another that meets mostly online save for 6 random Saturdays up until 7/14, and a third is completely online. Never a dull moment, right?? The nice thing is that come fall, I can drop down to part time.

I hope that within the next week things will have settled into a nice working groove and I can come back and visit more frequently. Until then, please accept my apologies if I am a bit quiet in this spot.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend at WWOW

(even in the woods, I think of the ocean!)

This past weekend, I joined Dale and Sarah for our first WWOW experience. WWOW stands for Wild Women of Washtenaw. This is an event held at the sportsmen's club for women only. For thirty-six hours, women are instructed in courses of their choice varying from rifle shooting, shotgun skeet shooting, outdoor photography, dutch oven cooking just to name a few. This was the fourteenth year the club hosted this event. There were 145 women present, more than half of them first time participants (go us!).

The instructors (members of the club itself) volunteered not only their talent and time, but also all equipment that was used. We had the opportunity to camp out on the grounds Friday night, and being the wild women that we were, we opted to do so.

Friday night there was beef roasted outdoors for dinner, a class on how to make your own make-up, and knife/axe throwing. There was also a bonfire in the field were the tents were (there were about 15 tents set up) where instructors and participants mingled well into the night.

I admit that I am not as rugged as I had hoped to be. Shortly before 2am Saturday morning, I came home to sleep in my nice warm, comfy bed. The temperature had dropped down to 46 and despite a sleeping bag and quilt, I was freezing. My head was aching and I wanted to get a few hours of sleep in order for my classes on Saturday. I was back on site by 7am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I think next year I will definitely take an air mattress and an extra sleeping bag (and a wristers..).

The classes I signed up for were rifle shooting (200 yard range), shotgun skeet shooting, and beekeeping. After breakfast, we split up (Dale and Sarah had a compass/map course when I had rifle shooting) and went to our classes.

My use of guns of any sort is limited. And when I say limited, I mean I shot one of my Mom's shotguns back when I was probably thirteen just once. There were 14 ladies in my rifle course, most of us with very little to no experience. Being the only left-handed person in the group (geesh! why is this such a shock to people still?) I was lucky enough to be paired up with a very willing instructor. He had two different rifles for me to use: a Remington 700 and and Ruger. Oh they were delightful (as delightful as guns can be I suppose). My instructor was patient with my extreme nervousness and just as excited as I was as I shot out water balloons. When I missed a shot and I swore, he laughed and said I was becoming a great huntress. Out of twenty shots, I managed to hit my target 17 times.

After the first class, we all met back at the club house for lunch. Dale and Sarah made it back from their class and we socialized with others. The three of us had the next class together, which was quite the entertaining experience.

Skeet shooting is not my thing. Flying clay pigeons? No thanks. I like my target relatively stationary, thank you very much. Out of my five shots, I grazed a pigeon on the second shot, and not again. Dale had the opportunity to shoot on an extra round. I should mention that the skeet range was next to the range that handled musket and muzzle loading (and a cannon?! what!) shooting. The ground rumbled and the air boomed the whole time. At one point I quipped to Sarah that I felt the South was trying to rise and we best grab our weapons to save our land.

Exhausted, we headed back to the clubhouse for our last classes. Sarah was taking basic archery, and Dale and I had beekeeping. The beekeeping instructor was amazing. She had so much great information to share and the last remaining questions I had about keeping a hive were answered. She offered to be a bee mentor for me, and I think I will be taking her up on that offer. Steve and I have wanted to keep bees for two years now, but within the city limits they are extremely finicky. Now that I have all the right information, it's time to look into boxes and getting on a swarm call list. It will probably be next spring when it all becomes official.

After the last class, and with the tent packed up, we hugged and said our goodbyes. We're already talking about what classes we want to take next year. Mom was disappointed that she wasn't here long enough this year to join us. Next year I am hoping that not only Mom can go, but Steve's Mom, too. I think we would all have a great time!

This was an absolutely amazing experience.

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

I'm on the last 10 rows of my shawl! Okay, so I didn't meet the deadline of having it done by today (again). I'm just going to not give myself any deadlines for this. It's so close to being finished that when it happens, it will happen. Of course being so close to finishing my shawl, I needed to cast on another project (something easily portable!).

Remember at the beginning of the year I declared this was the year for socks? Erm.. well, I haven't really made any socks yet. I did whip up the pair for my Dad in January, and I started my Atlantis socks (but I need help again with the pattern). Mom ordered the Corn Maize sock pattern for herself, but realized it was charted and asked if I wanted it. I'm going to help her ease her fear of charts this year. I promise! Anyway, of course I happily accepted the pattern. And since I just so happened to have some yummy sock yarn on hand, I couldn't resist!

I'm still reading, and enjoying, Mary Sutter. I've carved out about 45 minutes every morning for just reading, so I am happily reading on.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

This week we will start with what Mom has been up to.

 On the train ride here, Mom worked on two pairs of wristers and a pair of socks for Chase. When she arrived, she quickly finished up Chase's Christmas sweater for this year (she had shipped it here in pieces to put together while she was visiting). Chase had picked out buttons from the yarn shop a couple of months ago and Mom ordered them when we were there. As soon as they are in, I'll have to share.

Chase wanted a cardigan sweater this year and it had to have pockets. I can't wait to see it on him this year!

Before Mom got here, I picked up a copy of My Name is Mary Sutter after seeing Heather post about it.  It sounded like my type of book, and so far, I am not disappointed. I handed it over to Mom as soon as she had settled in so she could read it while she was here. Now that she is done (and she absolutely loved it!) the book is back in my possession.

On the needles, Mom has started work on a Who? hat using yarn she picked up at the local spot over the weekend. It will be a nice project for her journey home.

So, yes, I am still reading Mary Sutter and loving it. :) And yes, I am still working on my shawl, but I am finally on the first edging chart! I was hoping to be done by today, but school is back in session and I am getting myself into the groove. Maybe by next week. The blue yarn should have been in Mom's picture, but it was forgotten until I was setting up my things. The yarn is for my Christmas sweater that Mom is working on.

For those that are interested in joining the Summer Knitting Gift Event, I have decided to tweak the original idea just a smidge: 

1) We will knit either a cowl, a shawl, or a scarf with the yarn we are given. It can be any pattern of the knitter's choice.

2) Each participant will supply their own yarn for their own gift. If you have 3 skeins of purple and no idea what to do with it, toss it in! The more yarn you have to put in, the more options your knitter will have.

3) Those participating can send their yarn to me. Once all the yarn has been received, I'll have Chase draw names (he wants to participate someway) so everyone gets a stash of yarn to work with. I'll then send out the yarn to the new recipients including the addresses of who the gift will go to. 

4) I figure we'll start this June first as a kick-off to summer and to ease us into fall. That means you can work on your project from June through the end of October. If more time is needed, I think we could adjust it.

5) This is open to EVERYONE (international is a-okay!). Mom is going to participate, too. If you have an allergy to a specific yarn, make sure you make a note of it when you send your yarn to me (so if you have an allergy to wool, I'll make sure you're paired with someone who provides a non-wool fiber).

6) No posting pictures of your projects until September. That way it can stay a surprise as to who is knitting with YOUR yarn!

7) Interested? Email me at emily.zimmerman @ and let me know. I'll start working on a list of those that would like to take part and send out an email as we get closer to the end of May.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


This weekend ...

(red velvet, white chocolate strawberry, pistachio cardamom, espresso, and a buffalo chicken savory wedge)

There was coffee and knitting with Mom's (my Mom is working on socks, Steve's Mom is finishing a sweater for her youngest).

Taking Mom to a certain yarn shop so she could feel everything.

Buttons! The fish are for a project, the pigs are because they're so cute.

Yarn, delicious yarn!
-- Pattern is for the Laramie shawl. I have to pick yarn out for this still.
-- Butterfly (pinkish), sock weight merino/bamboo/nylon blend (
-- Celeste (blue), silk/merino blend ( -- no project in mind.
-- brown ( YAK YARN! It's so soft.. so wonderful. No idea what this will be used for, but I could not resist.
-- white lace weight yarn ( -- project in mind.

Chalk drawing (Steve is such a good spirit!).

Birthday tiaras (Thanks Mom!).

Birthday gals.

Cheesecakes of many flavors.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

I fell off the reading wagon again this week. With company in town, I was busy visiting instead of reading (or knitting!). However, I am happy to say that I have added the second skein of yarn to my Sassafras shawl. I'm determined. This weekend I would love to be finished. Mom and I plan on getting a lot of knitting in on Friday and Saturday. ;) On Tuesdays I visit my local coffee house as a weekly treat to myself and spend my morning focusing on knitting and sipping coffee. I've been chatting with another local and he asks me each time he sees me "Are you almost done? How much more?". He's a nice guy who is quite artistic and is showing a real interest in knitting (maybe I can convert him??).

I had to include a photo of Jessie from the other night when I was winding my skein of yarn into a ball. I think she has yarn radar because the second I start winding a ball of yarn, she magically appears. At first she sat on the floor, pupils fully dilated, watching and hoping that maybe, just maybe, I'd drop the ball and she'd have to catch it for me. Toward the end she seized a moment when I was distracted talking to Steve and eased herself onto the couch and situated herself right in the circle of yarn. This made it tricky, but I was more fearful of excusing her from my work and having her take it with her. At the last minute when the yarn came near her face she grabbed hold with her teeth and jumped from the couch! Oh Jessica.

Oh and in case you missed my post last week, if you're interested in participating in my Knitting Gift Event this summer, please let me know! I really hope we in the knitting/blogging community can do this.

Happy knitting!