Friday, October 24, 2008

A Clean House!

Before I begin, let me just say that I do love our house and I'm so glad we have a house at all! So, that said, now, I'll describe it a little: Our house was built in the '70s ... certainly not old enough to have intricate woodwork or claw-foot tubs, yet, sadly old enough to have cracked porcelain tile and icky fiberglass flooring in the shower stall.
We need new carpeting, new faucets, new sinks, etc., but then, there's always something that needs fixing ... even in new houses. All in all, as houses go, it's a nice house. I mean, it keeps us almost warm in the winter (because we keep the thermostat low, not because our new furnace wouldn't heat it up in a second!) and it's almost cool in the summer (again, our air conditioning works fabulously, but we don't want to spend very much)! We have enough room (almost) and it can look pretty good when it's tidied up.
That's the biggest problem, you see. The tidying-up part. I hate to admit it, but the last time our house was really clean was way back in May when I was hosting the neighborhood bunco night ... and, at the same time, my daughter was hosting her high-school graduation party.
I've never been a particularly good housekeeper. I just have way too many other things to do. Keeping a house clean is really a full-time job. If you use something, you have to immediately put it away when you're finished. And, more often than not, I'm called away at that very instant when I should be putting away!
We all have hobbies that take up a lot of room, too. Guitars, guitar books, guitar cases, amplifiers and pedals fill the living room. Chess sets, clocks, and score pads are everywhere. My yarn and fiber and all the supplies for dyeing and spinning and knitting and weaving take up the entire spare bedroom! Because we homeschool, our shelves are loaded with books and papers ... art supplies, science-lab materials, tapes of lectures and computer programs! Maggie's tennis balls, stuffed animals and squeaky toys line the upstairs hallway like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs! Wow, the list goes on and on. It's difficult to keep a house clean if you simply don't have enough space to put everything ... or enough time to figure it out!
Once the school year begins, it keeps on ticking. We try not to take many holidays so that we can end our school year at the same time the college year ends. (There's nothing worse than moving your college kid(s) home, while you're still working on finishing up the last quarter with the one(s) still at home!) YIKES! So, if the house becomes cluttery and sloppy early on in the year, that's it until Christmas vacation. A sad, but true fact of life around here. There's simply no time to stop and clean it all up.
Well, this past week was a real blessing! Kent was enrolled in his driver's education class, which lasted 5 days, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Every day! For a whole week! I didn't have to teach! It was like I had a week-long holiday!
Every day this week I've tackled another room until finally, today, Friday, I can proudly proclaim: This house is clean!
What a wonderful feeling! Let me just say that, with all the stress I've been under lately regarding my elderly parents, my underlying fear has been that I was going to have a heart attack ... or maybe a stroke ... and the paramedics would come and everyone would gasp in horror and disbelief at the state of our house!
Now, I can confidently have that stroke or heart attack! Phew! What a relief!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gingerbread Man is Running Away!

I haven't even finished getting all my Halloween patterns written up when I suddenly had an idea for a gingerbread man! I decided I'd go ahead and experiment. On my third try, I got just what I wanted! You need two sets of double-pointed needles to knit one ... no, you don't use all the needles at once, but it's easier if you let part of him rest on needles rather than on waste yarn.

If you use size US 8 double-pointed needles, your finished cookie will be about 5 inches tall by 4 inches wide (from arm to arm) ... if you use size US 10 1/2 double-pointed needles, your finished gingerbread man will be a bit bigger ... approximately 6 inches tall by 5 inches wide.

If you make one (or two or three) please let me know! The 8-page pattern is available at my store (The Pattern Box) and also on Ravelry. Stay tuned! I have visions of SUGAR PLUMS dancing in my head! Lollipops and other sweets. Wouldn't a garland be nice?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Take-Along Sun Has Gone International!

Bain de Soleil

Christhalinette has paid me the ultimate compliment of translating the Take-Along Sun pattern into French! Please take a look at her blog and see the Bain de soleil. How lovely the pattern is written in the French language! And while you're there, look at her wonderful projects! She's inspiring!
It's so exciting for me to know that people all over the world are enjoying my patterns. I feel a little sunny glow, myself!
Thank you, Christhalinette!!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Unexpected Events ...

I feel like I've been away from my blog for a long time! I guess it's really not even been a month, but it feels like it. So many things have happened regarding my elderly parents. It's been very challenging, to say the least. I know there are many people out there facing similar situations. It's so strange as we age the life events that we share ... first, we notice we're suddenly attending lots of weddings! Then a year or so later, we find we're heading to yet another baby shower ... after that, we're in play groups and meeting other moms ... in fact, we're known as "Colette's Mom" or "Oh, you're Amelia's Mom!" and "You must be Kent's Mom!"

Suddenly, just when your children are moving into and out of high school, we find ourselves trying to help our elderly parents ... who are entering yet another phase of their own lives ... a phase they are not greeting with joy!

But, speaking of Joy ... I am working on a gingerbread man for Christmas and my first attempt is in my little felting machine right now. He's been in there for 45 minutes and still not felting to my liking. I think his arms may be too wide. We'll see.

I still have to post my ghost, raven and pumpkin man patterns. They are finished, I just haven't had time to write them up in Publisher yet. *sigh

I hope things will be back to normal soon, but I just don' t know. Why is it so hard to live just one day at a time???