Sunday, September 30, 2012

Church Banners: 26th Week in Ordinary Times

Today begins the 26th week in the church liturgical calendar of Ordinary Times prior to the Christmas Season. Decorations were changed from the ones posted here several months ago at The American Lutheran Church to the new pieces shown below.

First, the centerpiece of the wall decorations is a quilt made by Pat McCarroll who entered into this humble McCarroll clan in 1974, bringing along her crafting skills that eventually culminated in her expert quilting arts.  Unfortunately she cannot see well enough now to continue with her crafts, but she generously loaned our church this autumn quilt of a tree with a wee squirrel at the base of the tree trunk. Don't you think the purples in the quilt really make the oranges and yellows pop?

To the upper right of the wall scheme is a picture of a coreopsis I painted ten years ago.  After adding a bit of purple to the background, I then borrowed it from the living room of our house to re-hang at church.

This is the completed collage with foam board covered in coordinating fall fabrics to round out the autumnal colors.

Psalm 124 for today's reading:
If the LORD was not fighting for us when men attacked:  they would have eaten us alive because they were so angry, waters would have rushed over us and a deep river would be over our heads, the angry waters would have gone over our heads and drowned us. We will say good things to the LORD. He did not let them eat us. We are free and still alive, like a bird that got out of a trap. The trap became broken and we are free.The name of the person that sent us help is the LORD. He made heaven and earth.
May you all have a blessed 26th week in Ordinary Times.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Knitting and Household Tips from Long Ago

One of my favorite things to do is look back at old references.  And of course, knitting patterns hold my attention, and housekeeping tips are fun to look back on and chuckle over.  How did our great, great, etc. grandmothers ever do it all without the "conveniences" we now consider necessities?  It was not that long ago that I remember my grandmother telling about the days when she had to make her own sanitary products from discarded bed sheets. Can we even imagine that? I  think not.

But I digress.  Joyce James, who guides tours through Scotland and is an avid knitter, gave references here about old knitting books and says, in part: 
I've just had a cursory look through some of the pages and it's interesting to read about the knitting techniques, vocabulary and patterns and how they have changed. Which is not surprising considering how far back the collection stretches. Who knits a "Sontag" or "Cephaline" anymore? (From the 1844 issue of My Knitting Book.) 
Another book, printed by The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, titled Helping the Trawlers and dated 1800, has a long list of patrons and vice-patrons. In addition to patterns for clothing to help seamen withstand the harsh weather on open ships, there is a section for donations to Labrador. 
Go here for Digital Resources from the Knitting Reference Library WSA.  It has books from the early 1800's.

And as far as references for household management, you just cannot beat the Mrs. Beaton's Book of Household Management (free on Kindle).
And The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887) Cooking, Toilet and Household Recipes, Menus, Dinner-Giving, Table Etiquette, Care of the Sick, Health Suggestions, Facts ... [free Kindle Edition] is a real look into the White House management from the 1800's.

It was not a simple life.

This is what I just finished knitting after perusing old references on knitting: baby booties with the free pattern found here.

Mrs. Mouse made a great photo opportunity with the booties.

Some things from the past just cannot be replicated.

 Beatrix Potter is one of my favorites.  You can see all of her illustrations at this site.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This and That and Some Knitting

Something new for fall decoration, cheap, colorful and making the living room smile with cheeriness: colorful plastic acorns.  Now really, don't they look like glass?  You, too, can have them for mere pennies and they are available at Michael's.

The Mr. and I attended two fun events this week. One was a picnic for Hospice of Western Colorado volunteers with a beach party theme.

And the pictures are of the Mr., and friend Mary who was a whiz at hoola hooping.  You can figure out who is who.

Libby Sweetpea is actually the Therapy Dog International volunteer for Hospice and I just drive her around to make her visits with hospice patients. It was the thought on the day of the picnic to leave her home because it would have actually been work for her to greet people, let them pet her, coo over her, and she would have had to be on her best behavior.  So she got the day off after working for four years for Hospice, and we allowed her to sleep in

while her driver enjoyed some picnic food of pork loin.

Then last night was the Gala Event for Community Hospital with the Moulin Rouge theme.  Proceeds ...errr...profits from the gala will be used to buy defibrillator units for our local schools.

On the needles this week is the Broken Rib Cowl:

and these baby booties (except my yarn is pink):
 with the pattern found here.

Thank you for reading my blog.  Thank you for submitting comments; they are very much appreciated.  And thank you all new followers. Please take a visit to these newest followers and say a friendly hello: The Shop Around the Corner, Merione, and Diana Evans.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fairies' Tea Party and You Are Invited

Inspiration Avenue Invites Your Blog Participation at

Go here for signing up to post some pictures of your favorite little fairiy girls having a tea party.  And there will be seven sweet give away prizes just for entering into the tea party festivities. And there will be party favors! Hop around and visit other blogs joining in to the tea party and see what they are serving.

My backyard fairies will be having these scones with clotted cream:

After all, why should just Alice in Wonderland have all the tea party fun?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Older Books Now on Kindle

Being enamoured of English country life, I was delighted over the summer to learn of an older book by a Scottish author coming onto the Kindle format.  I pre-ordered it from Amazon and it was available on Sept. 1. Within a few days, it quickly became a favorite.
Written in 1934,  Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson was a best seller at the time of publication.  An Amazon review said:

Barbara Buncle is in a bind. Times are harsh, and Barbara's bank account has seen better days. Maybe she could sell a novel ... if she knew any stories. Stumped for ideas, Barbara draws inspiration from her fellow residents of Silverstream, the little English village she knows inside and out. To her surprise, the novel is a smash. It's a good thing she wrote under a pseudonym, because the folks of Silverstream are in an uproar. But what really turns Miss Bunde's world around is this: what happens to the characters in her book starts happening to their real-life counterparts. Does life really imitate art?
Settle down on an autumn day and read this book for a captivating time with people you come to know as true neighbors.

I am currently reading Sarum (Edward Rutherfurd) on the Kindle app, enjoying his writing style and learning the history of England from his point of view.  What are you reading?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Almost Officially Autumn

A scenic September day in Colorado

Aspen on the Mesa
Aspen by Jumbo Lake
wild daisies
I picked wildflowers and colorful leaves to dry for future crafts

Cosmos to Dry (now under heavy books to preserve)
One cosmos dried and one fresh from the stem

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf's a flower.
- Albert Camus

Monday, September 17, 2012

Introducing a Blog Party Hosted by Inspiration Avenue

Blog Hop and Tea Party!

It's a magical get-together; an event
to get to know all our friends and to see where
they create and write!

So we invite each and every one of you,
old friends and new,
to set the table for a FAIRIES' TEA!!

Call all your fairy friends and bring them along for
weeks of magic, inspiration, and fun  Go to "read more"  for all the details!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Knitted Socks Ready in a Casual, Chic Sort of Way

Yup, two weeks later, here they are, as shown on the Mr.'s hands:

I used Knit Picks Stroll in a 75% wool, 25% nylon fingering weight wool.  The pattern is here. Gardening, walking, clogging...these socks are ready to go!

by Pablo Neruda

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
that she knit with her
shepherd's hands.

Two socks as soft
as rabbit fur.

I thrust my feet
inside them
as if they were
little boxes
from threads
of sunset
and sheepskin.

My feet were
two woolen
in those outrageous socks,
two gangly,
navy-blue sharks
on a golden thread,
two giant blackbirds,
two cannons:

were my feet

They were
so beautiful
I found my feet
for the very first time,
like two crusty old
firemen, firemen
of that embroidered
those incandescent

I fought
the sharp temptation
to put them away
the way schoolboys
fireflies in a bottle,
the way scholars
holy writ.

I fought
the mad urge
to lock them
in a golden
and feed them birdseed
and morsels of pink melon
every day.

Like jungle
who deliver a young deer
of the rarest species
to the roasting spit
then wolf it down
in shame,
I stretched
my feet forward
and pulled on
and over them
my shoes.

So this is
the moral of my ode:
beauty is beauty
twice over
and good things are doubly
when you're talking
a pair of wool
in the dead of winter.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Now We Have a Greenhouse

First we started out with our dog run area which we no longer use as such because our fur babies are so spoiled they won't go anywhere without a human by their side.

Then, inch by inch and step by step, the Mr. followed all instructions given in the kit. And now it is ready for use.

This is the finished product with pictures by Amazon.

We are hoping it will keep all herbs, geraniums and begonias safe over the winter. 

 And next spring, just wait for those beans seedlings and other vegetables to come out of the greenhouse!

The Mr. and the Mrs. are happy gardeners.

(illustrations by Sara Midda from In and Out of the Garden)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dragonfly Challenge

Every week, Inspiration Avenue has a blog hop where people post around a central theme, a theme that changes each Monday morning.  This week, it is all about dragonflies, those mystical, mysterious, marvelous creatures.  They are everywhere in the summer, and each time I see one I am mesmerized.

Go on over to this link and check out the posting, then follow along or even check back during the week to see others' posts about dragonflies.  The challenge lasts a week.  It is fun!

The Dragonfly Darlings Challenge shows a few of these creatures today:

You can just see the wonder on the little girl's face.  (She came from Lynne, a children's book illustrator, at this blog.)

Would you want this on your back?


Anyway, join in here!  I will be checking in on all participants' blogs and leaving a comment.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meeker Sheepdog Trials

Nine of us joined the Museum of Western Colorado van for another adventure in the Colorado outdoors yesterday;  we drove up to the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials, a three day event.  The volunteers working the event said it was the biggest and best ever.  And who would disagree?  I was certainly impressed.

First off, we learned a bit about what sheepdogs must learn in order to actually herd.  And by herding, we were told that these dogs will herd anything...ducks, geese, sheep, little name it, they will herd it.  Whistles were explained, calls were named and good information abounded.  Sorry I did not get too many pictures, but this one of a professional and her dogs was the first I caught:

We settled down in our lawn chairs, hats on and sunscreen applied, and watched several hours of the sheepdog trials.

(on the course, border collie keeping the five sheep on track)

(herding directing his dog from far away by whistle)

Mick, the border collie owned by the Enzeroths, is shown with Ron and his wife in the photo below.

It was only after reading the program and reviewing the names of the 42 dogs participating in trials yesterday that I saw that the Enzeroths had listed "Dublin, Texas" as their home. Now that is a small world because I lived in Stephenville, Texas for three years. (Stephenville is about 12 miles from Dublin.)  Too bad we did not mention that little factoid when we were talking!  And if you two are reading this, I lived with my grandparents then, the L.B. Howards.  Contact me if you want to talk about Dublin and our high school football rivalry since I was an old SHS cheerleader.  Or maybe it should be "former" cheerleader since none of us wants to be considered "old".

Mick was friendly and liked his ears scratched. He and three other border collies allow the Enzeroths to live with them and take care of their high energy needs. The Mrs. said they sleep downstairs in their private kennel quarters and enjoy walks and training.  Their youngest dog is 10 weeks old, and the older is 12 years old. Mick is 2 and it was his first trial run.

You should have seen the look on Mick's face when he looked at Mr. Enzeroth. Adoring. It reminded me of when Nancy Reagan used to look up at Ronald Reagan like he was the only man in the world (for her).  Really, Mick's expression of love was just heartwarming.

Bringing in over 700 sheep from the area around Meeker is no small task, and most of the budget for the event consists of getting the sheep down for the trials and then back to their grazing areas.  Real, live, cowboys were there for getting the sheep off the eastern side of the course.  Again, sorry, no photos.

Those caring for the sheep?  What about them?  That is another whole story, but I can show you a picture of a current day sheepwagon seen off road outside Meeker, Colorado below.

The first sheepwagon was built in 1884; the standard design is 11 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, enclosed by a canvas top, with a stove for heating and cooking. The interior is designed for storage and the compact beds are tucked away.  Tables fold down when not in use....In the early years in the American west, a lone sheepherder and his dogs could tend 2,000 sheep - with the sheepwagon as his mobile home as he followed the sheep.  A camptender delivered supplies every ten days or so.  In the Meeker area, you may see sheepwagons and herders with their dogs and horses, however, they may have solar panels for power to modern conveniences. (Lee Raine...source)
This has to be cut off soon, so I will show you my acquisitions from the dog trials adventure.  Too bad I ate that delicious lamb fajita with yogurt topping without taking a picture.  But I did buy some 100% Shetland Mule Wool from the Sheepcamp people in Molina, Colorado who own a family business there and create their yarns that go from sheep to skein.  And I helped out the Western Border Collie Rescue by purchasing one of their monogrammed shirts.  After Libby Sweetpea retires from her day job as a registered Therapy dog,( link  link link link link link) maybe an older collie would make a good therapy dog.

Western Border Collie Rescue ... Because Every Dog Should Have Its Day!

This is the 2012 winner of the Meeker Sheepdog Trial Art Contest:

A fun day.  Good luck to all those wonderful dogs in the contest this year, and to the people they own.