In Memorium

He took full advantage of the GI Bill to forward his education.

As a young man in the U. S. Navy. He took full advantage of the GI Bill to further his education.

Yesterday early morning, my uncle passed away.  It wasn’t an unexpected event; he had been placed in hospice the early part of June.  Brain tumor, the same thing that took his father.  I hadn’t seen him for last 35 years but had remained in casual contact through Facebook and email within the last decade.  You wouldn’t think that the passing of such a person, relative or not, who had virtually no presence in my life would affect me the way it has.  Of course, I feel sorry for my cousins, Ken and Chris, and their children who had such a wonderful grandfather.  It must really be hurting them.  But me?  A distant niece?  Surprisingly, yes.

While I was driving around carrying out some mundane errands today, it hit me:  he’s gone for good.  And I started crying.  I cried for missed opportunities and the distant memories I had of him.  He was a decent man who treated his sister’s children, my mother, like regular children and not the evil spawn of the demented sister.  His higher education and inventions gained him a comfortable living, but he didn’t allow that to change him.  He visited his parents often and his youngest son, Chris, who was closer to our age, was always fun to play with.  His employment with an oil company allowed them to live in exotic places.  They would come back with cool stories to tell and neat gifts to give.  It was always fun visiting him and his family.  When he was able,

Here he was at 84, still flying.

Here he was at 84, still flying.

he learned how to fly and purchased a plane.  I remember when we were staying with him in Valencia, we went to the local airport and I got to fly for the first time.  He took us to California City where we had french fries at the airport cafe, then went back home.  I was never afraid because it was Uncle Bill.

But life went on, and my rebellious teen years landed me in the Air Force.  That was last time I spoke directly to him.  It was a Saturday.  I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base and I was in the middle of my technical training to be an air traffic controller.  I just felt like talking to him, so I called him.  We had a nice conversation and he got a kick out of my choice of career field.  I was all of 19 years old, though, and had to drink, cavort and sow wild oats.  And all of a sudden, it was 30 some odd years later and through the ubiquitousness of Facebook, the older son Ken, found me, and we were in communication again.

So, I’m done crying – mostly – and just wanted to say good-bye one last time.

            Bill Smith  11/12/1925---7/1/2015

Bill Smith
11/12/1925—7/1/2015

Just in Time for Summer

4

Au naturel.

I really enjoy my finished knit or crochet items, but the larger they are, the longer it takes me, the less likely I’m going to complete the project within a reasonable amount of time.  Point in case, this simple construction of this Fitted Top.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  Well, I did know that I wasn’t slim like the model, nor young like her, so I made a few modifications.  Well,

Their version

Their version

My version

My version

basically, I used the published stitch and most of the sizing, otherwise, I made it my own.  I figured it would be wiser to change the neckline altogether by bringing up the decolletage, lengthening the whole top and making the straps thinner and thereby, more appropriate as a summer tank top.  I used HiKoo’s CoBaSi yarn in Indigo and Natural Olive that I purchase at Got Your Goat because of the wonderful mix of cotton, bamboo, silk and elastic nylon, perfect for hot temperatures.  And it took me months to finish this.  I am happy with the results, though, and intend to wear the heck out of it.

National Knit in Public Day

Redheads must always protect themselves!

As ever, the lovely Kris of KC Johnston Originals.

As ever, the lovely Kris of KC Johnston Originals.

How far would you go to a knitting event?  Today I drove a total of 120 miles, round trip, to be a part of a “do” in Sacramento under the shade trees in the park at the Capital building.  A group of us intrepid knitters sat in a circle working on our various projects, gossiping about everything and anything, watching the busloads of tourists with their cameras running to catch their ride.  We kind of laughed at that, wondering what kind of sights would someone see in Sacramento, and it was deduced that this must be a multiple city tour they were on!  The weather was surprisingly pleasant and since the original plan to meet on the steps of the building was usurped by a McDonald’s sponsored event with microphones and people in suits and chairs and clapping hordes, the venue was modified to the northwest corner of the grounds underneath the mature trees.  Except for the seating arrangements

Ooohhh!

Ooohhh!

(my wide behind didn’t protect me from the hard ground!), it turned out to be a better locale. I was actually able to park my car within 50 feet of where we were.  That’s impressive for downtown Sacramento.

As for driving the 120 miles for two hours of yarn communing, because of my remote location, I do close to that kind of traveling every week for my grocery shopping.  Living in the forest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range has its drawbacks, but they’re so worth it!

How did you spend your day?

 

Treasure Unexpected

My daughter came home yesterday with a surprise for me.  While browsing through a thrift store in Nevada City called Women of Worth, she came across a crochet and knit pattern book straight out of the 70s.  Funny thing, I want to make some of the items illustrated in the booklet!  I would call them “enduring classics”, such as the coat and tunic ensemble.  All they need is a color change.  One major problem I can foresee in these patterns is that the sizing standards have changed dramatically since the 70s to keep up with Americans’ ever-increasing girth.  By today’s standards, my size is represented in the patterns, but I can’t see it being the same.  Any suggestions on how to handle this?  Anyone?

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A Pattern Emerges

Oh – snap!  I have neglected my miniscule part of the internet far too long.  It’s not that I don’t think about it…on occasion.  I do miss it.  Somehow, my life has become busy.  Well, at least more cluttered than it was when I started blogging.  Work (that’s a biggie), buying the house and all that entailed, keeping up with my MeetUp, my Facebook page, bookclub, thinking about knitting (!), helping my sister to plan a move up here, a parent visitation….it goes on.  You know, life.

In the midst of all this “life”, I discovered a pattern, if you will, that I use for my particular lifestyle.  It must have occurred when I was scrambling around for a pair of socks.  I don’t know about you guys, but I am soooo not a foot person.  I don’t have a separate closet full of shoes, I don’t hoard sexy socks or whatever, but necessity has me using them.  If it were up to me, I’d run around barefoot like a yahoo.

One hole is fixed, and another is formed

One hole is fixed, and another is formed

So there I am rummaging in my delicates drawer, looking for a pair of good work socks.  Partially through my quest for frugality, and partially through my neglect and disinterest in this department of clothing, I find that my repairs to this particular set is failing.  Note the salvaged heel (which I used blue thread to repair, NOT an appropriate color, which I do own) and see the gigantic hole at the bottom.  What would you do?  Throw them away and continue your search, or wear them one more time and buy some more socks immediately?  Not only have I NOT done that, I’ve worn them twice more since starting this article!!  They’re still in my drawer because I just put them there this morning as I was sorting laundry.

At this point you may be thinking, Damn, Glenda, are you that broke?  We’ll send some money, just put up a PayPal link and promise to get/make some new socks!  Thank you, really, but it’s not necessary.

This revelation lead me to search other areas of my closet/bathroom.  I discovered two refugees

Disco lives!

Disco lives!

Back to stateside, where I had to find a real job

Back to stateside, where I had to find a real job

from the 80s that have come with me on every move (14 times for the sparkly evening shirt I purchased while I was active duty in Air Force!).  The Liz Claiborne was used over and over and over and over…I’m getting dizzy…Suffice to say, it was used up to a few years ago, and then I got too fat to wear it.  :-(  I’d still be using it if I could!

This made me wonder about other departments outside the wardrobe closet where my parsimony was employed.  I didn’t have to wander too far, for lo and behold, right on my bathroom counter, I found two more examples of my thriftiness.

Yep.  You know this brand...

Yep. You know this brand…

I do advocate using the store brand on many sundry items as there is virtually no difference in composition, only in the perception of the consumer.  Not on everything, mind you, but on most.

I was starting to feel that my teacher in Home Economics class I had taken in junior high had done an exceptionally good job in subliminal techniques because it had taken me 35 plus years to realize the importance of what she was teaching and that I was finally incorporating these values.  Yessirree bob.  I felt so Suzy Homemaker, that I reached for my most recent knitting project.

The knitting project I’ve been working on forever because I’m using fingering weight yarn that’s composed mostly of cotton but also has bamboo and silk incorporated into its lovely strands and

Beautiful cotton...mostly

Beautiful cotton…mostly

takes forever to make any significant progress.  The yarn that cost $11 per skein, and I got 6 skeins.  A $66 tank top.  Feeling a little dizzy at the excess, I rationalized that I rarely purchase such extravagant yarn.  Then I walked back into my closet where there before me lies all the yarn I had to have, stuffed in projects bags, on the shelves, hanging from their original store bags on clothes hangers, and it hits me.  The pattern emerged.

Am I the only knitter/crocheter who forsakes such finery as socks that are in good repair for the love of yarn?

Good Causes

One of my little stinkers!
walk for a dog

Click on this image to download the app!

Now that I’ve had 12 days to mope over my birthday, and only four more days to (hopefully) close escrow on our new house, I wanted to share a cause with you all.  A good cause.  I know, these days, everyone has a soapbox to preach on, but this is something that’s close to my heart, and obviously, many other people.

All it is, really, is an app you can download on either your android or iPhone and put in some basic information, so that whenever you walk your dogs, a portion of money is donated to your favorite animal shelter.  It’s that easy.  And no, no one is taking money from your bank account and no, you won’t be spammed to death from animal-related causes/societies, and yes, it may actually encourage you to get out more with your dog!  It worked for me.

One of my little stinkers!

One of my little stinkers!

I’ve tried putting a banner on my this website, but for some reason I can’t figure it out in the widgets section.  Anyone?  For now, I’ll just put it in this post and in the meantime, I’d love to hear if anyone can help me out on that banner!  BTW, the random text/HTML widget doesn’t cut it.