Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Blog Contest

Here it is, the 7th day of January, 2009, and we're home with kids, cozy on this day of snow, sleet, and freezing rain (a "wintry mix", the paper says). We have hot chocolate ready to go, in a few minutes we'll put in a movie ("Spiderwick", which we got for Christmas and have watched once already) and put away Christmas decorations. Last night as we were thinking about the possibility of no school today, and thinking of what would need to be done to the cars to get them ready to take DH and DD to their jobs, I told DH I was all set . . .I have chocolates to eat and mysteries to read, and a cat to cozy up to! This is, of course, once the kitchen is clean, the laundry is done, the house has its January decorations instead of Christmas things out, the give-away clothes are bagged up and ready to take tomorrow, and so forth. Thankfully, this job of Homemaking is not boring, and I never run out of things to do. So, I just may take a cocoa and mystery break at some point, knit a row or two, and feel no remorse at all!

Jane is hosting a New Year's Blog Contest, and I think what she has come up with is a wonderful idea. Instead of talking about the wonderful things we hope to accomplish in 2009, we look back on 2008 and talk about things we did right. At first I couldn't think of things, really. Nothing that is done, anyway. My New Year's Goal list for 2008 is simply being resurrected in 2009, and I'll keep trying. However, the more I thought, and read all of the wonderful comments in her blog, I was better able to come up with a few of my own: we have done some financial figuring, after reading some of Dave Ramsey's books, and paid off our house! I finished knitting a Swallowtail Shawl, also a Blower Basket Lace Shawl (pictures to come, when they are blocked), and I think I have this lace thing figured out, and I really, really like it! (Which is good, considering the size of the stash of lace-weight and fingering-weight yarn I have and the patterns I've been gathering.) I have also exercised almost every day, which sounds like I have great self-discipline, but it is actually enforced, because I deliver newspapers and it's a walking route, and takes me about 25 minutes every morning (before 6am). The only days I missed were when we went on vacation and I had DD#1 deliver the papers, and a couple of holidays when the paper wasn't published. But still. That's walking, almost every day. Exercise, also a good time for solitude, meditation, and prayer.

I like to post a picture when I post a blog entry. Here's today's:

It is a Christmas sock, and if you look closely, you will see candy canes on the leg. These were fun to knit, and are too heavy to wear with shoes, really, but they are great to wear to bed, and around the house.


Things I have done in which I am well-pleased: updated my blog again, finally, had some knitting finishes recently (an afghan, two hats, three scarves, and a partridge in a pear tree--just kidding on that last one!), made some progress in the seemingly eternal quest to clean the basement.

Things that make me happy: a fire in the fireplace on a cold and snowy day, electrical power in spite of an ice storm! (we were without power except for a generator for four days in December), herbal tea and mysteries.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Still stitching and knitting . . .

Well, I finally got my DD's help to set this blog up to be more what I want it to be. In the past seven months since I last posted, life continues to be busy and good, and I continue to miss my boy, as I will for the rest of my life. Our family went to Utah on vacation, for a wonderful family reunion (minus the aforementioned DD, who went to CA instead to visit friends, and attend San Diego Comic Con), then DH and the two youngest kids and I went to Palmyra, NY, to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant, which was a wonderful experience, and uplifting, as always. The kids have been busy with lots of different summer activities (Girls' Camp, Youth Conference, EFY, a summer job, finishing up a bachelor's degree, etc.), and I have been the transportation for most of these things, and the volunteer for Girls' Camp on the ending day.

I've been doing a lot of knitting, and more stitching lately (by the pool in the afternoon provides wonderful light). Here is one of my projects, an afghan I began while waiting for one of Stanford's CT Scans, and finally finished it earlier this year. I considered donating it, because it has some painful memories attached to it, but someone said it would be a nice thing to have for later, and that's what I'm finding. It is made with Red Heart Sport Weight yarn (NOT my favorite, but inexpensive), and it will be cheerful to display at Christmas. There is a pile of other finished projects waiting to be photographed, including the same afghan with a cute border, but now it's time to get ready to take my oldest DS and his girlfriend (whom I am meeting this evening for the first time!) to dinner.

Things I have done in which I am well-pleased: updated my blog!,
worked on a knitted afghan that was started about three years ago, finished reading the Book of Mormon with my family.

Things that make me happy: autumn-like weather, herbal tea, my DD who is also my best friend, knitting, stitching, books.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Well, it has been a year. A whole year. A year since I last posted, and more importantly, a year since I said final, earthly good-byes to my dear sweet son, Stanford. Our family is doing well, and I'm doing well, though we miss Stanford more than we can say. Tears sometimes come easily, and I always carry tissues with me, and buy only waterproof mascara. But they don't come every day the way they used to. I find great comfort in family and friends, knitting and reading, stitching and taking care of my home. I have projects to be photographed, piled up on a nearby table (I won't allow myself to wear the socks or use the dishcloths until they are properly recorded). And I have several wonderful gifts friends have given me, made with much love, which I will also photograph to show. But for now, this is a good way to begin again, with an unofficial entry into the ABC-Along I've seen on a couple of blogs, and a picture to remember Stanford.
Things I did today in which I am well-pleased: attended the Temple, found a memorial candle at the grocery store, practiced the piano in preparation for my lesson.

Things that make me happy: knitting, fresh chocolate chip cookies, friends who let me know they're thinking about me, a cozy house on a cold night.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gone Home

This evening at 8:38 pm, my son, Stanford, passed from this life, being called Home by Heavenly Father. He was at the Hospice House in Merrimack, NH, surrounded by family and friends. It was a very reverent and peaceful passing, and he was in no pain. We could tell him we loved him, and just before his passing, his father gave Stanford a Priesthood blessing. We sang Primary songs, uniting our love and faith, then he slipped peacefully away.

It was hard to leave the Hospice House without my baby boy. His passing will leave a large hole in our family. We can see his presence everywhere. That will be good, to think of him so often. I love my boy, and will miss him. My 15-year-old son's AIM away message says it well:

Today had many surprizes, most of which were expected. Todayon January 23, 2007 at 8:38 pm Stan Larsen passed away from cancer. He died peacefully, and around friends that he loved. I love my brother, and know he is in a better place.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Have Not Dropped Off the Face of the Earth!

Life has been extremely busy and stressful. I'll post pictures later, but wanted to at least give a little update. On November 21st, my son, Stanford, almost died. He had internal bleeding that the doctors could not stop, and we were told in the emergency room that the would not live very long. He is home now, and you can read more about him here. This is a website my husband made, and has been keeping up to let people know about Stanford and our family. We still do not know what will happen. The treatment Stanford is receiving has about a 5% chance of working, according to the educated guess of the doctors, but we have to try. My SIL, Lori, pointed out that God has preserved Stanford, because He made Stanford get better when the doctors could do nothing. We hope and pray for more miracles, and take things one day at a time.

I've spent a fair amount of time crying, and cope by stitching a little, knitting, and crocheting. I'll show pictures sometime! I am also learning to let go and let people help. They've brought in dinners, run errands for us, done our laundry, covered the newspaper route over the Thanksgiving weekend, and now are coming in to sit with Stanford and help out so John and I can work, sleep, shop, shower, and whatever else we might need to do. I've been able to do a little Christmas shopping, also some decorating.

One day at a time! Pray for another miracle!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Leftover Halloween Pieces

I've decided to continue on, and finish, the autumn/Halloween pieces I've started. There are four of them. I'm not counting Celtic Autumn with this group, because she is a SAL, and though she is Autumn, she somehow falls into a different category. I will also be adding winter and Christmas pieces, and am trying to decide whether to make some ornaments as gifts to enclose with gift cards to send to family out west, or do something else for them. So the Autumn pieces will still stay in my bag, and get regular attention, but I'll do others as well. Here is what I've done on In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin. I just love the colors on this one, which is funny because all my life I have been a pastel and pink/purple/blue sort of person. It just shows your tastes change and expand through the years.

And here is the Pumpkin Cat. I'm almost finished with him . . . isn't he cute? I won't be able to use him in this year's Halloween decorations, because they are now in the attic, and the Thanksgiving things, the few that I have, are waiting to be put out. I had better be quick about it, because we typically start our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving! We'll see what happens this year.

This last one my husband entitled "Your Guess is as Good as Mine" in its file name, because to him (and possibly to you) it looks like a blob. And I was not around when he was uploading these pictures from the camera to the computer. But it is really Chessie and Me's Bittersweet and Pumpkins Sampler. It is taking me awhile because all of the lighter color is not cross stitch, but smyrna cross stitches, which take extra time. Also, it takes longer to do a piece if it is one of about ten in your stitching bag rather than the only one! But I love this piece, so I will spend the time to do it. It has other specialty stitches as well, and most of it is done with one thread over two linen threads.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Some More Pictures

Did you know that if you click on the "publish post" button without saving as draft first, and blogger is down for scheduled maintainance, that your post will completely disappear?!! I'll try again, and learn from my mistake!

With everything that has been going on lately, it actually feels good to worry about trivial things. Phillip's school picture day was last week, and guess who hasn't had a haircut in weeks and months? When I was a little girl, I remember my mother spending a long time picking out the perfect outfit for me to wear, and curling and spraying my hair so everything would look just right for the pictures that would be sent out to family and friends and remembered through the years. I just had to laugh when I thought of this, and of how Phillip's picture would show more accurately what is happening with life this year than a preppie haircut ever would. And I thought of the contrast between Phillip (who offered to remove some of his hair and tape it to his brother's head), with too much hair, and Stanford, with no hair, and just had to show you. And I plan to take Phillip to the barber on Tuesday, so little by little, things get done.

Here is a picture of two of my boys heading out to trick-or-treat. Phillip went as a highwayman, complete with beard (crayon makeup). Stanford decided to take advantage of his chemotherapy-induced baldness, and went as Aang, from Avatar, the Last Airbender, a Nicolodean cartoon. He spent the day with t-shirts and the sewing machine, then his sister, Heather, drew a blue arrow on his head with the makeup crayons. I need to learn to not "point and shoot" when I take pictures with the digital camera, and instead take the few moments to set it up right for the light conditions. Julia went as a black cat (without ears--yet another detail of life lately that has gone by the wayside), but was out trick-or-treating before I was able to get a picture. Heather handed out candy at our house, Julia went with her friend, Emmy (and Emmy's Dad), and I took the boys to my friend, Patty's, house. Whe we got there, Phillip and Patty's sons left to trick-or-treat before we even noticed, they were so excited. Then Patty turned to Stanford and said, "Well, Stan, it's just the girls (her daughter, Karen, age 17, and three friends) left." Stanford said, "I like girls!", so he ended up going with the girls, and had a great time! I stayed at Patty's house and stitched with her. It was lovely! Poor John wasn't expected to come home before 7pm from work, so when he came home earlier, he was just lost and forlorn until he decided to play on the computer.

This is my progress on Shepherd's Bush's Little Witch. Now it's time to decide if I should spend a few days of concentrated effort and finish her, or save her until next year and work on other things now. I'm really enjoying the silks. As usual, though, I have way too many projects going at once so the chances of actually finishing up the seasonal ones on time are not very good.

Here is my progress to this point on Celtic Autumn. As you can see, I'm a slower stitcher than Sue or Ann. But I keep telling myself, "this is not a race . . . this is not a race!" I just need to listen to myself, and stitch more, and be encouraged by their progress, not intimidated.

Here is my final picture for today. It is a kit sent to me by my dear friend, Chris, who attended the Shepherd's Retreat this year, and wrote that she thought of me the whole time, and sent me this, tied with lovely ribbons and a very cute pumpkin pin which I've been wearing almost every day since. Thank you, Chris! This made my day! I plan to stitch it in time for the next birthday in my family, which is . . . mine! In January!