Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Gifts

What am I thankful for this month? Many many things.

~ That Andy didn't have any problems travelling to New York. And that he seems to be adjusted and doing well.

~ That Andy actually writes good letters to us! I feel like we know what's going on with him because he puts so much detail into his letters.

~ It was so fun to see Lisa be the guest soloist with the Idaho Falls Symphony. She did awesome. I'm not a huge fan of 20th Century music, and Bartok's Viola Concerto was not my most favorite piece, but it didn't matter. I enjoyed it immensely and appreciated the extreme talent it took to be able to play it.

~ That I was able to go to one concert with Abby, another concert with Lisa (watching Abby play) and go out to lunch a few times with all my daughters. And we had a blast getting ice cream after Abby's concert. They really are my best friends.

~ That I got my new computer! I love it. It's awesome. Thanks Mike!

~ That David got his Master's diploma in the mail. Whew! I knew he earned it, but it's always nice to actually get that piece of paper.

~ That the snow is finally gone. (mostly)

~ That I had fun creating some cute things this month. Okay okay, I realize I could maybe have been more productive, but sometimes you just have to feed your soul, you know?

~ That I saw some wildlife this month. A few herds of deer, a flock of wild turkeys (repeatedly, and I got some great pictures) and a moose. The wild bunnies in our yard are getting braver and braver (and hungrier and hungrier) and get closer to our house every day. I have about 30 little songbirds hovering around my bird feeder every day. I love watching all of them.

It's been a pretty great month.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dyed in the Wool - My contribution to Spring

I don't know what gets into me sometimes. I see something and I just can't help myself. I have to make it. I have to try it. I have to learn it. I feel a bit compulsive that way. My latest obsessive spree was spent knitting sheep.
Yes, I knit up some sheep.

My daughter Joni, just shakes her head at me, but she always has a smile and says, "yea, they're cute." When Lisa saw them today I thought she was going into a "cute fuzzy its-so-cute conniption fit".

Every time I saw a new colored yarn I wanted to knit up a new lamby.

And the most fun thing about it is that you can


How fun is that? It's like 3-D paper dolls.

I need some wings for my little bee costume, but there's plenty of time before Halloween. Now, what shall I knit for the rest of their little itty-bitty Halloween costumes?

It's been kind of fun, but really I need to get something else done around here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Joys and Horrors

Many areas of the country have been enjoying the blisses of spring for a few weeks now. On February 10th we made a trip south to Utah and saw people working in their yards, blowing leaves out of flower beds, raking up dead grass, and trimming trees. It was an amazing sight to us, because before the day was over we headed back home to the cold wintery Idaho which still had almost 2 feet of snow on the ground.

I keep tabs on the temperatures in a few places that I have a personal interest.
It's always kind of annoying to see how our temps here in Rexburg stack up.
Right now, for example, Newport Oregon is touting sunny skies and lovely 64 degrees. (and my kids wonder why I want to move there.) In New York where Andy is, it's a balmy 68 degrees. I hope he's enjoying it, 'cause here in Idaho it is now 41 degrees. It actually feels pretty darn nice. I didn't wear a coat or sweater today. Just last week the low temps were hitting single digits so this really does feel like spring.

Our snow has been slowly dissappearing over the last couple of weeks. I watched as our yard has metamorphosed from a wide expanse of white, to grass-rimmed snow fields, to patchy snow on our lawn.

I always watch the snow melting on our lawn with a kind of fascinated horror. I know what I'm about to see. As the snow recedes you can see the evidence of mice. Anyone who knows me well can tell you of my aversion, no, my crippling phobia, of mice.

We have a very large lawn, at least an acre, and there are mouse trails and mouse huts everywhere. Mice will build up a little mound of grass under the snow where they can stay safe and warm as the snow insulates them. They look like little grass huts.

They are kind of fascinating. In the same way that seeing an accident on the freeway is fascinating. You don't want to look, you know you will probably be sickened, but you just can't help yourself. I felt myself drawn to one of the larger mounds. I had a long stick and reached over and flipped some of the grass away from the top. My nerves were jittery to the point that as I flicked the grass away I felt myself shudder and leap backwards. Morbid fascination drew me close once again and I flicked away some more grass.

This time I saw what looked like about 6 little smooth oval stones. I thought, "how odd, do they use the rocks to hold heat?" Then I looked closer.

"EWWWWW! YUCK!! I shuddered and scampered away as quickly as I could. They were baby mice. They were about an inch long each, and they weren't moving. I couldn't get close to it again. But just then Joni came out and asked me what the heck I was doing. (I guess the sight of a 50-something year old woman poking with sticks and jumping around the yard was kind of noticeable.) I told her what I found, and Joni, ever the scientist, came out to invesigate. She pronounced them dead. Burns, our master-mouser cat was right behind her and caught sight of these tasty little bite-sized nuggets. Joni had to wrestle him away and then she gave the little critters a proper burial.

I hope Joni checks out the rest of the grass-hut mounds for me. I don't think my heart to take another round. And I definitely don't want any surprises during the first time I mow the lawn.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Yesterday David brought his family to visit. While they were there Nathan (age 3) thought of a really fun game. He found his grandma's basket full of balls of yarn and methodically unwound them, going around and around the pool table. When he used up one ball he would go get another. Spider-slayer, aka "the little kitty", was under the table the entire time watching him go around and around and around. Every once in a while he would attack the yarn as it trailed past. It's been pretty funny since then. We left the yarn up and today the kitty is still hanging out in his Nathan-made cave, safe and sound out of Oscar's reach. Oscar will not cross the yarn barrier. I think "little kitty" wouldn't mind if we left it up permanently.

Last night the whole family, friends and half of Idaho Falls went to the Civic Auditorium to watch Lisa perform her viola concerto by Bartok. She sounded awesome and looked fabulous. Abby took photos of her on stage, which I'll try to borrow and post. After her performance, and during intermission, we all went back stage to congratulate her. I took my camera and snapped quite a few photos of that. Here's one that I really like. A few of her students went down to the performance and one of them went backstage with us and gave Lisa a bouquet of flowers. This shot shows her watching Lisa as she converses with some other well-wishers. Lisa's a really great role model for young up and coming musicians and I think it shows in this photo.

It was a pretty great day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Knitted Coziness

I never claimed to be a master knitter, like my mother. She can knit anything!
And she's fast!
And she doesn't even need to look at what she's doing!

I struggle. I have a hard time deciphering the patterns.

But lately I've really wanted to learn how to do it better.
I've knitted scarves.
Plain rectangles are not problem.

I wanted to do shaped things.
My biggest challenge is socks.
I really really wanted to knit a pair of socks.

I've knitted a half a sock about 6 times, and I always tear it all out after getting totally lost.

Then a couple of weeks ago I found this pattern. It was SO CUTE!!!

I paid for a download,
got the pdf,
bought my yarn,
and started knitting.

I know it's a beginner pattern.
But I'm so happy I was able to knit the whole thing!
And it even fit Oscar!

He likes to wear cozy sweaters when we get him groomed. It's still too cold for his blood here in Idaho.

Now maybe I'll tackle those socks again.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Boy Scout or Girl Scout?

That is one scary looking mullet.

A New Look for a New Me

I needed to be inspired. The old format was just not doing it for me. This one fits me so much better.

As soon as I get my new laptop, (thanks honey), I'll feel even more motivated to keep up on all things blog/twitter/facebook.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Back From My Hiatus and February's Gifts

This last month has been filled with highs and lows. Some of those highs and lows involve the some thing, like having Andy leave on his mission. Some other lows include the bad accident Mike's mother had. She went to get her mail and fell, breaking her hip. This 90 pound 80-year old woman then dragged herself over 100 feet back inside her house and pulled down the phone to call for help. She's in the hospital where she had surgery, and will have to stay for quite some time. We are glad she is now in good hands and pray for her recovery. My mother had her little heart attack scare too, but that all checked out just fine, for which we are very grateful. On a less serious note I'm having some issues with my dang toe. The swelling is just not going down. My doc said some people have this issue. My lymphatic system is just not functioning too well and is not pulling the fluid out of the tissue very well. I have to keep it wrapped up with a compression bandage most of the time. I'm not complaining, though. I can now take my long 30 minute power walks and not have an achy toe at the end. That's definitely an improvement. Now for the gifts of February:

~ That the new season of LOST started! I'm still totally confused, but hanging onto the promise that questions will be answered tomorrow night! :)

~ That Andy went on his mission and is doing really well. He flew to New York this morning. We were able to talk to him for 3 very short minutes when he called us while waiting to board. It was good to hear him. I'm proud of him for making this decision to serve with no pay, not alot of time off, and away from family and friends. He's going to grow up so much. I kind of wish I could watch the growth in person, but if his mommy was hanging around I doubt much growth would take place.

~ That everything checked out good for my mother's health. Maybe she had that little scare when I had to call 911 just to get her into the care of a doctor. She needed to have a physical and be checked over, (it had been a long time), and she probably wouldn't have gone on her own. Now at least we know her heart looks pretty good!

~ That I was able to go watch Abby's orchestra concert. I sat with Lisa and Tyler. It was pretty good. Abby plays pretty good violin for not being a music major. *grin*

~ I have to put this one in because I remember my saying this. I'm thankful I don't have as much laundry to do, or as many groceries to buy since Andy left. Mom always said when one of us would move out she consoled herself by the "less-laundry" idea.