We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program

# 1 Daughter showed up this past week, which was both expected and unexpected. I knew she was coming, but she came earlier than planned, which threw me totally off-kilter. Far be it from me to complain, though, as I’ve had a totally wonderful four days. It’s always tough to see her leave, but we made lots of memories while she was here, and I have more than a little bit for which to be grateful. Actually, I think she should get the daughter of the year award based on just this half week!

I doubt I could even begin to list everything we did, but our activities included a spontaneous late night grocery run the night she arrived, in search of some suddenly craved ice cream, and resulting in a cart full of goodies, which later became 3 delicious meals. One night we had my special Veggie Brie Burgers with Portabello Steaks and Avocado Halves. Another night we indulged in her wonderful Pierogies and my addition of Virgin Pina Coladas. The third, we had the little known, but always tasty Sloppy Idas with Onion Rings and Fresh Peach Halves. I left the table totally sated every night, each time thinking it didn’t get much better than that. 😀

We took off on an expedition one day, supposedly picking up walnuts that were promised to me on freecycle. However, after the half hour drive to get there, we found only 3 nuts! Driving back down the street, we found another house in the neighborhood with a yard full of them, though, and a knock on the door provided a resident who was only too happy to see his yard cleared of the things. Next project for me is getting the hulls off and into a dye pot. 🙂 It was a beautiful day, and even thought it was the middle of the week, there were three yard sales set up. Having been housebound for nearly the entire yard sale season, this was an exciting development for me, and I did find a couple of treasures, though my daughter is the one who got most of the booty. I’m especially fond of:

  • My bell – Although you can’t tell it from the photo, this thing is as big around as a roll of toilet paper, and the clapper decidedly thicker than a broom handle.  It’s got the most amazing bass voice, and it gives me goosebumps to hear it ring! It will need a very special home, and I confess to buying it without putting a lot of thought into that at the time. I just couldn’t walk away once I heard it ring! I’m wondering what it’s original use was…
  • Little Turkish Rug Loom – also nabbed quickly, despite the fact that my last name is not Allen. I’m not sure, but it just might be Bleuette scale, and regardless, it’s a very interesting loom just for studying.  I’m starting to realize I might have to confess to a miniature loom collection now, as this is at least my third model scale loom that could actually be used for weaving.

We did some small needful tasks for her – choosing a ringtone for her new cellphone, finding homemaking goodies she had stashed here and needed for her new apartment, and such, and a few for me, like blocking my Sweetheart Lovey at long last,

but the main part of our energies went into some serious decluttering work for me. Since I’ve been able to get around the past few weeks, I’ve been picking at some projects and making good progress within my limits, but my daughter’s visit dramatically accelerated things, and I’m going to be smiling for weeks! There is a lot that needs done around this place that I simply can’t do alone, and it feels oh-so-nice to have some of them so much improved. I’m afraid I’m not posting before and after pix. I rarely have the nerve to share before pix, and as for after shots… what is miraculous to me right now isn’t exactly Better Homes and Gardens yet, so…

We did some major reorganization and fall cleaning in my bathroom, leaving just the parts of the project I can do easily on my own, and we worked long and hard in the “store room,” which is the center of my online sales work, storing merchandise and functioning as my packing center. It had become impassable this year as hubby toted stuff in there, and I couldn’t monitor what was happening. Now it’s functional again, and with effort, I can actually get up and down the stairs about once a day, so I’m looking forward to getting back into business again soon. 🙂 The shelves are seriously overstocked!

The last place we did some major work was in the back storage room. It’s a long term commitment, as there is the equivalent of an entire fabric store and more back there. It’s functioned as my attic for quite a few years, and it looks like it! I’m paring down my fabric collection dramatically, deleting much of the synthetics and blends, stuff I bought for my little girls now long grown, and yardage bought for a much younger me. My daughter is snagging some great fabrics for herself, I’m pulling out some pieces to list on Etsy, and the rest is going to Christian Aid, delivered by my daughter who lives near their warehouse. Each time she comes, we go through a few more boxes until we get her car filled for the journey home, and I end up feeling that although I’ve given away a lot of dreams and more than a little bit of truly great fabric, it’s going to a place where it will be used in making a real difference. This year, I suddenly got this brilliant idea to repack all of my original yarn stash into plastic tubs while we were back in that room. Funny thing happened, though. I now have 4 big outdoor trash bags of mostly acrylic yarn on my porch, waiting to be delivered to a charity, and only a shelf and a half remaining upstairs, most of which is in afghan quantities for gifting. I just discovered going through it all that I no longer found it appealing to do that much work with acrylic yarns, and emboldened by the clearing out, decided to release it to a new home. Honestly, my biggest guilt about the whole deal is feeling like I should be whipping up Project Linus Blankets and Homeless Hats with it, but I know I just won’t be able to make the time for that right now, so I’m being brave!

The last big event of her visit was my completion of the prayer shawl I’ve been knitting for her while she was in Honduras. Not only was it a joy to finally give it to her, but it also completes one of this year’s annual goals – finishing 3 old UFO’s. 🙂  I love the way it came out, and she really liked it a lot! I think I’m going to miss this project, though, as it was a special bit of love to work on it while praying for her. I felt a bit lost as she pulled out of the driveway with in on the seat of the car beside her.

The pattern I used is the Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl, which can be located online for free though Ravelry. Once you get in the swing of this pattern, it’s quick and easy, and most experienced knitters will probably find they memorize the pattern without much trouble. This makes it a great option for a prayer shawl, especially if you like to pray while you knit. You can use pretty much any yarn you would like for this shawl, as it starts at the top and is knit to the desired size with only a 6 row repeat. I wanted to gift hers today, so I didn’t use quite all the yarn I bought, quitting after about 5.5 balls instead of using all 6, about 1177 yards. I used a delicious hand-painted, superwash, worsted weight wool from Beyond Basics, but which is sadly enough discontinued.

Now, I guess it’s time to go back to real life.  I’m certainly feeling the void this evening with her gone, but in many ways, she’s still here as I look around and see the fruits of her visit and think of the doors that have opened as a result. She may be gone home, but I’m going to be benefiting from these past four days for years to come!


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hello,

    The prayer shawl you made is very beautiful!

    Dutch greetings, Carolien

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