Monday, September 28, 2009

Life and Times of Sheba the Kitty

The adventures of Sheba the Cat continue. She came into our lives as a kitten about a year ago and immediately stole our hearts away. She's much bigger than these pictures show because they were taken immediately after she arrived, but she still retains that kitten curiosity that will be a part of her forever, we hope.

After several trips to Raleigh to visit Lindley Marie to make sure she really is here and really is ours to keep, we decided to relax a little.

Ok, so I was knitting a cute little dress for Lindley Marie Rose, and the guys decided they wanted to go to the beach. After all, we had a 3-day weekend because teachers at the school needed a “work day” (don’t they work every day?), and it was our wedding anniversary and sort of close to son’s birthday. He wanted to invite a friend and celebrate his 15th birthday. Our ‘cat sitter’ friend, Sonja, was also out of town for the weekend, so we decided to be brave and leave the kitty locked inside the house with her litter box, food and water for the 3 days and 2 nights we would be gone. She usually has to fend off raccoons and other critters in order to eat her catfood when we're away, and then Sonja rescues her and gives her more food every day anyway. So this time we felt we were doing her justice so she wouldn’t have to fight the raccoons for her food.

She decided, left to her wits, to be very brave and kill one of the other critters who lived in our house, too. The critter was (and I do mean WAS) a skein of yarn that I planned to use in the dress I was knitting for Lindley Marie. I’m certain the skein of yarn attacked her first because she really had to fight it hard to persevere. I say that because the untorn label was on the top step of the stairs along with the largest wad of yarn (looked a lot like over-cooked spaghetti), but the yarn had literally been strung down the stairs, around the corner into the dining room, around all 4 legs of the table and all 16 legs of the dining room chairs, back up the stairs and around the legs of the bed in my bedroom. She must have also been fearing for her life, because she had bitten through it in one place. It took me over 2 hours to untangle it and wind it into balls (yes, plural). Thank you, Sheba, for protecting us from that killer yarn animal! And, no, I didn't take any pictures. I was too frantic to rescue my yarn before it really was "dead".

We did sneak a couple of peeks at the new baby on our way to and from the beach (wasn't that convenient??), and she's just as gorgeous as ever!
Smartest, cutest, most loved, certainly the most photographed child ever, I'm convinced!

But the thing that makes me most proud is the way her parents have both stepped up to the plate for her. She is the center of their universe, never out of their sight, and meeting her every need is their only desire. The most fulfilling part of parenthood for me has been to watch my own son experience all the feelings I felt for him when he was born, and knowing how happy it makes him to be a father. And Ashley is a natural-born mother, so instinctive, persistent, and tender. She appears to be calm in the face of every storm, and I commend her for taking the drama out of motherhood (so far). I'm sure that Lindley Marie will put some of that drama back into their lives as soon as she is able. Little girls have a way with drama, after all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let me introduce you... our new granddaughter, Lindley Marie Rose. Her name is as beautiful as she is! She was born on September 15, weighing in at 10.5 lbs. and was 22.5" long! WOW!! You'll be reading more about her here in my blog as she grows and steals more of our hearts away.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Waiting and anticipating the birth of a grandchild reminds me of the stories of the Jews awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. As Christians we are taught not to anticipate, but to experience the moment and enjoy the process. Still, it is very hard not to anticipate the birth of our baby granddaughter; we are so excited about her arrival and look forward to every second with her, holding her, hugging her, watching her grow. Being parents, we know the wonder of the moment we first lay eyes on our own children and the immediate emotional response to that magical realization when the myth becomes real, the dream comes true, the waiting is over.

We pray for Lindley Marie Rose, that she will be born healthy, that her birth process will be easy for her and her dear mother, that her mother's suffering will be mercifully shortlived and not unbearable. We pray that God in His infinite wisdom, compassion and love will wrap His comforting arms around all 3 of them, Ashley, David, and Lindley, keeping them safe and pull them through the storm, and that they will feel His presence in that moment when Lindley finally greets her worldly parents face-to-face. Amen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A baby is coming!!!

It's only weeks or even days before the arrival of our new granddaughter, Lindley Marie Rose. Isn't that just the most beautiful name? Just rolls off your tongue, Lindley Marie. I wonder what she'll be called? Her father called me this morning to report that she weighs 7 lbs. 12 ozs. ( in the womb) and will gain 1/2 lb. each week before she is born. With her due date still 3 weeks away, she's liable to rival her daddy's birthweight when she arrives.

The excitement is building! A shower will be held on Saturday in Graham at the home of David & Kim King, son & daughter-in-law. I hope to sneak a peak at the decorated nursery on Friday and maybe make a trip to the hospital in Raleigh where Lindley will be born. It will be a "trial run" before the actual event.

While the new parents are busy nesting and resting (while they have a chance), I'm knitting and sewing up a storm. I told someone that I've been preparing for the birth of this little girl all my life! It's so true. After bearing 3 sons myself and marrying into a family dominated by males, and even having 3 granddaughters that were already walking and talking , it's a gift to have a newborn baby girl join the family! Here is a sweater I knitted in a little little larger size so she can wear it next winter (2010):

This is a small "lovey" blanket for her to squeeze next to her face as she falls asleep for naps:
It's made with the Plymouth Yarn "Poppin" and looks like a string of pom poms. It was interesting to knit with, and I love the texture that results!

While making a special tote bag for Ashley to use as a diaper bag, I wondered if David would carry a feminine pink and brown diaper bag, which is what Ashley requested for herself. I didn't think he would, so while I was making her bag I decided to make him his very own. I call them their "His & Hers" diaper bags. Ashley's has an "R" monogrammed on one side and a rose on the other. I think they turned out great. What do you think?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And finally, a little "us" time

While Lucas was participating in a mission trip with the youth from our church, we decided to take a few days for ourselves and follow him to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Although we were technically in the same area (though Lucas could never tell us where he was), we didn't ever see him (didn't even really talk to him), and were only able to communicate with him via text messaging on our cell phones. When we finally accepted the fact that he didn't "need" us, we relaxed and completely enjoyed ourselves.

We really didn't DO anything, and that's hard for us. Gordon sat on the deck overlooking one of the majestic scenes in the Great Smokey Mountains and caught up on some reading while I spread out several layers of beautiful batik fabrics and cut, cut, cut. It rained a lot, but the wet weather didn't damped our spirits at all. Relaxing in a log cabin atop a mountain in the Smokeys and listening to the rain hit the metal roof is my idea of "heaven on earth." We did make one short trip to a fabric store where I was able to find pink and brown fabrics for the new granddaughter's "Welcome Home Quilt", and we attended a craft show at the convention center in Gatlinburg. Aside from that we did no shopping or sightseeing and just enjoyed our own company.

When I checked my email after returning home, there was a photo from David showing the curtains I made hanging in Lindley Marie's bedroom. I am so pleased! I can't wait for her arrival!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Projects, Projects, Projects

Cody's Quilt
The graduation quilt I made for my nephew Cody who lives in California was named "Guitar Hero". I chose the name "Guitar Hero" because he plays guitar and because he is a real "hero" in my book. He has struggled to overcome some learning difficulties and has conquered! He's a very special young man and I hope all his dreams come true.

The original quilt design just included the stars moving in all directions, and then I appliqued the musical symbols in a black batik cotton on top of the stars. It's symbolic of harmony in the universe, which is my hope for his future.

It has been the season of many graduations and new beginnings. My friend Diane's youngest son Mark graduated from high school in June and will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall. This is the quilt I made for him:

This quilt was made from Ellenor Burns newest book, "Day and Night". It was lots of fun to make and resulted in enough leftover blocks to make 2 more exciting quilts that look completely different! I love surprises like that!

In addition to quilting and graduations, we've celebrated our son David's Commissioning at Methodist Conference in Greenville, NC, in June. He graduated from Duke Divinity School in May and has been appointed to Concord United Methodist Church in Eli Whitney, NC. It is a wonderful, generous, loving congregation and he and Kim and very blessed to be there.

And we continue to await the birth of our newest granddaughter, Lindley Marie Rose, who is due in September. Baby showers galore, knitting, quilting, sewing, painting, hanging of curtains, decorating the nursery...what fun we are all having, preparing to welcome another special child into this world and our family.

These photos were taken at my house at the first baby shower.

Here are some photos taken yesterday at the home of Ashley's "bff" in Clayton, NC:

I hope to post again before the baby comes, but I'm not making any promises. You can bet that I'll be posting lots of photos of Lindley when she arrives.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


What a wedding it was! Beautiful down to the very finest detail! And the bride was gorgeous and gushing; the groom was very handsome indeed!
I don't have access to photos yet, but will post some as soon as I can. The happy couple has returned safely from their honeymoon in the Caymen Islands, and things are settling down for them as they adjust to living together in one house while trying to sell another. Even the cat is adjusting!

And now it's time to concentrate on the new baby. We are traveling east today to help with the delivery and assembly of some furniture for the baby's room. How exciting! And we are planning a small baby shower on Saturday, June 13, here at the lake house. The new mommy and daddy are interviewing and touring possible day care facilities--boohoo! Oh that we lived close enough to take care of her ourselves! My heart breaks to think about a stranger holding and cuddling with my new granddaughter. Such is life...

Our other son David, graduated from Duke Divinity the weekend following the wedding. We are so proud! He will remain in Eli Whitney, NC, at Concord UMC as their pastor. He and Kim are very happy there and the congregation is pleased to be able to keep him for awhile longer.

More to come....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Can't stop to take a breath...

So much activity, so little time, so much to do--but it's all good. Wedding plans are coming along. The wedding quilt is finished (hurray!), thanks to the help of some very dedicated friends who really came through at the last minute. How would we survive without friends?? I don't think I could. I couldn't even have taken this picture if my friends weren't helping me! Anyway, the quilt is my original design, "Crystal Hearts", and I'm hoping to publish the pattern soon. Aside from that, I've knitted another pair of booties for the little darling (we finally found out she's a girl!!) and completed a baby blanket knit from organic cotton by Debbie Bliss. Now if I can just stay out of the baby departments at all the stores until she arrives my bank account might survive. I never realized how cute baby girl clothes are! I've never been able to shop for little girls before, so this is really a novelty for me.

We're very excited about the wedding on the first Saturday in May. Family members are coming from far and wide, and it will be a nice reunion with those we seldom see. The rehearsal dinner is all set, food and flowers ordered, tables and chairs rented. We're just waiting now for the big day. Here's a photo of a purse I made for Ashley, our DIL2B:

Can you tell that she's a fan of NC State University? She and David are a great pair of fans!

My friend Sue Dial of Harvest Moon Handspun and Clay Cat Designs sent me this luscious 100% Peruvian Wool after she dyed it these gorgeous shades of blue. I'm knitting the Karabella Loose Fit Jacket with it, and I can't wait for it to get cold again so I can wear it! The color is just beautiful! If you'd like for her to dye or spin some yarn for one of your one-of-a-kind projects, you can contact her at She does custom colors and will match anything you want. She also does custom color work with polymer clay, so you can have buttons and earrings to match your new hand-dyed sweater! Isn't that the coolest thing you've ever imagined?

She also sent me some wine glasses that she customized with polymer clay for me. They are dishwasher safe. These are especially unique and my favorite glasses of all! I just love entertaining with them because each glass has a unique design, thus eliminating the need for "wine glass charms". What do you think?

You can email her for more information and to find out what her show schedule is for the near future. She has a group on Ravelry, too. If you're a member of Ravelry, you can join her group and find out all sorts of interesting things about her.

Gordon and Lucas went on their annual turkey hunting trip last weekend in Ohio. They met the usual crew, friends and family, and while they didn't get to see many turkeys, they did have a good time.

While they were out of town I took advantage of an empty house and invited the Popular Girls for a mini-retreat. Because it's such a busy time of year for everyone. Only one other Popular Girl was able to attend, for the same reason I had a free weekend--her husband was also out of town on a hunting/fishing trip. So Debbie and I were here being popular all by ourselves! We knitted, talked, knitted, ate, knitted, drank a little wine, and just did what Popular Girls do. It was great fun, though a little quiet and tame for a Popular Girls Retreat. We decided that we are the most Popular Girls (whatever that means).

Lucas will be going to the National Whitewater Center with his science class on a special field trip. He's looking forward to rafting the rapids. I hope they don't get absolutely drenched, but I'm not holding my breath.

I've joined Twitter to see just what all the fuss is about. You can find me there as Quilter300. I'm still trying to decide if it's worth the time and effort. I love Ravelry for the fellowship of knitters, crocheters, spinners, and other fiber artists, patterns, advice, sharing of projects and photos, and inspiration. I wish I could find a similar venue for quilting. Let me know if you find one.

Our Easter was blessed. We were able to attend Sunrise Service with our son and his family, and then more family arrived later in the day. We are fortunate indeed. I hope your Easter was as blessed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

We're having a wedding!

Wow! When it rains, it pours. We can't have just one thing at a time in our life--we have to have everything happen at once! And we've had so much rain I feel like my feet should be webbed! It's been awhile since I posted (my New Years' resolution already broken), but for a very good reason--too much going on to have the time to post. It's a good thing, though. God continues to bless us.

We're having a new grandchild--a girl!! After 12 grandchildren, only 3 of them girls, we're getting another granddaughter! I think it's our turn to have a girl in the family, and God is good. We're all so excited, we can't wait to hold her, love her, and play with her. I've already started knitting and planning for the quilt(s). I knitted a red blanket before I knew she was a girl, knowing that she would be attending NCSU Wolfpack football games, rooting for the home team. She will be stylin'!!

Next, we're having a wedding! My son David will be married to Ashley on May 2. They are an adorable couple, and we are so happy for them. Plans for the wedding are sailing along, rehearsal dinner is all set. David almost missed the shower due to a cancelled flight out of LaGuardia airport into Raleigh, but he managed to rent a car and drive straight home. He was about half an hour late for the shower, but at least he made it safe and sound! We were all glad to see him arrive. They received many nice gifts from friends and family, including this quilt made by Ashley's grandmother. It is signed by family members.

Many out-of-town family members will attend the wedding, including my parents from Oklahoma, two grandchildren from New York (Kate and Greg), and my son and his family from Florida. It will be a great reunion!

Happy Easter! We're planning to attend the sunrise service at our son's church in Eli Whitney on Easter morning and then we'll spend the day with him and his family. I'm looking forward to eating salmon for lunch, the first meat I will have eaten since the beginning of Lent. I hope your Easter is blessed.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 Winter Knitting Retreat

Baby, oh baby!

What a great time we had in Boone this year at the 2009 Winter Knitting Retreat sponsored by Baskets of Yarn from Charlotte, NC.

While there were classes galore, the only time I had to snap photos was during dinner in the evenings, so my photos are fairly specific to that time of day.

We had some new teachers this time: Tricia Fagley, Patty Frame, and Glenda Tennis; and some who returned from years past: Lisa Kartus, Laura Guinan, Sue Dial, Betsey and me. There were classes to knit sweaters, afghans, hand warmers, and shawls; and there were classes to learn how to crochet a scarf and the old standby Granny Square, as well as a class to knit two socks at the same time starting with the toes! Polymer Clay classes were a huge hit (Sue even offered an extra class because so many people were excited about it!), as was the spinning class.

The Alumni Suite at the Broyhill Inn was the home of the Baskets of Yarn hospitality suite, where the knitters could always find a skein of something warm and yummy to fondle (and usually a beverage of some sort) and congregate with old and new friends. The weather warmed more and more each day until by Saturday the knitters wanted to sit outdoors and knit while they "caught some rays" and enjoyed the breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A few knitters had to lather on some sunburn cream that evening and the next day.

Annual Pajama Party night on Friday brought out the creativity in several knitters. We even viewed knitting needles with lights in one person's costume! It's amazing how inspired knitters are when it comes to "dressing for the occasion"!

My favorite part of the weekend was the Sunday night pajama party, which started with a full-body massage for those who stayed the extra night. What a treat!

Baby Liza let her presence be known all during the retreat weekend, be it laughter or insisting that she be fed (as babies often do). She was so adorable, no one could resist her engaging smile. And it was fun to welcome Maisie during her short visit. She was very glad to see her mommy!

Seeing our favorite people from last year and meeting new friends is always an experience we can't forget. Laughing and crying together every day (sometimes the crying was just laughing so hard it brought tears to our eyes) made our memories even more special. Each year has its own special moments, and I always wonder if this year will be as much fun as last year was...and it never disappoints.