Heat Wave!

Pacific Northwesterners are notorious heat wimps and this past week has tested our endurance to the limit.  On Wednesday it was 103 degrees in Seattle and not much cooler here on the island.  Our average summer temps are in the low to mid 70's!  Very few houses have air conditioners and we were melting!  Fortunately it did cool down a little at night, especially here.  Blessed relief came Thursday, with a nice offshore breeze and temps down to where they should be.

Needless to say, very little knitting was accomplished.  All we could do at night was lie prostrate on the couch with the fan blowing on us and squirting ourselves periodically with a water bottle.  The thought of even laceweight yarn was enough to induce a coma!

On Thursday, in addition to the wonderful cooling, my Embrace the Lace shipment arrived.  I really should have taken a lovely photo right out of the box, but I was so anxious to start knitting that I wound the yarn into a cake and cast on right away!  This really is a wonderful shipment.  The shawl is oversized and has a bit of heft to it.  Although I do love the light, ethereal shawls, I also love those that have some body.  The pattern is not easy to memorize, but it is easy to follow and I hope will go quickly.  Providing I am not distracted with other projects, as you will see soon that I am.  The yarn is slightly heavier than laceweight and is a lovely cafe-au-lait color:


Today was again cool and I tromped off to the mainlaind for some fabric shopping.  Did you ever have one of those shopping trips where everything went so smoothly that it was a little scary?  I found everything I was looking for and even found some of my favorite camisoles for 70% off!

I bought fabric for an upcoming Mystery Quilt project with my Round Robin Group:


I bought fabric for a quilt for Abby:


Yes, I know it looks plain, but it's going to have a lot of elaborate machine embroidery.

When I bought the fabric in Orlando for the girls' quilts, I made a huge tactical error and didn't buy anywhere near enough.  Since I bought it at JoAnn's, I checked the JoAnn's here and they had every single fabric I needed:


And then, I stopped by the yarn shop to buy some nice soft, comfy Encore, because two little girls are going to need warm woolies come fall.


Oh wait!   Didn't I tell you??  Ben & Abby and girls are moving back to Washington!!!  Hubby will be flying out the last week of August to help them pack up and then will help them with the girls on the flight back.  Words cannot express how terribly happy we are.  They're not sure yet exactly where they will live.  It will probably not be on the island, but anywhere between here and Seattle will send us over the moon.

So now I've gone from having almost no knitting projects going to having a handful!  Lace, little girls sweaters, finishing of Abby's warm sweater, not to mention at least four quilts.  Retirement cannot come soon enough!


What a fun week this has been – time off from work, Ben and Isobel here and lots of time with friends and family.  Ben and Izzy arrived on Wednesday and on Thursday the rest of the family started trickling in.  This was the first time in probably 20 years that hubby's brothers and sisters have all been together.  It was a mad whirl of activity with lots of photo ops:

There was art appreciation:


Poking sticks in the pond with grandpa:


Snuggling with great-grandma:


Chowing down:


Posing with family:


And more family:


The oldest and youngest at the reunion:


On Sunday Ben's best friend came to visit with his 4-year old and they dragged Nana and Yeh-yeh into the sprinkler (Maggie didn't have to be dragged!);


All in all it was a lovely, lovely time.  Our only regret was that Abby and Ivy were not here.  But we certainly understand the challenges of traveling across country with a 22-month old!  Ben & Isobel left this morning.  Hubby took them to the airport and said as he drove away Isobel was standing at the curb, yelling at the top of her lungs, "I love you Yeh-yeh!  See you soon!"  Ben said when they got into the terminal she was wiping her eyes and said, "How about we be sad next time?"  I think that was her way of trying not to be sad this time!  We will miss her and her Daddy!

It’s Official!

Well gang, it's official!  I notified my boss and his wife that I will be retiring at the end of the year.  I had told my old boss, but he didn't tell the new ones when the practice was sold.  Since there was so much stress during the transition, I decided to wait until things had calmed down a little.  I also made sure the staff was notified.  As expected, there was general wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Everyone thinks I am indispensable, but I believe they just have gotten used to depending on me.  They really need to start thinking for themselves.  For instance, I have the reputation as the resident computer genius.  But half the time I find out that all that's needed is to turn something on, turn something off and then on again or call tech support.  Thursday after work hubby and I went to the local Farmer's Market.  I must not have heard my cell phone go off because apparently phone calls were flying fast and furious.  Our part time doc had called in to leave a message and discovered that there was no outgoing message leaving emergency contact numbers.  He tried to call me, he called several employees who tried to call me, he called the owner doc who tried to call me.  No one could seem to figure out what to do!  When I finally got the message, I calmly (or not so calmly) went into the office and turned the answering machine on.  Sigh.

So this has been a blissfully calm weekend.  Hubby is gone to a car show today and I've spent most of the day sewing on Isobel's quilt.  It's starting to take shape:


I'm debating on the size.  Should I make it a twin size, which is seeming to look quite large, or should I make it a throw that they can drag around with them?  Any opinion Abby?

And, speaking of Abby – this kind of flew in under the radar, but Abby was sworn in as an American citizen on the 10th of July.  We were a little disappointed that it couldn't happen while we were there.  But we're just grateful that a very long, involved process is at last completed.  Congratulations Abby:


On the knitting front, I finished the Heart to Heart scarf:


It's hard to get a good photo because it's so long.  This was a lovely pattern, and I will probably make it again.  That's supposing that I'm able to figure out how to wear it gracefully.  I love scarves on other people, but I just don't seem to have the knack of draping them so they don't look goofy.  I do know that this will not be my last project utilizing the crochet method for adding beads.  Although it does slow you down a bit, it's so much easier than stringing them on the yarn.

This week promises to be a very exciting one.  Ben and Isobel should arrive on Wednesday for a family reunion.  We're disappointed that Abby and Ivy will not be coming, but we do understand the difficulties of flying with a not-quite-two-year-old.  Hubby's siblings should be arriving by Thursday.  Friday night is a buffet and all day Saturday is a picnic.  Hubby's mom is not in the best of health and this will probably be the last time we'll be able to get all of her children together.  I'm hoping she's up for all of the activity.  I'll be sure to post pictures, but with a full house of company (my sister's coming too), it won't be next weekend!

Walks, Lace, Quilts and Tomotao-Eating Dogs

Perhaps it's the contrast with the hot muggy climate of Orlando, but our weather here has been spectacular of late.  We returned to cool rainy weather, which felt great.  But later in the week the sun came out.  Mid 70's, low humidity, perfect!  For many years there was nowhere safe to walk around our house, but one of the few positive effects of development has been the creation of some very nice walking areas.  Maggie and I found a new one shortly before we left for Orlando.  It's a nice walk out our backdoor and through the woods to some new housing developments and from there to a beautiful community park complete with children's playground, soccer fields and a Frisbee golf course.  It's 1 mile there and 1 mile back – a nice workout for us both.  I had decided that a good pedometer might inspire me to keep at it, but in looking at them, the really good ones were rather expensive.  Imagine my delight when I found an application for my iPod that works beautifully! 


It records steps, mileage, speed and then emails me the result for an Excel spreadsheet!  All for $1.99.  And I can listen to audio books while I walk.

As I've mentioned, stress at work has kept my knitting rather simple, but I'm finally feeling like tackling some more ambitious projects.  I'm about halfway through my Embrace the Lace club selection, the Heart to Heart beaded scarf.  I'll settle in with Battlestar Galactica tonight and should reach the point where I start decreasing.


Hubby and I had decided to take another stab at growing tomatoes in our sunroom.  It doesn't really get warm enough around here to have much of a success growing them outside.  The plants were doing rather well when we left for Orlando, but suffered from a tad bit of neglect while we were gone.  However, we did have a few respectable little cherry tomatoes taking shape and some just about ready for picking.  Until we came home the other day to find the plants totally denuded of tomatoes and Maggie just finishing up munching on a green one!  The little stinker had eaten all but one of our tomatoes!! 


The only one left was too high for her to reach.  Maybe we'll try again next year, but put them on a table or bench.

Today has been a blissfully free day and I started working on one of a pair of matching quilts for the girls.  This one will probably be for Isobel – Abby helped me pick out the fabric while I was in Orlando:


My original plan was to make them both the same, but Abby suggested I use the same fabrics, but different designs.  So I'm on the lookout for a design for Ivy's quilt.

Off to work on the quilt for a little longer and then dust and shop for few groceries.  The usual mad social whirl!

Hot and Steamy Orlando

Greetings from hot and steamy Orlando.  This is our last full day here; we leave tomorrow for home.  I will miss my children and grandchildren – I will not miss the weather.  For instance, today it was in the mid 90's and at least that much humidity.  Hubby read that the heat index was 103.  I think they were a little on the low side.  Abby and the girls and I headed out to the park for a blogger meet-up.  Kris, of Sonny and Shear, and her daughter Anna Grace met up with us.  We look happy, but we were standing in little puddles of sweat as we slowly melted into the ground:

Bloggers AGandIsobel

Honestly, though, this has been the hottest day so far – the rest have been at least tolerable, but we have had a lot of rain.

The girls are absolutely delightful!  They have grown and changed so much and are so much fun.  Their parents are doing an outstanding job of raising them:


Both girls adore their Yeh-Yeh (grandfather), especially Ivy:


The first thing we hear in the morning is "Yeh-Yeh, oh Yeh-Yeh."  But Nana has gotten in a few coups herself.  Yesterday they had a little girlfriend over to play.  While the rest were watching cartoons, Isobel decided that knitting is way more interesting:


In fact, any time I've gotten my knitting out, she's come over to help.  Needless to say, not much knitting has been accomplished, but there is certainly a yarn lover developing.  She especially likes to cuddle with my yarn and sniff it!  Yep, Izzy, I love the smell of wool too!

Yesterday I fully intended to post on the blog, but when I went to retrieve my laptop, I discovered that Ben had taken it to work, thinking it was his.  Reasonable error, I guess, when this is the scene on the counter:


We are definitely a Mac loving family and I think we have a new convert:


Ben and Abby gave hubby an iMac!!  They weren't using their desktop and offered it to him.  That's one of the advantages to having technologically advanced children – we get their cast-offs, which are still pretty up-to-date.  I've been trying to convert hubby, but was a little leery of spending a lot of money to find that he didn't like it.  So far, I think we may have a winner.

A busy day tomorrow, with 4th of July celebrations, packing and then a long trip home.  It will feel so good to sleep in my own bed and be able to sit out in the yard in the cool of the day.  But I will miss the family here.  Good news, though – Ben and Isobel are coming out to visit in July for a family reunion.  I can't wait – and neither can Maggie.  I think she and Isobel will really hit it off!!