Whether you are a fellow fiber artist, enthusiast or just an admirer, walk along and talk with me on my journey.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Memories and saltines

When I was very young, my sister and I woke up early on Saturday to watch cartoons.  It's a pretty foreign concept to little people these days.  They can find cartoons at virtually any given moment of the day.  But Saturdays were special to us for several reasons.  Obviously, the cartoons were highly rated.  What else would make children who didn't have to go to school, get up earlier than normal?  The snacks we prepared, were the second jewel of Saturday mornings! We had; (and this is the short list) potato chip and pickle sandwiches, milk shakes (there's a story here too), butter, dark Karo syrup blended together and spread on white bread!  Oh they were yummy!  But the one standing out in my memory today, is toasted saltine crackers with butter.

A very, very, long time ago, in a land far far away, saltines were made four to a square.  The box didn't come with four separate sleeves.  There was only one and the crackers were all connected.

They looked just like this!
We would toast this "sheet" of saltines and proceed to slather them with butter.  The butter would sizzle as you rubbed it across the cracker.  It tasted pretty good too. 

I still love saltines.  But finding this little sheet of four connected crackers is impossible to do these days.  This makes putting them in the traditional toaster a little tricky.  ;) 

What is my point? I'm not exactly sure. I miss those little sheets of saltines!  I miss cartoons on Saturday mornings.  I miss my sister-we live pretty far apart.  I miss the snacks.  Most of them I can recreate.  But I just can't bring back everything together.  I was having a saltine with some soup today and it all came back to me-like it was yesterday. 

Oh, and the story about the milk shake- it went like this... One Saturday morning, I apparently pestered my sister to make a milkshake for me.  She made them for us from time to time.  I was too young to actually do it myself.  So, in between cartoons, she took me to the kitchen, had me stand on a chair and gave me a glass of milk to drink.  Honestly, I thought she was really going to make a milkshake..  I drank the milk, then she put her hands on my waist and shook me from side to side...  She said "There's your milkshake." and left the room.  Today, when I think of this story I laugh and shake my head.  (That's not what I did back then!)  

Don't ever ask about a haircut I received from her my junior year in high school-wink wink.  

I think that's enough reminiscing for today.  

Thanks for the memorable snacks Dee.  xoxoxo

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"I'm Fine"

It's a beautiful summer morning.  But for me, time is slowing and a somber veil is slipping over the day.

Paul was my friend.  He wasn't my dad or uncle or brother.  But he played all these roles in my life.  Paul passed away this morning after a long and courageous battle with cancer. 

I have countless memories of being with Paul.  But today, I will share just one.

Quite some time ago, we were sitting in church alone together.  We were praying for another friend.  When we were both finished, I passed my little prayer book to him.  It was opened to a page with this poem...

I'm Fine

There's nothing whatever the matter with me.
I'm just as healthy as I can be.
I have arthritis in both my knees
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak and my blood is thin
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
I think my liver is out of whack
And a terrible pain is in my back.
My hearing is poor, my sight is dim,
Most everything seems to be out of trim.
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
I have arch supports for both my feet,
Or I wouldn't be able to go on the street.
Sleeplessness I have night after night,
And in the morning I'm just a sight.
My memory is failing, my head's in a spin.
I'm peacefully living on aspirin
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
The moral is, as this tale we unfold,
That for you and me who are growing old,
It's better to say "I'm fine" with a grin
Than to let them know the shape we're in.
--- Cardinal Cushing

He read it, looked at me and grinned his huge Paul grin, giggled softly and said "I'm fine"! 

I love you Paul.  
I'll miss you always.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This whole completion thing...

How big is your fiber stash?  Could it, does it take up a whole room?  How many projects do you have OTN? (on the needles)    How many projects would you call a WIP?  (work in progress)  Do you lose track of all your needles because they're on your WIPs or OTNs?? 

Then, my new and personal favorite...PIGS (Projects In Grocery Sacks)

Whenever I decide on a new project, I do not ever have the required yarn or roving.  Not ever.  I will search and search for the perfect color, fiber content, and gauge.   I'm certain the people I live with have to wonder, but never articulate, why don't you use up the stuff you have?  I don't really have a good answer for that!  Typically, what I have doesn't meet my standards for the upcoming project!  It's just not right.  :)

All this is and more is part of a disorder I have discovered and named since becoming a fiber artist-  It's called Fiber Accumulation Disorder or FAD.  I like to say the whole name...it sounds more official.

Fortunately for us, Ryan Gosling is here to help assuage us of our guilt surrounding Fiber Accumulation Disorder.  I can hear the angels singing!  There is hope! :)

Yes!  I am dedicated to my work!  But as any person with a real, functional case of Fiber Accumulation Disorder knows, we never.ever. leave our Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Knit Picks or independent Yarnie receipts just laying about-do we??  No.  They are tucked away, someplace out of the way, where they won't see the light of the day until we retrieve them for a ceremonial burning. 

I recently found a whole glossary of slang knitting lingo which I am compelled to share with all of you!  Some of these made me laugh so hard, all the cats scattered!

Ambistitcherous Having the ability to knit in two different styles
BeauFO A beautiful Finished Object
BFL blue-faced leicester, a breed of sheep
Bicraftual Someone who both crochets and knits
Bistitchual The ability to knit in two styles eg. English and Continental
BMFA Blue Moon Fiber Arts (yarn company)
BSJ Baby Surprise Jacket (pattern)
CAL Crochet ALong
CIP Crocheting In Public
Clap Clapotis (pattern)
Colorway The name or number assigned by a manufacturer to the color (or multi-colored combination) of a yarn
CPH Central Park Hoodie (pattern)
CPY Crystal Palace Yarns (yarn company)
CTH Cherry Tree Hill (yarn company)
Darn Overs (DOs) - The YO’s you forget and have to tink back to. AKA @&%^#&%@!!
DB Debbie Bliss (designer and yarn company)
DPN Double Pointed Needles
DS Destash (sell unwanted yarn)
EOR End Of Row or Every Other Row
EZ Elizabeth Zimmermann (designer)
FO Finished Object
frog To rip back (for the sound “rip it, rip it”) by removing the needles from the project and pulling on the loose end of the yarn; also applies to crochet
Generally used when mistake is found below the row you are currently working, or when completely un-doing an entire project or piece. (see Tink)
frog pond a storage place for knitted and crocheted things waiting to be frogged
FSOT For Sale Or Trade
Gifted The act of giving yarn/items to another for free.
GOFO A GOrgeous Finished Object
ISO In Search Of
KAL Knit ALong
KIP Knit(ting) In Public
KL Knitting Loom
KP Knit Picks (yarn company)
LK Loom Knitting
LPW Lamb's Pride Worsted (yarn)
LYS Local Yarn Store
LYSO Local Yarn Store Owner
MK Machine Knit(ting)
muggle non-knitter
NoTN Not On The Needles
NWT New With Tags
OTH On The Hooks
OTN On The Needles
PIF Paying It Forward (or Pay It Forward)
PIGS Projects In Grocery Sacks
Pooling When one color in a Variegated yarn bunches together in an area.
Puddling According to the Yarn Harlot, similar to pooling, but more like a blotch.
SABLE Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy
SEX Stash Enhancement eXperience = buying yarn
sock(s) in progress
funny way of saying skein of yarn (skein+hank=skank)
Socks That Rock (yarn)
South West Trading Company (yarn company)

Tink To undo knitted stitches by reversing the knitting motion, effectively un-knitting the stitch. Used when fixing an error on the same row you are knitting. (tink is knit spelled backwards) (see also Frogging)
TOAD Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust
UFO UnFinished Object (usually a WIP that has been abandoned or neglected)
WIM Work In Mind
WIP Work In Progress
Wool of the Andes (yarn)
WPI Wraps Per Inch (number of times yarn will wrap loosely around ruler or similar tool in one inch; more wraps indicates thinner yarn)
yarn barf (yarf?) a big lump of yarn that accidentally gets pulled out of a new center-pull ball, when you’re trying to find the endYarnie independent dyer or spinner with a small business

I hope you have a wonderful day!  Decide to create something beautiful.  Whether it's in your mind or with your hands.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thank you Mr. Chip.

The morning began normally.  I was rudely awakened by a tickling, running nose and my alarm clock.  It is a beautiful, breezy, sunny, pollen laden day.  My oldest son was already up and getting his day started.  I began the task of waking our 2 youngest children  This process can take some time, so I have to start early...

My oldest son then informs me he has seen Chip the horse is outside of his pasture.  Chip has done this a time or two, so I immediately pull on some boots, grab his halter, a lead and fly out the door!  Chip had indeed breached the pasture fence!  I spotted him at the bottom of our driveway.  He was headed towards an area planted with wheat-and at this point in the season-very tender wheat grass. Good!  Maybe he will be completely distracted by the grass and go no further.

I am running down the hill in my purple, flannel, sheep pajama pants...a t-shirt...a zip up hoodie and my son's army green boots. I can't even imagine the state of my hair.  I looked absolutely fabulous!  I prayed no one I knew would see me or that I wouldn't have to go anywhere near the road.  When I was within about 20 feet of him, he popped his head up from the luscious grasses and looked at me as if to say calmly "Oh, hi.  Didn't hear you coming." (When I imagine Chip talking-its Owen Wilson's voice I hear...)  I had been calling loudly to him the whole time I ran...

in my pajamas.
Fortunately, he didn't run.  I wrapped the lead rope around his neck for insurance, and went about fastening his halter.  Chip is a very calm and level headed horse.  He doesn't 'play games' with us, unless we ask him.  He loves to race with us. Chip always wants to be first in line when he's with other horses.  Since we're part of his 'herd', he takes this into consideration when we are walking with him in his pasture.  If we start to run, he will quicken his pace until he has the lead.  This whole game will never play out if we don't make the first move.  I do love this animal and I'm thankful he didn't think I was playing the race game...

With the halter in place, I led him back to his pen.  He entered with no incident and didn't  complain- even when I closed the gate that separated him from the tender shoots of wheat grass.  I enclosed him in a smaller area.  This is so I could make certain little "Houdini" wouldn't escape before I had a chance to survey the rest of the fence.  

After everyone had left for work and school, I made my way to the pasture.  I found Chip's escape route rather quickly.  A small tree had fallen and taken the braided electric fence rope with it.  This part of the fence has never been electrified.  But Chip is smart enough to not test things like this!  However, since it was laying on the ground, he stepped right over it!

I made a quick repair and let Chip eat his breakfast.    After he was done with his grain, I walked him over to the fence charger.  I wanted him to hear it clicking away.  His eyes became quite large and he took deep breaths.  He flared his nostrils in the direction of the charger in an effort to take in all the smells. I wasn't holding onto him and he could have left at any time.  But he stood there even as I walked away.  I was now satisfied he realized or sensed the fence was hot.  A good friend told me horses can sense or somehow smell the electricity.  What a demonstration Chip gave me this morning!

I believe we are secure now and Chip won't be having any more walkabouts.

One more realization I've had from my morning.  Despite my recent inactivity, I can indeed run at length, early in the morning...in my pajamas...and my son's boots! 

Little Houdini-I mean-Chocolate Chip

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Places

I have many happy places.  One of them is standing in front of my Keurig as it brews a steamy, hot mug of Sumatra coffee...  I then procure a chocolate chip fiber bar, pour crème brûlée creamer in this mug and my day is off to a good start.  I'm smiling and looking forward to that first, delicious sip of warm, brown, goodness. 

After the happiness has all been consumed, I move on to other happy places.  This is one of a small pair of white and ocher colored socks on which I'm currently working.  Socks are definitely a fun and happy project for me.  My favorite part of sock knitting is turning the heel.  It's so cool to see it emerge after a series of stitches that don't necessarily make sense when you look at them on paper.  But once completed, you have a heel! 

As I was sifting through photos on my computer, I found so many other photos of happy places. But when I found this one, I knew it belonged here.  This is about 2004 or maybe even 2005.  Were they ever that small?  They are the cutest, smartest, most wonderful little people I have ever met.  Not to even mention...my handsome, loving husband.  This really is a happy place and a happy life. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tale of the tobacco twine bath mat.

Once upon a time, I made custom order bath mats made of tobacco twine.  I sold them on Etsy and had quite a bit of business generated from them.  The bath mat business was good.  Then one day, a customer ordered a very odd and specifically sized bath mat. The customer wanted the width to be within a half inch.  This is difficult to do with such large yarn.  But I did it.  They also wanted it to be quite long.  In my opinion, this was no longer a bath mat, but a runner or a rug.   I made the mat and sent it off to the customer.  A few days later, I was contacted and told the mat/runner was the wrong size.  I let her know I would do whatever it took to make her happy with her purchase. The mat was sent back and remade and returned to her at no cost-to her.  Before mailing it, I measured and photographed it on a freshly washed floor...

 I did learn something valuable about my mats in this process.  It's a crocheted item and somehow with the size of the tobacco twine, it will decrease in size from the first couple of rows to the last row.  So when I measured it after the first few rows to make certain I had the dimensions right, it wasn't.  I gladly remade this item and sent it back to her. However, I sensed a storm coming and took these photos.

A few days later, I received a message from her telling me there was animal hair on the mat and because of her allergies, she felt she had to wash it. I made a point of vacuuming and washing my floor before I put it down to be photographed.  She measured it after washing and again, noticed it was too small.  If she had laundered it according to my instructions, which I included with her sales receipt and on her mat, this wouldn't have happened.  I will make a long and frustrating story short.  Nothing I did made this person happy.  She would only be satisfied by a full refund-which she received against my wishes.  I  am still not happy with PayPal over this.

So, the mat/runner sat in my laundry in a sealed bag room for a long time.  It had an odd odor and  was slightly discolored.  I have no idea what was done to this mat, but I hardly wanted to touch it.

Months later, my sister and i discussed dyeing this rug.  I was resistant to the idea because cotton (and this very thick yarn in particular) doesn't do well when dyed.  I reluctantly agreed to give it a try.  With all the necessary dye materials in place and a large cup of motivation at hand, I began the task.

I used a largish kid pool I found on sale at the end of the Summer season.  I put it on my back deck so I could carry out buckets of hot water to dissolve the dye.  I thought this was a great idea...until I started wondering how I would drain this pool of it's dye later on.  I really didn't want dark green dye all over my deck and driveway...

So, after following all the directions from the special solution to pre-soak the item to soaking it in vinegar and salt afterwards, I was greatly disappointed in the results.

I removed the dyebath from the pool with a garden hose.  I ran the hose from the deck, down a small hill to drain.  After pinching a portion of the hose shut, I filled the remaining portion with water from a pitcher.  I then plunged the filled hose into the dyebath, released the pinched hose and the suction  did the rest of the work!  It was a proud moment.  :)  

This is the mat after dyeing it for a second time.  I made a more concentrated solution of the dye and painted it on!  It still had areas where the dye hadn't even bothered to take-and other spots, the dye actually took-twice!   More disappointment.

At this point, I wanted to set it on fire and let the ashes blow with the four winds.. But I didn't.  I thought about it at great length. I thought about the last year I had basically wasted with this ill fated bath mat.   Finally, I came up with 2 (more) possible solutions.  I could disassemble the mat and re-make it with another strand of unifying yarn.  I could also, simply make it again using only the partially dyed tobacco twine.

I consulted with my sister about our choices.  She agreed with my first solution.  As I was taking the mat apart, I saw the pile of yarn at my feet.  Oh my goodness, it was lovely!  It was a tweedy combination of the natural and green dyed yarn.  I finally loved something about this thing!   Now, I was actually excited about this project. 

I purchased a synthetic yarn to combine with the tobacco twine that would subtly pick up on the colors in my sisters kitchen.  It was such a joy seeing something so lovely come from something that, up to this point, brought me nothing but grief.
  This is the final bath/kitchen/mat/runner/rug.  I can honestly say it was an enormous pleasure to give this to my sister! 

This is almost the end of the Tale of the Tobacco Twine bath mat...

I don't do custom orders...any more...
and they lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That's it, I'm weaving!

This is my current project.  It's a cotton table runner woven in a twill pattern. When I'm done, it will measure about 80" long and 15" wide.  This project is destined for Etsy!   I've had this warp on my loom for a very long time.  But it's coming along nicely now. 
I love these colors together.  They're simple and calming and remind me of the beach!
The next project for my loom will be a huge undertaking.  I'm planning to weave an overshot coverlet in "Cat Track and Snail Trail" or "Orange Peel".  "Cat Track and Snail Trail" is very old and has roots in a Tennessee family dating back to 1812.  This pattern was first called "Drunkard's Path" and then "Wandering Vine" in Scotland around the turn of the 18th century.  In the United States, it has become known as "Cat Tracks and Snail Trails".  Examples of this pattern can be seen from the mid-18th century, through the 19th and into the 20th centuries. 
This photo is of another weavers lovely interpretation of "Cat Track " or "Snail Trail"  http://deborahbee.wordpress.com/   

Orange Peel
The other pattern in the running  is called "Orange Peel" This photo is a table runner I wove for my sister many years ago.  It's familiar territory for me and has a short-ish pattern repeat.  This might very well end up as my coverlet pattern. It will be woven with 10/2 mercerized, natural cotton (warp) and the pattern yarn (weft) is Peruvian Highland wool in fingering weight.  The color is indigo. 

Weaving overshot patterns is somewhat of an undertaking.  You really have to love the processes of weaving to begin and finish a project of this magnitude.  I have a friend who firmly believes this will still be on my loom in ten years.  I'm pretty sure I'm up to the challenge and out to prove her wrong! Wink! 

I can't wait to start sharing my progress on this project! 

If you would like more information on Overshot weaving, I'm including a link that gives a bit of history.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On the fifth day of Spring...

It's still chilly here in Middle Tennessee.  In fact, it snowed this morning!  I am always happy to see snow falling from the sky.  It has almost the same effect on my psyche as seeing and hearing the ocean..  The thought in the back of my head has always been "If I were an orphan, I'd want to live in the mountains."  However, these last few years, I've begun to understand how "Snowbirds" evolve and eventually migrate! 

Chip didn't care about the snow-he cares about his grain.  :)
 The bottom line for me today is I woke up to a sweet frosty surprise from the sky.  It didn't make anyone's commute dangerous or cancel classes for the day.  I might have been the only one-

but it put a smile on my face.

Here's hoping something unexpected comes along in your day that makes you smile too!

Monday, March 24, 2014

La Mer

I've been thinking about this place on this sunny, but very chilly morning in March.  Here I sit in my warm socks, jeans and hoodie.  There-I could very well be wearing the same thing.  Simply being near the water, with the sand below my feet is soothing in ways I can hardly explain.  The sound and the smell of the water give me a feeling of freedom I didn't know I was lacking.  I'm transported somewhere blissful.  It's like a glass of wine or massage that hits all the right reflexology points.  My eyes relax and I feel a smile come across my lips.  I can spend hours, no-days sitting or strolling, picking up seashells I swear will become something lovely when I get home.

Nighttime on the cape evokes the same feelings.  It's time for family, a fire and a glass of 2 of good wine.  The crabs come out and run with wild abandon to and from the water's edge.  They make me laugh.  My son chases them on his hands and feet-this makes me laugh even harder.  He is filled with the same abandon as those little crabs.  It's good to be twelve.  I'm glad I get to witness his twelve-ness in this beautiful place or...at all. 

Even a stormy, chilly day at the beach is a good day.  It awakens the artist and dreamer in me.

Now, I can go back to my weaving and daydream some more about waves, beaches and the delightful, ever-changing  skies above them.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

What a difference a day makes.

Good morning moon! Aren't you sleepy?

The stormy night is over.  The sun has risen and left the moon in place for a while.  The skies are an astounding azure blue today. There is no storm damage here.  We were safe as kittens last night.  End of story. 
I will spend the day feeling grateful and making sweet little stitch markers, bath mats and spinning wool. 

Blessings to your day!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weather Neurosis.

I'm writing about the weather...probably again!  It's really not calm here at all.  The winds are blowing very hard out of the South.  A cold front approaches from the North.  Bad weather is on it's way.  Apparently, where I live is the bulls eye.  I'm rolling my eyes at this prospect.  Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel is in Nashville for the impending weather doom.  Someone said today, "If Jim Cantore is there, you shouldn't be."  Sounds like good advice!

I often wonder when or from what I came to be so terrified of this weather.  Most people seem to go on about their business and are mindful of what is to come.  I've been completely distracted and unable to work today.  My mother and grandmother as well, were both very distracted when the weather was bad. My grandmother would get up in the middle of the night and get dressed and watch the weather.  No one was going to catch her in her jammies if her house was sucked into the sky and she was left wandering...!   It reminds me of countless movies I've seen where the main character dies and wears the same clothes for the duration of the movie.  The lesson?  Never die in something you wouldn't want to wear for eternity!  Pick something comfortable!

But I digress.  My objective was to talk about how I came to own this neurosis.  I wrote about this briefly the other day.  When I was done, I was a little shaky and nervous.  So I must be on to something.

When I was a little girl, our family lived in Chicago.  It was a sweet little community called Brighton Park.  Very seldom was the weather violent there.  Feet of snow piled up in the winter and that was the worst I can remember up to April 21, 1967.  I was 4.  During the afternoon, I could see the skies becoming stormy.  My 9 year old sister was already home from school and my 16 year old brother
would be on his way home from Quigley South High School.  The school was closer to the town of Oak Lawn.  Which is, I would learn in later years, why my mother became so frantic that day.

That afternoon, an F4 tornado touched down in Oak Lawn.  It destroyed everything in it's path and killed 33 people.  My sister and I were playing in the basement where our mom had sent us.  We knew she was freaking out a bit, but I don't think either of us understood fully why-not at the ages of 4 and 9 anyway.  My brother's high school was directly in the path of this tornado.  It was predicted to carry on it's Northeast trek and end up somewhere over Lake Michigan.  After hitting Oak Lawn, I believe the tornado dissipated/ascended or whatever it is that tornadoes do when they aren't on the ground anymore...and my brother made it home safe and unharmed.Coincidentally, our family moved to the town of Oak Lawn in 1972.  That house had a finished basement to hide in  as well.
I lived in Nashville for a while in a home with a basement.  Our children were all born while we lived there.  I never really worried about these storms before we had children.  The basement in Nashville was tricky.  You needed to exit the house and go down the stairs to get to it.  So, when storms were bad enough to warrant a tornado warning, it meant going out in the weather with small children to get to that safe room.  My husband and I now have 3 teenaged children and have moved to a beautiful rural area.  Our house sits upon a hill and gives us a lovely view of the scenery.  We um, don't have a basement.  Soooo, you can guess what this does to me .  (she said in a humorous and snarky way)

We lived in this house not one year before we had a tornado in our front yard!  On May 5, 2003 at approximately 1:00 am, a tornado warning was issued for our county.  I had brought our 3 children into our closet and covered them with pillows.  I think I might have even put a football helmet on one of them!  The last thing I heard WSMV's Nancy Van Camp say before the power went out was the wind speed-110 mph.. Yikes.  My husband was the last one in the closet. I was praying and holding on to our children.  When it was over, I asked him if he had actually heard it because I really hadn't.   He said he heard the train and was really surprised I hadn't.  I realized right then that I had kind of  'checked out' while it was actually happening.  There's a tiny little lapse in my memory!  lol

Neither of us really slept that night.  The next morning, we saw what it had done.  The house was covered with tiny little shreds of leaves and bark.  A shingle or two were found in our back yard.  A few limbs were down on the 8 acre property.  But it wasn't until we tried to leave to get some breakfast, we found the small, but effective tornado had churned up many trees and stacked them neatly at the end of our driveway.  Fortunately, we had 4 wheel drive in the Jeep and found another way out.  When we came back, the work began and we spent several days cutting and dragging brush and limbs. John used the tractor to pull the larger trunks and limbs that littered the driveway.  The power was repaired that afternoon.  All was well.  Our home was basically untouched.   We were blessed!   The turbulent weather lasted for a few more days.  The sky would appear to be clearing and then darken again.  Then another warning..and another.   It was very tiring.  But still we were blessed. 

Nearly 10 years later, I sit at the computer listening to the wind howl and toss things around outside.  It unnerves me to have to hear it. It's been difficult to concentrate on any one thing today.  I've had to force myself to keep at this blog entry in the hopes it will be therapeutic for me and entertaining to you.  I'd much rather bury my head in a basement for the night under stack of pillows with iPod ear buds stuck in my ears. It's February 20th.  Not a time anyone expects violent weather. But in the South, it can happen whenever it chooses.  (I'm rolling my eyes)

My good friend who lives just down the street understands how I feel.  She has given us an open ended invitation to her home whenever the weather is bad.  We have hidden in her basement several times since 2003.  Many times, we end up simply talking, drinking wine and passing the time in the most pleasant way, while waiting for the weather to pass.  Thankfully, nothing has ever happened as it did in 2003.  But in the event it does, I'm so very thankful to her and her husband for being so gracious.  They help me to feel so much more calm when waiting for such badness to pass.  God bless them!

Scary Clouds!

I'd rather be here today.... Well okay, any day.  ;)