The Dining Room Has Been Reclaimed

AKA – What I did during my summer vacation.

When a kid moves out, you might have extra room. If enough kids move out, you really might have an extra room. As it happens, I did.

The dining room went from this:

to this:

The Wall Of Yarn ™ moved into the spare bedroom over the summer.

I bought adjustable shelves. This allows me to get into a tub at the bottom with out moving ALL of the tubs above it. Don’t you just love it when your yarn is easy to get to?

I created a cutting table out of an IKEA desktop and cube storage shelves from Target. This doesn’t exactly translate into having the sewing station completely set up, but there is a functional ball winder.  All the books from the dining room/craft room have also been moved.  I still have to figure out the best way to store the WIPs.  Another kid is moving out soon, so some things that ended up in the craft room closet will go in what is going to become a home office.  Once that happens, I’ll decide if I want my desk to stay where it is, or go into the home office with David’s desk.  One (or both) of the two rooms will have a daybed put in so we can have a guest room again.  It makes me wonder how we managed all of this in the townhouse with more people.  And then I remember, we only had two of the seven living with us full-time. It wasn’t until we moved that we got another of mine and two of David’s as well. We no longer have people sharing bedrooms, so it feels like we don’t have enough rooms, when in fact we have more than enough.

Other things that happened over the summer:

David’s birthday:  He’s a Star Wars fan.

Stanley’s wedding:

Isn’t my new daughter-in-law, Brittanie just too gorgeous for words?  Chynna was sick so I had to hustle her out of there just after the ceremony so I don’t have more pictures of the happy couple.  I seriously wish I had gotten a picture of her shoes.

Groomsmen, Stefan, Tim, a guy I don’t know, Joshua, another guy I don’t know, and Stuart.

Eliza, Joshua, and Stuart.  They’re darling.

Chynna and I made a few escapes to the mountains to walk, craft in nature, and get out of the city. If you are familiar with this area, you know that escaping to the mountains is just a few minutes drive away. I love this part of living in Utah.

And a mildly successful garden tower:

I got this for David for Father’s Day and it’s been a fun experiment.

Generational crocheting

Who taught my great grandmother to crochet and embroider? I wish I had thought to ask while my Grandma was still alive. She’s the one who taught me to crochet and I have evidence that her mother crocheted.  I am the proud owner of a doily that my great grandmother made. I need to remember to record that somewhere.

This was made by my great grandmother, Mary Ella Algood Collier.  She passed in 1960.

We pulled off a wedding

In October, my daughter got married and it still doesn’t seem quite real.

Wedding manicure

Wedding day breakfast

Wedding day hair

On our way to the venue

There was very little that I had to do. The heavy lifting was done by the venue, caterer, photographer and Danica herself. Danica did the center pieces, bouquets, and corsages. A seamstress (that turned out to be a cousin) made her dress. I’m exhausted, but that’s mostly mental trying to wrap my head around having a married daughter. I ran a few errands and picked up a few things, but my job in this thing was relatively small. The biggest thing I did, aside from giving birth to her, was to make her a shawl.

Everything was wonderful, everything was beautiful. I got to socialize with friends and family. I got to walk my daughter down the aisle and I got to sign the marriage certificate as a witness. It was a beautiful evening. I sat beside my mother and watched as my husband did a fabulous job officiating the ceremony.

I’ve laughed and cried as my daughter embarked on this new stage in her life.

Then her new husband whisked her away for a honeymoon in Paris and my brain stayed firmly stuck overseas wondering and worrying over their safety until they finally landed back here.

Wedding shawl

I did it. Despite having to decipher different and conflicting translations of the pattern and some vague instructions, I did it. Watching the youtube videos helped immensely along with my previous knowledge of crochet. I need to remember to put my notes into my project.

Just looking at it causes me to choke up a little. Tonight we had the rehearsal for Danica’s wedding and I had the tears down pat. It’s all going to so beautiful and so very Danica.

It’s not traditional but still so very wonderful. My daughter is going to be wearing something that I made and I’m so humbled by that thought.

New things

I was so heartbroken when I lost Keaton back in March. I knew I would eventually get another cat, one always seemed to find me. I waited and waited and no strays waltzed into my life. This is odd. I have always, and I mean always had cats. Before now the longest I’d been without one was from the time I moved to Utah to a couple of months after I got married. There was always someone with free kittens within easy reach, or a stray found behind a dumpster at someone’s work, or a cat wandering on to the property but it’s been months.

I finally decided it was time to go looking and where better to look than at the local shelter. I had put off going because I knew I was going to be a mess because I couldn’t take them all home. While I was looking over the pictures on their website I came across a calico described as shy and who had been given the name Danica.

I had to go look. I screwed up my courage. I skipped the mascara. I grabbed the tissues and went.

This is what I found:

Oops, she’s cuddled up with a friend. They didn’t come into the shelter together but made friends while there. This is okay, two adult cats, I’m not opposed to having two cats and they’re already friends.

I went out to fill out the paperwork to find that the formerly empty display cages in the reception area were suddenly filled with several tiny, fluffy kittens.

Well played, animal shelter, well played.

She walked the walk

Congratulations today go out to my dear Danica. She’s graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s in Digital Animation and Game Design. I’m woefully late in posting this but I couldn’t think of what to say about my child graduating college.

Yes, my first child has graduated. And my third, but he’s not counting that until he gets a higher degree. Rest assured that *I* am counting it .

I keep finding myself at a loss when I think about what I want to say about Danica and her graduation.  The ceremony was weeks ago and I couldn’t get the words out right away. I had to be there a bit early so Danica could be in her place on time. Before the graduation my mind wandered about a bit, flitting here and there, landing on something for a moment and fluttering off to something else. I brought a knitting project thinking that I would knit during the wait time because that’s what I do. I thought about how many classes I’d taken at UVU back when it was Utah Technical College, and then a community college, and then UVSC. I thought about bits from the past. I thought about the kids growing up. I thought about it maybe being time to get my own degree now that my children were getting theirs. I thought about the knitting project I brought with me to pass the time. I didn’t knit and instead kept thinking about all the things. I thought about how proud I was of her for working two jobs and going to school full time.  I was surrounded by friends and family and sure, we chatted.  But, while we chatted, I thought about all the things.

Then, there they were. The graduates were talking in and I got a little choked up while I waited for my first glimpse of her walking down the aisle to be seated with her class. She’s colored her hair bright blue the day before so she was easy to spot.

She had them read her name as Sierra Danica Fawn and I got a little choked up about that as well.

My parents are in town to see their first grandchild graduate from college.

My son Joshua just got his Associates from Snow College and my daughter Chynna has started her last class her for Associates.

That’s a whole lotta collegiate in one house 🙂

Happy Birthday Joshua

You are 20 years old today and I’m a little sad that I don’t get to see you. I know that you’ll be here for a visit soon and we’ll celebrate then.

This year, you’ve done some amazing things. You’re just about to complete your second year of college,

Joshua license picture

you got your driver’s license,


and did a decent impression of Robin Hood.


You will always be my baby.  Love you, sweetie, I hope you have another great year.


At the beginning of Feb, we made another Texas trip.  David’s uncle Luther passed away and we wanted to attend the funeral and support his Aunt Janet. It was nice to see our families. I just love David’s East Texas family. Since we were going to be in the area, David’s company arranged for him to meet with some clients. One meeting was going to be in just a few days which meant we had to leave on the trip 12 hours earlier than planned and drive straight through instead of breaking up the trip into two day. We left at 6:30pm in the evening, after having been awake and working all day and drove to Houston. We took turns driving and only had to make one short stop for David to take a nap.

We got on day of rest and then it was off to Dallas to pick up David’s sister and over to Tyler for the funeral.

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Aunt Janet showing off the darling quilt her son made for her.2017-02-05 17.09.57

Aunt Janet with her chickens.

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Sweet tea happened. I regret nothing.

Normally a trip to Texas is a 22 hour daylight trip in which I got a lot of knitting and crocheting done. In reality, it was a lot of night driving and during the day I was trying to nap so that I could give David a break.  I didn’t get a lot done. I managed a little bit of crocheting on a baby blanket that I need to get finished sooner rather than later. I finished a blanket that I decided I’d rather put in the Future Grandbaby Stash instead of give away.

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could get more of the same yarn and make another one, it went super fast, but in keeping with my desire to knit from stash as much as possible (and by knit, I mean crochet). So, for the trip, I brought the Caron Cakes I bought a while ago to make the two baby blankets I need to make.

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This appears to be the only pictures I’ve taken of it. The color change in the yarn happened right on the corner at the start of a new row.I guess I thought that was super interesting. I might have been suffering from last of sleep. I like the colors but, I don’t much care for the yarn. It’s not bad or horrid, it just isn’t the soft, silky stuff that Caron Simply Soft is. This yarn is a small step up from Red Heart.

We spent several days in Houston visiting with my family and then it was back home.

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I may have purchased some Texas shaped jewelry.

My parents and I also attended a funeral for the lady that lived next door to my family for most of the time they’ve lived in Houston. Her youngest daughter and my sister were good friends.

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This is what my parents’ yard looks like in February.

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This is what my yard looks like in February.

We got home just before the middle of the month and went right back to work, spending a lot of time at the office.

My lovely daughter’s had this waiting for me when I got home from the office on Valentine’s Day.

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I did very little knitting or crocheting during the rest of the month. We have been working so much. I should bring a project to leave at the office to work on during some of the down time that I have.  I have work projects stacked up so that while I’m waiting on something for one, I can be working on another. But oftentimes, there isn’t enough time to really get into a different project. A mindless knit or crochet would keep my hands busy but my mind still focused on what I’m doing. I want to make some blanket squares and I think those would be the perfect thing. They’re small, won’t take up space on my desk and can easily be picked up and put down.

I love what I’m doing at the office. My new job is extremely fulfilling. I’m using my skill set and learning a lot of new things on top of it. I’m in heaven.

Thus ends February. We’ve barely had a moment to breathe. March is going to be more of the same.

Goodbye, Uncle Gayle

Godspeed and rest in peace. I’ve always enjoyed visiting you, Aunt Sandy, Missy and Mark. It’s with much regret that in these later years I did not see you guys very often, only at funerals. It is with more regret that I will see them again at yours, but I still look forward to seeing them. I miss all the family out there in California. The Ft. Bragg area is one of my favorite places in California and will always hold a special place in my heart. The redwoods are gorgeous, the coast divine, and the seafood the best. I will miss your hilarious, infectious giggle. I love that you and Dad spent so many summer visits diving for abalone.

L-R Mom, Dad, Uncle Gayle, Aunt Sandy

My dear Uncle Gayle passed away a few days before Christmas. He was my mother’s remaining brother. As the youngest of six children, it’s been her lot to see all of her brothers and one of her sisters pass away before her. She has her oldest sibling, Aunt Maxine left who is very healthy but has Alzheimer’s or dementia and doesn’t remember her. Mom and Gayle were closest in age and were raised together. The older siblings were so much older that almost all of them were out of the house by the time she was born.


A quarter of a century with Chynna

From learning to skate in 2000

To dressing up for fancy occasions


To jumping out of planes and not getting a single scratch

And falling off of bicycles with less luck

And taking time out for the birdies


Chynna has always been an interesting part of my life.  Congratulations on 25 years of being amazeballs.  Happy Birthday and I love you, Sunshine!