Nerd daughter

How proud does this make me?


She is dismantling her kaput computer to retrieve the hard drive so she can copy the data from it to her back up drive.  Her new computer arrives tomorrow.  Hopefully.

It makes me pretty darn proud.

Nerd daughter = bonus nerd card.

First Day

Danica completed her Associate’s degree and here is she is again First Day of School 2013.  I’m so excited for her.  I didn’t get very much of a college experience before I got married, so I’m really happy for her that she is getting these experiences.  I’m a little bit jealous too!


On to the Bachelor’s Degree!


There seem to have been a flurry, a plethora, a whole gosh-darn lot, of posts about people’s grandmothers. They all made me miss my grandmothers so much that I couldn’t breathe. So, here’s mine:

I had Grandma Heflin and Grandma Bunny.  Yes, Bunny. Grandma Heflin taught me how to crochet and always let me have dessert even if I didn’t finish dinner. She was slow, methodical, practical, and wise. Her education, I believe, only lasted until the third grade. Back then, you still ended up with mad reading skills, it’s just that spelling was a little iffy. After I got married, I would occasionally call her (not often enough, never often enough) and talk to her about stuff.  She always had the best advice. My favorite was “Buying used things means buying other people’s problems”. She’d rather save up her money and do without than get something used. She made countless crocheted afghans and I still have the ones she made for me specifically and the ones I inherited after she passed. She had a Singer treadle sewing machine that I used to play with as a child.  I’m pretty sure all of her dozens of grand kids played with it but I am the lucky one that gets it when my own mother passes.  I consider myself very fortunate that I was able to get a 4 generation picture with her and my first daughter.

Grandma Bunny taught me about drawing and painting and the names of trees, rocks, and flowers.  Very few of which I remember, but I still have a large chunk of obsidian from one of our outings.  She would take us camping, to collect rocks, and to ghost towns. That woman moved and lived life a million miles a minute till the day she died. This might be why her mother called her Bunny instead of her given name of Werdna.   Education was a big deal to her.  She was an art teacher and I felt her with me at my high school graduation even though she had passed a couple years earlier. She had the most incredible handwriting. Her regular letters always bordered on calligraphy. She painted a lot of watercolors and some day I will inherit some of her paintings to put in my home.  She liked to give me books and I still have a few of them. She gave me my first round of religious education. She said I was the 6th generation in her family to be a part of the Christian Science church. Considering that church was founded in 1879, one of those generations had to have been there from the beginning.  I wish I knew who it was and how she came across the church.

So yeah, one grandma was Werdna. Really, who does that to a girl? It’s her dad’s name, Andrew, spelled backwards, but seriously, why do that to a girl? The other grandma was named was Bertha. Obviously, I didn’t pass those names on to my children. Apologies to anyone out there who is named Bertha or Werdna and thinks they are the best names ever.

Some day, I plan to have a Grandma Room where I will put a painting from Grandma Bunny above the Singer sewing machine from Grandma Heflin. This will probably be my craft room that will hold all the crafty and artistic inclinations that I seem to have inherited from these two women who came from vastly different backgrounds and lived very different lives.

I miss you ladies, I can’t wait to see you again.

More sewing

I found all my sewing stash, purchased more, and then waited until school had started so I would have some uninterrupted days to lay it all out, take pictures of the chaos and hopefully get started on learning how to use the machine.  It’s been YEARS since I regularly used one.  Who am I kidding?  I’ve never regularly used one.

I was convinced that either I’d missed them, or my new machine really didn’t come with bobbins.  The manual says there should be 4. I didn’t see any. I committed to myself to search again, but just in case I went out shopping to see if I could find bobbins for my Brother CS 6000i. The packages at the regular stores says “fits most Brother machines”.  The one shop that had them for sure had a power outage due to a lovely thunder storm that I was driving through.  They couldn’t sell me anything because the cash register is all electric. I get that in our day and age electronic everything is really cool. It makes it easier to keep track of inventory. But, today, when I’m at my wit’s end, having just been through horrid stop and go traffic because the street lights were out, EMS vehicles everywhere with very few people pulling over for them and positive that I was going to sit down and be unable to start sewing because I don’t have a single bobbin. It would have been Sunday and as I don’t shop on Sundays I won’t go back to the store to see if the power is on.  I took a risk at another store and purchased the “fits most Brother machines” bobbins.

It turns out that my machine did come with bobbins, and the bobbins that I purchased match.  I now have a lot of bobbins. I can now make messes like this:


I fiddled about for a couple of days trying to get the tension set correctly and was about to give up when I suddenly stumbled upon the correct setting. I got several squares put together and when I bother to get around to setting up the ironing board to press the seams open, I will sew the rest. These little piles of squares will hopefully become tote bags.  It’s good that I had this small victory because I had a super depressing evening at Knit Night.  An unpleasant person returned to our group and I had to rip out my mother’s shawl yet again.  I’m beginning to think that shawls just aren’t meant to be a part of my knitting repertoire.  Onward on to something else and when I’ve taken a nice, long break from it, I will try again.  I conquered heels on socks, I can do this too.  For now, I need to find room for a fabric stash.

Since I’m going to take the dive into sewing, I’m going to have set up specific days/times for all the various crafts that I want to do. Wednesdays are for Spinning or some such thing. Otherwise, I’ll get overwhelmed and try to DO ALL THE THINGS and then get nothing done.

Did I mention that I’d like to start cross stitching again? Maybe once I get new glasses.




Sewing again

For my birthday, my dear David bought a sewing machine for me.  I had been wanting one ever since Chynna took ours with her when she moved out.

I’m looking forward to finishing the Halloween quilt I started to make last year, but a quilt is not what I want to do first thing on a new machine. I’ve looked up some great tutorials by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. and will make some little bags from fabric squares I bought at Pine Needles in Gardner Village and JoAnns.  I probably won’t sit down and do all this until the kids go back to school and I can be assured of two solid weeks without kids in the house so I can leave the sewing machine up on the kitchen table.

I really need a craft room. A kid has to move out of the house before I get that and I’m not really that anxious for that to happen.

I seem to have lost some of my fabric stash and when I get a bit of time I need to do another thorough search of the basement.

I want to get back to this:

Halloween quilt top cropped




The things I want to write sound better in my head than what comes out while typing. I wonder why that is? Is it the Universe looking for balance and humility or am I really terrible at putting thoughts down on paper?

I love reading knitting blogs. They give me such good ideas.  I had an idea of what I wanted to make as gifts for the family this Christmas but changed my mind as I thought I was being too ambitious. Another idea came to me, but it seemed silly and too cheap. The Yarn Harlot gave me a good idea to add to what  I had in mind and suddenly it feels perfect.  I love knitting and the knitting community.

Chynna and I went up to Gardner Village where I could not resist the lure of a bit more Halloween fabric. I’m looking forward to a bit of practice on the new machine and to starting on the 2nd of my Ghostie socks.

We have pneumonia in the house and that has pretty much put a stop to all normal activity. Here’s to hoping they get better soon and no one else gets it.


The rest of the August trip

Here is the rest of the trip.

NASA – amazing. I hadn’t been there since I was around 12 years old.  So much has changed.  There was a lot of exhibits and activities for kids and the place was packed with what looked like school groups. David was working at a customer site in Houston so he couldn’t come that day.  I was sad that he couldn’t come, he would have really enjoyed it.Just as we walked in, we saw some people dressed in Star Trek uniforms.  Of course I snapped a picture. I learned later that a prop from one of the series was being put on display so a lot of Star Trek fans came dressed in costume.




NASA has a building built around the Saturn V rocket to protect it from the elements. A lot of work had been done on it to restore it and keep the rest of it from falling apart.  The thing is huge.  Walking around it gives you this intense  feeling about the things we humans can do.



Wicked was really great. I think I’ll order the music for it. I should also probably read the book since I’ve had for a long time.

I had three days of lots of walking and I was really tired. We did a lot of shopping before and after the NASA trip.

I did get to go to Rachel’s baby’s blessing.  We were running a little late and I missed the blessing, but after the meeting I got to see Rachel and the baby. She was dressed in this gorgeous fluffy christening gown and looked so cute!  The baby that is.  Rachel looked cute too, she had on these AMAZING hot pink shoes! Motherhood becomes her.

Our first day out towards home, we got a flat tire. I’m so thankful it happened right in Ft. Worth with a spare in good condition and a tire place 10 minutes away. We drive home through so many miles of unpopulated territory that it could have been truly awful instead of mildly annoying.

On the trip back home and to Oregon we saw the usual beautiful scenery.


After the funeral we drove up to Portland to spend the night.  I wanted to visit at least one yarn shop in Oregon.  We were going to arrive in Portland too late for any of the shops to be open, so I found a nice looking one in Salem.  It is called Teaselwick Wools and is located in a converted woolen mill.  There is a museum and several great shops. I bought a few yarns that appealed to me.  There were some that I thought were local but turned out not to be.  Still very pretty though.  I also bought some made out of hemp that I thought would make some nice fingerless mitts.


The next day we started our trip home with a few planned stops to see a bit of area where David grew up.

He took us to Multnomah Falls.  There is a little bridge part way up the trail that David insisted I hike up to.  Despite me being in enormous amounts of pain from being in the car for long. I did and while the view was beautiful, I hurt so badly afterward that I had to skip the gift shop and the pretty buildings and head straight back to the car.  At this point in the trip we had been in the car for over 4 days and the Advil and Tylenol were no longer working very well.



He also showed us the house where he grew up. The area is beautiful and jam packed with fruit orchards.

On our way home, we see a truck hauling a cow in a trailer.
Kimberly: *quotes a few of the cow lines from the movie Twister*
Chynna: I don’t think I’ve seen that movie. What’s it about?
Kimberly: It’s about tornadoes
David: Cary Elwes played the bad guy.
Chynna: He played the tornado?

Chynna is always so funny to be around.
I also think I’ve got the hang of mom’s shawl.  I’ve done two repeats of the pattern and I’ve caught where I make the mistakes.  I tend to get a little carried away with the yarn overs. I may actually have this finished by her birthday.


I finished the sock at the funeral. I kept thinking that would ruin it for me, but I’m okay with it. I was in an uncomfortable place and the knitting helped to soothe me.


A happy little bit about returning home for the evening (other than how amazing it is to be home), was the Knit Picks box and Missouri Star Quilt Company package. I also found the rest of my sewing things stuffed under the stairs and I’m ready for school to start so I can have 2 uninterrupted weeks of having my sewing machine on the dining table 🙂


It’s good to be home.


Some plans change

Some plans change, some stay the same.

When we originally planned this recent trip to Texas, we planned on doing several things.

  • I was going to see my friend Rachel and spend at least a couple of mornings knitting at Panera and holding her baby.
  • I was going to go to Rachel’s baby blessing.
  • I was going to see my friend Karen and her husband Mark, and give them both a big hug for what they’ve been through recently with Mark’s heart attack.
  • I was going to go get a facial with my mom.
  • I was going to spend several mornings updating my written and online journal.
  • I was going to knit my little heart out.
  • I was going to see the play Wicked with my family.

Here is what really happened:

  • I didn’t get to knit at Panera with Rachel.
  • I did get to go to the baby blessing, we were late and missed the blessing, but I did get to see Rachel and hold the baby.  I’m happy with that. It was a good point in the trip.
  • I didn’t get to see Karen and Mark.
  • I didn’t get to get the facial with Mom.  This is okay too.
  • I didn’t work on my journal except for one entry that I haven’t quite been able to finish yet.
  • I did some knitting and while it wasn’t a ‘knit my heart out’ session, it did its job and soothed me.
  • I got to see Wicked with my family and it was amazing.

We left Texas early and saw the usual amazing and not so amazing scenery.  Funny bits happened along the way. It was freakishly hot in Childress, TX.  I think one of the signs said it was 110F.  I believe it. But over all, there was an overcast to everything. It was hanging over the trip back and left a small bitter edge on everything we saw and did. A few days after we arrived in Texas, I got word that a dear, adored, old friend had suddenly passed away (that’s the journal entry I haven’t been able to finish.  Thus began a small frenzy to get me to the funeral that left me less able than usual to deal with the difficulty that is my family. The smallest and most mundane of conversations can turn into vicious fights.  These little conversational tornadoes rip through the house several times a day and leave me exhausted.  I am home now, but just for a minute to unload some things we don’t need, run an errand or two and get some rest.  We are leaving in the morning for another day of driving, a day for the funeral and lots of raw emotion with a side of sight seeing, and then a day home of driving.  The sight seeing is my husband’s small gift to me so that I have something other than sadness to take away from my first real trip to Oregon.

My dear beloved David is amazing and really knocked himself out arranging all the details so that I can go to the funeral, all while working several full days for a client in the area. Chynna poured her usual sunshine personality all over everything and took some of the sad edges off.