Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon

Day 33

I am thankful for full moons, crisp, cold air, and phone calls. My sister called and reminded me to look at the "blue moon." That's typically what a 2nd full moon in a month is called. It's not common. So, going through my playbook are two blue moon songs. I'll have to go search and see if I can find title and artist.

Of course, had to take a photo! It's a bit dark but the more I lightened it the grainier it became. I tried to find a balance:

Here's one song: Once in a Blue Moon by Earl Thomas Conley

And the old standard recorded by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and others; Songwriters: Rodgers, Richard; Hart, Lorenz

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

View from the Front Seat.

Day 32

I am thankful for scenery. After an enjoyable and relaxing time with Luigi I drove home on a beautiful California day. It had rained earlier and the sky was full of clouds. My drive was quite scenic most of the way home.

Leaving SLO:

Near Pismo/Avila

Near Nipomo/Santa Maria:

Along 166 heading east from Santa Maria:

At this point I was driving into the cloud cover so photos are not so interesting! The weather sure made the drive more interesting. The time seemed to fly by.


Day 31 (Tues)

I am thankful for my dear friend, Luigi.

A photo from her camera:

We met in San Luis Obispo for an overnight. It was the perfect destination. There are things to do but plenty of quiet, walking around and talking opportunities. We ate at both the Apple Farm and McKlintocks. We toured the Mission. And we walked and enjoyed the shops and sights around downtown. We agree that there is so much to do nearby that this may very well become our meet-up destination for quite a while.

Driving in:

Front of the Mission:

Bells on the side, the five bells are named after the 5 patron angels of California:

And of course I took a photo of the plaque that tells about the bells!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Girl time

Day 30 (Mon)

I'm thankful for sister time. Most of the family has gone to Legoland. The younger niece and nephew are returning to their Dad and the older nephew and girlfriend are with her family enjoying time with them and friends in the area.

We had french toast for breakfast-yum, ran a few errands, and then rented a movie and watched it with our niece.

I finished this pair of fingerless mitts over the weekend. Sis is modeling them for me:


Day 29

More family time!

The church in Goleta is beautifully decorated. It is filled with poinsettias, greenery and wreaths, and candles yet none of it overwhelms. Everything enhances of the joy of the season.

Yummy soup leftovers for lunch and tamales for dinner, afternoon and evening of hanging out, games, computer time, Wii time, walks....

Thankfulness continues!


Day 28 (Sat. Dec. 26)

Family Day!

We had a family breakfast out and then my brother, niece, sister, younger niece and nephew, and I went to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. I sure enjoyed this small museum. I think we all did.

Looking around the harbor through the periscope in the museum:

My thoughtful gift from Elf, the niece:

1 Corinthians 16:13

I saw this when we went to Solvang at Thanksgiving time. I probably would have left it hanging in the shop. But, my niece had me in our Elf gift exchange this year! She was on the trip and the master elf, sis, cued her in on how much I love this cross. Thanks, Elf! It think it's going to hang on the big, blank wall over my computer.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Day 27

What needs to be said?

Merry Christmas! May the joy of the celebration of the birth of the Christ-child fill your days and cheer your families.

I am thankful and ever grateful for the blessing of family and the time we have to spend together. Many thoughtful gifts were given, much wonderful food was shared, games were played, movies watched, and songs sung.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Little Things

Day 26

1:30 p.m., ish: Green lights. Oranges. Dark chocolate covered anything. Lunch. Grocery stores.

Peel, then drive:

4:30 p.m., ish: places that stay open the day of Christmas Eve AND have cheerful employees, more green lights, hand lotion, aspirin.

I'm thankful for family and friends, the anticipation of evening's services, and phone calls.

Midnight: the service of the Word, Holy Communion, moments of recognition of God's Holiness, Joy in Song and Music, Fellowship of the believers; for these I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Day 25

It's been such a quiet day. I ran a few errands mid-day. I knitted a lot. I decided to give the scarf a rest since it wasn't going to be finished by Christmas anyway. I'm making a pair of fingerless gloves/wristwarmers for a dear friend and spent a couple hours on the first one. If tomorrow's not too crazy I should be able to get the 2nd finished, too.

So, thankfulness. I am thankful for peacefulness. It's so different from last year. We were in Mom's last weeks at this time last year. It's not that it wasn't peaceful but that I have peace in life returning to "normal". I can be in my own home and just be here.

Maybe there's the silver lining for having whatever bug I have that's borrowed my voice. Had I been perfectly healthy I would probably have divided my time between here and with family. Nothing wrong with that but it's been so restful to just be here.

I'm thankful for projects. I'm thankful for my simple little hobby.

It's inside out and has a goofy little thumb loom sticking out of it but here's today's fingerless glove:

Using the thumb loom is an experiment. The only directions I've seen are along the lines of, "make a thumb and sew it to your glove/mitten". I'd rather not sew it, thanks. So, I'm trying this and hope that I don't ruin what I've already made.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gadgets and Gift cards

Day 24

I had in my head that it would be so easy to head to the big box store and pick up a cool gadget that I've been hearing about to round out a Christmas present. Hm, no. No, it would not be easy. Within 30 seconds of walking in the door I was done, done, done. And then I spied the special register set up just for gift cards-with no line. So, it's a Christmas gift card with a suggestion for a gadget!

I'm thankful for gift cards that save easily overwhelmed shoppers like me!

We had a little rain last night but more wind. I'm enjoying the neighbor's seed pod laden Mimosa tree. It sounds a lot like a rain stick.

Rain and wind bring clouds and I like taking photos of clouds. Here is today's offering:

I'm usually taking sky photos near work facing east or southeast. From home I face west, usually. This one is west-southwest.

It's a good thing I posted something to be thankful about earlier today. I'm starting to get a bit cranky about the lack of voice in the season of carols. Hmph.

Scarf inch count: about 20-21 inches. It will need to double for a short scarf or triple for an ordinary scarf length.

And now I've just impressed myself. That's 7 inches or so between last night and tonight. At least if I'm not feeling well and low energy I can knit. Ah, another thankfulness.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In Progress

Day 23

I'm thankful for alpaca.

This is what I've been doing when I'm not sleeping. With any luck this will be finished by Christmas but if not I'll be giving an IOU and shipping.

Steven's Alpaca Scarf:

I started this project umpteen times in the last two weeks. I'm finally happy with the pattern and yarn. I'm going to have to block this project unlike most scarves I've made with acrylic yarns.

Yep, pulling the yarn right off a previous version to make the new one!

Usually the pad of paper and loom are on my lap, the pen gets clipped to the pad. The crochet hook and scissors stay in my tool case. I rarely have to keep track of every single stitch as I'm knitting but since it changes from knit to purl every 4 stitches I do better to put a check mark for every change. I'm guessing the scarf is going to take two pages of graph paper. Those two rows of Xs are about 12 inches of scarf!

A closer look at my chicken scratches:

On the mend

Day 22

Sleep is good. While I'm still sick I'm starting to feel a little bit of improvement. I slept a good part of the afternoon Sunday, most of the evening, and almost the whole night. I'm going to try using inhalers only-no nebulizer today.

I'm thankful for sleep, the lack of obligations that prevent sleep, and for meds that are helping my lungs.

No photos, I've been sleeping.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Love your sis

Day 21 (Saturday)

Yesterday I was NOT feeling thankful. Then my sis called. We talked, tried not to laugh because it makes me cough, chatted about so many things. I felt better. I am thankful for my sister.

Still sick, my cold has gone to my chest and with that the asthma flare continues. I'm working my inhalers and nebulizer 'round the clock but worry about pneumonia all the same. And then I worry about keeping up with rehearsals this week. Hopefully I'll be kicking this soon.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cough, cough, cough

Day 20

I am thankful that today is the beginning of Christmas break. It's kinda hard to tell because the asthma/coughing is worse. Picked up meds but not kicking in yet.

I'll be thankful tomorrow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's in there

Day 19 (ok, so I can't count. fixed it!)

I am having a difficult time locating thankfulness today. I've got a cold, I'm tired, whine, whine, whine.

Let see, I don't have to come home and take care of anyone but me-today I'm thankful for this. I have a computer for entertainment, information, and connections. I have a tv for vegetating and favorite shows. OOooooo, Bones is on tonight-there's something on the thankfulness list.

I have plenty. I have an abundance. I have an abundance of resources, of people in my life, of means, and of productivity. I am thankful that I am not required to do without, scrape by, make do, and fear for shelter and food.

I wish I could post work photos but I won't. I have some of the cutest photos of the Christmas programs at work. One of my girls participated with a 3rd grade class. She did very well, wore a red velvet dress, and looked so cute! I'm thankful for my camera, though, I think I've been thankful for that before.

Ok, I think I found some thankfulness, whew.

The fog wasn't worse today but the wetness of the day persisted longer. It was chilly all day because of the damp.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Count Down to Christmas

Day 18

What a sweet day we had at work. I am thankful for the quiet enthusiasm the kids showed today! We had cookies and cocoa for each group and did a Christmas project. The children were polite, sociable and seemed to enjoy the little project. As usual my assistants stepped up and kept the day moving. One offered to finish our school-wide testing and the other kept one group engaged while I welcomed in each new group and got them going on the project and stocked with sweets.

Merry Christmas!

School traditions have become as much a part of Christmas as home or church traditions. We had a similar day last year. We adjusted a few things this year and had a great day.

Over the years Tule fog has become a signal for the season for me. We had our first bit of fog yesterday and sure enough I got a little more Christmas spirit. I can't count the number of times I've driven home in the fog after Christmas Eve services.

Not a bad fog day as far as foggy mornings go:

We've had a countdown on the board for about 5 days. But, the countdown is really in preparing gifts for loved ones, marking traditions, and looking forward to the celebration of the birth of the Savior.

I restarted the scarf for my nephew....about 4 times. Seems to be a theme for me lately-false starts, starting over. Hope that doesn't rub off on the rest of my life. I think I have the width and stitch pattern I want now. I have yet to start the cup cozies I'm wanting to make nor have I shopped for the younger niece and nephew. Thank goodness there is time!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Learning Perspective

Day 17

Tonight I am thankful for frustration. In little bits it tells me to take a break, regroup, try things a different way. I may end up back with the first plan but with better implementation. Knitting has a lot of little bits of frustration. Stitches to master, patterns to follow, how to combine the right yarn and the right project-each step has the potential for that little bit of frustration. With some luck and persistence I end up with a finished item for someone to enjoy.

Knitting is much like special education but much, much smaller. I think if I could see work the way I see knitting I might be on to something.

This evening driving home I kept noticing the sky again. It was dusk and between clouds and contrails the sky was looking quite interesting. I took a photo when I got out of the car:

Then I took my groceries in and came back for one last bag to see this:

Pretty cool, huh? I am always thankful for sunsets!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Big, big Handbells

Day 16

(Shulmerich C3 Handbell)

I'm so thankful for handbells. I've moved from upper bass to treble for the Christmas season. Except for one piece. I get to run the "3s". Wheeeeeee! I'm malleting most of the part mostly as support for the piece. It was a bit thin. I'll have to remember to take pictures next week.

Work is odd this week. We're completing this trimester's fluency measurement for the entire school (not huge we're between 450 and 500 students). We got a good start on Friday but today one assistant was out (becoming a grandma!). I am so thankful we don't have to do our jobs without her every day! It's not that the work wouldn't all get done but that she brings ease, coordination, and enthusiasm, too.

I need to make sure that tomorrow we have a plan for some pre-Christmas time with all of our kids. Must remember to speak with assistants!

Here's a reason to be thankful-a new day!:

I shot through the windshield at an angle while sitting at a stop. I like how it looks a bit wide angled. We have had some lovely skies this last week.

Autumn in the Parking Lot:
I liked how the tree looked backlit by the parking lot lights. I took a moment on the way in to bell choir to play with the "night" setting on my camera. Fun, autumn.


Day 15

You knew there had to be a day to be thankful for knitting, right?

I am thankful for knitting. I stayed with Dad this weekend while his wife headed out with her sister and Mom on a vacation. Doing lots of not much is high on the list of activities when I stay with Dad. We talk a lot but there is a lot of quiet and watching tv time. I knit. I knit a lot. I knit so much my right wrist was a bit tired. But, it keeps me near Dad, busy, and I get to start and finish projects. I'm very happy to have picked up the loom knitting hobby.

Brother Hats:

I think these are the fifth iteration of this set of hats. I've frogged and restarted several times! I have a couple smaller hats of various sizes. I think I've finally found the right loom for children's heads. I'm glad because it widens the range of sizes of hats I can make.

Scarf to match cowl, day 1, round 1:

I've decided that this is the wrong loom to use for this yarn. It's much too loosely knit. I'm not sure what to switch to but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I've got sunshine............on a cloudy day........

Day 14

When I look at the set of photos I took on Saturday that's all I hear in my head......on a cloudy day........

I'm thankful for my Dad and "F", his wife. She takes such good care of him that I can relax and be his daughter, even when I'm filling in as caregiver.

I'm thankful for rain. We could use a good snowpack this year!

On a clou-ou-ou-dy day:

The first photo is along I5 going over the Grapevine.. The second is in the Antelope Valley. I had a whole series of photos of my wet windshield!!! Quite a few blurry, too, before I managed to take a few decent photos.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Brought to you by the letter B

Day 13

I am thankful for brothers and blankets. We've been learning a lot at work these last couple weeks about the needs of the families at our school. I had a meeting today and we found out that the family is nearly destitute. Their rent includes some utility but they can't afford to heat the house. They can't afford the rent either but that's next week's issue. Right now they need a space heater and blankets. Hmm, my closets have those things. Well, right now my back room has a big pile of those things. I was going to take them to work Monday but I think some of them need to be dropped off this weekend.

On to older brother is taking a week off work to spend with Dad so Dad's wife can take a week's vacation with her mother and sisters. It blesses me that he's willing to use his vacation time this way. I know it blesses F, Dad's wife. I know it blesses Dad immensely.

I am thankful, too, that my younger brother has just been promoted within the Fire Department where he lives. Yay!

I am thankful to live near enough to this:

So that I can buy these:

Fresh, sweet, wonderful. Another B: Blessings!

I'll have to remember to do catch up thankfulness posts for Saturday and Sunday. I get to go see Dad, too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

By Design

Day 12

Today I am thankful for sisters, friends, and babies. My sis and I had the nicest rambling chat this evening. It was delightful. I had a short chat with a friend who I don't get to see often enough. An internet friend had a baby and a local friend is about to become a grandma. I am thankful for relationships! God designed us wonderfully to need each other and to love each other.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Day 11

Today I am thankful for an unhurried day. We had our drama and we had a lot to do but we did what was needed. Work was good! Well, except for that one incident but we'll get over that, too. We have bonded again in defense of one. This is good. Cryptic, but good.

I'm thankful for choir, for unexpected hugs, and for teamwork.

I'm thankful for Sock Monkey hats!

It still needs eyes, nose, ears, and a line for the lips. :*D

I had to come back and add: I am thankful for Alvin and the Chipmunks! I found a 2 CD set of Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas. One is the old recordings, remastered, that we had when we were kids. The other is the new Chipmunks. I've only had the "old" one on at work. One of my girls loves it and happily sat listening to Wahooo wahooooo wahooo wahoo on a "Walkman" while she was working independently. I put it on while working on an IEP. I made it through 5 carols before needing to let the Chipmunks be quiet!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Autumn, really!

Day 10

I am thankful for colorful leaves on autumn trees. Yes, it's autumn here in what counts for full glory. I was happily surprised that yesterday's storm did not knock all of the leaves from the trees. Yay!

This is the tree nearest my classroom, an Ornamental Pear:

Here are three in a row:

A Modesto Ash in a blaze of yellow:

An Ornamental Pear showing off it's reds:

When we were small mom drove out to a dairy to buy milk. In the fall she would sing to us a song that I remember as, "Autumn leaves are now falling, red, and yellow, and brown. Autumn leaves are now falling, falling all over town."

I have seen this song in an old children's school song book with author sited but can't seem to find it. What I have found is quite similar. One website quotes "German Folktune" and author unknown. I know there is a known author. I just need to remember if I own that book or saw it somewhere! Here it is:

Autumn leaves are a-falling;
Red and yellow and brown;
Autumn leaves are a-falling,
See them fluttering down.
Tra, la, la, la, la, la, la,
Tra, la, la, la, la, la,
Autumn leaves are a-falling,
See them fluttering down.

(Arms and hands above head, moving
around as if they were fluttering leaves.)

Autumn leaves from the treetops
Flutter down to the ground,
When the wind blows his trumpet,
See them whirling around.
Tra, la, la, la, la, la, la,
Tra, la, la, la, la, la,
When the wind blows his trumpet,
See them whirling around.

(Hands start out over head,
then flutter down to the floor.

Autumn leaves when they're tired,
Settle down in a heap,
At the foot of the old tree,
Soon they'll all fall asleep.
Tra, la, la, la, la, la, la,
Tra, la, la, la, la, la,
At the foot of the old tree,
Soon they'll all fall asleep.

(Children sink softly to floor,
and pretend to fall asleep.)

Here is the website if you want to listen to the tune:

Monday, December 7, 2009


Day 9

Mondays are easy because they end with bells. It's easy to be thankful for bells, bell choir, and loving friends.

I'm also thankful that most of the kids adjusted quickly to the classroom being in disarray as we move this area to that area in anticipation of a smart board being installed over the Christmas break.

I'm thankful that one assistant's daughter, who went to the hospital with beginnings of toxemia (39 weeks pregnant) is well enough to be sent home, though on complete bedrest.

I'm thankful for the sharp, cold weather, for rain and snow. Rather than making all of us cranky it sparked a lot of excitement and high spirits at school. Fun, for a Monday! If it stays wet and If it gets colder tonight there is a slight possibility that we'll get snow here. The chance of snow on the valley floor is as faint as a naughty child's whisper but it's fun to wish and hope for snow.

Fresh snow on the mountains south of town at about 3000 feet level:

It really wasn't all that cold at 7 a.m. Later in the day as the front pushed in from the north it got very cold, windy, and wet. Big winds and big rain near 1 p.m. (For blog photo fun click on the mountain picture to see it big. I love all the colors that you don't see in the small photo, same for the tree/leaves below.)

I still have roses in December! I took this photo this morning before I left for work:

Even though the snow feels wintery we're full into Autumn. I love how the ornamental pear trees can have every thing from green to yellow to red on one tree. I was hoping to get photos of the trees at work but with the big wind this afternoon I'm out of luck. Thankfully I took this photo this morning while I was in the back yard: