Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ravelry's Tour de Fleece

Candy and I are going to join Ravelry's "Tour de Fleece" to honor the Tour de France that is starting this weekend. 

The Ravelry's site is dedicated to knitting and crocheting and weaving with spinning added as a natural for any of these skills.  They often have fun things that are a comment on the important events that are happening in the "outer world."  During the Olympics, they had a knitting Olympics (I entered in the weaving category).

The rules for this is simple: start spinning on the day of the beginning of the race, take breaks when the racers break and try to get a little bit of spinning done every day.

I am going to try my best to get some spinning done every day.  I will let you know as I go along.  And give you pictures of the finished project.

It's a beautiful day, today - you have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bitty!

Yesterday was my oldest granddaughter’s 14th birthday. It’s hard to believe that she is that old, already. Where has the time flown?

Norm and I went up to the Cities to spend Father’s Day and birthday with Joy and the family. Joy and Ken planned some very nice dinners for us, enough to make all our palates happy.

I had promised Bitty (and Bubba) spinning wheels when they were able to spin a decent yarn. They have been using my antique ship’s wheel which is not a good wheel for spinning.

Brother-in-law Wayne had borrowed my original wheel this winter to learn to spin. He purchased his own and returned mine. Now, I am a greedy-guts when it comes to my fiber tools and don’t want to get rid of anything. But I knew that I’m not going to be teaching much spinning so don’t need more than two working wheels (right?) and decided to give the girls the Ashford Traditional.

This wheel was purchased before Jill was born, 37 years ago and was the wheel I learned on and used for many years until I got an Ashford Traveler for demonstrating. I gave Joy the Traveler a couple of years ago.

So I took the Traditional up with us on Friday; I carried it into the house and the girls were not suspicious - I’m always carrying something like a wheel or a loom to work on when we come. But I hung 2 cards on the wheel so that Saturday morning they discovered that the wheel was THEIRS.

Bubba has not done much spinning on the antique (Minnie Mouse) because it was so difficult. She spun a bobbin and a half that first day and the yarn is very awesome! Bitty didn’t spin as much because her wool is not carded like Bubba’s is; she had to card her Icelandic before spinning but she was doing rather awesomely, as well.

We brought Minnie Mouse home to be a decoration, mostly. And left 2 happy spinners when we came home on Monday.

Also, on the way home, we went through East Union and West Union, looking for gravestones; Norm has relatives buried there. We think they are all buried in West Union, but I took pictures of the ones we thought might be worthy of mention while in East Union, then got directions to West Union (haven’t found that on a map, so it was lucky we found someone to help us).

Yesterday was very hot and sticky; we had a downpour, thunderstorm and strong winds last night with 1 ½ inches of rain overnight. Now it is cool-ish and a beautiful day. You have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

Several of my friends have this every Wednesday and thought I would join in this week.  This is a picture of my Grandfather Saueressig and Nana ... don't have a date for it but Grandpa died in about 1934, so it was taken before then.  From what I heard, they were very happy together and loved each other very much.

Mom thinks it was their 25th wedding anniversary, which would make it 1924.  Their anniversary was July 17th.  (added June 18)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What a difference time makes!

I am reading a book called “The Midwife’s Advice” by Gay Courter. This is the second in a series about a Russian Midwife, Hannah, who immigrates to America. This book is set from 1900 to after 1920. I have not finished it yet, but have been interested to see the differences (and also the similarities) of happenings only 100 years ago.

Since Hannah is a midwife, she is very involved with women’s problems, including contraception.

One of the interesting (and appalling) themes of the book is the fight that women had in order to be allowed to give speeches, write and print pamphlets about contraception and to even be allowed to use them in the privacy of their own homes.

Women were jailed for speaking in public on their beliefs; this was the same time that other brave women were being put in jail for their beliefs on the right to vote.

So, children, I’m going to step up on my soap box so that I am taller than a few of you and speak out on these two issues. Men, if this offends you, look aside. Women, stand up for your rights - brave, strong women suffered great dangers to give us the rights we have today.

These women suffered torture, prison terms, and some even died for their causes. We, as their daughters, grand- and great-grand daughters owe them the honor of following in their footsteps. There are more goals to be met; not only in America but in the world. We need to ensure that all women, world-wide, are free to follow their dreams, their desires without fear of retribution. There are far too many places where women cannot make their own choices freely, whether it be to marry (or not), whom to marry, to vote (or not), to have children (or not) and how many children.

There are still way to many women who do not have control over their own lives. Ladies, girls, women .... are YOU going to be a Susan B Anthony, a Margaret Sanger? Do YOU think we need to continue the fight into the 21st Century for Women’s Rights?
Susan B Anthony

Margaret Sanger

Okay, now I have stepped down. I hope I have given you some food for thought on this cool, damp Saturday. I know I am not brave enough to step to the front, but I will be there, cheering in the sidelines while others go on to fight for equal pay, equal electoral rights (such as a woman President), equality in ALL things. Good luck, ladies - may the Power be with you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Guess who’s ninety!


Yup, you got it ... my mom! Grace Anna Saueressig Childs was born today, 90 years ago on June 10, 1920. She was the youngest surviving child of Robert and Caroline Saueressig. Grandfather S was born in America but Nana (our name for our Grandmother) was born in Norway and came over at the age of 8 or 9.

Mom and Nana when Mom was in High School
Mom is on the far left of the picture

 Mom is in the center of this picture
In her lifetime, Mom has seen great changes - she has lived through the Great Depression and “Dirty Thirties,” World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and now the Mideast Wars.

She has been married 68 years this summer to my dad. Now, that’s a VERY long time to be married! Perhaps not a record but it’s the longest marriage that I know of! They got married just after Dad got his wings and became an officer in the Air Force.

Since then, she has followed him to nearly every place that he has been stationed and has taken us along, as well. We have lived in many of the States and in Japan. Mom made a comfortable home of all of us in every place that we lived.

Since Dad retired from the Air Force, their home has been in Rapid City, SD, but they have traveled all over the world, visiting family and friends. They owned several motor homes and crossed the whole nation and went into Canada and Mexico as well.

Now that both of them are older, they have limited their travels but still go traveling. Last year they hit Washington State and Florida, driving to and from by circuitous routes to get there and back.

Recently they moved from the house they lived in for 40+ years and are now in an apartment - NOT a senior citizen complex - they aren’t “old enough” for that. But they don’t have to worry about plowing snow from the driveway or yard work.

My grandmother, Nana, lived to be 101; my mother has no reason to NOT make it to that great age.

Happy Birthday, Mom!! May you have many more years, blessed with friends and family who surround you!



Sunday, June 06, 2010

Happy Birthday, Candy!

Today is Candy’s ##### birthday. I will not say how old, as that will make me older - Candy is seven years younger than I am.

When we were younger, the rest of us used to tease Candy. You see, we three older ones were all born a month apart (plus years). Charles and I were exactly a month apart plus two years. Cara was born a month plus nine days plus four years from me. Therefore, in our little brains, Mom and Dad had PLANNED us ... two years apart, you see. Then came Candy - four months and three years from Cara ... making her unplanned (and, in our nasty moments, unwanted).

It was not until later, when we were grown, that Mom said we ALL just “happened.”

And definitely, Candy was NOT unwanted. I can remember her birth and how excited I was to get a baby sister. In those mediaeval years, children were not allowed in the hospital to see either the mother or the sibling in the nursery. So Dad and Grandpa Childs took we three older ones to the side of the hospital where Mom could wave at us.

From then on, it was the four of us. Since Dad was in the Air Force, we traveled a lot and had to depend on each other for friendship. Charles and I were closer in age and interests, so we ran around together. Cara and Candy, being the youngest, played together more than with us. But many, many times, it was all four of us that did things together; we got on rather well, considering.

And now, there are just the two of us. We live only six miles apart (as the crow flies), nine miles (by road) and do quite a bit of activities together.

Candy and I are both interested in fibers so we travel to see sheep, other fiber lovers and stores. I taught her how to spin and weave and knit. Now she is helping me improve my spinning (I’m a better teacher than I am a doer) and my knitting.

I am so blessed to have Candy in my life. I thank the good gods every day that she is near me and we are friends.

So, Happy Birthday, baby sister - may you celebrate many, many, many more. I love you.

About three years old

Birthday party - probably fifth

Candy and Nana
Three sisters - Me, Donna and Candy at Charles' funeral last week

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Home again!

We got home last night about 8:00, after a long but fun trip across the long state of South Dakota.

Norm, Candy and I have traveled over 2,800 miles in 10 days, so we are all glad to be home and will NOT travel again for a long time!

Last week, of course, we went to Oklahoma for my brother’s memorial service then this week we were in Rapid City for his Inurnment in the Black Hills National Cemetery. This week, Joy, Ken and the girls rode with Norm and I; Candy and Wayne rode separately.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon and left Norm with his brother at the ranch to “play.” The rest of us went to Norm’s sister’s. Eileen had graciously offered to host us for the length of our stay. As we had 6 people and only 1 vehicle, that made it very convenient for us.

Sunday afternoon we joined my parents and Candy and Wayne, who were staying there. I met my good friend, Nancy, for Chinese Buffet and a long talk while Joy and family went to Story Book Island for a picnic. Donna and her family (8 of them, all together) arrived on Sunday evening.

On Monday, my dad took Donna and her gang around the Southern Hills while my nephew CJ (Charles Joseph) joined us for the day. Eileen had made arrangements for the Peterson gang (all who were free - several had to do cattle work on their ranches) to meet at her house for a noon meal and get-together. It was great to see so many that I have not seen in several years! Norm arrived with his brother Darrell and wife Mavis to spend the rest of the time in town with us.

Monday night we threw CJ in the van with us - 7 people are pretty crowded, even though the van CAN carry 7 - and headed to the folks’ apartment. The meeting room had been rented and we had over 20 people - all family - for supper that night.

When I heard the sad news from CJ two weeks ago, I started spinning and knitting a prayer shawl for Donna and had finished it on Sunday ... so Joy and Eileen and the girls helped me wash it and block it; I gave it to Donna on Monday night - WHEW!! The fastest, biggest project I’ve ever done on needles and it turned out rather nice, if I don’t say so, myself!

Donna and I decided we needed an ice breaker to get Bitty and Bubba to being less shy and talking to her gang so I got some playing cards from the apartment and sat everyone under the age of 30 at a table and said “play something!” It worked ... the girls learned a new game and they had a lot of fun so were able to talk freely the rest of the time they were together.

Tuesday morning, we all met at the folks’ favorite restaurant for breakfast then caravanned out to the National Cemetery for the military service.

It is an awesome place and is very much like Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A flag-lined lane led us to the chapel where the service was. When we got to the chapel, there were servicemen waiting for us and we (family) were saluted as we walked in. The cart that holds the coffin had only Charles’ urn and a folded flag; this flag normally goes over the coffin of a service man / woman during the service. After the minister from the folks’ church talked and said prayers, the impressive military service began.

I don’t know how many of you have attended one, but you have either seen one on TV news or seen one in a movie. The movie ones are very close to the real ones.

First of all, there was the gun salute - there were 7 soldiers, firing 3 times, making it a 21-gun salute. Then the Taps (OH! The Taps!!!).

I was reminded by someone that very few young people know the reason why Taps is played at military funerals. “Taps” is music that was written during the Civil War as a call for “lights out,” and was soon played at funerals. The words are:
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

In our case, the folded flag was unfolded to drape in the soldiers’ hands, then refolded - very quietly, very solemnly. The flag was then handed to Donna as the soldier that handed it to her spoke very quietly to her about Charles’ service to the nation.

As to his military service, here is a brief excerpt from Charles’ obituary:

During his military career he was awarded the Soldier's Medal, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, was twice awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with a bronze star, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

He and Donna Edge were married Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2010, at Ardmore, OK. Survivors include his wife, Donna; his children, Charles J. Childs, Cheryl, Brian, Michael, Heather, and Aaron Edge; his parents, Charles and Grace Childs; sisters, Connie and husband Norman Peterson of Storden, Minn., and Candy and her husband Wayne Taft of Storden; and numerous nieces and nephews. A sister, Cara, preceded him in death. 

After the service, we went to the folks' church where the church women had set up a lovely lunch for us.  We were able to get some nice pictures of the family.

Donna and family headed out that afternoon; we headed out the next morning.  I will write more about our trip home later on.

Rest in peace, Charles.