Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Moving day

Well children, pack up your bags and let’s get going. It’s time to leave this lovely home that I have been in since June 2006. We are going to a nice new home on WordPress.

I don’t want to say anything bad about BlogSpot, because I’ve had a good time here. Therefore I need to tell you the story of why we are moving.

My favorite youngest children, Jill and Eric, gave me a wonderful present for Christmas. It was my own website which is cpthegreat.com.

Along with the website, Eric designed a new blog which is located at cpthegreat.com.

So therefore today is my last day on blogspot. You will be able to find me by clicking on this link cpthegreat.com. Am I repeating myself?

I have been working on my new blog. It is not completely finished but it’s getting closer. For my thousands of devoted followers, once you go to the new blog (cpthegreat.com), there is a place to subscribe so that when I write one of my new blogs you will get the notice on email.

I would like to thank BlogSpot for being such a wonderful host and I will see you all on WordPress.

It was a beautiful day today, the temperature was in the upper 30s; you have a beautiful day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fourteen years ago

Charles’ birthday was 2 days ago.  Since 1999, and for the rest of his life, he hated his birthday. 

It was on that day that Dad called and told us that Cara had suffered heart failure and was in the hospital, not expected to live.

Norm and I rushed out to Rapid City; Charles and his son came very soon after.

I spent most of the rest of the time in the hospital, holding Cara’s hand.  She never regained consciousness and died 14 years ago this evening.

Cara was the 3rd child in our family - the middle child.  I was 4 years old when she was born and remember a lot of her childhood.  As with Charles, we spent a lot of time together because of Dad’s travel.  




Cara was gifted in many ways; she was a wonderful musician, playing piano, guitar and singing in a wonderful contralto voice.  When we were growing up, Mom had a book of the Gilbert and Sullivan music; Cara would play - Candy, Cara and I would sing the songs.  One of the ones we liked to sing was “Three Little Maids from School.”  Mostly because it was for 3 female singers!    





 
Cara graduated from college and became a teacher like I did.  Also like me, she didn’t stay in the teaching profession very long.  I quit to raise my girls.  Cara quit to go on to other fields of work.

She loved gardening; she and husband Davey had a large vegetable garden and a large flower garden that surrounded the house.

When we lost Cara, I lost a mentor, a counselor and a good friend as well as a sister.  Some people think you get “over” the pain of losing a loved one.  You don’t get “over,” you get “through.”  Although it’s been 14 years, today I feel like the loss is happening all over again.  I will never get over losing my sister.


 
Cara, I love you - I miss you.  I wish you were here!   

Friday, February 08, 2013

Charles

It was 67 years ago today that I was given a wonderful present. Now, I don’t remember the very beginning, but I was given a baby brother who was to remain by my side, for better or worse for many, many years. But not long enough! 


Dad was in the Air Force, so our family traveled all over the United States and even went to Japan for 3 years.  Because of our moving so often, we 4 children depended on each other more than many other families.  Cara and Candy were the youngest, so ran around together.  Charles and I were only 2 years and 1 month apart; we did a lot together.

I also was a “tom boy” so I did a lot of things with Charles because I chose to play boy games.  Now, children, this was before women’s - girls’ rights to play on recognized teams so I had no baseball or  basketball teams to play on.  Charles played on a Little League team when we lived in Japan.  The wonderful coach allowed me to practice with the team and I was allowed to go to the games and sit on the bench as a sort-of mascot.  Charles and I would argue about who was the best baseball player. Of course the New York Yankees was the best team, but I knew that Mickey Mantle was the best player. Charles, in his delusions, claimed that Roger Maris was better but I knew that he was wrong.


 


 When we were 12 and 10, someone asked why we spent so much time together.  I said “We’re twins!”  Of course, that was questioned, as we were 2 years apart in school.  My story was that Charles was held back a year and I was put forward a year.  Our friends went to Mom to ask and - not even knowing the background story - said that “Sure, they’re twins!”  Charles and I use that story again while in high school just for the fun of it.

Charles was a Boy Scout, a drummer, and a pianist. His favorite song on the piano was “Heart and Soul.” I believe the biggest reason why he liked it so much was because I hated it.



When he was in college, he joined the Army, became an officer, and went to Vietnam.



We stayed close from the time he was born until the time that he died. I had him for only 64 years and I still him very much. It is not fair that he was taken away from us so soon.

Happy birthday, Charles. I wish you were here so that I could say it to you in person.  I love you.



Thursday, February 07, 2013

A change of plans

Well if been a long time since I’ve been on here, hasn’t it? I guess that I have just been lazy rather than busy.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I went to Luverne to see my weaving student, Darlene. If you remember, I mentioned that Darlene had had a stroke so I was re-teaching her how to weave. One of the problems is that she gets frustrated very easily. Another problem is that I warp up the loom differently than she remembers; she does not remember exactly how to do it, she just remembers that I am doing it differently and it confuses her. The other problem is that she used to be a perfectionist. It looks like she still is; each time I get the loom partially ready and then have to leave, Darlene will want to work on it, get frustrated because it’s not what she remembers, and tears everything out.

When I got there yesterday, it had been nearly 6 weeks since I had been there before. Illness on both sides, bad weather and holidays had kept us apart. Darlene had torn out what I had put on the reed and put the warp in a drawer. The warp was messed up, tangled and really rather ugly to look at.

I have been getting frustrated, because it seems like all I am doing is warping up yarn, threading the reed, and then starting over again the next time I’m there.

Darlene’s daughter Jan talked to me as I came in while she was heating up my tea water. Jan and Darlene had talked for a long time, trying to decide exactly what was going to be done. If Darlene stopped lessons and quit trying to weave right now, I would owe approximately $1000 on my loom. I am sure that they did not want me to have to pay for the loom in cash, as the agreement was that I would pay it in lessons. Jan said that she decided she wants to learn how to weave; I think this is partially so that I can continue giving lessons and continue paying for my loom in lessons not money.

So Jan and I talked for quite a while; we took the messed up warp and put it on the reed. I explained that I would be teaching her differently than she had been watching Darlene in the past. I also explained that the warp was tangled but told her to have hope, we would get it straightened up before she started weaving. Jan and I took turns threading the reed then put it on to the loom and started going through the heddles. Jan understands exactly what I showed her, so the next time I go, the heddles should be threaded and we should be ready to roll the warp onto the loom.

This seems to be working out better than I anticipated; we had Darlene go do other things and not watch so that she would not get frustrated because she was not doing it or that I was doing it “wrong.”

As far as what else I’ve been doing, I have slowly been recovering from the cough and working on threading Freya. Now I need to get 2 other looms threaded and one tied and rolled.

Before Christmas, we borrowed a ram from our friend Betty. We will be taking him home tomorrow, which will make our smallest ewe, “Velvet,” very happy. For some reason the ram has been pushing her out of the barn at night. Norm has had to lock her into the nursery pen every night so that she can stay in the barn with the others.


Last Saturday was our monthly “A Stitch in Time” meeting in Storden. We had a few new members which was very pleasant; some of the regulars could not come because the weather was a little “iffy” but they will come again next month. I believe I have mentioned our meetings before. Those who want to learn the older, traditional crafts are all welcome to come. If we can teach, we will. Our newest member, Suzy, is really learning how to knit and learning how to purl.

Last week was a very cold week for Minnesota; here in our area, we felt lucky if it got above 0 degrees. We also had a lot of wind; for two days in a row, the windchill was about -30 degrees.


But when we went to Sioux Falls on Tuesday, it was 35 ABOVE zero! And right now, at the house, it is foggy, frosty, and 21 ABOVE zero! So now I think I’ve caught you up with all the boring details of what has been going on with me this past month. On this beautiful warm day, you have a beautiful day.