You couldn't have asked for more perfect weather than this Father's Day weekend. Les was here for the weekend, and all the family except John and Ginger made it over on Sunday. There was a total of 6 dads, but of course Dad/Grampa/Great-Grampa is the guest of honor. Here he is checking out the restored photograph my brother Bob had framed for him. It's a 1918 photo of his father lined up with fellow Navy ship painters in Newport.
The kids gave D a pair of Adirondack chairs with the promise to paint them the color of his choice. As there are two, I'm assuming I can sit in one and pick my color. Maybe.
The great-grandkids had a great day with squirt guns, soccer, and sprinkler etc. Little Abby is now walking like a champ!
Son-in-law Dan built a workbench in our cellar for his stained glass work. As he posted on Facebook, "New workbench! Complete with a small shelf, perfect for storing works in progress. I used the tools of at least 2 grandfathers for a little nostalgia. Now I can get back to work!" (P.S. He is taking commissions.)
I've joined Facebook this past year, at first to be able to take part in some closed groups for speech pathologists and for Moms work. It's a good way to keep in touch with far-flung relatives too. I'll post additional photos on FB. Now that I'm no longer working in a school I feel less leery about it.
Well, it's official. After 34 years as a speech-language pathologist, all in the same school district, I have retired. It hasn't truly sunk in and probably won't until late August, when I won't have to get up and head out to the first' professional development day' prior to the start of school for students. However, my two fellow SLP retirees and I already have plans for that day!
Sometime when I get my head together I may reflect here on those 34 years.
I have lots of nebulous plans for what to do with myself, once I'm done basking in the relaxing glory for a bit, (like this guy).
If I don't have some structure and purpose I'm sure to go crazy. Some things I'd like to do, in no particular order:
* Learn new crafts- weaving, painting, woodworking, crochet...
* Do family genealogy on my mom's side. My cousin Joe has done exhaustive work on my dad's side of the family, but Mom's side was a bit of a mystery even to her.
* Bird watch! Though I'm told the chi-chi term is 'birding'. I'm becoming obsessed with this, as I am wont to do.
We got a pole feeder to thwart the squirrels, and so far it has. The feeder on the left holds syrup (I didn't add any yet), grape jelly, and orange halves to attract Baltimore orioles. No luck yet, and it may take a while.
* Join the local historical society.
* Continue volunteering with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, natch.
* Join the League of Women Voters. A South County chapter has recently been formed. Unfortunately the monthly meetings are on the same night as my knitting guild, which I've been a member of for nearly 25 years, so I'll have to find another way to work with the League.
* Canvass for gun sense candidates in the upcoming elections
* Get a passport and maybe travel somewhere. I'd like to visit John in Alaska, but don't know if I could handle the long flight. A road trip might be nice.
As orange is my favorite color, you don't have to ask me twice. The reference to Wear Orange however is for National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which is on Thursday, June 2. Here is the website for more information: http://wearorange.org/ . With gun violence becoming more and more common even in places once considered innocent and safe, like schools, churches, movie theaters, malls, and homes, it's important that people show support through the simple act of 'wearing orange' to honor victims, promote gun safety, and celebrate life. So please, wear orange on June 2!
Above is the back of the Drape Neck Top, which will be done for Wear Orange Day 2017.
This hummingbird feeder set me back $3 at a thrift store. I was so excited to see a hummingbird shortly after hanging it out, and now a mating pair is buzzing back and forth to it. Every year there are hummers in the yard, and this will let them know how welcome they are.
Another welcome visitor is this lovely butterfly who feeds from the color-coordinated petunias.
I went to the Virtu arts and crafts fair in Wilcox Park Sunday. This year there were only a few yarn bombed trees and lamp posts, which were fun to happen upon.
One was today's Rainbow Run/Walk, on a beautiful spring morning. This year D, Kate, and Dan joined me, the kids running and the two of us walking. Though we did break into a jog for 3/4 of a mile (mine a just-barely-past-walking jog), and the rest of the day I felt like I'd been hit by a bus. Feeling much better tonight. It's good to be able to do something concrete towards mental wellness.
I finished the Swirl Skirt last week and have already worn it twice. The first time I hadn't inserted elastic in the waistband, well because it seemed snug enough. Mistake. I ended up jerry-rigging two binder clips to the waist under my fortunately billowy blouse, so the skirt didn't end up around my ankles.
Recently Moms Demand Action volunteers joined survivors to start a RI Dream Quilt to commemorate loved ones lost to gun violence. Above is a closeup of one of the already completed quilts , 'The Four Corners Quilt', which includes squares from the four corners of the U.S.A. There were two survivors in our group, mothers who lost a child to guns. They brought clothing that had belonged to their children to compose their squares.
My finished block. (All I did was choose the fabric and cut from templates. The skilled seamstresses did the rest.)
Hard to believe it's been two weeks since April vacation. I took a mini field trip to Aquidneck Island to check out some local historical sites.
Prescott Farmis maintained by the Newport Historical Society and consists of several buildings saved from demolition that were moved to the site and preserved, including the landmark windmill.
The one building original to the farm, the Nichols-Overing House, is a private residence so the picture at top was taken from afar. This is the house that British General Richard Prescott used as one of his headquarters, and from which he was captured by RI Patriots led by William Barton in 1777. I'm not sure why the farm was renamed after the 'bad guy'.
From there I went to another part of the island to see the memorial to the remarkable Anne Hutchinson, founder of Portsmouth RI. I recently finished a biography about this woman who refused to back down or remain silent about her beliefs. Her friend and fellow exile Mary Dyer is also commemorated.
A plaque inscribed with the Portsmouth Compact is also in the little Founders Brook Park. It was the first New World document to "establish a Colony independent of every other... and the organization of a regular government was their initial step. That their object was to lay the foundation of a Christian state, where all who bore the name might worship God according to the dictates of conscience, untrammelled by written articles of faith, and unawed by the civil power, is proved by their declarations and by their subsequent conduct." (Samuel Arnold) Like their contemporary Roger Williams, though they considered their religion the be all and end all, they believed all people should be allowed to worship, or not, as they saw fit.
I then enjoyed lunch at Evelyn's Drive-In on Nanaquaket Pond. I've always wanted to stop here but only was in the neighborhood when stuffed from dinner at my sister's. I love a good clam shack.
April vacation! Beautiful weather all week. I've finally gotten back on the bike after pretty much blowing it off last summer. Besides that, the main activity I've been pursuing is spring cleaning and de-cluttering- very satisfying.
Tuffy on mouse patrol. Mice were pretty much permanent residents in this old house before we remodeled the kitchen 6 years ago. We haven't had them since until the last few weeks, when upon opening the lazy Susan a fat mouse and I were mutually startled. I emptied the cupboard out and D put in bait. The coast seemed clear and I was ready to restock a few days later, when within the space of 20 minutes Tuffy caught and disgustingly ate two cute little gray mice, leaving only their hindquarters.
Just earning my keep
We also had the yearly infestation of little brown ants in the kitchen. Do not bother buying those absolutely useless plastic ant baits. What finally worked for us, literally overnight, was setting out cotton balls soaked in a solution of borax, sugar, and water. The ants carry it back to their nest and they are history. And yes, I feel guilty about that, but figure they are in ant heaven.
At quilt night one of the ladies gave me this:
Which with a little twist opens up into this:
It's a little thread/yarn/scrap holder made with a small embroidery hoop and fabric. I had admired hers at the last meeting and mentioned that I just save my yarn scraps in plastic baggies. Thanks, Ruthann, for this much superior container!
I made a quick hat in February which I forgot to post:
I'd printed out the free Hat with Cable pattern long ago. The two vintage skeins of black and white wool (discontinued Brunswick Sheeps Wool) that a friend was giving away were perfect for it. The pattern had several errors that were pretty obvious, i.e. wrong stitch count given for cast on, which was annoying. I should have knit it a bit longer too. But it's OK for schlepping in the backyard on a cold day.
Some progress on the Mosaic Blanket:
I am loving knitting the Swirl Skirt which is distracting me from the blanket. (Photographed sideways; the gores are the bottom of the skirt):
And Abby's mom was happy that her birthday sweater matched her Easter dress perfectly, so I got to see her wear it again: