Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gaining Perspective

 The sun is out, the days are looking brighter.

 Carly was walking pretty quickly today on our constitutional. She seems happy despite the suitcases in the back bedroom. We are packing to go to Maui for two weeks.
 But first we have to figure out what our kids are doing for the summer. Or they have to. Finals ended yesterday. D went in to Langley for the first of about 3 trips with his dad's truck to collect Emily's things from her first apartment.
Today he's on the Island helping Scott put his stuff in storage until he has a job or a plan. There are no parenting magazines for this stage.
But we are proud of them and the work they put into their schooling.
We need Emily to be home to look after the house and the dog.
 I whipped up a prayer shawl. This one in less than a week of 400 meters of alpaca and silk that has been in the stash so long it's not in the Ravelry database. I love the pattern, Twilight, by Lisa Lloyd. I will knit it again, maybe as a shawl. I hope it has the balance of fine but not fancy for my dear neighbour, the painter of my children, who lost her husband last week. The boys played with my kids and were in and out of each others' houses for many years. There is a wake today and I stayed up late last night to finish and block it.
 Even as I am sad for the unimaginable loss of a husband, I am thankful that I still have my partner. I rejoice with knitting for the children of Terrazes and look forward to casting on my next sweater for them.
And we have a new baby in the family. I will get to see him next month.
There is another Antler cardigan on my needles for another baby in our vet clinic.
I spent two evenings this weekend partying with lady friends. Such joys, and laughter and naughty tricks. I haven't had a shooter since I was 21!! But apple pie?!! Had to try it.
I am also signed up on the Stash and Burn Podcast Cold Sheep page. Yes. I have enough yarn. For now. My goal is to finish 5 projects before I buy more. They're latest show is wonderful!
As I look closer, and step back, I am finding a balance that works for me right now.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Too Close to Home

 It has been a pretty wet April so far. I am working at Hospice a few days a week, enjoying my Tuesday night knitting group and doing extra work with the young people at our church. Every day I try to walk the dog at least a short walk.
 The blooms are slowly coming out and then the wind blows them away like its snowing petals. I appreciate the brave blossoms.
 But we have been a bit rocked by the loss of two dads. One used to be the principal of our music academy and was such a warm, hugging, smiling man. Our hearts go out to his lovely wife, also a great musician and their three sweet daughters.
Then, while D was canvasing for the Canadian Cancer Society, he found out our neighbour, whose kids went to school with ours, and whose wife was a good friend when we were thrown together in various activities, was really sick this time. He has survived a roller coaster of treatments and set backs. We made a plan to visit them the following Wednesday. But when the cookies were baked and we called, he had already passed away.
Words are not enough for the terrible loss. So I am knitting his wife a "prayer shawl". Not a shawl but the Twilight scarf pattern from Lisa Lloyd's A Fine Fleece. The yarn is Classic Elite Alpaca Silk that doesn't come up on Ravelry. Couldn't tell you when it joined the stash party.
I hope that making a non-fancy, but fine shawl will give her as much comfort as making it is giving me.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Something From Nothing

 I cast off the Foreign Correspondent's Scarf in Misty Alpacas hand painted lace in time to block it for giving at our Tuesday Rally. The woman who is doing all the work is doing a great job. She asked me to speak on the theme, Nurture.

Nothing says nurture like alpaca. Then I started dreaming about what I wanted to knit next with the needles free. And I looked at my feet and saw three knitting bags.
There are at least two or three other baskets in the basement.
The first is the Antler sweater by Tin Can Knits. I'm making the 6-12 month size in Berroco Comfort because I love it! The sweater is pretty quick. Can I get it done in time for my sister to take to a baby shower this weekend? I've already joined the sleeves and am starting the cabled yoke. We'll see. I can always send books.
The second is the teaching sock for my knitting group. It's the cable sock in sport weight, cuff down. I knit on it as I teach on Tuesdays.
The third is a child's sweater in gifted Paton's Shetland Chunky for the sweet kids at Terrazes. I wanted to knit for them last year and never got it together, so Diane of dianeiam on Ravelry gave me this yarn and I cast on last Wednesday, two days after I got back. I hope to make a few at least before their cold and unprotected winter.
In the blink of an eye I went from no knitting to plenty to fill my time.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

More Than a Vacation

 I spent Easter weekend in Tijuana again. We are part of Project Help Mexico and went with a crew of 13 to help at a foster home and food station. About 20 kids live there with Maria Esther, but over 100 come after school for food, homework help and a safe place to stay until their mothers are done their 12 hour shifts at the factories.
 It is achingly beautiful. The people are warm and friendly and share everything, even though they have so little.
 At least 3 Daves. All friends from the computer world. Amazing gifts of building and team work and playing with the kids.
 We did a children's program at another commodore for some of the poorest. I set up a pinwheel craft that went very well and we handed out granola bars and little toys.
 The ladies let me help in the kitchen this year. I enjoyed taking a break from stuccoing.
 We have built 3 buildings in the last 3 years. From dirt floor shacks to tile floors and proper rooves. This year we put tar paper and wire on the buildings and trowelled cement into it. Another coat of cement and then paint will waterproof the houses from the very heavy rains.
 As a treat we took all the kids to the beach. Probably their first time, although it's only a half hour away. My Emily was a great play mate and life guard. The water was cold!
 Such a lovely beach. Many local families were crowded on the other side. Rosarito is charming.
 We bought churros and shared them all around. He made them in his cart right on the beach!
 Christian was in a wheel chair last year. This year he has a walker and was so excited to use it in the sand and the water.
 Carlton led us in a very moving Easter Sunday service. The other guys don't really go to church, but I wanted an Easter worship.
 Sarita sat on my lap and made me cry when she laced her hands in mine when we prayed. I'm already making her a sweater. This winter they had frost and they just aren't prepared for the cold.
 At first we were scorning those people who come down to Mexico to rescue dogs, but we all fell in love with 4 month old Fidel. He has such a nice temperament and loves all the cuddles from the kids.
 The pinata was hit on Easter Sunday. And then we said good bye. We went back to the beach for some quiet.
 The local dancers put on a display at the hotel.
 The hall was decorated with traditional banners.
And Emily was a great travel mate. She has done a mission before in a more rustic setting and really enjoyed the urban vibe. The kids adored her and she did her share of building. D is planning to come with me next year and we have some friends and youth from church to make it a real Carman United trip.
I come home to my open, sunny home and look at what I take for granted. We are so blessed and we are asked to share our time, talent and resources. Thanks to Project Help Mexico, it is an experience worth repeating.