Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This was just pretty cool...

A couple from New York was in my shop yesterday.  They were completing their purchases and we were chatting when her cell phone beeped, alerting her to a new email message.  Their son works for National Geographic, she told me, and he was standing in front of the White House when the Space Shuttle Discovery flew over, piggybacked on its transporting 747 en route to its new home at the Smithsonian.  What a marvelous image!  Thank you, ma'am, for emailing the picture to me so that I could share it here.  

Our great-nephew was removed from life-support yesterday.  Through his generosity and thoughtfulness in signing the donor box on his driver's license, he will make a positive change in the lives of perhaps as many as seventy-five people.  I hope that he will also make a change in the lives of the family and friends he leaves behind, healing hurts, sorrows, and petty disagreements, and bringing us all closer in his passing.  I hope as well that everyone will forget their differences and celebrate every minute of the too-short life that he lived. 
The following message was posted by Jared's father on Facebook

Status update
By Dave Yoder
Overwhelming= Understatement!

As I sit here this morning trying to take in all that you have posted for my son Jared Nathaniel Yoder and our family I am just in awe! Ive tried to "like" all that has been posted on my wall and dont mean any disrespect to anyone if I missed yours. To try and sit here and to tell each and everyone "thank you" for all your thoughts and prayers from this past week would take me several days. Just know if you prayed a prayer, if you posted kind thoughts for Jared and our family they didn't go unnoticed. Your support for Jared and our family this past week was by far greater than anything I have ever witnessed before in my life. To those of you that copied my updates this week and posted them to your walls' please do so with this as well so that I can thank everyone that posted for Jared. I am a humbled man with few words to say at this time. God Bless You and Thank You All!

Jared Nathaniel Yoder
10/5/89 - 4/17/12

Monday, April 16, 2012

For Jared... 
We still hope and pray for a miracle

 For A Dancer
 by Jackson Browne
Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you'd always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found

I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It's like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can't sing
I can't help listening
And I can't help feeling stupid standing 'round
Crying as they ease you down
'cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(there's nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone

Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
(the world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know

If you must leave us, then Godspeed, Jared.  We can't go with you on this journey, but we will be here for those you leave behind. 
We love you. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

 It didn't take long...
Sheets drying on the clothesline
for the sheets to get dry today!  It was a brisk and breezy perfect spring day. I prefer to dry my bedding outdoors on the clothesline whenever possible, even in winter when they freeze stiff and I have to bring them in to thaw.  I love the fragrance that they bring in with them.  Good 100%-cotton sheets dried outdoors and I have my own little touch of Heaven. :)

Kamikaze bird
 This yellow-bellied sapsucker tried to commit suicide-by-picture-window last week.  It happens here with some frequency, but this is a really LARGE bird and he made quite a SPLAT!!! when he hit the window.  I think I may have said a really bad word...
Beautiful plumage

His plumage was quite lovely, bright yellow on the edges of his feathers and on his underbelly.  He was so stunned, he let Rich pick him up and extend his wing for this picture, but you really can't see how beautiful he was.

We left him resting in the grass to gather himself.  He had flown away within thirty minutes. 


More happy toes
 I love my hand-knit socks! These are my latest, the Cascading Leaves pattern.

  Inch by inch, step by step...the house gets closer to being finished.  This is the beautiful hardwood floor in the upstairs landing.  The wood is a mixture of oak, maple, ash, poplar.  We left it unstained and Rich finished it with three coats of gloss polyurethane and one coat of satin poly.  It is glorious!
That cabinet at the end of the hall will have doors on it and will hold all of my sewing supplies.  I brought home an old store counter from my shop and it will sit in front of the cabinet.  My sewing machine will be up here, and maybe my treadmill.  I need to get the treadmill into the house! It has been stored in the barn, and I am ready to start walking. There is really no good place to walk along our road, the shoulder is uneven and the traffic moves quite quickly. I like to walk on a treadmill, looking out of the window and listening to a book-on-CD as I walk. I need to get more active.  The weight does not go away as quickly as I'd like, and it's time to get healthier.

Natural gems

 These are a clam shell and a wild-goose egg that were found in the woods across the road from the house.  
A very good egg!
I punctured the ends of the egg and blew out the contents.  I had hoped to take it to a Pysanky class that was being offered at the township library, but I was too late and had missed the class by the time the egg was discovered.  
On being a grandparent...
I have mentioned the German singer, Reinhard Mey, in previous posts. More than anything else, his music makes me wish that I were fluent in German, as my Google and Bing translations are just barely sufficient to show me how much I am missing in his lyrics.  I had planned to buy some of his recordings while I was visiting his country, but I spent too much money on yarn and had to come home without them.
"Es ist wie mit dem Fahrradfahren, manche Dinge verlernt man einfach nie ;-)"
He has recently become a grandfather and posted this image on his newsletter, of taking a walk with his son and pushing his new grandson in a stroller.  The caption translates roughly as "Like riding a bicycle, there are some things that one never forgets how to do." It is such an endearing image of being a grandparent, and a perfect image of a stroll in a German city, with its broad sidewalks and tree-lined avenues.  I loved my time in Germany and France.  I felt immediately 'home' there, as I never have before, I think.  
He also posted this German lullabye for anyone to download.

The title is "Die Blümelein, sie schlafen"

Die Blümelein, sie schlafen
schon längst im Mondenschein.
Sie nicken mit den Köpfen auf ihren Stengelein.
Es rütteln sich der Blütenbaum,
er säuselt wie im Traum.
Schlafe, schlafe, schlaf du, mein Kindelein!

2. Die Vögelein, sie sangen
so süß im Sonnenschein.
Sie sind zur Ruh’ gegangen
in ihre Nestchen klein.
Das Heimchen in dem Ährengrund,
es tut allein sich kund.
Schlafe, schlafe, schlafe du, mein Kindelein!

3. Sandmännchen kommt geschlichen
und guckt durchs Fensterlein,
ob irgend noch ein Liebchen
nicht mag zu Bette sein.
Und wo es nur ein Kindchen fand,
streut es ins Aug’ ihm Sand.
Schlafe, schlafe, schlaf du, mein Kindelein!

and here is my very poor Internet translation of the lyrics that I found for this instrumental piece.  Some of my brothers-in-law may remember some Deutsch from their Amish childhood. Perhaps one of you might help me with my German?

The little flowers are sleeping

The little flowers are sleeping 
long ago in the moonlight. 
They nod their heads on their little stems. 
Shake the flowering tree, 
he whispers like a dream. 
Sleep, sleep, you sleep, my little child! 
The birds, they sang so sweetly in the sunshine
They have gone to rest
small in their nest.
The crickets in the cornfield,
make themselves heard.
Sleep, sleep, you sleep, my little child!

The sandman comes creeping
and looks through the window,
to see if any little sweetheart
may not be in bed.
And where there was a wakeful child,
scatters his sand into its eye.
Sleep, sleep, you sleep, my little child! 

The latest update on Jared was not encouraging. Keep his family in your hearts.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jared Nathaniel Yoder
Our Jared

Keep that name in your heart.  Jared is our great-nephew and was in a very bad car accident early Monday morning.  He has multiple skull fractures and is in a coma in a local hospital.  If you are a praying person, say a prayer or six for this very fine young man and for his mom, dad, and three brothers.  Jared has a long road ahead of him, and it will be at least a week to ten days before we have any idea where that road is going to take him. 

Our odd weather has continued.  We've been as high as 80F degrees or more in the past couple of weeks, and it snowed the day before yesterday!  It's freakish. 
My son and his wife are separated. Again. But he has a job now, and we're hoping for the best for them all.

A customer brought an eight-week-old English bulldog puppy into my little shop on Monday and let me hold him for a was all I could do not to run away with him as he was SO adorable!  He snuggled warm and soft against my chest and breathed his puppy breath into my face, and I fell head over heels in love.  I do miss having a dog. :(

Two Left Socks with a bunny shadow
And so, I knit. This pair of socks is the next installment in the Sock Madness group at Ravelry.  I am out of the competition after A Difficulty With Pattern #2. 
(my wide farm girl feet, very high insteps, and 'sturdy' ankles make it hard for me to follow any written pattern precisely if I want to have wearable socks when I'm finished)
but will continue to knit with the group, nonetheless. 
I took this picture on Easter Sunday morning, and when I was editing it I found a little surprise left for me by that large brown thing hopping in my garden... do you see it there in the shadows?  
The yarn is Opal, from the van Gogh collection, and the color is "Cafe-Terrasse am Abend (Le Cafe, le soir)", or in English, "The cafe at evening".  What you see here is two left socks, one for me and one for Michelle, as we both bought the same yarn when we were at the Tutto factory store, and I decided to make matching socks for the two of us.  The pattern is written differently for right and left foot.  When I've finished the left socks, I'll begin the right ones.  I wish that I'd bought six balls of every one of those van Gogh colors!

Leaves of Green
There are these finished socks.  When my sister died, her husband gave me her sock-knitting stash, and in it I found the "Cascading Leaves" pattern by Jeanie Townsend printed off and bagged with this lovely olive-green yarn.  It was ironic that I had that very same pattern printed and bagged with nearly-identical yarn in my own sock-knitting stash... and so, a message from my sister.  
I don't know what the yarn is, as Cherryl had not saved the ball band but it is lovely stuff, soft and wonderful to knit up.  It reminds me of some Louet Gems Opal that I used for a pair of socks a few weeks ago. 
These are, I suspect, the very last of my tulips, and one dandelion, of course. Spring came far too early this year.  I spoke last week with a lady from Holland, Michigan, and she said that their annual Tulip Festival the first week of May will, sadly, be not much more than a Stem Festival this year, as the beautiful tulips will be past their prime.  

Cocoa Bien Socks
 One more finished pair of socks in a simple ribbed stitch, this pair for our friend, Ron Bien (pronounced bean), who did a very nice turn for Rich last spring on a trip to Tennessee. When one knits a simple pair of socks with no special stitches or other fancy work, sock knitters say that it's a "plain vanilla" pattern.  These are much too nice of a hot-cocoa-brown color to be vanilla, so I've named them "Cocoa Bien" socks.  They have extra-long cuffs to fit inside Ron's riding boots.  I hope he'll like them! :)  Opal Uni Color yarn, from the Tutto shop in Germany. 

It will soon be time for the first Big Ride of the season.  I need to polish my own riding boots, from the looks of that last picture, and get ready to go.  It's been three years or more since I've seen some of the friends I'll see on this next trip, and I am long-past ready to be with them once again.