Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Soy Wax Arrived! Yay!

Yesterday, I broke out my candle making gear.  My sister, Melinda wanted a candle that smelled like the season and I told her spending $4 on a candle from the grocery store that really didn't smell like much was a waste.  I told her I would make her one.  I did.  It is a soy wax candle and it smells divine.  My scent that I used, apple jack and peel.  It smells like a cinnamon apple pie.  Heavenly.  I also heavily scent my candles. 

I realized after making her candles that I was almost out of wax so, I placed an order.  It arrived today and I had ordered in clamshells to make warmer melts.  My new scent that I ordered in is gingerbread.  It smells fantastic! 

So, I used the last of my apple jack and peel and some of the gingerbread to make warmer melts. 

I made three pint jars of candles yesterday and they are already spoken for.  I did have an ETSY shop for my candles but, decided to not sell on there.  Too many people as it is.  It is hard enough to sell my yarns on there. 

My sister, Cheryl suggested I make some candles and melts for our annual Christmas white elephant party for the chapter.  I guess I will think about it.  I have so many choices for that event. 

I can always give another necklace or bracelet to the cause or one of my wax creations.  I just have to think about it. 

It does pay to be crafty.  I have noticed more and more people are making their Christmas presents this year. 

I was asked if I was going to the black Friday sales this year and the answer is, NO!  I don't have it in me to do it. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Returning to Normal, or So I Thought

After all the stresses of the last month and the loss of my BIL, I thought things were going to be back to normal, I should have known this wouldn't happen.  I threw my back out and I missed my blood work last week because I knew there was no way in the world that I could get my body onto a table for them to take my blood.  So, I had to reschedule it for this week.  It works out for the best since I have a much later fasting appointment than before.  I have DAR on Thursday night so, I know if I stay out later than normal, it will work out in the long run. 

I haven't been able to sleep all that well with the back doing it's thing.  Just the pure misery that I have been through with it.  I managed to get some sleep yesterday on the couch.  I love this couch, it sleeps well.  We threw out our old couch and wei I  are using my Mom's 20 year old couch as a replacement set.  Love the Klausner brand, it holds up well.  The fabric still looks good.  We got a steal on the couch set when Mom was going into the secure facility.  We paid $250 for it and it is going strong.  Thank goodness we have it.  The other set had issues, the springs broke in the couch and managed to rip a hole into the carpet underneath the thing.  The love seat was soaked by cat pee.  Loads of cat pee.  It seems they took a dislike to the puppy who used to crawl onto the thing and they gave it a soak down.  It was nasty!  I pity anyone who thought they were going to take that thing off of our hands.  Someone even looked at it on the curb.  I guess if you don't have anything, even a cat pee sofa works out. 

The new curtain rod came in.  I went searching for it specifically for the family room window.  I had bought one a couple of years ago from JCP and hubby finally installed the thing in our bedroom.  Oh, it is amazing, the thing bends around to the sides so, the whole window is covered.  It isn't one of those cheap suckers, either.  This thing looks like pipe tubing.  So, I went looking for one in silver and sure enough just when I was about to give up, I spotted it and I had a coupon. Love coupons.  I managed to get a $75 curtain rod for $35!  Yep!  It was on sale and then with the coupon, that took off a major amount.  I have my thermal backed curtains in my home and let me tell you, those things have saved us serious money!  Our electric bill at one point was $759!  I nearly fell over when that one hit and I knew I had to do something.  So, I went looking for the thermal backed curtains.  I found another coupon for JCP and managed to get free shipping and all the curtains for the rest of the house for $100.  I was so happy.  Hubby has even remarked about those curtains.  This from the man when I first met him, he said he didn't believe in curtains.  Now he does! 

Anyway, I have been dealing with my back pain.  Oh boy, it actually hurt worse than usual and I was in agony for days.  I know I have been a misery to live with.  Last night, I was thinking it was all better and then it popped in my sleep...holy smoke, that wasn't pleasant!  Now it feels much better.  I also had to employ the torture device that hurts like a mofo when I have to use it.  It was well worth every penny I spent on it.  Even the hubby will get it out when he needs the thing. 

I was asked to make an afghan for charity.  I am hoping today to go and get the yarn for the thing.  I was going to do it in Wash but, then I realized that my hands won't let me do it in this yarn.  I am currently working on one in Wash but, I need Lion Brand Homespun for the charity one.  It works up so much quicker and I can use a size N hook.  Also, the Homespun is so much softer and snuggly.  I love my blanket in it.  I snuggle under it and the cats sleep on me when I use it.  They too love to snuggle into it.  I even made the hubby one in this yarn.  I made a prayer blanket for my BIL in it.  My sister said she loved how cuddly it is.  I am thinking I might be making more of these blankets for people in my family.  It is a good idea for a present. 

Even Ody tries to snuggle into my Homespun blanket.  He is so sweet.  I love my corgi!

The current blanket is the purple and silver monster.  I can't wait to see the end of the thing.  I am to the point where I look at it and grunt.  Ever been there?  I am there.  The patriotic afghan is sitting on my exercise bike right now.  It has been requested for a fund raiser.  At some point, I am going to have to rest my hand.  The poor thing is killing me and I have way too much to do. 

I might have to say no more charity after all the blankets are finished for the year.  I then get to start my charity knitting for the new year.  I have found out that more items are needed.  Oh boy!  I guess my stash will finally be used up for the good of others.  It works out.  I get to use awesome yarn for people who are in need of warm items.  I need to mail out three boxes of items to various schools. 

I am thankful, I have so many ladies who are willing to help me in my charity efforts.  One has been sewing for me and I made her a bracelet, some custom stitch markers and a skein of hand painted merino/silk sock yarn.  I thought that was a nice thank you. 

I have a new yarn I want to paint for the shop.  I have to wind out more skeins of it and then paint it.  I can't wait to see how well it paints up.  I also have a candle order to make.  I need to find my scent oils for that.  I have the jars for that so, that is not a problem.  I just have to find the time and I am still trying to get my home in order for Christmas.  I will be decorating it to the nines this year since we will have family here.  I haven't been able to work on it this week since the back has been out of whack!  I have to make up time over the weekend, we are doing a run to the local donation place to get rid of some of the crap that we have.  It is time for it to go. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

House Cleaning and Organizing!

I was actually terrified to start cleaning my living room and my dining room.  I have scrapbooking stuff all over my mom's table.  She gave me that table when she was moved to the Alzheimer's facility, she did this so, there wouldn't be a fight for it.  The table is an antique and it is solid oak.  It is heavy.  I love that table, I used to crawl under it as a child and played under it.  It holds many happy memories for me.  The table was actually an antique when Daddy bought it for Mom.  The table is 119 years old. 

I cherish that table.  It is a part of my family history.  Many happy memories happened at that table, many sad ones, too.  Any news we had was shared over that table.  I even think all 8 of us kids played under it and around it.  I know I did. 

So, I started the cleaning process yesterday when my large bin showed up in the mail. Gary doesn't get mad at me for buying bins, he would rather have it all in one place than strewn all over the place.  I am trying to organize today and also do several pages for the chapter scrapbook.  We are involved in so many things with the chapter and I am trying to get pictures printed and ready to go for the book.  It is going to be huge.  I am glad I ordered in more pages for it.  That scrapbook is a work of love for me.  I love making our pages so neat and pretty for this chapter.  I hope the ladies enjoy each page and memory.  I try to include everyone in it. 

Today is the Keep Them Warm Campaign page.  I have to also send out a box to another school that sent me a letter begging for warm items for their children.  The kids in these schools are below the poverty line and they get funding from DAR.  I think all children deserve a well rounded education.  If we do not educate our children, then they will not ask questions and will accept what is going on around them.  Always question, always keep learning, it will make a better person in the end.  I read as much as I can to learn new things.  You are never too old to learn something new. 

So, I started picking up the papers and stickers, the glues, etc to clean off this table since it will be put to good use for Christmas this year.  I decided to take family Christmas because we haven't done it in a while.  My house has been a wreck for a couple of years and I am trying to remedy that situation right now.  I am also getting ready to do a run to the local donation place.  I have a bunch of crap that they can have. 

I also want to make soy wax candles this week.  I have had several requests for apple jack scent.  It is a nice warm scent perfect for the holidays. 

The hubby is making sauerkraut and so, we have jars galore for that.  I even dug out one of our antique kraut jars that have been in the family for a very long time.  They are the ones with the separate lids in glass with the rubber ring and the metal wires to hold down the lid.  I told him I would let him use it but, he has to be extra careful with it. 

Even my kitchen table is an antique but, I picked that up at a garage sale for $60.  It works for us.  I know it is quality since it too is oak.  I seem to have an oak theme going on around here.  It is a nice wood. 

I will have to look on the craft tower to find my scent oils and was dyes for the candles.  I have some watermelon candles left over in the pantry.  I will see if anyone wants one of those.  I was thinking of making melts but, I don't have any clamshells for that animal and I really don't want to have to order in any right now.  I have way too much going on as it is. 

Now off to clean once again.  Y'all have a beautiful day! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hell Week!

Well, last week my brother in law, Gene, passed away.  He went peacefully after a horrible 6 weeks of pain, suffering and misery. He slipped away in hospice as we sat there with his brother and my sisters, and my nieces.  We were laughing about something and then my sister, Melinda noticed he had passed.  I know that my oldest sister, his wife wanted him to go sooner but, he wouldn't go.  He was waiting for his brother to get there and then he passed when we were laughing about something that was said.  He left on a very good note. 

The Rosary was Sunday, and the priest said the fastest Rosary I have ever been to.  I found out afterwards that he is 82 years old and doesn't like to be driving after dark.  I can understand that. 

Yesterday was the funeral and it was a very nice service.  I was worried about my sister, she has really poor health.  She swayed a couple of times but, she managed to get herself through it.   The hard part starts after the funeral when life has to return to normal and you realize that they aren't there.  I had to go through this with my Daddy.  I was used to him doing things for me and he wasn't there anymore.  Mom was easier to deal with since she was in a secure Alzheimer's home and she passed suddenly from a heart attack.  That was easier to deal with.  This cancer situation is much worse!  So much more horrible. 

Then as we were driving home last night, I get a text from one of my nieces, a different one than the two who lost their Dad, one of her friend's lost her Dad last night.  We all ran together when we were kids and I am so sorry that she lost her Dad. He was given a couple of days yesterday and then yesterday evening, he passed.  That quick!  Shocker to say the least.  I feel for her and her family. 

This week, I am trying to get back into the swing of things.  It is hard after sitting in vigil at the hospice last week.  I had to sit down and think about what I need to do today.  I have to start the major clean up of the formal living room and the dining room.  I have all of my scrapbooking stuff on my dining room table.  Lovely. 

I was asked to crochet an afghan for charity.  I started thinking about that today.  I do have the yarn to do it and I might need to get some more red for the afghan.  I have to decide how many skeins I need to buy.  I guess I will figure it out when I get to that point.   I am going to crochet this one out of my brain as well.  I love doing my own pattern.  It works out nicely. 

I never would have been able to get through this without my darling hubby and my supportive family.  We are a huge family but, I have noticed that if any one of us needs something, we drop what we are doing to go help.  That is how Mom and Daddy raised us.  I think they did a fabulous job with what they had.  I still miss them both. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and very blessed week. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Right now, I have had to put my life on hold.  The reason, my oldest brother in law is dying of cancer.  A new form of the stuff that is so bad that MD Anderson here in Houston has pretty much told his family and 4 other families to come and get their people so they can die at home.  It is aggressive, it is new and there is no treatment for it.  They have no idea as to what it is.  It didn't respond to chemo or radiation.  It is horrible. 

My BIL was diagnosed with this 6 weeks ago and he is in hospice.  My sister, Melinda and I have been going to sit vigil with my oldest sister.  We have been praying that God will take him already.  He is wasting away in that bed. 

I do have to say that the staff and the residents of Parkview Manor in Weimar, Texas are the best.  My mom was in the secure section of Parkview Manor when she had Alzheimer's.  I can't say enough good things about that place.  They are truly wonderful.  The residents are very supportive of one another.  Every time I walk through on my way to see my BIL, I tell them all hello and they are so happy that someone speaks to them.  Just the little things in life make someone's day better. 

I have been working on another blanket.  It was supposed to be a wedding present but, I am not giving it as a wedding present because I was not invited to the wedding.  I have been so upset about this because it is my best friend's wedding.  She was in my wedding and I guess I am not important enough in her life to be invited to hers.  At this point, I do not even want to go to her wedding. I don't want to share that joy with her at all.  I am happy that she is getting married, I just am over all the pettiness of it. 

I haven't even heard from her about my family member and I am starting to realize that maybe she and I are on two different wave lengths.  I am dealing with a soon to be death and she is all happy about her new life.  We are going in opposite directions right now.  I wish her well.  I just don't have time to tell her how I feel. 

Today I have plans to stay home and deal with all that I have had to put on hold.  I have to get my meds refilled.  I realized I haven't had my asthma meds in a couple of days.  I have to go grocery shopping today since I know that tomorrow might be a funeral or the day after, we have no idea what is holding him here. 

Yesterday, I got a phone call that scared the living crap out of me, Melinda called me telling me to get dressed and get to her house, we had to go because the hospice called Betty, my oldest sister to tell her that the time was near.  So, I had to feed my dogs, get them outside, throw my lunch, snacks, and water together, grab the blanket in the bag and head out the door.  I was in a state of chaos.  I have been living that chaos for three days this week. 

We finally make it to Weimar, I get out of the car and my niece informs me that I have gray hair.  Oh thank you so much for noticing that.  I have noticed that I have more gray hair this week than I had last week.  We sat with him all day with his daughters, my nieces, and my sister, Jena, my brother, Gary and my BIL, Jack.  We watched his features go from a struggle to peaceful almost like his time was near.  I have watched his color go from yellow to orange to parchment to pale parchment.  I have to say that this is worse than watching my Daddy suffer from and die from cancer.  This one is so quick, it doesn't even give you time to deal with this loss.  It is going to be so weird not seeing him at family functions with his huge smile or a joke.  He always told me he wanted one of his tangerines from his tree but, the sad thing is, his tree finally produced fruit and he won't have one of the fruits.  His tree had frozen and it came back.  This would have been the first crop from it for him. 

My sister is in poor health and we are so scared that this will do her in.  We are there for her and for her daughters.  I keep telling her to call if she needs help with anything.  She is going to need a lot of help and if I have to go and do manual labor not a problem, I grew up with parents who believed in teaching their children how to work.  If I am sore for a couple of days, so be it. 

Tuesday on my way to Weimar, I drove and we had to stop in Columbus to get new wiper blades for my car.  I am thankful for the man at the Auto Zone, he put them on for me.  They are wonderful.  I kept telling Gary I needed new ones and he pretty much brushed it off.  I guess he thought I would go buy them and he would install them but, with all that is going on, I haven't had the time to even get to the auto parts store. 

It came down to not being able to see so, I stopped in Columbus and bought them.  Now to get the a/c fixed in the car.  It went out and I have been hoping and praying that it isn't the blower motor, I think it is so, that means more money out the door. I need that thing fixed so, I can use my defrost on the car.  That was a fun trip home, we had to have the windows down while it was raining.  It was awful but, I have been through worse. 

I finally finished the red, white, and blue afghan.  It is very nice.  The current one is a silver, lavender, granite so far.  More purples and grays or blacks will be added as I go on.  I will try to take a picture of it when I get it far enough along.  It has been my salvation right now as I work on it in hospice.  It is saving me from breaking down crying.  I work on it and my family watches me asking me questions on how can I sit there and work on it.  It is easy, it is my saving grace right now.  So, when my friend gets it,  I hope she realizes how many tears there are in it.  How many prayers there are in each stitch.  I hope she appreciates all the heartache that is in this one.  She probably won't care.  It is helping me cope with not being invited to her special day and for the loss of my family member. 

As a knitter and a crocheter, I realize how much love goes into each and every project.  I have been handed items from other knitters and crocheters as gifts and I know that each and every project is a reflection of their soul.  That bit of string and that hook or needles has helped that person cope.  Sometimes that stitch or row has worked out the most difficult problems we have.  I would be lost if I couldn't knit or crochet.