Sunday, May 08, 2011

Sweet Memories

(I got my first ferret, Sugar Bob, way back in 2006. I was going through old files yesterday, and found this little story I wrote about him. It brought back such happy memories, I just couldn't resist sharing it with you.)

Much as I adore my baby ferret, he does seem to have a knack for getting into trouble. He wants to explore everywhere and everything! And trying to crochet when he is running around is next to impossible. Case in point...

One afternoon, I was deep into a project, when hubby decided Sugar needed some time out of his cage to play. Sugar seemed distracted with his toys, so I thought I was safe to continue with my hook and thread work. The next thing I knew, I felt a little 'thump' on the couch:

"Hi Mom! Whatcha' doing?"

"What's this?"

"Heeeyy, isn't this MY blankie?"

"Anything good in here?"

"No? How about here?"

"Whatdaya mean, no? Come on, Mom, you're no fun!"

"Oops... Ummm... Mom? Help! My head is stuck!"

"I'm so embarrassed..."

"Come on, Mom, put the camera away, please?"

"I'll never live this down."

We lost Sugar Bob to diabetes two years later. He won a place in my heart the first time I held him. He lives there still. I miss you, Sugar!!

Thanks for letting me share my sorrow and joy with you!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Exploring Palm Coast Waterfront Park

My granddaughter, Brianna Joy, joined Wendy and I for our exploratory walk in Palm Coast Waterfront Park this morning. (Isn't she beautiful? She and her mommy are planning on moving back to Pennsylvania once school is out for the summer. I am going to miss her so very much!)

The park has a Children's Memorial Garden, planted by children with native plants and filled with memorials for children who have gone to heaven. I read this aloud with Brianna, and admit to shedding tears as I did. It's a lovely place, and this poem is so appropriate.

This is the boulder that the above poetry is on.

The engraving on this boulder in the Children's Memorial Garden reads "Rest, Reflect And Recall Special Memories." That's a bench behind it, looking out over the Intercoastal Waterway.

I was so tickled to find morning glories! The park was planned to include all sorts of native wild flowers and plants.

One of the entrances to the Children's Memorial garden.

Wendy gave the day an "F" for fun!

This is Wendy doing what I call 'the reluctant ferret'. When ferrets decide they don't want to go where YOU want to go, they plant all four feet spread out, and refuse to move, kind of putting on the brakes, actually. She didn't want to cross this bridge because there was water under it, and as far as Wendy is concerned, the only use for water is for drinking. If you give her a bath, she pouts for weeks. She literally ignores me if I dare to get her wet!

We all enjoyed our walk this morning. I hope you've enjoyed this small portion of it with us. Many blessings!

New Trails!

Wendy and I are going to explore the other end of the St. Joe's Walkway this morning. There's a lovely article about this Palm Coast Waterfront Park here. The article is from a year ago, when the park was just being completed, and had not been named. There's a lovely slideshow at the bottom of the article, too. I'm excited! I love exploring new places.

I found out about this park just yesterday from one of the new friends that the ferrets and I have made while walking the St. Joe's Walkway. He said he sometimes takes his two dogs there, and they enjoy it. He also made the comment that there were few people there early in the morning, so I'm not sure how I'll feel about that. I enjoy seeing people, smiling and wishing someone else 'good morning' just improves my mood tenfold for the day.

I almost forgot! We had rain yesterday!!! A lovely, heavy rain. The plants sure enjoyed it, and I did, too.

Wishing you all a lovely morning!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Walking With A Ferret....

...does not for good photography make! I mean, I'm no where close to being a professional photographer to begin with, but my photo's usually come out better than the following. BUT I had promised myself that I would take the camera with me for our daily walk, and I kept that promise!

This is the entrance to the St. Joe's Walkway. Yes, it's blurry, and I apologize. It seemed every time I pressed the shutter button, Bubba decided to move. It really is a pretty, peaceful spot. The water on the sidewalk is NOT from rain, unfortunately, but from the sprinkler system, darn it. We really need some rain here!

This is - or rather was a beautiful little yellow flower. Bubba noticed that I was focusing the camera in on something, and thought that if I was taking a picture, I must be taking a photo of HIM! Yes, he stepped on it..... sigh

This is where the walkway curves to pass under the Palm Coast Parkway and starts to run along the waterway. I thought the ferrets would be frightened by the sounds of the traffic passing over the bridge, but it doesn't seem to bother them at all.

Yesterday I got to see a Little Blue Heron. Did I get a photo? noooooooo. Today, we saw a Great White Egret flying over the water, but due to the overcast conditions and again, BUBBA MOVING, I couldn't get an even half way good photo. I DID manage to get a photo of a Black Vulture. Some people think they are kind of creepy. I think they are cool. Does that make me weird?

A view down the walkway. Bubba loves the soft, sandy dirt along side the walk. Please pay no attention to the little 'tunnels' and holes in the ground. Ferrets do love to dig, did you know that?

We were fortunate to see dolphins again this morning. I hope they enjoyed their breakfast. I tried 12 times (yes, TWELVE) to get a photo of them 'blowing', it's so neat to see and hear them come up for air! No, I'm sorry - you won't see the dolphins in this photo, just the ripples from them. But they are there. You'll just have to take my word for it.

A lovely purple wildflower. Luckily, Bubba was distracted by a squirrel, and didn't get a chance to step on it before I got the shot. Yay me!!!!

I just love the silhouettes of the palms against the cloudy sky. So pretty!

This is a King Conch shell. Isn't it pretty? That is not a King Conch inside, though. It's a little crab! Can you see the little claws inside? I don't think he was too happy with me turning him upside down to get a picture of him. At least he didn't pinch me!

This is a LIVE King Conch! I love to collect these shells, and there were plenty of them along the waterway this morning. They were all occupied, so no shells for me! It's a good thing for as much as I love to collect seashells, I prefer living creatures even more.

And that's my walk for today. Bubba and I both had a lot of fun. I hope you've enjoyed sharing it with me.

Have a blessed day!

p.s. Bev, I was thinking of you as I walked today. I'm sorry the photo's didn't turn out better.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Meeting Challenges

"Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew."

~Cicely Tyson

I've challenged myself, and am determined to meet my goal. My pancreatitus has improved a little, but I still suffer more than I like. I already know that one of the things that aggravate it is eating too much fat, and have tried to cut down on my intake, but not seriously enough. I LOVE butter, and chocolate, cookies and cake, candy, candy CANDY! All of those things are not good for me, especially considering I have Type 2 Diabetes to boot.

The other day, one of my cousins was raving about a new online program she found that really seemed to be helping her with meeting her weight loss goals. I decided to check it out, too. And you know what? I like it! It's totally free, and you can learn more about it here.

A few of the things that I like about it is it offers a food diary where you enter what you've eaten for the day, and it adds up the calories for you. There's an exercise diary, too, you enter what sort of exercise you've done for the day, and it automatically subtracts the calories from what you've eaten for the day. There's a great support system, too. I've got people I don't even know encouraging me, and that's a great feeling.

For my choice of exercise, I've been taking my ferrets every morning to walk along the St. Joe Walkway. It's located close to the European Village, a sort of mini mall with eclectic shops and restaurants. We walk along the path for 30 minutes then turn around and walk back to the car. It's not a brisk walk, but it is about a mile to a mile and a half, depending on which ferret I have with me.

It's a beautiful path to wander on, too. You never know who you're going to meet or what you're going to see. The squirrels seem fascinated by the ferrets. I had one walk right up to Bubba yesterday and touch noses with him! We also saw a dolphin swimming up the canal, that was sooo very awesome! I thought about bringing my camera, but only after I was already in the car ready to go. I am bound and determined to take it with me tomorrow!

Wendy was acting the diva today. I don't know if she was bothered because I woke her up before she had a chance to have her breakfast or if she thought the weather was too chilly to walk, or what. She dragged her feet most of the walk in. I have to say I am very proud of her when we meet people, even people with dogs. She's so polite, and acts her sweetest. No dolphins today, but we did get to watch a Little Blue Heron search for it's breakfast. And of course, after we had spent 30 minutes arguing over whether we should walk the path or head back to the car, I gave up and announced it was time to go home. Of course, she ran the whole way!

I'm hoping to get out and work a bit on the garden today. We haven't had rain in so very long, and my plants are suffering terribly.

Hope you have a lovely day planned for yourself!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Seeking Help!

I'm a member of Ravelry and, and just love to 'oohh' and 'aahh' over the beautiful projects I've seen people make. Lately what's caught my eye is crochet work with beautiful embroidery done on it. Have you seen any? Some of it is so gorgeous!

I used to do a little embroidery work, but that was years ago and I seem to have forgotten almost everything I've ever learned. I can't even manage to make a simple french knot, something that would come in very handy when making eyes for my little crocheted critters.

I recently crocheted a little matryoshka or Russian doll. They're the little dolls that you open one and there is another doll inside. Open the smaller doll and there's another smaller one inside, etc.

I would love to be able to embroider some pretty flowers, vines and leaves on my little doll. Heck, I would love to be able to embroider cite little faces on any of my characters, but when ever I try, they end up looking like a kindergartener's scribbles.

Does anyone know of a website where I could learn these embroidery skills? I've tried searching on Google, but with no success. All I can find is the lazy daisy stitch, and while it is pretty, it's not what I want.

I also plan on attending my first crittter stitch meeting this morning at our local quilt shop, and can't seem to find a pattern I want to take with me to crochet.

What's a hooker to do?

Rosebud Angel Baby Hat Pattern

I don't know what is wrong with me lately. I meant to post the pattern for the rosebud wreath I used for the angel baby set in my last post, and instead posted the pattern for the baby hat that goes with the set. Here's the pattern for the baby hat if anyone is interested.

Rosebud Baby Hat

Materials used:
Carons Simply Soft (I used white, soft pink and orchid.
Size K (6.5mm) crochet hook
Tapestry needle or appropriate needle to weave in ends.

Abbreviations used:
ch - chain
ss - slip stitch
Popcorn Stitch - beginning popcorn stitch: chain 3, do 4 double crochets in same stitch, remove hook from last dc and insert from back to front into the top or third chain of beginning chain 3, reinsert into last loop of the 4th dc and pull through, slip stitch back down though last double crochet and slip stitch into chain.
st - stitch
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
tc - triple crochet
FO - fasten off

ch 4, join with sl st to form ring
Row 1: 14 dc in ch, join with a slip stitch in first dc. (14 dc)
Row 2: 2 dc in ea st around (28 dc)
Row 3: * 2dc in first st, 1 dc in next* around. Join with a slip stitch in first dc. (42 dc)
Rows 4-7: dc in ea st around (42 dc)
Row 8: dc in front loop of each st around. Join with a slip stitch in first dc. (42 dc)
Fasten off at this point if you would like the scallops to be a different color. Other wise, continue with main color.
Row 9(start of scallop edge): ch 2, 2 dc in same st, *sk 2 st, sc in next stitch, skip 2 st, 5 dc in next st* ending with skip 2 st, 3 dc in beg st, join with ss in the first dc, ignore ch 2.
Row 10: turn, ch 1, sc in joining st, skip 3 st, 5 dc in sc, *sk 2 st, sc in next, sk 2 st, 5 dc in next sc*,repeat from * to * around. Join with a slip stitch in first sc. Fasten off.

'Bottom leaves' Attach green yarn with a sc to any spare loop from between row 7 and 8. *Ch 3, sk 2 st, sc in next* repeat around and join with a sl st in beg sc. FO

'Rosebuds" Attach pink yarn to loop next to where you started the green leaves chain, do a popcorn stitch in that loop and join with a sl st in next free loop. Rosebud completed. Sl st into the next free loop and repeat popcorn, continue around. FO

Top Leaves: Attach green yarn with a sc to any free sc from green chain below. Chain 3, join with sc through rosebud slip stitch and into sc of lower green chain below. Continue around, joining last chain to first sc with a slip stitch.

Fasten off, and weave in all ends.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Happy hooking!