Phoenix Windstorm, Micro Burst, Cement Blocks and my Motorcycle

Well, doggone, we knew there was a windstorm coming to Phoenix, we knew there were gusts coming, but we weren't prepared for flying cement blocks.

First of all we're in a camper, with a small awning - the first thing to rip to shreds in the wind last night, our lawn chairs and side tables tumbling across the yard where we're camped from wind gusts 50 to 60 mph, then the power goes out.

No problem, get the flashlight to go check the motorcycles stored under our 10' by 20' canopy, (Heavy Duty Industrial Canopy) held down by 12 cement blocks and heavy duty straps. The blocks are swaying in the wind. ??? Whoa -

OK move the 2 motorcycles between two buildings under a breezeway roof. Good idea! NOPE!! there goes our 10 x 20 canopy, cement blocks flying, falling busting, NO!! not my motorcycle.

Yep, one block landed right on the fiberglass saddle bag and broke it right off of the motorcycle. One blast of wind ripped my windsheild from back to front... the hubby saw it all happening and was dodging the cement blocks and flying metal poles, and out of control kite like canopy. I ran onto the scene with the flashlight, only to see cement blocks hanging over his bike from the breezeway roof. We had moved the motorcycles from the temporary canopy under a permanent roof, now our canopy in many parts was hanging from that very roof.

3 Cement blocks were on the roof of the building. Everything was held together by heavy duty straps, so he got out his pocket knife and started cutting the straps freeing pieces of metal, canopy and dangling blocks. The wind was so fierce that at one point I was holding my broken detached bike windshield in front of my face just to walk in it, it was blowing me down, but I couldn't see to walk otherwise. We ate and breathed a lot of dirt last night.

My bike is pitiful. I was so upset last night, but today, I'm dealing with it. We have insurance and it's all just stuff. But 3 weeks from now that bike has to be ready for a 6 week bike trip and will be packed and ready to go. Insurance, on-line orders, and an appointment with the dealership for last minute repairs ... I'm bummed.

There were so many times we had to get out of the way of FLYING CEMENT BLOCKS - I'm so thankful my husband is level headed in situations like this - I was a basket case. I came through it with a bruise on the side bone of my hand and one on my elbow - flying metal poles. Goodness - my heart needs a breather!

We were supposed to ride 200 miles to Kingman Az today, then take both bikes to Las Vegas tomorrow, back in Kingman Sunday and Phoenix Monday ... needless to say we are doing our trip in the truck.

They call these wind gusts Micro-Blasts - we think they should be macro - blasts or outlawed ... maybe Obama can get a bailout started for desert dust storms. TY State Farm - you really are there!




Need I say more.

Bailout American Dialect Society declares word of the year 2008


All the times I could've been bailed out.

I needed a bailout when I was 10 years old. I had all my cash $3.00 in a paper envelope. It was Saturday - the day we all had to clean our bedrooms. It was one of those scoop up everything and throw it in the trash burner at the alley, kinda days, we were in a hurry to go somewhere. My Dad always lit the fire in the canaster, right when he threw in the match, I remembered ALL OF MY HARD EARNED BABYSITTING MONEY was in there. I needed a BAILOUT!!

A bailout would've been nice when I filed US Taxes for the first time. One of my most embarasing moments ... the hubby was in Army Basic Training, I had the awesome duty to file our first taxes. Someone told me where the IRS Department was downtown Indianapolis. I filled out the forms, went to the IRS Department, sat on a bench outside the office (took a number) and waited to be called. My turn, I sat in a chair across from an agent, who looked at my paperwork, looked at me, looked again at the forms, and said, "Honey, you could have mailed this, it is already completed." It was April 15th, and I thought I had to personally go pay my taxes ... silly me (I was only 19), I needed a bailout, for being an idiot.

I got a surprise bailout - a few years back. I got a call from a former employer who said, "What do you want us to do with this investment, we're changing providers, and need you to sign the paperwork." My response was what investment? Turns out when I was employed there, I called it the job from downunder, but all along they were stashing away a fund for me. Well, that "bailout" afforded me my first motorcycle, which I use in full-time ministry now. Whew, good thing I didn't quit that job the 100 times I thought about it!!

I'm wishing everyone who really is in a fix because they cannot find a job, or were caught off-guard when the economy crashed, could find a good job and provide for their families. On the other hand, I'm hoping that each one who is struggling finds a balance with what seems important in life, and what is crucially important in life. When in fact we only get one chance at life and there ain't no BAILOUT when we breathe our last breath.

So I said all that to say this. I got the best bailout ever when I discovered that God has a plan for my life that includes a new lease on life itself. Living for a purpose, sharing what He did for me in the great scheme of things, and walking it out every day is the best bailout anyone could ever receive.

So FLO - hope you can peek at this from up there!!

This sweet little sweater is about to go into the mail to our Granddaughter. It is a size 2, but once again, I think it's too big. The pockets turned out pretty cute, the buttons (picked out by Papaw) really finish it off, the hood, well, each little section that I added just kept making it a piece of art. I have done several "crafts" through the years, but I made it a personal goal last year to kick it up a notch and make it an art ... when I'm designing items like this I'll consider myself "arrived." This is Berrocco "Saige" if you're interested in the pattern.

It required 5 colors of self-striping sock yarn, one for the trim, one for each "wing" and one for each front/back panel, reversed for the hood. Too Fun.

I Miss my M-I-L -

Today she would be 85. My mother-in-law was more than my husband's mother. She was my best friend. I could tell her anything, and she could listen with interest. She had incredible advice, and knew my hubby well enough to set him straight, in love. She was my advocate, too.
Mind you, I never had to tattle on him, she could see areas where he needed to step up, and she'd do the Mom thing, and he'd do the respect thing, and, walla. Of course this only happened some when we were much younger, and he's a great guy - don't get me wrong.

This is the 2nd birthday without her, and it still doesn't seem right. Not being able to pick up the phone and fill her in on big and little things going on with our travels, our kids and g-kids, what I'm knitting, etc. Bummer.

Anything I ever made, sewing, crafts, framing, ceramics, crochet, knitting, through the years, I ran it past her before it was gifted. Dog-gone-it ... I miss her.


Knitting Contest

In my quest to be published (and win prizes) this year, I'm preparing for a few different contests on-line. This one is for the Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar:


Another neat contest I found is

Aslan Trends Yarn is raising funds and awareness for Multiple Myeloma (which is what my 82 year old mother has):


Then today I entered a poetry contest to win some YARN - uh, oh, I think I have a bug!!

Knitting on pins and needles ...

Vintage Items Sell on Etsy, too!!

Well, I remember the day I bought the Key West large print fabric, in Key West in the early 80's. it has been in my sewing basket, or stored in a bag in my linen closet in 1, 2, 3, 4 homes since. I bought it to make huge throw pillows for our rattan sun room furniture in Key Largo, when we lived there while Pastoring a small church.

We moved to Indiana, and I never got inspired to use the fabric, since our decor ended up being "Early American collection of whatever we could find furniture" in our new parsonage, then over time "Southwest (well-traveled) inspired."

MY VINTAGE Key West Fabric sold on ETSY today!! So cool!

Designing Purses while I ride my motorcycle.

I have a couple of amazing purses in my head, that I will be getting on paper. Plus I designed a purse last week that has two inside pockets. Really only big enough for a cell phone and some make-up, but it will be awesome once it is felted.

The others I have designed will include NUNO felt. Once the purse is felted, I'll be adding beautiful designs with Roving wool. Right now I need to concentrate on getting several bags started, and in different stages of the knitting and felting process for a workshop I'm teaching at a ladies retreat in May.

Whew, it's a good busy though!! Love it.


A New Contest from AslanTrends!

A New Contest from AslanTrends!

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Self-Striping Yarn, Sock Yarn and Baby Clothes, Intarsia

Intarsia (just looks like a tangled mess to me, but I can see how it happens!)

Sometimes I start thinking Aven won't be a baby anymore when I get this cape done. My new Blog Photo (up on top) is a close-up of "Self-Striping" Yarn. I certainly am not patient enough to change colors continuously, but I'm tempted to try "intarsia" style knitting soon. I've been working (off and on ) on this cape for quite some time. I put it down to make a purse last week ( knitting with a little bit bigger than toothpicks needles). I finished a purse in one evening all but the i-cord strap.

Yarn in Waiting

Back to the cape. The picture is just a portion of the back. Two totally different sock yarns, the patterns are beautiful. This is a German washable wool - it is wonderful to work with. Love it. I have taxes to file, reports to file, a motorcycle event to plan, packing for a major event, and here I am blogging and knitting, shame on me - or some people really know how to relax.


Building Trust. An easy Yarn Craft, take home jewelry for the kids.

The girls show up every day at our doorstep after school They want something to do, and I'm not always available to "come out and play." If I'm able we borrow a church meeting room, spread Christmas wrapping paper (upside down) onto the Sunday School tables, and get out the supplies. We've rolled polymer clay into beads, pressed it into molds, poked holes for the chain, and baked it in a little toaster oven. We've made serveral little shapes. I discovered you have to very clear on the instructions.

One girl took her piece home thinking it wasn't baked enough, she put it in the microwave (oops!). These neighborhood kids are 6, 7, and 8. Some are cousins, mostly neighbors. They are all either from Mexico or their parents are. The moms have babies at home, the dads are working or looking for work, one mom is in college. They are already used to coming to the church for an outreach one night a week, so our trailer in the back of the church is a novelty for them.

We've set Monday afternoons for crafts now. This week we made bracelets. I found 50 thin silver looking bangles that were on sale for 1.50. I pulled out a bag of scrap yarn, and good old elmers glue. We cut lengths of yarn, watered down the glue into paper plates, soaked the yarn, wrapped the bangles, and walla, (things dry almost immediately here) foo-foo bracelets. They each were able to make several, (one six year old boy Ricardo made several too). We also have made yarn covered popcicle stick picture frames, same concept, glue, yarn, sticks, then lash the four sticks together to make a picture frame.

This craft time has allowed me time to get to know these kids, and has built a good relationship in the neighborhood. It is difficult to reach out to a culture that is trying to make it within another established culture...building trust is key.

Ayla, Martita, Vanessa, and Ricardo will check every day to see if I can "come out and play?" On the days that I can - I will!!


Spring is getting close, hope this hoodie wrap is done in time.

Sneak Peak at a work in progress. Can you hug a knitting project. Oh, I want to hug this one - with a certain little girl wrapped in it....can you tell I'm getting excited?

The hood is coming together nice! The seams have so much detail.

The back of this is as sweet as the front - the seams are my pride and joy, can't believe I'm joining pieces. Also the shoulder decreases to shape the little cape down the arms is a sweet touch. There is still a 1" trim that goes around the entire wrap, hood and all.

Above is a pic of the front, since it gets the 1" trim it doesn't have a finished look yet. I'm off to buy size 2 circular needles today - and PERFECT buttons.

Above is a picture of the front view along with the trim yarn.

I've been working on this little number now for about 8 weeks (off and on). I paused for a few trips to Little Rock, knit some felted clog slippers, and life in general causes some pauses.

My goal is to have this done in a few weeks - right before SPRING hits!!

This is the pattern pic, but, I'm not using Berroco yarn, (Shhhh!) or the colors that the pattern calls for, but I had a wonderful Yarn shop owner in Little Rock help me pick out the perfect yarns for this piece, she has a good eye for color and a good understanding of Yarn sizes!! Thank you Cindi. (I'm using ON-line Supersocke 100 Wellness-Color a German yarn (supewash) with Aloe! It is washable (IN COLD WATER) so it will be an easy care item.

Judy - knitting on pins and needles!


I joined the Knitters Guild Association

Can you believe it, I joined the Knitters Guild. It's a huge step for me. More later.


You can buy this poster.