Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rosie, Vacations, Ghans, Dolls, and Doctrine

I never intended to be over two months between posts again. I don't like waiting this long between posts since there is always the chance I'll forget something I intended to write about. Part of the reason is that, with my having recorded so many old 20s to 60s movies this year from Turner Classic Movies on my DVR and having to keep up on watching them so the DVR doesn't fill up - and the DVR being in one room while the computer's in the other - it limits my time on the computer. I often finally get around to checking my E-mail around midnight and by then (especially on weekdays) it's too late to do much else. Even that takes long enough that I inevitably get to bed too late, and then it's on to my job which continues to be mentally tiring with all the constant shifting gears all day, every day. They've started a summer schedule where one of us works an early shift once a week on a rotating day. My day this week is Friday. So I'll get home at 4, which will be nice, but I'll have to get up not much later than 5, YAWN. So I decided I'll finally do this long-overdue post, put away the laundry, and then off to bed...

It's a shame that it took the loss of yet another sweet pet, the third this year already, to finally push me to write this entry. A few days ago, Rex said, "I think we're losing Rosie" - Rosemary, our pretty black and orange Abyssinian guinea pig, who passed away sometime during our workday yesterday. Her cagemate, Meg, died in late January. Rosie had seemed fine but she suddenly stopped eating and drinking water a few days ago. Rex knew there was something wrong when she just let her broccoli sit; she used to devour it. As with our other piggies that passed, we don't know what happened. She was about 4-1/2. She was one of our most skiddish piggies, always scurrying away whenever we tried to pick her up, but also one of the prettiest and with one of the loudest squeaks. We will miss this sweet little girl, and are now down to 5 piggies. Thankfully, they all seem fine, but this type of thing seems to happen quickly and with no warning....

I've gotten together with Dianne a couple times since writing last. When we got together in April, and inevitably ended up in a quilting store since she is now a quilter in addition to being a crocheter, I ended up falling in love with a purse pattern that converts from a handbag to a backpack, and buying the pattern and 3 beautiful coordinating fabrics to make it. I still have a sewing machine but have not used it for many, many years, having chosen to be exclusively a crocheter for a very long time. So when I'll ever get around to actually making this dang purse is anybody's guess!

The last time Dianne and I got together, it was to go on our mini-vacation to the Long Beach peninsula from May 16-18. I took Friday the 15th as a day off work and went to her house late that afternoon; we spent the evening crocheting as usual and left at 8:30-ish that morning. I meant to write this a few weeks ago so that I could remember more details of what we did. But in general, though it's always fun to see new places, most of the Long Beach peninsula was somewhat disappointing for both of us. Long Beach itself was cute but touristy, the towns of Seaview and Ocean Park were nice but not much to do, Ilwaco had a pretty lake and park but not a lot else. A highlight was Oysterville, most of which is a historic landmark and consisting of original homes and a cute little old church, mostly built in the 1800s. The place in Seaview which Dianne had found online that we reserved to stay at, to say it was a disappointment would be a gross understatement. It turned out to be very rundown, so much so that I was grateful that Dianne had the courage to make a long list of the various things wrong with the room and present it to the owner, who consented to refunding us for the second night which freed us to find better accomodations. We spent our second evening at a Christian-owned resort, Sunset View in Ocean Park; the room was very pleasant and the grounds were beautiful. It helped to make up for the first evening in the dump.

We had originally planned to stay at a pretty place called Anchorage Cottages in Long Beach, but Dianne wanted to bring all three of her tiny dogs and Anchorage would only allow two of the dogs, despite their all being well-behaved, age 10 to 16, and tiny. We didn't want to leave Chica, age 16, behind. But in retrospect, we should have. The poor girl didn't travel well; she was very nervous and peed in her doggie stroller at least three times. It also got tricky to handle all three when we wanted to go into stores. But you know what they say about hindsight! The other mistake was not getting a room with a separate bedroom. Dianne and I have totally different body clocks; she's a morning person and I am NOT. So, being in the same room where it was well past her usual bedtime and nowhere near mine, we drove each other nuts. Again, hindsight!

On the final day of our excursion, a Monday, we stopped in Astoria, Oregon before heading back to Dianne's place, since we were already so close to there. I hadn't been there for years and all I can say is that I didn't feel it lived up to its billing as "little San Francisco" in the promo material we read! At least the weather stayed nice throughout our trip - till my 35-mile trip home from Dianne's house, when it rained the whole time. I also wished I'd taken the following day off work as well; I got home after 8 p.m. and it was hard getting back to the old grind!

On to crocheting - let's see, when I posted last, I was finishing up the light green and pink Irish Roses ghan. I finished that, then I made a popcorn ripple ghan in burgundy, cream and light green. Then, for a final ghan for my home (I already have too many, but....), I very much wanted a mostly cream ghan with big burgundy roses with green leaves. I tried a couple of patterns but didn't like either. What to do?? Well, having seen after all these decades that I CAN improvise without a pattern, as I did on that final Barbie angel, I thought, well, COULD I start with someone else's flower motif and make up a square from there? Well, why not? So, when I was at Dianne's back in April, I looked through her patterns. I settled on a Maggie Weldon flower, motif #2 in the book, "99 Crochet Motifs". I made the flower and the row of green leaves surrounding it. I looked at it and realized that for the huge square I wanted to make, it needed another row of leaves. So I made one up, consisting of double and triple cluster stitches. THEN I switched to cream and carefully proceeded to make a four-pineapple design on a double crochet background, using my knowledge of how pineapple patterns are constructed. I edged the square in sc in the same green as the leaves, and finally, added chain loops for a "join as you go" square. Ta daaaaa!! This ghan is now done and it is gorgeous!! Below is a pic of that first original square. I'm delayed in photographing my recent ghans and dolls due to my digital camera needing better rechargeable batteries which I'll buy soon; they barely stayed charged for this one pic!

I'm now working on outfits for my few 16" to 18" girl dolls. These are being made of worsted weight yarn so they are going much faster than the thread Barbie gowns. I'm 98% finished with a burgundy Victorian outfit (ran out of the Bernat Berella cream for her overskirt; ordered more this week) and well underway with a dark pink outfit.

The last part of the title of this post has to do with my dilemma regarding my church. As I've shared here, I've been attending a Lutheran church that I love since last July and joined the church in Feb., despite some lingering questions about certain doctrinal issues, since I love the services and the people. I won't go into the specifics here, but my church is ELCA which is the largest and most liberal variety of Lutheran. At the same time my church is very traditional with weekly communion and beautiful old music, yet with a warmth I haven't found elsewhere. (I've become so attracted now to this style of worship as opposed to "a sermon and a few praise jingles on a screen" found in most evangelical churches, and even some Lutheran churches for that matter.) So it has more of the feel of an LCMS church, the variety I feel more in tune with doctrinally. Yet, it's not. The latest struggle for me is learning that the famous abortionist who was recently killed was an usher in an ELCA church. Now, I definitely don't feel it was right that this man was murdered. But I also wonder, why would a church welcome as a member someone who's been instrumental in the destruction of thousands of babies AND have him serving as an usher?? So -- a couple of weeks ago, I visited an LCMS church that's only a few miles further away than my current church, and I did like it. But should I leave a church I love because of my differences with its governing body? OUCH. I just don't know. I may need to sit down and talk to the pastor at this other church; he's presently out of town. As with so many other areas of my life -- to be continued!