Posts tagged California

Bears, Bees, Baseball and Knitting

Blog Baseball Bears and Knitting 003I like minor league baseball better than the majors.  Oh, I loved going to see the Dodgers play when I lived in California.  I especially enjoyed the team during the time Orel Hershiser was pitching.  But seeing the Salt Lake City Bees play is much more fun.  The stadium isn’t fourteen stories high and you don’t need to walk three miles from the back edge of the parking lot to the stadium.  Actually, you can park a few blocks away on the city streets if you want and not pay for parking.  We sat in the lower level and could actually see the faces of the players without binoculars.  Beyond the baseball field, the Wasatch Mountains rose up to a beautiful sky.  We ate free peanuts and dollar hotdogs and the kids got to meet Bumble, the Bees’ mascot.  After the game there was the best fireworks show I have seen in awhile.  And the evening ended with the kids getting to run the bases and get a set of the team’s baseball cards.  Oh, did I mention that the Bees won, 10 to 5.  Sorry, Nashville.

Wednesday night was the 4th annual Stitch ‘n Pitch.  The Salt Lake Knitting Guild presented over 200 teddy bears and other stuffed animals, all dressed in fun knit or crocheted outfits to the Cottonwood Police Department.  These were made by members of the guild and are given by the police to children in crisis situations.

The majority of these were made over the course of one weekend Knit-In.  The Unraveled Sheep yard shop, where I go to knit with friends, got together with Three Wishes Fiber Arts shop and challenged each other to knit the most outfits during the weekend.  The shops also had members drop off outfitted bears during the weekend.  We all had a great time sharing stories and coming up with new outfits.  Unraveled Sheep won the bragging rights this year with over a hundred dressed animals lining the shelves and bookcases. 

Someday, I will finish the many knitting projects in my closet.  For now, when I think of the great time I had knitting into the wee hours with friends, I smile.  This year or next, each of those animals may bring a smile to a child in need.

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A garden with Grandpa

One of my early memories is of planting and tending a carrot patch with my mother when I was four.  I loved it.  When I was about eight or so, my dad’s father came to live with us.  Grandpa built a bedroom and bath addition to our house and put up a fence to make a separate space that would be our garden.  Just his and mine.   Grandpa helped me mark out rows for flowers, form hills for squash and sting line for pole beans to climb.  The garden grew well and I even enjoyed weeding it when Grandpa was there.   From this early beginning a dream of living on a farm began.  

When I was thirteen, my family drove from southern California north to Montana to visit Grandpa’s sister on her and my great uncle’s dairy ranch.  My brother and I entreated our parents for some western wear.  We had grown up with the Lone Ranger and High Chaparral after all, so we were sure our cousins dressed in western clothes.  Those cousins must have chuckled when they first saw our dude and dudette outfits.  Even so, they welcomed us and we were soon off with them exploring the ranch. 

Grandpa had told me often of his niece, Jessie Mae’s, large flower garden.  It was even better than I had imagined with flowers of every color and many varieties I had never seen.  Flowers and vegetables, cows and a peacock, along with great horseback rids with a cousin near my age, stirred my heart’s wish for a farm life of my own.  I wanted a large white house like Aunt Mary’s and a vista of rolling hills with cattle grazing.  I wanted to hear the chickens clucking in the front yard and feel the warm soft head of a new calf.  

The desire for a country life stayed with me through life, though I never thought it would actually be possible.  Yet here we are, heading toward my husband’s and my dream.  Then impetus was good old American debt!   Not exactly a plan I’d recommend.  We had amassed a rather large red ink hole from a combination of moving expenses (to Utah in 2001), stupid spending and hospital bills.  Several years ago, our church held its first Financial Peace class (http://www.daveramsey.com/) and we cut up the credit cards and started working with a budget.  It also showed us we would be at it a long time, the way we were going, to pay off all off the debt”.  We decided it was worth selling our home and getting something smaller in order to pay it all off except a mortgage.

We had a great desire to live more sustainably, not always subject to the economics of high energy costs and excessive grocery bills. One day when I was cruising around the web to see what condos were selling for, I wondered how far away we would have to live to be able to afford a bit of acreage.  To my surprise I found out that it wasn’t very far at all.  Yeah, Utah!  So here we are with tables covered with books (most borrowed from the library…saving those dollars.) on small scale agriculture, chickens, goats, sheep, cheese making and straw bale houses.  Dreaming big time.

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