Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Priority Road

Since the name of this blog is "Life on a Priority Road," it's only fitting that I share with you what this priority road looks like these days.

It all started in early August with a letter in our post box about major reconstruction of the road and utilities to commence in two weeks.

And so it did.

The normal two lanes were reduced to one. (The street is wide enough for about 2 1/2 cars by design. If a car is parked on the street one would naturally have to slow to allow oncoming traffic to pass.  And it works.  Speeds are kept reasonable through the village.)  A stoplight at each end of the construction let vehicles through in one direction at a time in the one lane.  The other was left cleared for the work to commence.

I thought it was so funny that these guys in the trenches swept up after themselves every day.  In a construction zone.

Except for the one-direction-of-travel traffic, and getting out of the driveway being sometimes awkward and interesting to time, depending on which way we wanted to go, life was uninterrupted.  Until they dug up the utilities in front of our place.  Parking was, well, wherever we could find it.  In the beginning we had some kind neighbors with larger front lots or long driveways that would give us a place to park over night, but most often we had to park down the street and around the corner on a side street.  
Our garden gets a major overhaul, too.  More pictures on the extreme nature of that later.

With the first set of utilities looked to, the trenches were filled and we had our driveway back.  But.  The entire street was blocked off.  Only construction and local traffic allowed.  I like to call this our gated community.  And since most of the work had moved down the street, we enjoyed a brief period of time where there was no traffic, and no construction noise.  We wanted to start having a block party every night.

Then one day, the pavement was gone.

And then the sidewalks.  The crew tried very hard to give us driveway access as much as they could.   At the end of each day's digging they would dump road base and pack it down smooth with our driveway pavement where they could. Ours is a double wide driveway which we share with our neighbors.  Our side of it, however, has some utility stuff that could not be buried so getting in and out required some strict negotiating around a piece of rebar and a construction marker.

And then my mums finally bloomed.  The pink ones on the left side of our stoop are in a precarious position, but still bloomed.

Last week the serious cutting started.  On Thanksgiving day the crew stopped by the house and said that we would need to move our cars to the side street, and that it would probably be two weeks before we had driveway access again.

They have dug right up to the garden pavement exposing still more utility lines, and in the case of the houses with no garden in front, the digging is right to the foundation.  

Work on our electrical lines has required a surgical cut through the garden, making a hard corner, exposing the foundation of our place. This is right out our front door.

 All the rocks that used to line our foundation are now in the garden.

Kitty thinks she's coming out.

 The original flyer says this is going to take 8 months.  We are in the fourth.  They may have been right.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Mother - Carolyn Nelson Blaylock - March 30, 1929 - February 22, 2013

Carolyn's name will be added to Dad's grave stone at last.
This was the end of a wonderful week celebrating and laying to rest my mother, Carolyn Nelson Blaylock.

The call came on a Friday evening, February 22, 2013, that she had suffered a stroke and was unresponsive.  She passed a way several hours later with three of my brothers and a few other family members at her side. 

The bonfire was symbolic of many things, but most of all it was a memorable final evening together, sitting around the old picnic tables and visiting, only this time the old picnic tables provided the fire.
What follows are some of the many pictures of my mother as a tribute to her.  This will be my first Mother's Day without a mother.

The weekend of my wedding, January 1974, with my grandmother, Emma Lovisa Nelson, my mother Carolyn, my sister "Buffy", and my mother's sister Emma Dayley.

Picture taken in 2009 at her childhood home in Brigham City, Utah.

We celebrated her 80th birthday with a big family party in Logan, Utah.  This is a picture of all the family that gathered at the Blue Bird Cafe.

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June 2012, Amelia Jean Preece, daughter of Jenny Clinton Preece, meets Great-Grandma for the first (and only) time.

Visiting Grandpa's grave, June 2012

June 1952

Buffy spent Fourth of July 2006 with Mom and got these pictures.

That's me, posing for a picture for my dad who was in Japan as a Marine during the Korean Conflict, July 1953.

Like the caption says, with her granddaughter Sharise on her wedding day. 

Meeting great-grandson Chase Clinton for the first (and last) time, on his 1st birthday,  before he and his Mom & Dad, Chris and Lindsay, move to Japan.  November 2012.

One of the first pictures taken at the family farm purchased by Paul and Edna Blaylock in 1950.  This shot was on Christmas Day 1953.

Dean and Carolyn Blaylock, 1952

Some more shots from her 80th birthday celebration, 2009.

Carolyn and her sister Emma.

The birdhouse on Carolyn's front yard garden.

A family reunion in 2000 included a wonderful water slide that even Carolyn couldn't resist.

Carolyn and her posterity at her 80th birthday party, 2009.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

More B&Bs

Just catching up on my basket and blanket repertoire.

Back track last summer.  This market basket is probably my favorite.  I like the shape, I like how it turned out, even with one rather weak reed that didn't weave like the others.  I just like this basket, and as soon as I have more handles I'll make more.
Farmers Market Basket

And now for some epic failures.  The Sandy Neck beach basket.  I was excited to make this because it was going to be soft and light.  The pattern says it should be about 15 inches in diameter.
Sandy Neck Beach Basket
As you can see it ended up about three feet in diameter.  I want a redo.  I've made lemonade out of this lemon, as you can see.  It is perfect for corralling my odds-and-ends of reed.  It is indeed soft and pliable and gets thrown around a lot.  

Next fail - I needed six last-minute "something I love" Christmas gift exchange somethings.  I thought I'd be able to put together some baskets out of materials in my stash (isn't that what quilters call their shelves of unassigned fabrics).  This was the result:
Prototype Basket
The picture is actually very kind to this "kid."  It's off centered, lopsided, and scrappy.  It also has been given a job in my work room.  I am proud of the center bottom.  It turned out perfect.


This is what I ended up doing for the Christmas gift exchange.  They turned out nice, little basket Christmas tree ornaments.

About a year ago I got to go with Bob to LasVegas for a month.  We enjoyed exploring the area around Lake Mead.  At one museum I bout a couple of basket kits in the Native American woven grass style.  The basket is made from paper rolls and raffia, simulating the dried grass.  I have a new appreciation for early American weavers.
This represents three days of work.  My fingers were raw and hands cramped.  I haven't worked on it in months, waiting to find some flexible thimbles, which I have now found.  Just can't bring myself to pick it up again.

I just returned from two months with the kids in the U.S. I arrived just before Valentines Day and left just after Easter.  Here are the two symbols of the seasons.
Mini-Heart Basket
Easter Basket
I got to see all but one of the grands around Easter time and made one for each.

When Jenny was pregnant she asked me to make some baskets for the shelves in the Amelia's room.  These were my first self-designed baskets.  There were six in all, and I love how they look on Amelia's shelves.
Nursery Shelf Baskets

I got to share making baskets with Sarah and Alison around Thanksgiving time.  It was so much fun to see them proud of the finished product.



This is another of my favorites.  When Bob gave me a bicycle last year on my birthday, it just wasn't complete without a basket.
Bicycle Basket


I've turned a corner from more knitting to crochet.  After my first attempt with Chase's blanket I got bold.  While at Tracee's July 2011 I admired a knitted blanket she'd received as a gift and felt sure that I could duplicate it.  This was the result:
IT'S HUGE!!  See, I neglected to get an accurate stitch count off of Tracee's blanket so I totally guessed.  It is about the size of the top of a queen-sized bed and took like what seemed forever to finish.  But it is one of my favorites, one I actually use.  It's like wrapping up in a favorite sweater.  This is the redo, soft and baby-sized, and took no time at all to finish.

When you find a good thing, why deviate from it?  I used the gingham-checked pattern I used with my first knitting attempt for Chase to make a larger blanket for Kelly.
Gingham Checked Knit

This next one I thought was a stretch but the pattern turned out to be lots easier than I thought it would be.  This is the picture off the website - I gave the original away before photographing it.  I'm in the process of making another only all white.

Rainbow Entralac Baby Blanket

This is the last crochet project I did.  It was a very frustrating pattern, in fact I left it alone while I did two other projects.  It seemed like every square turned out differently no matter how I counted and measured.  I finally finished it, though, for what it's worth.
Lacy Valentine