Welcome to DreamChallenge

Having a dream to share my knitting creations, cooking adventures and caregiving stories with others is now a reality. I bet you know someone right now who is at home taking care of someone they love. A phone call, e-mail, note card or some food would all be appreciated. Sometimes an offer to stand in for that person is a wonderful gift. Think about getting a hair cut, what if there is no time or person to sit with your loved one? What can you do to help someone else, or if you are that caregiver, how can you get people to understand you would like to see them or have their help? Knitting helps me stay calm. Knitting helps my blood pressure stay normal. What helps you? Cooking is an adventure for me. My husband is a dedicated 'clean-up' person. Join us on this part of our life's journey.

Choosing to send out cards is one way I stay in touch with others. I address cards on Sunday and my husband puts them in the mail on Monday. There is always someone who needs a card.

After several months of blogging there is a reality that lots of people really enjoy this activity. Positively delightful people, living life to the best of their ability. There is such fun in hearing from others who have ideas, stories, crafts all to share with those who choose to read. Thank you my new friends in this unknown world/way of communicating.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

How Did Christmas Scarf Project Begin

"And here is the rest of the story":The year Katrina happened, 100 people were transported to WV from New Orleans to stay in one of our local WV camp sites.  It was cold for them, so the ladies of our church made scarves and hats for the group.  It all happened very fast, within a week one of my work mates was traveling the 1 1/2 hrs. to the camp site with the handmade hats, scarves, etc.  The ladies, unknown to each other simply put the item in a plastic bag in the front entrance of the church.  I picked them up and off they went.
Some of the group decided there was probably a need in our own community for such items since we do have snow and cold weather in WV.
This was one of the first yarn donations to the now  "Christmas Scarf Project".  People would shake my hand and there would be $10 or $20 for me to buy yarn. One person, a beloved friend of mine, simply went to her yarn room and pulled our yarn for us to use.

The first year we had 61 hand made women, men and children's scarves.  We gave the items to Branches, (a women and children's shelter) Ronald McDonald house residents and what was left to the City Mission.  They were received with love and thanksgiving.

2014 we delivered items made with care while knowing someone would feel the warmth of the treasurers.  Golden Girls, Ronald McDonald Residents, ECCHO , Harmony House Clients, Branches Residents, City Mission, HOSPICE and Sojourners received a mixture of Hats 84;  Mittens 1; Scarves 196; Sweaters Sets 3; Prayer Shawls 3 and  Dolls 8. 
Here is what we have so far this year;
Plan to share on my next post young girls embellishing scarves.  They are adorable. 
As the fall days get cooler, I wish you happy knitting and crocheting.  Blessings, Janet

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Christmas Scarf Project

Today is the forth week teaching a basic knitting class at our church.  Three ladies began the exciting adventure and today we had seven ladies all eager to show their work and learn new things.
WOW!  When one of the church ladies ask me to teach some basic knitting techniques, I jumped at the chance to "teach" something I know.  In my next post I will share how this Christmas Scarf Project can into being, for today I just want to show some of the items these fabulous ladies have donated.
Please come share in this ongoing journey of retirement with me.  I will visit with you if you leave me a message.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Retirement Swing

A Retirement Swing was on my list of things to do later.  Well later is now and my husband Bob purchased a swing for me in June.  An ongoing discussion has been "well how shall we hang it?".
Our friend wrote his plan for hanging on a napkin while we were out to dinner.  Yea, an expert opinion.  The plan worked perfect.  Thanks Danny.

So my brother and his lovely wife come to visit on Thursday for the July 4th weekend.  Yes, Bob made hanging a swing an exciting project for the two of them and then nephew Bob comes on the 4th just in time to help hang it after all the boards were up and ready.

                                Such fun and now we have a swing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chicken Avocado Salad

Not all chicken salads are created equal.  This new recipe I made up is going to be a winner. Once the summer cherry tomatoes start producing we may have this once a week.

As you can see, it is very colorful.  Here's what's in the dish:
Shredded cooked chicken breasts, one avocado (cut in bite pieces), 15 cherry tomatoes (cut in half).  The dressing makes the great taste and adds a little more protein.  In a foot processor, I added 1/2 cup cottage cheese (low fat), 3 tablespoons Hellman's Mayo, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon Marzitte slaw dressing, about 1/2 cup chopped chives and 5 fresh mint leaves, black pepper and dash kosher salt.  Blend until smooth.
The shredded cooked chicken probably amounted to 3 cups.
This was made about 1.5 hours before serving in order for the flavors to blend.

As you can see, Bob loved each bit.  I served the salad in Romaine lettuce leaves with red pepper slices and wild rice on the side.
Let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Retirement Party

Do More of What Makes You Happy:)
One of the gifts from a co-worker at the fun retirement party.
The boa was a gift and I'm glad I wore red.

This picture sat under my computer for 15 years.  People I love were right at the office with me.

Retirement takes adjustment.  Think I am doing fine.
Enjoy the day,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baby Scarf and Hat

These knitting treasurers have no home yet.  They are just finished and entered into DreamChallenge Etsy Shop.  The scarf could be for a baby boy or girls and the hat flower was made for a little girl, but the flower is removable and then a boy could enjoy the warmth.
The little knitted scarf holder is on the inside of the front of the scarf.  Little one will not as easily loose the scarf with this holding feature.

This little hat would also match the scarf.
Come visit my Etsy shop.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamChallenge 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bright Red Scarf

One of the gifts my friends at work gave me as a retirement gift was a basket full of yarn.  This beautiful soft red scarf is the first project using yarn from their gift basket.

I decided to add it to my knitting treasurers in my Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamChallenge 
Stop by and see me.

Blessings for a Happy Day.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life Journey Change

Leaving a job I love does not seem to make much sense, but know I have made the correct decision to retire.  August 31 was my last official day to work for the Office of Child Nutrition for the West Virginia Board of Education.  I was blessed with about 26 years of service.  Amazing journey.

What now?  Well, so far knitting, cooking and traveling with Bob, my bed buddy and hubby, have kept me very busy for a month.  I started water aerobics at the Y on Tuesday and Thursday and still have physical therapy on Monday and Wednesday.

Here is my beautiful baby sweater set finished just in time for Carson's shower.  He is due to present himself in November.  His family are all Marshall University Graduates and so he is prepared for the football playoffs.  Go Herd is our cheer.
I welcome you to visit me often.  Time to blog is a great blessing. Jan

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Colorado Sweater Set

My Knitting has once again give me much joy.  This little sweater set was made for a friend's grandson soon to be born.  The yarn is a cotton blend.  So soft yet durable and washable.  I like little throws to use for the baby carriers.  It stays off the floor and near the child.  With this one, a beige boarder gives it some definition  ( according to my adviser and bed partner husband).

The hat was knitted in the round until the last few rows.  This size 6 months should still fit up to a year old child.  The buttons were a special request.  The flower is Edelweise-Switzerland's National flower.  Papa has citizenship their, so grandchild will have some history on his sweater.  I decided as he grows, I should be allowed to reuse the buttons for his next size sweater from honorary Aunt Jan.

My next project is already started. 
This time for a little baby girl due in September.  I hope you will 
come back and visit. 
 Please let me hear from you so I can visit your blog.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Welcome to the Grow Your Blog Party

Welcome to the Grow OUR Blogs Party.  Here is our precious Host "Ms. Vicki" and Me (Jan).  That handsome dude between us joined a Tea Party on board the last cruise.  Notice the Pearls.  They were from our trip to Hawaii.  (One must wear pearls to a Tea Party, Right :)

Yes, I love to travel and especially with friends and family. Here are the 'girls' in our lives.  We (My husband Bob and I) took everyone to sail along the Rhine river starting and stopping in Paris,France.  Fabulous river cruise and trip for us all.  
Me, Daughter Amy and granddaughter Sophia in Honfleur France.
Yes, I did ride a lovely horse and so did Sophia.

Beloved Husband Bob, sitting in the park across from the Eiffel Tower

Daughter Cathy and granddaughter Sydney on a farm in France.

Knitting, Cooking and Reading are all my passions.  I have an Esty shop please visit me.  Special orders are welcome.  My shop  link.  This is my latest gift.  Praying as I knit.  That's what I do.
This is my Italian Chicken made in the Crock Pot. The recipe is in a      post in November.  Check it out here, delicious.

The Widow File by Sheila Redling is my latest read.  Mystery novel written by one of our local young women in our church.  It is a best seller on Amazon.  Good for her.  I really like to support local artists.

As a professional educator, my focus has a wide range from prenatal to the young at heart.  Right now I'm working with Child Nutrition in the state of West Virginia even though we live in Ohio.  Our latest book was written for School Parties to center around games and activities rather than foods.  There are recipes, all good and standardized and delicious.

Enough about me.  Here is my 'give away' for the party.    It will keep your head warm no matter where you are in our world or you can give it away to someone in the battle against cancer.  Please leave me a comment so I can reach you when the winner is chosen.
Blessings and Peace to you all,
Join the Fun : )  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baby Boy Sweater Finished

The precious little boy is still nestled in his Mama's body, but his beautiful sweater is finished and waiting.  
Knitting for little ones is a blessing for me.  I can pray for the family and new baby as the garment comes to life.  
Here is the beginning collar and body. This sweater is knitted                                                                          from the top down.

My Husband says this is the 'cutest one ever'.

My picture taking leaves a 'little' to be learned.  The top picture shows a more true color.
The yarn is so very soft and totally washable.  It is made in Italy.

I hope your winter days are healthy and happy.  Let me hear from you and share what you are doing through the long winter dark evenings.  Jan

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ms. Janet, I want that!!!

This little girl loves my knitting.  She thinks the yarn is soft and BEAUTIFUL.  Of course, I agree.  She came over one day this summer and I was packing up a dress about three sizes too large for her.  Well, after trying it on and it dragging the floor, she still "Wanted It".  So to settle her down it was decided I would make her a skirt out of the same yarn.  Tall promise since I really did not know if I had enough yarn left.  As you can see, it was perfect.  She and her cousin can wear this jewel.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Scarf Project

Our Church began a Christmas Scarf Project after the storm Katrina. There were 100 people transported from New Orleans to West Virginia.  They needed scarves and hats.  Our generous knitters and crocheters answered the call.  We had more than a 100 items in a VERY short time, so we kept the extra to give away at Christmas.   No one thought this would become a yearly project.  Well it did:)  Since that time wonderful people in our church and friends have given hand knitted scarves, hats, purses and sweaters to the project.

Here are just a few samples of the beautiful gifts.
Each year our items help keep people of our area warm from the winter chill.
This year we were given 172 items along with donated yarn and money to buy yarn. One lady makes the cards to put with each item. 
I'll share some of the scarves in a day or so.
Blessings to my blogger friends.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Being a caregiver is what I have always done.  Family and Foster Children have touched our hearts  as I directed care for others.

Now I am the one being cared for and believe me it is not easy.  Cards bring me much joy and the food wonderful friends bring me is amazing.

So after three weeks of crying and feeling sorry for myself, A friend send me a book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  It helped change my attitude and gave me scriptures from God's word to inspire me.
After many Months, I welcome anyone who will follow me to help me along this most unfamiliar journey of dependence upon others.

Today a friend, many you know as "2 bags full" encouraged me to blog about my churches Christmas Scarf Project.

Remember Katrina storm and the devastation it spread.  Over 100 survivors were bused to West Virginia and housed for a while. Some of the women of my church family decided we would knit or crochet scarve and hats to help them stay warm.  The response was overwhelming and one of my office friends hand delivered the scarves.

We had some late scarves come in so I decided our church ladies could gives those out close to Christmas to some of our local charities.  So all these years later, our ladies are still crafting items to give to many community charities.

Here are donations from many dedicated individuals.  Total as of today 172 and counting.

These are what we call "Ready".  Each bag tells who the scarf would fit and has a card inside with a prayer and our address.  Next post, I'll share the card one of our ladies designs, prints and cuts for this project each year.
Hope this sharing motivates someone else to start a scarf project.  Amazing how we are willing to give of our time and talent to those less fortunate.  
Blessings, Jan

Jan's Standing HAPPY NEW YEAR:)

Progress after 14 weeks of riding a GoGoScooter, I am now allowed to learn to walk using a walker.  Yea.  Very exciting.  Those of you praying for me...Thank You.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Learning to Cook Again

Welcome back friends.  Have any of you had a hip replacement?  One thing learned:  "If you have a sense of humor, you can survive:)"  Second thing learned:  "You have to be blessed with a friend who not only listens but also tells you things WILL GET BETTER:)"  Thank God for both lessons.

I have been immobile for 14 weeks and am now learning to walk and cook again.
Decided I would share with those of you out their some of the things I have done the past non-weight bearing weeks.  Not allowed in the kitchen...Really.
Here is my first attempt at cooking a meal in all those days:  Italian Chicken, Crock Pot Style.  Since it only took me 1 hr and 40 minutes,(I hope you are laughing) and that was just to get the items in the Crock Pot.  Here is the end result:

Now for the "how to get to the end result???"

First clean the carrots and onion and garlic, then chop, slice and press.  Wow, I was standing with a walker and them realized, Hey, this thing has a seat.  So yes I sat down at the counter on the walker seat.

From the seat I could add all the seasonings to the tomatoes, which were suppose to be fresh, but a can of diced won out.  My honey husband opened the can of tomatoes and tomato paste.  He is a jewel tired of cooking every meal.  At least now I can get to the kitchen to eat.  
I just do not like those veins in the chicken breast pieces, so I sat down put on my rubber glove and got out the chicken cutting scissors, yes I really do have special scissors just for chicken.  See the crock pot to the right top of the picture.  It is getting hot with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. (From Italy)
OK, so the vegetables go in the hot water and oil, then the tomatoes and seasonings
 and then the raw chicken.  I stirred it around with a wooden spoon.  Looks gross,  but WAIT!!!
Remember the serving shown at the beginning?  1 cup whole wheat angle hair pasta topped with delicious Italian Crock Pot Chicken.  
My Hip is now healing.  Thank God.  The two fractures in the femur are healed enough for me to put weight on my left leg and foot.  Thank You for joining me in my journey to good health and walking again.If you want the recipe, just e-mail me.  jan.yost@yahoo.com  I will learn to add the recipe, but not today.
Enjoy the day, Jan