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Showing posts from May, 2009
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The Beef 'n Beer was a success. Enough money was raised so Em can pay her living expenses for the 2 months she'll be out of work "and even buy food!" as she put it.

The event started out well. We quickly set up the tables for the baskets. There were so many! People started coming in at 4 o'clock and the fun began. There was a lot of hugging and laughing as we got the chance to see some of Em's friends that we hadn't seen in a long time. Everyone bought raffle tickets and then chose the prize they wanted to take a chance on. There were bags set up in front of each item and they quickly filled up with tickets. Kate and I sold tickets. The entrance fee entitled everyone to all the beer they could drink and really good food. There was roast beef and sausage and peppers and meatballs for sandwiches. Two different pasta dishes and nice soft rolls. It was all catered by the bar and it was delicious. I've lived around the corner from this place for over 20 y…
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I'm playing lazy woman this morning. I just looked at clock and it's almost ten o'clock and I'm still sitting here on the bed with the computer. I had plans to get up and moving early but it's not happening. The smell coming in the windows is almost to sweet to bear. It's honeysuckle and this year it's everywhere. I tried to find a photo online but they don't look like ours. I'd like to go out and take one for you but the vines attract bees and I'm allergic. So, I just smell the sweetness from afar. It reminds me of summer, like the smell of warm, wet asphalt.

Last night Kate and I put our creative heads together and came up with three cute baskets to raffle off today at Em's Beef 'n Beer. This is mine. It's an Italian dinner (pasta, sauce, cheese, crunchy bread, basil oil, some towels and utensils all packed up in a large cup and saucer). I love the container which I have been looking at for a while. This is Kate's. It's a su…
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The best time for me to spin is during the daylight hours. My wheel sits in my front window and I like having the natural daylight to work with. It's easier to see what I'm doing. I think one day I'll buy one of those nice craft lights but for now, I like spinning in the sunshine (or the grey watery light of a rainy day). I come home from work each day and after I've caught up with Peter Kevin and we've talked about our day and what we're having for dinner, I sit down with the wheel and spin. This is some purple trainwreck. I plied the first two bobbins and I like it quite a bit. It makes the rough spots of the day seem to smooth out to sit and let the fiber move softly through my fingers.


I make sure to spend some time each evening working on Em's sweater. I'm at the point where it's just stockinette stitch for several inches and then two inches of ribbing. I work on it until my hands cramp up and then I find something with a lighter weight yarn whi…
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Who Has Seen the Wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Christina Georgina Rossetti



The trees weren't completely bowing their heads but they sure were bending over. I woke up from a dream in which I was flying over snow covered land. I don't like to fly, I get sick but in the dream I was enjoying it. When I woke up, the thermostat on the window fan said 58 degrees (14 C) and I was shivering. I guess that explains the flying and the snow.



We got our uneventful weekend. Friday, we replaced our microwave. I didn't think we'd miss it as much as we did. Pk eats leftovers for breakfast a lot and there was no way to quickly heat them up. Our old microwave was designed and built when they thought people would actually cook in them and it had a temperature probe and other attachments. It was big enough to coo…
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I'm sitting here surrounded by noxious fumes as I erradicate my grey hair for another three weeks and I thought I'd show you what I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. But, about the grey hair. I'm reaching the point where I'm seriously thinking that I'd like to stop the hair coloring and let my hair be it's own natural color which by the looks of the roots is an allover grey/silvery color. A woman I work with just recently did this and I was amazed at how beautiful she looks with her grey hair. I'm not sure where this is coming from. I'm going to talk to the hairdresser when I go to get it cut this weekend and see what she says. If I have to let it grow out, that'll be hard. I'm vain enough not to want to walk around with 4 inch roots. I'm hoping she can strip the color and then put a rinse on it or something. ** Here is a composition I call 'Purple trainwreck in the morning sun'. I'm supposed to be working on m…
Good Friday morning! Yes, I was disappointed to wake up and discover I had to get up and go to work but what are you going to do?
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There was a sense of deja vu yesterday as I was coming home from work. No, there was not a train drama. The train ride was uneventful. But when I got home, there was a package in the mailbox and it had my name on it! Amy Lane sent me a yarn package. It has a beautiful skein of Noro sock yarn, some bamboo/wool/nylon sock yarn and some Schaeffer Anne in beautiful gem tones. A package of color! It was a wonderful surprise. I can't wait to finish some of the socks that are on the needles so I can delve into some of it. Thank you so much Amy!
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I mentioned to Em that I was feeling kinda strange to get presents in the mail. She responded that "that's what knitters do, mom. We can't always be there in person, so we let the other person we know care and are there in spirit by sending yarn. Who doesn't like yarn?" And I agreed…
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Well, the new refrigerator is humming along, keeping things cool and making ice (a truly underappreciated skill, no one in my family seems to be able to do it). I can't ask for more. Things are falling back into place.

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My last post really wasn't a poorly disguised plea for fiber. I really do have enough to keep me busy for a good long while. I am not a fast spinner or knitter so it doesn't take much. I have been trying to work on Em's sweater at night and have finished the shoulders and put the sleeves on waste yarn and am working my way through the waist decreases and increases. Pk thinks it looks small but I reminded him that Em is not very big and it's not supposed to fit like a bathrobe. I like the way it's looking. Wendy writes such nice, clear pattern instructions that it's easy even for someone like me who doesn't make many sweaters.

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When I got home yesterday, late because the train I was on suffered mechanical failure right after coming off t…
Just a note to share how wonderful my husband is. I mentioned that I had no chocolate at work because I had shared it with coworkers.

So, today during his lunch time walk, he went to Lore's and bought me a pound of dark chocolate non pareils and brought them to me at work. He works several blocks away from me and the chocolate place is somewhere in between.

Mmmm. dark chocolate. Too bad I have to go to work. I could sit here and indulge in chocolate and read blogs all afternoon.
It's nice to have a relative with a truck. Well, Jim is not legally a relative but that has never stopped us before. We get attached to people and just adopt them.
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I don't know if I mentioned that we had to buy a new refridgerator? No? Oh. Well, we did. I had managed to save up the money to pay the electrician almost 1500 dollars to upgrade the electricity in the house and we were just waiting for Em's surgery date so we could coordinate the electrician date. Then we noticed the freezer wasn't freezing. It was cold, but not frozen.
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Big sigh. The fridge is about 12 -15 years old (we can't quite remember) and has always been problematic in the warm weather. I always had to move the milk down to the fruit bin (where it was colder) to keep it in the summer. But the freezer always worked and the people at General Electric told me that if the freezer was working, there was nothing really wrong. (strange philosophy but I was not willing to pay a repairman lo…
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I wonder why it is that on weekdays, when I have to get up and out the door early, I have to pry myself out of bed and on Saturday I am awake at the crack of dawn.



The cool thing about waking up early on a weekend is that it is so quiet. Today, it looks and feels like what I imagine a rain forest is like. The air is heavy with fog and sounds are vaguely muffled. There are birds and the occasional dog barking. The air is not moving. It feels anticipatory. I like it. NOAA says we are in for thunder storms all weekend and then lots of sunshine just as we go back to work on Monday. I don't have any plans, other than the usual cleaning and laundry.





I wore grey pants and a black shirt to my cousin's funeral but broke it up with some wildly colored socks (Kate calls them my "acid trip" socks. They're made with Noro Kureyon so you can imagine...). My aunt admired them and said she would like some colored socks. I've given her colored socks, just more sedate colors. I d…
I just noticed this is my 400th post. It feels like there should be some sort of commemmoration but this week has just about done me in.
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When I got into work on Monday, I learned that one of our favorite Social Rehab clients had passed away on Sunday. She was young and had a reoccurrence of her breast cancer. I saw her two weeks ago and although she looked drawn and gaunt, she did not look that near death. It was a surprise.
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Wednesday, we buried my cousin. It was tough. I tried to be the support my aunt and cousins needed and I hope I succeeded. She was young and somehow that makes it harder to bear.
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I came back to work yesterday to find out a client I have known for a long time died over the weekend. This was a shock. He'd been in the hospital for pneumonia for a while and was getting better but his heart gave out. He was only in his 40's.
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So, it was a sad week. Three young people, in the prime of their lives, gone. I believe things happen for a reason …
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Thank you for all the wishes for 'boring'. Today was indeed a boring day and I loved every minute of it. It started with this. The heart says "Queen". I got to wear it at breakfast which Pk made. He also went to the bakery and got, be still my heart, creme donuts. I love that man.



I spent my day sitting at the spinning wheel carding and spinning the alpaca. I plied some and washed it to see what it would look like. It's very soft and fuzzy and kind of tweedy looking. I had to wash it twice because the water was very dirty. I hung it outside on the mailbox to dry. With all the (very welcome) breezy sunshine, it was dry in no time. I'm going to use it for the Ply by Night ravelry group spin study. The May/June spin along is a "use something from the stash and knit one of two patterns" . I chose Rivulet. I like the simplicity of it.

I also started a sock with the Zap yarn Julie sent. She told me that it's dyed to look like lightning when it's kn…
Someone on their blog said "it's been a boring week". I was thinking, I would like a boring week. I'd like a whole lot of boring right about now.

We buried PK's dad on Friday. It was interesting to see his family, most of whom we haven't seen for many years. He has 6 siblings and they all have multiple children. These children are all adults. All of these young people kept coming up and introducing themselves ( a fine crop of next generation). Good thing, because without name tags, I was lost. Ray was 93 and had lived a good long life. He buried two wives and had a girlfriend. He was a lucky man. His girlfriend (strange word for a woman in her 90's) did the reading at the funeral mass. She is the grandmother of one of Em's high school friends. Yes, it is a very small world.

When the lunch was over, we went and got a dryer. Yay! No more sitting in the laundramat while children run around me as I fold my underwear. No more showing my un…
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And today I got a reminder of why I stay in my job even though sometimes it really sucks. There was a phone message from the young woman I sent the shawl to. She said, "Yesterday I was having the worst day. I felt awful and terrible and everything was wrong. Then I came home and found this package with this beautiful scarf and the great card and I sat in the hall way and cried for 5 minutes. You don't know how much this meant to me. Thank you"


I called her to check on her because the message sounded like she was still in a bad way. She's much better today and told me again how much she appreciated the gift. I told her that even though she was not my child, I was proud of her and realized the effort she had put in. And then I told her to go "knock'em dead".
I hung up and sat there with a full heart. Young people are so vulnerable. They think they are tough but most of the time they haven't developed the shell they need and they're so easily hurt. S…
When I was young, say in my early teens, I was a very naive person. I believed most people were good and most people were happy with themselves and the world. Back in the old days, the kids in my area went to elementary school (grades 1-5), middle school (6-8) and then high school. I was in middle school in the early 70's, I graduated 8th grade in 1972. In those days, boys got to take shop classes and girls took home economics classes. No choice involved. These were the days of separate boys and girls gym classes.

As a girl, I got to take Cooking, Sewing, Family Living and Homemaking. Cooking and sewing are self explanatory but Family Living and Homemaking were different. We learned how to set the table and how to make a budget (both worthwhile skills they STILL should teach) but there were also classes in appearance.

When I was growing up, my dad was starting his business and money was tight. I regularly got boxes of hand me down clothes from family members and I remember …
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Boy, what a difference a week makes. Last Monday we were complaining about the hot, dry, summer-like weather. This past weekend it rained and it's predicted to rain all week. It's cold rain. Not the kind of nice, spring rain you like to walk in. The kind of rain you run to get out of.

So, I can't take photos of the box of fiber that was waiting for me when I got home today. My daugher Elanor said "your package came" when I got in the door. Now, those are some of the best words to hear other than
The tumor is benign!!! They determined it's a Schwann cell tumor, or schwannoma. This means no radiation, just surgery to remove it. They have a genetic component and I'm afraid it's probably me. When Em told me what it was, I remembered a lump I had on my wrist that they told me was a lump on the tendon sheath (which is what a schwannoma is). It was removed with needles and was not very big. It was caught early because it protruded from my skin and was easily …
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The plan for the weekend was to take things easy and to find some way to keep my mind busy so I don't obsess about Em. Pk decided to use his drawknife ( scroll down the link)and clean the bark off the black walnut he got from my brother. I couldn't watch because I had visions of him slicing into his stomach and intestines spilling out. I decided to try to spin some "raw" alpaca that Em got for me when she went to the alpaca farm last fall. Meet Florence and Fernando. That's the names of the alpacas that the fiber came from. Florence is black and Fernando is a beige color. Em got a bag of each. I didn't know what to do with it so I went to that font of all knowledge, Youtube. I found a video on how to card alpaca. So, I found my hand carders and loaded one side up like so. Then I used the carders the way the video instructed. It's much harder to do than it looks. Either that or I have the weakest arms ever. After a bit, I had a puff of fiber that looks like…
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The ever crafty and wonderful Roxie sent me gifts that made me smile. Look at the lovely banana cozy! The never modest Pk offered to model it but I declined. There is only so much of my husband I want to share with the internets! So, we had one banana left in the bowl and it was an adequate stand in. She also sent me a bit of crafty loveliness. A crocheted flower (and a small bag of lavender). It was such a nice surprise to come home to. Thank you so much, Roxie.And now for an Em update. She informs me that they will be getting her results on Monday and decisions will be made then as to whether she needs radiation or not. She's hoping for a quick resolution and surgery soon(she would like it to be Tuesday but I think that might be a little quick). I'm hoping for plain old surgical removal of the alien baby. I had cancer dreams last night. I don't remember them much but as I sit here, bits and pieces are coming back. We're in for a rainy weekend. It's…