Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wow. I know this is preaching to the choir here but it is a wonderful site. (and a really, really good time suck for when you're bored at work). Yesterday, while browsing new groups I came across one called Yarnstorm. Intrigued, I checked it out. It's a group of people who donate unwanted/unused stash yarn to a central source who then mails it out as a 'yarnstorm' to someone who could use a 'pick-me-up' or are having a budget crunch. It's a way to help a fellow crafter out and to clean out yarn (to make room for more?) and to generally feel good.
I found the group at work and it just made my whole day to read about how excited the recipients were when they got big boxes of yarn from the yarnstormers. And wow, have people been generous. There are photos on one of the threads of the donations. It's a huge amount of yarn. It's so cool. I got goosebumps.
So, right there, I found another reason to be glad I decided to jump aboard that wagon and become a part of the ravelry community. What's your favorite group?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The sky was the blue that it only gets in the summer. Heartbreaking and beautiful. There were huge puffy clouds and a breeze that made it comfortable to sit on the sand (under the umbrella and covered with sunblock and I still managed to get a little sunburn). I dozed off a few times but mostly watched the children splashing and running around. There was a lost child scare and we waited while they cleared the lake and the lifeguards made their human chain and checked in the water for a three year old child. It took about 15 minutes before we heard he had been found in the picnic area. It's a scary thing to watch them walk with linked arms through the water. Katie summed it up when she said "It scares me more that they might find the kid in the water". We have these scares occasionally and the child is always found safe and sound somewhere where he/she shouldn't be. My first thought is "who was supposed to be watching this kid?" but then I remember what it's like to come to a place like the lake with three small children. It's easy for one to slip away unnoticed. And I remember the heartstopping feeling of looking up and not seeing your child where you were sure they were just two seconds ago.....
On a less stressful note, I finally wrapped up the baby socks I made for my coworker. I gave up on the hat. I just wasn't feeling the love and so it's a pair of handknit socks for baby Salvatore. They're made out of Crystal Palace bamboo/cotton and they're adorably candy colored.
And (drum roll, lights, fanfare!!)here is Em's sweater fresh off the
I can smell the grill. Pk lit it so he can grill some chicken to go with the macaroni salad I made yesterday and some Jersey tomatoes we picked up on our way home today. And I think we have enough left over brownies from lunch today have them with some mint chocolate chip ice cream for desert. Yum.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend.
PS. By the time I got downstairs, Pk had already cooked the chicken and cut up the tomato. All I had to do was pour myself some iced tea! What a lovely thing to have someone else cook dinner. Woot! I think I'll keep him.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This comic is entitled Sheeple. It's from xkcd, one of my all time favorites. It was good for a Wednesday Morning Smile.
I have always loved the comics page of the newspaper the best. I used to force myself to read the rest of the paper just to reward myself with the comics. Then I went to a seminar and the speaker said something along the lines of how he likes to start his day with a smile and so he reads the comics first. Whoa. What a concept! Read the comics first! I often didn't have time in the morning to read the rest of the paper but I got my smiles first thing.
Eventually, we realized we were not reading anything in the newspaper but the comics and it was a waste of paper. So, for the first time in all my life, I don't have a morning paper delivered to my house. It felt really weird at first but now I've gotten used to it and I read my favorite comics online so I still get my smiles. I feel bad about the paper but not bad enough to reup my subscription. I am rereading a favorite book as I eat my breakfast and so far, it's been good.
I am missing out on some of the local news (I don't have a television, remember?) but since most of it is about murders and other violent crimes, I don't feel like I'm missing much. I listen to the radio and get the national/international news (I did hear about Kim Jong Il's cancer) but I miss the sensationalized local stuff. I don't really miss it, I just don't hear about it. Once again, it's been good.
We are coming to the end of some of the most perfect days I can remember weather-wise. If summer were always like this, I'd vote for it as my favorite season (even if I don't need a heavy sweater or wool socks). It's been clear and the air has been soft and warm but not really hot. Amazing. It makes you just want to smile and sigh at the beauty as you walk down the street.
Have a beautiful Wednesday.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
And some of our "fall" flowers have started to bloom. Not all of the chrysanthemums came back from last year but these lovely orange ones and some deep maroon ones survived. We'll have to buy some new plants to fill in the empty spots. Some of these plants are a few years old and we're always happy to see them come back.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We got to Em's house yesterday early because we were afraid of the traffic. We hit none on the way there and very little on the way to the hospital where she was to see the doctor. She signed in and then we sat. And sat. And sat. And then sat some more. The receptionist did apologize once to Em saying they were running behind "a little". Em was finally called into the back where she sat some more and then spent ten minutes (while the doctor took two phone calls) trying to ask her questions. I know neurosurgeons are busy. I get it. But the waiting room was not full. Not even a little.
Contrast this to her experience with the other surgeon whose office staff went out of their way to accomodate Em when she was way early for her appt last week. This was a royal pain in the ass. We got back to Em's house at 5 (after a 1:45 appointment time) and Pk and Em played a video game called Left 4 Dead (killing zombies) and I knitted/napped on the couch. Jim got home at 6 or so and then we had dinner and got home around 9. It was a long day.
The health news was good, however. Em is doing well and moving around fairly well. Less stiffness and soreness. She still can't stand up straight and seems to fold around herself to protect her chest (understandably). It looks strange to me and sad. For years I've watched her stand tall and straight. All those years of marching band will do that to you. We joke about marching band but it does wonders for your posture! And I think all of that early training will help her get her straight carriage back. She is regaining her sense of humor and I think some of her sense of herself. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it's getting brighter. Soon, she'll be able to drive herself places and that will be a big mood booster. And then she can go back to work.......
I've been casting about looking for a new lace project to replace the finished North Sea Shawl. Yesterday I started Eunny Jang's Print o' the Waves. It's ok. I'm not loving it and I'm not counting well either. It's only 80 stitches across but for some reason, I cannot handle 80 stitches and keep them straight. I finally took Roxie's suggestion and put markers between pattern repeats so I could see where I was messing up but it's not helping. I can see 8 stitches on the chart and there are 8 stitches on the needle but when I follow the directions I am either one stitch short or have one left over. It's more than a little frustrating.
And then there's the whole idea of knitting more lace. I don't really wear them(shawls) but I love to make them. I love the beauty of the finished pieces. I even like the fact that they demand a certain level of concentration and I can't blithely knit along without paying much attention. I'll probably end up as one of those old ladies who dies and her children find a box of beautiful pieces wrapped and scented with lavender under the bed. I know I'll keep working on lace. As I finish a piece and can see the improvement in my skills, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. And I don't really need a reason to knit something I love, do I?
Well, there's nothing else exciting in our neck of the woods. Pk and I are riding our bikes a little each day. And I mean a little. I think I managed maybe a mile on Tuesday and my legs felt like rubber. I'm trying to do a little more each day so I can eventually actually ride somewhere instead of just around the block. I have no stamina and my leg muscles are weak (and we won't even talk about my old knees). I know this is good for me and I even enjoy it so I'll persevere. Besides, I like to ring my bell and wave to people and I like watching the handlebar streamers fly in the breeze! Our weather has been absolutely lovely and we've been trying to be outside as much as possible. We've been doing our part to feed the local mosquito population which has flourished after all the rain.
How are things in your neck of the woods?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Not the same as Happy 4th but the sentiment is there. As chaotic as things were back then, we could just as easily be celebrating our independence on the 7th. Pk and I just watched most of John Adams (a biopic in many parts). I say 'most of' because we got tired of John after a while. He was a brilliant man (weren't they all?) but also very arrogant and tiresome. And there was a lot of yelling. We watched the first half of the episodes and enjoyed them. I admire Abigail Adams. What a strong woman.
The lovely blueberries of the 4th became my first ever homemade blueberry pie. I've made apple and peach and lemon meringue and others but never blueberry. I even made the crust and didn't cop out by buying ready made. I added some lemon peel and juice to the berries and it was delicious with some vanilla ice cream. Some of the berries were very tart so it was not a boring pie.
Tomorrow we are taking Em for her follow up visit to the neurosurgeon. She's already seen the thoracic guy and he said all is well. The neurosurgeon is looking for different things. She can't drive yet (and I would worry since she's still taking some heavy duty pain killers) so Pk and I are driving her. She's doing well and is planning to go back to work on August 8th. Boy, that time flew by. It's hard to believe she's already talking about returning to work.
I'm taking her sweater along for the ride. I have finally passed through the black hole that was the back and sides of the top down sweater. I swear I was stuck at 17 inches for weeks. I would doggedly do row after row of stockinette stitch and then measure and it didn't change. I despaired it would ever get finished. Finally, on Sunday, a miracle occured and the tape measured the 22 inches I needed. Woot! Two inches of ribbing was added and last night it was bound off and a sleeve was picked up and is now in progress. After the sleeves, I have to pick up about a billion and a half stitches around the front of the sweater and do three inches of ribbing. I'm optimistic that I'll finish by Christmas. Actually, I am trying to only work on it until I finish it. Except on the train. It's a little too big to cart onto the train. Or if our weather suddenly remembers it's summer here and gets hot. We've been extraordinarily lucky. Once the rains stopped (we're due for showers this week), the sun came out and the temps have been warm but not oppressive. If I could custom order summer weather, this is what I would order.
So, happy July 7th!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
The last few days have had their share of disappointments and joys. I'll start with some brownies I made from a recipe I had saved from Joy the Baker for S'mores Brownies. Mine looked just like those photos and they sounded soooo good. But when I tasted them, I was disappointed. They were kind of dry. I think the crumbled graham crackers in the batter were the culprit. So, I gave a bunch of them to Kate to give to her coworkers today.
We had planned to go to the lake today. We loaded the car and after a detour around Berlin (where they were having their town parade) we made it to the lake at 10:08 only to be told that it was full to capacity and we couldn't get in. We were surprised because we had just driven by and could see that there weren't many people there. We left early this morning because we knew it would be crowded. The weather was gorgeous and it's a holiday. Disappointment! Kate suggested we drive through the woods on the way home so we did. None of us were dressed for a trip through the woods. Bathing suits and flip flops are not the way to walk through the pine brush so we stayed in the car and just enjoyed the scenery. After all the rain, it was green as far as the eye could see. Beautiful and peaceful.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
And so I give you these. I apologize for the photos of the photos. I don't own a scanner and these are way before the advent of digital photos (when photographic evidence was still admissable). These are two of my favorite photos, both taken October 10, 1981.
This photo(the one on the left) is one of my all time favorites. We had it made into a large wall photo and it hangs in our living room. When we got married, we asked the photographer to take candid shots because we both felt we looked more natural that way. He caught the "eskimo kiss" photo and we didn't know it until we saw the proofs. The other photo is another candid shot. My favorite part is the look on Pk's face. He looks so happy. I have fond memories of our wedding day. It was a lovely fall day and we had such a good time. We had dated for 6 years before we got married and it just felt so right.
This kind of ties in with that marriage article. As I read her words, the author seemed to me to be justifying (for herself) her divorce. Marriage didn't work for her and therefore it shouldn't exist for anyone. I often feel dispair when I read how much people pay for weddings and the lengths they go to have a 'special day'. For me, any day I got married to the love of my life would automatically be a special day. We had a small wedding. My mother and I made my wedding dress and we had comfort food and good music. It wasn't about the day, it was about the lifetime to come. After almost 28 years (am I really that old?) it's still about the lifetime. It's about the day in and day out living, not the party or the clothes or the presents. (although, I firmly believe everyone who stays married this long deserves a 'marriage shower' where they can get sheets and towels and other necessities just like newlyweds. Our food processor is wearing out!). I think it should be more difficult to get a marriage license. We give them out with just a blood test. Maybe if it was harder to do, people wouldn't enter into it so easily. Maybe they'd give it some thought.
I'm no expert on relationships or marriage. I only know what has worked for us. And I'm well aware of the measure of luck that goes into all of this. But there is also stubbornness and laughter and hard work and joy and love. Mix it all together with a load of compromise and there it is.
It's time to go and fix dinner. I defrosted pork chops but Pk is jonesing for bacon. If I can rustle up the fixin's, it's BLTs for dinner. I am trying to whip up some baby socks for a coworker's baby boy who will be born soon. The shower was a little while ago but I had forgotten and I feel bad so baby socks are on the needles. Fortunately, they're quick and easy. If I'm really ambitious, I'll make a matching hat.
I have a half day tomorrow and Friday is a holiday. This means fireworks on Friday night and then Pk and I are planning a day at the lake on Saturday. That is, if we get up and get there early enough. It tends to fill up quickly on holidays. It's supposed to be sunny on Saturday and Kate and El are going to to with us so it should be a good day. I love the lake. Sitting on the beach and watching children run around and laugh and eating french fries (for some reason they taste so much better there) and knowing that I have to relax because there is nothing for me to do.
Whether you're celebrating or not, have a good weekend.
and I almost forgot,
Happy Birthday, Canada!
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