Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I will readily admit that I was one of the last ones to jump on the ravelry bandwagon. In fact, I only joined so that when people linked to patterns I could see them. And then I joined and went and looked around.

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

The humid weather continues today. As long as you sit still and there's a fan running, it's ok. We don't have central a/c and have managed not to put in the window units yet. The longer we can hold out, the easier it is to pay the electric bills! It's been cooling down enough at night so the window fans bring in the cool outdoor air. I plan to put something in the crock pot for dinner and put on the fan and spin or knit most of the day. I have a mild migraine so it'll be best to aim for simple.

I picked up my cousin yesterday and we started on a project for my aunt. It was her daughter who died in April and I've wanted to do something but didn't know what (other than make her some colorful socks). When Alana (my cousin' s daughter who's 11) called I offered her a crafty afternoon and she jumped on it.

I have a friend at work who recently showed me a quilt top she made from her old t-shirts. It was clever and beautiful. And then I remembered Bezzie making one out of old sports team shirts and had a light bulb moment. My cousin Joan liked t shirts and probably had a ton of them. I told Alana to go through them and find the ones she liked best and to bring them with her on Saturday. She found several good ones and we set to cutting them into useable squares and strips.

This is our center square. Sorry for the dark photo but the sun has not made much of an appearance and the flash just looked worse. It's the Tazmanian Devil (Warner Bros version). He was Joanie's favorite and we built our quilt around him. There are squares for the San Francisco 49'ers, her favorite football team, as well. We got all the squares cut and placed and started to sew the strips. I had hoped to get further but since this was our first day, I decided not to overdo it and we'll finish the top another day. Next time, we'll shop for a sheet to use as the back and some batting and I have some colored thread to tie it with. It will be a tied and not a sewn quilt and I'm going to teach Alana to do the tie part because it's easier and I really want this to be her project. She did most of the cutting and piecing. Some of the squares are not so square but we'll work around that.
She loved using the sewing machine and I liked bringing another soul into the craft fold. It was a successful day. We went out for pizza and water ice and got her home at a reasonable hour.

I have settled on the Queen Anne's lace shawl and I'm using this yarn to make it. I bought it a while ago and decided I might not like it so I put it away. The pattern is shown in white with beads. The pattern is not really representative of the flower (one of my favorite wild flowers, they're everywhere here) so the color isn't really important to the pattern. I like the pattern but not the beads so I'll substitute small nups. The yarn is alpaca laceweight and is soft with just a bit of halo. Nice to work with. And the color will fit in with my clothes so I have a better chance of wearing it.

I raised my children to believe that "fair does not always mean equal". So, when I made Em a sweater, neither of my other daughters complained. I, however, think that this time fairness demands that they each get a sweater. Elanor is trying to choose a pattern she likes. She is not a knitter and I'm going to try to steer her towards a simple project. Kate knows better and I can't wait to see what she'll choose. And then I need to make myself a new everyday cardigan to replace the one my brother brought us from Ireland which is my winter around-the-house sweater and has been repaired often. It's well loved. I do not feel the sweater love and I think I must be a masochist to even think about it.

Pk is off to go 'rust hunting' (looking for old tools to rehab) at the farmers market . When he gets back we'll have brunch and then it's a quiet day.

Happy Sunday.
Oh, and the tumor they took out of Emily? It weighed over 5 pounds. If 1/4 pound is 100 grahams then I think it's about 2000 grams. Is that 2 kilograms? ( When I was in high school, there was a push for us to learn the metric system and get in line with the rest of the world but by that point it was too late for me. I was already sure of my ounces and pounds. ) It floored me when Em told me how much that sucker weighed. And now the saga of Laslow is coming to a close. She had a job interview and got the job so when she goes back to work, (except for two weeks) she'll have something new to do. And our conversations are about everyday things and less of the "how do you feel" variety. It's nice.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How wonderful to be able to maintain an inspiring and rewarding relationship with someone who loves you so much. You are fortunate indeed, donna lee. There is much to be grateful for.

This was part of my horroscope for today. I know there are people out there who live and plan their days according to what the stars tell them but I'm not one of them. I'm always mildly surprised when they sort of corrrespond with whatever's going on in my life but I don't believe I am guided by the stars. Today's was about how it's a good day to "move your relationship to a higher level" and the above part was included. I don't know about the higher level but I like being reminded that I am fortunate and have much to be grateful for.
I am 'casting about' for some lace pattern that speaks to me. I spent a long time looking at patterns last night and nothing says "knit me!". Well, ok, some did but they're all in a book sold by schoolhouse press that retails for 45 dollars and I didn't want to buy a book for 45 dollars. I may buy it one day because I like so many of the designs in it.

It's a book of Icelandic three corner shawl patterns and there are several on ravelry that are stunning. The patterns are in English and look complicated enough to be interesting but not so difficult that I pull out my hair. I'm going to check out my local library to see if it's there but I think it's doubtful.
I'm not enjoying the Estonian lace scarf. I don't like nupps and considered making them a little smaller but don't know if it'll ruin the look of the pattern. I want to make a Wildflowers shawl for myself and maybe I'll start that until I decide what to play with next. I have that whole book of folk shawl patterns so I don't know what the problem is.......

We're in a blah weather pattern here. "slight chance of thunderstorms" is fine but it brings with it a whole whack of clouds and humidity. It looks like this will be here through the weekend. I have tentative plans to pick up my cousin's daughter on Saturday for some sewing/crafting. She got on the phone while I was talking to my aunt the other night and sounded like she might need some time out of the house so I thought a jaunt to the craft store and some sewing might be good therapy. She's having some problems and I think she just wants to talk to another adult. She's 11 and smart as a whip (I wonder why whips are considered smart?). I've started to teach her to knit and we'll see how far that has gone.

I have lost one of my wind up toys. Well, not lost exactly. I kinda know where she is. She went home with a little boy yesterday. He was here while his grandmother had an appt with the psychiatrist and he was bored. I've often brought out the windup bunny (she's soft and she hops) to amuse children who are waiting with nothing to do (why do mothers bring children and then bring nothing to entertain them?). This little boy glommed onto the bunny and I didn't have the heart to ask for her back. So, she has found a new home. I guess I'll have to find a new one. I still have three robots, a chicken, an egg, a ladybug, a crab, a monkey, a plane and a Peep. It's enough to keep me busy for a time.

I hope you all have enough to keep you busy, but not too busy to craft.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I haven't done one of these in a very long time and this one sounded like fun. Thanks Roxie.

You are 48% ninja!

You are more ninja than average. But that is not saying much with this population. The modern civilization is a wreck, it seems! Anyway, if you are aged 1-3 you might hope to still pursue a career as a ninja.

How Ninja Are You?
Take More Quizzes

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This was a beautiful weekend here on the east coast of the US. After a few humid days on Thursday and Friday where we had the usual summer thunderstorms, the weekend was lovely. We spend Saturday doing our regular chores. For some reason I felt so tired that everytime I sat down, I dozed off into a light sleep. I thought it was just me but when I mentioned it to Pk, he said the same thing so maybe we picked up a low grade virus or something. As we were going through the aisles in the grocery store (Sat afternoon in the summer is a good time to shop around here. the store was empty!),he said, "I'm feeling a lake day coming on. How about tomorrow?" I, of course, agreed and we picked up some lunchmeat for sandwiches and I made some brownies and we were set.

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
blockingsquares and ready for its knit belt. I have 3 1/2 more feet of belt to knit but the sweater is essentially done. I can't remember when I started it but I think it was in March. It's the Playmate sweater from Custom Knits made with Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Superwash in color 14. No modifications. I followed Wendy's directions to the letter (and they were so easy to follow. That woman can write a pattern.). I love the way it turned out. Kate is going to take it to Em on Tuesday and hopefully she'll get a modelled shot of Em wearing it. It's not the softest yarn to knit with but it softened when I washed it. If I were going to make it for me, I would make it longer but Em likes shorter sweaters so it's perfect for her. I'm just glad to have it finished. I'm not sure I'm a sweater knitter. I got frustrated at points because I seemed to be knitting forever and not making any progress. I like making socks. Not-quite-instant gratification. And I like the challenge of a lace project. Speaking of which, I gave up for now on the Print o' the Wave stole because I didn't like it in the color I had handy. I am going to try Nancy Bush's Estonian Lace scarf that's posted on Ravelry. I looked for her book on Estonian lace at the book store but it was sold out. I have some ivory colored extra fine yarn that I think will work. Once I finish the belt for Em's sweater, I'll give it a try.

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

It's been a quiet weekend here in southern new jersey. The weather has been more summery than usual. There were some thunderstorms overnight which brought out the humidity. It's not unbearable. It's actually nice to feel some warmth. A few fans running and it's still comfortable.

On Friday after work, Elanor met us at the train station and we headed to the local fried chicken place (good food but definitely not good for you) and picked up some food to go. We took it to the river and had a picnic. The weather was a little cloudy and cool but it was relaxing. As an added bonus, we got to watch a wedding party pose for their photos. As I sat in my chair with wool socks and jeans and a fleece hoodie on, I watched several young women with sleeveless cocktail dresses (in varying shades of orange and coral) stand in the breeze. I just figured alcohol and adrenalin were keeping them warm. I wish I'd had my camera but I didn't remember to take it with me on Friday morning. We watched the planes land at the airport across the river and a huge tanker work its way downriver toward the mouth of the Delaware. Not too many kids running around but a group of men playing cricket which Pk found fascinating. He looked it up on his iphone (to me, this is the only thing it has proven useful for) and explained it to El. They watched the game and the ensuing arguments with delight.
I did have my camera to show off our first ever gladiolas. I've always loved them but thought they were too difficult to grow. Pk planted some under the window and some in another bed so I could cut them and bring them in. They don't last too long. They bloom and then the next day they're gone. We've got some pink, white and purple. I want to plant some more for next year.

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.
I spent some time knitting on Em's sweater. It has most of one sleeve and looks pretty good. It hasn't been too hot to sit with a pile of wool on my lap and I like seeing some progress. I had Em try it on for me last week and it looks like it'll fit nicely. And she likes it. That's the important part.
I've also been spinning some roving I bought last year at NJ sheep breeders' show. It's called 'denim' and looks like old faded jeans when it's spun. I like the colors and the way they meld together. It's from ashland bay and it's nice and soft and spins up like a dream. I think it'll make a lovely scarf when it's finally yarn. But that all comes later. Right now, saraspunda and I are enjoying the quiet time together. Pk is outside in the garage working on a secret squirrel project and loving every minute of it. I can hear his machines running. His hobby is MUCH noisier than mine.
That's all the news that's fit to print here in the wilds of Somerdale. I truly hope you all are having some peace, quiet and time for some creative activity. It's time to put the hot laptop down and find something cool to drink.
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just for the record, doctors who keep patients waiting for 2 hours and then spend 10 minutes with them should all be forced to run around the block naked in the snow.

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

Happy 7th of July!

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

Happy Fourth of July!

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.

The joy in yesterday was seeing Emily make it down for the fireworks. She said she wanted to come down but I was afraid the trip would be too much for her. It was such a normal thing to do, watching fireworks together (along with her friends who knew right where to find us, we're always in the same spot!). We haven't had a lot of normal in a while and it felt good. The fireworks were wonderful and we oooh'd and aaaah'd and enjoyed them tremendously.

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.

One of the joys of living in the Garden State is the farmers' markets on the way home from the lake. We got some lucious raspberries, some beautiful blueberries, some cantaloupe, some tomatoes, sweet corn and some peaches. The peaches smell good but are not nearly ripe so I put t
hem in a brown paper bag (which helps them to ripen) and in a few days, they'll be perfect. I made a fruit salad out of the berries with some watermelon and some strawberries and it was delicious. Tasted just like summer. We had the corn and some chicken (marinated with lemon, lemon thyme, garlic, olive oil and salt) on the grill and some tomatoes with mozzarella for a light, delicious fourth of July meal.
As I sit here, I can hear fireworks in other towns going off. Philadelphia has a huge fireworks display but it's so crowded that we avoid it. Just the thought of all those people makes me nervous. I'm content with our town's more modest offering.

I finished some baby socks for my coworker. As usual, the smallness of them makes them cute. I'm working on a matching hat. I'm kind of winging it so we'll see how it goes. It was a peaceful day. The weather was just about perfect and we have a whole 'nother day tomorrow. Talk about lucky. Pk and I are going to the local flea market in the morning and then home for blueberry pancakes. Who could ask for better than that?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A little while ago, Bells wanted to see our favorite photos of ourselves. I have thought long and hard about this and I'll admit, it was tough. I never like how I appear in photos. I never look like what I think I look like. (does that make sense?) I'm always fatter than I imagine and I always have shiny skin or my hair looks funny. In my mind's eye, I look good and in photos I see this goofy looking woman. I have never had a lot of self confidence in the way I look so it didn't surprise me that I had a hard time. That was one reason I had the 'pin up' shot done for Pk two years ago. It challenged me to look at myself in a new way. I even put one in a frame and he has it on his desk at work.

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!

Happy Sunday!  I am sitting here working on my sweater made with the cashmere yarn my husband gave me for my birthday last year. I’m further...