Archive for June, 2006

Am I Blue?

Obviously not – seeing as I have no new knitting to do, I thought I’d search the house for Project Spectrum Blue. I found out – to my surprise actually, that I have very little blue in the house!

Also – how can I be blue when I got the most wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday.

My buddy, Heather, was sending Kaity some fluff to spin – because Heather’s just so cool like that…. and she sent me that beautiful sock yarn! It’s from A Piece of Vermont – and it is just beautiful! Thanks Heather! – you know I think you’re just THE BEST! (we have a sort of mutual little love affair going on, Heather and I :o), and if she every gets brave enough to get on a plane, I’m adopting her).

So – this is probably the last post for about a week. We’re heading out to Independence and the “Little House” with rest of the family for our annual 4th of July weekend. Lot’s of eating, drinking, and knitting to be done in the butt-hot weather- but I can’t wait! I need a break so bad I’m not sure I’m even gonna last ’til we get there.

You know… I’m not good without a routine…. and life this last week has been completely routineless…… I’m getting a little frazzled. I really need all my ducks in a row to be calm… and this week my little ducks are just all over the pond. Oy.

I promise to come back well rested and with stories and pictures galore from that fun and interesting group that is my family.

Take care, y’all, and have a wonderful weekend and 4th of July. I’ll drink a margarita and light a sparkler in your honor!


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"Monday Night Dinner"

I didn’t get much knitting done tonight – but that’s okay. It was “Monday Night Dinner.”

Anyone who knows anything about our family, knows about Monday Night Dinner. Most people are amazed and, I think, really a little jealous that we do this. I guess I can’t blame them – I am blesssed with an awesome family.

Monday Night Dinner started about 27 years ago. See, I met the hubby my first year away at college. One month after starting college, I met the hubby. From the day of our first date we pretty much saw each other every day. I lived in the dorms, he lived off campus. We were inseparable. We were in love. New love.

Skip forward about a year-and-a-half. We’re engaged and done with school. Six months until the wedding day. We come home to get jobs – he goes back home to live with to his parents, I go back to mine. All of the sudden we live about 45 minutes away from each other and can’t see each other every day. Not good.

So, Mom suggested he come up on Wednesday nights for dinner. We can see each other in the middle of the week, and he can spend a little more time getting to know the family. My sister still lived at home, but my brother had moved across town. But, on Wednesday he’d come home for dinner. My sister’s boyfriend would come, too.

From then on, for the last 27 years, our family has gotten together once a week at Mom and Dad’s for dinner. Every week, with very few exceptions. See, Monday Night Dinner actually started out as Wednesday Night Dinner.

Things have changed a lot in 27 years. When Wednesdays didn’t work anymore, instead of giving up the tradition, we all found another day that would work. We grew up together. My brother and sister both got married. The hubby and I had three kids….. then my sister and her husband had three kids. Things have changed, but we all still go “home” once a week and have dinner together.

Our family is like most families – we are all very different, but that’s what makes it so fun. We’ve had many a “spirited” conversation – we’ll, mostly the guys and their famous debates. Monday Night Dinner is where my hubby, brother, and brother-in-law all became best friends. And still are today.

It’s where the kids run around and have fun, until they get too loud and we inevitably send them outside. Every week – they can’t wait to see each other. They’re totally bummed if for some reason we can’t go. School and work schedules are planned around Monday Night Dinner, if at all possible. It’s when we celebrate birthdays and accomplishments. It’s where we all catch up on what happened last week, and what we’re going to do this week – where the guys are going to mountain bike ride next week, or hike, or camp, or motorcycle ride or, like tonight – work on their minibikes for next weekend…. It’s when the girls plan their next sleepover (tonight, actually), or a day with Grandma. It’s where my sister and I just sit back and watch it all happen, and let someone else cook one day a week (THANKS Mom…. I don’t say that often enough). It’s one of the reasons my sister and her family didn’t move away last year.

Things have changed – from it just being Mom, Dad, and newlyweds – to young families with high chairs all ’round – to finally outgrowing the big dining room table, so that now there’s a kid’s table and the “adults” eat in the living room – but it’s a small house, and we’re all still pretty much in the same room and it’s still one big family, and one big conversation.

Our kids have grown up together – they’re all “our” kids. Our kids have been blessed to have grown up in a family that respects and appreciates each other – and they have seen that through tough times, disagreements, but mostly through love and fun times, that family is family – they are special, they love you no matter what, and there is nothing, besides their God, that is more important.

Thank you Mom, for cooking Monday night dinner, every week, for the last 27 years. It’s who we are. I love you. See you next week.

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In my mind, I look nothing like this…. I’m younger, don’t have a turkey neck – or a big nose. I’m sure it’s all in the camera angle or the crapola bathroom lighting – (yeah – all 20+ shots trying to get a picture of the “real me”) – ok, I guess this is the real me!

Yeah- you know, like one of “those” pictures, where everyone says “what a great picture! – it looks just like you!” – and you don’t know whether to slug them or just give up.

(if you click on this picture and zoom in on the oldness…. you are NOT my friend…. don’t do it)

Anyway – this is the real me with the new “do” in curly mode (AKA, it’s natural state) – and probably they way I’ll wear it most, seeing that I’m extremely low maintenance and this way it’s pretty much wash and wear.

And, no, I’m not fishing for complements, so don’t even try. I’m just having one of those days where I’m looking mortal, and old, when really, inside, I’m looking and feeling fabulous!

Knitting? Yeah – I’ve been knitting. Quite a lot, in fact. HOURS, in fact. You just can’t tell. Icarus….. oy – those rows are getting looooooong. It takes about 15 minutes a row now. That’s like- one whole movie and only about 8 rows. Not even a whole pattern repeat!

Slowly, but surely – it’s getting there. I’m just about to start the 5th (and last) repeat of Chart 1…. then I can move onto the edging charts. At least then things will get interesting again, and start to look a little different for y’all.

Until then, you can hope I buy some new yarn, or get something fun in the mail – something to write about and take pictures of. I’m getting ready for a short vacation next weekend and am already a vacationhead – so I’m not feeling a little scattered and not very blog-witty.

But, then, ya never know. It’s summer – anything could happen, and you can be sure I’ll take pictures of it for you.

Until then…. well, you’ll just have to wait for Icarus to get interesting…. or until I find a cure for wrinkles and a big nose…. you’ll hear from me then, for sure!

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Look what I stumbled on to yesterday (thanks to Sheryl from Yarntopia)! And, guess what?? Kaity and I are going!

Who’s with us?

When: April 29th, 2007
Where: Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas
April 29, 2007
From: LA to Vancouver for FIVE nights
What: In addition to your cruise, meals, and entertainment, you will receive an Exclusive Knitting Bag filled with knitting essentials, and exclusive yarn from Mama E of C*EYE*BER Fibers. There will be knitting workshops and knitting sessions all over. Let’s fill the ship with knitters!
To learn more and Register to join the cruise: Click Here and Group ID is “seasocks”.
To keep up with the latest details on the cruise, follow the Sea Socks Cruise Blog.

I’ve already talked my Mom into going with us, and am working on a few others – you know who you are. To all my buddies – Come and join us!

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Tuesday Swim Club

I’m trying to rearrange my life around changing schedules.

I like schedules. I like routine.
The kids are out of school, the kids are busy – as much as I love having them home, they mess with my routine.

I need to learn to live without a routine…. at least for the summer – so I’m a “fun” mom and not a “tense” mom.

One routine I’m hoping I can stick to – some of my Tuesday morning Bible study friends and I decided to make use of our hosts’ new pool and do pool exercises and laps after study. I need to kick it up a notch – that ladybug ticker has been pretty slow lately – although it did finally move 1 lb last week.

See what happens when I don’t have a routine? Exercise and good eating are the first thing to go. I need a routine – some kind of routine.

Ok – today I’m back in my groove, such as it is – back in my no-routine routine. I promised myself to get back to the gym, WHENEVER I can fit it in, and stick with “Tuesday Swim Club.”

I gotta learn to go with the flow, ease up, be spontaneous, learn to groove and fly by the seat of my pants.

Isn’t that what summer’s all about?

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Our Memories

It’s funny, the things we remember, and why. The “things” we attach our memories to.

I’m sure, if my grandmother had given any thought (and she actually did talk about these things) about what she would like people to have to remember her by, she would have never thought of these swizzle sticks. But, to me they are special.

They remind me of all the times we spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s when we were kids. Memories of watching Ed Sullivan and My Three Sons (REALLY aging myself here), eating ice cream on the “Davenport,” and having “mush in the morning.” Grandma always called oatmeal “mush”. And she always had the colored ice cream cones that had names on them… and when she would scoop the ice cream she would ask how big a scoop we wanted and we would all yell out “as big as our head!” Memories of Grandpa walking us down the street to 7-11 for slurpies and to pick out a candy – and my sister taking FOREVER to pick out one piece of candy. Then Grandpa would open his little rubber coin purse, the one that was always in his pocket, and as he paid he’d always say, “I’m such a pigeon.” He was a sucker for his grandkids.

There was always a wishbone drying at the kitchen window from that week’s chicken dinner – waiting for us kids.

In the evening, right about dinner-making time, Grandma and Grandpa would always have a “snort” of whiskey. Sometimes it was a Coors Light instead, or a glass of wine. It was always vin Rose, and Grandma would get out three wine glasses for us kids, put 7-up in them and color it with beet juice, and we could have “snorts” right along with them. Instead of vin Rose, we always called it “vin Jose”. She always added a swizzle stick.

I think swizzle sticks are a thing of the past. Do places still use these? These Grandma and Grandpa had were from local restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, and the like.

When Grandma died, Grandpa lived there alone for about another 10 years, and NOTHING in the house changed. It was all the way Grandma left it. After Grandpa died, we divided up the house. It was just my dad and his sister, and 7 cousins between all us kids. For a couple of days after the funeral, ALL of us (except for one cousin who lives in Alaska) went to the house and started going through all the stuff, and all the memories. We cried some, but mostly we laughed and exchanged memories.

It really is one of my fondest memories – as sad as it was, it was a wonderful time. Everything in that house meant different things to different people. It wasn’t like the horror stories you hear about families fighting over the estate. We just spent days telling stories and saying, “I really remember this bedspread, do you mind if I have it?” – and on and on…. until everything was spoken for and divided up. One of the things I asked to keep was the swizzle sticks.

Someone, I don’t remember who, has the picture of Grandma on the camel in the purple shirt.

It was so fun to re-live all the memories of fun times with Grandma and Grandpa – and some very touching, sad, and poignant ones also. There are million stories from that day, maybe I can share more of them later.

So, this little darning egg makes me sad. I asked my mom awhile ago to keep her eyes open for one for me – she goes to a lot of antique stores. She came back with this one.

But, it probably belonged to someone’s grandma. And someone should have fond memories of it. Look at how well used it is. It used to be entirely black, but the head of it is worn off from use. I’m just sure someone saw their grandma use this hundreds of times. Why don’t they have it? Is someone wondering what happened to it? I always feel a little sad when I see things like this in an antique store. Old pictures are worse. Someone should be telling the stories- keeping the memories alive.

So, I’ll keep this darning egg on my desk, and look at it fondly, and wonder who it belonged to and what her story was.

I wonder what things of mine my kids and grandkids will attach memories to some day. I don’t really care – everything will mean something different to everyone – I just want them to be good memories.

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Cool shadow, eh? Doesn’t really match any of my WIP’s on the side bar does it…. guess I better add another one.

Larry, as much as I love him and the First Class Shawl, is just TOO hot to sit on my lap with the weather we’ve got going now.

And, I wanted a project other than socks that I could carry around, take on vacation next month, but still could knit without carrying around charts or have to stop in the middle of a conversation to knit. And, I still wanted to make a shawl.

And…. while taking Kaity to her favorite new yarn store to look at the rovings, again, yesterday….I ran into this… (enough justification?) .

Interlacements Rick Rack II, in The Blues colorway… It’s really beautiful… pretty turquoise blues and greens, Kaity thinks it looks like a mermaid. It’s kind of shiny, and really has a teeny rick-rack texture to it. And, 1440 yards! My shawl is on going to take about 900, so Kaity’s already calling dibs on the leftovers.

But…. and this caused me to pause a little, it’s rayon. I’ve always used natural fibers, and really expected to make a shawl out of something like, well you know, alpaca, or at least Merino wool.

But, I chose this rayon, of all things. I mean, we can hardly raise “rayons” on the commune. Am I a bad knitter? Will I be kicked off the commune, or at least be sent to the time-out yurt, or put on stall-mucking duty?

I don’t know…. I’m a little conflicted. But, really, it’s SOOOOO pretty! And it’s going to be wonderfully drapy. It’s probably even more practical than another wool shawl in California.

Time will tell. In the meantime – it’s on its way to becoming Icarus, from the Summer 2006 issue of IK.

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