Monday, July 31, 2006


I don't, as a rule, wax poetic or melodramatic here. Usually I come, I say a few things, and I move on...

Today is different. Today my youngest child begins college. It's only one class, and it's only for two weeks. But after this the fall semester begins and all of us change permanently and, I hope, for the better.

You have to understand, this is my baby. This is the final chapter, the last to move on. There's been three before her, all boys, and all off and gone and doing their own things now for better and for worse depending on the boy in question. This is completely different. She's the only girl. She's the best kid I know. She's one of my best friends. I have always maintained the line that divides mother from daughter. We never let it blur. She knows I'm in charge, I'm the mom, but she also knows - I hope she knows - she can tell me anything, and I am always here for her, no matter what. And I am less in charge.

So there she stands, in her pedal pushers and t-shirt, with her Cool New Bag over her shoulder, and I see this incredible young woman and it staggers me. I don't remember rearing this. I remember mistakes. I remember being too hard, unyielding and controlling. I wanted this, this incredible person who just amazes me every day. I have to admit that it's more than I hoped for.

But on the inside, way down inside of me....I still see this...

Friday, July 28, 2006

The New Math

Nope, no knitting today, not a single bit. It's all projects I can't share yet, secret things, new yarns, new designs, new plans. Sad, huh? Here's my math problem, with solution:

This (breakfast of leftover General Tso's Chicken from evening meal with Sue, visiting from Florida)...

plus this...

equals this...(It does, I swear it does!)

OK, maybe not really. It's good to see Sue. I sometimes wish she'd move back from Florida. We met in nursing school, which is also odd if I dwell on it for too long. I went to nursing school. I worked as a Registered Nurse in the state of Massachusetts. I actually went to the #1 (at the time) rated 2 year RN program in the nation. And it was top ten for RN programs nationally, regardless of degree awarded. Pretty wild, huh? Ahh, the good old days. No money, two kids, and a borrowed car. Three years of insanity, work, stress and fun. Yes, it was fun, really. It was incredibly challenging, expanding and rewarding. In a way I miss it. I miss the constant academic struggle. We had a good time last night, drop in at Webs, then chinese food, and bed about midnight. I may be too old for that, though. Sue's son has Muscular Dystrophy. His twin sister does not, Thank God. Give, and give generously. Nasty disease.
This is Floyd. Girl made Floyd and I love Floyd. I was waiting for the right day to show you Floyd and I have decided today is it. Floyd is named for Floyd Landis, 2006 TDF champion, and in my heart and soul he always will be outcome regardless. I am posting Floyd today as a token of faith and trust in Mr. Landis. I believe him innocent, and may still even if he's "proven" guilty. Here's the deal - I am not niave. I know there's doping in cycling. Heck, there's probably doping in golf. I just don't think this is a case of doping. I think it's a couple of beers and thyroid medication. See, somedays the nurse thing comes in handy, all that critical thinking!

Hey, check this out - It's so reflective and relevant!
Your results:
You are Wonder Woman
You are a beautiful princess
with great strength of character.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

Monday, July 24, 2006

When You Are Sick...

You don't notice things. You don't notice the number of days passing until you start to get better, and then you count and think "What a total waste of time!!". You also don't notice things like this: Under normal circumstances things like that are dealt with in a reasonably prudent and timely fashion. I walked through the house this morning and thought "Where the heck did all this HAIR come from???" Today will be a day of reclaimation. My sinks, my toilets, my floors. Mr Wonderful already discovered a sad lack of underwear and took care of the laundry - thank the good Lord above, because I think I may have two weeks of housework to do today.
Mildly disturbing, and very interesting...somwhere out here in what looks like the Bavarian Forest is a moderately large animal who 1.)poops berries and who is 2.) after my berries and compost and 3.) a frequent visitor. I believe this to be a bear. We've had bear here before; attempting to get into the chicken house, climbing trees to avoid screaming knitters making vague threats about poultry protection at all costs, and dumping over the compost bin to root around and make a mess. I love being closer to the woods than at our previous home. However - no one warned me about spiders on my sun dried laundry that run into double digit numbers, bears in my front yard, or coyotes bold as brass wandering past my sliding glass doors. Then there was the rabid bat on the screen that hung for days, and the flying squirrels in the attic when we moved in that kept us up all night for days, and the fox that nearly got lucky with a chicken dinner, and the deer that routinely use our 10 acres for access to water and their bedding place. And there's the red tail that hangs across the street catching pigeons and mice, and the snake in the basement, and the myriad songbirds, and the biiiig snake by the mail box, and the snakes just generally scattered around here with a frequency not unlike pigeons in the city....It's like Wild Kingdom Live.
Knitting? Oh, yeah, that....about that....ok, I finished these socks which I totally love and am not giving to Schaefer. I am keeping them and they are added to the self-publish pile. I really adore them, from their tulip top to their kitchnered toes. They are called Sweet Pea Socks, and they are indeed. I want to keep them. Instead they will be photographed on the ankle of a svelte person and then given away for Christmas. Everyone should knit a pair. This is where the mercenary bit and the knitterly love clash. I want everyone to knit a pair, but I need to sell the pattern. Sad but true. Tragic, really. I am such a mismatch of ideals. "Pay me but I wish you could have them for free." "Recycle, reuse, don't waste, don't litter, hug trees, reduce oil dependence, don't poison my food or modify my organisms, but we're going to Disney World." This is where Mr Wonderful comes in. When I was working as a nurse, it was he who checked my paystub to see that I'd been correctly compensated. I could have cared less. I was just taking care of people. Someone has to keep me in line or I'd give it all away.
On Saturday Norah Gaughan was at Webs. I nearly missed her speaking because I was teaching a class. Andra, Rep Extrordinare, came in and suggested that my students might like to hear Norah. They agreed, and we set off to complete class while listening. She had many items with her from Berroco's new line, which - I am pleased to report, appear wearable and knittable both. It's still a tough world when you are wide of hip and bountiful of bosom and short and short waisted all together, but I could see that the new line would flatter myriad body types. Girl tried on an asymetrical pullover that really was adorable on her. Norah also had about half of the items from Knitting Nature (the other half are on the west coast), including but by no means limisted to the Basalt Tank, Branching Aran Gansey, Bubble Pullover, Roundabout Tank and Target Wave Mittens live and in person. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, Webs will continue a trunk show of Knitting Nature items for a few weeks before they have to move on to their next location. It's a great way to see, feel, touch and try on items from the book. Her talk was enlightening. Someday I want a staff of knitters and pattern drafters. I will just sit and draw pictures and swatch and write, and then hand it all over. Actually. I won't. I'd miss the process, and the hands on. Although time feels very short at times, I still enjoy the process too much to let it go. Every once in a while a garment comes along that I'd love to hand off. But overall, they're my babies and I want to rear them to adulthood!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

But I Have a Good Excuse....

OK, so I have not been blogging. I also have not been knitting as much as usual. I have also been sick for a week, and at times unwell enough to not want to knit. This is my good excuse. Knitting is my health barometer. If I can't knit, well, I must feel pretty crappy.

I did complete these, called Tilting at Windmills, and they are being submitted to Schaefer Yarn - if they want to use the pattern I get beaucoup sock yarn, always a good thing. They're just a basic top down sock with a cute little pattern thing going on. The yarn reminded me of my sister Jody, hence the name - this goes back to my childhood and is a long story, but it involves Don Quixote (obviously). This is the patterning in a bit more detail. It's lovely, I think. I like them, and now have to hope Schaefer does as well!

And yesterday Mr Wonderful had the day off and I said yes, of course I feel well enough to go here and paddle; can't waste a day off can we? Lovely isn't it? Small pond, nice peaceful paddle, stayed mostly in the shade as much as I could. I miss paddling. We kayaked a lot more before we moved. Barely been out at all in the last two years and it saddens me. So I wanted to go, and I did have a good time. We ran a couple of errands, and went to Mesa Verde for lunch (where I ordered a burrito that was about the size of my freaking head - we took more than half home, the thing was huge and incredibly good) and Mr Wonderful had steak quesadillas - also excellent. Then we came home, and I curled into a ball and died. Now I am coughing up unmentionables. I am trying to tell myself that this would have happened with or without the kayaking. It's Just A Cold! But I wish it would go away.

And a few days ago we found these, fledged now. There were four total, we thought only three at first. We're not certain what they are aside from "baby birds", that part we got all right. But specifically, what kind of bird? We do not know. Mom never sits still long enough for us to tell, she's very much a constant motion kind of girl, and with four eggs hatched to perfection, I guess my wings would be falling off from the pressure to fill those blessed beaks. They're loud too, especially when hungry. Worse than people babies, almost!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kind of Neat

I just find this very cool. It all begins with one red paper clip. I love barter. We're negotiating one ourselves, and a doozy it is. Works for me.

Also check out new gallery link to Design Portfolio...I feel sorta all blushy about these puppies, but I love them all - well...nearly all. This is not everyone, but it's a good start. More to come. Also to come is some knitting, possibly as soon as tomorrow - two lovely pair of socks in the works, distracting me further from Colorful Tracks. I know, you can hear me whining from where you're sitting, can't you? Can you feel my sadness at being so heedlessly and mercilessly ripped from the stinking - - -I mean - daaaarling thing by my Schaefer sibling socks???

Friday, July 07, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I decided that since I had the scunci out anyway to block Girl's store scarf, I may as well do a couple of things.
First, my Silk Rhapsody Shawl. Mind bending in it's simplcity - perfect for car, television, or classroom but a real bear to block. It's taking up the whole kitchen and the whole day. I assume that when I return Miss Hannah will have plunked her furry butt dead center - it's just what she does, and everyone needs a hobby, right? This is my excuse for not getting on the bike yet - "I had to block". Anybody buying this? I love this yarn. I want to live in it. Right in there, in the middle bit...looks comfy to me. And the pattern was very simple, just a B.W. faggoting, purse stitch. Now if I can just remember how many I cast on................
You know, it's a good thing blogger is free. The trouble I have with photo upload is astonishing. Up close it looks more like this, but we'll see how it holds it's shape when I am done tormenting it. It's stretched pretty tightly. You could bounce a quarter off of it. But if I caught you trying, I might have to kill you. This knitted up very quickly, but then sat for days on end waiting to be blocked. I just have not had the ambition to block.
Girl reminded me that I failed to blog, in my whining about boredom, about something really un-boring that happened on the 27th. We went to see Jamie Cullum at the Calvin Theater in Northampton. Wonderful boy. I personally was not as into this as Girl - this was her 18th birthday gift, tickets to see Jamie Cullum. I have listened, even have a couple of his songs on the mp3 player, but was not a huge fan. I am now. Boy Genius. Wonder-boy. Talent coming out of his eyeballs. Impressive, without a doubt. He's just great live. Really worth it, and if coming to a city near you, worth the trip. Of course, the Calvin is a small venue which made it very intimate (like when he came off stage with his trumpet player and was about 6 inches off of Girl's right elbow). A very talented young man, with incredible timing and musicality, uses the piano in ways one might marvel at. Great throaty jazz voice. It was a wonderful experience, and John Mayer and Sheryl Crow will have to be beyond stellar to improve upon it.
I also blocked this, silly little karaoke hat. I can't decide if it needs a scarf or now...I must consider it. I also have to write this up. The pattern is "I dunno yet, I have not written it". I am thinking of calling it . . . I forgot already. It will come to me. Ripples. Ridges. Curves. bumps, waves, sea-sickness. That's it! Mal de Mer!! . . . .wow. I may need to take a little break here....

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Well, there's just not much going on....

That about sums it up. Everything around here is boring. There is nothing to blog about. There are not even pictures of the boredom.
I am knitting socks. I am knitting a sweater that hates me, and another that would love me if I could give it time. If I tried to photograph them, the images would reflect the bad humor I feel toward them today.
We had a graduation pig roast for Girl and it was alot of fun. Oh, I know, I will post a picture of the pig (vegetarians and those sensitive to the sight of non-living animals, turn your head now):
Wilbur is being flipped halfway through the roasting process to ensure even cooking. I did not realize how much is involved in this whole pig roast gig. My father arrived at 6am to light the fire, and then spent the entire day here roasting, basting, checking and flipping the pig. Unfortunately, of the images I took, only Mr W and Grampa can be shown as all others, inculding Girl, refused to allow blogging of their personages. In the next image we see Wilbur having his temperature taken on his inner thigh. This is to ensure that he's of a proper temperature before being served - no food poisoning at my house!! The end result of all this labor was some really sweet tender pork. Of which I have endless pounds in my freezer. OK, not endless, it's just a couple of bundles really and people seem to want the leftovers. Don't get me wrong - I loved the stuff. But previously frozen just is not the same as the day itself with the armoa wafting through the air of charcoal, syrup and pig. Yummmmm. Girl had a wonderful day and was thrilled that so many people turned out...although ONE person was NOTICABLY absent, but we shall not recriminate on that account, we shall not remind that person of their absence...the cause was a just one - kid's ball game versus Girl's roast pig...I would have had to go with the ball game myself. Besides, she totally made up for it with Girl's gift of which I am incredibly jealous. I love bags. Give me a bag and I am yours for life. Girl does not need a bag. She can carry her books in her arms like in the old days before the invention of the Cool Bag. Girl actually got much cool loot, and I was very happy for her - no fuzzy lollipop that day.
I never had a graduation party myself. This could be due to the fact that I dropped out of high school. Oh, wait! I did have a graduation party. When I graduated from college my mother had a party for me. I remember it now - there was that chocolate cake as I recall, and people, and the kids were all little and cute. That was many moons ago. Speaking of college...Girl is going to college. I thought this was all fine with me, all cool and everything. Wasn't that the point? Rearing adults, not babies. Maybe it's not so much. She is after all The Baby. (Sorry Girl, but it's true). And Mr Wonderful realized this before I did - I am slow and dense and need more time to process, but it just dawned on me that we're nearly done. I mean, yes, we're still parenting, but the tone is changing, our roles are shifting. It's a short skip from here to Girl reminding me to put my teeth in while fixing my buttons. I need a small, helpless infant animal to tend.
Wow, that's really freaking cheery!! Onto happier things. I have chosen a color for the office - it is called Oriole and is basically orange, but with some blue undertone so it's not as assaulting on the eyes of my family. And I am ordering this very cool clock for the office from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I promise more appropriate, upbeat knitting content soon!