Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How old am I?

I feel like I've lost 8 weeks of life and work and it's bugging me in the selfish, spoiled brat kind of way. Call me five years old, foot stomping, rampaging, I need space, I need to work, I need to create, give me time, give me space, I want to run away from home to a cabin in the woods and just write and swatch for weeks, me, me, me kind of way. I called my father and demanded to know what he was thinking by having only one child with my mother and then divorcing leaving me holding the proverbial bag. I demanded to know where my full siblings were. My sisters have full siblings. Where are mine? "CONFESS!", I begged. He denied that there are any. I think he's protecting them. He suggested I find a body double to take the bullets for me so I can get some work done. Then I tried to give my mother away on Facebook. No takers. Wimps. Baugh! Maybe eBay...or reverse eBay - I will pay the high bidder...

Yesterday I unplugged or shut off all telephones and prepared to work aggressively all day. I began early by bathing and grooming the dog (saved $40, but...well..let's just say I need practice...). Next I sorted some minor sample knitter issues. I then prepared to aggressively write, and just as I opened the document titled "Book2" the dogs went nuts, the front door began to open, and a face appeared in my doorway. I forgot Donna was coming to visit. I love Donna. But today the door is locked.

There's not a small amount of guilt here. "What if". What if the mother falls, strokes, truly needs me. What if. What if, what if, what if. But I have a deadline and what if won't get my work done, it can only get in my way. So I shove it aside, and I pray that she won't fall or stroke, and that I am only avoiding calls about the VCR not working or the apartment being too hot or the lack of orange juice at the facility (They have orange juice. It's just not the right kind. It needs to be Tropicana Pure Premium Original, apparently).

This past weekend was much fun. I taught Knit Different at Webs on Saturday and had a blast doing it. I corrupted...er...converted members of the class to Eastern Uncrossed/Combination. This is my life's work...well, really my life's work is about teaching knitters to read their knitting, and stitch mount is a huge part of that. The added benefits of Combination knitting just make it easier. On Sunday we went shopping for a big pot for my kumquat tree which I've managed to not kill yet, although it was touch and go for a while there. It has some fruits,about five so far, and three tiny blossoms, which smell so amazing. Sorry the pics are not great. I was saving for a macro lens, but I splurged on Tropicana Pure Premium Original and Depends instead. Priorities, and all that.

We spent a fair amount of time photographing Dazee for the AKC. She hates being photographed. She's a pet shop puppy mill dog.She came with registration in the United Friends of Sunnydale Kennel Club or something equally useless for competition in Rally Obedience with the AKC. The AKC allows for registration of pet dogs, spayed or neutered, that display characteristics of their alleged breed. We've got to prove she's a Peke, even though she looks a lot like a Tibbie with a too-flat nose. She does, I must say, look like a historic Peke, before they overbred them for strange things, like that crazy coat. You've seen them if you watch dog shows. Carried in by their handlers on a pillow? Can barely make it around the ring? That's not a dog. Dazee is a dog. I am debating letting her coat grow out, although her Other Mother disapproves. She's got her Tropicana. She can deal.

I made a pile of yarn for Girl. Seems she's been reduced to knitting with highlighters and handspun...no needles. I am sending out her Denise needles and some yarn. Nothing fancy, except the silk, since the PO lost the last package I sent - the one with her surprise and her gauntlets and the hat for her roommate? The roommate who's birthday is today?? Not loving the PO this week. We're tracking it.

Back to work now. But which work...book or Chicken Socks for Tina that are burning a hole in my brain?? Which reminds me I need some Louet in colors we don't have at the store. I need to email them...there's another pair of socks burning a hole in the other side of my brain, for the book, and I can't find the right gold anywhere but Louet's website. Oh!! Thank God. Designs are burning in my brain. Things are looking up!!

Wait a second. How is this spoiled? For crying out loud, this house? It's my OFFICE. This is my workspace. How is it spoiled to demand that people not call me at work??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I don't have enough money....I need more money...I...I want THIS!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Home Again, Home Again (Jiggity-Jig?)

Virginia, I have decided, is a lovely place to teach. In fact, I would not mind visiting again. I was invited by Sherri of Coordinated Colors in Yorktown to teach a workshop. The weekend began with a train ride from New Haven, CT to Newport News, VA. At the time I was booking this trip the only flights available were twice as much money as Amtrak and about as long. It was some crazy schedule, like "Fly from Bradley to Chicago, sit for a few hours, then fly to Virginia, arriving an hour earlier than the train, but missing an extra $200". It just seemed more rational to take the train. Which was late (but only by an hour) and had a very angry woman nearby, with not one but two cell phones on her, so she could swear at two different people at once. I found this inventive, if nothing else. It just would never occur to me. For some reason it did not occur to me to take my bag down and move. I somehow thought this would be "rude". Go figure. Once off the train in VA I hopped a cab to the hotel, and called shop owner and hostess Sherri to let her know I was on the ground (so to speak) as she had knitters at her shop who wanted me to drop by for a bit of meet and greet time, and to sign some books.
I had forgotten to bring any knitting (GASSSP!!) to the shop, having just hopped off a 12 hour train ride (and having had not much time for more than washing of the hands and face, and brushing of the teeth before Sherri arrived to fetch me), but I managed to shop a bit. I got some Misty Mountain Jubileewhich is a locally dyed sock yarn, in a colorway perfect for Mr. W ('sandy foam'!). I find it of inestimable value to buy yarn for his feet when out shopping. It softens the whole "I bought (more) yarn" blow, I find. The promise of wife-knit socks seems to quell the savage budget-beast.
I also found - and was so thrilled to find - Schoeller Fortissima Socka Stars and Stripeswhich I admit to stalking since I discovered it a while back. I almost bought all that Sherri had, but decided Mr. W. would possibly faint, die, or yell if I came home with too much yarn, so I stuck to one ball. This will become something for someone, already planned and practically on the needles. (Shhhh...it's a secret!)
On Saturday morning class began at 9am in the hotel's meeting room. What a wonderful group of knitters. I wish I'd had my camera, but I sort of feel that teaching and blogging maybe should not mix? I have not worked this out yet. I need to find a compromise, because these were awesome knitters and you deserve to meet them all. I met Jennifer and Tess who loaded me up with goodies for the ride home. Tea and chocolate, and sugar that's not white! There's a Trader Joe's in Newport News, and I can highly recommend their Pomegranate White Tea, thanks to Jennifer's generosity. She claims her preparedness is due to her being a military wife. She came with her own kettle for hot water (in case there wasn't one) and enough food to last the whole day, and some to share. That's more than just being prepared, I think.
I also got to meet Karin, Serena (who just sent me a link to THIS!! KNITTING CHICKEN FABRIC!) and Leslie from Raleigh, NC. The trio drove four hours one way to take a class with me. I hope they didn't regret it by the end of the day! They spent Friday night at the hotel so they'd be bright and early for class. There was some discussion about whether their husbands truly believed they were driving 4 hours to take a knitting class. I think we could file this under "inexplicable knitter behavior". Makes perfect sense to me. But maybe not to non-knitting husbands?!
Then there was Tami who bought her yarn at Webs. Gail took care of her in Northampton, and emailed me that someone had been in asking for materials for my class in Virginia. I have to admit to a big of wondering - she must, I thought, have had some reason for being local to Webs last weekend...sure enough, she has relatives here and was visiting, not just buying yarn.
We had an awesome class, I think. Everyone left happy, and that is always my goal. I love teaching, and love it most when the students leave feeling like they got their money's worth. I really loved these knitters, and wanted to put them in my pocket and bring them home with me.
On Sunday morning I hopped back on the train and over the next 6 hours, I......sipped tea and ate pumpkin seeds while knitting......was reminded that we still have not got back to DC in the last 5 years......and got a bit of very special work done. Somewhere in there my comfort level decreased when I was joined for about 4.5 hours in my (very spoiled, as I had it all to myself till then) seat by a generously proportioned young man with a penchant for provolone cheese. Eventually he moved on and was replaced by a lovely woman from Massachusetts who 1.) appeared to eat things other than provolone and 2.) was of a size appropriate for the seats on an Amtrak train. The remaining hour and a half into New Haven was significantly improved by her presence.
When I came home I found a pile of kids books from my favorite purveyor of same, Deb Murphy. Deb and I met at a Cat Bordhi class at Webs and again at BEA when I was wandering with the sort of shell-shocked look that lovers of books quickly develop there. She sat me down at a table for a bit of a break and showed me some kids books. I am a grandmother. And a mommy. And there is nothing, nothing on earth I ever loved so well as curling up with my kids and reading books.
There is Kevin Henkes' engaging Old Bearwhich has the most lovely illustrations, and a tale of a bears sleepy dreams during hibernation. This is an awesome read-along book for grandmothers (mother too, and fathers, and grandfathers and aunts and uncles...).
And another Jamie Lee Curtis book, signed even! Big Words for Little People which helps kids understand the meaning of some of those big words we adults toss around. I personally like this one - "...if someone is there and you need to pee then say loud and clear 'Hey, I need PRIVACY!'" I wish I'd had this when my kids were little. I don't think I had a solitary sandbox moment until the youngest was 8. As soon as that door shut it was "Mommmmm....s/he's doooooing it again...." I never clarified what "it" was. But I think it had something to do with my trying to use any sort of bathroom facility; tub, sink or shower. The only time they ever left me alone in there was if I was cleaning it.
And last but so very not least, there'sThe Pet Dragon by Christoph Niemann.Oh how I adore this book. "A Story about Adventure, Friendship and Chinese Characters". And it truly is. Each of the characters are introduced in a way that makes them part of the visual image of the story; they're "hidden" within illustrations that help one remember the meaning; sort of a mneumonic, but...not? A visual mneumonic! It's just brilliant.
Yesterday was a married people day. Mr. W. and I went to the Big E all alone. He was supposed to be a substitute for Girl who's accompanied me for years on this trek. He failed, but succeeded just the same. Years of attending fairs and such with my kids as a 'school day' have sort of forced me into a fairly rigid pattern of behavior. Enter at gate 9. Walk to the Mallory Complex and see what's up, engage in conversations with as many farmers as time allows. Get a Jet Shake. Move on to Farm-a-Rama. Then it's time for state buildings where we get fish on a stick and a potato in Maine and a pickled egg in Massachusetts (that may just be me, but it's a habit, and I love them). And so on. Mr. W. messed me all up, but in a good way. We entered through gate 9 (we're good so far) hit the rest room by that gate (ok, still on track) and then went...the WRONG WAY. Rather than heading into the Mallory Complex wherein lies sheep and cows and the Fiber Nook, we wandered around in the Better Living Center and watched a Vita-Mix demo (make peanut butter, soup and smoothies all in the same appliance!), and saw all manner of as-seen-on-TV products, not to mention allegedly 400 count cotton sheets for the LOW LOW PRICE of $40 a set, ANY SIZE!! (that you could see through. And the Super Chamois, which can apparently hold a 2-liter bottle of soda. I had a set. I never got them to hold much more than a half a glass of water, myself. I passed them by, thanks, anyway). We wandered until we came to this:Those are sea lions. And this is not Sea World. Just...weird. Also very, very smelly - horrible odor of rotting fish in the area. I often feel bad for traveling animals. I have a feeling they'd rather be in a nice ocean someplace. Now in a minute I am going to say something that may seem a bit like I am tracking back on myself. But I won't. You'll see.
I had chosen this day for a reason, but really could not remember why and failed to get a program or check the days events online. At around 2:30 we wandered quite by accident into the Coliseum and saw on the electronic signboard that there was a horse draw at 2:30. Now I love a good pull. But Mr. W. does not perhaps share my enthusiasm. Poor darling. He did say we could stay, so we grabbed seats and he found a nice beer and some wine for me, and we sat. And we sat and sat and sat. And time passed. And there were no horses, just a nearly empty arena. Mr. W. fidgeted like a five year old on Sunday morning. He sighed. He whined a tiny bit. But he stuck by me and waited. Finally, horses appeared...note the time on the clock above the signboard. Click on it if you need to, and check it out. Yankee farmers move on their own schedule. It's the way of things.I love to watch them pull. On my way from the ladies between draws while they were reloading the boat I overheard two women very angrily decrying the abuse of the animals involved. "It's not fair...it's sick that they make them do this!" Here's where I appear to go back on myself. These are draft horses. They are bred to pull, the way my dog is bred to pull, and my father's dog is bred to rat and my old dead and gone dog was bred to hunt. They love to pull. Horses are much more complex than people seem to realize. A horse with no occupation is no different than a dog without one. Bored, lonely, miserable. They may have hay, water and a lovely barn to rest in. But without something to do, some work, they're miserable on the inside. You can see in the eyes of these horses when they come to the boat. They WANT to pull it. They're ready to go, excited to do their job, and sometimes jump the gun and take off before the farmer is ready. Most of them have day-jobs. They work on a farm, hauling and pulling and doing what they were bred to do. They're beloved by the farmer and well-cared for. Maybe my perspective is different because I've grown up around agriculture, surrounded by farms and farmers, horses, dogs, cows. These farmers load their animals up, drive a hundred or more miles to pit the strength of their horses against those of their fellow farmers. It used to be a bit more casual, and involved much less travel. As time changes and we lose more and more small farms and farmers, the ones that remain keep their tradition alive this way. I think this is a good bit different than schlepping sea lions around the country in a truck that's parked 150 miles from the nearest ocean.
We got to see the delightful display of canine prowess, speaking of working animals, that is the Sheep Dog Demo. Peterson's Working Sheep Dog Demo uses ducks in place of sheep to show what a well-trained dog can do in the right hands. The ducks are put through their paces, over a ramp and through a tunnel, "weighed" on the scale normally reserved for sheep, and posed prettily in front of the curtain used for much bigger animals.
Then we saw a steer auction, where 4-H kids sell off their stock, making back some kind of a profit, hopefully, on their years' labors.The steers are sold by the pound, around $2.50 or so, and ranged in size with an average of about 1,000 lbs. If you can afford the cash up front, and have someone in mind to slaughter and butcher, you can save a fortune on a freezer full of beef and get some pretty high quality meat, AND encourage tomorrow's farmers, rewarding them for their labor. 4-H and FFA are really the backbone of farming. These kids are the ones who someday will have the farm around the corner that will be providing your locally raised milk and meat and eggs. Speaking of milk. In all the years we've been to the Big E I've never managed to hit the milking parlor in time for this demo. FINALLY! And finally Mr. W. knows why a "normal" milk cow would not be in our future. Gallons upon gallons of milk, twice a day from the average production breed. Give me some lovely small heritage breed that puts out a gallon a day.
Oh. For anyone who's been and seen the sweet little baby chicks hatching out in Farm-O-Rama and wondered where they go at the end of the fair? Um. I finally found out. And. Uh. Don't ask. You don't want to know.
Now that I have posted, bored the heck out of you, I am going to go work a bit. Design a sock or two, and try to get my mail without getting into trouble with the pack of coy that are trying to take over my neighborhood. They need some nice predator to teach them a lesson. Maybe me...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Patterns for Sale

So it occurred to me that I have had these up on Ravelry for a while, and I am not sure people know about this - maybe it was Purling Pirate's comment that made me think this...so for those who may not be aware, here are three socks for sale.

Maine Woods
is written for 2-at-a-Time. The yarn used is Valley Yarns Franklin in colorway pinecone. This pattern was designed while on a long car trip to Maine. The stitch pattern is reminiscent of the way pine seeds nestle against one another on a fir cone, hence the name. The eye of partridge heel flap is a lovely touch.

This is a double-pointed pattern but is adaptable for 2-at-a-Time knitters. The pattern is for socks made with a local farm yarn called Two-For-Toes, although any yarn that gets gauge can be substituted. A waffle weave pattern provides warmth and texture. Contrast color heel and toe add visual interest.

Castaway In the blues and greens of the Caribbean Sea, these sweet ankle socks bring to mind the gentle ebb and flow of ocean tides, and the vacation I designed them on! Both socks are knit at the same time on one long circular needle, referencing techniques that are fully explained in my book 2-at-a-Time-Socks.

And there's this, too...the Country Garden sock, which is available as a kit from Foxfire Fiber and Design. I loved working with this yarn and love this pattern. I really love farm yarns. This was an enjoyable design. I'll be signing for Barb in Rhinebeck, from 11-2 on Saturday; come by the Foxfire booth and say hello, and pet the socks in person! Heck, I'll even sign the pattern!! (I'll sign about anything, really, except blank checks)

And so you know? I've all but determined that the Boomerang socks will be self-published. I'd have to eliminate something from the book which I'd really rather not do. Once they're done I'll write them up as a toe-up dpn pattern and slap 'em up on Ravelry for sale. But it may be a little while. Publishing deadlines take precedence over personal deadlines! And I need my model to be home for a week.s.


I love it when my babies return to me! To wit - the two socks I sent away for Judith Durant's new book, Luxury One-Skein Wonders. I was very excited when both were chosen to appear in the book. The first is Tiffany, which is cashemere (mmmm), Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply, with Swarovski crystal beads.They got their name from the color of the yarn which is a bit of Tiffany blue. Someday I am getting one of those blue boxes. Even if it's just the box!!
The second pair are called Caravan, and are knitted of Handmaiden Mini-Maiden. Once I started knitting them in this stitch pattern (which this pic does not do justice to, seriously, but my model ran away to college) they spoke to me of spice markets and camels and bright dessert roses.
I love these socks.
I knitted both pair to fit myself, knowing they'd come back. It wasn't until I took them out to put them on my feet that I realized they must have had a heck of a time getting pictures of them. I have...feet of a substandard size. One might call them pygmy feet. I wear kids shoes a lot.
This is a swatch. It is an upside down hidden swatch of a yarn called Socks That Rock - some of you may have heard of it (wink, wink)? This is one of the chicken colors Tina sent after the Great Chicken Slaying of 2008 (Which my hens are still not over. They all molted early and now I have no eggs). I am designing a pair of socks in this colorway but am keeping them very secret for now. But don't you want to dive into the ball? The bit of turquoise sort of oddly draped over the left there is not the STR, which is colorway Chantecler. It's a bit of this (these?):Toe up somethings. Socks. Yes, socks. But then what? Yesterday I was writing and had a moment of brain cramp. I decided I needed to knit a pair of socks, just for myself (pygmy. fast.), as a refresher. Sort of toss some cold water on the brain and wake it up. Well, now I am debating putting them in the book. I love the stitch pattern and I love the yarn (Fiesta Boomerang, color Adirondack). Hmmm. Opinions? What do you think? Book? Or "just for me"? Or self-publish as a stand alone pattern? So many decisions...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time Out

Maybe if I speak it, it will happen. I need a time out. I need a week of work days, all strung together, like normal people have. See, last week I was just asking for one free day, and I got one. Give me an inch and I want a mile, I swear. I did get a free day Monday, during which I swatched mercilessly.
I planned to write patterns the next day and hand off some socks for sample knitting this week, but my mother had another TIA - or maybe we should just call them strokes, since they last for significantly longer than the "brief" which defines a Transient Ischemic Attack - transient meaning "doesn't last for a day and a freaking half". If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say this is probably the fourth or fifth "episode" in the past few weeks, all marked by the same set of symptoms, all lasting greater than 24 hours; each leaving behind more profound loss, each followed more closely by the next. She's refusing treatment, sort of. She will not go to the ER, but will go to various specialists for non-TIA related issues, will take her meds and will go for any ordered tests and imaging. Because she's 65, and this is America, she's within her rights to refuse any treatment as long as she's deemed competent. But is she? Well, when she's not in the midst of one of these "episodes", yes, she appears to be. She certainly does not meet the legal definition of incompetent. And I can't really blame her for not wanting to return to the ER that decided her whole problem was a urinary tract infection. I mean, really. I know UTI can do weird things to older people. But unresponsiveness, left sided facial droop, slurred speech, and bilateral muscle weakness?? Please. If there's another incident where she's unresponsive, she can be admitted, as she would not be coherent enough to refuse. So I wait, try to convince her of the value of acceptance over denial while respecting her right to choose her treatment. I take her from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, none of whom are related to the TIA's. She's got so many other medical issues, and everyone has their particular speciality axe to grind, while she attempts to ignore the proverbial horse on the dining room table - the strokes - which are slowly robbing her of more and more of her brain. It's like my own little hell. But really, that's not what I came here for. I just needed to vent that.
Really I came here to talk about some actual knitting, although nothing stellar or remarkable, unless you're Girl and you're waiting for care packages. Or maybe if you're waiting for book 2. Or if you like to shop. Otherwise, you won't be interested in the slightest...(sarcasm, anyone?)
On Wednesday I met up with Gail for coffee and deep yarn chat in Shelburne Falls at Metaphor (pssst, hey, Meta, you need a website!). I love this town (free parking, cool coffeehouse, potholes my kids once played in as did I back in the day, beautiful Bridge of Flowers, excellent food, what's not to love??). Maybe we should just move up there. Anyway, I love this yarn shop. I love the big squashy sofa that I never sit on but always stare at. I love the adorable Linen Washcloth kit I've been coveting since my last visit as a Christmas gift for just the right person.And I love what's beneath it even more. Real Farm Yarn. We're talking "still on the sheep, I'd swear" yarn. This is Balky Farm's worsted - they have a bulky also. Single ply, both. I bought 1,000+ yards. I have a plan. I need to design something, or really I already have. Since this picture was taken, they yarn's been handed off to Gail for dying. I want it to be bittersweet, pumpkin pie, toffee, sunflowers in late fall orangey-goldy. I can see the sweater in my head. I suspect it will become my "downtime" knitting, right alongside Malea's temporarily languishing hoodie. Just wait and see! We know it takes dye well, which leads me to the second item.Gail dyed some Balky up and made a pair of stuffed gauntlets with it. I took her idea and shamelessly created gauntlets for Girl using the dyed Balky Farm yarn and some red roving from Girl's stash to create rustic "Momma Loves You, Baby" thrummed gauntlets. So there, Girl, now you know you're getting SOMETHING. But maybe there's more than just these? Maybe ...something ... else? Oh, wait and see.
Swatches - Can't see much, can you? Mwahahahaa! Where would be the fun in that? Where's the suspense?? Where's the mystery? HAH!! You've got to have something to wonder about for the next year. Patience, they say, is a virtue. I personally have become an expert, so I should know!
Next week, Saturday September 20, I will be at Coordinated Colors in Yorktown, Virginia. There's a workshop on Saturday; if you're interested contact Sherri at Coordindated Colors for more information. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


For more than twenty years of my life I have woken up every morning to this.(the new one. I am the big one).

Well, ok, maybe after a while it looked like this.and very often this
and all too often this
and most recently this.
Now I wake up to this.

That's empty space, if you were wondering. Empty space, no toast crumbs on the counter and no fighting for the last cup of coffee. No Girl to share the day with.
Last Friday we packed my car with Girl and gadgetry, and drove 1/3 of the way across the country and deposited her in a dorm on a campus we'd never even seen with our own eyes.This was a sudden decision, and one I have been in denial about since before it was made. My mother's TIA's (mini-strokes) and subsequent needs were an exceptional distraction. Halfway to Indiana it dawned on me that we were taking her there...and not actually bringing her back with us.
Different people have babies for different reasons. Some are welcome accidents, some are mistakes we learn to love. Some we never learn to love, which is always sad, but it happens. Some are yearned for, wanted and desperately desired. Some are planned down to the most minute detail - plans that often go awry which some of us find amusing. Girl was all of those to different people and for different reasons. For me she was desperately desired, planned down to the last detail, but somehow never went awry. Every minute of her life has been a gift, and a welcome one for me. From the first minute she cried in my arms to this very moment everything about her very existence has been a gift, a joy and a blessing. I've watched her grow from amazingly beautiful infant with huge brown eyes to engaging toddler with a smile as big as the world that never, ever quit. Well. Sometimes it quit and then things maybe were a tad ugly for a while. She's a bit like her mother. Cross her and there is great wrath. I crossed her more than once. It was part of the job. We caught tadpoles to grow into frogs, played in the mud, roasted marshmallows over an open fire in the backyard and pretended it wasn't the back yard. We had our own Monarch butterfly farming project, ant farms, and a huge failure when the silk cocoons she was boiling overcooked. My house stunk like exploded silk worm larva for weeks. We learned to spin almost at the same time. We dissected things, studied the intricacies of various plants and animals. We explored, grew, learned together. As time went on she needed me less and less, and I was glad. Not for me, but for her. I didn't have babies to keep forever. I had babies to rear into grown people with jobs and lives and babies of their own someday. I knew there would be a day when she'd pack up and head off into the world, and I knew I'd know when it was time for that to happen. Time came, and off she went.

And I am glad and mostly ready, although sometimes I cry a little but it's a happy cry. Because I want to sit here and watch from four states away as she spreads her wings and flies, as far and as free as she can.

Way to Grow, Girl. See you in December. Love, Mom.