Happy Hallowe’en….sort of…..

So I love Hallowe’en; I know yer shocked.  I love it SO much that I’m one of the few who still bother to put in the apostrophe in it, which believe you me, SpellCheck simply loathes. Anyway, this is the first year in more than 20 that I haven’t had a kid dressing up to go Trick or Treat-ing. All my progeny are too old! But there were still a few preparations to be done:

  • last night I did my annual Hallowe’en Blues show on WJAB.  During this football season, the first 1/2 hour of my show is now a sports talk show. I know it is of limited duration; I’m really missing that 1/2 hour & never so much as last night.

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A little something for Friday & October birthdays

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I say- whilst listening to some pretty amazing Austrian yodeling on Spotify: “Someday, before I die, I’m gonna learn how to yodel.”

The Duke of Curl (sitting nearby at the kids’ ‘puter): “It’s not that hard.”

Me: “Really?!  Can you do it?”

Him: “No.”

Me: “Then how do you know it isn’t hard?”

Him: “If you can teach it to hillbillies, it can’t be that hard…”

Amish_Outhouse

 He has taught himself how to do Tibetan throat singing. WONDERFULLY weird.

I come from a long line of Northern hillbillies, known as “townies”, and even though he doesn’t like it when I say so in this context, Studmuffin’s family is from West Virginia, he himself was born in WV and his parents are first cousins by marriage. Plus we have had – for months – a non-working car in the yard. It isn’t up on blocks, though…..


My little knitting group hasn’t been meeting regularly, but  3/4ths of the group did get out this past week and it was lovely to see them.  One of the the 2 ladies with the same first name, who now has the blog nickname of “SaTwo”, was delighted to show me a “yarn crime”, reminding me in the process that it’s been AGES since I did a yarn crime post. Duly noted and I’ll get right on it…perhaps for Hallowe’en or sometime in November…..  Here’s what she showed me:

yarncrimeOct2 yarncrimeOctdrawn

I drew the black marks -fyi.  I love this designer most of the time, but this time…..no. Just no.  I asked the Duke of Curl for a caption, he said, “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. sick boots.”

Have a lovely weekend and very happy birthdays going out to ALL the friends and family having October birthdays. :)

 

This lengthy blog pause has been brought to you by…..

….a whole bunch of things – let’s call it a life tsunami..perhaps tsunami is too big, the wrong scale for what’s been happening, but I’ve been really SWAMPED and overwhelmed.the-wave

I’ve been missing y’all though. So even though my darling readers (both of you) really deserve an extensive update, I’ve not got it in me.  Still, going with the idea that something is better than nothing here’s what I can give tonight: BULLETS.

  • My mobility from the end of February to early August was next to nothing – lots of pain & very hard to get around at all. That, coupled with increasing incontinence (I know – TMI!- but hey….), made gardening this season a joke – even with 2 beautiful keyhole gardens. That’s why no gardening speak on de blog. Sorry ’bout that. I hope to talk some about the garden in the next month, including the story of what happens If You Ask an Engineer to Design a Bean Trellis….
  • Modern medicine to the rescue -I got a steroid shot in the right ankle & another pill to take (vastly decreasing the incontinence(!) at the end of July and therefore was able to go on the first One Human Family Workshop Choir Harvest Tour – the first one in 9 years by my count. The ankle is still going pretty good and I no longer have to carry a towel and a spare set of clothes with everywhere I go…..

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  • Sang way too many low notes on tour ( I spent a good deal of time singing BASS – can you say ‘stoopid’? – & then talked my face off til 2 and 3 and nearly 4 am most nights…so the voice was TOAST when I got back home.  Then I got summer bronchitis….still coughing up nasty stuff 3 weeks after the course of antibiotics and do not have my high notes back yet…..
  • Celebrated TWENTY YEARS of NOT SMOKING on Labor Day weekend. Thank you God so much.
  • I’m still knitting on my Shaelyn shawl…which I’m thinking I will give to a dear friend instead of it being for me.  I had to tink back about 8 or 9 rows because of some really stoopid mistakes, but all is well and if I really knit on it every day I’ll have the knitting done in 5 to 7 days.
  • I’m most of the way thru the foot of a sock in a retina searingly bright neon sock yarn ( I just realized I have not even put a project page in Ravelry for this yet….aack!) and gonna try out the Fish Lips Kiss Heel on this pair.
  • I’m on a hat kick…again.  I’ve made 8 hats since January – here’s a few:      .. . . …. I’ve got one on the needles right now in lovely squishy Brioche stitch and gonna make AT LEAST 5 more pretty soon.  More & better pictures will happen…at some point. STOP LAUGHING!
  • Number One Son is supposed to move from NYC to Northern Virginia soon.  I hope all goes well.
  • The Duke of Curl was supposed to start college this fall as a computer science major, but decided at the absolute very last minute NOT to take on the $10,000 debt( and not allow us to take it on either) that would’ve been necessary for that to happen.  SO he will start at community college in January and is currently looking for work and generally being a sweet fella to be around.
  • The Force of Nature is focused on going into the Coast Guard after graduation from HS in a couple of years – more specifically the Coast Guard Academy and has been visibly doing HOMEWORK and has started running for actual exercise 3 days a week; she informed me today that she is on the A/B honor roll.  We are beginning to think some kind of alien abduction/ switcheroo kind of thing took place while we were in the bathroom probably…..
  • Studmuffin is still sticking with most of my dietary changes and so has lost about 25 pounds.  He has also discovered a deep and voracious love for grapes. Eating about 5 lbs. per week with little help from the rest of us.  I’m not complaining – just a bit amused.
  • The last 3 weekends I was off doing singing things – that’s an unusually high ratio even for me. I will write about 2 of the weekends for sure and soon.
  • The pets are endlessly amusing and every one of them sheds a bunch.  I am sick and TIRED of hair control….. Still, they continue to be charming. Currently, the are two cats surrounding the keyboard, the younger one keeps tryna lick my fingers and then licks the older cat’s head…..weird.
  • My potential career as a 911 dispatcher was cut short by my inability to type 35 wpm (I got 34 wpm) ::::sigh:::::  Need to find some employment – orthodontics aren’t cheap and neither is college tuition.  Plus, we need a new roof and well, you get the idea.
  • Work on the book is ongoing but slow. I am determined to get a first draft completed by the end of December!!!  Of 2014!!!
  • I’ve been flirting with sewing clothing again.  I’ve bought fabric and patterns at least….very little sewing has occurred.
  • Been practicing the piano most days for a good bit of time ( guess what? If you practice, you get better! who knew?)and have the opportunity to do a couple of house concerts too. We’ll see…….
  • I have been horrified at the killing of unarmed black people by the police for some time – I really became aware of Driving While Black about 20-25 years ago and started learning a lot from there on in. This summer has been truly remarkable (and mostly not in a good way) for the 1) wealth of information about white police officers killing/tasering black people with impunity, 2) the staggering naivete/ignorance/apathy of most white people about how different life is for black people in the US especially when it comes to law enforcement, and yes, I am gonna write about it here too.      albert einstein                                 I’ve been sharing a lot on Facebook about it and some people close to me really do not like it but I cannot be silent about it!  Even on my knitting blog. I encourage absolutely every person on the planet to investigate what is happening for themselves – do not take “the media’s” word, do not take the police’s word, do not take my word for it – learn about it for yourself. The truth will set us all free and then justice can take place and then unity will appear.

So much for brevity.  How’s by you?

Further stash enhancements

I warned you – I *REALLY* broke the yarn diet…with a bang!  I went to Nashville to drop Studmuffin & the Force of Nature off at the airport – they’re off to Cali for the fab trip with Grandmother. Since it was the morning, I decided to try to visit some stores we don’t have in my part of Abalama-ding-dong & see some friends. There WILL be a separate review of the yarn store I went to since this is meant to be a quick post (yes, Virginia, there really are quick posts…..).

Here we go!

1 skein of Plymouth Jelli Beenz 75% acrylic, 25% wool 214 yds

1 skein of Crystal Palace yarns’ Danube DK, 40% Nylon, 30% Rayon, 30% Wool 163 yards

Eisaku Noro should either be completely furious or immensely flattered by all of the copying of his color sequences by loads of other yarn companies……

1 skein of Diversity by Plymouth Yarn, Fingering / 4 ply, 93% Acrylic, 7% Polyester, 420 yards

I was halfway looking for some Tardis blue sock yarn or some really groovy self-striping yarn. This cover both bases.  YAY! There was a sample sock of this in another colorway that sold me on trying this – acrylic sock yarn!

1 skein of Revel by Plymouth Yarn, Lace / 2 ply, 85% Alpaca, 15% Merino, 275 yards

I don’t know that I would call this laceweight; I do call it gorgeous!

1 skein of Blue Faced Leicester DK by Debbie Bliss, DK / 8 ply, 100% Wool, 118 yards

I was having a SUPREMELY difficult time choosing the yarns to adopt – the yarn fumes*  were very nearly fatal to my bank account! So I decided to use my old trick: choose only yarns I have not previously used/bought.  I used just buy from companies I hadn’t tried before, but this time it was mostly yarn lines I hadn’t used before.  This was one of the exceptions – though I have a couple of her publications, I’ve never bought any of Debbie Bliss’ yarns before. I have a soft spot for BFL yarns I admit.  This may end up as part of a Fake Isle Hat.

10 mini skeins of Rekor Mini by Plymouth Yarn, Sport / 5 ply, 100% Acrylic, 39 yards

Yes I know – more acrylic!  But acrylic is so much better than even 5 years ago….. I’m thinking these are gonna be a part of a handbag I want to make.  My trip to India really changed my feeling about color for the better!!

1 skein of Arroyo by Malabrigo Yarn, Sport / 5 ply, 100% Merino, 335 yards, color: Candomble

I will ALWAYS be a Malabrigo junkie. I tried raelly REALLY hard to leave this at the store…but I just COULD NOT DO IT.  And the name? Candomble is a religion based on African traditions with elements derived from Christianity, practiced chiefly in Brazil.  This may turn into yet another Tessie Lily Hat.

My favorite purchase of the day! So fabulous, it gets TWO photos!

1 skein of Taiyo Lace by Noro, Lace / 2 ply, 50% Cotton, 17% Wool, 17% Nylon, 16% Silk 920 yards

I want to make a shawl for someone I love very much & I have already bought the (super lovely silk) yarn for it but when I saw this, I had to reconsider EVERYTHING I KNOW TO BE TRUE.  (more…)

I broke my diet on vacation – my yarn diet!

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A Study in Yarn Weight. :)

Tis’ true, tho’ I broke it some before then too if I’m honest. More about that at the end of this post.  While we were on the famdamily vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where just up the road last century Orville & Wilbur took that first flight, I decided to check out the local yarn scene.

The OBX – somewhere near Kill Devil Hills

I knew this was a dangerous idea to entertain, but heck!  Yer supposed to break yer diet whilst on vacation, right?  I reckon that’s almost required, innit? I looked in the trusty phone book and found Knitting Addiction and I am so glad I did!

Actual yarn photos follow…

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Don’t fall over, but ….

…there’s actual knitting photos! Always remember and never forget this is a knitting blog….kinda sorta.  Stop laughing!!!!   

Nope, I haven’t found the camera – Studmuffin bought me a tablet!!! It’s little,  almost a baby tablet, so maybe I’ll call it a tablette..AND it has 2 cameras : front and back. Fifteen minutes ago, I used the camera for the first time – it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. I mean I’m just lying in bed…..

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Moderne Cable socks for the Force of Nature. She loves cables and this color of Brown. Got ‘em done on vacation last week ( and broke the yarn diet in a lovely way! More on that in a later post..). It’s the first pair of socks I’ve completed in maybe 2 years. Gonna cast on the next pair as soon as I’m done posting. Ravelry link

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Estonian Rib hat #2 for me. I promise I’ll take a better photo and soon; it’s not really easy to see here because of its rather odd position kinda on its side, kinda upside down. Been on a hat kick lately. Ravelry link
Recently I knitted 2 preemie hats and 2 newborn hats. I hope to post those in a few days, along with my mostly done Shaelyn shawl. I’m well & truly delighted with my new gadget not only ‘cos I can now watch Netflix in bed when I cannot sleep, take photos, and blog and all of its other futuristic functionalities, but because the DH got it for a STEAL!!!!  And it’s kind of an anniversary present too. Happy 26th babycakes. Yes, I’d do it again. :-)

5 Days Left!!!!

“For what?”  I hear you thinking.  I’m so glad you asked!!

2002 Harvest Tour - Wilmette, IL

2002 Harvest Tour – Wilmette, IL

One Human Family is going on tour in the beginning of August for the first time since 2005, & this tour marks the first time that OHF is using online “crowdsourcing” to help defray the costs of the tour and we have 5 DAYS LEFT in our campaign. Always the leadership has tried to keep the costs of the tour as low as possible to encourage as many people to participate in that transformative experience called the Harvest Tour. To keep costs low, the organization has often chosen to go into debt; this time it is different and you can help make this difference.

More and more, we see people the world over struggling to overcome all kinds of difficulties brought about by longstanding prejudices & hatreds, lack of communication, understanding & education, often without the basic knowledge that we are ONE HUMAN FAMILY.  The OHF organization since its beginning 16 years ago has always been about making those connections, overcoming those barriers, ever increasing and strengthening the bonds of fellowship, friendship, love and understanding everywhere we go.  We do it with workshops, with travel, sometimes even a little “cussin’, fightin’ & carryin’ on” – but mostly with conversation, with laughter, and most definitely with music in praise of God.

See us in action in British Columbia!

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This blog pause brought to you by….

…..a lack of FOCUS!

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No, this is not a picture of me……it is how i am *feeling*……

Y’all truly deserve a *real* post by me, but it isn’t in the cards this time around.  I guess this is a “snapshot” of right now:

  • I broke my yarn diet…TWICE in 2 weeks.  I figure I’ve been REALLY good for 18 months so I wanted to get some new yarn! In total, I got 4 skeins of sock yarn: 1 NORO Silk Garden Sock,  1 Regia Fluormania & 2 Naturally Waikiwi (ya need two skeins for 1 pair of socken), & 2 skeins of laceweight: 1 Madelintosh Prairie in Clematis, & 1 Maharashtra Silk in Navy.  I guess I want to make socks & shawls…..You can see pictures on Ravelry.com in my stash section……
  • I’m currently working on a Shaelyn shawl in  Madelinetosh Prairie in a gorgeous semi-solid dark blue.  I’m enjoying it so much, it put me over the top to buy the aforementioned M’tosh Prairie in Clematis
  • portrait-unfocused
  • more knitting is happening b/c the kitten is growing up.  This is very happymaking!
  • no pics ‘cos the camera is misplaced….again.
  • Instead of huge amounts of yarn, I’m buying loads of sewing patterns & fabric, so I will begin a fabric & pattern fast….soon.
  • Not much sewing is happening….at all.
  • I’ve bought 3 quilting books & 1 quilting magazine in the last month.
  • And more quilting fabric. Like enough to make my dream quilt for my bed.
  • And batting for baby blankets…..  I think I have a problem.
  • My therapist has been difficult to get ahold of……
  • scale
  • I have been reading many, many sewing blogs. This *has* to STOP!
  • I’ve broken through my writer’s block on my book, so a good deal of progress is being made. Yay!
  • My weight loss has slowed way way down, mainly because of the mobility problems, but also b/c I’ve learned how to cheat really well.  This *has* to STOP!
  • Total weight lost since Jan. ’14 – 43 lbs.
  • I cannot believe it has been FIVE years since Michael Jackson died….
  • And now Bobby Womack is gone . :::sigh:::
  • catfocus
  • Am reading a wonderful biography right now called: I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March up Freedom’s Highway by Greg Kot; I **HIGHLY*** recommend this book if you like soul or gospel music.  If you are not familiar with Mavis Staples/the Staples Singers, I STRONGLY suggest you drop everything & get to listening!
  • The Force of Nature is now a certified lifeguard.  I knew she could do it!
  • Parenting teenagers is a thankless job.  The last 2 weeks were particularly thankless….
  • unfocused_fireworks_by_challengeaccepted-d56jv0p
  • My garden is all kind of peally-wally b/c I’ve been neglecting it (see mobility issues).  Still the tomatoes will begin their inundation in a couple of weeks God willing.
  • I’ve been thinking about ending my blog.  Is seven or eight years enough?  Does anybody care? Do I?  I dunno….
  • I really love Kiva.org , Indiegogo & Kickstarter.
  • The One Human Family Workshop Choir is going on tour in August!  First time in nine years……
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I have so much more to write about everything here but Studmuffin & I are taking the Force of Nature to dinner to celebrate the lifeguardiness.  The Duke of Curl is over at a friend’s house playing video games.

So, how are YOU?

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Are you being yerself?

Reblogged from here  (I do have stuff to write about, but this felt plenty eloquent to me & I wanted to share it.  Love, Helen)

How much of yourself are you?  Do you feel like you are surrounded by people with whom you can be yourself? When’s the last moment when you feel that you were  yourself? ….

————————————————————————–

mirror

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of being yourself versus not being yourself.  I know that’s a bit silly.  You are who you are and therefore, you are yourself, correct?

Maybe. In life, no one ever comes out and directly says to you: “Don’t Be Yourself.”  But I feel it’s a message that we receive every day, not just from others but also from ourselves.  Many choices we make in life support the concept of “don’t be yourself” because, in many ways, we begin to think that we’re not good enough.  That we are lacking.  And to overcome the lack and to increase our worth, we must make up the perceived deficit by pretending and acting like we are someone other than who we really are.

When we choose not to be ourselves, we think we are gaining.  Gaining approval and accolades from others. Gaining respect.  Gaining the worth that we think we need to fill up the empty space inside us that results from not being ourselves. But do we really gain?

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I think no.  I think we lose.  I think of times when I stopped laughing so that it wouldn’t seem like I was out of line, when I stopped crying because I didn’t want my tears to be a bother to anyone, when I stopped choosing what I loved in order to take steps up a ladder that maybe I never really wanted to climb. When you choose to be yourself, you have to choose to be okay with being yourself.  You have to choose yourself over and over again.  It can feel vulnerable to be yourself, and re-open the door to what other people think about you (what people like about you can take you just as much away from your real self as what they dislike about you.)

Woman Standing at Fun House Mirror      OR           beyou2

I’ve been practicing being myself more often.  Choosing howI am more often over how I am not. Being more aware of when I make either choice, and how it feels when I choose one way over the other. When I choose myself, it feels good, and that’s a good incentive to keep trying it out.  I am comforted by the idea that by being who I am, I will attract all the people into my life who love me for me, not for who they do or don’t want me to be.

In my imaginative, creative, romanticized world, I have a lot of ideals and philosophy.  I also have a bit of reality mixed in there, and I know that it’s probably within the reality that messages like this one connect.  It’s easy for me to say….”just be yourself,” but I know that years of choosing otherwise might make that a difficult starting point.  What if you don’t even know who you are?  What if you’ve shifted into neutral for so long that you don’t know what it means?

beyou3

I recently shared a quote with a friend that said: “do what brings you more joy,” and he laughed and said, “easier said than done, what if I don’t know what brings me joy in the first place?” So, here are some possible starting points for you.

  • First, think about who you were as a child and what you really loved to do.
  • Second, think about the last time you felt a bit of positive emotion in your life and see if you can reconnect to what it was that generated that feeling for you.
  • Third, just start listening to yourself.  The signals may be hard to pick up on at first but the more you listen, the more you’ll start to feel…oh, I like this, oh I love this, oh, I want more of this.
  • Fourth, give in just once in a while.  Laugh when you want to laugh, sing when you want to sing, cry when you want to cry.

Just be yourself.

-Rachel

beyou

A quick note about my mobility

So this nearly 30 year-old sports injury has reasserted itself as of February, when the combination of more regular exercise (great for blood glucose control) and converting the ‘puter from a “sitting” location to a “standing” one (to get MORE exercise) combined to make life more challenging…. The new ‘puter arrangement was *great* for a day & a half, then my right ankle started to hurt a LOT. I have same difficulty with both ankles and I *know* what to do – put on an elastic bandage and give it some TLC & it should be OK in a day…..

Not my ankle…..

No such luck and to shorten the story, most days I am using a cane to assist my walking. I don’t have to have the cane to get around per se but I have less pain if I use it consistently.  Getting around is WAY more difficult & I’ll tell more about what’s wrong in a later post perhaps, but in the meantime I wanted to share a catchphrase Studmuffin & I have been using daily that makes us laugh: “I’m disabled” said in an Irish accent. Why is this funny? Below are a couple of video clips that explain it.

Here’s the set up: The IT Crowd, a British comedy about Roy & Moss, two very geeky computer guys who work in the basement of Reynholm Corp., with Jen, their manager, who knows nada about computers. Here, the trio are at a theatre show (titled “GAY!”) and Roy (white) & Moss (black) need to use the facilities. It helps to know that the old style toilets in England had the tank up near the ceiling & you’d pull on the dangling chain to flush.

Part Two

The awkwardness just goes on & on….  If you think these are funny, I heartily recommend seeing the whole episode.

 

A bit of a rant….

I keep seeing this same thing over & over, and it’s really bugging me! So, one of the things a blog is for…

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is a rant/lecture/whatchamacallit. Ahem.

+++++

palatenoun – say “PAL-itt”
1. – the roof of the mouth, consisting of an anterior bony portion (hard palate) and a posterior muscular portion (soft palate) that separate the oral cavity from the nasal cavity.

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2. the sense of taste
3. intellectual or aesthetic taste; mental appreciation.

******This is NOT the same word as:

palletnoun – say “PAL-itt”
1. a small, low, portable platform on which goods are placed for storage or moving, as in a warehouse or vehicle. Often made of wood.

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******Which is ALSO NOT the same word as:

palettenoun – say “pa-LET
1. a thin and usually oval or oblong board or tablet with a thumb hole at one end, used by painters for holding and mixing colors.

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2. any other flat surface used by a painter for this purpose.
3. the set of colors on such a board or surface.
4. the range of colors used by a particular artist.
5. the variety of techniques or range of any art: a lush but uneven musical palette.
—-
Three.

separate.

words.

 

…is it too much to ask that we be less careless about the language we use? Especially native speakers who speak no other language?

:::::sigh:::::

Perhaps this dieting business is making me rather humorless & grumpy……

You may resume your life now. :o)

This blog pause brought to you by….

…the month of APRIL.

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  • I’ve got TONS to SAY….but NO DESIRE to write it down.
  • I have knitting pictures to share, still no mojo to put ‘em up.
  • I’m getting ready for the Force of Nature’s SIXTEENTH birthday, so I’ve been shopping and sewing.
  • Down THIRTY SIX pounds so far…so I bought a birdbath.
  • I have bought more sewing patterns this month than in the previous 15 years COMBINED.  I’m disgusted with my own acquisitiveness. TRULY.
  • Book is progressing. Slowly, but  progressing.
  • Garden is progressing – no faster than the book. Ugh.
  • One more thing……

Yes, this is still a knitting blog (as much as it ever has been…..whatever!), but I am getting back into sewing and it will get mentioned here some. I am SO tired of paying lots of $ for ugly things that don’t fit. There is a recent SPECTACULAR blog post about this – everyone should read this I think. GET READY

I leave you with a few words from one of my favorite philosophers:

“Well, Art is Art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.

 – Groucho Marx



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A really good book -no fooling either!

'Abdu'l-Bahá in Their Midst‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst by Earl Redman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I strongly recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those who may be feeling down about the condition of the world, or their own lives/families, or whatever. You do not need to know anything at all about ‘Abdu’l-Baha or the Baha’i Faith to find this book of use.

A few weeks ago, the author was visiting family in the town where my mother lives. She met him, bought the book and raved about it. Last week, while I was visiting her, I started reading and I finished this today.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK!!!

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Happy Naw-Ruz!

I have updated, added photos and new content (especially about teaching!) to “Yahoo! I’m a Baha’i!” as part of my gift and service celebration of Naw-Ruz. So read it again if you have a few minutes please. I would love more feedback!

And now: Here’s a lovely video for you! Please ignore the ads that sometimes come up – I’ve not got any control over those unfortunately. There’s another one here-guaranteed to make you smile: http://vimeo.com/61994592

Yahoo!! I’m a Baha’i!!

“Yahoo! I’m a Bahá’í!” : Staying Motivated

Soooooo….The world getting you down? Don’t feel that spiritual spark? Too much duty & steadfastness, and not enough victory? Are you beginning to think, “Why bother?”   Well, here’s some things I do, and they might help you!

Read The Writings Every Day

Immerse yourselves in the Ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and
discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths.
- Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, pgs. 118-119

bbooks

I find it is important which Writings you pick to read. Pick something that you find uplifting if you are discouraged, such as something about the victory of the Cause ( the compilation “Be Thou Assured” is one of my favorites; “Victory Promises” is another ); perhaps you shouldn’t read about all the things one should be doing. When you are feeling more “muscular”, read the “shoulds” then. (more…)

The next post won’t be for…

…everyone.  Or rather, everyone can read it certainly, but it won’t be everyone’s cup o’ tea.

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I taught a class on this back in 1998, & I’ve put it up on various little websites I’ve had over the years; it hasn’t been available for awhile & now is the time to give it a new online abode. Consider this an invitation  and/or a warning. :o)

A Super Quick Update

Just so’s ya know I’ve not forgotten about you. :o)

  • Diagnosed with diabetes a month ago – lots of dietary changes; lost 20 lbs. already……
  • The kitten is making knitting very near impossible. Still there will be some pictures soon. Maybe by next week.
  • But I can do some sewing! And it’s the Olympics!
  • A sewing pattern review can be read here: Simple tunic by Habibe Acikgoz
  • Am going to try to do Artisan Square’s Stitcher’s Guild’s “Sewing With A Plan 2014″. Even if I don’t make the deadline (April 30th), I MUST have some new clothes so as not to be mistaken for a bag lady…
  • This bag lady is WAY cuter than I on my best day.....
  • Will be using several patterns & pattern companies as part of this S>W>A>P>, so I’m joining this contest:

New to Me Pattern Company

Be well & happy!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Now let’s do something else that’s meaningful.

Is everybody good? Fat n’ happy?   Coming down from the high (pie-induced) of Christmas?

santa mouse

Remember this book? So sweet.

Good.

I asked Studmuffin to write a family update (read last year’s here), and he did think of some things to say, but would not SHARE. Hmpf. Now he & the Force of Nature are in West Virginia visiting Grandmamma – the Duke of Curl & I have to work. So I guess no funny letter for 2013.

So this noontime I’ve been paying bills and sending $ donations to our favorite charity - Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders.  Some years ago, Grandmamma started giving a donation to Catholic Charities instead of giving us Christmas gifts; a change I welcomed! Goodness knows I keep us well-supplied with mountains of stuff….  Studmuffin has 5 siblings and several of them send us lovely things – pears, cookies, meats & cheeses – every year for Christmas. We don’t do it every year, but when we do give something, we give a donation in their honor to a charity we like. In the past, we chose:  CARE, Habitat for Humanity & Direct Relief.

We like to use different ones – not that we give huge amounts (I wish!).  There is SO MUCH need and giving money to these VERY worthy organizations adds much meaning to this season for me.

Stepping up now

Stepping up now

I encourage you to do the same!  We chose  Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders because they are working in all those places you hear about in the news where TERRIBLE things are happening.   You can let all that stuff make feel powerless, guilty, cynical and depressed OR you can give some scratch; the choice is all yours.   And they are doing AMAZING work – even if you don’t/won’t/can’t give, take a little time and read some of the blog posts from the volunteers and patients. LOOK HERE.  It will do you good, I promise!

::::STEPPING DOWN NOW::::

Not much knitting is happening because of the KITTEN.  She is loads of fun and FEROCIOUS.  I’ll tell much more about her in a later post. But I do promise actual knitting photos soon….and gardening stuff too!  I know – you gotta SIT DOWN because of all the EXCITEMENT…..

Have a terrific 2014 everyone. Lemme hear from you at some point. :)

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Mitten Swap Package ARRIVES!!

I’ve participated in 4 other mitten swaps and in two of them, I never received any mittens.  It happens….but it does bum you out some, especially since I make FABULOUS mittens (usually a custom design) for my “swapees”.  Kara from South Dakota, I am working on finishing yours BIG TIME!

ernie facepalm

You see, I had an extraordinary (and embarrassing!) gauge accident….which I’ll blog about later. Ahem.

I used to do LOADS of swapping several years ago, but like some of my enthusiasms, it burned brightly for a time and then it passed. I have made some wonderful friends online through swapping, and getting goodies in the mail is terrific!!! I did try to do a cowl one last year through Ravelry, but my partner & I never actually bonded unfortunately.  In the end, I never sent her anything and she never sent me anything.  Oh well!

So this swap was hosted in the Ravelry Mitten Exchange group and my “swapper” was Vicki from Montana. The theme was “Partner’s Choice”, so I asked Vicki to share some of Montana with me as I have never been there.  I’d love to go;  the re-make of “Flicka” from a few years ago was filmed there and there was SO much natural beauty in the scenery,  besides Tim McGraw…….. I never got it about him before….OH MY! He is a fine, fine, FINE looking human being–

timmcgraw But I digress.  :)

Vicki came through like GANGBUSTERS!!!  Everything arrived on my door step yesterday; it being Thursday and that’s what night I host my radio show, so I had no time to take photos til today.  First, let me say:

Moose & Owl Thank You

So here we go!

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Welcome Sewing Pattern Review people!

Today, the day before my 45th birthday no less, I’m a featured subscriber on the sewing.patternreview.com website.  How lovely! How unexpected!

In honor of this unanticipated delight, I will talk about my capsule or mini-wardrobe I made to wear on my 3 week trip to India in June 2010. First some pictures:

Arriving at Lucknow Airport

Arriving at Lucknow Airport

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Lunch at the Mumbai Baha’i Center

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I made 6 tops, 3 bottoms, 1 nightshirt & 1 pair of bloomer underwear for my trip. Many more pictures of the 120+ singers from 25+ countries can be found on Facebook if you look for the Voices of Baha in India – FYI.

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Got a knitter on yer gift list?

knithollyborder

I have suggestions purloined from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a.k.a. the Yarn Harlot. Not that anyone has to do anything for my birthday or anyfink.*  :) It’s just in case y’all have a knitter to give a gift to and could use a little help.

 

Knitting Art:

  1.  Keep Calm and Cast On
  2. Knitting Rhyme print
  3. There’s no such thing as too much yarn” 
  4. Yarn Pyramid
  5. Working Girls
  6. The Knitter
  7. Viva la Yarnolucion
  8. Knitters Eye Chart

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Temporary Tatts:

  1.  These ones from Soak
  2. Tilly Flop 
  3. Kate Broughton

knit‡‡‡

Knitterly Paperish things:

  1. note card versions of the Knitting Rhyme poster
  2. Buffalo Girls greeting cards
  3. beautiful print cards
  4. letterpress cards with cables on them
  5. Knitterella cards and tags
  6. KnitLove has a set of graphics
  7. design journal
  8. great custom tags
  9.  your knitter could use this one
  10. in this paper

The Yarn Harlot will have many suggestions throughout December, so click on over there to get the most recent suggestions.

Coming up soon I’ll have actual pictures of my knitting! And more yarn crimes fer your horror/enjoyment.knithollyborder

And for something COMPLETELY different:  I love listening to Radio Paradise most of the day. I like them so much I’ve written them fan mail (really, I have).  And sent them money too.  No commercials!!  Very eclectic mix curated by one guy.

_______________

*

  • My birthday is December 13th.
  • I will be 45 years old.  Yay!!
  • I need NOTHING.
  • If you must do something for my birthday, I ask that you call someone you love but don’t talk to often enough, and tell them how much they mean to you.
  • If you’re all caught up with everyone you love and everyone is sick & tired of hearing how much you love them, a donation made to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, or Habitat for Humanity, or CARE would certainly suffice!
  • Thank you for reading and caring. Truth be told, “thank you” doesn’t begin to COVER it!!!!!

________________________

Cartoon used without permission but with affection & attribution!

‡‡‡ by Natalie Dee.  See all of her stuff here!

Update

  • Hadn’t realized it has been so long since I’ve posted.  SORRY!
  • Have not received any pictures or video from the David Wilcox happening.  I so wish I had!
  • Almost through month 11 of 24 month Yarn Diet – have only bought 7 skeins of yarn: 6 skeins for things I’m knitting for the Force of Nature & 1 skein for a swap.  Studmuffin said that yarn bought for our kids’ needs/wants doesn’t count, and I feel oogy about giving stash as part of a swap package……
  • Working on the book in fits & starts
  • Been seriously in the pit of depression since August, with a couple of weeks reprieve sprinkled through October & November, enhanced by difficulty sleeping most nights.  I think I need a different antidepressant……..Am afraid to change because of side effects.  :::sigh:::  All I want to do is go hide in bed.
  • Still eating tomatoes from the garden!  I definitely wanna write a serious post about the garden successes and failures, but it’ll have to wait.
  • Knitting is happening.  Photos of knitting are happening.  Blogging about knitting – not happening, obviously.  I have plenty of more yarn crimes to post but I got so few comments on the last one, I’m kinda thinking I’ll abandon the yarn crimes posts……
  • Got diagnosed with high blood pressure last week.  Both parents & both brothers on BP meds I found out this summer, so I don’t feel too bad about it. Hope the hed I got is the right one for me.
  • Duke of Curl is mostly laying about playing video games.  Force of Nature a royal pain in the tuchis but she’s 15 so what else is new?
  • Really have to find a job – seriously do not want to. Many reasons – mostly too personal and/or specific to post here, but I’m praying on it.
  • Working on my French again in hopes of becoming somewhat proficient & keeping the brain sufficiently stimulated…..
  • My friend Shannan R. has beaten cancer!! She got a clean scan
  • Working out has seriously stalled.  Please pray for me!

I’m also asking for prayers for friends: Cindy T., Tangela S., Cheryl P., Vicki C., Tracy B., Hayden L., James G., Marge W., Grace S., Malulinka H.

So how’s by you?

Do you make art? Wanna make some $?

Here’s book review about a book that can help.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career by Elizabeth Hyde StevensMake Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

STRONGLY RECOMMEND – I am a huge fan of Jim Henson and his work. About 10 years ago, I became intensely interested in **how** he: did his work, attracted great associates and managed them, made $ too – all whilst creating wonderful art that has such globally positive messages. There wasn’t anything available that I could find….

Earlier this year, a new, much more comprehensive biography of Henson was published which I listened to (audiobook) greedily, hoping to gain more insights. Most of the insights had to do with how much of an impact his art had on me over the course of my life! Others had more to do with his seriously huge work ethic, gained mainly thru the remembrances of his colleagues. I went looking for more, and found this gem.

The author has done quite a bit of deep analysis of Henson’s life & work through which she has drawn some very sensible conclusions which are applicable to any art form, certainly not only puppetry. Hyde Stevens also references a number of other sources to support her conclusions that have added a number of books onto my “to read” pile; in addition, this Kindle book has got wonderful footnotes, almost all are hot-linked.

I’ve not yet finished reading this book as the author has not yet finished serializing it; I look forward to every “episode”!

View all my reviews

David Wilcox in Huntsville – brief version/Cliff Notes

Where:  Straight to Ale Brewery / Folk Mission 

When:  Friday, October 11th, 2013

Who: singer/songwriter/storyteller David Wilcox (and MOST unexpectedly – me)
WilcoxNewPhoto ( I don’t have a promotional photo so I’ll use this one from 2010 in Lucknow, India)

What:  David Wilcox (DW) was partway thru the second set and started playing one of my FAVORITE songs that he does – “The Kid”.  He forgot the words to the second verse.  Being the shrinking violet I am NOT, I called out the next lyrics.  Several others did too, and after a moment, DW said, “Would the woman who first shouted out the lyrics come up & sing this for me?”  I got up on the stage with DW.  I told him that I could only sing harmony with him.  I *IMMEDIATELY* forgot all the lyrics – I was almost no help in remembering; rather more laughing & crying at the same time.  However, he was kind & gracious and I sang some harmony, & we got through the song.

Several people took videos & pictures; they promised to send them to me – I will post them when & if they arrive.

This is the song in another time & place by different players: