blessings

A question of discipline

A Facebook friend has a 14-year-old daughter and her husband, while she was working, took the daughter to see a horror film that was really probably not a good thing for the daughter to see. She was feeling pretty conflicted about it and asked for the opinions of other parents….

An opinion? Why yes I *do* have an opinion!  I know you are simply shocked to learn that…… 🙂

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I started writing my response and, well, decided it was way too long for a Facebook post on someone else’s timeline and so moved my reply here.

I did my very best to keep my kids away from things that I thought would harm them. When our oldest son was a toddler, my husband was out of work and so during the day, while at home with our child, he would watch anything at all he wanted to, thinking it would have no effect on our son. After a  time we noticed our son acting out more and more physically and I found out about my DH’s tv habits.

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This was one of the shows he was watching daily with our son…….

I asked him if we could try an experiment: for 6 weeks, while our son was around/awake only non-commercial kids-oriented television would be watched, saving ad-filled and adult oriented tv for night-time or when our son was out (like with Grandma). Within 2 weeks, we noticed a big and positive difference in our son’s behavior, and so we went on along that way with all 3 of our children.

So, my children were not permitted to watch PG-13 movies before they were 13, unless either one of us had seen it before and deemed it appropriate. I also had seen some scientific evidence that caffeine possibly can prevent kids from growing to their fullest height, so they were not allowed caffeinated drinks (sodas, teas, coffees,etc.) til they were 15.

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Of course, I was unable to enforce these rules when they would stay over at their friends’ houses, but I was very persistent at home. Oh and how they would argue and complain about how mean I was!!!! How stupid my rules were! Nobody else had such stupid rules and so on….

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When, in turn,each one of them came to me to really talk/discuss (not just complain) about why I had such rules, I would tell them 3 things:

1) My children are the most precious things in my life and I want the best for them, plus I’ve given a lot of thought as to what would be best for them – it’s not about a power struggle.

2) Ruhiyyih Khanum told the story of when she was young, she very much wanted to read a certain quite scandalous book and her mother refused to let her read it. Her mother gave the analogy of a pot that has been formed and dried, but hasn’t yet been fired in a kiln (the greenware stage). Anything can easily make a mark or a dent in that pot and that mark will be permanent. Young people are just like that greenware and until they have been fired in the kiln of life experience,it is better that they be protected ( all 3 of my kids had done some pottery so they knew that this was true).

 

3) When you attain the age of being able to do these things (13 for those movies and 15 for the caffeine), you will enjoy them a huge amount more than you would have if they had always been permitted to you. When you are young, those ages seem so very far away, and I know because I have been those ages – I have the perspective of age and I know that waiting will not harm you in any way. However, my rules and these protections, as stupid as they seem now, are truly a gift from me to you.

My youngest is now 18 and 2 of my 3 children have affirmed that those rules were “probably a good idea” and one of them even apologized to me for arguing with me about it AND that they had tried to stay a certain friend’s house very often so they could break these rules “behind my back”. This grown child of mine said that even then, he could see the benefit of the rules, as his friend didn’t have them and in many ways, it took away his childhood innocence too early. This same child also had nightmares for years about one scene in “Shaun of the Dead“. I’ve seen it and it isn’t really that bad, but he knows now that he saw it when he was too young and it made a big impression on him.

 

Your mileage my vary, but I am in a stand for enforcing such rules, and most of the time it’s no fun, lemme tell you. Once something is seen, it cannot be UNseen, not until somebody invents brain bleach or something, and your children are worth it. Innocence lost is exactly that – lost.

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I was never in a hurry for my kids to be grownups. Childhood is very short nowadays….

The purveyors of movies and tv advertising DO NOT CARE about what is best for your children, they care about your money; do not let them make your parenting decisions for you. We are the protectors of our children and also the educators – the responsibility is ours and the world will do all that it can to tell you just how uncool you are for doing your job.

Good luck!

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ELEVEN years?! Really?

So yeah. As of January 21, 2017 I’ll have been blogging for 11 years. That’s an accomplishment of some kind………?

I know posts have been quite sporadic the last 3 years – I do apologize. Without going into great personal detail, the last three years have been quite difficult and I certainly could have shared lots & lots more….I decided not to do that. Because to me, whinge-ing is more like funny complaining, which I believe is my God-given natural talent. Sharing woes is best done with one’s closest friends perhaps or family or most definitely one’s therapist (shoutout to Dr. F. P.!!). BTW, if you enjoy comedic whingeing, you might enjoy the BBC tv series “One Foot In the Grave” – I’m certainly not up to Victor’s level!

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I’d never planned to go on so long – certainly I cannot say that I’ve had a huge following…..but still, plugging away at anything for such a time tends to improve skill….

I believe I have gained some skill in writing, and creating the posts for the most part has been joyful. But wow, even I’m shocked it’s been 11 years.

I’ve also considered closing it down…..but as it costs me very little other than time and brain power, I’ve decided to keep going, however infrequently.

I hope to blog more consistently about knitting in 2017, God willing.

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Thanks to everyone who’s ever read this blog and enjoyed it. 🙂


P.S. You can still read my very first post here.    The 1st Knitting and Whinge-ing post

 

I notice…

I notice the ridges in my fingernails
‘A ha!’ I think, yet another sign of age
I am, by turns, horrified and fascinated
By these ever more numerous energetic strands of hair that surprised my little brother.
‘Oh! Silvery!’ he said, while sporting some of his own in his beard.
Now that my steps are limited to daily dozens – I am, of course, grateful for them and parsimonious with them – still…
I wonder how many more I might yet make?

I’ve been blogging for HOW LONG?!?!?

I swear I’d lose my head if weren’t attach-….HEY!!!!

 

The Yarn Harlot was just celebrating her most excellent blog’s anniversary and it made me curious: how long have I been blogging now?

It’s not how you feel, it’s how you LOOK….

I went back to the first place I blogged (Livejournal – it’s still there…..if you look for it) and saw the date:

THAT’S NINE YEARS! I have to go lie down now…..

Perhaps not *quite* like this……

 

 

Actually when I think of her success (the Yarn Harlot’s) in blogging, I feel like this:

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I’ve been blogging only 2 years fewer than she has…….how come? Why not me?

But then I remember:

  • she’s far more regular in her postings than I
  • she’s a better knitter than I am
  • she’s far FAR funnier than I am
  • oh yeah: she’s a WAY better writer – she’s been Canada’s top blogger of any kind for years!

When I think of why I started; I didn’t start this blog to get famous or a livelihood or nuthin’.  I did it because my friends Meg & Joe thought it might be fun for me.

THEY WERE RIGHT!

I’m tickled that ANYBODY reads this!

Thanks for everybody sticking around at all through this time. Who knows? I might go another nine years….

Happy blogiversary to me!!!

Now go read the Yarn Harlot’s blog. 🙂

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?

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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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? ….

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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?

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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

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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

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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…)

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?

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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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Got a knitter on yer gift list?

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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

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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?

The 2 year yarn diet

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So y’all, I have a good bit of yarn. Don’t believe me? Check out this old post that has pictures: http://wp.me/p6skg-EB   Go ahead; I’ll wait.

Friends, that post is from December 2011.  During 2012, I certainly didn’t buy as much yarn as the previous 24 months, but I definitely added to the stash a fair amount.  On this here blog, when we get into December & January, I love to fall into the olde trope of an end-of-the-year-list, and so I’ve done a knitting projects roundup or something like that.  I’ve noticed that I complete about 10 projects a year, even though I seem to knit lots more than that.

This is someone else's stash. I like it.

This is someone else’s stash. I like it.

As tired as that end-of-the-year-list thing is, it definitely gave me an “AHA!” moment: I have a HUGE amount of yarn given my current level of completion.  That, coupled with the end of overtime for Studmuffin in November 2012 – he’d been able to work as much overtime as he’s wanted for 10 or 11 years and it added about 20 – 25% to our bottom line – coupled with “sequestration” – which will cost us another 20% of income AND the kids need braces and lots of other things, I knew I had to get disciplined! Hence, the 2 year yarn diet.

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How old is that in dog years?

So I was reading an article over at Fab Over Fifty by a woman ho lies about her age to everyone, including her daughter. I wrote a comment that turned into a short essay….so I thought I’d post it for your enjoyment.

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You can read the original article here: It’s My Birth Date & I’ll Lie If I Want To….
… here is my reply:
I think Ramona can lie about her age – that’s her business. Lying to her daughter – well, that’s her business too. Neither of the above are the same as my choices. Since Ramona has written about this, she has opened herself up to comments – a slew of which seem very harsh to me.

I LOVE how old I am – 44. I have always looked older than my age – which was really groovy until I was about 19. Still, I had a misdiagnosed heart ailment that nearly took my life at 40. The cardiologist told me they don’t usually find what was wrong with me til the autopsy…. I thank God everyday for the chance to see my kids grow up. Last weekend, I sang at the funeral for my dear sisterfriend Tracey who won’t get to do that; she was only 5 weeks older than I.

Anyway, my mother has always looked quite young and I have gotten really sick & tired of the thousands of times I was told we could be sisters. Made her feel great (though she is not vain at all) which is good, but I’ve never told her it always makes me feel like crap on a stick. I look lots like my dad who, in his 70’s, more & more resembles a troll. :o) Still, I am grateful that though I’m no great beauty, I am not disfigured either. As a musician, great beauty or disfigurement would be yet another obstacle to overcome.

Aging is a process of detachment for me, so for me, lying about my age would get in the way of that and – more importantly, get in the way of what I am trying to teach my kids (ages 24, 17 and almost 15): that your appearance is not very important in the grande scheme of things; your character is far more important. Of course you want to be clean and look well but not to become the plaything of fashion.

Crazy-old-Lady

I’d much rather look like this….

Joan Rivers

…than look like this. I mean, heck! It sure is CHEAPER.

 

My daughter, the almost 15 year old, asked me about 6 months ago to stop coloring my hair BECAUSE she loves my silver. I’ve got a lot of it and I earned every one of those suckers. I have stopped coloring my hair because there is SO little I can do to please her these days (ages 14 & 15 for me were no joke).

I guess as long as there is some perceived benefit to being young, people will lie about it….but I wish they wouldn’t.

I found one!

lady_with_binoculars_card-p137162167504321023envwi_400Remember the last post? Where I said I hoped to type in some of the “old” letters? As I was looking for something else, I found the last one that Studmuffin & I wrote together and it’s already on the ‘puter. It’s from Winter 2004/2005 so I wasn’t exactly right about it being ten years since the last one….. However I do think it’s pretty funny and most of the names have been changed…because that’s how I roll. Fun to see some of the differences over the years….

filigree-divider_2_lg

Happy post-holiday greetings.

(NOTICE to the ACLU: There will be no mention of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Year’s or Festivus at all in this letter beyond that which you’ve already read.).  I guess it’s still OK to say “Happy Groundhog Day”, so-

“Happy Groundhog Day!”

We hope that this letter finds you happy and healthy, or at least on an even keel with your nose above water enough so that this letter doesn’t push you over the brink of despair at the pointlessness of existence that this letter all too painfully illuminates.  On to the follies…..

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The LARGEST thing I’ve ever knitted!

Here it is:

It’s the size of a full size bed spread.

Here it is on my clothesline.

I wish I knew how to take super pictures like some other bloggers I know. Oh wellll…. just a couple more pictures:

The last few weeks before I finished it – I took this all over the place with most of it stuffed into an old pillowcase to keep it clean.  Finishing it felt wonderful and now I know I can do pretty much anything knitted; I am no longer daunted by size.  Plus Mom loves it. WIN!

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Thankful that you still come by to read!

I’m from New Hampshire…and I’m really glad I live in Alabama today : seventy five degrees warm!

On Thanksgiving, I usually take a moment to think a bit about the pilgrims and the Native Americans in Massachusetts….it must have been blooody cold!

During dinner, somebody made reference to my smidgen of Iroquois blood. It surprised me because it hardly ever comes up at all down here. I only know that my Indian ancestress was my great-great-grandmother – not ever her name has come down to us. For so long, it was considered somehow shameful to be “white” and have Indian heritage……so that by the time it wasn’t seen as shameful, no one knew anything.  I heard from my mother that maybe a particular great aunt might know something, but by the time I asked her about 25 years ago, she said she didn’t know anything (or perhaps did not want to tell what she knew……..).

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Fried motherboard: not a good recipe for blogging!

Yup. My almost ten-year old ‘puter bit the dust awhile back so there hasn’t been any blogging…..or podcasting.  ::::sigh:::::: It could be worse. I have an external hard drive that I tried to be regular in backing up the ‘puter on, so most things were not lost.

So now a quick update for you:

  • I now have a new computer!  Yay!
  • I also have a new printer and IT WORKS!!!  I’ve not had a working printer in over a yearand I have missed it a LOT.
  • I am writing a book about musicking
  • my notes for the book didn’t get saved to the external hard drive, plus the notes that were hand written – I threw out. I mean they were on the computer, right?
  • So writing is going more slowly than I’d hoped it would.
  • I scored 2 skeins of Wollmeise twin sock yarn last month
  • I just happened to go on their site to look around, like I do about every six months or so
  • I saw they had some yarn in stock, so I ordered a skein of Taube and the sale went through
  • So I thought, maybe I could try for another (Kornblume)….?
  • That sale went through too!
  • They arrived today!
  • I now have 4 skeins altogether. What to do????? The grey matter nearly swoons with all the possibilities!
  • I bought a LOT of yarn over the summer.  I mean I bought so so much yarn that I’m going on a 2 YEAR yarn diet…but not just yet.
  • I went to Patternworks & Keepsake Quilting in person this summer; I hope to blog about that soon
  • Knitting is happening!  Am about 75% done with the big birthday blanket for my folks. Should be complete by the 15th.
  • I’m being very good and almost completely working just on the blanket
  • It was supposed to be an afghan, but it’s bigger than that now.
  • My knit group will start a Color Affection shawl KAL midmonth – that will seem like a small project after the birthday blanket
  • I planned to knit a vest for the Force of Nature, but the yarn I wanted at the price I wanted is not available now, so I am rethinking…..
  • I have a new camera as well, so picture quality should improve as I learn how to use it.
  • Oh Sweet Sally Melville!!! It’s OCTOBER already.  How did that happen so quick?

They look like babies, don’t they? How is it possible that this album came out THIRTY-ONE YEARS AGO?

Oh well, I’ve missed you folks. How are you?  I have at least 2 give-aways coming up and soon ….off to bed now old girl.

A bit of happy…

Dear ones,

none of the people that live in my house (and expect me to cook for them, etc.) care at all, but I know that you – gentle readers -YOU will.
Yesterday Studmuffin and I went to a local used bookstore, one we don’t go to very often because it isn’t convenient and the Lord knows we have more than enough books here. But go we did and I got this Book:

Yup, a lovely copy of the CLASSIC Elizabeth Zimmerman book – Knitting Without Tears.  I have almost all of her books but for this one.  I just don’t like the updated cover (and how much the regular new books bookstore charges for it) but now I have it. YAY!  Plus I got FIVE Sheri S. Tepper novels – one of which I hadn’t read before!! It was a very good day.

More regular posting should begin happening again next week – the Duke of Curl AND the Force of Nature are both in high school (he, a senior & she, a freshman) so I’ve closed up shop on homeschooling I think. Am now tryna settle into my own routine.

 

“Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.” – Knitting Without Tears

If you haven’t read Elizabeth Zimmerman, you owe it to yourself, even if yer not a knitter, to do so.  She has such a lovely, sly humor – I love her.

 

 

RAIN! YAY!

So we haven’t had any rain for nearly a month,  except for a small downpour that lasted about 5 mins.  And then immediately ran off into gutters.  Plus we have had sweltering temperatures for weeks like much of the rest of the US. So it got very, very dry here. I’ve been doing my drip & mist watering thing with the veg garden and the flowers so things haven’t died but they are stressed.. .a lot. I took a bunch of veg garden pictures a few days ago; I hope to share them with you by Saturday. But I did start hearing the word “drought” from various weatherfolk around here and that’s BAD.  It turns out that we are 7″ behind our average rainfall since January – about an hour west of here in Muscle Shoals, they are 10″ behind. I’d kinda forgotten about our 2 year old dogwood tree – should have watered it  a few times already – I mean it was getting rather crispy around here!

It had threatened a thunderstorm all morning yesterday and about 1:30 pm ,the rain began and it has stopped only briefly a few times since then . At times,  the rain fall has been quite heavy,  & I’m so glad!  I went out on the patio after it had been raining for twenty minutes or so and just sat and watched it for a while .  You could almost hear the yard give a delighted,”Ahhhhhhh! ” To top it off, it’s much MUCH cooler too.

Maybe now the bugs will stop tryna come in to the house so much.. .. Still,  it’s such a blessing and perhaps the rest of the summer will be more like usual.

image

Not much knitting tonight – the cat has taken it over.

Happy HOT Fourth of July! and lots of photos


Hope it was lovely.  I spent some time showering in cold water (water heater still broken), trying sort out & clean things in the master bedroom, sweating, doing large amounts of laundry, sweating, taking photos of the garden before it goes all crispy, sweating,  taking more crappy phone pictures of a finished project, a work in progress, and some recent stash enhancement, and sweating. Did I mention it is hot?

I’ll save the garden stuff for the next post, and I still have some serious catching up to do (I can hardly WAIT to share my much belated “Mothers’ Day” present pics with you, many yarn crimes have been tagged for sharing and yes Virginia, there IS a podcast), but there is some actual knitting /yarn content here for you.

Just before we get to that, I made a rather eclectic Spotify playlist for today, and if you wanna get all patriotic and stuff, you can find it here:


…………………………………………………………..

I’m trying to make this more exciting with the animations. Is it working?


Finished Object

Well, mostly. A few ends to weave in here and there and perhaps some blocking…..

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the right color in the picture.  One ply is a raspberry red and the other ply is bright orange. It’s a yummy combo. Here’s the Ravelry link, and even tho’ it’s really hot, Boris was *still* willing to model it for me:

He’s so purty.

Work In Progress

I have begun the afghan for Mom & Dad and I’m having fun with it.

So much fun to see how each color looks next to the others – I’m neglecting things I really need to get done.  And now the fun stuff!

Stash Enhancements

Lana Grossa Divino –

75% cotton, 25% viscose, RL = approx 120yd/110m/50g

I got this because I’m really curious to see what it looks like knitted up, and to see if my hands can take it. I have a hard time knitting cotton… And it would be such a pretty summer shawlette….

A new book! (this actually came in the mail).

I wanna see if this will be useful in chart reading.

My friend Sarah M. gave me the Knit Picks interchangeables (top) to play with, and I’m not quite sure why I got the bamboo ones (bottom) now…..  It might have been to start on this beautiful thing:

Rav link: ‘Venus’ by Karen Bradley

I’ve been itching to start a shawl, and I do so love the look of this one. After consulting with the yarn enabling salespeople at Yarn Expressions, I decided on this yarn.

Lang – Mille Colori

75% superwash wool, 25% nylon; 400 metres (437 yards.)

It feels so yummy in the skein.  But then I looked around some more and saw these:

The Alpaca Yarn company – PacaPeds

Colorway – Paccachino

65% Superwash Merino, 15% Nylon, 20% Alpaca
about 100 grams
360 yd / 329.2 m

I could make 2 of them, right? Yup, I can.

Then, like a fool, I started looking at the Madelinetosh yarns

I found that the one I’d left behind last time  was still waiting for me:

Tosh Lace in Flashdance!

100% superwash merino wool

950 yards / 868 meters

I couldn’t leave it behind again….I just couldn’t.

I’m not certain what happened to me next – perhaps the fiber fumes made me a little woozy, because I got this one too:

Prairie – another Madeleinetosh laceweight!

100% superwash merino wool

840 yards / 768 meters

The color, which is called “Fathom”, is very different from the picture; it is deeper and more tinged with black.

(Go and see their picture on their website – it’s WAY better than mine)

Yep, I was-

  • in too deep –
  • way over my head –
  • out of my depth –
  • drowning –
  • going overboard –
  • sinking…ok, I’ll stop. 🙂

Alas – once more into the fray…   I mean, I’m already in BIG trouble here, so why not?  Let’s make the spousal displeasure & subsequent scolding REALLY worthwhile……

Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere

“Cranberry Melt”

100% merino superwash wool
400 yds.

Friday happies

So Wednesday’s post contained the give away and I asked for comments.  I had something else to do in the evening so I went out & I came back several hours – no comments.  I was a little surprised, but it was OK….

Yesterday, I checked in the afternoon….and no comments.  I was starting to feel like the Universe was ganging up on me, that nobody loved me and worm soufflé was in the cards for dinner.

THEN I REMEMBERED…..BING!

I have to approve the comments if’n ya haven’t commented here before. Lo! And behold! There y’all are.  I feel a little stupider than usual….. All that being said, this what your comments do to me:

I don’t even care if yer just here for the giveaway, I still wanna do this:


Even though I really look a lot more like this:

but not quite as hip.

I love it – keep the comments coming!  And make sure you dance today.