Monday, July 30, 2007


Things are pretty much ready for the arrival of the first guests - my sister, Diane, and her two girls from San Diego on Wednesday night. Mom's cousin and her husband arrive from New Jersey on Thursday, and Diane's husband arrives Saturday morning. A Costco run and a final cleaning and really, everything that can be done will have been done. Twice in some cases.

So with the bit of spare time left I managed to sneak in a bit of no brains knitting. My virgin pair of Sock That Rock socks. If I could find the ball band, I'd tell you what the color is, but ... Problem is, I'm at the heel and that requires thinking which is not really my strength right now. The sock is being displayed on one of two new rugs for the living and dining rooms. TJ Maxx - $149.99 each for 5 x 9 rugs. You gotta love a good deal. In an effort to distract you from the fact that there is really nothing of interest here today prove that I have done other things beside "becky home-eky" projects around here, a non-rotated picture of yarn dyed during the recent adventures with Chris and Jeanne:
And some stealth dyeing (dyeing without your friends) experiments:

I liked the pictures so much I put these pictures and some others into two three-set picture frames and hung them in the new guest room. It was the perfect touch for that room.

That's all for now - we'll see how the week shakes out.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Let the DysFUNction Begin

Things at the house have reached the final hours before the "big event" and we are cramming to get every thing painted, nailed, washed, and just so. You didn't really think I had a burst of energy to just fix things up "just cuz" did you? Some people know about the "big event" and have been fortunate enough to listen to me speak in glowing terms bitch about this event for quite some time. For those of you in the dark, here's the scoop:

In less than a week, relatives and friends from both coasts arrive for the big celebration - my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. Of course, their actual anniversary was May 25th but they didn't want to have my sister and her family, who usually travel to Minnesota at the end of the summer, have to come here twice. Yea - better to have them come in August when it's like Africa. And that, my dear friends, is really just the beginning of all the BS surrounding this fun-filled-family weekend. There will be a boat outing, a birthday / non-birthday party for the two grandchildren and the husband /wife team who will all have a birthdays during this time. That event is at my house. I have absolutely no control over this event except for such mundane things as menu and use of plastic utensils.

All five of my siblings and their spouses, or fiance in one case, will be in town. All nine grandchildren will make a command appearance. Some of my dad's brothers and sisters are traveling in for the event. My mom's cousin and her husband will be coming in. They are staying with me in the recently re-done "blue" guest room. Of course, my sister Diane and her family from San Diego have dibs on the guest suite in the lower level. So we're up to six guests. That ups the humans normally in this house by 200%.

I tell you all this to explain that blogging may be a bit sporadic over the next two weeks. But oh, when I return to full time, oh the stories I'll have! Just getting the six kids together - Deb, Diane, Daniel, David, Donna & Dennis - well, that's a story right there!

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad - way back in May and in August too!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Knitting Group Surprise

Summers for our Tuesday morning knitting group are usually a bit of a "any one's guess" as to who will be there. We all try very hard to keep the others posted as to our schedules and when we'll be there and when we won't. But it's summer and things come up all of a sudden. Someone usually knows where someone else is ... "Brenda's still in Colorado with the boys" or "Remember, Cindy's at the cabin for two weeks".

We often get visitors in the summer too. Kathryn has been know to join us for the morning. Mostly for the pecan coffee cake - but who knows, now with the interest in knitting?? Cindy's daughter Alex usually joins us when Cindy is with us on Tuesday's.

But nothing could have been more wonderful or more of a surprise than yesterday's visitor.

Lou's journey began well over a year ago with two wonderful would-be adoptive parents, S&J. He grew in their hearts and minds long before he was born in Guatemala. He was a challenge for them every step of the way with his paperwork and forms, his government and bureaucracy, his distance from them physically. That part of his journey is over now as he arrived in the United States last week with his parents. He has a much longer journey now, one that will be filled with all the love that S&J can give him. And those of us who support them, will be there there every step of the way. There will be stumbles and wondrous achievements and we will cry and celebrate them all with you guys. We love you.

Bravo, Lou! Bienvenido a los Estados Unidos!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Light Knitting

I've always hoped that Kathryn would take an interest in knitting. I've never pushed it or signed her up for classes without her asking. When she's asked questions about my knitting, I've shown her my work, talked about what I'm doing but left it when she stopped asking questions. I taught her to knit about 5 years ago but it was abandoned after the first garter stitch scarf that grew by a stitch every row.

Her new inspiration came from the something I would consider to be such a knitting joke - but , hey, I'm going with it. In the goody bag from the Twin's game on Sunday were a pair of "Knit Lite" needles. When Kathryn saw those she fell in love with them. That night after dinner we sat down together and we started at the beginning. I cast on two long-tail cast on stitches and she was off. It was beautiful watching the way her hands twisted the yarn and the stitches, they way she manipulated the yarn in her right hand as she knit , they way her pointer finger moves the yarn around the right hand needle. It's like watching - me.
She's planning to make a felted potholder on to which she'd like to needle felt some designs. Yup, we can do that. And then if you'd like to move on to socks, we're plenty ready for that too. Easy, Mom. This is baby steps for you.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Too Busy for Words


Sunday - 9:15 P.M.
Sunday 10:00 P.M.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Open Letter to Guests

Dear Potential Visitors to my Home,

Let's just say you're planning to come to my home this weekend. And let's further say you've been here before and seen it in a pretty much "tidy" state. There a couple of things I need to tell you about prior to your arrival so that you don't, um, completely freak and drive away thinking I've turned into what we have discussed is a potential for each of us - a crazy garbage house cat lady.

First off, although it's rare, some people do actually have two gigantic tables and a couch in their kitchen. I'm thinking that in places like Kentucky or Tennessee they might do this because they don't have rooms for their formal furniture, so the kitchen has to suffice.
Three hutches in an entryway - why that just says - "Hey, look at all our crap!" to everybody right away when they come in rather than having to drag them from room to room to show them all your collectible things. I mean - right?Here I'm thinking that if twelve people come by and want to watch me wind yarn, well I'm all set. Or, we can play "bus driver" in here too - whatever you guys want. Don't let the fact that you can't get into this room limit your imagination.
Oh, and it's going to be REALLY noisy here too. The new hardwood floors are going in the living room and dining room this weekend. Can't wait to see you - but maybe we should just hang out on the porch. There's nothing being stored out there - yet!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stashquisitions and a New Friend

It's Crazy Days in our little town of Excelsior. That means street sales and street sales mean merchants puts all their crap in the street and try to sell it. True even for our local yarn store. Difference being, for knitters, there's really no such thing as crap yarn.

Outside . . .

. . . and inside too.

I came away with just a little bit of yumminess. Six skeins of Noro "Sakura" in colorway 4. Not sure what it wants to be, but perhaps a little lap blanket for the new blue and bedroom is in order. See the tag that first says $9.50, then the red tag that says $6.65? Then remember that this is the store where I used to work.
Some beautiful Mountain Colors "Bearfoot" in Tamarack. What's that peaking over the top? Ooooh two more skeins which refuse to be photographed. Hmmmm - wonder why? Could it be they are destined to be gifted? Why yes, it's true. Stay hidden now. Can't really see that tag, but it says $21.50
Total damage $60.75. Oh, but wait. That is so totally not the best part of my morning. The word "SALE" brings even the meekest of people out from behind the blog. By pre-arrangement I met the lovely and charming Guinifer and we shopped together. You, my dear, should never have any doubts about venturing out and meeting other knitters in any kind of setting. You can hold your own and are a delight to spend time with. I only wish we had more. We also ran into Rani who left before we could get a photo. She only had an hour with a mom home babysitting. I remember those days well.

Yarn sales make girls smile! By the way - sale continues through Saturday!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

15 Minutes of Fame

... is probably not enough for me. Oh sure, I won't stand in line for a wizard book or movie. But get a camera and the potential for a live audience, albeit a sound asleep one, and I'm your girl. Up at 3:00 AM. Showered, dressed - WITH mascara I might add, a quick little snack to keep my stomach from grumbling and I was off. I packed a friend to take with me. Look who made her debut appearance Vicki? It's Larger Than Life finally!

The shot was held at Needlework Unlimited and was done to promote this weekend's Stitch 'n Pitch at the Twins game.Tina, from Amazing Threads was there. Their shop is working on Homer Hankies in red, white and blue striped yarn for the event. Really cute.Marge from Sheepy Yarn Shoppe and Laura from Three Kittens admiring a Colinette sweater / shawl or "swawl" as we called it.P.R. woman from the Twins and "talent". So, all we had to do was sit and knit while the "talent " talked about the event with the PR woman. Just sit and knit. No chance for witty banter and snappy one-liners. No opportunity to let the real me show through to the millions of people sitting at home with their morning coffee. People might think it was because I was competing for time with ..

.. Steven - "The Glitter Knitter" from the Yarn Garage but that wouldn't be true. Did I tell you someone brought their kids? It's so not fair. I'd have had them eating out of my hands but here's some kid knitting a hedgehog right in the from row. She got the interview. You couldn't even hear her. I ripped out a few of her stitches when she wasn't looking.

That's me in the green tank. Doesn't my make-up look good!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Set your TIVOs ...

... or get up at 5:00 tomorrow morning. Yours truly is scheduled to appear on a KARE 11 Local NBC affiliate) segment on knitting and Stitch 'n Pitch beginning at 5:30 am. Whatever shall I knit? Appearing with me will be Steven, the "Glitter Knitter". I think it's a smack down event. I'm calling myself the "Whittier Knitter". I'll kick his butt.

Tune in if you can. If you live far a away, I'll see what I can do to show it to you via the magic of the Internet!

Wish me luck (I think you say "Break a stick!" or "Snag a stitch!")

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Miss-T-ery

I could Tell you whaT I did yesTerday, buT iT is a biT of a mysTery. The kind where, if I Told you, I'd have To kill you. I mean, we were righT nexT To a miliTary insTallaTion of some kind. We gaThered aT a very mysTerious house. There was a sumpTuous and feasT prepared by our hosTess and her very cabaple assisTanT who goes by the mysTerious moniker of The M.E.
Our hosTess blushed profusely as we gushed over The food and I ThoughT I had snapped a phoTo of her - buT alas, she was jusT Too quick. And no, I don'T Think she is flipping me off in This picTure, alThough I was a bit sassy!!

There was a lovely afTernoon of kniTTing wiTh friends - Connie and Amy.
And Chris, who by The looks of iT is never going To give away The secreT of where we were for The day - and she rode wiTh me Too. I had to knock her ouT for The drive so she wouldn'T remember where we had been. I learned sTuff like ThaT from waTching "24".

Ahhh, the obligatory gifT picture. Surely she'll show her face for This. No luck.

So, where in The world did Deb spend a wonderful afTernoon of food, friends and fun yesTerday? There was absoluTley no horror in my day!! Thank you so much MysTery Person!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Golden Days

This past week has been some of the best weather Minnesota has to offer. Holli and I connected up with our pals for some good long walks early in the morning.
We have to wait at the end of the drive way for the "safe" word meaning it's OK to cross the scary electric fence (the collar for which hasn't worked in three years - dogs!!).
A quick stop at the otter pond to see if anyone is frolicking here this morning. "Mom, we should remember to tell Chris about the snowy egret that lives here too OK?"
The little produce stand getting ready to open for the day. "Hey Mrs. Kerber!" "Growl." Ah, customer service at its finest.
Look who's coming! Could it be? Yes, I think it is! Maybe.......
It's ANNIE! Holli's very best dog friend in the whole wide world. She's exactly the same age as Holli but Annie has a much calmer demeanor. I continue to hope her maturity will grow on Holli.

They walk side by side.

And stop at all crosswalks.

When it's time to say good bye to Annie we head home and then it's off-leash time. Holli is actually much better off-leash than on-leash. She stays closer to me and pays much more attention to me. I think it's because she's such a nervous girl and she doesn't like the insecurity of being off-leash.

This is our road and how we know we're home. Hmmm - which came first, the dog's name or our or the road? Clue - our then 4-year old daughter named the dog. Always makes me glad we didn't live on 157th South Curve Northwest.

"OK girl - go home!" Confession - I love dog butt pictures!
"And just where have you two been - do you have any idea what has been going on here while you've been out - gallivanting - around! Who do you suppose got Kathryn up and ready for dance camp?"
And our usual warm greeting when we return. Have a great weekend. I'm probably going to need a nap today. That little walk took 2 hours!