Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Please help Holli decide:


Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ....

. . . this little angel just turned eleven!

I love you tons and bunches honey! Mom.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Trash Day

Right there - top billing - "Easy Clutter Control" - in the October 2007 Real Simple magazine. Let's talk about the problems I have with this concept of "Real Simple". First off, the magazine is 396 pages long! To me, if something is going to be "real simple" it's going to be, possibly - 10 pages long.
The article in question "Easy Clutter Control" - I know it's hard to see from the photo of the Table of Contents (found on page 32) - but it's on page 312. The article itself is 14 pages long. So ... quick math check: 396 - 14 = 382 pages of additional clutter in the house. I have a better Idea for clutter control - quit buying stupid magazines to tell me how to reduce clutter in my life!
And as luck would have it - Friday is trash day in my neighborhood!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Nile

Maybe this idea I had of knitting socks for Kathryn would have been easier if I had just taken stock of a few facts before hand. She IS NOT a baby. In fact, she turns 11 on Sunday. She no longer has the tiny feet I remember her having - like - yesterday. Proof: My favorite commercial sock on top, hers is below it.
My new shoes on top, Kathryn's below. I wear a size 6 adult, she wears a size 3 youth. Hers is the same size as mine. Why am I paying more money in the adult section to get the same shoe that they have over in the youth section?
I am now just knitting her a pair of socks sized for me on smaller needles. I can't even show you the thing that I tried to get her to try on as sock #1 when we thought it was finished. Despite the super loose bind off, she couldn't get it past her toes. Good thing she has a sense of humor. But as for me - I'm locking up my shoes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Send Good Thoughts

My sister and her family live in San Diego. They have taken in one family who have been evacuated from their home as a result of the wildfires in southern California. My folks talked with her last night and she remains confident that they are safe and secure where they are, between Pacific Beach and La Jolla on Mt. Soledad.

My baby brother (at 41) lives in Marina del Ray, south of Los Angeles. He probably doesn't even know there are wildfires going on in the area. Or, he's out of the country on business somewhere.

Send good thoughts out that way to all those who might be in danger or who need some extra comfort.

Wish we could send some of the extra rain.....

Monday, October 22, 2007


I'm not above bribery - but in this case, I had nothing at all to do with the smile gracing my daughter's face this morning. Despite staying up WAY past the normal bedtime for a Sunday night and having no voice left, she left for school this morning with a skip in her step and humming some familiar tunes.
Before you laugh - let me just tell you that this was one of the best shows I've ever seen. Fun, energetic, fast-paced. Not too "Disney" either. It didn't hurt that we were treated to this entire event by some friends, in a suite, with free food and beverages either.

Maybe it's just me, or maybe it was just being there at the exact moment when you realize that you are no longer the only idol in your daughter's world, but I cried, several times.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

October 3

No real post today - we're busy. Building arks. With gopher wood and pitch - as instructed. I don't really want all those animals around, so I'm taking Jon, Kathryn, Holli, Tigger, a few good books, some trashy magazines, my knitting room (assuming since the ark will be built as instructed, there will be plenty of room), my knitting group, Julie, my neighbor and her dog, Cooper. Food and all those necessities. What would you bring?
As for the title - October 3rd - that's the last day here that it didn't rain.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comfort Socks

We need some comfort here. Not just because of the dreary skies and rain either. Kathryn has been struggling with this new world called 5th grade. This has been a painful few months for all of us. She is a bright ans talented young lady and her struggles are not academic or even social in nature. Rather, she is at that point where "fairness", workload, structure and order (or lack thereof) all factor in to her in day. She has a teacher whose "teaching style" just doesn't mesh with Kathryn's learning style. In short, welcome to "Kathryn Meets the Real World - Volume 1".

She has asked for a pair of socks. Keep in mind, this is a child who has shunned all things knitted thus far. She needs these socks soon. As KmKat was oh-so quick to point out, her favorite pair of store bought socks, recently seen here have an enormous hole in the heel. I threw them out. I was bad. Artyarns Supermerino should knit up very quickly. We decided to call this colorway (#127) Apples because it reminded us of the apples we had in the house yesterday - Granny Smiths, Harralsons, and Honeycrisps.
I had been secretly knitting her a pair of socks before all this came about. When I pulled them out to continue them - a disaster had befallen them. There was a tiny hole somewhere up near the toe, rendering them impossible to continue life as they were. The last time I had worked on these socks was .....
...over here. Sorry Mayhem - I'm not buying that "Oh, I'm just sitting here not doing anything" look. I took my eyes off you for a second and left my bag unprotected. I know - it's my fault.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Details: Large star around which the earth orbits known as the "Sun"
Last seen: Saturday October 13; prior to that, Saturday October 6th
Where: In the sky, about 93 million miles or so away

If found, please return to Minnesota.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Size Matters

And it matters most in this house in the size of our electronics. Take the two newest additions to the TV count. For those of you keeping score from last year's Star Tribune article on the number of television sets in our home - this is only a net gain of one - well, it will be when we get rid of the one that is being "donated" to accommodate one of the new ones.

Mr. treated himself to a new 46", LCD, HDTV. He watches the least amount of TV of anyone in the house but when he does watch it, he wants the full experience of it. Which is why we also have the 96" projection TV theatre room downstairs. But that's a different experience. You can have popcorn and candy and kids and really loud noises down there. I treated myself to a TV in my studio/office/craft/junk room. I probably watch the most TV of anyone in the house in that it is on during the day as background noise. Sometimes reruns, sometimes news, sometimes music - you get it.
15" of HDTV companionship, mounted up high so I won't knock it over or lose it like I do its remote about 10 times a day!

And of course every one's a winner when you buy a really big electronic toy. This was an entire evening's worth of fun for these two! Gotta run - I think there might be an "ER" rerun starting soon......

Friday, October 12, 2007

Girls and Volleyball Rule!

Tomorrow is the last two matches of the season for the 5th grade girls volleyball team and I find myself almost sad about it. They've come quite a long way from last year where all they had to do was get a serve over the net to win a point and likewise, because they couldn't return a serve, the same was true for the opposing team. This year they've learned a few new skills and had some exciting volleys and some very close matches. They've won all but one match for a record of 7 - 1. The girls come together as a team on Saturdays - even though during the week they have many different personalities. We like volleyball because it's inside, on cold, rainy fall Saturday mornings. We are warm and toasty, while the parents of the kids who chose to play soccer - not so much. Sometimes we look outside at them and take off our sweaters and fan ourselves as if to say ... "Gosh, it's so nice in here! And look at you all huddled up out there on the wet, cold soccer field.!" But I digress.
Thanks for a great year Coach Brad! You've done a great job with these girls and we are ever so thankful to you!

Go Crusaders!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Channeling Groucho

"Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough." Groucho Marx
"Please accept my resignation. I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member." Groucho Marx
Really? On the heels (pun intended) of finding out that there might be clothing restrictions once we reach a "certain age", I am being persuaded to join that club. I'm like - weeks away from 50. I have time -- right??

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Michaele's "note to self" at the end of her post yesterday reminding her to stop shopping at Anthropologie when she feels she's too old to shop there, besides making me laugh my guts out - (because frankly we all know someone whose been shopping there Far longer than they should have and if you don't know someone whose been shopping there for longer than they should have, perhaps it's you) - got me to thinking . . .
. . . will I ever be too old to wear socks and shoes that match?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lunch time With ...

I hardly ever take the time to sit down and eat lunch let alone sitting down with a friend for lunch. So it was a rare treat indeed yesterday when I was able to share my lunch with ...
. . . Chaos. Indeed I am among the lucky ones who is to caring for our recovering Chris as she recuperates at home. I brought a healthy lunch of chicken Caesar salads (no croutons or imitation crab meat for Chris) and two containers of Sharon's Sorbet (raspberry and chocolate). The sorbet is just a special treat for Chris, or in case say, Jeanne and I are over on Wednesday for knitting and good cheer. And by the way - it's THE best sorbet on the planet! After my bag was inspected by the local authorities, I was cleared and allowed to enter. We had a lovely lunch and discussed such things as what Chris did with all her left over tampons. Apparently someone, who shall remain nameless, Jeanne, will no longer need to make that emergency run to Target for the next several years. I was warned not to feed the animals; they were warned not to bother the human. We reached an agreement and lunch went smoothly.
We even had some time to sit and knit for a while. Since I was sitting in His Majesty's special place, the Princess took the opportunity to sit by my side and watch me with great interest. In reality, she was after everything in my bag and I snapped this picture just seconds after I closed the bag to keep her pesky little teeth away from my Addis!!
Chaos doesn't like to get to far away from Chris, especially now that the icky vet smell is gone! I'd say she is fairing pretty well - although I did have to admonish her several times yesterday afternoon to get off the computer and get to bed. I notice that Mayhem did the same today! Good girl May - just keep her comfy and pinned down in bed. She needs to rest for Sorbet-Fest tomorrow night!

Monday, October 08, 2007


After 6 months of planning and meetings, another Oktoberfest is in the books and I have nothing hanging over my head. By every measure the event was a success. The huge storms of the morning and early afternoon cleared and by 3:00 PM when the festivities began. The sun was shining and the temperatures (and humidity) were hovering around 85 degrees. The older folks loved the polka band, the food was fabulous, Boogie Wonderland was a hoot. Lots of money was raised in raffle ticket sales, auctions, food sales, beer garden, beer garden, & beer garden.

As for our part, up in the Kid's Carnival tent, where it was shaded and quite cool and comfortable, it was our best year yet. There's just something about the kids coming in to play silly games like "Potty Toss" (yep, its just like it sounds) or "Cow Pie Fly" (yep). The ultimate goal of the carnival is to keep the kids happy so the grown-ups will spend more money at the silent auction and beer garden. So, just in our little tent, in 5 hours, we raised $6500.

I attribute our success to the hard work of the wonderful volunteer staff - who showed up just in time to mix up the candy and trinkets to be given out as prizes for the games . . .

. . . because in this carnival, the games all cost one ticket ($1) but every body's a winner!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Quick post before I sign off for the week. This weekend is Oktoberfest at the school and church. Once again, I'm in charge of the Kid's Carnival. After four year's of carnival duty, I've gotten pretty good at this. In my car right now is $800.00 worth of Costco candy. Figure it out - that's basically filling up the back seat and the trunk of my car! I didn't snap a picture because frankly, every time I go out there I gag from the smell!

Then there's the giant box from Oriental Trading Company. $400.00 worth of trinkets and trash. Parents have asked that there not be any whistles. I always happily oblige! I am also a parent. Usually alone in the tent ... with their children ... on a sugar high. Not in the far away beer tent where they are ... having fun. I doubt they'd even hear the whistles.

By Sunday it will all be over and the money will be raised and all will be happy and life will go back to normal. But for today, it's off to my class, then pick up Mom & Dad to take them to the airport for their trip to Europe, then on the the hospital to visit with Chris, then home to see my husband whom I got to spend a few minutes with last night when he returned from ..... somewhere.

But look what I get to carry around today. Dogs, cats and yarn...three of my favorite things. Have a wonderful weekend. Wish me luck with all the kids. I'll see you there Connie!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Faithful - Part II

Faithful is easy when the other partner or project cooperates so willingly. Faithful is easy when the project is a good sport and provides clear, easy to follow instructions which any idiot can follow. Faithful is easy when one has a past history of using the same tool in a similar way with hideous loops to create a stiff acrylic potholder. Faithful is easy when you create something new which is not stiff, acrylic or a potholder but rather soft and woolly and possibly the beginnings of a blanket combined with crocheted granny squares and knit log cabin squares.
Faithful is also easy when the ebay enablers surprise you with a perfectly intact, vintage "Weave-It". It's in its original packaging. I love the note on the front - "A fascinating and useful pastime". It came with it's original instruction sheet and two mini-cones of cotton yarn to play with. She also pre-warped the loom. Now I'm not so embarrassed to say I paid $25 for this treasure! Side note - for some reason, probably related to where it was stored in the seller's home, Tigger will NOT leave the box alone. I've had to hide it several times. He rolls all over the box, licks the box, rubs himself on the's way weird!

Faithful .......
... not so much!! The booklet that came with this package said it takes three days to become a beginning drop spindler. I know there is someone out there that will say keep trying or can suggest other resources besides the black & white, hand drawn pictures that came in this package. Because, seriously, this looks like it could be fun (I don't expect it to be easy), but right now, I'd rather just take a lesson from Homer Simpson - "You tried and you failed. Lesson: Never try!"


Monday, October 01, 2007

Faithful - Part I

People sometimes talk about being "faithful" to a craft. Whether it's quilting or sewing, knitting or crocheting, they want to remain "true" or "loyal" to that one particular craft. They hold their particular craft with such a passion that moving on to a different, but related craft, can be referred to as being unfaithful or "crossing over to the dark side". Most of us are multi-crafted I know....

... But welcome my friends, to my dark side.
Alerted yesterday by Chris that the old Harrisville potholder loom could be used for weaving with yarn, I dug it out of Kathryn's toy box and began practicing with it. It's very simple and produces a great six inch square. A video tutorial which will show you everything you need to know to get weaving can be found here. Go get yours - you know you have one!!

The 2x2 Weavette, picked up at Needlework Unlimited, has been busy cranking out little squares in all sorts of color combinations. I was inspired by Karrie during her "Week of Weaving series. Who knew? Who knew how hard it would be to find these little looms?? The 4x4 looms are pretty much only available on ebay - and even then, they are vintage. I bid on 7 before finally winning one. I can't even tell you what I paid because I'm rather embarrassed. I'll need the 4 inch square loom for the Weave-a-Long I joined over here.

For me, this is still "faithful". It's faithful to a creative process, to my love of all things fiber, to hand-work, to a time and space that is quiet and meditative, to an art form which is centuries old. Now tomorrow, something maybe not so "faithful".