Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Please don't tell Kathryn! But while she was away at a friend's cabin for the long holiday weekend, her parents acted just like grownups . . .
. . . with a fancy day and night in downtown Minneapolis. And then followed up by acting just like kids when we . . .

. . . slept out on the porch the next night. The animals thought this was a hoot! What did you guys do over the long weekend?

*Just so you know - "Nap" really does means "nap"!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lunch Time

I've pulled Middle School lunch duty at school for the rest of the year. I'm happy to do it - as much for the kids , as for the poor teacher I'm helping out. It's down to the last 10 days and the natives are definitely getting restless.

The sixth grade girls are still looking pretty innocent; not the source of much lunch room chaos!

The silly seventh grade girls are so ready to be the big kids!

Next year's Top Dogs - the seventh grade boys - "Yeah - we bad!"

The eighth grade boys - ready for high school.

And all of a sudden, they've become very shy and elusive, the eighth grade girls.

You may notice the absence of the sixth grade boys. Um - therein lies the need for a change in supervision in the lunchroom. As much as I love these boys, sometimes they are just unlovable, and the during the 20 minutes of lunchtime, the sixth grade boys - unlovable.
As the school year comes to an end, I realize just how much time I've spent with these kids and how much I've gotten to know and appreciate each one of them. I'm going to miss these kids over the summer, and the eighth graders next year.

School lunch - not so much!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Write a Story

One of the prompts in the writing lab at school is to give the students a few facts, settings, or pictures and see what kind of story they can weave. Often they are quite elaborate; sometimes they are quite stunning in their simplicity! This exercise came to mind yesterday when Kathryn and I returned home from school and I thought you might like to take a stab at it. Here is the setting and a few pictures:
  • Hot day - 90 + degrees
  • Very high winds
  • Skittish, anxiety-prone dog, left alone for 3 hours (not an unusual occurrence!)
  • Lake

(She's wet and in this picture - and smells like a swamp)
  • $50.00 spent at the groomer for bath just the day before

So - write me a story! Oh, don't forget the cats!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Inside or Outside

All of a sudden, my day-time calendar is beginning to free up as summer approaches. This allows for longer blocks of time to do things - - requiring longer blocks of time! Since the porch is finally open (and the errant sprinkler head has been repositioned making the porch usable too!) I thought it was time to bring the spinning wheel out of hibernation and get some spinning done.

However, and I'm thinking my fellow Minnesotans will chime in here with some very strong opinions, temperatures yesterday were above 95 degrees and today's are expected to be 92 degrees with very strong breezes. The question, is do I spin outside . . .

. . . or inside? In the basement - where it will be 66 degrees and I'll probably have to turn on the fireplace to take the chill out of the air.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

River Rapids

Finally, the River Rapids socks are finished. They were actually a much quicker knit than the blog would have you believe. I spent a large part of this past weekend listening to a book for an upcoming book club meeting and finished one and 1/2 socks. The last toe was grafted last night during the season finale of "24". Jack - sigh. I love this heel. Surely it has a name, but I'm just calling it "My New Favorite Heel".

This is some long forgotten Lorna's Laces that has now been knit six times but finally into something I can love. And just in time because the porch is open and it's going to be 85 degrees here today. Yay!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hanging Around

A few years ago Jon took a class at our golf course on making your own hanging baskets. He'll freely admit to everyone that while you won't save any money doing this, you will bet a much better product than the pre-made hanging baskets. This weekend was "hanging basket weekend" as he passed the craft on to Kathryn. I have no pictures of the actual making of the baskets (it's messy!), the results are lovely.

What you can't see is the automatic dribble sprinklers that keeps them watered throughout the summer. Now if only they could automatically rotate themselves and move themselves from corner to corner every Saturday - - but I'm sure that's in the works.

And yes, while Kathryn and I were really hoping for a different kind of tomato plant this summer, we're stuck with just this regular old patio pot!
"If you think this locked screen door and grate can keep me in, you're just some kinda crazy Mom!!" - Tig

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Guy

Legally declared so, 14 years ago today. Last year was a public declaration; this year I'm feeling more contemplative - more and "in my head". Suffice it to say, I love this guy, my guy, and would still marry him all over again.
Happy Anniversary Jon. I love you - today and always.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


In between treating me like royalty on Sunday, Jon was busy all day working in the yard. As I think I've told you before, he's in charge of all things gardening and landscaping. I don't possess the skills to do these things. Last week I ventured out to the front garden to pull some weeds. I was joined soon afterward by Jon. He came out under the guise of smoothing over the spat which sent me to the garden. But it was really to make sure I wasn't pulling up anything which was meant to be there - again.

After dinner on Sunday he took me out to show me the latest project - the "East Side Beautification Project" Wow!

Now when I work on a knitting project and show it to someone, it's "something" even when it's in progress. Like "Look at the heel on this sock!" Sure, it's not a sock yet, but it is something!
I'm having a hard time putting this into knitting terms.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tea And Me

Knowing that I am pretty spoiled by my family the other 364 days of the year, it seem silly to have a whole day dedicated to spoiling me. But they did. Breakfast in bed, mimosas, the day to do whatever I wanted, a cocktail and appetizer hour, and a homemade dinner. But Jon, being one of the best gift-givers ever, put together this lovely "tea-themed" package that just thrilled me to no end.
A tea infusion pot, infusion stick, tea bag squisher, a beautiful cookbook, and because he knows I'd never buy it for myself . . . . (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) . . .
. . . two skeins of Claudia in "Eat Your Veggies" colorway. This should make the next 364 days just perfect.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Listen to Your Mom

Or in my case, listen to a mom whose opinion you trust in matters such as this. That would SO not be my mom. She would be inclined to say something such as: "Why are you even bothering with that?", or "Don't you have anything better to do with your time?, or, the always available, "When Kathryn is in high school, are you going to get a real job?" Thanks Mom. But I think I'll take my knitting advice from other moms.

Like Neatnik's mom. She seems like the same kind of mom I am (or want to be at least!); she's smart - she teaches college. She's even smarter - she used to be a pharmacist. She also seems to be going through similar issues with a sweater. So when her comment on the big sock problem of the other day said, very simply this:

trek said...
Change yarn? Pattern?
Have a stiff shot?
10:19 AM

Seriously? You didn't think I would change the yarn did you??? That's the whole reason I'm in this dilemma! Plus - that's a fresh bottle of vodka.

To all my mom friends (even of kitties!!) I hope your Mother's Day is as special as you all are!

Flower Drills

Finally some blossoms to play with! And yes, I got in trouble for "chopping them out" of his garden!

Daffodils - Line up!
Line up!

Flowers - to the left!

Flowers - to the right!

Show us your butts!

Group hug!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Socks by the Numbers

I'm pretty sure that if I go downstairs and look in any one of my fancy sock knitting books, the description for knitting two socks at one time would be very specific in its description about only requiring ONE circular needle.
But that wasn't really the plan here. I began the Sunrise Chevron Socks by looking at the needle sizes and knew "Gotta drop down." Didn't check or anything. I was looking for something with an easy pattern that would knit fast. So off I went. Cuff ribbing, done; fits over foot and calf; off to the pattern, forgot to change to larger needle; oops; just keep going since these are bigger needles than I usually use (US 1 / 2.5mm); knit till I'm ready to start the heel; slip it on. Huh? It's a little - snug.
Plan B. Don't rip this one out (This will be KEY!). Start NEW sock on US 2 / 2.75 mm. I figure whichever one works, then I'll just have to knit another one of THAT one. Yay! Knit cuff; still forget to change needle size (good thing); keep going; knit enough of the pattern to not be a total moron (but it's such an easy and fun pattern!!) that I go farther than I want to anyway; finally stop and try it on.
Well damn. I can almost read through it. It doesn't come anywhere close to staying up on my leg. This is where some sort of math skills might have come in handy. Like knowing what difference .25mm would have made on the 60 stitches and to the overall circumference of the sock. I do not possess such math skills and frankly, I'm too embarrassed to ask the child who does possess them for this kind of help. Perhaps this is finally the answer to that whole gauge question I've ignored forever when it comes to socks. No problem. I can still make this work. I'll just get the needle size in-between 2.5mm and 2.75mm which - doesn't exist.
So now I'm back to sock number one, the heel of which I hate. I can still see through it too. So this will also be ripped back so I can knit just a regular heel. And knit more loosely on the rest of this one and the next one. And then stretch them out a lot on the sock blockers. Or give them to someone with even smaller feet than me.
" Um - Mom. Even I can figure out that with this plan you'd still wind up having to knit almost three socks. That seems like a lot more work!"

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Goodies and Badies

Picked up the mail yesterday and stuffed in amid all the junk mail was a wonderful surprise. I mean, sure I knew they were coming, but I had no idea how much I'd love them!
Two box bags from JessaLu! On the left is Alexander Henry - Citrus and on the right is Heather Baily - Pop Garden Daisy Rose. I've wanted one of these forever and finally, after seeing Margene's new one, caved. Could be a new addiction. Aren't the spring-like and beautiful?
I'm particularly fond of JessaLu's signature "bee" charm on the zipper pull of her bags. "Deborah" is the Greek name for bee. I've always had a thing for bees. Kind of seems like these were made for me.
So what's in the bags? The most complicated way ever to make two socks at one time. But that's a story for another day.

Friday, May 01, 2009


I get to take a little road trip this weekend. All by myself. Alone. My niece is celebrating her First Eucharist in Milwaukee and I'm going to go be there with her. I was scheduled to be the "proxy" godparent - something the real godparent didn't even know about - but I've since been asked to relinquish that role. Now, I'm just going for the free booze at the brunch.

While I'm gone, Jon will have to take care of a few things around here. Worst First off, Kate has one of those day long-dance competitions again. He will have to spend the whole day in a dark theatre watching young girls dance. Wonder just how much booze there will be at the brunch?
OK - well he better not let anything happen to these guys because I've been doing a really great job of watching them grow. Everyday. Just staring at them.

What takes them so long to turn into tulips??