Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Glad Tidings

It's the birthday of Charles Wesley, born on this day in 1707 (or 1708, depending on what you're reading). He wrote over 6,000 hymns and is considered by some to be one of the most prolific poets in the English language.

And since it's a week till Christmas, I'll leave you with one of his hymns. Yes, I realize that you'll probably hear it so many times in the stores this season that you might wish Charles Wesley had been a plumber or a botanist. ***Has anyone else noticed that you can't go anywhere at all without an unceasing stream of Rudolph's and Frosty's? And isn't anyone else worried they'll get tired of it all long before the 25th?? But I digress... ***

Ok, so, despite the fact that you've probably learned to tune this out already, read the words and let Christmas be real for you, since that, Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas!!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new born King,
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th' angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new born King!"

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th' incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new born King!"

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new born King!"

Friday, December 07, 2007

Remember Pearl Harbor

"Remember Pearl Harbor" (lyrics to the popular song by that name here) was a rallying cry for America, especially during the early days of our involvement in World War II. Until this day in 1941, the debates between the isolationists and the interventionists were heated and frequent. Those who advocated war wanted to send troops to Europe to put an end to Hitler's relentless onslaught there. Conversely, there were those who thought that the reports of Hitler's atrocities were greatly exaggerated, and maybe his plan to "unify Europe" wasn't so bad after all. Despite the fact that Japan had been fighting in its corner of the world for many years, Americans were largely unconcerned about a threat from that direction.

Japan's unprovoked attack on our naval and air forces in Pearl Harbor initially achieved two things: 1) The fighting among the isolationists and interventionists came to a halt and 2) Japan's alliance with Nazi Germany assured that the U.S. was going to war on two fronts.

You can listen to President Franklin Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor address here.

And here's something from The Writer's Almanac, many thanks to Garrison Keillor:
"It was on this day in 1941 that Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. That morning soldiers at Pearl Harbor were learning how to use their new radar technology, and they detected a large number of planes heading toward them. They telephoned an officer to ask him what to do. The officer said they must be American B-17s on their way to the base, and he told the soldiers not to worry about it.
The Japanese bombers began their attack at 7:48 a.m., with two waves of 360 planes, beginning with slow torpedo bombers and then dive-bombers. Many of the soldiers there that day woke up to the sound of alarms and explosions. Most of the damage occurred in the first 30 minutes. The U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized, and the California, Nevada, and West Virginia sank in shallow water. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed, killing more than 1,500 soldiers aboard. When nurses arrived for morning duty they found hundreds of injured men all over the base. The nurses ran around, administering morphine, and to prevent overdoses, they wrote the letter M on each treated man's forehead.
There were ultimately 2,390 Americans killed at Pearl Harbor and 1,178 wounded. FDR used the event as the grounds for entering World War II."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today's Quotes

Today's quotes come from CS Lewis, born on this day in 1898.

He said:
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. "

"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

Monday, November 26, 2007

There's winning, and there's winning...

Well, it's official: I did NOT win the Cat Sweater contest sponsored by Crazy Aunt Purl. It's a shame, too, since 1) The grand prize sounded wonderful, and 2) We had to wake Clarence up to put the sweater on him. Oh, well!

And I had a couple of thoughts about chillen's today. I was watching JrBravesFanatic playing ball in the backyard when a large airplane flew overhead. He stopped what he was doing and looked to see what kind of plane it was, and I thought, that must be what it means to have a boy: someone I can count on to stop and look at passing airplanes. And, since I try to be a fair kind of Mom, (hehe) I must add that having a girl around means someone I can count on to help me shop for clothes, and really feel comfortable telling me, "Mom you do NOT want to buy that pair of pants! Ewwww!!"

Just a couple of examples--there are really so many more reasons why having these kiddoes around is a great thing. It makes me feel like a WIN-AH!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I recently discovered that Jan Karon has written a new book--not a Mitford book, but a book still starring Father Tim Kavanaugh. I breathed a sigh of relief and went to the library. I wasn't looking for the new book, though. I was looking for the last Mitford book, Light from Heaven. I have thus far steadfastly refused to read it, knowing full well that I wouldn't be able to handle saying a permanent goodbye to all the characters I've "known" for the last 10 years. BUT! If Father Tim carries on in a new book (maybe even a new series!), then so can I.

The timing is perfect to read this book, too, as Thanksgiving is upon us. Karon's novels make me feel so thankful, so appreciative of the way God moves in the lives of people, and so much more aware of the beautiful things in life.

I'm thankful for my friends and family, too, virtual and otherwise. May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What type of yarn are you?

You are baby alpaca, soft and warm, and cute for everything
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I (Heart) Cables!

Ok, why didn't anyone tell me how easy cables were? Ok, then why didn't I listen?? I have a new knitting obsession, and I call it--Cable-liciousness. This all started because I wanted to make a new scarf and I wanted to try something different and I finally got brave enough to open the package of cable needles I've had for a year, and it all happened on the same day. And I love love love cables!

It's so nice that knitting is filled with lots of new things to discover. And become obsessed with!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Lately I've been...

**Schlepping children to multiple fall festivals, with and without costumes.

**Collecting as much cat hair as possible on everything I wear.

**Switching out the short sleeve t-shirts for the long sleeve t-shirts--hey, nothing like a diverse wardrobe! Now that our daytime highs are only in the lower 70's (and the humidity is down---hooray!!), it's time to pull out the winter clothes . I finally caught on the to fact that, around here, winter clothes are best limited to cotton sweaters and thin long-sleeved shirts. This is, after all, South Carolina, where the heat gets blasted indoors if the temps outdoors fall below60 degrees. You know what they say about cooking a frog by turning up the heat gradually? Well, I so get that now.

**Reading about our own personal star of the month, Loretta Young: beautiful, inspiration, role model. Seems she probably spent more time helping others (hospice, etc) and pointing them toward God, than she spent in front of movie or television cameras. Very cool. ALSO...did you know Ricardo Montalban was her brother-in-law? And Van Johnson once made a guest appearance on "Fantasy Island" (starring Montalban, of course)? And I was once in "Showboat" with Van Johnson? Him: Big-name star attraction, complete with trademark red socks and incredibly boyish grin. Me: Nobody stage crew with walk-on part. We play this little game around here. Kevin Bacon notwithstanding, I can connect to just about any movie star from the Golden Age of Hollywood via~~~~~VAN JOHNSON!!

**Enjoying our first-of-the-year wood fire. No, it's not really That Cold, but it was cooler and quite lovely to crank up the fireplace again.

**Trying not to spaz (does use of that word date me like I think it does??) that Thanksgiving is so close and Christmas is hot on its heels. I have a mere 3.8 things from the Top Secret Christmas Knitting list completed. Not enough to relax yet. Has this stopped me from working on the Shawl to End All Shawls or reading knitting books for more project ideas? Hardly. But it would be so nice to have that yummy bit of alpaca-osity ready when we have our 3 days of winter. And I'll need something to knit once the Christmas projects are done. And I have no self-control sometimes. At least I can admit it.

**Trying to think nice thoughts about whoever came up with Daylight Savings Time. Grrr.....

Friday, October 26, 2007

World Series Angst

I like happy endings. I know we live in a real world, a fallen world even, and happy endings don't always happen. But, still, I prefer them.

Which is why I'm experiencing World Series Angst right now. You see, DaHubby is a Red Sox fan from way back when, so naturally he's pulling for Boston. And well, though I hail from the Lone Star state (aka God's country), I was actually born in Colorado and as such have always felt a certain fondness for my natal state. Also, rooting for the underdog has long been a tradition in our house (see: "DaHubby is a Red Sox fan from way back when").

Last night I apologized to DaHubby for rooting against his team in the Series, and he assured me that it was ok.

So why the angst? Because Boston leads 2-0 and if I'm going to root for someone, I want to see them WIN, that's why!!!! I mean, have you seen some of these guys? We're talking "old Boston" for sure! What are you whippersnappers on the Rockies doing?? Surely you can beat a bunch of old men like the Red Sox!!

Ok, tirade over.

Go Rockies!!

Edited Monday, 10-29: Well, my Rockies didn't last the weekend, so I guess that, as they say, is that! :(

Friday, October 19, 2007

Polar Bears, Elephants, Cats and Alpaca (Oh, My!)

Still trying to find the time to square away things on Ravelry...I figured out Flickr, but need to take more pictures of knitting (I never thought I'd feel the need to say THAT!) to upload, yada yada yada.

And thanks to these guys,
I now have to share the computer with the kids on a regular basis. Normally I do not get into the hype of the latest greatest new toy or gadget. For years I have shaken my head in disbelief at friends who have spent precious time and money tracking down the most recent toy fad for their children. No longer can I scorn such actions, for we have officially entered the Webkinz World. I have mixed emotions about WW, ranging from:
1) what on earth were we thinking agreeing to bring such things into our lives so the kids'll tie up the computer doing their thing when there seems to be precious little time to do my thing, and this just as I get into Ravelry and not to mention I have subjects of dubious interest about which to blog!?!! to
2) how do I come up with something that'll hook kids aged 4 and up and require their parents to spend precious time and money tracking down my most recent toy fad?????

The only thing I can fall back on is the fickle nature of children and the hope that in a few weeks they'll tire of all the online fun and I'll get my computer back. Otherwise it'll seem awfully lame to have to go use the computer at the library 'cause mine's been taken over by all that fuzzy cuteness.

In knitting news, the weather has sufficiently cooled to bring out the alpaca shawl and work on it some more. By sufficiently cooled I mean that the inside temps with air conditioning blasting are now low enough that I can stand to work with this really warm yarn and finish this everlasting slogfest that is the shawl to end all shawls.
Yes it really is as boring as it looks, but I like the charcoal color and the softness and the drape and I plan to wear it. If I ever finish it. Those size 6 needles really make it last. Forever. I got the idea for it from a pattern in Greetings from Knit Cafe, combined with the look of a shawl that a friend made. Of course, the smart friend used something like size 11 needles and some beautiful fuzzy mohair so it only took her a couple of months of knitting around an active toddler...

I'm also searching for the "perfect" sock pattern to cast on for pair #2. (Dale, I have taken the proactive step of procuring a second set of dpn's so I can make two socks at a time, instead of facing Second Sock Syndrome---again! I so hated the second sock until it was finished.) It's supposed to be a part of the Top Secret Christmas Knitting Program, but unless I find a pattern soon, it might be part of next year's program. Especially since I now have to leave the computer for WW time! Oh the humanity....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Can't talk now---I got my Ravelry invite yesterday, so you know where I am. And yes, it's cooler even than I thought it'd be! Now to figure out Flickr....

Monday, October 15, 2007

So many birthdays!

"I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don't know what I did before that . . . just loafed, I suppose."
P.G. Wodehouse, born on this day in 1881.

"Can't I open a present a day early??"
JrBaseballFanatic, born on this day in 2000.

"I can't believe you made socks for me!!!"
DaHubby, born 10/07/??

Yes, I did make socks and I finished them in time for his birthday, and I had successfully kept them a total secret! Take that, Second Sock Syndrome!

In honor of two out of the 3 birthdays celebrated in this blog post, we have spent the last week hiking and observing trees, birds, animals and books. How, you ask, does one hike and observe books?
At the
Carl Sandburg Home
, naturally! It made my day when SuperCraftyDancerGirl told me she was jealous of all the books in that place---I think they said there are 20,000 or so of them. And to think, she's only 10. I suspect that we have another book addict on our hands.

So we hiked...in Flat Rock, at King's Mountain, and then later in the week at the zoo. Photos to come...but until then, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my men! And to Plum, too! That'll be all, Jeeves.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today's Quotes

Our quotes today come from Eleanor Roosevelt, born on this day in 1884--a woman who endured much, accomplished much and just happened to be our WWII First Lady. Oh, and she was also famous for hauling around a large bag of knitting. I read somewhere where she and Mrs. Herbert Hoover even traded knitting patterns.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
(Thanks to the movie, The Princess Diaries, every little girl in America has now heard this quote.)

"Never be bored, and you will never be boring."
(This one goes right next to my quote from Eloise--"Being bored is not allowed!")

"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
(Ok, I remembering hearing this one when I was in middle school, but I had no idea it was attributed to Eleanor!)

"A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water."

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Funny Day in History

It's the birthday of one-half of that comedic duo, Abbott and Costello. "Bud" Abbott was born on this day in 1897. As a child I fondly remember their movies (in re-runs on tv, people, I am NOT that old!), but have as an adult discovered that they were really good on radio. The smallfry and I have been listening to a cd collection of A & C on radio shows from the 1940's (of course!) and I laugh so hard I can barely see. Not a good thing, since I'm the one driving!!

It's also the birthday of Julius Henry Marx, known and loved as Groucho.

And it's the anniversary of Johnny Carson taking over the desk at the Tonight Show.

Is it just me, or is all that enough to declare today some sort of national holiday?

Friday, September 28, 2007

As of today, I'm only behind 9024 people in line at Ravelry. I think that's a huge jump from the last time I checked, which was Tuesday, when I was 11386 back...whew! Celebrate, it's only 4 digits now!

And it's a good thing, too 'cause I took a very scientific quiz and it turns out I'm a Knitter!

You are a Knitter, with the capital K. You are never found without needles and yarn in hand. Your favorite place is the yarn shop and you can never seem to leave without buying needles or wool or a pattern or those fantastic stitch markers. Darn yarn fumes. Your stash of yarn is the kind that spills out of closets and is taking over the house. And it's still growing. Beware of SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy). You may need to bequeath yarn to people in your will. Knitting is a lifestyle for you, not just a hobby. You do it for fun, to make presents, or to cool off. We need more of your kind in the world. Go start a knitting club at your school or local coffee shop.

I did have someone say to me recently that they hardly recognized me without my knitting in hand! And I had to ask myself, am I that bad? Must be!

However, I was honestly shocked by the implication that I should only acquire yarn I will be able to use within my lifetime. This was a concept I had never before considered. I must say I'm not very fond of this concept either. So there.

The junior set in our house have been delving into the study of Ancient Egypt (Thank you, Staff at our local library, you totally rock!!). I'm wondering if it's worth the effort to find some evidence that any of those tombs had knitting needles in them for afterlife projects. Instead I should just be grateful that no one has yet suggested we try to turn the cats into mummies! There's already been talk of making gingerbread pyramids for Christmas this year....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sleigh bells ring....

What?! You don't hear the sleigh bells??? Christmas is now a mere 3 months away. That's like, 90 days(ish)! Isn't anyone else panicking yet?

Actually, I finished one project on the Top Secret Christmas Knitting List this morning. I can't tell you what it is...but it's done! Only 8 or 9 left to go. Sigh.

Speaking of Christmas, seems I will NOT being receiving a certain handbag for that holiday. Maybe an alpaca won't seem like to much to ask for now...

And this puts a whole new spin on holiday crafts. Textile artist Alison Murray has created a giant gingerbread house made of knitted items to raise funds for charity. Yarnalicious!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ahoy there, Mateys!

Scribe Tarred Eye here from the sea dog ship Calypso's Dishonor to inform ye that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. My good friend Black Morty Rackham so kindly reminded me of this fact. And it be a good thing, too. Me and the little pirate lass and the little pirate lad have been busy of late. We were watchin' that excellent show "Pirates of Penzance" and completely lost track of what day it be.
So remember that tis a glorious thing t'be a Pirate King and have a pleasant day. Aaarrgh!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Funny

Studies show that laughter is good for you--so what are you waiting for?

Q: What do you call a female moth?
A: Myth!

Q: Why do whales live in salt water?
A: Pepper water makes them sneeze!

Q: What do you get when you cross an otter with a duck?
A: I don't know either but it would be otterly reduckulous!

Ok, now, big finish....
A little girl walked into a pet store and lispingly asked the owner if he had any "widdle wabbits" for sale.
The shop owner thought this was adorable and crouching down replied," That depends. Would you wike a white widdle wabbit, a bwack widdle wabbit or a wed widdle wabbit?"
Replied the girl,"I don't fink my pyfon weally cares."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

International Items

You can file this one under WhoMakesUpTheseHolidaysAnyway? or StuffTheyShouldHaveTaughtUsInSchool, but it's....

International Chocolate Day!!!!!!

Is that ever a great holiday or what? You don't have to give gifts, but if you do, well, give chocolate! And you can eat chocolate. Sounds like a great holiday, doesn't it?

And on other international notes...

My Permission to Knit has been lovingly translated into the language of love. And since I love to knit, it's just so very appropriate. I must admit, my 8 years of French wasn't equal to the task. Merci, Startare!

So, with permission to knit in 2 languages, and some Russell Stover dark chocolate on hand, let the top-secret Christmas knitting continue unabated!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shhh....if you're reading this, and you know me, be very careful how you enter a room. If I'm in that room, and I'm knitting, you might not want to sneak up on me. Christmas is just around the corner, you know! And I'm coordinating all knitting to the whereabouts of all my giftees. So don't dig in the knitting bag, and make a lot of noise when you approach. It's for your own good.

On a more public note, I've just finished my first Accidental Bobble Cloth, found at a perfectly lovely blog that I don't remember exactly how I got to! I'm calling mine the Awkward Bobble Cloth as these were my first attempts at bobbles and well, they look a bit awkward to me. But I love the cloth and how it lays flat. Lies flat. Whatever. Planning to make several, especially when I'm surrounded by everyone I'm knitting for. For whom I'm knitting. Whatever.

As of this a.m., I'm only behind 16556 people in the Ravelry waiting list. I wonder if it helps to email them and tell them what a bad waiter I am. How bad I am at waiting. Whatever. I'm really not very patient. Or good at grammar today. Who knew that knitting required better grammar than I'm able to muster today? Sigh.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

$10 Worth of What???

So I'm frying up some sausage for supper (yeah, I know, I know, health food it ain't, but I live in the South and hey! at least I'm cooking!), and here comes JrBravesFanatic ("Mommy, if she gets to be SuperCraftyDancerGirl on your blog, who do I get to be??").
Behold the Silly Putty fashion show:

Which just goes to show you that you never really know what they'll do when you let them buy $10 worth of Silly Putty. Yes, that's right, the world being in the shape it's in, I let JrBravesFanatic spend $10 of his own money on Silly Putty. Instead of putting it in his college fund. Hey, he's only going to be young once! And I ask you, has Obi-Wan ever looked so stylicious?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Nine step program for miter addicts

This is what happens when you try to wean yourself off of making miters. I had to do something miter-ish when I finished the fabulous Mitered Bag.

Thanks to the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog, I found these Ninepatch dishrags to ease me back into miter-less knitting. It only took three of them to accomplish that! At least temporarily, as I'm planning some miter-ing for Christmas gifts. Shhhh....!

This last one I'm keeping per Da Hubby's request for more autumnal-colored dishcloths. What is up with that green square?

Friday, August 31, 2007


It was on this day in 1886 that the Big Quake of '86 occurred in Charleston, SC. There's a nice write-up at the History Channel's website.

I have to wonder what went through their minds...only 21 years since the end of the Civil War, and the folks here weren't exactly living it up. Economic conditions in Charleston never really began to recover until WWII (see, I told you it was an important time!). So then this huge quake hits. It must have been bewildering, to say the least. And destructive. They estimate the number of chimneys that fell to be around 14,000. When you think about the fact that these chimneys weren't just recreational, but vital to cooking and heating, you get an idea of the mess they were in. You can still see evidence of that long ago quake in areas around Charleston--among them ruins of grand houses that were damaged beyond their ability (financial or otherwise) to repair.

I wonder if anyone blamed the US government for the quake, for not warning the residents fast enough, for racial profiling (or it could have been regional profiling in this case), or for moving too slowly in supplying assistance. I wonder if, on the subsequent anniversaries of the quake, the survivors joined together to criticize the current administration and reaffirm their status as victims. Or did they rather give thanks for being alive, continue to rebuild, and look to the future? I wonder if they could have foreseen what Charleston is now and how the lack of wherewithal that plagued the area for so long has helped contribute to Charleston's status as an historical treasure of old homes, old buildings and quaint cobblestone streets. (Somehow I doubt it! I think they probably hated those cobblestone streets as much as I do!)

So that's your history lesson for today. Now go knit something!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Swing, batter!

Another WWII poster, this one in honor of Ted Williams, born on this day in 1918.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Summer Re-runs

It's hot, folks, and August is just about wearing me out! So, instead of expending any actual or implied energy on a new post today, I'm going to re-run one of my very first posts, Palmetto Time. Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2007

For you, Puggy...
I have made you a (tongue-in-cheek, of course!) permission slip. Whenever you think you need it, just print it out, forge a good signature for the bottom and refer to it when those nasty old chores loom. Enjoy!

Permission to knit

Permission to knit

This is to certify that _________________ has permission to knit, in all its varied forms, for as long as he/she deems necessary. This may or may not result in un-done housework and/or un-run errands. That’s just the way it goes.

For the purpose of this permission slip, “knitting” refers to, implies, and includes the following: shopping for knitting supplies, looking for or developing patterns, blogging about knitting, reading about knitting, oh, and actually knitting.

The undersigned in no way incurs any responsibility/liability/remuneration for being the undersigned.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Today's Quote

Today's quote comes from Birthday Boy Ray Bradbury, one of the few living writers I read as a kid. His imagination, creativity, and style are amazing. The autodidactic nature of his education has always been an inspiration to me.

He said: "I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it. "

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mitered bag, ready for action

Here's Tulip helping with the pre-join layout. I think she likes it!
Then came acres of garter stitch for the gusset and bottom. I did a Fibonacci stripey pattern, which turned out good but was so very tedious in process.

And here's SuperCraftyDancerGirl cutting out lining. If it weren't for her, well, let's just say, lining, what lining?!? And we put in two pockets. BECAUSE WE CAN!! If Mommy had had more patience, there would be more pockets, but this was becoming a l-o-n-g project by then, especially after all that 45" of gusset...

Clarence thinks he was the inspiration for the color scheme. I let him think that.

I had intended originally to have a more structured construction, but once I put the gusset on, I really liked the shape it gave it. The benefit of making it up as you go along!

Once I had started the project (aka total obsession), I found a felted bag with miters and a stripey gusset in the book Bags: A Knitter's Dozen. That's where I got the idea for the border around the top. And of course the miters I used are Mason-Dixon, all the way.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to transfer my knitting to my fabulous new knitted miter bag!

Monday, August 20, 2007

On predatory invertebrates...

Today we named a spider. What? You don't NAME spiders at your house?? Well, normally we don't either, but when a spider is a spider like Raoul, ya just gotta give him a name. Here's what I can NOT tell you about Raoul: his species, his ancestry, whether he should have had a more feminine name, or anything even faintly entomological about him.

Here's what I CAN tell you about him:
1)He's a survivor--when Da Hubby went out one night last week to rid us of the plague of enormous, web-spinning invaders, he left one since we insisted they eat mosquitoes.
2)He's quite large. Not NFL player large, more like varsity offensive lineman large.
3)He's industrious--starting with nothing, he can have a full web spun overnight.
4)He's got a sense of humor--he sometimes spins his web across the porch so that we walk right through it when going from the front door to the car.
5)He's got a name: Raoul. It's what Tulip the cat says sometimes, and somehow she gave the winning entry in the name the spider contest. Go figure.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

At least it's cooler there...

You're Vermont!

Making mountains out of molehills is your specialty. Then you sell
tickets for people to ski down the slippery slopes of said molehills. What you lack in
elevation you make up for in syrupy sweetness to those around you. It has been noted that
perhaps you are too likely to stick to others, and thus become a nuisance to those you
hoped to sweeten. In your wardrobe at home, you have more than just great

Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wind and War

Greetings from beyond the wind tunnel! I had the carpet guy (aka Da Hubby) deep clean the carpets, and now every fan is on HIGH and I feel like I'm in Chicago during the windy season. Or in the Dust Bowl without the dust! The incessant blowing is starting to get to me!

Good news, though. While catching the last few minutes of History Detectives the other night, I found out what I'm going to be doing in September. Ken Burns, that poetic purveyor of delicious documentary, has hit one of my own personal fanatic buttons. From the press release:

"THE WAR...The seven-part documentary series, directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, explores the history and horror of the Second World War from an American perspective by following the fortunes of so-called ordinary men and women who get caught up in the greatest cataclysm in human history."

Starting in mid-September, South Carolina's PBS stations will be broadcasting a whole lovely array of related programming, culminating with The War beginning Sunday, Sept. 23. Anyone else notice the fabulous coincidence of that being the first day of Autumn? Love it! Or there's always the option of catching a screening somewhere around the state--my personal favorite choice being aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. I don't know, though. I tend to cry when I'm on the Yorktown, so it might be hard to actually see the movie! Yes, WWII history means that much to me. And I'm a big crybaby anyway! The kids think I cry during movies, etc, just to embarrass them, but it's just not true. But I digress.

What a great opportunity to start a scarf for a WWII veteran (probably my very own Papa, a Marine Raider who served in the Pacific). And I'll need to lay in a good supply of tissues! Thank you, Ken Burns!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Who's on first??

The following exchange took place a few weeks ago, before the trade which brought Teixeira to Atlanta and re-arranged the line-up.

My 6yo Braves fanatic: Mama, do you know who bats after Chipper?
Me: Is it Andruw?
Braves fanatic: Yeah, do you know who bats after him?
Me (trying to do something like, cook): Umm...Francouer?
Braves fanatic (surely going somewhere with this line of questioning): Yeah. Do you know who bats after him?
Me: Um....no.
Braves fanatic: Me neither, I can't remember his name....but the one after that?
Me: No, baby, I don't know.
Braves fanatic: Aww come on, Mom, it's your favorite Braves player!
Me: Oh, McCann!
Braves fanatic: Right!

And that was it! Was this some sort of test that little boys give their moms? Did I pass? Am I cool? I don't know the answer to that but I do know that I'm extremely glad of one thing: He hasn't asked me "who bats when" since the line-up got changed. Don't tell him this, but I haven't been paying as much attention!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another Good Thing About Summer

Well, Clarence (the tomato-eating cat) is perennial, but those tomatoes!! The cukes!! Awesome stuff! I'm choosing to focus on the good stuff right now, since we our heat index is something like 116 degrees. Ugh. Good tomato weather, though :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm glad he's influential!

quoting from The Wall Street Journal, 7-15-07:

J├╝rgen Habermas
, influential German intellectual, member of the originally Marxist Frankfurt School of philosophy and self-described "methodical atheist," has revised his view that modernization inevitably leads to secularization. In a 2004 book, "Time of Transitions," he hailed Christianity as the bedrock of Western values:
"Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Friday, August 03, 2007

One good thing about summer

Sure, there may be other good things about summer, but it's August in South Carolina and I've yet to come up with a good answer to, "Mommy, why did God make mosquitoes?"

So I give you, the Crepe Myrtle:

When we were in the throes of house hunting, my daughter, then aged 6, decided she wanted a pink tree. If you doubt that God listens to adorable 6 year old girls, just take a gander at our lovely pink tree. I'd like to say we added the Spanish moss for southern charm, but this ain't no movie set, and we spend lots of time trying to keep the moss OUT of the tree!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I can't say I wasn't warned...it does say in plain English, right there on page 106 of Mason-Dixon Knitting "Miters are one of the most addictive of knitting pleasures." But I just assumed it meant addictive as in, "Oh, that's fun to knit, I think I'll casually make 20 or 30 as gifts." You know, normal addictive knitting. Maybe that's where I miss it. Truly addictive knitting must not be normal.

I am obsessed by these miters. I started one with leftover dish cloth cotton (ok, it's sorta my favorite yarn anyway) just to see how it was done. The colors, striping into that square, it just blew me away. So now I've been to every possible local outlet for cotton yarn, in desperate search of this teal color...but to no avail! Why is this an issue? Because I MUST MAKE A BAG out of these miters!!!! I've dropped all other knitting projects in a dejected heap to do this thing that I MUST DO. It's like I no longer have the power to make a decision about what I'm going to knit. I've started squeezing knitting time into little snippets of time that really aren't that ideal for knitting. As if I didn't haul the knitting around a lot as it is!

Even just thinking about mitering and the resultant planned bag have distracted me to the point of doing things I don't normally do...like put the detergent and water in the washer, but not the laundry; forget to cook meals; and, here's my favorite: be an idiot at a fast food drive-thru. There I was, salivating at the thought of a Schlotzsky's original (hold the onion), pulling up to the drive-thru. Oh, good, there's another car, that gives me time to peruse the menu, just in case I get really crazy and decide to order something different, which I haven't done since 1988. Nah, I'll stick with the Original. And I'll just knit a few rows of this miter while I wait my turn.

Huh, what? Oh. My.

How long HAVE I been sitting here, at the speaker and menu, while the poor guy inside has been waiting for me to order???? I didn't SEE the speaker. But it makes sense that they would put it right next to the menu, right? Golly. Give order, drive forward, pretend not to be so stupid I don't know how a fast-food joint works. Play it cool. Oh, wait, hide the knitting!

The benefit of the compulsive mitering is that maybe it'll be like a summer storm---violent, noisy, intense, but over soon---and I can return to my normal (there's that word again) life. Or I could start making blankets...the Mitered Square Blanket on pages 108-109 only takes 80 squares! I can DO that!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Food Ruts

Do you ever find yourself in a food rut? I'm in one now. For months now, if I'm not hungry for anything else, I can easily work up an appetite for nachos. Yes, I know what you're saying. You're saying, well, being from the Tex-Mex capital of the world, what's the big deal about your craving nachos? But it's not really a craving. It's more like one of those things kids do: eat peanut butter sandwiches and only peanut butter sandwiches for like, 5 years. It's a rut, I tell you.

I was standing in the kitchen last night chopping up a fresh batch of salsa (it's so yummy with our homegrown tomatoes and bell peppers! I love having a farmer girl in da house!) to go on a plate of nachos and I came to the conclusion that, as a snack food/meal food, nachos have edged ahead of my all-time favorite, stove-popped popcorn. And I wondered, am I alone in this? This pointless introspection, this categorizing of my eating habits, this food rut-ness? Or are there others like me, standing in the kitchen late at night, preparing yet another plate of something they've eaten 3 times this week already?

What's your food rut?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Finished bags

Here are some pix of the bags I made, oh, back in April.

First the red one, since I made it first...and then the tan one, since I made it second...
And, then the innards of both, with copious thanks to my daughter for helping me choose fabric and put in the linings.

I think they turned out quite nicely. Of course, since I made them up as I went along, I guess I oughta know!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Christmas in July

My son came lugging this lumpy padded envelope in from the mail box and honestly, for some reason I thought to myself, "looks like trouble". Now is that a glass-half-empty attitude or what?? Well, regardless of what I thought, I was WRONG! It was a lovely surprise from my lovely friend Becky. All I did was mention on her blog that I was supremely jealous that she would be attending the Stitch N' Pitch at the Braves game. And now the girl's gone and sent me the goody bag! It's enough to change my outlook on incoming mail.

Naturally my son the Braves fanatic has claimed the bag, and I thought the lime green needles would be especially appreciated by my daughter, who adores lime green. Of course, like many knit junkies, we do share needles...

Thank you so much, dear friend, for making my day!! You rock!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Head for the hills!

Perhaps I stick my head in the sand, live in denial, whatever, but I pretty much avoid watching news shows on TV. Even the kids have figured out that TV news = bad news. Between the scary things in the back of my veggie drawer and the relentless recurrence with which everything in this house needs to be cleaned, I've ample opportunity for dread.

And lets not forget blogland (the land of blog?) wherein the unsuspecting inquiring mind can be led to something like Caffeinated Lip Balm. So help me. And Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap. No, really. Scary, ain't it? What will Stardollars coffee do to counter-act this blatant infringement on their turf? Think about it--if everyone's getting their caffeine buzz elsewhere, it could lead to vacant storefronts on every corner in America. Thousands of out-of-work barristas with no marketable job skills, forming their own special-interest groups, gathering for a Billion Barrista Bevy, tossing out sound-bites to news services ("the very structure of our society is eroding", "it's time to stop the insanity--we must bring back coffee", "if not in my generation, then for my children").

It's a scary world out there, people. Stick to tea.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Looks like a two cuppa day

Looks like a two cuppa day (that's English Breakfast, 2 lumps, with a dash of milk).

Late-ish last night I finished the roll-brim hat made with my lovely Knit Picks circulars (really, getting my first Knit Picks order was a sort of milestone for me, I don't know why), and it's entirely too small for a grown person's head. Unless that grown person has a freakishly small head--not that there's anything wrong with that.

So, instead of working toward some measurable and/or attainable goal this morning, I'm sitting at the computer finding all sorts of interesting websites:

* Captain Bob has this cool site all about education, natural learning, motivation and, of course, tall ships.

*Oh, how we all wish we had a Crazy Aunt Purl. It's nice to know that cat hair makes one loopy. I thought it was something hereditary and unavoidable---at least cat hair isn't hereditary!

*Could it be that punks will save me from my knitting errors? Stay tuned...

Time to put the kettle back on for the second cuppa...right after I shuffle out to the back yard in my pajamas and slippers and throw pool toys at the squirrel hanging upside down from the bird feeder. Again. Grrr...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My First Knitpicks Order!

Wow, that was fast! My first ever order from Knitpicks arrived in 5 business days. Maybe that doesn't sound fast, but since shipping was only $2.49, I think that's quite expeditious! Oh, and I just love what I got---16" size 6 circs. I had knit a hat on 29" circs, but it was a pain, and I understood then why the pattern specifically stated 16"! So now, in addition to everything else I have on the needles I'm happily knitting a roll-brim hat for a local Seafarers Ministry. With my luxurious Knitpicks circs :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Knitting Doesn't Have to be Hard

It's definitely summer down here in the South, a time for mosquitoes, humidity, ceiling fans, the beach, and sweaty glasses of iced tea (or as the locals say "sweetea" or just "tea", with the tooth-decaying sweet syrup unstated but understood. I take mine straight---no sugar!).

Recently while saying, "Thank you, God, for air-conditioning and ice makers," I realized our old thirsty stone coasters weren't as, well..... thirsty, as they once were. So, naturally I decided to KNIT SOME!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Beginning of Summer!

In honor of the official start of summer, I'd like to share this WWII propaganda poster that I found somewhere recently (I keep a virtual collection of them that I use as screen savers). I think it's the most unusual one I've ever seen....somehow I doubt they posted it at the Charleston Navy Yard during the war, since I'm sure they were already pretty hot!

Monday, June 04, 2007

World Wide Knit in Public Day

I discovered while surfing some knitting blogs today that this Saturday, June 9, is World Wide Knit in Public Day.

I went to the website and THERE IS NOTHING PLANNED IN THE ENTIRE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA!!!!!!!! Of course, I have found out about it too late to officially plan anything. Not that officially planning anything is my forte.

I'm just wondering if maybe there might have been some confusion about the title....of course there's nothing wrong with World Wide Knit in PUBLIX Day, and I do happen to be on very good terms with most of the weekday staff at my own local Publix, but you just can't assume that everyone will have the guts to actually go knit at the grocery store.....and then you have to ask, why Publix? and not Piggly Wiggly or Kroger...

Regardless, I'll have to come up with some place to land with my knitting this Saturday, which makes me think--why not:

World Wide Knit By the Side of the Road Day
World Wide Knit By the Campfire Day
World Wide Knit While Boycotting Camping Day
World Wide Knit Like a Pirate Day
World Wide Knit at the Movies Day
World Wide Knit Door-to-Door Day

and one that just might catch on...
World Wide Knit When You Should Be Cleaning Day!!


Friday, June 01, 2007

It's the first day of June---Time for:

My plans for the summer....

**Catch some Palmetto Bugs and train them to do a circus act

**Meet more of the neighbors---put a car on concrete blocks in the yard and see who drops by first from the home owners association

**Find a way to feel good about the fact that the thought of going camping makes me shudder

**Knit wool sweaters while sitting on the beach, within the path of kids dripping ocean and sand on everything in sight

**Form a support group for those of us who'd rather have dental work than go camping

**Once a week, frantically load bottled water and batteries into a cart at the store, muttering loudly, "Storm's coming... oh dear oh dear... such a big storm...gotta stock up..."

**Begin blogging the minutiae of my day....8 am: Got out bed. 8:05 am: Went to the kitchen 8:06 am: Put kettle on for tea....

**Plan a camping trip for the hottest day of the summer

**Talk like a pirate while in line at the grocery store

**Pick the squirrels off the bird feeder with a super soaker water gun. Laugh maniacally...while talking like a pirate...

**Pull all the grass and leave the weeds. Put up signs that say "Wildflowers: Do Not Mow"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Today's (Song) Quote

Today is Irving Berlin's birthday (1888), and man is it ever hard to pick ONE favorite out of all his songs!! So I've picked my all-time favorite Fred and Ginger dance featuring words and music by Birthday Boy Irving Berlin:

"Let's Face the Music and Dance"

"There may be trouble ahead,
But while there's moonlight and music,
And love and romance,
Let's face the music and dance.

Before the fiddlers have fled,
Before they ask us to pay the bill,
And while we still have the chance,
Let's face the music and dance.

Soon, we'll be without the moon,
Humming a different tune, and then,

There may be teardrops to shed,
So while there's moonlight and music,
And love and romance,
Let's face the music and dance."

Friday, May 04, 2007

Be glad it's only five

Someone recently forwarded to me a very worthy email, all about choosing to have a good attitude and deciding to be happy.

At the bottom of the missive was a list, and if you are a regular reader of this blog (it's possible---there could be someone!) you may have noticed that I have a penchant for lists.

So here is the list from that encouraging little email....

Five Simple Rules to be Happy:
1) Free your heart from hatred.
2) Free your mind from worries.
3) Live simply.
4) Give more.
5) Expect less.

While the average person may read this (heck, since it was one of those notorious forwards, chances are EVERYone has read it!) and be inspired, nay, strengthened in his or hear daily existence, I however find it only leads me to compose my own list. Perhaps due to my streak of cheeky sarcasm, exacerbated by lack of sleep and too much PG Wodehouse...whatever the reason, here are my very own...

Five Easy Rules for Complicating the Simplest of Endeavors

1) Muck about with your Netflix queue so that instead of a witty, urbane romantic comedy, you end up with "Barney: Shake Your Dino Tail" for a date night movie. (No apologies to Barney)

2) Promise to knit something for someone, but only after you have UFO's (for the non-knitter: UnFinished Objects) on every pair of needles you own. This works best if at least 2 UFO's are for rapidly approaching birthdays, and the newly promised knitting has a very short deadline.

3) Decide to homeschool, then surround yourself with public school teachers who moonlight as truant officers and curriculum experts. Extra points here for having teachers who are directly related to the children in your homeschool. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

4) Spend a morning creating gingerbread houses with the kids. Add lots of candy and frosting, then leave them on a 3-foot high table. Go out of town for the day. Leave the dog in the house. Enjoy coming home to clean up what she DIDN'T eat; really enjoy the fun groaning sounds she makes for the next several hours.

5) Paint your nails before leaving the house for the kid's dance practice, thinking you've got adequate time for the polish to dry. Arrive at the studio in time to wire plastic leaves on real trees (it's a recital prop, of course!) for 2 hours. For maximum impact, wear a knee-length skirt that makes it impossible to crawl over scenery.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Today's Quote...

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."

e. e. cummings
(poet, painter, essayist, playwright)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Knitting in Public (gasp!)

I think I've crossed some sort of invisible line. Yesterday I went to a RiverDogs game (We won!). My hubby had asked me, the day before, if I'd planned to take my knitting, and I said no, meaning it. Then, yesterday morning, it happened.

I put a skein of cotton yarn and some circular size 8's in my "ballgame purse" (you know the one I mean--it doesn't show dirt, but holds the sunblock, the insect repellent, the handwipes, the game roster, the cell phone, the raisins, etc.). Nothing came of it right away, though. I settled in, chatted with friends, watched the game, had a hot dog.

Then, about the 5th inning, I gave up. I could no longer resist the urge. Out came the yarn to be balled and then knitted into a washcloth. Sigh... My friends didn't blink an eye, just proving that, to them, it was something to be expected from the likes of me. BUT! I've never knitted at a baseball game before. I've tried to be a NORMAL member of society, confining my knitting to the privacy of my own home, my own car, my own daughter's ballet rehearsals. Now this! What's next?

PS: I also recently bought a bag. Not a knitting bag, not a purse, but a sort of briefcase, complete with padded spot for, of all things, a laptop (which I do not own). Why did I buy this bag? Because I NEEDED a way to haul knitting with me and still look like "oh, doesn't she have a nice large handbag?", instead of "what in the world is the woman hauling around?".
Yes, I think the obsession is going to new levels.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My First Sweater!

Wow! I did it! A sweater! A simple sweater, but a wearable sweater nonetheless! I'll be shipping it off this week to Knit For Kids, but first I'm going to try it on a friend's 2 year old and see how it looks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today's Quote

Today's quote comes to us from Isak Dinesen, born on this date in 1885. After years of struggling to keep her African coffee plantation going, she finally had to sell it and return to Denmark. It was then that she became a published author, her most famous work being Out of Africa, a memoir about her time in Kenya. She also wrote "Babette's Feast".

She said, "All sorrows can be borne, if you put them into a story."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Where in the world have I been?

Has it really that long since I posted to this blog? Yikes! No doubt it's due to all the knitting I've been doing....and the tireless hours spent walking uphill both ways to do good deeds for others...the novel I finally got around to finishing....that sled dog race in Alaska last month....and all that time I spent ironing my husband's shirts.

Anyway, I really have been knitting! I finished the tube socks and discovered they're too thick for this part of the country (except for a few weeks in Jan/Feb). But they look nice. I made a couple of handbags (my own design, aren't I clever? I'll have to post a pic when I finish the handle on bag #2), the first of which started out as a dishcloth with something called the Andalusian stitch. I found the stitch in Teach Yourself Visually Knitting.

The kids do something every year with our homeschool group called International Night and the country we chose to learn about and represent this year was Spain. Did you know there's a region in Spain called Andalusia? Do you see where I'm going with this? What Int'l Night project would be complete without some sort of representative knitting? I told a friend of mine about this plan and mentioned that this behavior might get me branded as one of those people who must include knitting in everything they do. SHE said that was ok, so I took that as "permiso completo", and kept knitting. No I did not knit it in the colors of the flag of Spain. It's only red, and only because I didn't have enough yellow on hand....!

I'm now working on a cotton tank top in blue (my daughter's also doing one in pink) and of course the Alpaca shawl from my first Really Big Yarn Purchase. Except it's very big and warm and becoming inconvenient to work on when it's hot or I'm away from home. So it may take awhile!

I ventured in last week to my LYS, Knit, and bought some teeny tiny needles and some Real Sock Yarn, so I can work on those New Year's Resolutions. Eventually!

Last week we also went somewhere beautiful to hike around and look for birds (and alligators!). Isn't it lovely?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's a Sock!!

I did it! I made a sock! And I started the second one! Yea, sure it's only a tube sock (no heels were turned in the making of this knitwear), but it's still a sock. Well, a sock and a half, now.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bon Voyage and Aloha!

Felicity has just set sail and is headed for beautiful Hawaii! She'll be sporting her new knitted swimsuit, designed and knitted by my daughter. Cruising along with her is Syrup, seen here with his cape (knitted by me), and his blanket (knitted by my son). (Yes, that's his first ever completed knitting project!! He has now started a scarf! Wow, three knitters in one house! I'm so happy!)
Everyone here at ...by what we give. (that would be me!) want to wish both Felicity and Syrup a lovely time! Don't forget to send us a postcard!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Years KNITTING Resolutions

1) Finally start a pair of socks.
2) Finish a pair of socks.
3) Organize my stash.
4) Organize my needles.
5) Make a list of organized stash and needles so I finally know what's really in there!
6) Set up knitting classes and workshops.
7) Plan ahead for next year's knitted Christmas gifts.
8) Spend more time knitting every day!