.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, February 28, 2005

Because I am a Copycat

I've seen this on several blogs now, so I will do it too! This is a states meme, bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Well, that was fun! I have not been to that many states, it seems. Fewer than half of our great United States. We will have to fix that.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

B-List Knitters

I still have not received my spring issue of Interweave Knits. Everyone else I know has gotten it, our newstands have it. I just don't. I am on the B-list. I'm waiting to see if it shows up tomorrow.

Also on the B-list with me were some knitters at Madrona. We were all sitting in the lobby knitting and chatting in front of the fireplace when a group of us started talking about this closed retreat they go to and the fun they have and how they were going again this year. A woman near me said, "I guess we're on the B-list." Anyway, that night, she gave me her card with her e-mail on it, the e-mail addresses of a couple other ladies and put B-list on it. I was thinking of checking with Rich's cousin who has the cabin the family can use and seeing when it would be open, then inviting several other women knitters I know, and having our own B-list knitting retreat. We could collect money to cover the food, maybe to pay a little to the cousin and do the cooking and cleaning ourselves. Maybe a Thursday night through Sunday afternoon thing. The B-List Knitter's Retreat.

I'm so excited because I just sent my second secret pal package. I can't wait to see how she likes it. She really liked the last package, which was a huge relief to me, because I was so worried she would hate it. I can't say any of the things I've sent, because she might read this blog. But, it's cool stuff!

Knitting News:

The Flower Basket Shawl is moving steadily along. We're praying for Deanna, and I know God will work mightily in her. If I finish this before Black Sheep, I will send it early. UPS, insured for about $400. I'm deathly afraid of the mail losing a hand knit. Lara is knitting up quickly, I'm on the second skein of Follies now. The Pi Shawl is languishing here, though I am doing a little bit of work on it occasionally. Nobody I have met has liked the edging EZ used in Knitter's Almanac, I don't either. I was going to use Molly's Lace from Knitting on the Edge, but decided against it. I'm now trying to decide between: Belle's Normandy Lace and Shell Edge Diamond Lace. You decide. Leave me a comment and tell me which one you like better.

I'm going to do some more finishing work on Cross Your Heart and Little Boy Green tonight.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Yarn Pictures

Each year I go to Madrona, I seem to have a color scheme from which I purchase. It's not on purpose, I just do it. One year it was blues and greens, a few years ago it was purples, a couple years ago it was reds, I bought a lot of different things last year, but this year it was pinks. Well, I did buy that dusty grape, but it was still pretty girly.

Anyway, here is what I bought. The color is off because of my camera's flash, they aren't this bright, but we still can't figure out how to make it work without the flash and not have blurry pictures.

Also, here is the newborn hat:

I've been making some progress on the Flower Basket Shawl, this is my start:

I have done the beginning 24 rows, and am now on row 6 of the second 10 row repeat.

Except for some work at Tuesday night home group, I haven't touched either the Cross Your Heart or Little Boy Green. This shawl seems a little more urgent right now.

Oh, and for my friends at rcty, here is a picture of Amira in her rainbow crocheted dress, matinee jacket, hat and bootees. The kids' cousin, Kayla, is holding her, and Alexander, Elijah and Dominic are in front.

One more shot before I go, this is Amira sitting in a sunbeam after church two Sundays ago.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Madrona Recap

I had a blast at Madrona this weekend. Marthie and Kellie seemed to enjoy the talk and teacher's gallery on Friday, Deb Menz spoke and was amazing. I spent all Saturday there knitting, talking and shopping. I did take a break to have lunch with my family, but headed right back to the hotel to keep on knitting. Judith Mackenzie McCuin spoke at the banquet about textiles in Spain which was a lot of fun, too. As usual, I did not win a single doorprize.

While I was there, I finished the last sleeve on my Cross Your Heart, but am still weaving in ends and sewing seams. I am hoping to have this and Little Boy Green done soon.

I bought some wonderful handpaint superwash merino DK in a sherbet colorway which was mostly rosy pinks, peach and pale yellow. I bought some dusty purple Bluefaced Leicester, which will probably become a cardigan for Amira. I also bought some rose colored Koigu to make into the Flower Basket Shawl. I have taken a couple pictures of my yarn, but they came out looking quite bright. They aren't that bright. I'll try to post them soon.

I was going to make this shawl later this year, but have decided to move my other projects out of the way to work on it. A dear friend of ours is battling both ventricular and atrial tachycardia, and I had intended it for her, so thought I'd make it sooner than later to give her something soft, pretty and comforting.

We will be heading in her direction this June, to attend the Black Sheep Gathering, so I am aiming for that date to have it finished. This is why I have added the button for the KAL in my side bar. This shawl will be a project for two of my KALs!

What this means, though, is that I will not be making nearly as much progress on the Pi, though I'm still going to be working on it. I have cast on for Debbie Bliss' Lara in a rhubarb colored alpaca/wool/rayon blend. These three projects are my current knitting. Lara for car and public knitting, Pi for computer knitting and Flower Basket for movie and house knitting.

I've also ordered some Andean Treasure, Shimmer and Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks. I'm anxiously awaiting my order. Their wishlist is not nearly as convenient to use as Amazon's is. They delete things that are temporarily out of stock and they don't have a url you can send to your friends and family who ask you what you want for your birthday/Christmas/etc. You can send your list via e-mail, but they then have to find the products, order them hope someone else hasn't done the same, since it won't delete off your list when they buy it.

The kids are out of school for President's Day week. Why do kids get a week off of school for this? They just had Christmas break, then MLK Jr., then Easter break. Not to mention, Alexander's teacher sent home daily reading, writing and math assignments for the kids, so I'm here doing school with him each day anyway. We did take Monday off and went to the zoo, since Rich had the day off. I cast on for a newborn hat for a friend's impending grandson, and finished it by the end of the night. Photos coming soon.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Quick Update

Pray that I finish my Cross Your Heart enough to at least be working on the neck on Friday evening! I am in crunch time here. Between Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Laudate and Valentine's Day, we have pretty much been in preparation mode at home for over a week. Not much in the way of knitting going on.

I will be at Madrona this Friday evening with my priest's wife, another friend and maybe some other ladies from church. I will also be there Saturday from about 9:30 am through the dinner. I'm bringing a sack lunch, but will be at the dinner and talk that night. I'll be the short Arab lady with the big laugh. Rich and the kids will probably come visit me once or twice that day, but pretty much I'm on my own.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Shrove Tuesday

Today is Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras. We are hosting our church family for an evening of shrivening. Instead of the traditional pancakes and sausages, we are making potato doughnuts with lemon glaze, yeast doughnuts with cinnamon sugar and Viennese doughnuts. We bought a deep fat fryer a few months ago. Other people are bringing their favorite fattening desserts and hors-d'oevres. We will be eating a sausage and potato bake made with a cream sauce and a salad for dinner. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we fast.

Of course, the children won't be fasting, but I will be making meals of abstinence, so no meat. That way we can talk about what Ash Wednesday means, why we are eating differently (or not eating, as we adults will be), and so on. We will be going to our priest's house for an Ash Wednesday service. It will be later than our normal mid-week activities, but with no coffee hour, food and socialization afterward, we will likely get home earlier anyway.

So begins Lent. I have been contemplating what penances of the will, body and mind I will do, and have come up with a plan. Please pray for me to keep them.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 07, 2005

100 Things About Me

First let me tell you that I have finished all the knitting on Elijah's sweater (not the neck), and have the ends to weave in and the sewing before I can knit up the neck. I want to be finished completely next weekend. All those ends are quite daunting, though. This is the last time I make a raglan in pieces, and I think it is the last time I will make a colorwork pattern which uses three colors in one row. I might make an exception to the latter comment, but not the first. I have also finished one sleeve of my Cross Your Heart, and have begun the ribbing (first repeat of the cable pattern is finished) on the second sleeve. I want that to be finished by Valentine's Day or February 18 at the latest. Pictures will be forthcoming.

Now, since so many people have done this, I thought I would try to think of 100 things about myself:

1. I am a Christian.

2. I am a Saudi American, both my parents are from Saudi Arabia and I was born and raised in the US.

3. I believe that the liturgical, charismatic and evangelical expressions of Christianity are all valid, authentic and historic expressions.

4. I seriously considered becoming a nun.

5. I married at 20.

6. I had my first child at 22, and three more since then.

7. I am largely conservative morally, socially, fiscally and politically, but every now and then surprise people.

8. The reason I am not a libertarian is because I don't believe that people will do what is best if left to themselves.

9. I have had two major surgeries within the last 3 years.

10. I was miraculously healed of a condition which caused me to be infertile.

11. I live on an airport.

12. I always have three or more books that I'm reading at any given time.

13. I slow down when people tail gate.

14. I love to knit.

15. I play the violin.

16. I learned to knit 19 years ago.

17. I learned to read when I was 3 1/2.

18. I learned to write before I learned to read.

19. I am an incredible cook.

20. My cooking has caused several men to propose to me.

21. Some after I was already married.

22. My favorite color is red, but it's hard for me to stick to a favorite color.

23. I learned ballroom dance from dirty old men at the Eagle's club when I was sixteen.

24. I learned latin dance from dirty college guys who got a thrill from an underage girl.

25. I danced ballet from the time I was 4 through the time I was 16, off and on.

26. I love to sing and make up songs to sing to our children.

27. I would never "upgrade" my wedding ring.

28. I designed my wedding ring, and Rich didn't see it until the night we were married.

29. I was married on New Year's Eve.

30. We spent less than $4000 on the entire wedding, including my ring, gown and our honeymoon, and had a gorgeous and wonderful time.

31. I am a born again conservative/recovering liberal, depending on your perspective.

32. I grew up in an incredibly liberal environment.

33. I don't think spanking kids is abuse.

34. We have to discipline our kids less frequently because of this.

35. Having kids made me put up with less garbage from other people, when I realized that the same behaviour/attitude/words would be grounds for discipline in a child.

36. I am appalled by people who equate their pets with their children (or other people's children).

37. I believe in patriarchy.

38. I believe there can be abuse in patriarchy, but that it doesn't make patriarchy abuse.

39. I am a homemaker.

40. I make almost all of our food from scratch, including preserves, jams, jellies, bread, pickles and yogurt.

41. I lead our youth group with my husband.

42. I am working on allowing God to sanctify me daily.

43. I observe the liturgical calendar.

44. I am a peacemaker.

45. I am not a pacifist.

46. I am pro-life.

47. I am pro-marriage.

48. I am against divorce.

49. My favorite smell is creamed butter and sugar.

50. Almost everything I like can be linked to or compared with food.

51. I hate my laugh.

52. I am afraid of heights.

53. But I love to fly.

54. I have 4 children under 7.

55. I am open to having more.

56. I would like to adopt at least one child.

57. I wish I had siblings.

58. I am a child of divorce.

59. I went to grade school, middle school, high school and college in the same town.

60. I lived in more places before I was 7 than I did the rest of my life (8 places before I was 7, 6 places since then, 5 of those after I entered college).

61. I have lived in three states in my adult life.

62. I have never successfully gone downhill skiing.

63. I think jogging is sick.

64. I used to teach dance.

65. I am working on a cookbook.

66. I have never watched an entire reality tv show.

67. We don't have any television reception, not even pbs.

68. I don't miss watching television.

69. I have a happy, strong marriage.

70. I hate being late.

71. When I was a child, I would ask to stay home if we were running late for school.

72. Everyone who is close to me is late all the time.

73. I think this is part of that daily sanctification.

74. If I ever own a llama I will name it Dolly.

75. I quit school to get married.

76. I don't regret it.

77. Sometimes I want to go back just so I can have it finished, but I don't really care about having a college degree.

78. I can speak English, Arabic and French.

79. I learned enough Latin to understand people who are speaking Spanish or Italian, but not enough to respond to them in their language.

80. I can read it, though.

81. I learned to fly a plane before I learned to drive a car.

82. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 23, a month after I had my second child.

83. I planned on never having children.

84. I grew up an only child with just my mother.

85. I grew into a marriage with three boys.

86. I have a second chance at a mother daughter relationship with my daughter.

87. I would go without many things to provide for my children.

88. I do that now, so does my husband, so we can pay for private school tuition.

89. I'd rather be broke and raise the children myself, than have money and hire someone else to do it.

90. I met my husband at a ballroom dance.

91. I told him I wasn't looking for anything serious, and that I didn't and wouldn't love him.

92. Within three months of us starting to date, we discussed the possibility of marriage, within a year, we knew we would get married, two and a half years after we met we were married.

93. Our first conversation was about the high incidence of renal failure in Lane County.

94. I can follow Rich's lead in dance just by watching his face, to really follow his cues in dance, I have to close my eyes.

95. This is how we work together in just about everything.

96. I love my family more than my life.

97. I used to think I'd want to die first so I wouldn't be saddened by missing Rich, but now I think it would be better to outlive him, so he wouldn't be saddened at missing me.

98. I want my children to outlive me.

99. I love to play with my family.

100. I am happier with my life now than I could have been with the career and success I envisioned for myself when I was younger.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

We Have a Bedroom Again!

We finally can sleep in our room (and new bed which only saw seven months of use last year) again! We had given it up to Amira, because she would wake up so much more with us in there, so we let her have it and we slept in the living room or on the futon upstairs. Elijah and Dominic were sharing a room, but Elijah's room was really upstairs with Alexander. We just didn't want to move the crib up there again, since he needed to be in a toddler bed and Amira needed to move into a real crib from the mini-crib. The only hitch was that Dominic would lose his bed to Elijah and there wasn't another bed for him to use. Well, that has been solved. Dominic now has a bunk bed in his room, the top is a twin the bottom is a full size (reminded me of Diff'rent Strokes, actually), and Amira is in the crib in there. Elijah is upstairs with Alexander again, and we have our room back!

OKC: I am just about finished with the second sleeve on Elijah's Little Boy Green, maybe finished tonight. At St. Martha's Guild today, I got very close to the end of my first Cross Your Heart sleeve. I also taught Marthie and Kelly to knit in the round! Whee!

Friday, February 04, 2005

First Box!

I received my first box from my secret pal yesterday! Rich brought home the mail and burst in the door to show me that I had a box.

I was going to put a photo up that I took of the contents of the package, but my photohost isn't responding. It will be here as soon as I can get it uploaded. I still can't get my account on photobucket to work, so I signed up for a flickr account for now... Which also didn't work (!) but photobucket is working again, so here goes:

I loved it! There was: A magnetic note pad for my fridge, with a vintage image of a mom type cooking, saying "You'll eat it...You'll eat it and like it!" which cracked us up, a tin of Blue Sky Alpaca's knitter's balm, which I have been wanting to try, and am really loving, an enamel clip/pin which was quite lovely, and a little magnet pal sheep! I love this sheep. I think I can even use him as a pencil topper. (edited to mention: I also received the Winter issue of Interweave Knits, which is my favorite knitting magazine.) All this is to say thank you secret pal!

To continue with the box theme, I have some pictures of Amira at church this past Sunday sitting in a box and picking out oranges from a box. I will also get those up when photobucket is responding again.

In the meantime, I have permission from our friend Ryan to post his latest letter here. He is a marine who has been at war for the past six months. There are a couple spots where the language gets, shall we say, colorful, but I didn't want to edit this.


Ok, ok, my guilty concience is eating me alive. And since half of you know already (due to some leaks in the family grapevine!) I might as well inform the rest of you all at once so I don't have to repeat the stories over and over.

So here goes.

I lied. I've been lying to you all the whole time. And I'm not sorry! The internet has not been down, not for the past week, nor any of the other times I said. The last comm blackout was because I was in Baghdad, helping (in a very, very small way) with the elections. I was ok though, living in heated Air Force tents (AIRPOWER!!) sleeping on a real mattress, eating at an Army chow hall (HOOAAH!!) where I could consume as many bacon cheeseburgers, smoothies, milkshakes and buffalo wings as my shrunken stomach could handle. It was great. But at the mere mention of "baghdad" many of you would have freaked out, and I couldn't allow that. So I lied.

We collected the Iraqi election workers, arranged them into nice neat little military-straight lines, and marched them into Air Force airplanes, at which point they were distributed around the country to carry out a very successful election. Despite what the media claim, progress is made here everyday. And if you still don't think we needed to be here, I'll show you pictures of the lakeside palaces that Saddam used as collection points for the Iraqi women selected at random to pleasure visiting officials. He chose the lake because most can't swim, and therefore couldn't escape the raping and beating from these wonderful people and the wonderful government which managed to score a 99.9% in the last election. If that doesn't convince you, perhaps the tigers that used to eat the dissenters could, or perhaps the countless families who have no idea what happened to their loved ones after Saddam's henchmen came calling.

The other times I said the internet was going out is because I was either preparing for, or on a mission in other parts of the country. We developed quite a reputation as a unit for being able to work well with squadrons, and were therefore highly reccommended and requested for quite a few operations. We've recovered a few crashed helicopters, picked up river patrol boats, and lifted thousands of tons of food and water for those Marines who are actually out in the field, wresting control of the country from those who use fear and intimidation as weapons to carry out their plans of domination. And if that sounds like propaganda bullshit, well, too bad. I've carried dead Marines from the cargo holds of aircraft, and I know they died for a good cause. I've seen what we're doing here, waved to the children who were happy to see us and I now have seen the smiles of the election workers who know that they did a good job. On the flip side I've been on the recieving end of more than one rocket attack, had a roadside bomb go off a few-hundred feet behind me on a convoy, and have also just sat and listened during a chilly Baghdad evening to the distant sounds of unfriendly explosions. A few months ago insurgents drove a truck filled with explosives up to our front gate, and 'Boom'. Four Iraqi police from Al Asad are dead. Actually many of you picked up on that attack from the news, but I lied to you and said it was another base. Bad guys took out our water a few times, apparently by blowing up the pumping station outside of base. Not really hazardous, more of a pain in the ass. As a direct result, if you want to know anything about keeping clean with baby wipes, I'm your man!

There are people here who are pure evil, and know nothing but hatred and contempt for the ideas of equality and democracy. But there are more people who want it to work.

You can believe that we are here for oil. Or you can believe that we are here to establish a base in the mideast. Or you can accept at face value what GW said at the beginning. It really doesn't matter what you believe(and I really don't care), we are here and we aren't leaving. Saddam was a bad, bad man. Whatever the reasons, we came and removed him, and I for one am glad. I believe Iraq is better for it. If you still don't believe, then you can talk to the polling workers who risked their lives to help the vote go smoothly. Or maybe we could set up an interview with the tiger.

My time here is rapidly drawing to a close, probably not much more than a month. Six months in the desert is not that long really, especially compared to the soldiers who are forced to stay for 18 months. But it seemed like an eternity. I have learned quite a bit about myself and a tiny bit about the world in the process. Most likely I will not have to go outside the wire again, as our missions are wrapping up. All that is left now is to get our replacements up to speed, and then fly home. Good news for you... no more lies!

This will probably be my last mass-email. Thanks for your time and all the letters, I really do appreciate it. I'll write when I can, and I look forward to seeing everyone when I get home.

Much love,


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Three Tiered Basket Stand

I so want this:

Since I will be losing my yarn room in a couple years when Amira gets her own room (what are the chances we'll have the back half of the basement finished, insulated, a new bathroom put in and a room for her set up in two years?), it seems that I should get this for the living room, since that is where my yarn for active projects and projects in the wings will go.

Here is a picture of Amira in her take home outfit. I promised to post this for the knitlist:

I made the hat from a FCEK pattern, just changed the yarn and color. I also left off the tassels, I thought they looked dumb. The sweater is the boatneck sweater from Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss, I used the same purl st heart as the hat, and edged it in the same yarn as the hat. The bootees are just basic stay on baby bootee types made in the same yarn as the sweater.

You can see more detailed shots of the hat, sweater and bootees in my Ofoto FO album, which can be found in my knitting related links in the sidebar. Or here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Kids' Styles?

What is the deal with designing trashy clothes for little girls? I was looking through a pattern book for something to make for Amira, and saw all these vampy, trampy designs on little children! On the one hand, I think it isn't that big a deal, because they are little girls, but on the other hand, why sexualize them so young and why get them in the habit of dressing that way only to tell them when they are older that they can't? (Although, looking at the kids at the local public high school tells me that many of their parents aren't telling them they can't)

Because these were patterns, it's easy enough for me to lengthen them or otherwise make them more modest, but it boggles my mind that someone thought it was a good idea to design them that way in the first place.

So, on to nicer things. I am this close to being finished with the first sleeve on my Cross Your Heart. I am also that close to being finished with the second sleeve on Little Boy Green. I'm hoping to have it ready to weave ends in and sew up this weekend. I have been really good at not touching the Pi Shawl, even though I want to, because I really want to get these two finished as soon as possible. Although I'd obviously like to get the Pi Shawl finished also, I don't really have to have it ready to give away until the end of August. It will be a gift to my midwife for many years of service, love and care. She still takes the time to ask after us and pray for us as we need it. Her job has been such a calling, both to her and her husband really, and she lives it that way.

Right now, I am planning which projects to bring with me on the trip down to Beaumont. Between the long road trip and the uninterrupted time there to think and knit freely, I imagine I will get quite a bit finished. Marthie is also now getting excited about this prospect, and I am prepping her for yarn shopping in a couple weeks and the Seattle Knitting Expo in April, right before we leave. Four out of five of us going on the trip are knitters and crocheters, so I'm betting I'll be able to encourage some side trips to yarn shops on the way down or up. After all, our husbands will be home with our kids and we'll be freewheeling on the freeway.

I'm planning on bringing the Pi Shawl, if I haven't finished it, Blaze from Knitty (I've promised Rich to make a sweater girl sweater soon, since I've been working on this bulky one which will cover me up so effectively), some fish slippers that I've promised Alexander and a black and apricot cotton dress for Amira. I think that should be enough for a five day trip, don't you?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?