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Monday, October 31, 2005

School Pictures

Here are Alexander and Dominic:

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Can you guess which one is older?

They are such big boys now! We got their pictures on Friday, just in time to give some to Rich's folks, but we forgot to give them any. Ah well.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Red Camel Yarn

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It isn't that orangey, though there is a touch to it. The other shots were too blurry. It is closer to a wine red, with some variation toward a warmer red. I like it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sixteen Packets of Kool-Aid

That is how many it has taken to completely dye a four ounce hank of laceweight camel yarn. All of those books that said that camel did not take dye well lied! It is wet and dripping right now, so when it is dry, I will post pictures. It is a gorgeous, deep wine red. I am hoping to use it either for the loose wimple in Knitting in America or as the spiral octagonal shawl (shawlette, really) from the Summer 1998 IK issue.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Adventures in Bureaucracy

I went in on Saturday to open a new checking account. The bank was offering some incentives and freebies that caught my interest, on a free checking account, and this way my yarn money would just be in its own yarn account. So, I go in with my ID, my proof of address, a couple checks and a little cash. I couldn't open the account because my driver's license has been expired for three months! I had no idea, just hadn't checked the date on it, and never received a renewal notice. I was even pulled over last month (no ticket!) and the officer didn't mention it.

So, we thought, Rich will drive the kids to school and we'll just go and pay to renew it (plus $10 for it being over 60 days late). But, no. Here in Washington, state offices like the Department of Licensing are not actually open on Mondays. Or Wednesdays. So, Rich is getting the boys today as well, and we will try again tomorrow.

On the knitting front, things are going much better. I finished one of the Aran Braid socks, and my surprise for my secret pal. I also picked up the sts on Amira's bolero and started on the ribbing. This is what her bolero looked like before that:

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Here is the sock, all by itself, kitchenered and ends woven in. I had to check the IK charts for grafting, like I always do, and needed to tighten it up before I tucked the end in, but it is seamless.

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Also, here is the sample scarf in the shop on our mannequin

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And, a detail of the drop st pattern

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Obviously, I won't be posting any photos of the surprise until my secret pal knows who I am.

I hit the JoAnn Moonlight Madness sale on Friday (with my expired license) and picked up Designing Knitwear, the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and the Holiday issue of VK for about $32, including tax, using the 50% coupons and a 40% coupon. I had Elijah buy the second book with the coupon we got online and I bought the other two with the coupons from the mailer.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Groaner from Rich

Rich came up with this yesterday. Understand that my husband is quite the punster. Enjoy!

Three new bolts of silk were sitting on a rack together discussing their futures.

The first bolt said that it wanted to go to Tokyo and become a soft, silk kimono.
The other two bolts agreed that this would be a fine thing to become.

The second bolt said that it wanted to go to New York and become a suit for a high powered executive.
The other two bolts thought this, too, was an admirable goal.

The third bolt of silk said, "I want to go to India!"

The other two responded, "You'll be sari!"


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rich Needs

I tried to do this with my name, only to find that there were only three references using that phrase and they were all the same article. I used Rich's name instead. So, here's the deal, do a google search on "your first name needs" and post the 10 most interesting examples.

1. Rich needs a haircut

2. Rich needs us to be strong

3. Rich needs to look more carefully at his own back yard

4. Rich needs some time

5. Rich needs regular sunshine, nature, music/dancing, contact and meaningful connection with people

6. Rich needs more explaining

7. Rich needs to be involved in this conversation

8. Rich needs little in the way of accompaniment

9. Rich needs something better than this

10. Rich needs to make some more appearances

Jesus Incorporated

One of the Laudate kids responded with this phrase when we asked from whence we should seek our joy. He meant it as a joke, as we had all been talking about the Joy Store and things like that, but it actually was quite appropriate, as the Incarnation was Jesus being made into a body.

That night, I finished all but one pattern repeat of the scarf for the shop, and yesterday I did that last repeat and wove in all the ends. I even brought it in to work, so I am completely finished with it. I'm about three pattern repeats from the toe on my first Aran Braid Sock, and last night picked up Dominic's sweater again to get some progress done on it.

I'm a bit overwhelmed right now. There are projects in varying stages of finished for me to complete, and there are UFOs I want to get to and there are many projects I want to start.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Secret Pal Update

I received another package from my Secret Pal! We didn't check the mail this weekend, so on Tuesday found quite neat surprise:

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Thank you so much!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ladies' Retreat, Here We Come!

The ladies at church are already preparing for our trip south this Spring. With gas prices the way they are, we will probably be flying this year, rather than driving. That cuts two days off of our trip, and saves us money for meals on the road, though it gives us less time to talk and laugh and be boisterous. This year it looks like we'll have seven or eight of us instead of five. We are really looking forward to the trip!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Alexander's Very Good, Happy Day

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Seven years ago today, our first son was born. He had a full head of hair and was proportioned like a little adult. People were most shocked that he looked human, even the first day of his life. Rich and I were talking about how we kept waiting for the parents to show up, and how it slowly dawned on us that we were the parents. He has grown into a sweet, handsome, kind and intelligent boy. We look forward to seeing how his character continues to develop and mature.

In honor of his seventh birthday, here are seven wonderful things about Alexander:

1) His laugh. Even when he was a baby, his laugh was infectious and delightful. We used to chase him around the house, just to hear him laugh.

2) His sense of wonder. We get to see the whole world as if it were brand new through his eyes. He is amazed and intrigued by everything he sees.

3) His quiet generosity. He finds the people who need things the most, a friend, a pencil, help with a problem, and he gives it to them. He regularly goes through his toys to find things he can give to needy children.

4) His care for his younger brothers and his sister. There is nobody who can beat him for looking out for his siblings.

5) His sense of responsibility. This is a boy who asks if he can fold the towels or clean the bathroom or put away dishes. He takes great pride in being a help in the household.

6) His kindness. He is gentle and friendly to the everyone he meets. He thinks of everyone as a friend.

7) His affectionate nature. He is still not ashamed to walk holding our hands, or sit in our laps or get hugs and kisses in public. May he never be.

Happy birthday Alexander!


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Little Boy Green

It is finished!

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I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Cavern, Jade, Dusty Sage and Steel Blue (I think that was it). You can tell because of the black where I discontinued the stranded pattern more than in the light colored version in the magazine, but that is okay with me. Because of where the decreases were, this was easier, and I scrutinized the photo, and they did the same thing. It took less than half the yarn the pattern called for, less than two skeins of the black, maybe one and a half, to the four recommended in the pattern. The cuffs are a touch too short on, but I can either knit another round in the other direction or just decide I don't care. He likes it a lot, and I had a hard time taking it off of him, so I could wash it before I let him wear it for real. I'm going to wait until I wash it to decide whether or not to knit that extra round, as the cotton in it might cause it to stretch a bit.

Nasty Habits

Rich has a nasty habit of signing me up for things that he thinks I'd do well in. Example: When we were first married, we joined a church. They had a ministry fair. You could go around see all the different ministries that were available and in which you could apply your gifts. I signed up for a couple things, Sunday school, the altar guild and a welcome ministry with Rich. We had a welcome ministry that involved taking a sweet bread to the home of someone who had visited and left their information, with a note thanking them for visiting and then going home. We weren't supposed to go in or take up too much of their time, just thank them. This was something that had been done for us when we visited and we appreciated it.

A couple weeks later, I received a phone call thanking me for volunteering to join the music team. Rich, knowing that I play the violin and sing, signed me up! The woman on the phone knew I played the violin, as "I" had listed it on the form, and so we were discussing how that would fit in. It never did, though, as they had a string quartet already. Rich's defense was that I had a skill that was beautiful and useful and that it was a waste not to share it. Alright. He also knew that unless I had something organized, I wouldn't practice and my violin would sit, neglected, inducing me to feel guilty about it. He has tipped off the heads of music at every church we have attended since then.

I haven't played in a performance since my first year of college, and I haven't played in an orchestra since high school. I really haven't played all that regularly since then at all. Last year I began teaching a beginning student, so I've been playing a little bit more, but not that much.

Well, his latest attempt was an email he forwarded to me about a local orchestra forming. We know the conductor, he is a photographer in our area, a really neat guy with a nice family. Rich sent me the request for orchestra members. At least he didn't set up an audition for me. I have to admit that it is difficult for me to play because I know I used to be better than I am, so I get disgusted when I play. I also know that unless I practice, I won't get any better. Catch-22. I have a month to decide.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

F-O F-O It's Off to Bed I Go!

I finished the neck and wove in the last end on Little Boy Green!

I will get a picture of Elijah in it tomorrow, but for now I am going to bed.

Not Quite Two Weeks

Well, Little Boy Green is not finished. However, I am knitting on the neck, and will have about seven ends to weave in when I am finished with that. Since this was supposed to be a birthday present for him, March 25, this is just a wee bit late. However, it will still fit him. The only thing that concerns me is sleeve length. If it is too short in the sleeve, I will just teach him to roll up his sleeves. Ha-ha! Just tried it on him, and the sleeves are long enough!

This might be finished by tonight. I got the neck picked up and started last night at Home Group, and tonight I have a meeting to go to, where I can get the final ribbing finished and the ends woven in. Whee!

I found that picture of Alexander at the picnic. He, too, received eight million balloons over the course of the day.

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I have one part left on my secret pal's surprise to make still. I hope she likes it. I am also almost finished with Flora. I never got that on my roll in the side bar, the knitting was so quick. It only took one skein of Rowan All Seasons Cotton, and I need to weave in ends, wash and sew on the button. I modified the flower center so I wouldn't have to get into another ball of yarn to finish. Flora is for one of Alexander's teachers. Edgar will be for the other of his teachers, a multi-directional scarf for Dominic's teacher and a diagonal scarf for their principal. Every year I say that I won't do knit presents for people for Christmas, and then I can't resist. I may have to give Mrs. Debby a call and get her address in AZ so I can send her something, too.

Oh! Before I forget, I am going to be teaching knitting in Alexander's class next month. The teachers and kids all kept seeing me knit and asked if I would teach them, so I said I would. I'm also going to be teaching knitting to a group of third grade Brownies. And I get volunteer credit for it at the school! 40 hours, here we come!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New Photos

Well, since I got that last little whine off my chest, I thought I'd post something infinitely nicer. Pictures of the kids. I thought I had a good shot of Alexander, but I can't find it now. We'll have school pictures here in a few weeks, though, so I'll get those up as soon as I can.

Last month, we went to our midwife's annual picnic and had a great time. Rich's dad came along with us, and between the three of us, we corralled the kids pretty well.

This is Amira in a swing. You can see that she is tired by the tell tale thumb in her mouth.

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Here is Elijah getting his balloon (the first of many that day).

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And, finally, Dominic playing on the play structure:

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Now, I am going to look for that photo of Alexander, so you can all adore him, too.

You Know You're from Eugene If...

You Know You're From Eugene When...

You inadvertently own one or more pieces of tie-dye clothing

You have ever owned or traveled cross-country in a VW van

You used to play hacky-sack but had to give it up because you developed an allergy
to the bag material

You understand the difference between cafe au lait and a latte

You know how to pronounce "Allan Brothers" but you don't care

You had to quit coffee

You find yourself humming along with the Grateful Dead, whether you like them or not

You can't always remember who among your friends is lesbigay and who is straight

You know what lesbigay means and how to use it in a sentence

You have friends who really are bisexual

You own a hand drum or know a friend who owns one

Men with short hair look kind of odd to you, but you're not sure why

You have potlucks down to a fine art

You think channeling was responsible for getting the cross removed from Skinner's Butte
AND opening up Willamette Street

You understand how a reggae concert turned into a riot with the police

You don't run if it rains suddenly and you have no umbrella

You look up at the sky every morning and say "It'll burn off!"

A day without sunshine is a month

You have taught workshops and all your friends came

You know the difference between 1st and 2d degree Reiki

You and/or most of your friends are 1st or 2d degree Reiki

You dig your weekly Rolfing sessions.

You tone (with your voice, not at Gold's Gym)

You know what LMT stands for

You are an LMT

You know how to whip out a good-looking flier in Pagemaker

The people at Kinko's know you by name

You know what days they clear the bulletin boards at Fifth St. Market

You know that Fifth Street is actually Fifth Avenue

You have ever worn Birkenstocks, even without meaning to

Some of your best friends wear Birkenstocks, on purpose

You buy "distressed" produce

You get free produce from friends who work at any natural foods store

You don't know anybody who works 9-5, Monday - Friday and/or wears a suit

You call Eugene Weekly "What's Happening"

When a friend gets something she wants, you say "Way to manifest!"

You routinely use the female pronoun as generic in writing and speaking...

You think the Jerry Garcia mural on High St. is the coolest piece of art you ever saw.

You have ever attended a Grateful Dead concert at Autzen more than once.

You consider the Oregon Country Fair the highlight of the year.

You know the methods of growing marijuana without being caught.

You claim that the marijuana is "industrial hemp" if you are caught.

You understand the term "kind buds".

You actually buy Frog's joke books.

You know why Frog isn't supposed to sell the books directly to you.

You frequent at least five clothing resale shop for the clothes, not the bargains.

You miss Icky's Tea House.

You are offended by one or more of the above sentences

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Eugene.

Get Your Own "You Know You're From" Meme Here

More cool things for your blog at

You can see why I am the way I am today. This little list is actually quite accurate of my home town. I used to say that the only way to rebel in Eugene was to bathe, get a job, wear a tie and vote Republican.

Last year I volunteered to help organize my high school reunion. Around this time, I was in the quagmire of trying to get money to people who were making themselves scarce, for good reason, but then making it my fault that I couldn't get a hold of them. If you are ever approached to do something like this, please flee, say you have something to do in Zimbabwe for six months, but that you'd be glad to attend if it occurs.

First of all, when all the people who were in on the discussion were talking about wanting to have a reunion, they didn't actually mean they wanted to come. You see, that was my mistake. I thought all the people who responded and were excited about someone planning meant that they were excited about coming. Wrong. Evidently, people of my age group not only have a hard time committing to marriage and family, but to basic evening events. Confirming their attendance and paying the measly $35 bucks a head was too difficult for most of the people who came. These same people could handle making airfare reservations, and confirming that, but thought that because they showed up, they should have a seat. Again, see the above, they were outraged that a member of their class was being excluded, because they never sent a check or said that they were coming. Rich played the doorman and heavy for me, he had the list of people who had paid and turned people away at the door who hadn't. He figured, they could go away thinking my husband was a real jerk, and that way I wouldn't have to deal with it.

There are a few other reasons you shouldn't agree to this kind of endeavor: Bounced checks, people who give you a check, offer the money to you as a contribution to the repayment of a member of the class who covered quite a bit, even when you double and triple check that this is their intention, then wait until you announce the total amount that can be given to said class member, and then ask for their money back, a classmate who generously pays the deposit for a hotel meeting room in which to have the reunion, but doesn't give you a working phone number or address so you can contact her and get her the money, then after you have sent a check to this wrong address (which comes back to you nearly two months after you've sent it and figured it was lost, then cancelled it and paid the fee from the bank to do so), publicly chastises you for not sending the money, you send another check to a new address, which never returns, and finally get the whole mess sorted out three months after the dang reunion and have put out another $250 of your own money above the entrance fees, the hotel room has to be cancelled because of low response, but then the night of the reunion there are more people than would have paid for the room, I could go on.

Just run, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not agree to help with your high school reunion. You know you didn't like most of them back then anyway, and they are almost all the same as they were, and the people you liked and are curious about probably won't come. Instead, invest your energy in finding those people you are interested in and invite them to your home for dinner, or a weekend. Make reservations at a nice bed and breakfast for them, or see if a local hotel will give them block rates. It will be cheaper, simpler, more pleasant and the people will be more appreciative. If it's only a couple people, pay for their hotel. It will still be cheaper.

We gave up a fun filled weekend with friends and family to go, because we said we would and had confirmed, and we did see a few people it was nice to catch up with, and we did have a good time, because we do that, pretty much wherever we are, but never again. I'm still trying to decide if we'll attend the next fiasco, or if we'll host an anti-reunion here. Funny thing, I got to sit at the "cool" table at the reunion. Mostly because that was where the seats were, but as far as I can tell, my ticket in was my pilot husband. I'm not even cool enough as an adult. I thought that was hilarious, but not nearly as hilarious as watching men and women who were almost 30 still interacting with people of the opposite sex in one of two ways: by snubbing them or coming on to them.

I did get to introduce my kids to a few of the people I had known from grade school on, and that was very cool. In fact, I'm getting a little nostalgic, and may have to host that party of people from school up here this winter, just to keep me from going nuts and trying to help organize a reunion again.

In case anyone reads this who did graduate from school with me, if you are in touch with Krista Jamison (who I'm sure is married now), Ethan Nickel, Julie Hendrickson (now married, I can't remember her last name), Shane Peterson, Eric Pubols, Kristen DeCou, Seraph Steane, Mac Funk, Brad Fenstermacher, Raven Chapman (Camara), Jinoo Hwang, Liz Hayden, Matt Leach, Nick Norland, Michael Roeman, Forest Ingram, Willow Decker, Wes Watters, Marion Vitus, Chris Stone, Hunter Vaughn, David Sears, Cyrena Respini-Irwin, Tiffany Green, Ayanna Luvert, Harmony DeFazio, or anyone I went to grade school with, please help me get in touch with them. Heck, if it sounds interesting to you and you'd like to get together for dinner with your family and ours, get in touch and we'll work it out.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Library Books, Sock Pattern & St. Martha's Guild

I did get the books from the library. On Wednesday! Though, in their defense, they showed up on Tuesday and I couldn't pick them up until Wednesday. The sock pattern I'm using is found on the knitlist gift page, called the aran braid socks. Enjoy!

Our St. Martha's Guild met this past Saturday. We visited the Olympia Farmers' Market and Canvas Works, a yarn shop down there. It was huge and had an amazing range of yarns both in price and quality (everything from Sugar and Cream Cotton to Rowan and Noro) and color range, carrying close to the entire color line of most of the yarns they had. Rachelle bought me eight skeins of Classic Elite Premiere in a lovely coral color, enough for me to make a short sleeved top. She felt she ought to since I gave her yarn for a baby blanket last year. I told her it wasn't necessary, but she said it was a down payment, since she intended on using me for other projects.

We had a great time, as always, and there were many praise and thanksgiving prayers we had that day.

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