Monday, July 16, 2007

The Running of the Poodles

I did two things this weekend that I haven't done for a Looooooong time!

Calvin & Atticus doing what Poodles do BEST!

We had such a wonderful visit with friends this weekend - and it occurred to Gerry and me that we hadn't actually BEEN to anyone's house for a cookout type thing since we left NJ! I don't actually think we've been to anyone's house...

It's hard for Gerry to get around, hard to feel 100% comfortable anyplace but home (and not even here most of the time...) But in preparation for the BMT he's coming off of his meds one at a time, and I think he's a little more serious about the pain meds, so he was feeling good enough to go out to a friend's house in Woodbridge for some grilled burgers, poodle running and kid playing!

A bonus of the blog is that I get to meet a lot of nice folks - like my new friend who has a daughter who was born just a few weeks before Max. The three kids had a GREAT time together, playing games, playing with Angel, the white rat, and playing dress up (yes, my kids are still up for a good session of dress up... future costumers?)

Mostly it was just nice to see Gerry able to get out and be part of the WORLD. I know how isolated he feels, so this was really great for him. I could tell, though, after a few hours he was so exhausted that the pain was creeping into his bones and we had to hit the road.

Atticus had a blast, though! It's been a long time since HE'S had a chance to interact with other dogs (I've been bad about getting him to the dog park - bad owner...) and he was very happy to see Calvin & Daisy. We all loved seeing them running around - but not as much as we thought they would!

Seriously, though, I have seldom had such a delicious hamburger. Yum! We brought dessert - ice cream cake from Izzys (see, Heather, you had an impact!) And everyone was glad.

Second, I spent a good part of the weekend knitting. Just sitting, knitting, and thoroughly enjoying what was coming off my needles.

It's true that I knit a lot, but finishing the VK shawl was more embroidery than knitting. My weekends for the past few months have been spent mostly running errands (grocery, menards, target, etc.) but this weekend I knew that I needed a break.

I can feel a bit of a head cold coming on - actually, it arrived on Sunday (which is partly why I didn't blog this weekend) so I thought I should just rest, rest, rest. And what goes better with resting than knitting?

I have a head scarf thingie I'm working on - a tube worked in lace with a colorwork pattern on either end based on the lace pattern. A cowl? I keep thinking there's a better name for it out there...

It's moving along beautifully - it's for a book by Donna Druchunas which makes it more fun to knit. The lace pattern has a LOT of twisted stitches in it, so it's not as easy to memorize as other lace patterns I've worked, but it's still a lot of fun to do.

I'm using Artyarns Silk Rhapsody for the colorwork, and Silk Mohair for the lace section - both are dreams to knit up.

Once this is finished, I have a new kind of chair seat I'm working up in lace for Shannon Okey - I was so excited to find the right frame at an outdoors shop this weekend, so I can move along with that project.

We just dropped Hannah and Max off at Phalen Lakeside for a week of canoeing & kayaking camp, with some archery (Hannah's VERY excited about that!) Gerry went along, and we got there SO much more quickly than I thought we would that we were 20 minutes early! Gerry insists that he wants to be able to pick up the kids if I'm 'in the middle of something' - but I worry about the driving with the pain meds. And - truth be told - he does, too.

It is absolutely amazing to me how many wonderful park activities there are here at a very reasonable rate. We've discussed our present situation with the parks folks, and they've been kind enough to offer us a discount for the weekly camp that Max and Hannah attend so that Gerry and I can be free to get to the doctor and make other appointments when we need to.

I have a few book ideas that I've been kicking around, but they seem distant to me. Books to be written by a different person (or perhaps this person in a different time...)

But I very much want to get something going - so my mind races even when I want it to calm down.

On my mind these days, most of all, is Gerry & the family. Our present, our future and our past together. Outside of this layer are my friends, internet friends personal friends, kids friends, long-distance friends, casual friends. Surrounding the whole universe is my need to find some way to record and express what we're doing now, how we're dealing with Gerry's illness & our newness to MN. I keep trying to find some kind of grace - logic is impossible and faith escapes me - when I think or write about this.

I want to be able to return the good feelings to those who have been so kind to us, but I can't even find my keys (and it's driving me nuts*) let alone send "thank yous" to everyone who deserves one. Well, not yet. Maybe someday. I have a plan for that, but it's down the road a bit...

So as I'm mulling all of this over, plus my gut-wrenching desire to be designing more than I am, I think I'm going to try to put together a collection of sweaters & accessories for friends. Who knows if it will be a book, or even a set of knit-able patterns. But it will help me focus two overwhelming needs; to knit and to show gratitude. If I can bring something out of that, then that would be grace.

*paging St. Anthony... Please notify me if you've found my keys! That is all...


Debbie said...

Can hardly believe how much the poodle on the right looks like my girl! Same cut and all.

July 16, 2007 12:28 PM  
Marnie said...

Any post with a dog (or two) is a great post in my book. I do wish you were feeling better though.

I'm working on Donna's book too. Looking at the list of contributors I'm humbled by all the talented contributors. I think your piece will be gorgeous. Aren't those sometimes referred to as "smoke rings"

July 16, 2007 1:26 PM  
Nancy said...

That shawl/cowl/hoodie? Snoodie? (snuggly hoodie?) looks like something my mom would love to have. Is there an easy version available to make?

July 16, 2007 1:26 PM  
Joanne said...

I wonder if journaling, knitting and blogging about your experience can be turned into a book? It sounds wonderful, a combination of patterns, friends, and ideas. I'd definitely like a book with that kind of meaning in it.

Oh, and the dog running always makes me happy to see, too!

July 16, 2007 1:39 PM  
Auntly H said...

Hooray for Izzy's!

I was asked the other day how you're handling "all this"(like I'm an Annie expert). I replied "with an incredible amount of grace." So, you can check that off your list - you've mastered it!

July 16, 2007 1:54 PM  
Minnie~Knits said...

I'm born and raised here in good ol' Minnesota; and I gotta tell you, it's amazing to see it through your fresh eyes. Gives me a whole new appreciation for it, really. Also I kind of feel like a proud momma:
"yeah, MY Minnesota really is great, isn't she?!"

July 16, 2007 2:01 PM  
Elizabeth Hale said...

I've been following your blog for some time now, and realized that I have yet to comment. I just want you to know all of the support you have out in the world. You and your family are in my constant thoughts. Keep knitting, blogging, but most importantly keep spending time with your family.
BTW - your upcoming book looks amazing! I've been a fan of yours ever since I made the Sideways Spencer. Your designs are so thoughtful and creative and I can't wait to receive my pre-ordered copy!

July 16, 2007 4:26 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hi Annie-Create a sweater for me-Mrs. Middle America AKA "Plus- size and wants to knit herself a pretty" and your cyberfriend Marsha from San Diego. Feel better fast and do some fun knitting. Creating under stress is so tortured artist chic and all the thanks your fans need. Prayers and peace.

July 16, 2007 4:36 PM  
Sheila said...

The prayer as my Mom taught me -

Please St Anthony- please come around - something's been lost and can't be found.

Do hope it works!

Take Care!

July 16, 2007 6:53 PM  
Mary said...

You say faith escapes you. I've been there. And then I read the following:

" ...this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...", (Eph.2:8), which I interpret to mean that we don't have to (we can't, really) conjure up our own faith, because that's virtually impossible; but we can ask for it.

I did just that and was blessed because of it.

Here's hoping you find yours. (And well as your keys!) ;-)

God Bless.

July 16, 2007 11:46 PM  
Kitt said...

Happy poodles (Sophie's jealous)! And happy family. Sounds like a good day to keep remembering.

July 16, 2007 11:52 PM  
Christine said...

This idea for a book might not be quite up your alley, but ...

A book of kids sweaters that have pictures on them.

What young boy wants a cabled sweater - boring!!!
They want pictures - construction trucks, monster cars, dinosaurs, sports, rocketships. There's a line of kids shirts that wrap around the body. So the truck begins on the front and ends on the back.

Girls like animals, flowers. Penguins are big. A girl that looks like them.

The actual sweater is the same - it's all in the pictures - the panel changes. And only a knitter can create these pictures that a knitter would actually knit. As you need to think about how many colors in a row, how far apart to place colors.

A couple mitts and hats could add to the book.

Though this is a very simple concept, there is no book like this on the market. Kids designs that kids would actually like.

July 17, 2007 7:45 AM  
Liza Janco said...

Cowl? The nuns used to call them wimples. If nothing else it's a wonderful word. Wimple.
Peace sisterfriend.

July 17, 2007 2:42 PM  
Milly said...

Don't know if someone might have already suggested this, but what about a book for families to help them experience similar situations to yours. Might something the whole family could participate in the creation of, and be theraputic for both you and those who read it.
Just a thought.

July 17, 2007 3:51 PM  
stranger said...

I hope you find your keys soon. Usually on those busy mornings when I can't find my keys, I find that part of the problem is that I can only paw through the key basket with one hand, because the other hand is busy holding my keys.

I wish I were lying.

July 17, 2007 6:06 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hi, Annie,

Try this if your keys still haven't turned up:
Tony, Tony,
turn around,
something's lost
and must be found!

All the best
from Toronto

July 17, 2007 11:00 PM  
janna said...

Like Liza said, another name for the cowl thing is a wimple. I've also seen patterns for them (in fact, have one in hibernation!) that call them "smoke rings." I like wimple, though!

And I wish I lived closer - I'd volunteer for cat sitting!

July 17, 2007 11:32 PM  

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