Thursday, January 14, 2010

Housewives of MN

I realized today that I'm living a dream. I watched those silly women on the Real Housewives of Orange County and - even though they wouldn't agree - my life is SO much FULLER than theirs seem to be. They don't have any pretty snow, for one thing...

With all the physical pain of the past few months, the unwanted drama (actually, it's been pretty drama free...) and other life events that have 'enriched' my life in the past few years, I am SO damned lucky.

But yesterday was a hard day physically.

YESTERDAY
I had planned to take my driving test. Then I thought I couldn't. Then I wanted to. Then I didn't want to. You see, I've failed it twice since we moved here from NJ. I allowed myself to psyche myself out. I kept seeing THIS



And Here was my horoscope for yesterday (Mr. Levine, are you watching me...?):
You can't decide whether or not to go ahead with your plans because the pros and cons seem pretty evenly balanced. But even if you finally choose against pushing forward today, you might surprise yourself and suddenly take the next step anyhow. Be careful; if you make a false start, you may just have to begin anew next week.
And damned if I didn't drive to Eagan, take the test, and score 100%!

But damn if I also didn't forget my 2 forms if ID... So back home I drove, picked up my passport, then returned and waited in line AGAIN.

The drive(s) to Eagan, the waiting in line(s), the test itself, it all just exhausted me.

When I got in the car to drive home I realized how tired I was. Across the street was a movie theater, so I figured I'd see ANYTHING just to sit down for an hour or two.

Happily, I saw most of The Young Victoria - it was lovely. I'm afraid I didn't like the bonnets as much as I'd hoped, but the dresses and men's clothing were brilliant. Sandy Powell continues to be my heroine. I am proud to have worked with her once upon a time (I knitted a sweater for Dennis Quaid for Far From Heaven back in 2002, she was the designer.)

Then I drove home and rolled into a little, tiny ball and wept in pain until I slept. A rich and full day. And that's the price we pay for 100% scores on driving tests in Minnesota.

TODAY
I started the day with a wonderful session with my acupuncturist at Crocus Hill Acupuncture.

The woman is a genius. She cupped me - which my father-in-law would call toten bahnks - and oddly enough much of the continuing pain in my shoulders and neck was beautifully reduced. Huzzah!

Before I left, she put little 'beads' on points in my ears, stuck with clear plastic, so I can self-pressure -point myself to help with my breathing (she said one client kept them on for a month!) AND my breathing is so much better today.

Then home to work a bit - polishing up videos for my next online class, The Mitered Handbag - and then continuing my day of leisure for a massage in the afternoon.

Several years ago I got a pretty 'severe' haircut at a local salon. To apologize, the manager gave me a gift certificate for a massage, but their massage guy left soon after. The gift certificate sat unused for 3 years.

When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia this past Christmas I dug up the certificate, saw that it had NO expiration date, and was gratified to learn that they now have TWO massage therapists on staff!

Let me tell you, aside from a massage I got from a friend in Colorado a few years ago (my first - thanks Ruth!) this was the BEST I'd ever had.

This, joined with the acupuncture, created the PERFECT day for a woman with Fibro!

TOMORROW
I miss travel. I don't miss the pain, the exhaustion, and I don't miss missing my family (what a dream it is to be able to hug them, kiss them, whenever I want...)

But I miss being on the road, and I miss seeing friends. So guess what Mr. Levine had to say to me TODAY?
You may be frustrated by the lack of fun in your life now. Even if you have attempted to make time for some pleasure, it's been hard to make much progress these last couple of weeks. Don't lose faith; things are going to loosen up very soon. In the meantime, try to get your ducks in a row so you are ready to fly when given clearance for takeoff.
My local knitting group is going away for the weekend, women who are good enough friends that I can just sit on the sofa and rest - they'll let me be a piece of broccoli and stare out the window. But it will be insanely good to be with friends all weekend. I miss seeing friends.

I'm going up tomorrow, back on Sunday, and I'm taking my gluten free snacks with me.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Winners, Patience & Spritual Sections

To listen to this blog post read by Annie, click here: /111309.mp3
Winning Section
The winner of the Lily Chin book is Jill. I threw a dart at the computer and it landed on her. Now I have to get a new screen. I've emailed her, and I'll send off Lily Chin's Knitting Tips & Tricks as soon as I get Jill's address.

THANK YOU to everyone who left a comment or tip. What a great idea, a TIP exchange! I loved reading them, and feel like I learned SO much.

You readers are a font of information, thank you.

Patience Section
I'm FINALLY coming in on the end of Anne Boleyn. I swear, I feel as if I've been working on this thing longer than she was queen. But I'm doing the bottom edge now, and I'll have some nice photographs in my next blog post.

I'll also have a new contest for a totally non-knitting related audio book. The book is John Irving's Last Night In Twisted River. I like Irving, but at the same time I also don't like some of his stuff. Which is probably as it should be.

I've long felt that we don't have favorite authors, artists or designers, or fall in love with folks because the recipient of our affection is the BEST writer / person / musician / designer we know.

We fall in love because the author / musician / designer suits us, makes sense to us, in a way that no one else does.

As much as I love Gerry - and I adore him - I love him not because he's inherently good, but because we suit each other so well. Likewise with Irving. I like him as an author because his work resonates with me, but I don't necessarily love everything he writes.

So I'm excited to listen to this book and think up a compelling (?) question to pose that will get everyone involved and won't limit the contest to only Irving fans. It will be a few days, but patience is a virtue.

Horoscope Section
Speaking of patience, I read my Virgo Twitta-scope again. Once again, it seems eerily on track for me. Here's today (Friday's) message:
Clarity is beginning to return, but it still may be too soon for you to make any big decisions. Your emotions continue to cloud your normally cool analytical style, even if you can tell where the current situation is leading.

Attempts to make changes today won't likely be very effective, for they could get lost in the larger shifts that are coming your way. Avoid impulsive action that is motivated by frustration; patience is now your best friend.
Okay, that makes sense to me and really fits with what I'm struggling through right now in design terms. Keep plugging along. And I will.

But it was my scope for tomorrow (Saturday) that really got to me:
It's all about communication today, but sticking with detached analytical facts will likely leave you feeling unsatisfied. You must dig a bit deeper now in order to get past your logical filter that can keep you from fully engaging with your experiences.

You may not understand the reason for everything that's happening, but you'll have time to put your amazing day into perspective later if you just let it unfold without resistance.
Spiritual Section
You see, tomorrow the kids and I (and Gerry for part of the day) will be attending a weekend retreat held by our temple for families of B'nai mitzvah candidates. Max's Bar Mitzvah is scheduled for next January (2011) and Hannah's Bat Mitzvah is ... in a holding pattern.

But I'm thinking this weekend may be a very good chance to introduce both of them to the part of Judaism that I've been missing for quite a while. The community part.

For whatever reasons - various and non-specific - we've had a hard time connecting with the temple here. We attend services every now and then, the kids go to Hebrew School, but we're not engaged in the way we'd like to be. The last time Gerry and I both felt fully engaged in a congregation was back in Brooklyn when we were members of the budding Kolot Chayeinu.

I'm not Jewish, Gerry and the kids are (we're Reform, please hold back the comments that the kids aren't REALLY Jewish, we're proponents of patrilineal descent, or perhaps bilineal descent..?) and we have a casually Jewish home.

I'd like us all to take the holidays a bit more seriously, but Gerry's initial and painful exposure to a 1960's Hebrew School experience (sadly, not unusual) soured him a bit on the whole raising-the-kids-as-Jews thing.

I think the fact they have this descent is a gift, and should be treated as such. I don't care what path they follow as they grow older, I just want them to learn all they can at this point so their future spiritual decisions are made from an intelligent and well informed place.

I'm hoping this weekend will awaken some questions from the kids, light a bit of a fire, and maybe even bring Hannah to a point where the idea of her Bat Mitzvah isn't so totally foreign. We'll see. Obviously, the most important thing is that Hannah is a good person, and I don't think ANY religion (or philosophy) has cornered the market on that.

One doesn't need religion to be "good", one just has to be considerate and respectful of the needs of others. I think religion can help us put that in perspective, but we've also all seen examples of religion binding folks' eye's from the obvious truth that you should treat those around you with the same love and respect you'd like to be shown.

So I'll hold the horoscope to this tantalizing promise,
You may not understand the reason for everything that's happening, but you'll have time to put your amazing day into perspective later if you just let it unfold without resistance.
and we'll see what this weekend brings.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Happy Christmas Message

Here's a little giftie for all my favorite knitters (that would be you - yes, just you - no one else...)

I ripped it from the movie Miss Potter, which was lent to me by Kathe at KnitWitz.

I watched in my hotel room night before last, and it was a WONDERFUL movie (two thumbs up - waaaay up) Or, as Mick La Salle at the San Fran Chronicle said, "A Beautiful and Enchanting Movie" Yes it's very, very good and I'm glad I watched it.

Unfortunately, I found myself dissolving into tears - I didn't realize that Beatrix lost her love suddenly through illness - that was a shocker.

Begin alone in hotel rooms makes me more weepy.

And there I was, running to the tiny bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream I keep for such an emergency.

So enjoy - and keep your Bailey's dry.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

JAX

I think I received more emails from folks about how much they love Jacksonville, and I have to visit X, Y or Z while I'm in town, than I have any other city I've recently visited.

The flight here was uneventful - an exit row was the key to my joy, and excellent knitting (Hannah socks), and a new British History book on my ipod.

Why is it that yarn looks so much better on a plane? Is it the quality of the light up above the clouds?


Speaking of looking good - I'm in Jacksonville! It's absolutely beautiful here. Lovely. And it's 70 degrees. I'm insane enough to love snow, and cold, but I'm also no fool.

I only wish Gerry could be here to enjoy the hot tub (he got an okay to go into a pool from his doctor - but she'd prefer we wait until Spring. I feel that will be key to him being able to begin to develop the muscles that have atrophied in the past year)

So here I am, in my great and comfy hotel room, on TV a political festival, and my knitting laid out in front of me. Life is good.

Tea is brewing, cookies are here and I'm missing Gerry and the kids (not good, but bittersweet in that I have such an amazing family to miss... Tonight is Hannah's school concert and I'm so blue that I'm missing it. Dang.)

I found out minutes before I left that due to a misunderstanding the yarn shop hadn't made a hotel reservation, That's really my fault, I don't think I was clear enough - I obviously need to make that portion of my letter of agreement easier to understand.

This is how we learn, right?

It's no big deal - and actually probably turned out for the best because I used Priceline and got a SWEET room at the Radison for $65. Yay!

Then I visited my favorite car rental site, carrental.com, and got a really lovely rate for 2 days- $17/day at Alamo - which turns out to be cheaper than cabs!

I know it's a good rate when the clerk at the desk is impressed...

So I'm here, I'm free, I have the lovely time to decompress and unwind.

The absolute hardest thing about what I do is getting the professional Annie separated from Annie-the-buddy. Both Annies need time to 'get over' a flight (and need to have time to just have the meanies every now and then.)

That's SO hard when you're getting a ride from someone - so hard for them, and so hard for me to be "on" and up and good/kind/sweet when I'm still switching time zones and grumbling about airport layouts.

So the ability to rent a car is my idea of a dream. I'm in heaven. Yay.

And this way I get to see scenery - and go places on my own - and I'm not tied to a hotel restaurant!

So I went for a drive - across the street - and got a salad and brought it back to my hotel room. A salad and a beer, dinner of the gods.

Speaking of dinner of the gods, a friend made us some soup recently and it was delicious. SO delicious, as a matter of fact, that I found myself waking up and sneaking downstairs at 6:00 am to have a bowl.

And the soup is supposed to be good for us, too. That was a kind and dear thing - and so much better than sneaking downstairs for a cookie. Thank you!

Gotta run - Keith's on and I have some knitting to do. Heaven, I tells ya!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Fourteen Years

Today is part one of the two day celebration that is our Wedding Anniversary.

Gerry and I were married by a judge on Friday, Aug 20, 1993. Then on Saturday we had a larger 'spiritual', non-religious, ceremony for family and friends.

Fourteen years today. The traditional gift for a 14th anniversary is ivory or an elephant related gift. I got Gerry a refurbished ipod. It's black, but it has white earbuds (almost ivory?)

He's been listening to it all morning - Confessions of an Economic Hitman - during his 5-hour stem cell harvesting session today. I can tell it's wearing him out, but so far he's not suffering the side effects they've mentioned; tingly fingers or nose, nausea.

Our big celebration today will be returning to the hotel and putting Gerry to bed. I'll run out and get him a nice grilled chicken breast or salmon (he's supposed to have protein, but not fatty stuff, during the harvest)

I'm going to see if it's okay if he has a little champagne.

Our nurse today, Ken, turned Gerry onto Duckman - here they are watching it on youtube.

Couple of nuts.

RAINCHESTER
You may have heard about the flooding in Southeast MN. We're a little west of there, but down the street from us a creek overflowed it's banks, so we stopped to take some photos. Gawkers. It was fascinating to see this water running so fast, so hard - fascinating and scary. It's very easy to see how someone could be swept away in an instant.

Today we're supposed to get another 3 inches here in Rochester.

It feels like it's happening on another planet, we're so engrossed in Gerry's own drama.

During a break in the rain we went out to pick up dinner last night, but as soon as we hit the highway the deluge started. So hard, so fast, this is NOT the kind of rain that's needed down here... It's not good for anything.

This is either a car ahead of us, or two VERY angry Mooses.

VICTORY GARDEN

I really love vegetables as landscaping.

I remember about 20 years ago when I first saw cabbages used in front of hotels in Philadelphia for decoration.

And I really loved the uncle in the movie, Withnail & I, who wore radishes on his lapel like a boutonniere.

So ladies and knitters, I bring you the Minnesota version of yard beautification, Veg-scaping.

Extra Musical Note:
As we were leaving the Gonda building, the music of choice today was "Seasons in the Sun" Seriously.

I walked all the way to the car and had the walker and our various bags half packed up before I realized what I was humming. Now we're back home and Gerry's been asleep for a few hours, he'll sleep all night and tomorrow at 8:00 we're back to the aphasis machine!

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

60 More Days of Waiting

Every day is a new lesson - our lesson today:
What's a Disability Quality Branch?
The DQB, or disability quality branch, is the Social Security Administration's version of quality control when it comes to the handling of social security disability and ssi-disability claims.
Why should WE care?
[chord of ominous music]
A random number of disability claims (for which decisions have already been rendered) are selected each month for "review" at each region's DQB.

Cases pulled by DQB for review can remain there for an inordinate number of weeks or even months. The obvious effect of this is that some cases are significantly delayed by DQB (decision letters cannot be mailed until DQB has finished reviewing a case.)

You know what's coming, right?

We were supposed to have the decision on Gerry's Disability claim by the end of July. Today is the end of July (coincidentally, it also would have been my dad's 85th birthday)

When we didn't hear anything from SSI today Gerry called and we discovered his application has been chosen at random to make sure that all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed. How odd that they didn't arrive in a van at our front steps with a bunch of balloons and a TV crew to announce that to us...

We were told to expect at least a 60-day wait before we hear anything. So we're looking at October before we get the word. Now THAT'S how we put someone's mind at rest when they're about to undergo a serious medical procedure.

Needless to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who's been so kind to us in the past few weeks! I'm not sure what we'd do without the love, kindness and help we've been receiving. Your good thoughts and wishes are the best gift we could ever get - thank you!

We're not feeling killer worried - well, we're trying not to - because the Social Worker at the Mayo told us that a Bone Marrow Transplant is pretty much an automatic approval from SSI.

Note: SSI is not impressed by the phrase, "But the social worker at the Mayo said we'd be approved!" Especially not when you say it in a really whiny voice. Live & learn.


So until we hear positive news, we'll just keep on keeping on.

In that vein, we're getting a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) with Gerry's bank, it's a good rate with no fees, and we can use it as we need it for the bathroom/kitchen redo. We'd always planned on it, now it makes even more sense. We need to continue to think of this as an investment in Gerry's recovery.

DODGER BLUE
Max played on the Dodgers this summer - the LA Dodgers (but we kept pretending they were la Brooklyn Dodgers, en Fran¨ais, s'il vous plait!)

And, lo and behold, the Dodgers won the Linwood Rec Center Championship! WOO!

We had a TOTAL Red Barber moment up in the cheap seats at the rec center last evening.

It was so exciting to see how Max improved over this Summer, how he went from striking out pretty consistently to finding the spot on the bat that needed to be hit.

Last evening he made a great play from second base & Gerry said he had more RBI's than anyone else. I'm not quite sure what that means, but Max was happy!

We took him to Snuffy's for dinner - he told the waitress, "If it wasn't for me, my team would have had to finish the 9th inning!" Who knew?

His coach is an amazing guy - just the nicest, sweetest, most confidence-building coach a kid could ask for, and it's been a pure gift that Max got him this summer.

We've been so lucky. And next year Max can be on the same team, with the same great group of kids, as he was this year. YAY!

I want to sign the kids up for Soccer this Fall, but they'll be away for most of August, when a lot of the practicing happens, so I'm a little fearful of that. I don't want them to start out feeling behind everyone else - but I want them to have a sport this Fall (and the rec center makes it so easy and economical for local families!)

ONE CHILD FAMILY
Hannah's at camp - I haven't heard from her so I'm thinking this is a good thing (we sent her an email, I want to wait another day before sending another one - apparently if they get too many emails from home it can make them homesick!) This camp is one where almost all the girls are new at the overnight camping thing, so we're hoping that she's fitting in well!

She's such a great kid - we all miss her SO much! Max is not as enchanted with being an only child as he thought he'd be. Live and learn, Max! He's going to be SO happy when she gets back - but I'll be away...

MICHIGAN / ONTARIO
Back to the stomping ground of my youth (okay, a little NORTH of my youthful stomp) to Sarnia, Ontario (Check out my lecture on Wednesday at Feather your Nest) and Lansing, Michigan (finally, FINALLY, THREADBEAR!!) this weekend for some lectures and classes.

On de road again! I am a Happy Wanderer!


I haven't taught in over a month - I'm feeling rusty. I know once I get going I'll be fine, but whenever you take a break fro
m something there's a little fear about jumping back in.

So I'll jump - right out of bed and over to the airport (stopping on the way to drop off the car to have the brakes checked) and off to Detroit for a drive up to Sarnia. I wonder if Northwestern will cancel my flight...

Gerry's brother is coming out to be here while I'm gone - just the guys & Atticus. Gigi the cat will be the only girl around. She looks frightened and she misses Hannah terribly!

When I get home on Sunday night I'll have about 12 hours to turn it around before we leave for Rochester. Still so much to do. But we're in good shape with the packing - I'm just worried about getting the kids all ready to go off on their NJ adventure on Wed.

Perhaps after I get Gerry settled down in Rochester I'll come back up to St. Paul on Tuesday to make sure the kids are packed (a good friend is staying here with them until they fly to NJ with another friend on Wed)

This is all happening so fast.

VANITY
The vanity top is pretty much finished! I removed the aluminum foil dam, drilled holes and cut out the center - it's sitting pretty and the contractor is psyched about it, too! So our vanity cost us a grand total of $40 for the grout & poly-resin. If it works...

FLY FISHING
I've always wanted to, that's all.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh, uh, the release date for Romantic Hand Knits is really 8/7/7

Do you think anyone will notice...?

(Naaah, they're all too busy looking at the Butt Skirt)

Romantic Hand Knits
26 Flirtatious Designs That Flatter Your Figure

See what you miss when you don't get my newsletter? Amazingly glaring mistakes in the release date of books!

It must be because I'm still not used to Central Time.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Always Tired

I feel badly that I haven't been blogging as much as I usually would

It's hot, I'm tired, and I'm spending an inordinate amount of time driving around. That is, when I wasn't hanging out at the Borders Books watching grown adults buried in HP.

I am the only person I know who hasn't finished it.

It finally occurred to me as I was driving home from The Bakken in Minneapolis, where Max is attending invention camp this week, in my fourth round trip (out of 10 this week), during RUSH HOUR (which - no matter how bad Twin City folks think it is, has NOTHING on Rt. 10 in NJ at ANY time...) that it would probably be a good idea to cozy up to some of the other parents and see if we could carpool.

So tomorrow I'll chat with some of them and see if they live on the 'other' side of the river and would like to share a ride. If they'll admit it. The Bakken is in a very chi-chi area...

It's quite a thrill, though, to drive across the Mississippi every day. Cool. The only cool thing in town today. Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter, so we're taking a family trip to see Hairspray (Hannah saw it this weekend, she'll see it again...) so we can be cool in the heat of the late afternoon. And bond.

We're also going to see Circus Juvenitas this weekend - it was recommended by a few friends - then Hannah leaves the next day for camp. I'll be gone later in the week teaching in Michigan, and I get home one day before our trek to the Maoy.

This week, then, is our last chance to really make some pre-BMT memories. Dad with hair... Ah, memories!

So in lieu of blogging, I've been working. I've been planning and organizing and moving and shaking. Lots of stuff.

PLANNING
Kitchen
We met with the kitchen cabinet folks - lovely (and they talked us INTO the lower priced, faster-arriving cabinets - yay!) And it dawned on me that everything must be moved out of the kitchen. Hmmm, why didn't I think of that before? It's like reliving our move in Jan, but this time I won't be pissed off at Gerry for not helping me! I am still feeling a bit guilty about that.
The contractor guys are moving the big, heavy stuff - but all the dishes, food, books, etc., must be moved by yours truly (plus a couple of eager kiddies) I'm going to set up a wire rack in the dining room to keep everything organized, and set up another one down in the basement to act as our short-term pantry.

ORGANIZING
Pets
We've arranged to board Atticus with a Vet down near Rochester for the first few weeks, while Gerry's getting testing, cells are harvesting and he goes through the high-dose chemo.

Atticus will be back with us when Gerry's not quite so open to infection. We'll also board the cat, because we just can't stand the thought that she could get out while the contractors are here and get hurt or get away. We were going to have a friend look after her, but we'd rather be safe. She, too, may join us in our hotel suite - gotta love that Noah's Ark Inn.


SHAKING
Lights
We bought lighting fixtures today for the kitchen and bathroom.

Actually, we bought the parts to assemble the fixtures, as the ones that we saw online at Rejuvination (BEAUTIFUL!) were just too pricey.

So stopping by Mohn electric on Lake Street in Minneapolis we discovered all the parts we need to create our kitchen fixtures at about half the price.

I ask you, though, is NOT this light absolutely gorgeous?

I swear I'll replicate that with the materials we bought or I'll turn in my MFA in set design! More later!

FURTHER SHAKING
Vanity
Speaking of replicating, I am trying to recreate the Roman baths in our new tiny addition. I think of it as our Roman Powder Room.

So I've broken up the big yellow bowl, plus another blue plate just for fun (blue plate special!) and tossed in a few small slate tiles that pick up the tiles from our floor, plus some beads & other wacky things.

Everything is glued down with the adhesive / grout. After it cures for 24 hours I'll grout it, then I'll add the edging pieces I bought. THEN I'll add the bar-pour for that elegant poly-eurethane finish (SO Roman!) And it's waterproof!

The contractor will cut out the space for the sink, the plumber will drop it in and hook it up, and when I get back from France I'll do any touch up I need to do. Yeah, that's the plan.

We're thinking of taking the top of the hutch and mounting it behind the toilet as a linen shelf. I'd like to take the door off of it and use it as a frame for a mirror over the vanity. But that's stuff that can be done MUCH later!

MOVING
Packing
We need to pack up Hannah's camp stuff this week and get Max's stuff together for NJ. I figure we'll just launder Hannah's camp stuff for NJ & toss in some hair care product and lip gloss.

Packing for me and Gerry's trickier, but we have the out that if we forget something we CANNOT live without, we can drive home and get it. For Atticus and the cat we have to pack up food, their favorite toys and blankets that make them think of us. I hate that we'll all be separated. Labor day will be great - we'll all be together for that weekend!

MORE SHAKING
Knitting
I've started the alpaca mitered project - and here are the bottom squares to prove it! It's going on a back burner, though, until all the other stuff is taken care of. Fun must wait!

And now, to bed. With 5 fans on me. The kids are sleeping in the air conditioned office, because we love our kids. The animals are in there, too. Geeze, I'm sure when I go upstairs Gerry will be in there.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz!

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

12:28 and All's Well!


We just got back from the Red Balloon Bookstore. We waited in line for about an hour, oddly I was one of the first to get to the counter. Woo!

Those who pre-ordered had a longer line, so I'm lucky I didn't! Odd...

Of course, Hannah's upstairs with it right now! She, Max & Lucas dressed up in skirts of mine pinned around their necks like capes. It's good sometimes to have a tall mom who prefers A-line black skirts... And all this time I thought that dressing like a Mennonite didn't have fringe benefits!

So I'm off to bed, Hannah's off to Hogwarts, and Max has been asleep just about from the moment he hit the front door. Tomorrow I'll claim the book for a bit so I can catch up to Hannah (and I'll spend most of the morning avoiding her or she'll tell me EVERYTHING she's learned tonight. I'll be surprised if she doesn't wake me up at 3:00 with some vital piece of information!)

Thanks so much, Catherine, for inviting us along on a singular night!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Long Distance Lovin'

Remember this yarn I bought in Buffalo when I was staying with my friend, Jill? The colorful ribbon that will be featured in Romantic Hand Knits (Potter Craft - out this August)?

Well, the most wonderful Jill sent me a very special gift - something I will love and use - TEA!!

And a TEA POT! And it's by Jill!

And they're Green, yellow and red (I love those colors together, they always seemed like a happy family to me) The box was beautiful, the gift GREATLY appreciated, and I felt warm and loved. Thank you so much, Jill.

Inspired by the gift, I ordered a Bonsai Azalea Tree for my mother in law (her birthday is this week) and some flowers for a deserving mom that I know. See, Jill, your gift prompted more loving giving - see what you started, young lady?

I spent a lot of the last day resting - I need to energize for Midwest Masters this weekend, and I feel like I may be getting a slight cold. Luckily, I have my old standby, Airborne, and I'll be fabulous in a day. Or two.

Another Menards visit today - I needed wood glue and some paint for the $125 table I bought a few weeks ago. It's a nice table, but it had pretty sizable gouges, scratches and some mystery solvent had been spilled on it at one time. It also had a clear, hard stuff on it (nail polish?) so it was not in the best shape. But it was a lot cheaper than the $550 table I'd been eyeballing. And MUCH cheaper than the $900 table I saw at Crate & Barrel.

Although I love the idea of a copper-topped table, this table opens up with a leaf and covering that much table would just be too hard for me to figure out. Instead I sanded it, painted it red, then painted just the top part gold. When that was dry, I drybrushed and rubbed more red onto that. It looks a lot like copper (which, for some unknown reason, seems exactly what I want for this dining room.)

After the dry rubbing, Hannah and I both thought it could use a touch of something extra, so we rubber-stamped gold leaves on the table (yes, I love falling leaves) and I'm really happy with the effect. The next step is to let it dry thoroughly, then do some kind of polyurethane or sealer so we can actually EAT on the table.

Of course, I didn't paint the drop-in leaf because I just didn't want to deal with all of the work.
So either I'll paint the leaf separately, matching what I did today, or when we have company we'll use a tablecloth. I'm certain I'll paint it. Yep. I will.

Midwest Masters (Mistresses?)
I'm getting excited about traveling to Neenah, but apparently not as excited as this guy.

I'm curious as to whether I'm pulled over now that I have MN plates. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend - but that's good for knitting
at Midwest Masters I'm psyched for the knitting with wire class, it was SO much fun this weekend, and I don't really teach it all that much. The other classes will be a blast, too, but the wire class will be a real eye opener! I'll drive back on Sunday, then Monday I fly to Detroit to meet up with Drew Emborsky to tape Needle Arts Studio with Shay Pendray (er, uh, sorry for the earlier mistake...)

When I was a kid I used to watch Carol Duvall's show on Detroit TV - Carol Duvall is NOT Shay Pendray. This is what I get for starting the day with smack. I remember the theme music like it was yesterday - I have the gift of remembering every TV theme song I've ever heard. I know, you're jealous - it's a gift, and also a burden.

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posted by Annie at 10 Comments Links to this post

Alison's Scarf
Link to pdf file of cable/trellis lace scarf


Hannah's Poncho
Link to pdf file of multi-sized poncho



Chullo-licious


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