Monthly Archives: March 2006

Displacement Actvity


Yes, it’s true. I spent a good portion of yesterday sitting with ice on my back and knitting on things other than the red cardie. Don’t get me wrong, I do love it still, but it is so slow going I really needed to see some significant progress. Given the fact that there are a couple (?) other projects on needles, I chose these:

This is the tiny little beaded purse kit that I brought home from Camp Knitaway a few weeks ago. I had been wanting to try this technique for a couple years, so I was really pleased to be given this motivation. Here’s what I’m learning: 1. Making a mistake is very easy; fixing the mistake is not. I have frogged this about 3 times, and figured a way to pick up dropped stitches at least twice. 2. There is no rhythym to knitting with beads, in this case there are only two knit stitches between sets of beads, just enough to get into the groove of knitting, and then you have to stop what you’re doing to slide beads into place. While this is an amusing diversion, it is NOT soothing, as repetative knitting can be. 3. That my camp buddy Ginger was right, it does get easier as you go along. Working with 0000 needles is really tricksy at first, but it isn’t long before it feels “right.”

The very sad part about this little project is that I don’t think I have enough beads to finish the whole project, at least I don’t have what the recipe calls for. I am looking at this as practice, an experiment of sorts to see if I like doing this kind of beadwork and to teach myself the technique. If I run out of microscopic seed beads before I finish, I will make a decision about either looking for more, or choosing diffferent beads and pearl cotton and doing one “for reals.”

Just so you get an idea about scale….. That is a quarter next to the wee little project. Go ahead, ask….what was I thinking?

The other project that provided an enjoyable diversion yesterday was the sock on one circular needle. I’ve been working on it hit and miss for the last few weeks, usually when I’ve been out or when conversation is more important than keeping track of patterning. Yesterday I decided that I had enough leg and was ready to turn the heel. Since the socks are for me (I think) and I don’t like long legged sockies, I gave it about 5 inches and read up on how, exactly, I was going to make the transition from leg to foot using just the one needle. Now, if you have read anything I’ve written about doing socks, you know I have always done socks on 2 circular needles, and although turning the heel is absolutely and by far my favorite part of knitting socks, I was having trouble wrapping my mind around how I was going to do it with just one circular needle. I am here to confess I am now a complete convert. It was far and away the easiest heel I have ever done, picking up the gussett stitches was a breeze and I oohed and ahhed for a good long time. Even Brad, deeply imersed in the taxes, turned around to see what was causing all the joy and exhaltation. It is such a clever technique, easy to pick up and frankly, I may never go back to 2, or even try 4. My only disappointment is that the needle is a size 3, and will not produce a really comfy sock, but again, it is all about learning something new, and I have more sock yarn and can always get a smaller needle for the next pair.

Just look at that pretty little sock…….

Okay, maybe you’re not impressed, but I am. I love learning something new.

Another thing that captured my attention yesterday was the idea rumbling around in my head about tackling a Fair Isle sweater this year. I did several Christmas stockings last fall, each with a Fair Isle bit round the top, did a sweater for Kramer with a bit across the shoulders, but as far as a garment, with sleeves and steeks and such, I’m a Fair Isle virgin. There is a photo is this book of a sweater I’d like to try, but if you’ve read anything by Elizabeth Zimmermann, you know that she gives just enough of a recipe to get you going and leaves the details up to the knitter. A marvelous concept if the knitter knows what he or she is doing; possible disaster if the knitter is me, unexperienced in the ways of Fair Isle technique. It’s actually not the knitting that worries me, it’s the planning; figuring how many pattern repeats there will be, where to place them, which to choose and so on. Any helpful suggestions other than miles of graph paper and trial and error?

I also thought about another wee sweater, but I’ll save that discussion for another day.

And now, for those of you who thought I’d forgotten it is Friday…..

If you’ve been to Florence, you will recognize this as the Ponte Vechio or Old Bridge. It is truly one of the must sees in a city full of wonders. The bridge is lined with jewelrey shops and busy with tourists. I had such fun imagining what it must have been like during the late 1500’s, while Michelangelo was busy sculpting, Savanarola busy trying to burn books, and the Duomo was under construction.

The fun part about this picture is that (if I remember correctly) I took it while standing on the balcony of a yarn shop, owned by a lovely woman named Beatrice Galli. She was such a delight and I had a grand time choosing a bit of merino (you didn’t think I could come away with nothing did you?).

The other thing that makes this particular photo special is that later in the day, I bought a watercolor from an artist that was painting near the Ufizi Gallery. Brett and I debated a very long time over which painting to buy, they were all wonderful; the painter (another delight) had a very impressionistic style. We finally settled on a picture of this bridge. When we got home and took a good look at our pictures, I realized I had bought an impressionistic painting that is almost identical in content to this photo. While the painting suggests shops nearly falling off a bridge, the photo confirms that it is indeed a good representation of the Ponte Vechio.

Here’s the watercolor, as it hangs on my wall in my livingroom. Have a great weekend!



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It’s all good

Yesterday turned out nothing like I had thought, but it was all good. I had just settled myself into the tub with my book in progress for a nice long soak when my friend Eva called me. She runs her own business, and has- since he was born- taken Stephen along with her. Well, you can imagine, a 2 1/2 year old fella gets a bit bored, day after day, and yesterday he had reached critical mass and started his meltdown. Miss Heesa to the rescue. I drove to the shop and the little dude and I went to the park. Later, while he was napping, Eva and I ordered Chinese and had a bit of a sit down.

I believe there is a reason God gives children to young women, not the least of which is energy and nerves. This was brought home to me again while I watched the dude climb up a big old slide (1970’s vintage I’m sure…remember when they were really steep and tall and metal?). I stood there watching, wondering if I should climb up behind him, thinking ‘well, obviously he’s done this before,’ remembering when my guys were this age (or trying to anyway), and hoping with everything in me that he would do okay… was a long way down, AND he did great, came down the slide and landed on his feet and everything! Later on, after the swings, and the bouncy thing and the climbing stuff we tried the slide again. “You go first, Miss Heesa!” I talked him into going up ahead of me, dang, that was worse than watching from the ground. The lesson here? Next time we go to a newer playground with nice round edges, plastic covered equipment and woodchips. That old park ’bout did me in.

Last night, Eva brought over Memoirs of a Geisha and we ate popcorn, drank wine and enjoyed the movie. We had both just read the book (I know, I’m a bit slow to jump on a bandwagon), and have been looking forward to the film. If you haven’t read the book, it’s wonderful. If you haven’t seen the movie, read the book first, it helps a bit. I will say that the filmmakers did a decent job, that the movie pretty much followed the book (much better than, say, The Count of Monte Cristo. Geesh, what a disappointment that was). And let me just say here, WOW, Ken Watanabe is so handsome! Great evening. Next selection for movie night? Derailed with Jennifer Aniston. Can’t wait.

Thank you to Chirs and Margene for their comments yesterday. I have new resolve to finish the mate to the yellow sock. In case anybody is wondering, it is called Columbine Peaks from this book and is knit from Cascade Fixation. Today I’d like to get to either the LYS or one of the bookstores in town for some birthday shopping. I have to admit though, right now the idea of sitting around with ice on my back (remember I went to the chiropractor yesterday?) is very appealing.

Enjoy whatever your day has in store for you…..remember: it’s all good.


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this and that

It’s nearly 70 degrees here this morning, (at 9 a.m. and according to my spiffy little digital thermometer) I can’t believe it…..oh wait, that’s because there’s a possibility of snow tonight and tomorrow. And you thought spring was finally reaching us here on the Front Range. Not so, my cyber friends. We get most of our snow in March and April. I’m still waiting for “the big one.”

In the meantime, this is a good opportunity to raise the literary bar, to explore new verbiage, to add to the everyday vernacular, to………

It must be Wednesday. Today’s word is pertinacious an adjective that means 1: adhering resolutely to an opinion or purpose 2: stubbornly unyielding or tenacious. Good word, huh? You can see the similarity between this word and the word tenacious, which means “tending to adhere or cling.” Both of these words come from the Latin word tenex (meaning tenacious) and the Latin verb tenere (meaning, to hold). While tenacious implies persistent, or and adherence to something valued or habitual, pertinacious suggests an “irksome or annoying persistence.”

An example???? While many in the debate over immigration policy are adamant about a guest worker program, there are those who are pertinacious about deportation. OR….Though spring officially arrived last week, winter has been pertinacious here in the Rockies.

Margene has a very colorful PROJECT SPECTRUM update on her blog today. It’s got me thinking about what I will knit during April. It is frightfully obvious that the red cardie will not complete its journey (to borrow Margene’s euphemism), so I’ll need a little something to satisfy the PS guidelines for using yellow and orange during the next month.

Here’s what I’m thinking. A couple years back I did the first of a pair of socks (yeah, serious case of second sock syndrome) and I was thinking this might be the motivation to get the second sock knit up (given that I do have 2 feet).

I also have this……

It has lot’s of orange and yellow (plus blue, and green and purple and watermelon) Perhaps this should become a pair of PROJECT SPECTRUM socks (since it will take me the whole time to get them knit)

Well, I’m off to the business of the day, which will include a trip to the chiropractor and knitting in some form, and I should really enjoy some of the nice weather before winter returns.



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Isn’t there a Beetles song about the Taxman?

I could go on and on and on this morning about a plethora of topics, but fear of going to far will keep me from going to far (how’s that for elegant speech). Top on my list of complaints this morning is the mess that is our American tax system. I got started on the process yesterday, and was so frustrated by all the steps and questions and wondering if I put the right number here or there, that I took a break and watched Oprah. For crying out loud, why does it have to be so hard????

Here’s what my dining room looks like this morning.

I remember when doing the taxes to half an hour….tops. But with moving, turning rental property into primary living space and turning primary living space into rental property and investments and mortgages and 2nds and…….well, it’s just more than a nurse who knits is up for. Frustration was the mood of the day here.

(This is where I really want to vent, to tell you–whoever you are– how frustrated I was, how I felt like an incompetent idiot when my DH said ‘I did it for blah blah years, it’s not that hard.’ How I said to myself, ‘well screw it then, he can do it’….and several not so nice things. But because this is a blog about knitting and nice things like that, I’ll just keep it to myself).

The rest of the afternoon was spent folding laundry, going to the park with Eva and Stephen, and knitting. Progress is being made on the red cardie, but it is slow going. It’s hard to see the progress when there are so many stitches to slog through every row. I predict I’ll pick up another project, an intermission of sorts, to stave off boredom. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a project, and finding that you’re so sick of looking at it you don’t wear it for months. Am I the only one that feels that way?

Well, I’m off to run errands….not the least of which is getting the doggie friends bathed. I still have all my birthday money and would love to while away the afternoon in the yarn shop or booksellers. And of course, just sitting around with two sticks and a string is an appealing thought.

Here’s hoping your little corner of the universe is free of frustration today.


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Birthday Review

First of all, heartfelt thanks to each of you who stopped by to wish me happy birthday. It was such a treat to hear from so many of you, and very much appreciated.

By Friday evening I had been inundated with flowers and good wishes. The first offering looked like this ………..

……and I opened it to find TULIPS, from my friend Angela.

A few minutes later, my friend Eva arrived at the door with these…….

…….and a gift card for dinner at a nearby Italian eatery. She even took me to coffee.

Once back home, I got changed for dinner and the show, and DH came home with MORE…….

…..his comment was something along the lines that it’s the most flowers he’s seen in the house at one time, and nobody died.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra was wonderful, though I highly doubt any of the members were even born during the big band era. There were many who took advantage of the dance floor, several who looked like they may have danced to the sounds of the original orchestra—what fun to watch. We had good seats, very central and enjoyed every minute of the show. If they come to your neck of the woods, I encourage you to go see them.

The rest of the weekend was mostly uneventful, with the exception of a surprise birthday/wedding reception party thing (confusing, huh?) for one of DH’s colleagues. There are many international researchers that are a part of Brad’s work environment, and the couple that had just been married were from Germany and Mexico. It made for a fun party. Sunday was dreadfully windy, so we skipped the afternoon constitutional in the park. Late in the day we bundled up and went up the hill to the local park, and quickly back home. I passed the afternoon and evening catching up with a couple magazines I receive, one that was still in its wrapper.

Time to get busy, I’ve got a list of things that need to be done, not the least of which are the taxes (I’m stalling in a big way). Have a great Monday……

……and wish me luck.


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Happy Birthday Brett

Today, son number one turns 23. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was phoning home from Japan to tell my Mom that she had a new grandson. It doesn’t seem like 20 years since storytime at the library, preschool co-op and trips to the zoo. It doesn’t seem like18 years ago that we signed up for T-ball and soccer, went to the Art Museum with the kindergarteners or 16 years ago that he shared his chicken pox with myself and his 3 year old brother.

Was it really 13 years ago that he got selected for the elite soccer team, and had his first “girlfriend” or 11 years since he won a prize for art and one for science in the same year? I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since he road his bike off to high school and got his first part time job and started to drive. 5 years since graduation in the top 10% of his class, 5 years since he got a real, everyday job and almost 5 years since he started college on a soccer scholarship.

4 years ago we moved to Washington and he moved out of our house and in with his Grandmother in the next town over. Still close enough to hang out with, but starting to find his own way in life. 2 years since the significant 21st birthday, complete with cocktails and dinner, and knowing now that there was this whole other person that was separate from me. It’s been 1 year since we were planning a trip to Italy, one that I was going on under the condition that there would be “no mothering involved.” And two weeks since hearing “my house, my rules,” and the question “are you here as a mom or a poker buddy?”

Where does the time go?

I can still see him chasing chickens in our backyard, bringing in an armload of eggs he had found behind the air conditioner. I see him playing “Ladies and Gentlemen” and hear him saying “hody moke.” I remember him picking flowers at a Napa winery and when I told him we couldn’t do that because they didn’t belong to us, he looked at the flowers, looked back at me and said “they do now.” I see him standing on an overturned milk carton in San Francisco for a better view, and people throwing money at him. I see him playing t-ball at the Y, and proud in his select soccer uniform. I remember the first broken bone (and the 2nd and the 3rd). I remember spending a late night in the ER with a broken arm, and driving him the next morning to take the SAT’s.

As my firstborn turns 23, I reflect on all these things. And I can brag a little too. Brett is a handsome, kind, generous man. He is loved by everyone who meets him, he’s friendly and funny, sensitive and thoughtful, a loyal friend and a watchful brother. He is serious and a thinker, but knows how to have a good time. He loves movies, and books and music and poetry and dogs. He’s an outdoorsy guy, likes to hike and camp and fish. There isn’t a sport he can’t play, and he can kick your ass in most of them. He tells a wicked joke, can make you laugh yourself silly recounting the details of some random encounter, and can put forth a well thought out argument. He is articulate, but can’t spell to save his soul. He is great to do coffee with, to go on a European adventure with or watch a video with. I am lucky to know him AND be his mom.

Happy Birthday Brett. I love you.


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a little me time…

Those of you who know me and know that I am currently sans employment, are laughing hysterically right now, wondering how in the name of all things woolly I can possibly have any more me time, (stay with me here). As one who lurks around cyberspace on a daily basis (did I mention I’m not currently engaged in money earning activity?) I have notice that many in the greater blogisphere post what is called a meme, or a page of factoids about themselves. These are sometimes structured, following a set format, but the ones I like best are very random. And so, because I have been thinking about this for a few days, and because it’s MY BIRTHDAY here are 100 random things about me.

1. I’m having trouble knowing where to start.
2. I usually have trouble knowing where to start.
3. Once I get started, I’m fairly articulate.
4. I get frustrated when I’m not able to articulate what I wish to say.
5. I enjoy conversations when one person talks and another person listens.
6. I hate being interrupted.
7. It makes me feel small and unimportant.
8. So does tardiness.
9. And call waiting.
10. I love meeting friends for coffee.
11. I need more friends who feel the same way.
12. I love musical theater.
13. I love musical anything, really.
14. I have been known to cry watching a band walk by at Disneyland.
15. I love Disneyland.
16. I have lived in 6 states and 2 countries.
17. I can’t say the Pledge of Allegience without getting choked up.
18. I have been a military wife for 26 years, but have never watched my husband go to war.
19. I am afraid of getting a debilitating illness.
20. I am an adopted child.
21. I’ve never felt an overwhelming urge to find my birthparents.
22. I know I have a sibling somewhere that shares my name.
23. I was an only child.
24. I never doubted for a minute that my dad loved me, but he never told me.
25. He never told my mom either.
26. I tell my kids that I love them all the time.
27. I have two dogs.
28. I tell them I love them too.
29. I love hockey and football.
30. I yell at the TV.
31. I don’t have a best friend.
32. I don’t have a group of lifelong girlfriends.
33. I miss that.
34. I grew up in Washington State.
35. I thought it rained everywhere.
36. I was wrong.
37. I love the ocean.
38. Someday I want to live where I can see the water, and smell the salt.
39. I had my belly button pierced when I was 40.
40. I like to go camping.
41. I like to hike, as long as it’s not too hard a hike.
42. I like thunderstorms.
43. I like blizzards.
44. I want to go back to Italy.
45. I’ve never been to New York, but would like to go.
46. I want to see Boston, Maine, Vermont.
47. I want to see more of the Florida Keys.
48. I love zoos.
49. I don’t have a favorite color, but I do love red.
50. I could never have too many bottles of nail polish.
51. Or books.
52. Or purses.
53. I want to write a book.
54. I don’t know where to start.
55. I would have liked to meet Princess Diana.
56. I think we could have been friends.
57. I keep a lot to myself.
58. I think red wine and dark chocolate are medicinal.
59. I love to take my medicine.
60. I hate making phone calls.
61. I hardly ever get bored.
62. I like being by myself.
63. I like being around other people too.
64. I think I’d like to study art history.
65. Or maybe literature.
66. I like to watch Star Trek Next Generation reruns.
67. I don’t look good with long hair.
68. I wish I did.
69. I like to give generous gifts.
70. I think you get what you pay for.
71. I like traditions.
72. I’m not married to them.
73. I want to raise alpacas.
74. And have chickens.
75. Maybe a sheep or two.
76. I’d like to have a store.
77. I’m lousy at business, and really bad with numbers.
78. I’m a good organizer.
79. I don’t like it when people put me in charge.
80. I feel like my thoughts and opinions are every bit as valid as yours.
81. I don’t like being forced to defend my thoughts or opinions because they aren’t the same as yours.
82. I believe that respect is earned, and it works both ways.
83. I miss my children, but don’t want them to live with me.
84. I am anxious for grandchildren.
85. I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again for anything in the world.
86. My dream job would be singing back-up for James Taylor.
87. Or writing a bestseller.
88. I would rather receive no gift than a gift that is poorly thought out.
89. I love tulips.
90. I don’t sing in the shower.
91. I don’t like telling people it’s my birthday.
92. I want them to remember on their own.
93. I think having low expectations is better than having great expectations and being often disappointed.
94. I think that the older I get, the more accepting I am.
95. I think acceptance is a good thing and is NOT the same as agreement or condoning ones actions.
96. I think that the Christian community (of which I consider myself a member) spends to much time focusing on sexual sin and not enough time focusing on the sins of neglect, anger, cheating, lying and so many others.
97. I know not everyone agrees with me.
98. I’m okay with that.
99. I like being 45 better than 35.
100. I think that’s enough.

Tonight DH and I are going to the Pikes Peak Center to see the Glen Miller Orchestra. I love big band music and so I’m really looking forward to the show.

Tomorrow, another birthday…….guess who?


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