Sunday, September 30, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Get Checked!!

Today here in T-Town, it's Race For The Cure day. I can't participate because I'm heading out of town for a baby shower, but it holds even more meaning this year. This past week one of my sisters was diagnosed with breast cancer. A sibling. Cancer. We've had a hellacious week, but nothing compared to the week she's had. This insidious disease just keeps going; attacking at random and we all have to work together to find a cure. We all know someone who has had breast cancer, or know of someone. I've already lost someone who died right after reaching the 5-year survival mark of this damn disease.

So, dear friends and readers, do your monthly self-exams. Schedule a mammogram if you're nearing 40, or are over 40 and haven't had one for a while. Consider participating in an event affiliated with The Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Personally, I've found the Breast Cancer 3-Day to be an amazing experience if you are up to walking 60 miles, raising huge amounts of money and sleeping in tents overnight! ;-) Yes, I really have done it, and I'm crazy enough that I'm considering another one. There's a 3-Day in Cleveland in 2008.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

South for the Winter

Saturday was a picture-perfect day for the annual release of the monarch butterflies at The Butterfly House. The sky was a brilliant, cloudless blue. Temps were in the upper 70's.

Over 1000 monarch butterflies were flitting around inside two large, mesh cages awaiting the removal of the lids. The crowd counted down, and off they flew!!

After a quick take-off, many of the monarchs landed in the flower gardens planted around the grounds and graciously posed for photos.

This poor fellow didn't receive nearly as much attention so I promised to post his picture, too.

Have a great week!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Seeing Green

I'm seeing green. Really. Last night when I measured Buddy B's Cobblestone sweater, it was 15" in length. The body for the size I am making has to be 17" before putting some stitches on hold for the sleeves, and knitting the top of the sweater. I'm getting so close! There have been a few days when I haven't knit because my wrists ached again. A couple of other days I was insanely busy and didn't get time to knit more than one or two rows. Two or three days it was really too warm to have a pile of wool sitting in my lap! I'm not bored or tired of this project, at all. Honestly, I'm finding great joy in this knit. Maybe the recipient has something to do with that. Someday, the weather might be cool enough for him to wear it, too! It has been in the mid to upper 80's here, making for some very steamy days here in 8th grade land.

Speaking of joy, I came across this quote today. Mother Teresa said, "Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy." It made me think of the way my life is going right now and how I been able to help others, especially recently. I feel strongly that we end up where we are supposed to be in life, that we have a purpose and we're placed on certains paths for certain reasons. Just in the past few days someone thanked me for sharing my joy of life.

Next weekend, I have a baby shower to attend. My nephew and his wife are expecting their first baby. I'm going to be a great aunt... again! (My nieces and nephew already think I'm a great aunt.) Not having a lot of notice on the shower, I am not sure that I am going to get a gift knitted in time for the shower, nor do I think I will try. My wrists just won't let me take on a rush job right now. I do have the Tulip Baby Cardigan kit at home from Dream in Color yarns. Honestly, I don't know that I want to put other things aside to focus on a baby sweater for a week and maybe not even finish. Having written it out here, I think I've decided I'll knit it slowly and send the sweater to baby when she arrives in November. Yes, she.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone. My parents are in town to watch my nephews. Tomorrow I'm taking my kids to The Butterfly House to see the Monarchs released. The butterflies will begin their migration to Mexico. Sunday will be spent going to The Toledo Zoo with Oma and Opa and all the kids.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Cough Cough Sniffle Knit Cough

Being sick is the pits most of the time. This time around, it's tolerable. Yesterday, after the Fossil Fest, I was at Buddy B's and snoozed on the couch and knitted while watching football. He was thoughtful enough to untangle the yarn for me, since the inside of the ball was in a knot, and then kept feeding the yarn to me as I knitted. Without being asked, I might add. (And yes, I know that's a fragment, not a sentence!)

Today I stayed at home sick after coughing all night (and also pulling or tearing a rib muscle which makes it more painful to breathe! ow!) and Buddy B brought me Starbucks and decided a walk in the sun would help me. This is the kind of day we were having... 65 and not a cloud in the sky.

The Toledo Botanical Garden is close to my house, and a peaceful place for a walk. Like always, I took plenty of pictures.

The dahlias were gorgeous!!!

In knitting news, Cobblestone is getting closer to the point where I will be starting the sleeves. At last measure, the body was 13.5" and I have to get to 17". As if I don't have enough to do, I dug out a crochet hook and some yarn from my stash and started a granny square afghan for B's couch this morning. A few months ago, I bought Tatamy Tweed on clearance at my LYS. I bought a huge amount of it. (Confession: I bought 16 or 18 balls of it!!) Right now, Oatmeal, Harvest Gold, Forrest, Birch and maybe some Ginger are being made into a big ol' granny square.

You see, yesterday, while snoozing on B's couch, I realized something was missing. Yep, he needs a blankie to snuggle under. Or should I say, *I* need a blankie to snuggle under?! Since I learned to crochet when I was seven years old, I can crank out a granny square afghan pretty darn quick. I'm not making a bunch of small squares to sew together, however. That would pretty much guarantee this would end up a UFO. Looking at it now, though, I see I need to use much more Oatmeal and Birch to make this a more neutral-colored afghan.

This yarn is very soft and completely machine washable, making it perfect for at B's place.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007


I'm moving right along on Cobblestone. Last night I measured and I am over halfway finished knitting the body. It's 10.5 inches long now, and I need 17" before starting the sleeves. I take this sweater, literally, everywhere. It goes to school with me and I work on it while seeing students. Cobblestone goes with me while running errands. The sweater goes with me to Insanknitty on Tuesday nights at Yarn Haven. This morning, it even went out to breakfast with me and Buddy B, and I knitted while waiting for our omelets at the Monroe Street Diner. I'm not knitting fast because of the need to wear my wrist braces periodically during the day, but I am pleased with my progress. I'm hoping to have this sweater done in the next two weeks, but realistically, it will take longer. It's always good to have a goal, though, right?

Oh, yes! Pictures! I promised pictures, didn't I?

And what else is coming up? Last year for Christmas I made felted clutch purses. Tuesday night at Insanknitty I bought the pattern for Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. I see some of these showing up under the tree this year, at least for Mayhem and Absent-Minded Professor, and maybe for a couple of big people who need warm tootsies. Shall I make them in favorite team colors? Eeeewww... that might mean knitting with scarlet and grey for some people!

The weather here finally feels like fall, my favorite season of the year. The nights have been crisp and cool, and the days have warmed slowly, with clear blue skies. Some leaves are already starting to change, and I look forward to getting out with my camera. Tomorrow the kids and I will attend a local event called Fossil Fest and we will dig through dirt from a local quarry for fossils. Fossil Park is usually where we go dig for fossils, and the same quarry will supply the material we'll be digging through. Being a science geek (aka nerd), Absent Minded Professor is really looking forward to the event! My other science geek, retired science teacher Buddy B, will be joining us.

Mayhem and Absent Minded Professor are also excited because we are planning to adopt two African Frogs from The Other Karen and her teenage twin girls. The frogs will go to live at Dad's once the kids know how to take care of them. Hopefully they won't croak.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Future

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

For several years now, those words have given me regular reminders to not give up on what I want for myself out of life. Those words hang in my office. Those words travel around a photo frame which sits on my desk, housing a photo of me with Buddy B at Annapolis. Those words have even been the "quote of the day" on the sidebar of this blog. It is that quote that has sustained me on many a dark day, when the life I wanted for myself seemed completely unattainable.

Thirteen words about not giving up on dreams; about having hope for the future. So small, and yet such a big deal, as Buddy B knows. He found a way for me to have my favorite quote with me all the time, and show his appreciation for all of my recent help all at the same time. We had seen these during our recent trip to Ann Arbor and he made a special drive back up to get one for me. The last one. It was presented to me Saturday night before we went out to see the show.

Jewelry by Kathy Bransfield, at Falling Water Books in Ann Arbor, MI. (Above photo snagged from their website.)

Photo frame with my favorite quote... and my best Buddy.

It didn't surprise me at all that on the day I showed up with a gift for him (the framed photos from Washington), he had a gift for me as well. We have always been on the same wavelength that way, and even have our own code for the phenomenon: TAA. Thinking Alike Again.

My necklace

The TAA thing happened at the furniture store this afternoon. We were looking for a couch for his apartment. Buddy B had been in the store yesterday and wanted to show me a couple of things. I wandered over to a certain couch and loveseat combo and pointed the set out to B. TAA. That was his top choice of the pieces he wanted to show me in that store. Of course.

Before stopping to see B I had a staff meeting this afternoon. Thank goodness for knitting! I would have been asleep if I didn't have Cobblestone to work on. I estimate that I am about 1/3 of the way finished with the body at this point. It's going faster now, and I really am enjoying the knit. Photos soon! After all, this is a knitting blog.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Odds and Ends and Alpacas

This week has been a whirlwind and here it is Saturday. I realized last night that I have not touched my knitting needles since Tuesday night, having been caught up in school stuff (Open House) and a secret project for Buddy B and his apartment. We've had weird weather here, too, which has been making my wrists ache.

Tuesday night was a surprise baby shower at Yarn Haven for a fellow knitter who is having her baby in two weeks. Elaine was thrilled! The Baby Banana socks were completed on time to give to her. Tuesday night Insanknitty was great fun with a baby theme. OK, Insanknitty is always great fun, but this was extra special.

Baby banana socks

Happy Momma-to-be

The secret project I mentioned won't be a secret tonight, so I can fill you in on that, and show you what I did. You might remember that B and I take students to Washington, D.C. and I take many, many photos on that trip. Buddy B always admires my photography, so I had some of my better photos enlarged and printed as black and whites. Then I matted and framed them to put in his new digs. They are all from our DC trip this past June; Arlington, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, The U.S. Capitol Building, and a close up of the Dome on the Capitol.

Two of the photos, assembled in frames.

Mayhem and I had some fun today that was knitting related. We met Sarah Lou and her sister Brenda and baby niece Zoe at Yarn Haven to meet alpacas! Yes, real live alpacas. They were friendly, a little shy, but loved Mayhem once she started feeding them leaves that had fallen from the nearby maple tree. My kid loves animals. Could that be due to the fact that she IS an animal? ;-)

There's Sarah and Mayhem with the alpacas.

"We are sooooo cool!"


Tonight is going out night! I have plans to see this: The Complete History of America (abridged). The show opened last night at The Toledo Rep, and B and I have tickets for 2nd row seats waiting for us. I'm looking forward to laughing myself silly.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ya Gotta Kiss a Lotta Toads

I'm not a squeamish kind of mom. Today I was talking to Buddy B after lunch and Mayhem came running into the house. "I need a paper towel! There's a toad! I need to catch it!"

Paper towel??

Buddy B was laughing on the other end. "Just use your hands. That's what you would make me do," I told her.

"Good point," Mayhem replied, snatching a large amount of paper towels and dashing back outside with her bug jar. A few minutes later I was summoned to help.

"Better go help your kids," Buddy B told me. The kids and I had plans to head to Fossil Park to dig in the dirt and rocks anyway, so I said good-bye and hung up.

Mayhem with the toad in her bug jar

There's an old saying, maybe from a fairy tale, that says, "You have to kiss a lot of toads to find your handsome prince." I'm done kissing toads. I've found Prince Charming. While I'm not looking to get married again, a little happily ever after would suit me fine! Where did I find this wonderful love? Right under my nose. It's so much fun loving a best friend, and being loved in return. That's what I have been hinting at these past few days.

Mom shows how to catch a toad... and attempt photography.

I'll get you out of there soon, little dude!

For the past year and a half we have wanted to be together, but have not been able to, for many reasons. Now it looks like that all has changed and will *fingers crossed* work for us. Have you figured out who it is?

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