Monday, February 25, 2008

10,000 Maniacs

The doors weren't supposed to open until 2:15 PM, but we arrived at The University of Toledo to get in line well before noon to hear Barack Obama speak. He was scheduled to take the stage at 4:20 Sunday afternoon. Already at 11:45 AM, the line wrapped around the building, which I knew from my research could seat 9,000 comfortably. We found out later that 10,000 were allowed inside, and an estimated 5,000 people were turned away!

We watched the arena fill up, and I saw people from all walks of life, including this young boy with his sign:

Everyone waited patiently for Senator Obama. Nobody fought over seats. People helped those who had trouble with stairs and bleachers.

Hooray for Buddy Bill and his political geekiness and love for the news. The preferred seating tickets he procured put us in a seating area with access to the floor if we wanted. (We didn't.) His sense of urgency to arrive early (others were there much earlier!) put us in the 8th row! Close enough to take photos like this, once Senator Obama arrived.

Senator Obama arrived on time, and began speaking only 10 minutes late. It wasn't a speech. He spoke TO us, not AT us, even though the place was packed to the rafters. Literally. "Cute baby," he said to a woman several rows away from him, "I have to make sure to kiss that baby." (I could almost see the Secret Service guys drawing straws to see who was checking the diaper for a bomb!) We aren't red states or blue states, we're The United States. And I thought about who I was sitting with - Buddy Bill; many years older than I am, retired and fighting insurance and retirement issues, his College Kid and a college friend; with worries about loans and future jobs, my friend W; a Toledo Police Officer who is also a minority and spends her days dealing with crime, drug dealers and the effects of this lousy economy, and me; a school counselor trying to help kids who are almost homeless sometimes, in an auto town that's losing jobs like crazy. All of us united by this same man.

And there was this reminder someone in attendance:

I was just a tiny part of the big picture, and you can't even see the thousands of people behind me.
Powerful. Postive. And yes, hopeful. Because where would be without hope?

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Relevant - finally!

We matter! We really matter!Courtesy of The Toledo Blade - Kirk

I'll give you the Obama report later!!


Friday, February 22, 2008

A Whole Lot Going On!

First, thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone! You're the best!

It's Parent/Teacher conference time at school again. That means that Thursday evening I had to stay late at the junior high. Sarah (who really needs to update her blog!) enticed me - with beer and knitting - to meet her at a friend's bar afterward. We had a wonderful time with our Piddleloop bags, knitting socks, beer, fried pickles and her boyfriend Eric. Knitting and beer were much more fun than telling lots of parents that their lovely kids might not be making it out of 8th grade this year.

If you've paid attention to the news at all, you know that Ohio has become very important politically and T-Town has played host, or will, to all the big candidates by Sunday. McCain was here Thursday. Hillary is here tonight, on my school's campus, no less. More exciting to me, is that Barack Obama will be here Sunday! Buddy Bill went downtown this morning, bright and early, and waited in line for preferential seating tickets. Bill's College Kid is coming in tonight for the weekend and will be joining us at the rally with another college friend.

In the knitting department, I am trying to catch up on my socks. I have started the February socks, finally, even though I am still working on January's. Since I need to speed up - well, I think I do, anyway - I have decided to try a new trick. We'll see if knitting socks on two circular needles helps me out any. I have the cuff done, now on to the pattern. I tried this method once before, about a year ago, and ditched it quickly. This time it seems be going better. So far.

My weekend will be knitting, housework, and watching The Simpson's Movie with the kids and then Barack Obama on Sunday. Wish my brother Rudi luck - he's doing the Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics tomorrow. Jumping into Lake Erie in February on purpose! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

FO and Surprises

A friend from work took me to lunch today for my birthday - it's coming up in a few days.

Buddy Bill's Irish Hiking Scarf is complete! He received it today, all wrapped up for Valentine's Day (I know, I know... late). We didn't see each other that day, though. I remembered to take photos before it got away. Bill was thrilled with the scarf, full of brown that match his eyes.
Yarn: Dream In Color Yarns - Classy
Color: November Muse
Needle size: US size 7
Scarf Length: 56"

One surprise was getting a new cell phone today. It's orange, like BGSU colors! And it has a typepad inside, just like a regular keyboard, for text messaging. The nV. Cool stuff. It's my present to me this week. :-)

The other surprise was that Bill took me to a wonderful dinner at J.Alexanders. Great company. Good food. Wonderful wine. It was a wonderful place with no screaming kids, clowns, balloons, or waitstaff clapping and cheering for birthdays. It was bliss!!!!!

I don't know how my birthday could get any better. I finished a knitting project. I was treated like a queen by Bill, and I got a great deal on a phone I've been wanting and added a line for Bill, giving him my old phone.

Today life was very, very good.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

How Long is a Long Weekend?

On Monday, there's no school because of President's Day. So just how long is a long weekend?

  • Long enough to go to Costco and buy laundry detergent, coffee and dog treats (to bribe the dogs) and a big apple pie (to bribe the kids).
  • Long enough to wash some hand knits in the kitchen sink. (Shown drying on the lid of my washer. The sweater is LLBean, by the way.)

  • Long enough to do 9 loads of laundry on Saturday.

  • Long enough to fill up my new Namaste Laguna knitting bag from The Loopy Ewe. (Hey, it wasn't yarn!)

  • Long enough to play in the snow before it melts with the rain that is coming.

  • Long enough for a birthday dinner out on Monday with Buddy Bill who won't tell me where we're going!

  • Long enough to play (much too long!) on Ravelry. A Cleveland Indians Fans group has been added. NOTE: Stitch n Pitch July 10!! Stitch n Pitch Calendar

  • Long enough to sit and knit. And nap.

  • Long enough to take Absent-Minded Professor to a friend's to play all day. (Hooray!)

  • Long enough to work on plans for Buddy Bill and I to take the kids to Niagara Falls at the end of June. (Hey, if that doesn't scare him off, nothing will!)

What are you doing with your weekend?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Drive Home

This morning it started snowing, but not early enough to delay school. It snowed all day, and the drive home looked like this:

Between school and home, an 18-minute drive on city streets, the kids and I saw ONE snow plow.

Can you see the guy out there walking his dog? They have the right idea. They're nowhere near the road! My dogs were happy to get out and play in the snow. See?

Even though it's Yarn Haven's One Year Anniversary, I think staying home tonight is a good idea. Stay warm!

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Got Yarn?

I do! I have more yarn than I have time to knit. That doesn't stop me from adopting more.

From Melissa's etsy shop, Keegan Lane Yarns, I have worsted weight yarn and sock yarn. Melissa told me I was her first customer, and I also bought her 100th skein. Cool, huh?

From Sunshine Yarns, feast your eyes on this beautiful sock yarn! Graffiti Twist in Cream and Blue.
I can't forget to show you the yarn that came from Karida and the first Neighborhood Fiber Co. sock club! This is a seacell/merino blend.

Soon you will be able to find both Melissa's yarns and Karida's yarns at The Loopy Ewe!

Last, but not least, my January sock in progress for Sock of the Month at my LYS. Yes, I said January. I know, I'm running behind. That's the story of my life these days! It's proof that I am knitting, though.


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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gonna Build an Ark... and Travel

Have you seen any news reports about Ohio in the past two days? We've had inches and inches of rain. The rain melted the inches and inches of snow from last Thursday and Friday. That all equals disaster. Flooded rivers. Flooded streets. Flooded homes. Schools are closed because of flooding. Just south of T-Town, in Findlay, it's really bad. And now all that water is expected to freeze before it can totally recede.

My yard is just a big mud pit, with a small pond in the front yard. No big deal. I do have a canoe in the back yard if I need it!

Work is keeping me amazingly busy. It's time to get the 8th graders registered for high school classes. Conferences for those in danger of failing are being scheduled an alarming rate; by me no less. Then I have to attend them! I have meetings before school every day next week. I get home from work nearly too tired to knit, especially by the time I get my kids through their homework. That's criminal. Seriously.

The trip to Washington, D.C., for the 7th graders in June, is pretty much finalized and totally full... 90 kids! (OK, I know you all think I'm crazy, but the trip really is fun!) Speaking of trips, are any of you interested in London and Paris in the summer of 2009? Buddy Bill has led many trips to Europe (London, Paris, Rome, Scotland) and we're talking seriously about putting one together for next summer. 10-12 days. Of course I'll look up the best knitting shops for us to visit along with the tourist sites! I will have more details in mid-summer, but start thinking about it. We've already been in touch with the tour company for cost estimates and travel dates.

Pictures of some new yarn and the mud and anything else I can think of just as soon as I track down the camera battery I know is here somewhere...

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Play Day

Five inches of wet, heavy snow fell here yesterday giving pretty much everyone the day off. At 2:oo AM the ground just had a dusting of snow. (Yes, I was up. Couldn't sleep.) At 4:00 AM, freezing rain was falling. I could hear it hitting the house. (Yes, still awake!) The news stations all came thirty minutes early - at 4:30 AM instead of 5:00. (Guess how I know!) By 5:32 AM my school district closed, and that's when I finally went to bed. Mayhem sounded the alarm at 9:00 AM. "Snow! Snow! Look! It snowed!" She grabbed boots, snow pants, mittens and coat, then out the door she went. I groaned and rolled over, hoping she might, maybe, try using the snow shovel for a few minutes.

Mayhem wasn't going to shovel, which meant I had to get out of bed. The snow was fun, great packing snow. Snowman snow. Sledding snow. Sledding? Did someone say sledding?

Today the kids and I bundled up and headed to a metropark nearby that has a hill big enough for sledding. It's nothing like the hills in central Ohio where I grew up and sledded as a kid, but good enough to give my kids some thrills. Afterward we hit Starbucks for hot chocolate and coffee, and came home to build a fire in the woodstove. Pictures, you ask? My camera battery dead. Sorry. Imagine smiling, rosy-cheeked, wet kids wearing snow-caked mittens.

It's February, and looking at the calendar today I realized that my January socks for Sock of the Month Club at Yarn Haven are nowhere near completion. I have until Feb. 11 when we meet again to finish up. Sometime in there I have to buy my yarn for February's socks. We are using a pattern I have knit before, so hopefully I won't get so hopelessly behind. Hooray for Thuja!

The Irish Hiking Scarf is nearing completion. I have to wind the second skein of yarn, the yummy Dream in Color (Classy). Looking at the current length of the scarf, I'm anticipating some leftover yarn. Maybe I'll have enough left over to make some fingerless gloves - Dashing perhaps? What about Axel Fingerless Mitts? I sure won't run out of things to knit anytime soon.

I have to thank Buddy Bill for a wonderful gift that is making my computer time so much more pleasant. My computer is in a corner of my kitchen, near my laundry area, and by the back door. It's often quite chilly back in this corner, especially in the evening. One day last week, in my office at school, I found a box with a small space heater! "It's for at home under your desk," Buddy Bill told me later. The heater oscillates, and even came with a remote that controls the temperature and fan... it's wonderful. Even the dogs love it, and when the heater is on, they are parked right behind my chair snoozing. You're the best, Luv!

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