Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Humble thanks

to all who have served in times of war and times of peace.

By Johnny Cash

I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, “Your old courthouse is kinda run down.”
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town.”
I said, “Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that’s a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.

He said, “Have a seat”, and I sat down.
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?”
I said, “I think it is.”
He said, “I don’t like to brag,
But we’re kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.”

“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night
Francis Scott KeySat watching it writing _Oh Say Can You See_.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin’ at its seams.”

“And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.”

“On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.”
“She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she’s been abused –
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied and refused.”

“And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in.
‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.”

“So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don’t let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back from the great beyond

I haven't felt much like writing, but have been knitting. When I was last intending to post pics, life got in the way. Now I have finished the Eagles scraf and several others. Before school let out, I found a bunch of single or end of dyelot skeins of yarn. I hoped to get ones finished for the kids teachers, alas that didn't work out, but I knit them up for the holiday gift stash.

This is more a neck warmer then typical scarf from a single skein of Poddle yarn. It feels great and will be fun to give, but I NEVER intend to use this again. The texture is a bitch to work with and not regular so at some points there are uneven stitches to handle the bobble.

I still continue my entertainment with fun fur and eyelash yarns. Again a single skein which is a lovely neck warmer.

These next two were yarns the kids picked out. I really like how both came out and hope they are simillarly enjoyed .

This one has been off the needles for a couple of months, but I wanted to add fringe. Mom showed me how to make knit fringe. That too has been done for a bit, but this weekend I finally got them added to the scarf.
That's the recap for now. More to come soon and many thanks to Leo for his modeling aid.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bringing along the next generation

Last week one of my co-workers brought in her out of state grandchildren for a visit. during the day her granddaughter, who's 12, was in, she was put to work helping verify catalog information and book location. This involves working in pairs with one person reading the call number while the other person checks the shelf.

It was a flashback hearing a young voice reading the call numbers. When I was in school, several holidays for which mom didn't want to leave me at home alone, I went along for a day at the office. If I helped with whatever project was on the list. My pay would be lunch out with the library director and my mom. I helped shift periodicals collections, filed back issues of magazines and reports, and did my share of shelf reading.

I actually don't hate shelf reading. I find making certain items are back where they belong a soothing task. During grad school, I worked as a temp and spent many days at a time with collection moves and inventories. With the exception of Children's fiction/literature and the cooking section, I can read stacks quickly. Leave me in cooking section and I'm liable to start looking for a new recipe or a twist on an old favorite. Children's literature is slow reading because I start reading. I will move along and then find an old favorite, read the book jacket or flip through a few pages. After an hour, usually only a partial shelf or perhaps a whole shelf have actually been checked.

As a third generation librarian, it makes me smile to see any kid/young adult interested enough in books to help out even for a day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Slogging through

I haven't dropped off the earth, gone into a nunnery, or been abducted by aliens. For the past six weeks or so, I've just been slogging through life.

Just getting through the day and other things in life was the extent of much happening here. To keep from going completly off, I have kept projects moving forward. Tomorrow I'll have pics of a couple of things on and one off my needles.

Tonight though a new phase of our lives start and if even the smallest of our ideas take flight - this will be a year of changes. DH has a new position which is taking hime to Maryland for the work week. It's not his first choice in jobs, but it could give us opprotunities for some other options.

For me currently I keep with work because medical insurance is a good thing, but it's become a continuing wheel of frustration and b*&%s*&%! The office hasn't been good for the past year, and the past 6 months are just sliding straight and steady into the pits. The next couple of weeks could really change alot in our lives.

I'll keep you posted, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dashed out

Today was the 14th annual Donor Dash for the Gift of Life. MM, LB, and I treked down to the Art Museum and join nearly 5,000 other walkers and runners. This year Gift of Life celebrates its 35th Anniversary.
It was a great day for a walk along the Schuylkill River and to see the boats and birds. This year was great, I didn't have to chase either of the kids back onto the road or sidewalk. The kids did through the full 3k walk and finished without any major needs to stop or piggyback ride.

We met the Donor Heart and Fox29's Bus Stop Buddy.
The kids also had fun with face painting, the Hatman, and seeing all the other people.
This year for the first time MM really saw the reason and meaning for organ donation. She met a couple of girls who were walking with their family. Their family donated his organs. This made quite the impression.

We didn't meet our fundraising goal, but there is always next year to walk.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flowers for Easter

This year I finished both a jumper for MM and a new outfit for Mom. Below MM and LB pose with the posies at church after Sonrise service.

DH and Mom missed connecting for a picture. Her outfit was part wonderful and part frustrating. I had a piece of apricot crepe which I made a skirt and outer jacket. It is just wonderful to cut and sew. Mom picked up a piece for the shell and jacket lining which is beautiful but a "$%%&$#$" to stitch.

After getting up at 5:30, LB was just worn out by the end of breakfast.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Search for the afikomen

We had a wonderful Passover dinner tonight with the Shores. As usual the company and food were enjoyed at varing levels by all - but I do miss not using even the brief Haggadah.

Previous years when we have gathered with portions of DH's family, I appreicate the devotion they all show to their faith. Whether using a full family haggadah or even using the children's version. These family gatherings like those we share with my family for Christmas and Easter are days which I treasure.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Night out

for just the girls...

Beth & I met up at Loop for the Stitch Party with Franklin. It was alot of fun and we got to catch up on the relam of those who escaped. Bridget planned to meet us, but she thought an all staff meeting at the penitentary was more important.

Mom joined us since she is the latest statistic in the family. Now I have my mom and DH both working on the "what I want to be when I grow up" plan.

Mom got to enjoy a second serving of Franklin on Saturday with his lace knitting class. This was her third event with Franklin - guess he's becoming a habit for her.

Mom's been knitting for over 50 years, lace is a challenge she is determined to conquer. Great to see that even those who've been engaged with needles for decades, there is even more to learn. The rows she came home with were pretty. I'll have to keep working on my scarf projects so I can try the pattern out later on.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The magic

...of Leggos.

LB got leggos for Christmas/Hanukkah and his birthday. Some of the packages were sets while others were just collections of blocks. From the first opening, he started building what is most important to him - Mario and friends. With each round, Mario, Lugi, and the others have gotten more detailed.

For LB, these characters are not only for building, but then for reenacting game stratgies and moves.

Sometimes Leggo Mario gets to watch him play Mario games on the computer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wishing you all,
a pint of Guiness,
fresh soda bread,
a warm fire,
and family to share.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finally finished

I have been lax about posting any projects finished.

DH's scarf took a long time to finish, but now the ends are hiding and he has it for the next cold day.

This yarn was in my stash. I bought it for a gift, but then changed my mind. Now I have no clue it was bought for but it is now a scarf for good friend. Yeah, I officially used stash and have a gift ready for Christmas 2009!

The five hours of knitting and a finished scarf, no wonder fun yarns have become so popular. This was also a wonderful break from the fine yarn of DH's scarf.

Previously I mentioned the plan to knit, sew, or otherwise make most of our gifts for Christmas 2009 or other gift needs this year. Now that DH is a statistic, this is even more timely project plan.

After a lovely day of shopping in Mom's stash, I have started working on some of these scarves for other friends and family. My plan is to challenge myself with each item, either with the type of yarn, learning new stitches, or even trying a real pattern.

This is the first one finished, but this was a new yarn type for me.
It is a cozy to work with as it looks.

For our last trip to VA, I needed knitting that would be easy for travel, so I turned to 3 skeins of eyelash yarn. As I started knitting, I found I had two skeins of one dyelot and one of a second. This scarf used the two and I have a simillar one from the single.
Many thanks to LB for agreeing to let Twinkle begin his modeling career. I'm sure others will come ready and willing for our next show.

you too

can make the whole megillat. Lisa was so taken with my plate of yumminess that she needed the recipe. Well we have a debate going on for which is the better recipe for dough. I'll post both and let you all decide.

Temple hamantaschen

3 eggs
3/4 c canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c orange juice
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
5-6 c flour

1 container filing - flavor of your choice. I favor prune.

Mix first 5 ingredients in the mixer until well blended.
In a separate bowl, mix 4 dry ingredients and add gradually.
Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

Form small balls of dough and flatten to about 2" circle.
Place spoonful of filling of your choice. Pinch at three points to make triangle shape.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Bubbie's hamantaschen

3 eggs
3/4 c canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 c flour
1 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder

1 container filing - flavor of your choice. I favor prune.

Mix first 4 ingredients in the mixer until well blended.
In a separate bowl, mix 3 dry ingredients and add gradually.
Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

Form small balls of dough and flatten to about 2" circle.
Place spoonful of filling of your choice. Pinch at three points to make triangle shape.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

So enjoy the recipes and I'd love to hear which you like best.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The whole Megillat

Saturday afternoon was our annual celebration for Purim with the Shores making hamantaschen. I make the dough and L picks up the fillings. The kids go for the cherry most often, but my favorite is prune.

Now this is just a plate of wonderful yumminess!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back in the running

Now I have a new toy - an Acer laptop. DH ordered this for me before his layoff as my Valentine's suprise.

My prior laptop was dying a slow and frustrating death. Between the wireless card deciding when to communicate and never when I needed, and the battery which held a 1/2 second charge; I was ready to scream. Thus my lack of posting for a couple of weeks.

I'm still setting up my preferences and adjusting to the size of the new machine. Before others in blog-dom think I've left the building, I figured a quick update post was in order.

I have been busy with projects in my year long crafting for gifts and using anything in my vast stores of supplies and ideas.

Check back soon for some of the results.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hearts & Flowers

Wishing you time to float away with the one you love.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What the G...

Back to a Bridget influenced activity... I'm a sucker for this stuff anyway. Being picky about what I like, I asked for a good letter. Actually said the letter should not be a lousy one, say X, Q, or U. Well she was kind, and sent me in G-land.

The rules are simple: choose 10 favorite things beginning with a single letter of the alphabet and explain why you like them. The only catch is that the letter is assigned to you by the person who wrote the post you’ve just read.

At first I was struck that this would be challenging, but driving time gave me several points.
So I'm off to G-land - in no particular order...

1. Germany - this really is starting at the beginning. I was a military kid, born in West Germany. Uncle Sam decided I wasn't to stay long enough to learn the language or have my own memories of our time there. I am thankful for all the wonderful pictures and other things my parents have kept from that tour.

2. Gerbera daisy - I adore these wonderful summer flowers. The colors and size are such a joy to see in the garden and a treat to have in a pretty vase at the table.

3. The Great Gatsby - The F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is one of my favorite books, even though I usually am disgusted by all the characters as I read it. The picture I see and enjoy the most is visual of the eyeglass billboard above the road to the city. Always watching but never influencing.

4. Gumdrops - I love my sweets but gumdrops, especially spice gumdrops, are a perennial favorite.

5. Goggles - Swimming is a favorite exercise for me. Keeping my eyes bright and shinny starts with a good pair of goggles. Being asthmatic, running, aerobics, and many other exercise programs result in the need for my inhaler thus aren't really fun.

6. Grapes - A most versatile fruit. I love homemade jelly, jams, and juices. The most wonderful product is a wine. My first taste of wine happened at 11 months old in Germany and ever since have enjoyed sampling many varieties.

7. Grieg - Yes the wonderful music of Edvard Greig. My Nana adored his music and introduced me to it during my summers at their home. Funny to me was that my grandfather has the family line going back to Norway and Sweden.

8. Gazpacho Soup - a perfect meal during the heat of summer. Nana spoiled me with a wonderful homemade soup when ever the temperature made being in the kitchen just too much. I have to start working on my kids to find the enjoyment in the blend of tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion, garlic, and seasonings.

9. Glass - it is more then that clear pane in a window or door. I love colored glass, stained glass, even painted glass. Seeing the wonderful patterns and color reflected in a room brings me contentment and joy.

10. Gas - not petroleum but that which comes to all people naturally. Anyone who claims they don't pass gas is lying to the world and themselves. My family enjoys their gas. As young children find great humor is a belch or fart, the giggles flow anytime one of us is basically human.

Now if you too want to join the fun, leave a comment and I'll send you a letter. Maybe you'll find what I think is a lousy letter is one that just gives you so many favorites.

Notable day

Looking back over the stats - this is my 101 post. Didn't seem like I would make 100 posts and in less then a year. For at least a year before starting, Bridget led me into this world of funny, creative, and fascinating people. So many have become online friends, through which I have learned great ideas, delicious recipes, and new ideas.

For this and all the fun and wonders to come, I say Thanks!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The wonderful LB

Here's the birthday boy.

Six years ago, I booked a baby. Due to some minor issues, my doctor didn't want me to wait for the kid to make his entrance. We looked over calendars and set the date for the baby's arrival.

As so many other mother's say - where did the time go? My sweet snuggle boy is now running more then just the parents to distraction.

So have a wonderful birthday little man!

Love you!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A week changes everything

Last Sunday, I spent a wonderful afternoon at Loop enjoying Carol's book signing and visiting with Bridget and Beth. Then six degrees came in the guise of Harriet. We worked together at DAM. But I hadn't seen her for about 8 years. It turns out that her daughter in law and son are friends of Carol's. Small world.

Now I'm looking to get more practice knitting to start socks with the skein of Black Bunny Yarn I picked up. For the past 8 years I've worked one block off South Street, so the fun painted yarn in bright and bold colors was a must.

Work and the kids were the normal crazy through out the week and then Thursday struck. DH became a statistic in this lousy economy. Pepboys cut 11% of the store support staff. There were rumors about another round of layoffs, but DH's position wasn't one that could be outsourced so we didn't think it would effect us directly.

Explaining to the kids, especially MM, was not fun. LB is just cruising through his days, but MM was very upset thinking we would have to move or that she would have to change schools. She's gradually understanding but I think we will be re-explaining pieces until a new job comes on.

Okay so I'm still floored by the changes happening here. Between the stresses at work and the new ones at home, I'm not sure which end it up. Some quiet time and time to talk things through, I'll be back on my more normal track in chaos.

One week later, I'm the primary provider for my family. I've had this responsibility before, but right now too many other things aren't where I'd like them to be. But as one friend told me, God closes one door so another window can open. I just hope the window leads us to a new positive place.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Your the Inspiration...

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

I don't have a specific inspiration for my reading. As I read others blog posts about their reading challenges or themes, I'm tempted to join in. So far any I've considered has left me in the dust. Time for reading when I'm not exhausted is rare but I love my books.

When I'm at a book store, new or used, I look for a title or cover that catches my eye. A recent visit to a favorite used book store brought me in touch with a new take on the Christmas Carol - Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol. It was a quick read which is a bonus during the holidays.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Encouraging the next generation

I'm not talking politics here, but about the next generation knitter in the family.

Mom and I decided Sunday would be a perfect day to head to NYC to visit the new Lion Brand Studio. The cold and possible snow didn't deter us. We were on a mission to pick a special item not to be disclosed until later. We also decided to take MM along for the day. She is knitting small projects when it strikes her to pick up the needles.

I found beautiful cashmere yarn to blend with a skein from my stash shopping. MM decided she needs a new scarf (lost the one Nana made her last year), hat and mitten set. One feature of the studio that we all thought was cool - the Sample Wall. From the cones you can select a yarn and ask for a pair of needles to swatch and fondle.

MM found the Jiffy Thick & Quick, Sierra Summer colorway. She loved knitting her swatch and decided this was the yarn for her, but she needed time to pick "the right color." Thankfully Nana was willing to help in the selection process, not sure I would have survived the process. The final selection was Rocky Mountains. She has several rows of the scarf done so we'll just watch it grow.

Is it really stash knitting?

So does it count as knitting from stash if it really isn't yours?

I know you're all wondering how does one knit from stash that isn't theirs?
Well here's the story.

I'm loving knitting. Okay I only have finished three projects to date, but I like each one. I've taken Bridget's idea of focusing my gift giving for the next holiday season from my hands and needles. Not having the budget to just go shopping for yarn for all my projects from a real store, I went shopping last weekend at Chez Mom.

In effort of full disclosure, Chez Mom is the wonderfully stocked closet in my former bedroom at my parents. My mom has been knitting for over 50 years. She knits ALL the time and for so many people. My family benefits regularly with sweaters, hats, mittens, and slippers. This year for Hanukkah, mom made slipper socks for our friends, 7 pairs total, and bought a color for one pair and the yarn for two others. From her stash she was able to make 4 1/2 pairs of slipper socks.

Does this give you an idea of the stash available for my private shopping trip? So as any good shopper, I went with a list of people I want to make something for and color ideas. Good to her past purchases, I was able to come home with a BIG Space Bag full.

So again I ask you, does this count as knitting from the stash?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Charging into 2009

I survived the first week of 2009 at the office. Since it was my first full week at work in over a month - thank God it was busy enough to go quickly. That was about the sum total of the good for the week too.

One piece of business to close out 2008. Kathy D. is getting a special package from me for her comments during my 2008 Christmas movie rundown. Now I still have a piece or two to work on, so this should be to you later this month.

I'm enjoying the year in reviews and resolutions for 2009 on so many other blogs. It is amazing to see the volumes and variety of creative work by so many crafters, cooks, and artists. I'm not one to look back at a specific year, I also don't usually make New Year resolutions. For me any day is a chance to start a new project (better would be to finish one, but that is for another day), plan, or renewal so why pick a day when you've been up too late the night before and then regret not keeping it too soon after.

Being able to "keep up" with so many online friends, I've begun to realize that I've neglected keeping in touch with some genuine friends and family. There are some out their, for whom I know more about what has been happening then I do with family only 3 hours away. So this year I'm going to take on a resolution .

Last week's kids club project kicked the idea also. Finding so many cards and so much stationary just keeping space in my office, I decided to start a weekly project to write a friend or family member each week. This will NOT be an email or postcard, but a real handwritten letter on stationary and written in ink. The envelope will be hand addressed and actually use a postage stamp to reach another person. So if you reading this, you may be one of those fortunate family members or friend to whom I will write over the next year. And please forgive the handwriting.

As a child I loved getting mail, and letters from my Nana were especially enjoyed. She typically typed her correspondence due to arthritis which effected her handwriting. Reading her letter brought her voice into my head and left me with a hug to hold in my heart. When I know the person writing, I can hear that person speaking to me. It's not just the words but their tone and inflection that I hear.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009

May your New Year bring blessings and peace to one and all.

I've never been one to focus on resolutions for the new year. This year we are looking at many possible changes and new adventures. I pray we find a good resolution to all the possible developments.