Monthly Archives: January 2009

Somewhere It’s Over 32 Degrees!

Last weekend I was in NYC playing tourist in the -10 degree weather.  By Sunday the temperature had “rebounded” into the single digits and there were mild snow showers.  Back home in Maine however, they got a foot and a half of snow on Sunday, the majority of which is blowing in every direction today.  

What’s my point?  I don’t have one really except that I’m beginning to get the winter doldrums and it’s a good month ahead of schedule.  Maybe it’s my age, or my desire to see if we can squeeze at least one week of decent weather out of next summer, but I’m feeling impatient for the snow to melt and the sun to feel warmer.  Last year, I visited NYC over February vacation and sat outside on a deck chair at Southside Seaport.  Being just 6 hours from home and have it warm enough to enjoy the sunny weather made the blustery and snow March bearable.

Today’s sunny weather is encouraging, even if the wind is buffeting my window as I write.  I know that somewhere in the world, it is warmer and on days like today, I really count on that.

Knitting Update

Stash roulette:  Working on second bib.  I hope to have this one finished by the weekend and work on the third next week which will keep me on track.

College blanket:  Hasn’t touched my hands since before I left for NYC but I am hoping to get back into the routine of a strip a day once this month’s roulette project is done.

Boobies:  I may not have mentioned it before but I knit prosthetic breasts for breast cancer patients along with the ladies at the Knitting Experience.  I brought yarn and my needles with me to NYC and knit two “knockers” for Obama’s day of service on Monday.  I have to say, I was very grateful to  have something to do with my hands because we sat in the teeny plane, on the runway for two hours and then had to navigate some bumpy airspace on our way home.  Apparently, I pray better when my hands have something to hold!

I Thought I Raised You Better Than That!

Yesterday, I was in a meeting when I was called down to the front office to take a phone call from my son.  “Stinky boy” as he is affectionately called due to the odiferous emanations from his soccer gear post practice or game, was on the phone from the nurse’s office at the high school.  

“What’s up?”, I asked.

“I hurt my back.”

“How?”

“I was in class and leaned backward over my chair to stretch my back.”

???? “How did you think bending backward would stretch your back? Are you okay?”

“Well it really hurts and I have pain in my chest.”

“What did the nurse say to do?”

“Call you.”

“Let me speak to her,” I said.

“She’s not here.”

!!!!!

OK.  So I get over the fact that my son thought bending over backward would stretch out his back and call his doctor.  I listen patiently to the message announcing that the office, all of them, are on lunch break from 1-2.  It is 1:15.  The chest pain thing had me a little nervous so following the prompt, I pressed “0” for the answering service.  I explain my son’s situation.  She then asks if it is an emergency.

 “I don’t know.”  

She takes the information down and pages the doctor.   The fact that he didn’t return my call until 2 left me reasonably assured that it wasn’t an emergency (just strained back and ribcage muscles) and we had a giggle when he asked why he was bending backward over a chair.  

I texted my son and told him to take the bus home, that he was not dying.  He said he couldn’t even feel the pain anymore.

As I was packing my things for the weekend, I get another text from him telling me he is sitting on the bus with his younger sister.  He then tells me that Diva swore at him for sitting with her and I really need to have a talk with her when I get home.  …Uhh, okay…  This is followed by another text explaining to me that he is older than she is and that she is not being respectful of him and that just isn’t right… Uhh, okay…

So I went home, had a chat with Diva and asked her what happened on the bus.  She ratted out her brother saying that he swore at her.  I called him over and listened to the back and forth of each side pleading how they had been wronged by the other AND how the other sibling used worse language than they did.  In my exasperated state, I evoked my mother and said, “I thought I raised you better than that!  You may not care that you were shouting at each other like sailors (sorry to the sailors) but how do you think that makes me look as your parent!”  Not the way I was thinking this would go!

 After yesterday afternoon’s excitement, I arranged to pamper myself and headed to my not-so-local-LYS.  It was wonderful to sit and knit with friends.  I’m working on the Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret in a sizzling hot pink to wear in NYC next weekend. 

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Here’s a really, really close-up photo of it.  This pattern is a lot of fun and I think would be a very quick knit if I could focus enough to get through a 12 row repeat.  I think I have frogged part or all of it half a dozen times already.  But I would definitely make this one again and again.

The other knitting I have been doing has been the result of my stash roulette.  I put all my projects in a basket and drew this one:

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I’m making the bib pattern from the Mason-Dixon Knitters book.  Super fast and easy but still a lot of fun.  I’ve got one done except for the finishing:

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This is one of a set of three I am making for a friend who is expecting his first child.  I will finish it off by trimming it in single crochet because I think doing that makes it look more “finished”.  

So far this list thing is really helping me get things done.  I may have finally found “my system”.

In the Darkness, I Found the Light?

It’s snowing here today.  Our local weather guy has deemed it a Nor’easter.  In Maine, we expect them but know that they may bring the unexpected.  When the alarm went off at 5:15, I, like every other teacher in America who wakes to snow, turned on the news to see if I had school.  I got a little thrill when I realized I didn’t have school and just a squeak of a letdown when I saw my children didn’t either.  Make no mistake, I love my kids but I was momentarily excited about the prospect of a day all to myself.

Before I had a chance to come down form the Snow Day Excitement, the lights went out.  When we lose power here, we have no heat, no running water, and no means of cooking anything or boiling water.  My DH made a fire in the woodstove down in the basement just in case this outage ended up being as long as the 36 hour one we dealt with just a few weeks ago.  

My husband left for work and I tried to figure out what to do with myself until the power came back.  I got a flashlight and decided I would try to read.  As I often find myself doing at the beginning of the year, I have pulled out the book “Simple Abundance” that offers daily reflections on finding your “authentic self”.  Today, the reflection had to do with happiness and what makes a woman happy.  As I was reading this, I tried to name some personal things but found it very difficult to do.  I mean there are the big things:  family, friends etc., but at issue was the minutiae in someone’s life that brings them joy.  This made me think…Another List.  So I have added a page where I hope to list the little things that bring me joy.

Monday is NOT for Sissies!

Today was my first day back at work after a fifteen day break from school.  Everything about today was tough, getting up, showering in a freezing cold house, putting on grown-up clothes, packing my briefcase, navigating the bus runs of three communities etc.  I got to work and everyone seemed to be moving in slow motion.  We have four more days this week!!!!  It was then that I realized:  Monday is NOT for Sissies!!!

This is Kinda Spooky

 

True Confession:  I’m a piler.  I make piles of things where I can see them and touch them and move them around.  I have always admired people who have a place for everything and blah, blah, blah.  However, the surest way for me to never find something again is to “put it in a safe place”.  But with this list thing, I don’t have any choice but to find homes for things.  In order to get through the things on the list, I have to get things put away so I can find the things I need for the lists.  Phew!  

So, first there was my New Year’s decision to not make any resolutions but to choose to use lists to focus and control my crazy, out-of-control life!  I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of myself.  It is so unlike me to choose to not continue to beat the dead horse but instead create a list of things to do to move it out of my way.  But here’s the spooky part.  My decision to make lists seems to have thrown me in the path of lists that seem to appear out of nowhere.  It’s like when I bought my first car, a 1986 white 5-door Ford Escort.  Suddenly, it seemed that Ford was making Escorts only in the 5-door model and only in white.  They seemed to be everywhere.  I know that’s a weird perception thing but still spooky.

I participate in various discussion boards on Ravelry .  One of them is “52 Books in 52 Weeks”.   Sounds like a good idea for someone who has been a non-reader since she taught ninth-grade English, right.  So I sat down in front of my bookcase and started making a list.  Then I pulled the books and put them on my window sill by the bed so they would be accessible whenever the urge to read something came over me.

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  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; Mary An Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • A Killer Stitch; Maggie Sefton
  • Needled to Death; Maggie Sefton
  • Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire; J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix; J. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince; J. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows; J. K. Rowling
  • Playing for Pizza; John Grisham
  • Knit Fast, Die Young; Mary Kruger
  • Died in the Wool; Mary Kruger
  • A Good Yarn; Debbie Macomber
  • The Mermaid Chair; Sue Monk Kidd
  • Happiness Sold Separately; Lolly Winston
  • Kiss Me Again Stranger; Daphne Du Maurier
  • Lost and Found; Carolyn Parkhurst
  • Water for Elephants; Sara Gruen
  • Eat, Pray, Love; Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Sense and Sensibility; Jane Austen
  • Pride and Prejudice; Jane Austen
  • Jane Austen Book Club; Karen Joy Fowler
  • Then a trip to the bookstore added:

    • The Friday Night Knitting Club; Kate Jacobs
    • Revolutionary Road; Richard Yates
    • Murder Most Maine; Kate MacInerney

    It’s not 52 books but I have to leave room for great suggestions or must-reads yet to be published.

    Then there is Stash Roulette!!!  The Knitting Experience Cafe’s discussion board had a thread where loosely explained, you pick 12 smallish projects and assign stash to them.  Then you pick one project per month to complete.  It took me some time to come up with 12 projects.  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE starting projects.  I start them all the time!  But I wanted to focus my efforts on projects that I would actually finish.  Anyway, I came up with 12+ projects, put them in a basket and the winner for January is:  the bib pattern in the first Mason-Dixon book.  I’m working some of these up for my son’s former soccer coach who is expecting his first child in the spring.

    Finally, my bff, Miss Persnickety Pants introduced me to the list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.  I decided to change the list up a little bit to meet my personal eccentricities so I’m working on the list but I’m looking at things one year at a time.  Looking ahead 3 years is just too stressful for me.

    I leave you today with an experiment.  I found this clip on the blog of my heroines, the Mason-Dixon ladies.  I want to try to embed this into my blog post today since I think it is totally worth viewing.

    Bummer

    You know when you work hard all morning to create a post that is witty and interesting, and you add a photo that you took the time to take when your eyes were barely open, and you add links to your friend’s blog and then hit publish and half of it goes away?  Well that’s what just happened to me.  So instead of the well written post I worked on all morning, I have this little ditty.  I will return later today and try again (I’ll add it to today’s list!).

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    January 1st.  I really love the day.  It doesn’t  matter what year.  

    New year on checks.  New calendar page.  New day planner pages.  Sometimes even a new journal.  Something about a landscape covered in clean, white snow (which we have this year) and the clean slate that is a new year, that makes me just a little excited, even if just for the day.

    But what I really hate prior to January 1 is the “year in review”.  I’m not a big fan of looking back, I seem to spend a lot of time doing that with others as a guidance counselor and unfortunately in my personal life.  As much as I do it, I think I would really rather just spend my time looking forward.  

    The other thing I hate about the end of a year, is the need for people to “make resolutions”.  It’s normal when given a new start, to resolve to do something different or better or to not do something that seems to be getting in your way.  But it seems to turn that shiny, white, new start  a little gray around the edges because the majority of resolutions made on the 1st are broken by the end of the month.  Seriously, how depressing is that?  To set a goal and have failed with 11/12ths of the time frame still ahead of you?

    This year I have opted for a variation of the resolution plan.  I have decided that this year I’m going to make lists.  Lots and lots of lists.  I’m going to make lists of things to get done each day.  Lists for long-term plans.  Wish lists. Grocery lists.  Reading lists.  Lists of goals.  Lists!  I figure that by doing so I will accomplish two things that are important to me and that I don’t feel I do very well.  It will put me in control of those “listed” areas of my life AND it will give me the opportunity to acknowledge even the most minor accomplishment by crossing things off the list.  

    So stay tuned and see what kind of foolishness this gets me into.  

    I am old enough to realize that like anything, there will be successes and failures but I do not want my lists to be judgmental…just lists.