Tuesday, October 31, 2006

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO YOU ALL

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Isn't It Ironic?

Finally, I get Blogger to accept my humble photgraphs. First, a couple of completed mitre-square blocks (sort of intentionally blurry, so you won't see how unvacuumed the carpet is. . .):
Then, the still hard-to-believe bounty from Carrie:

Why is this ironic, you ask? Because another package from her arrived yesterday!!!! (Carrie, honey, you've got to stop this --- don't you have other expenses? Bills that need to be paid? Something? This is so very entirely too much.) It's a little trinket box in the shape of a curled-up sleeping cat. I collect figuries of cats curled into little balls, and had this, like the things above, on my Amazon list. I'll take a picture of it, and maybe you'll be able to see it by Thanksgiving. (!)

Got word that my International Scarf Exchange package made it to its destination: Australia. I was paired up with Amy J., who has proved to be an utter delight. Looking forward to deepening that friendship.

My ISE scarf hasn't arrived, nor has my Funky Scarf Swap one. Can't be greedy, though, nor impatient. It's only this week really become scarf weather here. Yesterday's gray rain has given way to gray wind today --- the errands I must run today will be done in sweater AND scarf.

How's everyone else?

Friday, October 27, 2006


Trying this to see if Blogger will upload anything. I've been trying for the last 2 hours to get my pictures up. . . I've been trying for the last hour and 45 minutes not to swear. . .

This is sort of how I'll be knitting today: by a cozy lamp. It's a gray, rainy day outside, and the warm glow that only table lamps can produce is especially lovely on days like this.

Haven't mentioned that Karen is working on a banner / button combo for me. I'm anxious to see what she comes up with --- she's very talented and very generous to do this for me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Goodness!

Though it is doing its dead-level best to vex me, I am not going to allow Blogger to spoil my bad mood. For two days, it has refused to upload my photographs, and I have some marvelous things to show.

First of all, the unimaginably generous Carrie sent me three items off my Amazon wish list, covering a span of two days. THREE things --- one of which is a major coffee table book (It's a Zoo Out There)! Plus, the DVD of "Off the Map," a movie she and I both like, and a copy of Not Just Socks! Can you believe it? Thanks, thanks, and thanks again, Carrie. I am just about speechless.

Second, the one-act play that Hannah had a speaking part in has been chosen for a competition next week.

Third, Briton has been awarded two Senior Superlatives: Most Individual and Most Likely to Be Famous.

Fourth, I am besotted with these Mason-Dixon mitered cotton squares. (Had a picture of them, too. . .) I realized the other day that, as much as I enjoy making them, it's the sewing together that is the most fun.

I am currently working on some very enjoyable projects: a scarf out of baby silk, some wristwarmers for someone in a state even more southerly than this one, and a tea cozy.

My children are out of school tomorrow, as, incredibly, the county shuts down for the Georgia-Florida football game. Though it is an insane, and misguided, reason for closing school, I am glad that we can all sleep in in the morning, and spend some leisure time together.

And Hugh Laurie is hosting this week's "Satuday Night Live"!

Goodness!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Better

After much breathing in of steam, and many doses of cough syrup with codeine, I was back at school today. My voice began to weaken about a third of the way through the second class, but I managed to finish. Only to come home and fall dead asleep. It takes forever to rebuild your stamina after one of these things, you know it?

In the midst of the Chest Cold from Hell (and Its sidekick Throat Infection of Doom), I received a great Knitters' Tea Swap package from Emily, which Blogger has only allowed me one upload of. (At the KTS site.) Luscious teas and edibles, and even luscious-er yarns. How she intuited that I was beginning to want to knit socks again, I don't know, but she presented me with my first-ever skein of Trekking. She also sent a skein of Irish baby yarn that is indescribably soft and calming. As usual, I was matched to a very thoughtful person, who I sincerely hope will become a friend.

Briton's birthday went well. I wasn't feeling a bit good, but played along for his sake. Some of his friends came over, and we all went out to eat, then came back here for cake and hanging out. The plays were off that night, as there was a football game, so he was able to fully relax and enjoy. Thanks to all of you who wished him well!

On Saturday, he awoke with The Symptoms. Yes I'm afraid I gave him what I had. (Guess it's Hannah's turn next.) He worked on his voice and his throat all day, and did go on that night. Here he is (second from left, short-sleeved shirt) with his "Black Comedy" castmates. Theirs was the last one-act on the program, and, if I do say so myself, rightly so. They were all funny as they could be.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Son

One of the things sociology teaches you is that there are not necessarily any absolutes. There are social constructions, which people accept as absolutes, as Truths, but they are fairly arbitrary and could, if agreed upon, be changed at a moment's notice.

Turning 18 is one of those. There isn't any real reason why having breathed and had a pulse for 18 years should give you any sort of rights other breathing, pulsed beings don't have. But, once upon a time, someone decided that 18 would be a threshhold into adulthood. It would be the point at which legal reliance on one's parents stopped, and all the joys and pitfalls of standing on one's own two feet would be thrust upon you.

My son is 18 today.

He has long since been quite mature. When his dad died, I stopped many a person (including my own Daddy) in mid-sentence when they started to say, "You'll have to be the man of the house now." Uh-uh. He was nine. He didn't have to be anything but nine.

But he has always thought, always pondered, always cared, always empathized, always weighed. He's always had manners (the hospice nurse, on speaking with him on the phone, would gush, "He sounds so growny!") He's always been smart and verbal and wickedly funny. He's a whiz at voices, and might, were there such a competition, be crowned The Most Exasperating Older Brother of All Time (were his sister on the judging panel.)

He was, at first, due on September 24th. That got moved to October 5th. Which came and went. As did over a dozen additional days. He did not respond to labor-inducing drugs, but, on the night that Kurt Gibson hit the home run that made the Dodgers win the 1988 World Series (go ahead, look it up. If I'm wrong, remember I was heavy with child at the time!), he sent me into labor at 12:32 am. Thirteen hours and two minutes later, there he was. Big : 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Named for both his grandfathers. Our son.

His father could never have known that his driving passion would become acting. He didn't know it himself until a few years ago. His father has missed him growing up and past me, going on dates, cracking jokes, being the family's moral compass. I've had those privileges. And I know he doesn't like the idea of blogging, and I know --- and have said here --- that he doesn't like his picture posted, but he, even at Legal Age, can't stop me from telling people about him. Can't stop me from saying I've been crazy in love with him every minute of his life, and crazy proud of him, too. Absolutely.

Happy Birthday, Briton.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Slept with a coat of Origins vaporizing balm on my chest, and a heating pad atop that. Woke sneezing and coughing and blowing --- maybe I worked some of the gunk in my lungs loose. Still no voice, and still a sore throat, but am breathing as much steam as I can. I remember the days when I kind of liked being sick. . . That was before I was a mom, and had to keep going no matter what.

The children's plays opened last night. It's a series of one-acts --- they are each in two. Hannah has lines in one, Briton is a main character in one, and they are both crowd members in a third. Wish to goodness I had felt better, as there were my two babies, together, on stage. Don't know if I'll get the chance again, as Hannah is very disenchanted with long, long, long nights of rehearsals. But they were both as excited as could be last night, and it has been fun listening to them really share this experience. They're up again tonight, but I won't go. Can't. Shouldn't. Will return for the close on Saturday.

Thanks for your birthday wishes for Briton. I croaked to him this morning that he had a little over 24 hours to go where he legally had to obey me. I cannot believe this child is 18. Just can't believe it. May get all sappy and compose an ode or something for him tomorrow.

Thanks, too, for your get wells. Especially to my Secret Pal spoiler, Fybr Grrl. It looks like I've got another good one this go-round. She seems enthusiastic and funny and friendly. I've sent a couple of thngs to my spoilee, without response, but, people do have lives. It's still well worth the involvement.




Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Mountain of Molehilly Things

It is raining, and the two small spots on our ceilings, indications that there is a roof leak, are growing.

It's not warm anymore, and our downstairs heating unit isn't blowing hot air.

I am coughing, headachey, my arms and legs are sore, my hip and shoulder joints are hurting, my throat is sore, I'm bone tired. . . Need more symptoms?

Beautiful catalogs are coming daily, with dozens of ideas for the many magnificent friends I've made via knitting, but, alas, the coffers are so nearly empty. And with a leaky roof, and a broken heater, how will I ever treat them to the surprises they truly deserve?

Children are exhausted, from 2 weeks of late nights at play rehearsals. Thankfully, the show goes up tomorrow night. They are extremely testy. Shows tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday.

Briton turns 18 Friday, and I don't feel like I've made any plans for him that match the importance of the day.

I don't feel like making any plans. Just drinking cough syrup and slathering my chest with something smelly and going to bed with a heating pad.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Weekends

A particularly nice couple of days for Nashville-based football fans, as Vanderbilt rolled into Athens and beat UGA on Saturday, then the Titans finally won a game yesterday.

Nice when one receives the new Vanity Fair, and on the cover is the terminally delicious George Clooney. But, just as nice, inside are several "story-lets" about Nashville, including discussions of places quite familiar to one. And the nicest, a sensational photo of The Queen of All Things, Emmylou Harris. She is seen with Lyle Lovett, whom I quite fancy, Rosanne Cash, whom I like, and Dwight Yoakam, who does the best cover of "Ring of Fire" I have ever heard.

Were it possible for me to be Personal Knitter to anyone famous, it would have to be Emmylou. Anything knittable, she could wear. And you would almost have to be a personal knitter for a woman, given the relatively narrow range of knittable garments for men. I mean, how many scarves could I make for Alan before he said to me, in that knee-buckling voice, "So sorry, Kim, time for you to move on now."

Course, I could move right through My List, couldn't I?

Rox, what could you make for Island boy, huh? At least the men I think are sexy occasionally go where it's cold. Anderson Cooper, on location, in one of my sweaters. Sam Elliott, riding fence, in some gloves.

Who says knitting doesn't make you think?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Some Days, You Just Gotta Bust Out Smiling

This would be one of those days.
How 'Bout Them 'Dores?

Friday, October 13, 2006

More Friends, More Spoiling

The ever-surprising, always-generous Jade has come through with another tremendous gift for this house: a plastic Halloween pumpkin chock-full of Halloween treats. Loads of things in threes (candy, stickers, pencils, etc., etc., etc.) for the humans, unspeakably cute Halloween bandanas for Rupert and Jessie and over-the-top-adorable felt catnip ghosts for Gable, Erin and Lily. Who thinks about taking the time to make --- MAKE --- things for someone else's pets?

Jade.

That's all I'm saying.

And, along the Halloween color-theme: here are the fingerless mitts I got from my Swap-Bot experience. (Note the green nail polish. Garish with these, but it did match what I had worn to work that day.)

Children rehearsing deep into each night. Also having
rehearsals this weekend. Lots of alone time for moi. Not complaining, except for their lack of sufficient sleep, and corresponding surliness.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

So. . .


. . .have you gotten a package from Australia recently?

Didn't think so.

The gracious Stripey Tiger, via the Dishcloth Shuffle, sent me some fabulous goodies all the way from Down Under.


A pretty croceted dishcloth, along with Australian botanicals shower gel.
A pretty blue and ecru cloth, with my favorite thing, an echidna coaster. Look at him! Could he possibly be any cuter?

And what swap is complete without yarn? Some colorful Sugar 'n' Cream, and some honest-to-goodness Australian cotton. Thank you, Stripey! It's been a sheer pleasure.

(Oh, yeah, there were candies, for myself and my offspring. Gone like smoke.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nothing to Show

Though I've been knitting away, I've no ability to successfully upload pictures of my work, so, you'll just have to take my word for it.

A pair of socks, three pair of mittens, I've-lost-count-of-how-many mitred squares, and, most freeing of all, the ISE scarf, are all off the needles. I'll be packing up the scarf, along with a few other goodies, to send to my delightful Australian (yes, another Aussie) ISE match. Too, I've just about finished putting together my Boo-ty Swap parcel, so there's a trip to the Post Office in my not-too-distant future.

Received a couple of Swap-Bot swap packages since I last wrote. A gorgeous pair of wool fingerless mitts in predominantly purple yarn. And a box full of hot chocolate mix and sock yarns, one ready to go, one undyed and accompanied by several packs of Kool-Aid to color myself! Great thanks to Sissie and Vanessa!

One more swap note, The Notorious R.O.X. is hosting Ornamental 2 this year --- go on over and sign up. It's tremendous fun; you get to see the craftwork of extraordinarily talented people. It's how we met Jade. (I must say "we," because Hannah considers her a friend as well.)

School is rolling along. I'm ignoring a stack of tests to my right which need to be graded. Both kiddos are at play rehearsal this afternoon; the show goes up next week.

What's new with you?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Secret Pal Answers

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I am recklessly enamored of banana silk, and, through previous SPs, have also fallen for Berrocco's Ultra Alpaca. But I don't expect anyone to go outside their budget just to impress. I am no yarn snob, by any stretch of the imagination. If you can knit with it, I like it.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a glass vase for my taller needles, and a pottery piece for the shorter ones.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? I've been knitting for 18 years or so. My mother taught me. She had tried when I was much younger, but I refused to learn, thinking knitting was so uncool. I kick myself over all the years I missed because of my attitude. Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Until I can knit with DPNs, and do intarisa, I'm an intermediate
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, I have one on Amazon. (Linking is failing me now.)
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) Gardenia.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Caramel, toffee, shortbread --- always in the mood for them. Chocolate cravings come and go.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Only occasionally do I paint/decorate/decoupage wooden serving trays. Do you spin? No, I don't.
8. What kind of music do you like? I like harmony (Bee Gees, Blind Boys of Alabama), blues (Bessie Smith, Delbert McClinton).Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) No, still fairly old-school here.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? All shades of purple. I also like warm blues and rich, earthy browns. Grays. Any colors you just can't stand? Orange. No way.
10. What is your family situation? A widow of 8 years with 2 teenaged children. Do you have any pets? Can't imagine life wihtout them! Two dogs, three cats, one Siamese fighting fish.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes to all four, though I have a pretty big (as in hard-to-fit) head.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Fingerless mitts. But any combination of good yarn and an interesting pattern is a joy.
13. What are you knitting right now? Mittens, a scarf and mitred cotton squares (ala' Mason-Dixon Knitting).
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Absolutely.
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Straights. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Plastics always break on me. I do like the new lucite ones.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No, I don't. They're too pricey. Plus, winding the balls myself is part of my process.
17. How old is your oldest UFO? I don't keep them around. I either finish or unravel.
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, most especially Christmas Eve.
19. Is there anything that you collect? Loads! Lions, Yodas, Fozzie Bears, lion and lamb anything, Nativity scenes, life masks.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? I want the Rosner Not Just Socks books, and the one with Andean Treasures in the title. (Sorry, I'm blanking. . .) What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None anymore. I like going to bookstores too much.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I desperately need to learn to knit with more than one color.
22. Are you a sock knitter? Yes indeed. Usually on straights, but I can now do the two-circular-method. What are your foot measurements? About 10" from my freakishly long second toe to the back of my heel, and 8 1/2" around the ball of my foot.
23. When is your birthday? February 12th.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

One of Those Days

One of those days that found me wanting to just listen to sad music and be sullen. Don't know exactly why, really. And the children are certain that there must be A reason. . . And they're both asking and asking and asking, which only makes me withdraw more.

Lots of friends in bad spots now. You know who you are, and I hope you know I'm sending every good vibe your way.

The kind of day that, were it a picture of someone famous, might look like this.

Well, no --- more like this.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Huh?

Just received a Priority Mail envelope full of beautiful yarns: purple and blue. From an obviously generous person in Missouri. The problem is, I don't know why! There's no note, no nothing with the yarn, and I can't think of a swap in which I am involved that required such a gift.

If you are the person who sent me this bounty, and you are reading this, could you drop me an e-mail and explain it to me? I am powerfully grateful --- you must understand that. But I'm at a total loss to explain my good fortune.


Hugh wonders, too.