Wednesday, December 17, 2008

60 Years

Late in November W and I traveled to Illinois to celebrate with his parents their 60th Wedding Anniversary. They were thrilled to have reached this milestone and thrilled to have us there with them.

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Also for 60 years I have enjoyed S'mores. Late in the afternoon before leaving on the drive home, my BIL built a fire in his patio firepit and we indulged. A wonderful treat before the long drive. Yuummmy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Moving Day

What a perspective...

I am so little and my truck is so big.

The truck was quickly unloaded and many of the boxes were stacked in the back yard.

W packed them into S's very generous storage areas. It was amazing to see how everything fit so well. I didn't get to my camera soon enough to show how many there were as this is just part of the boxes for storage. And what a pleasure to be working outside in November with the temperature hovering around 80 degrees. I loved it!

After a hard day of moving in, it's always good to chill out with a triple popscicle and a bath in the new bathtub.

Moving On

My how the time has flown. Since the last post I've been back to Texas. W and I drove S's SUV to Texas for them. Their dog was our traveling companion. About 1800 gorgeous miles of the USA. The fall leaves were at their peak in Tennessee. Since we "gained" two hours in one day (change to Standard Time and then change in time zones) we had enough time for a side trip. Can you guess where???

through the French Quarter in New Orleans. Neither of us had been there previously.

We were the first car stopped at an intersection and before us passed a wedding procession.

Complete with a Dixieland band and all the guests waving white hankies. A fun, quick look at New Orleans.

Then on to Texas.

Friday, October 10, 2008

October Summer

Last week was summer all over again... temps in the upper 80s and low 90s... warm sun on my face, sweat running down my back... yup, I wasn't in Maryland. S and the Peanut and I traveled to South Texas to find a house for them to live in. In the location where they will be there wasn't much available. Luckily we found a rental that will be suitable for them. The rest of the time we spent exploring San Antonio and visiting with one of S's friends.

First stop... the Alamo for pictures. I guess to prove we are really here...

Of course we had to do the walk along the San Antonio River. San Antonio is one of my absolutely favorite US cities and I have lost count of the number of times I have been there. It is always a pleasure and this time was no exception. We strolled around the city and took a river "cruise."

Peaceful and restful...

The Peanut made a new friend on the trip - the daughter of S's friend... she was a preemie also; born nearly as early as the Peanut. Look how healthy they are!

If you want to help insure that all babies born too early have the same opportunity at health as they have and to reduce the incidence of prematurity, please go to the March of Dimes website, sign the petition, and support March of Dimes research.

There is a relatively new sculpture in downtown San Antonio - the Torch of Friendship Sculpture. Fifty tons of red steel rising above the river and gifted by the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs of San Antonio.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Saturday was the Peanut's second NICU reunion. S asked me to go with her this year. How awesome to see these little ones doing so well. Medical advances have been amazing in saving babies' lives. M was reading one of my college textbooks (copyright 1957) and learned that babies born at the age the Peanut was had a 5% chance of survival. S has a book now that says the survival rate is about 80%. What an improvement in 50 years. And not just saving lives but so many of these babies now do not have long-term health consequences from their prematurity. Here is the Peanut and one of her NICU-mates at the reunion.

I have been following a couple food blogs and picked up some good recipes along the way. This has become one of our favorites - Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. So easy and so yummy! I served it to company the other night complete with from-scratch Margharitas and fiery Fire and Ice Salsa.

Two more pairs of socks have joined my "collection..."

Twinkle Toes by Cookie A in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock (heavyweight) Muddy Bottom Breakdown colorway. They're perfect with my handpainted Swedish clogs!

Special sock pattern for Summer of Socks 2008 by Wendy Johnson in Shibui Knits yarn.

I have several sock patterns calling my name and a Clapotis and the Mystery Shawl #4 on the needles. I think I'll knit this afternoon...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today Is...

...the day that many of us have spent time thinking about where we were and what we were doing seven years ago. Some of us don't want to dwell on it; others ponder it at length. I'm one who doesn't think about it too much. Not because I don't want to remember or don't care about what happened. It's because thinking about it does neither me nor anyone else any good. I can't change things and I can't prevent it from happening again. I remember with honor those who lost their lives this day, those who worked tirelessly in the search and recovery, those who suffered deep grief and those who helped them through it, those who are working in the hopes that this will never happen again. I also don't think about it much because doing so leads me to the possibility that something like this may happen again, and, because I can't stop it and I can't prevent it, not much good can come from deep thinking about it.

If you're interested, seven years ago W and I were wrapping up a mini-trip to Atlanta for his USAR retirement. The last days of his military service. With a flight scheduled for mid-afternoon, we decided to visit the Martin Luther King National Historic Site. We arrived at the site and the building was nearly abandoned. Wondering why, we were looking around the room when an employee yelled "they've hit the Pentagon." Still having no idea what was going on, we raced to the employees. They were watching television on their "movie room big screen" and we sat down to watch with them. Shock, disbelief, fear took hold of us that day. The irony of being in the presence of someone who championed peace and justice while this act of terrorism was going on was not lost on us. With all flights canceled, we found a hotel and hibernated there for three days until we were permitted by the rental car agency to drive the car back to Maryland without a one-way penalty. Airline flights resumed sometime after that. We had talked to all three children every day. S was teaching at a school a mile or so from BWI airport and M was attending a college about 10 miles away. C, of course, was far away in San Juan.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

End of August

We were so lucky to have our niece Sara, her husband, and her son visit us this past weekend. They were in town for a wedding and we babysat for Aaron. He's a darling! We're glad we had this chance to spend a bit of time with all of them.

He's such a sweet cuddle guy!

I have a few knitting projects finished as well...

This sweater for Aaron.

A sweater for the Peanut...

A pair of summer socks... I was only able to make two pair during the entire Summer of Socks 08.

My gorgeous Wollmeise scarf...

My lace AeRang shawl... which is really a lovely dark navy and not this blue color...

Saturday, August 16, 2008


We have returned from our recent trip to Illinois to see W's family. The great grandparents were thrilled to see both the Peanut and her second cousin, our niece's son. Here with the Peanut is her cousin. Although he's 11 months younger than her, he's not too much smaller.

That makes this little guy my great nephew. I have a hard time accepting that I am a great aunt. Great aunts are old people. I am not old enough to be a great aunt.

They seemed to really enjoy spending time together.
And what is that secret you're telling him, Peanut?

You can read more details of the trip at

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fourth of July (mostly)

One of the rare - and soon to be rarer - times when my children and grandchildren are all in the same photo. C brought the Princess up for an extended visit so we took advantage of the one-day opportunity to spend time together. The little girls had a lot of fun playing together and I particularly enjoyed watching my grown children together.

A spent two weeks in Maryland and Virginia with her family. It was fun to have her here over the Fourth of July holiday and share that tradition with her since that is not a holiday where she lives. We roasted hot dogs and hamburgers, introduced her to sweet corn, slurped watermelon from the rind, and churned home-made ice cream.

Oh, yeah, both the Princess and the Peanut had their first S'more... Grandpa roasted the marshmallows ... and look.... one is very neat with it, the other not so much...

The Princess also learned about sparklers on this trip and she made her own "light" shine...

And saw fireworks for the first time...

As for the knitting... the Princess got a new sweater but I haven't uploaded the photo yet. She also got her very own felted wand and crown (and glitter shoes)

(kudos to "I Heart Felt" by Kathleen Taylor for the pattern)

And I got my very own pair of Gluttony Socks. This was the first shipment from the Seven Deadly S(p)ins Club and a very fun pair of socks...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today We Went to Paradise

Pennsylvania that is. Today W and I took a road trip. One of those lazy travel days with a couple objectives but not much planning. Sort of just go where the road leads you. In Philadelphia, we were hoping to find the jewelry store from which he purchased a bracelet for me last June. The bracelet is too small and he was told they could make it larger. We couldn't find the store so I am going to try to contact the designer. We drove around Philadelphia a bit and then headed out to Valley Forge. Now that is one cool little national park. We spread a blanket under the trees and read and enjoyed nature. We saw several deer that were within 50 yards of people. They acted almost like they were domesticated. W had been there last year and wanted to go back to enjoy the serenity of the area and take a picture of a memorial. And of course I forgot the camera! No problem, just a reason to take another road trip one day. On the way home we drove through Paradise PA. I say the whole day was pretty "paradisy".

Monday, June 23, 2008

Christmas (Cactus) in June

My gorgeous Christmas Cactus - in June. Obviously, this cactus does not have an internal calendar! I got this plant from a friend several years ago. She wanted to get rid of it because it never bloomed and I wanted it because I couldn't bear to let her throw away a perfectly good plant. Then, waa-laa... it bloomed for me... not once, not twice, but now three times. A maverick plant I guess. I don't care when it blooms, I love it every time. It speaks to me of hope and of promise and isn't that what Christmas is all about anyhow?

Speaking of hope and promise, I am hoping and I promise to try to actually get some papercrafting and scrapbooking done very soon. In that vein, I am cleaning up the studio and sorting out... ribbons and beads this week...

There's a bit of hope and promise in some recent knitting too. M's friend had a darling baby girl a couple weeks ago and M asked me to make a baby blanket for her. I decided on the Bliss Blanket using a yarn from Universal in wild pinks and purples since the mother is crazy about pink. This was also my first attempt at entrelac but it won't be my last.

I couldn't resist a couple other little things for darling Emma too - a Vine Hat and a pair of modified Saarje booties made with Colinette Jitterbug yarn. I'm sorry about the bad lighting - it's really hard to take a good picture in the house at 3 pm when it is dark as night outside because of a really big storm (not to worry, this was a couple weeks ago).

Monday, June 2, 2008


The Alaska trip was amazing! The weather was awful but the rest of the trip was wonderful.

We arrived in Seattle a few days before sailing for Alaska. One day was spent in the Southern Cascades in the area around Mt. St. Helen. It was not a clear day and we were never sure we actually saw Mt. St. Helen. We went as close to the volcano as we were allowed. Partway up the mountain the road was still closed due to the snow. We hiked a bit on the trail farthest up that was open. While the mountain in this photo may not be the volcano, it is an example of what the area looked like. The weather was too overcast for us to see Mt. Ranier before we left for Alaska.

Of course no visit to Seattle would be complete without strolling through Pike Market. Rows of gorgeous flowers first caught our eyes, then produce, pasta, fish, and lots of artisan booths and all sorts of shops.

My cousin M and her SO joined us on the cruise and what fun we had. R proposed to her on the first formal night and without hesitation she agreed to marry him. We are so happy for both of them! After beer and champagne, we tried to figure out if they could get married on the cruise, but in the end, the wedding will be in Phoenix next year.

One of the highlights of the cruise was sailing to the Hubbard Glacier. We got within a half mile of the glacier and just stared in awe at the massive wall of snow and ice. We saw calving several times, which is when part of the glacier breaks off.

The cruise included port stops in Ketchican and Juneau, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia. While it felt like winter to me for most of the cruise, spring had definitely sprung in Victoria. (sorry, I couldn't get the picture rotated the right way.)

We took this cruise as part of a group of knitters. M and I attended classes on knitting and spent lots of time knitting and talking with other knitters. R and W seemed to have no trouble filling their time when we were knitting. We played cards and dominos and drank coffee with Bailey's. And in each port, we shopped at yarn stores. The SEX was pretty good... er, that's Stash Enhancement Xperience. I concentrated on purchasing yarn from local, independent hand-dyers. The four skeins to the left in the photo were in the goodie bag and everything else except the two skeins to the bottom of the photo are from local hand-dyers in Alaska.

Perhaps one day we'll return to Alaska, our 49th state.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Time to Play

CATCH UP! What a busy month it has been since before going to St. Louis. So....

Spring Fling at The Loopy Ewe... way cool.... thanks to Jess for enabling, er... offering me this opportunity. I hadn't seen Jess in a year and a half so lots of catching up to do, knitting, laughing... just having a good time. Meeting new people, learning new skills, yarn shopping at Loopy Central, wonderful sock knitting classes, it's all good! For a better report, look here. You can click on the photo for a larger photo and see me in the middle of the back row, right next to the Loopy genius herself! One of the rare times I managed to get myself in the back row of a group photo.

Maryland Sheep and Wool followed quickly on the heels of TSF. I managed to squeeze in a few hours browsing there with friends. This is the yarn from both the Fling and S&W.

Maryland Sheep and Wool... From the top: three skeins from Ellen's Half Pint, two of which are merino/tencel. The blue is silk from Spirit Trail (love, love, love their yarn) and the other pink is unidentified wool. I wish I'd written down what it was and where I got it. All I know is the yardage and that it is wool.

The Spring Fling... From the bottom: aqua Woolmeise was in the goody bag, then Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, blue is Chameleon Colorworks, the Handmaiden is luscious, there's also some from Handmaiden in the Mahogany colorway (its' hard to see), and the eggplant is Alpaca with a Twist.

Being a bag lady, I also bought a bag but did not photo it. You can see it above my head in this picture, except mine is hot pink, not hot lime.