Monday, July 30, 2007

Cancer. No one can prepare you for that word. My mother-in-law just called while I was blithely making dinner. I chatted her ear off about Ethan's mild illness. I just went on and on. Then, she asked me if I had read my e-mail lately. No, I hadn't. She was on her way home from a pelvic scan. The had had a D&C due to some post-menopausal bleeding. All polyps benign, but there were some pre-cancerous cells and some mature, cancerous cells. She was just making jokes about growing polyps like zucchini.

My husband was home, upstairs getting ready to go paint for a little old lady. Another of my great-aunts to be exact, but not Aline, the sick one. I paused on the phone with Rhoda. That is my MIL's name, Rhoda. Was I supposed to tell her son that his mother had cancer? No. No, I won't do that. He will have a 1,000 coldly, logical questions that I won't be able to answer. Rhoda, had better tell him. And she did.

Now..... There are only a few cells that we know of. The pelvic scan will tell us more. Then there is they hysterectomy on August 10th. Then..... Treatment options discussed.

Andy, my strong husband. Quiet. Didn't have a thing to say during dinner. I am surprised we even ate. Rhoda is such a woman of faith. She is not even afraid or even phased, really. Kind of strange, although I know that the reality will set in sooner rather than later. So, now, he is off painting for a little old lady.

I feel kind of strange. So, don't mind me. Just a little shocked. This lady was my high school Spanish teacher. She wrote me letters when I was in China, teaching English. We have loved and fought with each other for 10 years.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Are you in?

Last night I had a marvelous time knitting with some friends at Barnes and Noble. The topic of Ravelry came up. I, of course, being the most 'non-hip' mom out there, didn't even know what all the fuss was about. This should not surprise you as I can hardly even get a 'button' onto my blog (despite numerous e-mails giving me directions). I did it once, but don't really know what I did and can't remember. I digress......

Ravelry. Are you in? I actually put my name on the list today. I am like in the 20,000 in cue. We shall see. I am kind of an old-fashioned gal, and proud of it!! Not too many years ago, I was on the top of the computer scene! Of course, that was pre-children days. Now I fill most of my time up with laundry, school, cooking, shopping, etc..... I can do e-mail, surf the web, blog, and read blogs. I can even write a little HTML. However, at heart, I am an old-fashioned girl. I like things done the 'hard' way! I guess that is why I not only knit, but was forced to learn how to spin. That is why I make soap. Not with the melt and pour method (oh, no no no no no, no. That is too easy and safe) but from lye and oil (much better, the potential for injury sets me apart from other soapers out there) . That is why I practically insist on cooking from scratch (except in instances where I am out of time and then I am sooooo grateful for frozen entrees)!

Back to Ravelry. Will I have time to Ravel? I hardly get to bathe myself, answer e-mail, knit and sometimes blog. All that uploading. I don't have DSL. I can't talk my even MORE old-fashioned husband into it. What is a girl to do!

I leave you with this.... Of course I will do Ravelry, if I ever get in. The very nature of 'me' demands it. Is it hard? Uncommon? Out of the ordinary? Those are the very things that attract me the most. The only thing that would make it even more attractive to me would be if someone thinks that I couldn't or even worse shouldn't do it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

UFO alert!!!

Careful. Below is a pix of an infamous UFO. Look on carefully, you may NEVER see him again. He is quite shy and uncomplicated, kind of like the recipient.

Here he is!!! The Ecowool Raglan! The body is taking FOREVER! I knit and knit and knit and there is absolutely, completely, and unspeakably, NO progress. Andy is about 6' and so the torso + arms are sooooooooo long! I have almost 18" of body here. That last 2 inches are gonna kill me. Boring. 2x2 rib for the entire thing.
And then there is Grandma's Garden. I have enough of her to CO Bella. Now, with the original swatch, I didn't think the Garden was gonna work. But, after 3 careful swatches, we are a go on that beautiful poncho.

The top of the body of the poncho is an asymmetrical garter stitch. There are tons of live stitches at the bottom (if you have glasses you can see the waste yarn). Then 2 types of lace. I am really enjoying the miles of garter. I am so impressed with Dave's color work.

And then there is Technicolor Popcorn. I am thinking some mittens for a couple of nieces Grace and Naomi, 3 and 5 respectively. This is the roving I was spinning at the beach. It is a random spin. Meaning, thick and thin and strange. It is extremely springy. I am wondering if this is because it is 100% Merino.

Monday, July 23, 2007

They're back, yuck.

Look at this thing! This is what I have swarming in my back yard right now. And you know what is the best part? That is where the swingset, garden, and shade tree are. They are called cicada killers. These things are mongo huge. Like 3 inches in length. Last year when they showed up, I went to the library and tried to research it. Ended up at the VIP extension office and they told me how to kill them. 7 dust. Cicada Killers pack a mighty, wallop of a sting too. They definitely don't mix with kids.
I have duly notified the dear husband. He will declare war on them this pm. The only thing is, I have to mow the grass. I ride the riding mower and Andy does the trimming with the push mower. Since we were gone last week, we have grass that has gone to seed. Pray that I don't get carried away by one of these little monsters. They seem to have quite a bit of personality, on the aggressive side. If you don't hear from me, you'll know that I have fled to the far north to escape the little, excuse me, huge infestation!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My eldest dd is OBSESSED with this question: "Mommy.... Do you like me the best?" How do you explain to a 7yo that it is impossible to like 1 of your children more than the others. That this is actually a hurtful question. That if I liked/loved her more than the others, the others would be mortally wounded. My kids count on me to love/like them all the same. My love for them does not change. I may get grumpy. I may lose my temper. I may act like the fault filled woman that I am...... but, my love does not change. I am so glad that God is an even BETTER lover than me! That He doesn't have the human limitations that I have to His love.

So.... We are back from the beach. I took NO pix while we were there. What is wrong with me? I am usually the pix queen. I am hypothesizing here, but, here goes: With 10 children under 10, and 12 adults....... there wasn't enough room to take pix. We were packed like sardines in a can. When some of y'all get to know me better, you will come to know that I really NEED my space. Physical and emotional space.

As I stated before, "I took no pictures." So, I have nothing to show you. So, I'll be brief and make a list to update you on my knitting/spinning!

1. Rogue is off the needles.
2. Almost finished with the body of Andy's Ecowool Raglan. This is a UFO!
3. Only 3 more pattern repeats to linen face cloth.
4. Took a hiatus from Grandma's Garden.
5. Almost finished spinning Technicolor Popcorn from Sakina's Needles.
6. I have finishitupitus really bad.
7. Planning the Christmas knitting.
8. Would you believe, half way done with Christmas knitting! This is because Rogue is a gift.
9. The Fiber Trends pattern, Bella, will not work for Grandma's Garden. &^$@#!
10. I am in desperate need of some new patterns to knit!

So, we begin school tomorrow after a 2 week vacation! That will be good. It will get me and the kids back on schedule. It will take me a while to catch up with all of y'alls blogs. I still haven't begun returning phone calls yet,not to mention e-mails, etc....

Oh. A quick question. I would like to thank each of you personally for posting to my blog. The only thing is that I don't have all y'alls e-mail addresses. So, thank you for posting. I love reading your responses! It keeps me going! Happy Sunday. catie

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


hello from Ocean Isle!!! We are having a wonderful time. 10 children and 10 adults. Andy is upstairs applying the sunscreen to my little people. do you know how much surface area little kids have on their bodies? I am so greasy. Hey, at least no one is sunburnt.

Lots of knitting going on. finishing up a UFO of all things. The Ecowool Raglan for Andy. I taught my 11yo nephew how to spin. He plays SERIOUS football and is exceptionally coordinated. he was spinning in 5 minutes. Granted, it was WAY over spun, but still!!! It was so cool to watch!

Andy is hollering. gotta go. catie

Friday, July 13, 2007

decisions, decisions

Been super busy!! Vacation Bible School all week long. Packing for the beach. Picking and eating tomatoes. Deciding if I should take wheel to the beach. Haven't decided yet. Laundry. Packing. Cleaning out 'science experiments' out of fridge. yeesh. no time for blogging. Gotta run and pack my knitting and MAYBE what I will spin. Opinions on me taking the wheel? Anyone?

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm back!

I am BACK, Gentle Readers! I descended into IBS hell for about a week, and thank God for medicine, friends and family..... I am tentatively on my feet, er, off the ______________ . At least for the time being. The thing about IBS, is that there is ABSOLUTELY no knitting or spinning in that state. Ironically, knitting would have made my visit there, much, much more bearable, but you just can't knit, it is so bad.

Enough of that unspeakableness. I just want y'all to know, I was recognized at the yarn shop today. *gasp* Little ole me? Yes, yes dear readers! Mary at our local LYS has read my blog. Get this, she even went to high school with my dear father (check past posts to read about him). Had a MAVELOUS time there. I got this:

Flax ladies and gentleman. Flax. I am delighted. You see, I have had nada, nunca, nyet on the needles (barring some UFO's that I won't count here) for about a month. I have either been spinning Grandma's Garden, or visiting the throne room. So now, I am gonna be in a fit of casting on for a while! I might even stop spinning (can you believe that) for a while.

This is a pattern for face cloths. Can you imagine the luxury? I see Christmas presents!!! The grey is for dh. Yes, he is a MANLY MAN. But believe it or not, he likes his washcloths. I am gonna have to knit in secret. I think it is quite possible to completely surprise him with 2 grey cloths in flax. The samples at the yarn shop were to die for! Hmmmm, that's got me thinking. Do I need to learn to spin flax? Uh Oh.

This is my plan for Grandma's Garden. Forgive the poor photography. Bella. I have been dying to knit her for quite some time. This is shown in lace weight, but I am thinking that Grandma's Garden is mostly fingering weight with brief forays into sport weight. Nevertheless, I will swatch, swatch, swatch. Bella is quite complicated and I want to be as prepared as possible!

On the home front, I am going to be implementing the master plan for the beach packing ordeal. I hate packing for the beach. Do I hear an "AMEN" out there?

So far, I have organized my knitting and reading materials, the most important stuff. I am going to pack 1 bag a day, starting with the linen bag today! The kids are in VBS all morning this week. That is a God send!

Gotta go pack the bag.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Block Party

We had a GREAT day yesterday. The 4th of July. The day we celebrate our Independence and became a nation. The tradition in our neighborhood is to have a HUGE block party. My kids love this party we have because it takes place in our yard and the fire department brings a ladder truck and does a demonstration. I find it interesting that I don't see most of my neighbors due to air conditioning and TV. So, this is the day I see most of them all year! Weird, huh?

This was my contribution to the party. Cherry/blueberry cobbler with a sour cream dough. It WOULD have been fabulous, but Catie, the wonder chef, PUT TOO MUCH CORNSTARCH IN THE FRUIT! It was like rubber, but the topping was good!
I love fireman. NOT, because of romantic reasons. But because they, as a whole, genuinely like children. You would not believe how these guys played with all the children in the neighborhood. They let the kids crawl all over the truck, dressed them up in the gear, played catch, and generally just spent time with the kids. This year, they didn't even get called away.
I am the chick in the white tank top and cropped jeans in front of the tent and this is my yard. Because the street was closed, my kids got to ride their bikes and scooters up and back, up and back endlessly on what is otherwise, a very busy street.
We are blessed to have a revolutionary war re-enactor in our neighborhood. Eddie. Robin, you know this guy!!!He didn't come until late but it was sooooooo cool, because he started playing his piccolo (fife) and marched in. He immediately lined up the kids and we had a parade!
Notice his rifle. He did a demonstration of how to load the fire the thing. I learned something. On a humid day, that thing might fire only 50% of the time. Not good when you had the best infantry in the world coming for you and you where just a mountain boy.

I almost, got my wheel out, but I didn't feel like entertaining and educating my neighbors yesterday. Isn't that terrible. Besides, the kids would have wanted a go at it, and as we have already established....... DO NOT TOUCH THE WHEEL!

I did spin most of the day that wasn't taken up by the party. I plied 3 skeins of Grandma's Garden AND got a whole bobbin full of a single. That is a whole heap of spinning!

Gotta get out of cyberville and back to my REAL life now. Teaching, cooking, cleaning, Ukroping, and such. Later. catie

Monday, July 02, 2007

Andy's Mitts. Inner Journey, roving.

Grandma's Garden. Roving by Cyberfyber.
I have tons of Grandma's Garden. Hoping to do a poncho in sport weight. Pattern later.

1 skein spun of Grandma's Garden. I would say, a light sport weight. A challenge to keep this weight up without spinning finer or more bulky.