Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear Dad. It is May again and I am thinking of you. The wildflowers are out and I am remembering all the good times we had in the woods identifying them. I wish you were here to see the Flame Azalea I found blooming in my neighborhood. I will always think of you when I see it. It is kind of rare and leggy, and spindly, and not very tame looking. Wild and rare, just the way I like them .

I have learned many new things since you have been gone. I have learned to forgive, I have learned to listen, and I have learned that you really might have known it all, sort of , that is.

The way I celebrate your life is by NOT celebrating your 'going home' anniversary. The date has come and gone, and on the day, I didn't even notice. Usually, Andy watches me and reminds me several days later, and I am relieved that yet again, life has gone on without you and my grieving has passed
Dad, I have learned to spin yarn on a spinning wheel. You would have thought that was cool. I entered this yarn in a contest because when I saw the flame azalea yesterday, I realized that I had the *exact* color of the flower in mohair and the *exact* color of new spring wood for the shrub part. The yarn is wild and leggy, just like the flower. It won't knit into something else because of it's uniqueness. Can't it just be yarn for the sake of being yarn? Can't I just be me? Just plain, ole me? Just a I am? Yes, I do believe that I can and am, just that.

Mom is OK. I guess you know that though. She is stable and lives a very, small life with your son. I wish she would have joined us on our walks, but I guess she just couldn't for whatever reason. Oh, yeah.... I have learned what the word GRACE means. I am learning to love mom, just the way she is with no expectations. I am content with that and am grateful that she is still with us. She misses you though, she told me so yesterday.

I think the most important things I have learned since you've been gone are these: I have found peace and I like myself. I no longer try to meet up with expectations that are unreasonable and try to be content in my own skin. I am plenty flawed but maybe that is what make us all different from each other.

I miss you too, but not with the hard grieving that used to be. I miss you now and rejoice knowing that you are with the One who made you and let me be yours for a while. I will think of you every May and probably create something of great meaning to me in your honor. So this is my tribute to you, kind of girly, sorry.

Flame Azalea Boucle. Mohair, spun S twist. BFL spun Z twist. Plied Z twist. Then the 2ply plied with another BFL single S twist. My 1st attempt at boucle. Didn't make much.

I will love you forever and will be with you again.... someday. All my love,
Your Kitty Kat

Saturday, May 10, 2008

FO Saturday

Clapotis, 100% Alpaca Handspun

Barbara Walker's Seafoam Scarf

Sakina's Needles

lace weight handspun

Happy FO day!!!! I do have a problem now.....

I have nothing to knit but socks. Oh well..............

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sprouts, flat cookies, blueberry vanilla granola, and lemon cake

I had started my day with the Today Show. Martha was on. She had the most divine, lemon coffee cake that I knew was the ticket for my own mother. Mom lives in NC with db and sil. This is an iffy relationship at best. Money is tight, and I had already investigated flowers. Too much.

Oh goody! A new recipe, let's see: I get to slice the 5 lemons paper thin, boil them for 10 minutes, then dry them on parchment paper. Make the struesel, refrigerate that. Make the cake batter and begin layering. Batter, lemons, struesel..... 2 times each. Bake in an angel food pan. Good night. This was getting more complicated and expensive by the second. I persevered KNOWING that my hard work would pay off!

The Fresh Market for sure would have Meyer Lemons. Nope, just organic ones for 99 cents each. Well.... how bad could it be? I checked my recipe, downloaded from Martha's website. I needed 10 lemons. I gleefully loaded up on my loot.

Then, our dear Martha also suggested homemade granola for you mom. Got that recipe too from the website. Gleefully, I started picking those things up. Dudes.... I was looking at a butt load worth of money for a mom who probably won't eat my hard work. Organic oats, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and your choice of nuts and dried fruit. Mom would probably break her teeth on the stuff. (or more realistically, my wild nephews would probably polish it off for her, oh, and cake too).

Mother's Day. What a complicated and fussy business. All I really want is peace in life and for people (not you dear reader) to leave me alone. All of this brings me to my morning at Bible study:

We have been studying Exodus. Today's topic was the Sabbath. Sabbath for me brings up a huge list of DO's and Don't Do's. Guess what, I have had it all wrong. God wants us to celebrate His rest. He likes rest so much, He wants us to do it once a week. That is a 52 day holiday, each year. Man, I can really dig that. Especially with the MIL business from my last post and then my own mom and all the stress and angst that comes with her.

So.... God must have known what was ahead at Bible study while I was shopping my insanely huge, expensive, organic lemon and weird ingredient shopping list for an incredibly ornery, irritating, involved, complicated recipe for a mom who
1) probably wouldn't eat it
2) nephews would scarf it down in 10 seconds
3) not be noticed for the specialness that it most certainly be.

I bought already made granola (right behind me, would you believe it) and dried blueberries. Martha says packaging is *everything* so I got a handy, dandy Mason jar, from my cabinet, and layered it with the granola and blueberries. Throw in an already made bar of Bay Rum soap, run to the PO, overnight that sucker and, there you go......... Mother's day on the cheap, but not thoughtless.

Folks, I love people. I *love* to bake and cook. I love making soap. I love knitting and spinning. I love combining these things into special presents. But you know what? I was getting so stressed out about the money, baking, shipping, and the holiday itself, I was turning my joy into work. I had so much work to do that I couldn't enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Jesus said, "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." I have thought that was a pile of bs for so many years. Wasn't He the one who was loading me up with the lists of To Do vs. Not Do? Guess what? It wasn't Him. It was all the rules that had been added by man that were wearing me down. I have tried so hard for years to be 'perfect.' I want to shout it from the roof tops now......I AM NOT PERFECT NOR AM I CAPABLE OF BEING PERFECT. EVERYONE.... BACK OFF!
Jesus told the religious leaders of His day that He was the Lord of the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was made for man and NOT man for the Sabbath. Hold on, does this mean I have God's permission to rest, relax, and enjoy family, friends and.... knitting when I could be working? I believe this is a big, fat "YES, YOU ARE BEGINNING TO GET IT NOW GIRL!"

So, here is my flat cookie. I followed the recipe with dd#1 and dd#2. DD#1 was upset because the cookies weren't right. I was so mad that I had tried so hard to please her and I didn't measure up to her expectations. The DIY man had to help me with that. The joy was in the time together and I needed to help her see that. How? Don't have a clue.

Sprouts, my new food. I do believe these are lentils, green peas, and a small red bean. I picked them up while at the Fresh Market. I think I am a sprout. Just beginning to grow. Nutritious and slightly sharp tasting, an *acquired taste*. What food are you?

Later, Catie

ps: don't you just love how everything all boils down to food and knitting? I do!!! ha ha aha ha ha

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I have a lot to say today, so, buckle down for the ride!

Nothing is wrong, not really. I am just struggling today. This is nothing new. If you have read any of this blog before, then you know it is NOT just about knitting and spinning. It is more like a journal that I keep to chronicle my life to whomever wishes to read. I am glad you are here. If you don't agree with me, that's OK. I don't expect you too. Just be patient with me as I am just a girl who is learning how to wife and mother at the ripe, old age of 36.

I am going to start with a list.

MY STRUGGLES as of today, May 1st, 2008:
from least bothersome to most bothersome
  • husband, this is normal, he is the least of my stresses today, thank GOD!
  • recently had to frog a lot of knitting, this is OK, normal
  • my water is turned off, again. Rke City can't keep anything going for any length of time without messing up!
  • contentment in my own body
  • current state of my own health, IE, cholesterol, etc
  • planning for next years 2 & 3rd grade school for dd's 1 and 2 as well as a small preschool something or other
  • the socialization word has been brought up by the #1 struggle on my list as of today,

  • my MIL

She is well intentioned. She is smart and educated. She raised 5 children. She is still married to her 1st husband. She attends church and was a missionary in SA for 5 years. She gardens and does many things for people who need assistance. So, "what's your problem, Catie?" you may ask. Well..... having this paragon of 'virtue' as a shining example ...... I just don't measure up.... at least in her eyes.

We had yet another discussion yesterday. This one on her thoughts and concerns about MY children. We home school. So what? The dreaded socialization word was brought up. She sent her 1st 2 sons away to boarding school at a young age. What? I disagree with that decision. I don't get to tell her what I think, that was 30+ years ago. She even used the Bible on me.

Bad move folks, I attended Christian high school, Bible college (a little known factoid I don't advertise about myself), Christian college, and *gasp* a year of seminary! That doesn't make me qualified for anything except that I know my way around the BOOK and I can defend myself adequately from it. The only thing that kept me from whipping it out and retaliate is that doing that is WRONG (there's a great word for it, proof texting, but we don't need to get into that)!!!!!!

I struggle with what she thinks of me. Why? Good question friend. I think it is the leftover codependency from my youth that I still struggle with. I am learning to answer back with questions. The Master used questions to reveal the hearts of those around Him. Sounds like an art I could really use. So, I am gonna practice on y'all. It is like casting on. There are so many ways to do it and each one is good for different purposes.

  1. uh
  2. um
  3. well..
  4. oh, dear

I ain't got a one. That is bad. Don't think quickly on my feet too well.

Oh, the picture at the top are my hand spun, 3ply, fingering weight, sheep to shoe socks in the Undulating Rib pattern by Ann Budd. I have 2 more skeins of it. $30 for the roving and I could conceivably get 3 pairs of socks out of it. Not bad, not bad at all. Later, catie