family, knitting, living


Vote for a blog I read daily…

I subscribe to a blog called the Wheelchair Kamikaze.  Mark is a totally engaging, irreverent, and informative blogger.  He blogs about MS….specifically his search for some answers and clarity about his primary progressive MS.  While we do not share the same type of MS, we do share a refusal to allow MS to win.  I have found his current discussion and investigation into CCVS to be balanced while still championing further investigation.  I also just like him because he was in film and takes some great photos.

Anyway, the point of this post is that he is up for a nomination for the best patient blog…..take a minute and vote for him….. .

Knitted Farmyard, 3rd update

We have made some pretty heady progress on the farmyard today.  All of the canvas is covered and Henry has made the initial layout of the bushes.  I have almost completed the farmer and two friends are making a piece each.  One will make the momma and the other a child.  Henry and I decided that I will construct the house out of that plastic canvas stuff and cover it with fabric.  I will make it hollow so that the hay bales, people, animals and misc can be stored inside.  It is going to be so cute and soooo hard to part with!

Update on the farmyard

Henry and I have made a good deal of progress on the play mat portion of the Knitted Farmyard, but not much on the actual animals and such.  I need to get on the stick and let the other moms know what is needed.  I think we will have to make a less ambitious farm.  I am thinking we will have 4 or 5 hens, a pig, a horse, a cow and a donkey.  We will have the house, the mom and dad and a baby, but probably not any other children.  We will also have hay bales and cabbages in the fields.  I think the farm should still be a pretty nice set.  I just need to limit exactly how much we need as we only have one month to complete it.  We have discovered that the pompom make makes amazing bushes and trees.  This saves us from having to latch hook and sculpt a bunch of places and our girls LOVE to make pompoms.  Here is an updated photo…..

We have a snow day tomorrow, so we plan on staying home and getting a lot done on this guy.  Also, I have learned to crochet little hearts.  I am making a ton for the girls to use on their handmade valentines for their classmates. I am very proud of my meager crocheting and the girls seem pleased.  I think they will work on valentines this weekend as well.  They have friends coming over on Saturday and it seems like a great thing to keep all of them busy while getting something done that has to be done anyway.

The Kitchen is Finished!

Well folks, the kitchen..she is done!  I am in love.  I even Baked scones and made coffee yesterday.  We aren’t in the house, so I prepped the scones here and then took them to the new house to cook them.  I am in love with my range.  It rocks.  The library is 95% done.  All that is left is for the doors to the lower cabinets to be put back on.   Yes, back on…the stain was not as dark on the doors as on the rest of the cases, so they had to do them again.  The knobs have to be put on and the incredible ceiling fixture installed.  We have booked the movers for Wednesday, so we have to pack like crazy until then.  Bottom line, we will wake up at our old house on Wednesday morning and go to sleep in our new house Wednesday night!  Now, the only question is….do you know anyone in the market for a lovely 1937 Craftsman in the 12south district of Nashville?  

New entry, without photos or finished objects!

I’ve spent most of my free time sewing with Lori today.  (the time that was not filled with making dinner, taking grey to a playdate, meeting with the contractor or the myriad fo other things that seem to happen over the course of a day)  Anyway, I cut out my pattern after extensive alterations to said pattern by Lori.  I happen to be very lucky as Lori is a fashion design and patterning instructor at a university in GA.  So, she worked on a commercial pattern that I purchased because it was similar to one of my favorite summer shirts.  I am very hot natured these days and I hate to wear unflattering things just because they are cooler.  So, I thought  I would make a few tops.  Lori have really worked on this pattern to get it to fit me and look the way I want.  Of course, i happen to like details…those little details  that make sewing something an absolute crazy pain in the ass and I am an adventurous beginner at best.  I made several error s this evening due to being tired and having a headache, so I have nothing to show you.  In the morning I will rip part of the neckline out and sew in the facing.  then I will hem tha shirt and I will be able to show you a beautiful finished object…………I hope.

On a totally different note, I started a pair of socks last night and they are going well.  They are infinitely more portable than the shawl that has to grow beyond comfortable portability!!!!

Our Dream House

Several months ago Henry and I started discussing the possibility of finding a house with a little more yard.  When we left the farm, we moved into the city.  We are pretty urban….including the impossibly small lot.  We have enough room in the backyard for the kids to have a swing set and short of that, not much.  Now, we love our house, just not the lot.  So we started looking a bit.  We happened to go see a house during the six inches of snow that was for sale by owner.  It was amazing, but expensive and only had a little more than an acre.  At that time I thought I really wanted between 5 and 10 acres.  So, we had our realtor start looking a bit.  We spent a couple fo days looking at several houses with that kind of acreage.  The houses were nice, the acreage was good, but it turned out we felt so far OUT….sor far AWAY from everything.  It was a 20-30 minute drive to get the girls to school and nothing that we use was close.  The house that we saw during the snow was still for sale (I’m sure you see where this is going) and we sent our realtor to scope it out.  He LOVED it.   But, he thought it was a little over priced.  So, here is where a good realtor earns his money.  He got us a deal of a lifetime and the sellers got to move on with their lives.  This house met all of our requirements.  it is in the same neighborhood, it has an acre of land and it has character out the ass.  Yes, it was built in 1909 and has the woodwork to prove it.  We have some work to do as we are only the 4th owners, so some stuff has been done and some not, but it will be a labor of love.  We picked this house out together.  The girls spent two hours playing in the back yard playing.  It looks like a secret garden in the back, we will be enjoying this house for many, many years to come.  There is a beautiful staircase that I can picture the girls walking down when/if they marry!  All are welcome….come by whenever you want!

Here are a couple of pictures in our secret garden……

It’s that time again!

It’s MS awareness week.  I’ll be wearing my orange.  I will be making an effort to “Move It.”  I will take the time to answer questions or help you look for answers to questions for which I have no answer.

It seems a lifetime ago that I was free of MS.  But, at the same time, I feel very new to it.  I was diagnosed officially on the day before Thanksgiving in November 2005.  The intense search for answers began in February of that year, although, I had issues for three years prior to that.  I am pretty typical in both the time it took to get a diagnosis (a total of three years), the sneaky progression, my age at the time of diagnosis (35) and my gender (female).  I have also been very lucky in that, I have only had one relapse that put me down and I recovered from it quite well.

With that said, I would like to address one of the most distressing parts of MS.  Ironically, it is not really a symptom or a cause of MS.  But, it is a direct result of having a chronic disease and those with MS are just one of the millions who suffer with it.  I am talking about healthcare, most specifically, insurance.  I had great insurance while I was still in the workforce.  My employer paid about 60% of the cost and I contributed the remainder from my salary.  The process was pretty seemless and the insurance was both comprehensive and reliable.  Funny, I didn’t need it much before the MS.  Yes, I used it when I had the girls, but other than that, it was always just there.  The, the MS showed up and insurance stepped right in.  It paid for 3 MRI’s, a spinal tap, some crazy electrical thing to my muscles, numerous nuero visits, a second opinion and finally disease modifying drugs.  That was before the relapse that knocked the wind out of my sails.  That relapse caused me to reevaluate the stress in my life (stress can trigger a relapse…it’s thought).  The job I worked at was high stress and I loved it, but it was not the best for my health or for my family who wanted me around and helpful, not helpless.  So, I left my job.  Yes, I did this of my own accord.  I could have continued to work.  I could have had to continue to work, but I didn’t.  Once Cobra is up, I will be out on the open market looking for insurance.  The one good thing is that I now cannot be denied in TN.  Any insurance company writing in TN will have to allow me to purchase insurance.  However, they may charge whatever they feel necessary.  I now find myself in that odd place fo being the one who needs the very thing that is so hard to get when I used to be the one who had something, but barely needed it.

I am not sure what the answer is for healthcare/insurance reform in this country.  I know I am not the only one in this type of situation.  You can turn on the TV any day and hear a story just like mine.  I’d love to hear what others think about this issue.  It’s MS Awareness wekk….I will try not to wear my feelings on my sleeves and have an open dialogue with any who care to engage.

Snow Day Three….Bread

Just a quickie…made bread this morning.  One loaf for the yarn store gals and one for my family while I am working at the store.  The house smells so good and Henry and the girls are excited.  They love my bread, but I have been on a bread making hiatus since before Christmas!

Agde..the Mediterranian a’la Christophe

Here is yet another (and much belated) installment on the France trip.  Unfortunately, I cannot figure out how to copy the photos from Flickr to my desktop so that I can then put them in my blog.  There is a back story here.  I lost my camera the second day I was in France.  We went mushrooming at the ass-crack of sawn in the mountains.  I was trudging around the woods with my camera in my pocket and it fell out!  I did not know until we got back to the car and there was no way to back track when we had been zigzagging across the side of a forested hill looking for mushrooms and not paying attention to any particular landmarks (like the thousands of pines that all look alike).  So, I used Becca’s camera and downloaded them to Flickr every night.  This was not really an issue until today.  I had to replace my computer because it is on its last leg.  I decided to go over to the dark side and we bought a MAC.  Now, I have to say I am in love….but there is no “right-click” which means I can’t steal my own photos back from Flickr.  AGHHHHH.

So, here is the link for those of you who are really curious.

Agde is the largest resort town in the south of France and a destination for French wanting to escape the cities and frolic on the beach.  It is beautiful.  The beaches are very rocky….even the sand is black from the pulverized rocks and shells.  The contrast of the black against the heartbreakingly beautiful blue of the sea and the sky is stunning.  Of course, it was pretty cool when we were there, about 60 and not many were swimming, but many were walking the beaches.  Remi and Alex got a bit wet, but even they decided it was too cool for much of a dip.   The town is full of stores on a boardwalk kind of area.  Many of the stores were closed for the season, but there was still plenty to be had, should we have had the need for questionable beachwear or some moonwalk stilts!   The boardwalk area is right on the sea.  The docks are on one side of the walk and the shops and building on the other.  I found a boat named “diane” at the dock and I asked Becca if the name Dianne was popular in France.  She snickered and asked if I really wanted to know.  Of course, I did….she said that men name their best hunting dogs “Diane” after the goddess of the hunt.  Christophe said she was correct and he even owned a dog named Diane at one point and she was an excellent hunting dog.  Oh well, at least they reserve my name for the BEST dogs!  There are pictures in Flickr of my boat.

One of the most interesting things I saw in Agde was the monument hill to the Americans who fell fighting for France’s freedom in WWII.  It was a beautiful hill and looked out to the clear sea.  I took many photos of it, both detail and overall, but I know I was unable to capture the full effect….but I am certain there is no way I can write about the place.  It was moving and eerie and odd to find something dedicated to Americans in France.  Common myth is that the French don’t care for Americans and never have and never will.  I think things are a lot more complicated than that and this monument is tangible evidence that in some way, our country has made a positive impression on the French.

Christophe and Becca both told me many different times how great the area is that they live in and I think I have to agree.  In a weeks’ time Christophe took us to the beach, to the farm, to the mountains and to the city all within an hour from their house.  Christophe said the region of Caux was the best for him and I think it is the best for the kids and Becca as well.  There is so much to do and see, the people are kind and generous and the air feels squeaky clean.  It was amazing.  Browse through my pictures….I think you’ll agree.

No real post today

Kidney stones suck….that’s all I have to say.

France, part 2

On Thursday or Friday (not sure which) my brother-in-law, Christophe, took us to a cave.  No, that is not cave, but /cav/.  Yes, short a.  Anyway.  A cave is a place where grapes are processed into wine.  Christophe is in the Languedoc region of France.  He is part of a different co-op than the one he took us to.  This cave was the largest in the region.  It is the Pomeroles Cave.  Here is a photo.

pomeroles cave

We were able to taste several wines (before noon).  They were really good.  The tasting is inside the warehouse where the wine is fermented and stored.  It was so cool.  There was the coolest thing, too.  There were spigots where you could bring a jug and fill it with one of three types of wine.  this wine is what the older locals drink.  It is not aged, but Christophe says it is perfectly good table wine and it is cheaper than gas!  That’s right, a liter for a 1.2 euro or so.  Here’s a picture of that.

wine to go

Here’s the price list.

price list

Here are a group of photos from the inner workings of the cave.  You can see some of the fermenting and purifying tanks.  I don’t know what every thing is because Christophe’s English is marginally better than my French.  Let me promise, we were both at a disadvantage, but somehow managed to get along.  Notice my dad…he had already sampled a few wines.  They were NOT skimpy with the samples, either.   It was so funny…I was every intimidated by the idea of going to a real French wine producer and tasting the wine, but the people there just acted like it was another day on the job and so did Christophe.

On the way back from the cave, Christophe took us to see his vineyard.  All I can say about that is WOW! He has a lot of land and a lot of grapes.  He grows two varieties.  One is picpoul.  The other is a red.  The picpoul is a grape that is protected.   Only the growers in his region can grow it.  In addition to all fo the grape vines, there are almond trees.  Christophe pulled and cracked fresh almonds for us.  He also showed us wild rosemary and thyme…not to mention many other herbs that I did not recognize and could not get the jest of through translation.  There are also tons of markers on his land.  The markers tell the story of the area using cartoon Roman soldiers who appear to be less than smart.  Here si a gallery of the vineyard and the signs.  I also tried to get a couple fo horizon shots. Remember, they are 25 miles from the Sea and about the same from the mountains.  They really have it all in this area.


Tomorrow I will continue my France posts with pics from the coast.

Good Deed and Good Breakfast

Last night Henry and I took the girls to our favorite sushi place.  We go at least twice a month and the staff love our girls.  Te girls are very comfortable there and we trust them enough there to go to the restroom together.  (Yes, this does have a point…give me a minute.)  Anyway, 2/3 of the way through dinner the girls had to go to the restroom.  They went and were gone for a very short time before returning with a WALLET!   It was a white and pink wallet that was very, very fat.  It was worn and fat.  It had he look of a little thing that held someone’ life as tightly as a bit of synthetic leather and metal can.  The girls were very concerned.  We caught the manager and the girls handed it over to him.  He promised to find its owner.  A few minutes later one of the waitresses comes to table near tears.  She wants to thank the girls (they had gone back to the bathroom to finish their business).  She waits until they return and thanks them profusely.  She hugged them and told them what good girls they are.  She explained that she had just received her weeks pay and it was apparently in the wallet.  Now this particular lady works at TWO restaurants we visit.  She is a very hard working woman.  The girls were kind of stunned to receive such gratitude from a grown up, a person they didn’t know well and for something they knew they should have done….but they were very pleased.

Right before we left, Sam, the waitress, brought a big bag of Japanese candies to the girls.  They almost came out of their skins!  They adore these treats because they are so different from the stuff you get at the supermarket. We tried to beg off, but she was adamant that she gie the candy to the girls as a thank you for such a good deed.  She thanked us too for raising such good girls.  Wow, they are good girl, if I do say so myself.  Here they are with their reward.

good deed

This morning we made ebelskiver together.  Henry and I went to Williams Sonoma yesterday and ran into a pan we couldn’t resist.  Here’s a link and a better photo.  Henry was intrigued and I consented to trying these.  I picked up the cookbook as well.  The interesting thing about these is that you beat egg whites and incorporate them into the batter in order to make them very fluffy.  They puff up like and are the size of golf balls.  I made one batch that was cinnamon and brown sugar.  These had no filling.  Then I made some filled with jam as well.  The girls helped and we had a pretty good time.  Everyone loved them but me.  I really do not like pancakes and I don’t think they are different enough to make me like them.  They are much eggier than pancakes, but still, no go for me.  Here’s photos of the process.  It’s a bit more involved than pancakes, but we had fun.  Oh, ignore the pj’s and bedhead…please.

One more thing…I forgot.  The first egg I cracked was double yolked!

Master’s Knitting

I don’t think I have mentioned it on my blog yet…but who knows!  I have started the Master Knitting Program offered through The Knitting Guild Association.  Here’s the link in case ny of you are interested.

In short, one must knit numerous swatches demonstrating mastery of specified techniques, do research, answer technical questions and eventually design an Aran sweater and write the pattern.  I am on the first level.  There are three levels.  I consider myself a good knitter….not the best, but reasonably good.  I expected this to be somewhat challenging, but fun and informative.  Wow!  It has been challenging and I only have gotten through three swatches!  individually, none of the techniques have been particularly hard as far as being able to do them.  However, the level of perfection that I am finding myself in pursuit of is ridiculous.  Two months ago I would have knit the swatches below and called them great.  Now, I am wondering if they are even “good enough” to submit.

The 2by2 ribbing comprised the majority of my frustration and time.  I am a continental knitter and due to the way I purl, my purl stitches are looser than my knit stitches.  It really showed up in my first three tries at the 2by2 rib.  The ribbing was rolling open where the stitches went from a knit to a purl.  I found an article at the TKGA website about this very thing!  Apparently I am not the only one to be cursed by this phenomenon.  I think I have fixed it.  The remedy is basically tugging on the working yarn right after the knit stitch and then again after the first purl.  It sure does slow things down a bit….but it may be worth it if it keeps me from having to reknit them after being rejected by the committee.

The stockinette swatch with the 1by1 ribbing was much better in the ribbing section, but did cause me some problem again with the difference in tension between my knit and my purl stitches on the stockinette portion.  When the tension between knit and purl in stockinette is different, the result is a fabric that has a slightly rippled appearance.  I had to tackle this several times.  I think I am now satisfied with that.

I am hesitant on my increases on both swathces, but especially on the garter stitch swatch.  I think they show.  The point of this exercise, was that you make increase that are invisible.  I did a lot of research and found what I thought was going to be the most invisible increase for ribbing…the knit in front and back (vogue calls it the bar increase because of the bar that it leaves behind).  This happens to be the increase I use most often, but now I am wondering.

I have not blocked these yet and I have finished the seed stitch swatch, but have no photos yet.  I will block all three and repost.  I would love feedback from anyone who has any ideas on how to make my knitting better, words of encouragement or anyone who wold like to commiserate with me!  Hell, I’ll take any kind of feedback!

Anyway, here are the swatches.

garter and 2by2 ribbing

first two swatchs

And here is a picture Mycah drew of Henry on her Leapster game.  Isn’t it the cutest!!!!

mycah's drawing of poppa on the leapster

A Little Catching Up…Again

Sorry about the utter lack of content of late.  All summer has been spent visiting our dear friends in GA or them visiting us.  We also went to the beach with them…so we have been burning up the road.

The girls started school about two weeks ago.  I would like to say that I have been lounging in my satin robe eating bon-bons hand fed to me by Henry.  Alas, I cannot.  I have been volunteering at the library a good t, taking yoga a couple times per week, going crazy with Mycah’s chef birthday party and being a bit under the weather.  Oh, well…I don’t like sitting on my ass anyway….it just gets wider when you do that!

One trip to GA was exceptionally productive for me and I do have a couple of pictures to prove it……of course, I had to steal them from Wendy’s website.  (more on that later)  I’m sure everyone who reads this blog knows that I have some talented friends.  One of whom, is he Fashion Instructor at a private university in GA.  She is responsible for directing my husband’s purchase of my new pride and joy…the Bernina.  She decided that I needed some intensive sewing lessons; as in 4 days of non-stop, 10 hour a day sewing.  I had a really good start from working with Tracy and from the little knowledge needed to do the finish work on my knitting.  So, we worked and worked.  I learned how to make box pleats, how to finish seam allowances, how to make buttonholes and to put in invisible zippers.  I also learned the fine art of pressing and interfacing.  Anyway…I came away with a shirt for myself, a dress for each girl and a skirt for each girl.  AND…they actually look like something I would pay for…in a store!  Here’s a pic of the dresses and my top.


Now I am just going to add a bunch of photos…some of from the first day of school and some are from Mycah’s Birthday Party.  She had a chef’s birthday…that explains the aprons.  The kids made a mess and had a blast.  Also, the photo from the last post with the yarn and such in it is from a swap I received from a  great gal in VA.  I was trying to get the picture from here to Ravelry asap since it is bad form not to acknowledge receiving a swap as soon as you get it.  Plus, I got a great swap, so I really, really wanted to make sure my partner knew I was appreciative.  So, I threw it up on the blog hoping it would help me get it on Rav….it didn’t work.  I had to link to my blog.  But, at least it is in the blogosphere, somewhere.

One more thing, check out the photos Wendy took of the girls.  They are on her website.  She is starting up her photography business and I have to say…if you are in Middle TN, you’d be foolish not to use her!!!!!


Long Time, No See

I haven’t posted in a while.  I’m not sire why other than being so consumed with not having Henry here.  I miss him so much, he girls miss him so much and I feel very disconnected.  We went six weeks without seeing him.  It was hell.  Of course on the good note, Becca and her kids came for a visit and Chance and Emmy stayed with us for a few weeks. I think that is what got me so down.  Henry was gone and then I as so busy with family that it was ok…..but then they all left….at the same time.  While it’s nice to get back to a regular schedule, I really felt pretty deflated.

We visited Henry on May 2 to help him prepare for is MFA show.  Now, I have always felt like my husband was a pretty amazing artist, but I have to say…this show was so, so great that I was pretty awe-struck of him.  He has really worked his ass off for three years and it was great to see it all come together.  I was terribly worried when he lost so much work in the flood, but he really got crazy busy and it didn’t seem like anything was missing.  I couldn’t imagine another piece.  He took the show down yesterday and today and packed his trailer.  He will drive home tomorrow and probably get here late Monday afternoon.  It’d be great if he made it home for dinner, but I’m not sure that will happen.  It doesn’t matter…he will be home.  I think I found a studio for him here.  It’s just a couple of blocks away.  He could walk.  The lady is supposed to call me back tomorrow. Cross your fingers!!!

I’m leaving you with a bunch of misc photos, all related to above.  They have titles, so you can figure it out.

erin and the girls may 2009miss aimeehenry and the girls may 2009 iowa citygrey and her doll on the planemycah on the planeme and erin may 2009grey and mycah with fav sculpture iowa citymycah and her alphabet cards

Nightgowns, Clapotis, Spring

OK.  Nothing I cannot think of any eloquent idea to link the myriad of things I have to blog about, so I will just go through all of the pictures I have for you.

The first is a couple of pictures of my nightgown….yes, my nightgown!  I know that this whole thing good disintegrate into something that I’ll be kicking myself for….but I’m going to risk it.  There is a back story here.  Henry bought me a sewing machine for Christmas.  Now, I have “sewn” before.  The sewing that I did was very free form.  I did a lot of satin stitch as part of larger pieces in book arts.  I know the basics of the machine, but I do not know about cutting out patterns and then making them work.  So, I used the machine a bit, but not much.  I was really anxious to ramp up my skills so that I could make clothing for me and the girls.  I have a quirky sense of style and am not easy to fit since the extra weight, so I thought sewing would be the way.

Enter Tracey.  Tracey is a supper club friend from the Boro’.  So here’s the deal with this.  I have never felt so connected, loved and part of something as I felt when our family was part of the supper club.  I miss it. I am lucky in that I have Wendy here, but two people don’t really make a community.  I am trying here, but it takes a long time to develop the kind of relationships we had in Murfreesboro.  You know, the kind where you let the kids run knowing that if they were in imminent danger or were doing something that did not fit the accepted norm f the group, then one of the other friends would say “hey, sew-n-sew, don’t do that.”  It was cool…no parent got their feelings hurt and neither did the kids.  Anyway, the short of this (although it looks like any hope of short has gone to hell) is that I was feeling a little like an island that very few people visited.  So, Tracey calls me out of the blue one day.  She said, “I’ve been thinking about you.  I’d like to come and help you get the sewing thing going.”  I just cried.

So, Tracey came over today and spent 5 hours walking me through sewing a nightgown.  I realize that most of you would think…a nightgown…slap a couple of pieces of fabrics together and call it done.  You all know that I don’t do that.  My gown has a collar that is double faced and sewn on and set in sleeves that finish off the shoulders, much like the way a baseball shirt is made.   It is flannel and I love it.  Here it is !


And just for the heck of it a couple of pictures of the girls.


The second part of the post is for the clapotis I have finished.  It is not blocked, but it will be tomorrow.   It is a wool and bamboo blend.  A sock yarn…no idea of the name.  I have the label somewhere.  Oh well.  I could be happier.  The color pooled in a way that I was not totally happy with, but that’s how it happens sometimes.


Here’s the spring part.  The girls spent an hour or two drawing on the sidewalk and running around looking for secret things Friday afternoon.  They also put some stuff out for the fairies.  After they took a bath due to being covered in chalk, we walked to Maffioza’s.  The only thing that would have made it better would be Henry.


Aren’t those girls the funniest little things!

Oh,  forgot one more thing.  Mycah had her first artist reception Saturday.  Her school had a show at the TN Art League.  She was less than cooperative when I asked to photograph her with her piece.  Humph…she may turn out to be an artist after all.


A New Day Dawns…where were you?

I spent the better part of yesterday at Wendy’s.  We watched the speeches, the music, the crowd and the swearing in.  I feel blessed to have witnessed such a monumental moment in American History.   President Obama’s term in office started with a moving call to action.  I felt it was one of those get up off your collective ass and make something happen kind of speeches.  I like that.  We are a Nation built from blood, sweat and tears.  We are a Nation of innovators, doers, thinkers, inventors, boot-strappers.  We can rebuild our Nation.  I felt like he made it pretty clear that we are each responsible for doing our part, whatever that part is, to get the country back on its feet.  He didn’t promise that government would do it all for us….they will do their part, we must do ours.  Now…I need to figure out what my part is.  (Stayed tuned)

I spoke to Henry after the event was over and he was as full of excitement as I was.  The art department drug a big screen TV into the entry area of the building and even placed a good number of chairs around.  They had some difficulty in caching all of it, though.  They had to watch the BBC feed (7 minute or so lag) because the CNN feed was choppy.  Unfortunately the BBC had to run its broadcast test thing right in the middle, so they lost that.  Then they wen to the choppy CNN coverage and it was lost…so one lady had a tiny radio that she turned up full blast to at least hear what was going on and then they went to someone’s office and watched some online.  They finally go the V going again and got to see the end. Let me say that everyone was pretty determined to see and/or hear it!  I have pictures below.

You may remember that we were in Iowa for the caucus.  We actually were able to caucus because we were living there for his school.  We were Clinton supporters…but I had a feeling that she may not make it and it turned out that she didn’t.  I’m not sorry that I supported her, but I am also not sorry that ultimately she was not the one.  I was very happy to vote for Obama and I think his temperament and his work ethic will be just the thing our country needs.  By the time November rolled around, we had moved back to TN.  So, we got to vote for Obama in our home state.  I finished my Tuscany Shawl just in time to wear it to vote….so it is really my Obama shawl.  I wore it again yesterday when he was sworn in.  I think that is one piece of clothing that I will always keep and I will always associate it with this moment in history. 

Here’s a bunch of photos from my experience in TN and Henry’s in Iowa.


drawing-for-blogI had Mycah draw the winner finally.  She was not happy about there being only one winner and demanded that there be three… there are three.  They are Lori, Gina and Amy.  Gina and Amy, I will need your addresses.  I will email you.  Lori, I have yours!  Thanks girls for helping me celebrate my blogiversay!



It’s the end of the year and a time where one evaluates the past year and looks forward o the next.  This past year has been one of momentous change.  We sold the farm, moved to Nashville, I quit working, Mycah is staying home with me, Grey is in a new school, Henry is in his last year of grad school and I had a sobering realization that my MS is not just a dim worry in the back of my mind, but a visitor who can definitely impact our lives. 

I’ve spent the year just trying to find my way through this mess.  I say mess…but most of it was good….just tempered.  Many of the good things that we now have in place were a direct result of the one big issue we have.  You all know what it is .  I will say that MS has made me start learning to say no and has helped me to quit accepting guilt and worry over things that I have no control over.  I am not to the place I would like to be yet, but I am getting there. 

I have to say I have very selfish goals for the next year.  I am not going to say that they are resolutions, because that is just setting myself up for failure.  These are goals on my way to a better life.  They are in no particular order.

1. Get to the gym three times per week. 

2. Do yoga at home.

3. Reduce my and my family’s intake of meat by one to two meals per week and improve our consumption of whole grains and vegetables.

4. Truly manage our household finances.

5. Learn to sew.

6.  Learn to spin…..well.

7. Get through the Knitters Almanac.

8. Work on Christmas presents through the year. (could include the use of some of goal number 7)

9. Work with Mycah in preparation for Kindergarten.  Continue working with Grey to get her to grade level in reading.  (We are close!)

10. Figure out what I am going to do with my life.

11. Enjoy my girls and my husband.

12. Find a church to call home.

13. Give a more holistic approach to managing my health a fair try.

14. Go to France to see my sis and her family.

I am going to print this out and put it on the fridge.  My intention is to break these big goals down into little steps that will help me actually achieve them. I think it is a pretty ambitious set of goals, but good one that will really make a difference in my life…..and in turn a difference in my family’s happiness.  Wish me luck and say a prayer for me.  My prayer for all of you is that you reach your goals this year and find peace and happiness.

Haircut and prizes!

ma-prizeThis is the package I got from jmknitster on Ravelry.  That merino is so soft and the green is perfect.  I love green.  This is from the Monthly Adventures first anniversary celebration.  The group has been  a lot of fun this year even though I only participated in about half the swaps.  This year has been so crazy that I haven’t been able to do all of them.  Anyway, the moderators put a call out a month or so ago asking for prize donations.  Everyday they announce a new winner.  Believe it or not, I am also excited about sending my donation.  I know who she is now and I plan to look her up to see if I need to change her surprise. 

I received this two days ago.  Then, yesterday I got an email from none other than MasonDixon Knitting to inform me that I won enough yarn to make the Emma Peel dress out of their new book.  I am such a dork that I emailed her to thank her and give her my address and did not give her my last name!  I was a little excited….what can I say!

In other, non-prize related news… I had my hair cut today.  I have been letting it grow out a bit.  I am gong for one of those bobs that are angled…short in the back and long in the front.  Anyway, my hair guy decided to see what it would look like straight, so her flat ironed it.  I don’t even recognize myself.  I like it, but there is no way I am going to spend an hour on my hair in the mornings….no way.  Have a look…


Sorry about the picture…I did the best I could for taking a phoo of myself with my crackberry.

MMMMM, Baby It’s Cold Outside

It’s not that cold, but it is starting to get much cooler here and it seems like it may stay now.  I love the autumn.  I love that it gets dark so early.  I love that it is getting cold enough to wear more than a issue weight tee.  Today I fired up the gas logs, poured some hot decaf coffee and knitted a bit.  Not as much as I would have liked due to the difficulty of getting Henry’s thesis emailed to his committee.  It was so large that it was killing the server.  It is really picture heavy (of course, it’s art).  Anyway, not as much knitting as I wanted.  So, I have now set down again (with a bit of port this time) and plan to knit a bit more.  I love to cuddle up and nest.  This cold, grey day is just right. 

By the way, I can’t wait to play Christmas music, singing and dancing with the girls in the kitchen….the one in the title is my all time favorite holiday song. 

Sorry for a post about nothing…I’ll post pictures of my fireside knitting tomorrow (maybe).  Go cuddle with someone you love and appreciate the chilly weather.

Girl’s hat for Connor’s Caps

Here is the completed hat for a girl at Connor’s school.  Mycah was kind enough to model it…sort of.  She is just doing it with her own flair!  I used a pattern for the little flower from here.

It is so simple, it’s genius.  It literally took five minutes to make.  I added the flower so that the school colors were all there and I thought the little bit of mesh made it kind of flapperish…now it does look like something a flapper might have worn (save the shocking blue). 

Mama started her hat today, so it looks like the TN/France contigent will be able to cough up 5, if not 6 hats.  Off to post pics to Ravelry. 


Didn’t get the picture taken

no  pics.  busy day.  at least i bothered to write something…..even if it was nothing.