Friday, March 30, 2007

The world is too large and busy for me

When dementia strikes, little things like being re-routed on the way home and too many options for a weekend or a cancelled-much-planned-for-trip-to-Dallas send me to complete paralysis. So I sit, at my computer, contemplating the virtual belly-button lint and wait for the muse to give me a hint. No help, no nuturing from anybody, just over-whelmed and waiting. Oh muse, where are you? Of course a good glass of nurturing or full-bodied red wine wouldn't suck, but I won't be holding my breath.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Busy little baker (and cook)

No knitting to report. Sorry! I have visited the DASNI dementia chats a few times in the last week and reconnected with old friends. It's a great chat if you have dementia. I went a little nuts in the kitchen yesterday making blue cheese dressing, Tzatziki, french bread and grilled, marinated chicken breasts. Then when it was all done I went back in and made cookies! See my other blog ( for the actual recipes and photos. Planning for 1st night Seder is in progress. I am about to run out of room. But I am keeping it simple to help with the dementia. No more cooking for 22-30 people, I'm asking people to bring things. I'll post photos in a couple of weeks. Here's a great shot of Ginger and Max just hanging out the other day after she got off work and a photo of William with yet another potato cannon he built.

Monday, March 19, 2007


A beautiful day Sunday and the plans to take Max out to kayak actually came to fruition. Besides struggling with the car top kayak set-up, which eventually worked out nicely, it was an enjoyable trip from start to finish. Patriot Lake at Shelby Farms is perfect for kayaking. Small enough to be manageable and smooth enough to work on stroke techniques. Max did a few rounds and then let me paddle a bit. I really like his "creek boat" (Old Town Otter XT) better than his whitewater yak. I wish I could afford one for myself too, but then we'd have to invest in a real roof rack to transport both of them. That is a big Cha-CHING!

I LOVE my family!

A gigantic enormous hug and kiss to my brother, sister in law, neice and nephew for hosting us this past weekend. What fun! For the first time ever we just had a non-planned visit. We let the kids hang out, play, imagine and it worked like magic. No tears, no shouting, it was pure unadulterated heaven. The food was phenomenal thanks to Roxanne for breakfasts and Andy for lunches and dinners. My parents joined us for a fabulous dinner, even better than Carabas. Andy really could be a chef if he wanted to. He enjoys it as much as Roxanne and I do. I think if we lived closer together we might set up a catering business.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The cat is out of the bag

I am a person who thinks there are some things that just should not be knit and when the knitting goddess hears me say this, she laughs. I think knitting a grocery bag/sack is ridiculous, yet I just finished one knit out of organic cotton for heavens sake! The cats LOVE it. Adore it, as in "gee, that's great, how did you know I wanted one!" Witness the photos. Knit sack, Cat outside bag, cat INSIDE bag!
I can't make this stuff up. Friday is market day and I'll see how well it holds up. It's an altered version (I made 2 loop handles on the side, like those plastic sacks at the store) of this

Monday, March 05, 2007

The nature of the beast

Here is William's cat. She's a handsome one year old now and quite the huntress. She's brought us many a gift and despite bells, whistles and being confined to only our yarn, she continues. (If you are offended, don't tell me, just be grateful you're not here cleaning it up! And don't tell me she shouldn't be outside, she's an inside cat with access to a dog door. I won't keep the old dog from his potty access.) Max's cat went through a similar phase (remember the flying squirrel incident?) fortunately she's outgrown it. I am hoping Galadriel will too. Until then we document her prizes occasionally.

recycling yarn from thrift store sweaters

There are good tutorials about this thrifty knitting technique on the web, but I have been reluctant to try it. Thankfully Sarah showed me a sweater she had purchased and then proceeded to frog it at a MemphisSnB group so I was brave enough to finally give it a try. I purchased 2 sweaters at the local DAV on super mark-down day. I washed and dried one before frogging, the other was 100% wool and I decided to frog it instantly. It was a window pane sweater and probably not the best choice. I apologize for not taking before photos, but was too eager to actually start. The boys enjoyed holding the sweater while I wound the resulting yarn into balls. They ran through the house and one of them even ran out the back door with the sweater swiftly unraveling behind him! Here are some photos of the boys then winding the balls of yarn into hanks and a photo of after hanking and after washing. The yarn is fingering-sport weight. Not sure what it will be. There is an angora blend sweater that I also quickly (and much more easily) frogged that is also lacking any photos. Note that one child did chair hanking while the other did roaster pan hanking. His own idea. They worked diligently. Maybe they were both hoping the yarn would be their next sweater?

PeaceJam Memphis 2007

I regret that I invested heavily in another event during the weekend of PeaceJam so was unable to attend as an advisor. I am, however, thrilled that another homeschool mom and 3 of her kids agreed to go along with our kids. Here are a few photos of the weekend compliments of the Eclectic Homeschool group. Next year I vow to concentrate on this event to the exclusion of others. Bridges is the sponsor locally, but the event is international in focus. Betty Williams was the Nobel Peace Laureate who participated this year. She is, from my very brief encounters with her, a warm and passionate individual. As our fourteen year old son said "it was all very deep". PeaceJam was not a feel good event, but a thinking event that spured our already heavily motivated and involved children to even greater events. Thanks to Rody for including us.

William's sweater

Here's the first part of his sweater. It's literally on hold now as it is not a cardigan and we appear to be having spring. I think he's going to grow too much to invest any more knitting. I'll pick it up at the end of the summer, probably when we're at the beach, and finish it. I got the yarn to finish it and had to round out the order with yarn for Max's cardi and (of course) some more sock yarn.

KnitPicks Bare Donegal socks (another pair)

These are the 2nd pair of socks I got out of one hank of Bare. One was knit on size 1's the other on size 3's. Size 1's are better, but sure take a lot longer. The yarn is soft, incredibly soft, and because of that it doesn't wear as well as it might. Be careful about wearing these with any shoes that have friction. I tossed them on with a pair of old tennis shoes and the back of the heel pilled some. (note I did not do a reinforced heel). I will happily knit with this yarn again, I might try a different heel due to the softeness, but probably not. It's great. It's available in colors as "essential tweed" from KnitPicks. Speaking of, I want to rant a bit about their current magazine/catalog format. YUCK! Pages upon pages of books for sale and projects shown from books knit with their yarn and then at the BACK they have TINY rectangles of swatches of their yarns. I want BIG picks of the yarns so I can dream. How about you?

Tahki Stacey Leaf Sweater, changing neckline

For those of you who are on the best knitting list in the world (knittingparents at yahoo groups), you might remember I posted a question about reworking a neckline of the Tahki Stacey Leaf Sweater that I finally finished. After some consideration I crocheted in a stabilizing line, fortified myself and CUT the center neckline, began carefully picking out the former neckline only to discover that I could not possibly alter the neckline without ripping out the seaming and frogging back. So I did and here is the new altered sweater. BTW, I am not fond of the stupid thing and have destroyed the pattern lest I am ever tempted again. My body requires shaping all over the place and this sweater doesn't have any. Unless you are board straight and thin, do not knit this pattern even if it is free and the yarn was deeply discounted, you won't be happy.