Friday, July 27, 2007

Molly's toys and haircut (again)

Molly LOVES her dog, "bear" and bunny. As you can see the poor devils were taken outside and played with. She was so sweet and didn't bring them back in the house all grimy. After a spin in the washer and dryer, Bunny is like new! Molly promptly took each toy and tossed it as if to say "where have you been!"

Molly loves William. Big morning kisses.
Molly runs way with Bunny in her mouth
Before the haircut, it's a dust mop
After the hair cut, it's a wheaten!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

USA Today article on dementing illness

USA Today has an article that features two fabulous members of some e-mail lists I'm on. Congrats to Chuck and Richard!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It has happened, the child has surpassed the parent

Max, our darling eldest, has eclipsed his Mama in height. He is thrilled. She is less than thrilled, but secretly I think she's excited. His voice is deep, his manner reserved and he finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in less than 24 hours. He says its a great book and he's very happy with how she (J.K. Rowling) ended it. Now I have to wait for Ginger to finish the book before I can read it to William.

Latest sock, "tilting windmills"

Today's FO (finished object) is the Tilting Windmill socks from Scheepjes Invicta Coloris from Holland. The pattern draws the sock in and it is the tightest sock I have made to date. Ginger swears they still fit. When she saw me cruising the latest KnitPicks fall heathered yarns and swooning, she said "I don't know how many more socks I need". I shall pretend she did NOT say that!
I am not quite ready to admit defeat. To weaken her resolve, I am CO for another pair for her out of Trekking XXL. Surely she will succumb and continue to pick fun yarns for me to knit for HRH? I do not wear socks very often and certainly not in the summer except to exercise. These are not exercise socks! The only other people to knit socks for (in the house) are the teenage boys. Ask yourself how well teenage boys take care of their socks and then imagine how reluctant I am to knit socks for them, though I do adore them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another trip to Nashville for Kendo

I need a bumper sticker like the soccer moms have; "Kendo Mom" suppose there's a market for it? It should probably have a men on it, or in my case, a photo of a dollar sign and me helping William repair another gash in his shinai. This Sunday we got up at the crack of freaking dawn to drive William, K. Yasuda-san and D. Crittendon-san to Nashville for the last practice with Maeda-sensei before he moves to Fl. Everyone had a great time. the turn out was fantastic. Mike Quinn-sensei was even there from Charlotte! I was keenly thrilled when Yasuda-san and then Imai-sensei took the time to correct William's right elbow on his Men strike.
Of course, no extra practice would be complete without the trip to the Japanese buffet for a bit of sushi and beer. The Memphis dojo, Yasuda-san, presented Maeda-sensei with our parting gift. It was very sweet.

Why, you ask yourself, does this woman post a photo of her foot in the middle of the Kendo post? Because, dear children, if it weren't for knitting, I would probably impale myself on one of the Kendo shinais! Knitting, specifically sock knitting, keeps me happy while the shouts of "MEN!" and smacking of bamboo staves surrounds me. This particular sock is shown earlier in the blog. You can see how much I got done in one week (not much)

Your dojo is free to use any of these photos. (all photos from the event, listed separately) Individuals present at the practice may also use them for their own blogs or newsletters.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kote Repair %^$##@!!!

Months ago I told myself I was going to repair William's kote. There were a few small holes. Then I was told by a loud mouth paunchy retired marine, that I should go ahead and replace the entire palm. I researched, I studied, I asked the cobbler, the luggage repair and the upholsterer if they could sew them. Everyone said no. I thought about how I could knit him entire new Kotes, but figured out they would look fabulous but not offer any protection. Now its months later and I have a son with gigantic holes in his kote. We even sent him to summer camp with these holy behemoths! Yesterday I finally began the tearing out. He has Kendo Wednesday so I knew I had to get it done. With the loan of some upholstery thread and needles from Rogers-sensei (we're promoting you) and the first aid of a frosty adult beverage (my fingers needed ice packs about half way through) I am proud to say I have replaced the entire palm on one Kote and even prouder to say that I am not stupid enough to do this ever again. On the second kote I decided to simply repair the small hole and re-stitch the welting. It's worth the $80 to buy an entire new set! It's worth the $50 to mail them in for repair. The catch is having a backup pair. William does not, hence the mommy repair. Here are some before, during and after shots of the entire replacement and the a tiny repair and patch job on the 2nd kote. He and I are both longing for his own new bogu. It's his bar mitzvah present. I am eager to order, but they insist on payment so I'll be waiting a few months :) $400 is the best price I can find and I think that's for 4mm bogu. I'm sure there are more expensive sports, we're lucky, we just forget it sometimes.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tilting Windmill Socks

Pictured in progress.

Yarn: Scheepjes Invicta Coloris (yarn from Holland)
Needles, 2 16" size 1 circular needles
worked on 60 stitches, 30 per needle
worked toe up, but pattern works either way (top down or toe up)

Pattern stitch:

needle 1, row 1: P1, K6, P1, K6, P2, K6, P1, K6, P1 (work needle 2 plain stockinet if working toe up, continue in pattern if working top down)

Needle 1, row 2: P1, K1, M1, K2, K2tog, P1, K2tog tbl, K2, M1, K1, P2, K1, M1, K2, K2tog, P1, K2tog tbl, K2, M1,K1, P1 (same as above)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ampersand Socks in Clown yarn

I think I am cheating a tiny bit in the knitting parents KAL because I CO for these before the KAL started. The yarn is stash yarn, purchased on sale from Yarn to Go and I am not crazy about it. Maybe once it washes up it will bloom a little. It is a cotton blend and it just doesn't have the stretch that I prefer in my socks, but what am I talking about, it's yet another pair for HRH Ginger! After turning the heel I started the Ampersand pattern. I'm not going to do it again. I would modify it to balance the pattern more. I do not like the bars of ribbing that run along the vertical side of the ankle. Maybe Jaywalker next? (toe up, of course) These are modeled by the recipient who has been extra special nice to me the last few days. I returned from a week long trip with the boys and instantly developed a wicked case of food poisoning. No knitting, blogging or eating for several days, but I am slowly recovering as this FO attests.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

AUSKF summer camp 2007

After baking cookies, pinching pennies and a generous slice of extra practices, William finally arrived at Suwanee Sports for the summer camp. He was nervous when we showed up Friday night because there were many kenshi. He quickly noticed someone he had practiced with in Chapel Hill, NC just a few days before and then when he saw S. Maeda-sensei at the check-in table he relaxed visibly. Three days of intense practice and discussion about the essence of Kendo ensued. He met another great kid, James, from Florida and they hung out whenever they could. Thank heavens for Mrs. Ro as she took William under her wing during breaks when I was gone. William left camp riding high and inspired to work even harder on his Kendo. At the conclusion of camp, Ohta-sensei asked Maeda-sensei to find someone to write a small article for the All Japan Kendo Federation. Maeda-sensei asked William. He was profoundly honored (and shocked because he was one of only 2 children at the camp). He has written his article and Gossett-san graciously edited it for kendo content. I have entirely too many photos of this event and am annoyed that they are blurry. It has to do with shoot too far, using the zoom and the fact that Kendo is a very active sport. I must send the camera in for repair, but I am loath to part with it. Here is a link to all photos that I took of the event.
With only one official practice a week, he often seeks out additional practices when we travel or even with other kenshi from the dojo. He gets up in the middle of the night once a month so he can practice in Nashville with Maeda-sensei. It's a 3 hour drive one way! Now the informal extra Monday night practices in Memphis have returned and he enthusiastically attends, grateful for the time and attention that the 3-dans give him to correct his Kendo.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Visit with Rick in Atlanta

Months ago I called Rick and hit him up for floor space so we could take William to the AUSKF Summer Camp 2007 in Suwanee, GA. He graciously agreed. We got to his apartment after the first night of gi-geiko and discovered just how tiny it was! After agreeing to spend the evening and grabbing a bit of sushi from Whole Foods, we tried to get some sleep. The next day we got a hotel near the camp site for the incredible rate of $44.99! Again, our deepest thanks extend to my generous parents who gave us a little extra pocket money for the trip. We couldn't have managed this hotel without it! Another Arigatou Gozaimasu to Rogers of Memphis Kendo who found the hotel and post to the Kendo World forum about it. We got that great rate by going online. Complete with many cable channels, a salt-water pool and Wifi, we then invited Rick to spend the night with us as a kind of mini vacation. We had a relaxing time by the pool after William finished camp for the day. We bought all William's favorite foods (again from Whole Foods) and just hung out all evening. No photos of breakfast, but I finally succumbed to the Memphis Kendo club's penchant for Waffle House. Rick was insistent that it was great and William has always wanted to join "the guys" at their hearty breakfast, so I walked over with them and admit those hash browns were great. Rick even went and watched some of the Kendo kata before asking to be taken back to Atlanta. Luckily we got to see him again before we headed home.