Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ending the Year

Well, here we are at the end of 2006. It was a difficult year for me but I also received an incredible amount of support from family and friends to help me get through it. I know some people list all the projects they did during the year. ME, I really don't have a clue! I did lots of socks, some shawls, lots of scarves, etc. I really enjoyed knitting lots of Sock That Rock this year, getting together with my knitting friends, going to Stitches East, Rhinbeck and a knitting show in King of Prussia during the summer. I've gone to some very interesting yarn shops and accumulated more yarn and fabric then is reasonable! I'm going to do a modified version of Wendy's Knitting From your Stash. I think I'll also try to quilt and redwork from my stash also not because I really am worried about accumulating so much but BECAUSE I have some great stuff that I really want to use and stuff that has been aged long enough! SO until Stitches or Rhinbeck or Maryland Sheep & Wool I'm going to try to concentrate on doing what I want from what I have!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

And so Christmas came and went!

Hard to believe that after all the rush and preparation Christmas is already over! We did Christmas Eve here at my house and it went well. We had a small group,my mother, grandmother, my two kids and my semi-daughter Rachel. Things got wild for a while, with the new toilet bowl leaking (clean water Thank God), toilet box and parts all over, my son's girl friend on the cell with him every two minutes, my mother FOUR hours early for dinner AND my mother's dog trying to eat my dog! I took a deep breath, thought about it and decided that none of it was worth getting crazy about! We managed, the toilet is still broken, the dog uneaten, dinner finished and thank goodness all the company gone for a few moments! My nephew gets in today for a few day's visit. He is going to Iraq in early Jan so we will visit with him for the last time for at least a year. He is leaving Friday morning to see his family in New Hampshire. I have lots of outings planned for myself for the rest of the week. I do hope to get some knitting and relaxing in!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What kind of gift giver are you?

You Are a Creative Gift Giver

Your gifts are one of a kind, special, and well chosen.
Whether you've made it yourself or searched all over town...
There's really no one who has more of a personal touch than you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Finally Friday!!!!

This was the VERY LONGEST week I ever spent in school. The week before vacation is never productive for me. I work with teachers helping them improve math instruction and that is the last thing on their agendas the week before Christmas! I do lots of running around, try to clear up paper work and change every plan and schedule endlessly! I even drove half way across Brooklyn for a meeting/training and the presenter did not show up! BUT it was all worth it for me to see the children's holiday show. I've been teaching since 1972 and in my present school for 18 years but I still get very teary to see the chorus just belting out songs and to see those shining happy faces. I work in a total inclusion school, about 25% of our kids have IEPs and most have parents or guardians who struggle with finances and in many other ways. Lots of kids I have worked with have been lost to the streets, drugs, gangs etc. There is something about watching the kids sing that makes me feel that they all have a chance and that there is no better place to work! Our current music teacher allows any child to join the upper or lower chorus with interest as a requirement not talent so sometimes the notes are off but they all look so happy and proud.
This is my first Christmas since Bob died and I'm very teary often and missing him often. He was a social Worker / Drug Counselor and he spent over 25 years working with mentally ill clients and addicts. He alway organized a holiday party for the staff and clients at the clinic where he worked and I would bake hundreds of cookies for him to take to work. I'm sure that I am not the only one missing him this year.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Wonderful Gift

I came home one night this week feeling blue and full of thoughts that this is the first Christmas since Bob died this summer and I found a box on my front stoop. Great, I thought my Humbug Swap box from Soapnuts. I love the swap that Denise puts together each year but I was feeling not so festive. When I opened the box, I was floored to find a handspun, hand knit prayer shawl from Cheryl. I wrapped myself up in it and have had a hard time taking it off! I have the book Kniting into the Mystery by Jorgensen and Izard and I have thought of making one for someone else often but I never thought that someone would do this for me!
The shawl is a beautiful dark, cocoa brown with white highlights.It is warm and comforting and just the right size to wear outside as a shawl but also to snuggle up in at home.
My cheappo camera can't show how beautiful this really is nor can I ever thank Cheryl enough for putting so much time, love and energy into it for me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sock Drawer Almost Full!

I learned how to make socks years ago. I didn't get too excited about them at the time. In fact I don't remember the first socks I made! A few years ago, I caught sock fever. All I wanted to knit was socks!!! socks on double points, on two circs, on the magic loop toe up, cuff down, one heel after another, one toe after another.Then collecting as much sock yarn as possible. You get the picture! My goal then was to be able to wear handmade socks whenever I wanted, to get a full weeks worth, then to have a full color range. The more I make for myself the fewer I want to give away! My Queen Kahuna sock book is inscribed "may your sock drawer be overflowing" in a few more pairs I'll be there! This is my drawer now, it's always missing a few with the wear and then wash cycle! Pretty soon I'll need another drawer. Well, I guess I can do with less underwear! Now if I knitted up all the sock yarn I have, I could have an entire dresser FULLL!!!

P.S. Caroline is doing fine, still very puffy from the allergic reaction to medication and still in pain. I tried calling it discomfort and was certainly corrected!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Got lots of knitting done!

Caroline had her surgery done today and except for an allergic reaction to a medication she did fine. Right now she feels like she was hit by a truck but I guess that is normal. I did get lots of waiting room knitting done in the last few days. I really hope this is the end of it.
Caroline is normally the Christmas decorator in the house. She developed the hernia before she got a SINGLE Christmas thing out so we may have a minimally decorated holiday this year. We are still trying to figure out how a thin young girl who normally lifts nothing heavier then the remote control or cell phone developed a hernia!
Oh, and the socks are the last two Socks That Rock Club yarns and the lace scarf is an $5 ball of wool mohair lace from Stitches!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Update on Caroline

We got to sleep in late today before making the doctor and hospital rounds! Caroline is having hernia surgery on Friday. We found a surgeon she likes WHO TAKES OUR INSURANCE!!!. She is OK about having it done but a bit nervous. I am praying that I see MANY less doctors in 2007!
It is supposed to be very unusual for someone as young as her, an thin as she is and a female to have this type of hernia BUT she is young, strong and expected to heal well. I'm taking Friday and possibly Monday to take care of her and be with her.

Less Stress NEVER

While I was away this weekend, my daughter called and said that she thought she had developed a hernia. I really thought it was unlikely as Caroline is young, thin and not prone to heavy lifting. I gave her my usual advise about going to the DR. And she did and she does. So after a trip to the doctor and the emergency room she is being evaluated by a surgeon this morning. It's amazing how quickly my big deal project at work was canceled. The upside to this is that she does not have an infection and I did get about 5 inches of razor clam lace done yesterday in all our travels. Please wish her luck and keep her in your prayers.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Getting Away for the Weekend

Well after a pretty stressful week I went for a "girls out" weekend with a friend. We spent the weekend in Pennsylvania. Just staying in a hotel, eating out, no cooking (like I cook anymore!), no laundry, no dogs or cats OR kids!!!!! WHAT A TREAT We went to two yarn stores and I got more yarn then I did at Stitches (like I need more yarn!) I made a quick scarf to send off to my Secret Pal 9. We went to the Pennsylvania Christmas Gift show. It was fun to spend a day with my friend and her sister but the show itself was disappointing. LOTS of buy and sell and very little craft or original products. I did manage to purchase a few items. Got some nice soap, some interesting ornaments,& unique tin work.
When I got home I found two pencil sketches which my nephew's friend made of Bob.He made a special trip to drop them off. They are so good and beautifully framed and capture so much of Bob's spirit. I really was moved by this young man's generosity.
I'm hoping that the coming week will be less stressful but I doubt it. I have a project at school I find stressful and I have lots of work to do. Last week, I forgot the dog in the yard and had to call someone (THANKS DEBBIE) to let him in after I left for work. Once I really did let him in and forgot that I did but Friday I really had left him out!!