Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Last night I was half watching Shrek 2 with the girls while I dyed roving. I heard the fairy godmother show up and turned around to watch for a few seconds. I was suddenly struck with the realization that the fairy godmother looks exactly like Sarah Palin will in 20 years. If she lets her hair go gray, which I'm sure she won't. Check it out.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Alpacas and Apples

The spinning demo went great on Saturday. Beautiful weather (78 and sunny) and an excuse to sit in the shade and spin for 6 hours. We had about 100 visitors and lots of enthusiasm and questions about everything. I find it hilarious that little children become entranced by my spinning wheel, and then, almost zombie-like, begin reaching toward it, to - what? Touch the wheel? Touch the flyer? And all the tots on Saturday had hands covered in melted chocolate chips because the refreshments table was in the sun. Sometimes I actually had to stop spinning before I could get their attention to please not touch. I couldn't stop smiling the whole day.
Sunday I took the girls out to there so they could pet the alpacas. They had a blast.
Afterwards, we went to the Gibbsville Orchard and went on a haywagon ride and went apple-picking. They had a blast, and they now have their very own handpicked apples for school snack every day this week. I don't have any pictures because I was too busy having fun. Bad foster mommy. Sigh. I often rebuke myself for not taking enough pictures, and forcibly have to remember that in this big world there are far more important things to be concerned with than having too much fun in the moment to try to capture them. We had a wonderful time I'll never forget and they probably will, and in the big picture, it doesn't really matter all that much. Laughter and love stay with you whether it's in a picture album or not.
That said, I got a great one on the way home from the orchard. I guess the caramel apple wore off. Heh.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spinning Demo at Raspbaerry Hill Alpacas

This weekend is National Alpaca Days, and I'll be doing a spinning demo at Raspbaerry Farm up in Plymouth WI. I'll be bringing my wheel, some fiber, and some handspun that I'll have for sale as well. It's supposed to be a beautiful sunny 76 tomorrow, a perfect fall day to visit a farm. I'll be there from 10-4 so I hope to see a few friendly faces there! :)

Raspbaerry Hill Alpacas
Barbara Baer
W6399 County Rd U
Plymouth, WI 53073
Phone: (920) 893-8218
Cell: (920) 918-8033
Email 2:

See you there!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where ARE the damn things?!?!

I knitted an exquisite pair of pink lace socks for my friend's birthday present a few months ago and one time when she was coming over I hid them and now it's PAST her birthday and I can't find the flippin things. Dammit!

I got my shipments of roving and dyes yesterday. 16 pounds of merino and 8 pounds of sw merino, and 30 1-pound containers of one-shot dyes (also sold as Country Classic dyes). I can't wait to get dyeing; hopefully I'll be able to get a few rovings done tonight even. Jewel tones seem to fly off the shelf this time of year, so I'm going to come up with some new combinations. Coming soon to Willow Acre Fibers!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oh my goodness, I've been gone a long time.

Things have been crazy busy here. No, you don't understand. CRAZY BUSY. I have my full-time job, Richard has eClutter, I have Willow Acre Fibers, and we both have the girls, who are enrolled in dance class on separate nights and increased visitation with their mom. Several weeks ago Aunt Connie passed away and left Richard and his brother a house that needs to be fixed up and sold. Which is over 2 hours away. Lots of work in the upcoming fall.

Willow Acre Fibers is doing really well. I've sold 30 items in the 5 weeks it's been open. I had an inquiry for wholesale prices on my roving from a yarn shop in Kentucky because they like what I have and want to carry it in their store. I worked up a price sheet/colorway sheet and was shocked to find that I've created 30 separate, distinct colorways in the 5 weeks my shop's been open. I was pleased to find that I had recorded enough information to compile into a recipe sheet for all 30 as well, so I can recreate any of them. I sent off the price sheet and am waiting to hear back.

I will be doing a spinning demo at Alpaca Days, hosted by Raspbaerry Farms in Plymouth, Wisconsin on September 27-28. They invited me to bring any handspun yarns or handpainted rovings to sell if I like as well, which is a wonderful opportunity. I'll have to go through my inventory of handspun and see what I have, and make up some of my more popular colorways of roving as well.

See what I mean about crazy busy? I will try to post more often. Promise.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Etsy and Innocence

So I have sold 5 rovings so far and have an order for one that I just dyed today. I have dyed 3 more that I will post on Monday, and will dye a bunch more tomorrow morning. This is awesome.
I was at Barnes & Noble on my lunch break one day this week, and the woman ahead of me in line had two little boys. One was about 5 and the other I'd put at, ohh, maybe 7 or 8. While the youngest was having a whiny battle of wills over a "karate bookmark" (wooden bookmark with chinese symbols on it, bet you $1 they had nothing to do with karate), the older was crouched down looking at a magazine on the bottom rack of the stand by the cashier.

There were two magazines to choose from:

and some sports magazine with a bunch of very drunk, very happy Packer fans on the front of it.

Guess which one he was deeply interested in? Yep, the Packers. Which made me wonder; when exactly does that change? When is that switch flipped?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Etsy Store is UP and Selling!

I have roving and yarn posted at my new Etsy store,, and have sold one roving and taken an order for another custom roving! Woo hoo! This is awesome and I am having so much fun. I can't wait to dye some more this weekend.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Yarn Piggie Emerges.

I am not dead. I did not forget about my blog. But holy mother of hell, has this been one busy summer.

FC2 was sick and out of daycare for a whole week with some mysterious fever, and now I've had it for the last week. I think I'm at the tail end of it, thank god.

Good news about my foster care article; in the letters to the editor section of this month's magazine, somebody gave me some great feedback on my little Prepare for Breakage article. Note to self: MUST WRITE MORE.

I have been spinning up a lot of yarn, which will go on sale next week in my new Etsy store, Next week I'm also on vacation, so I hope to be dying my first rovings under the willow tree. I will try to take pics so I can post them here.

Thank you, gentle readers, for patiently waiting out the silence. I'm back!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Fine Day

This whole week has had one funky ass vibe. Just something hanging in the air, a funk that can't be metaphorically Febrezed away. However, today the sun is shining. It is a GOOD day. Today the annoying know-it-all-but-doesn't-know-jack temp that has been plaguing the IS department has been declared GONE as of Friday. As one of my fellow suffering coworkers so aptly put it, "It's a hump day miracle!"

FC1 had her birthday party at home yesterday. Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen ice cream cake. She's also having a party this Friday at the local skating rink with 15-20 of her closest friends. That'll be a trip. Hopefully on Monday I'll have lots of good pictures! Then Saturday she's having another party at my MIL's house with all of Richard's nephews and family. How spoiled is this kid, huh? She's such a sweetheart though that it's just plain fun to spoil her.

Gotta jet!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spinning Under the Willow

Last night it was just me and the girls, with Richard off trap-shooting with some friends. We had Jimmy John's subs for dinner (with Richard). After dinner, FC1 dragged my spinning chair outside, FC2 dragged the Happy Mother's Day rug they made for me out to the willow, and I brought my spinning wheel and fiber. I spun under the tree while the girls played on their bikes, in their playhouse, and in the sandbox. Then we all just sat and chatted for a good half hour or so before their mom called. After that it was brushing teeth and bedtime.

Not so much exercise last night, but had some very good quality time with the girls. Found out something interesting, too. FC1 was named after her mom's foster mother, from when her mom was in foster care as a child. I thought that was so touching, that she named her firstborn after somebody she obviously admired a great deal. Then I was brought back down to earth by the fact that even though this woman had that kind of impact on her, it hadn't been enough to break the cycle. Damn. This fostering business is a chocolate-covered lemon, with the sour always lurking just below the sweet. That said, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Just yesterday I was having a conversation with a coworker about foster care. He is of the opinion that kids just shouldn't go back to their abusive/neglectful/whatever real parents. I don't think he gets it that kids need their parents. Or at least their primary parent. It's not that they want them, or prefer them. It's a human need, and if that's missing, there's a piece missing from that child from that point on. Period.

This is where my faith steps in as well. I believe each person has their own path in life, with God at their side. It is not my place to decide that this child doesn't belong with their parent(s), if that parent has passed the state's requirements. I can't protect beyond a certain point, except to hope that the tools I've helped them develop will serve them well. I must be at peace with all possibilities after I let go; they may thrive, they may stagger and fall, they may follow in their dysfunction's footsteps. This is where I end, where I must let go and trust God to be there when they need Him most.

This is where I become my final incarnation as a foster parent: Available.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spring is Firmly Here

I was the first to get home yesterday, so I went in and changed into play clothes (read: jeans and hoodie) and went outside to sit in a chair in the driveway. That's right, I hauled a deck chair into the driveway so hubby man would sure see me and hopefully not even bother to turn off the truck because I soooo didn't feel like cooking. They got home and somehow did not see me and everyone piled into the house. Fine. I piled in after them and sat chatting with hubby for 10 minutes or so until we all filed out again.

We went to a local restaurant that has the best ranch dressing I've ever had and I only ever order one thing there: the grilled chicken salad. Yummm. We even ate outside next to a trickling little water feature because it was so nice out. Finally! Afterwards we walked to the park across the street and I went down the big slide with the girls. They were thrilled. Then I attempted to ride one of those springy little horse things that stick out of the ground. Yikes. Not recommended for adults over 100 pounds. Then Richard and I both went on the swingset for a little while, after which I got some knitting done on the super secret sock. Not a ton of exercise but at least we got out of the house and had some fun!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bizzy Bizzy Bee

Long time no postie. I have no pictures today. I'm working on a super-secret sock project that wasn't initially intended as a gift but I goofed on the size and they don't fit my feet so off they go to someone who will love them very much. Hopefully I will be able to get them done, blocked, and photographed before I gift them.

Life has been ... interesting. The girls are doing fine, Richard is fine, and me? Well, not so fine. Just got a bad case of the blah's lately. I could blame it on work but then I remember how good I have it and feel like a nincompoop complaining about my cushy, sit-down, safe, stable job. I could blame it on the weather but the weather is getting beautiful. I guess it boils down to the fact that I just have to get off my rump at night and work out so I feel better. I just feel stagnant inside.

So maybe I'll use this blog thingy as a prompter for that. I'll post every day and see it all written down (or up, in the case of a blog) and feel better about myself.

[jumps down off the pity potty]


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Swingin' and Sniffin' and Horfin'

Yesterday was an adventure, pure and simple. It was one of those days when everything around you sparks and flickers with unseen energy, while forces work hard behind the scenes to make you notice life. Some forces don't bother to pull the curtain.

On the way back from lunch with my work compadres, we were behind a firetruck in traffic. It was moving kind of oddly. Kind of swaying and dipping too low in the back end. Soon we noticed there were little sparks coming from beneath the undercarriage. Ruh roh. Suddenly there were LOTS OF SPARKS coming from beneath, and it looked like they were dragging a metal garbage can. They pulled over and as the firemen piled out of their disable vehicle, we saw that the GAS TANK STRAPS HAD BROKEN AND THE GAS TANK WAS DRAGGING. Holy mother of hell!

As this post can attest, we did make it back in one piece, sans explosions.

After work I went to West Bend to meet my friend Deb for dinner at 5:30. I arrived 20 minutes early (do the math - 5:10), so I went to Valvoline to get an oil change. The poor little red bus was 1,200 miles over when it should have had a change and it was chuggin' and clackin'. I got right in. Then the little grease monkey dude showed me that my air filter was looking like a smoker's lung, and when he pulled out the in-cabin filter, I thought there were mice on it but no, just huge grey hairy dust balls. Oh, and your tranny fluid is brown, would you like us to flush it for you? Criminy. Poor little red bus was limping pretty badly. Let's not mention that it also needs new brakes and possibly new rotors right now as well.

Little grease monkey dude discovers they're out of hose clamps, so he has to sprint over to Auto Zone. Then he doesn't put it on correctly or something and has me turn on the bus and it sprays tranny fluid to the sky. Beautiful brown tranny fluid! Whoopsie. Please turn your car off, ma'am.

Cut to the chase; antics of grease monkey dude get me to the restaurant at 6:15. 45 minutes late. Deb, for perhaps the first time in her adult life (ducking) was not only on time, but 5 minutes early. She had also organized her bag and taken out all books, knitting, etc, so she had nothing to do but watch TV screens and people for entertainment while looking stood-up. We had a lovely dinner (AVOID AT ALL COSTS the fish sandwich at BW3's - bad frozen fishy taste) and then I suggested we go to the batting cages at Blue Dog.
After paying our bill and almost forgetting my take out box, we go to Blue Dog, a few minutes drive away. Walking into Blue Dog, a vile, ripe, tangy, gut-wrenching smell assaults us. "Oh my god, what is that smell?" I ask the guy at the desk, horrified beyond tact. I scan the dim interior, looking for something dead, or being eaten by maggots, perhaps. He shrugs.

The girl who walked in with us who apparently was coming in for her shift start says, "Yeah, what is that?"

He shrugs again. "I d'no."

I choke enough words out to communicate that I want to purchase some batting cage tokens and hand him the money. "Is that vomit? It has to be vomit. Holy mother that's foul." I admit, I was a bit lightheaded and not very much in control of my words. My mouth was watering uncontrollably and I couldn't stop swallowing. I keep thinking, my god, it's like I'm the one who horfed in here. I suddenly hear Deb behind me, and realize she's been snorting and trying not to die laughing this whole time. We grab two bats and stagger out the back door, sucking in fresh air and laughing until we cry at the oddity of the situation.

Check out some action shots!

Notice the Hot 'n Sexy white FOTL's peekin' out there. Yeah, baby! Sizzzzle!

Deb, you're a lousy shot, but I love ya.

Here's one of the boys who was very nice to two very odd, snorting ladies dressed in business casual at the batting cages.

Go Debbie Go Debbie Go Debbie Go!

Two swingin', snortin', almost-horfin' dorks. Too much fun.

Embryonic yarn

I'm aiming for a nice fingering weight sock yarn with these two bobbins. I'm hoping when I ply them they don't poof up into a DK weight. Right now they're both about 24 wpi so together they'll be 12 wpi. Still acceptable for socks, right?

I'm thinking with the gorgeous blend of colors that include peach, tangerine, and mango, I am going to name this yarn Sunrise Margarita. What do you think of when you see these colors together?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

And here's where I disillusion myself that I am indeed NOT a reader, at all, apparently.

Not An Artist, a blog I have recently been reading, has recently posted about unread books meant to sit on your shelf and make you look smart. Looking at this list, I am coming to understand that I am distinctly, terrifically, and undeniably unsmart. However, I am also well-read enough to acknowledge that fact and be smug about other stuff I've read.

Here are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote (In my defense, I was reading the spanish version. Tough going in 7th grade.)
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula (It's on my shelf. Makes me look smart. It was also a gift.)
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down (Favorite, favorite book of all time, every time.)
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Picture a Day 365

So I've decided to take a picture a day, which means I'll do a post a day as well. It'll keep me writing, my blog current, and my mad photography skillz sharp (not). But mostly it'll be fun.

Today Richard and the girls did some landscaping in the front yard. Richard went on Craigslist and got a whole bunch of plants from people who were giving them away and brought them all home, along with some large cement landscaping rounds. He's ambitious.

I just wandered around and took pictures.

Now, the next pictures are sorta strange. We have a Lint Tree. Not familiar with that species? It occurs in nature only when next to a dryer vent.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Fostering Families Today Article

My article is published and available here. It appears on page 29. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Yarn and Some Dusty FO's

I am the only human home, with three fuzzy companions and a bunch of scaly orange ones. Well, one scaly orange one has a white belly, which I tickled while he was floating upside down last night. I know, I know, protective slime layer and all, but it was too cute to resist.

Richard took the girls to his sister-in-law's house for a birthday party. His nephew is turning 8. Hmm. 8 years old in 2008. His age should be easy to remember from now on. I stayed home due to a massive sinus headache. I wasn't sure I should stay home until Richard asked if I wanted McD's for breakfast (ALWAYS a hit on the weekend) and I just grimaced and said Noooo. I was in bed until noon and have been creeping around the very quiet house since then. Quiet. It's nice, and weird, and not at all lonely, probably because I know they'll all be home soon. If they weren't then it would be quite a different thing I think.

I did take the opportunity to photograph the latest skein of yarn I spun last night. It's a variegated merino plied with a solid corriedale. Lavender Lovely, I think I'll call it.
So there's that. Then there are Elizabeth Zimmerman's Mitered Mittens, below, which I think I got done in February.
I used handpainted yarn from Etsy for those. Very pretty and simple. Then last month I bought this amazing handspun, handpainted yarn from Maisy's and had just enough to do a pair of fingerless gloves. I bastardized a pattern from Kristin Knits so it is well nigh unrecognizable, and love the result. Perfect for just-chilly spring days. I also wore these for raking the yard last weekend and didn't get one blister! Regular gloves chafe me as bad as not wearing gloves at all, so these are a big hit with me. Raina says Hi.
Ok, I'm off to put another heat pack on my head. Richard was a sweetie and went to Walgreen's to get one for me before he left this morning. What a hubby.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Actual Yarn

See here? This here is what we in the knitting biz like to call yarrrn. I'm pretty darned proud of myself.

And here is my next yarrrn project. It's so pretty. Briggitte, all wide-eyed innocence, gives me a yard of the roving and says, here, just try out this merino and see if you like it. Uh huh. The first hit's always free, right? Spin spin spin. Yummy. Gimme 5 ounces of that fine merino gold, Lady B!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spun, Part II

And behold my second yarn:
It's spun a little better than the blue and green, with both strands being about the same width. Sort of. I need a lot of practice!

So tonight I'll go after the variegated roving, or maybe the purple. I think the purple, because I want to spin the variegated really nicely, and I need some tips so I think I'll wait until class tomorrow night.

Not much happening on the knitting front. I'm almost done with sock #1 of Richard's first pair. I'm about 6 rows into a very ambitious sweater. I should post some pics of FO's I never posted, because I'm just going to have to fake it until I get off my spinning kick.

Richard thinks it's funny that I suck at geography. No, you don't understand. I really, really SUCK at geography. The other night I asked him a perfectly legitimate question, to my mind:

"Is New Mexico a state?"

3-second stare as he deliberates whether or not I'm serious. I blink, waiting patiently.


He snickers.



Monday, April 21, 2008

Spin, spin, spin, SPUN

Oh HO! Behold! My first yarn!Ain't she a beaut? Tonight I plan on spinning the rest of the white roving and then plying the white and green together, below:

Then, I plan on spinning both of the following and plying them together:
By then, it should be Wednesday night, and I'll go off to my next spinning class. I hope I've practiced enough...?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Addicted to Free Rice, Spinning

This is fascinating and informative, which of course means I'm hooked but good. Learning learning learning!

I also spun a whole bobbin last night! It's a gorgeous teal blue but it came out just plain blue in the pic. I'm going to ply the green and blue together, and the red and black together. The red and black will be called Ladybug. :)

Sit and Spin, Baby!

I went to my spinning class last night and it was awesome. Not to be too frat boy about it but DUDE! Fiber is so much fun! I suck at it and it's still way fun! The lady, Brigitte, at Bahr Creek Fiber Studio is really nice. Just about the time you're thinking, hmm, maybe I should just cut off my fingers and grow some new ones that WORK, she tells you how well you're doing and just do this and VOILA! you're spinning. For like 1.3 seconds and then it falls apart and the roving breaks and the little tail end of roving gets sucked up onto the spindle, cackling, and you can almost hear it laughing at you, and you feel like you really should be re-assigned to the short bus because obviously you're not competent enough to drive yourself home.

But it's TOTALLY FUN. I'd recommend it to anybody. I've always been a process knitter though so even when I feel like I'm trying to puppeteer somebody else's heavy clay hands I'm having fun with it.

I bought a wheel. I [heart] my wheel. I tried out 6 wheels altogether and this one felt ... right. It just WORKED. Brigitte was very non-committal about which style wheel she liked, she just kept saying that when you find the wheel you like you just know it, and she was right. It's a Schacht wheel called The Ladybug and it's just perfect. Richard put it together for me last night when I got home (thank you Sweetie!!) and then I completely flubbed my demo for him. I slept like a dead person last night, and dreamt of roving.

I bought four batches of roving in four different colors. My brain was too foggy to think last night so I didn't get pics of the roving, but I did get pics of my wheel. I spun almost a whole bobbin of one-ply last night but left it at Bahr Creek because I'll ply it with whatever I spin this week when I have my next lesson.

Here is my baby. Jezebel approves. Her eyes actually glow with love in the last pic. I know exactly how she feels.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Muriel's Garden

I've just created my mom's Etsy page for the heirloom greeting cards she makes. They're gorgeous and I hope other people love them as much as she loves making them. Find them here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Next Wednesday I will go to my first spinning class. I'm so excited! I hope I like it. I'm attending it at the Bahr Creek Llamas & Fiber Studio in Cedar Grove. I keep looking at spinning wheels and I'm just so clueless as to what I need that I'm really looking forward to learning all about them. Isn't this one pretty?


This is our most popular wheel because it is so versatile. It's easy to use for learning, and you can then buy simple add-on kits that allow you to adapt the wheel to specific types of spinning as you begin to experiment more.

It is available in single or double drive, and if you are left handed we've created a version especially for you. 4 bobbins and Lazy Kate are included in the kit. As you can see, it is also a classically styled wheel made from beautiful New Zealand Silver beech, so it will look great in your home.


Wheel diameter: 56cm (22")

Orifice: 1cm (3/8")

Bobbins Capacity: 100gm (3-4oz)

Ratios: 7.5, 10.1:1 & 14:1 bobbin lead

Weight: 8kg (17.5lb)

I have just barely the faintest glimmer of the idea of what all that means. Whee!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Baseball, Socks, and Mullet Man

Richard and I went to a Brewers game on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous and we had great seats. I brought a book and a sock to work on. When the security guy scanned my purse with his flashlight, I said, "Got a book and some knitting - pretty exciting stuff!". He laughed and replied, "Well, I hope it's a better game than that!"

I worked on Richard's sock and got about 3 inches done while we were there. I took this pic before the game started, and before I started knitting on it.
THIS is the amazing and rarely-seen Mullet Man. He was wearing a Harley Davidson jacket and was sporting an absolutely breathtaking, fully gelled mullet. WHAM! was suddenly singing in my head, telling me to wake him up before I go-go'd. I captured both a rearview and a side view, but alas, I could never capture this captivating creature's face.
And these are the socks I'm wearing today. They are the spring ones I was working on a few posts back and are very, very lovely even though they look like K-Mart socks here.

I wonder if there's a Mullet website I could post my pics to? It's rare to see a full, gelled mullet in the wild nowadays without going back to a yearbook or old family pictures. Must investigate.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bad Piggie.

I haven't posted in over a week and I never did get around to posting those mitten pics (although I did photograph them), so this one's for you, Donna. Don't tell Richard.

I wrote this when we first got the girls and I was feeling a wee bit overwhelmed. He and I have both had a hearty laugh over both the event and the written story by now, and all duties have been redistributed more than fairly, so it should be safe for blog publishing. Enjoy.


Wife of the Year Award
by Muriel Taft

I would like to submit an anecdote as my entry submission for Wife of the Year 2008.

My routine has turned upside down since the children. Mornings now include getting two little humans ready for school and daycare and making sure they have everything they need. At night, homework must be checked, teeth are brushed, jammies chosen and donned, and tuck-ins. In between are the shuttling to and from daycare, organizing their schedules and visits with their grandma, scheduling respite care, calling doctors and dentists and caseworkers.

Richard has to set out two extra bowls of Cheerios in the morning.

Last Thursday night it got bitterly cold and we arrived home from Habitat volunteering at the children's bedtime. We all rushed into the house and I began getting the children ready for bed. Richard had to go out with the dog because the dog has better sense than to go out in this kind of cold alone. 10 minutes later, as I'm choosing the children's outfits for the next morning, and tucking them in, and making sure toothpaste doesn't splatter any further than the bathroom threshold, the girls perk up and say, what's that pounding? I tune into it for the first time myself and say, I don't know, but I'm going to go find Papa Richard for your goodnight hugs and kisses.

Reaching the living room, I see my husband pounding with both fists on our front windows. I go to let him in and he stomps off to the back door. He comes in gasping and angry that he's been pounding at different windows/doors all over the house. He locked himself out. He was worried about the dog freezing and he couldn't get my attention and oh my GOD didn't I hear him??

Well, no, I didn't.

I apologized and explained that I must have just tuned it out. He says, well, I guess I should have brought my keys with me. I guess I just have to remember EVERYTHING (and this with a defeated two-arm flap down to his sides).

Before continuing, I'd like to point out a few more facts to support my nomination. I'd like to point out that we have a key lockbox attached to the house for just such an occasion. The 4-digit combination is a number well-known to both of us, and chosen by Richard himself. When I asked him why he didn't use that, he said it wouldn't open. I assumed it was frozen shut. It turns out he got all flustered and couldn't remember the combination. That he chose.

Additionally, since we'd just gotten home a few minutes before, the unlocked car would have been a warm place to hide from the wind so the doggie didn't freeze. It would also have served as a nice place to really THINK about what that tricky combination could be.

So I'm sure you can imagine the deafening silence that met THAT statement. After closing my jaw, I simply said, we'll revisit that statement in a few minutes. For now, you need to go give the girls their hug and kiss goodnight.

He's still alive. Give me that trophy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mittens, Medicine, and Musings

I have been working on these mitered mittens by Elizabeth Zimmerman and got them done Monday night, but I forgot the memory card at home with the pictures on them. Oh well. I'll post them tonight.

FC1 has been sick the last couple of days with an asthma-related cough. Non-stop coughing until she gags and throws up. Richard took her to the doc yesterday and had to stop the car 3 times on the way home so she could lean out the door and toss the cookies. Poor baby. She's had to use the nebulizer for albuterol and a steroid every 6 hours or so. It's sad seeing such a tiny person with a plastic face mask over her mouth and nose, coloring in her coloring book she got free at the pharmacy. She was up coughing with me until after MY bedtime, 10:15 pm. Finally I gave her a swig of Vick's 44 Cough Relief. It tastes like death but it worked. Hallelujah. She slept like the dead until this morning. Richard put her right back on her nebulizer first thing. She is doing better but Richard's going to stay home with her again.

I was having a discussion with my friend Janice yesterday and mentioned how with foster kids, they don't represent you or your values the same way your biological children do. They may have a different sense of style, different hair and eyes, different mannerisms, different sensibilities. This is where a very specific type of detachment comes in handy. You have to completely let go of any vanity that may come to you through your children. At the same time, this frees you to see events in their history for what they are instead of becoming immersed in a family culture. You are also much more aware of your role as caretaker of someong else's family. It's all good.

Well, I suppose I should get back to work. Happy Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back from Vegas

A few pics from our trip.
At the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel.
At the Grand Canyon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fabulous Las Vegas, Here We Come!

Vivaaaaa, Las Vegas! Richard and I head out early tomorrow morning. Wish us luck!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Haven Fleece Pics

I had to tweak the pics a little to get the colors to be true, but I finally got them photographed. Both the finished and the second one for FC2.

This is a close-up of the collar and buttons. I really like how the Jelli Beenz yarn looks with the purple and pink yarns. I used Encore's 75% acrylic, 25% superwash wool blend for the main colors and then Plymouth Jelli Beenz acrylic for the edging.
Below is the second New Haven Fleece, using just two colors of Encore 75/25. I really like how it's turning out! I'm going to take FC2 to pick out the buttons for it later this week. It's hot pink and vibrant purple. Again, I had to tweak the pics a bit to get the true colors.

I'm also working on the socks for myself, in Twisted's gorgeous Netherfield. I can't wait to slip these on once they're done.

I mean really, doesn't this just look like a rose garden just beginning to bloom in spring? This colorway just lifts my heart when I'm knitting it.