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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An Homage to My Husband

Dearest Richard,

Sometimes I think we get lost in the everyday. Weeks slip by and we kiss good morning and we kiss goodnight, and we kiss in between, and somehow forget how truly special we are together. Hopefully this little post will remind you how I see you, everyday.

You do the dishes in the morning. I never have to worry if there will be clean plates for dinner, or if there's a dishwasher full of dirty dishes. It's wonderful and I try my hardest to remember how wonderful that is every day.

Friday mornings you collect all the garbage in the house and get it out to the curb. I never have to worry about it. Ever!

Every morning I wake up to the smell of fresh coffee. Mmmmmagic.

Every morning, I know the girls will eat their bowl of Cheerios, because you woke them up and poured their cereal and made sure they had spoons. It warms my heart.

Every night when I get home I know you will be there. If you're not, I know where you are. You're never "at the bar", or "out, see you when I see you".

You carry your phone and even if you don't answer it, I know that it's not because you're avoiding me.

You go to work every day even though things may not be so great there.

You start my car for me on cold mornings, and brush off the snow. When I see your shoeprints in the snow it makes me smile and get a little misty, imagining you brushing off my car and caring about me.

You make sure my oil gets changed when it's due.

You try to call your mom every Thursday, because you've done that since college. I can't explain what that makes me feel, except that it brings tears to my eyes.

You mow our lawn and don't drown it in pesticides. You accept our lawn for who it is, and though you may throw a few handfuls of seed, you don't try to kill every weed. Weeds are just plants that don't sit at the popular lunch table.

You make sure our driveway is cleared of snow. You even clear a path down the old driveway for Bandit, so he has somewhere safe to walk with his bad hips.

You make and keep dentist and doctor appointments without me ever having to remind you.

You love our little binkies as much as I do, and are sad when one dies.

You try to read the books I recommend.

You read books on your own, to learn and to improve.

You are always striving to be a better person.

You understand how important it is to contribute to the community, and happily go overboard with me.

You talk me down from the ledge when I'm having a rough day, and being too hard on myself.

You've become a foster parent, with me, and co-created this unique, warm, loving life that we share.

You believe in God and love him as much as I do.

You can be silly with me, and have fun with me, and be serious with me, and are just my best friend ever.

There are about a million more reasons why you are the man I fell in love with, and married, and to whom I gave my heart unconditionally. How about we snuggle in bed tonight and I'll tell you 100 more before we go to sleep.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Haven Fleece is Done ... But Unphotographed!

I have yet to catch my breath from last weekend when I got the New Haven Fleece done for FC1, but I am determined to get it photographed this weekend. I want to take a photo using natural light because I'm sick of the washed-out utter CRAP photos I've posted lately. I'm going to have to start using Richard's eBay lightbox for photos of the small stuff because I'm just so unimpressed by my photos lately.

The whole time I've been knitting the NHF, FC1 has been trying it on. Before sleeves, after sleeves, after some of the finishing was done even. Absolutely delighted with the whole thing. I gave it to her on Saturday and fully expected her to put it on immediately. Instead, she beams up at me and says, "I'm going to save it for pajamas!" I said, noooo, I think you should wear it today when we go out for lunch. "Hmm. No. I want to save it for pajamas." It started to dawn on me that she didn't want to wear it. Perhaps ever. Vision slightly foggy around the edges, I asked, So are you embarassed to wear it? She nods. Why? "The sleeves make my arms look fat."

This from a 49-pound bobbleheaded waif.

After three weeks of knitting for the little nipper.

Oh, hell no. No, my dear little girl, you will wear the sweater and you will love it. You will cherish every stitch, because every stitch was knit with love and sometimes tinked and reknit several times.

After that little bump in the road I cast on something for me, all me, something I will love, cherish, and possibly go to my grave with. I'm working on a pair of socks using my lovely, lovely, completely scrumptious Twisted sock yarn, Netherfield.
And, because I'm a slow learner, I'm also knitting the second New Haven Fleece for FC2. I have already clarified with her that she will NOT be using it for pajamas, however. Ground rules are important.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Finger Puppets for Foster Poppets

I made these finger puppets last night for the girls for Valentine's Day while Richard made them cards. We put the puppets inside the cards and then put the cards in their room for them to find this morning. Thanks for modeling for me, Richard.

The girls weren't terribly impressed with them until we told them that I made the puppets and Richard made the cards. Then OH MY GOD YOU MADE THESE???? THESE ARE SO COOL!!!! They both took them into school with them so they could show everybody.

Suck on that, Made in China.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


A few steps from my cubicle the office printer gently belches paper between clicks and whistles. 80's music plays overhead, just loud enough to determine which "classic" is synthesizing away. Now it's "Let's Hear It For the Boy". Maybe he's no Romeo, but that doesn't faze the singer.

I can see outside through the glass doors past the receptionist's desk. I am grateful for this piece of daylight. It reminds me that being here is a choice, because there's the door, and I'm not moving. Semi trucks rumble the bedrock when they drive past. The business across the street still has a large Christmas wreath up. It makes me wonder why nobody has taken ownership of taking it down yet.

The building I work in is alive with politics and deception, yet we all come to work everyday. Why? I feel like I can almost see over the rim of the bucket I'm in. If I could only stretch up a little higher, I could see where I should be.

I didn't always live in a bucket. My parents had, and still have, no bucket, and that was the horror that drove me. I worked hard, really hard, to get good grades and graduate college. I played in the woods, camping and hiking, and lived other lives, always thinking my salvation lay just over the bucket's rim. I scrambled to conform, to rise, to build this career, yearning to blend in, to grind down my rough edges and streamline my flaws. I graduated, and ploop, slipped into the bucket. It started with a small bucket, and I have traded lives unknown to get this bigger, better bucket.

I am grateful that I am 32, and escape is more than a dream. But for what will I trade my hard-won bucket? It is valuable, and has countless hours and toil in it. I can't just throw it away. How can I leverage my bucket? It's a one-shot deal, whispers the fear.

To be continued.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Not a Very Wonderful Day.

I am tired and grouchy today. I have recycled hair that wasn't so great yesterday, and is now much less so today. I would like to grouch about several things, in no particular order.

1) I spent 30 minutes on Pilgrim between Brown Deer and Silver Spring this morning. It's less than 2 miles.

2) I still have a sinus infection. I am miserable.

3) 2:30 am. A white face with pigtails ghosts up beside my bed and whispers, "Mama Muriel? I wet my bed."

Katie, you were right, I should have gotten the waterproof mattress pad. Oh, you were so right.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

One More Thing

The antibiotic they've got me on? My Augmentin's got me a runnin', if you know what I mean. So with Richard hacking up lung chunks and my indelicate after-odors, we are Hot and Sexy, respectively. You know you want it. Don't be hatin'.

Just Kidding

Richard's good old-fashioned headcold turned out Tuesday to be pneumonia. Just an area in one lung, about the size of a silver dollar. Thank goodness. He's on antibiotics and a prescription cough suppressant, but I don't think the cough suppressant is doing much. My sinus infection was doing well until today. It's just acting up and I can't stop sneezing and blowing my nose. What a fun pair we are.

We had another snow day on Wednesday. I'd say we got about 15 inches. An absolutely ridiculous amount of snow if you ask me. Last night after the kidlets were in bed Richard and I went out to move snow. I was shoveling his truck off and wondering if we moved to Michigan and nobody told me.

We were all home. Richard's cough suppressant makes him sleepy, so I had to watch the girls while he napped a good part of the day. The girls spent some time in both the morning and afternoon sledding in the backyard. Richard made me a fire in the fireplace so I got to spend a couple of hours in the morning listening to NPR, sipping coffee, knitting, and watching the fire while the girls played. It was magical.

The New Haven Fleece is coming along very nicely.

One sleeve is done and the other is almost there. All I have left to do after that is the buttonholes and collar ribbing. FC1 is getting very excited! I think the second Fleece will go much faster now that I know the "tricks" in this particular pattern. Not that it's complicated. I'm just sort of a dimwit sometimes and have to rip things out a couple of times before the "ah-ha!" moment hits.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Sick and Sicker

Richard and I are both sick. Of course we are. It's our respite weekend, when we finally get great big chunks of time together. I am on antibiotics for a sinus infection gone feral, and Richard has a good old-fashioned headcold. At least the kidlets won't have to suffer through the weekend with both of us so low-energy and growly. Grr.

On a positive note, I have been reflecting on what an amazing life we've created together. I try to never lose sight of what really matters; friends, family, our connection to God, and loving what is, instead of yearning for what isn't. We have a home we absolutely adore, in a town we love, and are foster parents to two incredible kids. We learn more about love every day. I asked Richard last night if somebody had told him he'd be in this place five years ago, what would he have said? He chuckled and said he would have told them they were smoking something.

What a life.