Saturday, January 31, 2009

No place to sit down


funny pictures of cats with captions

I have lost custody of the house for today- Sam is having a few friends over to celebrate his upcoming birthday (more on that later), so after making certain that things are “clean enough for girls” and providing rations for a dozen teens (five extra-large pizzas, Costco bag of chips, dip, ten 3-liter bottles of soda, and a full sheet cake), Chris and I are getting the heck out of Dodge until 9:00 pm. We’ll probably head to the mall to do a little shopping and maybe a movie -if there’s any thing worth our time and two full-price tickets Confused

Prayers for the protection of my property would be greatly appreciated! Wink

 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January drifts


Day slides into evening, night dissolves into morning, and before I know it, another week has past.

We decided to postpone the adventures in San Francisco until the weather is less precarious. Instead, Chris and I went out for brunch at Mimi’s CafĂ© on our way to Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley; this was my old stomping grounds growing up- the end of our street was a service entrance into one part of the park- and it had been years since we’d been there.




We wandered around the Botanic Garden, following winding paths and experiencing the stark beauty of winter plants; I found myself drawn to the bare Manzanita trees, thickets of ferns, and groves of coastal redwoods.




After a visit to the Little Farm to greet the residents, we took a meandering hike up to and around Jewel Lake, and then stopped off on the way home to take in the view at Inspiration Point.







Sam made it back from Snow Camp in good health, but missing a vital “appendage”- his cell phone. Fortunately for him, a staff member found it in one of the cabins while cleaning up and forwarded it by mail; he’s been experiencing a severe case of disconnection and has learned why Mom tells him to log his phone numbers in Outlook, just in case.




Monday afternoon was my friend’s memorial service; the turnout surprised her family, but not those of us who came to know Kathy after she moved to town. The chapel was standing room only, filled with customers, students, business owners, council members, Coast Guard auxiliary, and many friends; six rows were filled with just knitters and I’m certain we emptied a full large box of tissues in our pew alone. The reception afterward was equally well attended- so much so that I didn’t get a chance to speak with any of the children; fortunately, we are having an old-fashioned wake tomorrow at a friend’s home and will be putting together a Remembrance Book, filled with our stories and tributes, to give to the eldest daughter. The fate of the store is up in the air; Kathy died without a will, so until probate is completed, the doors remain closed to business. Providentially, the owner of the quilting store down the street has offered the use of her back room to the Friday night knitting group; one of my concerns was that we would drift apart without our anchor Kathy, but everyone seems committed to continuing what she unwittingly started nearly six years ago.




Jessica called; she’s been laid off again (no huge surprise) and has finally decided to leave San Jose. She has moved to Cloverdale- lock, stock, and cat carrier- and is staying with the sister of one of her former boyfriends (don’t ask me- I’ve never understood her relationships) while looking for work. Hope this works out for her- the area around Santa Rosa is one of my favorites, more rural than urban, and I think it will be a good change.




Work persists on taking up too much of my time and brain power, but happily I have approved vacation time coming- February, I’ll be going to Stitches West for a long weekend, a Garden Club field trip in March, and then a week in June for Sam’s graduation and Robb’s visit from Florida. I also have the week after Christmas scheduled, but I’ll be taking some time in the fall as well- six months is just too long without a break!




My knitting basket and movie are calling- Sam’s scarf is only half done and I need to start the tote I wanted to make Jessica for her birthday next month; here’s a photo of the apron I made for the last swap I did- what do you think of my model?




Friday, January 16, 2009

Couldn't duck this one

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

 

That’s a bit how I feel right now~ took an shocking hit when I learned that my friend & knitting mentor, Kathy Kindred, died unexpectedly on Monday afternoon.

Sadness & regret are taking turns lobbing snowballs at me; I’ll miss her good nature, gentle encouragement, quirky sense of humor, & a myriad of things I won’t realize until later~ did she have any idea how much joy she gave me & the others who congregated at her shop? When was the last time I thanked her or expressed my appreciation for her patience?

It’s said that all we take with us when we leave this life is the love that surrounded us; I can see her now, decorating her cottage in the corner of Heaven with the love she brought along.



funny-pictures-ducks-rate-eachother-as-they-dive
more animals


I am one of the fortunate few to have a 3-day weekend ahead, which will be spent without children- Sam left with the band & sound crew for Snow Camp this morning & will return Sunday evening, his duffel bag full of dirty, wet clothes & the remnants of the cold we’ve all been struggling over.

My exciting plans?

Work Saturday morning, finish an apron for a winter swap, work on knitting projects for the kids’ birthdays next month, & repeatedly blow my nose.

Yes, my life has become a thrill-a-minute.

At least the weather is promising; unlike the rest of the nation, we are looking forward to sunshine & temps in the mid-sixties (please don’t hate me because I live next door to Paradise- believe me, we’ll pay for it later, probably in the form of wildfires) I think I may convince Chris to play hooky from church Sunday & head to San Francisco for a day of sightseeing; I recently learned the he has 1) never walked out onto the Golden Gate Bridge, & 2) taken a ride on the Cable Car- since the man was born & raised in the Bay Area, I think it’s high time he has these experiences!

Each of you have a safe, warm, & restful weekend, & please know that I cherish your friendship, appreciate the many kindness shown me, & thankful that the Father brought our paths together.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Turn your head to the side....

video

Sorry about the sideways filming- I didn't even think about it until it was all put away :-S

Three years & I've still got the touch...


Well, my boss is gone & I’ve made it through my first end-of-month close on time & with my sanity intact (mostly) - now I get to enjoy a day of rest to catch up. First thing on the list (after a shower, breakfast, & reading the paper) is to catch up with my blog friends.

Vacation was blessedly quiet & uneventful; I kept up a rigorous routine:

 

1.      Sleep until 7:30 or 8:00

2.      Eat

3.      Do one errand

4.      Eat

5.      Nap

6.      Read

7.      Eat

8.      Watch TV & Knit

9.      Bed by 10:00

 

The weather cooperated with this stringent schedule, by being staying cold, wet, & stormy, so I was never tempted to deviate from my regime of sloth.

Jessica ended up spending a couple days with us for the holidays; the guys drove down Christmas Eve to pick up, while I stayed home to cook dinner~ ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn muffins, & picked up my favorite pumpkin pie from Costco. We invited the guys- Jerry & Don- over & had a great evening, eating, laughing & sharing stories.

While she was here, Jess asked me to show her how to knit; evidently, she met a group of knitters that gets together at a coffee shop close to her apartment & has developed the itch to play with yarn.

 


 

She caught on pretty quickly, finishing an 18” practice piece in the first day; I think if she sticks with it & is willing to ask for help from her group, she’ll develop the knack. After binding off her practice piece, she wondered aloud what she should do with it; as a lark, she draped it across our old lady Daisy’s shoulders as she waddled by. Surprisingly, an hour later, Daisy was still wearing it, so we sewed a big button on one end & she now sports an original designed Cat-Shawl.

 


 

I sent her home with several sets of needles, enough yarn for a couple small projects, & a beginner’s book for inspiration. I’ve written about my own need to create, what it means to my life & sanity; it’s my prayer that Jess finds that for herself.

It was a “Knitter’s Christmas” for me this year; the guys got me Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s new book Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again, two gift certificates to the local yarn store, & handmade yarn swift. What is a yarn swift, you ask?

 


 

It’s a tool to wind hanks of yarn- which are difficult to knit from without tangling- into more manageable center pull balls.


 

I found some photos of a tabletop model that I saw at Stitches last year, so the guys put their heads together, raiding their collective stashes of scavenged materials, & created this collapsible swift out of solid oak. The funny part was- they all rushed over here on Christmas afternoon, so they could watch me use it for the first time; even though they had built it, none of the men could figure out what I was going to do with it- but now they’re already tweaking the design & planning some improvements J

 


 

I had best get going; we’re having dinner with some friends tonight & I need to fix something for to take for dessert. I hope your New Year has been shaping up nicely- so far, so good around here- & I’ll leave you with a few random photos from Christmas.

 


 


 


 

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A guid New Year to ane an a' And mony may ye see



Since I can't be at each of your homes in person, let this serve as my virtual "First Foot" blessings for the New Year:



A lump of coal, that your hearth will stay warm



A loaf of bread, that you may never go hungry



A handful of salt, to give flavor to your life



A coin, to bring prosperity



A dram of whiskey, for celebration & cheer


We've had our bonfire & set off the fireworks, to bid the troubled old year goodbye;


Now, we offer up prayers for God's blessings & protection for the coming journey, trusting that we'll strengthen the bonds of love & friendship with those in our lives, & will welcome new friends we meet along the way.


Blessings from Meg's Garden