30 December 2009
19 October 2009
02 October 2009
We are a close family, especially on my mum's side. We often got together just to be together -- Oktoberfest last weekend was a good example. Somethings are just hard to understand in this life. Good happens and so does the bad. It is just hard to settle in on the bad when one is surrounded by so much good. I suppose I will just have to make that effort to keep looking for happy among the sad bits that we are going through this week...
My prayers and thoughts are of you auntie...
Posted by -va- at 23:27
30 September 2009
I have always been a pack rat. I inherited that from my mum and she in turn from hers. I suffer from that "there has to be a use for that" syndrome. Thing is, we live in a world where if we need something that badly, it is readily available, so why keep loads of junk around. Perhaps someone else is looking for that very item because they were smart enough not to keep it from an earlier time?
The clutter in my home is getting in the way of my creativity as well. I keep thinking there is no way I can spend time making stuff while there is so much to do to get rid of all the crap that surrounds me. I should get my home and life organized before I do something as indulgent as making something. Instead of having that block most people have with a blank canvas before them, I have the clutter canvas before me that wont let me get at the creativity that desperately wants release.
I honestly try not to bring more stuff home. I am really not a shopper anymore. I'm not really a clothes hound. I dont feel the need to decorate with the latest home fashions. So realisticly, the clutter should diminish in my home as I contiune to get rid of stuff, right? Perhaps I just have so much that I have not begun to make a dent yet...
My goal is to get another bit done this weekend. Maybe take another load to the Goodwill on Tuesday. I have a pile started already. I'll add to it and see what I get accomplished. In the mean time, I will try to actually finish knitting/felting project that has been before me for some time. Perhaps it is more than physical clutter...
Posted by -va- at 19:26
11 September 2009
Posted by -va- at 16:48
09 September 2009
Posted by -va- at 17:41
02 September 2009
In the spirit of trying to be a better steward of the planet, I have been tryng to use my bicycle more than I use my car. No small feat. We live a few miles away from the closest anything. Easy when you just hop in the car and drive off. Minutes from everything. But you have to plan if you want to use less gas, be more responsible. So today I rode my bike 20+ miles for $.044 worth of baker's yeast -- insantiy. But what is more insane? a) getting exercise on a most beautiful late summer morning...three hours worth or b) driving the same distance to save a little time, while spending $2 in gas, not to mention wear and tear as well as carbon emmisions... I had the time. I chose a).
Now mind you, I was not sure I could really ride that far. I had never done it before. I did not bother to call the store that carries the bulk yeast to even see if they had it in stock -- they are often sold out. If I actually knew there was no yeast, I might not have made the attempt. The only thing I really did to prepare was to pack an extra tire tube and pump, just in case -- like I'd even know what to do if I had a flat...
Flat was pretty much the name of the ride. Flat as in terrain. It was a fabulous ride. Well thought out, if I must say so myself. I did plan that part out on google maps last night when I first got the idea. The route I chose took me through three small towns an down a great bike path. I got to ride over a pedestrian bridge crossing the freeway that I have not gone over since I was in elementary school. That was kind of a cool memory. I pedalled down roads that I had not been on by bike in as much as long. Even though it was work, it was a delightful ride.
On the way home, I treated myself to a lunch out with Agatha Christie at the local Noodles and Co. I LOVE their Bangkok Curry -- light on the pasta, heavy on the veggies with a lovely creamy curry sauce. I cannot believe it is so low in calories being so high in taste. I've never been crazy about chain food joints, but this dish is worth buckling under once in a while. It was what I needed to fuel my push for home. I made it just fine, but did take a little nap a short bit later.
Funny how this accomplishment colored the rest of my day -- travel wise, that is. I had one more errand to run and was VERY tempted to make it by car, but because I "ran out" for a little yeast, I CERTAINLY could run into town and drop off the library books that were due. There was no justification to take the car. So I hopped on and pedalled 3 more miles out and back -- more insanity...
But what is life without it, excepting pain free knees!
Posted by -va- at 23:14
31 August 2009
"We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it” J.F.K.Recently (a little over 4 years ago) I started playing soccer. It was mostly a "turning 40 thing" which ended up being even more life changing than ticking off another decade mark, and it gave me another perspective of why people play and care about sports. I learned about competition, team-work, comraderie, sister-hood (I play in a women's league). I am understanding what makes MY teams click (or not). So then, regarding professional sports -- I know little about how a particular team really comes together because I am not on the inside...I really believe one has to be in that circle to really know what has to be done. We can all watch and make suppositions and accusations...but what does that really do? So WHY then do all these people feel it is the end all, be all to let me know how a team should be coached or run? I guess I will never understand...if anything, it is even more entertaining than the game itself!
Well, time to stop bloggin' and get back to espn360.com...I think there is a Bundesliga soccer replay I haven't watched! (and thanks to J.P. for the photos!)
Posted by -va- at 19:32
29 August 2009
Every Saturday morning, rain or shine -- today it was rain (and autumnal) -- I go to the local farmers market. It is a lovely one with mostly fruit/vegetable farmers and few crafters.
I'm not necessarily opposed to crafters at farmers markets, but some of the ones I have been to in the past are more craft fairs than food sales.
So I suppose you are wondering why there is a skein of yarn showing off on the side of the page in a post about farmers markets...Let me explain.
Tucked away in a light traffic area of the market, was a hand-spinner. A solitary lady with her wheel and several baskets of finished yarns. Social person that I am, I struck up conversation with her to find that she is a spinner much like me...not one to join a guild, mostly spinning just for the calm it brings. It was fun to talk with her...I took her calling card and bought a skein of yarn to make a knit cap -- melon in color just to keep with the theme of the market. If I had had needles with me, I would have started right there -- the weather here today is not at all typical of an late August day but much more like wool wearing weather. It was an impulse purchase, but when I get that hat done and place it on my head, I will certainly remember this particular Saturday morning!
Posted by -va- at 14:39
28 August 2009
Oh my yes...this is how my brain is processing at the moment! I have so many ideas floating around in my in my head that it really feels all jumbled up like this! Today I have perfected a little "pocket" doll pattern and picked up the finishing materials for a felted purse (on Ravelry for those of you who are familiar with it). Knitting is a funny thing for me. I love the slow pace of hand-knitting, yet with so many ideas to bring to the real world it doesn't go fast enough sometimes! It's no wonder I cannot sleep some nights. I will even have to listen to music on headphones just to distract myself...once in a while it works. I think that this is one of the reasons I have never put it to paper. It all seems so overwhelming, daunting, so much so I just don't start. Once, when I did, I got so snowed under by details that I just set it aside and that is where it stayed. This week I plan to try to put a stop to that kind of thinking. Because the little doll pattern has only one size and there is minimal shaping to it, it could be a bit easier to accomplish. Perhaps by the end of the week, I will actually have a hard-copy pattern in hand for editing. Now if I could just get my camera to work...
Posted by -va- at 23:31
27 August 2009
I watched my kids drive off --DRIVE off -- for school this morning. No bus to catch, no carpool to hook up with, just a kiss on the cheek from each (yes, even the boy) and off they DROVE. I guess it really hit me just where we all are in life. My role is really changing this year and it hit me like test car dummies hit the windshield as I saw them leave.
More independence for them means more independence for me. I hope to use this "extra" time wisely. But because it is so fresh, I am not exactly sure what to do with my day today...so I chose laundry. Nice, eh? But I did start it off with a coffee in the company of a good friend. I am just stabbing at the clouds right now, but I am betting that good friends like these will be a most important part of transitioning into the next phase.
I am planning on working up three fronts to tackle. These have been back-burnered for some time now. Number one -- more fiber time... Number two -- german language skills need a brush up... Number three -- music practice, particularly on a very special concertina... These of course among the regular tasks of the day, which I am hoping spur less stress than in recent past. Being a slave to non-driving teen-ager's schedules puts a vice to the amount of time one has in a day.
One thing for sure -- if I need it, I will have time to join my white furry friend in a most welcome activity, the power nap!
Posted by -va- at 11:35
25 August 2009
Well, we got through "dog week" with zero problems! All in all it was a good time. Crazy? Perhaps...
Things will be quieter still, come Thursday. The kids start school again. Summer, stick a fork in it, its done. I don't "officially" go back to my soccer club job until mid-October, leaving me only with the ortho assisting job to keep me on schedule. The kids had become so independent over the summer, it sort of kills me...maybe it was just a way to ease me into how I would have to deal with the school year. With the oldest driving, I don't have to chauffeur so much, leaving me LOADS of free time I did not have last year. Both kids in ONE school helps as well. What will I be doing with that time? Well...
I want to use it to settle in for the fall/winter in general, those are my family responsibilities. Speaking in specifics though, and on a personal growth line of thought, there are three things I want to work on: Buckle down on my german language skills, learn to play grandpa's concertina well enough to play for REAL people, knit...knit...knit...knit (and all that goes along with it, including emphasis on DESIGN and possibly publishing - recording this process was the original purpose of this blog). These are three things that I have done consistently over they years, excepting "the kid years". One puts alot on hold to raise kids.
Now, not that I am done by any means. My role has just dramatically changed. No longer do I have to BE right there. I have just gone into intense worry mode (prompting a phone call to my own mum weekly to apologize for all I put HER through!) and am now teaching through conversations of my wisdom and experience (none of which they want to sit through, mind you...). Its the next step on my grand adventure called parenthood...
Posted by -va- at 22:37
14 August 2009
Well, if I don't post for a while, I wanted to show why...
I have a couple of house guests this week. My doggy is the one in the middle. What a bunch, eh?
Melts the heart...believe me when I say, its tough to turn down faces like these!
Everything about this little get together spells trouble...oh wait that would be Trouble (notice the capital "T"). It is ever so fun to have our two buddies over, but it does take some extra diligence to make sure nothing gets broken or no body (four legged ones especially) gets hurt. They do get on together ever so well, but they just don't know when to shut down! With the heat we've been having, it has been a bit easier to slow them down. But they never quit -- its more like they go into slow motion.
I'll certainly get in more exercise this week, as everyone needs to get out for walkies!
Posted by -va- at 16:46
13 August 2009
Besides its appearance on Ravelry, this is the first glimpse of the first pattern I wish to officially publish. I made this for my friend's newly adopted son, Sam. Her husband has a very strong german heritage. They enjoy the festivals (we have many in our area) and often dress in Tracht (german ethnic costume) when they attend.
I have had the idea for this in my head since my own son was little. We hit the same festivals all decked out as well. But when the baby you want to knit for is your own, there is usually little time to actually pull off such things. Now that my babies are teenagers, I have more time to do the detailed work it takes to design, produce and publish the patterns for all those ideas. I am very excited about this!
It was very rewarding to be complimented by Sam's Oma -- a seamstress by trade -- who is known to be a stickler for details and good construction. I have been really working on perfecting my finishing techniques. It seems that no matter how well you work up the pieces, if it goes together badly, all the hard work is in vain.
I must say, the idea of putting something out into the public world for all to see and critique is a nerve wracking proposition that I am finally ready to attack. I hope I am on to something here!
Posted by -va- at 11:15
12 August 2009
-- John Gunther (1901-1970)
Yes, if only every day could start out that way! Perhaps that is why we don't have all the happiness in a day that is possible?
This was MY leisurely breakfast this morning. I thought I would give this quote a run for the money, so to speak. Eaten in the peace and quiet of my front porch. Well, as much peace and quiet as suburbia will allow, anyways.
Sure, I eat this sort of breakfast most days in the week. But each bite is interrupted by morning phone calls, kids needing something, getting dressed, making a lunch for work, etc... If I get up earlier, making time for that leisurely little meal, the day does seem to go much smoother.
And look who joined me today...Not the most attractive of God's creatures, but hey, I guess we can't all be cardinals, coopers hawks, or squirrels, right? Yes, these are some of the other frequent visitors to my yard. Actually, most of them share the property with me and my family. I see them when I actually take the time to sit still. When will I learn?
So today, among all the myriad of things that "must" be done, I will schedule some more quiet time with my little neighbors!
Posted by -va- at 08:39