31 August 2009

Do you want fries with that?

"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.
...thus begins pre-season football in Wisconsin!  Everyone has an idea of what needs to be done to build a better team.  Everyone feels the need to voice their oppinions no matter what they really know or have experienced in the lines of pro-football.  Ask any grandma tailgating on game day...Ask, well...really anyone, once the final buzzer sounds.  They all know who should stay and who should be asking "Do you want fries with that?" the following Monday.
I love a good contest.  Be it American footbal, the REAL football (soccer for those who have yet to figure it out), ice hockey, rugby, baseball, curling...doesnt matter, excepting basketball -- I cant seem to get into that one.  I love the competition.  I love the game strategy.  I never really used to think about it much, going to games was just a fun time out.  Living where we do, we have so many opportunities from which to choose when it comes to sports entertainment.  I never really thought much about it until I played sports myself. 
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!)

29 August 2009

saturday morning = farmer's market...

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!

28 August 2009

this is your brain...

Wordle: knit-wit

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...

27 August 2009

it is too quiet around here...

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!

25 August 2009

all quiet on the midwestern front...

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...

14 August 2009

Its a dog's life...

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!

13 August 2009

Sam's Oktoberfest Jacke...

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!

12 August 2009

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast...

-- 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!

11 August 2009

A Journey of a Thousand Miles...

...must begin with a single step. --Lao Tzu

So, onward!