Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Retreat Continued, and Other Knitting and Stuff

I believe I failed to mention that there is an amazing B&B on the way to Villa Maria, where the knitting retreat was.  It's the Round Barn B&B just past Red Wing:

The house looks pretty amazing:

Another thing I believe I failed to mention is that I received a yarn bowl at the retreat.  It's wonderful, and the perfect gift as I would have never purchased one myself, even though I think it's fantastic and I can't wait to have it on my coffee table.

This is the hat and swatch - products of the retreat.  I'm knitting gifts right now, and then I want to make something fast and fun.  Since the double knitting is very, very slow for me, I'm thinking it will be languishing for another month or so.  I love the colors, so hopefully that will draw me in and get me back on track eventually.

So far, this is what I've got for Boy-child's new glittens.  I'm going to wait to weave in the ends until he tries them on, so it may be Christmastime before they're actually finished.

In other news, Auntie will be starting a new round of chemo this week.  Fingers crossed.  I went to the condo today to take measurements, and also to make sure they're getting their (massive amounts of) stuff out of there.  Progress is being made.  I got a shower curtain.  And I bought myself a computer.  It's the first time I've had my very own :-)  As I organize my photos I may post (or maybe repost) some old ones.  It's a fun project, if a bit overwhelming.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Greetings from Boy

Should I be elated that Boy-child sent me an amazing greeting from Chicago tonight?  Am I happy that he was at a third party candidate debate?  What am I to think that he has appeared on Fox News?

I am delighted.

Here's a little history.

I've always tried to allow my kids to think for themselves.  It's hard.  And kind of scary sometimes.  Election years are always interesting in our family, because we don't agree on everything.

Back in 2000, in the wake of the presidential election debacle, I told my kids that every vote counts.  They were young, but I was cognizant of the fact that young people don't always vote, and that they are often apathetic; I wanted my children to buck that trend.  I think voting is kind of like reading - if you get them to start early, they'll be hooked.

Back in 2004, Boy-child went with me to the DFL caucus to observe, even though he was only 12 years old.  He had opinions, but I asked him to be quiet or we'd be there all night.  He was an observer, I told him.

Back in 2008 there was a week in February when I took Boy-child to listen to Ron Paul speak (Boy has strong Libertarian leanings) and  I took Girl-child to the DFL caucus a few days later (she and I helped register people - it was a wild night).  That was the first year Girl voted.   There was a recount for a senate seat that Al Franken won by a very small margin, as you may recall.

Every vote counts, I told her.

In 2010 Boy got to vote, and there was a recount for the Governorship of Minnesota.

Every vote counts, I told them both.

I haven't whined much this year, compared with 2008, for example.  It's not because I am not watching, because I am.  Mostly I think it is because I'm so anxious and dismayed and apprehensive.

But then I get a greeting from Chicago on a goofy news report, and I feel like everything is going to be ok.   Silly, I know, but I'll enjoy it for the moment :-)

(Boy-child also participated in a Banned Books Week event.  I'm not going to tell you what he read from.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

MN Knitters' Days

Minnesota Knitters' Days was this past weekend, and I got to go for the first time ever... There was a visit to an alpaca farm:

I hadn't been to a farm in a long time.  It was fun.  I still hate cows.

The retreat was at Villa Maria in Frontenac, Minnesota.  
Lovely spot.

I walked the labyrinth this morning, which was very therapeutic.  It made me realize that I should heed my own advice to others, and slow down a bit.  (I am constantly telling Auntie to slow down).

I tried thanking my wonderful, late friend Sue Fisher for ever telling me about it in the first place as I walked the labyrinth.  I hope she was listening.

The instructor for the weekend was none other than...

... Lucy Neatby.  What an amazing person.  The woman is a genius.

I had a great time... I exercised great restraint and did not purchase yarn ... my thanks to Kmkat for being a great room mate  ... also thanks to Jean for getting me on the list.

Knitters are fun and interesting people... I hope I get to go again next year.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


So here I am, homeless...I'd love to tell people that I'm living under an overpass on 169 in southwest Bloomington, but I wouldn't want Auntie to be denied credit for letting me camp out at her house for these six weeks of "no permanent address on file."

A few bullet points to cover what I've been up to:
  • If you're moving, plan on treble the amount of time you've allocated to get the job done
  • Never underestimate the amount of junk you have
  • Be sure to get the biggest storage unit possible
  • Not sure how it's going to fit in a two bedroom condo
  • Yes, it looks like I will have a place to live by Thanksgiving
In politics:
  • I watched both debates
  • Don't know how that first one could have been a win for Romney
  • Creepy grin
  • Can't do math
  • Don't know how the VP debate could have been a tie
  • I never get it
  • I'm glad I get to vote against Erik Paulsen
At work:
  • Just had a student in the library
  • Needs help with an annotated bibliography
  • Wants to use the article abstracts for his annotations
  • Has been told multiple times he has to read the articles and write his own summary
  • Student will probably be in the library the rest of the day figuring out how to get around reading the articles
  • Would probably save time if he just read the articles
The anticipation is killing me:
  • Next weekend is Minnesota Knitters' Days
  • Can't wait

Monday, October 8, 2012

Perfect Quote for an Election Year

He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

George Bernard Shaw

also, it looks like a Republican neighbor is going to vouch for me so that I can (cancel out his) vote...isn't that wonderful?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Awareness Month

How ironic, that it's breast cancer awareness month, and here I am with Auntie. I went with to chemo Friday for the first time...they have a good set-up at The Breast Center (not surprising). And all went well.

It's been a long time since I lived in a girl-house. Girls eat different from boys, at least in my experience. For example, there have been no steak requests. Yesterday's request was fish, so I got some salmon, miniature potatoes and peas. Wonderful. I even had fresh rosemary from The Farm for the potatoes. (I miss Boy-child, but it's great to have salmon for a change).

It's great to be done clearing out the house. I'm trying to be useful to Auntie while staying here, and we squeeze in some fun stuff too, as long as it doesn't wear her out. I'm trying to keep her on a short leash so that she behaves herself.

And how adorable is this? This is what she uses to balance her checkbook :-)

By the way, when supporting research for breast cancer, or any other good cause, just write your check directly to the organization; don't bother with the retail promotions.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Now that the moving is done (I have to go back and read the water meter today, before the signing, but that is all), I thought I would try to catch up on a few things.  I refuse to confess how long it took me to empty out that house and clean it, but it was a lot longer than I anticipated.  Thanks to friends and family for making it happen.

In stark contrast, today I'm kind of feeling like a Lady of Leisure, since I took a vacation day for the closing. First of all, there was this, from the Rapid City paper on 9/12. I don't know which is the more bizarre headline; that they've used the Crazy Horse monument as a backdrop for a 9/11 commemoration, or that the locals are excited about a second WalMart.
See this t-shirt, regarding fighting terrorism since 1492....also, I happen to be one of those snobs who refuses to shop at WalMart (at least I will until there is nothing else left).

I wove in ends last Friday night at KNO.  Two pairs of socks are now ready to go, and these are done - the fingerless mitts that were put on hold while I made chemo caps.  I like the way they turned out.  I made them long in the hand, so that she can flip the cuff up for driving, because I find most fingerless mitts to be a bit short when I'm holding on to a cold steering wheel.

This is a Christmas gift in progress.  It's not a surprise - she picked out the yarn from my stash, so I can post about them (this is the yarn that some thought looked blood-stained when I posted a photo of the hank):
I made this a while back, but I don't think I posted. It's the wonderful Koolhaas pattern by Jared Flood made with some of the last of Rowan's Calmer yarn. Calmer was the best for chemo caps, as it is super soft, has no wool, but unlike cotton, it has a little spring to it. A shame it's been discontinued.

For any details on the knitting see my Ravelry page.

That's it for today :-)  Thanks for listening.