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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Remember Me?

My daughter just sent me this and I had to share this little bit from the late Charles M. Schultz. I had to share not only because he was a great cartoonist. I had to share not only because he was a wonderful person who could explore the inner workings of the human condition in a non-threatening way. I had to share because we could all use a little Charlie Brown in our lives.
The following is only one of the philosophies of Charles M. Schultz. We all know him as the creator of the timeless "Peanuts" comic strip.
You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read them straight through and you will get the point.

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.
Applause dies.
Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Now, here is another quiz...See how you do on this one:
  1. List 2 teacher who aided your journey through school.
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of four people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Name 5 people you enjoy spending time with.

The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Austalia!"
Charles M. Schultz
26 November 1922 - 12 February 2000
We miss you.

Adventure Interrupted

Well, my little ski adventure for the day was short-lived.
It began just fine. The snow was fresh, the air crisp, the sun bright. Boots placed securely in bindings, I struck out across the green to the church yard and the trails beyond.
Got to the other side of the church and prepared for my first run down the hill.
I began to execute my first telemark, when, much to my surprise, I caught my tip in some deep powder and took a spill.
That part wasn't so bad, it was kind of a swan dive type of maneuver. Arms outspread, amazed expression on my face, forward momentum carrying me face first into the snow.
Very graceful.
Very avant garde!
Very deja' vu of the stairway luge incident.
I would have given myself about a 9.5 for technique and a 10 for execution.
But, somewhere between take off and landing, my binding broke!
Had to walk home.
That part sucked!
Here I am, covered in snow from head to toe, poles in one hand, skis in the other, walking down the side of the road because the snow is too deep to skulk and sneak around the back of the church, away from passers by!
How can one maintain an air of artistic athleticism when the evidence of a dive is covering their person? A snow covered Dale sweater isn't good for the image!
Oh well. Even the professionals take a spill now and again. And, maybe it was the broken binding that caused the spill and not the other way around! Sure...
Gotta go get the bindings fixed and that can't be done til tonight.
Until then, I will contemplate my technique and visualize perfection.
Today I am going to do a bit of work on my technique. There is a great hill, just before the meadow that will provide practice with Telemark turns. Watching those types of turns executed well always makes me giggle. Watch this:

Today I practice this and take pics of the canal path. Wish there was a friend with a video camera to catch my poor technique on film.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chenango Canal: part I

I just got back from a beautiful ski along the old Chenango Canal tow path. This canal ran from the Erie Canal in Utica, south to Binghamton, NY. There is only a small portion (3 miles or so) cleared in the Clinton area. My discovery of the tow path today was wonderful. Tomorrow I will take my camera and get some pictures of this little known but beautiful area.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not Like Riding a Bike

Picked up the skis yesterday. As soon as we got home, I went out the back door, put them on and realized - skiing isn't like riding a bike. You do forget the body position and the finer points of staying upright.
This is driving me nuts! I mean, I can still ride a bike after years of not being on one. Cryminee! I can still ride a unicycle for Pete's sake. Yes, really, a unicycle.
But ski? Huh! I am still creeping around the back yard trying to regain the confidence to move! Snow shoes would get me from point A to point B faster.
Right now, I am working in the back yard trying to recapture the knowledge of the skating technique that propels the skier across flat open spaces and groomed flat trails. The new skis and boots intended to make the movement easier on the skier is driving me nuts. The last time I owned skis, your boots were more or less riveted to the ski. These bindings allow for a more natural walking movement. It will take some getting used to. So for now, I am sticking close to home, away from traffic and remembering that yes, one day long ago, I did take my first step.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Knitting Success, Knitting...Oh Fer Pete's Sake!

I have been knitting.
Just not so fast that you could tell.
Today I was going to post all my knitting successes and brag a bit. But the reality is that I just can't. I will show you the current progress and one tiny FO, the first of 2009.
First, the stalled Amhra'n Gra'.
I had high hopes for this sweater as a Yule gift for Hijo Segundo. And then, one day, he comes in to find me perusing sweater patterns and states:
"I'm not really into sweaters Mom. You don't have to make one for me. I would rather have socks or a scarf."
"HUH?!" I said to myself.
And the sweater began to languish. It is still going to be finished though.
The photo is where I was the day that bit of information came my way.

My small success came in the form of these newly designed little cuties. They are a new Emma's Daughter Design and will be in a series called Twinkle Toes, booties and socks for preemies and newborns. This is the first set and is currently under test and rewrite. They are so tiny that it takes only an hour or so to knit one! Fun stuff and small successes count. Right? With help from a marvelous group of women from Ravelry this pattern is getting finished so fast that my head is spinning. That group consists of the wonderful Krafty Anne, the amazing Doodler, the kind Nanarector, and last, but not least, the blogless yet amazing Nathalie, Sunniann and Miolulu.
The next little project that was so exciting for me to finish was for my dear friend Becca, who is still Unpublished by the way. I was getting ready to place them in an envelope and mail them to her when I thought to try them on for a picture. Oops...unless she has 2 right hands, this is just not going to work! Last time I saw her, she seemed to have both thumbs in the proper locations. I laughed, cussed, tried them on again to see if I was somehow mistaken with the positioning of the offending manual appendages only to discover that I was right. They were wrong. Now I have to make another one for the proper hand and probably another one for the proper hand again so I can have a pair too! Sorry Becca, they are going to take a while longer.
Knowing of my dismay and disappointment, the kindly Clinton mailman brought me a consolation prize though!
A while ago I ordered this gorgeous yarn in a kit. A Colinette Afghan kit.
A few years ago I made one for Hija Primera. Not the same pattern or colorway, but a Colinette kit. It was such fun to work and kept me warm while knitting. It was a Yule gift to her.
Since that time I have wanted one of my very own.
One day, while surfing around, looking for Wendy Peter Pan yarn, I stumbled into Wool Needlework. The Colinette brand, floating in the sidebar, caught my eye and I was a gonner. The kit is called Perugino and the colorway is Ginger Nut. It is perfect for my newly painted and decorated parlor! Can't wait to start it.

But you all know what I must do first. That is right, fix the mitten!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Magic Mirror On The...

It took long enough!
Beginning to think I am the slowest knitter in the world!
The Magic Mirror mittens are finally off the needles and onto the blocking board!
Will post a picture when they are dry and on some hands.
Then, it is into a shipping envelope and off to the lovely Becca.
Will she really be the happiest girl in the whole USA?
We shall see.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another Shot

I have been worried about my old dog Roz for quite some time now.

When we brought her into our lives about 8 years ago, my vet informed me she had serious hip displaysia. Serious to the point of possible worsening to the point of inability to walk in later years. Roz has been having that difficulty for the past 5 to 6 months.

At first it was just a little hitch in her stride as we set about our morning walk. Then it progressed to a definite limp and lameness on one side of her back end. More recently it has worsened to the point of not being able to get up the stairs. She would fall and slide back down to the bottom and scare the tar out of me every time. It has worsened to the point where she cannot walk through snow deeper that 6 or 7 inches. It has worsended progressively to the point where she can barely walk and I must carry her most of the time.

Finally, I could not stand to see my loyal little friend in such pain. Watching her brought tears to my eyes and I would sit and hold her and cry. She seemed to know that my concern for her ran deep because she would always look up at me with her big, liquid brown eyes and just relax in my arms.

"Right now," I whispered to her last Thursday as I set her down and reached for Google. I set about finding an animal chiropractor to see if she could be given some sort of comfort. And, Google didn't let me down. I found one a 45 minute drive from my home in the small town of Pompey, NY. She was flying out for a race (she works on race horses) and would be back on Monday. She would see her that day!

This morning Roz was bundled into her bed already set up in the back seat of the car and we set out for Pompey. It took a a while to get there because it was snowing so hard and traffic was not moving quickly. I was afraid the kind Doc would think us a no show. But, just as we pulled into the drive of her farm, a small SUV pulled in behind. It was her! Also late due to the roads.

The first thing that the Doc did after we entered her barn/office area was take the leash of Roz and let her explore. She watched as Roz limped around her office, sniffing and nosing into the boxes of toys and horsey smelling blankets. After about 5 minutes, Roz came over and sat down at my feet, entirely calm and okay with the situation. Then the Doc sat down on the floor and motioned for me to do the same. With Roz between us, she began talking to her and running her hands lightly up and down her spin. After Roz was okay with being touched by this kind and gentle person, the Doc took Roz's hips in her hands and extended Roz's legs to the back.

She had one leg about 1 inch longer than the other! With that little bit of information flying about the room, Roz began to quiver in fear. Then the Doc gave one of Roz's hips a little tweak and Roz relaxed perceptably. Then a tweak to the other hip. Roz's tongue began to peek out of her mouth as it does when she is entirely relaxed. The Doc set Roz back down on all fours and began working her hands ever so gently back up the dog's spine, every once in a while giving a little push and re-aligning a stray vertabrae.

As she reached the center of Roz's back, Roz again began to quiver in pain. In the very center of her spine, Roz had a vertebrae that caused her back to have a slight bend; canting to the right as if her right shoulder and her right hip were trying to meet one another. Somehow, very quickly the Doc massaged that spot, got Roz to relax again and snap! Her spine was straight! And the vet continued her gentle journey up Roz's spine.

By the time she was finished, Roz was asleep, tongue lolling to one side as I held her in a standing position. As soon as Roz realized that her spa time was at a close, she turned around and gave the vet a big wet doggie kiss. The vet smiled and laughed. I smiled and laughed.

We both, the vet and I stood up to see if Roz would walk around for us again. And she did! She walked without the stiffness. She put weight on all four feet. She stood squarely on all four feet! I was so relieved. My worries for my little friend were set aside.

As Roz explored and looked around the Doc and I set up another appointment for her. But, this time, Doc comes to us! She makes house calls! SaWeet!!!!! My job for the next 10 days is to work Roz into and excercise program of walking daily, rain, snow, sleet or hail. She needs to walk to regain her strength in her hips that are severly atrophied due to her inability to use her hind legs properly. But, with time, her hips should be alright, considering the severe displaysia that she has.

I am relieved. I am grateful. I am excited for my old dog to get another shot at an active life.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Playing Around with Smilebox

Click to play My Buds

Check Out The Kitchen!

In an effort to present my interests in an organized fashion, I have started a recipe blog called Emma's Daughter's Kitchen. Go check it out! It is fun, has music, recipes and will also contain reviews on kitchen appliances, spices, and cooking implements of construction.

Click on the link in the sidebar. Should be fun!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

From Old to New

During the next couple of weeks I am going to be moving some of my favorite posts from my old blog to their new home here. Because my computer challenged mind can't figure out how to get the computer to do it I will be moving them over one at a time as I review them and decide if they are worthy of the move or not.

This post was written in December 2005. It was my rant on cheap yarn. Alas, the pictures have disappeared somewhere into the cyber dark hole of Word Press, but the verbiage is still here and I still give this post my stamp of approval.

Muppet Yarn!

The other day I was strolling down the "Muppet" isle at my local Hobby Lobby. You know the isle. It is the one with all the fuzzy, funky yarns. Yes, the ones that hide all the talent involved in the knitting of a garment or accessory. Anyway, as I strolled, marveling at all of the tacky, tasteless (my opinion only folks) yarns, I brushed my hand across the softest stuff I had felt in years. Upon looking, it was indeed "Muppet Yarn". The name "Featherwisp" made me believe it was the product of Big Bird down feathers. But, there were too many colors for it to be just The Bird! It didn’t matter, it was soft! I had to figure out what to do! Oh my goodness, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t buy dead Muppets!

But, I just couldn’t help myself. I stealthily plucked (no pun intended) 2 skeins of the featherwisp stuff from the shelf and slinked to the check-out counter. While at the checkout, the young lady and I discussed the merits of killing Muppets to get their wool. Guess what folks! They don’t kill them, they are shorn! Not only are they shorn, but they are shorn in a very humane and gentle manner. I mean, think about it. There is so much money in Muppet fiber that to skin them makes no sense at all financially. Shearing them on the other hand allows for the production of scads of hideously vibrant, fuzzy yarn that comes from a renewable source! Needless to say, I left the store without feeling guilty for the slaughter of defenseless Muppets. I had other reasons for feeling guilty…Yes, I bought 2, not 1, but 2 skeins of the stuff. I got it home, pulled it out of the bag and wondered why.

What does one make with Muppet yarn? What else do you do with the stuff but make a scarf. So I did…er am. In actuality, it isn’t that bad. It is rather colorful, but, when worn with the proper overcoat, could be rather fun. It is a simple dropped yo pattern, with a partial hood. It isn’t itchy at all - go Muppets!

Once it is complete I will try to find a sassy, young lady to model it. I will make sure it is someone 8 years old or under so the knitting police don’t come after me. (I love the Knitting Police)

I never did finish the above mentioned scarf. The Muppet Fur was just too much for me to handle. I still have a bit of the yarn that has gone into other tacky and tasteless projects, as in the tacky project on the left. There is still enough that I could make a matching set of lingerie.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rebecca's Mirror Image

After a bit of shameless begging on her part (see comments made by Rebecca in previous post) these mittens have been relinquished. It wasn't difficult for her to get them. All she had to do was look at them and then look again. Shh...don't tell her, but that truly is all she would have had to do. Silly Becca. They look like they belong to her. Just the right shade of almost red. The first one should be finished sometime tomorrow!

Mirror Image and a Little Help

The cuffs for the mittens was quick and easy. Rather than measure I did 8 repeats of the chart. Worked out to just over 3". Then, when starting the hand, I found that the cables didn't flow into the hand quite right, causing me to have to slip and move stitches around. After looking at the chart for the cuff, I realized that if you start on stitch 6 of the chart, the stitches and cables line up perfectly.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Devil Made Me Do It!

The Devil made me do it! I swear!!! It isn't my fault. Really. It was out of my control. Couldn't help it. Didn't try. It happened and I just went with it. I was bored with my current focus for WIPs, my Amhra'n Gra' sweater. I needed something different to rejuvenate my knitting senses. Really wanted something I could knit while vegging. Okay, do I really need to give more excuses. Alright, alright, one more. My hand were cold. So I cast on for these! Am making them out of some yarn I purchased 2 years ago at the Taos Wool Festival. Finally found a use for it. Love the mittens, love the yarn, the pattern is great too. It can be found at Magic Mirror Mittens.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Found A Fabulous Recipe Blog!

If anyone loves food as much as I do, then you must go check out Simply Recipes!
She has the most gorgeous photos of food you could imagine.
And the recipes?
Can I just say WOW?!

I am going to get the items needed for her Bok Choy with cashews.
What a wonderful first find for 2009!