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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Westward Ho!

I am now going off-line in preparation for my trip to sunny, beautiful Sonoma County, California. Will be posting for the next month from that location. Hope to show you some beautiful sites, wonderful yarn stores, and smiling faces in and around the area that was my childhood home! Until I land in San Francisco...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Clearing Out the Yarn Jungle

This announcement may be a bit premature, but after wandering around in a knitting funk for months now, I must admit this. I haven't been able to finish a thing since Christmas. Not a thing, except for a pair of socks and a lace scarf. Started plenty. Finished nothing. And why? Because I hate my stash and my stash hates me!
With that being said I have decided to sell it all. All except for some very special gifted yarn and a few of the purchases I made with a specific project in mind. When I return from my caretaker trip to California I will be putting the entire Yarn Jungle up for sale. First in Ravelry and on my blog, then, a week or two later, in Ebay.
Before I moved I sold over half of it and still there is a small yarn store upstairs. Made a promise to myself that I would not purchase more yarn until the stash was down to a reasonable mountain. So what happens? I don't knit! This has to stop.
The stash has to go. The stash is holding me down. The stash is an albatross around my neck...a ball and chain to my needles...a cork in my bottle of creativity! I hate my stash and my stash hates me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Renaissance Kitty


Renaissance Kitty
Originally uploaded by emmasdaughter
Jack has decided that he wants to be famous. He doesn't want to be just Captain Jack Sparrow. He wants to be Captain Jack, the Renaissance Kitty, Sparrow. I have tried to tell him that being a renaissance kitty is tough work. Some have tried and not succeeded. His response? Get a portrait! So I did.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Abercrombie and Yesterday's Bouquet


Yesterday's Bouquet
Originally uploaded by emmasdaughter
Last night I moved my bouquet of Peonies and Mock Orange out to the porch. The Mock Orange was beginning to shed its blossoms and getting all over the kitchen table. By moving it outside I hoped to get another day or two of enjoyment.
This morning, as I carried my morning mocha out to the porch to sit and enjoy the morning, I saw Abercrombie looking around for a bite to eat. Poor little Abercrombie. So tiny. So hungry.
I turned silently and went back into the house. Grabbing a small handful of granola and my camera, I proceeded back out the door. Placing the granola next to the vase of flowers, I sat and waited for Ab's return.
I didn't have to wait long. Abercrombie is a very brave little squirrel. He even sat patiently while I snapped his picture over and over again. If you want to see more of this little guy, Click on his pic. That will take you to my Flikr photostream and you can see him in all his adorable cuteness.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Halfway Measures

This post may offend some readers. If it does, I am sorry. If it does maybe you should ask yourselves why.
As the Aunt and Cousin of a lesbian and a gay, and the Mother of a wonderful, responsible and giving gay son, I have to ask myself why. Why? A thousand times why? Not why about my wonderful cousin, my adorable niece and my beloved son. But why about our president's attempt at appeasing the gay and lesbian community with a halfway measure.
Why does a portion of our population insist on believing that another portion of our population does not deserve the same rights and privileges, benefits and recognition under the law as the other portion? Why?
In the not so distant past it was women. Women were deemed unable to make a decision. Women were not allowed to voice an opinion. Women were discouraged, often violently so, from speaking out in a public forum. And why? Because men interpreted a "book" as saying that the woman was to be the caretaker of the home and hearth. She was "weak" and needed "protection" and a "guiding hand". Why?
Also, in the not so distant past, a person of color, be it black, yellow, red, was placed under the blanket of "weak" and "not quite as intelligent" as the "white male" and even -heaven forbid - the "white female"! As recently as WWII, black men were not allowed to serve in any position of authority. "They could not see at night." "They can't swim." But they sure can cook! The majority of our black men that served during WWII were placed in positions of service to the "superior" white race. Men like my friend Vernon Baker (his citation can be read here) and 6 other soldiers of color were finally recognized for their bravery in 1996, long after their actions had saved lives. How many men lived to see another day because of the heroic actions and dedication of these men? Why did it take so long for them to be given the honors of heroes?
Today, although there is still racism and prejudice, our U.S. has elected a black man to be president of this country. A long way from Dorie Miller, taking matters into his own hands aboard a ship at anchor in Pearl Harbor.
And now...
Our president is signing a bill to give same sex partners of government workers benefits that have been enjoyed by the "other portion" of our society. A brave action, given the polarization of the GLBT issues. But why Mr. President, are you stopping short of giving these non-traditional families health benefits as well? Why must my family members be treated as second class citizens? Why must my family members be denied the rights that their other family members can freely embrace?
WHY?

Wordless Wednesday 5


Trail Mix
Originally uploaded by emmasdaughter

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Am An Irresponsible Twit!

Note to self: Don't work! At least not for someone else or for corporate America. You. Don't. Like. It! And please don't forget that. Okay?

And just why is this? Because I went and got a job and it lasted approximately 2 weeks. There is some character flaw that I possess that no longer allows me to have the patience to work outside the home. I want to do things my way. Inefficiency drives me to distraction. And the insistence that I perform in an inefficient manner makes me crazy!

Case in point. The job I obtained was with a company I had been employed with in the past, as management. I was in a management capacity for over 10 years. At the end of that 10 year period I wanted a life, the job was no longer fun, and the expectations of the corporation didn't mesh with my own. Hence, I gave up the position. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I was bored, or so I thought. Applied for a position with same company in shipping and receiving. After all, I had done this before. It was easy and I was fast. On day one, I set about doing the job I had been hired for. Scan box, open box, sort books by section, place sorted books on carts to be shelved. Not a problem. As I went about doing this in my fashion, the one that had worked for 10 years, I observed my fellow receivers perform the job that they had been doing since they were hired. It went something like this - Scan box, open box, take a book, put it on the cart to be shelved, do another book. Magazines went something like this for them: Scan box, open box, take a stack of mags, 1 title only, run it to the front, place it on the rack, go back, get another. For me: Scan box, open box, place magazines on a v-cart, wheel cart to front, place mags on rack. Done. Huh? They were running around like little bees, flitting from one cart to the next, running from the back of the store to the front of the store and back again. I was standing in one place, working until the stacks were too high to stack any more, then moving said stacks to the awaiting carts. Something was wrong here. After a couple of days of me getting exhausted just watching my co-workers, I was called into the managers office. There I was told that my method, though efficient and fast, was not going to work. Again, Huh? Why? Because my stacks were distracting to my fellow co-workers and my use of the v-carts was just not done (although it was a good idea and they might give it some consideration). My response? Inefficiency drove me nuts. That is all it took. I said thank you very much for the opportunity to observe your back room and stocking techniques, but I don't believe this is a good fit for me.

Oh well, I suppose I am just an irresponsible twit. Or maybe I just have the luxury of having worked for a retirement check and work is now a choice.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Swimming In The Frog Pond


I love Colinette kits. The finished product is pleasing to look at. The knitting in simple and fun. The textural contrasts are interesting. This is my second one. I was excited to start.
How difficult can a Colinette throw be? I mean, k3, yo, sssk, and so on and so on. Easy peasy. I worked diligently for a week and became bored with the incessant pattern. This morning I awoke and realized the recipient's birthday is only 3 weeks away!
Quickly I pulled the bag that contained this beauty out of the hibernation cave and reattached the needles called for in the pattern. I did this only to realize that in my haste to begin, I used the wrong sized needle to start with! The pattern calls for an 8mm not a size 8! To my despair, if I continued with a size 8, the fabric would be more dense and therefore the yarn would not make the size required or desired.
Into the frog pond we went. Let me tell you. Frogging a Colinette is not as enjoyable as knitting a Colinette. The mohair does what mohair does and you have to coax it out of the stitch. The ribbon twists and turns and doesn't want to behave on the ball.
Maybe next time I should be a bit more careful in my reading of instructions. I don't like swimming in the frog pond with Colinette!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Thousand and One Pieces


NY Spring 076
Originally uploaded by emmasdaughter
As children, we cannot wait to grow up.
To be bigger.
To be allowed to stay up as long as we want and not have to ask our parents if we can.
As children we are so unaware.
As we grow to our teen years, that yearning increases.
That yearning comes forth as rebellion in some.
It causes us to reach out to friends before family.
To explore our lives and challenge our limits.
If we are lucky,
our parents allow us to test our boundaries
and accept the consequences of our actions.
If we are lucky,
our parents provide us with that much needed safety net in life.
As young adults,
if we are lucky,
that safety net is still there.
It is still there even if it is a bit of a fall to get there.
If we have been lucky enough to have close friends and a supportive family,
our young adult years go as smoothly as can be expected.
Then,
we have children of our own.
We watch them grow.
We do the best we can to prepare them for their adult lives.
We allow them to make mistakes.
We hurt for them.
We laugh with them.
We glow with pride at their accomplishments and
cry with them when they fall.
As they grow to adults,
we realize that the hearts of our parents are so invested in us.
Us, the adults.
We realize that because now,
our hearts are invested in our children.
Each step they take causes our heart to break;
not in a bad way mind you but break nonetheless.
Our children take a bit of our heart with them on their journey through life.
They may not know this,
but their lives turn our hearts into a thousand and one pieces of joy and sorrow.

To my children - take those pieces of my heart and build a bridge to your dreams.