Friday, November 28, 2008

How Did We Survive?

First of all, he's not so tiny.

Second, he has a bad cold complete with stuffy head and cough, poor baby.

I selflessly ::snicker:: volunteered for overnight duty while the Older Kid and the Daughter In Law are visiting.

Wednesday night, he slept (sort of) downstairs with them and with me creeping around in the dark to collect him when the wails were devolving into hysterics that could be heard two blocks away. ("What magic did you do that calmed him down, Mom?") Just so you know, they aren't heartless, just learning, that sometimes waiting him out isn't ever going to happen.

Last night, the Pack and Play and its occupant moved upstairs to my office (right next to where the Other Half and I sleep). Even though he fought sleep for hours (three episodes of The Unit season 3, in case anyone's keeping score) and he was up 3 times before dawn (wet, hungry, stinky and hungry, in that order), it sure beat trying to climb stairs with a howling mass of baby goodness in the dark.

He's sleeping again, and I am debating closing the blinds in here and catching a leetle nap myself. Or a shower.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Answer To a Question

Charlotte left a comment:

Today was the Scouting for Food drive here locally. I set my bag out with mostly canned meat products in it. It sat on the porch all day and no Scout came near it to collect it. I saw a forlorn bag on a neighbor's porch as well. It bugs me that the Scouts can drop off the bag but can't come back a week later to get the donation. I try to help but ... This is not the first time this has happened. The Girl Scouts are just as bad when they ask for toiletries for the shelters. I bag them up, set them out and at the end of the day bring them back in.

Charlotte, and anyone else who has had the same experience, call the scout council office and let them know. They may not be able to do anything right away, but they need to be aware. You can also call your regional food bank and ask where the nearest pantry is located so that you can drop the food there.

For what it's worth, my food bank no longer receives any of the Scouting for Food donations, by design. Our troops and packs are each connected with one or more emergency pantries (where the actual food distribution takes place) and they take the food directly there.

We've had a number of individuals drop their donations at our food bank because the scouts didn't pick it up.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sweetie

You know who you are!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday, Sunday

Another X-moose sweater is finito.

This is Jared Flood's Cobblestone (from last fall's IK?) all done up in Filatura Lanarota "Puno" from Smiley's. I chose the camel heather colorway and was most pleased with the hand and the feel.

I'm not crazy about the way my wrap and turns look on the right shoulder. I think a little manipulation of the stitches might be in order.

It stretched to enormous proportions when I washed it, but a short trip through a warm dryer on gentle knocked it back in line.

All in all, a successful project. The dimension match those provided by the intended victim recipient.

The photos don't do it justice at all. But then, when do they ever? The color is much richer in real life.

These were not on the doorstep when I checked on Saturday, but there they were with the newspaper this morning!

I've wanted Wooly Thoughts for a while, and when I saw it on the site (I was shopping for a birthday gift), I just had to have it it jumped right into my shopping cart. Honest!

My story. Sticking to it.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

How Much Is That Doggy In the Window?

I finished another hat for the Tiny Prince.

This one matches his snow suit cold weather gear. I must keep reminding myself that I am not the only grandmother buying things for him (even if I am the only one knitting him cozy warm wooly things.

(Should I confess right now that the pile of Prince skins is growing by leaps and bounds as the Solstice approaches? Pajamas and long sleeved onesies and such. Big Pile!)

This was a 2-day knit (weekend with little else pressing to do and a good football game on TV), though I actually started it over a week ago.

I loosely followed a Cottage Creations pattern (Toddler's Norski Sweater and Cap) that I used in 2006 for the Knitting Olympics.

Instead of the traditional motifs (and lice), I used one of the Jacquard Patterns from Beautiful Knitting Patterns by Gisela Klopper.

Close-up eyes left.

Yarn is Superwash Worsted, knit on size 3 and 6 needles.

I'm pleased with the result.

And the ties will keep him from pulling it off (or at least slow im down).

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Season's Upon Us

It should come as no surprise to regular readers that I am not a happy camper at "The Holidays." And let me further note that "The Holidays" starts earlier and earlier each year which only adds to the stress.

When I was a kid, the Christmas season started on Thanksgiving Day with parades in every major city (the big ones, at least for me, being in New York and Philly) and the arrival (at the very end of the parade) of the Jolly Elf, Himself.

Not so much any more.

Christmas stuff started appearing in stores before school had even gotten underway this year. By Halloween, all the stores were decked out. Thanksgiving has been shoved aside in favor of snowmen and reindeer and I just want to cover my ears when I hear the music on the PA systems.

I sometimes wonder if I am pushing my own family away with my Grinchy attitudes. I dearly despise the whole "holiday season" and the fact that it starts earlier and earlier each year stresses me to no end. I hope I have not passed that along to my boys, though I wonder if it's possible not to pass such feelings down the generations.

My childhood was not idyllic. In fact, it was the stuff of which nightmares are made. I am now trying to mend fences with my kids and my world. But I still hate The Holidays.

The atmospere and frenzy has been building for the last couple of weeks at work. Things are normally hectic at this time of year, but the state of the economy, the rising cost of everything and the rising sense of desperation on the part of families that were marginalized before the stock market started swirling the bowl have compounded the situation.

We generally make referrals to emergency food daily, sometimes as often as 5 or more times daily, especially at the end of the month. At one point this week, every single phone line (5) at the food bank was in use as we scrambled to get families the help they need.

And it's only going to get worse as it gets colder.

And on that happy note, I invite you to join me in spreading a little holiday cheer to those who are less fortunate. All of us have the means. Here are a few things that you can do:

Knit (or crochet, or sew) something warm (hat, scarf, pair of mittens) and donate it. Not sure where? People in shelters, people eating in soup kitchens, children in school in less affluent poor neighborhoods, daycare centers that serve "working poor" families. Even one warm garment is one less cold person. If you aren't sure where those might be, call your local school district, your county Children and Youth (or equivalent), the Red Cross, the Salvation Army. They can direct you.

Don't knit? Buy one and donate it. The Tree has warm stuff for a buck. Can you afford a buck?

Donate some food (or cash) to your regional food bank or to an emergency pantry. Don't know where that might be? Feeding America can put you in touch with folks who can put you in touch.

Volunteer. Offer your assistance at a soup kitchen or pantry. The volunteer base in many organizations is aging. They need "fresh meat" (bad, bad pun). Be willing to help when you are needed (it's not likely that it will be Thanksgiving or Christmas--those helpers were lined up months ago). But your assistance will be welcomed. If you encounter the rare agency that is well-staffed, don't give up. Try another. You are needed! People need to eat every day!

And here's something you can do from the comfort of your home with something you probably have right at your fingertips. It will cost you only a 42 cent postage stamp and the last holiday card in the box.

Holiday cards for Recovering American Soldiers should be mailed to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD. 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than Dec. 10.

You can find more information here.


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Round and Round

And so. .

The Tiny Prince has an aversion to hoods (no surprise there) and a need for warm ears (at least until his hair grows a bit) of the hatly kind.

I used the leftover Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky to whip up this little hat for him.

He'll probably whip it off, just like he does every hat. But the next one will tie under the chin!)

That'll slow him down at least.

Continuing progress on the Cobblestone. The sleeves are joined to the body and the first short-row round is finished.

The color is a lot richer in person than it shows in this photo and the yarn is very soft.

I'm thinking that I might make one for myself later this winter. I might declare another "selfish" month and knit just for me.

And I've started Christmas shopping.

How cute is that?

It's pajamas (wish they made my size!) with feets.

And a friendly growly dinosaur on the top.

And cute smiley dinos on the bottom.

I repeat: How cute is that??

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Caturday Eve

For a week that consisted of only three work days, it's been a long one!

I have sick staff, meeting upon meeting, and yesterday was Dictionary Day, the day when our local Rotary Club presents a brand new dictionary to every third grader in the school district.

It's an amazing project that I wrote about in the past, but it continues to engage the Rotarians who participate in the actual distribution.

This year, as last, the third graders were enthralled by my tales of my cyber friend Peter who is a botanist who lives in Australia, with his canine Rosie. Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls!

Third graders are so cool! They are old enough to be reasonably independent, but young enough that they haven't become know-it-alls.

The only (literal) sore point was that I turned my ankle leaving the building. Ouch!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Le Sigh

The Tiny Prince has gone home.

As you can see, he's not so tiny any more. Big, tall kid (31") but still pretty skinny (23 pounds).

We think he's just perfect!

Fast, interested in all things electronic, wired, flashing.

We will be better baby-proofed the next time he visits--but by then, he wil be a bigger, better version of the bright, inquisitive wiggle worm that he already is.

Count on it.

And in just 5 days (on November 16), he will turn the big Oh, One! and so we had birthday surprises (no cake--he's saving that for Daddy)

There were some handknits in the gifties.
The Tomten in Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky is finished and fits (though he pretty much hates the hood).
I made the sleeves long enough to turn back so he'll be able to wear it again in the spring. Maybe.
It's nice and roomy and cuddly soft.

And the Growly Dog sweater got this response:
pbbbbbbtthhhhh to you , too, Tiny Prince!

Of course, there were toys. What's a birthday without toys?
And books and a DVD.

And new friends.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

How I Spent My Weekend

Remember this?

It's a prize winner from the Jimmy Beans Wools site. I made it a while back and am pleased to show it "on the hoof" so to speak

as we are currently experiencing company.

There's a reason that Mother Nature cuts off the baby-making with humans!

There's a whole lotta chasin' going on when they are this size.

Mammo and Daddo are having a lot of fun (but I, for one, am exhausted)!

Here we are getting ready to head to the Farmers Market to buy meat and veg for the week.

Uncle Younger Kid had a good time playing with Rowan's toys. Rowan is happy to share.

(Little kids got good stuff to play with these days!
But they still seen to prefer the wooden spoon and plastic container "drum" and the empty boxes. Sme things never change.)

Classic toys and a newer favorite got a good workout!

As did the kitchen stuff.

Okay, the big plastic piggy bank sings (several songs). It does not dance, though.

And so did my old baby doll. Remember when I could try the little guy's sweaters on the Ugly Baby?

Not so much any more.

And here's Himself raiding Mammo's yarn stash in search of an ebryonic hat.

He was persuaded to select from the washable wools (by both Mama and Mammo), though his absolute first choice was the Magpie (Rowan v. Rowan).

And there you have it.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Change is Coming

It's a very good thing that I didn't commit to posting every day in November! And taht's all I'm saying about that.

Nearly a week post-election, I am still digesting results.

I am still mulling over the comment made by my contact at another non-profit that provides food to needy folks. We have a limited number of boxes of food that we can provide to low income senior citizens (1225 for everyone in a 6-county area--there is a waiting list of over 200). Her agency is one of the distribution sites. They continue to register people, despite the waiting list, which is how the program has to function--we are expected to distribute 100% a month every month.

When she complained that "there shouldn't be a waiting list. Everyone who needs a box should get one every time," I agreed, commiserated even, then pointed out that the current administration has zeroed this program (Commodity Supplemental Food Program) in its last three proposed budgets. (Our national association has fought vigorously to restore funding--and succeeded!)

Then she turned on me! and told be that the Clinton administration is responsible for all of the mess in the welfare system.

Folks, it's time to get over it! And move forward.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Are we there yet?

Not quite.

How about now?


Soon, though.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, Yes Indeed

Voted. Was #445 at 3:30 this afternoon.

The poll workers reported that they had been "busy all day." There were 3 "booths" and all were occupied when I arrived. It took only a few minutes, and I was on my way.

There's still time! Get your butt in line and exercise your rights and responsibilities!


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