Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday Musing

One of the responsibilities that comes with ministry is performing jobs that have nothing to do with your job description. Today we spent most of our day unpacking, sorting, and repacking four carloads of donations from one person and writing out a tax deductible receipt for the stuff. I want to be sure my gentle readers understand that we wish to be respectful and appreciative of all donors and we did this as a special favor for some dear friends. Usually we would just drop the donations off at the ministry thrift store. (I sure hope no one from WI reads this!) We just had to get it done so we can park our car in the garage. Suffice it to say that we reminded ourselves that we will NOT save anything ugly, tacky, old or smelly for other people to deal with when we can no longer take care of ourselves. And we will not hoard things that can be passed on to bless someone else.

I didn't get much time to knit, garden or read. I finished last few rows of the two color slip stitch swatch--in lime green and white wool, pulled a few weeds, and read a few pages of Dick Francis.

On a happy,happy note, Mia came home from college today. Deb drove her over after undergrad graduation, responding as usual as the older sister, always ready and willing to care for her little sister. Thanks, Deb.

Deb and Mia were reminiscing about the years that Mia spent believing that I had sent Deb to "Big Sister School" before Mia was born. Deb learned how to change diapers, brush hair, give baths, snuggle in bed, tell stories, and restrain little sisters with jump ropes tied around their hands at Big Sister School. Mia spent many years believing in Big Sister School and then many years declaring she needed therapy for all those years of deception. Gotta love the sisters.

OK, dear readers, I think that by the end of this weekend I will be able to post photos. Stay tuned.

And...congratulations to Sara Martin Brown for graduating with an MA last night! And to Bryan Davenport for finishing his BA!

You Know You Live In The Ghetto When...

you're watching Criminal Minds, a commercial comes on, and you hear the police siren.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I talked with my sil in Oregon and read blogs this weekend and everyone has mentioned rain. Well, guess what? It rained here in Los Angeles on May 22! The students had to eat lunch in the CC and play in the gym, which is the rainy day schedule. When I saw it was raining, I put my basil starts out in the courtyard to catch some water so I wouldn't have to water them in the house.

But now, the sun is out and it's beautiful. I love LA after a rain.

As usual, we had a crazy weekend. Deb and Jeff drove down on Saturday and spent the night here. We all met up at our favorite little hole in the wall burrito place La Carreta at Vernon and Compton Aves. Jamie and Laura, two former WIers who taught 3rd and 1st, respectively, at Watts Christian School with me were both in town and they wanted to eat at La Carreta. Mike and Mia came, too. After dinner, we all went back to our place and ate ice cream. John and I looked at Laura's photos of Honduras, where she is currently living and teaching. It was great to see my two good friends who kept me sane during that stressful year at WCS.

Yesterday we had our morning coffee at Starbuck's where the barrista sees me walk in the door and has my drink ready for me before I get to the counter (she's a great barrista!), went to church, then had vegetarian Indian food with Jeff, Dan and Ben. This restaurant is one of Jeff's favorites so he wanted to visit while he was down this weekend. We stopped by Walmart to pick up some Simply Soft yarn (yeah, I know, cheap yarn, but it washes well and doesn't pill and is great for baby sweaters). Then, we went home and gathered up Mia and took her back to school and drove to Whittier to see an old friend who was speaking about the earthquake disaster in Pakistan. Charlie was born in Pakistan, spent twenty years in Venezuela, and is the executive director of TEAM now. TEAM is heading up most of the private aid in Northern Pakistan. If you're interested in knowing more, check out and click on Pakistan relief down at the bottom of the page. It was good to see several old friends from TEAM years. On an aside, our nephew Thomas is working in the IT dept at TEAM and when the various people found out he is our nephew, they couldn't stop praising his ability to patiently help them with their computer problems. It made us proud--even though we didn't have much to do with his upbringing, John and our kids share some of the same genes.

My goal for this evening is to lay out and block the swatches I've knitted. While I was waiting for Dan on Wednesday morning*, I worked on a swatch with an elongated stitch. I'm knitting the Seafoam pattern from Vogue Knitting (141) and I'm hoping to finish that as well. If there is time tomorrow between teaching my classes, meeting with the principal and going to the teachers meeting, I'll start on the Woven Stitch in Two Colors pattern that I am using for the slip-stitch swatch. All the knitting is the easy part of the Level 3 certification. The pattern writing and charting and the questions to answer are harder and I always put off doing them. At least this time, I'm keeping better records.

I spent some time this afternoon planning the next four months. There are only a little more than 18 weeks until Mia and Tim's wedding!

*The eye dr said yup your eyes are bad, but you are correctable to 20/20, so the paperwork has been forwarded to the appropriate person for a vision waiver, and so, hopefully, to the chaplain candidate board...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I think we were all a little sluggish this morning after our long weekend. I know my students were---uh, what's a "g"?

We had a nice little Mother's Day dinner with just J, the boys and me at Thai Dishes in El Segundo this evening. Mmmm, that's good food there. The waiter brought us complimentary cups of chicken/cabbage/tofu soup to go with our spring rolls. Usually, IMHO, Asian soups are watery and not too tasty, but this soup was good. We added curry, spicy chicken and pad thai and thai iced tea for a great celebration with plenty of leftovers. If you are ever in Los Angeles, stranded at LAX, and need food, grab a taxi and yell, "Thai Dishes on Aviation!" and you'll get a great meal close to the airport.

My lunch companions at school accuse Classie and me of always talking about food and cooking. Well, we're good cooks and recognize a kindred spirit. I know Classie will love a taste of my pad thai and green curry tomorrow at lunch.

Oh wait. I will be playing chauffeur to Dan in the morning for what we hope is the last of several attempts to get the US military machine to give an eye exam which is the final step on his way to becoming a US Army Chaplain. This visit to LA MEPS means leaving the house at 6:15am and arriving there at 7, my hanging around for umpteen hours waiting for Dan to call and say he's done and I can pick him up. Fortunately I have yet another Dick Francis mystery and plenty of knitting* to keep me occupied.

Mia had given me some roses on Saturday and I picked up more roses from the tables at HOB on Sunday so I had them in the car in a Coffee Bean cup on the way home. Some of the petals began falling off in the car so I put them on the dashboard. While we were in McQuickfood's grabbing lunch I left the petals and when we got back in the car, what did I have? Potpourri! Smelled great all the way home. Now I know how to dehydrate my flowers! I wonder if it would work for veggies...and I wonder what J would say if I tried it.

*still working on the grey and white from the neck down raglan cardigan with hood for Baby Angel Maaz. Time to start on another TKGA swatch, this time a slip stitch or maybe the mosaic swatch.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Wonderful Weekend

San Diego. It's a great town to visit. J and I and 65 of our best friends (read: World Impact Los Angeles staff) went down to San Diego on Saturday and returned this afternoon. Why? Because a famous TV show rented one of our houses for an episode and paid $$$$$ and we got to use it for a celebration weekend. Our all together activities were Chinese dinner on Sat night and House of Blues Gospel Brunch on Sunday. Mia was with us until mid day and that was lovely. We stayed at Posh Hotel with Pool and Hot Tub (PHPHT) which we thoroughly enjoyed using.

We've been to San Diego before and so we revisited Old Town and Mission San Diego de Acala. Also visited Gaslamp Quarter and University of San Diego. If you like trendy hip shops and restaurants in old remodeled buildings, then GQ is for you. We were disappointed as we were hoping for some really cool old architecture. Which is what we found at USD. Even though the buildings are not old (USD was founded in 1949), the architecture is stunning. I always love visiting the old missions and Mission San Diego is one of my favorites. And the gardens are my favorite places. I wandered around and got some new ideas. I had never thought of planting calla lilies in pots; I'm going to try it. When the pots are done I'll post some pictures...because...

Yes, I have scored a digital camera! It's actually Mike's and Mia was borrowing it, but now it's in MY possession! heheh...they'll never get it back...

Mother's Day was wonderful because all my children called. I have the world's best children, smile.

PHPHT had a courtyard filled with pools stocked with koi. When you are riding the elevator up and down you can look out the window and view the pools. It got me to thinking, I'd like a koi pool someday...

On the knitting front, I think I've figured out the tubular bind off. I practiced several variations and found one I can do that looks well with the tubular cast on. I'll photograph the swatch after it's blocked. I am knitting a gray and white sweater for the Maaz baby who will show up in July and is a boy. (No name yet, although his 3yo sister told me last night at dinner she thinks he should be named Angel.) I am doing a two color slip stitch pattern on the body. I have done the pattern before on caps for the family men, using three colors--light blue, dark blue and gold--for UCLA--but I decided that two colors is enough for a baby sweater.

If you get the magazine CastOn look in the current issue, page 68, and find my name listed as having completed Level Two of the Master Knitting Program.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I was really sick of the color of my blog so I changed it. I hope it meets everyone's approval.

Today has been a froggy day. Just feeling froggy. I got up and went to school, did my teaching but I didn't stay and eat lunch. I ate a piece of homemade honey whole wheat bread (yes my recipe, if you want it just ask me for it) and then came on home. Can you believe it? I turned down a coffee date with Debbie, I'm feeling so froggy.

I have curled up with a new Dick Francis book, 10 LB PENALTY, and a pot of Earl Grey Tea. I haven't even felt like knitting. I finished the pink baby hoody and I have the yarn to start the next one--gray and white for Laurie Maaz's coming soon son. I also have the answer to my questions about knitting swatches, and I even bought the yarn at Beach Knitting yesterday so I can work on more swatch. BUT, I just don't feel like it.

Back to my book.

Monday, May 08, 2006


As usual our weekend was packed with fun and games.

Games: Mike's softball game in Long Beach. We watched after attending church. Mike's team lost 20-15, but it was a fun game. I like soft ball (slow pitch) better than base ball because there's more action. One of Mike's teammates ALWAYS hits the ball out of the park. It must be fun!

Fun: After cleaning the place on Saturday, John and I rewarded ourselves with a beach walk in Manhattan Beach--found FREE parking!, a stop at Starbuck's for coffee, then an hour of walking along the shore. We usually walk on the sidewalk (The Strand) but this time I took my shoes off and walked in the sand right at the edge of the water. Got my feet wet a few times. It was windy and about 65. The LAFD was holding swimming safety drills for the academy. Hmmm, our nephew Bob is at LAFD academy, but I didn't see him there. Must be on a different rotation.

Fun: After said ball game we had late lunch with Mike and some teammates at Red Sesame, a fast food Thai restaurant in El Segundo.

Fun: We watched Jumping Jack Flash Saturday night while I spun some more of the Cowichan wool. I know it "should" be spun thick, but I don't like thick yarn, so I'm spinning it sport weight.

More fun: I did some knitting on the pink baby sweater but it is mindless knitting and not all that interesting. I still am trying to get into the TKGA site and ask about the swatch borders and I don't want to knit any more swatches until I get my answer.

Lots more fun: CAbi (Carol Anderson) opened her warehouse sale for World Impact people so Mary and I went on Friday afternoon and had a heyday--total of 16 tops, 3 jackets and 2 skirts--all for about $150! Now THAT'S a bargain since one sweater had a retail tag of $105. Carol designs beautiful stuff and so many of her clothes are my style.

Tonight: Go see Deb who is in Fullerton for work! And get gelato and pretend I'm in Rome!

Promised: John said he'd show me how to import photos!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Yesterday morning and this morning I read SATs to one of my students and to a boy who was absent on Monday. My 2nd grader is so sweet; she reads and if she messes up a word I help her and she never gets frustrated with me. I'm so pleased with her progress and her obvious intelligence. As long as she knows the words on the paper, she gets almost everything correct on the test.

The other boy? After telling me that he is smarter than he looks and that he is really smart, he ended up missing about 1/2 of the questions in the listening section. Maybe he just doesn't listen.

I've finished the body of the baby sweater. I love this pattern because I don't have to sew up any seams. I decided to make it plain, just pink and no fancy stitches, because I am making the smallest size. If I knit a second sweater for Aubrey I'll knit up something a bit more fancy.

Just found out our neighbor to the north is leaving World Impact employment and moving out of the townhouse. I hope the place doesn't stay empty long. Houses in this neighborhood don't stay empty...uninvited guests move in. There's a lot of graffitti on the building next door to us. I reported it to maintenance. I hope it gets cleaned up soon since graffitti begets graffitti.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I've decided that I want a digital camera. I think I'll buy one. Any of my readers have advice on what camera to buy?


Random Quote from The Slippery Slope:

"Taking one's chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late and you can do nothing else but scream and cling to a plastic duck."

Right now there is an LAPD helicopter circling our neighborhood overhead. It's been there awhile and it's doing its turns right over our house which means something is happening in the projects. When I was coming home tonight at about 8pm two cops were arresting and handcuffing a guy in a red hoody on the corner of 55th and Long Beach but I don't know that the two events are related.

I'm taking a hiatus of a day or two from the Master Knitting and am making a Pure and Simple baby sweater with hood in bright pink Simply Soft yarn for Aubrey Alford who is due to make an appearance in July. If you don't know who she is, too bad. Just kidding... she is Nate Alford's niece, daughter of Matt and Tara Sky. After that sweater is done, I will be knitting the same pattern in a larger size and in gray for the Maaz's third baby, a boy again this time. All these babies, and everyone with a handknit sweater.


I am happy to be home. I love to travel and visit dear friends (Sandy, Martha, Joy, Jennifer, Melissa, Jane) and dearest daughters (Deb and Mia) and see interesting places (Visalia, Morro Bay, Camarillo, Oxnard, San Diego) but I love to come home too. I've been gone parts of the past three weeks. It's time to be home, clean, organize, rest.

About Master Hand Knitting: it's challenging. I'm already learning a lot. I had never heard of tubular bind off, but I found it in a book in Beverly Fabrics in Visalia. I bought the book and have studied the technique but not tried it yet. I actually fell asleep Sunday night mentally binding off. Am I obsessed or what?

I realized after knitting 9 of 18 swatches that MAYBE I should be making a border around the edges of each swatch. Hmmm. I have tried to log into TKGA website for Master Knitters to ask but can't remember my password and can't get a reply from them since our email crashed on Saturday, we lost ALL our inbox (which had the old email with the password), and John had to redo it, whatever he did.

I have been reading blogs. I've noticed that there is a huge community of interconnected people from all over the world. I've been exploring the knitting world and have realized that I'm a very little player in a big, big pond. At least from what I see on the blogs. I sure know that I am not digital camera savvy. I love the photos people post, but I somehow get the impression that some people are just trying to outdo each other in some kind of post our photos competition.

Did you, gentle reader, notice that there is no political commentary on the immigration issue on this blog? There will be no comment from me on this topic in this blog. That doesn't mean I have no opinion.

Next blog? Stay tuned for crazy quotes from A Series of Unfortunate Events.