Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This morning I tested three third graders. Two of the students I've known for several years as they were at the Watts school. I spent a bit more time with the girl because I tutored her last year and we just chatted about her family's problems for a while.

Now I am editing letters for the City Administrator (not of Los Angeles--of the ministry). I'm actually a pretty good editor and so for the past several months I've helped with the first reviews of all LA staff monthly news letters. I enjoy doing it...


I'd much rather be knitting my blanket.

Teacher staff meeting at 2:30 will provide some knitting time. The other teachers are used to my bringing knitting to meetings.

Back to split infinitives, not matching pronouns, and incomplete sentences. These are from the adults.

Kids I understand (these are exact replicas of the sentences my students wrote this morning):

The cat play and it was fun.
I will be time to eat soon.
Its' time eat soon.
You learn word spell
A athlete performed a energey skill show.
My cat to play it fun.
I wish my coach woud hurry in teach score!

and my favorite sentence of the day:

Inside Gray kitten we cook!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Beach Blanket in Progress

Here is the photo of the Beach Blanket. Roxie is right, nature is not symmetrical so my blanket need not be symmetrical. I have had visions all morning of sand and surf, imagining random shells and stones. I'm diving in to this sea of randomness, kicking the colors around like pebbles on the shore.

My cactus is blooming, right on schedule for Christmas...errr...Valentine's Day. This plant (origin unremembered) has never bloomed before. I had no idea what color the blooms would be if it ever flowered, but here it is, flourishing in my window box, producing birght pink edged flowers. Last count was 12.

Today is a Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Impact staff. Unfortunately, I'm not participating corporately. No one wants my germs around and I think meditation and prayer at home will be better for me.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sick Sunday

I have a cold and I am feeling "froggy". I noticed that I was getting said cold last night when my throat began to get sore and I got all the other tell tale aches and runny nose. This morning I woke up feeling worse, but I persevered to get up and ride out to LAX and then to Starbuck's to be fortified with plenty of coffee so I could make it to church.

Why were we at LAX? Because Chaplain Dan called about 10pm last night to say that,although he was finished with drills for the weekend and was flying home from Las Vegas via LA, his flight to Phoenix was cancelled. So John drove right out there and picked him up and brought him home to sleep here. We drove him back to LAX this morning so he could try to get on an early flight standby. I'm happy to report that he is safely home from his week of training in the Bay area and Las Vegas and with his sweetheart.

Except for a 2.5 mile walk to the north of us along Venice Blvd past the cemetary and Loyola High School, I have been sitting in a chair and knitting or reading or just sitting feeling miserable all afternoon and evening. So I don't have any photos of the afghan. I'll try really hard tomorrow.

However, I want to mention that, unlike Roxie, the author of the blanket pattern, I have difficulty with the concept of unplanned and random. In the past, I have been sadly disappointed in projects in life and yarn for which I didn't adequately plan, so I am a bit of a plan control freak now. I happily knitted a row of brown diamonds, then a row of white/cream, then a couple rows of the Aran heather cream yarn from Blarney Mills. I suddenly realized that I will not have enough yarn to make a symmetrical pattern. This of course threw me into a fever induced tizzy. After a few hours of puzzling over this problem, I realized, "OK, maybe it won't be symmetrical, and maybe I will hate it when it's finished, but IF I name it and PLAN a bit of randomness it into the afghan, it may turn out alright."

So, in honor of the beaches of the world that I have walked and I love, this will be the Beach Blanket, with all shades and types of sand and pebbles represented in the design. I hope that as you look at the designs in the afghan you will see the beach...

photos as soon as I can hold the camera, focus and shoot.

On a totally different note. Although I am not usually a fan of devotional readings by mere men, at the recommendation and gifting of the book by a friend, I am reading the daily readings in Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning and I am finding them both comforting and challenging.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday Sky

This morning I walked with a friend on The Strand in Manhattan Beach (3+ miles). The weather was FINE.
Blue sky and a few clouds, in the 60s.

Alas, it is now raining in Los Angeles. John went for a bike ride and came home after 8 miles because he doesn't care for rain pelting his face as he rides.
Knitting socks in public, Wednesday evening.

The afternoon is being devoted to Earl Grey tea, laundry, and cleaning. Maybe later this evening I'll muster the energy to pull out the camera again and do a photo shoot on the blanket.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Home Knitting

It's hard to believe, but it's true. I turned down an opportunity to go to L.A.'s Fashion District this afternoon. John and F. were going to the Union Rescue Mission to interview students for this quarter and I was going to hitch a ride and go shopping in the fashion district, just to look around at the blocks and blocks of shops selling every textile imaginable. Linda Heaven!

But this morning I had a date with my dentist that didn't turn out the best. No fault of my very good and very nice dentist. As he was drilling, I was feeling pain. So we'd stop, he'd add more anesthetic and resume drilling. I'd flinch and flail in pain. Repeat. Repeat. He used up every idea for pain killer and finally decided to just stop, put a temporary cover on and have me return in two weeks after he has ordered another type of anesthetic. Evidently, I have a little crack in the tooth under the old filling so it's more sensitive and will continue to give me more pain until it's fixed. Poor little tooth.

Anyway, by the time I got home from Torrance (non LA residents--that's a 45 minute drive each way--but he gives us a good discount) I was pooped. Maybe it's the drugs. Whatever. I decided to stay indoors and knit and drink Trader Joe's Moroccan Mint Green Tea and work on the mitered blanket. Such a comfort.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Knitting update

Here is a close up photo of the entrelac cast off for Roxie. It looks "ok" but I didn't follow the directions because the directions didn't make sense to me. I found two other "mistakes" (read: I didn't understand and so I did it my way) in the pattern, so when I got to the cast off I just did a normal cast off. I get a little crazy about following the directions because this is a swatch for the Level 3 Master Knitter's certification, and I know the judges are meticulous.

The entrelac square

I started a new afghan, using Roxie's pattern. My plan is to use up left overs in my stash, the colorway being cream, brown, and gray and I'll use the three skeins of Tivoli Celtic Aran heather yarn from Blarney Woolen Mills in Ireland that Chippie brought me several years ago.
The other yarns are Cleckheaton, Galway and KidnEwe.

My blocks are just a smidge over 5 inches wide. I am making 7 blocks across, so my afghan width will be 36 inches.

The finished Silky Wool scarf.

And, no, I don't know why I have two photos here, but I don't have time right now to figure it out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mike

Mike's birthday was Friday. I love seeing my kids on their birthdays, so it was a treat to have lunch with Mike near his office that day. He says that being 26 is about the same as being 25 years, 364 days. We also celebrated on Sunday night with dinner at Nyala Restaurant, an Ethiopian place in Little Ethiopia on Fairfax.
When I think of Mike's birth, it is always with a great sense of thankfulness. I had been very sick with malaria and there was a point when John and I both thought we would lose this baby. I am grateful daily that God protected me and Mike and that Mike is a healthy guy with no effects of the trauma surrounding his birth. I tell him that his brain just got a little fried from the fever.
Mike has always been a happy kid. He brought joy and laughter to our family as a child and he still does so today. He loves to tease me by subtly blocking my movements around the kitchen and grins when I finally figure out it's intentional. You'd think I would expect it by now, but he just looks so innocent. I love to hear him laugh.
I'll always remember his escapade with fire, bamboo and kerosene when he burned off his eyebrows, eyelashes and bangs. He loved to fish for shrimp in the stream by our house in Sowi IV. He has always been protective of his mom, stopping traffic in parking lots to let the "pregnant lady, pregnant lady" cross the street.
Mike, may you always enjoy life and remember your roots as "manir Meyokda"! And may you never run out of new ideas.


Jim is recovering well.

Chaplain Dan is in the Bay Area doing training.

Mike turned 26 last Friday.

I have walked every day since returning to LA.

Farmers Market is still a great place to visit.

I finished the Silky Wool scarf and it's being blocked.

The blue socks for me are 3/4 finished.

I started a miter blanket, pattern compliments of Roxie at www.sannasbag.blogspot.com

John's cousins are coming for a visit from Iowa in early February (great timing for mid-westerners!).

Entrelac cast off is giving me a headache.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Baby Lettuce Salad

Grown in my very own inner city container garden, this is truly the baby lettuce and baby salad. The cherry tomatoes are about the size a peanut M&M.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Home from the Winter Storm

I have been gone a week. Did anyone miss me?

I spent 7 days in Oregon City with my bro and sil while he had surgery. We are happy to report he is doing very well.

While I was there, it SNOWED. Usually I really don't enjoy snow, but this week I ventured out to walk with Ju and her friend on the golf course every day and we weren't going to let a few inches of snow deter us.

We woke up Tuesday morning to this scene in the front of the house--

and this one in the back--

The trail along the creek was beautiful.
I returned home yesterday and it seems like I never left, except that I have committed to walking every day possible. My goal is 5 days a week, 4 miles a day. Now that I've put it in writing in a public forum, I have all of you to hold me accountable.
This afternoon, J and I walked to the store for a few groceries. Vermont to Jefferson to Western. Four miles.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Intarsia pattern

This photo of an intarsia pattern I worked last night was taken with my NEW CAMERA! My Christmas present from Mike. Now I have a learning curve, not only on knitting, but also on my new Canon SD 600. Fortunately, I'll have plenty of time enroute to PDX with a lay over in Sacramento to study the manual and play.

Finished Projects

Dear readers, you almost did not get to read this post. Without the excellent technical coaching of Deb, this post would have been buried, lost, deleted, in short, GONE. I accidently posted it on another blog list I belong to, and I had NO IDEA how to recover from my mistake. But, Deb the super girl came to my rescue! And now I know how to fix photos, move text and delete my mistakes. Thanks Deb!

At long last, I can show some photos of finished work. During December I felted and sewed purses for my girls. One I kept for myself--a gray bag with pink accents.

The afghan for Cori and Travis is finished and will travel with me to Oregon tomorrow. This project has been my constant companion for two months. While I have really enjoyed learning a new crochet technique, the seaming did get old.
I think I counted 226 hexagons. And each one has 18 "sides" to stitch. Just think about it...

I always enjoy knitting socks. This pair turned out quite nice. I used some Elka (from Holland) yarn, 70% wool. I cast on 48 stitches, used a slightly larger needle than I usually use.

When your brother hunts in the woods, you want him to be noticeable and easily distinguishable from an elk or deer. So you knit him BRIGHT ORANGE caps to wear for identification (read all you hunters: This one is loved and you'd better not point any loaded guns in his direction). The hot orange cap is 100% acrylic so it can be washed and dried with abandon, but it was so boring to knit that I just had to make the other one, too.

Initials knitted into the inside hem.

Slip stitch is one of my favorite color stitches to make. It looks so much harder than it actually is. All you do is slip a stitch from one needle to the other WITHOUT KNITTING IT and keep the yarn in front to make the horizontal line. Then when you purl the next row you just purl all the stitches.
Here I used the main pumpkin color and light gray and light brown for contrast.

Now it is time to stop procrastinating and go pack. The news on the street is that it is going to be cold up there in the Pacific Northwest. This California girl doesn't have much in the way of warm wooly garments, so I will have to reach into the back or my closet and into my past and pull out some warm sweaters.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Everyone has life goals. Sometimes we express them, sometimes we are not even sure what goals we have. I know my life goals include reading and owning all the Newberry Award books and finishing The Knitting Guild Association's Master Handknitting Certification program.

Jennifer expressed a goal to learn to knit and so Mia and Tim helped her this Christmas by giving her a learn to knit kit. I think she's doing a good job already .

I have always liked cute clothes. It's not really a goal for me to wear cute clothes, but I guess if my daughter is willing to be seen in a shirt, it must be cute and relatively in style.

I have a great job. I got to play Sight Word Bingo at work today with one of the world's cutest first graders. Who wouldn't love to go to work and play? It's a good opportunity to chat...I learned way too much about shootings in his neighborhood, being left alone, and "family dynamics".

Tuesday, January 02, 2007



We arrived home in LA from Phoenix last night after stopping to visit with John's Aunt Dorothy for about an hour. We hadn't seen her for quite a long while so it was nice to visit with her.
Traveling with us this trip was Ferdinand the Monkey. Ferdinand is actually Mia's. He is a well traveled primate and has visited Papua New Guinea and Iraq. He decided to go with us to Phoenix and begged and begged for a new vest. So I knitted this one up for him. He says he's ready to go back home just in time to move. I think he probably has a couple of banana stashes around that he wants to be sure will get on the truck on Friday when Tim and Mia move to Chula Vista.
Our visit with Dan and Jennifer was wonderful in a warm, homey Hobbit sort of way. We watched more than twelve hours of The Lord of the Rings, all three extended disks. Of course, if you're going to watch hobbits doing anything, you need to fortify yourself appropriately. So, we enjoyed eggs and hash, coffee and mushrooms for breakfast, scones and tarts with tea for second breakfast, pizza, salad and soda for luncheon, pot roast and bread and rolls for dinner, and for dessert we indulged in fruit dipped in chocolate from the chocolate fountain. I'm sure I've forgotten some meals and foods, but by the time I'd eaten luncheon I was overloaded and lost conscious thought of what I was eating. It was ALL very tasty. We welcomed the New Year with Martinelli's and toasted each other--Meli, Jennifer, Dan, Sam, Melissa and us.
New Year's morning Deb joined us at Starbuck's for coffee and we chatted for a couple of hours before heading west again.