Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Flowers, Dishes and Vases

Usually I put cut flowers in a blue vase or bowl because I have an assortment of blues, cobalt, navy, baby blue, turquoise. Recently, a friend gifted me a dinner set of Blue Willow china.
I also inherited glass dishes from my mother and grandmothers. My mother collected the Heisyware during World War II, one piece at a time.
Depressionware glass has always been a favorite, especially this pink butterdish.

Sneak Preview

I just couldn't wait until the blanket is done to share a couple of photos. I'm on the next to the last row of blocks.

A little peek at some of the random "rocks" and "shells".

Monday, February 26, 2007

What Part Is Alive And Well?

I am well and alive. My computer is working perfectly. My knitting needles are clicking and clacking cheerily. My students are (mostly) well and learning.

What is not well and is mostly dead is my internet connection. We piggyback on the ministry network and the middle of last week, all of a sudden, we weren't getting a signal. The IT guy came over, still intermittent coverage. And now, nothing.

What's a girl to do? Pack up the laptop, run over to John's office and post a quick note.

So, yeah, I'm ok, just wirelessless.

Chaplain Dan came Thursday night and left Sunday morning. He was attending some kind of Army training in the area, and we enjoyed seeing him briefly each evening.

Mia came up on the train on Friday (doesn't that sound romantic?) and in the afternoon we took a quick trip over to LA's Fashion District to look for material. She found some sweet material for a summer dress--$1.00 yard! My wool for felting is harder to find and so, more expensive. But one piece is an incredible purplish blue. Then on Saturday morning we drove to Sun City, in the desert east of San Diego, for a bridal shower, over the mountains to Oceanside, where Mia caught the Coaster back to Chula Vista. I drove home and pulled into the driveway a tired little kitty. Almost 200 miles. But the shower was fun and lovely and I was pleased to be included in the festivities.

Alas, no photos. BUT the Beaches Blanket is eleven blocks from completion!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Home Again

I woke up to rain this morning in Chula Vista. We were there visiting Mia and Tim. Saturday and Sunday were nice, warm and sunny. John took a bike ride after he and Tim went to the guitar store. Mia and I knitted, watched Pride and Prejudice and drank tea. In the evening after a lovely roast chicken dinner cooked by Mia, we went and sat in the hot tub, as we had on Saturday night. I had planned to ride bikes with John this morning, but instead, because of the rain, we walked over to get coffee and waited until Tim and Mia were up.

I like San Diego County. It is more laid back than Los Angeles County, obviously overall more suburban and in the eastern county, more rural. At least where Tim and Mia are, it is cleaner and the air is cleaner.

Mia and I knitted and knitted. I had brought books to read, too, but when we got there, I just crashed and all I did was knit on the Beaches Blanket and a little green baby sweater. I didn't even take a single photo.

Whenever we drive down I-5 through south Orange County and into San Diego County, I delight in the ocean views. I usually state every mile or so, "This is so beautiful! I love looking at the ocean!" or "Isn't that gorgeous? Look at the ocean there!" I really am an ocean and beach person.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

still counting

According to Roxie's definition, yes, I did my 100 chores and then some! Yeah for me! And I solved the problem of what rug would fit in the front of the door (where you step directly on to the carpet as you walk in from the porch)! So I get 99 points just for that.

This is how I spend my mornings. I help students do things like identify vowel sounds so they can sound out and read words. We work on "i" sounds, move on to "a" and "e". Next week, we'll review them so we are sure we can always identify these sounds wherever we might find them--in books, on billboards, on cereal boxes, in stores--the options are limitless! My goal: these kids will move into adulthood with confidence in their abilities to succeed.

I've realized that I will never change the world. If I change one kid's prospects for a successful life and career, I myself am successful in my job.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Birthday


Jennifer and Dan


Jennifer on her wedding day. Posing for the first time with (almost) all the Price cousins.

an unexpected day

Quite unexpectedly, I got the day off. Today is the 100th day of school and all my students are celebrating (over my class periods) together in a frenzy of counting to 100!

So, in honor of the 100th day of school I shall attempt to accomplish 100 chores around my house this morning. Here is a partial list:

make up guest bed
clear off dining table
clean bathrooms
put away extra yarn
put away extra needles
reshelve books
reshelve magazines
take out recycle
repot basil
organize seeds for planting
plant flower seeds
search for photo of recently deceased friend to send to his family
cull catalogs
call two friends
write three thank you notes
call in rx to RiteAid
sweep leaves off cement walk on side of my house

21 so far. I'll be lucky to get 10 done.

22. reduce amount of tea in my cupboard
23. use up more yarn
24. take more digital photos

I have a vacation day on Monday. It's so much fun to think about what I want to do with another vacation day...

Monday, February 12, 2007


The Beaches Blanket is rolling in. It will soon be at high tide.

I have been working long hours on the level three certification. Today I typed up several swatch patterns. It is really tiring for me to work that long on the computer and concentrate that hard on what I am typing.
I reworked the duplicate stitch swatch and I am much happier with it now. It looks much better.

This close up of the swatch shows that I fixed all the cross overs.

The weekend was busy. On Saturday morning we rode our bikes 11 1/2 miles. I am definitely out of shape for biking. Walking uses a different set of muscles. I need to cross train more.
Today's 3 1/2 mile walk took us north of the 10 Fwy into a couple of neighborhoods that 70 years ago were considered very desirable places to live. The houses in general are being restored and the area gentrified. What lovely, gracious ladies those houses were!
Today marks the day between the days of my parents' death. My father passed away on Feb 11th and my mother on Feb 13th.


I hate it, hate it, hate it when I lose posts! I just did. Now I have to do it all again!

Friday, February 09, 2007


and seeing Chaplain Dan who is coming for a chaplain's conference today and will be staying with us through Sunday morning. Sadly, Jennifer is not accompanying him.

and recuperating from my dentist visit this morning.

and helping with a wedding reception, then attending it.

and having coffee with friends after the reception.

I am writing up the instructions for my entrelac swatch. I've realized that the only way I'm going to get in writing correctly is to knit another swatch and write as I go. I'm on the second set of triangles/rectangles, have three more 'sets' to write.

I also restitched the duplicate stitch on the duplicate stitch swatch. It looks much better. I blocked it yesterday and now it's drying on the ironing board.

Last night we walked about 2.5 miles. It was a short one because we had small group meeting last night and we just walked down to 28th st and then on to Jefferson and then back up to 28th. Then after small group we walked home along Vermont so we could stop at Ralph's for milk and bananas. This living close to stores and work is a great thing. We are walking so much more, saving gas money and depreciation on our six year old car.

Weekend knitting will include more work on the Beaches Blanket, entrelac swatch, and I think a try on Roxie's square beret. Thanks, Roxie, for sharing the pattern. I will never reach anywhere near the same level of creativity and design quality of your work.

Dear readers, Roxie is the most amazing woman who taught me to spin and encouraged me to do the TKGA certifications in hand knitting, and every day I think of her and thank her in my mind (except for the days I have a tantrum over how difficult one of the swatches is and then I want to throw sharp and heavy things at her effigy). Roxie is my knitting mentor and when she produces yet another incredible piece of work that uses design ideas I can't even imagine trying and says they're easy, I know I'll never be a true master knitter like Roxie. I remember back in the day when she pulled out a mobius scarf she was knitting and I just stared. How did she do that??? And now she's a published writer of fantasy books. Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice is her first book. If you like fantasy and any kind of needlecraft, you'll like this book.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Roxie asks a good question. What if I send in something to the knitting guild that is not my best work? Two possibilities--it passes anyway or I have to redo it. I've actually been thinking about this for awhile. I want to get on with my life and knitting and I am tired of having this thing hanging over my head. I really want the certificate so I'm going to finish because it's important to me.

I am pulling out and redoing a duplicate stitch swatch because I see a couple of small problems with my duplicate stitches looking like they are twisted. So. If I sent it in anyway, it MIGHT pass. I found a couple of stitches in my intarsia swatch where my yarn split and I decided I'm not going to redo it because it doesn't affect my intarsia pattern at all. But the swatch that requires me to do all kinds of decrease stitches with yarn overs is confusing and I think I messed up a couple of decreases, so I'm going to look it over and probably rework it. The entrelac is going as is. If I have to redo it later, so be it. I'm sick of it for now.

I remember that in doing the research for the history of knitting report in level 2, I researched off and on for A YEAR! Admittedly, I was also moving and teaching, but eventually I had to laugh at myself. Enough already. This is a TWO PAGE REPORT!

In other late breaking news, our heater seems to be broken again. It is blowing cold air out the vents even though the whole thing is turned off. This is the same problem we had in November. One may think that not having a heater in Los Angeles is no big deal. But our nights do get cold and I for one do not enjoy sitting around in a house where the temperature is 52 degrees. It is not sunny this morning. All I see out our kitchen window are very slow cars on the 10 Fwy and gray sky.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


On the list of to do projects are two "new baby" sweaters for two sisters at our church who either have just had a girl or are going to have a girl soon.

Another to do sweater will be going to my great niece, LAJ, who just turned one year old. She is going to get a sweater and hat combo in rich, yummmmmy chocolate brown with an accent color for fun.

I am feeling the push to get more done on the level three certification. My biggest obstacle is my perfectionism. Each item must be as perfect as I can make it, so I reknit, tink, frog and redesign way too much. I should just get on with it, huh?

My goal is to work 15 minutes every day on the certification. Maybe if I do it in baby steps I'll actually finish.

I have registered to participate in the L.A. Marathon 5K walk on March 4th! A school friend is registered, too. I've been walking almost every day. Tonight John and I did 4 miles. Last night I didn't walk but instead I did two 15 minutes sessions on my elliptical machine because everyone knows that a woman by herself should not be walking the streets on South Central LA after dark and John was teaching his class at the Union Rescue Mission at 5th and San Pedro. John registered for the LA Marathon bike tour--22 miles. He rode 8.5 miles this afternoon.

Monday, February 05, 2007


These cousins came from Iowa this weekend to experience some warm Southern California weather.

They enjoyed visiting the other cousins, experiencing the Gerry Ranch, Camarillo Farmer's Market and South Central Los Angeles.
They left us a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the market, including this magnificent specimen. We think we have identified it as either a gaillardia or a gerbera. Any horticulturists out in blogland, please tell us the correct name.

I was able to do some knitting in the car as we traveled around visiting. The Beaches Blanket is growing.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

February Blues

As in mostly blue sky, blue batik tablecloth on the dining half of the tables. (Explanation-- this little house doesn't have a separate dining room, but we have two tables--fortunately almost identical-we planned it that way--and since our wireless does not have a strong enough signal in the "office"-big wide hallway- our laptops are perched on the smaller table by the dining room window on the other half of the tables)

I am getting the house ready for company. John's cousins are coming tomorrow from Ioway and will stay several days. Room in back is ready for company. Soup is cooked for tomorrow's lunch, laundry is caught up, house is clean (thanks to a friend who needs a little extra cash right now-that symbiotic relationship again). And we have ordered warm weather for the weekend-the forecast is for highs in the 80s.

I taught the letter "f" this morning as well as played sight word bingo. Then I had some soup at school and came on home. I've been running around for 4+ hours and I just realized I'm pooped. So I have my choc hotolate and I'm getting ready to knit a few rows on the blanket.

I also felted three red sweaters, one pink sweater and a brown blanket this afternoon. Guess what I'm going to do with those??

A word of explanation about the Gray Kitten-- I 'think' he meant gray kitchen, but you know you can never be sure so maybe I should check, huh?