Friday, September 28, 2007

"All my bags are packed.....

I'm ready to go! Today is the day Naomi, Amy and I are headed out to Cannon Beach for a quick little knitting weekend. Of course, there is more to do in Cannon Beach. Bruce's Candy Kitchen, Bill's Tavern, Lazy Susan Cafe, Pizza a Fetta and more await us. Oh, of course there's Coastal Yarns too.
Patrick knows I'm only a cell phone away. He's out of the hospital as of yesterday afternoon and back at his dorm. He has lots of friends visiting with him, and I'm sure quite a bit of homework to catch up on. I don't think I'll be headed over right now, but of course I had already checked out all the airline flights (of which there were none, I'd have to drive) just in case he had gone to surgery.
Oh -there's the Noni adventure bag - yes, it holds a lot of stuff. I've got sweaters and sweatshirts and more in there. I think I may add some shorty handles on the sides later though. It seems that I'm asking a lot of that one strap!
I'll be back late Sunday night - hold down the fort!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh my.

Wed. morning update: I called Patrick at 8 this morning. He did not have to go into surgery last night, he doesn't know anything else yet. He's very tired and hungry (he hasn't eaten since 3 pm Monday. Hopefully I'll hear more later today.

I got a call from Patrick (my son) while at work this afternoon. "Mom, I messed up my leg playing soccer last night (he plays on two intramural teams) I'm not sure if it's broken."

So a couple of calls back and forth with updates. Yes, he has indeed broken his fibula. By getting kicked. He spent a majority of the day at the WSU clinic, and they noted that the capillary pressures in his leg were elevated to a degree that they weren't comfortable with. They transferred him to the hospital in Pullman, where they are monitoring him overnight. If the pressure goes too high, they will be performing emergency surgery.

I really want to be able to go and sit with him, but I can't. Work is such that I can't be gone right now, we don't have anyone to cover for me. Patrick is actually a really healthy, athletic kid - he has never had a broken bone, never been in the hospital except for when he was born. Right now, we are just checking in on him by phone. I did speak with the orthopedic surgeon tonight, and, after checking him out on the internet, -don't we all love Google!! - it turns out he had played football for the Cougars for a few years in the 80's, got hurt a few times too many, and decided to go into medicine. He graduated with his MD from UW, and is the football team doctor for both WSU and Univ. of Idaho. I think Patrick is in great hands, I'm just hoping the pressure will go down and he can skip surgery and the resulting scars and rod in his leg.


Knitting - finished my humongo Noni bag tonight - got the rings for the handle on, and zipper is sewn it. I wanted to get purse feet for it tonight, but obviously I had other pressing matters to attend to. Hopefully tomorrow night. I plan to use this bag this weekend!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Heroes and Cannon Beach

I'm so excited that Heroes finally started again tonight! I love, love, love this show. Both my daughter and I watch it, so it's kinda fun to compare notes and see what insights she might have.
I also really like Grey's Anatomy - I often go over to Amy's to watch it . It's really fun to watch a favorite show with a friend! Besides, Amys is pretty much the ultimate hostess.

Knitting front - I'm going to Cannon Beach with Amy and Naomi this weekend, so I'm trying to figure out what to bring. I've already decided to not bring shop knitting (duh!) so I'm leaning towards my Kauni, Elsebeth Lavold's Margery and the latest Socks that Rock club socks. That should keep me plenty busy.

What are you working on?

Friday, September 21, 2007


Thanks everyone for your well wishes for my mom. I spent the day at the hospital today and the surgery was just fine. Very routine surgery. Mom will spend the night at the hospital tonight, just to monitor her, and the Dr. said he plans to release her tomorrow. Knit a bunch on a monkey sock (2/3 done) and just chatted and read a book. Tonight, we are folding the programs?/bulletins? what ever you hand out at a memorial service. Tomorrow will be Ed's service and we will have a family pizza get-together afterwards.

Not much else - enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm in! I'm in!

I just got home from work and my Ravelry invite was in my inbox! Hurray! Now I can see what the fuss is about. Of course, first I need to stress over what my user name should be. Is thatsmymiddlename too long? Should I pick something else?

of bento, lace and fun

This past Friday (okay, I know it's almost been a week, but I'm trying!) I went and saw a harlot. Not just any harlot, but this one.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the yarn harlot was in the 'hood. I met up with Naomi, Amy,
Ryan and TMK
at Third Place Books. She was hilarious! I had met her before (she stopped in at the shop before her talk for the the first book), but I had never heard her speak.

Earlier in the day, Amy and I took a quick break in our days to head over to Bad Woman Knits and Trophy Cupcakes. I didn't get anything at Bad Woman, but I did have a vanilla with chocolate frosting cupcake and bought 2 buttons for my knitting bag. The cupcake was good, but since I don't really each much sugar, it was a bit too sweet for me. I felt like I was on extreme sugar high for the rest of the afternoon!

Do you know Jane Jenni buttons? They had a bunch of these that I hadn't seen before. On my knitting bag I've had happy camper and busy bee for a while. Now added to the collection are black sheep and goof ball.

I've been trying to get another sweater done for this weekend. Saturday will be my father-in-law's memorial service, and I wanted something not so somber to wear. This will be the Tithe sweater (no link available) from the book "Noro Unlimited".
The sweater is fairly unstructured, and didn't even have ribbing at the edges. I changed that to four rows of seed stitch, as I really didn't want the rolled edge look. The sleeves are elbow length, so I really think I'll be able to get it done today, block at work and seam tomorrow. Oh - the yarn is Noro Kureyon, color 188 (scrumptious, no?)

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get to take a workshop with Evelyn Clark. She is such a nice person. We worked on making our own designs using her new book (great stuff!) and also how to chart and design our own lace. She is so gracious at sharing information so that we too can design. I also love that she throws in quirkly sayings like I do, such as "wonky". Naomi also took the workshop, so we carpooled together. Very,very fun weekend. Here is my progress on a shawl using the book:

It's sort of hard to see, (very hard to see?) but it will have three sections of leaves at the top, transition to ripple, then medallion, ripple, and 3 sets of leaves. What's my story? It's leaves, with wind (ripple) and the sun (medallion). Evelyn talked about having a theme or a story to your work, so that it had a flow to it. So, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I'm really looking forward to putting the designing bits into practice, but want to finish this green number first, and probably finish the Mystery Stole also. Oh, I decided that even though I'm a bit hesistant about the wing on the MS3, I'm just going to go for it as written. The finished stoles I've seen on the web are quite pretty.
Why bento in the title? Sara spent the summer commuting to her job and class on campus at the UW. She has long been into everything Japanese, so she made bento lunches most days. I was even the lucky receipient a few times. Here is one of her creations. I especially like where she took two different colored plums, cut a star shape out of each and then swapped colors. So cute!
It's a bit hard to see in the pix, but it's the dark purple moundy thing near the top.I signed up for Ravelry a few months back. Now that it's old hat for most people, I'm almost on! I checked this morning, and there are only 180 people ahead of me. I bet I get on it the day before they are done beta testing. Off to finish my sleeve!

ETA: For any of you that pray, or can just wish good thoughts my way, I'd appreciate it tomorrow. My mom is going in for some vascular surgery (carotid artery) tomorrow morning. Should be fine, but it is considered pretty major surgery with risk of stroke among other things. My brother and I are headed down to wait it out with her fiance at 5:15 tomorrow morning. The procedure starts at 6 am, should last three hours. Thanks, I really appreciate the support.

all the pretty houses

See these birdhouses? When Doug and I took Patrick to WSU in August, we took a few afternoon side trips in the Idaho countryside. This was just outside of one of the many small towns around Moscow. There was this big red barn, and then on the east side of the barn, every fence post had a painted red bird house attached. I thought they might be bluebird houses, but I think they are too low to the ground and on a fairly busy road. The west side of the barn had pastel bird houses, laid out in the same manner. I just thought they were so charming!So, too much time has passed since we took him over to blog about. But, Thursday night (when we were looking to pass some time) we went and saw "Hairspray" and had beer and a light dinner at this cool old pub in downtown Pullman. I saw Hairspray at the 5th Avenue theatre on the premier night and loved it, so was really looking forward to seeing the movie. It was great. I laughed so hard - very funny to see John Travolta in a pink sequined dress, dancing and singing. Oh my.
On the way home after our weekend in the Palouse, we decided to get some dinner. We don't always like to stop at the chain restaurants(McD's, Taco Smell and the like), and usually have good luck with those little local hamburger places you find in small towns. We both really like onion rings, so we informally started an onion ring tour this summer. Not that we have been going out of our way to do so, it's just something fun. Anyway, we thought we'd stop in at Ellensburg to get some dinner. The exit we took just had the usual chain places, and we decided to skip them and keep looking. We spotted a sign for "Red Horse Diner" on the freeway and decided to investigate. This is what we found:

It's an old gas station themed diner. Hamburgers and sandwiches are named after cars. Really good food too (including, yes, onion rings!) The funny thing about this place is that when I was growing up in Portland (Oregon), there was a Mobilgas station just around the corner from our house. I could see this same horse sign out my bedroom window, and it was sort of what I remember as my nightlight.

Knitting has been taking place around here - the Noni bag that ate my firepit has been felted,it definitely is smaller, yet still quite large. I finally found some rings that will work, and now need to put the zipper in and attach the rings. I plan to use this as a weekend travel bag.

We have a Noni trunk show in at work right now. One of the bags is the medium adventure bag. I hope to get a picture of all three of the bags lined up in a row, since I have also made the smallest adventure bag awhile back... guess I need to hustle and get this one done!

I did block my adventures in color blending Koigu shawl. I think it turned out quite pretty.

I have a question for those of you who have knit lace shawls - how do you store them? On a hanger? In a drawer or storage box? Right now I've been carefully folding them and putting them in a drawer. Just looking to see if there are better options out there.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This past weekend in Seattle I walked 60 miles. Most of you know by now that I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk for Breast Cancer. I don't have any pictures of the event, because I tend to be a don't break the rules type of person. The packing list said no cell phones, no cameras, so I didn't bring them. Turns out most people did. I'll just have to recap in words (hopefully there will be some pictures somewhere, and I can add them later!)

So here's a "quick as I can" version of my experience.

I couldn't sleep at all the night before. Not because I was excited, but because I was very apprehensive about the whole thing. I was scared. I've had tendonitits in my left ankle all along, I'm not an especially athletic person and I didn't know anyone participating.

The starting point was Bellevue Community College. It began with Opening ceremonies, a group stretch and then we hit the road around 7 am. There were around 2500 participants. It was so cool to cross overpasses and have cars honking and waving. Along the street you could see commuters in their cars - some wouldn't look at us, some were moved to tears. Very inspirational. We crossed over the I-90 bridge into Mercer Island, then into Seattle. Walked down towards the Stan Sayres pits where there was a cheering section, (I saw Patty and Mary driving by - they had been passing out knitted sweatbands and saved me one!) I saw some rowers in the distance (hey Patrick - it was Mt. Bakers masters, 2 8's, 1 quad and a pair), and had lunch at Seward Park. This was my first exposure to how much food they give you. We had pit stops every 2.5 miles or so - port-a-potties, water, gatorade, snacks like chips, pretzels, animal cookies, bananas, oranges. At lunch they gave us a sandwich, chips, an apple, potato salad and cookies. They are constantly telling you to "eat, drink and pee". I ended up carrying a good portion of my lunch along the way because I just couldn't eat it all, and didn't want to throw it away. After lunch we headed down through Renton, and to another cheering station in Tukwila. My mom and her fiance were at this one. she had a poster saying "Go, Ellen", a candy bar (Big Hunk -her favorite - I didn't take it) and a small battery operated fan. The fan was great, and it was great to see someone I know. The cheering sections were fun because so many people were there cheering on not just their family members, but all of us. Lots of cute little kids with spray bottles, candies, stickers, popsicles. I don't normally buy Otter pops - but they sure taste good when you are walking! Lots of cheering and positive things to say. The best is when you see survivors, and they are thanking you. Very moving.

We finished up the first day by heading to Burien, past the back side of Sea-Tac airport. There was this long, gradual hill - it just seemed to go on forever. I was pretty exhausted at that point but I kept going on. It was great to be done the first day. 23.5 miles. Wow. The furthest I had ever walked in my life. Got my gear, grabbed a tent to set up and found my designated campsite. There were two angel-girls there that showed up out of nowhere. They were local girl scouts who were doing community service, setting up our tents. How sweet. I know it's just thread the poles through the holes and pop the tent up, but it was so nice that they did it for me. Waited around a bit for my randomly selected tent mate to show up, but she never did. Turns out some people don't show. I had the tent to myself, good and bad. Good, in that I could spread my stuff out, and sleep in the middle of the tent (there was so much dew, the sides leaked the first morning). Bad, in that I didn't really have anyone to hang out with. It was a bit lonely. Went to dinner, had spaghetti, salad and an eclair (they ran out of green beans and rolls in my line) and then a shower after.

Ah yes, the showers. One of my greatest fears - communal showers. So this wasn't really communal showers, just communal undressing. I did it, but very quickly. Harumph.

Went to bed around 9. I had brought some knitting along - I'm a knitter, I had to! - but only got half a round on a sock and decided I was too tired and just went to sleep.

Day 2: Didn't sleep at all the night before 'cause I was too cold. I knew the route opened at 6:30 so I was up at 5:30, ate breakfast, group stretching and off I went. Day 2 was 19.5 miles - we were by the Sea-Tac runways, saw lots of planes taking off, down to Des Moines along the waterfront there, and past gorgeous homes along the way. There is a fun looking farmers' market on the waterfront. I'd like to go back and visit it. Very, very nice day, lots of breeze. Lots of hills too. It's much harder to go downhill than uphill I found out. Really hard on the knees and toes. We basically did a loop from our camp south, then back to camp.

Day 3: Slept a bit better, had a sleeping bag warmer pouch that helped a bit. We had to pack up our gear and tents before hitting the road, so I planned to get up at 5:30 and get on the bus at 6:30. People in tents behind me had a different idea, as they were up at 4:30 talking and packing. I rolled out at 4:45, packed up, ate and ended up on one of the earlier buses. We were bused up to Lincoln Park near the Coleman ferry docks. Day 3 took us through West Seattle (more pricey homes!) and along Alki. There were quite a few people out on Alki, cheering us on. Headed across the West Seattle bridge into Seattle, up towards the stadiums. There was a Seahawks game yesterday, so we were in the midst of all that craziness too. What I didn't know at the time was that I was in the front of the pack so to speak. We were having to try and get these people who were having tailgate parties to get out of our way, and they didn't really know what was going on yet. Were they going to be in for an awakening later! The last pit stop was right by Qwest field. Awesome - they said we were at the 57-mile point. At that point I knew I was going to be able to finish - 3 miles was a piece of cake! I got a quick snack - I usually grabbed a half banana, filled up my water bottle, and a bag of pretzels and I was off with a new spring in my step. I ended up getting to Seattle Center at 1 pm. It was so cool - there were lots of people lining the sides as we crossed the 60 mile point. People cheering inside the holding area too, where we picked up our tee-shirts. There weren't very many people there in the building at the time. I asked one of the staff people where everyone went, and she said they hadn't arrived yet. This shocked me. For three days, I had been passed by so many people. I actually was one of the first 100 or so to get to the finish. It's not a race at all, but I really pushed myself all three days to be in the middle of the pack. I think I did okay.

Thanks so much to all of you who donated. I needed to raise a minimum of $2200 in order to participate. With your help, I raised over $2700. I am inspired. You guys kept me going. I didn't want to let anyone down. Thank you so, so much.

So, what did I learn?

Just do it. Don't put things off until you are in better shape or whatever. You never know when your time will come. The time to do is now.

Eat bananas. Good for their potassium. Great for achy muscles. Who knew?

Chat with people. Reach out. Share experiences. Take time to listen.

It's okay to break the rules sometimes. Next time, I'm getting a bigger pack to carry, and my cell phone and camera are coming with me.

Burt's bees lipgloss does not have sunscreen. Yes, wonderfully minty fresh, but now my lips are swollen. Ow. Need better sunscreen too.

Last, but not least, push yourself but don't hurt yourself. You can do more than you think you can. There were all sizes and abilities on this walk. Very athletic people, very non-athletic people. Cancer survivors, current cancer patients, old people, young people (16 and older). Some were men who lost a wife or mother to breast cancer.

Okay, I'm off. Have to work and teach tonight.

One more thing. I am definitely doing this again. Hopefully next year. Want to sponsor me?? (I'm starting early!)