Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maya Angelou

My in-laws got us a family membership to the YMCA for Christmas, and I've been taking advantage of it. Once a week, the kids go to childcare and I do some cardio, then ride the bike and read to keep moving. I read Maya Angelou's Letter to My Daughter and was especially moved by the Fannie Lou Hamer chapter. I'm copying part of it to commemorate Black History Month (I just made it!):

By Maya Angelou:
I believe that there lives a burning desire in the most sequestered private heart of every American, a desire to belong to a great country. I believe that every citizen wants to stand on the world stage and represent a noble country where the mighty do not always crush the weak and the dream of a democracy is not the sole possession of the strong.

What do I think of my country? What is there, which elevates my shoulders and stirs my blood when I hear the words, the United States of America: Do I praise my country enough? Do I laud my fellow citizens enough? What is there about my country that makes me hang my head and avert my eyes when I hear the words the United States of America, and what am I doing about it? Am I relating my disappointment to my leaders and to my fellow citizens, or am I like someone not involved, sitting high and looking low? As Americans, we should not be afraid to respond.

Back to my words: With the Olympics closing and health care debate starting back up again, I keep thinking about these two paragraphs. I've visited my senators, signed petitions and written emails supporting health care reform. I don't have a single family member that would be able to go out and find insurance on their own in this capitalistic society. It's time for reform. Should we make it possible for all Americans to get their own insurance? Should we insure people who would not be able to pay for it themselves? The answer isn't no, it's yes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This is my Olympic knitting. You cast on for a new project and finish by the end of the Olympics. It's supposed to be a challenge for you and get you to try something new. This is a color work project, a mitten. But, the Olympics are half over and I need two! Looks like I'm not getting the gold this year:) I've got a long plane ride ahead of me, so we'll see if I can make up for it. Maybe I'll be the Lindsy Vohn of knitting. I think the only challenge for me will be to not curse in public as the yarn keeps breaking (see all the ends hanging out, complete agony). We've had amazing weather here in the PNW. Sunny and 60s on Friday so we headed to Mukilteo beach. Here are some faces to get you through the week! Butters opted out of the photo shoot!

She'll either be in the Olympics or the Oscars!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Make it Work

The other month, at my neighborhood meeting, I was knitting when the couple behind me asked about it. They had never used circular needles. "Can you turn a heel?" the man asked. Of course! His grandmother had raised him and taught him to knit and crochet. He said she would take the cotton string pulls from sugar bags, save them and have him knit them into square wash clothes. She would sell these to the store to buy more sugar!

Now, this is a man who calls the vice present and I, "the ladies," and only suggests men to chair committees or drive the tractors in the community garden. I started thinking about the two things that have changed so much: we don't make boys sit and do things like they used to and we don't use things up like they used to. They had a saying: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Or it is, Use it up, make it work or do without. I might be channeling Tim Gunn on that last one? Anyway, I'll get down from my soap box and just add that we have a very disposable outlook today. Disposable towel scrub brushes (how clean does the inside of your pipes need to be?), disposable bibs for babies, and don't get me started on Lunchables! We are surrounded by waste (and I'm just looking around my dining room at all the crap I have)!

E likes to pull on my yarn as I'm knitting and asks if it's for her, "Dat to me?" Butters has not shown any interest in crochet, knitting or embroidery or even sitting still for that matter. He used to like to visit my craft room and make stuff, but not much lately. Although the other day he tried knitting her hair in the bath, so maybe their is hope!

Friday, February 5, 2010

In and Out

In: Tank Tops Out: Velour Pants
In: Seasonally Inappropriate Dresses Out: Jeans

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sewing and Knitting Update

This is a button cowl neck warmer for my awesome friend in San Fran, she picked out this Firebird color in Malabrigio, it was a refreshing knit for the winter. Got it at Imagiknit, store pattern is My SoCalled Cowl.Next up, a loser. I'm still trying to perfect brioche stitch but this hat shows I've got more to learn. This is for a cancer survivor in Southern California, but the thickness is more suitable for Alaska. The yarn was a bit pricey, should I rip it out and make something else or live with the mistakes and send it to a non-knitter in Alaska (not Sara Palin, she's got plenty of money to spend on hats)? By the time I decide and make something else, his hair will be back and winter will be over!

Mark Lipinski fabric from P. Mookie, it seemed like it wanted to be log cabin squares. I made about 18 of them, and they are 10", not sure what they want to do next! Table cloth, summer quilt, all I know is, it's bright and happy.

Blue and silver Asian-type fabric. This is a thick table runner with colors going dark to light. Two layers of fabric, batting and heat resistant batting-so it's a giant table protector! I started quilting it and bad things happened. It's on time out. It was going to be a Cmas present, but i might keep it for myself!

This is what I've been doing the last month, for about an hour a day, The Princess Blanket! There is more than pictured but my helper came so I grabbed this photo and stopped laying it out. I've pieced 33 nine patch squares, 6" each. I figure I'll need 60, I'm halfway! Larger print fabric in blue and pink are cut to 6" squares and I'll put it all together and tie it. It will be too frustrating to put this large of a blanket into my machine! Whenever E and I go to the fabric store, she would pick out fabric and I'd buy 1/4 a yard. You can see she likes cupcakes, pink, hearts, polka dots, cherries and when she started picking out sports equipment and butterflies I decided we had enough themes to work with! Can you believe there are over 6 different pink cupcake fabrics!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stay Home

It's taken 4 years but I've finally admitted I'm a stay home mom. My answer would change based on who would ask me. First, "I stay home but I work from home for my old job." Then, "I work on the weekends at a knitting store." And for the last 2 years I'm an unpaid, never stay home mom who's kisses heal hurt knees, I specialize in wiping butts and remembering all the things you may possibly need for a day at the beach, I can locate lost toys, organize our finances and raise two loving incredible beings. If this wasn't an important job, I wouldn't be doing it.

I just stepped away from this to comfort The Princess who climbed over the arm of the chair and banged her leg. We had a 10 minute hug and I can still feel the warmth from her snugly PJ body. Before, I would think of the other things to do, there is always so much to do! Now, I'm content to sit and enjoy things. I'm also working on not being there. I know that sounds contradictory. But, we've turned a corner and the kids play on their own so much better now. I used to turn on the TV, give them a drink and take a 10 minute shower, walking backwards out of the room. This morning, they were arguing (hey, they are using their words), and I just hopped in the shower-no planning other than my clean pair of underwear. My hubby and I can now make dinner together, at the same time, while the kids play and we don't have to be hovering or playing with them. It's heaven!

I asked DH a while back if the kids should take classes at the museum or a science camp. He said, "You are their mom, they are in science camp." It was the best compliment he could have given me!

*Photos are blurry but I couldn't resist. We inflated a balloon with a bottle. Put vinegar or other acid in the bottle, then add pockets of baking soda made from toilet paper or other dissolving material and put the balloon on. CO2 gas is created which inflates the balloon and goofiness ensues.

Monday, February 1, 2010


If you didn't catch Obama finally being Obama, here's the video from the Rebulican Town Hall Meeting:

He had an open debate with republicans and took any and all questions. Great discussion.