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Archive for March, 2009

A Package (Very Exciting One) in the Mail!

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

I got this package in the mail last week:


It is Donna Druchunas‘ new book, published by my friend Deb Robson (blog: The Independent Stitch) of Nomad Press. Tbe title is Ethnic Knitting Exploration (Lithuania, Iceland and Ireland). I’m excited about Donna’s way of presenting the material and I’m excited by the ideas that could be brought into fruition with the help of this book.

Donna is having a blog tour for her book for the month of April. It starts with Keyboard Biologist on April 1, I get my turn on April 4. You can see the blog tour schedule on Donna’s blog.

Meanwhile I’m really checking out all the possibilities in this exciting book. The topics could take a knitter in so many possible directions!!!

Time to Breathe a Bit

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

I had my Saturday class cancel. I would have slept in, but I have a dance rehearsal at 10am, an early hour for me to need to be coordinated. I’ll do my best.

This will be good for me. I will take time to smell the roses.

I will make a pot of tea and enjoy it slowly when I get home from rehearsal. Here’s a photo of a teapot I took at Bangkok House a month or so ago, to help you start relaxing along with me:


I will take a walk if it is not raining buckets. And I will continue to knit this project:


Yes, that would be socks made from two multicolored balls of yarn. If you read here much, you might guess who they are for. My toddler friend Isabel is growing out of her Chippy Socks and almost cried the other day because of that.

I do not have time to knit another eight socks in 3 colors of yarn. I do have time to make a pair of socks with pink/blue/gray toes/heels/ribbing, and pink/yellow/aqua foot and leg.

Yes, this is “too much pattern and color” for most adults. No, it’s not quite enough for my beloved Isabel. She’s the queen of “more color,” even more than I am.

I hope all of you have as good a day as I’m planning. Enjoy.

Orlando, FL Sushi Dinner (and more)

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Brian and I flew into Orlando on our way to visit family members in Florida. As is typical, we were hungry by the time we got off the plane and got our rental car.

Brian’s i-phone was a great help. He typed in Sushi and it knew where we were, and listed three or four sushi restaurants close to us. We found this one, whose name I’ve lost:





I can not tell you how pleased I am with the above photo. I love those chairs even if there is merely one, but the repetition makes my eyes smile.

Below, are two small photos which you can click to see a larger version. The first is a huge McDonald’s hamburger place, where the side of the building looks like huge two-story french fries. The second is the highway full of cars pretty much parked, at a standstill. This is not at all uncommon in Orlando.




Friday, March 13th, 2009

We visited Brian’s sister Kathy and her wonderful husband, Pedro, in Jacksonville for one night. (I’m behind, the photos were taken February 28.) The day we had together was about 80F degrees and sunny, like summer in Michigan.

It was the only summer-like day we had in the 5 days of our trip, and we drank it up. (About 3-4 years ago we visited Jacksonville, and our car had icicles on it in Daytona… how nice to balance out that trip memory with this one.)

I have said it many times… I wish I lived next door to this couple. They are just the most easy friends to have, and we have so many things in common! Once upon a time they lived in Ann Arbor, about an hour away. We did get together a little more often than now, but it’s never enough for me.

I won’t bore you with “and then we did this, and then we did that.” Instead, here is a photo scrapbook of sorts, to document that day.

A gorgeous orange old car in great shape, near the resale shop in Kathy/Pedro’s neighborhood:


Half a porch near the five-points area:


A street musician with companion dog, also near five points:


I did not get a photo, but we found a wonderful shop called Olives & Oils Gourmet Market not too far from this It was at 1506 King Street. I found some amazing organic chocolate to snack on, and there were many other goodies I would have purchased if I did not have to fly them home with me.

Two interesting-to-look-at bicycles:


Park on the river near five-points (being heavily used, it was about 80F that day):


Hand-Painted signs (a rare sight in our northern city) and a multicolored restaurant paint job:


Outside and inside of house (these folks have style, their home is very Color-Joyful):


Photos: Lakeland, Florida

Friday, March 13th, 2009

On our vacation a few weeks back, we spent time in lovely Lakeland, Florida. It really seems like a liveable town. Loved the visit.

Downtown park:


“Patchwork Pig” quilting shop (we did not go inside):


In this downtown area, we found a wonderful local-artsy coffee shop and got juice and tea. We walked up and down the street and enjoyed the warmer-than-home weather. I always enjoy Lakeland and this was no exception.

Old Town Photos, Lansing, Michigan

Friday, March 13th, 2009

The Riverwalk (official name “River Trail”) is definitely more River than Walk this week. Here is a photo from Tuesday.

In the background you can’t see the dam which is normally obvious. The water is nearly up to the upper level of the dam, on the “lower” side (which is closer to the camera).

Notice the water is up to the level of a door under the street-level walkway at the very bottom left corner of the window. This picturesque building is a little closer to drama than serenity this week, I’d say.


Two weeks ago, a young Cooper’s Hawk (someone else told me that, I would not have known) on a telephone wire above the sidewalk. It was just the next building over from Elderly Instruments, on Washington Avenue.


Student Works

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

It’s time for “Show and Tell.” Here are items created by my students:

Last weekend at Rae’s I had a “wet felting” class. We decided to make felt balls and cut them open to make pincushions. Here are two:


Next is my 13-year-0ld knitter, M. She made a second tiny sock for a keychain (the green one is new, the blue striped one she made last year):


Last but not least, is Lynne (from a class at the Yarn Garden in Charlotte) who made a Topper-Down Hat in one yarn, I think it was Noro Silk Garden. Here it is on the recipient:



I continue to be inspired and delighted with the pieces my students make. Sometimes they push me to places I have not been before, and it’s good for us all.

Thank you to all, for sharing your pieces and your photos with me and those who read this blog. I’m happy to have you all in my life.

More Color to Cheer You

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

kidsframeddrawings25.jpgI have had these images framed since before I knew Brian. They once graced my living room wall when I was single, grouped with perhaps 4 other images. All were gifted to me by children in my life.

The heart I think was from Ashlee, the granddaughter of a coworker. This child probably is in High School or graduated by now. The image that says “Lynn” was from my Goddaughter, Sara, who is now in her fourth year of college.

The frames were dollar store finds, and though they look inexpensive I love the added color. There is nothing like a good dose of strong color to greet me first thing in the morning! As someone who wakes up VERY slowly, this is a fine antidote to the morning blues.

My Winter Garden

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009


I copied Cynthia’s idea, with her blessing. I got $2 or so of balloons and put a little water in them, then blew them up the rest of the way. Put them in my containers that hold plants in the summer, and took a photo.

The ones at the bottom of the stairs didn’t last long, they lost air right away. I don’t know if they were defective to start with or if the grass in the pots eroded the rubber in the balloons.

Last night we had wind that sounded as if the Wicked Witch of the West was arriving any minute. I wonder how the balloons did? I assume a neighbor will find them against a fence. Whoops!

It was fun while it lasted.

A Gratitude List

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

floridatraingraffiti.jpgWhat a good life I live. I am so grateful.

The weather is rainy and gray today, but my life is full. I just had lunch with friend Cynthia and it made me exceedingly happy for the way my life is right now.

Occasionally I like to write a gratitude list, for whatever pops into my head at the moment. Here is one (no doubt incomplete) for today:

  • My beloved Brian.
  • Friends and family who love me and respect my life path.
  • A good relationship with my Mother.
  • A “freelance” livelihood in a city that actually is full of opportunity for such work.
  • Students/Customers/Blog Readers who make my livelihood fulfilling.
  • The Internet, which allows me to fill out that career fully, with the world as my audience.
  • Computers that work and help me do my job.
  • Dance, Knitting, Music, Poetry, Artful Food and Relationship: all artforms that enhance my life.
  • Yarn, wool, color, and a mind that puts them together in endlessly fascinating ways.
  • Beloved children of other people… who make my life more interesting and full.
  • A car that is 11 years old, paid off, 138,000 miles, runs fine and looks almost new.
  • A colorful house in a neighborly area of a friendly city.
  • Being alive and primarily healthy, being able to walk, dance and climb stairs, being able to speak out loud and even sing (I once spent 31 days without a voice).
  • Being 50 years old (some loved ones have not been this lucky).

May fridathecat16.jpgyou also find things for which to be grateful, on this March day.

1) Graffiti on side of railroad car, taken just over a week ago in the middle of Florida. It sure looks different than most big-city train graffiti I see.
2) Frida the cat, in Jacksonville, Florida, looking as content as I feel right now.

Bok Tower Gardens: Lake Wales, Florida

Monday, March 9th, 2009


Finally I have photos and photos and more photos, of maybe the most beautiful place we went in Florida just over a week ago. We went to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. That is where I was in the photo with Brian’s three aunts, that I posted while we were still in Florida.

Note: If you click the tower photo above, it will blow up to about 1000×1000 pixels to show detail. This will not be advisable if you have a slow Internet connection. The tiny photos all link to larger ones but with a maximum 400 pixels in any direction (like the next 2 images), so clicking on those should work for all but perhaps those with a dial-up connection.


It is the highest elevation in Florida, or so we were told. The state is remarkably flat for the most part, but we got a nice view where we could see Lakeland, not quite 30 miles away.

Here’s Brian at that spot:bokgardenbrianoutlook.jpg

I love heights and views, probably because I was raised where you have no view unless you are in a tall building (and there are precious few of those). I enjoyed this viewing area, but the rest of the gardens were impressive in very different ways.

I have so many photos I will put most of them here in small thumbnail format. If you click on any of the small ones, you will see them larger. Just hit “back” to get to this post again, for the next click. Enjoy!



A “Still Life” from Jacksonville, FL

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

When we go to Florida, we hit as many resale shops as possible. The Salvation Army in Lakeland has been my favorite shop of all time. I’ve found some incredible things there for a song, sometimes never even worn. (In Florida I find bright colors I just never see in Michigan.)

When we were in Jacksonville a week ago, we went to a shop near Kathy and Pedro’s home. I was checking out women’s clothing, and something caught the corner of my eye. It tickled my funny bone. How out of place is that? Surreal.


For the record, the plunger was not used. They had a box full of new ones in the household-items room.

Kids Knitting: In the News!

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an article online, complete with photos, of kids knitting. The children go to a Waldorf school which uses handwork in all (elementary) grades for many reasons. They go into some of the benefits in the article.

Thanks to Pittsburgh friend Norma, for the link!

The Difference a Day (or 2) Can Make

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Yesterday, the snow pile in Mom’s front yard:

Yesterday, the remnants of our own pile, once waist-deep:




It’s Melllllllll-tinnnnnnnnnnnng (just like the Wicked Witch)…

The sun is gorgeous. I think I’ll take a walk!