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Archive for August 14th, 2009

Happy 75th Birthday, Mom!

Friday, August 14th, 2009

My mom is a fascinating and extraordinary woman. I could tell many stories, but one more time I am scheduled to get a short night of sleep and I can not type enough for them all.

Suffice it to say she grew up on a farm in SE Minnesota, without electricity, with a party telephone line,  a pump house to pump/carry water, a wood stove for heat, and an outhouse. All this in a community of 430 or so people, most of them Norwegian. Where everyone was in the same situation for the most part, no big deal.

Mom went after a teaching degree and got one, in spite of dyslexia and the fact that she was legally blind without glasses until high school. She is brilliant at teaching reading. Colleagues are fond of saying “Liz can teach a rock to read.” I tend to believe they are very close.

Mom taught school before I was born, before she married my father. She loved teaching right away. For a handful of years she raised us and did not teach in a school. However, she went back to teaching when I was in 4th grade. She was widowed at age 38, with two young teens. Here she is with her two “kids” at either side, at Matthei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, a few weeks ago.

LynnH, Mom, Eric, Fred at Gardens

LynnH, Mom, Eric, Fred at Gardens

She and Fred win ballroom dancing medals (lots of them). She rides her bike to exercise class at the mall, usually twice a week. She is a tough cookie, not one to complain much and always full of hope.

And she’s my mom. We almost lost her to cancer about 12 years ago. After losing Daddio in 1973, we really know how lucky we are to have her around.

Mom’s beau of over 20 years, Fred, took her to the Grand Canyon for her 75th birthday. I left her a voice message (sang her the birthday song) on his cell phone, but she was too busy to call back. This is a cool story, I think.

Mom and Eric, Birthdays 2009

Mom and Eric, Birthdays 2009

Here is a photo of Mom next to my brother Eric, blowing out birthday candles together a few weeks ago. We celebrated both of their birthdays together, though they are 5 weeks apart.

Mom, you rock. Happy, happy birthday!

A Few Photos from Sock Summit

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts (also known as PGR in the socknitting community) has written several books (and patterns, and articles), including one book entitled Ethnic Socks and Stockings. It includes many techniques for making eastern-style socks (toe up, from Egypt, Greece, Turkey, many other areas, often very colorful). Priscilla’s “Ethnic…” book changed my career. More on that later, but suffice it to say I am grateful.

I took this photo of Priscilla (well, Priscilla’s feet/socks) at Sock Summit, during her “Ethnic Socks and Stockings” lecture. The “tabi” socks (split for a sandal) were knit by her. She had a pattern with that feature (two toes) on sale at the summit. Yes, I bought the pattern.


Anna Zilboorg (Pronounce Aaaah-nuh ZihL-bore-g) wrote a book on Turkish socks, a small eye-candy book full of more color than my closet. It is called Fancy Feet in hardback and Simply Socks (incredibly- which bureaucrat made that decision, I want to know…) in paperback.

Anna has also written a wonderful hat book, a book full of colorful mittens (and edging treatments for cuffs, and dyeing recipes for specific colors), at least one other sock book, and a book called “Knitting for Anarchists.” I took Anna’s “Turkish Stitches” lecture at Sock Summit, where I took this photo of her feet/socks:


These women LIVE ColorJoyfully. Isn’t it amusing that even the floor seems to agree that more colors are more fun???