Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Christmas

Hang all the mistletoe. 
I'm gonna get to know you better... 

Well, another Christmas over! Almost that is. It seems we got the flu for Christmas. So, because we wanted Callye and family to be safe, we haven’t met with them yet. But that can be something to look forward to.

This was, and not only in my opinion, a strange holiday for sure. Not really anything specific that could be named as the cause, just a multitude of small things.

Maybe it was the weather with the temperatures fluctuating daily. One day would be spring like, with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s while the next day would be a cold, icy, wintery day, closing schools, businesses and roads, with temperatures in the 20s.
Ice pictures.

Maybe it was the shortened shopping time. According to my son, it was one Christmas shopping week shorter than normal. Add that to the homebound days and everyone just got that much further behind.

Maybe it was because Christmas was on a Wednesday. I guess it hasn’t really affected us before, but this time, since Christmas was in the middle of the week, people with regular jobs, (as not in education) had to work Thursday. So that messed up travel plans for many and made celebrating either before the actual holiday or after.

Whatever the reason, there were definitely some differences. The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care. That’s because we couldn’t find them. Not only were the stockings missing but the ornaments for the tree were also put away so well last year that they remained hidden for the season. The tree was up, with lights, and it was fine. Some odds and ends and new ornaments were added but the tree wasn’t really decorated. It was pretty, none the less, and nobody doubted that Santa would be there, regardless of the bare foliage.

There weren’t any presents under the tree. Not until almost Christmas Eve anyway. Usually I get some time off before Christmas. This time, the two days I had were spent shopping and planning for a weekend trip for one of the gatherings. The trunk of my car was full. That’s where the presents were.

We didn’t have a traditional Christmas dinner. We had a wonderful dinner but it wasn’t the customary fare. My thoughtful son brought a prime rib bigger than baby George! Since not everyone was going to be there we cut it in two pieces so we can enjoy the rest another time. Through a family phone chat the sides were to be fancy (to us), consisting of salad with grilled shrimp and feta, mashed loaded new potatoes, broccoli with hollandaise and chocolate cake that tasted like Rosa’s. (Rosa’s is a local Mexican food restaurant with outstanding chocolate cake.) Okay, not a problem!
George and dinner!

Somehow, like it always seems to, it came together to make a great holiday. New traditions, old traditions, and family, all mixing together to build memories. Merry Christmas, and to all a good night!
Merry Christmas!!

And as we trim the tree,
How much fun it's gonna be, together this Christmas...

With all that was going on there wasn’t much time for knitting. There were a couple more ruffly scarves to add to the stash and a short neck warmer as a secret pal gift. Also, there was an experiment that worked fairly well! I’d read about the arm knitting ‘craze’ and frankly, didn’t know that I’d ever do a thing with it. But then came the two ‘camo’ themed parties. I got some camo jeans and added a sparkly black top (for the season) to make a ‘party’ outfit. But it needed something to tie it together. So I gathered two army green colored yarns, paired with a worsted black and another with gold sparkles. It matched and tied the outfit together so I felt dressed for a party! And it was kind of fun.
Casting on, knitting, finished product!

So on Christmas day, after all the food and festivities, I asked my son if he still wanted me to make that scarf for his friend. I told him I could have it done before he left. Sure, he said skeptically. I grabbed some black velour, plain worsted black and black with the sparkles, some kind of flat tape yarn and a thin gold thread, cast on 4 stitches and finished in about 20 minutes. He was impressed! I hope his friend likes it.
Together and separate strands.

Come on, everybody shake a hand now. 
Family, and we’ll be together. 
To make this Christmas bright, yes, we will…

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Do you promise not to tell?

A recent game on Facebook had people revealing ‘X’ number of things about themselves that other people did not know. I was very careful not to ‘like’ anyone’s status, even though I really enjoyed reading them, because I didn’t want to get some horrid number that I couldn’t fulfill.

The more I thought about it though, the more I liked the idea. But I found it was harder than I believed.

Once I stuffed 21 grapes in my mouth while talking on the phone to my then boyfriend, now husband. My roommate and I started laughing and I almost choked to death.

I rode a bus home from Hobbs, NM, on an ice covered road with a bunch of students from the school of the deaf. It was really quiet until one of them signed something funny and they all started laughing.

I was in a beauty pageant in high school. I didn’t win but I didn’t lose either. There were 20 of us and only one winner. I spun yarn and knitted for my talent. Seriously. It was 1976, the bicentennial. My art teacher is the one who encouraged me to participate. That year Miss America arranged flowers as her talent. So she thought spinning and knitting fit in. She wrote a script, I memorized it, wore a costume and spun then knit on stage. I was so scared my knitting needles clicked together with my shaking hands. You can stop laughing now.

I almost drowned when I was little. My aunt’s parents had a pool in their backyard. I fell in but managed to get myself out. It was traumatic. To this day I get very nervous when water gets up to my chin.

Junior high had ninth graders when I went to school. Freshmen took algebra. My teacher was a male chauvinist pig. When class began he said you girls, you go over there. You can’t do math anyway. And we don’t think we can. There’s no telling how many girls he quashed with his superior attitude.

I hate mice. Not only do I detest the nasty creatures but I also despise their cousins, hamsters, rats, bats, and anything else that resembles a rodent. They terrify me. If I even think there is one in a room I can’t go there. If there is actually one in there, deceased even, I can’t go in there. Once when Callye was small we had a mouse. We live out in the country so it’s to be expected but I grew up in the city and never had to deal with such. Anyway, Alan set a traditional trap. He was at work, Callye was playing and new baby Bryce was sleeping peacefully. Suddenly I heard a ‘snap’. Sounded like the nasty thing was caught. Sure enough he was because he ran out from behind the table, carrying the trap along with him, made a few circles and died. Right in the middle of the living room. I couldn’t do a thing. I couldn’t get the broom and a dustpan and sweep it up even. I was paralyzed. I pondered the situation and wondered if it would be considered child abuse to get a three year old to take the dead parasite out of the room, not touching the thing mind you, but with a dustpan or holding the trap itself. Luckily, and this is real because we didn’t have visitors, someone happened to stop by. I asked her if she could help me. She gave me a disgusted look, went over and picked it up. By the tail. And she threw it out the door. Far out the door. I don’t know which I found more revolting, her or the dead mouse.
I’m sure I could think of plenty more now that I’m in project tell secret mode but I’ll stop. They might come in handy some other time!

If you dare, tell something nobody knows about you!

I've known a secret for a week or two.
Nobody knows, just we two...

Speaking of secrets, I think I mentioned I participated in a scarf exchange with my LSSK friends. Well, my recipient pretty much guessed it was me! But she liked the scarf and the rest of the package as well she said.
And I got a great package too! My scarf is beautiful, bright greens and blues in a pattern called Strangling Vine. There were some cool stitch markers that were square and of course, some chocolate! It was a great package and I’ll wear the scarf for years to come. Thank you Caroline!

Closer, let me whisper in your ear. 
Say the words you long to hear…

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Thank You

I want to thank you.
Thank you 

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. Those who were able came to Callye’s house to share food and enjoy each other’s company. My nephew who is in the Army and stationed at Fort Hood made a surprise visit and joined us for dinner. Bryce came in and Bernie’s family was all here.
Surprise! My nephew dropped by for dinner!

Ty and Jenn went to Utah to celebrate with her family. My sister cooked dinner for my parents who were joined by my other nephew and his wife. My brother and his family celebrated with loved ones at home.
We had a feast!

Although we weren’t all at the same place at the same time, we are still connected. We are family.

I’m grateful for the ties we have as family. I know I can count on any of them as they know they can count on me. Sure we have our disagreements. Sometimes we don’t even like each other. But we always love one another. And that is truly something for which to give thanks.

You didn't have to love me like you did,
But you did, but you did. 
And I thank you. 

All I’ve wanted to do this holiday break is knit or crochet or make something. I’ve been into instant gratification with the ruffled scarves out of the netted yarn. Easy and fairly quick, although I discovered crochet is a lot faster on these. The knitted are a lot fuller but they do take a bit longer.
Ruffled scarves for fun.
What am I going to do with all of them? I actually wore one! The rest? I’m not sure yet. But I’m having fun making them. I’m already dreading having to go back to work!

You got me trying new things too
Just so I can keep up with you. 

And I thank you. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I’m Your Captain

I'm your captain, I'm your captain,
Can you hear me, can you hear me,
Or am I all alone.

“On behalf of the flight crew, let me welcome you aboard Southwest Flight 1647 to Midland-Odessa. We apologize for the delay and hope to make up some time in the air. We should touch down in Midland around 9:43 local time, depending on the weather. Again, we apologize for the delay…”

As it turned out I was over four hours early for my flight. Luckily a very nice attendant offered to keep my suitcase behind the counter because I was so ahead of schedule I wasn’t even allowed to check my luggage! I’m used to waiting at the airport, which if you know me is a common occurrence if flying and I are involved. The flights to our part of Texas are few and far between. But if it’s not the timing, it’s the airline. So I wait. Some airports aren’t as bad as others. This time I have some knitting with me. And I like to people watch so it will be a productive wait at least!

My phone battery is almost dead so I found a chair with the plug underneath it. Dallas Love Field has recently remodeled so there are a few more of these chairs available than there used to be. A man, a pilot I think, because he’s wearing a uniform that could pass for such, and a young girl take the two seats beside me. She has a large pink purse with a silver skull on it. She’s entertained by her phone the whole time. She would giggle and sometimes show him the screen. The man doesn’t look very old, late 30s to mid-40s, probably. I think she’s his daughter.

He goes to the counter for a while and she and I sit beside each other, each stealing glances at the other. When he came back they left. I saw them again later, he sans uniform and she still with the pink bag. They sit opposite me at the far end of the aisle. They sit very close and then I notice they have wedding rings on. She was his wife.

A man with thick glasses is sitting at the end of the row. He’s has a newspaper and he’s skimming it while he watches my hands as I knit. He has his telephone and makes a call while he continues watching my fingers. Finally he asks what I’m making. I told him it was a scarf for a friend. He said it was very pretty. Men don’t usually ask. I think he really wanted to chat but another man sat down in the chair between us and he went back to his paper.

There was a young professional, impeccably dressed in a grey business suit, white starched shirt and pink tie with little grey dots on it. He sat across from me. He was very serious and made eye contact with no one. He opened his carry on, removed some very bright athletic shoes and took his dress shoes off. He removed wooden shoe stretchers from the athletic shoes and placed them in his dress shoes. He then placed each shoe in a felted shoe bag and placed them in his suitcase. He put the athletic shoes on and tied them. Then he stood, flexed his legs, and untied his necktie. He sat back down, opened his suitcase again and took out a flat case. He opened the case and balanced it on one leg while he painstakingly folded the necktie. He then placed it inside, secured it with a small strap, folded the case and put it back with his other belongings. He stood, gathered his possessions and prepared to leave. He never took off his jacket or unbuttoned the top button of his starched shirt.
The shoes...

Finally it was boarding time. The short flight was smooth and the pilots made up the time for their part of the delay. It was late, and I was concentrating retrieving my luggage so I could make the seemingly mile walk to my car at the work parking lot. At the luggage carousel I heard someone call my name. I turned and there were four of my coworkers. One asked if I had been on that plane. Yes, I said. We commented how we had not seen each other. Across the way were two more coworkers. They had also been on the plane and none of us had seen any of those we weren’t immediately with. They all were seated before I boarded. I thought about people watching. I must not pay as much attention as I supposed. Look at what I missed.

I'm getting closer to my home ...
I'm getting closer to my home ...

I’ve finished the scarf I was working on and it’s blocking. I’ll show more pictures later.
Scarf blocking

Also, I finished one of my favorite patterns, a little scarf/shawl. This happened to be purple and goldish yellow and I had a furry yarn to bind off with that matched it exactly. I did this on my first one by accident but since then I’ve thought it fun to add that little touch.
The edging matched perfectly!
Shawl/ favorite go to pattern .

I’ve started a Gap-tastic cowl. It’s coming along pretty fast. I have a long road trip coming up and thought it would be great travel knitting.
Gap-tastic 3

If you return me, to my home port,
I will kiss you mother earth.
I'm your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunglasses At Night

And I wear my sunglasses at night, 
So I can, So I can 
See the light that's right before my eyes…

The first time it happened I was stunned. It was some stupid Facebook argument and people were venomous. The ignorance and self-righteousness flowed freely. It’s as if their anonymity gave license to nastiness.

Social media in general seems to bring out the worst in people. I am constantly amazed at the audacity of the Facebook comments, especially on local news events. Besides just plain stupidity, the malice and spite delighting those who make it public, is an insult to the senses.

This phenomenon actually has a name. Psychologists call it deindividuation. It is generally thought of as the losing of self-awareness when in groups. Wearing a mask or even a uniform, can make some cease to recognize even themselves as an individual. Consequently they stop seeing others as individuals and don’t recognize that their actions could hurt someone. It can happen to anyone.

Unfortunately, drama is a fact of life. I don’t do drama very well. But if someone, especially an adult, attacks someone dear to me, they might see the full theatrical effect of a Tasmanian Devil, given the right circumstances. Kid drama is something else though; something that little kids work through. It’s part of growing up. Adults don’t need to interfere except in dire circumstances.

Here’s a story. We live outside of town. My daughter had a lot of friends and got along with most everyone. But of course, there were the typical squabbles that happen between friends. One day she came in the house, crying. The mother of another girl drove her daughter and a third little girl to our house. When she arrived she called my daughter over. As she got to the car the woman had the other two girls get out and yell, scream and call her names. When they were finished she loaded them back into the car and went back to town. Furious didn’t even begin to describe the emotion I felt.

Because I don’t like controversy I did nothing. In retrospect, I should have confronted her as soon as I found out it happened. But I didn’t. One day I got my chance. It was a spirit day for some event at school, sunglass day, where everyone was allowed to wear sunglasses to show they were supporting their team. I was decked out in my dark glasses when I saw her. There was the woman who dared come to MY house to let her girls yell at MY daughter. I no longer had a rose colored view of the world as I looked through my dark glasses. I saw red.

In kicked my deindividuation. She was no longer an individual, caring mother of a child. I saw her as the she-devil shrew she was. And I was fearless. I was brave because I had my sunglasses on. I was invisible, and invincible.

I walked over to her. She greeted me in her falsetto, I’m everyone’s best friend voice and that’s when I did it. I got close, pointed my finger in her face and said, “Don’t you EVER come to my house again.” That’s all. Then I walked away. I was shaking. I couldn’t believe I’d done it. I didn’t touch her. I didn’t scream. I didn’t punch her in her smug conceited face. But somehow I felt better.

Later I heard what an awful person I was to make that poor sweet woman cry. She had been so upset she’d had to leave the building. I was so mean. And I wondered, if the whole story had been known, who would have been thought to be the real bully here.

I didn’t care what they thought. Karma is a bitch…and so was she.

While, she's deceiving me, 
It cuts my security… 

I got this lovely box from a sweet friend. It is full of all kinds of things from needles and gadgets to yarn. What fun! Thank you Sunni D!

I’m still working on different knitting projects; a scarf, the camo vest, the Quaker yarn stretcher. And I want to start something else! I must have knitting ADHD and the only cure is to start something else! Now I need to get a case of ‘finishistis’, put my sun glasses on and get to knitting.

And I wear my sunglasses at night 
So I can, So I can 
Keep track of the visions in my eyes

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alice’s Restaurant

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant...

My friend has been doing something called Blogtember with her blog. It’s kind of a game with prompts to follow every day that tell you what to write about. My friend is extraordinary! She’s doing a great job!

So when I read her blog the other day, it was creative writing day. The instructions were to write a very short fictional story that started with the sentence below. Since I sometimes I write little stories, and I enjoyed hers, I thought it would be fun, even though I’m not participating in Blogtember. I’ve written a story on my blog once or twice before. So here I go!

"To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century." 

All I could think about was getting out of these work clothes and into something more comfortable. It had been such a stressful day. I was so tired, both mentally and physically. I just wanted to stay home.

I slipped off my shoes and stretched my bare feet as I found my favorite slippers. Next was the dress, which I carefully put back on a hanger so it wouldn’t wrinkle and I could get one more wear out of it before I had it sent to the cleaners.

I went in the bathroom to find my sleep pants. They weren’t really sleep pants but I wouldn’t wear them anywhere except to bed so that’s what they became. They were soft t-shirt material that felt good next to my skin. The well-worn Eagle’s tour shirt was flung over the shower door and I grabbed it and pulled it down over my head. It felt like velvet on my weary body.

I wandered to the kitchen and glanced at the clock. I had about two hours before I had to be there. It would take me thirty minutes to get ready and about twenty minutes to get there. That left an entire hour that I could relax before I had to get busy.

I looked in the fridge to get a beer but then I decided that I might smell like a brewery when I got there. Since I really didn’t know all of the people who were coming I didn’t want to make a bad impression. So I opted for wine instead. One glass of wine wouldn’t hurt and I’d be relaxed and ready to socialize.

I grabbed my goblet, my knitting and the remote and settled into my comfortable recliner. I never thought I’d be a recliner type of girl but that’s what I’d become. Every night I’d make my nest, gathering everything I might need and putting it within arm’s reach. Then I’d kick back, turn on the television, find a movie or good show and knit until I had enough energy to move from the chair to the bedroom and go to sleep. How exciting my life had become.

There was an old black and white mystery on and I draped a blanket across my lap and started in on my latest project. Knit one row, purl one row; the rhythm was relaxing and familiar. It was no brainer knitting and I didn’t have to pay attention.

The ringing of the phone startled me. I fumbled around, searching for my glasses that I thought I’d been wearing. Sometime or other, without realizing it, I’d put them on the table. Hurriedly I peered through them to see who might be calling. My heart fell as I glanced at the screen. It was 10:30 pm. I was supposed to have been there at 7:00. Caller ID said it was my friend. I didn’t answer.

I swallowed the rest of my wine, turned off the television and went to bed.

My friend Kathy has the right idea!
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant.
Walk right in it's around the back...

I’ve got the knitting bug again! Then only trouble is I have a few things started and nothing finished! It does keep things interesting though!

Just a half a mile from the railroad track.
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Car Wash

Hey, get your car washed today 
Be in our band, you don't have to pay.

It’s homecoming week here. That means mums, parades and crowns! Mums are a tradition in Texas. A bit strange, but a tradition nevertheless. But what started as a simple corsage has morphed into something, well, hideous! Tiny girls are seen with monstrous contraptions completely covering their chests as well as most of their body, weighing them down until they resemble little old ladies, stooped and bent over, all in an effort to display their pseudo treasure. One flower, two flowers, even three or more, ribbons, bells, helmets, plastic figurines, stuffed animals and even lights adorn these prized possessions. They’ve become so noisy and distracting that most times they aren’t even allowed at school until possibly Friday, the night of the homecoming football game.

Unfortunately, not being of the cheerleader mentality, I didn’t even think of little Starr having a mum like all her classmates. It clicked on Thursday. I had saved a couple of garters (the male version of the homecoming mum) for some unexplainable reason. They just happened to belong to Ty in his younger days, which made them all the more appealing. I knew Jenn, my very talented and creative daughter in law, could take these and re-fashion them into something glittery and showy, although mumless, that could compete with any of the pricey (some of these contraptions run into the hundreds of dollars) ornaments the others might have. And she did!
Up close bling.

Finished non-mum with Dad's name even!

Something else that often accompanies homecoming week is rain. It was a cloudy, drizzly week that cancelled some of the traditional homecoming activities. And it actually rained all day until just a few hours before game time on the big day.
Friday night football by Alan Swinford

Even though it almost ruined some of the excitement for the queen and her court of duchesses, I’m ever thankful for the superstition (or not) of the carwash. It’s said that if someone washes their car it will surely rain soon and dirty the newly cleaned auto. So thank you, all who washed their cars this week! Despite the timing, we sure needed the rain.
A cloudy West Texas day.

Working at the car wash 
Working at the car wash, yeah 

A couple of years ago, in fact, probably the main reason for this blog, I participated in something called Knitayear. It’s back! The originator of the project describes it like this:
Knit, crochet, you name it. Join in!!

At the end of the project you have a fiber diary, ultimately creating a personal record of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed the endeavor, which you might not understand unless you like a bit of fiber yourself. And I finished. Now my dilemma has been to decide if I want to do it again. I have four very long strips that really aren’t anything and probably never will be. Do I want more?
365 days of knitting...

I have started. I just have to decide whether to continue or not. If I do, it will be a separate page on this blog and not at the bottom of each post like I did before. That’s because I don’t seem to have the time I did before. Or maybe I just don’t have anything interesting to say to post as much.

We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned…

Those cars never seem to stop coming.
Keeps those rags and machines coming...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Low Rider

All my friends know the Low Rider. 
The Low Rider is a little higher…

Have you ever seen a low rider? According to the Texas State Historical Society,  a lowrider is a motor vehicle that has been lowered to within a few inches of the road in the expressive style of la onda bajita, the "low wave," or "the low trend."

When customizing a car comes to mind, it is usually about improving the car’s looks and performance. Engines are super-sized. Enormous tires are added and elaborate paint jobs are painstakingly applied, all in the name of supercharging the vehicle. That is, unless it’s a low rider.

When it comes to customizing the low rider, nobody is worried about making the car go faster. It’s all about making it low and slow. The suspension is radically lowered, sometimes within only inches from the ground. The roof line is transformed and the body is altered and adjusted. Paint jobs aren’t just a traditional covering. Glitter, stripes and even portraits adorn the sides and tops of the cars.

Photo from Nostalgia on Wheels blog
The outside of the car is not the only thing decked out. The inside is just as amazing. Comfortable and luxurious, with seats of leather and plush fabrics, amazing sound systems and even wet bars. The objective is a sexy, stylish and sophisticated automobile.

Driving to work I noticed a truck parked on the shoulder of the road. It looked really odd, and I thought all of the tires and wheels had been removed. I was feeling sorry for the owner when I noticed the tires were there after all. It was a low rider that apparently had some kind of mechanical problem. It stayed there on the shoulder and I passed it twice every day, for at least a week. Finally I stopped for a picture.

I think this is a work in progress because it seemed to be primer paint.
Close up of tire/wheel position on the road.

One morning a big Dodge dually was parked in the ditch on the inside of the truck. I wondered as I passed, if it was the owner or someone wanting to enhance their low rider with free parts. That afternoon it was gone. For some strange reason I was relieved. I had worried something would happen and the vehicle would be vandalized. I’ll never know. Hopefully whatever had gone wrong would be repaired.

Seeing the tires so close to the road made me think of a quote I’d seen recently. “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don't change it, you'll never go anywhere.” Maybe it’s time to get out the jack.

The Low Rider drives a little slower. 
Low Rider, is a real goer, hey… 

A friend of mine from high school sent me a birthday message a few months back and she told me this: “I so wish you could teach me to knit and crochet...I still have the mittens you gave me for Christmas and treasure them to this day.” Wow, what a surprise! I never would have thought she still had them, much less held them with such regard! About a week ago I got another surprise. A childhood friend posted a picture of a hat I’d knit for her when I was in junior high or maybe the early years of high school. Her post just said, “Look what I found!”
Judy's hat. We don't know how old it is but I think it qualifies as an antique!

I know that was my first try at two colored knitting. It was hot pink and bright green. The houndstooth pattern wasn’t hard but at that time it was a bit advanced. I was excited that I could figure it out. I know she wore that hat and liked it quite a bit. The fact she still has it gives me a feeling that warms my heart as much as her hat warmed her head!

It goes to show that the love in every stitch transfers, and lasts, through the years.

The Low Rider don't drive too fast. 
Take a little trip, take a little trip, 
Take a little trip with me…

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Teach Your Children Well

Can you hear and do you care and 
Can’t you see we must be free to 
Teach your children what you believe in… 

It’s that time of year! School is starting. I love the ‘new’ associated with school. There’s smiling, polished faces dressed in their new clothes carrying new backpacks filled with wonderful new supplies. It’s a new year, most likely with a new teacher. It’s time to renew old friendships and begin new ones. It’s time to learn.

For the first time in a long while we had a new first grader at the house. She was excited because we were excited. And she couldn’t believe the bus would come all the way up to the house to pick her up!
First day waiting for the bus!

All of the Littles except George are in school now. It’s bittersweet. I love that they are growing and learning but I also long for the time when they were babies, no worries or cares, wanting to sit in my lap. We could do nothing together and have a good time. We still enjoy each others company, when we have a chance to be together. But schedules, both mine and theirs, activities and life in general make those meetings few and far between.

Now we have one in Kindergarten, two in first and one in fourth grade Time seems to pass so quickly.

I asked each of them about school this year. Starr, moving into a new state, besides a new school, has some cultural factors to overcome. In Texas, where Spanish is a common second language, she’s hearing words she’s never experienced before! The morning of her second day, before she was ready to get on the bus, I asked her what her teacher’s name was. She thought for a while and finally said, “Mrs. Tomato”. I laughed because I thought she was playing. She was serious. But when you’ve never heard Maldonado before, Tomato is pretty close!
She's really paying attention!
Belle is our kindergartner. She’s 5 going on 20! Her mother says she’s a lot like me because we have common interests: shoes, clothes, pedicures! One day last year when Callye was getting her ready for pre-school she burst out crying. “What’s wrong?” Callye asked. Belle, between sobs, told her the problem. “I don’t have any diamonds on my jeans!”

When I talked to her the other day, in her grown up Belle speak she told me she’d already gotten in trouble. “Oh no,” I said, “What happened?” “A girl was shaking me in the bathroom and I shaked her back and it got me in the OOPS can!” she said breathlessly. “Did the other girl get in the OOPS can too?” “Yes, she did!” she said. And without remorse I said, “Well good!”

Caleb is our little dinosaur expert. Except the other day he was Spock. He’s got varied interests which he seems to have inherited from his uncles. He can recite information and whether it’s correct or not, convince you! He is comfortable playing with a group of kids or he is perfectly content being alone. When his mom asked him last year what his favorite thing about school was he said the cafeteria! She told me he rubbed his belly and said he really liked that place! He also had a crush on his teacher last year. He liked her so much he was going to marry her! He didn’t have a lot to say about school so far this year. All he told me was that his new teacher was pretty! Hmmm…I wonder if she’s going to replace last year’s crush!

Evan is a big kid now. He’s into listening to his music, dancing and just being a cool kid. He’s getting to the age where he can throw a little attitude to and fro, much to his mother’s chagrin! She had an interesting conversation with him when he came home from his first day of school. “Mom,” he said, “My teacher is old fashioned. She called earbuds headphones.” She said, “Well that's what we called them when we were young.” And he, in his fourth grade superiority voice says, “I can't believe they had earbuds when you were young.”

I figured out their graduation years. That was an eye opening experience! Evan will be the class of 2022. Caleb and Starr will share the distinction of being in the class of 2025. And Belle will graduate exactly 50 years after I did. WHAT?? She’ll be the class of 2026. And they’d better watch out!

And feed them on your dreams 
The one they picked, the one you'll know by. 

Here’s the Quaker Yarn Stretcher blocking.
It really grew with the blocking!

I liked it so well I'm making another with this yarn. It’s almost finished! 

Fun with Brenda’s handspun yarn!

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry, 
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mercedes Benz

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ? 
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. 

It was the end of a special weekend. Alan had to present at a conference in Lubbock so we decided to go a couple of days early. It would be a good trip for one of the grands. Evan had been feeling neglected so he went with us.

He’d had a great time, swimming, watching movies, eating from the vending machine and sleeping in until he was ready to wake up. He got to pick where we went, what we did and where we ate. He was getting the royal treatment! The presentation was Monday morning so Evan was planning to lounge around, take one last swim and generally milk Mamye all he could before he had to go back home and be a regular kid.

He slept in that morning, too late to swim. Instead he decided he wanted to go to Olive Garden for lunch. That sounded fine to me. He showered, dressed and we packed. He changed his mind and wanted to go to Golden Corral instead, which wasn’t as fine to me, but what the heck. It was his weekend.

As we gathered the last of our belongings to take down to the car I had him search, once again, just to make sure no treasures were left behind. He picked up the hotel pen and put it on the table. I asked, “Do you want that?” thinking it would be a little souvenir he would remember the weekend by.

The last of the parcels in the trunk, seatbelts fastened, preparing to take off, Evan tells me, “This pen doesn’t work. I’m throwing it away”. As I look over at him in the passenger seat I see an ink mark by the arm rest. “Evan, be more careful please”, I tell him. I got the hand sanitizer (because I vaguely remembered that alcohol might take off ink) and leaned across him to wipe the stain. He moved over and I saw another mark by his leg on the seat. Exasperated I put the car in park and tell him to get out so I can clean up the mess.

He did as he was told and my heart went to my throat. (I actually googled to make sure I was relaying the right emotion. To have one’s heart in the throat means to be full of apprehension, excitement, or fear. To have one’s heart in their boots or feet means to be depressed or down-hearted. I can truly say, from the bottom of my heart, that my internal organ traveled the gamut!) There on the seat behind him was a HUGE ink blob.

I was sick. Truly, I felt like throwing up. This was my new car. It’s the car on which I faithfully make mammoth monthly payments. It’s the car with light colored leather seats, now decorated with ink blots that would make Rorschach proud.

Miraculously, I stayed calm. I tried the hand sanitizer again, and removed a small amount of ink. But it was obvious there was so much it wasn’t going to work. I beseeched my sweet little car’s GPS system (which is NOT very good by the way), and found an auto part store not too far away. My thoughts were to quickly find some kind of cleaner that might work. I went in and asked the two experienced men at the counter if they had anything that could help. They didn’t. We traveled to another store I saw. This man didn’t know of anything either. He did, very kindly I might add, spray some product onto a rag for me to try. I gave it a shot and when it didn’t work, was thankful that he let me try before I had to buy. He told me to stop by the Mercedes Benz dealer, a few blocks away, and ask for Craig in parts to see if he might know of something. When Evan got back into the car I noticed another large spot. He had ink on his arm and it had rubbed onto the seat. Frantic, I thanked the man and drove to the dealership.

I didn’t see a parts department but did see the service department as I pulled up and parked. I went in, explained my dilemma and asked for Craig. Craig wasn’t available but a very nice man, armed with a can of Mercedes seat cleaner came to the parking lot with me.

He was so considerate. Here he is, in the parking lot of an elite automobile dealership scrubbing the seat, not of my Mercedes, but of my Honda Accord! I couldn't help but see the humor! He sprayed the cleaner and although the ink seemed to be smearing it was getting lighter. But it was definitely still there. When he’d done all he could I thanked him and he went back inside. We headed to Walmart for more hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, hairspray and a towel. Did I tell you I was desperate? I tried them all but to no avail. The ink was there. Resigned, I covered the seat with the towel.
The spot on the side from his arm, after cleaning.
The main spot after cleaning.
A week or so later the towel fell down. I glanced over at the blemished seat and the stain seemed to be lighter. Could it be? It was probably just the angle. I pulled the towel back up and tried to block it from my mind! Another week went by and the towel again fell down. The stain was definitely lighter. A few days later I looked and one of the stains was gone. The other was faded quite a bit.

It’s been almost a month since the traumatic event. I have no idea what’s in that Mercedes cleaner but the ink is faded and the last spot is almost gone. It’s a miracle! I wish I’d gotten the name of the nice man who helped me. I’d write him a thank you letter.
Was it disappearing ink??
It's almost gone. What's up with that?
I’ll probably never get the chance to own a Mercedes. But if I do I’ll buy it at Alderson Mercedes in Lubbock.

Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends, 
So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ? 

I have some beautiful handspun yarn from my friend Brenda.
Yarn my friend Brenda spun.
I've just finished the Quaker Yarn Stretcher on Ravelry. All that’s left is the blocking!

Quaker Yarn Stretcher designed to use your handspun yarn.
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ? 
That's it!