Out of the mouths of toddlers
Saturday August 31st 2019, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Family

We were sent pictures of Mathias carefully kissing the new baby.

And an observation that will probably be referenced with a grin at both kids’ future weddings:

“Apparently we made a strategic error when we named the baby something that sounds like ‘Alien’.”

Miss Lily
Friday August 30th 2019, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

She beat the odds again.

It’s time to go meet the dog and cats and make her big brother wonder why she isn’t being returned to that hospital where she belonged.

Well hello there
Wednesday August 28th 2019, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Family

Wait. Stop. Look, really look.
Tuesday August 27th 2019, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

Here, let me give me a close-up.

Remember when I dug out a long-abandoned scarf project, turned it into the front of a baby dress, extolled the virtues of a stash of UFOs, yadda yadda, and knit the back to match?

Today I went to go put them together.

And suddenly realized why my subconscious had been dragging its feet on getting that done for so long.

Huh. How could…

Well, out of the original 100g skein of yarn on that front I had 54 g left, so, there was nothing for it but to cast on with it and have a do-over.

Maybe that other dress back will morph into something else in its own time, too. Who says hats can’t have seams, right?

Or a really, really full sleeve. (Nahhhh…)

Or something.


Breathe easy
Monday August 26th 2019, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Family

Quiet puttering and a lot of catching up on my reading today.

Didn’t feel like running around catching up on errands, and I wondered why for awhile.

It gradually came to the surface that it just felt like this was the time to consider the world and the wonder of it all, to have no distractions but simply to take it all in. There was this deep sense of happiness at Lily being in our world now.

As the messages came in telling of things she’s already doing on her own now.

They look so much older so fast
Sunday August 25th 2019, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Family

Go to San Diego, we said. Go see the grandkids there before the baby comes.

Lily had other plans.

We stayed up Friday as updates came in as she arrived, then got up at dark o’clock to catch a flight south. Played hard. Talked baseball with the older boys, who were surprised Grandma knew anything about it, played Chase me! with Maddy, helped 11-month-old Spencer pretend he could walk on his own and took the last flight home after our pizza.

Where I posted a picture of Lily Sylvie, transposing the letters on her middle name and wondering if it somehow looked funny before falling into bed.

Lillian Syvlie
Saturday August 24th 2019, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Family

Our sweet Lily arrived last night, 6 lbs 6.7 oz at exactly one month early. She’ll be in the NICU for a few weeks but she’s beautiful and she made it here and we cannot wait to meet her.

(Edit to correct the typo I didn’t see till this morning: her middle name is Sylvie, after Sam’s dear friend and doctoral thesis advisor.)

Climb every mountain
Friday August 16th 2019, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift,LYS

Went to Fillory to hang out and knit among friends for awhile and it suddenly hit me that wait–this thing is actually somehow almost done!

It’s taller than wide already. It’s certainly stretchy, but in its relaxed state it’s about 41″ wide, whereas I usually consider 45″ square to be the minimum for a receiving blanket.

I didn’t know when I started it small that I would be able to find more of not only that discontinued yarn but that dye lot–and I had no idea those little 50 gram balls would go as far as they have. But then, this is a much smaller blanket than the monster 1700g Rios one was. It’s for the baby to drag around behind her once she’s walking and to take everywhere she goes, and you don’t want big nor bulky for that.

It is 70/30 baby alpaca/mulberry silk. Super soft, not super practical, and yet it leaped onto my needles that first day and demanded to be for that granddaughter.

One friend held it today and swooned at the softness and totally made it feel like I’d gotten it just right–she had no way to know how much she was helping.

I debated out loud about adding an edging; the consensus was, it’s fine as is, especially for a drag-around lovie.

I’m still torn. Maybe add just at the sides rather than all the way around? Because small as it already is, it’s going to go through the hand wash cycle in their laundry.

Where the baby alpaca will want to shrink the fabric. Whereas the soft single-ply spinning means the 30% mulberry silk will make the yarn want to stretch out, most likely lengthwise. Plus there’s the lace parts, which will flatten out wider and who knows how that’ll come out.

The middle part is knitted mostly solid to give a sense of the immense height of the snowy Alaskan mountains above–but also for there to be no yarnover holes right where it’s most wrapped around that baby in that climate.

Really the only answer is to give it a quick rinse and blocking when the main part is done and see what size it is then and call it from there.

But I’m finally at the point where that is something I get to worry about now and it actually surprised me.

Somehow I am only at the start of the tenth ball and there were twenty-one. If disaster strikes and she needs a new lovie like the old lovie (good luck with that–this was seat-of-the-pants designing all the way) I’ll be able to make one. If I don’t add that edging.

Remind me if that does happen, that on that chart I (mostly) used for the moose, I added a stitch’s width to its muzzle because it looked too deer-like.

I’m pretty happy with this.

And it’s the week the Kit Donnells are in. Woot!
Saturday August 10th 2019, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Knit

Hey, Mom, wanna go to Andy’s Orchard with my friend and me?


I sat in the back as they caught up in the front seat (her dear friend just moved here a week ago) and just about finished the back of the baby sweater a mile from home.

Kit Donnells are some of the best peaches out there–and one of Andy’s creations.

On a total non sequitur, I was mentioning to Holly a few minutes ago about a message Richard got in the early days of DARPAnet, the precursor to the internet.

So I had to go find it: the fractured fairy tale Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. Enjoy.

A shot in the arm
Thursday August 08th 2019, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

Went to pick up a prescription and there was a banner above the pharmacy window: Vaccinations.

So I asked, not quite daring to actually hope: did this mean they finally had Shingrix in stock?

They did! As of today they had the latest flu shot, too!

This early?!


Note that we have a baby in the family scheduled to be delivered weeks short of full term.

I did ask if I would need a booster later if I got the flu one now and was assured by the pharmacist that no, it would be effective for the whole year.

So I filled out the paperwork, waited while they did the insurance company thing, and knitted, glad for the small project in the purse given that I had expected none of this.

Just before the pharmacist gave me a shot in each shoulder she happened to mention that that was their last dose of Shingrix.

I had been trying to get one for over a year. I’ve heard so many friends tell horror stories of what their shingles was like: intense, unrelenting pain for six months, one whose husband went blind in one eye, another who was hit with it twice.

After all that time spent fervently hoping I not get it while waiting for the vaccine to finally be available, and then the extra of being able to go through airport crowds and not have to worry about bringing the grandchildren the flu, to which I am highly susceptible–I tell you, I walked out of there so very very happy that after I got home I even told every single spammer on the phone, warmly, to have a nice day, even though the ringing has been relentless of late. The ones that were actual human beings I decided needed a little humanity shown them, because how often do they get that.

Now we just have to find one of those doses for my husband. I don’t know if all the CVSs received stock or just the local one. Sorry I hogged it, dear.

Mass-delivery cherries
Tuesday August 06th 2019, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Family,Food

Our cherry season is over, so these weren’t local but when I saw them at Costco I fell for them.

Funny how you can tell yourself in the grocery store that it doesn’t really take that much time to make a fresh cherry pie when you really want one.

It does.

I overfilled the 10″ pan, wanting to use all three pounds and be done with them because (after tasting one) this was the best they could ever aspire to be. I pinched those edges shut, but the pie wasn’t having it. Five minutes before the buzzer went off (I’d set it at maximum time because of the size of the thing) the kitchen was suddenly smoking up big time, and I mean billowing.

I yanked the oven door open, fully expecting flames (nope, just a gray cloud and an escaped cherry and juices sizzling on the floor of it), turned on the fan, and opened windows skylight doors and got a nice quick chat with my neighbors out of the deal.

Richard came home from his errand a few minutes later and walked in going, Did you know something burned? You can smell it down the street.

Naaah. Never would have guessed!

It doesn’t taste smoked. It’s not an Andy’s cherries pie, but it is still definitely cherry pie. Yum.

Unexpected comfort
Sunday July 28th 2019, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Family,Garden

I called my folks and standing there phone in hand was looking out the window when there it was.

I hadn’t seen so much as a bud much less a stalk when I’d watered the amaryllises a few days ago nor did I ever spot it through the window. It was hiding behind quite a few leaves.

I brought it out to where we could all get a better look at it.

On a side note: going to Andy’s Orchard yesterday, my daughter and I were in a long heavy traffic jam and went oh right, it’s the Garlic Festival in Gilroy this weekend. Cool. I can say that yes, I have tasted garlic ice cream, thank you Gilroy! Those people were going to have a good time, but we were quite happy to cut out of that part of the freeway early.

The news tonight is absolutely beyond comprehension.

Totally buffaloed
Saturday July 20th 2019, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit

Buffalo Wool Co is moving to a new mill and dyer and cleaning out old stock. They held a mystery offer: for $20 you would get…yarn. What color or blend or how big a skein would be random and unrefundable, but given the warmth and rarity (not to mention natural machine-washability) of bison fiber that $20 was going to be well spent no matter what you got.

My husband has some of their socks and admitted that he didn’t want to wear any other kind anymore, only theirs, preferably their bison/silk ones.

I splurged and he has six new pair of the bison/silks, despite my knowing that “Mom got me socks for Father’s Day” was a line that could live in infamy–except that he really did want them. And he really did appreciate them.

So here I am, I’m seeing that mystery yarn thing, I passed on the chance so that other people could have what few skeins those might be at this point because hey, I have more than my share of good things.

And then, closer to moving time, my friends Ron and Theresa from Stitches and whom I adore ran that offer again.

This time my greed got the better of me before the day was over.

The package came.

It seemed…dense.

You guys!!!!!

It’s the bison silk. Nearly two thirds of a pound in laceweight.

I feel like I just won the yarn lottery.

And Shaun jammies too
Friday July 19th 2019, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

A lot of companies won’t ship to Alaska. But they’ll ship to me. If I ship it in my own box it’ll cost a small fortune, but if I go to the post office and use one of their all-you-can-fit-in Priority boxes it’s the same cost as to anywhere else.

We have a two year old devotee of all things Shaun the Sheep, the show spun off from the Wallace and Gromit movies.

Guess what he got today.

27 months
Saturday July 13th 2019, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Family,Life



We sang ABCDEFG again.

A delighted, Again! (I noted that he no longer sternly pouts No No No at the inclusion of TUV.)

He was loving this. Again!

Umpteen more rounds.

Then Wheels On The Bus. Shaun the plush Sheep went round and round, up and down, and moved on back.

Again! He giggled at how fast Shaun wiggled his ears at the up and then plunged out of sight from the camera so fast on the down.


As many rounds as you want, honey, for as long as you want during this brief time in your life in which you do. That’s what grandparents are for.