How to clean a jar
Thursday December 30th 2010, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

It ought to go in the recycling.  Hmm.

And your conscience would never let you just chuck it.  But you don’t want to clog your sink nor your plumbing with the last dregs of that natural, no-hydrogenated-anything-added almond or peanut butter. And you really don’t want to wait for the warm water on a cold day nor to muck up your hand and on down your arm by going into that thing trying to scrub it out (and then yourself). The thing is just plain messy.

To the tune of “You make me feel like a natural woman,” take it outside to a spot where the glass won’t likely get broken with it rolling around.

Ooh, smell those nuts! Where ARE they?

I counted six black squirrels a few minutes later, a record.  I got to watch fluffytail breakdancing moves: extreme lust mixed with a terrible fear of an unknown object that might pounce on them if they got too close.

I dunno, guys… Stop! Go back! I’ll handle this! *Sniff* leap! *sniff* tremble *sniff*

Hang on, I’m going in!!

And so we had bottled squirrel going on this morning, only the fluff of the tail showing out the top, just enough for the next squirrel to sneak up from behind and make it known it wanted a turn. EeeYOW! HEY!

My friend Karen was going, And you didn’t Youtube that?!

Okay, that’s a challenge.  So I ask you.  Just what could I do to the next bottle, now that they’ve gotten used to that one, to get that same kind of a reaction out of them? What kind of a squirrel toy would you set up?

(Oh, and, yes the jar is licked clean as expected: all except just inside the curve of the rim below the top. Couldn’t quiiiiite… But judging by the smears between their ears, they tried, clearly, they tried.)

Toadily good
Thursday December 30th 2010, 1:12 am
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit

Take one baby blanket today. Edging? Yes.  Decide to add edging all around.

Take one baby blanket, start edging.

Take one baby blanket. Frog edging.

Take one baby blanket. Start edging.

Take one baby blanket to the couch, put it down, and go play three board games (two of them totally new to me) with the kids and one of their new-to-me friends and have a wonderful time.

It’s all good.

The legendary Arthur-ian
Tuesday December 28th 2010, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Family,Non-Knitting

Winter break: when you read the Sheldon comics start to stop. It’s a Sheldon-seen tradition.

I need me a duck to guard my stash. I’d have to draw it a skein-atic diagram of where it’s all tucked away around this house, though, and then it would come to this.

(See? All this research that’s already been done for you!)

Right, then. Off to go play Upwords with my kids while they’re still home on break.

Bud uh bloom
Monday December 27th 2010, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit

The Malabrigo hat for Michelle. Done.

The first of the old amaryllis bulbs  started sending up a bud right on Christmas day, Nature itself in celebration; it suddenly occurs to me I could hunt through old blog posts to find out what color it’s going to be.

Kim’s mom, with love, supplied us with new pictures of the baby.

We went to a party tonight where old friends were celebrating their daughter’s engagement to a really nice guy.

The piano is tuned.

Getting to see, through photos and videoconferencing so far, the grandson who quacks like a duck. (Heh.)

It’s all good.

December 2010: it was worth going through 2009 to get to it.

Home for Christmas
Sunday December 26th 2010, 12:16 am
Filed under: Family

What’s Tron with this picture? (Wait, here, let me go get a photo from earlier in the week. There you go, that really shows it.)

I just wanted to thank whoever the person is out there who thought up a better solution for preemies needing light therapy to break down their bilirubin levels: instead of keeping them in the hospital with noise and parental separations and bright overhead lights and masks over their eyes, Parker got something I’d never heard of.

It’s a special bed with a blanket-y sort of thing that wraps him in light, his face shielded by the fabric–at home. His eyes are free to see the world around him.

Someone out there clearly knew what it was like for new parents and for the babies and knew there had to be a better way. I just hope somehow they see this and know how much of a difference they made to us all. Thank you, whoever you are.

But doesn’t everyone need one of those?
Friday December 24th 2010, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Knitting a Gift

Merry Christmas and Happy Winterdance, everyone!

You knit a strip of braided cable to the length around your head, sew the ends, then pick up the stitches sideways and knit upwards from there. Pretty nifty idea. I was still at the long narrow strip and it looked like nothing that made sense.

The hubby mentioned last night that he thought a wrapped pattern printout and needles didn’t cut it, and so somehow I wasn’t working on the baby blanket today.

Nobody paid attention to what I was knitting. (Maybe studiously not paying attention to it.) Nobody was going to ask me–clearly, I had to take matters into my own hands:

“You know what I’m making?”

Just the one kid in the room and it’s not for him. He shakes his head no.

“An asparagus cozy.”


“I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know!”

A side trip
Thursday December 23rd 2010, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

So the plan was, turn in that last final of the semester and then go into surgery that day and the baby would come three weeks later, by which time Richard-the-younger would have recovered enough to be really helpful.

Which means he had his ACL replaced Friday and you know how the rest of that story complied with their plans.

We were at the grocery store this afternoon when we got a text from him: in the ER. Suspected blood clot. MRI in a moment.

He did not respond to his phone.

We called our other kids and went home and waited to hear, fully aware of what a blood clot could potentially do to a father of four days.

I can’t tell you how glad I was when the phone finally rang: the swelling and the pain, yes; blood clot, no.  Good thing he took it seriously, though, because you just don’t mess with what that could have been.

Unto us our son is given.  And his son, in time for a Christmas that merits a lot of thankful celebrating this year. And with the way things turned out, Richard gets to spend a lot of time sitting holding his newborn.

Who likes to hold onto him, too.

Someone out there deserves a thank you
Wednesday December 22nd 2010, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Life

And on a side note–it has been raining in California. A lot.

UPS, at least around here, decided that it would be cheaper this time of year to buy some bicycles with trailers rather than rent extra trucks, and to hire people (often college kids on break) to deliver the extra loads of packages that way. Stay in shape, earn a little money, and put a smile on the face of every person you ride past.  We’ve had the bikes deliver to us twice now that we’ve seen.

This morning nobody was in a hurry to dash out into the downpour to get the newspaper.  I finally opened the front door in the afternoon to–

–and there, tucked right against the door, out of the rain, were two packages.

And our newspaper between them.

Home now
Tuesday December 21st 2010, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Family

It was so wonderful, while my husband and I were saying our prayers together last night and this morning for each of our kids as we always do, to be able to say not just “and the baby,” but, “Parker.”

Huge feet on a baby is supposed to say he’ll be a tall one. Given his 6’9″ daddy, this will surprise no one.  I can just picture Parker teasing his father someday by looking down at him and calling him “Little Buddy” right back at him.

(It’s amazing. One day, and he already looks older.)

December 20 babies
Monday December 20th 2010, 6:08 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

Today, my mother turns 80. Eighty years from today, our grandson will too. Welcome, welcome to the world, little one. Happy, happy birthday, Mom.

Phone call 1 am: Kim’s water had broken. 4-something am: my husband texted as to whether there were any news yet? The phone rang a few minutes later, saying Little Buddy (his name so far) had arrived about 30 seconds ahead of that text.  5 lbs 7 oz, 18″. He’s a preemie, but not by much and all is well.

Note that I had given my son the hat the hospital in New Hampshire sent him home with when he was born, and I do believe that is it on his son’s head.

(Ed. to add, Nope–they’re still making the same generic hospital hat 26 years later.)

Monday December 20th 2010, 12:11 am
Filed under: Family

“I need some blog inspiration here.”

Her face lit up. “How about you say you picked your daughter up from the airport and that very night she cooked a delicious dinner of such and such and then the next night she cooked such and such and the next night she cooked such and such and it was all really good and the next night she cooked such and such and tonight she and her brother together cooked a really yummy dinner! Clearly, I raised my children right!”

“Can I quote you?”

“YES!” she exclaimed in delight, the biggest grin on her face.

It’s too lace to escape now
Saturday December 18th 2010, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit

A little water, a little waiting. And now you can see the slight shimmer to the woolly Malabrigo Sock-y goodness, the depth of the pattern, and oh by the way you can pull it through my wedding ring–and it’s a blanket.

Or will be, in about a bajillion more knitting hours.  Carrying it to Nina’s annual Christmas party and showing it off to her was fun but doesn’t seem to have added any length to it by just admiring its lacy looks. (The chocolate torte that came too was nowhere to be found when it was time to come home again. I think it entered the nibs-less protection program. Or ran off with the ChocolateNess Monster.)

Right then. Back to work.

Overdose of catknit
Friday December 17th 2010, 11:55 pm
Filed under: Knit

Tiny yarn, small needles, a large stitch count, and after all the knitting I did today, (which, granted, given the season and the children home, wasn’t what it might have been) it is measuring officially one inch shorter than this morning.

Sometimes, knitting acts like a cat.

A squirtgun effect will make it behave.  I will go rinse it and set it out still on the needles to dry, a quasi-block.  Let’s see if we can get Socks here to stretch its paws a bit.


p.s.  For those who’ve known the Provo Tabernacle and haven’t heard yet.  I have fond memories from college of the incredible acoustics in that building: of being in the upper balcony facing the front and my neighbor’s adorable little elf of a four-year-old being so ready to be done with sitting quietly up there. (There was no air conditioning. Lots of people. Heat rises.)  She leaped to her feet in the middle of the meeting after one early speaker said the magic word Amen, exclaiming in a voice that carried around the entire interior, “We go now Daddy?!”

And now the building has left the elves.

Plane as day
Friday December 17th 2010, 12:58 am
Filed under: Family,Non-Knitting

His plane was late but that just meant I could go to Knit Night and afterwards go help pick him up, too. (Saying a prayer along the way for all those people in all those cars (six?) with all those rescue crews at work in the other direction on the bridge, it looked like at least one of the cars totally spun out in heavy traffic–slow DOWN, people, the weather is bad, it’s not worth the speeding! ‘Tis the season, you want everybody to be able to celebrate when you get there!)

John’s home, John’s home!

Serenity space
Wednesday December 15th 2010, 10:19 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Wildlife

Michelle’s home, Michelle’s home!

We were both saying to the other, I was going to pick up some soy milk for her before this, I don’t know why I didn’t get around to it earlier. We hated to keep her from getting to go straight home after her long day.

And yet.  The outcome was that after talking yesterday about superb teachers–the traffic to the airport was terrible, we were late getting there to pick her up, which means that when we stopped at the grocery store on the way home, we just happened to be there right at the same time as Ginny. Who is the best kindergarten teacher ever and who taught all our kids. (I asked for her specifically all four times.)

That was as perfect a way as I can think of to welcome our daughter home. Talk about old times! And new, and we did.

Ginny is someone who, last I saw, had a small enclosure set up in a corner in her classroom: streamers hanging down to create what she called the butterfly room. The children raised Monarchs in there, and when a child needed some time to calm down, they could go in there for a moment to be still and have the butterflies they’d fed and watched and cared for land on their arms, their shoulders, their heads, alive and peaceful and colorful, eye right to eye.

And then when the proper time in the year came, the children released them to fly free.

Every Monarch they might ever see for the rest of their lives, they could wonder if it was descended from one of their own and feel a kinship to it.

And we claim Ginny as ours forever.