DITD, Book Love, Birthday Girl, FO Friday

DITD, Book Love, Birthday Girl, FO Friday


WHAT’S UP

I’ve been a tad down in the dumps the last few days or so, nothing spectacular and nothing that makes me want to stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head, just a mild case of long sighs and dysmotivation*.  I should tell you that there’s no real reason for this dumpy mood, except maybe that my calendar says spring, the clothes catalogues say spring and last week one day it was 70 degrees, but the last few days have been cold and windy.  Windy to the point that power was out in some parts of the city.  Thankfully, we didn’t lose power, that might have pushed me right over the edge and I would have been forced to go buy a pair of sandals or a new pocketbook or something.  Dodged that bullet.

BY THE BOOK

I’m continuing my love affair with the writings of John Steinbeck with Travels with Charley. I’m late to the party with this particular one and am thoroughly enjoying this travelogue. This affair all started with East of Eden, first in a Reader’s Digest condensed book, so long ago I can’t remember the year or my age. I’m pretty certain it was junior high, around 1968 or so. Later, I filled in the blanks (it was a condensed book, remember) with a paperback from some school book club, probably Scholastic. Remember the Scholastic book club?  I lived for the days they handed out the new Scholastic book catalogues and would study them for days, making lists of the ones I wanted.  Even so many years ago, it was always “so many books, so little time”.  I got into trouble more than once for hiding a book inside another book in class, just because I needed to finish “just one more page, I promise”.

Travels with Charley in Search of America

YOU BET I’M PROUD

I usually am tooting my own horn over the grands and I will, later in this post, but I want to share how proud I am of my big girls, my daughter and my daughter in law, Bigmommy and Babymama.  They’ve both started blogs and mentioned me as their inspiration.  Teared me right up, it did.  So, pop over to The Mommy Life 101: Welcome to Motherhood and wife*mother*disciple and see why I’m usually awestruck by these two young women and their accomplishments.

IT’S BABYDIVA’S DAY

Three hundred sixty five days ago, Mr. Iknead and I were up in Labor and Delivery, anxiously awaiting the birth of another precious granddaughter.  Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed and happily added Babydiva to the growing roster of grands.  So much happens in a year and I forget how quickly babies grow and change,

from this

to this

to this

Happy First Birthday Babydiva!

FINALLY FO FRIDAY

Lolita Vest

Lolita vest

I think it turned out nicely.  I wearing it today, again.

Don’t forget to check out Tami Ami’s blog for more FO Friday treats.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.  Albert Einstein

*Dysmotivation – a word I made up to describe the feeling of not wanting to do anything resembling most definitions of productivity and being compelled instead to read, watch trash TV and surf Rav.

B

Play On, An Honor and Mad As A Hornet

Play On, An Honor and Mad As A Hornet


A PRIVILEGE AND HONOR

I had the privilege of staying with my sweet grand, Babydiva, while her mommy was on a girl’s trip and her daddy was, sadly, being there for his best friend and brother of the heart while his father was fighting his final battle with cancer. Having lost my father a year ago in July, I know too well how difficult these final struggles are. Joe, you’ve been such a special person to Jordan, first as a teacher and mentor and then as a colleague over the years.  Thank you for your guidance, caring and sharing.  It’s been an honor.

Play On, Joe.  We’ll Miss You!

Jordan and Joe

Teacher, Friend, Mentor, Colleague

THE GRANDS

The Papoose and the Sprout

I couldn’t resist sharing this.  The Papoose’s smile makes me wonder what’s going on with her other hand, could there be a pinch involved somewhere??  Really, though, I think it’s just the Sprout’s temper showing.  Still…..

Age is no guarantee of maturity.  Lawana Blackwell

B

Just Call Me Tinkerbell

Just Call Me Tinkerbell


BY THE BOOK

Not reading/listening much at the moment.  There are a couple of books that have piqued my interest, Mary Coin by Marisa Silver and Fever by Mary Beth Keane.  As far as I can tell, neither one is in my local library’s collection yet, frustrating for me due to our (Mr. Iknead’s) austerity plan.  I’ve requested them, but this takes time, which I have a lot of, but unfortunately I’m continually short on patience.  Could this be a sign that I need to finish the books I’ve started to make room for those I want to start?  Possibly.

JUST WHEN

I think winter is really over and begin to anticipate spring with warmer temps and greener everything, Mother Nature brings another surprise.  After a couple of days of short sleeves and sunshine, the weather turned cold again with snow in the northern part of the state and rain and sleet for the rest.  I’m tired of sweaters and long sleeves and am finding myself thinking more and more about swimsuits, sandals and the beach. Our August vacation seems soooo far away!

ON/OFF THE NEEDLES

I cast off Lolita last night, all she lacks is a light blocking and then sewing the shoulder seams.  I’ll get a picture when she’s officially finished.  Still working on the first Olivia Petit sweater.  I ended up tinking back even more when I noticed a dropped stitch about ten or 12 rows back.  I tried to convince myself that I could totally live with it, that with a little blocking it would be next to unnoticeable.  You know how far that got me.  Bit the bullet, tinked back and redid and am much happier.  Two more buttonholes, then separating for the sleeves and I’ll be ready to start knitting the peplum.  Suddenly, knitting two more of these doesn’t seem like such a great idea.  Hmmm, wonder why?  Here it is so far:

Sorry the pic sucks.

Off to start blocking Lolita!

Love life and life will love you back.  Love people and they will love you back.  Arthur Rubinstein

B

Image

Smudged, Hugged and Loved


Is there anything sweeter than hearing “I luv you all da time” from a child?  I’m here in Stuttgart giving and receiving hugs, kisses and snuggles from the Papoose and the Sprout, lacking only the presence of the Babydiva to make it totally what I call Grandma Nirvana.  One of the best things about grandparenting is that the phrase “all of the pleasure, none of the guilt” really applies, along with “what happens with Bebe stays with Bebe”.  Mr. Iknead has been sick with a bad cold so I made this trip solo, but I miss him and I know the grands miss him, too.  The Papoose has asked several times today where Pawpaw is; she’s not used to seeing one of us without the other.  I’m willing to bet that as soon as he feels better he’ll be hot-footing his way to Stuttgart to make up for lost time.

BY THE BOOK

image

The Velvateen Rabbit and The Berenstain Bears have been hot commodities around here today.  Loved both the firs

t

around with my kids and am still enjoying them in reruns now.  The bears never fail to make me smile and the Velveteen Rabbit always leaves me teary from sweetness alone.

The Papoose loves looking at the pictures on my iPhone and Nook.  I always wait a day or two before I clean the screens just to relive how they acquired the smudges and sticky spots that accumulate.  It’s as good a storybook as one found in a bookstore, written by a celebrated author.

image

image

image

Action is the antidote to despair.  Joan Baez

B

image

   

How Cool Is That?, Free at Last and Olivia Petit

How Cool Is That?, Free at Last and Olivia Petit


HOW COOL IS THAT?

A couple of years ago, 3/23/11 to be exact ’cause I went back and checked, I decided that I wanted – no, make that needed, to learn how to make pottery. Like a lot of things I get obsessed with, this idea eventually seemed to fade and then take its place in what I call the idea cabinet part of my head. It never fully got relegated to the back side of the cabinet.  It just hung around, surfacing every now and then in the foreground of whatever I was mentally working on. Long story short I signed up for a basic handbuilding pottery class at the art center here in Little Rock yesterday after seeing a random class schedule online.  The first class is April 1 and to say I’m excited is like saying Albert Einstein is a math whiz.  Personally, I think looking at the collection of pottery at the library Monday shook something loose.

IN THE OVEN

It’s been a while since I’ve done any what I call real baking, meaning from scratch, not a box.   Not knocking the box thing, Lord knows it’s saved my fanny more times than I like to count, it’s just not as satisfying to me as measuring out ingredients and watching my big Kitchenaid do its thing.  So, this afternoon, I pulled out the fresh blueberries I found Tuesday, the pecans I got cheap at Christmas and froze and the little bit of sour cream I had left over from some other cooking project and made a (surprise) blueberry-pecan-sour cream coffee cake that smells heavenly.  I’m having cake for supper.  Oh, you haven’t heard??  They’ve made coffee cake a food group!

SEE YA NEXT YEAR, BUH-BYE

I had my last visit (hurray hurray) with my hematologist today and he released me, to come back in a year.  His release was the final step in getting back to normal after my surgery.  For the first time in a long, long time, my blood counts are normal and I don’t have to be followed every week or so with blood draws and lab tests.  To give you an idea, about a week before my surgery, my hematocrit was 9.5-ish and today, it was 12; translated into realspeak, my doctor said it pretty much means that I have 2 1/2 more pints of blood today than I had a month ago.  No wonder I feel more energized.  Please excuse me, I’m going now to leap a tall building in a single bound.  While I’m leaping, you can admire the flowers I saw outside the clinic this morning ; )

Little Rock Hematology Oncology Clinic

REDEMPTION

The Olivia Petit sweater and I have come to an agreement.  I’ll do a better job of reading the pattern and making sure I understand directions and she’ll be a good sport and knit up all pretty and sweet like she promised.  Really, it was operator error with the difficulties earlier this week.  After I put her aside, slept and reread her pattern more slowly and closely, my mistake was obvious and best of all, fixable.  It did entail several, like ten, rows of tinking, but I’m finally back on track with most of my sanity intact.  This is what she looks like so far –

If you look closely, you can see the first two buttonholes; we won’t

discuss last night’s buttonhole frustration.

Don’t forget to check Tami Ami’s FO Friday blog – it’s always a treat!

What’s your latest dream come true?

Be sure that, as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building.  Stephen Covey

B

WIPW 3/13/13, A Bump in the Olivia Petit Road and Library Whimsies

WIPW 3/13/13, A Bump in the Olivia Petit Road and Library Whimsies


ON THE NEEDLES

I have a couple of things, as usual, in the process of knitting up, frogging or time out.  The first one up today went through all three stages yesterday, the Lolita vest.  Here’s what went down – Rewind to Monday evening.  Happily knitting, patting myself on the back for doing such a good job of staying on Task Lolita, even when the new yarn on the block, Knitpicks Comfy Sport in Honeydew, was calling me out to get acquainted and get started on the   sweater(s) I had planned for it.  Final pat on the back and then to bed.  On inspection of my progress yesterday morning, I noticed that somehow I’d gotten a few, surely not more than three or so, stitches off in the pattern and now part of the openwork was wonky and didn’t match up with the previous openwork.   Tinked back to correct, fixed – still not right, tinked back and tried again – still didn’t suit me, tinked back one more time, reknit and finally produced something I can live with.  Since it’s knitted side to side, at the moment it’s just a wad of knitted fabric, but the spring sunshine was too great to pass up this morning and I took a pic anyway.

I’ve hit a pothole in the road on the sweet Olivia Petit sweater and haven’t been able to figure out what’s going on.  I cast on, did the set up row for the neck and raglan increase, so far so good, worked the next increase row and that’s where the wheels came off.  Too many stitches when I went to count.  OK, operator error, frogged and started again.  Same thing, too many stitches.  Must have misread pattern.  Frogged and started again after going over the pattern with a fine toothed comb, counting and recounting, reading and rereading.  Still screwed, went to bed.  I’m knitting the smallest size, so I’m thinking maybe going up one pattern size will work.  Please.  Will frog one last time and start again.  If no go this time, I’m swallowing my pride, taking it to Yarn Mart and letting them figure it out.  Frustration overload.

BY THE BOOK

I finished an absolutely, positively wonderful book yesterday, I started it Monday and couldn’t stop listening until it was finished, An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11 Year Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny, by Laura Schroff.  Goosebumps though the whole thing!  Incredible heartache, incredible joy, incredible book!

AT THE LIBRARY

I’m a huge library fan and not just for the books; it’s a favorite place for me to sit, knit and people watch for an hour or so whenever I can and I’m always excited to check out the collections on display.  This week was a particular treat, with a collection of pottery.  Surprisingly, my iPhone pictures through the glass turned out really well.  I’m disappointed that there was no artist or artists mentioned but that didn’t cut the cool.

Library exhibits 3-11-13

Library exhibits 3-11-13
Library exhibits 3-11-13
Library exhibits 3-11-13

Library exhibits 3-11-13

Love the paper pumps but Birthday Cake Grandma is my all time favorite.  I’m crazy for her skull purse!

Don’t forget to head to Tami Amis for more WIPW stuff!

To study and not think is a waste.  To think and not study is dangerous.  Confucius

B

A Good Report, It’s Here and I Can’t Wait to Get Started

A Good Report, It’s Here and I Can’t Wait to Get Started


I’M FREE I’M FREE

I had my first postop visit this morning with McDreamy (Bigmommy’s word, not mine) and he released me to my normal life.  Like, I can drive and everything!  Who would have thought that I’d have fantasies of grocery shopping??  Who would have thought that Mr. Iknead would have fantasies of me grocery shopping – alone???  The things we take for granted, right?  I’m doing really, really well according to McDreamy, which I knew already, and after one more follow up next month, this whole hitch in my get along will be officially over.  Yay!!

LOOK WHAT CAME TODAY!!

My new Knitpicks yarn!!  I love it, I can’t wait to get started, so sorry Lolita and former Spring Pools socks, this baby is moving to the head of the line!  Oh my gosh, it’s so springy and green and pretty and is crying out to be on the needles as I blog this.  See for yourself –

Olivia Petit Will Not Wait!

Am I right or what?

THE GRANDS

In keeping with the new beginning, first green of spring theme that seems to have developed today, I present the Sprout’s first ponytail:

The Sprout’s First Sprout!

I know I’ve played fast and loose with exclamation points today, please forgive me, I think Spring is springing!! (sorry)

One today is worth two tomorrows.  Benjamin Franklin

B