Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birthday WEEK!

Yes, it has been...a birthday week for me ;) Last Saturday, I turned that milestone page of birthdays ~ 50! Evidenced by some of the wonderful cards received:

I love birthdays...probably because in my family they were always celebrated as special occasions that were all about the person who's birthday it happened to be! In my case, it was all the more monumental (in my eyes) because I shared it with my dear paternal Grandmother. To have been born on the same day as this very special woman was always something I was keenly aware of. She had such an impact on my life and though she has been gone for many years now, her imprint remains. Some years later, as a girl in the fifth grade, I made another friend who almost shared my birthday (I am five days older...but our mothers were in the hospital with us from the beginning, so we always knew we were destined to become best friends!) We are dear friends to this day and I was lucky enough to have her at my birthday celebration last Saturday.

We will end my birthday week on Super Bowl Sunday, surrounded by kids and grandkids, eating lots of goodies and cheering for the Steelers (dressed in appropriate Steelers gear thanks to Aunt Mo!)

(I love all of the creatively home made cards from the kids and grandkids!)

I close this blog with a poem that my father wrote to my Grandma (his mother) and me on the occasion of one of those birthdays more than twenty years ago. Maybe being born in January is why I love winter so much? I am so blessed, it goes without saying, to have incredible parents and siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and children and grandchildren....all who teamed up to make this birthday especially special! I love you all, guys!!!

Here is my Dad's poem, written for my Grandma and me...dedicated today to all of my many January birthday friends:

"The Indians had a saying,
About the January thaw...
It's when the warrior of winter rested
And this is what he saw

Everything was resting
but now feels the coming spring
when sap rises in the maple tree
and birds begin to sing.

Its a peaceful time of year,
when life starts anew
Those born in that time
are very special, too.

They feel the strength of winter
and the warmth of the summer sun
They feel all things around them
And seem to know what's yet to come.

For you that time was chosen
to be placed upon this earth
Many years to the day
After your Grandma's birth."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Will You Be Doing?

What will you be doing today, this inauguration day of our new President? I have kept this blog free of my political thoughts in these past months (and I have some very strong ones!) but today I will not contain my joy as I see our new President and Vice-President be sworn into office.

I plan to be glued to the television, watching and listening. Holding hands with my husband....funny how so many times in recent weeks, as we have listened to the President or Vice-President elect speak (yes, I am very happy to have Joe Biden be our Vice-President - I really admire this man), we have found ourselves silently reaching for each others hand and expressing our hope (yes, there is that word again!) and anticipation for what may be possible in days to come. There will be discussions and shared emotions with my family throughout the day, I know. And a stirring in my heart of something...pride and patriotism and hope and expectation.

But most of all, through all the events of the day and beginning yet tonight, will be prayer. Prayer for safety and strength and guidance. Prayer and prayer and more prayer....

My Dear God, please keep him safe....keep him and his family safe. Hold him in the palm of Your hand. Let him seek Your face, let him feel our prayers for him. Thank You for the loving family he has, we pray for them, too, Father. And Lord, let us the people of this nation he now accepts leadership of, feel strongly and take seriously our own personal responsibility to lend our continued support of prayer to this good man...

So much is written about and many have read Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, it is often quoted. But today I am thinking of words from his first speech, given in March, 1861. "Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty...We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Happy First Day, Mr. President and Mr. Vice-President!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No More Hum-Drum Mittens 4

Yes, its time for another mitten hope Deb never gets tired of hosting these, because I love doing them and she is just an excellent swap hostess. I especially like the fact that this swap still uses a blog for staying in touch. I love Ravelry, don't get me wrong (like everyone else I probably spend to much time there!) but I don't like communicating through forums. I still like blogs for that. So anyway, here are my question and answers...really haven't changed much since I first started doing these ;) And if you are interested, you might still have time to join in...I believe sign ups are open until tomorrow (January 15th), just hurry over the No More Hum-Drum Mitten Swap 4 blog, here.

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Since I was 12, about 37 years now - almost 38, because I turn 50 in a few days ;) I learned when my Granny decided she would like to learn (she also learned to play guitar that year!) and she took me along. We took lessons that were offered at the local school – I was the youngest and she was the oldest in the class! So I always joke that I learned to knit with my grandma, and it is a very special memory for me especially now that her health and memory are failing.
Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Intermediate
What are your favorite colors? Any you dislike? I don’t think I have a favorite, I like them all at various times and places! My latest winter coat is dark charcoal grey with black trim or a fairly dark forest type green with brown trim.
Do you like Latvian type patterns? If so, what are your favorite patterns? I do admire and have knit the Fiddlehead Mitten now (I believe that is a Latvian style
Do you desire mittens for yourself, your "special someone else" or your child? For me please ;)
What is the measurement from your wrist to the tip of your longest finger? 8 inches and I like a fairly long cuff
What is the circumference of your hand at it's widest point?Around my palm is nearly 8 inches ~ maybe 7 3/4?
What other things do you enjoy knitting? Socks and lace
What sort of needles do you enjoy working with?
Circulars – I rarely use straights. I like bamboo, love my Addi turbos, too. But my very favorite needles are my Denise interchangeables.
What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make? Still thinking about starting and completing a sweater - but that was my goal in the last mitten swap, too ;) I know that I could knit one, I have the skills. But I get bored so easily that I don’t usually take on larger projects. I will one day though.
What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with? One of the Noro Sock Yarns
What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden? Cook?Yes, I spin. Raise my own sheep for the wool ;) I also am an avid gardener.
Besides yarn, do you collect anything?Fiber! I’m not sure which “stash” is bigger, fiber or yarn! I also love patterns
What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you hate or are allergic to Yes….LOL, I mean I just love goodies. My very favorite goody, though, is coffee. I am a coffee junkie. No allergies.
Do you have any kids? Pets? I have three grown children and my husband and I recently became legal guardians of our foster son – a fifteen year old boy. So we are not empty nesters! Our pets are all of the outdoors variety…approximately thirty sheep; a half dozen chickens and two very special barn cats. No indoors pets though.
What is your favorite part of Winter? I just plain love winter! I love that there are no bugs and I can use wool (my favorite fiber) to its best advantage. We have record amounts of snowfall this winter and I am really enjoying it (unless I need to be out driving in it!)
What is your least favorite part of Winter? When we don't have snow..

(Above are the goodies I received from Amy in the last mitten swap...see why this is so much fun?!?)