Monday, November 29, 2010

A Shot of Green in Fall

I noticed a little color theme in these thrown together shots.  But nothing else in common except that they were taken in the restful atmosphere of a holiday. 

 (365 Day 323)
Friday the kids and I stayed in our pajamas until 3.  That was nice.
 (365 Day 324)
I needed this shot of unrealistic, happy color.
 Can I just say I love my Meatbagz bag?  
(365 Day 325)
If you cover all of my face, except the eyes, with your hand, this last one looks kind of creepy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


These are few images of my grandparents' home so familiar to me that I feel peaceful just looking at them.  Even the furniture is like family.  

 (365 Day 322)

Hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Four Days in Four Images and Four Sentences

 (365 Days 318 - 321)

You know you've barely tried when you take a pajamas shot.   These are not the greatest, but I'm cutting myself more slack than normal since it's a holiday, kids are home from school, and we're tearing up a bathroom (see above.)  

Why I felt the need to aquaint my crazy cat with the harness amid all of this I can't say.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank You

Baggage is such a negative term.

But, it doesn't have to be.  Along with all the usual baggage I dragged into adulthood from crummy teenage years and several dashed hopes, I also claimed valuable relationships, gentle lessons, and unspeakably wonderful role models (could I sound more in love with my family?)  They have helped to shape me, to heal me, and love me through very hard times.  We are, none of us, perfect, but we're so good for each other.  And I am so grateful.  My heart is very full as I say:

Thank you, Papaw
Thank you, Grandmommy
Thank you, Dad
Thank you, Karrie
Thank you, my kids
Thank you, Michael
Thank you, Adam

(my Flickr)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Space Filling

Space filling is what my sister used to call the times my brother and I were little and would act extra silly and ramble on about things ("wouldn't it be funny if... and then what if... then , next thing you know...") just to keep her attention, but without using so much effort as to really craft a conversation.  It just got sillier and sillier.

 (365 Day 317)

The Felicity Hat is my space filler as I wait for the yarn to fix my pullover.  And this post is just ramblings to fill a slot in my blog.

I found this yarn at Ross for supa cheap and decided to make a slouchy hat in team colors for a friend to wear to football games,

then one for my daughter, then one for me.   It just kind of grows like that.
Anyway, the Queensland Merino Spray is so soft and comfy, and knits up so pretty, that I think everyone in the world deserves a hat like this.  Now, my other purple hat just looks frumpy in comparison.   I took it to a game to finish for her, but when it came time for double points I just put it away.  We were just too squished together and those fans are just too crazy for lots of sharp objects pointing every-which-a-way.

Let's see, what else can I say... I just got rid of a migraine.  I took a pill and laid down until my cat tried to dive down between the dresser and wall, and I had to pull her out.

Basically, my mind is flitting about from subject to subject to avoid thinking about the hole where my bathroom floor used to be and all the little surprises and hitches we'll be encountering as we remodel it this week(s.)  So, when I'm not making a purple hat, or rocking back and forth with a migraine, or making turkey dressing for Thanksgiving, I'll be prepping the end of a copper pipe or putting up sheetrock (if my husband lets me.)  

And Grandmommy, if you're reading this, making the dressing will not cause a migraine or worsen one. It will be fun and make me very happy :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I keep saying I'm about to finish this, but it seems to be the never-ending Oatmeal Pullover.    

The whole point of a no- brainer sweater is to relax and churn it out without a hitch.  But those balls of recycled cheap yarn (given to me) were actually balls of knots and there wasn't as much usable yarn there as I thought.   In the end,  I eeked out  3/4 length sleeves and floppy neck pullover by tying more knots (ugh!)  But, this is Texas.  There's no 3/4 cold here.  It is either the usual swelteringly hot or unusually cold, so I want full sleeves and a re-knitted neckline.  Plus, the bottom ribbing could be smaller gauge, as you can see above, so I have to reknit that part.  Plus, the loose ends at the armpit need to be pulled tight and woven in too. 

That was a sigh.

Why can't I just be a knot tying, saggy stitch wearing knitter? Why must a relaxing hobby become a vendetta?   Now I needed more of this yarn.  Grrrrr.

So, since I had somewhere to be, my sweet husband who makes solo trips to the store for everything from ladies products to chocolate cake at midnight can now add yarn ("Remember, it has to say 'chunky.'  Ask for the color 'Wheat'.  It's right by the glitter paint, etc) to the list of embarrassing stuff he buys for his wife.  
Only, none of the hobby stores near my town have it.  That used to be all they had!

Did you hear that?
That was me screaming,  "Oatmeal!!!" instead of, "Kahn!!!!"

(365 Day 315)

 I can't believe I had to order Lion's Brand.  It'll be at least a week before I can finish.   I have a queue full of sweaters, waiting to be given my full attention over the holiday, but I can't move on without closure.  The yarn is taking up residence in my microscopic closet and under the bed.   Every time the closet door is opened, the yarn sacks fall out.  Then the cat finds it and literally swipes a sack of it to hide under the table and tangle around the legs of the chairs.  All those projects... I feel buried under the enormity...buried alive...buried alive...   Kaaaaahn!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blindingly Warm

It's that time of the year...

(365 Day 313)

I pulled out the garish/cold weather/workout/straight jacket/compression/ shirts to get motivated.  I love to be outdoors, but I hate being cold.  And this, what I am calling cold, isn't really even cold.  So, what will I do when it does turn cold?  I swear I hear ice crunching with each step I take.  I'm going to have to clean house as a warm up or something.   
If nothing else, at least I will be visible to oncoming cars.    

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Peruvian Memories and Plungers

The other night, I was looking around the house for some way to get a 365 in using any part of me but my face and crazy hair, when I spotted some of my knitting needles.  These tiny ones are souvenirs from a medical mission trip I was blessed to be a part of in Ayaviri, Peru a couple of years ago.  The women make finely knit caps, sweaters, and things to sell with them.

(Peruvian needles, 365 Day 311)

Those, below, were made in Peru- except for the really long crochet hook, which my grandfather made for my grandmother, and the gigante needles my husband made out of dollar store plunger handles for me to knit the karate sweater with.  ( They worked.  I made the sweater and it would've been perfect if my arms were 5 feet long.)

(handmade needles, 365 Day 314)

Anyway, this got me sentimental and I went back through all my hundreds of photos of the different visits we made there.  I won't even try to relate how wonderful it is to be a part of something so important, even if it is a seemingly insignificant part.  I'm not in the medical profession, or any profession, so I was basically a hand and head holder for dentists, skit performer, or telling them about Christ- if my Spanish is discernible enough to call it that.  But, other than for basic medical care, we were mostly met with much silence and skepticism as outsiders.  
I believe God showed me lots of little ways to extend kindness and show interest in the people around me, to just ease the awkwardness of language barrier and painful medicine.  It's always easy with children, but stoic adults - not so much.   Luckily we had plenty of common interests.  

(Ayaviri, Peru 2009)

The women were always knitting, carrying babies, or carrying heavy burdens- see, common interests.

This little lady sweetly offered to pose for a picture (this wasn't a tourist area, so she really was going about her usual business for market,) then she cackled and said I owed her a few sol.  Figures, nobody wanted their picture taken.  Really wish I could've gotten some of that wool, but we were rushed and I wanted the picture more.

(Huancane, Peru 2007)

I think this young mother was crocheting with acrylic.  They sell quite a bit of it, and wear a lot of it.  I suppose it's cheaper there too.  In fact, I had a very hard time finding any yarn for sale that was all wool in that town.

(Huancane, 2007)

It was pretty cool to talk knits with women from South America, even if it was mostly miming and pointing.   They were interested in how I made my visor on a hat and how I used my circular needles.  I probably seemed like a big goof (example: the picture below.)  But, I think they liked me stepping out of the business to let them touch my hair or my pasty white arms and say, "Blanco!"  The ladies really laughed when I lifted my pants leg and showed them my ankle saying, "Mucho blanco!"

(Huancane, Peru 2008)

On my second trip, I asked this lady and her husband if I could take a picture knitting with her and he jumped up and gave me his stool.   This was the third year the group had gone and I think people felt better about us and our intentions.  They were welcoming us with open arms, literally, all through the streets and it was so much easier to engage people in a conversation.

I was working on this sweater then and it makes me think of that little mountain town every time I wear it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some Blues, Some Greens

I'm enjoying these faded colors.  

(365 Day 310)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grapefruit and Crackers

I was trying that day.

(365 Day 307)

It was gray and yucky and I needed some color.  But I've since given up and hibernated all weekend.

(365 Day 309)

Crackers and pepperjack cheese are my midnight snack of choice lately, while my husband and I watch our shows together.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hangers On

This is one of the last flowers I'll have in the yard until next Spring.

  (365 Day 306)

These roses shouldn't even have survived all these years.  Their tenacity surprised me.  Now, they've crept up past my bathroom windowsill and I see them every morning moving in the breeze.  I was feeling a little sentimental about them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Plugging Away

I have been, even if my week's practice all takes place in two evenings or one marathon session of once popular tunes.

(365 Day 305)

Right now the challenge is all the tonic, sub-dominant stuff I never knew before and  transposing.  Also, keeping my sleepy eyes from crossing and blending all the notes together on an easier version of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.  The Christmas book it's in has my daughter picking the tune out in the evenings, after homework, here and there.  

I knew if I got a Christmas book, the kids might sneak in a little extra practice, and learn a song or two.  My mother always played lots of Christmas songs leading up to Christmas day.   On Christmas morning she might have me play some from a beginner's book for all the grandmothers and great-grandmothers, sitting on the couch in a row.  

I think she wanted us all to gather around the piano and sing carols with her, but that rarely happened.  We weren't generally a demonstrative bunch.  However, secretly, I loved it.   We should have indulged her.  So, since I was given her piano, every Christmas, I would pull out my easy Christmas book and play some for my children to not really sing along with.   

This year, I have a new book and my son's playing from my old one.  I'm going to have him play for his great grandmother, and I'm going to sing really loud.   

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Winter Catalog Moment

I'm pretty grounded, but once in a while I get wistful like a child and draw up a long, impossible Christmas list in my head because it's winter and that's what you do.
These are some of the things winter has me "vanting":

(365 Day 304)

a plain grey sweater, but cashmere
Grey Minnetonkas
One of these to curl up under (it doesn't get too cold here)
this sweater finished in a different color by me, for me, for my birthday
these books which would be wasteful because I have a lot of them already
this book, which would be the opposite of wasteful
these hats for me and my daughter
this interpretation of Bach
a spiralling rag rug for my bathroom
a new bathroom
a scarf like this
I guess that's enough

 This is fantasy, so I can throw in a $500+ blanket, right? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm Ready

It's official.  I am now ready for self portrait taking to be over.

(365 Day 302)

I may do a non- selfie 365 next Jan, but I want to do other things with my photo time.  I don't hate it, I'm just ready to move on, that is, I'm prepared to move on.  Not only have I gone far enough to prove I'll finish, but I managed to stick with my goal of staying close to home, capturing the things I'm really doing.  

I'm a stay -at-home mom.  No exotic locations here.  It was backyard, refinery-view neighborhood, poorly lit indoors, dog hair on the floor, and several in my garage- yuck.  I often dared myself to take a decent image in some of the blandest places- like my bathroom.  

But it was alright.  I know I will cherish this document of a year in my life.  And I'm very thankful for the things it's caused to rise to the surface.   I will never look at anything, any light, or any place as totally without merit again, especially after taking a photo I liked on the floor board of my car.   I won't be as limited as I once thought I was.  And I won't ever be as hard on myself.  

Everyone Together, All at Once

We've been enjoying the cool evenings, since we're finally having them.  The leaves aren't falling yet, but the mosquitos have let up some, and the animals are all frisky, racing around the yard.

Windows can go up and I can skip watering plants.

(365 Day 303)

Knitting with wool on my lap seems justified and less of an unusual torture. 

And my children don't mind slowing down with us and staring into a little fire.  I take advantage of it because those are my best times: everyone together, all at once.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Spin Heel Kick

I think the torque in a spin heel kick is so cool and so powerful.   It is one of my favorites.


 (365 Day 301)

I had 64 days left at this point and was feeling a little low on ideas.

A Thicket Called Womanhood

With this 365 I thought I'd take the chance to say a word about mothering my daughter at the age of 15:


Like a vat of molten precious metal heated to the point that all the impurities rise to the top for skimming.  That's where I've been the last couple of years - vat...molten...heat... and I have a very "good girl."  

I suppose it could be argued that high school years are the very same trial by fire.  (1 Peter 1-23) She must understand feeling pushed emotionally to be more mature than you feel you have strength to be.  She must know what it's like to be so on the verge that all it takes is one more set of rolled eyes to tip over the edge.

To be walking where you've never seen a mother walk before, unsure if you're going at the right pace- or if you're even going in the right direction. 
When she turned 12, I came to the end of my memories of my mother mothering me (and my memories of that gentle lady were ideal.)  It was as if we were walking down a familiar path that suddenly turned into nothing but thicket.  A thicket called womanhood.  Some days I am literally picking my way (or my battles) through tall undergrowth, praying with each step.  Other days I should be.

And like any good survivalist, I am dropping unnecessary baggage of selfishness and diffidence as I go, like a trail of dry bread crumbs leading from what we are to what we're becoming.  She's dropping some too.  
But, I've noticed wether we walk carelessly or a bit apart through this territory, we do keep a similar pace.  I'm thankful for that.  We're in the same wood.  Given the day of the week, we may feel alternately lured by the beauty or a bit lost in the denseness,  but we are at least together through it.
I have no clue what her mother memories will be like.  When I'm moving forward, it is toward a feminine expression of Christlikeness.  I am hanging on to my vision of what I need to be, not what I was yesterday, hoping she'll catch the same vision of the former to strive for when she's older.  Maybe her memories of me will be defined by my persistence in weakness.   

(365 Day 299