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So I knit. And I think about knitting. I think about those who knit before me. The lore of knitting and the lure of knitting. It is all about how I knit in my life and what knitting means to me.

Wednesday
Sep102014

Friday 40 - Week 12

  1. There really is no greater love than the love your child can give you.
  2. One last day off.
  3. I have learned that sometimes staring off into space speaks volumes. 
  4. Eva Kay is one of the most amazing little girls in the world. She invites me to tea parties in her room.
  5. I am learning that thought bubbles aren't just for the autistic kids.
  6. So freaking proud of my brother and his theatre company, Cold Basement Dramatics, for being chosen to participate in Steppenwolf's Garage Rep. That is so super badass! 
  7. I love seeing Eva Kay play with other little girls. It is something she does not get enough of.
  8. Eva Kay runs like a gazelle. And that is a thing of beauty.
  9. Sunday morning soccer games really are amazing. Even when we lose.
  10. The goalie is pretty awesome, too.
  11. A crappy run is better than no run.
  12. Eva Kay and George found me perfect twin acorns.
  13. Letting go and moving on is a truly liberating feeling, despite the sadness.
  14. The kids made their own dinner. 
  15. I choose sleep now. 
  16. Waking up at 3:37 AM leads to 5:00 AM workouts.
  17. I am superwoman. So is every other working mom. So is every mom who stays at home. 
  18. I do what I can. It almost never feels like enough.
  19. George and Alexander being woken up by their alarm clock instead of me. Stop with the growing away already. 
  20. To quote Outkast: "If what they say is nothing is forever, then what makes love the exception?"
  21. Less than is not equal. And it never will be. I should realize that now. I'm working on it, but for some reason, it is so difficult to grasp.
  22. George and Alexander have Styrophones. The Styrophones were the pieces of Styrofoam packaging in George's computer box that look just like old-timey phones. They are in constant communication now.
  23. Me (talking on my Styrophone to Alexander): "Am I on speaker phone? Can you take me off?" Alexander: picks up Styrophone and pushes an imaginary button and says, "Okay, mom. You're off speaker phone."
  24. I dug through the trash to find the Styrophones that were accidentally thrown away. No luck. But here goes round two...
  25. This text my dad sent me: "I noticed you have an office."
  26. My response: "...I think we both suffer from the same office issue: too many people know where my office is so they just keep stopping by and wanting crap from me...It's like I'm there to help them or something."
  27. Life-saving emails filled with spew sent to a friend who may or may not read them.
  28. This text from Melanie: "I think I want a Siamese cat. Stop me."
  29. Knitting again. So many hexagons. So far away from being done with Alexander's blanket. 
  30. George "striking" another student with a pencil, thus earning an hour-long detention after school, less than one day after joking about this with all the other parents in his classroom. So, we're the trouble-maker family now.
  31. Eva Kay made her own breakfast of scrambled eggs, cantaloupe, and toast. She's so brilliant it kills me.
  32. So far, three weeks into the school year, we're all doing okay.
  33. I tried in earnest to be late to an event so I could miss what I did not want to see. Instead, I got the time wrong and wound up being early. What can I say? I am not a late person.
  34. Eva Kay collecting pine cones for me. 
  35. There is nothing fair about housework. It doesn't matter how many hours you work.
  36. Trying to convince Eva Kay to be a cross country runner as I believe it is her destiny. She's intrigued but not quite buying it. Yet.
  37. Conversations about high school. When did seventh grade get so tough? 
  38. Fadil: "Do what you came here to do.!"
  39. Sometimes little moments are the only ones that matter.
  40. Rather Be

Saturday
Sep062014

Friday 40 - Week 11

So this week's Friday 40 are mostly a recap of a most fantastic little getaway. I hope the memories bring a smile to my face for evermore. 
  1. Short weeks of school.
  2. Early flights to San Francisco.
  3. Whenever I go to San Francisco, I bring the perfect weather. All sunshine and perfect temperatures. 
  4. Hiking in the Muir Woods. 
  5. I see perfect acorns everywhere now. It is amazing what you see when you open your eyes.
  6. There was a space where the clouds and the ocean met and it was perfectly sublime. 
  7. There is something about being too far away from the world to hear cars or see power lines.
  8. Fellow hiker: "What did you see?" Me (laughing): "Just a face in a tree. It was winking at me." 
  9. Down by the sea. 
  10. The feeling of wind blowing through my hair and the sun on my face. 
  11. Early morning coffee at Peet's Coffee. 
  12. Selfies that may or may not flatter all those pictured.
  13. Reservations made at 7:00 AM can in fact be honored at 7:00 PM.
  14. Chiaroscuro. It is a wonderful word to say. A wonderful place to eat. A delicious place to drink.
  15. Eight miles runs through Chrissy Field. A thing of pure delight, despite the wind.
  16. I can run up hills. Despite the hills.
  17. Walking and walking and walking everywhere. 
  18. Blue Bottle Coffee. Exactly as I left it.
  19. Imaginknit. Better than I left it.
  20. Every single place in Fisherman's Wharf is exactly the same. Exactly.
  21. Ace Wasabi's Rock-n-Roll Sushi.  
  22. Text messages from George that tell me how much he loves me. That will never get old.
  23. The Fluevog Store on the Haight. Even though I didn't buy anything it is always so much fun.
  24. Dinner at SPQR. Wine at SPQR. Desert at SPQR. 
  25. Liquor stores.
  26. Walking down hills in heels. 
  27. Driving down the coast.
  28. Monterey and imagining Steinbeck walking these streets. 
  29. Dinner on the beach.
  30. The peace and honor of the San Francisco National Cemetery.
  31. Hiking in the Presidio.
  32. Sometimes I look at my daughter and I see that she looks just like me. Sometimes she doesn't look like me at all.
  33. Even though George has lice, the excitement at seeing him... and the other kids...never goes away.
  34. Me: "So, what does it feel like to go to work and not feel guilty about what you are missing with the kids?" David: "It is nice. You should try it."
  35. Being at home with the kids is so far from boring and mundane. 
  36. Some mornings are better than others. But still, there are mornings. We are so lucky.
  37. Remembering and learning and living this: There is only this day. Life is short. 
  38. Alexander gives me more kisses these days. 
  39. Learning to adapt is learning to thrive.
  40. Maybe.

Friday
Aug292014

Friday 40 - Week 10

  1. Sometimes living means leaving. 
  2. Eva Kay is so excited for the first day of school. I love that.
  3. Back to school shopping is fun, even for the boys.
  4. Daytimes with Melanie are funtimes with Melanie.
  5. Back-to-School pedicures with Eva Kay, because nail polish is not allowed.
  6. Pain surfaces when you are stuck in the anger of the past or focused on the fear of the future.
  7. Dinner at the Trencherman. 
  8. Boats and sunshine on the lake.
  9. Finding perfect acorns and pine cones with Eva Kay. 
  10. My place of peacefulness and quiet.
  11. Let me just say: I know that I have an intolerance for laziness. And I am so happy I know this about myself. And who wants to be lazy.
  12. Speaking of lazy, who wants to take short-cuts? They really don't make life any better.
  13. Knitting in the morning when the fog lifts and the day is revealed.
  14. George stopped showing his teeth when he smiles. I wonder if he is trying to tell me something. And I wonder at the growing away.
  15. Manners. Not only can they be fun, they can make you less gross. 
  16. Dishcloths. Hand knit dishcloths. Lots and lots of them. 
  17. Sometimes (most of the time) simple is better.
  18. Sometimes (most of the time) less is more. Except when it comes to hand knit dishcloths.
  19. This is the moment when I wonder where this whole thing is going. I keep asking the questions. And that makes me feel better.
  20. Sometimes the things that are slow and quiet are the most important things.
  21. Some days, nothing remarkable happens.
  22. I appreciate quiet. I don't need music or words or anything else to fill the space because I can actually manage the sounds in my head.
  23. Today is today. It does not predict tomorrow. Even if today is really hard. Just let it be hard. I'm learning to just let it be hard.
  24. New school year. New hopes. New days.
  25. The friends that hold you up are the friends that don't let you down.
  26. Walking to school on the first day. George let me hold his hand for about 30 seconds.
  27. First days of school. Everyone is excited. 
  28. Alexander: I told all my friends I got braces!
  29. Me to George: So, what does it feel like to almost rule the school?
  30. Eva Kay's hair in French braids. Too cute. 
  31. Feeling truly supported. 
  32. Fishing and little girls. It is perfect.
  33. George jumping off of the diving board. 
  34. Sometimes, out of town is the best town.
  35. Fingerprinting. I'm so glad I've never committed a crime. That I know about.
  36. I know what is important. I know what I need. I know what I can do without.
  37. Still binge watching Grey's Anatomy. It is a somewhat perfect escape.
  38. George got all of his school supplies labeled and organized himself. He's killing me with this growing away.
  39. Sometimes you just make it through a day. And that has to be okay. 
  40. Redeeming Love

Friday
Aug222014

Friday 40 - Week 9

  1. My grandfather is 80 and still riding his tandem all over the place. That is amazing.
  2. Also, pretty sure my dad and grandfather were the actual, original hipsters. All you wannabes get in line. 
  3. Sometimes, it feels good to say what you want to. Even if you have been not saying it for a really long time because you are being the bigger person. 
  4. Craig: "Oh we're so glad you are here. We were afraid it was just going to be David." 
  5. This text: "Talk me through this, because it is making me sad to even think about it."
  6. My sister is training for the Chicago Marathon (again). She is now up to mileage that is crazy-long. She's gonna rock it.
  7. Alexander: "Poison Ivy is stupid. I'm never going camping again." (yes, he said the same thing last week) Me: "Well, you guys got poison ivy when you were exploring a hill that I told you was covered in poison ivy." Alexander: "Well, fine. The next time I go camping I'm never leaving the tent." Me: "Or, next time you go camping, you could stay on the trails?" Alexander: "FINE! The next time I go camping, I'm staying on the trails."
  8. George: "Why do I have to go running with you but Alexander doesn't?" Me: "Because you need it more." George: "I guess." 
  9. Carol Brady: "I'm going to miss Alice. It just won't be the same without her." Mike Brady: "Well, we can't make her stay. Abraham Lincoln put a stop to that." Huh? What? Really? The Brady Bunch just compared Alice to slavery? What? Huh?  
  10. I have been drinking coffee since 1993. I have never stirred it after I pour in the cream. I have no idea why. It is just my thing. 
  11. The most important things in life aren't the things.
  12. Asked of me: "How is it that your kids are as old as they are and you have never taken them to the Dells?" Me: "I'm the type of parent that hasn't even told my kids a place like The Dells exists. It is just easier that way."
  13. I am so touched by all the people sharing their personal struggles with mental illness. Keep talking. Keep sharing. 
  14. So the book Loser, by Jerry Spenelli, is NOT the same book as The Loser by Thomas Bernhard (which is a complex and amusing novel ...about genius and obsession...mirroring the thought process of a compulsive mind).  An important distinction for George who has to read the former for school. 
  15. Maybe someday I will tire of looking at Alexander with his braces. But for now, I love it. Like LOVE it. 
  16. Eva Kay: "Mama, did the dentist say anything about how someday I might need braces?" Me: "I don't remember. Do you want braces?" Eva Kay: "Kinda." Me: "I know. I always wanted them when I was a kid, too."
  17. I deleted this one. Because I just wasn't feeling it anymore. And I love the power of the delete key.  
  18. Sometimes I am so amazed at what my body can do.
  19. There are things I sometimes forget. But always, I am reminded. Painfully reminded.
  20. Eva Kay has two tiny freckles on the tip of her nose. They just appeared one day.
  21. I don't have to push away my feelings. I don't need permission. I have worth. No matter what you say or how you make me feel.
  22. There are moments when they all get along. They may be fleeting. But they give me hope that there can be more.
  23. Conversations with George about mental illness. Interesting. And smart. 
  24. Sometimes the things not said are more telling than the things that are.
  25. Dinner at Paul Bunyan's and then at Sprechers. Both have hats.
  26. I have completed the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS
  27. Alexander kissed me on the lips again. He's almost in double digits.
  28. Speaking of kissing, George gives the best kisses. I'm pretty sure he will soon realize he is too old to kiss me, so I'm trying to remember each and every one.
  29. Water slides and water parks. It just makes you smile.
  30. A quiet run on the 400 Trail. Possibly the least promoted trail in Wisconsin.
  31. Rainy days. Even when inconveniently timed.
  32. There are some things I understand more than other people. They are things I don't want to understand, but I do. I can never not understand them. They allow my eyes to be wide open when other people have on blinders. Stil, I would not change this for the world.
  33. The Papadopoulodge. It is at once a place of tremendous happy and sad. 
  34. Collecting acorns on the deck with Eva Kay.
  35. Hiking along the Lake Front Path in Lake Geneva.
  36. Alexander and George wanting to hold my hand. George's hands are almost the same size as mine. 
  37. Dinner at Gordy's. I've missed it there.
  38. George making pancakes in the morning.
  39. I'm still knitting dishcloths. They are incredibly peaceful.
  40. You and I 

So, there you go. 

Friday
Aug152014

Friday 40 - Week 8

Yes. I know. Late again. Maybe it is my new thing. Who knows. Sometimes life gets in the way of me documenting my life.
  1. I just woke up one morning, and asked myself if I wanted to be the half-way person. The answer was no, no I did not. 
  2. The ebb and flow is okay. Sometimes is it exhausting. But it is way better than the stagnant.
  3. I now know how it feels to run into and over someone while I am riding my bike. Let's just say the pedestrian has cushioned the fall and she is way worse off than me. I'm still bruise-y though. And achy pretty much everywhere. But I'm so happy I'm not the one who was hit by a bike.
  4. Helmets. They're a good thing. Everyone should wear them. Probably even the people not on bikes.
  5. Now I can justify one of these fancy helmets.
  6. Sister. Who takes the children so Running Man can be Biking Man during his One Day Ride Across Michigan.
  7. Little Bed and Breakfasts with their gigantic breakfasts.
  8. Beth: "So you are driving across the state of Michigan to meet David at the finish line?" Me: "Yes." Beth: "You are a really good girlfriend." Yes. Yes I am. 
  9. Seven miles on a trail, by myself, in Pure Michigan. A thing of beauty.
  10. I am fairly certain that I am the only person who can get lost running on a loop trail.
  11. Said to me by a passing cyclist: "Wow, you're running really fast." 
  12. It is of note that I was not running "really fast" or even "moderately fast" or simply "fast." I was running quite slow. But I thanked her for saying it just the same.
  13. Life truly is a Both/And. Even when it comes to trailers hitches and rooftop cargo carriers.
  14. This Text: "OMG! You're from the country!"
  15. Demolition Derby. That is all.
  16. I have a highlights reel. But I also have outtakes. Both are necessary in life. 
  17. Alexander's final discharge report from speech therapy. It's for real.
  18. Turns out, I can actually teach some high school boys how to read a topographical map. They will not actually be interested in learning this once the discover the elevation chart on the side of the map. They will regret this at some point, I know it. 
  19. I spent 3.5 hours at REI and did not purchase a single item for myself. This is a miracle. 
  20. Organizing my camping supplies closet post REI. Satisfying indeed.
  21. I have made a marginal dent in the unmated sock pile. I still believe...
  22. I do love the Shred415
  23. This text: "This is called coping effectively."
  24. Teaching two high school boys about to embark on a backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains how to use the MSR Whisperlight. I love that stove. 
  25. George deciding that he will do the summer reading for school, after all.
  26. George deciding he will also complete the assignment for the summer reading.
  27. Me: "George, before you said summer homework was stupid." George: "Well, she gets really angry and upset when you don't do it, so I just decided it wasn't worth it." {Total overachiever here.}
  28. Being irrationally excited to find out that we live in the Licoln Park High School neighborhood boundary. Because in Chicago, we have to worry about what school our kids go to. Which is sad. 
  29. Turns out, the City of Chicago cares that we have not weeded our lawn. We have 72 hours to correct the situation. Ummm, they really should have asked our travel plans before deciding on that deadline...
  30. Ordering the kids' school uniforms. I will miss summer, but there is something so good about a new school year.
  31. I have actually remembered to order the school lunches for August and September. The 2014-15 school year is off to a great start! 
  32. Alexander: "Poison Ivy is stupid. I'm never going camping again!"
  33. Me to George: "Almost every time I go running, I hate the first 10 minutes. But in the end, I am always glad I went for a run."
  34. I'm so happy to be able to turn the news off. Our world can be overwhelming and full of sadness. 
  35. While I am sad about the death of Robin Williams, mental illness is a real thing, and our society needs to start recognizing and appreciating that.
  36. Knowing deep in my bones this: People who need help sometimes look a lot like the people who don't.
  37. I have never been clinically depressed. But I have a much better understanding of what it is like after reading Hyperbole and a Half. This should be mandatory reading. All of it. Not just the depression stuff. 
  38. There are good things in our world. Sometimes we have to look really hard for them. Sometimes they just smack ya in the face (figuratively, because if it was a literal smack in the face, that would be a bad thing, which we have enough of).
  39. The Trigger Point Massage Ball is a little painful miracle. 
  40. Just One of the Guys

So, there you go.

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