Friday, May 31, 2013

Grandmas Are Special

Grandmas are special.
They're just the right kind
for walking and talking
and sharing your mind.

Grandmas are special.
They're the very best ever
for making and baking
Christmas cookies together.

Grandmas are special.
They make everything fun,
even standing and drying
the dishes 'til all is all done.

Grandmas are special.
They're a wonderful friend
for missing and wishing
them a happy birthday again.

By: Paula Dean Nevison
May 11, 2000

I'm going to let you go again until next May. In the meantime, I will strive to be as good of a grandma as my memories of you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mother Goose Poem

This is a poem in my Mother Goose book that my parents gave me for my 2nd birthday. I love these poems and have many memorized. I may give a book like this to my granddaughter for her birthday.

The Real Mother Goose, Golden Anniversary Edition
1916-1966, illustrated by: Blanche Fisher Wright

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Knitting in Court

I am so glad they let me take my knitting into court. That would be a very boring place with no knitting. I can knit and still listen to everything that is happening. Unlike reading a book, where I get lost in the characters on the pages and can be oblivious to my surroundings. As I sat there waiting, I worked on the same blue baby blanket I was knitting at the first “Tokarev” movie audition. I'm on row 96 of this 158 row pattern, so I still have a long way to go. After court I put down the blanket and made this little strawberry bag. I had started it the day before, but pulled it all out, and started over yesterday. The whole bag above the bottom green leafy ruffle stuffs into itself. Then you pull the drawstring, and, voila, a strawberry. Pull it back out; it is a little, reusable, washable, cotton grocery bag alternative to plastic.

Strawberry Bag

Sometimes I bring crochet, or my drawing journal and pencils, or a book (in addition to knitting). But I always bring knitting everywhere. Yesterday, I only brought knitting into court. I left the crochet in the car.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reading the Dictionary

Definition of CONSEQUENCE

1: a conclusion derived through logic: inference
2: something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions <the economic consequences of the war>
3a: importance with respect to power to produce an effect <a mistake of no consequence>
b: social importance
4: the appearance of importance; especially: self-importance
aftereffect, aftermath, backwash, child, conclusion, effect, corollary, development, fate, fruit, issue, outcome, outgrowth, precipitate, product, result, resultant, sequel, sequence, upshot

Definition of PUNISHMENT

1: the act of punishing
2a: suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution
b: a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure
3: severe, rough, or disastrous treatment
castigation, chastisement, comeuppance, correction, desert(s), discipline, nemesis, penalty, wrath

Definition of NEMESIS

1 capitalized: the Greek goddess of retributive justice
2 plural nem·e·ses
a: one that inflicts retribution or vengeance
b: a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent
3 plural nem·e·ses
a: an act or effect of retribution
b: bane 2

Definition of BANE

1a obsolete: killer, slayer
b: poison
c: death, destruction
d: woe
2: a source of harm or ruin: curse

Every action has a consequence. Sometimes the consequence is punishment. As consequence, your nemesis may be your bane.

Run! Run! Fast as you can! You can't catch me! I'm the gingerbread man!” Remember what happens at the end of that story? The fox eats the gingerbread man, as should happen to all gingerbread men. Those that don't get eaten; crumble, or spoil; and are thrown away.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dishcloth Swap, Finished Knitting

I finished all five of the dishcloths that I will send in to swap in the Annual Dishcloth Swap on Ravelry. I couldn't find a bird pattern I liked, so I made this one up. It's called “Robin and Nest Dishcloth and is free to download from my my website

This picture was taken before these were blocked. They are pinned to my ironing board blocking right now in pretty 8-inch squares. I will go back and check the details on shipping. Hopefully I can mail them sometime this week. (I put that on my 'To Do' list.) Then after they receive all the dishcloths from everyone, they will send 5 different dishcloths from 5 other people to me. I wonder what they will look like. I wonder who will receive mine. I hope everyone likes these.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Little Princess

Birthday party today at noon. Granddaughter is coming over this evening. I had grand plans for today. They are not going to happen. Only ordinary Saturday stuff will get done between everything else. I will enjoy tonight with my granddaughter though. She is such a little dolly. I love to read stories to her, color with her, play with the toys she picks out, and go for short little walks with her (just like I did with my kids when they were little). My two youngest kids (still at home) enjoy playing with their niece too.

Children are little for such a short time. There is no way I can spend too much time with her. It's so important (right now) that she learns that she is a valuable person. When she is at my house, we pay attention to her. We listen to her, and talk with her, and put value on her ideas and opinions. She is expected to participate in everything we do together. She is expected to help, and praised for her efforts. She is expected to follow the rules. She has to use a coaster under her sippy cup on the coffee table. She's not allowed to throw wrappers or food on the floor even though the dogs will eat it (we are still working on this one). Toys can't be left on the floor either. The dogs will eat them too. I'm sure there are other rules that are just automatic that I can't think of right now.

She is definitely the princess when she is here, but all my children had their little princess, or little prince, treatment at that age. They remember. They are not jealous of her. They are very helpful and patient with her. She is growing up so fast. In a couple more weeks, we will be having her birthday party.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of school.
Both my kids got excellent grades.
Beautiful weather is forecasted.
There's a full moon tonight.
Summer starts tomorrow.
No more getting up early
(except to let the dogs out & in).


Life is Good.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Waiting at the "Tokarev" Callbacks

Last Tuesday's callbacks were much more organized than the first audition. My husband did not get the role he originally read for. They gave that part to Ron Perlman. (RON PERLMAN! This is a NICOLAS CAGE and RON PERLMAN movie! Super cool, totally awesome!) Instead they had my husband read for three other parts. Yesterday, I found out that he will be a featured extra.

Last Tuesday was a pretty day, not too hot, not cold, nice breeze. We got a parking spot in the shade. I decided to wait in the car alone (away from any annoying, “bony, loud, scratchy, deep voiced women with a southern 'country' accent” who might be putting down their daughters). I sat there in the peaceful quiet and finished knitting a dishcloth. Then I started crocheting a potholder. It was nice. I enjoy these times of “waiting.” If I had been home, I would have been folding, or sweeping, or dusting, or letting the dogs out (and in), or any number of other things, but not knitting or crocheting.

Last Tuesday I realized that I have been “waiting” my whole life. My mother was perpetually late. We never arrived anywhere on time, and we were the last people to leave. When she picked me up from school, I was the last child there waiting with the last teacher there (and this was normal). We went to Sunday school and church. We always walked into Sunday school late (but at least we were already there for church). She would stay after church and talk, and talk, and talk, until there was nobody left to talk to. On weeknights, we went to Bible studies at friend's houses. My younger brother and I (he is also an amiable, even more amiable than I am) would sit on the floor beside her and wait, quietly entertaining ourselves with coloring books and little toy cars. But after 4 or 5 hours, even my brother and I, who wanted to stay up late, started tugging on mom's pant leg asking, “Mom, can we please go home?” Seriously, what was she thinking? Those were school nights. We were little kids. The waiting to be picked up from school, that was the worst. It would take so long that I would start wondering if she had forgotten me. It was so long that I would be trying not to cry in front of the teacher who was stuck there waiting with me.

Last Tuesday I was content to wait in the car. The windows were rolled down. The birds chirped. The breeze blew. I had my knitting. It was nice. Choosing to wait is a lot different than being stuck waiting. I choose to go early and wait; in carpool, for the doctor or dentist, or for any appointment. When it starts getting later than my scheduled time, I figure there must have been an unforeseen emergency earlier in the day...OR...some inconsiderate mother was late, throwing off the whole day, making everybody wait.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Heart in Hand

A damaged heart held tightly in her hand, so tightly for so very long that her fingers are immovably stiff, frozen in place, unable to let go. She wants desperately to give her whole heart to him (and thought she already did), but it is broken in many pieces. Some of the pieces are missing, parted out to others who thoughtlessly squashed them and tossed them away. Some of the pieces were pecked at by railbirds that could not be brushed away. Some were kicked around and played with by the trusted few who are expected to be safe. Yet now, when the safest place for her heart is in his hands, she is unable to open her bony old fingers and let it go. She is ready. She is willing. She believes that this is best. She is confused. Why is it still in her hands? She thought she gave her heart to him long ago. She holds it out to him again, wishing she had let go of it the first time. He will have to help her release it with great patience and his strong yet very gentle touch.
By: Paula Dean Nevison

100 Most Misspelled Words

Something to study this summer (even the grown-ups). 
With so much texting going on, people are forgetting how to spell.  
2nite, 2moro, sk8, c u L8r, 4got 2, b, n, otw, thx,
these are only a few and they are crazy words. 

Compiled by
  1. acceptable
  2. accidentally
  3. accommodate
  4. acquire
  5. allot
  6. amateur
  7. apparent
  8. argument
  9. atheist
  10. believe
  11. bellwether
  12. calendar
  13. cemetery
  14. changeable
  15. collectible
  16. column
  17. committed
  18. conscience
  19. conscientious
  20. conscious
  21. consensus
  22. daiquiri
  23. definite
  24. discipline
  25. drunkenness
  26. dumbbell
  27. embarrass
  28. equipment
  29. exhilarate
  30. exceed
  31. existence
  32. experience
  33. fiery
  34. foreign
  35. gauge
  36. grateful
  37. guarantee
  38. harass
  39. height
  40. hierarchy
  41. humorous
  42. ignorance
  43. immediate
  44. independent
  45. indispensable
  46. inoculate
  47. intelligence
  48. its (possessive)
  49. jewelry
  50. judgment
  51. kernel
  52. leisure
  53. liaison
  54. library
  55. license
  56. lightning
  57. maintenance
  58. maneuver
  59. medieval
  60. memento
  61. millennium
  62. miniature
  63. minuscule
  64. mischievous
  65. misspell
  66. neighbor
  67. noticeable
  68. occasionally
  69. occurrence
  70. pastime
  71. perseverance
  72. personnel
  73. playwright
  74. possession
  75. precede
  76. principal – head; as a school principal
  77. principle – a rule
  78. privilege
  79. pronunciation
  80. publicly
  81. questionnaire
  82. receive
  83. recommend
  84. refer
  85. relevant
  86. restaurant
  87. rhyme
  88. rhythm
  89. schedule
  90. separate
  91. sergeant
  92. supersede
  93. their
  94. threshold
  95. twelfth
  96. tyranny
  97. until
  98. vacuum
  99. weather
  100. weird
Here is a good website that has hints to help you remember how to spell them.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


I’m learning so much everyday.
First, how to nurse,
Painful for mom, of course.
Then, how to smile,
Which makes it worthwhile.
Rolling over wasn’t easy to do.
Neither was picking up my head to look at you.
Scooting along the floor to play
Was difficult, at the least, I’ll say.
Up on my knees to crawl I go,
Faster and faster, but never slow.
Wobbly as I might be.
I like standing at your knee.
I try to step, but then I fall.
I try again, and that’s not all,
Reaching far I grab the coffee table.
To walk around it, I am able.
Da-da, Da-da, I can say,
My first words, to mom’s dismay.
All these firsts happen only one time.
There is no replay and no rewind.
Watch me now, for I won’t wait.
Soon I’ll be grown and it will be too late.

by: Paula Dean Nevsion

Friday, May 17, 2013

End of School Countdown

The end of school countdown has been happening at my house for the last two weeks.
I have to admit, I am getting anxious for this school year to be finished too.
I won't have to wash uniforms in the middle of the week anymore.
I will get to go SHOPPING for new uniforms for both kids (they grew like weeds).
I won't have to get up at 6:00 AM anymore.
I get to still COOK breakfast, but without the time crunch (I can be more creative).
I get to still COOK lunch.
I won't have to make lunches before I make breakfast.
There will be more dirty dishes,
but I will have two extra helpers around all day.
There will be trips to the library.
There will be trips to the pool.
I will even take the kids to the dreaded beach.
Orthodontist APPOINTMENTS,
Singing and signing lessons,
Picnics at the park,
Painting pictures,
Maybe painting the house.
We will SORT through and get rid of outgrown clothes.
We will SORT through and get rid of unnecessary school papers.
We will INVENTORY the school supplies that were never used,
and we will seek out the BEST SALES on the school supplies that need replacing.

I love to COOK and bake, especially breakfast.
(So much that my daughter actually complained. She doesn't want pancakes or muffins, or eggs. “We have them all the time.” She wants me to buy boxed cereal.)
I love APPOINTMENTS because I get to sit and knit.
The analytical in me loves to SORT and INVENTORY things.
This summer is going to be awesome!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bird Dishcloth, Version 2

Here is version 2. It is about an 8-inch square. I love knitting leaves, but this one has to go. The robin needs an orange belly. I think I want that straight branch to continue on the left of the nest. Maybe the bottom branch can be left out too. It still needs work. It took three times of pulling the first half (the left side) out to get to this yesterday, but I am having fun working on it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Annual Dishcloth Swap on Ravelry

“Each participant is required to crochet or knit 5 dishcloth/washcloth/spa-cloths in the same pattern.” For the rest of the information on YARNS, the Actual Swapping, Postage + Envelope requirements, and deadlines

It is May, and I'm still stuck in “bird” mode. I can't find a pattern I like, so I am making my own. This is what I did yesterday. Today I'm going to make a revised version. Hopefully I will get it figured out, so I can get started on the five to send in.

Robins have three to five eggs. I think I need four in this nest instead of three, and they will be blue. They usually build their nest where the branch forks. I don’t like this branch. It will definitely be different. That will mean moving the bird slightly. The left edge is not okay. It needs less stitches.

Ellen Bloom has posted a good description of this swap on her blog, Los Angeles Is My Beat.
I love the filet crochet heart dishcloth she has made.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Slow, Speed Racer, Slow

The school zone speed limit is 15 mph. It seems slower than the car is able to drive. Yet there is good reason for such a slow speed limit. Some children are walking to school. If for any reason you had to stop immediately to avoid hitting a child with your car, and you are only driving 15 mph, you can stop. If you are not obeying the school speed limit, you will probably hit and possibly kill that child. You won't be able to stop in time.

There has often been police sitting by the road with radar guns checking people's speeds as they drive through this school zone. It is on a hill. If the police are by the school entrance, you can't see them as you pass the flashing lights and 15 mph sign into the school zone. Likewise, when they sit by the flashing light, you cannot see them when you exit the school driveway.

I drive my child to school everyday. I have a very recognizable car. I don't want a ticket and I don't want to be responsible for hitting a child with my car (however improbable as that seems. They are middle schoolers and they should know better than to dart out into the road). It really bugs me when I'm making such a concerted effort to obey the traffic laws and drive this almost impossible 15 mph to have another mother, in a car behind me (on her cell phone), merge into the left turn lane (where I also need to go, but am waiting until I get up to the dotted line where you are supposed to merge into the turning lane) early, then speed up, as if being in the turning lane negates the speed limit. Really?! Ugh!

My daughter watches how I drive. She asks me questions. She is very excited about being almost old enough to take her driver's permit test. Seems like since my oldest child started getting interested in driving, until now, there has been someone watching me (mom) drive. Either because they want to take the test and they are trying to watch and learn, or because they took the test and they are trying to watch and make sure I do it right (because now they know everything). I can't speed down the road every day, hand the keys to my child, tell them not to speed, and expect them to do what I say. Children don't do what you say, they do what they see you do.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spinach Balls

My kids' favorite holiday recipe is Spinach Balls. It was one of those recipes they had on a morning TV show many years ago. I saw it, but only the last part. Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law saw it too and wrote it down. It is easy to make, and all my kids love it.
We didn't make it yesterday. I didn't want to spend the time rolling all the little balls while we were stuffing hamburgers with shredded cheddar cheese, and sauteed onions and mushrooms. Instead we made Spinach Gratin. I used the recipe from this website.
It is a lower calorie version of Ina Garten's recipe,
It was good (not as good as the spinach balls) but was perfect for yesterday. My nephew (picky eater) didn't try the Spinach Gratin, but would've eaten the Spinach Balls. Even people who don't like spinach seem to like these Spinach Balls.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Knitting at the Tokarev Movie Audition

I take my knitting or crochet with me most everywhere I go. Inevitably, I get stuck waiting somewhere (Wal-mart check-out line, doctor/dentist waiting room, carpool, restaurant – waiting to be seated or waiting after ordering, theater – before the movie starts, riding in the car, etc.) People say things to me like, “I don't have enough patience to do that.” I just smile, and wonder to myself how they can just stand or sit there and do nothing while we wait. Seems like doing nothing while waiting is the actual exercise in patience. Usually though, people just ignore me. They have conversations with their friends about private things as if I'm not even there. Sometimes I'm very involved in a complicated pattern and I might as well not be there, but most of the time I only take easy projects with me (something that can be put down at any stitch without getting messed up). The easy project occupies the part of my brain that gets distracted. You know, like when you're sitting in a boring lecture (or church), the part of your brain that starts counting the beams in the ceiling or the colors in the stained glass window, the bored part that keeps you from paying attention. When I'm knitting something easy, that distractable part of my brain is busy. I may not be looking at the speaker, but the rest of my brain is listening and remembering. With a quick glance, I connect a voice to a face, and go back to my knitting. It's like watching TV and knitting. Very little watching actually happens. Unless it is an action packed, no talking TV show, most are easy to listen to and follow with few glances. There is no action in a long line or in a waiting room. I really don't knit with the intent of eavesdropping on others. I do only bring my knitting to give myself something to do besides just wait. I accidentally end up with the inside scoop on a total stranger's life. Then run into that specific stranger, and overhear them talking about one of the first talkers. When you shut up and listen, people say everything.

Last Thursday, I was waiting in a movie audition line with my husband. I was knitting. People were talking. Someone who had finished auditioning came out, stopped and talked to his friend in line. I heard about his experience inside. Some people were talking about having an agent or not having an agent. One just barely grown-up girl, excited about the prospect of being in the movie, was talking to her mother, a bony, loud, scratchy, deep voiced woman with a southern 'country' accent. The girl was a few people ahead of my husband. I sat down on a step in the shade near my husband's place in line. This mother sat down beside me. She had to be loud because her daughter was further up in line (everyone could hear). Her daughter was nervous and excited, wondering if she wore the right outfit, wondering if she could speak with a good Russian accent, wondering if she would even get a part. Her mother was derogatory and condescending. She had mean come-backs to the things her daughter asked her (instead of support and reassurance). From their discussion, I gathered that the role the girl was trying for was some type of Russian tramp. Her mother told her that she'd get the part because it was perfect for her. The daughter was initially relieved at her mother's reassurance, but then she realized that her mother just called her a tramp. Her countenance fell. She lost her smile. I saw her shoulders droop, and I heard it in her voice. Her mother went on to say that all women are actors. They are born actors. All women are liars. I wanted to reach over and smack that woman for calling all women liars, for bad-mouthing her daughter in front of a crowd of strangers, and for ruining her self-confidence right before an audition where self-confidence could be what gets her the part.

It was an audition to be in a movie with Nicolas Cage! Wow! Even I was excited to be there, and I wasn't trying to be in the movie. What if he was inside watching the auditions? He wasn't, but whoever gets these parts is going to film with him. I smelled cigarette smoke while knitting and listening. I figured it was this mom smoking. I wanted to fuss at her about something. She was really getting under my skin. I wanted to say, “Do you mind? I'm knitting a baby blanket and I would rather it not smell like smoke.” I looked. It wasn't her. It was a heavily tattooed guy further back in line. I just sat there knitting and wondering if this girl could recoup from the blows from her mother in time to shine in this unforgiving, hurried, Hollywood style audition. Of course, she can fall back on medical school (that she hasn't started yet). Her mother said that she would push her through medical school, but not acting.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pizza Purse

I saw this Summer Sling Tote pattern.

It made me think of pizza.
My version of this purse needs more toppings. Then I need to make the lining and put it all together. I plan to upcycle the worn-out, out-grown khaki school uniform pants into the lining. Not much longer until summer break. I better hurry up crocheting more olives and green peppers.