Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why I love Donald Sobel

I discovered last week while traveling for Thanksgiving that I greatly underestimated the power of Encyclopedia Brown. We had a 3 hour drive ahead of us Wednesday evening, and being an experienced traveling mom, I grabbed the travel activity bag to ensure it was well stocked. In the bag, I keep some activity books, crayons, a pen, a pencil, a comic book, car appropriate games, a portable dvd player, a case of dvds, and snacks. Everything looked fine so I only added the Encyclopedia Brown Little Clover was currently reading. We hit the road Wednesday evening fueled with coffee and began our journey.

Once we hit the interstate, Little Clover turned on his light and asked if we would like to listen to him read. He then proceeded to read and finish the one book I packed that was intended to last the entire Thanksgiving holiday. So, what did we do? We pulled off the interstate for a detour and found a bookstore.

Once we refreshed his supply of books, we piled back into the car and continued on with the rest or our Thanksgiving tradition of food, bonfires, and paintball.

The food part with family is always a fun experience and this year was no exception. The food continues the day after with a bonfire in the woods of Tennessee, which is also when the paintballing begins. As odd as the whole thing sounds, we have a wonderful time. The teams are split between the older generation and the younger cousins. Before you feel sorry for the older group, I think you should know they include former and current military personnel. They can hold their own.

Before we headed back home, I got to see a memory be made. My dad and my son took out the canoe together and paddled across the lake. Little Clover was thrilled with being in a canoe and even more excited about paddling. I was thrilled with watching the two of them beaming with happiness.

As for the furnace saga, the furnace and I just could not come to terms. I wanted to keep the house, so the furnace left. We found a replacement and are enjoying the new relationship.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Dear Furnace,

Let me begin by expressing my deepest apologies for not giving you the attention you deserve. I am truly sorry for not spending more time with you before this weekend. When we left Wednesday without so much as a "See ya," you must have been crushed and I can understand how lonely you must have felt. I can also understand if you are jealous of the attention we have been giving the fireplace, but throwing a temper tantrum and refusing to work is no way to get my attention. Please believe me when I tell you that the fireplace is nothing more to me than a little flame. You are the one I really need each winter. I hope to have you back soon.

I miss you,
Irish Clover

Thank goodness for big men's sweaters to keep one's lap warm while the furnace misbehaves.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reality Check

Cliches and phrases are a very common part of everyday speech, but not all cliches and phrases are equally relevant or true. I've heard one particular phrase quite a bit in the last few weeks and I would like to start a campaign to have this phrase banned, for good.

"Perception is reality."

I hate this sentence; I really, really do. I hate it with an amazing passion, and not because it is overused. I hate it because it is dismissive and defeatist and flat out wrong. I think knitters, more than anyone else, know just how inaccurate the statement is.

Think of all the knitters out there who have knit a gargantuan sock, one too large for Big Foot, who honestly perceived the sock as maybe big enough to fit their husbands' feet. They may have even been a bit concerned the sock would be too small. They happily knitted away as the sock grew to the size of Delaware and then casted off, only to be shocked when their dear hubbies slipped the sock over both feet... at the same time. These knitters believed the sock would fit. According to the statement above, their perception of the size of the sock should have been enough to make it a reality, but it didn't because the statement is wrong, people! Just because someone, or a group of someones, perceives something as true and real doesn't mean it is true or real.

Think back to the middle ages when all of Europe believed the world was flat. They looked around and said to each other, the world must be flat because it looks flat. Everyone then acted as if the world was flat because the flatness was part of his reality. People didn't wonder far from home or sail too far out into the ocean because they were worried they would fall off the earth. Then one voice stood up and looked around and decided he was going to question this "reality." He had daring to think beyond the small dismissive thinking of everyone else and to search for what was truly real.

Saying "Perception is reality" keeps people from pushing the envelope and making advances and finding new interest and finding the talents in others. Saying it is the same as throwing up one's hands and saying "Oh, well, that's what someone else thinks. It is right because he thinks it is right. I must now let it impact my reality, and there is nothing I can do to change."

Well, I'm not going to take that attitude. People may perceive me as the voice of doubt or a nonconformist, but really, I'm the voice that asks, "Are you sure you believe that? Why don't you look at that sock one more time. I know, how about trying it on as you knit! You may be surprised by what you find."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Almost done

Fall arrived this year. For most people, fall is a given. It happens every year at the same time. This is not so for us in the Delta. Some years, the leaves on the trees turn a muddy brown and drop like burnt pieces of paper. This year, though, we are experience the full technicolor joy of fall. Little Clover and I have been watching the leaves change during our drive to school each morning. The leaves are reaching their peak and are starting to strewn the ground in reds, yellows, and oranges. With some luck, the changing leaves will bring cooler weather. I'm ready for sweaters and hats and gloves. I'm also ready to finish my Christmas knitting.

Holiday knitting below
Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft in dark blue, 2 balls
Changes: I made the cuff longer and the glove portion longer. I also added a seed stitch border at the top and bottom. The top border flares a bit, so I would recommend knitting it on one size smaller needles.
Notes: The Cashsoft is perfect for this pattern. The knit fabric is dense and warm.

My original goal was to finish the holiday knitting by the end of October. Then I realized I didn't need the additional stress in my life, so I'm finishing the Christmas knitting in the middle of November instead. I'm still ahead of the game and I can stress myself out with reknitting the River Forrest Gansey for Italian, by Christmas.

On another note entirely, Sunday was Veteran's Day in America. We didn't do a very good observing the day at Clover Field, so today, I would like to thank everyone in the Armed Services, especially those in mine and Italian's families. Thank you for your sacrifices. Thank you for safeguarding my freedoms. Thank you for doing a job that many of us are unwilling to do. Thank you. To those currently fighting overseas, I wish you safe journeys home.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

One Week

What happens when you don't blog for a week? You finish a sweater:

Pattern: Sahara
Yarn: Tilli Thomas Pure and Simple and Disco Lights
Size: Medium
Notes: I hate the yarn. Really, I do. It is a beautiful yarn, but it pills while knitting and the Disco Lights skein had five knots. Yep, five annoying troublesome knots. There is no way I would buy Tilli Thomas again, and I can't recommend it. Other than the horrid yarn, I really like the sweater. It fits nicely and is very flattering. Italian loves it. It is not a difficult knit at all. The shaping is easy to do. The only modification I made was to shorten the length by 2 inches at the hem.