Monday, February 21, 2011

A Week In Review

This past week was slightly crazy, but definitely rewarding.

See the man in the white shirt in the lower left corner?
That's the farmer in my seat while I'm up in the suite.

The farmer, LouBob, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and I attended a Pacer's vs. Heat game. You know, the one with the amazing full court pass. It was a great game, even though at first I thought the Heat were going to wipe the floor with our Pacers. They did beat us, but only after a lot of screaming on my part. LouBob got her autograph of Larry Bird and the farmer was given a Larry Bird bobble head up in the swanky suite. We sat on the floor, 7th row. Pretty fine seats! But poor farmer's ticket was up in a suite. Ha! He did bring LouBob up during the third quarter and me during the fourth. And I'm telling you they serve AMAZING coconut cake up there! Thank you, Farm Bureau, for the tickets! What a game!

I'm second from right in the top row.

I was honored to be invited to a meeting with fellow Hoosier bloggers with Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman at her office in the State House. It was a great hour-long question and answer session. I warned a fellow blogger that I would sit in the back and let others ask the questions. I kept my word. But my pen was ready and ears were attentive. The heated topic was school lunches. (We were a room full of moms.) The words of advise from the Lieutenant Governor was that we are a strong voice if we choose to speak. Those decisions are made at the local level, not the state, so it's our responsibility as moms to make our voice heard to our local school boards. So if you wish your school's food was healthier or more local, speak up. Not only are you doing a good thing for your child, your doing a good thing for a local farmer.

Then, Saturday...
If you hadn't heard, ice came and covered Indiana two weeks ago. I lead a women's ministry for my church called Chix, and the ice messed up our plans. We had a one-day retreat planned for that Saturday, the 5th. Almost 90 women were planning to attend. I was nervous and excited. But after about a million emails back and forth to the church, we had to cancel. We rescheduled for this Saturday. In the end, 73 women were able to come to the rescheduled day. I was pleased with that number. Someone asked me last night how it went. My response was, "It's not the right time to ask me, yet." My neck and shoulders still ache from the tension. But really it was a great day. Great sessions, wonderful worship times, so much laughter and a lot of yummy food. I kept sneaking over to the dessert table for another bite. For me, the day was a blur, but the surveys say the attendee experienced a God-filled day. A success. The best part of the day for me was the note jotted down on the paper table covering. It said, "This has been a wonderful Christian experience. Thank you, all who have worked to put on the retreat for all women of Faith." And I say thank you too, to the over 20 women and teens who made the Chix One Day a success! Now Kesiah, you can have your baby. (She led a session with only 4 days till the wee one was due!) But most importantly, thank you, God, for your presence and strength.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oreo, the Pig-herding Dog Fights His Last Fight

If you haven't heard about our Pig-herding Dog, check out the past post about Oreo's pig-herding endeavors. He was a crazy, fun dog. We called Oreo the dog with nine lives. It turned out that he only had three. After two years living in a fenced in yard, Oreo decided he needed freedom. So he began a digging campaign. Every time we found him out, we put him back in the yard and blocked the hole. He immediately begin digging another. Eventually we admitted defeat and moved his igloo home to our back porch.

Life #1 One night, during a particularly bad storm (Oreo was terrified of storms), I pulled in the drive and heard that heart wrenching thud. He had ran off the porch and hydroplaned into my back tire. We thought he wouldn't make it. In fact, he ran away, or hobbled away. After searching, we decided that he had gone into a field and the coyotes had gotten him. But then two days later he returned home. He limped, but survived.

Life #2 Several months later we recieved a phone call from the neighbor across the highway. He said Oreo was dead on his drive way, a fight with stray dogs. I was confused because Oreo was on our porch. The neighbor looked again and in total shock replied that Oreo was gone. Upon checking Oreo, we found a nasty wound on his neck from the fight. He spent two days and nights hiding out and recovering in our garage. Then one day, we opened the garage to pull the car in, and he walked out. All better.

Life #3 Sadly, a few weeks ago, the same neighbor called to inform us that this time the strays had won the battle. He returned Oreo to the farm for us.

You need to understand that I'm not a dog person. I love cats. But Oreo was special. He was a little crazy. He drove me a little crazy with all his hyperactivity. We called him our kangaroo dog because of his love of jumping straight up over and over again. He barked at every car, every bird, every cat, every light bolt and every peal of thunder. When I took him on walks with me the beagle came out in full force and suddenly my shoulder would be nearly dislocated from its socket. He outwitted me by sneaking in the garage every time I pulled the car in and refusing to leave until I gave him a treat...then it was two treats...then it was a treat of the proper flavor. It's been difficult remembering that I don't need to look in the rear view mirror before pulling out. It's sad not to see him jumping off the porch as I approach the drive. And it's hard watching his dog friends from across the road sniffing and searching for him in our yard. I really do miss him and his warm, loving welcome home. The house seems a little sad, a little empty when I come home each day. And that's because our sweet little friend has gone away. You are missed, little one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Entrelac Scarf

It was time to try a new technique in knitting...entrelac. Just the word sounds and looks frighteningly difficult. So I was pleasantly surprised with just how easy it was to knit up this scarf. If you can follow directions, pick up stitches, ssk and k2tog, you can make your own beautiful scarf. (It took me less than a week to knit this!) The pattern is a free Ravelry  pattern, The Basic Entrelac Scarf. I used a yarn you just can't go wrong with, Noro Aya, a cotton/silk blend. It did take four skein, so beware...this is not an inexpensive scarf. But wow, is it worth the money. Just look at the color changes!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cat and Mouse, A Knitted Gift

Don't you just love the little cat that turned inside out becomes a mouse? I knit it up for my niece's first birthday. If you want to make one, buy the book, Itty-bitty Toys, by Susan B. Anderson, and a couple skeins of Spud and Chloe yarn. Susan has the best knitted toy patterns I've seen. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's adorable, believe me.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mission Monday

Last week was basketball, basketball, basketball. 


This weeks focus: Chix One Day. It's a one-day retreat for the women at my church, and it's this Saturday! About 80 women are coming. We meet tonight to finalize things and hopefully catch anything that's fallen through the cracks. Then it's Friday night, prep night. And on. Boy, am I nervous! But not so nervous as past years when I spoke. This year it's as much excitement than nervous. I think it will be a great day.

But what will I do with myself after this week?! I'm sure I'll come up with something next week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Azzu's Shawl

Another shawl is off the needles. You can find the free pattern on Ravelry at It was a quick knit, and I love the design. Simple, yet interesting. 

I used a skein of yarn that I won through a drawing at my LYS, River Wool. It is Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn in the Beach Fog colorway. Beautiful! Thanks so much, Martha!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Honey Creek Bees - Undefeated!

Three bowls of soup this week and a climb up the ladder to cut down a coveted piece of net.

It's a bittersweet day.  Lou's middle school basketball season is over. But what a great season! They ended it undefeated when they won the county championship game tonight. (The Honey Creek boys brought home their trophy too.) It's been a great several years watching these girls play under an amazing coach. I'm going to miss it.

Great job girls! Here's to watching you play next year in high school. (Uggh! High school.)

Lou- Make sure you keep eating that lucky tomato basil soup.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Antonia

US paperback
Here's to another great writer! Willa Cather. Oh to write like the greats. The descriptions of setting and people in this book amazed me. Talent. That's what it is. Talent and a lot of hard work. It the mastery of the English language. It's a painting with words. So if you want to learn to write, read Willa Cather. It should be a requirement for writing majors. Read and study Willa Cather.

Read it, not for the plot so much as for the use of the written word. That's all I'm going to say about this book.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Second Bowl of Soup!

Lou is #11
I'm off to buy another bowl of soup. Go Bees!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's for Supper?

images (259×194)
It's tomato basil soup again. Am I making it? No. I'm delivering it. In fact, for the past two months Lou has asked for it probably three times a week. Why? Because it's "lucky soup." She insists she needs it before every basketball game. It's become her superstition. And I'm the crazy mom who supports her habit.

(They've gone undefeated. So maybe there is something to this soup. Or maybe it's good coaching and hard work. But who am I to mess with the natural order of things.)

So tonight is the first night of the much anticipated county tournament, and I'm delivering tomato basil soup to her middle school at 3:15pm. If they win tonight, they play again tomorrow. Win that one and they're in the championship game Thursday night. Here's to hoping that I'll be delivering it three times this week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer: Book Cover
I know my absence has been quite prolonged and I will explain by way of a book review. A few nights ago I finished an intriguing book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. At first I was doubtful about it keeping my interest. It's written as a compilation of letters. And my mind has a difficult time turning one voice off and another voice on until I know the characters well. But I pushed through because of the humor of the main character, Juliet. She won my affections quickly.

The book is about a London based writer, her old friends, and a literary group that she begins a correspondence with on the Island of Guernsey. Soon this group becomes more than just pen pals. But you must read the book to discover what role they end up playing in her life. This group, this island, was under German occupation during World War II. It wasn't a pleasant time, as you can imagine.

Thus my favorite quote from the book...

"As Seneca says,
"Light griefs are loquacious, but the great are dumb."

And so I give you my reason for my absence from blogging. In November, my mom, who suffers from Alzheimer's, didn't know me for the first time. I wasn't prepared for it. I knew it was coming. I knew it would be soon. What I didn't realize was how difficult it would be; my response was one a profound dumbness. I found that I could only manage the things that were required. Meals and laundry made the cut. Blogging didn't. I've been told that blogs should be upbeat, interesting and fun. I couldn't accomplish that, so I went silent.

But I'm back now. My heart still hurts, but I'm doing better. And I have several book reviews and many knitting projects to share. Now if I can just make blogging a habit again. That's one of my New Year's resolutions.

So...The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Read it! You won't be disappointed.