Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mothers & Daughters

I went to visit Aughra today. We had quite the conversation about Mama-san.
It seems that since Aughra got back from visiting the Eastside family over Thanksgiving (she feels) Mama-san has washed her hands of Aughra. Here is the thing. Mama-san talks to Aughra daily and goes to see her a couple of times a week. Aughra is just slipping enough these days that she doesn't remember those visits. Today she cried telling me how she hadn't seen her daughter all week. She just didn't understand. She thought Mama-san and her were finally building a relationship. Now Mama-san had been there not 2 days before to pick-up Aughra's laundry for me to do and take back today.Which I did. But Aughra just doesn't remember that visit.

The whole conversation got me to thinking what is it about mothers & daughters? Why are we so hard on each other? Why is we can't give each other a break? It isn't like we don't know what it is like to live inside a girls head. How a small comment can grow into a huge slight with a little time and brooding. We say something in passing and it becomes a insult. So I wonder why? Why is it when Aughra says my cousin the Capt. of Business "makes a good meatloaf and she can really do anything she sets her mind to ". I hear but you can't. Aughra didn't say that so why do I put it in there? Or when Mama-san talks about the Steps. I feel like she is slighting me or Mini-me in some way.

It is a strange thing that the person who gave us life can make us so miserable. That they can push their issues on to us. Make us worry over our weight. Or repeatedly say we are a certain way until we believe them. I believe that most mothers are trying to help. They are trying to protect us from ourselves. When does this protection become harmful? When does the mothering become something to cause anxiety and be avoided?

I never want Mini-me feel about me the way Mama-san feels about Aughra. So here is what I will try to do to stop the insanity. I will tell Mini-me I love her. I will be pretty obnoxious about. Anytime anywhere. Even when I am mad. I will tell her, "Mommy loves you dearly, but if you don't get outta her sight she may have to beat you." I will not pester her about wieght, boys or her personality.

For Mama-san, I will try to cut her a break. I will try to listen to what is actually said and not read other things into to it. For Aughra, I will try not to judge her. I will remind her that Mama-san has other things she must take care of and when she saw Mama-san last. I will try to remind Mama-san that her mama is a scared little old lady and needs to be reassured all that time that she won't be left to rot in the home alone. I will remind both of them at they love each other even when they can't to look at each other.

And my dears, Stalkers, I urge you to make sure with words, out loud and everything, that your mother and/or daughter knows you love them even when they make you crazy. Tell them often. Tell them Loudly. Keeping telling them until they never question it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I am such Magpie.

“I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.” ~ Sophia Loren

As we are going through Aughra's house to get it ready to sell. We are sorting thorough everybody's inheritance. Mine is dishes. I love dishes. I have ever since I was a small child. They always seemed like beautiful bits of our lives. Each thing holding a shining memory of an event or time.
The crystal Irish Coffee mugs with clovers etched on them hold the memory of the first time I felt elegant. I was drinking hot coco out of them. I remember feeling so grown up. The porcelain dolls I loved so much. They hold the memory of the time I tried to steal them when I was 4 or 5. I had them carefully wrapped up in some blankets and clothes when I got busted. They are also the things that taught me you can't take something just because you want it. The dainty star shaped dishes Aughra brought with her first ever paycheck. They always reminded her that she didn't need anybody to do for her. She can manage 'very well on her own, thank you!'
The memory of My great-grandmother's cookie jar all the way up on the top of her refrigerator. So very high up. I received it complete with pre-historic cookie crumbs.

The personal tea set that Aughra used to bring tea to my poor sick Mama-san when she was a little girl.

The teapots. All of the wonderful teapots. 20 in all. They used to resided the china cabinet they are in here. Then they lived on the top of Aughra's kitchen cabinets. About 10 years ago, Aughra decided it was time to put my teapots away. It had been ten years since I saw them last but as we unpacked them I knew which one was in each newspaper wrapped bundle. I told little stories about them as we unwrapped them.

So many memories. I brought each memory to my house. I pulled them out and polished them so they would gleamed brightly in their cabinets. I told Mini-me the story behind each item. As I put my families memories away, I tell her that someday these will be her memories to keep. And whether the story showed the person it was about in a good light or bad it made them real to Mini-me. Which is so important to me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thelma & Louise

So Aughra and her roommate were exciting last week. Auhgra hasn't been feeling well lately. Not really able to do much of anything. Her COPD is getting worse. Anyway, she was in the bathroom had a dizzy spell and fell off the toilet. (Stop laughing! That is my poor elderly grandmother!) Those of you who have ever used a hospital bathroom have seen there is a call string? Did Aughra use this nifty little device put there to call for help? Nope.

So the Centurian decided to help my grandmother. Did she help her by pushing the call button beside her? Nope. She decided that her 4'4" 95 lbs frame could pick my 5'5" 140 lbs grandmother up. Care to guess what happen next? That's right they both ended up on the floor.

Now of one of them will pull the call string right? Right? Nope. The Centurian crawled out into the hallway to get help. Nether of them were seriously hurt. The Centurian has a nice bruise. Aughra won't admit to anything. In fact, both of them refuse to admit that it even happened. Sigh. I think they may be be bad influences on each other.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday,Mama-san!

Something wonderful happened 55 years ago tomorrow. My Mama-san was born! She was a funny little kid who was desperately wanted by her family. She and her family lived through the Ruskin Heights tornado.She had what I am starting to think is a normal mid-western upbringing. Her parents weren't Ozzie & Harriet but they did the best they were able to. The daughter of a metal worker, she is staunchly pro-union. She was a rainbow girl. As High School honor roll student, she studied 2 languages (French and Spanish). She was a part of the drama club working on costumes for school plays. She grew-up during the Vietnam war. She married a military man right out of High school.

And though that starry eyed girl has been tripped up repeatedly since then, she has managed to hold on to something I lost in childhood. Optimism. She trusts people. She looks at something and assumes it will all work out. Isn't that amazing? I can only see the half empty glass and immediately start planning for the glass to become completely empty. Mama-san believes that someone will come along and help her fill that glass. This outlook on life is why people always under estimate her. It is what I love about her. I hope that she never loses it.

Happy Birthday, Mama.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oh JOY - an Aughra saga update

I was just thinking today is an excellent day to do an Aughra update.
So let's see when we last left herself, she was being transferred to a nursing home. We got her into what is considered the best facility in my home town by health care providers. Which was no small feat. Anybody want to know what to look for when choosing a nursing home? I knew you did.

First you want to talk to nurses and doctors about the facilities. How often do they get people in the emergency room for fall/wounds from these places? People mistakenly think that bed sores are a sign of neglect. The truth is that bed sores come to anybody who stays still for long periods of time. They come for the skin breaking down from constant pressure. Now the size of the sore or if it wasn't treated properly are things to watch for.

Secondly go for a visit. Look in the corners of the rooms. Is there dirt or dust? Look at the lights. Are there dead bugs? Both of these will let you know how clean the place is.

Third. Look at the people living there. Is their hair brushed? Do they have food on their clothes? Do they smell? I emphasize the 'they' because with that many people with varying degrees of incontinence in one place it is going to smell. You want to make sure they are being well cared for. Thus ends my choosing a nursing house tutorial.

Back to Aughra. Her 1st roommate, Wheels, was a woman who has late stag MS. Sadly her family doesn't visit often and as such she tried to horn in on other people's visits. She had made herself such a pest that the nurses were slow to answer her when she used her call button. So she would make my grandmother call for her. She would wake my grandmother up at 3 am to call for her. sigh

Aughra can be a touch of a hard ass. I have even heard her referred to as 'meaner than a black snake(whip).' She was told that if she wanted to stay in this nice home she had to play nice with the other kids. I must say I am really proud of her. She stayed in that room the second longest of anyone who had Wheels as a roommate. Yep. 3 weeks. Poor Wheels.

Her next room was on the long term care wing. So much posher than the skilled care wing. Anyhoo. Her new roommate is the pet of the floor. Centurian is 102 years old. That is right 102. She is a sweet little thing. Blind as a bat and deaf. Centurian might be 4'4". Maybe. She daughter comes in everyday to see her. Which is nice to know since she also kind of looks out for Aughra.

So now Aughra is settled and will let us put pictures up and decorate her room. We are being to clean out her house. I have concerns. My Mama-san and I are fundamentally different people. I am systematic kind of gal. I line projects up and go right down the line doing them. Mama-san is really more of a free spirit. I am concerned that I am going to annoy the hell out of her before this is all said and done. Yes. People who know me in 3D land know I kind of relish annoying people, but only if I do it on purpose. I don't like it to be accident.

Also I have taken on the project of scanning the family photos in to the computer and adding who the picture is of to the summary. Damn we are are picture takin' people. I have 20 photos of Aughra's nose that is out of focus cause she was playing with her new camera. I have 2 rolls of photos her retirement party from a place that doesn't even exist anymore. Tons of pictures of butts from different members of the family. Seriously it doesn't matter how bad the photo turn out, we still have it. So that is going to be great fun. I will be tied to the computer when ever I am home. My knitting is going to suffer.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Brooke & Dover

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."~ Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Even as small child stuffed toys are magical things, aren't they? They seems to speak to you. They listen when you talk to them even before you can talk clearly. My favorite stuffed toy is the teddy bear. I love how place of the features can completely change the personality of a bear. For example Missy Brooke [Pictured Right] looks
quizzically at you. She seems to saying Huh? Where as Dover [Pictured below] looks very concerned about the whole matter.

In my quest for great knitted toys. I found a lovely book called The Knitted Teddy Bear. This book is full of knitted bears made in the classic bear fashion. They have gusseted heads and jointed arms/legs.I love it and plan to make a few of the bears.

My 1st foray into this book was to make the pattern Elizabeth & Heidi out of some Knit Picks yarns I recieved as a RAK. On the whole it went pretty well. I had trouble with the arms had to remake them a couple of times. But in the end me and Brooke worked it out. Made some alterations to the little dress by adding a Chevon lace edging to the bottom which gave it a nice scalloped edge. While I was making my little 6 in. bear, Mini-me exclaimed her love for Brooke and her wish for a mini-bear of her very own so Brooke's companion, Dover, came into the world. Master Dover is dress in a snappy grey vest of my own design. The notes for said vest are missing and have be stolen by my house brownies no doubt. I will add the notes later if they decide to bring them back.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Everybody Loves A Good Bodice Ripper.

At the being of this year, some females of my acquaintance and myself where having beau problems. I was inspired to make these socks by the tales of woe. They started out based on a lyric from the Gordan Lightfoot song If you could read my mind .
"...With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost that you can't see..."

It really spoke to me. So I designed a sock based on chains and faded love for my friend who strictly crochets.( Though we maybe turning her to the dark side.) After I send them to her she posted on Rav, pictures of them and how much she liked them. Guess what happen then? People wanted to know when I was publishing it! I, of course, took minimal notes as I made them. Just enough to be able to make a second sock. So in order to publish the pattern I had to sit down and recreate them. Which went really well.

During that process, I thought about what I would name them. Relationships really have and ebb and flow about them. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and look over at your love and think "How did I survive with out this person?" other times you look over and think "Dear Lord in Heaven, what the hell was I thinking?" Which this is a normal part of being with someone. As I discussed this with my favorite sounding board, she told me it was just like this story she reading. The two main characters wanted each other, then they hated each other, then they discover what the reader knew all along that they actually loved each other. You got it. She was reading a Bodice Ripper. Voila! They were named! And so after being vetted my test knitters, I give you the pattern.

Bodice Rippers are a toe-up pattern suitable for the begining sock knitter. I have the pattern of chains and hearts both written out and charted. I hope you like them.

download now

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Socks! Sock-ty Socks!

“His socks compelled one's attention without losing one's respect”~ H. H. Munro

So I appear to have a major sock problem. Some would even call it an addiction. 6 pairs of socks and 3 toys over the summer. Whew.

I started with a pair on the plane to Canada. Slalom. So pretty. The yarn (Little Freak yarns) worked loverly with the pattern. The very cool part of this pattern is that all the heel shaping is hidden in the cables that run to the bottom of your heel. I did make a small change to the pattern. My toes are in stockinette instead of reverse stockinette. My only complaint with these socks is that I must have been tense on the plane cause they are a little snug in places. As soon as Mama-san laid eyes on them, she wanted a pair. She is waiting for a skein of yarn to speak to her.

The next pair was Send a Little Cable socks. I saw my good friend, Knitty, making them at the kitchen one day and felt and over whelming need to make my own. They are a heavy sock made from Little snugs a Little Freaks worsted weight yarn. These were super quick and easy to make. I love how they turned out and I am all around happy with them. Can't waited for boot weather!

I also made Pablo over the summer. Okay. So I made a little joke whiling naming this project on Ravelry. Pablo is a classic Hispanic name and my yarn colorway is 'Can't we all just get along'. So I named these socks after the Paul Simon song Adios Hermanos. snort. I had some major knitting issues with this sock. It was all me. I just plain couldn't get it with the first sock. My 2nd sock was done in 3 days. My one thing is the cuffs want to roll. I have worn these a few times. They fit really well.

Then I revisited Bettie’s Lace Stockings for my hostess with the mostest. She saw mine when I went to the great white north and asked me pretty please. How I say no? After she let me have a sneak preview of her shop update. These were way easier the second time around. Miss Thing has a 12” calf. So after working 3 rpts of the Wide Lace I went up a needle size. I also worked another 3 rpts to the end for height. Which was kind of guess work due the the fact that the calf in question lives in Canada. They fit her and she loves them. So total win for long distance sock knitting.

Of my other three socks. One pair isn't finished. I haven't get picture for the other and I am going to post separately for the third.

I also made some toys this summer. One Woe cake for a swap. And some lovely little bears from The Knitted Teddy Bear book.
I made some notes on them but don't have them in front of me. So I will blog about these again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where'd She Go?

Yesterday, we took Aughra from the Loony Tunes Ranch to the Nursing Home. She was raring to go until we got outside the locked doors of her unit. The closer we got to the front doors of the hospital the more anxious she became.

Sitting outside waiting for Mama-san to bring up the van. She commented how different everything seemed. I think she is being to understand how bad off she is. She asked Mama-san how long she had been in the hospital. 10 days. It seemed so much longer to her.

Aughra said something, during the transfer process, that struck me. She was looking in the mirror at herself and said, "It looks like whoever was there has left." I replied that maybe she had. Her next question was, "Why?" I told her "Maybe it just got too hard." And Aughra being Aughra said, "Coward." [Picture: Aughra at age 18, pregnant with her 1st child]

I got to thinking about that conversation. I believe we all have that moment when we look in the mirror and wonder where we went to. You know that moment when you remember your teenage plans. Stardom. World Domination. White picket fences. Whatever your particular plans were. Why did those idealists leave? Did we all grow-up? Or did life just wear us down? When did we change our goals from the sky? To a easily attainable goal a little closer to the ground?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Boxing by Ben Folds

Howard, the strangest things
have happened lately when I
take a good swing at all my dreams
they pivot and slip
I drop my fists and they're back

my intention's become
not to lose what I've won
Ambition has given way to
desperation and I
lost the fight for my eyes

Well sometimes I punch myself
hard as I can, yelling
"Nobody cares"
hoping some one will tell me
how wrong I am

Boxing's been good to me, Howard
now I'm told, "you're growing old"
the whole time we knew
a couple of years I'd be through
Has boxing been good to you?

Howard, now I confess
I'm scared and lonely and tired
They seem to think I'm made of clay
another day
I'm not cut out for this
I just know what to say
I say

Well sometimes I punch myself
hard as I can, yelling
"Nobody cares"
hoping some one will tell me
how wrong I am

Boxing's been good to me Howard
now I'm told
"you're growing old"
the whole time you knew
a couple of years
I'd be through
has boxing been good. . .
has boxing been good. . .
has boxing been good?

YAY ME! (okay not really)

Today I got the wondrous joy of breaking an old lady's heart. Yep. I am a horrible thoughtless child who is too selfish to take her poor little grandmother in to keep her from a nursing home.

Never mind the fact that she would go from being her own person to the chaos that is my household. Never mind that her and I would fight like cats and dogs. (Man, can her and I fight.) Never mind that she is confused and weak and needs a nurse to take care of her. The point is she doesn't want to go into a home and I should take care of her.

Snort. Isn't it funny how people throw aside all common sense when faced with something they don't want to happen? She knows(knew?) that me and her living together is an incredibly bad idea. But still she had to try. I told her no and she cried. YAY. I made Aughra cry.

Then she started in on Mama-san. Apparently Mama-san just sits there with a 'stupid grin' on her face all the time. I then jumped in and pointed out that this wasn't a piece of cake for Mama-san either. Aughra is no longer the woman Mama-san knows and it is hard not to cry. So Mama-san fakes it. Aughra cried.

By the time we left the Loony Tunes Ranch today, I had made Aughra cry 4 times. Yep. I am evil. sigh.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


No; Remorse, Jack of course;
Regret is a spiteful old maid;
but her brother,
Remorse, though widower certainly,yet
Has been wed to young Pleasure.
Dear, Jack, hang Regret!
~ excerpt from Lucile by Owen Meredith

Sunday, August 30, 2009


To Sorrow I bade good-morrow, And thought to leave her far away behind; But cheerly, cheerly, She loves me dearly: She is so constant to me, and so kind.
- John Keats

As I type I am heartbroken. My chest is aching and tears are rolling down my face. No, Aughra is not dead. It is worst than that. She is well and truly defeated. I know the suicide should have been a clue by four. But I honestly thought she just couldn't handle the pain anymore. I was wrong. After all the tragedy and sorrow she survived in her time on this planet. Life finally beat her. She is done. I ache for her.

Maybe sometime in the future I will commit what I know of Aughra's life here. Maybe not. There are a lot of episodes that people will judge. Where I stop and say look what they did in order to survive. Others will say how could they have possibly done that?

Tomorrow Mama-san and myself start the process of cleaning out her house to sell. Her 'Sunshine' and his lil' rays of light have not really expressed and interest in helping or real concern for her. So sad. We will be trying to guess what they will want. Trying not to give away the things that mean something to us.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Aughra Saga continued.

Isn't funny how during high stress events things change by the second? Yesterday when we took Aughra to the hospital, we were told that though she made it through the night of a thousand pills, she may have killed her liver. Therefore would still be dying and considered a successful suicide. 3 very long hours later the test came back that her liver was fine.

They then admitted her under a psychiatric hold and we left her there. Mama-san went in to see her this morning. All was well. She missed the doctor's rounds but the nurses were very reassuring. A few hours later at Mini-me's soccer game we get a call they are transferring her to an actual Psych hospital. The nurse is thinking Two Rivers. Then we get the call that Aughra needs clothes by 5 pm so she can be transferred to Research. Don't let the lovely web page fool you if there was a place that still uses electroshock therapy this is it.

So Mom gets there to find out that they let Aughra release herself over to Research. Aughra? The same lady who took 10 percocet with 30 vicodin chasers 2 nights ago? We are letting her make decisions now? And then we are going to tell the person with her power of attorney she can't talk to her. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

So finally My Grandmother and the nurse at that fine establishment had a set to. And now Mama-san can come and see her. In fact they insist.

What new and wonderous thing will this event spawn tomorrow?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Suicide Watch

“God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.”

We placed Aughra in the hospital on suicide watch today. She will not be returning to her home. If and when they release her from the hospital she will be going into a care facility.

UPDATE: The Hospital wants to release Aughra to a physic hospital today. sigh. Not really what we were hoping for.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Where Did You Come From Baby Dear?

'Where did you come from baby, dear?
Out of the everywhere and into here
Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes got left in
Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here

What makes your forehead so smooth and so high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by
What makes your cheek like a warm pink rose?
I saw something better than anyone knows

Whence the three-cornered smile of bliss?
The Angels as one gave me a kiss
Where did you get this pearly ear
God spoke, and it came out to hear

Where did you get those hands and arms?
Love made itself into hooks and bands
Feet whence you come from, darling things?
From the very same box as the cherub's wings

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew
But how did you come to us, baby dear?
God thought about you

So I am here' ~ George MacDonald - 1871

Good Bye, Lil'soul.- Auntie Celia

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CeliaAnne's Canukistan Odyssey

Our story begins with my lovely friend inviting me in February to Canada for the Olds Fiber Festival in June. I talk to the the mister about going and he agrees to send me north. YAY! Then I realized that this will be after the whole you need a passport card/passport to go to Canada or Mexico thing goes into effect. Thank you, Homeland Security. I feel so much safer.

Still no big whoop. I need a copy of my birth certificate that is embossed to renew my drivers license in October. Seriously, Homeland Security, you shouldn't have. So I go online cause the world is online anymore right? Well, not really. I found the county and state was born in no problem. I even was able to look my birth record online. I was not able to order a copy. So I tried calling the county seat they had a recording tell you to download a form and send them money for the copy but I couldn't leave a message and talk to a person. I have a problem with blindly sending money away with no proof I did. I dug around on the internet some more and found VitalChek Express. This site not only helps you order you records they get to you really fast. They are an expensive service. I feel they are worth it and give them two thumbs way up!

Next thing I did was price tickets. Yowouzer! I talked to my World Travel Papa-san about how to find cheaper tickets. He said Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, and Travelocity. So I tried each of them and got the cheapest tickets though Priceline. I was really happy at this point. Yay Priceline!(Please continue to read as my opinion of Priceline changes dramatically later.)

Having got my tickets and my birth certificate, I can now work on my passport form. Which is honestly pretty easy to fill out. Then I went to the post office to get my picture taken and order the passport.Voila! I am feeling Pretty froggy about this whole thing.

I started to research what could and could not be taken on a plane cuz sitting for three hours and not knitting? That would make me nuts. Hey guess what? YOU CAN TAKE KNITTING NEEDLES ON A PLANE and your IPOD. I was very pleased to find this out. I printed a copy of the page to take with me in case the security tried to make me toss them.

Oops! 1st Hiccup. My out bound flights were canceled. Eek! I called Priceline they assured me that I was booked on new flights. I would be getting into Calgary later though. I update my Friend. Whew! Crisis averted, Right? Right?

2nd Hiccup. My Friend has the opportunity to buy a house. Yay, her! She will be moving in around the 1st of June. So I will get to stay at her new house. SO Exciting. Seller of said house starts being flaky. Grr. The tenants of said house tear things up on their way out the door. So there will be a little remodeling. Still things are good.

The day of my flight comes. I go to my online itinerary and confirm my flights. I also printed off a copy. This was a very smart move on my part. I tell my 'bum that I would like to be there 2 hours early for check in and random craziness that always occurs. He tells me that we don't need to be there that early. We bicker bit. I let him win. So we get there and hour before my flight and try to check in. Remember up there when I asked you if the crisis had be averted? Yeah. No. I go to the check in counter of the airline I am suppose to be flying out on. They have no record of me and tell me I need to go to the original airline I was booked on before the those flights were canceled. Which is in a different terminal.

The KCI airport is set up in Hubs that are far enough apart you need to drive between them. So we go out and get into our car and go to the other Hub. We get to that airline counter. Wait in line for 10 min for them to tell me that they can't help me I will need to call priceline. So I go to a pay phone to call priceline and can get confirmation that I have tickets on the flight with the 1st airport. I couldn't get a human being to answer. This was still during normal business hours. So we go get in our car and drive back to that 1st airline counter. I get a different lady than the 1st time. I relate this entire thing to her. The very nice Delta Lady gets on the phone with priceline and gets a human. I was shocked. The over the intercom comes the boarding calls for my flight. So she calls the flight and asks them to wait. She trying to deal with priceline. She tells them that we are working under a time constraint. They are still spouting the company lines. And long drawn out story very short I missed that flight. So it comes to pass that they never booked me on replacement flights. After much begging and pleading She gets them to release my tickets to her. The next flight she can get my on is 4 hours later. Sigh. I call my friend to tell her I won't be there until 11:30.

Eventually I get on my flight to St Paul. Nothing exciting happens. Thanks the powers that be! When I get to my connecting flight from St Paul to Calgary, I find that the plane has been delayed. Apparently someone got airsick from turbulence in New York and they had to pull a seat. So I called my friend again. It will be more like 12:30. By the time I get there my eyes are so bloodshot I can't focus but my friend is there waiting.

Meanwhile my poor friend. My hostess with the mostest is having problems of her own. Things did not go as planned with the move. The house was in worst shape than she thought. But her'bum came through. The super hero that he is. He told her that he would finish the moving while she played with me. YAY, Mr. FREAK!

The next morning we went to breakfast and then on to Olds! I loved olds. It was great fun all kinds of fiber people to talk to. I got to meet the Owner of Twist of Fate yarns. She gave us a Ravelry Button to wear around. We ran into a couple of other Ravelers. I went buck wild with the yarn. A great time! Upon seeing Canada in daylight one thing struck me. They still have Lilacs. I love lilacs but they fade so fast in Missouri. Also the Poplars were pollinating. So there were tuffs of fuzzy stuff floating every where.

When we got home that night we exchanged goodies with each other. I had made her a pair of socks(those are them in the picture), a CD and a crochet hook holder thingy. I brought her girls some books. She gave a bazillion ton of goodies I got a Project Bag from Lingering Springs that I have been coveting, a rubberhoar bag, some needles, a thread cutter and some yarn. WHOOT!!

In all my trip to Canada was wonderful. Red Deer is beautiful. My Friend and her family are delightful. I can't wait to go back.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tantric Diamonds

I like patterns that are different. Something unique that not everybody has made. I just found one of the greatest. There is under a 100 projects on Ravelry for the Tantric Tank.

This free pattern is really more of formula than a pattern but that is what makes it great. You can use any type of yarn and any gauge. There is no shaping. So it is also a great beginner pattern. Just 2 straight panels and 2 thin ties. Some creative semming. Voila! You are done. I made a couple of small adjustments for my ample-ness (47.5" bust). One adjustment is I made the panels a couple of inches longer. The other is I made it an inch wider. Even with adjustment I only needed about 900 yards of aran cotton yarn. Worked one panel in an Irish Moss Diamond stich and the other in a Seed Diamond stitch.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monchichi 's Socks

While I was working on socks for My friend, Miss Freak, Mini-me expressed a desire for some knitted socks of her very own. As I mulled over the merits of knitting socks for feet that might very likely grow before I finished them. I found a partial skien of Lisa Souza's Sock! yarn in the Violet's Pink Ribbon colorway that someone had given me.So away we went. This is one of those good news bad news project stories.

Good News - This yarn is lovely to work with. I love the simple stripes it made when worked up. Can't wait to use it a again.

Bad News - This were the socks of doom for me. Just simple socks right? Boring ordinary anklets. NOT! I had to frog and recast on at least 4 times.

Anyhoo they got done and she loves them. So Whoot! Here's hoping her feet don't grow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Her Red-headedness is MARRIED!!!!

My girlfriend ran away and got married to her long time beau.

To them I say:

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship and your hearts joined forever in love.

Love ~C.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Carrot, Egg or Coffee?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots and eggs out and placed them on a plate. Then she ladled the coffee out into 2 mugs. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "So which are you? Carrots, eggs, or coffee?"

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. "A carrot is normally strong, hard and unrelenting. See? When you place a carrot in hot water. They go soft and weak."

Then her mother asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed this aboutthe hard-boiled egg. "Eggs are normally fragile with a thin outter shell. When you put them in hot water they become hard."

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked. "What's the point, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"~ Unknown Source

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bad Blogger! No Cookie For you!

I have slacked off on the blogging of knitting projects. so I am going to do a huge one right here. I have a serious thing for socks and sock yarn right now. I blame all the great sock designer and indy dyers for this affliction. Seriously I can't seem to make anything else.

So the 1st project you haven't heard about is a Swappy Project. I was in the Bebeh Freak's designs 1st ever swap. It was called the Hot Stuff CAL/KAL. We just stated whether we wanted mitts, socks or hats. My swappy buddy wanted sockies. I made her Rainy Day socks out of Crystal Palace Panda Cotton. She has promised me pictures of her sock clad feet but as of yet hasn't delivered. This was my 1st time using Panda Cotton. I liked it. It was not a love-at-first-sight thing, but I will use it in the future.

The 2nd Project, done but not reported, is my friend Jodi's Paper Back Novel socks. I designed this pattern based on a song by Gordan Lightfoot. Once I successfully recreate them, I will share the pattern. promise. I made these out of Little Freak yarn's littlesock. I love this yarn. LOVE!

The 3rd project is The Gardner made out of Zitron Trekking Handart. This was my 2nd pair of socks for the Spider along. These are beautiful socks with a flowery vine pattern up the front and a big spider on the back. Also had a really cool lace trim along the top. I did fiddle with the pattern a bit. I had to make the heel gusset a little bigger and I ended all the vines with buds. once again love the yarn.

4th project( I told you busy, busy), I made My Missouri Autumn Mitts for the Moma-san out of some discontinued Knitpicks sock yarn. I am selling this pattern for $5,if you are interested in it.

My 5th project is a hostess gift for Missy Jodi. She is letting me stay at her home while I feed my yarn addiction at a fiber festival in Canada. It however is a secret. So I am not tell you about it.

My 6th project is Bettie's Lace Stockings in Littlefreaks Yarns. Did I mention I love this yarn? Anyhoo. This pattern was in Interweave Knits, Spring 2009. I like the finished product a lot. I had problems with the pattern through. My calves are apparently shapelier than the designer's. Once I got up to the larger lace pattern and worked 3 repeats I had to go up another needle size and then again after 3 more repeats. Still I like them and will make another pair for a friend.

My 7th unreported project was my 1st ever Cookie A. Sock, Monkey published in this really cool online mag, Knitty. I made Monkey out of Pagewood Farms yarn. Again had to fiddle a bit. This it was because my friend Rosemary is very statuesque and needs more to stand on than us under 6 ft. However the pattern was easy to memorize and was fun. This gives me hope for some of Cookies more challenging patterns.

Currently I have sock for Mini-me and a tank on the needles. Whew! Finally caught up. I will try to post projects as I finish them in the future.

Pandemic Shmandemic


Please. It's the flu, people. Breathe. Use the internet for more than playing games and updating you myspace page. K? Educate yourselves. The H1N1 flu is just a flu. Granted a new flu but still just a flu. So let us go over how to prevent getting sick. Hygiene People! Wash your hands a lot. Go outside. Breathe the fresh air. Eat healthy. Get Plenty of sleep. If you start feeling sick or your loved ones do take them to the doctor right away for treatment. Easy, huh? Yes, people are dying from H1N1. People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and small child are at risk of death. Not any more risk than they are under every single flu season. But there is a risk.

I know people are going to be annoyed with me. 'You are minimizing the risk' Not really. I am cutting through all the drama. Over the years our news station have started sensationalizing what they report. Trying to stir us up to get ratings and now they are creating a panic. But that is a whole nother rant.

Now order to show our Swine Flu prepared-ness, I made my Moma-san and myself Swine Flu Masks. These are supper easy and fun to make. I made them out of Dark Horse Fantasy yarn. My grandmother is one of the 'compromised immune system people'. She has trouble breathing in the winter with the cold air. I think if I leave the snout off, this would be perfect for her when she has to go out and about.
There is my mini rant about SWINE FLU ::insert scarey music here::

Monday, April 20, 2009

Only a Go-Go Girl in Love

'But as she walks,
she waits for him the pavement is a shoulder for her tears
But in her heart she knows there is no way
She can hope to change him.'

'Only a go-go girl in love
with someone who didn't care'
~ excerpt from Go-Go Round by Gordan Lightfoot

'Bum. sigh. One year ago I told him I was done. I told him what had to happen in order to keep our life together. As of today, He has done none of it. So I give myself a stern talking to I say "Celia Anne you deserve better than this. There is someone out there who will pull their own weight in the house. Who will actually hear what you are saying. Who won't make you feel bad about yourself. Why are you still here?"

To which I reply,"12 years is a long time to throw away. As a couple we still have heat. I can't keep my hands off. I still want him. But I want the him I married; not the him who walks through the door every night."

SO now what? I am clearly not ready to walk away. Even if my head keeps telling me that is where we are headed. Ugh! Libra, make up your damn mind and stick with it! You are doing more harm than good going back and forth and he isn't going to change 'cause you have already proven you won't leave if he doesn't.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

Dear Lord! I just did a search on a couple of my exes. One I broke up with 'cuz I was becoming a drunk and he would not have approved. And the other I married god help me while I was still being a drunk and when I sobered up I did not approve.

Anyway, I found them. Scared the crap outta me. Do I really wanna look these people up? If I made a connection, then what? Ugh. I have such a problem with relationships in general the whole thought of this boggles the mind. Back to the "What the hell Celia Anne?"

Did I just poke-the crazy? Are they gonna find me now? I'll be hiding under my bed if you need me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spider Socks!

I started a Spider-a-long on Ravelry. We are all working on spider themed projects. In the process of talking about the different spider patterns I found 2 sock patterns I wanted to make. The 1st of these is done! I give you Spider Socks! I love them. I made these outta Trekking Hand Art. They are a super fun. The pattern is a cuff down one. It seem to take forever then all of a sudden the big spider starts to take shape and Whoosh you are done!

I seem to stuck on socks lately. I just finished a pair of Sidewinders for Mama-san. She loves them. I use Knit Picks Imagination in the frog prince colorway. This pattern really show the yarn well. In traditional knitted socks, Imagination intends to pool a lot. Which not everybody loves. I am still having problems with the back to back decreases. I think the next time I make these pattern I will add I middle stitch to see if that fixes my laddering problem.
I have also got socks on my needles for a swap that I am in. Another spider sock that I will cast on as soon as I have finished the swapies ones. That pattern is called The Gardener. I also have 2 sock ideas rattling around in my head based on Gordan Lightfoot songs. One of which I must have done before my trip in June. Which should be too big of a deal the swatching is going great.

So my friends, I hope you like looking at sock pictures.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Real or Memorex?

So everybody has heard me refer to my loin fruit as Mini-me. Here is why:

One of those is me. One is Mini-me. Scary, huh?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Something evil this way comes

I can see the evil coming. I can see where this will end. Why can't I fix it? Why can't I stop her from doing these things to herself?

I am seriously distraught right now. I thought it was over and yet tonight I caught her biting herself. I am going to back up a moment. Last year we found out Mini-me was hitting herself whenever things got too much for her. I tried to find her help. I asked her school to recommend a counselor. They counselor treated her like she was acting out in class. THAT IS NOT WHAT SHE IS DOING! She is inflicting pain on herself to make her feel better. This is so wrong. Why can't a find help? I can't find any info on children her age even doing this.

And my support system? They all think that there is something each of them can say that will magically makes this go away. Like I haven't? I am heart sick and so very worried about her. I am here. I am engaged. I see her as her own person not as my chance to rewrite history. Why can't I fix this? Why can't I make it stop?

UPDATE: Morning has dawned and after coffee, it seems I may have been over reacting just a little bit. I know I was just as shocked as the rest of you. Me over react? never. Oh! and that bit up there where I said...
"I see her as her own person not as my chance to rewrite history."
Yeah, I was full of shit. After advise from a couple of sources, I realize that my addictive crap makes me worry about her having her own addiction start up. Not really seeing her for herself there. Instead of tell her that biting herself seems really goofy and painful, I tell her that she really shouldn't do that and it is so wrong. snort Parenting is hard. I am so worried about screwing this kid up. That I may do it by over thinking. Anyhoo. I am going to breathe for a while. I am going to try to lighten the hell up. I am going to watch. Thus ends the drama freak out.

Note to Self: Self- Blogging maybe not such a good idea. People are going to learn about all the crazy you wade through in your head. This may be too much info.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Handmade Heritage-Maternal

It is late afternoon here, slowly creeping in to night and I am musing about my heritage. I grew-up in a very crafty family. Both sides of my family are really into handwork. From Crewl embroidery to crochet/knitting to Quill work. So I decided to share my thoughts on the two sides of my family. I will start with Mama-san's side. Recently, Aughra has decided that congestive heart failure really does mean she may not survive it and has started clean out her house. I received two precious objects from her recently. One is the first ever piece of knitting she ever did.

Aughra made this little cream (white?) sweater for my uncle when he was born. We are talking 1949 or so. It has been a little moth-eaten since the time it was worn by her little boy and is an awkward little thing. 60 some-odd years ago someone (her mother-in-law so the story goes) told Aughra that she couldn't knit and she would never be able to keep a house. The knitter in question is a very stubborn woman. Nobody tells her what she can or can't do. So she taught herself to knit. This sweater has a wrap type closure with crocheted trim around the neck. There is some dissension as to whether or not it is worked in acrylic yarn. Mama-san believes that it is acrylic based on Aughra's social class at the time. I don't know of any moths that eat acrylic.

The 2nd item is also made for my uncle when he was a toddler. This navy sweater has color work on it. She worked the nursery rhyme 'Hey diddle diddle' on it. There is a little grey cat playing the fiddle, a dog with his tongue lolling out in a happy smile and a cow jumping over a red moon. You can see on the cow where it has been stained by baby food. This sweater has no moth holes in it. So I am certain this one is made of acrylic.

I love handmade things. They represent time to me. When we make something for someone specific, we think about them during the time we spend on it. If it's for our soon-to-be child, our hope and dreams are work in to the object as we go. These little sweaters were made by a young mother deeply in love with the man of her dreams and are full of love for her 'Sunshine'.

As I was growing up, my hands always had to be busy. It was a rule in Aughra's house. Idle hands and what not. Mama-san and Aughra have always had something crafty going on. When I was very little, we were always working on something for the Church bazaar. Then Aughra decided to build a miniature town in her basement. Mama-san and her had an interior decorating business once. Always busy there. And as we go through her house all these ventures surface. Such good memories.

Freaky Socks!

I got some wondrous yarn from LittleFreak yarns named Celia. Yep! you heard right. Celia! cackles Let me introduce you to my Twisted Freak socks. I had the best time makes these socks. The pattern is Twisted Hourglass by Robin Griffiths At first the charts were eye-crossing but after about an inch or so I got my groove on. These are my favorite socks right now. I love the yarn so much that I now have 3 more skeins in my stash. LOVE!
Note: I have updated my Mitts pattern. It is published and up for sale. I am selling it at an introductory price for the month of February

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

PTB Bless This Man

My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the Presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, Americahas carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America- they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concordand Gettysburg; Normandyand Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that Americais a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraqto its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Rocks

One day a tribe of beings were given a gift. A gift of rocks. Little rocks. Big rocks. Precious rocks. Worthless rocks. Some so beautiful you would have wondered how the givers could part with it. Some so horrible you would wonder why someone would give it to another. So, so many rocks. The tribe was also given a yoke and a couple of buckets to carry their newly acquired rocks.

The givers told the tribe that they knew of a place for the tribe to live. It was quite a trek from here to there. Up a hill. across a wide river. It was a beautiful place. Lush and happy. The tribe decided it was worth the walk. So off they went.

Shortly they came to the hill the givers had told them about. It wasn't a very big hill. It certainly wasn't a very steep hill. The tribe started up the hill. Some of the tribe trotted right up the hill. Some of the tribe quit part way up. Some of the tribe struggled with their rocks.

Eventually one of the tribe set down his yoke. He looked in his buckets. He decided he could drop one of the rocks. Which he did and pick up his yoke but his burden was uneven now. Once more he set down his rocks and picked another rock to drop. This time his yoke was balanced! It was still heavy but manageable. His pace quicken up the hill. Those of the tribe behind him saw what he had done. Some thought,"Why did he drop those rocks? Those were his rocks. I will never drop my rocks! They are my rock and important to me." Still other saw the wisdom of the first's actions and did the same.

In due time, most of the tribe had made it up the hill leaving behind those who decided it was just too hard. The those left behind stayed at the bottom of the hill. Those who had made it up the hill, the ones who had struggled and those who had not, moved on.

They walked and walked. Ever so often some would set down their burdens and drop some rocks. All of a sudden they where at the shore of the river. The river was very wide and not very deep, only about knee high on the average tribe member.

Those of the tribe who had charged up the hill plunged right in to the slow moving water. Crossing the river was a lot harder than climbing the hill. Some of these beings had to stop and lighten their load. When it was time for the being, who had 1st drop his rocks, to enter the water he paused. He considered what the givers had said when they had given the tribe their rocks. They said, "Here these are yours. Here is a yoke to carry them with." They had never told the tribe to take the rocks. They had never said the tribe needed to keep the rocks. They had just said these are yours.

He ponder this for a moment. He knew he wouldn't make it across the river with all of those rocks. So he decided. He went through his rocks. He held them up to the light. He looked at each and every one of them. Some he kept. A lot he dropped. When he reached the bottom of his buckets. He only had a handful or so of rocks to keep. This time he didn't pick up the yoke. He just walked right in and crossed the river passed all the others.

When he got to the other side, it was just a beautiful as the givers said it would be. He was happy. He still had a few of his rocks with him. Little rocks. Big rocks. Precious rocks. Worthless rocks. Some so beautiful you knew why he kept them. Some so horrible you would wonder how he could look at them. But all of the rocks could be carried and all of them were his.