31 August 2012

Old Photo Friday

My dad as a baby

On the back of this picture, someone has written "Harry, 4 months old," which means it is from December 1916.  When I was a little girl and came across this photo, I could not believe that My Dad was WEARING A DRESS!  But my mother would point out every time she saw this, that it looked just like my dad, and it to be honest, it was a classic Dad pose - this is how he would sit when leaning against a bar ...

Have a good Labor Day weekend, and should you find yourself leaning against a bar, have one for my dad!

28 August 2012

So Let's See ...

Hello Sports Fans!  I'm still here, just not organized enough over the last few days to post.  And the worst part is, it's not like I've been busy with other things, and not able to fit in posting.  I've just been truly disorganized.

Anyway, remember this post?  Well, even though it is not technically the end of summer, it's nearly September 1/Labor Day weekend, so I think we should review and assess.

1.  Lose 6 pounds.  Almost a complete success - I've lost 4 pounds.  I'll take it.

2.  Finish my Narrangansett sweater.  Nope.  Didn't even pick it up.

3.  Take better care of my nails.  This started out not so well.  A friend talked me into a gel manicure.  It looked nice, lasted a long time, and then when it came off my nails were in pretty bad shape for about a month!  They are much healthier now, and I've done a pretty good job taking care of them.

4.  Try to be more creative with my CSA items.  Yes and no.  Yes - I've done well when making an effort.  No - laziness has won out most of the time.  However, it lasts through October, so there is still hope!

5.  Get rid of stuff.  OK, but not great.  However, this weekend is a three-day weekend here in the U.S. because of Labor Day, and The Tim has to work.  I have big plans, let me tell you!

6.  Try to be nicer.  Doing OK, much better than usual in a summer when it is too hot and humid all of the time.  Most of my success is a result of just keeping my mouth shut in the first place ...

7.  Clean up/fix up the garden.  Not really.  Took some early steps, and it was a) overwhelming, we had neglected it for so long, and b) then it got too miserable for me to be outside.  I do plan to start doing more this fall, and maybe seeing if I can afford someone to come and give me a consultation/suggestions early next spring.

8.  Visit the Barnes Foundation.  Nope.

9.  More trips to the shore.   Two words for you here:  Foot brace.  Nope.

10.  Try to have realistic expectations about all of the above.  This was a success. I didn't get down on myself about any of it, and usually I really get frustrated when I try to get things crossed off a list and don't have perfect results.

So I am pretty OK with what did/did not happen this summer.  To be perfectly honest, I'm happy I got as far as I did with things!

What about you?  Did you have the kind of summer you'd hoped?

24 August 2012

Furball Friday

Pip and Jetsam duking it out

What Pip lacks in size, he makes up for in tenacity.  What Jetsam lacks in tenacity, he makes up for (and then some!) in size.  Most of the time, no one wins.

Have a lovely weekend!

21 August 2012

Three Birthdays

Today marks three special birthdays.

Ninety-six years ago today, my dad was born. He was the oldest of four kids, who got split up to live with grandparents when his father was killed by a train.  My dad was 13 years old.  He and his sister Mary went to live with one set of grandparents, while another sister, Helen, and his baby brother John went to love with another set.

My parents got married the day after Christmas in 1941, when he had just joined the Army after Pearl Harbor.  They moved from base to base for a while, where - as my dad used to say - he "flew a desk."  I've posted pictures of him in his Army uniform here, and I can imagine that he liked the discipline and organization that Army life provided, even if it could be restrictive in other ways.  After he was out of the Army and he and my mom had a family, he always worked in the trucking industry.  He died when I was thirteen years old, from liver cancer, at a time when there were few real treatments for that disease, and it was more or less always a death sentence.  So I have lived most of my life without him, but I think of him every single day, and feel like I was lucky, not just because I knew him for 13 years, but because I knew from a young age that he wouldn't be around forever, and appreciated the time he was here.

The Tim's father was born on this day seventy-nine years ago.  He was a Navy man, having piloted fighter jets in World War II in the Pacific.  After the war, he and my mother-in-law started living their life together, having five children by the time they were finished.  He worked for years in the steel mills, and had barely retired when he was diagnosed with skin cancer.  He died in 1989.  Of course, my knowledge of him was only as an adult, but from all accounts, he had always been the same - kind, quiet, funny, and a calming influence overall.  He loved nothing more than a corny joke or a pun, and since I was a new audience, pulled out all of his old routines to try on me.  I also love corny jokes and puns, so we got along really well!  I think of him often, and miss him most when we are watching a funny TV show or movie, or someone comes up with a truly groan-worthy pun.  I wish he was still around to make us all laugh.

And, finally, about 18 years ago today, our crazy calico Tess was born.  "About" since she was a stray that we found, and to be honest, we "assigned" her August 21st as her birthday.  I knew my dad would be honored, and The Tim's dad would be amused and pleased if nothing else.  We always had at least a cat as a pet growing up, but Tess was truly one of a kind.  We suspected that her previous owners had abused her, because she was quick to react inappropriately, and her front teeth were sheared across her upper jaw.  She could be terribly mean to us and to the other kitties, but over time she settled down, and was actually truly sweet.  We used to joke that she ran a jihad and was planning to a) take over the world, and b) have us killed.  She just had the most unique personality of any cat ever.  She died after a bout with cancer, and just as in life, did not go gently into that good night.  I think of her so much, and miss seeing her, petting her, hugging her, and seeing what new thing would annoy her on any given day!

As a result, August 21 is always a little bittersweet at our house.  But then August 22 comes along, with two wedding anniversaries, and another one on August 25.  So today is followed by happy occasions, which means that we can't take too much time to dwell on any sadness.  Sometimes I think the universe works it out that way on purpose.

Just so you know, there's a space that only you can fill.
Just so you know, I loved you then -
I guess I always will.

17 August 2012

Old Photo Friday

Other than the fact that I know this is a picture of my parents, I know nothing else about it - when, where, why, or even if it is their car.  But they look pretty content, so it either is their car, or they just liked getting their picture taken (which, having known them, would not surprise me a bit).  I can't see it too clearly, but besides the suspenders that my dad is sporting, I think he may have had his wire-rimmed glasses on here as well.  Yep, I'm from a family of fashion plates ...

Have a fashionable weekend!

14 August 2012

Predictable ...

This week's Ten on Tuesday post really spoke to me:

Ten Favorite TV Shows from Your Childhood

And this is where the predictable part comes in.  If you have known me for more than ten minutes, you are likely able to guess my #1 pick!  But here we go anyway:

1.  Mr. Ed - Best. Show. Ever.  This is still one of my very favorites.  I longed to move to a house with a barn that happened to have a talking horse left there by the previous owner!

Plus, one of my favorite lines ever, spoken by Mr. Ed one late night when he was bored:
"Midnight:  Too early to hit the hay, and too late to eat it."

I have also won more than one Mr. Ed sound-alike contest, singing the theme song ...

2.  Rocky and Bullwinkle.  What's not to love?  Besides the two principals, you have Dudley-Do-Right, Mr. Peabody and His Boy Sherman, Fractured Fairy Tales, and another fave, Boris and Natasha!  I remember as an adult being blown away when I realized there was a Russian literary character named Boris Gudenov!  And they went to college at Wattsamotta U - brilliant!

And admittedly, sometimes when something goes wrong, I think to myself - "Uh oh, big trobble for moose and squell" ...

3.  Lassie.  Admittedly, I thought Timmy was kinda stupid.  And The Tim and I still argue about whether at the end of the show, during the theme song, Lassie was waving goodbye (my claim) or raising her paw to shake hands (with whom??).

4.  Fury : The Story of a Horse and the Boy Who Loved Him.  It was about a black horse.  His name was Fury.  He was so smart, and used to save the day right and left.  I have no idea what "the Boy" was called, and I'm pretty sure I didn't care. 

5.  I Love Lucy.  Between Lucy and Ricky, and then their neighbors, Fred and Ethel Mertz, what wasn't there to love?  I was always intrigued by the fact that no matter what, Fred and Ethel (retired vaudeville performers) always had a costume for whatever scheme was afoot.  And to this day, when I give Dug his vitamin tablet, I tell him it's time for his Vitameatavegemin ...

6.  The Wonderful World of Disney.  Back when Disney was still bearable, and they used to show not just cartoons, but also movies for kids that were never in theaters.  The Misses Albert, two sisters who lived next door to us at one of the houses where we lived, were the first in the neighborhood to have a color TV.  They would invite all of the neighborhood kids on Sunday nights to watch this show, and Flipper (good, but not a fave. Too many boys for me).  Miss Emma always had milk and cookies for us.

7.  The Hunter.  He was a character on one of the cartoons regularly shown on Captain Kangaroo. "Have nose, will hunt.  I hunt anything!"  He was a dog.  And my dad especially liked him, which of course worked in his favor.

8.  The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Rob and Laura Petrie, Buddy and Sally, Mel Cooley - they were a fascinating group to me.  When Laura used to dance on the living room coffee table during their parties, I was fascinated.  The coffee table, people!!!

9.  The Flintstones.  I loved that they had a pet dinosaur, and their household appliances were so great.  I longed for a bird-beak record player.

10.  The Jetsons.  I am pretty sure that I never thought it was any kind of accurate depiction of the future, but I did love that they had a maid who was a robot, Rosie, and that their dog Astro spoke with an R at the beginning of his words.

Well, that was fun!  I can't wait to see what others have to say.

12 August 2012

Project Fail

Well, like so many other high hopes I have, that may be unrealistic, my project for the Ravellenic Games was a failure.

Remember this yarn, that was going to be a Caeles?

Valley Yarn Goshen yarn

I did actually cast-on and get started during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies - I had already done my swatch the day before! - and things were going along pretty swimmingly.  I got a little bit beyond this point

Caeles wip

when I ran into the type of directions that say, "Begin to decrease for the armholes, while also shaping neckline, decreasing 4 stitches every 8th row 6 times, and at the same time, begin neck shaping by knitting the first 10 stitches for 2 rows in stockinette stitch, and every 18th stitch on every 12th row in seed stitch, while also baking a cake and paying your bills, when not doing backbends."

OK, it didn't really say that, but at the point I was reading it, things sure sounded that way!  I realized I would need time to slowly read through the directions, perhaps make notes, and be sure I could actually read said notes, before going any farther.  The problem being, that the last couple of weeks turned out to be really hectic, and particularly busy at work.  I'd come home in the evening, and the last thing I would have been able to do was concentrate on the pattern directions.

So nothing else was accomplished.  I am disappointed, but not really upset, since I know that even though I'm putting it aside for a time out right now, I will go back to it.  I like the pattern and the yarn well enough that I don't want to NOT end up with a completed project!

I also realize that in the real world, I would not even make it to the Olympic trials, so it's not that I didn't win a medal, I didn't even go to London.  And that's fine, since it was more of a personal challenge than anything else.  I am willing to keep plugging along with my knitting, even if I am not patient enough in most other activities in my life.

I want to finish three other projects that are in different states of development before I even pick it up again.  And I've started to think about holiday gifts, even though I only have one project in mind that is a sure thing, and it's a quilting project.

Congratulations to those of you who accomplished your goals!  I hope you are feeling proud of yourselves.  I know that I'm impressed, truly.

So tonight, as I watch the Closing Ceremonies, I'll be sad that the Olympics are over, since I do enjoy them, but I'll also be enjoying watching those who were there celebrate just the fact that they made it in the first place, whether or not they are toting home medals.

(I probably won't be knitting though ...)

10 August 2012

Furball Friday

Just in time before the closing ceremonies, I give you the results of the 


Event:  Sleep Gymnastics

The following are all members of Team USA, who - for the first time in history -  not only swept the medals in this event, but are siblings!


Name:  Milo (aka The Koodle)
Age:  4 months
Hometown:  Philadelphia, PA
Inspired by:  Doodle Dogs
Skill:  Single Upside Down Twist
Level of Difficulty:  6

Milo was awarded the Bronze Medal when the judges decided that the combination of his young age and willingness to be photographed on a contrasting pattern during this event made him worthy of a medal.


Name:  Jetsam
Age:  6 years
Hometown:  Philadelphia, PA
Inspired by:  Twizzlers
Skill:  Double Body Twist
Level of Difficulty:  8

Jetsam was given the Silver Medal when the judges were impressed by his ability to do a nearly full-body twist on a pad while almost matching the background, assuring that the position would still make him visible.


Name:  Pip
Age:  2 years
Hometown:  Philadelphia, PA
Inspired by:  Oscar Pistorius
Skill:  Double Twist with One-Legged Thrust
Level of Difficulty:  10

Pip managed to strike a unique pose, which also has an element of danger, since any sudden necessity to stand up could be difficult, as his only hind leg is twisted and straight up in the air.

Hope your weekend is free of any difficulty, with a perfect score!

**No way was I gonna use the "O" word, and be handed a Cease and Desist order from the USOC ...

06 August 2012

Things I Don't Understand

Not all of them, of course, but there are so many all at once over the last few weeks, I'm hoping to get them out of my brain  ...

1.  Why, after writing about starting new projects when there are so many unfinished, I have not knit a stitch in over a week?

2.  Why anyone could possibly care about Olympic gymnastics champion Gabby Douglas' hair, when she has accomplished something that not even 10% of all humankind will even come close to doing?

3.  Why people like hot and humid weather?  I was dismayed at the wimpy winter we had (I know other parts of the country had a terrible winter, though), but then the summer came along with a vengeance.  Oh well, who needs to breathe, right?

4.  What is the deal with guns?  I don't think anyone should have a gun (well, OK I guess if you have an army you need to have guns), much less several.  And NO ONE needs assault weapons if you ask me.  I know this is not always a popular opinion, but if anyone reading this is offended, I am expressing my own opinion.  Whereas, I would like everyone to think like I do, I am not so naive as to think they do.

5.  Why people have to kill other people because they are different?  I am not by any stretch of the imagination the world's most noble, perfectly tolerant person.  But I learned that from a very early age that a) not everyone was just like me, and b) if they were not, and I didn't like it, that was my problem, and c) if I felt it was just so terrible as to be unbearable, I should stay away from them, move, or anything other than even think of harming them.  My parents were not necessarily enlightened, they were however, quite practical, and did not suffer fools gladly.  (In which case, Apple meet Tree ...)

6.  Why it's considered so weird/unnatural/selfish/fill-in-the-blank not to want to have children?  The world has plenty of people, and isn't it actually better not to have children if you don't want them, than to have them because it's the societal norm?

7.  Why the assumption is that if you don't want children, you will want to hurt them?  Plenty of people who have children they wanted do that, thank you very much.

8.  Why it is OK to answer a call on your cell phone while either talking to someone else in person, or ordering your food and drink while others are behind you in line?

9.  Why people who have been waiting to check out of the grocery store or for the bus for more than 5 minutes suddenly have to rifle through their purses/bags/pockets for the money or tokens to pay?  Really?  Did they think that somehow, it would be free??

10.  Why it is a bad thing in America to be smart?  If you show any intelligence at all - about anything - you are suddenly a snob, or elitist, or live in an ivory tower.  Which always amuses me, because you don't need to be smart at all to fall into those categories.  And yet, smart people are apologetic, as if it's a failing.  Don't we want smart people to be doing things, leading us, making discoveries?  Stupid people do plenty every single day, and some of them are famous for it.

OK, I'll shut up and move on with my life.  I do, however, feel a little better now that I've gotten that off my chest.

Which reminds me ... oh never mind. :-)

03 August 2012

Old Photo Friday

My mom - I have no idea the date of this picture. 

I remember when I was a kid, being surprised when people would say my mother was pretty.  Because, well, as far as I was concerned she was OLD (meaning she was older than other kids' parents), and that just didn't make sense.  

But you know what?  She was pretty!  Way to go, Mom!

I hope your weekend is filled with pretty things, see you next week.

01 August 2012

For a Good Time ...

I am using my 700th post (!) to suggest that you check this out:

It's just so much fun, and people get so involved, trying to have their nominee be the winner.  Every year, I'm amazed and impressed that Kim gets it all figured out, as it's the kind of thing that would sound good to me in theory, but drive me nuts actually putting into place.  

This year, I nominated Jon Hamm, Denzel Washington, and Paul Rudd.  I usually decide on someone the day after nominations close, so I am quite proud of myself.

This year, she is adding another part, The Knitters' Chick, at the suggestion of her son.  I nominated, Rashida Jones, Sofia Vergara, and Meryl Streep.

For me, I just think the idea of hanging out with any of these people would be fun, even if they weren't knitters.  I have decided that a sense of humor and ability to laugh at yourself are real contributors to my idea of physical attraction.   Granted, the people I listed above may be considered "hunks" or "babes" by a lot of people, but for me, I thought of people who I enjoy before trying to think of who was good-looking.

In any event, check out the contest, and throw some names into the mix!  There's suspense, cliff-hangers, and prizes - who could ask for more???

 And to quote my mother, "It sure beats spittin' ..."