Closing It Out – Opening it Up

I know. Haven’t been here.wp_20160904_11_29_29_pro Well, I’ve been here but not here. I’ve been in and out of the hospital. The blood clots came back. We travelled a lot this summer and now I am doing the holiday orders. Attended some weddings, graduations and baseball games. The Cubs won the World Series!!!

This has been a year on the move.

wp_20160914_10_37_20_proWhat I enjoyed with family and friends had consequences for the shops so this year won’t be as lucrative as the last few years but we are closing out 2016 on a happy note: that I am alive right now is a big bonus that making more money would not have overcome if I didn’t.

shawlcollageI love my craft and I look at these photos and say from those balls of yarns, these beautiful things come and I am grateful for the blessing and gratification knitting and crochet provides.

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rastaearth2I look forward to new years with optimism and great plans but for 2017 there is no great, big vision. I simply want to do good. And to do well.

There is a lot of work I have to do in both business and the area of social action and justice and I can plainly see how I have been phoning it in on both counts and that cannot stand any longer.

In order to get the results, I have to do the work. And even though the work may not end in the results I want, I still have to do the work in order to fail or fall short.

My motto for 2017 will continue to be ‘Discipline and Consistency’ but I will also add deliberation to it. So I can be more purposeful and deliberate about what I do.

It doesn’t make much sense to come to these conclusions and then wait for the new year to start living them. I’m the kind of person that needs a running – well, a walking- start. There’s no time like the present since that is all any of us really have.

Did you notice the storefront? It’s the other page on the blog and that will be where the items I talk about in blog posts will be available for purchase. The next blog post will be about stripey things and those stripey things will be for sale on the blog so if you want them, you can go to the BCB365 page and that’s where they’ll be ready for you to grab them up. No need to go over to the Etsy shops or register (though they are worth the effort) and they will be offered for a lesser price than in the stores.

I have some orders waiting for me and I am about 9 days ahead of everydaywoodlands4my shipping dates and I want to keep it (or improve on it) so I am going to do some work. The snows came yesterday – took a while to get here but it is not a complaint. Mr. Honey is doing fine and we got a new bed that I need a step stool to get in.

All in all; a pretty good year.

 

Happy Holidays and a blessed new year.

When She Shines

So Mr. Honey and I went to the Cubs game on Wednesday afternoon to watch the Cubs play the Astros and if you’ve ever seen or heard a Cubs game, you know they sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ during the 7th inning stretch and they have a celebrity lead the singing and the celebrity throws out the first pitch. Now, everyone knows I loves me some Mr. Honey but the first pitch was thrown by and the 7th inning stretch was lead by:

Terrance Howard. I won’t drool like that again until I’m 80, outta my mind and sitting in a corner at the home. Thank you, God.

See that pattern? It’s a nice pattern. A nice pattern that’s a pain in the rear end. The thing about being a knitter is this: we like challenges. We like looking at a picture of something and saying to ourselves we can master it and then we like putting it on the needles and doing the k2 and k2tog and the yo k1 psso and all that stuff and seeing the pattern come together right before our eyes. (That’s why I grin when people say knitters are patient. Are you insane; we knit for the instant gratification.)

But some stitches, no matter how beautiful they are and how glad you are to have done them, are a pain to do. This butterfly pattern is a 26 stitch repeat so I placed a row marker every 26th stitch to make sure I stay within the lines. I don’t know how many times I had to tink back but it was more than a couple and more than a few. It required concentration. And thought. And math. And a bunch of Mr. Honey Stitchmarkers. Well, at least they were cute.

Another thing about us knitters – we like to say how much of a challenge something was so we can get more appreciation when the end result comes. It’s kind of like labor – or so I hear. All that pain and then you get a beautiful baby.

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Ahhhh – Baseball is Back!

Baseball is back on the menu here at The Knitter’s Restaurant and with it comes a conundrum.

I love the Cubs (which right away means no matter what sins I commit on earth, my place in Heaven is secure.)

I love knitting.

I love knitting while watching the Cubs.

So far so good.
But my team is not part of the Stitch and Pitch program that goes on across the country. Instead the teams that participate are the Brewers and…sigh…the White Sox.

I could:
Participate with Stitch and Pitch in Milwaukee, but they are playing the Nationals that day and as much as I like knitting, Milwaukee, and baseball – who would I root for if I went? Part of the fun of going to a game is to get into a friendly interaction with opposing team fans while sharing the joy with like minded strangers. There’d be no other Cubs fans there – except Joe – and I see him all the time.

I could:
Knit at Wrigley – I’ve been known to do that. I don’t know if you’re supposed to or not but when they’ve checked my bag, no one has discovered the knitting needles and the yarn. But I would not be officially participating in Stitch and Pitch.

I could:
leave my knitting at home for the games (6) that we will attend at Wrigley this season.
Hahahahahahahahaha – Y’all know I’m kidding. I can’t go to the corner without my knitting.

Personally, I’m a bit put off that my team doesn’t have participate. We have a huge knitting group in Chicago that has over 500 members and most of them are under 30 – a perfect Cubs demographic – though I will never see 30 again on this side of creation. Perhaps with the sale of the club this is something that will change. I don’t know if they’ve ever been approached to participate, but I certainly don’t mind asking them to consider it.

Really, all I want is my sports team to acknowledge my sport – and I am willing to pay the ticket price (and the vendor prices) for them to do it. Is it too much to ask? I’m not even asking for a World Series Championship. (Which I am certain would signal the four horsemen to mount up.)

Perhaps I should not victimize myself. If this is something I believe, I should find Chicago area knitters who feel the same as I and we can storm the castle de Wrigley and try and get them to participate.

Yes, that’s it.

All I Wanna Do Is Knit…

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since my last post. I do have some finished projects to post up – a couple of scarves and a weird hat. My mother-in-law is still in the hospital. My hubby is sick. We just came back from an overnight stay in Milwaukee where we stayed in a bad hotel room. I have clients who owe me over $1000. The Cubs have clinched the division and I’ve been working really hard! My friends are all down in the dumps over one thing or another – and it appears I have been unkind to someone I haven’t even spoken with. No wonder I haven’t had time to write – LIFE!

All I really want to do is knit. And walk. I want to knit and walk. My spirit is a little bruised and I am going to allow it to be for a moment more before I rally myself up and regroup.

At times like these, I can trace my feelings back to leaning on my own understanding and not listening to what God has said to me – or listening and thinking I still knew better.
Victor Hugo knows better, too: “There are times when no matter the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.” I feel my kneecaps on the dust.

As The World Turns

This has been an emotional week – heck, it’s been an emotional few days.

The phone rang around midnight a few nights ago and it was the Life Alert people. My mother-in-law’s alert button had gone off and when they tried to speak with her; there was no answer. So Joe got up (he had to be at work at 5) to go see what was going on.

Long story short – she fell, fractured her femur and had to have surgery. She’s 94.

A friend of mine was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer a few months back and we were thrilled to find out it wasn’t pancreatic cancer at all. That victory was short lived because it was stomach cancer and it claimed her life Friday evening. She was in her early 60’s.

My nephew’s wife had her baby. A healthy baby boy – Jason Ellis.

It’s the baby that brings it all in perspective. The cycle of life is such that we start out young and helpless; learn to be self sufficient and independent (if we’re lucky) and then come back around to the end older, wiser and with no regrets.

The discussions will begin on what to do about my mother-in-law. She has lived on her own for thrity years at least and up until now has done just fine. But she is at the point where she doesn’t want to leave the house much and her hearing aids aren’t aiding much..and now the fall. She will resist assimiliation – and she should. But she cannot be alone any longer. She will give a good battle; but it cannot be one she is allowed to win. The independence and self-sufficiency have gone.

Kathleen was a woman of great dignity, faith and privacy. I was glad to be welcomed into her fold and even then I was not in the deep circle. Close enough that she would call upon me to sing when she needed a first soprano and I had the good sense to know when I was being honored. We spoke a few months back and we talked about the last time we sang together at the Chicago Temple United Methodist Church. She wanted me to sing at the service of another friend and I was stuck in DC by bad weather and could not. It is a shadow of a regret.

And baby Jason who is his own little miracle. His folks had been trying for a second baby for some time and turned to a fertility specialized and here he is. He arrived a few days after his due date and had to be induced. I still say he was late because he is a male and would not ask for directions. But here is his – a representation that there are always beginnings in all things.

The dog hurt his leg again – he’s an English Setter and eleven years old. He still thinks he’s a puppy and thus will not take it easy. Because he has hurt his joints, the arthritis will begin to set in. His full cycle is starting. He is a wonderful dog and we have to start talking about what we are willing to do for him and his quality of life. Though that might not be a discussion to have for a few years yet.

And did I mention the Cubs are going to the playoffs for the second year in a row? Being a Cubs fan is proof of faith…or at least of suffering. No regrets there.

The emotions turn – as does the world. Will the wonders ever cease?

I Got Nuthin

Happy September!

I love firsts and I love first days of months that start on Monday. It’s a quirk. Anyway, I have uploaded all the projects I’ve done. I’ve gone through all the photos and I got nuthin left. I do have some projects on my needles. Cai, my earthtone afghan is closer to the finished line. There are five strips in total and I am about to complete the 4th one. The baby blanket for the nephew arriving in a few weeks is on the needles. I have not touched it since the day I cast it on and worked on it because I will start a new project about every ten days or so (it’s on my schedule) but I only work on one project at a time. So, when Cai is done, I will pick up the baby blanket and work on it. I have the second Travis Wrap to work on as well but that is still in my mind and I haven’t even selected the yarn for it and according to my schedule, a new (as yet unknown) project, will come to life within about a week.

So, it’s the start of a new month…and I got nuthin’. I am working on Cai to the tune of about a square a day so it should be done in about six days. That will depend upon the work schedule, of course, and the times of the Cubs games because time stands still for the Cubs. (Die hard since 1969!)

I need to stop blogging and go the store to get bathroom cleaning supplies – don’t envy me my glamourous life-you, too can live this way if you choose!

The Cubs Fan’s Lament

It’s just the spring season and already we see things have got to change.

First – sorry Neal Cotts, but I don’t see you making the roster. I don’t know what it is that makes you so hittable, but the north side of town doesn’t seem to be doing you any good. I don’t know how you did when you were on the south side – cuz I don’t like the White Sox so I don’t know if your performance is supposed to be why you were traded or why you were picked up and you don’t seem to be made for the National League. You are still a much better player than I’ll ever be, but I’ve never aspired to be a major league pitcher or someone would be writing the same things about me.

Second-The Giants seemed to be stealing bases at will against Cubs pitching. Two things that will throw a team off their rhythm: walks and steals. We need to improve on both. Throw a ball over to first base every once in a whiel. Look over at a runner so his rhythm is thrown off. Geez!

Third-Derek Lee can do no wrong, and you’re sexy even with the beard – but lose it, please. The closest I will ever get to you is in my dreams and I can’t even dream of rubbing up against that. Well, I can, but it’s uncomfortable. So, sorry, I don’t care how cold it gets here in April, you need to shave it off. I’ll help.

Fourth-Naming rights to Wrigley Field? I’m almost certain there’s something in the Bible saying it’s a sin. It’s got a name: Wrigley Field. And it’s a darned good one.

The Cubs are 1-3 and they’ve shown they have some ‘fight back’ in ’em, but they should have never been as far behind as they were. Hopefully, they will get the losses out of their system and bring all the wins with them when they come north in about a month.

I feel so much better now.

It’s Baseball Season Again!! – GO CUBS!

OK – I know I’m going to heaven. I know because I am a CUBS fan and we have suffered more than Job. We have waited for 100 years for a World Series victory – yes, I know I am not nearly 100 years old and I will probably never be – but a Cubs fan’s angst is retroactive. Even if the fan is only five years old, they’ve been waiting all 100 years.

It seems we are standing in front of fate. We made it to the playoffs last year just to be swept by the Diamondbacks. But everyone in the post season was swept except for the World Series winners, so we don’t feel as embarrassed as we would have if we were the only one to feel the broom on our butts.

So, this year we are looking at Kosuke Fukudome to be the spark and I am always in love with Derek Lee (even though we disagree on the Democratic nominee for president) and I expect him to be his uber professional self on the field, and I am always rooting for Kerry Wood because he’s just such a great guy. I look forward with anticipation that we will knock fate on its behind and take home the crown this season.

Heaven can wait.