Not Long, Not Much

This is my great niece..I met her for the first time yesterday. She is sitting on the step of the Baha’i Temple of Worship and she is knitting…which she learned yesterday.

She picked it up rather quickly. Of course there were the beginning design features of creating more stitches than intended but seriously, the girl’s a natural born knitter. I have photos of her sister, who now wants to learn to knit, and as soon as I move them from the phone to my email, I’ll get those posted.

All that goes into yesterday being a really good day. Saw my sister, bro-law and the girls, went to the concert at the temple then out to lunch/dinner.

I am so back on the wagon. Today is day 58 and the backsliding is tremendous. It didn’t take much and it didn’t take long to make my progress and it didn’t take much and it didn’t take long to do it all in. I am very uncomfortable in the heat and I don’t like the way I look so my new mantra is ‘it won’t take long and it won’t take much’ to do what I need to do to get the results I want.

Speaking of knitting results, and we were, the plan has been set for the new line this season. In case you missed me talking to myself:

The season runs from September to May. It begins Sept 1 and that should be the day the new items are introduced into the shop. This year it will feature a new hat, mittens (we are going to do mittens) and scarf line called The Color Wheel.

It will also have School Daze hats, scarves and headbands.  And scarves and hats inspired by Harry Potter. Lastly, it will see the return of the three hats that sold the most last season in some new colors.

So while this is certainly a slow season for sales, it is not a slow season for knitting and I am getting ready for the fall…or the autumn.

It also doesn’t take long or much to go from being an optimistic Cubs fan to being one who is disappointed at being disappointed. They have lost twelve in a row. So I am putting the entire shop at 30% off until they win another game. For the featured items, that’s like half off!

You gotta try something.

Lady Mamalade

stovepipe in cranberry

I am so dang sleepy. This used to happen a lot where I would just get sleepy at this time of the day but it hasn’t happened for quite some time. I think it’s because I fell off the health wagon. But, believe me, I am right back on it and today has been pretty good. So maybe I will catch myself up in a day or two.

Some exciting things: we have the 5th annual Sit and Knit over the weekend and we made some hats for Cancer Treatment Center of America. I did not take photos but we did have a nice size crowd there.

I placed the order for lunch online with The Jewel a full week ahead of time and received the confirmation that said I could pick up the order anytime after 8 a.m. So, I walked into the store at about 8:15 Saturday morning, walked up to the deli. There were two women behind the counter, no one else waiting in line and both of them ignored me. I waited for a nice, evenly counted 30 seconds and then said, “Hello, excuse me!” One of the women looked at me and went on her way and the other said, “I’ll be right with you.” In a way that made me think that I, a customer, was somehow interfering with the preordained plan the universe had for her.

She finally walked over to me and I told her I was there to pick up and order and she asked me my name. Then asked what was in the order and without moving a step said. “I don’t have that order.”

I held up my confirmation which she graciously said, “I’ll look at it but I don’t have any order like that.” I handed her the letter and said, it was placed a week ago and I received confirmation.

The attitude changed when she looked at it and indeed saw that they missed an order placed a mere 168 hours earlier. She said she would call over her supervisor – you know – just in case she had a deli tray of club sandwiches, veggie and dip and chicken wings in the supervisor only roomed reserved for orders placed the week before and missed.

The supervisor came over and looked at the confirmation letter and said “We can make it for you in a half hour.” Really? Based on what? Was this part of the plan? “Let’s not do this order so when they come in and pick it up we can dazzle them with our ability to show competence when efficiency would have been good enough.”

After explaining I didn’t have a half hour, that I would not be in Melrose Park but Oak Park in a half hour and that I didn’t want to come back I declined their offer.

“Well, what are you going to do?”

Now, you’re interested?

“Don’t worry, I’ll work it out. Lunch really isn’t going to be served until a little later. I’m certain I can find a solution.”

“Really, it won’t take us very long at all. Perhaps you could come back.”

“I don’t think so. Imagine if I come back in exactly one half hour and it’s not done.”

“We don’t want you to go angry.”

“I can’t tell you how angry I’m not.”

“Well, here,” says the non-supervisor, ‘take one of our brochures for when you order again. You can call and place the order. We’ve had such problems with orders coming on line.”

Yes, like the computer being in Poughkeepsie  being manned by a dog.

In the end, the wonderful April had the idea of going to Costco where they have ready-made trays and it ended up costing me about half as much as I planned on spending at The Jewel. In fact, a lot of food came home.

All’s well.

But the even better news came while I was at the Sit and Knit. My phone rang and it was my sister telling me she and her DH were coming in next weekend for the annual Baha’i concert and with her will be my niece Katharine, whom I have not seen since she was married seven years ago – and her two daughters whom I have never met – they live in Israel. And while that is exciting, it gets even better because Layla – the eldest daughter – has asked me to teach her to knit. Seems she likes to follow my shop and wants to learn.

Never met – always loved her…



Strong Enough

purple granny square

This photo is my logo photo. I’ve been feeling a little down. I can see how easily I can be emotionally thrown and it throws me how easy it is. This is day 44 of my 180 day trek and I am finding it hard to get back on it. This has been an emotional time with the loss of a friend on the other side of our 16th wedding anniversary with no sales for the month and the feeling that I will never be successful or more successful than I have been.

That being said, I know I posses that which I need to get myself back up and in the saddle.

I am still waiting to hear the results of the ultrasound and if I don’t hear back by early this afternoon I will give a call to the doctor’s office. On the one hand, I think, well, if it were bad news they would have called right away. On the other, if it were good news they would have called right away because that’s a quick call. So instead of getting myself in a knot of my own making, better just to call and ask for the results.

In the knitting world. there are things coming off the needles and I am reorganizing the shop. I have already placed some items I have on hand in their own section. Some of the items are brand spanking new and if the original sales, they will go back on sale as made to order.

I have some things I need to photograph and I’ve pretty much decided that if I am not going to have sales this month (still hoping I do) this might be the month to make my expenditures and redo the yarn inventory and stock up on what I need. Do my losses this month to pick up the profit/loss for the coming months. It would be taking a bet that the shop sales will pick up in the coming months.  I am working on items for the November show (still haven’t heard if we got it but if we didn’t, there’s the October and December shows) so I am banking on sales picking up.

We had a Sunday meetup yesterday and we had…a guy…that’s right, a real bona fide guy. He joined the group a couple of weeks ago and he was sitting there with the girls when I arrived yesterday. He’s a real knitter. We had a bunch of folks there yesterday – the fabulous Melissa is in charge of Sunday meetups and this one was a success. Oh, you want to know more about the guy. He’s got a wife and a son..c’mon now. A married male father knitter. You love him just on speck. Well, get this, he’s got more than a little cuteness. He’s an import from Connecticut and was a member of a knitting group out there. He’s got a sense of humor, too.

We also met Sunny, Kristina and some others, too. It was a nicely diverse group. We had some newbies both to the group and to the craft but there is knitting potential everywhere. I have to admit I hope each and everyone of them comes back and hangs with us because they were all great fun.

I am off to eat some breakfast!


To the left, to the left…

The Cable Hat in Cranberry

My ultrasound moved me to the left.

One of the best things I liked about voting was that I didn’t do a straight ticket. I voted for men AND women, conservatives AND liberals, Democrats AND Republicans because I thought that was the best way to go. Before there had not been one issue that would make me say no to an entire party.

I was even trying to maintain that view with the new Republican party. The one that says there is no compromise and we will say no to everything and we throw moderates out. I was hoping there was a way to compromise with folks who say they are not willing to compromise.

Then I had an ultrasound.

Last week my doctor told me she wanted me to have an ultrasound to get a better look to see if the trouble I was having could be detected. I’ve had an ultrasound before but given what has been in the news and because of my position as Social Action Coordinator for the UMW Chicago Northwestern District, the thought of having an ultrasound brought about the feelings of having an invasive procedure. I quickly corrected my thoughts as this wasn’t government mandated and it wasn’t involving a pregnancy of any kind. But still I did think about it. We scheduled the standard ultrasound and I went into today to have it done.

The laws that are popping up to require an ultrasound has gathered a great deal of news. At first, it was the transvaginal ultrasound and after complaints that the procedure involves placing a probe inside of a woman, there were changes made to the laws that said a standard ultrasound would be the one required.

Let me tell you – it doesn’t matter. The standard ultrasound still is invasive. The first thing you are told is to drink 32 ounces of water and have it sit in your bladder for an hour before the appointment. Then you arrive at the doctor’s office and have to wait. OK, a bladder is full with 32 ounces sitting in it and the natural way of things is to expel the water but you can’t because they need to have that fluid to get a better picture. And they don’t take into consideration you have a full bladder – they make you wait your turn. I didn’t like the idea and this was a totally voluntary choice.

So after getting in there, the technician said she needed to do the other ultrasound. So I would experience the transvaginal ultrasound after all. We talked about the laws going on around the country and she was totally against them. The other ultrasound calls for an empty bladder so I could thankfully get rid of all that fluid and then come lie back and be probed.

I honestly do not know that I would have an abortion. I do not know if I would have an abortion if I were raped. I do know that I do not want it legislated for me. I have no doubt there are women who can have an abortion and not think about it. But I cannot believe that it is a large majority of women. This isn’t a decision that’s just made. It’s a decision that one comes to and then has to be made. And no legislator – especially a man – who does not know me, wouldn’t know me, or who doesn’t have to deal with my emotional, financial or spiritual health – should even think of this as something they need to get involved with.

There are girls – very young girls – who find themselves in situations where they make a mistake and a pregnancy is an unexpected consequence because they are not old enough to understand consequences. They aren’t old enough to have sex but they are old enough to be persuaded either by smooth talk or intimidation.

There are women who are married to men who don’t want children or don’t want any more children but you also want spontaneous sex and the condom isn’t available but they can’t wait. I know there are women who have abortions and they don’t tell their husbands about them.

And sometimes there’s just a mistake made.

I don’t want anyone to wrestle with my conscience for me. That’s the reason I was given free will. I don’t want to be the voice inside someone’s head. You might think it is a moral issue. I would agree with you. But it’s a moral issue for someone to deal with on their own. Not a legislator and not a legislator who is beholden to someone who might have a different moral or religious imperative than mine. Your God is not better than mine.

Very few Republican women spoke out against these laws. They are amazingly silent. Which leads me to believe that either Republican women never have unwanted pregnancies, never get abortions or never find themselves in circumstances where it has to be considered or they have a different priority that says they are willing to limit or eradicate the rights of all women because something else is more important. I am also not naive enough to believe that all Democrats and Independents are pro Choice.

What I do know is the Republican party, in its own season of Fear Factor, has moved to the point where they think this is right and there is no discussion. Fine. I take you at your word. You do not wish to compromise. You will take this move now not as the end but as a first step to undermining my status as a fully capable, constitutionally protected human being by telling me I am not equipped to make this decision on my own.

It is perfectly fine with you if I carry a gun, look at someone who I just think is a threat and pull it out and kill them. That you can trust me with. I can abort someone after they are born but I can’t make the decision after I have been raped by my crazy cousin to terminate a pregnancy. I should, as Rick Santorum says, “Welcome the gift no matter how it comes.”

OK. So be it. That’s how you feel but I have to vote against you. I have to get you away from the legislative body so you cannot harm me. I have to vote against you.

Before you take away that right, too.


Ain’t No Words to This Song

Cleopatra cowl

I like how I place a picture of a project I’ve done at the beginning of the posts and it has nothing whatsoever to do with what I am going to write. I find that oddly comforting that I am not a conformist. Which is another way to avoid labeling myself as lazy for not taking pics of the many things that are done.

So, I moved my doctor appointment to tomorrow instead of in two weeks. I really need to get this pain checked out so of course, now that the appointment is on the horizon it has diminished somewhat so I can now go into the appointment and tell her of the crippling pain I once had and she can search and find no evidence of it.

I am not complaining. I don’t care what it sounds like.

During the past two years, the wonderful April and I have participated in the Guerin High School Craft show. It is just down the street from my house and if I didn’t have a boatload of items to take with me, I would actually walk there. If my little red wagon was a little bigger, my tub of FO (finished objects) would fit in there nicely and I would pull it down the street for the two blocks.

Anyway, we talk to other vendors around us – April actually goes around and scouts – I call it scouting, she’s being friendly. One of the things we’ve heard the past couple of years after hearing how bad Guerin is getting – I wouldn’t know – is how wonderful the Resurrection High School Craft Fair is.

‘Folks are waiting at the door to get in.’ ‘Big crowds.’ Stuff like that. Last year we looked into and they were booked solid. “Hard to get in.” We were told by other vendors.

Some fairly mild research into craft fairs reveals that this is a big deal craft fair. They have tons of spaces for vendors: the cafeteria, gym, social room, halls and aisles. And it looks like they do get on average 2000 visitors. Last year, after finding out how hard it is to get in, we decided we would try for it this year.

I called the school last month to ask if they were having their craft show (usually held in November) and to see when it was going to be this year and if the application is available. A wonderful woman called me back about a week later and talked as if we were old friends and told me to look for the application on line in May.

I looked yesterday and after a somewhat roundabout search, I found it. I am one of the world’s best procrastinators. You know the famous sculpture, The Thinker? He’s wondering when I’m gonna show. But yesterday, I found the application, printed it out, filled it out, put it in a correctly addressed envelope with the requisite photo and fee and put it in the mailbox for the letter carrier to take today. How bout that?

It says on the application that they are first come-first served and they usually sell out by mid-September. They open up applications in May and sell out in four months. That’s a lot of spaces and if they are anything like Guerin, I’m already late to the party because they would send out applications to their previous vendors.

Now we wait. Hopefully we will get in an experience this thing for ourselves. In the meantime, since my knitting schedule is on a six month lead time, I am already making stock for November. Don’t forget there will be a Christmas in July sale in the shop.

This is what the busy season behind the busy season. But hopefully, I will be better prepared than I was last year. And more hopefully still – I will have a reason to be.