All Or Nothing

I know it’s been a while. I have been so busy doing hats and scarves. Orders are steadily coming in and I’m not sure needles or hooks haven’t been out of my hands for the past two weeks.

I did take some time out to attend our Sit and Knit where we made 50 spa cloths (Miss Bernice made about half of those herself) and I have the fixins’ to make the soaps that will go with them and we are going to sell them at the Pleasant Home sale during the first week of December.

We will be at the Whittier Holiday Shopping Bazaar on November 2, 2010 in Downers Grove.

And I’m at 344 sales. I would like to see 101 more sales before the end of the year. With 63 days left to the year. That’s almost 2 a day every day. Last year, between Nov 1 and Dec. 31, I got 98 orders. Which is, at least, 98 items, because an order can have many sales in it. So it is not impossible. There were 134 sales the last three months with November being the peak month. It is entirely possible and I would love to see it.

Mr. Honey is done with his work on April’s bathroom. (Her hubby decided he could finish it. Me thinks the male bravado may have played a role.) For the last couple of days the man has been walking around not knowing what to do with himself. Our house is in dire need of some love and I was tempted to throw everything down and say, ‘hey, let’s paint and rearrange the living room!’ but I have work.

His bff just had some major surgery and is housebound – can’t drive, can’t even ride in the car for a long period of time – so the two of them together are like a depressed Apollo and Atlas: one can’t man his chariot and the other can’t find a world to hold up.

I offered to teach Mr. Honey how to knit and crochet so he can help me but he turned it down. Thank God.   Too bad. He might have been good at it.

I was supposed to be at Vogue Knitting this weekend but the hours there are better spent making hats and scarves for paying customers. I have to go out and get some clothes hooks, more like clothes pins, to use on the display. And since this show is coming up this Friday, I don’t have very long to go and get them. Sounds like a trip I’ll be making in a few hours.

I also took the time to vote. There was a line for early voting though it took less than an hour for the entire process from the time I left the house, walked down there, voted and came back. One of the things I appreciate is we have a law that no one can do electioneering within, I think it’s 100 feet of the polling place. No one can hinder or impede or question anyone at the polling place so that will limit the intimidation. You do have to show a gov’t issued ID if you’re voting early. Pretty routine and pretty easy.

I finally took Mr. Honey out to lunch for his birthday. We went to Caffe de Luca in Forest Park. We hadn’t been there in years. We went last Monday and the place was empty. Between Bears football and that attention grabbing third debate, people stayed home. Mr. Honey says Mondays are the slowest days for restaurants because the weekend is over. I told him if that was the case, I wanted to move our date night to Monday. But I do notice the emptier a restaurant is, the worse the service is. Everything moves slower when there’s no clientele keeping you hopping.

Oh dear, I just scratched something and drew blood. I need to stop it and clean it up. Yikes!

I Can See Clearly Now

Color Wheel Scarf

What? I know I haven’t been here. I’ve been downstairs knitting and crocheting (mostly knitting) up a storm. I’ve had orders.

OK, that’s no excuse. Well, it is but probably not the best one I could come up with. But this isn’t a time for excuses this is a time for no excuses.

Time, if you cannot tell, is passing swiftly. The election will be over soon (praise the Lord.)  Here’s my little election aside – mark this day because tonight is the second presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and I think there will be a comment made tonight that will be a game changer for the entire election. It will be one of those, I didn’t mean to say that, kind of thing. Just saying.

But before election day comes, I have a new craft show to do. I was contacted by someone who was looking through Etsy shops for people in the Chicago area to do the Whittier School Holiday Bazaar. The price for the table was right and so I jumped on in – then realized it was just a few weeks away and I don’t have….did you see that coming? Did you anticipate me saying, I don’t have enough to do a show?

Not true. I probably have plenty to do a show. What I don’t have is a bunch of new stuff to do a show.  This show is in two weeks and I know Miss April (who is still seeing my husband) doesn’t have a big supply either.  Now, I do have the stuff I made in the summer and the new things I added to the shop and when I get orders, I have mostly remade the items instead of sending the original because I was saving them to take to the craft shows. So I am probably OK. Had to stop myself from going into panic mode.

The fun thing is that since I’ve been gone, there were 29 spam posts waiting for me this morning and some of them are dillies and doozies. Here’s some samples:

sounds like you’ll have to look for those family edoiutcanal learning experiences on your own without dad! good luck and have some fun!

Is that supposed to be educational? And Dad? On the post about Mr. Honey’s birthday? He’s never been mistaken for my dad. They don’t even look alike.

Shanta Hardrick Burrell – Hey Melissa,Don’t know if you remember us but Iliya and my datueghr Morgan were good friends at the CDRC at UA. I was just looking at your site and can’t believe how much Iliya has grown. We will keep you and your family in our prayers and keep us posted about your new addition.Shanta Burrell

Who the hell are these people and who are they talking to?

and my favorite of the bunch:

i was in the middle of conemntimg here this morning, and well, you know.I was gonna say the skirt looks so perfectly swingy! I have several vintage knitting books etc etc, but have felt kinda lost when it comes to knitted boy things. and why is it that the goodwill has so many more girl clothes than boys? not fair. For all of the crafty-goodness to be made, I can’t help but hope for a girl next.

Well, at least it mentions knitting. A couple of them did, actually, but they are spam no doubt about that. I even had a couple of folks sign up as users meaning they hoped to be able to post directly onto the blog and bypass the comments altogether. Alas, the blog isn’t set up for that.

I am now at 327 sales for what seems like forever but it really just from yesterday. I have 19 orders and that is 22 items to make. I have a 3 set: hat, mittens, scarf and I made the scarf and hat yesterday and the mittens are on the needles. I started this mitten over three times because I am making it to match the hat but needed to do some adjustments to two different patterns to get what I want and that took me a little while to work out but I am well on the way. I should be able to get them packed up today which is good because I am a few days ahead of the Etsy ship schedule and I would like to keep it because that means I might be able to sneak in a few more things before the shows Nov 2 and Nov 10. (By a few more things, I actually mean snakes. I would like to get some more stuffed snakes made.) You should see the cute mouse Miss Vickie has made – mice – more than one. Adorable. Screams ‘sell me on Etsy’ all over it.

Well, mittens are calling me. It’s nearly noon and I want these puppies off the needles and into some packing material ready for the USPS.



Mommy and Mitt


I’ve been looking for the right venue to express some feelings I’ve had about this coming election and my mother’s birthday is a really good day for it.

I wish she were here to see the MLK Memorial or to vote for or not vote for an African-American for president.

One of the most vivid memories of my mother is on April 4, 1968. I was standing by the dining room table playing with a doll and my mom was sitting in her chair in the living room watching television. All of a sudden I heard her gasp and when I looked up she had placed her hand over her mouth and was slowly rocking back and forth. Tears rolling down her face.

I looked from her to the t and v and listened and then I asked her:
Who is Martin Luther King?

In the country of my mother’s birth, she had the right to vote. That right was placed in the Constitution in 1870:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

However, poll taxes, Jim Crow and any other barrier people decided to put between that right and the voting booth were used and it wasn’t until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – almost a century later in the country of my birth – that it became illegal to deny someone their right to vote.

Lots of people may have memories of their parents going off to vote. I have memories of my parents being able to vote. It was my mother who started my interest in politics and social movement when she placed the instructions on how to vote on the refrigerator. She was excited about being able to go to the voting booth and while she may have been subjected to people’s poor inclinations, she could not be denied her right to vote. She had placed those instructions on how to vote after she came back from the polling place.

My mother was a brave woman. She wasn’t confrontational but she didn’t run from it when it came to her. She raised her voice but I wouldn’t call her a shouter. You didn’t want to be on the other end of the belt. (I was about four or five times. Call it child abuse if you want but the only times I’ve entered a jail was voluntarily.) She got quiet when she was angry or hurt – a trait I’ve picked up. But she always acted with grace – a trait I haven’t.

But my mother stood up for what she believed and it might not have been popular with other folks but she held to her beliefs and her convictions and while she wasn’t an ‘in your face’ kind of gal, she wasn’t one to throw away her belief just because.

Which is why my mom helped me to decide that I could never vote for Mitt Romney.

Here’s the thing: the Voter ID laws are voter suppression laws and every single conservative in the country knows it. Because those people who are creating those laws have said so. Every single state has said that there are no forms of fraud that these laws would fix. Early voting hours have been cut – which has nothing to do with decreasing fraud. In some cases, the hours were cut in Democratic districts and extended in Republican districts. And in recent news, the only voter fraud was done by the Republicans who hired a company who destroyed registrations of those who didn’t register as republicans.

The purpose of these laws is to stop people from exercising their right to vote. You know, rights, given by God, according to those people trying to implement laws to come between people and the desire of their creator.

And Mr. Romney has not said a word against it. Disenfranchise students? Fine. Block out African-American and other people of color from fully participating in their own society? Why not? And for added measure, let’s say there’s nothing that will convince those people to take responsibility for their lives.

What scares me most is I have not heard or seen one, not one, of my conservative friends or family (whom I love to pieces) say it’s wrong.

They will say things like: You need an ID to get on a plane. You know why? Because people have gotten on planes with a false ID and then blew them up and even that won’t stop someone from doing it again. But at least there was a cause before there was an effect. But this is a solution without a problem and given how much it disenfranchises so many people, one would think those who tout patriotism and country would want to make sure we got this right.

When I add to that all the nonsense about the president’s birth (something else I have not seen or heard my friends say should stop) I am frightened by the lengths people will go to in order to get their not stolen or taken from them country back.

So what does this have to with the republican nominee? Because the nominees from both parties are the titular heads of their parties and when asked why he won’t tell his party to knock it off. His answer was: I need to get 50.1% of the vote so I am going to take the support of these good people.

Wow. Brave. So if that means 49.9% of the folks get screwed so I can move into yet another mansion – well, that’s not too big a price, right?

To me, the biggest lie Mitt Romney told was he saw remembered his father marching with Dr. King. He then had to walk it back and say he meant he could envision it. Now, to give his father credit, George Romney was a supporter of civil rights and did attend King’s funeral. If that Romney was running today, I’ve have to consider voting for him. But his son…

My mother sat in that chair and cried. My brave and beautiful mother cried for hours that night in April. But that November she got up and she voted and she put the instructions on how to vote on the refrigerator.

And I will not and cannot remember that bravery, spirit and obvious love of her country by supporting anyone who does not match it.

Happy Birthday, Mommy wish you were here..


Deep Into It

Not one to always forget a promise, there were two spam messages waiting for me and I decided to recreate the funniest message before I obliterated it from the planet – not from the universe however – everything in the internet stays is the universe.  It’s how Captain Picard will find the stranded Starfleet crew in 2945 off the eastern shore of the planet Rinbick. (Where Florida used to be.)

But this is the message that is pretty typical of the ones that I’m left:

I am not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

Can’t understand why I wouldn’t publish that. Perhaps since this person has a ‘mission’ that this is Captain Picard himself or some ancestor of his. Trust me, some are laugh out loud bad and I am certain they will show up again soon.

Work continues on the orders. I got a new order this morning, which is great because I was bemoaning the fact that I was stuck at 304 and now I can bemoan that I am stuck at 305. Not that I am ungrateful. No, not for a second, but a girl had plans. And the plan called for getting three orders a day – or I should say three sales a day. It can be one order as long as it’s three sales.

The other thing I noticed is prayer shawls are making a come back. I think I’ve mentioned this before. I’ve sold 5 prayer shawls between September and now. I’ve sold 12 total in the shop. See what I mean? For some reason people need to share the prayer. I don’t mind it all. One never knows what will sell any one given year. I think back when I thought I should make some of the hats that sold the most last year. If I did that, I would have a bunch of hats sitting here.

BTW, I have another sale, so I am now at 306. I need to find some charcoal gray yarn. Luckily, I know where to look. Just 94 away.

Mr. Honey is still working on April’s bathroom. He hopes to be finished with it tomorrow. I’m telling you, that man is a wonder. His legs are really sore (the bathroom is upstairs and requires a lot of going up and down.) But Miss April is thrilled that she might have a bathroom at the end of the year. When he finishes what he’s doing the bathroom itself won’t be done but it will a long way there.

That’s my guy.

His birthday presents arrived today and are sitting in his chair so when he comes in he will find a book on an aspect of the financial crisis (he loves that kind of stuff) and a bacon press. That’s right. Don’t hate.

Today is the anniversary of two very dear people. Happy 25th anniversary Julie and Craig. Besides just being fun and thoughtful people, Julie and Craig gave the world two of the best young people I know. Mattie and Hannah are lovely, caring, funny young women who are a pleasure to know. Apples right off that tree. Have a wonderful anniversary, you two and  I hope the next 25 are blessed and joyful. (with grandchildren….)


Happy Birthday, Mr. Honey

Mr. Honey Child


This is getting to be a thing. It’s Mr. Honey’s birthday and he won’t be spending it with me. A couple of years ago he was in Wisconsin this year he will be spending the day with my girlfriend – the wonderful Miss April. I called her yesterday to tell her that she was borrowing my husband on his birthday and she should have a cupcake or something there for him. She called me from Costco and we settled on cheesecake.

What is left to say about the man who decided he could live with me? He’s a fantastic husband and he’s actually a better wife than me. April is borrowing him for the same reason Melissa wanted to borrow him as well as Lois and Marilyn in times past and the woman who tried unsuccessfully to hit on him before we were married.

The man is quite useful to have around. He can fix almost anything. He fixed our dryer when I first moved in seventeen years ago and the dang thing is still working. Matter of fact, he’s fixed the stove, too. If Kenmore goes out of business, blame him.

This was a very serious man when I met him and he’s developed what some would call a sense of humor. Oddly enough, we like a lot of the same things. We have the same taste in a great many things that borders on the freaky.

He likes to think that he’s detached but when Duke got sick and in his final days, Mr. Honey was our beloved pet’s best champion and though he swore up and down that he and fatherhood were incompatible, when the kid left for Seattle seven years ago, he worried about her driving there with her friend and he made sure I checked in with her – couldn’t do it himself, you understand.

To say I love him more today than any other day I’ve known him should go without saying. What I appreciate most about him – and there are many things to appreciate – is that he makes me feel safe.

He makes a girl feel safe, protected and secure to go with the love. I only hope I return the feelings for him.

Happy birthday, Mr. Honey and many happy returns of the day!