Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Everything is Illuminated..."
I just watched the most splendid movie, starring Elijah Wood, and based on a novel of the Holocaust by Jonathan Safran Froer.
At the end of the movie, there is this, as closely as I can remember it:

'Everything is illuminated by our past...You will always be alongside of my life, and I will always be alongside of yours...'

And isn't that a lovely thing?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

A snowy road
Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

My favorite bridge

The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Amish buggy in the snow
I've begun another project. Two warm winter hats, knit at the same time on two circular knitting needles, using the same technique I use for socks.  I haven't had a lot of experience with color work, and so this project is a bit of a challenge for me!  I hope to have finished them by the time I leave for Germany, which will be in just a couple of weeks.   
Ogiku hats begun

Ogiku hats on the needles

Snowy me
Have I mentioned that I love winter?

When my cousin, Beth, saw this post on Facebook, she told the following story: " One of my favorite poems......when I taught third grade....I always presented a unit on Robert Frost. Whe Eric and I visited Vermont, we went up early for a Vermont Symphony Concert. It was being set up at Robert Frost's home. I was taking pictures of the house. When one of the men who was setting up noticed, he asked why I was taking pictures. I told him about my third graders. He asked if I would like to go inside....generally not allowed.....I said yes...very surprised. When I asked him why, he said, "If Mr. Frost knew you were teaching his poetry to third graders he would be thrilled." I still have those pictures. What an honor it was!
And, Becky, please add that after intially presenting the unit, one of my students....would walk in each morning and ask, "Can we please read one of Mr. Frost's poems today." Still brings a smile."

There are several books that I loved and always read in the winter to 'my' children when I ran our elementary-school library. I hope that you will share them with the children in your lives!

The Mitten, adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett
One of the teachers with whom I worked made and donated to the library a HUGE fleece mitten, big enough for several children to climb into, with a matching normal-sized mitten.  I would use it when I read the story.  I left it behind when I left the library to take another job. I hope it is still there and still being used!

Katy and the Big Snow, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton
Especially good to read aloud on a very snowy day!

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, written by Robert Frost and illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Ms. Jeffers used black-and-white illustrations with just the perfect touches of color, exactly the way a very snowy winter looks.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I love these socks :)
I already posted them, but here are some better pictures.
Opal Unicolor yarn in forest green and cocoa brown. I don't think I've ever been happier with a finished project.
 I'll be visiting the factory where the yarn was produced in just a few weeks!

pretty socks,  beautiful new hardwood floor!
my green socks

Michelle's brown socks

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

 Small Moments of Happiness
Often during my day I see small events and vignettes that make me smile for no tangible reason. They pass so quickly that I rarely have time to save them with a camera.  Instead,  I save them up in my mind, take them out in idle moments, and thumb through them like photographs.  
A pair of beagle pups, joyful, with ears flying, noses to the ground, and tails in the air, do what beagles do best.
Bicycles and buggies line up neatly beside the little one-room Amish schoolhouse I pass on my way to work.
Two young Amish girls ride in a pony cart in a snowstorm, a scarlet blanket wrapped snugly around their legs and vivid against the gray/black/white world, snowflakes gathering on their shoulders and laps.
Three white-tail does in a cornfield raise their heads and watch as I pass.
A man jogs alongside the road with two white dogs on leashes.
A vee of geese fly south against the winter sky.
The sun sinks behind the hills surrounding a local lake, and the last rays set the opposing shore afire.

Old chairs and bits and bobs of odd household items lined up on the grass in front of a great red barn to be sold to passersby.
The shepherd dog tied in a farmyard who runs back and forth at the end of his rope in an ecstasy of territorial protection every time I drive past.
Bright red cardinals in the trees behind my house.
Small moments of happiness.

It is a good season for knitting.  I've been doing a lot of it.  Here is another pair of socks, finished last week.  The yarn is Fortissima and the diagonal rib pattern is from a knitting stitch dictionary I own.  I used my favorite Eye-of-Partridge heel flap stitch, and a Dutch heel.

On my needles: an experiment in toe-up sock-knitting.
A Mystery Sock pattern from one of my Ravelry groups
A test of a fingerless-mitten pattern for another designer.

I'm  becoming very excited about my upcoming trip to Germany!
It's less than a month away now.
I still can hardly believe that it's really going to happen...I'm betting on a three-day blizzard, beginning on February 7th, and preventing my plane from leaving Detroit.

Another adventure at work...
I performed my own scientific test in the store the other day.
Two ceramic salad plates, one persimmon in color and the other vanilla.
My question was apparently to find which color of glaze makes a stronger plate.
Here is the result:

When dropped at the same time from a height of approximately seven-point-five feet upon the head of a five-point-five-foot person,
persimmon-glazed plates are harder than the person's head AND the floor.
Vanilla-glazed plates are harder than the person's head but NOT the floor.
The person's head, however, will be bruised equally by both colors.
This experiment will not be repeated.
I hope.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year
Last year, one of my dearest friends asked me what my goals for 2011 were.  I answered, flippantly, "To survive it."  I had no idea what was in store for the year, and how hard it would be to attain even that silly goal.  This was a tough year, and I am very happy to see it in my rearview mirror.  I lost a couple of friends, made some new friends, had some hard times and some happy times.  I've done a lot of knitting, a lot of grieving, a lot of laughing, and a lot of thinking.  I would not want to repeat the year, but I'm glad I lived it. 
I have a lot to look forward to in 2012.  I have a trip to Germany coming up very soon, a lot of hugs coming from the grandkids, a great many days of sunshine and laughter on their way. 
I have a closetful of yarn and a headful of know-how, and will knit many more things in the months to come.

You all have a wonderful year. My dear friends and family, you are indispensable to me. Thank you for another chance to enjoy your contribution to my life, and for letting me be a part of yours.

Happy new year!