Friday, December 28, 2007

Visioning My Own 2008 Plans...

It's funny. I have been working on my thoughts for this post for several days, reading what others are thinking about, reviewing where I stand on things, determining those things I think I need to change...

Changes like:
1. Reducing my carbon footprint, my environmental impact (see the banners above) - committing to a more environmentally friendly way to live...

2. Re-committing to Voluntary Simplicity - "less is more" philosophy - tightening up the financial portfolio, using what I have, making do, simplifying, streamlining, etc., etc...

3. Opening to Grace and using "Abundance Thinking" - I enjoyed reading this post: from Jocelyn - and thinking about my private spirituality and commitments...

4. Silencing the cacophony - because I was totally inspired by Pumpkinknitter's post about silence, not just one night a year (so much so that the cell phone and TV are going to be turned off a lot in 2008). I think by the end of the holiday season, all of us have our nerves on edge, it's just been too much of everything...

5. Of course, I've already committed to knitting for peace, and the events in Pakistan yesterday only made me that much more resolved to do so...

Still, there's this part of me that is nagging away, at the back of my brain. It's the part that says "yah, yah, yah...every year, you do this every year - and so does everyone else - just where do you think you'll be in 2 months with this process?"

Well. Touche. The skeptic that's back there at the back of my brain, also said I'd never quit smoking. But I did. It'll soon be 4 years, and I'm never going back - no, this time I can say "NEVERMORE." And know I mean that.

But I can say that even 2 months of making these changes, even if they don't last, will make a difference. I do believe that having ideals, making plans (or resolutions if you call them that), organizing, de-cluttering, reducing, reusing, recycling, trying to make my carbon footprint smaller, creating silence, and especially working for peace, making space for meditation - in the form of knitting, mostly - all of this affects my state of mind positively, and thus the state of mind of those around me.

It IS, as Margene says, all about the process...If we cycle thru these changes, succeeding and failing and succeeding again...the perpetual movement forward is what counts, the falling back just helps us regroup, to go forward again (BTW, I believe that theory is from Camus, if my memory serves).

At any rate, giving up is not an option. We must continue to strive.

Benazir Bhutto knew that, as surely as she had to know she was signing her death sentence when she returned to Pakistan. Still...we have to work for peace, for change, on a micro scale as well as a macro one...

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."—Margaret Mead

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Spirit of the Season

Very shortly now, it will be Christmas Eve. This is the season of light, when we strive to remember that we are all in this together, and that there is more to this than who can rack up the most of the newest gifts to show off.

Depending on your religious persuasion, it may also be a time when we recognize a critical moment in a belief system: the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Or perhaps you are celebrating the end of the long, dark season, recognizing that now we truly are turning again toward the light, and preparing for new beginnings, as Dave said so beautifully the other day.

Some of us are trying to work for peace in the new year, a new beginning in my mind.

My projects, both knitting and writing, will be focused on peace. I won't be abandoning my work, or my business, but my "ME" time will be centered on thinking, praying, meditating, knitting, being peace.

And this Christmas song serendipitously appeared on the radio today just as I was thinking some of this through, so I thought I'd include my favorite stanza here:

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.


Because you know what? It truly ALL does begin with me (and with you).

I challenge you to think about how you will incorporate such peace work in your life in 2008.
(((hugs)))

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A 2008 Project for Peace

Birdsong and I have been talking recently about wanting to make 2008 our year to knit and work for peace in whatever way we can. So what serendipity that she discovered this:



The TikkunTree Project

and blogged about it. As usual, Birdsong leads me to wondrous things (she and I are convinced we're sisters from different mothers...all across the country from each other - on the two coasts).

Besides the fact that I adore Peace Fleece yarns, I am very committed to the idea of and philosophy behind this project. I'm ordering my yarns, and getting the patterns ready. (Patterns & specifications are available on each link)

I firmly believe that knitting for peace is an effective means of being a change-agent in the world. As is creating art installations that address peace. I seldom speak of my religious leanings or beliefs on my blogs, but the idea of knitting in silence, meditating on peace and speaking out as the spirit moves, harkens back to my Universalist/Quaker/Congregationalist New England family roots. As such, it blends well with my study of Buddhism, and Taoist thought, as well as my feminist/womanist/goddess thealogy.

While I'll still participate in (and co-lead) Cloths for Crisis and Knit Red for Women's Heart Disease, this project will hold the majority of my charity knitting energy for the 2008 year.

If we can't find it in our hearts to live, eat, breathe, and pray PEACE, then we can't be surprised if it fails us. Anger and war, hatred and fear, begin in the hearts of each of us. Won't you join us? Take up your needles to help heal* the world?

* Tikkun is Hebrew for healing

Grace! Nana's Newest Slip of a Bag!

A sassy, spirited little bag that you’ll grab again and again, especially when you need your hands free for other things! She’s a small backpack that holds more than you might think, with two interior pockets for tucking in a cell phone and such.

Here are two samples to get your own creative juices flowing:

Ears N Whiskers Grace:


Skulls and Roses Grace:


Named in honor of another of my aunts, Grace is available by custom order only. Please visit Nana Sadie Rose today!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Grace...

The newest in my line of bags, will debut on December 11....

Don't miss it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

How About That?




Your Brain is Green



Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.

You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.

You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.



You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Friday, November 23, 2007

Buy Nothing Day

Today is Buy Nothing Day, a day near and dear to most advocates of a simpler existence. I've posted about my thoughts on Knitnana, but I just added a link to an amazon.com book search on the subject of voluntary simplicity. You'll find it in my sidebar here, at the end of all those "Commitments" I've listed.

I am feeling more and more, that following the principles of Voluntary Simplicity is a fulfilling way to live. I tend (like most folks) to slip up on my path now and again (I'm completely addicted to collecting - yarn, fabric, books).

I've reduced my afflictions somewhat over the years. Now, in the checkout lines, when I see magazines I'd love to get (yes, I had a serious addiction to magazines!), I allow myself to pick one up and flip through it. I've seen so many by this point in my life, I can usually say, "Been here, done this." And I put it down. On the off chance that there really IS something new, I promise to go to the library and check it out there.

Which frankly, I seldom get to do - books are rarely a problem anymore, either - I moved one time too many! (Those boxes are heavy!) I do borrow books from the library rather than buy them now.

The only exception to my "no books or magazines" rule now, are those relating to knitting. And the magazines don't jump in my cart unless the patterns between their covers aren't trendy.

I constantly re-evaluate my level of "enough." It helps to have determined how many hours of my life I have to work to buy something. Your Money or Your Life helped me figure this part out. It's not what you think your hourly payrate is. *wink*

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Making Lemonade?

If you're like me, nowadays you almost hate to turn on the news. There's so much that puts me in a depressed state so quickly....And I'm determined to keep my mood as upbeat as humanly possible. Things are downright scary: unrest all over, war, struggle, toys recalled, fuel prices rising, the market see-sawing, the dollar losing strength against foreign currencies, oil spills, global warming, the demise of the polar bear?

Still, it's all got me to thinking of the old "saw" that I grew up with (as I had a Depression Era Mom) - "Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without!" My mom was the ultimate tightwad...by virtue of necessity.

I especially got to thinking in those terms today...I'd done laundry and washed this lovely acrylic blanket (I do like these, because as someone with fibromyalgia, they're so warm and so lightweight - anything heavy actually HURTS!). It's soft, it's warm...but it makes me completely crazy. The ribbon trim frays every single time I wash it and the fraying comes off in long nylon threads. JUST TRY to break them! You can't without cutting yourself. So today, when this one came out of the dryer, I spent awhile cutting off the threads. But what was worse, the ribbon had completely detached itself on one side. So...in true "tightwad" behavior, I mended!
Does ANYONE do this sort of thing anymore?

And that got me to thinking of finally organizing all my recycling - which is now in the back of my Forester waiting for the trip chaining I've been trying to do religiously, for more than a year.

I didn't take a photo of the recycling. *wink*

Mom also taught me to make lemonade. Especially when you're being handed lemons. Lemonade isn't just something inexpensive to drink. It makes me smile. It reminds me of the good things...

And I guess that's what we need to be doing more of right now. The good, simple things...
:)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

One of Those Days...

I've had one of those days where things don't want to go smoothly, and if it can happen it will - the rotten things - family misunderstandings, kitty squabbles, a broken camera, a sensitivity to the change of seasons that leads to physical discomfort and general tiredness, having to do things at least 3 times to get them right...If I didn't know better, I'd say there was a time change in there somewhere (ooops! Wait, there was!)
*wink*

I did get something accomplished, which is always a huge thing in Nana Sadie Rose-dom:

I sometimes get asked about the claim that every Nana Sadie Rose bag is an original and I thought I'd show you an example of that. The bags above (ignore, if you can, the middle one) on the right and left of the photo, are the same exterior fabric. (It's a batik that is almost completely gone...out of print, sadly.) But you'll notice that the bags don't look anything alike. I'm careful in my creations, making sure that there is variation in every bag, so no two are the same, yet so many people love the same exterior fabrics, that I can't just make ONE of each! (Another case in point is Michelle Meow - the pink fabric with the Siamese cat in Paris - an outstanding print that almost everyone loves!)

I decided to get a little creative in the kitchen tonight, too. Below is a photo of the results...I'll get it right before long!
A Roasted Sweet Potato & Apple dish, first I sprayed the pan with olive oil spray, then I chopped up the main ingredients, tossed on a handful of chopped walnuts, sprinkled on the Pumpkin Pie spice and grated fresh ginger over the top. Then a touch of sugar, a couple of dots of margarine and about 1/4 cup of water...spray again with the olive oil spray...

I baked it in the toaster/convection oven for about an hour (at first, uncovered, then I put the "broiler" pan that came with the T.O. upside down over it to protect it). (The instructions say NOT to use aluminum foil! So I haven't found a good alternative yet)

I'll play around with it again, but I think it's good. It could use a bit more of spices...I know, "sprinkles" doesn't convey how much I used, but "to taste" isn't much better, now, is it? lolol

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yes, It's Fall!

But you know, the weather just hasn't cooperated around here...we've still been enduring temperatures in the 80s, the leaves are mostly dropping, not so much changing colors. There are pumpkins and chrysanthemums (even on my porch!), but when it's so warm, they don't last very long...

I worry about how warm it's been, the fact that our water levels are down 10 inches or more, and then I think about what we're doing to our earth. My three grandsons are back in town and it just makes me think about the world we're leaving their generation.

I'm trying to conserve: water, energy. I recycle as much as I can...I try very hard to keep my own carbon footprint as small as possible.

I'm enviously listening to my BIL go on about his Prius and the amazing mileage he gets...and wishing I dared try to get one. Would I really be able to stash all my craft show gear into one? Or could I justify renting an SUV just for weekend shows?

Then I begin to remember that originally when I started this business, I didn't want to do shows, I wanted to just make bags and sell them online. This business of mine has morphed into something I didn't plan. The shows, the orders. I'm certainly not complaining, but when I think about how I envisioned it before it blossomed, well, this is very different! :)

And then I think, would I want to give up the shows? Meeting my customers, talking with them, seeing them over and over at other shows? I've made friends over the past 3 years. Not just customers! Friends! No. I do enjoy our shows!

Odd how one thought leads to another. Is this a "long thought?" I remember reading Alix Kates Shulman, Drinking The Rain, and her stumbling upon an essay of P.D. Ouspensky who wrote "Think long thoughts. Each of our thoughts is too short. Until you have experience from your own observation of the difference between long and short thoughts, this idea will mean nothing to you."

I'm unsure of just what a long thought might be. A chain of thoughts, one leading to another I understand. I think that's just what I've done above. But does a long thought actually mean teasing out the nuances of a single thought? Or is it thought-chaining?

Fall is my favorite time of year for this type of intellectual discussion inside myself - tho' now I seem to be inviting you in to listen. Don't feel you have to participate, but if you'd like to, please do.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Been Awhile!

It's Autumn. No question. The tempo picks up around here more than at any other time of year. I see a downturn in participation online in groups and blogs because so many folks are back in school (students, teachers & librarians), but parents are busier keeping the kids activities together along with their own.

I've always loved fall. I can remember the excitement of going back to school, but I love the crisp air as temperatures drop, the crunch of dried leaves underfoot. People start baking again (I think apples, pumpkin, and cinnamon are some of my favorite food smells...).

Knitters start working with wool again. Of course, some of us never stop, but new projects are just itching to get started! I start making Nana Sadie Rose bags with a vengeance - partly due to the September cat show, but also with an eye to the Christmas craft shows and gift orders I begin to receive...

Mostly I like this:

The sunsets of Autumn. As I drove home tonight, this was what I was driving into! It was so gorgeous, that I pulled off, rolled down the window, and took this shot.

It's a time of purples, russets, golds, black...some of my favorite colors. Hmmm...wonder what I have in stash that would work up into some cool bags for fall?
(((hugs)))

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Eating Local & Updating The Kitchen...

My fall gift to myself is the toaster oven you see in the background below. I wanted one that was an Oster, as I'd heard good things from my big sister about hers. When I got to Tar-Jay, they only had the stainless steel and I despise cleaning stainless...I kept looking to see that I really had what I wanted and suddenly realized that there was a red one. RED? Really?

So here you go. I have a vegetable theme in my kitchen - colors of black, white, green, yellow and - ta da - RED! So it was delightful to find this! And it works so well (so far, anyway...).

In that shot you can also see the local produce I found on my farmer's market run on Saturday - the October beans are already in the freezer, one of the eggplants is in a vegetable stew in my crockpot crock in the fridge (to cook tomorrow), honey from a local farmer (goes well with the Bee Shawl I hope to knit someday soon), the rosemary sourdough from On The Rise bakery here in Roanoke (sorry, they don't have a website), and locally grown tomatoes, too...

I've been spending some of my "vacation" time, while the Bernina is undergoing annual maintenance, working to get a bit more settled in this new place (that I've been living in since March!!). I finally got a bit of the kitchen done, tho' there's enough left to do, that I won't share photos, yet.

I hope you're enjoying the harvest season!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This is soooooo true!

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What's An Inheritance?

Last summer I lost a very special aunt to lung cancer (okay, they're ALL very special...I shouldn't single anyone out, but this one was the one who stepped in as "mom" when my own mother died).

Over the past year, we've been hearing that certain things were being set aside for members of the family with the intention of "inheritance..." I dislike this process, as most do, because it is fraught with all sorts of angst. But in the end, I recognize that we cherish what we can salvage from a loved-one's lifetime, sometimes irrationally. And of course, there are some occasions when those "things" truly have value. As I am the one in the family who strongly shared the penchant for crafting (more so than most of the others) some specific things found their way to me...

Everything has now arrived (courtesy of a dear cousin, my DD & dear son-in-law, my Big Sis and her husband, also known as BIL). There is much I haven't gone through yet. I know there are sewing things, embroidery things, knitting things, books. But there were a three very special things I thought I'd share with you...

This was my great aunt's sewing machine and when she became ill and moved from her home to be near her neices before her death, it became a part of my aunt's home:

It's a Singer Touch & Sew 648. I have a bit of information on it, but am particularly delighted to see the chair and sewing table (original) are still in wonderful shape - I wouldn't really have expected anything less, considering the two ladies who previously owned it. On the desk are two paintings my aunt purchased from a Vermont artist she had introduced me to and of whom I'm particularly fond, Anne McFarren. I have several of her winter scenes, so I was touched to hear that these summery ones would make their way to me...
And then my cousin asked if I'd like this "Victorian monstrosity!" I don't think it's Victorian. But I don't have any idea what it is...

How about you?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Website Under Construction...

Most of you know that my DD is my webmaster, and she's been having a time lately with life getting in the way of keeping my website up to date. (Full-time job, husband, three kids, a move...you get the idea? I'm not 100% sure how she's staying sane...but sleep right now is a precious commodity, so...)

In light of the problems that's created for my business, I've opened another blog where you can easily see the types of bags available from Nana Sadie Rose

So just click on the link above - and pop over to visit me? I'd love to talk with you about how you can have your very own Nana Sadie Rose bag...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sometimes I Post Something Worthwhile Here...

This is such a Great Idea!
I wish I'd thought of it. But since I didn't, I'll pass it along and suggest that if, like me, you already recycle the water from washing dishes by hand for this purpose, you might like to consider doing this, too!

Every little "green" thing we do, helps.

Ok. Now I Have to Read This?







Which woman from the Outlander series are you?




You are Brianna Randall Fraser MacKenzie. You are extremely loyal to those you love, and very intelligent, but you have a temper. You are very preoccupied with doing the right thing. You have some artistic talents.
Take this quiz!








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Join

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fresh From the Garden!

This was part of my dinner tonight - it's so hot here, that going to water my sis-in-law's gardens while she's been away has been very challenging (I'm just not able to do this outdoor stuff these days...

But I do enjoy the rewards!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where's The Surprise In This?

You Are a Ring Finger

You are romantic, expressive, and hopeful. You see the best in everything.
You are very artistic, and you see the world as your canvas. You are also drawn to the written word.
Inventive and unique, you are often away in your own inner world.

You get along well with: The Pinky

Stay away from: The Index Finger

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fresh From the...Well?

Ok. I tried. But with all the work I needed to do for the upcoming cat show in Roanoke, I didn't make it to my farmer's market this weekend. I did, however, get to my local store for some traditional (sort of) July 4 fare...
That's a black bean vegie burger made MY way: with cheddar cheese, salsa and jalapenos on a whole wheat burger roll, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and yellow/white corn on the cob. Don't know that it's possible to have fresh corn in these parts yet, but come the end of the month, there should be some.

Anyway, it was delish.
:)

Friday, June 22, 2007

On the Day I was Born..

Ruinwen put this on her blog and invited others to participate, and I thought, why not?

According to Wikipedia these are the three events, two births, and one holiday (those numbers are what's required in the meme) on July 11. (You just have to type in the month and date folks!)

Events:
1616 Samuel de Champlain returns to Quebec. Ok...this spoke to me because I spent many happy summers at my aunt's old-fashioned 1950s-style "camp" on Lake Champlain in Vermont (my aunt was also a French teacher in the Burlington VT public schools).

1804Aaron Burr kills Alex Hamilton in a duel (when I was studying US History, this story just caught my fancy. I probably knew this was on my birthday back at that time, but it had slipped my mind!)

1955 The phrase In God We Trust was added to all US currency. (very appropriate considering my main occupation as an accountant!)

Births
1920 Yul Brenner - and I've had an infatuation with men who have no hair all my life - I LOVED Yul in The King and I!
1955 Sela Ward - I remember watching her biography on Lifetime and hearing that she was not only born on the same day as I, but also the same year - we are the same AGE!

Now why on earth don't I look as good as she does???

Holiday
World Population Day. I have always been a family planning supporter meaning: make sure you're ready to have a family, and can afford to have children, and don't have more than you can afford, financially and emotionally, to care for! In short, be a responsible parent...(my ex wasn't, and I've had years to pay for that)

Ok...I'm not tagging anyone either (Ruinwen didn't), but if you'd like to do this - that's cool!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Eat Local Challenge (Redux)

I'm going to participate again in the Eat Local Challenge this time promising to eat one main meal each week from mostly local sources of food and blog about it here! Actually began that this weekend (tho' it's only supposed to be starting on June 24) - see the post below!

I'll add that I'm going to do my best to make that one meal a (lacto-ovo) vegetarian one.

I'll post the button in the sidebar...the main premise is to think about where food comes from, be intentional about choosing healthier foods (without additives, trans fats, as organic as possible - that sort of thing).

I think I can do that!
(((hugs)))

Saturday, June 16, 2007

To Market To Market...

But not for a pig.
lolol
A few vegies for Fresh From the Market...plus a loaf of On The Rise bakery's Rosemary Sourdough bread. I'm trying to eat more simply, more healthfully.

So new and different squashes! An amazingly good tomato...I'm told you cook the squash the same as summer squash - so I added Mrs. Dash and steamed them. Absolutely delish! The bread and tomato were wonderful, too. Unfortunately, the vegies aren't local yet. They're from South Carolina. But the bread is Roanoke, thru and thru!

Then while on the market I got a couple of basil plants and a curly leaf parsley (I like it better than flat leaf) to go with the two little yellow pear tomato plants my SIL finally found. Couldn't find the Sungolds I planted and fell in love with last summer, but I do like these. So here is my "front yard garden" - yes, I'm still planting in pots!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Being Green...

Birdsong and Carole have been posting about how Easy It Is To Be Green in a meme and I wanted to add my practices. I think, tho' that's it's best if I do this here, rather than my knitting blog as it pertains more to this one...and while I'm sure I can't hold a candle to the things I know my friend Jane does, I was raised by one of the best Depression Era Penny-Pinchers and New England Tightwads, so some of the things I do, I might not want to admit to publicly! lololol...

1. I have one of these. I rewash ziplock bags (as long as meat hasn't been inside) and this little device allows them to dry very quickly! I used to wash and reuse aluminum foil, but since I rarely use it anymore, it's a non-issue. I gave these wonderful contraptions to several households on my Christmas list one year and I know they ALL use them and LOVE them! It saves $$, and keeps a lot of plastic out of the landfills!

2. I pack my lunch and eat at my desk most days of the week. I use washable containers and limit the amount of single serve packaging unless it's recyclable - like aluminum cans. I like to have V-8 as a snack at work, but usually I buy a bottle and portion it out into small containers to take in my lunch.

3. I don't actually "buy in bulk" b/c I'm only one person. But if I buy enough for a family of 4 or 6, it's still reducing the packaging considerably. I'll make a stir-fry and package in reusable (washable) containers in the freezer. I've always heard how hard it is to cook for one. I don't. WHEN I cook, I do enough for 4-6 and freeze the rest in single serves - for lunches, for dinners. I've been bad about this for a couple of months...gotta fix that!

4. I reduce, reuse, recycle. Since my move, I'm 2 blocks (I know that sounds awfully close, but they are long blocks!) from the recycling center. When I moved, I collected boxes from the liquor store for packing and gathered newspaper from friends. When I was finished (yeah, sure, I'm STILL unpacking), there was a friend in the office getting ready to move. I brought her boxes as I unpacked them and she used them, then took them to the recycler! (I love that...) The liquor store would have trashed them.

5. I trip chain. I try very hard to plan where I have to go and combine my errands so I have limited back-tracking to do. Our public transportation system leaves a lot to be desired. :(

6. Thrift stores, yard sales, and reuse shops (including book exchanges) are some of the most fun ways to shop - tho' I must admit with the cost of gasoline, I doing fewer and fewer yard sales these days. (Most of my furniture is at least second-hand, tho' I do often have it re-upholstered - I like antiques)

7. I check out books/videos/books on tape fro my library. I pre-screen (as much as possible) knitting books before I buy. I'm trying to get to the point of releasing my current books (not knitting books!) into the second-hand market...it's hard.

8. I only wash full loads of laundry on cold.

9. When I moved to this new house, I realized that even by filling the dishwasher to capacity (which takes a long time for one person who really doesn't cook much) I would still use less water if I half-filled two dishpans with water - one to wash, one to rinse - once or twice a week! The water is then saved and used to water plants and shrubs in front of the house.

10. I moved into town and reduced my commute by 15 minutes each way. I try to keep my car tuned up, air in tires, all the stuff you're supposed to do to get good mileage. While I have a small SUV, it's an "economy car" according to the insurance company and gets 27 mpg on the highway. But I have a dream of owning one of THESE, at least for around town...

Wonder if I can find one in Grape (oh, I know it should be GREEN, considering the title of this post - but I am not THERE in my color preferences...)?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is it? Love? Infatuation? or...

a serious emotional disorder?

No. No male could begin to get me thinking this way. No male has the "power" to make my heart go "pitty-pat" these days...not like this, anyway!

It's Ravelry!

I'm obsessed with finding all the neat things it offers, adding in my projects, linking to KALS I run (or co-run), photographing my stash, uploading my library, finding my friends and making new ones.

This is another example of the addiction that knitting and the internet communities concerned with this craft is for me. I am possessed by Ravelry. Amazed at the creators ability to envision what this could become...

I really really hope, tho' that this time the bloom won't come off THIS rose!
lololol

(make sure you sign up, okay? It took about 2 months for me to get in, don't let another day go by before you knock on the Ravelry door!)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Put a Little Soy in Your Life?


Ok...this was last night's dinner. Looks good, huh?

Please don't ask for the recipe...I did a number on the seasonings - and it wasn't as good as it looks...which made me very very sad.

The vegies, tofu (omg, when did they start selling PRE-cubed tofu? Whee!), and brown rice were fine.

But it was extremely bland...(sigh)

Maybe I'll follow a recipe next time. LOL

Simple Is ...

as simple does...

If I'd a mind to knit a sweater, I'd start here, I think.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just as a Follow-up

I think this is a great blog (all the way around!) for vegan recipes but I can't wait to try THIS very, very soon!

That Time of Year Again...

so because it's the growing season, and I somehow always pick a place to live that makes it hard to grow anything (it's completely out of the question where I am now!), and because my history - and my family's history - is that of vegetarianism, and because what I put in my mouth matters to me....


It's Fresh From the Farmer's Market time...Or Eat Local Time...(take your pick! Or better yet, do BOTH!)

For me, it really is about health. So I've been spending a lot of blog time recently seeking out vegetarian (and vegan, and macrobiotic) blogs...collecting recipes (I'm reminded of the early days of learning about blogs and knitting - I was consumed). This focus works in well with my general life view anyway...

I was at my local Co-op on Saturday and discovered a freshly prepared and packaged macrobiotic meal (they have a deli, and oh, my, it's beyond anything you've ever seen in the grocery store, let me tell you!). I was intrigued, as I've been eating more and more whole grains and vegies, less and less white flour/sugar and prepared items...Once I had tasted it, I was over the rainbow (tho' I must admit anything with lots of garlic easily wins me over...), three different items: a brown rice and lentil mixture, a narrow lazagna noodle with pickled coleslaw filling, and a spicy pasta and minced vegies mix - I couldn't believe how good it all was!

I'm probably not going the vegan route, or even going back to the lacto-ovo vegetarian I used to be. I'll always eat fish, as it's vital to my heart health. And I just can't see why nightshades like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are not considered healthful (as in macrobiotics) so don't look for them to leave my diet, either.

But I can surely get on board this Fresh From the Farmer's Market bandwagon.

And frankly, I think it's all about making the most healthful, and freshest choices you can make! I'll try to share links and recipes I create (b/c I do tend to be that kind of cook - give me a basic idea and I'll morph it...) so you can see what I'm up to.

This won't become a food blog - it's really all about my current thinking on a hodgepodge of lifestyle and craft ideas, anyway! And cooking is just another craft in my mind...
(((hugs)))

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Do You Think?


Click Here to take a test to agree or disagree with my answers and refine my Daemon...and while you're there, take the test for your OWN!

Monday, May 07, 2007

LOL! Nope - No Accent Here...

This came to me via Jane who does indeed sound as if she comes from the region of the country that she's lived in all her life!

My parents were determined that I'd not pick up the Southern accent they heard when they moved here in the 50's. By the same token, they didn't want me to sound like the New Englanders they were coming from....especially that oft-mentioned "aye-uh!" I remember being brought back into a room to "say it correctly before you leave...." Drove me nuts, till I did the same thing with my grammar students!

:)
Guess Mom & Dad did a good job, huh? I really don't have an accent, unless I'm trying to play-act with whatever region of the country I'm visiting! lolol!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West
 

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
 
Boston
 
North Central
 
The Inland North
 
Philadelphia
 
The South
 
The Northeast
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blogging Against Disabilism Day

A Cause near and dear to my heart. "Nothing about us, without us (James I. Charlton)."

I work for an Independent Living Center. I have a physical disability - one that can't be seen: SLE and heart disease as a result of it. There are so many people who live successfully with physical disabilities, but have to put up with the negative attitudes of others that keep us from leading the full, involved lives we deserve.

And for those with "hidden" disabilities, it's hard, too. Because you might very well look "healthy." And not be.

"So what's wrong with you?"

Oh, honey...if only you knew. It's starts with THAT question!

There might be much "wrong" (at least by the questioner's definition). But there's even more RIGHT. How about a change of mind? Of thinking?

Attitudes are the REAL disability!

Friday, April 13, 2007

I Suppose NOW I'll Have to Rent the Movie?

If you say so. I've never seen Spiderman!

Your Famous Movie Kiss is from Spiderman

"I have always been standing in your doorway. Isn't it about time somebody saved your life?"

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How Many Have YOU Read?

Another meme I found (somewhere, not sure now where). Take the following list of books and highlight the ones you've read. 31% is not bad….I guess. But there are a LOT of newer books (the Harry Potter series, for example, that I’ve not read)

I'm not tagging anyone - do this if you'd like!

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkein)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)T
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)

29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Ablom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)

63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Roanoke, VA - 125 Years Young!

It wasn't the best of days (a bit chilly and showery) but today was Roanoke, VA (my hometown) 125th anniversary. I wanted to attend the festivities, as I was born here, and have lived here most of my 50 years. A parade of dignitaries arrived at the Roanoke Civic Center in a light rain shower. This horse-drawn carriage transported our Governor, Tim Kaine, to the event (and yes, I'm a bit slow, he's behind the carriage, so the photo is obviously not the best!). Today was also the grand opening of the new Exhibition Hall for the Roanoke Civic Center, and most of the photos here were taken there. The lighting left a lot to be desired, mainly because they were showing slides, and later a video, on the history of the city, so the lights were quite dim.


One of the main reasons I wanted to attend were the antique cars I knew would be there...


This is the hood ornament of the "Woody" in the photo above it. The photos of the Woody simply could not do the restored (and HIGHLY polished) wood trim justice - this car is just gorgeous...



(oh, did I mention my landlord owns these? I came home from work last night to discover several of them parked in front of my new home!)

Then there was a delightful display of handcrafted dolls wearing vintage costumes! I couldn't get all of them photographed, but I probably still went overboard in sharing them with you. I was quite taken with them...especially the period detail! Just exquisite...





Our History Museum had a display of photographs and period items from the day...I know I was born in the wrong time, as I'd feel so at home in this setting! (Ok...I'd have been a Suffragette, but I'd still have been happier living in Victorian times...)

Before I began making bags and knitting up a storm, I thought I wanted to be a Crazy Quilter. I've studied it and studied it, but discovered that, although I can quilt and embroider, both, I'm not cut out for this art form - I really need order, not random placement! Still I adore crazy quilts, and this vintage example took my breath away...look at that butterfly!

This is really not a good photo, but one of the guest speakers was none other than Earl Hamner, creator of The Waltons and Falcon Crest. Mr. Hamner is now 83 and reminisced about visiting Roanoke when he was growing up just down the road a bit in Schuyler, VA (okay, it's north, but around here we go "up" to go south and "down" to go north, so go figure!).


We realized the festivities were going to go on a lot longer than we'd expected, and we both had other things to get done today, so we left. As we returned to ground level at the Civic Center I realized we really do have a lovely view of downtown from there...you can see how gray a day it was...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Getting Philosophical on Socks!

A little over a year ago, I started knitting socks for the first time. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, I’d just take a class, learn to knit them toe-up and then cuff-down, and be done with it. Something else accomplished. Marked off my list of “wish I knew how to...”

Well.

I’ve now knit 5 pair (only one was a gift). All toe-up, as it’s the method that fits my feet the best, so why bother with another way? My time is limited…

This is an amazing feat – no I did not intend the pun – as I have also churned out well over 200 Nana Sadie Rose bags in that time, plus assorted knitted items and even read a book or six, worked a full-time job, taken care of a part-time business client, maintained friendships and family ties, and also managed a major move under extreme pressure.

And the most frequently asked question I get when people see me knitting a pair of socks (ok...they only see me knitting one sock at a time!) is:

“Why would anyone pay $20-$25 for yarn and spend hours and hours to hand-knit ONE pair of socks when you can go to Walmart and buy 6 pair for $5?”

Actually, it’s really a fair question, in spite of the fact that I tend to look the questioners squarely in the eye as if they are from another planet.

I had the same question over a year ago (before I knit my first pair).

My standard answer is also pretty simple. “If you’ve never worn a pair of hand-knit merino socks, you cannot understand. Once you do, you’ll never again question it. And no, I will not knit you a pair, it takes me too long to knit my own, and I’m going to have a drawer full before I stop...but I’ll be happy to help you learn to knit your own...”

Why Socks?

1. Warmth. There is no way a pair of cheap cotton/acrylic socks from Walmart can keep my feet as warm as merino wool.
2. Quality. These socks FIT my feet. I have very small feet (size 5.5). The standard Walmart sock “fits women’s size 6-9” which means I have a LOT of sock stuffed in around my heels and toes that is not needed.
3. Sensuality. There. I’ve said it. If you’ve never worn silk underwear, if you’ve never felt velvet against your skin, then you can’t imagine the sensual quality of merino against the soles of your feet. Imagine a hot bath in steaming scented oil of your favorite flavor, the water slipping over your skin…imagine velvety rose petals strewn across slick satin sheets…fresh strawberries dipped in dark chocolate…
4. Peace of Mind. The process of knitting keeps me sane, and the small needles (usually size 1 bamboos) and fingering weight yarn combined with a portable project means that wherever I am, I can indulge in a bit of emotional release just about anytime.

There’s more of course. But a list is so ... cut and dried. I’m working for the soul (!) of knitted socks.

Once upon a time, I danced. My very highly-arched feet were stuffed into toe shoes that made it possible for me to bear the entirety of my weight upon my ONE BIG TOE. I spent hours and hours every day in those shoes, on first one and then the other of my big toes. I was…”A BALLERINA.”

I never made it to NYC, but I danced daily in preparation for it. At the end of every day, my toes were dented and bruised and very, very red. The end result has been misshapen feet, with an early propensity to bunions and corns in both traditional and non-traditional places. My arches ached and often got the worst “stitches” and cramps in them…charley horses? In my calves…all the time.

As beautiful as ballet is, it’s a hard, painful life. There’s a reason why ballerinas have to end their careers in their early 30s. Their bodies simply cannot handle the demands the art places on it beyond that time. (Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but usually ballerinas become dance teachers, and they spend their remaining lives in ballet shoes, not toe shoes, for a reason!)

The arthritis that has developed in my middle toes (I’m convinced from being scrunched between the big toe and the outer toes for years on end) is eased by the softness and warmth of hand-knit socks. Wearing hand-knit socks also means that I must wear shoes with a wider toe bed, which is certainly healthier for my feet. Clogs just fit the bill (they also help keep the heels of the socks from wearing out faster).

And may I offer a hint to those gentlemen who might be reading with whatever measure of interest in Nana? The fastest way for a man to make it into my life is to offer to give me a foot massage. Spend long periods of time, with warm oil, gently stroking my toes, the arch of my foot, the heel and back around again, and I’ll probably agree to do just about anything.
;)
(But be careful, because tickling those same feet sends me in the opposite direction really, really fast!)

But this IS about socks, right? Well...what I learned with my first pair of merino wool socks is that those handcrafted, form-fitted, ideally-shaped-to-MY-foot toe-up socks, knitted in stockinette is a very close second to a foot massage in my book. My toes are enveloped in softness, comfort, and warmth that lasts all day. There is no bunching, no excess fabric, the socks fit like a glove, if you will…

Especially if the sock yarn is 100% merino. Sinful luxury. And the price of $20-$25 per pair? Peanuts.

All the colorful hand-dyed goodness is just eye candy. Pure fluff. Tons of fun. And I look for fun wherever I can find it now that I’m a Woman of a Certain Age.

So go ahead. Buy your Walmart mass-produced, low-quality cotton-acrylic blend socks. Keep your toes chilly.

But I’ll keep knitting my “expensive” socks. It’s a therapy unrivaled…a combination of process (knitting) and product (the socks) that cannot under any circumstance be surpassed. And actually, when you think about it, hour for hour, $25 for gorgeous sock yarn is a lot cheaper than either psychoanalysis or therapeutic massage would cost me.

JMHO!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Different Every Time!

I think this is me, mostly...
I am Elizabeth Bennet!


Take the Quiz here!



But first I got this:

I am Marianne Dashwood!


Take the Quiz here!




And when I thought about it...(some of those questions I don't really have good answers for - my best friend isn't in that selection of questions after all...)

I am Anne Elliot!


Take the Quiz here!



(but I hate to admit that I haven't read Persuasion)

So...I suspect I'm really a conglomeration of all of them.
Thanks Birdsong for pointing me to this fun quiz!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We're Moving...

And not blogs! Knitnana, Nana Sadie Rose, and crew are in the process of changing physical abodes.

There'll be light and air (especially AIR!!), space...this lovely townhome is vintage (suits Nana Sadie Rose, doncha think? as she's pretty vintage, too!), with hardwood floors and a quaint, yet large kitchen. And storage galore - which I don't completely understand considering the age of the place. The two really don't go together, but there you go...

Every thing is in turmoil. There are empty boxes stacked high in every free space, and even some that are finally packed (this isn't a happy process for me, but I don't know anyone who likes it). When you consider the limited space I'm in now...well, it's a tad bit TIGHT in here...

But it's giving me another opportunity to re-evaluate the "stuff" of my life, another chance to practice my voluntary simplicity philosophy...

How much is enough? Do you know what "enough" is for you? It's really such a personal decision - no one can tell you what the definition is, you simply have to come to it yourself. I've spent years reducing...seeing things creep back up again, then reducing once more. It's hard. But freeing when you can realize that you've really less than when you started all those years ago (11 for me!).

Fabric and yarn do not enter into the discussion. I have what I have. Fabric comes in based on sales orders for the business, yarn right now is on hold for Knit from Your Stash, so it's slowly being used.

So: I cannot give up my CD and tape (!) collection, nor my books. And my bear collection is finally going to have the space to come out and play (in an antique cradle that is a family piece - there's been no room for it for years...). But I'm paring down the wardobe considerably (I've put together a certain "uniform" over the years, and might as well give up the rest, if I eventually lose the weight, I'll just buy new, till then, someone else can get the benefit from it!). The blue & white china stays as well. The magazines I used to collect, well, many of those are on their way out.

And the stuff of a lifetime, and my mom's lifetime before me, well much isn't worth keeping after all.

In all this new space, what a lovely idea to try and "keep things light!"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Interesting...

You Are a Pegasus

You are a perfectionist, with an eye for beauty.
You know how to live a good life - and you rarely deviate from your good taste.
While you aren't outgoing, you have excellent social skills.
People both admire you - and feel very comfortable around you.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Do Ya Think?

Your Career Personality: Practical, Easy-Going, and Determined

Your Ideal Careers:

Airplane pilot
Civil engineer
Fire fighter
Forensic pathologist
Graphic designer
Marine biologist
Police officer
Professional athlete
Race car driver
Software engineer


Actually, practical, easy-going, and determined describe me very well - and it works with designing bags and knitting items!