The one where she gets a surprise in

her mailbox.  Here’s the story – I’ve been having some personal family challenges in the past couple of months.  My mom is in a nursing home, she has dementia, and about eight weeks ago, my father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer with spread to his bones and liver.  I’ve been going down to DeQueen about every other weekend, just to be with him and help him out with stuff.  So, to make a long story short, his cancer has spread to his brain and in a week’s time, we’ve had to move him into a nursing home because we just couldn’t provide the care he needed.  Basically, over a six week period, he has gone from being completely independent, driving and living in our family home to having to have nursing care around the clock.  Because of the brain mets, he’s very confused, gets angry and frustrated very easily and has to be supervised closely.  As you might have figured out, all this has been a very trying time for me, and I know I’ve not been my regular self lately.

OK, back to the story about the mail.  I love jellybeans, love them awful and a good friend knows how much I love them, so he put a new bag of Starburst jellybeans in my mailbox.  How sweet is that?  Gave me a big smile and warm fuzzy feeling.  I have wonderful friends.

Susannah modeling the Brittany Jumper.  Cute as cute can be, right?

Is she precious or what???
Never chase a lie.  Let it alone and it will run itself to death.  Lyman Beecher (1775-1863)

The one where the heel

is ready to be turned on the remaining Slippery Sock.  Woo Hoo!  Takes so little to excite me nowdays.  So.  The sock is going swimmingly, and I’m already thinking ahead to my next project.  Should I start a new new project or finish my current pet FO, the En Pointe Pullover.  Which one?  Decision making hasn’t been my strong suit the last few weeks.  I’ve been channeling Scarlett O’Hara a lot lately, the whole “I’ll think about that tomorrow” thing.  Totally out of character for me, the Queen of Quick Decisions.  When I get overwhelmed about things, that’s the first thing to go and right at this moment, I can’t be bothered with what I call mosquito decisions, like what time I want to have dinner, where and exactly what or should I call (insert name here) now or wait until later or even, should I wear navy or black pants to work today?  The millions of choices I make every day that normally are just under my radar become impossible when I’m overwhelmed.

I do, however, have a new photo of the Papoose, sitting (kiddy) pool side, in her ruffly swimsuit and cool hat –  

Minnowknits Brittany Jumper modeled as usual, by Susannah aka Papoose.  Not a great pic. but you get the idea.  A little big but she’ll be wearing it before too long!
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

The one where her search

for a place for Mom and Dad has commenced.  I’m going to try as hard as I can to get them into a place in west Little Rock.  I suppose I’ll start with the closest facilities to my home and widen the circle as I go.  This seems to be the most efficient way to go about it.  I’ve gotten some information from friends that are pretty much in the same boat as we are.  I pray this part will be accomplished quickly and that Mr. Iknead and I will make the right decision.

A little progress on the Slippery Sock.  See?  Will I get to the toe tonight?  Stay tuned to As the Heel Turns.  (giggles at her own witticism)  Knitting humor never gets old.

Finally got a couple of decent close up pics of the cables.  Very cool, I think.

The two most power warriors are patience and time.  Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)





The one where Memorial

Day is almost over.  I think I may actually be ready to go back to work.  I’ve missed so many days lately, I can’t remember the last time I worked a full week.  Never realized how much working kept me centered, mostly from just the routine.  We’ll start tomorrow looking for a place for my mom and dad to move into here in Little Rock.  If I think about the details too much, I start feeling overwhelmed and anxious, two emotions I’m not very familiar with.  One thing at a time, something I’ve had to practice a lot lately.

Knitting and baking today, still on first Slippery Sock but coming along, Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies with cream cheese filling came along for the ride.  Mr. Iknead gave them two thumbs up so I guess they’ll do.  : )  I’m still waiting on DD for a pic of Susannah in the Brittany Jumper.  I guess I’m going to have to call and jog her memory.

It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.  George F. Will



The one where home really is

where the heart is.  It’s where I know all the quirks, which door sticks and which door will never stay closed, where to find the corkscrew even though I don’t drink and knowing exactly how many potato peelings it takes to stop up my disposal.  I can remember every detail, where I was sitting, whether or not the TV was on and what I was snacking on when DD and DSIL called to tell us we were going to be grandparents and what was going on when DS told us he was going to propose to (now) DDIL.  I remember sadder things too, what we were doing when we got word that my DSIL had been in an accident and was in the hospital, the last time that Cheyenne, our sweet weimaraner, climbed down off the couch and what was happening when I noticed that my parents had gotten old.  I’ve been away from home most of the last couple of weeks, but I’m home now and really do feel wrapped up nice and tight, the way I think a newborn feels when it’s swaddled, fed, warm and secure.  I’m happy to be home, can you tell?

For my FO Friday, a less than perfect pic, but here’s the Brittany Jumper in all it’s glory.  I’ll post again when I get a photo of the Papoose wearing it.

Cute buttons, don’t you think?

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.  James Thurber (1894-1961)



The one where she thinks she’s

wound about ten miles (at least) of yarn over the past two days.  Actually, I had a couple of skeins that were missing in action and in searching for them I became reacquainted with a lot of my stash.  So, I got out my handy dandy ball winder and swift and wound and wound and wound.  You get the picture.  I had several oh my goodness look at this moments, a lot of them really but on the other hand, I had more than a couple of oh my gosh, what was I thinking moments.  Especially regarding about eight skeins of Cashmerino in about eight different shades of green.  Who knew there were so many shades of avocado?  Yuck.

The Brittany Jumper is blocking.  YAY!   I love the feel of the cotton yarn, which gets softer and softer the more it’s touched but, on the downside, it takes ages to dry, even after running it through the spin cycle a couple of times.  I’ve got it under a fan and that speeds things up a bit, but it’s still slow.  Take a look, please.

Besides being a yarn windfest, it was also a bakefest.  I made a Cream Cheese Blueberry Coffee Cake, a tried and true favorite and also tried something new, a Whole Wheat Fresh Apple Ring.  I learned something new with the apple cake.  It’s nearly impossible for me to shred fresh apple.  It has too much juice or something.  I’m sure some baking whiz can do it with one hand tied behind them, but in my world, it ain’t happening.  I finally just chopped the apple really fine and called it good, and it was.

A Daddy Update:  I’m driving to DeQueen tomorrow after work, he has an appointment at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with a surgeon, I’m guessing to discuss whether or not surgery is an option.  I’m anxious to hear what he has to say.  I’ll be glad to get this trip and appointment behind us.  This will be the third trip down there since last Sunday.

Still haven’t decided about a new blog, on one hand I enjoy putting my thoughts down on paper (yes, I’m aware that there isn’t paper involved in this blog, but old habits die hard).  On the other hand, lately it’s been very difficult to make time just for this one.  Do I really want to add another?  Could the three kind people who actually read this blog please weigh in?  What do you think?

We are shaped by our thoughts.  We become what we think.  Buddha (563 B.C.-483 B.C.)



The one where I decide to share

a couple of things other than the warm fuzzies I usually talk about.  In a nutshell, my mother has been in a nursing home for the last year due to vascular dementia and all it’s ugly effects.  My father spends all day, every day by her side in the NH, despite strong suggestions by his doctors, that he start taking better care of himself, eating more (he’s skin and bones) and getting more rest and relaxation.  He’s 82 by the way, has a pacemaker and is very arthritic, has a difficult time standing or walking for any length of time.  He and my mom live way down in southwest Arkansas, about three hours away from Little Rock and he has refused to even consider relocating closer to me and Mr. Iknead.  On top of that, I’m an only child, so I don’t have a sibling safety net.

To make a long story short, my dad went to his family doctor last Tuesday to follow up on the chronic problems he has, mainly a pacemaker check and bloodwork for the heart medications he takes.  She did a CT scan to check out his lungs and found that he has three separate masses in his left lung, along with a left adrenal gland mass.  He has a biopsy scheduled for Monday morning, which is day after tomorrow, to find out whether or not he has cancer.  I spoke with his dr Tuesday morning and she pretty much told me that these are more likely than not malignant and that it’s spread to at least his adrenal gland.  We’ll know for certain one way or another after the biopsy.  Mr. Iknead and I are going down there tomorrow afternoon and honestly, I expect that I’ll be down there for at least three days, while he recovers and we get a clear answer on what to do next.  We’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.  Thank heavens Mom is in the NH, that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about.

On a more upbeat note, the Brittany Jumper is, ta-da, finished, right down to weaving in the ends.  I’m going to block it tomorrow and hopefully will get a photo to post.  Did I mention that the Papoose is the most wonderful baby on the plant?  No, I didn’t think so.  Here’s a peek at the light of my life –

It’s impossible not to smile along with her!

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.  The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward.  When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.  Dr. Karl Augustus Menninger  1893-1900



The one where the Easter

bunny has come and gone, the Papoose got some really great swag and I, for one, have eaten my weight in chocolate Easter eggs.  I’ll pay for that little adventure later, I’m sure.  We had a wonderful, joyous weekend, laughing and all talking at once, cruising that sugar high.  I’m blessed with family.

Here’s Susannah in her Easter frock before  church.

And after

As for knitting, excellent progress was made on both the Brittany Jumper and the Coupling socks, with the socks lacking just the ribbing up top.  The Jumper lacks about an inch and a half more skirt before starting the bodice.  Pictures sometime this week, just when, I don’t know.

I’m glad to be back in my own nest tonight.

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.  Aaron Rose



The one where she’s a

little ahead of the game.  I took pics last night to post since I’m going to be in a meeting from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and I wanted to post a WIP Wednesday.

The Brittany Jumper so far


and just in case anyone missed it, a little stitch detail


Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.  Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)



The one where the first

day at work after being under the weather goes smoothly.  I was three days behind but have managed to catch up without too much trouble.  Without jinxing myself, I think the Brittany Jumper has been beaten into submission (finally) and the eyelet  border is behind me.  Now, 6 1/2 inches of st st before the bodice.

I finished The Uncoupling today.  Very interesting book, a takeoff on Lysistrata.  Without spoiling it, the play is about ancient women who get tired of the men’s warring and go on a sex strike until peace is restored.  Like I said, very interesting.  The author is Meg Wolitzer.  Good read.

Here’s some stitch detail on Brittany.  Looks great if I do say so myself.

This is the eyelet picot pattern that nearly drove me batty last week.  I think putting the whole project into time out did the trick.

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.  H.G. Wells (1866-1946)



The one where the Brittany

Jumper is cast on ONE LAST TIME.  I mean it.  This is the absolute last time.  If I’m unsuccessful,  I’m going to chalk it up to the knitting gods, who obviously don’t want me to knit this and move on.  I mean, there are countless yarns and projects that I could be knitting, why do I keep beating my head against this particular wall?

The wireless is working again.  Poor Mr. Iknead worked so hard yesterday to get it back up and running; his patience outshines mine pretty much all the time, but I could tell yesterday evening that even his patience was wearing thin.  Hats off to you sweetie.

Here’s the obligatory photo, but the subject is anything but.

On Friday, we’re heading north to Fayetteville for Miss Susannah’s first Easter.  I need me some Susannah love and chocolate bunnies.  Mmmmmm..

I baked a new cake recipe yesterday, devil’s food with a macaroon filling and coconut frosting.  Tastes just like an Almond Joy.  Ugly as homemade sin, but really good.

Luck is like having a rice dumpling fly into your mouth.  Japanese proverb



The one, after a deep breath,

the Brittany Jumper is no more.  I decided I just couldn’t live with the crooked eyelets and in the end I’d be much happier just starting over.  So that’s what I did.

DD and the Papoose got home to Fayetteville all in one piece.  It sure was nice having them around and I wish I could have hidden Susannah away and kept her, but I knew that sooner or later her mom would figure it out.  So it was a no go.

Here is the obligatory photo that every blog post must have.  So there.  Here’s my girls, DD and DDIL.  DD is in pink.  Aren’t they beautiful?

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.