How Cool Is That?, Free at Last and Olivia Petit


A couple of years ago, 3/23/11 to be exact ’cause I went back and checked, I decided that I wanted – no, make that needed, to learn how to make pottery. Like a lot of things I get obsessed with, this idea eventually seemed to fade and then take its place in what I call the idea cabinet part of my head. It never fully got relegated to the back side of the cabinet.  It just hung around, surfacing every now and then in the foreground of whatever I was mentally working on. Long story short I signed up for a basic handbuilding pottery class at the art center here in Little Rock yesterday after seeing a random class schedule online.  The first class is April 1 and to say I’m excited is like saying Albert Einstein is a math whiz.  Personally, I think looking at the collection of pottery at the library Monday shook something loose.


It’s been a while since I’ve done any what I call real baking, meaning from scratch, not a box.   Not knocking the box thing, Lord knows it’s saved my fanny more times than I like to count, it’s just not as satisfying to me as measuring out ingredients and watching my big Kitchenaid do its thing.  So, this afternoon, I pulled out the fresh blueberries I found Tuesday, the pecans I got cheap at Christmas and froze and the little bit of sour cream I had left over from some other cooking project and made a (surprise) blueberry-pecan-sour cream coffee cake that smells heavenly.  I’m having cake for supper.  Oh, you haven’t heard??  They’ve made coffee cake a food group!


I had my last visit (hurray hurray) with my hematologist today and he released me, to come back in a year.  His release was the final step in getting back to normal after my surgery.  For the first time in a long, long time, my blood counts are normal and I don’t have to be followed every week or so with blood draws and lab tests.  To give you an idea, about a week before my surgery, my hematocrit was 9.5-ish and today, it was 12; translated into realspeak, my doctor said it pretty much means that I have 2 1/2 more pints of blood today than I had a month ago.  No wonder I feel more energized.  Please excuse me, I’m going now to leap a tall building in a single bound.  While I’m leaping, you can admire the flowers I saw outside the clinic this morning ; )

Little Rock Hematology Oncology Clinic


The Olivia Petit sweater and I have come to an agreement.  I’ll do a better job of reading the pattern and making sure I understand directions and she’ll be a good sport and knit up all pretty and sweet like she promised.  Really, it was operator error with the difficulties earlier this week.  After I put her aside, slept and reread her pattern more slowly and closely, my mistake was obvious and best of all, fixable.  It did entail several, like ten, rows of tinking, but I’m finally back on track with most of my sanity intact.  This is what she looks like so far –

If you look closely, you can see the first two buttonholes; we won’t

discuss last night’s buttonhole frustration.

Don’t forget to check Tami Ami’s FO Friday blog – it’s always a treat!

What’s your latest dream come true?

Be sure that, as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building.  Stephen Covey





On a whim this morning, I stopped in at TJ Maxx , mostly because I’m looking for a sort of duffle/overnight/weekender bag that doesn’t scream ugly gym bag when I carry it.  I’ve justified needing one because I’m keeping the road hot between my house in Little Rock and the grands’ house in Stuttgart.  I want something at least a little girly and just big enough for a couple of clothes changes and my bathroom/makeup gear.  Of course, since I have champagne taste on a beer budget, my ideal bag probably doesn’t exist but I’m going to keep looking.

Making the circuit at TJM, I found the toy department (I didn’t know they had toys) and scored some awesome good deals.  I think the most expensive one was a Leap Frog Xylophone for $11.00 that I can picture the grands banging on even as I  blog.  I checked and yes, it does have an off button.  The grands are coming for a visit this weekend, I can’t wait to show them the new stuff!  Check it out –


OK, I might be the only person on the planet who thinks this is so great.  Mr. Iknead finally figured out how to use the wireless thingy on our printer.  “Why are you so excited?”, you might ask.  I’m excited because I can now print patterns and what ever else my little heart desires FROM THE COMFORT OF MY CHAIR IN THE DEN, IN FRONT OF THE FIRE, WITH MY KNITTING!  Now if I could just figure out how to get the copies without moving out of my chair, life would be pretty close to perfect.  I think I need to buy more printer paper.  As Martha would say, “It’s a good thing”.

Strong people make as many mistakes as weak people.  Difference is that strong people admit their mistakes, laugh at them, learn from them.  That is how they become strong.  Richard Needham



July 5


I’m happy to report that Wingspan is finished and I can stop feeling guilty about the Nine to Five socks that have been on the “as soon as I finish ________” list and they’re now first in line.

Here’s Wingspan

And to prove that yes, it does take just one skein, here’s what is left after binding off

This quite possibly could be the only green grass in Little Rock.  It’s been something like 22 days since we’ve had any measurable precipitation, according to Barry Brandt, weatherman whiz and if lawns don’t get watered every day, they get brown and crunchy.  As far as I can tell, we have no real chance 0f rain until Saturday or Sunday, if then.  But I digress…

I think I’ll block it tomorrow since Mr. Iknead and I are making a trip to see the Papoose (and her mom and dad, of course). 

A quick look at the Nine to Fives –


Coffee with fancy creamer, Josie the Pug, books and babies.


I’m nearly finished with Inconceivable, an excellent, excellent book, and have Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter waiting to be started.  Looks like a really great read and I’m excited to get into it.

I have the simplest tastes.  I am always satisfied with the best.  Oscar Wilde



The one where I come clean

about why I’ve not been blogging for the last few weeks.  To tell the truth, I’ve felt overwhelmingly overwhelmed for the past few weeks, what with my Dad’s cancer diagnosis and his passing, my Mom’s dementia and getting her transferred to a nursing home here in Little Rock, trying to get their home of nearly 50 years cleaned out and ready to sell, notifying everyone who needs to be notified about the huge changes, like the bank, insurance companies, retirement accounts and then getting the word out that Mom is being moved to Little Rock, getting mail forwarded, bills paid and the list seems endless.  I’m telling you, my Superwomen cape has taken a beating here the last little bit and is a little worse for the wear, so I gave it a well deserved mend and rest.  It’s back on now and I feel ready to jump back into my real life.  Mom is adjusting well to her new digs, the light at the end of the endless paperwork tunnel truly seems brighter and closer and I’ve learned (at least until next time) that the world won’t stop spinning on its axis if I don’t get everything crossed off my to do list every day. 

So, all in all, life is good, all of us are happy and healthy, with jobs and homes and food on the table.  Life really is lovely, I think. 

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.  Maori proverb






The one where Josie caves

to pressure and is convinced to model the FO Friday entry.  Supermodels are such divas!

This FO is a skinny mistake rib scarf that I knitted on a road trip to Cleveland, Ohio, with my son, when he had a graduate school audition there.  The name of the school escapes me at the moment, must be a senior moment.  It didn’t work out, but he feels that he is exactly where he needs to be at this point in his life.  We drove there, straight through from Little Rock and I’m here to tell you that that is one long car ride and in March, Cleveland is very, very cold and snowy.  Would I do it again?  In a New York minute.  I wouldn’t trade that time with my baby boy for anything.

Blue’s her color, don’t you think?

If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.  Bruce Barton



The one where a sense

of putting down a burden, a not so heavy burden but a burden nonetheless, is a welcome relief.  My father came to LR yesterday and I went with him to see his cardiologist (he has a pacemaker) and besides needing to have the battery replaced sometime this summer, everything checked out.  What makes this situation a little more difficult is that he lives in a small town, about three hours away from Little Rock.  I was able a year or so ago to convince him that his just hopping in the car and bringing himself to his appointment was really not a great option, he’s 82, with arthritic joints, eyesight that’s not terrible, but not as good as it was and a very low freak out threshold.  So, Mr. Iknead and I have to go down and pick him up, coordinate schedules and be available to be his wheels while he’s here.  It’s really just an inconvenience that happens a couple of times a year, but I always feel relieved when he’s finished with everything and is safely back home.  Mr. Iknead drove him home this time, it’s a six hour round trip and he’ll never know how much this means to me.  Mr. Iknead rocks!!  Did I mention that my Mom is in a nursing home with dementia?  He’s always in a hurry to get back home, it’s hard for him to be away and she doesn’t understand why he’s not visiting. 

The upside is that waiting rooms are perfect for working on a small project, keeps my mind focused and helps me with the antsy feelings that always come around when I have to sit and wait.  The Coupling socks were the happy recipient of my (sort of) undivided attention today.  Here’s where we stand at this moment –

I’m lacking in photo skills I think so I’m going to dig up the instruction book and hone the few skills I have.

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.  Friedrich Nietzsche  (1844-1900)



The one where she officially

loathes the Celebration Socks and the yarn they’re made of.  Here’s the story:  broke 1.5 Harmony circ somehow, overjoyed to find I have another one, knows without a doubt that it will be a cinch to get the socks onto the undamaged needle, no fuss, no muss, no dice.  It seems that no matter how hard I try, I cannot get the stupid things on the new needle the way they need to be; they are either backward (with the working yarn not at the first stitch but the last stitch on the needle), one facing front, the other facing back and countless other screw ups that I just can’t describe.  These socks are officially in time out, in a ziplock, behind a closed door, in another room.  This is to keep me from totally frogging them and trashing the yarn just so I don’t have to look at them or think about them ever again.  Can yarn be cursed?  Deep breath, let it out slowly.

We had a wonderful visit with Susannah and her mom (who happens to be our daughter, Lindsey) the past few days, keeping them company while Daddy (who happens to be Lindsey’s DH and our son-in-law) is out of town.  We’re back home in Little Rock now and I’m beginning to gear up for entering the real world again tomorrow. 

Here’s a picture of the cursed socks.  Don’t let their looks deceive you, these babies are evil.


The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return.  It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.  Arthur C. Clarke (1917-    )



The one where she casts

on her newest project, Minnowknits Pinafore Dress.

I’m using Jil Eaton Cottontail, #7520, Aqua. 

I can see Susannah in it already.  Come on Spring.

On the subject of Spring, it’s hard to believe that about 48 hours ago, Little Rock was in the middle of a snowstorm, with temps in the 20s.  Today, when I left work, the sun was shining, birds were chirping and the temp was around 50F.  That’s Arkansas weather for you, if it doesn’t suit you, wait 30 minutes because it’s going to change. 

I think cupcakes are going to be the project this weekend, haven’t decided what kind, for some reason, cupcakes are ringing my bells tonight.  Maybe a nice yellow cake with strawberries incorporated some way.  Hmmm…

You cannot be mad at somebody who makes you laugh – it’s as simple as that.  (Jay Leno (1950 –    )



A Snow Day

This lovely lady is my granddaughter, Susannah, on her very first Christmas morning.  She is the apple of everyone’s eye and the center of attention where she happens to be.  Seven months old and perfect.  Christmas was the best in a long time, babies have their own magic I think.
Arkansas is digging out of a snowstorm that started yesterday right on schedule according to the TV weather people.  They predicted snow would start falling around 3 pm and dang, if it didn’t.  Here in Little Rock we got 6 inches more or less.  When it snows this much, everything in the city pretty much grinds to a halt.  The day before winter weather is predicted, everyone heads to the grocery store, whether they need to or not.   By the time the weather arrives, the store shelves, especially bread and junk food, are bare.  Crazy.  Things should be getting back to normal tomorrow.
I started a Scarf -in-a-Scarf kit on Saturday and thought everything was going swimmingly until I reread the instructions and realized that I was totally off the count with the pattern, like knitting twice as many rows as I should have.  The upshot is that I frogged the entire thing and started all over again.  Note to self, always read through the pattern and keep referring to it as you go.  Duh. 
Today’s deep thought:  Keep seeing the magic in life.