Friday, October 31, 2008
The Seventeenth of October was a lovely Friday. The leaves were in full color, the sun was shining and the air temperature was warm. I had spent several hours over at the church catching up on paper work. A group of men from the buildings and grounds committee were over at the church replacing broken floor tiles. One woman had decided to come with her husband had deep cleaned part of the church, cleaning the baseboards and mopping the floors.
As I was getting ready to leave I heard a quiet sound and looked up in the sky to see this blimp. I took several blimp pictures and only wish I had a more powerful telephoto lens.
Friday, October 10, 2008
So as I was reflecting with my DH about my insight into becoming less of a worry wort we were treated to a wonderful visitor to our relaxing family dinner on the porch. A walking stick.
I looked down to see what I thought was a twig and then it moved ever so slightly. The walking stick was so calming. We watched it walk across our porch and begin climbing the brick façade on porch.
What was most amazing about this walking stick, was how stress reducing it was to watch this unique creature. It isn’t every day one sees a walking stick. In fact I think this is first walking stick I have seen in my life. I enjoyed this encounter with creation and enjoying that wonder – this creature go on its merry way without any worries – was refreshing after a week of drama in the media and the marketplace. Ah the wonders of creation. Now I have a greater understanding of why God rested and enjoyed creation on the 7th day.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Well today during the morning key note speaker, my cell phone rang it was the nominating committee calling me back to see if I would serve on yet another Presbytery committee. They had called two or three weeks ago wanting me to serve. I told them I needed some time to think about it and this was the call back. I said NO. I then told them all the things I am doing for the Presbytery. I am doing a lot. A lot more than some of my other clergy colleagues. I then suggested strongly that tap into some of the other clergy who aren't serving on a committee. All active clergy in the Presbytery are required by the Book of Order to be 'active' in Presbytery. I think I'm doing the work of at least three people since I am on three committees. The big thing was that I said NO. I said NO and I don't feel guilty about it either.
What was nice is that my saying NO was reinforced in a positive way by the women in my knitting group and by our luncheon key note speaker, Allen Funts daughter, Juliet. She was so funny and had so many things to say to folks who like to be in control. It was a helpful talk for me to hear and it reinforced in a positive way my NO to more volunteer committee work.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The circumstances of my life have been a bit complex lately since DH has gone back to grad school and has an unpredictable schedule at times. We learn to adapt and roll with the punches. This is all very fun for me to watch the transformation in myself from someone who had to control every detail of every situation to someone who can roll with the punches and doesn't have to be in control. My transportation in the past few days has been that way. I didn't make any reservations for my transportation in Atlanta and discovered that MARTA works and is economical. Gosh I love public transportation and really hate the fact that we don't have that in in Kansas City.
Well here's the story.
DH drove me to the airport for my flight on Monday. The PLAN was that he would pick me up when my flight got back in on Wednesday late afternoon, but I didn't plan well. DH's schedule did not allow for me to be picked up in a timely manner. Because the airport is nearly in southern Iowa (yes, I know that is a exaggeration and I live on the other side of the metro from the airport)it takes 45 minutes to an hour to get the airport from where DH was working and we live.
So from Atlanta, I was trying to arrange transport home so I wouldn't end up sitting in the airport at KC for 3 hours. The MCI website is laid out well, EXCEPT there is no options for PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, because public transportation in Kansas City doesn't really exist.
Well I calculated what a cab would cost from the airport to my house (nearly 50 miles one way trip). A shuttle (van) wasn't much cheaper, and I emailed from Atlanta a car/limo service and they were competitive with a shared shuttle van and the cab. So I contracted with a car service for a TOWN CAR to pick me up at the airport.
I was met at the gate by a well groomed and helpful driver who handled my bags. Now remember I'm pretty much a do it yourself gal. Independent and self sufficient.
What I got when I collected my bags was the surprise of my life. A stretch limo. Now I have always fantasied about riding in a stretch limo. Riding in a stretch limo is on my list of things to do in my life. So as we walked to the waiting limo, the driver put my bags in the trunk and I must have had this weird look on my face because he said "don't ask me, they just sent me up here in this."
So for 45 minutes I got to ride in the lap of luxury in the back of this limo. I had my camera with me and took pictures. This was just too surreal. Nothing I ever expected and something that will never happen again.
Now please don't get me wrong. I loved my limo ride. I'm so glad I had my digital camera to document the moment. I know I paid dearly for this experience but I wouldn't trade this 'be nice to me' experience for anything. And I realize that I was able to have this wonderful experience because of privilege and that this option of airport transport would not be accessible to those who did not have computer access to make arrangements, a phone to make the call, or $$$ to pay.
I've been thinking a lot about how Kansas City needs good public transportation for a number of reasons and that the powers that be in this city just don't get it. I was unable to access any usable information on public transportation to and from the airport. There was information on cabs $2.50 flat rate for the first mile and then $2.00 for each additional mile. Car services and van/shuttles are competitive with taxis. Parking at the airport is $18.00 a day in the garage (many women with early and late flights like the garage for safety reasons). The least expensive surface lot is $7.50 at the airport and I don't know what the off site surface lots run, but I do know they don't have shuttle from the lot at the ungodly hour I had to arrive for my flight.
On my next trip I will think through the parking/transport better. I usually can get a ride and pick up, but in this case I couldn't. I've driven myself and parked on past flights - which is also expensive. Driving myself and parking would have cost $54.00. About $30.00 less than a taxi. All of this is sure a lot more costly than the $1.75 I paid in Atlanta to get from the airport to Columbia Seminary.
No wonder Kansas City doesn't have business clamoring to move here. It costs too much to do business in this city because there is no PUBLIC Transportation and the PUBLIC Good is not considered.
I love public art and when I get the opportunity to enjoy public art it always brings a smile to my face. In the Atlanta Hartsfelt-Jackson International Airport there is a wonderful permanent exhibit of stone sculptures done by several artists from Zimbabwe.
I really enjoyed this exhibit when I was in Atlanta on Monday.
When I left on Wednesday, I saw this hidden public art in the baggage claim area. The ants are just so fun and of course those folks who are too busy to take time to observe the details of their surroundings would probably miss these ants.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I'm attending a three day continuing education event at Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Decatur is a north eastern suburb of Atlanta. So I left my house at the undgodly hour of 3:45 am to drive to the St. Joseph/Kansas City international airport, which is 45 minutes from my house (at that hour...not rush hour where it might take double that amount of time) to catch my 5:40 am flight. Kansas City does not believe in public transportation. I've lived in two other cities, one larger and one smaller, and I could go from where I lived to the airport with no difficulty, but NO in Kansas Ciy you have to drive everywhere. Now I like to drive, but not everyone can afford a car. A car in many cultures is a luxury.
Well I arrived in Altanta, was treated to a wonderful public art exihibt in the airport, picked up my bag, bought a BREEZE ticket for $1.75. Yes $1.75 and that little ticket got me from the airport to the front gate of the seminary in about an hour. I had a wonderful time watching scenery and there was even a bird that few into the underground and perched on a sign in the Five Points Station stop.
Gotta love a city with decent public transportation. Can I take MARTA home with me?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
When I was in High School I took a creative writing class as I thought I might want to be a writer, but was discouraged because the teacher, who shall remain un-named, didn’t like my writing style. Having muckraker or tendencies toward going after things I didn’t like, I wrote a tribute to my father that went after the tobacco and smoking that caused his cancer and ultimate death. So taking the advice of this ‘teacher’ I am writing a tribute to my mother and posting some pictures of her that show her in the best light.
My mother liked to garden. When I had outgrown my swing set, we tore it down and turned the space next to the garage into a garden plot. In the last five years of so of my mother’s life, she let the raspberry bushes take over the space and she grew the best raspberries. I looked forward to my summer treks north and the raspberries.
Mom loved her house and hated having her picture taken. So here is a picture of her on the front porch of the house where I grew up but she’s not happy because she is having her picture taken. That porch is important to me because it is where I spent my favorite time of day in the spring and the autumn. When I would come home from school, I’d go and sit on the porch and listen to music in the afternoon sun at 4:00 pm. 4:00 pm is still one of my favorite times of day. The house was important to my mother because it was a place where she felt safe and at home and could do her crafts, sew, and have friends in for coffee.
Here’s a picture of my mother as a 17 year old girl. She was beautiful – something I don’t think she ever ‘got.’ Since she had me when she was 46 (I was a late in life baby), I always remember her with a splotch of gray in the front and her dark brown/almost black hair. She was beautiful.
My mother had lots of friends. Here is a picture of her with two of her friends. Her friends and social activities kept her going. My mom was always busy doing something or going somewhere and I always remember the house being full of people who would stop by for coffee and a chat. Although she was 83 when she died, there was a huge turn-out for her funeral because she had so many friends. Being a friend is something I learned from my mom.
So today as I remember that difficult day of moving mom from the hospital to the nursing home, I also remember all that she was and all that she taught me and I celebrate her and her life.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I guess what I'm trying to say is that folks I've friended on Facebook are people I know and people who I have had a sustained relationship at various times in my life. I'm kinda of amazed that I've hit 100 friends on Facebook and wanted to mark that milestone.
Friday, September 5, 2008
I really want to stay away from partisan politics in my blogging, but the GOP’s Vice Presidential nominee hit several of my hot buttons in her recent speech. Her speech was mean and she strikes me as a mean person and those who know me know I don’t like mean very much so I am struggling with ‘liking’ Ms. Palin. I guess there is enough of a pastor’s heart in me to also seek to love this person as a sister in Christ, since she claims to know the same Savior and Lord I do. I know I will be adding her to my prayer list.
The internal issue I am confronting, is my discomfort and feelings with the ‘dis’ I felt from Ms. Palin’s remarks. This for me is a perfect example of two people who claim the same faith not agreeing with each other. I also view one of the roles of a pastor as community organizer.
I took much umbrage wit Ms. Palin’s remarks about Community Organizers. There have been several really good rebuttals to her comments that Community Organizers don’t have any experience.
Having done community organizing, I know it is hard work. In reality community organizing is grass roots politics at its best. It is populist politics. It is getting people involved. Our local PICO group in Kansas City Communities Creating Opportunity is doing great stuff through the Churches, in much the same way the churches in south Chicago where Barack Obama worked did. The people of the community are becoming empowered to change their local communities.
What I find so interesting about this that there is a strong populist strain in Alaska politics and it seems that Ms. Palin’s remarks, upon further analysis, miss the role of community organizing in populist politics. Her remarks show that she really doesn’t know or understand the profession of community organizing or what a powerful tool it can be to bring about change. Ultimately this may come back to haunt her.
I would also like to remind all those out there that community organizing is not a partisan thing. Check out the boycotts that the American Family Association are launching via email against McDonalds for their support of what the AFA perceives to be corporate support of a ‘homosexual’ agenda. Also the Christian Coalition has effectively used community organizing techniques to mobilize the religious right. Obviously the speech writer for Ms. Palin didn’t do their homework on the history of a profession they were going discount. I need not say more, I will let my readers make their own conclusions.
Although historically associated with the ‘left’ community organizing has been effectively used by all parts of the political spectrum so I don’t want to hear garbage about it being a left wing or liberal thing. I just wanted to give a shout out to all the community organizers out there, your work is valuable and keep it up regardless of your political stripe. Community organizing is just good grass roots politics so bring it on.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The weather compounded with some various ‘stuff’ in my life internal and external is affecting my mood. I know it will pass. I know that whining about it isn’t going to change anything and only concrete action on my part will change things. I also know that I am in charge of my mood. I guess admitting I’m in a bad mood and only I can change it. I am admitting that I’m already tired of politics and want to take a nine week news diet. I’ve even thought about killing my television set and I’m not listening to my usual NPR as much when I drive…thank God for the Boulevard.
I think what has set me off is the mean spiritedness that I’ve personally experienced a little over a week ago when I left a meeting where my hard work on a project was tossed under the bus by a couple people I had viewed as friends and allies on some of the justice issues I often support. Mean spiritedness can come from all perspectives, even those with close viewpoints on some issues.
My own personal pain and working through being tossed under the bus has been compounded with the MEAN SPIRITED rhetoric of recent days in the political arena, which basically leads me to conclude that I REALLY HATE MEANNESS of any type and there is a LOT OF MEANNESS RUNNING RAMPANT THESE DAYS.
So as a person who seeks to follow Jesus Christ and a pastor I find myself realizing that I am not called to counteract the meanness of the day with more meanness, but to be faithful. Faithful to what I believe is true and right. Overcoming meanness with good is harder than it sounds. Trying to find a redeeming quality to lift up and praise in a mean person is difficult, being kind and generous in the face of meanness is nearly impossible sometimes, yet that is exactly what I think overcome evil with good is all about. SO if I seem kind of sullen and quiet these days, it’s because I am struggling with a GOOD to overcome the meanness I see around me. The last thing I want to do in my quest to be faithful to my faith and beliefs is contribute to the meanness around me.
We often wonder how we can impact the world as one person. I have come to realize that I can overcome evil with good with each and every choice and action in my own life with the people I meet each day. That’s my story for today and I’m sticking to it.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
YohoPaulette was my spoiler in this swap and she certainly spoiled me in this swap.
I opened this box that smelled wonderful because one of the items in the box was Patchouli incense. I know I'm dating myself with I mention incense, but I love candles and incense and I love Patchouli. I grew up in the 70's.
In terms of yarn, I now understand the hub bub about Malbrigo sock yarn is all about. This yarn is sooooooooooooooo soft and I will be petting in appreciation this lovely skein in an Applewood colorway for quite a while before I knit it up into the perfect pair of socks. Paulette also dyed a skein of Knit Picks Merino wool for me in a lovely maroon to pink colorway. I will enjoy knitting with that yarn.
In addition to this wonderful yarn and incense, I received some ice tea mix for my water bottles, some peanut butter filled pretzels (which I learn I can get at my local CVS - it pays to read labels - these are yummy) and a lovely denim tote bag with RAVELRY embroidered on it that will be perfect for carrying smaller knitting projects.
Thanks Paulette, I love everything in this swap.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Now most everyone knows I'm not a 'morning' person. I am a night owl and prefer to stay up and burn the midnight oil. Well I have been challenging myself to see how the other half of the world lives, you know those folks who get up and follow the old Benjamin Franklin adage of "the early bird gets the worm." This morning I was up before the dawn. I made a pot of coffee and went out and sat on my porch. I then had to run back in and find my camera. This morning, because I was awake and enjoying the beauty of creation, was treated to this colorful sunrise.
The sunrise didn't last long before the clouds moved in and about an our later we got some rain that got the sidewalk wet.
It was a lovely peaceful morning and in addition to the lovely sunrise, I was treated to these really cool cloud formations. This is exactly why I love living in the Midwest.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
This is the second time I participated in the Books n' More Yarn Swap on Ravelry. My spoiler was in Great Britain and sent me some love treats from the UK. The Yarn I received in this swap is genuine Shetland Wool. I hasn't been dyed so she sent me some Kool Aid to dye the yarn with. I've not tried dying my own yarn so I am going to have a new experience soon. I received Easter Egg dye in the Summer of Yarn Love Swap so I will have to try my hand at dying yarn next time I take some time off for me.
My Books n' More swap package had the book Bag Style, along with the fore mentioned yarn. There is enough yarn to make the Needle Bag in the book, which is a really cool bag with a Knitting Needles as the frame.
What is really special about this package is the three Alan Dart patterns. Two for cats, and one for a Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. These patterns are really special because they are difficult to get in the US and they are from Alan Dart before his patterns became regularly published in Simply Knitting.
The hand made item in this package is a little teddy bear and he is just precious.
There was also a lovely batik tote bag (I love tote bags), some Tetly Green Tea with Lemon, Shortbread biscuits (cookies) - which are also personal favorites, two cute little tea lite candles, and three fun size candy bars. Oh and who can forget the fun size 15 Knitting Needles with a cool design on the needle.
Jacqui this was a great package and I thank you so much as this arrived at time when things are going a little tough with some tough decisions being made in my life and lifted my spirits very much. Thank You!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Since this is a blog with muffin in the title, this joke seems appropriate. Sooooo here it is.
The couple was 85 years old, and had been married for sixty-five years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies.
Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.
One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.
They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet.
They gasped in astonishment when he said, 'Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.'
The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. 'Why, nothing,' Peter replied, 'remember, this is your reward in Heaven.'
The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth.
'What are the greens fees?,' grumbled the old man.
'This is heaven,' St. Peter replied. 'You can play for free, every day.'
Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic desserts, free flowing beverages.
'Don't even ask,' said St. Peter to the man. This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.'
The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife.
'Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods, and the decaffeinated tea?,' he asked.
'That's the best part,' St. Peter replied. 'You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!'
The old man pushed, 'No gym to work out at?'
'Not unless you want to,' was the answer.
'No testing my sugar or blood pressure or...'
'Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.'
The old man glared at his wife and said, 'You and your bran muffins.. We could have been here ten years ago!'
Here's a picture of my package...with many thanks to Robin for her generosity and making my day and getting me out of funk.
Monday, August 4, 2008
It was a Dodge Avenger and the windows were small. I kinda felt like it was a gangster car. The car rental place didn’t clean the car very well. We found someone else’s soda bottle in one of the dash board compartments when we made our first fuel stop…yuck!
We did take this cool picture of horses during this fuel stop and that was one of the redeeming factors from the day.
What we really didn’t like about the rental car was how uncomfortable this car was. It had no lumbar support and the seats were stiff and just not comfortable for a road trip of 8 hours. SO I know not to even look at this particular model when I am shopping for a new car in few years. Oh and the car looks angry…I guess that’s why they named it Avenger.
Because I don’t like to say something bad without pointing out the good in things, I will say I did enjoy the Sirius satellite radio.
The car went back to the rental agency today. I told them about the vehicle. I’m grateful the car got me to the wedding and back, I am grateful that car didn’t break down, and I’m grateful that I know that this is not the car for me. See even a ‘bad’ experience can be a good thing!
Wow have I been spoiled in the Summer of Yarn Love Swap.
My secret spoiler Timiae (Spinkintup) sent me this wonderful package
Timiae has been my spoiler and she has outdone herself. In this final package I have received a lovely card that I can display at my office that has the scriptures on it that was made by another crafter.
I also have new gnome for my collection, which I have named Bubba.
A new coffee mug with lovely photos of yarn, wonderful yarn on it.
Two packages of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (both sugar free and regular)
Cat Borhdi's book on knitting socks on two circular needles and two circular knitting needles from Knit Picks, which I have been wanting to try. I have also wanted to learn this technique and the book looks great.
And finally a skein of superwash sock yarn ready to be dyed with the easter egg dye. I'll hold off on dyeing the yarn as treat for a task I have looming over my head, but it will also be incentive to get the that task completed.
Thank you so much Timiae. I love everything in this package too!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
These photos illustrate the reasons why I have started to carry my digital camera everywhere with me. We were driving out of the un-named fast food restaurant to begin our weekend road-trip to my great-nephew's wedding quite early on August 1st (let's just say it was before 6:30 am). We had to wait for this lovely gaggle of geese to cross the road. Of course we blocked the other traffic coming out of the fast food restaurant so we could get this photo (when I looked back into the rear view mirror) there were four cars in line wanting to pull out, and rush off to their jobs or errands or whatever else that could not wait a few minutes on a lovely morning. Nothing could have been so important as not to enjoy the peacefulness of these geese as they leisurely walked across the road. It was the start of a great day.
On August 1st, DH and I took a road trip to see my family in Minnesota. My great-nephew Brandon is getting married today. Well we rented a car and I'll be writing a post on our experiences with our rental car later.
DH and I are really big supporters of alternative energy sources and we try to leave a low carbon foot print in most things that we do so the idea of wind energy, especially in the Midwest, where wind is so much a part of the landscape, warms our hearts.
We were truly excited to see a couple of wind farms along Interstate 35 in Iowa and took some pictures from our moving vehicle of these wind farms. Depending on how well they enlarge and print, I think one of these may even be framed and find a place on the wall in our home.
I only regret not getting the shots of the blades on the flatbeds as we drove through Des Moines.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I am not working too hard to figure out who my Secret Spoiler is in the Summer of Yarn Love Swap is. All the packages have been coming from the same place and there are two members in the group who are from that area, but there is a clue that I was given that doesn't let me think that my spoiler is either one of those two people. So I will sit in a mystery until the great reveal.
Meanwhile I want to publicly thank my Secret Spoiler for spoiling me this month. I received two surprises and combined them into this one photo. I've never tried Knit Picks Yarn so I am looking forward to diving into the Summer Yarn Sampler I was sent. I collect squeeze balls so love the addition of the Walgreens Pill Squeeze Ball. The Kitchener Stitch pin will go on my knitting bag. The Kitchener stitch is the bain of a many a knitter. I also will enjoy the two new crochet hooks as I did not have either of those sizes. And the lotion sample I plan to use NOW. I cut my finger slicing up bacon for a salad yesterday and I think this will speed healing.
So Secret Spoiler, whoever you are, THANK YOU!
Friday, July 18, 2008
On that note, I know that humor is difficult for many and irony, satire, and sarcasm can be used effectively and can sometimes go overboard as in the case of the New Yorker. Al Franken is running into this problem, as was recently reported on NPR earlier this week, in his Minnesota Senate race against incumbent Norm Coleman. Now I admit that Franken's first book about Rush Limbaugh was one of the funniest books I've read back in the early part of this decade.
Humor is important to me and I like to laugh at least once a day. To that point I want to share with you the latest Jib Jab video on the election season. Jib Jab is a social networking site of sorts that allows you to share all those forwarded e-mail jokes and videos and share them with other people on the site. I was a beata tester for Jib Jab and have a Jib Jab coffee mug to prove it! I know I get excited about the smallest things in this life.
Well my favorite Jib Jab is Big Box Mart, but this one is much more relevant for today.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Considering I'm technically a first year Gen Xer this is always something that makes people take a second look when I tell my sister is in her 60's (the age of my of peer's parents) and my parents, if they were still living, would be the same age as their great-grand parents. This could make you feel like a freak but these circumstances are actually a gift.
I like the fact that my parents were from the GI generation and my sister is from the Silent generation and I looked up to and was influenced by some incredible Baby Boomers and count many of them friend and I actually have some Gen Xer friends too! It is interesting in that my life has been touched and influenced by decades of generations what gets confusing for me is some of the stuff I think about to the point that my brian hurts and that is how different people of different generations bridge or don't bridge the technology gap. I'm very comfortable with adapting and using new technologies. I may ask a lot of questions until my little brain gets comfortable with understanding something new and then if I find it useful, I'll adopt it.
Well that gets me back to the song. Summer use to be Lazy when I was a kid. Summer is Crazy now that I'm a 'grown up.' And Summer is NOT Hazy in Kansas City, for that you need to go to the Ohio Valley where this is no wind and no fluffly clouds and the air just sits in a puddle of humidity. I don't miss Louisville in the summer.
Well back to Crazy days of summer.
I am working on so many projects with tight deadlines right now that I finding myself procrastinating on Facebook, Ravelry, and writing on my blog. Now I know that if I just sat down and applied myself for a few minutes here and a few minutes there that I could have most of these pressing little projects done and I could actually enjoy the rest of the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.
Then there is my porch...it's dusk and its not too hot and it might just be time to sit a spell and be lazy.
Ahhhhhhh Summer! Don't you love it!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I've always loved summer and you don't often hear me complaining about the heat or the humidity. I especially love summer in the Midwest because of the wind and the clouds.
The reason why I like my front porch so much is allows me to sit out and enjoy the clouds and the wind and it reminds me of two of my favorite things that I use to like to do during the summer growing up in Grand Rapids, MN (beside the daily bike ride to a local lake to go swimming) and that was sitting on the front porch at night with a flash light and messing with the bats that lived in the Blue Spruce tree in the front yard. I also liked to sit in the chaise lounge chair at night and watch the stars while listening to the radio. I know that in this day and age of X-box, Nintendo, and Wii that these simple and carefree activities seem kinda dull.
They were great because they didn't cost money and they connected you with simplicity and nature. What else could you ask for in a chaotic world.
Oh, I also learned to knit from my neighbor Hazel during the summer. Summer gave me the opportunity to learn new things that you didn't get to normally learn in school...that is why I liked summer school, not for the remedial courses but for the enrichment courses, so I always tried to go to summer school and learn something new. Because of this I can play some chords on a guitar, learned all about the Bicentennial times (I know I'm dating myself) and the arts and crafts of that era. Hey I learned how to use a drop spindle and made the most bumpy and lumpy yarn but loved the feel of the freshly carded wool. And my neighbor taught me how to knit...which is why I am posting this today.
Oh the yellow thing is my robotic mower....another reason to love the summer....I don't mow...Edgetta mows....I posted an earlier blog entry on her.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
One thing I've come to realize is that I want to keep this blog for my knitting stuff and use my other blog that I started for General Assembly for my church related comments, so.... that's what I'm doing. If you care to see my views or reflections of a theological or comments on other such stuff go to my other blog Blogging My Way to San Jose.
I've also come to realize that I'm involved in too may swaps at this time. I'm signed up for five and have committed myself to NOT sign up for any more swaps. They are fun and I love getting surprises in the mail but I need to focus my energies on some other task.
Of course I have committed to these swaps so I will fulfill my commitment. I went to my local yarn shop (LYS) and bought all the yarn I needed to fulfill my commitments to my spoilees on Thursday and will be spending the next couple of weeks getting my packages prepared and mailed. I really do like this swaping but I can truly say I've had that experience and need to use the time to experience something else.
I goofed up the Four Seasons - Summer - Swap in that I forgot to contact my spoilee and then sent her a note through Ravelry. It was suppose to be a anonymous swap and I was suppose to use my anonymous e-mail addy for that contact.....OOPS!
Here are the swaps I'm currently doing: Summer of Yarn Love (this is such a cool swap...three months of surprises) I will mail the July package next week.
BBQ swap...I'm late in mailing this one but have been in contact with my spoilee in Belgium and this package will be mailed on Monday...
Four Seasons - Summer - Swap....As I said earlier, I think I messed this one up.
Books and More Swap....I just need to get the book and the rest of the package will fall into place. Borders, where I usually get my books just downsized and moved its knitting and crocheting books and none of us in SSK are happy. I am going to write to the manager about our disappointment....I'll have to go to B&N or JoAnns to get the book for this swap.
and finally Swap on a Budget. This one will get mailed this week or next week.
I'm usually pretty organized, but I have let this get out of hand...so after this no more swaps for a while.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
This is second round of the Knit It Forward Swap that I've participated in and this once was fun because we have had to knit kitchen items for people. My spoiler Kristen (Angel101580) went over the top. I love kitchen items from kitchen cotton and now I have two new towels and two new dishcloths along with the cutest point protectors for knitting needles (they are socks) and a row counter bracelet and oh who can forget DARK CHOCOLATE. The mug cozy is also really neat and will fit my General Assembly mug perfectly!
Thanks Kristen and I was glad to see you received an equally nifty surprise package too!
My secret spoiler for this swap has gone over the top. Here's a picture of the lovely things she sent me. The YARNS are yummy. I can't wait to make the market bag, which she included a pattern for out of that beautiful Bamboo yarn from Southwest Trading Company. It will definitely test my crochet skills. Although this is suppose to be a yarn swap, it is hard to ignore that lovely Muffin cookbook. I will really enjoy using that. Whoever you are secret spoiler...THANK YOU!!!
Monday, June 30, 2008
The argument that we need to meet in a location where 'younger' people will go, doesn't sit well with me for a number of reasons. It is the same argument used by the faulty church growth people who have forever advocated building a church building and the people will come. The literature shows that this doesn't work. It is also based on a scarcity model and a model that says we need to build program around where we think we are weakest rather than build on our assets. I'd be much more ready to assist my services and less critical is I saw some asset based planning going on rather than strategic planning that focuses on weaknesses.
Out reach and building an organization and attracting the population for your membership is transferable from the world of the church and its evangelism and outreach literature and to the marketing of secular organizations. I've been thinking a lot about this lately and hope to do some more writing and reflecting on these ideas and I read more materials on this topic. As much as I hate to admit there are some marketing ideas out there that work for evangelism and outreach. I've been thinking about WORD OF MOUTH marketing lately and how that might apply to the church. I'm currently reading a piece I found because of my participation as a Buzz Agent called The Word of Mouth Manual Volume II. Here is a link to get the book for your own reading pleasure in PDF format from The Social Consumer Manifesto blog
Now some would think it smarmy that I am a pastor and a Buzz Agent (buzzing is one of my hobbies...I like to try new stuff and as a Buzz Agent I get to try new stuff and then talk about it both good and bad) I have to admit that I like getting free stuff and enjoy trying new things.
What really annoys me about this ongoing debate is that I am not being heard. Instead it is suggested that I become part of the membership committee. If I wanted to be part of the membership committee I would have volunteered to be on the membership committee. I was once the membership vice-president and resigned from that position because I don't like to have tasks assigned to me without first being asked if I will undertake a task and that was happening. I went back on the board after being away from it for six years and I see the same stuff happening again.
I have only a limited number of hours in my day. My primary task is to pastor a congregation. The work I do in this social organization is part of my community service work. IF these ladies would jump into the 21st Century and grasp the importance of a web presence and the power of social networking they might be able to attract some of the younger demographic that they believe is missing. I use to be one of the younger women...I've now become one of the middle aged women, but I do see the value of facebook, blogs, and other social networking sites for getting connected, building coalitions, etc. and I've attempted to keep up with the technology.
So out of this debate on where to meet has come a philosophical debate on the need to attract younger members. It's a old debate and some helpful suggestions on how to go about it are being ignored and that ticks me off a bit. It has nothing to do with meeting location, it has everything to do with listening to and valuing the opinions of those around the table and trying new technologies even if you aren't comfortable with them. It's a philosophical debate and I'm not feeling heard and I get really annoyed when the conversation gets shut down because older members of this organization don't want to discuss it and farm the work off to a membership committee that will then have its ideas squelched in the general meeting.
My DH has asked me why I am wasting my time and I'm beginning to think seriously about that question. I think I will be looking for someone to take over these duties so I can concentrate on other things I find important, but I do enjoy the basic philosophy of the organization, my friendships with some members, but this moot debate on where to meet and the reluctance to try new technology just gets in my craw.
I'm glad I am on 'vacation' this week. I need it to recoup and recharge and figure out how to come back after an amazing experience and pastor my little church where most of the decisions made by the Assembly will not really have any real impact or meaning.
While I was gone I received two lovely swap packages. One from the three month long Summer of Yarn Love Swap: A muffin cook book (with how much I love muffins, I'm surprised I didn't already own this book), two lovely skeins of yarn (Southwest Trading Company Bamboo) with a pattern for a crocheted market bag .... time to really test those crochet skills I say I have, a lovely skein of blue sky alpacas dyed organic cotton, a bag of dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses (which survived the summer heat) and a earth friendly grocery shopping bag. Thank you secret swap partner and I'll post pictures when I get to my camera.
I also received my Knit if Forward Swap package and my spoiler (Kristen) Angel101580 went over the top. Two hanging hand towels, two dishcloths, a mug cozy (which will fit my new General Assembly Mug perfectly!) bracelet row counters in a cute tote sack, and the most adorable sock shaped point protectors. Thank you Kristen and I will post pictures when I unpack and find my camera.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I found this wonderful pattern for a Kitchen Towel (Worsted Towel) on the Kraemer Yarns site and made one for my swap spoilee out of Sugar and Cream yarn from Lily.
I'm going to be making more of these towels. I also made a dishcloth and a scrubbie. Two skeins of Sugar and Cream makes this wonderful gift ensemble.
I sent this along with some goodies to my spoilee. Hope she likes it.
I've signed up for a few more swaps than I thought. I mailed off my package to my swap spoilee yesterday and this is what I received from spoiler earlier in the week. Dawn (Pakerbelle) even sent some goodies for my kitties. I received Ghiradelli chocolate, three skeins of wonderful sock yarn that I know I will use, a cute kitty notebook (which I needed for my purse to keep notes), candles, which I often burn to focus attention and when I write Sermons, some hand cream and some wonderful treats for my cats.
Here's the photo of the package and a picture of the cats playing with the toys. The big furry cat, who loves catnip, is Mookie. Pooh is smaller and more reserved but she likes catnip too. The toys are adorable.
Thank you Dawn
Thank You Angela
This is the wonderful package that I received from Angela in the Cotton Lover's Swap. This will keep me knitting for a long time. Since I have declared myself on a yarn diet (I need to knit up my stash...it's getting too big) this will help keep me busy in the coming months. I am overwhelmed by Angela's generosity and kindness and I am grateful for her.
What more could a person who loves cotton yarn want?
First there is a Green Bag. Tote bags are my weakness and I am starting to use my own bags at the grocery.
Second, Angela crocheted me four different bags, one large hobo bag, a knitting needle bag, an a
accessory bag, and cell phone bag. For those who aren't into the needle arts, there is often a lack of understanding in the time, energy, effort, and love that gets poured into these projects. This aspect of the swap process always gets me a bit verklempt (in the words of Linda Richmond).
On top of the crocheted bags was a box of yarn, yarn and more yarn (three kinds of cotton yarn in multiple skeins) along with other goodies like knitting needles, a booklet of crochet patterns, some paper accessories, a bar of Dark Dove Chocolate, a bag of sour Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, coffee, and crocheted baby cap.
I am truly overwhelmed by this swap package.
This is a picture of our SECOND Robotic Lawnmower.
Our first, which we named Edger, is in need of a new wheel motor, so we recently purchased Edgetta. Edger is an RL500 and Edgetta is and RL550. We bought Edger when we bought the house and he has worked hard for us since 2002. My Dear Husband (DH) customized both Edger and Edgetta by painting their unique faces on them. They are truly part of the family.
This robotic mowers are manufactured by Friendly Robotics and is the best 'gadget' I have ever purchased. Keeps our lawn in tip-top shape and allows us to do all kinds of other things like read, surf the web, and mow at night. The mower is only 85 decibels. What I like is that it electric and runs on a rechargeable battery. No gasoline or other flammables in the garage.
Of course we painted the face on Edgetta because she is one of the family.
Here's an up close and personal picture of Edger.
What is so remarkable to me is that these Robotic Mowers haven't caught on more. They are easy to use and easy to maintain. They are wonderful adaptive technology for Older Adults who want to stay independent in their homes and loath lawn maintenance.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I have been knitting a lot lately to divert my attention from some serious matters at my church and procrastinate in preparing to be a Commissioner at the upcoming General Assembly meeting of my denomination later this month. Oh, I've been preparing and I've been doing my work, but what I really want to do is knit.
I sat down last week and wound some yarn into a usable ball. I don't have a swift or ball winder -- yet! I bought this beautiful purple yarn from my friend Kay off of her Etsy site, Dome Hill Yarns. Kay hand dyes sock and worsted weight yarn. I found a pattern for socks that I liked and thought would show of the variegations of Kay's yarn. I'm almost done with the first sock in the Nutkin pattern. If I'm lucky I will have two pair of hand made socks to wear to General Assembly. I'm wondering if I can get any knitting done while at GA and hope to pack some sock yarn and needles and will probably do something like the Nutkin since it is an easy pattern.
I've also made myself a HUGE Hobo Bag that I refer to as my Hippie purse. It is made out of Banana Fiber Yarn the I bought from the Hunger Site. It is a really interesting fiber to knit with, not exactly soft or easy on the hands, but it does make a strong garment. I have some teal, black and white so it looks like I will be making some more market bags or such. This Hobo Bag is my own design. Not real pretty but it does do what I want it to do...hold a lot of stuff. It is going to General Assembly with me. I've also been working on getting a couple of swap packages together that need to be mailed this weekend. One is a swap for sock yarn out of my stash (which is getting big) and one is for a mini purse/bag swap. For that swap I knitted a really cute bag of my own creation/pattern based on the 'basic' design of another pattern. It is really cute and I'm going to make a second one for myself. I'll post that picture when I get ready to mail the package.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
- Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft? I do both. I prefer to knit and I have been knitting since childhood. I think I learned to knit and crochet when I was 8 or 9.
- Do you spin? What type of spinning? No, but I did try the drop spindle in 1976 in a Bicentennial Arts summer school class.
- What are your favorite yarns/fibers? What are your least favorite yarns/fibers? I really don’t dislike a particular fiber (yes I even like acrylic). I have yarns I don’t like and I have yarns I love. I love Tofutsie sock yarn. I don’t like Regia sock yarn. I don’t have any fiber allergies. I don’t like ladder yarn like Matrix. I like fun fur because I can be creative with it.
- What are your favorite colors? What are your least favorite colors? Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Pink, Brown are favorite colors. I don’t particularly like yellow as I don’t look good wearing it. I don’t like camouflage.
- Are there any yarns/brands that you are dying to work with but never have? Oh where to begin. I love yarn and trying new types of yarns and fiber.
- What is/are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet? I’m on a sock kick since I learned how to knit socks. I knit bags and sweaters and afghans and of course dish cloths. I like to try new things and learn new techniques.
- What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to work on this summer? I’m working on a pair of Nutkin socks, a cable bag, and kitchen items for a couple of swaps I’m in. I am also working on a sweater for my husband.
- What is your favorite FO? (Post a pic if you would like.) I tend to post the thing I’m most proud of on my blog. Take a look at my blog photos.
- What is your oldest UFO? The sweater I am knitting for my husband.
- Are there any techniques that you want to learn? Intarsia, Entralac, socks on two needles and sock on the magic loop.
- Are you on Ravlery? What's your ID? I’m on Ravelry and my Ravelry ID is Carbby64
- Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes I’m a sock knitter. I have a pretty standard foot. 8” circumference and 10” from heel to toe
- Do you collect anything? All kinds of stuff: gnomes, squeeze (stress) balls, plates, coffee mugs, Douglas Coupland novels in First edition, wrist watches, souvenir buttons. (the tie tack kind), ink pens from trade shows,
- Do you have a yarn winder and/or swift? No…it’s on the wish list.
- Do you love sweets? What are your favorites? Not too sweet – chocolate the darker the better, I like Jelly Belly Jelly beans, Peanut M&Ms, salt water taffy.
- What are your favorite scents? Patchouli, Citrus, Herbs like Sage and Rosemary and Lavender
- Where do you keep your needles/hooks? In a tote bag my mom made. Need to work on that storage.
- Do you have a wishlist (Amazon, Etsy, etc?) I do have a Amazon wish list (clgentry)
- Having a birthday this summer? Nope…it’s in January
- Are you allergic to anything??? Please let your pal know! No allergies.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My friend in Sweden (Carolia) who has this really cool blog called My Living Room, and who I met as part of a Ravelry swap had this quiz on her blog and I tried it and came up as a Sunflower.
I love Sunflowers. I know, I know, I live in Missouri and I'm not suppose to like anything about Kansas. Silly fact of history called the Kansas/Missouri border wars that in many ways are still being fought in unconscious ways in our local culture. Considering I'm not a native of this region I find the unconscious way that the Kansas/Missouri border wars continue to play themselves out in the local scene very interesting.
Well the Sunflower is the Kansas state flower and Sunflowers just make me happy.
I wanted to decorate a room in my house in a sunflower motif, but it evolved into a western motif and we call the room the Santa Fe Room, which is fitting considering that the Santa Fe trail started in this area. The decor is so southwestern and incorporates bits and pieces from my family and dear husband's family. There is still space for Sunflowers when they are in season too!