This Memorial Day kind of snuck up on us – it seemed to me that I would be expecting just a regular weekend, and it turned into a ‘holiday.’ But because we’re not a traditional 9-5 family, holidays don’t have the same oomph that they used to.

I may be feeling so lackluster because my breathing is really bad.

My body is LOVING the weather here (cool) but my COPD challenged lungs are hating the changes between warm, sunny days and cool, wet days. Looking back at blog entries from past years, I definitely can chart a pattern whereby my breathing is worse in Spring and Fall than in Summer & Winter.

There’s so much to do, but the lack of air makes me feel so slow and tired. So I’m sitting and knitting and trying to get myself together so I can teach with aplomb on Friday (at EIGHT O-FRIGGIN’ CLOCK IN THE MORNING!)

Holidays are like birthdays – they’re filled with expectations, and we can’t help but think about friends & past celebrations. This holiday felt very – solo – to us. We didn’t talk about it, but it just felt odd to not have a barbeque to go to, or have a cookout at our home with a passel of friends.

But we’re pretty self contained these days – not always a good thing – but it’s just how things are falling into place here. It’s what we need – Gerry and I – because making new friends takes the kind of energy that we don’t have to spare.

What we DID do was hang out around the house on Saturday. I took the kids for a walk where we ended up at a FIRE Yard Sale (it looked – interesting – but the smoky air made my asthma nuts so we had to go) and I walked the kids almost home.

Then I struck out on my own and took a nice stroll down Grand Ave, visiting some places that I’d meant to (I finally visited Bead Monkey – which I LOVED! – and was thrilled to see a wonderful bead resource so closeby!)

I also finally visited the Yarnery again. It’s been a long time since I’d been there – I’ve been so otherly-directed – but I’m so amazed and gratified that I live within walking distance of such a great yarn shop. I hope I get a chance to get over there more often. I have not had a chance to visit ANY yarn shops since we’ve moved here – what a pity. Almost a crime.

On Sun we looked at appliances (the American way to honor the fallen) and purchased a microwave / oven vent combo. We thought we’d go to Como Park and stroll around, but inching along Midway looking for a parking space was a little ridiculous. We gave up and scooted over to Minnehaha Falls, where we had a bit of dinner, and Gerry got out and walked quite a bit (with the help of our borrowed walker – thanks M!)

The kids ran down to the bottom of the falls and back up again, we found some caterpillars (cool blue ones) and then came home. A full, if not quite so rich, day.

Yesterday I took the kids back over to the little amusement park at Como Park and we had a most enjoyable day.

Perhaps it’s the guilt because I’ve dragged them 1,400 miles away from their friends, or maybe it’s to make up for the slow movement on the friend front here. It could be that this will be the last summer that Hannah is able to be a GIRL as opposed to a TWEEN. But whatever the reason, I caved and got the season pass to the Como Town (Coma town?) which is quite a bit like Bowcraft Park back in NJ.

My rationalization is that the kids had a HECK of a time, and if we go back 3 more times this summer we’ve done better than break even. We live exactly 3.2 miles from the park, so I can see us going over quite a bit. And there are decent places to sit and knit or take a picnic lunch.

Even better, it will COMPEL us to get out to the park / conservatory / zoo a few times, which can’t be a bad thing.

And all in all, a season pass with unlimited rides for both kids was less than 4 days of the bead camp I’d looked at this weekend.

I got fed up with the direction I was taking with the VK shawl – just too fiddly, to difficult to knit. I knit most of my samples (even if I hire a knitter, the chances are good that I’ve knit a smaller sized sample to test out the pattern.) The shawl is an intarsia design, and my charted pattern was just too difficult to follow with any sense of fun.

Let ‘er rip!

The yarn is delicious – it’s a silk/wool blend from Alchemy and it’s a wonder to knit with. Thankfully, it also stands up well to being ripped out and reknit!

So I revamped my approach to the shawl, reworked the chart so it’s actually FUN to knit and added a lot more duplicate stitching (embroidery masquerading as knit stitches – here’s a link to Kristin Nicholas’ tutorial) to the back end of the project.

The big test? I’m taking it with me to day so I can work on it while Gerry goes to the dentist (I’ll be waiting outside – maybe even at a coffee place) and then we’ll rush over to the U of M Bone Marrow Clinic to have that long anticipated chat about What We Can Expect To Do On Our Summer Vacation.

This will also give us a sense of when would be the best time to send M&H off to NJ to spend some time with their old friends – and they really need it!

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