Remember Me?

Life is going well, interesting stuff is on my needles, the kids are well and happy, it’s a beautiful Summer. We had our first harvest of our first-ever crop, peas, and almost had enough for a full side dish. Yay!

Gerry is getting out every day on a sort of trial/temporary minimum wage training wheel office job (he’s filing and making phone calls) arranged by an agency that places disabled folks.

The idea is that this is a way to test the waters and see if he has the stamina to do a “real” job. He’s only in for a few hours a day, but it’s a month-long commitment and I can tell he really enjoys having a reason to iron a shirt.

I love having the alone time (Gerry’s a quiet guy, but when he’s here and he has an idea, or runs across something interesting online, I hear about it IMMEDIATELY!)

I sit out on the back deck with my baby tomato quite a bit.

Hannah has Breakthrough every day – the first 2 weeks were rough (she catches the bus at 6:45 and doesn’t get home until 3:15) with homework every night, but now she’s in the swing of it and she’s LOVING it.

She wants to be considered as one of the few 9th graders that are chosen to continue, which I take as proof that she’s fully engaged in it.

Today Max starts a 2-week theater camp with Steppingstone Theater. A good friend’s daughter did the same program a few weeks ago, we went to her final day- the performance and it was delightful! Max is very excited (although he’s sad to be missing the last week of Urban Tennis) and we’ll be riding our bikes over for his 9:00 in time.

Have I mentioned lately how much our family loves living here…?

Then I will have hours – literally HOURS – when I’m alone in the house. What a concept. I’m not sure that this has happened, well, since we’ve moved here!

And just in time, too! I have a full day of work ahead of me…

1000 Fabulous Knit (& Crochet!) Hats
I have MEGA work to get done on the hat book. It’s in a tenuous place right now.

I’ve received hundreds of submissions, so many of them are just exceptional!

Unfortunately, many of them are either missing the Grant Of Rights, or the photo quality isn’t high enough. It isn’t so much that the photos aren’t beautiful, it’s that the resolution is too low…

So today my task is sorting through the 1000+ photos, making a nice selection, categorizing them into “chapters” and creating a dummy to send to my publisher.

Rockport Publishing KNOWS that the deadline and time frame is a little insane. I took this on from a good friend who became overwhelmed with several new and unexpected projects, and I had my doubts from the first about the ability to obtain images of 1,000 Fabulous Knit (and Crochet) hats.

My sense – and what I will argue – is that this can/will be an amazing book, but a little more time is required.

The deadline for entries was ridiculous (which is why I extended it to 7/15) but even THAT is nuts. I’d love to extend it to the end of August and push the whole time frame of the book back. It seems like it’s either that, or have no book at all. I’m not sure if this is do-able, but I’ll try…
Rockport’s been VERY receptive to any suggestions so far, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to convince them of this. But if I turn in a stellar first quarter of the book and dummy, they’ll be even MORE inclined to respond positively.

So those of you who felt you didn’t even want to try to submit – reconsider! C’mon! Make a litle guinea pig happy…

All of the information is up at, along with log in info and facts about image size. You can also download a blank Grant of Rights form, which I’ll need in order to use your hats.

You can choose to be anonymous, or you can tell the world it’s YOUR hat (or, at least, YOUR mad knittin’ skills) when the book comes out.

Those of you who HAVE submitted, but haven’t sent in a Grant of Rights – I need it!! You can just dump it into the main folder, be sure to put your name in the document name, otherwise I’ll have 50 documents all titled GOR! ( There are just a few of you, Powers, M; Thorstad, L; Hughes, S; Liesspain, K – but if you could upload a GOR I can include your lovely work!)

Note: I know the setup has it’s limitations, but it’s just about the best way to wrangle a huge task like this. One of the annoyances is that when two folks are trying to log in at exactly the same time one is blocked. But instead of getting an error message that says, “Another user is logged in, please try back in a minute!” a message is put out, “There is no box by that name” or “You are unauthorized” – which is counterproductive. Grrrr.

Down on the Farm
I visited a new friend this weekend, took the whole family and the dog, and we had the BEST time!

A few days ago at a Public Health Option rally at Senator Klobuchar’s office, I noticed a friend knitting with a lovely white wool – it felt almost as soft as merino. I asked about it, and it turns out it was from the farm of a friend of hers who grows sheep for meet, and just shears them as an afterthought.

This was lovely stuff, though, so my friend put the two of us together (Thank you, Kathleen!) and we met up this weekend.

ALL of us had an amazing time! Gerry loved getting out to a ‘real’ Minnesota farm and was interested to see the farm’s resident baby Pigeon. Hannah hula-hooped and amazed us all (t
hen settled down with a book – she’s our reader)

Atticus ran with their 3 dogs (and got a little too friendly with one, he had to be curtailed…) and I had the loveliest chat with my new friend, Catherine.

Max, though, had the BEST time! He scored a ride on a tractor with Melissa, visited farm animals, got to take an egg out of a hen’s nest and pet a cow. He’s been going on about it since we drove off, he’s in love.

Apparently a wasp flew into the cab of the tractor and Max deemed it, “Cool!” – which just goes to show how much he was enjoying himself. Me, I would have taken the cab OFF of the tractor in my scrable to get away from the tiny beast.

Catherine mentioned that she’s been looking for a sort of fiber coach who could help her develop the fiber side of her farm. I told her I had NO experience (and precious little knowledge!) of fiber, but I’d put the word out on my blog and see what comes of it!

Her yarn is really lovely! Right now she has it processed and spun at a mill in Montana, and they do a lovely job of it. I will definitely use some of it in History on Two Needles – in fact, I’ve already started a project with it!

Miracle Picnic
We continued on to Rochester for a Transplant Picnic that the Mayo was hosting. The place was filled with folks who had been the recipients of Livers, Kidneys, Hearts, Pancreases, and in Gerry’s case, Stem Cells.

It was quite moving, all these folks who wouldn’t have been here but for the skill and imagination it took to conceive of organ and blood/marrow transplants. Every person was proof of a medical miracle. Gerry’s transplant is officially called a BMT, Blood & Marrow Transplant, but just about everyone referst to it as “stem cell transplant”

Senator Franken
Then home, where we rested briefly before heading out to Senator Franken’s Victory Celebration for everyone who’d worked on his campaign. And BOY, was that a crowded room!

There were a few speakers, it was impossible to tell if they were any good because they just wouldn’t speak up clearly. What a shame – if you have something good to say, make sure that folks can HEAR YOU! Finally Al’s 4th grade teacher got up to introduce him and we had a speaker who KNEW how to command attention AND speak clearly. Yet another reason why teachers rule!

Warning: Emily Latella Rant Alert!
There are few things more annoying – and few things that kill the buzz of a room – than a speaker who is incomprehensible. The difference in the feeling of the room between the ‘professional’ politicians who couldn’t make themselves heard and the retired teacher, who had EVERYONE’s attention, was amazing. Everyone stood up straighter, everyone felt like a vital part of the adventure.

There’s some odd feeling – and I will admit it seems more prevalent among progressives – that it’s somehow appropriate to be soft-spoken, non-aggressive. Well, that may be fine in daily life, but if you find yourself on any stage, speaking publicly for whatever reason, please SPEAK CLEARLY!

I swear, I should just rename the blog, “Get off my lawn!” and have done with it.

And now, back to work!

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