Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I believe in it.
I believe a sinner can become a saint.
I believe it is possible for someone to completely turn their life around, from the bad to the good, to begin living for others instead of living for oneself. Move "forward triumphantly", to quote Bob Marley.
I believe it is entirely possible for Michael Vick to do so, and I am looking forward to seeing it happen. He may never be like Drew Brees or LaDainian Tomlinson, but he can become a better man.

And the only reason I posted this today is that I want to be able to come back in a few years, find this post, show it to Clay and Will (who are both in the cynical "once a jerk, always a jerk" camp) and say "I told you so." Redemption is sweet.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would have been my mom's 70th birthday.

I still miss her every day.

August 25, 1937-March 13, 1998

My mom started this crazy quilt sometime in the middle of her cancer treatments. She made up all the blocks, and my grandma feather stitched around all the individual pieces. After mom died, we forgot about it for a few years. Then after dad died and we were cleaning out the house, I found the blocks in the sewing room. I set them together and added the embellishments: one of her fair ribbons, a hanky, her favorite Bible verse and lots of her buttons. I think she would like how it turned out.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Popickles and Purple

Just a few pictures today:
How to get Tommy distracted from the pedal car that Grandma had been pushing him around in for half an hour (after playing in a golf scramble in 100 degree heat)? Popickles.

By the way, I am not grandma; I am Mimi and Clay is Grandma. After some hesitation, he agreed to be "grandpa", but Tommy has translated that to "grandma". How could we not be madly in love with this boy?

Autumn-blooming clematis at the south end of our porch. This is the first year for this plant; I thought it would be fragrant, but with the dry summer we have had, I am just thankful for all these blooms.

And a little knitting. I think I will call this Clare's Purple Passion. Clare is 8 months old and her dad is an assistant coach of our HS football team, so this is for her to wear at the games (but not tonight's game -- we are in the middle of another 100 degree spell.)

Yarn: Red Heart Kids, held together with something sparkly I got at Hobby Lobby for $1.00. The sweater pattern is from Natural Knits for Moms and Babies, and I made up the hat pattern myself. Buttons from my mom's vast collection. (I have strung buttons for garlands and curtain tie-backs, hot glued them onto picture frames and used them for countless garments, and I still have 3 full fruitcake tins full of buttons!)

Stay cool. Peace.

I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sweet Corn, Sweet Days

This is my least favorite day of the year: school starts today. Every year, summer seems shorter and shorter, and we never seem to get in all the things we had planned in May. But it is a milestone day for our family: Will starts high school, Charlie starts Kindergarten and Sharon starts teaching Kindergarten at St. Ambrose.

Our traditional in-front-of-the-front-door-first-day-of-school picture. Yes, that is packing tape on the window. While Clay was mowing, a small rock hit the lower left hand corner of the window, shattering it into tiny pieces which stayed in place, I guess because of the leading in the window; it continued to crack for about an hour, and was pretty interesting to watch (and hear). We've been waiting on a new window all summer.

Sarah and the boys came down for supper last night. Nathan really enjoyed the sweet corn; he worked on this piece for about half an hour.

It made me really miss my dad -- two of his favorite things in the world, little kids and sweet corn.
Kids gravitated toward dad, because he was such fun; he loved to play, and he could make a game or toy out of anything. Cardboard, cotton from the inside of an aspirin bottle, an old watchband, string and paper fasteners became a jumping Santa. Two iron tractor seats, two iron wagon wheels and a 2x8 became a teeter-totter, movable for mowing around.
And he had strict guidelines about sweet corn. Start the water boiling, go down the the garden, pick and shuck the corn, then hustle back up to the house, throw the ears in the boiling water for no more than 3 minutes and eat as much as you can, because it was so good and didn't last long enough.
Just like my dad.


This is my corn. You people are guests in my corn.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Fair Amount of Knitting

It is not boasting to say we have the best county fair in Indiana; we won Grand Champion fair so many years in a row that we were taken out of the competition for a while.
My favorite part of the fair is looking through all the buildings and admiring the quilts, zinnias displayed in coke bottles, photographs, jams and jellies, watermelons, gigantic pigs and antique tractors. I was always so proud to see my mom's work at the fair; she took quilts, cross stitching and one year, she won for the champion pie, and had her picture in the paper holding the big purple rosette (the pie was Raisin Exquisite, my very least favorite pie on the earth, but apparently a big hit with the judges)
But after 4-H, I was afraid that taking my things to the fair would be showing off, until a few years ago, when my friend Karla told me not to be shy about exhibiting; if we didn't take projects to the fair, what would people have to look at? So I have taken a few quilts, some sewing, some baking, and a lot of knitting. Here are the items I took in this year:

The little lamb is really my favorite, because it is made from the yarn spun by my friend, Judy, from her Jacob's Sheep. I entered him in "stuffed barnyard animals", which surprised Maggie and Sarah, as they thought he was a monkey -- maybe that explains why he didn't win a ribbon.

I received blue ribbons for my three other entries: the sweater, beret and bootie set, the Year of the Pig Bag and the scrapbook of our trip to New York.

The bag is a pattern by Noni, knit in pink Cascade 220 and felted. I lined the bag with a silky pink Chinese print; the pink bamboo handles, 2-way zipper and metal feet were from Angelika's Yarn in Oregon, the fastest shipper in the West (I ordered on a Saturday afternoon, and my order was delivered in the US mail on Monday).

The sweater set is knit in Caron Simply Soft.
The sweater pattern is from Vogue Knitting, Spring/Summer 2007, modified a bit. The booties are Saartje's Booties, and the beret is another pattern I found on the Internet, but can't seem to locate. This set is a gift for my friend Maribel, who recently had a baby girl.

The fair is over for another year, but I am already thinking about what I could make for next year. Unlike my mom (and all three of my children), I have never won a big purple champion rosette. Of course, I know that's not what it's all about . . .

Dominic and Sarah's Wedding/Our Texas Vacation

On Saturday, August 3, our godson, Dominic married his long-time girlfriend, Sarah, at St. Catherine's in Carrollton, Texas. (My picture-taking skills were less than stellar that evening, but with a little editing, I think these are OK):

Sarah and Dominic after the ceremony

With Sarah's parents and Ann and Mark

Ann and Mark at the reception
It was a beautiful wedding, a rocking reception (Texas BBQ, beer, A&M fight songs and a great band) and a wonderful reunion. We're so proud of Dominic, and wish him and Sarah a lifetime of happiness.

We had flown in to San Antonio and visited the places Will hadn't seen (he wasn't born when Ann and Mark lived there) and had lunch at Casa Rio on the Riverwalk before we headed up to Corinne and Mike's in Austin. After a day of good food, wine and talk there, we left for Dallas in time for the rehearsal dinner. Then on Sunday, after a nice afternoon at Ann and Mark's, we drove back to Austin. Everyone (but me) went to Schlitterbahn on Monday; they had a great time, but I wasn't sad and lonely -- I found my way to Hill County Weavers and spent 3 hours there. Clay had left me $100, and I spent it all, quite easily (some Noro Big Kureyon, Blue Sky Cotton, some needles and Natural Knits for Babies and Moms).

Tuesday we went to see Leslie's apartment, watched her resume tape then toured the Austin bike shops for Will; he was amazed at the Cervelos at Austin Tri-Cyclist. They asked him if he rode, and let him try out an $8000 Cervelo on the trainer. Then, they asked if he wanted to take it around the block. Sensing this made me a little nervous, they offered Clay a bike to ride with him -- his was only a $6000 bike. Off went my boys, riding two bikes probably worth more than all our cars put together. I wish I had brought along my camera to catch Will's face when he got back -- true happiness.

That evening we all went out for supper at The Salt Lick; the atmosphere was pure Texas and the food was fantastic. Sydney, Corinne and I sat around knitting after the boys went to bed, and all too soon it was Wednesday afternoon and time to head back to San Antonio for the flight home.

And although we came home to 135 e-mails, 33 answering machine messages, a pile of mail, tall grass, dried up flowers and one lonely cat, it was a great trip, and as all great things, over too soon.