Thursday, May 25, 2006

We Have Fairies!

I finally finished both Bluebell fairy dress-up outfits from StudioKnits for Emma and Kate. Whew, that was a lot of garter stitch! It got a bit tiresome toward the end, especially on Emma's, but it was a simple knit.

Emma is crazy about hers and even wore it out to the store the other night. Kate seems to like hers, but she isn't into dressing up at the moment, and she positively refuses to pose. I also have the pattern and yarn for the Rose fairy outfit, but it will have to wait.

At the moment, I'm working on an endless pair of socks for Dennis out of Cascade Fixation and Clapotis for myself with a gorgeous hand-painted yarn from Blue Moon in blue-grey.

I'm also designing an entire wardrobe for my daughters' Groovy Girls and am very pleased with the results so far. I'll post pictures and maybe even share a couple of the patterns one of these days.

In the meantime, I'm off tomorrow afternoon for the coast, where I'll be sharing a house on the beach with several other writers. Writing, knitting, walking the beach...I'm feeling relaxed just thinking about it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

An Audubon Poem

J.J. Audubon Observes a Different Kind of Bird

This interesting species
is really a beautiful creature
I have met in spring
when travelling.

She swims repose,
gradually rounding
and descending,
flying the water-courses
in placid passage
to alight on the dear spot
of pleasant labour.

I have adopted
the singular regularity
of listening and echoing
her smallest appetite –
a strong shiver,
a wing swiftness,
the active transit
of a dusky voyage.

– Found poem created from words and phrases
from John James Audubon, Birds of America, 1840

Monday, May 22, 2006

He Did It!

Dennis did it - he rode his bicycle 105 miles from Beaverton to Pacific City on Saturday! The ride was uneventful for Dennis and his partner Matt. No flat tires, no mechanical problems, no wrecks.

They rolled into the finish at about 4:20 and we were so excited, all I managed was a single blurry photo:

Here's the stats:
Miles: 105.40 from the Beaverton Transit Center to Pacific City
Total time, including stops: 10:03:06
Total time, excluding stops: 8:26:59
Average Speed: 14.3 mph
Total ft ascended: 3488
Total ft descended: 3543
Weather: Despite the forecast of rain, it was beautiful and sunny.
Best things about the ride: beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, completed it!
Worst thing on the ride: The bee that landed in Matt's helmet and stung him

Many thanks to those who read my previous entry and made a donation!!

We are all very proud of Dennis and his amazing achievement!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Reach the Beach!

About a year ago, my husband started riding his bicycle to work everyday. His initial goal was to lose weight and get in shape, but his riding quickly took on a more ambitious aspect. To keep himself motivated, he set a goal of a 'century' ride, which is a ride of 100 miles or more.

After months of hard and dedicated training, Dennis will be participating in the American Lung Association of Oregon's annual Reach the Beach fundraiser this Saturday. He will be riding 103 miles from Portland to Pacific City!

So far, he has raised a respectable $170.00 for the American Lung Association of Oregon. Donations are still being accepted, and if you'd like to help Dennis reach his goal of $500.00, click here.

As someone with asthma, I thank everyone who supports the American Lung Association. Most especially, I thank Dennis, for working so hard to meet his goal - I couldn't be more proud! Now get out there, and Reach the Beach!

Monday, May 15, 2006


I finally finished my first pair of adult socks. Knit on size US2 dpns with Sockotta sock yarn by Plymouth.

I didn't really follow a pattern - just used Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's sock recipe from her new book Knitting Rules!.

Since I prefer ankle socks, this was a fairly quick and easy project. I'm now at work on a pair of socks for my husband, using Cascade Fixation. Emma and Kate are clamoring for more socks and I can't wait to make another pair for myself, too. I may have just become a confirmed knitted sockoholic!

Friday, May 12, 2006

An Editorial from the Daily Beagle

To generate your own newspaper headline, click here

Monday, May 08, 2006

Reflections on Turning 40

Today's the Big Day.

A few thoughts:

- Barring a shocking failure of birth control, I'm never having another baby. It's time to lose those 35 pounds accrued over two pregnancies.

- I was painfully shy in my youth. Not so much anymore. Let's see where boldness and a sense of adventure can take me.

- I could live the rest of my life without seeing the inside of a mall again. I need to be on top of a mountain at sunrise; wading a trickle of cool creek at the bottom of a redrock canyon; counting stars above the desert while coyotes yip at shadows cast by the moon.

- I love to dance with my kids, write, kiss my husband, knit, hike, sing, sleep, read, and dream. I will try to do more of these things.

- My mother had one grown child and one teenager at my age. I have a preschooler and a First Grader.

- I hate to wash dishes, lose my temper, speak in public, break a promise, burn the roof of my mouth on pizza, watch the news, ride an elevator, and fail. I will try to do these less often.

- My family gives meaning to my life, strength to my soul, and joy to my heart. They also throw in the occasional raspberry to keep me grounded.

- I want to visit New Zealand, take tap dancing lessons (again), spend time with myself, try rock climbing, teach my daughters to laugh at themselves, learn to snowboard, live in a small town, publish a book of short stories and/or poetry, read Tolstoy in Russian, and grow very very old with my husband.

Forty years in, I think I'm off to a pretty good start!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Reflections on Turning Six

Well, we survived Emma's sixth birthday on Saturday!

There was a big party, with a total of 11 children. We had it at the gymnastics academy where both Emma and Kate take lessons, and it was a blast. All of the kids seemed to have a great time. They got 50 minutes of gymnastics with a coach and they loved it. I was surprised that even the littlest ones (Kate and Ben, both 3) joined in, though it did take Kate about ten minutes to work her way up to it.

After all that exercise, we went into the 'party room' for pizza and birthday cake, both provided by us. We had 40 minutes for this part of the party, and I totally underestimated how long it would take for the kids to eat. I had planned on playing a few games and giving out prizes, but there simply wasn't time. In the end, we had to rush Emma through opening all her presents and then I just handed out prizes to the kids as they left. The party had a "Finding Nemo" theme, so everyone got a favor box filled with all sorts of cool things, including a stuffed clownfish, toy starfish, fish squirter, etc. Emma got some great presents from her friends, and she had the best time.

When I asked her later what her favorite part of the party was, she exclaimed all in one breath - the pit! the trampoline! the bouncer! my friends! the cake! the pizza! the presents! Finally, she just said 'the whole thing' was her favorite.

It's so hard to believe she's six. In many ways, we often forget how young Emma really is because she reads junior-high level chapter books and slips away from her First Grade class to join the Second Grade for math every afternoon. We have to remind ourselves frequently that she's only 5 (well, 6 now!), that emotionally she's still a kindergartner, and that despite her own inner drive, it's important for her to be in this moment. We try not to let her race too far ahead. Now that Emma is six and Kate is three (and will be starting preschool in the fall), I realize more than ever that I too, need to be in this moment.

Six is a cusp, and I'm proud to stand hand in hand with my daughter, laughing at Nemo "touching the butt" (watch the movie, if you haven't, and you'll understand), reading books together, teaching her to knit, and finding room to store her endlessly creative art projects. In her I see the baby that was and the child that is becoming. This is a great moment.