Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
My grandmother worked on the floor of a shoe factory as long as my dad can remember. She would get up at 6 a.m. and go to the basement to shovel coal in the furnace to heat the house. Then she'd make oatmeal before leaving for work. All grandpa had to do was wake up the kids and get them to school.
The kids got home from school around 3 p.m. Grandma was there by 4. There was no nanny and no after school programs.
After many years of the factory work, grandma helped start a credit union for the workers. She got it up and running and then became the president and chief executive, a position she held for about 20 years.
Throughout her career, she carried the responsibility for keeping the house clean and the household running all without a dishwasher or a microwave. She had a washing machine, but she had to boil water for it and then run the clothes through a ringer. The clothes were hung outside to dry.
In high school grandma was on a championship women's hockey team and the volley ball team. And in 1981, she won an award for getting a perfect Cribbage hand during a state tournament.
I am even more in awe of this lady. And I'm much more appreciative of my gas heat that comes on automatically before I wake up, my dishwasher, my quick-cooking microwave, and my washing machine and drier. I will no longer complain that it takes almost 70 minutes to get the clothes dry.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
My grandma had dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren and even a few great-great grandchildren, and yet she made me feel as special as if I were her only one. She did that for all of us. She always remembered our birthdays. She picked out Christmas presents for each one of us as long as she could. She kept our pictures all over her walls even as the space grew smaller when she moved from her home into assisted living and finally to a nursing home. She was always interested in everything we did. She'd collect stories about cute things this one said or did and pass them on to anyone who would listen. She had a great sense of humor and she was incredibly generous. I don't think she ever met a Democrat she didn't like, or at least she wouldn't admit it if she did. For as along as I remember, she collected donkeys. It started when she needed one for a fund raiser and grew from there. Her grandchildren kept a sharp eye out for them whenever they shopped. If she ever got sick of getting them, she never let on to us.
Her home was always open to us. I spent two summers with her while working at the local cannery during college. Those were precious days when I got to hear about what things were like when she was young and how she started teaching before getting married. Mostly though, she listened to me over dinner at the Pizza Hut or ice cream at the Dairy Queen.
She was strong willed and opinionated. I didn't always like that when I was young because her ideas on child rearing were different from my mom's and I liked my mom's better. Now that I have more children (5) then grandma had (4) I agree with her more than my mom, who had just 2.
Although I am sad to have to say good bye, I thank God for giving her to me for so many years. I am blessed to be the granddaughter of Dorothy Heldt.
These are a few of the things I learned from her:
- If you want to have friends, be a friend.
- Your community is what you make of it, get involved.
- If you believe something is important, support it.
- Cribbage is a game of strategy but it can't be won without a little luck.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I remember as a new skier looking at double black diamond slopes that dropped straight down and thinking I had no interest. I thought people who did that were slightly off their rocker. But it turns out that I'm an adrenaline junky. It seems that once I've figured out how to do something, I need to to move on to something harder to keep my interest. The green slopes that once felt so high and steep to me eventually felt flat. The Blues kept my interest for awhile but then I conquered them. The black diamonds weren't far behind, which is how I found myself one day standing at the top of a cliff scared out of my mind but nearly certain that once I leaped off I would be able to stay upright. I didn't, at least not right away.
I find these lessons to hold true to knitting. It's not quite the adrenaline rush of skiing, but it's as much of a mind challenge. This stole on which I'm working - it's probably a black diamond. I'm falling down a lot. But, I'm learning a lot and I'm having a blast with it. It certainly has my attention!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We knitted to the end and then we kitchnered! We did it! We did it!
Following the good advice of my friend and veteran sock knitter Lisa over at Saratoga Knits, I immediately cast on for the next one of the pair. I need to get these done - it's getting cold outside.
I thought I was being good and putting everything back when I was done with it. I thought I was keeping projects together neatly in their own bags. Maybe some gremlins came in at night and had a party, right?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
You experienced sock knitters should all be smugly smiling now, shaking your heads because you know that it's 2.5 inches before the length of your foot, not the length of the sock. Otherwise, the sock will be about an inch short, as mine almost was.
I thought I was at the end, but I put it on and my poor big toe was sticking out all by itself, sad not to be covered up like its buddies. I scoured the directions again and found my mistake. Ribbet, ribbet.
I'm not discouraged, not in the least. I know the next sock will go better. I do like socks, Sam I Am, I will knit them in the rain and on a train and I will knit them in a box, I do so like knitting sox. Okay, maybe not in the rain, but certainly when it's raining.
The frogging was nothing compared to the undoing of the Secret of the Stole. Having made it to the end of clue 1, I realized I just couldn't live with the problem I'd noticed earlier but tried to ignore. So I went backwards, which was no easy task since I had no idea where I ended up. I had to lift the stitches off the row one by one and check the chart to find out where I was. Then I had to figure out what had happened to the missing stitches. Though I'm not making progress in the visible sense of finishing the pattern, I did learn a lot about knitting - reading charts and understanding what the stitches should look like. I wonder if it's possible to follow a chart without counting - just by looking at where the yo and decreases should be relative to the previous row. Use the force Luke
pics to follow later - batteries on both cameras are shot!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
If I am successful, this will be my first full-size pair of socks. So far, I've only done wee ones.