The year was 1987, my baby sis is not even a year old. Fashion was all about animal prints and bi-levels (mullets are what we call them today). In other words this is a photo about poor fashion choices to which I say, go ahead and laugh I did.
Lately, I have been knitting socks. I stopped knitting socks for awhile because I hit a pattern that frustrated me so much that I stopped for awhile. When I had jury duty in February, I took a new sock project with me to work on while I waited. I have found that no one seems to connect my bamboo size 2 needles with knitting. In fact one bailiff asked me if I liked crocheting. I just smiled and said yes. However, my last jury duty experience required lots of sitting in court being asked personal questions, not knitting.
I had my sock pattern, yarn, and needles all ready for some serious knitting all hanging out in a bag waiting for me to notice it. I decided well heck I have these Mermaid Lagoon socks ready I should just knit them on up. Once finished with the Mermaid Lagoon socks, I thought heck that was fun, I should knit another pair in this here Charybdis pattern. And I did.
The Mermaid Lagoon pattern was not particularly hard once I translated the pattern for myself. The yarn did an interesting color change from turquoise to tan made creating a cool pair of socks. My only complaint is the pattern was designed for a medium size foot and leg. My canoes and hefty calves did not love this pattern. I upped the needle size and it helped, but you know the sock could have been a little roomier.
Mermaid Lagoon Socks
Roominess was in ample supply on the next pair of Charybdis socks I knitted. One of my knit night buddies had clued me in that these socks knitted up big. I used another color transitioning yarn from my stash which made for interesting socks. I kind of feel like I am walking around with muddy paws when wearing these socks. I loved the Charybdis pattern, which is free on Ravelry. Do want to warn that it knits up big, so do a swatch, the pattern is charted, but can be modified for a smaller foot or leg.
The real problem with hand knitted socks is I have problems wearing them. They come out so perfect that my clumsy, size 11s don't deserve to wear them. Working on getting over that real soon.
Today is a day to remember to be proud. Proud that you are different, proud that you have spoken your truth, proud you have survived to hold your head high with dignity and command respect. Today it has been 1 year since the supreme court struck down hateful anti same-sex marriage laws (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2015/06/today-is-day.html), and 47 years since the Stonewall Inn riots. Today I am proud to look back on the diverse group of dykes, fags, and transvestites who made my life possible. They are my heroes. They refused to be put down one more time, they knew they deserved better. They fought for basic human rights against the status quo. I can never thank them enough.
Yesterday the place where this struggled became public, the Stonewall Inn, became a National Monument. The fight for LGBTQ equality which started there will be honored and treasured by a nation. I can only hope that Harvey Milk's camera shop will also garner recognition as well. Queer history which is a part of American history will live on for the next generation and for all of this I am proud to be a lesbian.
My mother has been cleaning out her home and passing on many of her treasures. Some of those treasures were my dad's. My dad grew up on a farm and he learned at a young age, 5, to milk cows. It was a part of his chores everyday to milk the cows. He would tell a story about how he would squirt the milk at the barn cats and they use there paws to wave the milk into their mouth. I am still a little skeptical of that story, but who knows it might not be one of his tall tales.
My Dad at 5 getting ready to milk a cow.
One of the things my mom gave me was the kerosene lantern my dad would take with him to the barn every morning. I remember when I was a kid that the lantern would come out when our electricity would go out. My dad would use the occasion to lecture us on lantern safety and tell us about the time his jacket caught on fire. He said one of his older brothers saw my dad on fire and threw him on the ground to smother the fire out. My dad warned us, if we ever caught on fire not to run, but throw yourself down and roll on the fire like his brother had done to him. He always said his brother saved his life that day because my dad was getting ready to run in panic.
Dietz Kerosene Lantern
That was how my dad was. He was always telling you some story to teach you something or sometimes to pull your leg. You weren't always sure which one it was. Regardless, I treasure all those stories now and wish he had told me more. Miss you Dad.
I grew up in a different world than the one we live in today. A world where if a person was different in any way they were often antagonized by their peers, their community, and even at times by the courts. I have fought the conditioning of my youth and the established society not only for acceptance of myself as a lesbian, but for others as well. It hasn't been easy, but change has come. Slowly, but as the ring on my left hand now has the courts behind it, I have seen the change happen.
However, looking back on the last week and the horrific massacre in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub I have, like many throughout the world, been heartbroken. I have struggled with feelings of anger, rage, sadness, and fear. As I am trying to work through my emotions I have found 2 things have resonated with me.
First the strength and power of the human spirit to survive and to continue to evolve. The outpouring of support for the survivors, the families of the victims, Orlando, and the LGBTQ community gives me hope. Even those who have been obstacles for LGBTQ civil rights are opening their eyes and finally coming aboard to the importance of equality. Sure some of these new converts are just jumping on the bandwagon, but that just shows the tide has turned. To them I say welcome to the new world order. To those with sincerity and love in their heart I say thank you.
The second thing I have discovered is I will always choose love over hate. I want to focus on creating a world where love, not hate is the currency. People and groups espousing hate have no place in the future I want to see for those that come after us. I will continue, regardless of the circumstances to choose to pick love over hate every time.
To the survivors, the families, the friends, and the city of Orlando I send only thoughts of love and healing, but I will never forget the sacrifices you have made. Peace my friends.
In March the good people at Homer Laughlin announced the new fiestaware color is claret (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2016/03/new-fiestaware-color-claret.html). It looked like a pretty color when I first saw it, but as I compared it other colors I thought it would look a lot like the retired color, cinnabar. In fact when my special box of pre-ordered happiness arrived on my doorstep Friday, I peeled the tape off cautiously. I had ordered my favorite piece, the mini disk pitcher, and a square bowl. The claret did look to my eye like the cinnabar redone, but when I put the mini disk side by side with the cinnabar and the heather colors I was surprised. The claret actually is a color right between these 2 older colors. I don't know that this hue will ever replace my favorite color, chartreuse, but it is a nice rich color. I am liking it. What do you think?
Left to Right: Cinnabar, Claret, and Heather Mini Disk Pitchers
Took the time to stop by and visit my Great Grandparents this weekend. I never met either of them, but in 1911 they gave me a better life. Tired of living on an estate ran by an overlord who treated them like animals they risked everything to come to a new country. It wasn't easy to travel with 3 small children, the youngest learned to walk on a ship. They didn't speak the language and had to find work as soon as they arrived. Their life was hard, but they gave their children and all the generation after them the gift of opportunity. On this Memorial Day weekend I thank them.