Saturday, September 29, 2012

Taking A VaKay!!!

Over five years ago I started blogging ( for several reasons.

1)     Because I was no longer able to go to my Wednesday knit night and I wanted to still have a way to connect with this awesome new circle of friends.

2)    As a new knitter, I wanted to record my knitting life in a very public forum.

3)    I like to write.

4)    My life was changing and I felt this was a great way to document these changes.

5)   Many of my new knit friends had blogs, and well I wanted one too.

Five years later my life has changed in many ways and the blogging has helped to give me perspective on so many of these changes.  Lately, one of those changes has been to ask myself why am I still blogging?  Do I feel I still need this outlet?  Would I miss blogging if I stopped?  One of my very brilliant co-workers suggested I take a vacation from blogging to see if I missed it.  I meant to take my leave of absence after the trip to Nashville, but then I wanted to brag about the color block blanket.  Next 7 got sick and I wanted to have an outlet for all the emotions that went with agony of losing a small, furry friend.  Which brings me to now, and a break from blogging. 

I want to say this is not a plea for a flood of comments saying, "OH NO, please your blog is a shining star of blogdom, you must not leave me in the lurch!"  I could only dream of such an impact and to be fair, my blog gets far more attention than I ever imaged it would receive.  I just want to examine my reasons for talking about my life so publicly and see if I miss blogging.  I will be back maybe with a new perspective and possibly a revived desire to virtually connect with my friends.  Wish me luck and thank you for letting me share snippets of my life with you over the last five years.

Much Love.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

7 the Ginger Tabby

7 Cs 1996-2012
Today we said goodbye to 7 Cs one of the most lovable ginger tabbies I have ever known.  He will be much missed.
(No comments needed, but much thanks for all the love and support we have received over the last 2 weeks during this difficult time.)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Color Block Blanket and the Tribe Grows

A member of my knitting tribe is getting ready to adopt a beautiful, little girl, and we all got very excited about a wee one being added to our community.  With some guidance from one of her nearest and dearest a Color Block Blanket by BacoKnitter to match new momma's nursery was decided on.  Several of us joined the group popping out squares for the blanket.  I knitted 3 basket weave squares in magenta for the project.  Unfortunately, I was out of town for the seaming party. Truly wanted the experience of seaming with my tribe, but hopefully will be available for next group seaming.  I enjoyed the whole project, the covert knitting, the secretive emails, and the fun of being part of something so joyous.  To my tribe I say I love you guys.  To the new mom and dad I say much, much happiness. To see a photo of the project go here ( I am not smart enough to figure out how to steal the image for my blog.

To myself I said, hey this pattern would be perfect for all that Muench Big Baby I have been hoarding for the last few years.  Granted this was the middle of summer with temperatures in the low 100s and knitting a blanket is a bit on the mad side of things to do.  However, I was inspired by my tribe and told myself I would just work on the green basket weave squares.  I could do just one ball at a time and a 10X10 square that is not so bad, right?  Right.

Well after tearing through 10 of those in about 2 weeks, I thought well why don't I just work on some of the other colors too.  I mean I can just stop at any time and do something else.  It is not like I am going to finish this thing during a heatwave or something.  But then after another 2 weeks I had finished all the squares and I kind of wanted to see how the blocks would look together.  I thought if I sew a few of these together, I can preview the product to come.

Obsession is never pretty and in this case it was hot and ugly, but in a week I had all the blocks seamed together.  Once to this point I thought I wanted a crochet border.  Problem was I needed a jump start on the border.  I have used this border before, but I wanted some guidance on starting the crochet.  You see I only use crochet when I have to.  Not that I don't like crochet, but I really only know how to do a basic stitch.   My friend Robin, another member of my knit tribe, kick started me and the border was growing, as in seven rows of border for the blanket.

Madness, I know, but by now I realized I might as well weave in the ends and call it done, and so I did.   I even managed to make a little pillow with the scraps from the yarn.  Timing is everything and working on a heavy microfiber blanket in summer is not a suggested project, but come winter me, the blanket, and the pillow will be enjoying each others company on many late nights. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lucky 7, Or I Discuss My Cat

I usually try to abstain from discussing my animals.  I think, like baby photos or wedding plans, other peoples critters can be less than engaging.  I did talked about the passing of my cat Grasshopper (  Sorry, but once again I need to talk about a beloved pet.  This last week has been rough, my cat 7 is sick.  Yes his name is 7.  I named him 7 because when he showed up at our door we had 6 cats.  I thought naming him 7 would make me feel very aware that we had too many cats.  I would like to say that worked, but we would also adopt another cat after him.   I did not name that cat 8, I decided instead to call him Dante.

Unlike Grasshopper and the sometimes aloof 8, I mean Dante, 7 is a love of a ginger tabby.  He is the first to greet me at the door and if anything comes in with me he has to examine the new item to make sure it fits his exacting standards. When I am home he is usually not far from me.  At night he sleeps with me right above my head.  In other words the two of us are tight.

Anyway, 7 is ill.  At the ripe old age of 16, he got sick last weekend.  So sick he spent all of last week at the vet's office on an IV and a catheter.  Both he and I were very traumatized by the whole thing.  I have to tell you, bawling your eyes out inside a metal cage while trying not to step on a catheter bag is tragic and ridiculous.

Friday the vet let me take 7 home.  I spent the afternoon holding him while we snoozed on my futon.  He is happy to be home, but I can tell he is still in that grey area of discomfort and medication.  I am hoping he is just in recovery and will come back to some semblance of his former self, but I don't know.  This situation is so hard, you want to make the right choices, but I am struggling to know what that right choice is.  Please send some love to the crazy cat lady and her ailing ginger kitty.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dead Can Dance in Nashville

Last year I heard Dead Can Dance (, one of my favorite groups, was putting together a world tour.   I told my lovely wife, who does not like the group, that I was going regardless of where they were playing.  This explains how we found ourselves at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee last night waiting for Dead Can Dance to appear.

Natalie and I with Sheri Lynn and Brenda Kay
As we sat there waiting in our pew, 5 rows from the stage, we talked about our day.  The day where we spent 2 hours in the company of Brenday Kay and Sheri Lynn Jugg aboard a pink bus, doing the Nashtrash tour of Nashville(  The tour was spent laughing so hard our sides still hurt.  Our guides showed us the seedier side of the city and discussed the demise of the butter Jesus in Ohio.  Natalie and I sat in the front of the bus and immediately got clocked as alternate lifestyle participants.  When they ask if we were girlfriends I held up my hand and pointed to my wedding ring.  The Juggs were tickled to death, and said to the bus, "Good for you, doesn't bother us, why should it bother anyone."  In other words great tour.  Also where else do you get to ride around in a bright pink bus?

Nashtrash Pink Bus
We ate at my favorite restaurant in Nashville, Noshville (  I love this place.  Their reuben sandwich is about the best one I have ever had.  After lunch we went to yarn shops and then back to our very nice hotel suite to rest before dolling up for the concert. All in all a wonderful day about to be capped by the concert I have waited years to see.  I want to tell you my friends, it was Christmas, my birthday, and hitting a jackpot on a slot machine all rolled into one.

David Kuchermann on the handpans
The concert started on time with David Kuckhermann on the handpan drums.  These are odd, flying saucer-shaped, drums with an amazing sound resonating from them, like a steel drum only more ethereal.  He also managed to produce a song from a tambourine which was astounding.   He really set the tone for the evening.

Lisa Gerrard in the house
When the lights went down again and the band stepped on the stage, I forgot to breath.  Natalie gave my hand a squeeze and my dream of seeing Dead Can Dance came true.  I expected the concert to be good, but this exceeded anything I could have imagined.  The music was a combination of the older music and their new album, Anastasis.  Lisa Gerrard walked out looking like some regal other worldly creature dressed in a stunning dark velvet dress with a gold sash around her neck ready to play her dulcimers.  Brendan Perry haunting songs and vocals matched Gerrard's unique singing style.  Our seats were so close I could see the nuances of their interactions and presence. For me it was euphoric.  I transcended myself and was carried through the music to a place of metaphysical bliss.  Trust me on this point, (BIG SIGH) this night was magic for me.

Brendan Perry
The band did three encores and the crowd did not want to leave this sanctuary of music.  However, all things must come to an end, and as the light came up I knew it was time to return to the real world.  All I could do was look at my wife, who as I said does not really care for Dead Can Dance, swelling with love for this beautiful woman sitting next to me.  I am so lucky to have shared something I love so much with a person who just understands and loves me as I am. 
Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard
As we left the historic Ryman I ask my wife to give me just a little more time to snap a few photos highlighting the venue.   We even made a stop by the statue of Minnie Pearl to wrap her in my handknit vintage wrap( I was wearing.  Minnie looked beautiful in the colorful garment.

Minnie Pearl Statue at the Ryman
I am home in St Louis, and I need to go to bed for work tomorrow.  I just want to hold onto this feeling a little bit longer sharing my photos and prose.  I feel lucky.  Lucky to have realized the dream of seeing one of my favorite bands, lucky to have the income to travel to such a vibrant city, and so very lucky to have a wonder person in my life who did not my share my dream, but sat with me holding my hand while I fulfilled mine.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Many Shades of Green

I love my wife, you know I do.  However, relationships take time and work.  After almost 25 years together (though that number is the sum of a very complicated word problem) I recognize the ebb and flow of a relationship is not the same today as it was 10 years ago, or for that matter last week.  Some days, I admit I love Natalie more then I do other days.  I am sure it is the same for her. 

Lately, things have been good between us.  As I have alluded to before, it has been an emotional and stressful summer.  Natalie has been my rock helping and supporting me through the tempest.  I am lucky to have someone I love by my side.  I know you, my friends, are about to the gag from the mush.  Well hold on it is going to get even more sickening.

Friday, I told her I loved her more than the color green.  I love the color green, you know I do.  My wife knows it too and said, she did not believe I would love her that much.  I said of course I did because there were many shades of green and I loved her more than most of those shades.

I have told her I have love her more than: forest, kelly, ever, Dartmouth, hunter, fern, Persian, John Deere, spring, day glo, money, and institutional green.  I love her more than teal, asparagus, melon, celery, olive drab, emerald, spruce, pond scum, and lunar tide.  Tomorrow I will tell her I love her more then celadon, army green, jade, and plain olive.  I am holding out chartreuse, lime, granny smith, harlequin, girl scout green, and avocado for really special moments because those are some of my favorite shades of green. 

As you can see I am running out of shades of green.  So my friends, I need more shades of green to tell my wife I love her more than.  Any suggestions would be appreciated because I really do love my wife, you know I do.