Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Coming to an End!

The year has gone by so fast! But I guess that's what we, or at least I, say each year. Since I have some catching up to do, I'm going to leave this post up to add to until I finish it. That should coincide with the end of this year, and begin with the start of the New Year of 2011! There is much to start the New Year with, here, but not before I wrap up the old year! Rather than lose anything that I type here, I'll just publish the post and come back and add to it by editing the post, as it hits me and/or I am through with the interruption of the moment.

As you can see, I left off with actually completing a project! I've been as I weave day-to-day life around 2 needles and a ball of yarn! Isn't that the story of a knitter's life (lol)! Have I actually finished anything else? Well, yeah, if you count a no-brainer, 2-hour winter scarves made from Lion Brand Homespun (that's about the only thing I like making out of that yarn). It's such an easy, relaxing knit, very addictive. I've made several and have thought about putting them on a coat-tree at my front door for anyone who visits to avail themselves of one. They are so warm! Knitted with two strands, from the center and outer part of the skein. Oh how my memory fails me! I actually completed a prayer shawl for my Mother. I will take and add photos! Be back.

(L) 3-year-old grandson Aiden models the Lion-Brand scarves.

(R) 7-year-old grandson Khalil models the
Pocketed Prayer Shawl I made for my Mom!

With my sandwich-generation responsibilities, I'm sure you can understand what it's like to find me time in and away from home. Well I manage. On November 19th, I met up with knitting friends from the Chicago area for a meal, chit-chatting, knitting, swapping secret-partner gifts! These ladies and I frequent the same LYSs here and belong to a Ravelry group called Mocha Knits. We met at Iona's a tiny soul-food cafe in the Beverly neighborhood. It was fun and even though the both-gendered-use bathroom was closer than I like, I had such a wonderful time! And to get a secretly-packaged gift to boot. My gift was from MnMKnitter (Donna). It was a beautiful box, placed inside a beautiful shopping bag. There were stitchmarkers from our own PassionKnits; 3 skeins of Cascade 220 yarn which is almost knitted up into the Super Cupcake Cowl and Hat by Chicago designer Bonne Marie Burns of Chicknits. There was the cutest little point protectors, cable stitch needles, a gift card from Starbucks and a beautiful card. Donna reminded me, the few times I mentioned I wished I could bring dinner for my family back home, that this was my time!       



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Already!!!!!

Wow!!! Time flies. My digital camera is not working and I have lots of great photos to add but words will have to suffice.

Khalil is now a Wolf, having graduated from being a Tiger Cub. And silly me! What was I thinking when I volunteered to be the Wolf Den Leader at the last Scout meeting before the summer break. So now, my Saturdays start at about 7am getting him ready for basketball practice at 8:15am. I come back home, get my cup of coffee then go back for Boy Scouts!

I'm just starting to pack for a move to a new apartment! Actually I'm cleaning, throwing out stuff, etc., etc. The reason for the move? Well I was blessed to apply for and receive a housing voucher almost three years ago. It used to be known as Section 8. I think folks had a misguided notion of who Section 8 holders were--low income folks from the projects--but actually not. It's just a means of having a rent paid so you can live anywhere from an exclusive senior or otherwise high rise to a house. I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. If I weren't trying to make a home for my 91-year-old Mom and make sure my daughter and grandchildren have a port in the storm to weather some emergency, I'd back my butt up in one of those self-contained, secure senior facilities on Chicago's Gold Coast or at least the near Loop area. I would have stayed where I am but my current landlord's property would have failed the required inspection. And he doesn't have the money to make the type of repairs that would be necessary! So we're moving to a nice 2-flat across from the campus of one of our major colleges. Next year I will look for a house. There are time constraints on using the voucher for the first time. Everyone is excited! Me too, though the bulk of the work for getting this move done is on me!

Finally. I am now an Independent Sales Representative for AVON. It took me a while to decide to commit to this endeavor. But I'm glad I did. I can honestly say I love AVON products and am impressed by their commitment to two very important women's issues--domestic violence and breast cancer. I knew about the Breast Cancer Walks but not the walks for Domestic Violence. The Domestic Violence walks have taken place in the New York area. The first ever Chicago Domestic Violence walk will take place during a PGA event in 2011. I have been affected by both of these issues.  I am an 11-year breast cancer survivor. My daughter and her children have been the victims of domestic violence. So I am committed to being a representative. Visit my online store at

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Little Catching Up!!

I had to go back to see what was happening the last time I posted all the way back in August. That's not really a long time considering some of the blogs I follow have not been updated anywhere from several months to a year. That doesn't mean lives are busy and things aren't happening (laugh).

I've been offline for several weeks. Honestly, as much as I love being online with my various groups and friends, when it comes to bills, the intenet bill falls a bit low on the list. I'm sure many of you understand that. I mean if it comes to, say, paying for a field trip (we chaperones have to pay too!), well the field trip wins hands down. But I'm back. Can't keep me away too long.

I've been blessed with a housing voucher (formerly known as Section 8). I applied for it almost 3 years ago when Section 8 was once again made available. What a wonderful surprise that I received it, let alone being in the first grouping of numbers for which folks would be contacted within 3 years. The last group of numbers included folks that would have to wait as long as 8 years (from 2007) to be notified that they'd received it! So I will be moving in a few weeks. I am in the beginning stages of packing boxes. This comes at a good time since my Mom, at age 91, has been in Arkansas for the month of October visiting her brother. By the time she gets back I plan to be in our new place. As you know I am my Mom's primary/only caregiver so her visit has given us a nice little respite from each other. Keep in mind that I have 4 generations under my roof, the top 3 consisting of 3 women, ages 91, 59, & 29 . . . need I say more (lol). My daughter has her own apartment and I've encouraged her to spend more time there--not maliciously of course. But she is a grown woman with her own lifestyle and needs for her own privacy. And spending more time at her own home is what she wants. So this is a win-win situation for us all. So in the midst of preparing to move, I am still knitting, being a Boy Scout leader (of the Wolf Den that Khalil belongs to), taking the two oldest boys (Khalil, age 7 & Aiden, age 3) to Sunday School and church, etc., etc., etc. Life is good!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I finally finished my Travelling Woman Shawl. During the course of the project I actually communicated with the designer Liz via email. I finished this before the deadline that our KAL leader gave us. But not without some angst!!!!! Several times before I neared the end I made and corrected a few minor mistakes. Lifelines and markers played a prominent role in my not getting totally frustrated and/or giving up. It was near the end, I mean literally the end during the bind off (you really have to stay focused doing the P2TOG bindoff)--even the lifeline a few rows above couldn't save me from the mess I made. I'm glad it happened--my bindoff was too tight anyway. But after I had finished the bindoff, was pulling the lifeline out, something unravelled---aaarrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I knew this wasn't something I was going to be able to fix myself. So I took it to Loopy Yarns. CONGRATS ON THE 5TH ANNIVERSARY LOOPY!!!! Of course the wonderful staff will help you, but they also help you to help yourself--you will learn from your mistakes. I managed to rip back, and didn't do too shabby of a job putting stitches back on the needle before they unravelled any further. Anyhoo, a bit gun-shy, I waited a day or two before tackling the TW again. This time, I said the heck to any lifeline! I did use my markers. Used a size larger needle to do the P2TOG bindoff. This time success. Blocked it & voila. I'm hooked on shawls, lace shawls to be exact and the fear factor of tackling lace is gone!!!! I didn't bother with the points. This is only the scarf size.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Progress Update!

Briefly, I am making such wonderful progress on my Travelling Woman shawl!!!! Deceptively simple pattern to have such beautiful design/detail. Markers and lifelines takes the stress out of this. I just completed Row 1 of my 2nd Chart A repeat. I will make the Sept. 27 deadline set by the leader of our KAL (knit along). For non-knitters, KALs are when several knitters work on the same project at the same time. We cheer each other on, answer questions when we get stuck, encourage and motivate each other to finish, etc.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Challenge Begins

We started the KAL for the Travelling Woman Shawl yesterday, Sunday, August 22. My plans totally fell through to connect with one of the ladies, at Stitches Midwest, that I was going to get to help me get started. While I understood/could intllectualize the initial set-up row, I still wasn't getting it. I'm not one to beat my head against the wall. I eased on over to Loopy Yarn where a lovely, talented young woman named Erica, that Vicki has added to her staff, helped me with the set up row--actually showing me a better, easier way of doing it. Then like several of the other ladies, I had to rip back until I got my YOs right. How often have we had to YO before a purl stitch. Not often. I viewed a couple of YouTube videos to refresh my memory of YO techniques. I will be using lifelines along the way; a wise thing to do, I think, in lace knitting! I'm going to stick with my Addis though the fingering yarn is slippery. I would use a wooden needle but I can't bear the thought of the stitches getting caught as I attempt to slide them on to the needle. I can't afford to go buy any wooden Addis right now. But I am at a comfortable spot in this challenge. It helps that my 7-year-old grandson started school today. Though today is not a full day, my mornings will once again be mine, to knit my happy little heart out. We complete this KAL on September 27th. I mean the world is not going to blow up if we don't. The main thing is no undue stress and this is for fun. But something in me wants to live up to this challenge. I will post a photo of my beginnings as soon as I get some batteries for my camera!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nothing New, But . . .

I don't really have anything terribly insightful to blog about, maybe a few new goings on. I mean if you wake up each morning, life IS going on so there is something to blog about! I just don't want there to be great gaps in between blogs.

I am proud to report that my Khalil is going on to 2nd grade. There was never any real concern on my part (I taught 1st grade for 4 years) that he shouldn't go on. But his 1st grade teacher thought there might be. This teacher was the teacher of the current kindergarten teacher. While that kindergarten teacher is not as old as I am (I don't think she is.), she is no spring chicken. All that to say, as good as the 1st grade teacher is, the woman is tired! Some of her teaching strategies gave me pause; such as introducing writing and 2 & 3 addition/subtraction problems with and without regrouping, so late in the year without the necessary foundations. For instance, a child must understand what a paragraph is and atleast two basic rules for writing paragraphs; for instance, have a grasp of place value. Well, I was told that summer school was mandatory for Khalil in order for him to go to summer school. I told them I didn't have the money for summer school tuition. Having been a teacher, I was allowed to provide home summer-schooling. The one-on-one was more valuable than Khalil being in a hot, distracting classroom one week after the regular school year ended. He was able to have "unstructured" structured time, utilize unrushed time on online sites for math and reading at my computer, etc., etc. Needless to say he did very very well. Yesterday, as planned, he was assessed by the 2nd grade teacher. He did very well on his assessments. Mrs. King said (what I already knew) that she saw no reason whatsoever for him not to move on to 2nd grade. Not only because of her assessment, just talking to her about her methodologies, etc., I look forward to this young woman becoming Khalil's teacher. I believe children should continue some kind of education to bridge the time between and the beginning of each school year. Khalil is still a boy! A BOY! They jump, run, flip, play, love Bakugan & Power Rangers & Transformers more than sitting and focusing on academics. By all means getting him to sit still and focus when he gets back into school will be a priority. But as folks dream of what they want and expect their kids, grandkids, nephews, neices to become, we have to realize they are still kids, not rocket scientists; at least not yet. I look forward to Khalil having Mrs. King as a teacher this year. Until I am (if at all) proven wrong, I think Mrs. King will be the teacher he remembers. Funny, the teacher I remember the most (and have run into in my adult life some years ago) was my 1st Grade teacher, Mrs. King!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Medley

Though I haven't posted in tiny little while, I have been busy. I don't like to post just for the sake of posting--want to have something to say, and to show! Even the title of my post must have some significance (I'm not trying to be too anal about it.)! So because I wanted to talk about two different (or not so different) things in the same post, I had to think of a title that would be meaningful, at least to me. I'm going to always explain it if I need to (laugh). Both topics are connected by, what else, KNITTING!

My new "rule" is that I not work on more than two major projects at a time. I'm working on a Sally Melville Einsteing Coat and a top down Scoop Neck T by Diane Soucy (founder/owner/designer) of Knitting Pure & Simple. I have a KAL which I will start on August 22, 2010. I've finished the biggest part of the Scoop Neck T. I just haven't gone back to Loopy to get the remaining yarn for the neck and sleeves which will be a piece of cake. But here is a photo of the body, with hanging markers which were placed so I could keep track of the inches and places where I needed to increase and decrease. The body fits wonderfully. 

My new rule, well it's not so new, it's just I'm enforcing it more--is making sure I have more ME time at home (knitting uinterrupted) and away from home! So I went to my first Stitch n Pitch this year. This is a charitable endeavor that takes place each year nationwide, uniting knitting and major league baseball. I'm not a baseball fan (too slow moving). I looovvveee NBA basketball. I've hesitated to go before because I have a real issue with heights, particularly slanted heights like that found in U. S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. But my dear LYS owner (of Loopy Yarns) Vicki assured me, as did several other knitting friends, AND the gentleman at U. S. Cellular field that took my call and patiently answered questions about the seating, that they were not high up. Oh, I also looked the seating chart up on the ballpark's web site AND pulled up a couple of YouTube videos. I went. It is an understatement to say the park is beautiful. IT IS. Could turn me into a baseball fan (not really)! The seats were wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Vicki put me on an outside seat. Thank God for that. Sitting in the middle of a row (seating is so narrow) would have been reason enough for me to leave. My bladder would have found out and made me have to go to the bathroom, even if I didn't need to over and over! Vicki sat me next to another knitter named Pat and we chatted up a storm. We left together since we both had to walk to the Red Line (public transportation), with her going North and me South. It was such a lovely evening, inspite of the intense humidity--thank God for the breeze. It was so nice just to be in the company of fellow knitters; and the men represented. Loved seeing the men knitting in public. I regret not taking any photos. But I did take a couple of photos of my SnP gift, a lovely bag perfect for small knittng projects.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Challenge

I'm attempting to put a photo here of a new challenge, lace to be exact, that I will be tackling in a KAL (knit along) with ladies from my Ravelry group Grandma's Hand. Ok, I did it. This is called The Travelling Woman's Shawl. There are two charts (A & B) that can be repeated to make this lace shawl as large (or small) as you want it. The lace part starts after the stockinette stitch part. I will follow the written instruction as I am not as comfortable with following a chart. This will take me out of that comfort zone and be a part of the challenges that I am planning for myself to make me a better knitter.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Perks of Being a Knitter

Yarn crafters, creative folks no matter the medium are a different breed of people. This is pretty much the same, I guess, as any group of folks joined by a bond that others are not a part of (actors, members of sports teams, etc.). We connect! Simple as that. We already have much to talk about, common experiences to share, etc. We eventually meet---maybe because we keep running into each other at yarn stores either making purchases and/or taking a class, or at knitting conventions,  or belonging to the same knittng groups, etc. Ravelry is a social networking site, like FaceBook or MySpace, but it's members are joined first by the yarn crafts/arts (knitting, crocheting, knitwear design, spinning/dying one's own yarns, etc.) then by other similar interests. For instance I'm the founder/moderator/administrator of a 300+ member Grandmother's group! And we're all close (lol). Many of us have met. I'm a member of a group dedicated to Motown (& it's music and musicians/singers). I am a member of groups for my two favorite LYSs here in Chicago, Loopy Yarns and My Sister's Knit. So I have met many knitters here in the Chicago area. That is reason enough to keep a camera in my purse (I do anyway). Sooooooooooo, as a result, finally coming to the end of this post (it's knitted related), I have another photo to share. This is of Nerissa (a fellow knitter and Ravelry member) and me when she happened to stop by my former job one day. What a nice surprise it was. Oh we've since run into again, talked on the phone and texted each other. We'll probably next see each other when we go to White Sox Park (Cellular Field) for the annual Stitch n Pitch on August 11.

Nerissa (aka Bravebird on Ravelry) & Susan (aka Droppedstitch2 on Ravelry)

Happy Birthday to Me!

God has blessed me to complete another year, my 59th to be exact. My faith in Him endures. I am human. I have anxieties, fears, fears of leaving this life as I know it--my grands, my family, my friends (new & old & future), my yarn, my books, the music I listen to, the favorite foods I like to indulge in, etc., etc., etc. But I have no real fear of a physical death as long as I trust my Father; as long as I have a relationship with Him; as long as I continue to realize how BLESSED I am to reach this point in my life when so many others have not. I am not more special than the next person in God's sight, so I am humbled by my blessings each and every day, moment, second.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

Happy Birthday 2 Me

I've blessed to complete another year, my 59th to be exact. I've awoken to sincere and loving birthday wishes from friends via Ravelry and Facebook so far. There will be more to come. I can't wait!

I treated myself to a birthday gift yesterday and it was definitely in keeping with the motivation behind this, my new blog that is devoted to knitting and taking myself out of my comfort zone. Ta dahhhhh. I purchased the awesome Shirley Paden's book, Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits. First, I thought I shouldn't be spending this amount, not at this time! (Why not? I don't question spending on others!). Second, I thought that the material in this book is for an expert knitter or at least a more accomplished one! How will I ever get more accomplished if I don't push myself? If I don't step out of my comfort zone? If I don't challenge myself. Ms. Paden obviously knew folks like me would be drooling over a book like this, with doubts--she addressed us right away in her introduction. It was as if she were talking to those of us who wanted to but were afraid to stepping out of our comfort zone. I am an eager student of Ms. Paden's now and know my money was not wasted, as I proceed through this book.

My commitment to challenging myself makes me realize I must discipline and pace myself so as not to continue to pile up WIPs, UFOs, and OTNs. So far I'm managing. A year ago this time I honestly didn't have the time to knit. Now that I do, I realize I am not ADHD (as we knitters often jokingly say we are). But, now I am forced  to face the consequences of my actions, to take responsibility for my lack of self control when I hit the LYSs. So I am committed to working ONLY two projects at a time though I may have more in the background, and not starting another one UNTIL I have completed at least one of those two projects. So far so good!

I am working on a Knitting Pure & Simple, top down, Scoop Neck T Shirt. I am using Filatura Di Crosa Fancy Tempo. I love Top Down patterns, no seaming.

I am knitting Sally Melville's Einstein Coat using, Elaine, a hand-painted luxury fiber Schaefer Yarn (99% Merino Wool, 1% Nylon). The color concept is one of a series created for "Memorable Women." This color is called Rosa Parks. It's a beautiful varieagated color. It's my humble opinion that the colors are an attempt at imitating a kente cloth type color. The yarn is spun thin and thick in places. It's a beautiful yarn to work with considering this entire coat is done in a garter stitch. It feels good and the color is so interesting. I can only imagine the different color outfits that can be worn with it. I even received a PM on Ravelry from Sally Melville complimenting the yarn.

Hi there!

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write: I was away, teaching, then travelling with family, and it seems like forever since I’ve been here!
I love Cheryl’s yarns, so I’m sure it will work. And the coat is WONDERFUL in variegated yarns! so enjoy!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A New Friend

Knitting, knitting groups (from the LYSs, online, etc.), and the internet has lessened that 6 degrees of separation. Knitters are meeting each other because we live close together, because vacations brings us close, due to knitting/yarn fiber conventions, markets, etc., because we are more alike than different; and in addition to all the other ways we are bonded, the fiber arts/crafts bonds us in ways that are just as unique as, say championship winning sports teams, support group members, etc. (Let me stop. That sentence has become too much of a run-on sentence which I abhor!)

I had the pleasure of meeting another knitter and her husband who came all the way from the U.K. Sue and I are members of a Ravelry group I founded called Grandma's Hand. She and I spent Sunday, June 27th together and of course I took her to one of my favorite LYSs, Loopy Yarns (see link). We took photos which I am sharing here. It was hot and humid as all get out, but we walked and chatted from the Sheraton Hotel @ 300 N. Water Street (across from NBC Tower and just north of the Chicago River all the way to the South Loop, 47 West Polk. Now I love walking but not on a day as humid as this. It shows (lol).

 Top 2 bottom: Peter & Sue Speechley @ Sheraton; Sue looking over the yarns at Loopy; Sue & Loopy staff, Vicki (owner who so graciously came in to her shop that day to meet Sue & me), Stephen B. (I just adore him), and Liz (doesn't she remind you of Rhea Pearlman?); Sue making her purchase, Stephen behind counter; and finally back at the hotel at the end of the day, Sue S. & Sue B. (hated to see the day/visit end).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Beautiful Sunday

It is going to be another hot day here, but it is a gorgeous day! So many things make this day beautiful and let's me know how blessed I am. My Mom is 91, soon to be 92 on November 4th. Her mind (and sometimes her tongue) is SHARP! I see where I get a whole lot of my independance from (even though at times, as an only child, I felt smothered and overprotected). Well I'd told Mom I'd take her to church today, via cab. I woke up, my ankles hurt (bone spurs), were swollen, and I was tired. So I apologized to her and rolled back over. Next thing I knew she was back at my bedroom door telling me to call her a cab. Okay! I have a wonderful relationship with the small cab company I've been riding in for over 43 some years so it's never any problem to get a cab, the same driver, blah blah blah. I loaded her into the cab. She has her cell phones (not just 1 but 2). Unbeknownst to her I called the rectory and told someone Mom was there, described her and asked for them watch out for her. If she'd known, Mom would have chewed my head off. We have a long history with St. Dorothy parish and church. When church was over, there were several cab drivers that called me to see if I needed them. I told one to not gulp his breakfast down, that we'd get someone else. So when Mom's cab pulled up, I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots. At an age when so many are losing their independance, getting out on "her own" really went a long way to make Mama feel good. She was like a spot of bright color on the canvass of today, this Beautiful Sunday.

I'm Really Excited Now!

I'm excited about this blog. Glad I am devoting it to strictly knitting (with a little life background). I worried about the title a bit, but hey, you have to color outside of the lines a bit no matter how old you are! My blog title is significant in that it, again, speaks to a personal challenge I've made to myself. I've been knitting a long long time and feel at this point I should be a master knitter. It is so wonderful to see the level of expertise and confidence that many who've not been knitting for a long time are at. Well in my defense, the help that is out here now just wasn't there when I started and/or in such abundance. There were not that many knit shops or knitting groups/clubs. And there definitely was not the online help that there is now. Sometimes I think knitting classes are mainly for the camraderie because you can learn just about anything from the knitting videos that are out. As I move forward what are some of my challenges? Well like many knitters, it is to finish WIPs and OTNs and UFOs. I am so anal that I write out my patterns and know exactly where to pick up when I start on an unfinished project again. Two other challenges are lace knitting and design. I'm not trying (if it happens hey, that's okay too) to be a Lily Chin or Shirley Paden or a Veronik Avery or a Kristen Rengren!!! But I think it would behoove ANY knitter to know how to create a basic design. Can't get more personal than that to know that what you're wearing is probably a one of a kind, but it's your own design. First things first!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nothing But Knitting (Atleast 95% of the time)!

Ideally this blog is to be mainly about knitting. My other blog really is about my life and other musings. I realize a knitter's life entails more than just knitting, but I will try to only include those stories  (photos, links, etc.) that relate to my knitting. Right now I'm trying to "decorate" this blog to reflect it as a knitter's blog!

Getting Back on Track

Prior to my last two posts it's been a while since I've posted. Most of us bloggers are guilty of doing that. But once blogging is in your blood, it stays on your mind until you get back on track. Why is the appeal to do so more nagging when it's online than say in a handwritten journal. Less effort I guess. But anyway, the last time I truly had plans to get back to this blog was about the time Michael took most of the spotlight from Farrah dying on the same day (a little over a year ago). It's my humble opinion that Farrah would have wanted it that way! Oh well, and no disrespect meant to either, who knows! And, no disrespect meant to either, who really cares! Life went on. In a nutshell, here's how mine did. Walking out on faith (it works every time because He is pleased when you trust Him), I quit a horribly tiring job on September 26, 2009. It left me with little, no correction, it left me with no time except to sleep (or try to) and work. Most times I wasn't getting the rest I needed because I am my Mom's only caregiver so quite often, when I should have been sleeping, I was taking her to a doctor's apointment. Or I was picking up my grandson from school, doing his homework with him, then trying to get some sleep in an apartment where 5 other folks were trying to live normally. To live normally, one has to make noise! I worked overnights where my shift changed from 11pm to 7am (which allowed me to get home and get my grandson to school); from 12am to 8am (which didn't allow me to get him to school on time); finally from 1am to 9am (ridiculous). I was going to deal with it though. But often times if I got stuck doing a job waiting for relief, I often was quite late getting off. No overtime pay. Just comp time that you'd have to beg for and pray you got. Also staff meetings were often held at 3pm so imagine that it's like getting up in the middle of the night (if you work a day shift) to come in for a meeting. Of course you were written up if you didn't show up. It wouldn't have been so bad if the meetings were professional, actual business/needs of the company, etc. were discussed. I have never worked with a group of more ignorant, try-to-be-in-your-business folks in my life. Not everyone was like that, but most. The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was a shift change to the evenings which would have not allowed me to be the caregiver to my Mom that I needed to be. Some folks requested and got what they needed whether it was a shift change or a day off. I was not one of the favored ones so I quit. No regrets yet!!! Even though I don't have health care. No regrets yet!!!! My doctor hasn't charged me for a visit yet, has given me the source to discount my meds and says he will work with me if I need hospitilization!!! Though so many words, I had more wonderful life events occur.

My Mom turned 91 on November 4, 2010. What a blessing that she is still here and in her right mind! Sometimes I think she has more energy than me!

On January 15, 2010 I again witnessed the birth of a grandson, Joshua Blakes. He is almost 6 months, and brother to Khalil age 7, Aiden age 3, and Olivia age 1. These little guys are the air that I breathe! I was in the delivery room for each of their births. 

Joshua                                                                          Aiden, Olivia, & Khalil
I do the Boy Scout and basketball thing with Khalil. With four children, my daughter is busy. Khalil has graduated from Tiger Cubs to Wolf and is a Cub Scout now. His team, the St. Dorothy Defenders took 2nd place in the Catholic League championship. They would have won if the 1st & even 2nd string had been allowed to play the entire game. But the coaches wanted everyone to get a chance to play.

Here is the really nice thing about this past year. Though I fight for more "me time" I now have more time, more quality time with my family and to knit. The rest of the free time comes when I make sure, metorphorically," that everyone is "fed and diapered" and then I put my foot down and just say "NO. YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN!" I have gotten out more to knitting groups, met some new knitting friends, taken a class or two at one of my knit shops and am actually working on somethings for myself. Thanks to Facebook I've reconnected with old friends. Thanks to Ravelry I've made new friends. What's next? A vacation? I'm working on it. I might just have to settle for a fancy room for a night or even two at the Sheraton! It's so nice to be back on track!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Okay, for those who are "waiting on it," nevermind (laugh). Here is what got me, the writer, excited. It was a job search for a head blog writer sponsored by that talented singer/songwriter Alicia Keys! All that it required was just a bit over the top for me and/or my lifestyle. So as soon as I read about, it was not a hard thought process for me to say that as great as it sounded, it was not what I wanted. Oh well. I'm just being realistic. It's a GREAT opportunity for someone looking for a career. At this stage in my life I'm not. I'm leaning more (no doubt just as unrealistically), looking for Trump to send me a check (for whatever reason), or Oprah to give me her blessings or midas touch (say on some handknitted item she sees on me in the street, absolutely loves, has to have, and brings me on her show to share--then comes the zillions of orders ala her bookclub, etc.,), or . . . well you get the picture. Now if someone wanted me to write for them, from home, no travel, pay me big bucks, well I'm okay with that. At this point don't want to travel too far out of my comfort zone for big rewards (laugh). So I'll keep looking. And will hold on to a bit of the fantasy. At least until Oprah ends her show this year, and probably her residency in the Windy City which will rule out ANY bumping into her and her seeing that knitted piece she just has to have, and . . . oops, the helium is taking me away from earth again!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I've been trying to work my way back to my blog. I was a reluctant blogger in the first place, then got excited/addicted to blogging only to have some major "Look Gran'Ma" moments interrupt my flow. But saw a report on Good Morning America that inspired me (not necessarily to blog) to get back to and using my blog to try for something. My blog would, I figure, be a wonderful part of the complete package to via for this "something." I will share it in detail later! So wait on it (laugh). I will be back. Got to take care of some "Look Gran'Ma" stuff. My blog name, Look Gran'Ma, alludes to those things big or small, good or not so good, etc., that tends to interrupt my life or more specifically that Me Time. But in all those interruptions, I know they are a part of life, wanted and unwanted. And those unwanted moments are a time for me to become one with my beliefs about being there for others (especially for family), being there with a willingness of heart and a smile on my face. Love You All

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's Been A While!!!

It has been a while since I've blogged! At the time I was planning to blog Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson had just died. Those are the two main memories that come back. Life goes on. Since I've last blogged I have a new grandchild, Joshua Blakes. I'll post a photo of "Peanut" when I get a chance. I've been in the delivery room with my daughter for each of her 4 children's birth, getting good pictures. But this time, the doctor actually held Joshua up (it seems his toes were still dangling in his mother's stomach) and said "Here Grandma, you want to take a picture?" But of course. And I got the best photo. There was still birth gook on Joshua, and he was squalling to high heavens. Well, when I get a chance that is the photo I will post. As I think back, I've had many changes (good ones) in my life. Will reflect on those later. Just wanted to get my feet wet again in my blog world.