Taking It Personally – Standing up for Planned Parenthood, and Myself

19 Feb

I have been known to have debates in restaurants about politics. When they end, I am crying at the table while my opponent sits smugly. “Why are you taking it so personally?” they ask.

Why aren’t you?, I wonder.

The passionate turn politics has taken brings to the fore beliefs, ideas and leanings that were once kept behind closed doors. I could be friends with someone for years before knowing how they felt about abortion, Newt Gingrich and gun laws. But with Facebook and Twitter, I know more about my friends by their newsfeed than if I were having meals with them on a weekly basis.

In many respects, this new form of socializing has made me better at debate; however, it has also made me cautious about my opinions. I know I can express them, but I am still passionate about them. Sometimes, I still feel like crying, but mostly I make typos instead. I still take them personally.

This is what typically happens: I post an action report, calling for signatures to stop, start or fight whatever cause I think deserves attention. Somebody who disagrees chimes in with their opinion. I respond and am temporarily proud of my ability to be calm and clear, while also being decisive and strong. But inevitably, my responses become emotionally charged. It is apparent that my mind cannot be swayed because I believe in this cause. And then comes the next comment: “You’re obviously taking this personally.”

Shouldn’t we all believe passionately and strongly in the causes for which we are fighting? It makes me wonder: if you don’t take it personally, then why are you engaging in something that will change the lives of people who do care about it? Or is it that you care, but you don’t care that much?

My husband is a philosopher and will often engage me in debate (what he diplomatically calls “discourse”). He typically plays the role of devil’s advocate. After some back and forth, my blood pressure rises and I’m becoming more and more upset. My husband cannot understand my reaction. I finally have to point out that if he doesn’t care about the issue and is only engaging me for the exercise of dialogue, he has to stop, because I do care. Why will I continue to pursue a topic about which I am passionate when the person to whom I’m speaking is not?

It is unfair and impractical to say what’s coming next, but I’ll do it anyway: I sometimes wish that the issues that affect other people’s lives could be decided by the people who truly care about the issue. I don’t like voters who instigate change without caring or understanding the issue. But that is what our country allows, and rightly so, of course. It only means that for those issues I take personally… I have to speak more often, more clearly and with even more passion.

With all that being said, my current cause is Planned Parenthood.

Stand for Planned Parenthood. Yes, some locations perform abortions. But ALL locations provide cancer screening, breast exams and self-exam instruction, pap smears, sex education, condoms, proper birth planning and contraception use – for women AND for men.

Having grown up in ten foster homes, I lacked the comfort and relationships required to be properly educated in menstruation, puberty, vaginal exams, tests and infections, and – of course – sex. I needed a place I could afford, both while in foster homes and after aging out (when I had NO INSURANCE nor the education on how to get it) to attend to my own reproductive health. I needed to know how to perform a breast exam, how to use a vaginal cream, how to use condoms, how to protect myself against venereal disease, what to do if I feel pain in my uterus, what to do if I thought I felt a lump in my breast, what to do if I continually got UTIs or yeast infections, get tested for diseases, and get my boyfriend tested for diseases.

Planned Parenthood is more than an institution that provides women with abortions (which they are legally allowed to do as abortions are a woman’s legal right – that law isn’t changing soon), but they are also an affordable haven for women to focus on their health without judgment. Without affordable woman’s health, what would happen? Where will we go? Who can we turn to? Without this option, what other option will you provide?

Stand up. Fight for what you believe in and for what you need. And damn it all – TAKE IT PERSONALLY! Sign the letter.


Toddler Surprise

18 Feb

My son is 29 months old and likes to do as we do. Whenever he gets a wipe or wash cloth, he washes his face, hands, the TV screen, the carpet, furniture or dishes, washing them like mommy and daddy do. But lately he also likes to toss his snacks on the floor and dump his water. In an attempt to curb the mess, I sat him at the kitchen table when he only wanted a few goldfish. I left the room to get my coffee mug and was side tracked getting other things. I heard clanging and general toddler-noise. When I walked into the kitchen asking “What are you doing?” he screamed out, racing like the wind. I looked around and couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. But then I spotted some spices on the counter next to the stove. He had definitely shaken some spices onto the counter. When I picked it up, it was wet and sticky. The can of beans was empty (had half a can earlier this morning for breakfast). But where did the other half go to?

He had emptied the can in a pan on the stove, and added a gluttony of spices on top, mixing it with a spoon. I didn’t see it at first, because like a good chef, he also covered it… presumably to simmer.

Cute kid.

Words to Live By, or Why Books Say What They Do

17 Feb

I have been in a blogging rut. With child-rearing, house hunting, and attempts to re-enter the world of content writing, my blog – still in its infancy and lacking in real structure and direction – is abysmally neglected.

I can’t remedy the disrepair in one fell swoop, but in fits and starts, it will happen.

I have decided that as often as possible, when I lack real content, I’ll turn to my Kindle. I will go to My Clippings and Notes and see what passages I’ve highlighted. I’ll post them here and try to express why I’ve highlighted them. I think it will be a great exercise, and will probably tell you a lot about me.

Starting …. late. Right now, I have to go to Zumba. (Have you tried Zumba? It truly is a great time).

And P.S. I love my Kindle.

Long time, no see!

21 Jan

I just updated my Ravelry (FINALLY!) and have written a few Hubpages. I recently read The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, and wrote a review. Check it out

Theme Name: Bueno
Version: 1.1-wpcom
Description: A stylish and fun theme with a custom header, custom background, and multiple alternate color schemes. Supports featured images for index and archive pages and in the Bueno featured posts widget.
Author: WooThemes
Author URI: http://www.woothemes.com
Tags: blue, brown, green, silver, purple, red, pink, two-columns, fixed-width, custom-header, custom-background, theme-options, sticky-post, rtl-language-support, translation-ready, custom-menu, full-width-template, featured-images, art, blog, craft, fashion, lifestream, wedding, artistic, colorful, girly, glamorous, playful, textured

Copyright: (c) 2009 WooThemes.
	License: GNU/GPL Version 2 or later. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html


/* Default styles */
@import "css/reset.css";



-1.1 Defaults
-1.2 Hyperlinks

-2.1 Containers & Columns
-2.2 Navigation
-2.2.1 Drop-down menus
-2.3 Header
-2.4 Content
-2.5 Sidebar
-2.6 Extended Footer
-2.7 Footer

-3.1 Typographic Elements
-3.2 Images
-3.3 Pagination / WP-Pagenavi

-4.1 Generic Widgets
-4.2 Specific Widgets
-4.3 Extended Footer Widgets
-4.4 WordPress.com Widgets

-5.2 Pingbacks / Trackbacks
-5.3 Comments Form


/* 1. SETUP */

/* 1.1 Defaults */

body  { font: 14px Georgia, Times, Serif; line-height: 1.5; color: #7a7a7a; }

h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6  { margin: 0; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,Sans-serif; color: #000; }
h1, h2, h3 { font-family: Rockwell,Georgia,Palatino Linotype,Palatino,"Times New Roman",Times,serif; }
h1  {font-size: 30px;} h2  {font-size: 24px;} h3  {font-size: 20px;} h4  {font-size: 18px;} h5  {font-size: 14px;} h6  {font-size: 12px;}

p  {margin: 0;}

/* 1.2 Hyperlinks */

h1 a:link, h1 a:visited, h2 a:link, h2 a:visited, h3 a:link, h3 a:visited,
h4 a:link, h4 a:visited, h5 a:link, h5 a:visited, h6 a:link, h6 a:visited  { text-decoration: none; }
h1 a:hover, h2 a:hover, h3 a:hover, h4 a:hover, h5 a:hover, h6 a:hover  {text-decoration: underline;}


/* 2.1 Containers & Columns */
#container  {

.col-left { float: left; }
.col-right { float: right; }
.col-full  { width: 940px; margin: 0 auto; }

/* 2.2 Navigation */

#navigation  { text-transform: uppercase; font-size:11px; background-color: #000; }
.nav, .nav ul, #header .menu, #header .menu ul  { z-index:100; margin:0; padding:0; list-style:none; line-height:1; }
.nav li, #header .menu li  { float:left; width: auto; }

/* 2.2.1 Drop-down menus */
.nav li ul, #header .menu li ul  {  position: absolute; left: -999em; width: 160px;  }
.nav li ul li, #header .menu li ul li  { border: 1px solid #d8d8d8; background: #FFF; border-width: 0 1px 1px; }
.nav li ul li a, #header .menu li ul li a  { width:148px; line-height:25px!important; font-size:11px; color:#555; padding: 0 0 0 10px; }
.nav li ul ul, #header .menu li ul ul  { margin: -26px 0 0 158px!important; }
.nav li ul ul li a, #header .menu li ul ul li a  {  }
.nav li ul li ul li a, #header .menu li ul li ul li a  {  }
.nav li:hover ul ul, .nav li:hover ul ul ul, .nav li:hover ul ul ul ul, .nav li.sfhover ul ul, .nav li.sfhover ul ul ul, .nav li.sfhover ul ul ul ul,
#header .menu li:hover ul ul, #header .menu li:hover ul ul ul, #header .menu li:hover ul ul ul ul, #header .menu li.sfhover ul ul, #header .menu li.sfhover ul ul ul, #header .menu li.sfhover ul ul ul ul { left: -999em; }
.nav li:hover ul, .nav li li:hover ul, .nav li li li:hover ul, .nav li li li li:hover ul, .nav li.sfhover ul, .nav li li.sfhover ul, .nav li li li.sfhover ul, .nav li li li li.sfhover ul,
#header .menu li:hover ul, #header .menu li li:hover ul, #header .menu li li li:hover ul, #header .menu li li li li:hover ul, #header .menu li.sfhover ul, #header .menu li li.sfhover ul, #header .menu li li li.sfhover ul, #header .menu li li li li.sfhover ul { left: auto;}
.nav li:hover,.nav li.hover, #header .menu li:hover,#header .menu li.hover  { position:static; }

#catnav  { width: 620px; }
#catnav a:link, #catnav a:visited  { display:block; z-index:100; padding:0 20px 0 0; line-height:55px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; text-decoration: none; color: #fff; }
#catnav a:hover  { text-decoration: underline; }
#catnav li ul  {  margin-top: -15px; border-top: 1px solid #d8d8d8;  }
#catnav li ul a:link, #catnav li ul a:visited  { padding: 0 0 0 10px; }
#catnav li ul a:hover  { color: #000!important; background: #d8d8d8;  }

#pagenav  { margin-top: 20px; min-width: 300px; }
#pagenav a  { display:block; z-index:100; margin: 0; padding:0 15px 10px 15px; text-decoration: none; text-transform: uppercase; font-size: 25px; font-family: Impact, Helvetica, arial, sans-serif; color: #000;  }
#pagenav li ul a:link, #pagenav li ul a:visited  { padding: 0 0 0 10px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif !important; font-size: 14px; text-transform: none; border: none; }
#pagenav li.rss a  { padding-right: 25px; }

/* 2.3 Header */
#topsearch  { width: 300px; line-height: 0; }
#topsearch #searchform_top  { margin: 14px 0 0 0; }
#topsearch h3 {	display: none; }
#topsearch .widget { margin: 0; }

#header{padding:45px 0;clear:both;position:relative;}

#logo  { margin: -16px 0 0 0; }
#logo img  { }

.site-title { font: 72px/58px Impact,Helvetica,arial,sans-serif; text-transform: uppercase; margin: 0; padding: 16px 0 0 0; display: block; }
.site-title a:link, .site-title a:visited {	color: #000; text-decoration: none; }

#description  { width: 620px; padding:0 20px 0 0; line-height:55px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; text-decoration: none; color: #fff; }

#header-image {	clear: both; padding: 12px 0 0 0; }
#header-image img {	border: 5px solid #efefef; clear: both; }

/* 2.4 Content */
* html #content{height:550px;}

#main.fullwidth  { width: 940px; }

/* 2.5 Sidebar */

/* 2.6 Extended Footer */
#extended-footer  { margin: 50px 0 0 0; padding: 40px 0; }
.block  { float: left; width: 300px; padding: 0 10px 0 0; }
.one, .two  { margin: 0 9px 0 0; border-right: 1px solid;}
.three  { padding: 0; }

/* 2.7 Footer */
#footer  { font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; padding: 20px 0; background-color: #000; color: #fff; text-transform: uppercase; }
#footer a:link, #footer a:visited  { color: #fff; }
#footer p  { margin: 5px 0 0 0; }
#footer #credit img  { vertical-align: middle; }
#footer #credit span  { display: none; }

img#wpstats { position: absolute; bottom: 15px; left: -9999px; }

/* 3. POSTS */

#breadcrumb, .archive_header  { font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; display: block; margin:10px 0; padding: 0 55px; font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; color: #000; }
#breadcrumb  { font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal; padding: 0; }
.archive_header .catrss a  { font-size: 14px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 28px; }

.post  { position: relative; margin: 0 0 60px 0; padding: 50px 55px; background-color: #fff; border: 5px solid #efefef; }

.post .title  { width:100%; position:relative; margin: 0 0 30px 0; padding: 0 0 25px 0; color: #000; border-bottom: 1px solid #e7e7e7; font-size: 32px; }
.post .title a:link, .post .title a:visited  { color: #000; }
.post .title a:hover  { text-decoration: none; }

.post .date  { position: absolute; top: 30px; left: -40px; width: 71px; height: 60px; padding: 10px 0 0 0; text-align: center; color: #fff; }
.home .sticky .date { display: none; }

.post .date .day  { display: block; font-size: 36px; line-height: 32px; }
.post .date .month  { display: block; font-size: 12px; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold; }

.post-meta  { margin: 30px 0 0 0; font-size: 11px; color: #9F9F9F; border-top: 1px solid #c4c4c4; border-bottom: 1px solid #c4c4c4; }

.post-meta li  { float: left; width: 154px; padding: 10px 0 7px 10px; }
.post-meta li.categories  { border-left: 1px solid #e7e7e7; border-right: 1px solid #e7e7e7; }
.attachment .post-meta li.author  { border-left: 1px solid #e7e7e7; border-right: 1px solid #e7e7e7; }
.attachment .post-meta li.parent  { border-right: 1px solid #e7e7e7; }
.post-meta li span  { display: block; }
.post-meta li .head  { font-size: 10px; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: #000; }
.post-meta li .body, .post-meta li .body a:link, .post-meta li .body a:visited  { font-size: 13px; color: #7a7a7a; font-style: italic; text-decoration: none; }

.post img.attachment-post-thumbnail  { margin: 0 0 20px 0; }

.entry  { overflow: hidden; width: 100%; }

/* 3.1 Typographic Elements */
.entry h1 {}  .entry h2 {}  .entry h3 {}  .entry h4 {}  .entry h5 {}  .entry h6 {}
.entry h1, .entry h2, .entry h3, .entry h4, .entry h5, .entry h6  {	margin: 0 0 15px 0; }

.entry p  { margin: 0 0 15px 0; }

blockquote  { padding: 10px 30px; color: #666; font-style: italic; font-size: 16px; }

.entry ul  { margin: 0 0 15px 0; padding: 0 0 0 30px; }
.entry ul ul  { margin: 0; }
.entry ul li  {	list-style-type: circle; }
.entry ul ul li  { list-style-type: disc; }

.entry ol  { margin: 0 0 15px 0; padding: 0 0 0 30px; }
.entry ol ol  { margin: 0; }
.entry  ol li  { list-style-type: decimal; }
.entry  ol li ol li  { list-style-type: lower-latin; }

.entry table { border: 1px solid #e7e7e7; margin: 0 0 15px 0; width: 100%; }
.entry table th, .entry table td { padding: 10px; text-align: left; }
.entry table th { color:#000; font-family:Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size:10px; font-weight:bold;	text-transform:uppercase; }

/* 3.2 Images */
img.wp-smiley  { padding: 0 !important; border: none !important; margin: 0 !important; }

.entry img, .wp-caption { margin-bottom: 15px; max-width:490px; height: auto; }
.fullwidth .entry img, .fullwidth .wp-caption { max-width:100%;}

.entry .alignleft  { float: left; margin: 10px 15px 10px 0; }
.entry .alignright  { float: right; margin: 10px 0 10px 15px; }
.entry .aligncenter  { display: block; text-align: center; margin: 10px auto; }

.entry .wp-caption { padding: 1px; text-align:center; background:#F8F8F4; border: solid 1px #e6e6e6; }
.entry .wp-caption img{ margin:0; padding:4px 0; background:none; border:0; }
.entry .wp-caption-text { margin:0; padding:0; font-size:11px; text-align:center; }

/* 3.3 Pagination / WP-Pagenavi */

.navigation { overflow: hidden; }
.nav-previous {	float: left; width: 50%; }
.nav-next {	float: right; text-align: right; width: 50%;}
.single #nav-below { margin: 20px 0 0 0; }
.navigation a:link, .navigation a:visited { color:#7A7A7A; font-size:13px; font-style:italic; text-decoration:none; }

.more_entries { margin-top: -30px; padding: 10px 55px; background-color: #fff; border: 5px solid #efefef; }
.more_entries a { display: block; margin: 0 0 0 0; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none; }

.more_entries .wp-pagenavi { margin: 0; text-align: center; }
.more_entries .wp-pagenavi a:link,
.more_entries .wp-pagenavi a:visited { display: inline; text-decoration: none !important; padding: 4px 6px!important; }
.more_entries .wp-pagenavi .current,
.more_entries .wp-pagenavi .on,
.more_entries .wp-pagenavi a:hover { padding: 4px 7px; font-weight: bold; }
.more_entries .wp-pagenavi .extend { background:none; border:none; }

/* 4. WIDGETS */

/* 4.1 Generic Widgets */
.widget  { margin: 0 0 30px 0; }
.widget h3  { margin: 0 0 7px 0; padding: 10px 0; text-transform:uppercase; color: #404040; }

.widget p {	margin: 0 0 15px 0; }
.widget ul  { clear:both; margin-top: -7px; }
.widget ul li  {}
.widget ul li a:link, .widget ul li a:visited { display: block; padding: 6px 0 6px 25px; line-height: 18px; text-decoration: none; color:#666; }
.widget ul ul  { margin-top: 0; padding: 0 0 0 15px; border-top: none; }

.widget_recent_comments li, .widget_twitter li  { padding: 6px 0 6px 10px; line-height: 18px; } /* RESET LI STYLING FOR RECENT COMMENT & TWITTER */
.widget_recent_comments li a, .widget_twitter a  { display: inline; padding: 0; line-height: 18px!important; background: none!important; border: none!important; } /* RESET <A> STYLING FOR RECENT COMMENT & TWITTER */

#container .widget_categories li  { border-bottom: 1px solid #fbdddf; padding: 6px 0 6px 25px; line-height: 18px; }
#container .widget_categories li ul li { border: none;  }
#container .widget_categories a:link, #container .widget_categories a:visited  { display: inline; padding: 0; line-height: 18px!important; background: none!important; border: none!important; }

/* 4.2 Specific Widgets */


#container .widget-bueno-featured li  { float: left; width: 300px; padding: 10px 0; list-style: none; }
#container .widget-bueno-featured li a  { padding: 0; background: none; border: none; }
#container .widget-bueno-featured span  { display: block; }
#container .widget-bueno-featured span.thumb  { float: left; width: 80px; }
#container .widget-bueno-featured .right  { font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px; }
#container .widget-bueno-featured li.has-thumbnail .right  { float: right; width: 200px; }
#container .widget-bueno-featured .right h4  { margin: 0 0 5px 0; font-size: 14px; line-height: 18px; }
#container .widget-bueno-featured .right h4 a  { line-height: 18px; }

#searchform  { margin: 15px 0 0 0; }
input#s, input.field  { float: left; width: 208px; padding: 5px 0 5px 5px; }
input.submit  { display:block; float: right; line-height: 17px; border: none; padding: 4px 5px; color: #fff; text-shadow: 1px 1px 0 #424242; text-transform: uppercase; font-size: 12px; }
.widget .screen-reader-text  { display: none; }

.widget_lifestream ul li a  { border:none; background:none!important; }
.widget_lifestream ul .lifestream_meta  { color: inherit; }

.textwidget  { padding: 10px 0; }

#wp-calendar caption{padding:10px;}
#wp-calendar th,#wp-calendar td{text-align:center;padding:5px;}
#wp-calendar td{background:transparent;}
#wp-calendar td,table#wp-calendar th{padding:3px 0;}

/* ADS */
#sidebar .ads125 { padding: 0 0 12px 12px; background: #fff; }
.ads125 img  { margin: 14px 16px 0 0; }

/* 4.3 Extended Footer Widgets */
#extended-footer .widget  { margin: 0 0 30px 0; padding: 0 10px; }
#extended-footer .widget h3  { font-size: 16px; margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0; border-bottom: none; }
#extended-footer .widget ul li a  { padding: 0; line-height: 24px; background: none; border-bottom: none; }
#extended-footer .widget ul li a:hover  { background: none; }

#extended-footer .textwidget  { padding: 0; }
#extended-footer input#s, #extended-footer input.field  { width: 210px; }
#extended-footer #advert_300x250 { padding-left: 0; padding-right: 0; }
#extended-footer .ads125 img  { margin: 14px 13px 0 0; }
#extended-footer .widget_recent_comments li, #extended-footer .widget_twitter li  { padding: 6px 0 6px 0; }

/* 4.4 WordPress.com Widgets */
.widget_recent_comments .recentcommentsavatar {	display: block;	padding: 6px 0 0 0; }

.widget ul.tweets li a:link, .widget ul.tweets li a:visited { background: transparent; border: none; display: inline; line-height: 1.5em; padding: 0; }
.widget ul.tweets li { padding: 7px 0; }

.widget_authors .avatar { margin: 10px 6px 0 0; }

.widget_statscounter ul, .widget_author_grid ul { margin-top: 7px; }

.widget_flickr table {
	background-color: transparent !important;
	border: 0 !important;
	border-collapse: collapse; /* remove cell-spacing value */
.widget-bueno-featured .sharing {
	display: none;


#comments { position:relative; margin: 0 0 60px 0; padding: 50px 55px; background-color: #fff; border: 5px solid #efefef; }
#comments h3{ margin: 0 0 20px 0; }
#comments .comment{margin-top:10px;width:100%;list-style-type:none;}
#comments .comment .comment-container  { padding: 10px 0; border-bottom: 3px solid #eee;}
#comments .comment-head  { margin: 0 0 15px 0; }
#comments .comment-head .avatar  { float: left; }
#comments .comment-head .avatar img{margin: 0 10px 0 0;vertical-align: middle;border:3px solid #eee;}
#comments .comment-head .name  { display: block; margin: 0 0 -5px 0; font-weight: bold; font-size: 15px; }
#comments .comment-head .date, #comments .comment-head .edit, #comments .comment-head .perma { font-size: 11px; }
#comments .comment-entry p  { margin: 0 0 10px 0;}

#comments ul.children{margin:10px 0 0 25px;padding:0;}
#comments .cancel-comment-reply a, #comments .comment-reply-link  { text-transform: uppercase; font-family: helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none; font-size: 11px;}

#comments .navigation { }
#comments .navigation a{ display: block; margin: 15px 0 0 0; text-decoration: none; }
#comments .navigation a:hover{}

/* 5.2 Pingbacks / Trackbacks */
#pings  { margin: 0 0 60px 0; padding: 50px 55px; background-color: #fff; border: 5px solid #efefef; }
#pings h3  { margin: 0 0 20px 0; }
.pinglist li  { margin: 0 0 0 20px; list-style-type: decimal; }
.pinglist li .author  { font-weight: bold; font-size: 15px; }
.pinglist li .date  { font-size: 11px; }
.pinglist li .pingcontent  { display: block; margin: 10px 0; }

/* 5.3 Comments Form */
#respond  { margin: 15px 0 0 0; padding: 50px 55px; background-color: #fff; border: 5px solid #efefef; }
#comments #respond  { padding: 20px 0; margin: 0; border: none; }
#comments #respond h3  { margin-bottom: 0; }
#respond h3  { }

#commentform  {	margin: 15px 0 0 0; }
#commentform input.txt, #commentform input[type=text] { float: left; width: 260px; padding: 7px 5px; border: 1px solid #eee; }
#commentform p { line-height: 32px; }
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10 on Tuesday and a WiP!

21 Sep

Hey there, gang! Today is Tuesday, which means it’s time for a 10 on Tuesday, lead by the wonderful Carole of caroleknits. The topic is 10 Ways to have a Happy Birthday.

1) I didn’t know this before my husband did it for me this year, but one great way is to get dressed up and go get a makeover. And make sure you get someone to get you a gift certificate so you buy some great stuff after you get it. Ha! So selfish and all-about-you, and yeah, you could feel guilty about it if you met the Dalai Lama on the street and you’re all like, “I hate that I look this good right now. How embarrassing!” but whatev… His Gracefulness will totally understand. I bet he gives himself a mask every now and then too. 🙂

2) Indulge! Eat cake, have soda, gorge yourself on beer and pasta salad! This is a day that reminds us we’re alive! So live it up!

3) Take a bath or a long shower. You were born naked. Reconnect.

4) Rejoice! Remember all the great things you’ve done, the people you’ve seen, the loves you’ve had. If you answer any of these orders with “I’ve done so little,” you’re so full of crap. Nobody sits in a room doing nothing. Even monks meditate. You might not remember every moment, but the next time you smell something and you recognize – realize you’ve smelled it before. And THAT is something. Cherish it.

5) Hug people. In this day and age, we’re all about small smiles and calling before we come over. But today is about you, and you’re allowed to break the barriers. Hug people. When you see them and they say, “Happy birthday!” Say, aww, thank you, and go for it. Be THAT GIRL or THAT GUY and invade their personal space! Hugs feel good. Nobody doesn’t like a hug (even Temple Grandin, a famous autistic who developed humane kill zones for slaughterhouse animals, admits she doesn’t like being hugged by people – but she does like being hugged. So she invented for herself  the same machine used to comfort animals. A hugging machine. She controls the closeness, and she uses it to refocus and get calm).

6) Watch a movie that reminds you of growing up – something you watched then that you haven’t seen for a while. For me, it might be something like Dirty Dancing or The Gummi Bears or maybe Little Monsters with Fred Savage.

7) Write yourself a letter. Say “Hi! How are you? I’m doing pretty good. Today is my birthday! And if you don’t mind my saying, since we’re so close and all… I am lookin’ GOOD!”

8) Fantasize about the upcoming year. Put yourself in new clothes, different nail polish and hey – imagine you’re a millionaire.

9) Listen to music with friends and see if you can get them to dance a little

10) Be proud of yourself. Be proud of your life. Be happy. You’re here!

My husband threw me a surprise birthday party this summer, shipping me off to Ulta in a dress for a makeover and a $100 gift certificate. I came home to a yard full of friends and good times! My friend Sara made me this great knit-inspired birthday cake. It was great! I turned 33. In the previous two years, I had become a mom, a wife, and a new resident of PA. Lots of changes!

Happy birthday, to all you!

As for the WiP – I am making “Karma” from Wendy Bernard’s Custom Knits. It’s going well! So far, I am using a different weight yarn, different size needles, and added two more repeats to the bottom before starting waist shaping.

That’s all folks! (Sorry for the crap picture; it’s with my phone camera in a yellow-lit room at night… )

Yarn & Writing (to bloggers and more)

20 Sep

I’m trucking along on the emma peel for my niece. I’m halfway up the upper body of the front piece. Part of me wanted to knit this in the round, but the other part of me knows that seams will hold the cotton drape a little better since it does tend to sag. In my last post, I said I was using a size 4 needle but that was a mistake; I’m using a 3. I think this is actually a better needle for it, but again, as always, I’m nervous about the size and if it will fit her. Pattern says to knit the size 6 to a 17″ length before starting the armholes, but I think I’m going to do 18″ as my niece is a tall girl. I’m okay with this. For those who want to see what emma peel is, here’s a link to the book on KnitPicks (all books are 40% off right now!), and the patterns link has a photo of a purple emma peel. Cute, non?

I read a lot of blogs out there (and should make sure my blogroll is updated). I always want to leave comments and say hello, and I often do – except my phone or iPod loses the damn things and I get so frustrated futzing with a small browser screen that I just forget the whole thing. I wish I could read blogs on the laptop at my leisure. You all would be hearing a lot more from me, I swear! I might try bookmarking, or sending myself the links for blogs I want to comment on, and then when I get to something more reliable, leave them then. But it seems like such an overworked process. WordPress blogs can be easy. I can’t be as wordy, as trying to fix all my typos on the small screens, etc., is also frustrating. But I do my best. Anywho, one blog I read is Caffeine Girl. She’s fun. I like her down to earth-ness about knitting and the trips and trials of getting something beautiful off a needle. And she just seems like someone you’d want to chat with next door, standing in the shade on your street or something. She’s currently working on the Shalom Cardigan. I was looking through In Style magazine, and came across this photo of Sienna Miller:

Doesn’t it look similar, except with a collar and bell sleeves? I really love it! It looks like it may be a swing-Shalom. What I love most about this whole thing is that I saw that photo, sitting on my couch, minding my own business, and suddenly thought of a woman whose blog I read (don’t think I’ve ever left a comment, but I’m not sure), hundreds of miles away… me and Caffeine Girl, brought together by Sienna Miller and In Style magazine. We are two very fashion forward ladies. Ha!

Another blog I love to read is Turtle Girl’s Bloggy Thing. I think she’s beautiful and I really do love everything she knits. I also like her shoe choices. *smile* She has made four sockhead hats from bohoknits, and I wanted one as soon as I saw them. So I finally chose the yarn to use: last year at Knitter’s Day Out here in my neck of the woods in Central PA, I bought a skein of Altobish (last time I checked, there weren’t many projects on Ravelry with this yarn. In fact, I think there was maybe one? It’s 60% superwash wool, 30% bamboo, and 10% nylon. I wanted to make a shawl with it but don’t think there’s enough – 400 yards). It’s beautiful. The dyer was inspired by various passages in Jane Austen novels. This one spoke to me especially:

I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun. I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation.  –Pride and Prejudice

Awesome, right? For two reasons: most notably for me, I feel the exact same way about writing. Start in the middle. That’s where the story is. The rest will follow. (NaNoWriMo is almost here!) and two, which honestly only just occurred to me, it’s how I feel (and I’m sure other knitters) when I first lay eyes on a yarn that I just want. Already, before you even realize you want it, you see a sweater, a sock, a hat, a tea cozy, a freakin’ tea cozy! You just want it. And you know it’s already something. Just like that.

I decided this sockhead hat will be my writing hat. This NaNoWriMo hat is going to be the best one yet. I’m putting all my heart into this one. It will be above and beyond. I might even cry. I was so proud when I finished last year, staying up until my eyes were closing as I typed, nursing my little guy when he woke up and I was midsentence, so exhausted during the day taking care of my baby that I had no idea what I was going to do next when I opened the laptop after he was tucked into bed. But it happened. It worked. The book was written. Well… 50,000 words of it. The story is still unfinished, but I’m proud as dickens of what I was doing. …Should ‘dickens’ be capitalized there?

And did you see this?

A proof copy of my NaNoWriMo accomplishment. LOVE.

So… a writing hat. I think it’s a good idea. In fact, I love the idea. Some writers toke on cigarettes and cigars. Some sip from cognac glasses and clink ice cubes. Some tap pencils and bite their nails. I’ll wear a hat. And know I have my thinking cap on. Hehehehe…

That really does tickle me.

Sign from the Knitting Gods: IGNORED!

18 Sep

I started knitting emma peel from Mason-Dixon Knitting: Outside the Lines, for my niece Anastasia. She’s six and she’s feisty! This dress is perfect for her. I chose to use leftovers of the Double V Cardigan (FO post soon), CotLin from KnitPicks in Island Coral, as well as a tangerine shine sport from KnitPicks (super soft!).

Well, I started knitting. I knit about 9 inches of the bottom piece until I reread the decreases directions and saw that I was supposed to be decreasing every 24th row, not 24th repeat. Whoops! I frogged 7 inches. Then I reknit to the waistband. And I looked at it. It was enormous. So frogged the entire then.

I started again using size 4 needles, and making the size 6 instead of size 8. It looks better. Will still be a little big on her, but better than before.

Then I spilled coffee on it. Then my son pulled the needles out.

I shall forge on.

Oh, knitting one. It is for the joy of the knit, not the coveting of the finished object. Right?