Friday, May 29, 2009

Throw Some Pics On The Bloggie!

I had some stacks of photos ready to throw up here on the blog and they were all neatly divided by themes. Then Justus came over and I was showing them to him and they got all jumbled and I can't remember exactly how I had divvied them up. So today we're going to see pictures of kids. How's that for a theme?

Let's start with the most recent and work back in time.

Here I am at three, with my giant doll, Clara. I wasn't really a doll kind of kid but Clara fascinated me because she was so darn big! Okay, she doesn't look huge here, but to me at three...she was big! And that bench. It was painted green, and was a fixture of my childhood.

Back in time a year. There is actually a series of these photos, showing a progressively angrier me, stomping my feet and scowling. As I remember it, I had been told to come into the house for the evening and I wasn't happy about it. From the shadows, it would appear to be late in the day. What I didn't realize, until Justus told me a couple of weeks ago, was that it was my brother, who would have been about 8, who took these pictures with his Brownie camera.

And speaking of my brother, here he is in a picture taken at Howard Lodge in the summer of 51. He's the overalled kid in the middle, wearing nice white socks and sandals. Our cousin Justin is in the striped shirt. We don't know who the girl child is...could it be a Linn cousin?

And a year or so earlier, here is Justus again, sporting my grandfather's hat and pipe. Not to mention some natty two-tone shoes. This was also taken at Howard Lodge.

Go back a generation and here's our aunt Elinor as a little tacker. This adorable kid grew up to be the beautiful woman holding me on the porch in the post from a week ago or so. I love this picture.

And a few years before that...

This picture just cracks me up. I stumbled upon it one evening after spending an emotionally exhausting day cleaning out Mom's house and just about got hysterics looking at it. I mean, here are all these people, sitting on a ladder, all looking at this wickedly grinning old lady. Don't you sort of wonder what she just said? Or did?

This picture, unlike most of the old family pictures I have, identifies everyone in it. From left to right: (1) Alene Pollock-Graham (I wonder if she was a relative of A.B. Graham?), (2) Arthur Linn Jr. (My uncle Arthur), (3) Rettie Dodd (mom always talked about "Aunt Rettie" but I think she was actually a great-aunt of my mom's. I could be wrong about this.), (4) Dora Hardacre Lauer (my great-grandmother), (5) Mrs. Blair Hardacre (could she be Dora's mother?), and (6) Mildred Linn, my grandmother.

It still cracks me up.

More pics tomorrow, perhaps. Maybe even of a sock!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh, Californians...

I'm so disappointed in you....

Goodbye Weekend!

The problem with three-day weekends is the same problem with ordinary weekends. Eventually they come to an end.

But on the whole, this one was pretty good. Well, Saturday was sort of irritating. I started off feeling peevish because I had really wanted to go to the Columbia Daedalus and the Vietnamese restaurant close by for lunch. I was even willing to have it be an early dinner. But neither Rachel nor Mr. Pointy Sticks was all that interested in going on Saturday.

So, in an already sort-of-cranky mood, I decided to go out on my own – go to Michaels and get the illustration board Rachel wanted and get it cut into 5” squares, go to Borders and use the 40 percent off coupon I got in the mail, and run into the grocery store for things I wanted to make a tasty rice salad for dinner.

So off I go to Michaels. Yay, they have the illustration board! So I grab two sheets and over I go to the framing counter.

“Can you cut these into 5” squares for me?” I ask politely.

“Ummm,” says the young woman behind the counter, “I don’t think we can do that. (She consults with someone in the back room.) No, we can’t do that.”

“But don’t you cut mats?” I ask.

“Oh, we send them out to be cut!” she says brightly. “But there are mat cutting kits over on the wall there!”

So I wander over and, yes, there are several different types of mat cutting kits. One of the more basic ones seems to be $29.99 – it’s rather hard to tell which price tag belongs to which hook. “Hmm,” thinks I, “I could probably justify $30.” So I grab it and off I go to the cashier.

She rings me up and says, “That’ll be $114.99!”

Turns out the mat cutting kit was $89.99. I did not buy it.

So I throw the illustration board into the trunk and head over to Borders to console myself with some nice 40 percent off book. And as I walk through the door I think, “You idiot! The coupon is sitting on the bookcase at home!!” So no book.

Grumpily I head over to the grocery store and, as I walk in, flip open my phone to check with the folks at home to see if there is anything they want. And my phone is dead!

I never should have left the house.

However…Sunday we did get to Daedalus and to the Vietnamese restaurant. Yum yum yum.

Their food is so good. We got grilled beef and grilled pork summer rolls for appetizers.

Mr. Pointy Sticks got the Vietnamese hot and sour soup for his main dish

and Rachel and I each got Triple Delight vermicelli bowls…grilled pork, shrimp and chicken with noodles and other goodies.

I gave her my chicken and she gave me her shrimp. Tasty cooperation.

Then we headed over to another one of my favorite places.

I didn’t get many books at Daedalus (though I did get C.J. Sansom’s latest, Sovereign, which is pretty darn good – it’s the first of his I’ve read) but Rachel got a basketful. She was happy to find lots of Faulkner.

And on Sunday, Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went to see the new Star Trek movie. I thought it was pretty good. It was fun to see the beginnings of these iconic characters and there were some amusing lines. But too many explosions. Just because CGI is available doesn’t mean it have to be used constantly. And *POSSIBLE SPOILER* what’s with killing off Spock’s mother? She’s alive later in his life! Not to mention killing off the entire Vulcan planet? I thought they were going to do some clever bring-time-back-to-before-the-destruction-of-Vulcan sort of thing. They do, however, now open the door to a new series of movies with this younger crew.

All in all, a good weekend. There should be more three-day weekends in the world.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Like A Squirrel From The Ashes

Nutkin has been reborn.

This is the Simple Lace Sock from Wendy Johnson's book. I think that's the name...the first real pattern in the book at any rate.

I like it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Tale Of A Porch Glider

The discovery that a whole 'nother branch of the family has found me and my blog and that they are (at least some of them) interested in family history, has given me the justification to go through the Big Ole Box of Family Photos to see what else I might throw up here. I have a few little stacks that I'll publish in the coming days (or weeks...whatever).

And today's installment is the history of our porch furniture. Oh, not really. But as I was looking through the pictures, I found several that all feature the same old porch glider...the one I remember from my youth.

From left to right: My grandfather's mother (? - I'm not 100 percent sure about that...but the fact that my grandfather is sitting there rather than my grandmother makes me think it's Pop's mother), then my grandfather, then my mother holding my brother, who was only a few months old there...probably not 6 months old yet. He was born in January.

From left to right...the same players with the addition of my Aunt Lois and her oldest child.

These are (obviously) taken on the same day. On the back of the top picture is written "Four Generations 1949" in my mom's handwriting. This was taken on the porch of Howard Lodge, the farmhouse that my grandparents had for some years. I know they lived there during the depression and during WWII. They had German prisoners of war work there during the war...they liked coming to my grandparents because my grandmother fed them well. And these were guys who hadn't been eating well for quite some time...the German army was in a pretty poor state by then. My grandfather got to be friends with one man...someone who was close to his age and had a daughter back in Germany. They actually stayed in touch for quite a while after the war.

I think this probably taken a year or so later. (ML, you want to help me out here?) This is my grandmother holding another cousin, the younger brother of the cousin in the first picture. There is a couple of years between them. But my older cousin was a big it may be that this picture was taken at about the same time. But look! There are new covers on the cushions! So it definitely wasn't the same day.

(People! Put information on the back of your photos!)

This is my youngest aunt, Elly, holding...well, that would be me. Looking a trifle uncertain perhaps and with a daring mini-Mohawk. This would have been summer of '55 on the porch of the house on Winans Way. My family lived there for years, renting it from my grandparents, and then, after my grandfather retired from the bank, we moved a couple of blocks away and Mom and Pop moved in here. And there's the same old glider, with the stripes of the cushions looking a little less fresh and white. Look at my aunt, though. Isn't she lovely? Still is.

And here's my uncle, Len. I think this was before they were married, actually. Don't I look like the little Pasha? "Cradle me! Amuse me! Now peel me a grape!" My uncle is a great guy. This is the guy that, to make me laugh, stuck one of those highchair toys with the suction cup at the bottom in the middle of his forehead. And went to work the next day with a giant blood blister in the middle of his forehead!
And I am alone. Guess I chased everyone else away.

I loved that glider.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Remember a couple of days back when I was talking about knitting patterns that flowed...that just knitted up easily and pleasantly? Well, Nutkin was such a one.

So pretty. I love the Madelinetosh yarn. Love the colors. Love the pattern and it's fun to knit.

But alas (you knew there was a catch, right?)...I cannot even get this beginning of the first sock over my heel. Over my heel!? Dang it, I can't even get it close to my heel.

So I'll be ripping this out and searching for another pattern. Sigh. I guess I can't really complain. This is really the first sock I've had to rip out.

In cheerier news, the rhododendron in front of our house is in full bloom.


Last fall we had a little rhododendron put in the back yard. I asked for a pale rose pink...I had seen one in the neighborhood that I loved.

What we got (and unfortunately, I didn't get a picture taken when it was at its's fading fast) wasn't pale pink.

It's a little too purple and and a little too bright. Oh well. We can try again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Quick Plug For Me

If you would be so kind as to go here, and enter the contest by leaving a comment and if you were to leave my name in the comment you left there...well, one of us might win some yarn!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dark Places

Dark Places was indeed a very good book. Twisted and, well, dark, but good.

Now what?

Putting On The Miles

This weekend one of Rachel's friends from Mary Washington was having a combination graduation and 21st birthday party and had invited Rachel and Ian (another friend who is staying with us for a week or so -- he's the son of one of her ex-UMW professors (that professor's now in Texas, teaching at Baylor) and he (Ian, that is) goes to Hampshire). So we drove them down to Fairfax VA on Saturday and drove down again today to pick them up. I know, I know...she's not too spoiled.

Anyway, all that car time meant I got some knitting done. I got through the gusset and heel flap on the first on the Sprucey Lucy socks. They are sort of tedious. They're pretty and all...I'm just thinking this wouldn't be a sock I'd do again. Funny about that. I mean, it's all knitting and purling. It's just that some of the patterns just fly and others plod.

And ta-da! The pink socks are finished! (They are a little tight and could have been a little longer...but it's actually cool enough here today that they feel pretty darn good on my feet!)

But they are finished! You know what that means! I get to start another pair. I think I will use some yummy Madelinetosh in the Cobbler colorway. And I think I will try the Nutkin pattern.

I tried to take a picture of the pattern with the yarn all nicely wound up and ready to go but it came out all blurry. So here...I'll distract you with cat feet!


Saturday, May 16, 2009


Gee, I realized today that I hadn't updated my book list in quite a while. So now I have. None of the books I've read lately have been stellar. The Ariana Franklin - Grave Goods - was a pretty good mystery...not as good as her first, I think, but better than her second.

I'm hoping the next one will be good. (Well, actually, I'm reading a so-so book now...not terrible, not wonderful.) I just got Gillian Flynn's Dark Places. I really liked her first book, Sharp Objects, so I have high hopes for this one.

And I have a book to give away!

I seem to have two copies of this. Would anyone out there like it? It's a hardback and does have a little bit of a ding in the back cover. Nothing serious. And the interior is pristine. First come, first served.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who Am I, Anyway?

The other day Lisa, over at Mappa Mundi, asked a question. She wanted to know what our favorite trait was...our own personal trait, not just a random trait we admired in others or wanted to instill in ourselves.

And you know?...I can't come up with anything.

Am I brave? least, I don't think I've faced anything I've had to be particularly brave about. No, I don't like getting on a plane, but I do it and I don't think it's particularly brave.

Am I kind? Not particularly. At least, not with those random act of kindness things.

Am I generous? No, I'm really rather selfish, I'm afraid. I can be generous with things I don't care about much but if I am generous and give someone something I really wanted to keep I spend a lot of time fretting about it.

Am I smart? Not compared to a lot of people I know.

Am I creative? Less and less so as time goes by, for some reason. I used to be able to sit and write and doodle and lose myself. Now I sit and look at blank pages and have nothing.

Am I funny? I wish I were, but unless I'm sparking off of other funnier people, I'm not. I feel funnier, for example, when I'm hanging out with my brother. Now, he's funny!

Am I responsible? I guess maybe. But I'd hate to have that be my defining trait. "Oh, that Sarah! She's sure responsible!"

Am I honest? Well, maybe for a certain definition of honest.

Am I loyal? To people and things I love, yes. Other people and things? Not so much, I think.

I've read the responses to Lisa's posts...I guess I could say I have a certain amount of equanimity. I can stay fairly calm when others are running around all crazy-like. That's probably aggravating to those running around.

Perhaps my most defining trait is that I'm really lousy at self-awareness!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


There are a lot of benefits to this blog...I can blather on about this or that...I can post pretty pictures of yarn or projects...I can brag about my kid (Oh, wait! That comes in a minute or two.)...and, most importantly, it's reconnected me to some family.

Last week I got an email from my cousin Pat, one of my uncle Arthur's daughters. And she's filled me in on other members of her family. And it feels good. And she found me because I had been posting pictures of our family on this blog.

So, in honor of about a few more pictures?

An adorable picture of our grandmother, Mom Linn.

And a little more of me at about 3 or 4. My mom made that dress for me. She made most of my clothes.

And one from about the same time with me, my cousin Linn (in the middle) and my cousin ML, who comments here sometime. I like the fact that I have a phone next to me, as though I might be expecting an important call. ML and I both had crossed eyes at this point. We were cuties, all right!

And finally...this was taken one Christmas, at my aunt Lois and uncle John's house. Probably Christmas 1976. Someone had gotten a gift that was nestled in those round styrofoam packing peanuts. So we drew eyeballs on them and had a blast taking silly pictures. Here you have my cousin ML and me in the front, my brother and Mom in the back.

Ah, family. Good times. Good people.

Oh, and the bragging? Rachel got her grades for the last semester. All As! She's pretty and smart.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's the one who made me a mom 21+ years ago. Couldn't ask for a better kid.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Radio Silence

I know, I know...I've not been here recently. But I have been busy.

My first Sprucey Lucy sock is up to the heel.

My first pink stripey sock is ready for its sewn bind-off.

My sweater back is coming along.

The first Elijah is started...sorry for the blurry.

I've started a good book. (I do like Michael Malone.)

But mostly, I'll admit, I've been busy playing this:

This Henry Hatsworth game is so much fun.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tiring Day

These are some tired feet!

Ah, but what a good tired. I love going to the Sheep and Wool Show, although for the past few years I've thought that it was almost too crowded to be enjoyable. But I find that I am still able to put up with all the people in order to see the sheep and the goats and the llamas and alpacas....and of course, the yarn. Oh, the yarn.

But look at these nice animals...

This llama looks as though she has a red beard but those red fluffs are actually the leg fur on the llama behind her. She was humming.....hnnnnh...hnnnnh...which the owner said meant that she was feeling stressed and unhappy. He said she had been complaining since they got there that morning so he was going to take her home this evening and bring a different one tomorrow.

These three girls were all cosy and comfortable together.

And look at the horns on this fellow. I think the Jacob's sheep are so cool.

This ram was being hand-trimmed. His name was Zedane and he was 18 months old. Look at those impressive horns he grew in only a year and a half! We complimented him on his calmness and the woman who was grooming him said, "Well, mostly rams just stand around and do nothing. So, if all I'm doing is asking him to stand around, he's very well-behaved." He had a very dignified face.

Oh! You want to see what I bought?!

Well, I got this cute button for starters.

And I stumbled upon Diane's Creatively Dyed Yarns booth. Oh my...the colors were so beautiful...each one prettier than the one before. I had the hardest time deciding on anything...but I managed to choose these two.

Look at those pinks! I was standing in line and every customer in front of me had a skein that I was lusting for. Man, Diane has such a good eye for color. "Vance" is on the left and "Durian" is on the left.

I bought some earrings. I love the Sassafras jewelry.

And I bought these beads so that I can make myself (or someone else, perhaps) some earrings.

And for the first time in all the years that I've been going to the S&W show the booth that The Folds had...where they sell Socks That Rock yarn...had a manageable line. Usually there's a line out of the barn of people waiting to get in just to look at the yarn and another line, equally long, to pay for it once it's chosen. I was walking past when I realized that there was no line of payers and the line of people waiting to get into the booth was only about 6 people long. Well, I had to get in line...though the woman in front of me and I were talking about how silly it was to stand in line when one could simply order it on-line. But I succumbed...

"Koi Koi" on the left and "Seal Rock" on the right. Oh, and I got those nice rosewood needles at some booth or other.

And I had to hit Brooks Farm. I love their yarns.

This year I got a skein of Solo Silk (on the left) in the soft lime green and Primero in this yummy blend of colors.

So...all in all...a very successful day. And yes, I spent a little over my budget this year. Oh well...better start saving up those quarters for next year!

It's Here, It's Here, It's Here, It's Here

I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

Now if the daughter would just get out of bed....we could get going!