Archives for December 2013


On my sixth birthday, my mom was in the hospital having my sister Angie.  That was the first time I got a baby sister for my birthday.  On my tenth birthday, my stepmom was in the hospital having my sister Erin.  Another baby sister for my birthday!  Yesterday we all celebrated our birthdays in separate states.  We are 36, 26, and 30 now.  I hope that someday I can celebrate with both of them.  It will happen.  I will make it happen, it just may be a few years.

20131230-DSC_3840I will confess that the first things that spring to mind when I am asked what I want for my birthday are:  a clean house and time to knit.  I need to get more creative and more realistic!

20131230-DSC_3894My children made me homemade cards, as I always request those too.  Beatrix instructed Jonny to write the words she dictated:  “Birthday Card.”  Funny.  The girls convinced a friend of ours to take them shopping for me the day before my birthday after a trip to the movie theater.  They chose flowers and chocolate.  Every year they buy me chocolate in hopes that I will share.  I know their tricks.

20131230-DSC_3874My birthday gift from Jonny, per my request, was Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop.  I put it in my computer to watch a bit late in the afternoon while I was nursing Job.  Jonny doesn’t understand why I am so excited to watch this.  I tried to explain who Elizabeth Zimmerman is, how I just want to sit and listen to her talk while I knit and drink hot tea.  He watched for a few minutes.  No, he doesn’t quite get it.  I know that some of you do though.

Just as I finally got Job settled in his bed, hoping for him to sleep for awhile so I could do some knitting, Jonny passed me a note.  The note said that a babysitter would be arriving in half an hour and that we were going out for dinner.  I can’t really explain this part of myself, but my immediate reaction was to feel panicked and have to fight tears.  Jonny knows me, can’t explain me either, but expected this reaction.  He also knew that I would be very happy once I got over the hump of adjusting to the surprise plans.  He ordered pizza for the kids and I thought to myself that I was sure glad that earlier in the day I had put on mascara and curled my hair just because it was my birthday.  I put on my new socks, special socks knit by dear Elizabeth, my favorite shoes, and stuffed diapers in my purse along with my knitting (just in case!) and we were ready to go.  It was a great night, dinner with Jonny and some of my best friends.  Maybe now that I am thirty six, I will grow out of my issues with sudden changes of plans and that sort of thing.  I warned Jonny in the car though, “I’m probably just going to get worse with age.”  Just so he’s prepared.

I had a great birthday.  Thank you!

giving up, getting by

I have a younger sister turning the big 3-0 today!  I hope she is comforted by the fact that Ray is forty now.  I sure wish I could be spending the day with her.

Recently, as I was ordering some prints online, Jonny instructed me to order two photo mugs with our picture on it.  I thought he was joking, but he was totally serious, saying the mugs would be our Christmas presents to each other.  It felt a little silly, but now I am so glad we ordered them.  (from Costco)

Despite all the knitting I did for Job, I neglected to knit him a basic cardigan.  I guess I ran out of time.  Thankfully, I remembered that I have the Baby Surprise Jacket that I knit for Silas with handspun cashmere that my friend Elizabeth spun for him.  Silas didn’t get to wear it very much because it ended up fitting him at the wrong time of year.  I’m so glad to have it now for Job!

Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten kind of bad about reading aloud to my kids.  I think I choose books that are too difficult for me to stick with, and I have started several that I just couldn’t make myself finish.  With a wide range of ages being read to here, it’s hard to find books that appeal to everyone.  Sometimes I will have one chapter book going with the younger kids, while Jonny reads another to the older ones.  When I read 26 Fairmount Avenue to everyone a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to find all my kids listening, even my oldest, Seth.  I loved the story as well, and we read through it in a day.  We’re reading the third in the series now, books that Tomie DePaola has written about his childhood.  They are endearing stories of family life with a nice bit of humor, a real treasure.  I took a picture of the inside of one of them so that you can see the size print.  I think they would make great first chapter books for young readers.

I’ve made a couple of changes over the past few days:  I gave up my one caffeinated beverage per day (various reasons) and it’s actually been harder than I expected!  I’ve been kind of sad and low, and Jonny says that’s withdrawal.  Maybe so.  To counteract that, I’ve started my daily walk routine again.  Each day is a little better.  Another few days and I should be able to handle watching other people drink their coffee without falling apart.

p.s.  It’s going to be hard to keep the Christmas tree up until Epiphany.