Saturday, March 31, 2012


I'll let knitnightGina rearrange her face as she sees fit- I just wanted to see how close I could come. Then she will reside permanently at the home of one of the people on the planet who makes me happiest. (that would BE knitnightGina)

Given that Hippo number 1 is named Milton, it's only right that the next hippo be named Sylvia. (that would be the name of Aunt of Sophanne)

In other news, JelliDonut- one of my favorite not blogging much bloggers-she's more of a tweeter now- tweeted this kickstarter project.

From the project page

Knitting For Victory is a unique look at the extraordinary response to war seen between 1916 and 1945. It's the story of The Production Corps, the knitters, and the soldiers all fighting for victory, in their own way.

Written by essayist and knitwear designer Rohn Strong, Knitting For Victory, will be a beautiful softcover knitting book with more than 12 articles on WWI and WWII knitting as well as 25 updated patterns, for men, women, and children, and the home all in colors classic to that time period. (Yes, I do mean Olive Drab and Khaki!)

I kicked in a couple of dollars because it seems like a cool project. I don't know the guy- there is no reward for me other than I'll get to buy the book but have a look-see if you care to and decide for yourself.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Neither picture captures his floppy adorableness but here he is nonetheless. Annie asked me if he had a name and said that if I were so inclined, I could name him before sending him. What better name for a protector of new baby than that of a beloved uncle. Now there is Milton the Hippo to keep watch over Glen and Annie's little fella when he arrives.

All personality was created by the amazing Gina. I watched her bring him to life as she added the eyes, nose, and mouth. I also might have figured out how she does it. She loved him so, that I am knitting one for her in the colorful (not blue and black) regia sock yarn. I might even try rearranging her face myself.

In other news, I'm on spring break next week so there's that to look forward to. I hope to spend some of the time reading. The book Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer kept popping up in several of the blogs that I read. I finally took the hint from the universe and began reading it. After about a third of it, I saw nearly everything I've ever intuited about creativity backed by scientific research. What resonates with me the most is the discussion that revolves around the right brain needing time to "stew" to put the big picture together. As Einstein is cited in the book- "Creativity is the residue of time wasted."

Also on the list of things to do is play the guitar. Or pretend to play the guitar. I'm really not very good and my fingers are about 3/4 of an inch shorter than most normal-sized human beings. (even the little ones-human beings-not fingers) The guitar is as counterintuitive to me as anything I've ever tried. Hence the attraction. It's always been there, taunting me.

It just happens that this semester's student teacher has a much better grasp on it than me and unlike the many others I've met who also have that, he doesn't fancy himself a Rock God who has to show off everything he can do better and faster. Instead it's been a "you don't have to feel stupid" exchange of information. This kid got me to pick up a guitar and made me believe I could play it. You better believe that he's going to get an excellent evaluation!

I think I will also try to blog daily, as I don't care for the stilted feeling in my fingers and my brain while I've been composing this post. I'm better at this than this. So these thoughts I will go marinate and we'll see what my frontal lobe puts together.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

At last

Something to crack me up. This is Joe. He's friends with Mr. Sophanne. He is a retired shop teacher. He's posing with our lawnmower. Tomorrow he is substitute teaching at a local high school. If the teacher hasn't left any good lesson plans, Joe is going to use our lawn mower as his lesson plan. That cracks me up!

This guy, like the guy he's being made for, isn't quite done yet. If you read my blog and your name is Annie, and you're pregnant, and you have hippopotomi on your crib, then you know that this guy, upon completion is for you! Happy Baby Coming Annie!

For the rest of you- it's from the itty bitty knits book and so far hasn't been too fiddly. You probably recognize the Regia sock yarn- it's doubled on size 5's. Much more user friendly than any other critter I've made.

Knowing my own limitations, this guy is going to knit night where I hope the IncredibleGina- who excels at all things and has a penchant for making sure they look right- will help with eyes, nostrils and mouth. Hopefully I'll get a final product pic- in the meantime, Annie, send me your mailing address!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A snow day... sort of.

Whilst pondering the blog, I realized that one reason posts are so slim this year is because of the mild winter. No snow adventures, no snow days. This could have easily been predicted given that I now have a car that will presumably get me fearlessly where I need to go in the snow.

The politics of school district calendar scheduling and snow days work like this. If teachers get snow days and make them up at the end of the year, the community protests because there is no official "end date" to the school year and because for whatever bizarre psychological reason, those days don't really count and they somehow see the snow days as "free days" for us. (trust me when I say that those days are actually LONGER than any others.)

However, if the school district schedules make-up days- days off within the calendar year pre-scheduled that might become school days (given enough snow days), no one seems to mind that we are getting a day off. In both instances we are working the days we are paid for. There are no real "freebies," but the second option seems to be the more palatable of the two.

So that's why I'm calling today a snow day. Happily the sun is shining and it's quite spring-like.

There are parts of life that have been a little whacked lately. I'm good. Mr. Sophanne is good. Liza is good. There has just been some unexpected whack.

Given that this blog and your blogs have always been a source of entertainment, support, and friendship, I decided that to fight the whack I'd make a little video. I also wanted to share my crazy improving ukulele skills and show you (via the background) that my home is not the perfect clutter free environment I'm sure you've always imagined it to be.

A few technical adjustments were made. I had to wear some long sleeves (my favorite Obama inauguration fleece) lest you be blinded by the sight of me wearing a tank top. I used my mac to record but put it up a little higher than the desktop. Chins are more numerous than they appear in the video.

My apologies in advance to Lyle Lovett- I'm just singing the chorus but I'll remove it immediately if I get a cease and desist order. And so without further procrastination (sometimes when I teach and I'm not sure how things are going to turn out I get like this- delaying the inevitable...)

Hate only harms those that wield it. Thanks for being my blog friends.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Plus de fromage! Plus de fromage!

Just thought I'd start practicing one of my French phrases. More Cheese! More Cheese! "Fromage" was one of those French words that struck everyone in my junior high French class as hysterical.

It occurs to me that I have just enough French to know how much I don't know. I will not be able to understand a word but will be able to distract the unknowing by asking everyone to repeat what they said again and again. Repetez s'il vous plait. Maybe they will just think I'm hard of hearing.

I loved speaking French. I never ever ever thought I'd be in a place where I would get to speak it. Now that it seems I will be, I am inclined to go over the top and buy a Rosetta Stone series for my 10 days in Switzerland. Not practical.

Today after our anniversary dinner I greeted the dog "Mon chien, mon chien!"

Being that I am the person who believes that she can automatically understand every language ever spoken if I just listen closely enough, it will be both immensely frustrating and also hysterical.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oh the business of living

Sometimes nothing happens. Which makes for good living and for the less creative bloggers- bad blogging. That's where we are. Time for some bullet points.

Tomorrow Mr. Sophanne and I will be married 8 years. Suggestions for anniversary gifts are bronze, salt, linens, and lace. I think we'll maybe just go out to dinner- not wearing the matching Carhart jeans we were wed in because we've both outgrown them. Ah... marital bliss.

On Tuesday I will, in a not so pleasant way, have the opportunity to help make things right with the world. I can't say much more but if you happen to think of me on Tuesday at around 1:30, be sure to send me some powerful fierce large black matriarch vibes, as that is what I'm using to visualize the experience. A few vibes for a good friend would also be appreciated.

Lately I haven't been able to knit my way out of a paper bag. I just haven't been feeling it. These Long Tall Chunky Cabled Mitts have been my go to pattern because I've got it memorized, you can finish a pair in 3 nights and surely someone will need some cabled mitts someday.

I have something going on in my heels (a spur? a pre-spur? a "hey you weigh more than we can carry") that makes walking painful. Given that walking is essential, I've been a little cranky. I've tried the home remedies- (ice and wrapping) to no avail and in 2 weeks will go see a podiatrist. THere is great irony in this for me. When I was young (21ish) I was asked out by a podiatrist. We went on a date. I thought the chosen profession of podiatry was hysterical. Now, not so much.

We are going to Switzerland this summer. Mr. Sophanne's son and family have been living there for the past 2 years and will be there for another year. We will be staying in a Swiss chalet with a porch that looks out onto the Matterhorn. I imagine as the adventure comes closer, I will be thinking about more than just the 8 hour flight on an airplane. For now that's really all I can imagine and it just doesn't sound as exciting as it should to me.

The herb bed has been cleared, moldy mulch has been removed and given that it's too early to plant anything (which is a good thing) there is time to ponder the possibilities. My inclinations this week are to keep the ones that come back, get basil plants for summer snacks, and do the rest in various types of lavender. I love lavender. Is there anything that you love more than basil and lavender? Maybe I should know about it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

video editing and cute puppies.

Is a time suck like nobody's business. Especially when you're skills are at a kindergarten level.

Mr. Sophanne has a big video idea and plan for his railroad. He even got a few days of release/company business time to go forth and videotape. He wanted a promo to show the bosses what he had in mind. He volunteered my pathetic skills for the editing. It took a lot of knitting time.

Also on the agenda for the weekend was assisting Aunt of Sophanne with her new iPad2.Here's what I can say about that. When you look at technology through the eyes of someone who skipped from a basic PC to an iPad2, it can feel quite overwhelming.

She's hooked up with Netflix, Safari, email, and the apple text app. She'll be exploring the rest of everything through the week but is connected enough that I will be able to help over the phone.

When I left we had just done a YouTube search of "cute puppies." She will soon know how the "new" internet doth suck one in!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Win for the House of Sophanne!

Hey Beauracracy! Bring it on! (knocking on wood)

Let me share the evidence-

County taxes paid- check
Notarized drivers license replacement form at the bank- check
Replacement license from the DMV- check
Registered and received lab work at the hospital- check
Picked up prescriptions- check
Received car license renewal in the mail- check

Mr. Sophanne did the first one- the last four were accomplished WITHIN THE TIME FRAME OF ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES..... wait for it.... AFTER SCHOOL!!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's a new world record.