My Baby's All Grown Up

I can hardly believe that dear daughter, Missy M, just celebrated such a milestone birthday this past weekend (photo to left). Yes, I put 30 candles on the cake...actually, 31, with one to grow on (right). I reminded her that in just 9 short years, she and I would be the same age...since I stopped having birthdays, per se, and started having anniversaries of my 39th birthday.

Hence, that birthday cake that Mr. T got me back in July ("Happy 39th Birthday Again").


Wasn't it just yesterday that we were riding around in Ol' Blue Car (a twelve year old '68 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 that we'd "inherited" from great-Uncle Smiley when he stopped driving in the late 70's), heading out to the Wally Bahtlett Montessori School? (She couldn't quite manage to pronounce Raleigh-Bartlett...but she nailed Montessori every time!) Who said it first, said it best: tempus fugit.

Here is a photo (right) of her taken at her third birthday party at the Zoo in Memphis. She's blowing out the candles on her Strawberry Shortcake cake...for the second time. The first time, her friend Daniel (with his Mom, Lyn...a former neighbor and great friend in Cordova) got there before she did and poof! We had to re-light them. Easily fixed. Lovingly remembered.

We had a great weekend in Louisville. We came bearing gifts...and cake...for the Birthday Girl on Friday. Then, we went to the Glassworks on Saturday to Blow Our Own Pumpkins. That's a shot (left) of Mr. T's pumpkin, getting the addition of a red-hot stem, courtesy of one of the glass-blowers in residence. We've enjoyed this activity several times, making Christmas ornaments and suncatchers. I guess we've been too many times as the Chief Glass-blower (right, chatting with Mr. T) recognized us and welcomed us back. Ahem.

Then, we met up with Brother T at the Shogun Japanese Restaurant for some dining entertainment. It was good to visit with him and catch up, if only for a couple of hours. Hope we'll all be able to get together again at Christmas.

Sunday was a quiet day, dedicated to viewing as many of the "new" (2007-08) season of Midsomer Murders as time would allow. Missy M had given the British 10-episode version of this combination of portions of Series 10 and Series 11 to Mr T for his recent birthday, but the "region-free" video player needed for viewing the Brit DVD's arrived after we'd departed in September. So, we unwrapped and unpacked and plugged in...and popped some corn...and made our way through multiple murders and mysteries. I was a bit wimpy due to an enlarged tear duct/sinus? inside my eyelid...which made my right eye appear swollen and discolored, like I'd run into a door...or a, lounging around all day was fine by me. Pass the salt, please.

Also, we got to spend time with Elmo and Ella Rae, who couldn't get enough of Daddy (left).
They seem to still remember us, especially when they hear the word w-a-l-k and the leashes come out of the closet basket.

Then, all of a sudden, it was Monday. Back to work for Missy M. Back to High Point for us...after I took advantage of MM's yarn swift to wind over 1100 yards of some Baby Alpaca yarn I've had for nearly a year. As I'd purchased it on half-price sale...with a customer-loyalty gift certificate, to boot, I hadn't had the heart (or any other body parts) to ask the shop owner to wind it for me. I have my own makeshift "swift" here at home (AKA: my kitchen butcher block's well-spaced handle), but winding that much yarn at one time would have taken me several hours. As it was, it took almost exactly one Masterpiece Theatre, since we queued up the Inspector Lewis program that had been DVR'd from Sunday night. Neat, how that all worked out, eh?

Speaking of knitting (we were, weren't we?)...

Yes, I am still knitting. I know, I know, I haven't mentioned it much in this space lately...and for good reason. I've been laboring over a pair of socks for Missy M's birthday. I mentioned this project in passing, but couldn't say much without giving away the surprise, I suppose. Anyway. I had read about a sock pattern online (on the Yarn Harlot's blog, I think) called Viper Pilots. A designer had translated her love (obsession is such a strong word, don't you agree...:) of the sci-fi series Battlestar Galatica into socks. And, since MM was such a fan, I thought "perfect!"


Well, I am happy to say that I finished the pair in time to wrap them up for her birthday, after having started them LAST APRIL. And, she seemed to love them, so all's well that ends well...or something along those lines. Thankfully, I had learned (courtesy of one of MM's books) to knit two socks at the same time...because I can assure you, if I had knitted them separately per the pattern, and (finally) finished the first sock, that would have been all MM got for her gift. There wouldn't have been a Sock #2.

This pattern is beautiful in its intricate sworls, etc., but it is excessively reliant on using a stitch called KTBL: knit through the back loop. This creates a twisted knit stitch, which is "nice" for spiffing up a pattern. But, using KTBL for the entire pattern?! ARGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! The designer must have been insane. Or, trying to make me so. I didn't get to knit...just knit...a stitch until the bottom of the foot. If an entire design of twisted stitches weren't irritating enough, the charting (which you had to follow closely to make sure you were crossing stitches and cabling correctly) was blinding. I finally figured out that I had to gather together all of the colored markers I owned in order to keep the charted stitches for all the cross-overs and cables straight. And, to add insult to injury...the design started every row with a purl stitch...which is cumbersome to say the least, when working on two circular needles...and two socks. Bah! I didn't even get to enjoy the beautiful yarn I selected...a Dream in Color "Starry" colourway called Some Summer Sky, which incorporates a silver thread in some of the softest yarn out there. [The silver thread makes it shimmer!], gripe, gripe...but, aren't they amazing? And, my hat's off to the designer. (Of course, when I check out patterns now, if I even see a single twisted stitch in a chart, I toss it aside. No more...not for me...not anytime soon, for sure.) that I've gotten the grousing out...truth-be-told? I've been working on several baby sweaters, trying to find a just-perfect pattern as my go-to Baby Sweater choice. I'll post these is a gift, and I don't want to spoil the surprise. Tee hee.


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