Friday, November 20, 2009


I went to bed last night knowing I was coming down with something. It doesn’t feel like much beyond a cold but I’m moving at half speed and accomplished almost entirely nothing today. I feel blah. Sort of like that black widow looked yesterday. She woke up dead so I guess I'm a step ahead.

No school today for the elementary school kids so everyone was home plus various other children. It’s kind of nice; four or five boys playing Legos inside or war in the backyard. It’s good to see them having fun without computers or television. But then Josh starts throwing Legos or Sam gets mad because he wants to use the expandable vegetable steamer as an alien ship but someone else had it first. It starts to rain and dirt gets tracked all over the floor I just swept and mopped this morning. It’s definitely better when the weather is fair; these boys and their friends prefer the backyard and their imaginations.

Instead of actually doing anything productive today, I worked on knitting a pair of slippers. I’ve never done this before but the picture on the pattern looked pretty cool. It takes wool yarn that’s felted when they’re finished. Right now what I have is a gigantic slipper that was an almost total pain in the eyeballs to make and no earthly idea how small to shrink it down. If I had the recipient’s foot somewhere near I could try it on for size but no such luck. I’ve had a few women volunteer their husband's feet of the same size so maybe I can pull this off. I’m starting to remember why I haven’t picked up knitting needles or a crochet hook in a long time; I’m not exactly in the market for more methods of creating headaches and killing time.

Sierra noticed me sitting in my chair, needles clicking and asked if I’d show her how to make something. “Now?” I thought to myself but “Sure” is what I actually said. So I stopped what I was doing and went scrounging for some yarn and a crochet hook. I showed her how to make a chain and single crochet and here’s the part where I completely gloss over her frustration and hysterics that it was impossible and that I ought to do it for her because I’m good at it. After all of this she got to a point where she could do it and ended only with mild frustration that it will probably take her till early spring to crochet a scarf.

She accused me of being born good at these things. That I probably never dropped or skipped a stitch or ever had anything but uniform rows. I laughed at her and told her the story of how I learned to do all this grandma stuff. I was in Girl Scouts and the leaders had this project for us to make for Christmas. It was really crazy ugly; I’ve never seen it’s equal. They’d taken those plastic things that hold six packs of soda and cut them apart into six circles. We were to crochet around them and after following a few more directions ended up with a thing that held a used Cool Whip container. This was our Christmas Nut Bowl. Hideous! What was worse was that the rest of the girls had no problem with the instructions. I couldn’t manage it to save my soul.

For reasons I don’t quite comprehend, I actually wanted to learn how. These ladies couldn’t teach me but my mom found some instructions in a magazine and I studied it out until I had it down. I immediately started making ball gowns for my Barbies and anything else I could imagine. Not long after, a friend (remember Vanessa Mack?) gave me some beautiful knitted clothes for my Barbie that her mom made and suddenly I wouldn’t rest until I knew how to knit. Too young to become a little old lady but there it is. It was years before I learned to read patterns but now I can take on just about anything.

Sierra wants to be perfect from the beginning and I guess I was probably a little like that too. I hope she can lighten up a little and remember that mistakes and missteps are just part of the program when you’re starting out. The great part for me was that I was actually patient with her as she fussed and fumed about the whole deal. I hope she remembers that part when she looks back.
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