Monday, March 31, 2008

Back from Spring Break

I had a wonderfully relaxing week in Virginia last week. It makes me wish Spring Break was two weeks long instead of just one. I would be willing to have a longer school year if it meant we could have two weeks for Spring Break.
I spent most of my time getting my bearings over there. Last weekend, Tim and I were driving around trying to find a housing development, and I had to laugh because we were literally going around in circles from offramp to onramp to offramp again. It was funny, but had I been the one driving, I never would have gotten us home. I will definitely have to buy a GPS before I get out there, just so I can find my way back to the house!
There is a very large shopping center right across the street from our apartment building, so I spent last Monday "getting my bearings" over there. Had way too much fun and probably spent too much money, but I did get some nice things.
Here is the recipe for a salad I had at Nordstrom:

Apple, Chicken, and Goat Cheese Salad

green apple sliced thinly
red onion sliced thinly
grilled chicken strips
crispy apple chips (not the mushy, dehydrated apples)
goat cheese
candied almonds
salad greens
Nordstrom's Champagne Vinaigrette

It was so good, I ate it twice last week! Yum! Had to buy a bottle of their dressing so I can make it here for mom.
Spent a day at the National Holocaust Memorial Museum too. The permanent exhibit required a pass to get into, which of course I didn't have, so I plan on heading back there, but the rest of the museum was very intriguing. They had an exhibit on Darfur, which hit home for me more than the Jewish Holocaust because it's happening right now.

I also managed to find a yarn shop. Julie from the knitting group gave me directions, so I spent 45 minutes on the metro to find this tiny little shop in Bethesda called Knit + Stitch = Bliss. And Blissful it was! I found some lovely pink Rowan Organic Cotton that I'm using to make a summery scarf out of, and I could have bought out the entire stock of cashmere, but that doesn't exactly fit into our budget, so I had to control myself.

On the subject of knitting, I figured out how to knit socks using the Magic Loop! I can't believe I was afraid of knitting socks before now. I haven't gotten to the part where I start turning the heel yet, so then it may be a different story, but for now, knitting the cuff is going really well. I'm off to the yarn store after work today to buy more sock yarn and another needle so I can knit my wee tiny sock for my sock pal tonight.

I get to go a knittin' again tonight. I wasn't there last week, so I've missed out for the last two weeks at Flying Star, and am eager to get back. I sure am going to miss those gals once I'm in VA.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blogs, Blogs, we love Blogs!

I stole this idea from Nichole today (thanks, Nichole!). It's a questionnaire/reflection on blogging:

1) Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog after I started knitting so I could show others my finished and in-progress projects, and journal about my life a little bit.

2) How did you come up with your blog name?
I wanted a blog name about knitting, but every name I tried had already been taken unless I put a bunch of numbers after it. My husband had been in Turkey the first year we were married and it carried significance for us, so I tried "knitter" in Turkish, and viola! There you have "trikotajci." I think it's unique. Hardly anyone in America speaks Turkish.

3) Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think of it?
Some of my knitting friends know about my blog, but I don't think my family does. I haven't told them about it, so unless they google "trikotajci..." but who would just randomly google that? I don't know what my friends think about my blog, but frankly, it doesn't matter what they think. I'm going to write it like this anyway, and hopefully they like it!

4) How do you write posts?
How do I write posts? How does everyone else write posts? I don't really understand this question, but I write a lot at work when ideas come up.

5) Have you ever had a troll or had to delete unkind comments?
No, so far I haven't been spammed or had nasty comments. People who put nasty comments on blogs are just mean people.

6)Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you do care, how do you increase traffic?
I don't check my stats. If people read my blog, great, but if not, oh well.

7)What kind of blogs/posts interest you?
I like to read my friends' blogs. I like witty, fun writing, and writing that looks effortless but is enjoyable to read.

8) What do you like and dislike about blogging?
I like blogging because it's generally quick. I enjoy reading other blogs and getting ideas for them. I don't think there's anything I don't like about blogging right now, except sometimes I forget to write, and then by the time I think to do it, the feelings I had are gone and the entry sounds vague.


Alanna went to be with the Lord yesterday morning just before 6:00. Her entire family was with her, and she spoke to them up until about the last 10 minutes or so. It's good that she's no longer in pain.
Being Irish through and through, I'm not surprised that she picked St. Patrick's Day as the day of her departing. I will never forget how much life she brought into a room. Even in death, her hospital room was a party.
On that note, I finished the prayer shawl I was making for her at 1:00 that morning before I went to bed. I had intended to take it to Alanna yesterday after work, but now her daughter Anni has it. She needs it more than anything right now. She loves it and I've heard from several people at church that they've seen her with it a lot.
When I was at the Hering's house yesterday, we sat around and listened to Jim tell a story about Alanna from when she worked as a clown: It was his first year of seminary, and he had class the evening of his birthday. During a lecture with a very hard and not very pleasant/forgiving professor, the door opened slightly and in popped a clown head. Jim knew it was Alanna as he watched her walk around the room with a huge bouquet of balloons and look each person very closely in the face until she "found" Jim, gave him the balloons, and left the room without saying a word. By the time he finished the story, we were all laughing hysterically with tears rolling from our eyes. This is the Alanna we all knew, one who could make us laugh.
There is an informal memorial service for her tomorrow evening at church, but I won't be here for her actual service on Saturday. I would have liked to have been there, but on the other hand, I feel like seeing Alanna before she passed gave me enough closure. She was so sick.
Now, Heaven is lucky to have her. I'll bet she's up there somewhere joking around and making everyone laugh like she did for us.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another knitting joke

What goes "Sis, Boom, Bah"?

An exploding sheep.
I visited Alanna yesterday after work. There were about a dozen people in the room with her when I got there. It seemed like a party, but there wasn't much to celebrate.
She looked so frail and thin, I hardly recognized her. It certainly wasn't the same Alanna who was literally dancing around church a few months ago. All I could do was hold her hand.
Like I said, I think Alanna is coming to terms with her death, and is just waiting to see everyone before she goes home with the Lord, but my heart goes out to that family. Anni darted over and bear hugged me when she saw me, and the first words out of her mouth were, "You have to come over so we can knit together!" I certainly will do that. She needs comfort and love right now more than anything.
The prayer shawl will most likely not get done in time for Alanna to have it, but now, she's not the one who needs it, so Anni will be its new recipient.
Sean is the other one I'm worried about. He's already a quiet kid, but my fear is that now he'll pull even further away and become an angry child. I can only hope that he will continue to latch on to that youth group and use them as his support.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A knitting Limerick!

There once was a man from Great Britain
Who interrupted two girls at their knittin'
Said he with a sigh,
"That park bench, well I
Just painted it right where you're sittin'."
Katie inspired me to do the Four Things Blog:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Camp Counselor (the BEST)
2. server at the Black-eyed Pea
3. substitue teacher
4. English teacher

Four movies I've watched more than once:
1. Breakfast at Tiffany's
2. First Knight
3. Dances with Wolves
4. Finding Nemo (just keep swimming...)

Four places I have lived:
1. Oro Real Drive, Albuquerque
2. Navarra Way, Albuquerque
3. Indian School apartment, Albuquerque
4. Terra Bonita Way, Albuquerque
5. I'm putting a 5 here because all of my stuff is in VA, where I will live next.

Four T.V. shows that I watch:
1. CSI Miami
2. Friends
3. Reba
4. Still Standing

Four places that I have been:
1. Michigan
2. Turkey
3. Belgium
4. Paris

Four People who e-mail me:
1. Suzanne
2. Lynette
3. Helen
4. Janet

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Macaroni and Cheese
2. Chicken Pot Pie
3. Pasta
4. chocolate

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. at home knitting
2. shopping
3. Virginia
4. on vacation

Things I am looking forward to this year (2008):
1. Finally getting to live with Husband for longer than a month at a time
2. Moving to Virginia
3. Driving across the country
4. Getting pregnant (hopefully)

That's my list! I hope I have inspired someone else to blog about their four things.

Alanna Update

After reading an update on Alanna online last night, I found out that the radiation, although it is preventing the tumors in her body from growing, it is not fast enough to prevent them from forming. The cancer has spread through bone, her lymph system, and soft tissue. She is unable to use chemotherapy as an option, because when she tried that last summer, she was in a coma for three days. Their next option is hospice.
After I read the update, I had to just sit at my computer and cry for a bit. While I'm sad for Alanna, I think she's actually come to terms with her imminent passing; my heart goes out to her family. Jim and those babies (13 and 15) are far too young to lose their wife and mother.
The prayer shawl is nearly done. I'm ready to start the third skein tonight. While I knit, I pray for Alanna's peace and comfort. I don't know what else to pray for because asking God to heal her sounds like "my will be done" instead of His. I don't know why God allows for people to get cancer, but that's not for me to know. My job is to trust that He knows what he is doing and has everything under control.

10:50 AM-The nurse manager on the floor indicated that Alanna is nearing the end.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


No, not cookies, but my world around me. There is so much going on right now, that I feel like I don't have time to breathe.

Here's what's happened in the last couple of days, good and bad:

1) My dad is sick, and we don't know what's wrong with him.

2) The new tenants are moving in Saturday, and I still have to move stuff out of the house.

3) Alanna is getting sicker by the day, and her prayer shawl is only 2/3 done.

4) I don't really want to finish the prayer shawl because I'm afraid Alanna will die if I do.

5) It takes every ounce of my efforts to go to work everyday.

On the other hand...

6) I get to see my husband in 9 days.

7) I learned how to knit in the round on two circulars.

8) I have wonderful friends and family.

9) I have some of the cutest students in the world, even though I want to strangle some of them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Knit Night and Prayers

yay! it's knit night again! tonight i'm working on susan's birthday cupcake, and alanna's prayer shawl. she's not doing well. here's an email i got from april today:

Dear church family,
I spent some time with Alanna yesterday afternoon and evening. It's really incredible how much her health has deteriorated since the party, even in just the two weeks since she was last at church. I asked Jim about using the CaringBridge website to keep us informed, and I think he'd really like to, but there's no wireless Internet where they are, so he'd have to leave to update the journal. (If you'd like to e-mail them a message, I'm happy to print it and take it over there on my way home or to work.)
Alanna is hard to understand at times (frustrating for her), and she's having some occasional confusion, hallucinations, and forgetfulness, which compound the communication problem. She has not lost her sense of humor and great patience. She had several other visitors yesterday, which perked her up.
Alanna has fluid building up in her abdomen. They should have results about the source of that today, but none of the possible explanations sound encouraging. She had a transfusion, some Benadryl, and she continues on IV antibiotics, in case her fever is due to infection. She can't stand up on her own, but does really well sitting up in a chair, in fact, I think she was more mentally sharp when she was sitting than laying down. She can't drink, but has been using swabs to get sips of tea with lemon and some broth. When you're in the hospital, if you're not really with it all the time, it's important to have an advocate who is paying attention. Right now, I think the greatest need is for visitors, especially people that can sit with her long enough to relieve Jim when he feels like he can leave to pick up the kids or have a meal (if that's you, call him on his cell to set up a good time). Sherry Redfield took Jim and the kids to dinner last night. I stayed until some other visitors from St. Paul came, and on my way out, Dana Sherill was coming in. Great!

please pray for alanna, as it seems her cancer is getting worse. i can only pray for god's will in this, because i don't know why it's happening, and i don't know how to fix it. all i know is that she is losing her strength very quickly. she has two children, one in high school and one in middle school, and they are far too young to lose their mother.

My mantra for today:
I will appreciate every day God gives me.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Poem about Knitting!

The kids are writing Alphapoems today. Here is mine about knitting:

As my fingers work diligently to create a masterpiece, I am reminded of how it all began...
Back in the summer of 2007, I decided I needed to do something besides watch tv all the time.
Choosing carefully the craft I wanted to pursue, I browsed the shelves of the Hobby Lobby.
Deciding finally on a book and some yarn, I sat down to work.
Examining the intricate patterns, I felt I was never going to get it.
Following instructions, I figured out how to cast on a few stitches.
Goodness only knows if I was doing it right!
Help came right away when another avid knitter stopped by.
I'm inspired by all the projects I see other people make, especially all the lace.
Just need to learn how to read all these charts.
Knit one, purl two, slip last stitch over.
Learning how to knit, once difficult, now comes easily.
Making pretty patterns now instead of just flat scarves.
Needles clicking softly as they slide through the stitches.
Once I'm done with this one, I'll start something new.
Projects are slowly taking over the house-living room, bedroom, even the kitchen!
Quiet time is best when trying to knit beccause I'm trying to count.
Really, I should make a career out of this, don't you think?
Stitch 'n' Bitch has become a favored pasttime.
Talking about life, knitting, and drinking good coffee-what could be better?
Under all this yarn, I know I have a husband somewhere!
Voraciously I browsed patterns online, and chose one I liked.
Wedding Ring Shawls are my new favorite thing.
X-citedly I add the picture to my blog.
Yarn is expensive, so I've found out.
Zoom! I head back to Village Wools to add to my growing stash.

My mantra for today:

I will not knit at work...I will not knit at work...I will not knit at work...

even though I want to.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring Feva!

It snowed 2 inches again last night. Why? Why does it have to snow in the spring? I'm tired of sweaters and jackets and mittens and hats. I want to knit a lovely spring shawl and wear that instead.
Lynn wants to learn how to knit too. I'm so excited! She separated from her husband about a year ago, and I feel like knitting will help her "come to terms with it" if that's possible. She loves to meditate, and when I knit in a quiet room (not at SnB, for example), it can be somewhat meditative for me too. This is especially true when I'm working on a prayer shawl or other item for a dear friend. Anyway, I'm really eager to get her started.
Speaking of shawls, I bought A Gathering of Lace last night, and I love it. I'm so inspired to knit my first lace project. I don't have the yarn for one yet, so I was online last night looking at prices (does anyone know dollars to pounds conversion?). In my search, I found Wedding Ring Shawl patterns that are absolutely gorgeous! That is truly my inspiration now. I am dying to knit one of these wonderful, spiderwebby things. I found a blog that I've included on this site that I'm sure will keep me going through this ambition. Her patterns and projects are beautiful! Someday I will knit like that, but for now, I'll just ogle at other things people have done and live vicariously through them. And then I'll knit one of my own. Or two. I do have some fugly lace-type yarn, so maybe I'll do a practice shawl with that to see if I can do it. That would be three projects on the needles.
I get to go to the yarn store again today. If you'll remember, I bought 12 balls of lovely mohair, but after looking at various lacy shawl patterns, I realized it may not be enough, so I put the other 8 balls they had in the store on hold. Now I have 20 balls of the stuff, and not a project in mind. Clearly I am catching on to this yarn stash concept, and I like it. I think going to the yarn store will get me through my day today.
Tonight I pack to go home for the weekend. I'm really excited to get going and be there. I'm looking forward to spending Tim's birthday with him too since I missed last year. I just have to figure out which knitting project to take with me. Probably all three!

Thursday's Mantra: I will not give in...I will not give in...I will not give in...

Not really sure why I picked this one. It just popped into my head, so it must be what I need to do.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Mantra

Lots of people do daily or weekly things on their blogs. Nichole has "Ten on Tuesday," others have daily quotes or Bible verses.
I have decided to do a daily Mantra. I oftentimes get on my soapbox about various issues, and need to find ways to not dwell on them.
Today's mantra focuses on the fact that while I think some people do stupid things, that does not make everyone stupid.

Today's Mantra:

Not everyone is stupid...not everyone is stupid...not everyone is stupid.

I get to go visit Tim on Friday. He's turning 39 on Saturday, and I was determined not to miss a second birthday in a row. Therefore, this week is creeping by more slowly than they usually do. I can't wait to finally move out there and be with him for good. Separation does not a marriage make.

As far as knitting goes, I'm still working on the baby blanket for Katie, which is a whopping 8 inches long now. I'm also plugging away at the prayer shawl for Alanna. We just found out they found more tumors on some lymph nodes, which means the family may have to cancel its trip to Ireland over Spring Break if she has to have surgery. I'm hoping that the prayer shawl will be done by then so she can take it with her.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Yay! I get to go a-knittin' tomorrow! Everyday is a knit day, but tomorrow is special because I get to go somewhere solely for the purpose of drinking good coffee and knitting with good friends. Tuesdays are great. It's my new favorite day of the week.

I think I'll let them covet my new yarn purchase too.

I'm very excited to move to DC, but I'm really going to miss everything here. I wish I could pack everyone who's here up and take them with me. I'm not even gone yet, and already I'm homesick. I've connected with a couple of knitting groups, and I can only hope they are as fantastic as the ladies I've come to know in the past year here.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I got new yarn today!

I finished that damn dossier for work Friday night, so I decided to treat myself to a little present to congratulate myself. What better way to treat myself than to indulge in some nice fluffy yarn. I went to VW, and lo and behold, there was the Mohair, all 20% off! I had no idea what I was going to do with Mohair because I had no projects in mind when I walked in, but sure enough, there I was with 12 balls of nice fluffy goodness. It's 1140 yards total, so it'll probably end up being a shawl someday. For now, I'll just cuddle with it.

That Damn Dossier is finally done. I can't believe New Mexico charges its teachers to write a portfolio in order to defend their jobs. What? A Master's degree isn't enough for ya? Furthermore, if they're going to make us do this, they should at least have enough money in the budget to pay the people reviewing me. Oh, wait, they don't because they keep giving the superintendents raises, which brings them to $260,000 per year while the rest of us struggle to pay bills on our meager $30,000 salary. I'm just being bitchy about this whole thing, but honestly, what other profession makes you defend your expertise every three years? They just don't have enough to do in that state office. Maybe I should go work for them, except I'd have to turn incompetent.

Best of luck to me,
Mrs. Reynolds