Friday, January 30, 2009

Having Fun

Yesterday Allison, Jo and I went to Central Market in Southlake. A great store with so many choices that it is hard to decide what to buy. They have a great coffee section where you can grind your own beans. We stopped by Three Dog Bakery which is right across the parking lot from Central Market. This is a store we always make a stop at when we are that way. Jo loves it because the owner has five, yes five, mastiffs that occupy the store. They are so friendly and sweet and Jo thinks she must play with them every time we are that way. This is a great store that makes dog treats and has dog food and assessories. Stop by and pick up some treats for your dogs and while you are there enjoy the mastiffs. For perspective, Dozier on Jo's right weighs 200 pounds.

Today we went to story time at Barnes and Noble and then later had ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. They put a kiddie ice cream in the waffle cone. That works for Jo as she likes the cone the best. She kept saying, "This is the best ice cream ever." Actually it really was. We have gotten at different places before but it was very creamy and good. She is such fun to be with.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Georgia Visit #3

Joseph and I did one more bit of sightseeing while I was visiting him in Georgia. We drove about thirty minutes northeast of Columbus to Warm Springs. This is where FDR's Georgia home, The Little White House, is located. As I said before I am a big history buff so this was another opportunity that I might not have again. We drove to Warm Springs. It is beautiful country with rolling hills and tall pine trees. When we got to The Little White House we first toured the museum there. It is a great museum with many artifacts from President Roosevelt's life and presidency. President Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921. He felt the warm springs here would help him recover. It was not a cure but he worked to help other people who also were afflicted by setting up the Warm Springs Institute. FDR later was elected president and worked to show others that people with disabilities could still contribute to society. After touring the museum we went to the actual Little White House where FDR and family members stayed when they came to Warm Springs. It was a very pleasant house and everything was left as it was when FDR was there when he had the stroke that killed him in 1944.

I think what I came away with after spending the day at the Little White House was more of an interest in Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife and the First Lady. I knew some about her but when I came home I checked out some books from the library. She really had a horrible early life and her marriage was very difficult yet she was able to find her niche and contribute to the causes she felt were important. I will definitely be doing more reading on her.

Here is a picture of Joseph and Louie. I just thought it was cute. I left on Sunday the 25th. We had lunch at the Atlanta Airport. There is a shop called The Atlanta Bread Company. They have great sandwiches and I highly recommend them. It is also easy because you can get to the airport, drop off your luggage and have lunch before you get on the plane. I had a great visit with Joseph. He is very good to take me interesting places. If you are ever in the Atlanta/Columbus/Ft. Benning area I hope some of my suggestions make your trip enjoyable too. Thanks Joseph, Love ya bunches!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Georgia Visit #2

I really enjoyed my trip to Georgia this last week. Not only did I get to spend time with my youngest kiddo but as a history buff I got to see some places I had not seen before. On Thursday we went to Andersonville. If you are a student of history you will know that Andersonville was one of the prisoner of war camps that the Confederacy used to hold Union prisoners. It was also called Camp Sumter. In 14 months more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here and almost 13,000 died. As you look over the 26 1/2 acres of rolling hills with a few trees it is almost incomprehensible to believe what happened on this ground. There are markers that give you information about the area you are looking at and guidelines to where buildings were located. Even so it is an experience that is hard to put into words. Many years ago I saw the movie "Andersonville" so I had an idea of some of the area but when you actually stand in the place that the story happened and think of the men who were here, well it is a very emotional feeling. We drove up the road to the Andersonville National Cemetery. I have been to many historical cemeteries but here the graves are so close together. This is when I think about the fact that all these men were someone's son, husband, father, brother, friend. They all had people who loved them. Ok, I am getting "out there" but they were real people. Also on the site is the National Prisoner of War Museum. This is a very interesting museum. It discusses the POW experience through out our Nation's history. There is so much information and so many exhibits it is well worth visiting.

After we left Andersonville we headed south. Time for lunch. We stopped in Americus and ate at Gladys' Kitchen. Unfortunately I did not get a picture. Their business card says,"Best Home Cooked Meal in Town." Oh my goodness that is no lie. We had fried chicken, broccoli casserole, green beans, cornbread pancake, peach cobbler and sweet tea. Now, a comment on sweet tea. I like tea sweet and unsweet but if I am going to have sweet tea it has to be made right. Let me say this, Georgia makes sweet tea right. Everywhere we went I got sweet tea. I believe that the secret is sweetening your tea while it is warm. That sugar just goes into the tea not sitting in the bottom of your glass. I told Joseph after we ate that I was going to have to be rolled out in a wheel barrow. If you are ever in Americus, Georgia be sure you eat at Gladys' Kitchen it is 5 star eating.

After lunch we headed to Plains. I figure if you are that close to the hometown of a President you have to stop by. Now let me tell you, Plains is little. It reminds me of the town where my grandma lived in Missouri. It was farming land too. We went to the President Jimmy Carter Museum. It was very interesting and they had many displays about his life from before and after his presidency. The lady at the entry desk had the perfect Georgia accent. She told us all about the tour of the town and also mentioned that President Carter still teaches a Sunday School class at his church. After we left the museum we drove down the road to take a look at the Carter's present home. Well, we drove right past it. Plains is a tiny town and the house is very ordinary. The only thing that makes it look different is there is a small white house for the Secret Service and a very unobvious gate before the driveway. We turned around and went back and I took a picture. The reason I did was to show that the house seems to be a place for them to go to rest and feel normal. Actually the picture makes it look like you are further from the house than you really are. By the way, they have owned the same house since 1960 when they bought the land and had this house built. I just thought that was kind of neat. After this we headed back to Ft. Benning. We ate leftover lasagna that I had made the day before for supper. It always is better the second day. By the way the only knitting I did while there was a little bit on some socks I am making. When you are in the middle of history your knitting sometimes just has to wait.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Georgia Visit #1

My visit to see Joseph in Ft Benning, Georgia this last week included doing some things I had not done when I was there before. After we left the airport in Atlanta we stopped for lunch. I had never heard of Hapeville, GA but it is an important place for all Chick-Fil-A lovers. The original Chick-Fil-A is in Hapeville. It is called The Dwarf House. The reason for this was it's tiny size. If you look in the picture the original building is the little brick part on the right. Let me just say, it was Chick-Fil-A. I got the nuggets and Joseph got the sandwich. We both had what JoEllen calls "awful fries", meaning the waffle fries. Absolutely yummy. They also have a full service area here. If you are heading south of Atlanta be sure you stop in.

Sunday we had lunch at Vallarte Mexican Food. It is right off post I believe on Victory Drive. The salsa here is really good. The cheese in their cheese enchiladas is thick and creamy. It is actually a tradition that we eat there when I come to visit. That started when I went to see Joseph in May 2006. He had just been sent to Ft Benning. One of the happiest times to eat there was when he returned from Iraq. We took some of his buddies out to eat to celebrate them coming home. After lunch we went to Oxbow Creek golf course to play golf. Well Joseph plays golf I get to drive the golf cart. Actually driving the cart is fun and it was a gorgeous day.

Joseph loves to cook on the grill and is a "grilling purist" using only charcole. This actually was a lot of fun. Not only did he cook steak, shish-k-bobs, hamburgers and chicken but we got to make good old fashioned smores. We made them several times and that melting chocolate with the squishy marshmallow, well it was heavenly.

We went on Wednesday to see the Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus. This is actually just down the road from Vallarte's. I love to study the Civil War. This is one of the neatest museums. There is so much to see. They have restored several boats, there are many weapon artifacts and the largest display of huge flags I have ever seen. Most were captured from the different ships. There is also a large section of the Merrimac on display. This is a great museum. We were there for over two hours and we still could have spent more time there is so much to see and read. The cost was minimal to view this many artifacts. We still had the rest of the week and there would be three more major historical places for me to see. More on those later.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Knitting President

Today is short. I will blog about my trip to Georgia more fully later. When I got home last night from the airport I found that the airlines (American) had broken one of the sides of my suitcase. It is fairly new and only has four trips on the airline but now has been ripped down the corner side. So this morning I had to go back to the airport, fun, and "complain". They are supposedly going to "repair" it and it will take two to three weeks. We will see how that goes.

Mainly I wanted to post this picture of President Franklin Roosevelt. Joseph and I drove to Warm Springs to see the Little White House, FDR's Georgia getaway. It is about 30 miles from Columbus. FDR spent a lot of time here soaking in the warm springs hoping it would help cure his polio. He also built a rehab center for other polio sufferers. I love studying history and if you have the chance to go and see the museum and the house FDR lived in when he was there you will not be disappointed. This a beautiful area of Georgia. The museum is packed full of historical information and treasures. As you first come into the museum there is a timeline of FDR's life. I stopped and stared at this picture. It is FDR and Eleanor in 1905. She had found out she was expecting and the caption said FDR was knitting baby clothes. Of course in museums you cannot take pictures so when I got home I looked for it on the internet. I finally found it and here it is. So when someone says that knitting is for the "grandma's" here is the future President of the United States knitting. Gotta love it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I just got home from Ft. Benning, GA and visiting Joseph. We had a great time. We always take a picture together right before one of us leaves. Louie had to be in the picture too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Headed to Georgia

Well tomorrow morning I am headed to Ft. Benning, GA. I am going to see Joseph. I have not seen him since August so I am excited to be going. There is a good possibility that there will be no posting until I get back. I do plan to knit on the plane. Of course the first thing packed was my knitting. I plan on working on a pair of socks I am making for myself on the flight to Atlanta. I have a nice length of leg to knit so that should keep me busy. Hey Jo, I'll miss you and will see you next week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Knitting History

I bought a new magazine today. I do not normally purchase this magazine because I try to limit magazine spending. In fact I purchase fewer overall than I did a few years ago. This issue was featured on my Knitting Daily e-mail a few days ago. I immediately fell in love with the hat on the cover. It is listed as a Historical Knitting Issue and it is. I love reading about the history of knitting from all perspectives and creations and countries. There is an article about Eleanor Roosevelt and her knitting. I loved the fact that when she was a member of the UN delegation as the men squabbled she took out her knitting. There is an article about knitting two socks at once. This would be extremely helpful for those of us who have the dreaded "Second Sock Syndrome". Another article written by Nancy Bush talks about Estonian knitting. I want to make the Marko's Mittens. They are absolutely gorgeous. The main reason I bought this magazine is the Alice Starmore baby bonnet. I am going to knit this. Yes I am. Well maybe not right this minute but this is going on the list. I like all kinds of knitting and have made many things including lace and dabbling a little in begginers Fair Isle but this will take even more time and patience. So after all the other baby knitting is finished this is going to be a project that gets moved to the top of the list. All this is to say that this issue is wonderful. If you enjoy reading about the history of knitting then you must pick it up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fast Hat

I made the little hat to go with Scout's car blankie today. It is just one I made up with K2, P2 and then finishing off with stockingette. Hopefully it will fit her as a newborn but I have plenty of yarn left over to make a larger one. I knit it out of Bernat Camouflage in purple with size 10 needles. Now I need to get started on the afghan as it will take a little longer. Since I am heading to Georgia to see Joseph at the end of the week I probably will not get much done on the afghan till after I get back. I will work on baby socks during the flight. We only have eight weeks till Scout makes her appearance so I have to get knitting in fast mode.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mystery Solved!

The mystery of the baby socks is finally solved. I had printed off the pattern for these little socks a while back. I had been searching all over the internet looking for just the right sock pattern for the new grandbaby. When I got ready to knit them I noticed there was no reference to the site I printed them from. Ok, this seemed odd but I had been all over the internet jumping from link to link. You know how it is. You get on one site and it leads you to another and then you see something else and click there and before you know it you are somewhere out in internet-land and have no idea how you got there or how to get back. That was what happened here. Now I believe in giving people their credit and when I finished these socks and went to post them on Ravelry I had no credit reference. I looked on the pattern base there but did not see what I was looking for. I made mention of not being able to find it and when someone asked me for the pattern I had to explain I had it but was still searching for the reference. Last night I went searching again to no avail. That said I found out this morning you should never give up hope especially in the knitting community. I had a message in my box from mollymcawesome. She thought my sock matched one on the pattern resources on Ravelry. Lo and behold it was my socks! So if you are looking for a great baby sock pattern, and this is one, then they are the pattern by Bianca Boonstra that is referenced in patterns on Ravelry and also now on my projects page. This not knowing where the pattern came from would have driven me nuts, well maybe more nuts, for a long time to come. I once again have to thank mollymcawesome for coming to my aid.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sox Done

The baby sox are done. They turned out so cute and are very soft. I did notice that they are a smiggen bigger than the first pair that being due to the fact that this yarn is a smiggen bigger but I really think they turned out good. I have always knitted booties for babies but Allison had asked for sox instead. I am sold on this pattern. They are fast, easy and I think will wear perhaps even better than the booties. I have one more skein of the Katia for sox but need to work on the baby blankie. I also have no hats knitted yet and I need to get started on them. We only have two months which sounds like a long time but really is not when it is counted in knitting hours and you have a long list to complete.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pleasant January Day

The first baby sock of the second pair is finished. This is such a great pattern. Since I "discovered" Yarn Harlot's Basic Sock Recipe I absolutely love knitting socks. Not only that but I learned how to do the Kitchener stitch to close the toe and I love doing that too. I think it makes the toe look nice and once you do it a few times it really is not hard. This yarn is Katia Mississippi 3. I got it from Shabby Sheep. If you have not been there (in the Uptown area of Dallas) you must go. It is a great shop with fantastic yarn and fun and helpful staff. Thanks Ronda, I love your store. The second sock is on the needles, 2.50 mm, and I hope to get it finished pretty quickly as I need to start on the baby afghan.
I gave Jo her last knitted hat and scarf of the season. I handed her the sack and when she opened it up, well you can't make the right sound on a blog for the sound of her excitement. It actually caught me off guard. It was almost like a gasp with a laugh and a squeal. I did not realize she would like it so much. The white is Lion Brand White Frost. The Pink is Caron Dazzle Aire which is assume is non-existant anymore. It is fuzzy like the white frost and very soft. It was stash yarn but not just from my stash. When my elderly neighbor died a few years ago (she watched all my kids grow up) her daughter gave me a big bag of yarn from her stash. They knew I knit and crocheted and wanted it to go to good use. I knew that this yarn would have to be used for something special. Enter grand-daughter #1. One day in "rummaging" through my stash, ok I was organizing, these two yarns just found each other. They were perfect for a hat and scarf for Jo. I knit them up in October. It was really hard not to mention about them or give them to her until now. I had made a Halloween set, a Thanksgiving set and a couple of Christmas sets so I decided this was the January set. So with all that done I am now heading to finish the baby knitting and those socks for me that are waiting patiently in the knitting basket.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Car Blankie

The Car Blankie is finished. I love the colors. I also put my watch in the pix so that it shows the size. It is perfect for a kiddo to cuddle up with in the car seat. Now I will cast on for the afghan. I usually make those a 36" square. This is a great pattern, very easy, simple and fast.

I'm Knitting in the Rain...

Well, no I am not actually knitting in the rain, I'm in the living room but for some reason the song "Singing in the Rain" popped into my head. But is is raining here and there are predictions of ice and sleet for the rest of the day and since it is 32 degrees who knows. The radar on the Weather Channel shows the whole DFW area in pink which I think means sleet. I like cold weather and snow and ice. It must come from living in in Illinois when I was young. I don't like driving in bad weather as we have people here who drive crazy even in good weather. If you are driving down I35 you might be going the speed limit of 70 and have someone whiz by you at who knows how fast but really some of these guys must be going 90 or above. Scarier still are the motorcycle guys who while going 90 have no protection at all and are by you before you even know they are there. Jo's Uncle Daisey rides and we had a scary incident so motorcycles.... well if you ride them be careful. I got off base there but that is how Monday's are especially after holidays. The pix is of the "car blankie" I am making the new grandbaby due in March. It is Bernat Camouflage #10315, Purple Camo. This is the small blankie you can take in the car when the kiddo wants to take their favorite blankie with them. Of course there are numerous reasons not to do that including losing the blankie that the kiddo must have every night or they won't go to bed. This is a 12" square on 10's and is super fast and easy to throw in a car seat and just enough to snuggle up to for a ride. This will be finished today and the matching big blankie will be cast on. After that comes the little matching hat. The green baby sox are still on the needles. There was not much knitting done over the holidays. I also went about "rearranging" some of my stash this morning and shocking was distracted by some yarn I had not looked at in a while. Yes, yarn does talk and two skeins started fighting over who was going to get to go to the tub by my chair. I calmly told them both they were going and would soon be little hats. They calmed right down and are now sitting happily beside me waiting to be cast on. So I won't worry if we happen to get iced in, probably no real chance of that, there might not be any milk in the refridgerator but I have plenty of yarn to keep me busy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Too Cute

The holidays are over. The boys have headed back home. Indulge the grandma in me and agree with me that these are the cutest kids. Jaxson is on the left and Ryan is on the right. Jo is entertaining by dancing with her maracas. Gotta love 'em.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I for one hope that this year is more calm that the last one has been. Here is Jo playing with Jaxson. She was making sure he had enough toys to play with. Then Jaxson in his Santa hat. These fit them really well. I was glad because at this age they grow so fast who knows how long stuff will fit. Lastly is Ryan, looking a little stunned at the flash. May the New Year bring health, happiness and lots of finished knitting projects.