Thursday, August 30, 2007

Too cool!!!

A good friend of mine - a fellow teacher at my school - went to visit her father over the summer. While she was visiting him, she asked him to sign pictures for each of my boys. Her father didn't have any pictures of himself left, so he signed pictures of the thing that made him famous.

Who is her Dad?

Her dad took these pictures...this is the command module of the first manned test of the Apollo Lunar Module:
Her dad is none other than Jim McDivitt, the commander of Gemini 4 and Apollo 9. Yep, the one who was on the cover of Time Magazine.

How cool is that? :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007


See the counter right above this entry? Yep, school has started again, and I am once more in charge of the JDs.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Debbie New's Contest Entry

This was taken on my phone, so it's short and rather dark...

Sorry - I forgot!!

Teachers report tomorrow, and school starts Monday - ugh. In the meantime, I completely forgot to post my SP11 questionaire! It's very slightly updated from the last time...

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love any natural fiber - especially wool. I love Wool of the Andes, Jamieson & Smith, Bartlett, Briggs and Little, Harrisville, Cestari,most small-mill yarns, and anything that Schoolhouse Press sells. I love knitting with pencil roving, too. I won't knit with anything acrylic (except for WoolEase in a pinch) or anything that looks like the pelt of Grover.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Since I got the Options set, I've been using that almost exclusively. For everything else, though, I have a 2-sided worm binder from Bass Pro Shops; I have at least 40 pairs of circulars, crochet hooks, markers, tape measures, etc.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? My Grandma Benefiel taught me when I was six, so I've been knitting for nearly 36 years. I knit for KnitPicks, so I would have to say that I'm an advanced knitter.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
It's right here
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I make a lot of my own bath products, but I love a good, straight-out vanilla.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Dark Chocolate!! And Gummies!
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I spin, quilt, sew, make soap and lotions, crochet a bit, cross stitch, garden, and can food for the winter.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like nearly everything except rap and hip-hop.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love maroon, dark blue, purples, dark reds...anything in the warm category. I don't like orange, yellow, gold, light green - I have nothing personal against those colors, but if I wear them next to my skin, people keep asking me if I'm going to be sick. :-)
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I have 3 children a husband and 2 children. My boys are 15 and 12. I have 2 dogs (a Mini-Dachsund named Tick and an Airedale named Gracie) and 5 cats (Moe, Repo, Rambo, Sparky and Itty-Bitty)
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, Yes, Yes, and NoNoNo.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love knitting sweaters, shawls, socks, and anything that catches my fancy at the moment
13. What are you knitting right now? I'm finishing a pair of gloves for KnitPicks. I'm also making a sweater on commission, 2 pair of socks and a shawllette.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I don't use straights, and my favorite needles are my Options and my Inox greys. I love my Holz & Stein needles, too.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes to both!
17. How old is your oldest UFO? About a year and a half, I think - I have several sweaters in progress
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas or Thanksgiving - anytime family gets together
19. Is there anything that you collect? Pre-1960's cookbooks, vintage knitting patterns, stitch dictionaries, roving and yarn!
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I love Hazel Carter's lace patterns and Fiddlesticks shawls. I really like Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I'd love to learn combination knitting
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I love to knit socks! I wear a US 8-1/2.
23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 12/17

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Oft-Timers, 2007!

(Warning - this is a very photo-heavy post!)

It was an ominous beginning...

I arrived at Cleveland Hopkins at 6:00 in the morning, and it was raining. Because of storms in Chicago, the flight was delayed by over an hour. This was taken out the window as we were descending into Chicago:
I had exactly enough time to catch my connecting flight to Wisconsin...except that my flight was cancelled. I spent over an hour in the United customer service line, only to find out that all of the flights had been cancelled for the rest of the day. As I was standing in line, contemplating calling Sabrina (and holding my bag from last year's camp), two ladies noticed me - they were also trying to get to camp. We decided to rent a car and drive into the Central Wisconsin Airport, where we had rental cars reserved. Since it was only 10:30 in the morning, we should have had plenty of time to make it in time for the 6:00 dinner at camp.

This is Gayle Roehm and Debra Lee, who were lifesavers that day! Here they are at the United counter, holding up their knitting. This picture proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that I would not be getting into a car with strangers who may be axe murderers .

We went to baggage claim, and after a 30 minute wait in line, the agent took a considerable amount of time punching numbers into a computer. He was, ostensibly, requesting that our luggage be pulled off of the plane so we could put it into a car.

After a 3 hour wait, we were then told that this was an impossibility. (United, right now you rank right down there with Enterprise Rent-A-Car...and that's not good)
Since so many flights had been cancelled that day, finding a rental car was nearly as impossible. The nice lady at Avis told us that they had one car left that could be taken one way. Since I am a terrible passenger and I love to drive, I offered to pay the extra driver supplement...and I would drive us to Mosinee. We really had to rough it, though - this was the only car that they had left:
Don't you feel sorry for me? I had to drive for nearly 5 hours, and all that they had was a Cadillac with only 11,000 miles on it. It was rough, but I was willing to sacrifice. :-) We also had Marti with us - she was from Florida, not a knitter (or an axe-murderer), but she needed to get to Mosinee. I couldn't have asked for nicer people to be stranded with!!

We got to Mosinee about 6:30, dropped off our Cadillac, picked up our own weekend rentals (I had a red Chevy Cobalt) and proceeded to drive to Marshfield...into one of the worst storms that I've ever driven through. I was dodging tree limbs, corn stalks and driving rain. A tornado tracker was pulled over to the side of the road, which didn't make me feel very good about the drive ahead of me. To make things even better, I missed a turn for Rt. 153 and ended up in the middle of nowhere. After pulling over and consulting my map, I managed to get back on the road. I had to make a quick stop at WalMart, though - my luggage was still in Chicago. I wasn't too worried about my clothes, but I had 7 pairs of Holtz & Stein needles in my needle case!!

It was 8:30 when I finally stumbled my way down to the classroom...and everything was immediately better. Christie saw my drenched, hungry self and immediately helped my find one of the few remaining empty seats (and she found Kathy from the hotel, who heated up and brought me some of the lasagna that I had missed at dinner.

I knew the weekend would be great as soon as I sat down, because this is who was sitting across from me again this year: Emily Ocker and her daughter, Medrith Glover! I sat with them last year - I was thrilled to be able to sit with them again this year! Miss Emily has some of the best stories, and she's a joy to visit with!! By the way - *you* try to take a picture of Medrith when she isn't giggling about something! It's harder than you'd think! :-)

The next morning was breakfast at The Kitchen Table. None of the other knitters had arrived yet, so the local regulars invited me to sit with them. I became a local for the next hour, and I really learned a lot about these wonderful people (Hi, Roger!!)

When I walked in, Gail (one of the waitresses) said "Hey! It's the horseradish lady!!" :-)

Then, finally, it was time for camp to officially start! We had lots of show and tell; once again these knitters outdid themselves. Joyce Williams made a mobius shawl in gorgeous southwestern colors - my picture just doesn't do it justice.
Sarah made a gorgeous shawl
and in celebration of her successful fight against cancer, brought us a box of chocolate "tit-bits" to share: Connie, Pauline and Ruby challenged each other to make EZ's suspender sweater
Amy modeled someone else's (I can't remember whose!) purple sweaterDebbie New brought her astounding jacket. (Ummmmm......Wow. That's about all that I can say)

She folded it up on the floor, and it looked like this: Glynnis showed off the shawl she was working on last year at camp. This was the pattern that she ranted about last year, and it earned her the Bent Needle Award...There was a lot of laughing all weekend

Since it was Friday night, it was time to head to Sceeter and Otis' for the fish fry (Hooterville!)
I went with Natalie, Barbara, Dixie, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's husband. Once again, there were lots of fried cheese curds and mozzarella sticks(this was my second order...I don't remember what happened to the first...)

and we had a lot of fun! We ran into Stacey the Wwonder Waitress' cousin and his family, so he became - for about 10 minutes - a minor celebrity with the knitting crowd

Saturday morning was breakfast at the Kitchen Table with Dixie and Natalie
and Stacey the Wonder Waitress!! (Hi, Stacey!) Once again, she was getting ready to leave for the weekend to go and ogle Packer Posteriors...

Back at camp, AliceMay modeled her stunning cardigan
Miss Emily in her sweater knit from Silky Wool
Shirley's stunning laceworkand Dale showing off a little leg his sock Debra's shadow knitting (her pattern was published several years ago - I can't remember which magazine!)Jinny would like everyone to know just how much she likes knitting brioche hats in the round! :-) Friday night was dinner at the micro-brewery across the street Dixie ordered a Bloody Mary with a Snit it must be a Wisconsin thing - that looks like a salad with a beer chaser!
I had an appetizer - brie rolled in a pecan crust and baked. It was wonderful!
After dinner a few of us walked to Hub City Days in downtown Marshfield. Put it this way - I am from a town that shut down every 4th of July for the Annual Tobacco Spitting Contest...and we have nothing on Hub City Days. Whew.
Styx played the county fair while I was there, and they stayed in our hotel. All I got to see, though, was their bus parked out back
This picture is from Sunday night at the Japanese restaurant - I thought that they looked like they were waiting to see the principal! :-) This is Sean - Amy's new son. He's four years old, and I just love this kid! We played cars, guns, and follow the leader all weekend. He loves to give hugs! I asked him I I could have his really cool Shrek clogs, and he said "No - you're not little enough yet!"
I told you that Medrith was always giggling!

Our contest this year was "Useless Knitting," and these are only a few of the 25 entries! For pictures of all of the entries (and some more of camp) please see my Flickr pictures!
Betty made a turkey baster
Mary made a thong (from an actual pattern - itchy!!) Kim, who is from Chicago, knitted a picture of Mike Ditka Joyce's useless knitting was a swatch Glynnis made a Dance Pole Cover (and pasties). Please note the money pocket Gayle's entry was a piece that she made for a gallery, and it never sold. It was truly useless... until Betty got her hands on it. :-) I made a sweater for a tennis ball (or any other fuzzy ball that you may need to cover)But the hands-down winner was Debbie New. She made a piece of absolute art that had no funtional use whatsoever. Each cone has a matching piece of knitting on it, and when you turned the knob on the frame, they rotated - completely in synch with each other. I took a video of it on my camera - I'm trying to figure out how to get it to load so you can see it.
The contest was an absolute hoot this year!!
Carol Anderson wrote a song titled "Meg Swansen, You're the One" (to the tune of "Rubber Ducky") and we all sang to her as they wheeled this in:Glynnis led the crowd as Betty tootled on her recorderBetty won the Bent Needle award for her charity knitting work in, as Glynnis called it, "War-Torn La Crosse."We didn't want to say good-bye - we had too much fun!!!!!
At the airport, Miss Emily held court and my flight home was (thankfully!) uneventful.

I can't wait until next year!!!!

Since there were no blow-up dolls on motorcycles this year like there were last year , I will leave you with a picture of the bar across the street from our hotel:What's kind of disturbing is that this means that there is a Nutz Deep I someplace!

Oh - and after paying $3.10 for gas the entire time that I was in Wisconsin, this is what I found when I got home: