I remember…

Fourteen years ago today… it was a Tuesday.  School was in session.  There were 5th graders in the computer lab.  We were busy at work, students chattering on task and off.  A typical morning.  And then Sister walked in.  My first thought was she was here to observe, but something about her demeanor clued me in it was more than that.  She hurried over and in a whisper asked me to turn on the television.  The television was located in the teacher workspace and was facing away from the students.  I turned it on and was immediately confused and horrified.  Was this really happening?

On the screen I saw the scene we all have etched in our memories.  The Twin Towers under attack.  One of the towers had already been hit.  There was smoke everywhere.  We stood speechless.  Watching.  Horrified.  Helpless.  Not believing what we were seeing, but knowing it was true.  And then, another plane seemed to slowly plow into the other tower.  We both cried out and the students looked up.  I went over to them and moved around the room checking on their progress.  Needing a few minutes to compose myself.  The students finished their work and filed back to their classrooms.

Sister and I stood together and watched the horrific scene unfold.  News of another plane in Washington D.C.  And another airplane unaccounted for.  What was happening?  One airplane is a tragic accident.  Four?  Are there more?  How do we handle this with the students?  Do we make an announcement?

Luckily, the school was a Catholic School, located next to a church.  We were encouraged to make use of the Adoration Chapel to reflect and pray.  And we all did.

I also remember how it was in the months following.  The unity, the caring, the sharing of a country unified together.  It is sad that it takes a tragedy to unite people together.

I remember…

Share Your World – Week #36

Always love these questions!

If you were a pen, what type, style and color would you be? A medium tip Sharpie in a deep purple.  

How many languages do you you speak?  Really just one.  I can speak un poco Español.  I am ashamed of this fact.

Are you a listener or talker?  I can be both, but I tend toward listening.

Rather Have: Which would you rather have, 2 million dollars or true love?  I know I am supposed to answer true love.  I would rather be loved than have 2 million dollars.  True love?  Eh.  I prefer the love of my family and my husband.  Is it True?  Who knows.  It is warm, it is forgiving, it is filled with laughter and hugs.  That is the love that is worth more than 2 million dollars.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I am always grateful for the love and presence of my family.  I was especially grateful for the visit of my two grandsons.  I felt so blessed to have that special time with them.  I look forward to more family time with all of my kids and grandkids.

Click here if you are interested in participating in Share Your World

Why Am I Here?

Sounds pretty heavy, but don’t read to much into it.  The question is asking why am I here in the blogosphere.  What am I trying to say?  What do I hope to accomplish? The answer is … I don’t really know.  Lame, right?

Why am I here?  I started blogging way back in the 90’s.  I used a site out of England that I stumbled on, I can’t even remember the name of it.  I was following a photographer.  He graciously walked me through many of the steps.  There was a lot more html involved back then. I wasn’t quilting or knitting then so it was mostly the lure of photography that got me out there.

In 2001 my last child flew the coop and all of a sudden I had a lot of time on my hands.  Enter knitting and quilting and all kinds of doors opened.  I met many great online friends.  A few I have actually visited.  It’s strange when you physically meet someone.  There is no awkwardness, after all, you’ve been having a conversation for quite a while.  It’s like meeting an old friend.

I was excited when I found WordPress.  There was another community.  Knitters, quilters, photographers, readers, you name it.  It was more flexible than some of the other blogging options.

What am I trying to say?  There is no one direction on my blog.  I love the photo challenges and seeing other people’s perspective.  The international scope of some of the challenges is especially thrilling.

My quilting is a hobby, not an art form or a way to make a living like many of the quilting blogs.  The same can be said of the knitting.  I am working on the same blanket I was over a year ago.

So, my message is not clear.  I don’t even chronicle my life… that could be messy!  I guess my title shows what I was thinking when I started this particular blog.  The Best Years Are….  Are they ahead?  Behind me?  Or are they right now?  I guess I show snippets of my life… no bad stuff.. that would be a downer now wouldn’t it?  Should I dare?

What do I hope to accomplish?  I guess my expectations were low.  I just wanted to connect.  Whether through photography, quilting, knitting or just being a parent and grandparent.  I have done some of that, but not as much lately.  My blogging friends are the old ones.  I haven’t really put it out there much lately.

I intentionally didn’t use photographs this time.  I find we get lazy and just look at the photos and not the words.  So, this is where I start.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Connected

When I started this post it was going in a totally different direction.  Before I finished we were blessed with a visit from my two youngest grandchildren… both boys.  When they arrive they immediately tackle the stairs to Nana’s play space.  This is where I knit and sew and play on my computers.  It is also where they play.  It is filled with the toys of my sons’ childhood.  There are legos, duplos, wooden trains, Playmobile sets and matchbox cars.  Everything that can feed an imagination.  The youngest child is just starting to move from chasing balls and pushing things to playing with smaller toys.

M trying to connect duplos for the first time.
M trying to connect duplos for the first time.

Like all boys everywhere, Legos and Duplos are great building blocks for the imagination.  But first you have to learn how to “connect” them.  It may seem simple but it requires a little something from your fine motor skills.

Getting the hang of it.
Getting the hang of it.

He was working very hard to build something.  Learning is all about connecting.  Connecting bits of information in a way that makes a concept understandable.

Success
Success

Joy and Pride!  He has figured out how the connection works and is well on his way to creating new adventures.  Just like his dad before him, he wants to share each and everyone of his creations.  And I am his #1 fan.

Connected

 

Share Your World – Week #34

Strangely enough, no photos or quotes today.

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?  I loved school and it was relatively easy for me.  Even though I loved school I coasted and always regretted that I didn’t take it a little more seriously. That said, I consider myself a life long learner and am still learning and growing.

What is your favorite animal?  While I don’t currently have any pets and am not a fan of having one, I do appreciate and admire animals.  Strangely enough Rhinos and Hippos are two of my favorites.  Rhinos actually have more personality than people would think and Hippos, especially underwater, are so interesting to watch.

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts?  My eyes are dry and itchy and I have a thing about putting something in my eye, so glasses, which I have, are the only choice.

List: Name at least five television shows (past or present) you enjoyed?  Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Big Bang, The Mentalist, Blacklist, Cheers, M.A.S.H., The Carol Burnette Show, Everybody Loves Raymond,

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I am grateful always for my great friends, family and life.  I am grateful for safe travels and closure.  I am looking forward to moving forward in my pursuit of my next employment.  Can’t wait to see what develops.

Weekly Photo Challenge – From Every Angle

From every angle.  Perfect. Today I went to our small downtown area to our Farmer’s Market and to visit some of the local artists’ demonstrations.  The weather was perfect.  I had recently met a local artist by the name of Lambeth W. Marshall.  She is a potter and a painter and a very interesting woman.  I knew she was throwing pottery on a wheel today and wanted to see her in action.

“E Concrematio. Confirmatio–out of the fire comes firmness, through stress we pass to strength.”
― Charles F. Binns

Lambeth W. Marshall demonstrating throwing clay pots.
Lambeth W. Marshall demonstrating throwing clay pots.

It was very interesting to watch her hands as she developed the pottery.  This was my straight on angle.

Just starting.
Just starting.

Now I switched over to the left side to get a closer view of her hands.

lambeth hands2 small

This is pretty much the same angle, but I was fascinated with how quickly the shape changed.

lambeth hands3 small

This angle is over her shoulder.  Anybody else thinking of the movie Ghost?  Unlike the movie, I never saw Lambeth’s hands magically become cleaned… remember that part?lambeth hands4 small

Working my way over to the right side.  She has now worked the pot taller again.

lambeth hands5 small

She patiently thins the walls of the vessel.

lambeth hands6 small

Now she is creating interest by creating the irregular line in the vase.

lambeth hands7 small

And once again creating interest by creating “dimples” in the surface.  Once glazed these will create some interest in the color, too.

finished pottery small

And the last shot is from the top looking in so the dimple can be viewed from the inside.

I really wanted to throw a pot, but she made it look so easy and I know it isn’t.  Great activity to watch.

From Every Angle

Today Was a Good Day Photo Challenge

I would like to believe every day is a good day.  Some are better than others, but I strive to find the good in every day.  But, to me, a good day would include:

Family

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.

Desmond Tutu

We just returned from Arizona where we celebrated my mother’s life.  Her Arizona family was very dear to her.  They surrounded her with fun and love.  These are the cousins that started out as little toddlers.  They grew up and have definitely gone different and interesting directions.  So fun to get together with them and watch them share stories.  It is never often enough or long enough.

The little cousins grew up!
The little cousins grew up!
You can always find a friend!
You can always find a friend!

The same trip found us shopping which can be a little tedious for grandchildren.  G always finds something to capture his interest…even it is him!  He makes a point to find the good in every day and he spreads that around.

Brother Britt and his daughter Brittany.
Brother Britt and his daughter Brittany.

A visit to Arizona is never complete without visiting my brother.  Both of my brothers have Huntington’s Chorea.  It is a horrible disease.  I wish I could see him every day.  The quality of his care in AZ is so much better than I could get him here. A good day is when he has family to visit him.

Color and Creativity  –

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

My current knitting project.
My current knitting project.

Only two squares left.  It has taken forever, but it has a wonderful calming to the creation of it.  I try to work on this a little every day and that makes it good.

For three happy grandmothers to give to their new grandchildren.
For three happy grandmothers to give to their new grandchildren.

These just came back today.  Once I bind them they will be off to the grandmothers of the babies for which they were created.

Nature –

“I’m not a social butterfly. I’m a caterpillar.”
― Jarod Kintz

Caterpillars are fascinating. Butterflies have wings to fly.

Caterpillars are fascinating. Butterflies have wings to fly.

I try to start every morning on the back porch watching nature wake up and start it’s day.  My mind wanders in and out of prayer and admiration for all that is nature.  It is a very peaceful and spiritual time.  A little bit of time out never hurt anybody.

Music

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I know there is more than this to make a good day… sometimes it is the simplest of things, a hug, a smile from a stranger, seeing someone helping another, and sometimes you just have to break your spirit free above the clouds to see the sunshine.

A Good Day Above the Clouds.
A Good Day Above the Clouds.

Today Was a Good Day

One Word Photo Challenge – Snow

It seems funny to think of snow when we have been experiencing a string of 90+ degree days.  Obviously, I have to turn to my stash of snow pics as it would be quite a journey to find actual snow.

The train bridge in downtown Waxhaw.
The train bridge in downtown Waxhaw.

I laugh when I think of snow in North Carolina… or at least where we live in North Carolina.  Panic erupts at the thought of three inches of snow.  Up north, children everywhere are disappointed when only three inches arrives… it means no snow day.  Here it might mean two to three snow days.

A snow day in Waxhaw may mean a snow day for parents, too.
A snow day in Waxhaw may mean a snow day for parents, too.

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.”
― Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

I especially love when the snow coats the branches of the trees… even the little tiny ones.  It creates a image filled with magic and beautiful silence.

snow_trees_fr_sm

I would love to travel on a train and enjoy clattering through the cold winter views while snug and warm inside the train car.

Train tracks disappearing into a wintery wonderland.
Train tracks disappearing into a wintery wonderland.

“Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity”
― Novala Takemoto, Missin’ (Novel)

Share Your World – Week #32

I have to say, I love the questions this week.  Thank you, Cee!

  • Are you a collector of anything?  While one could say I am a collector of fabric and yarn, I consider that stash.  I could part with them and it would cause me no pain… I would, however, have to go out and get more so I could continue knitting and quilting.  The truth is, I am a collector of memories.  Whether through photos, or just in my mind.  I am very good at pulling up tidbits of moments in the past.  My  grandchildren like it.  They like to hear about those moments when their fathers were young and, of course, made mistakes.  I have had school friends that wonder how I remember all of the moments.  I thought everyone did.  It is a gift this ability to collect and share memories.

“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

  • What is your biggest fear or phobia?  While I am not overly fond of spiders or snakes or the necessary “icky” inhabitants of our world, it is definitely not a phobia.  I’m not sure I have one… at least nothing pops immediately to mind and I would think a phobia would.  I long feared losing a child.  I would watch the path of a plane on the computer until I knew it landed safely.  I worried when they were young that something might happen that I could not control and they might be hurt.

“Lucy: Do you think you have Pantophobia, Charlie Brown?
Charlie: I don’t know, what is pantophobia?
Lucy: The fear of Everything.
Charlie: THAT’S IT!!!”
― Charles M. Schulz

  • Do you prefer reading coffee table books, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational?  I would have to say yes to all of them.  I read almost anything.  I usually have two to three books going at a time.
  • Complete this sentence:  If I Must Be Reincarnated In the Next Life I want to Be…   This is so easy… a Weatherwoman.  No pressure.  You can be right and you are a hero or you can be wrong and it’s not your fault… nobody has any expectations of you being right.
    Oh, I need to be serious?  Well, in all seriousness I have faith that I will be put where I am needed to try and learn what I need to learn and to teach and share what is needed.  Life is an adventure and to live it fully we must accept gracefully what is given and work our way through it and enjoy the good moments and learn from and improve those not so great.
  • What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I am always grateful for my family and good friends and their continued good health.  I am grateful for meeting new friends.  I am grateful that my younger brother is in a good place being taken care of by people who care about him.
    I am looking forward to seeing some of my grandchildren this week and spending time with them.  I always look forward to the little surprises that pop up and make your day.  I hope that I can bring some joy or peace to someone I know or haven’t even met yet.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knitting Needles – The Never Ending Mitered Squares

I knit.  What’s your superpower?
 – Author Unknown

I am not someone who has been knitting since childhood.  A loving mother or grandmother didn’t teach my while sitting at her feet.  I learned to knit to fill a void.  My last child had gone off to college.  An empty nest!  What are nests made of?  Bits and pieces of twigs, leaves, feathers, twine and YARN!  I must knit!  A logical choice.  I started with scarves and moved quickly into blankets.  No sweaters and socks.  The recipient of my gifts would outgrow the sweater by the time I would finish and socks wear out too quickly.  No, blankets were good and much loved by everyone.

My constantly rearranged mitered blanket project.
My constantly rearranged mitered blanket project.

This is my latest labor of love and it is based off of a pattern developed by Ann and Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting.  I love their books.  I have added the black and white because the eye needed a rest.  The nice thing about this pattern is the ease of transport.  One square at a time can easily fit in a purse or small satchel.

My travel bag with current mitered square and yarn.
My travel bag with current mitered square and yarn.

This blanket has worked it’s way through listening to many books, favorite television shows, road trips, hospital visits and even meetings at work. I find my listening skills improve when my hands are busy.

Attic stash discovered... more cotton classic!
Attic stash discovered… more cotton classic!

This weekend I decided to sort through all the containers of yarn I have in the attic.  Going through all the yarn that moved south with me, I found even more of the cotton yarn I use in this blanket.  Does that mean this blanket might not ever be done?

I did this scene in ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ where I was in a room full of old ladies who were knitting, and it was an all-day scene, so they showed me how. It was one of the most relaxing days of my life.

Ryan Gosling