Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I did something stupid. I set my sights on something without thoroughly researching it. I was ready to sign up (tomorrow) for the Chesapeake Bay Swim (4.4miles). What I did not realize was I had to pre-qualify. I guess I'll spend this year training for 2007. Live and learn. Still bummin' though.

SPT - Front Porches

Growing up, we spent weekends with one Grandparent or another. It was always a good time. At one there were always cousins and dogs, at the other there was marching around the room at the end of Bozo's Circus or swimming in the pool. At Grandma and Grandpa's house, there was always a period of time spent sitting on the porch. Grandpa's rocking chair was in direct line from the porch door to the front door. Sometimes he had a little tv out there listening to a ball game. Grandma liked to swing on the porch swing, but after a time it would make me nauseous, so I would sit on the wicker with the dogs. I would try to get Grandma to tell me stories. After a while, she would run out. Aunt Nell lived down the street and often would come up. At one time, no longer now, it was a nice neighborhood, where people walked, stood on the stoop to visit, and were generally neighborly.

I now have a huge deck and lower cement patio. My father loves to come sit out on my deck and watch nature. We've seen deer, hawks, hummingbirds, swallows, and of course witnessed the death of many a ground hog to Gus the killer dog. For some reason, this does not sit well with me. I'm more comfortable out front, watching the world go by. Waving to the honking horn because I'm sure I know who it is (even though I don't recognize the car). I live rurally so that aren't many that walk, but once in a one comes by. I offer a glass of water and small talk. Some day, I'm going to have my screened in porch, like my Grandparents, I'm going to have my radio playing, a basket of scraps or sewing by my side, my puppies at my feet, and welcome the neighbors, whether they be young or old, 2 or 4 legged, and remember my days at Turlington Ave.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Business, unfinished and finished

Here is one of my unfinished projects. I just finished quilting all the blocks in this quilt last night so just have the borders and binding left to do. This sucker has been almost 10 years in the making. I have never liked the batting I am using (Warm & Natural) for hand quilting so just put it off quite a bit. I am hoping to finish this quilt this week(?) even though the week holds quite a bit of other business.

I have also started my first pair of socks. Man, oh man! those needles are tiny. I can only knit so long before I get all tangled up and crampy. As with any other knitting project, I know there is a rhythym that gets going after a while. Like I needed something else to do, I also started a hat for Emma's boyfriend's birthday present. But, the hat should only take me a few hours from start to finish.

While the visit to Immaculata University was unsatisfying, the ride there and back was nice. We had a lovely drive through Lancaster County. It has been a long time since I had been through that area so was interesting to see the horse and buggies on the road, farmers plowing with horses, solid colored laundry on lines. Emma and I had some nice conversation, faith issues, schools, friends, etc. Immaculata itself was a nice campus but we were not given a whole lot of information on the things we wanted. The tour was long and mainly hallways, no music rooms, practice rooms, performance areas, recording areas, and a fake dorm room, furnished and sponsored by one of those bath stores. How in the world are you supposed to get a feel for dorm living if there is nothing in it but cutesy stuff?! The students were very gung ho on the school and everything was "I love Immaculata", "I don't want to leave" almost to the point of naseau. I just felt we did not get a good representation of the school and all it has to offer which is too bad because I do think it is probably a very good school. We had another nice drive home, listening to Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible". Some of our earlier conversation had to do with prostelitizing and forcing your view upon someone else/other cultures and who is right and who is wrong, if anyone. We both agreed that it is our mission to serve, we can voice our beliefs, but it is not in our place to tell someone they are wrong in their belief system. It was kind of cool, sharing these ideas.

I feel like Audrey is getting left out of things with all this college stuff going on. I asked her if she wanted to take a road trip. It was a definite no. I guess I'll have to come up with something cool and special to do with her. She loves the idea of community service. Maybe we can come up with a volunteer mission. I was going to try to teach her to knit hats for preemie babies, but I don't know if she is interested in that. At one time, she was interested in Linus project, too. We'll do some brainstorming.

Today was church. Afterwards Audrey stayed to help plan youth worship tonight and Pat stayed to sing with the band. I listened to the band and knitted. Came home, took a nap, made a cd, and now this. Quiet day. I'm going to get back to knitting my socks. I'm afraid I'll finish one and not want to do the other!

Here is my finished hat. I've gotten quite a few comments on it. It is a lovely, fuzzy, soft yarn. I have no clue of the contents.

Here is a winter wall hanging that I finished a week or so ago. It is another one of those many years in the making quilts. It has already been packed away with the Christmas stuff so that I can be pleasantly surprised when I pull it out and find a spot for it next year. I'm really not all that enamoured with it anymore. Oh well, it's finished.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I feel amazing!

My motivation factor has been low lately, both physically, creatively, and in the home. Today, I stepped out of that comfort zone and made myself do something! I took my brand new suit and goggles and went swimming after my cycle class. I was able to swim 1/2 mile! I know freestyle is not my thing, I was expending lots of energy and getting nowhere, real fast. But I felt my breast stroke was sleek (or as sleek as someone who has not been swimming breast stroke in many, many years). YES! I feel loose, sore, comfortable, and psyched! Maybe I will be able to do the bay swim.

On another note, I was knitting the other night while waiting for Audrey at theatre. One of the other mom's came in and said to her son, "Oh look, Miss Dana is preparing to get old." I said, "Actually, I'm keeping myself young by teaching myself something new." First time in my life I've had a comeback! Getting old, my foot.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just for Today

Just for today, I give myself permission to sit in the hot tub without any call of duty, to do what I deem needs to be done, to read, to quilt, to nap, to search the internet, to dream of new projects, to start something new, whatever I want. Today is for me. Then when the girls come home and the responsibilities start, I will take care of them, reveling in the fact that I can, enjoying the art of motherhood and homemaking.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

SPT - Sisters

I have two daughters. The relationship between them is something I never, ever envisioned. They are the most amazing young women. They have been friends since the birth of the youngest. They are loving and tender towards each other but are also able to utter things to each other that neither would let anyone else say to them. They are equipped to tackle the world, knowing that at one time or another, they will have the support of the other. They are each others best friend. They have changed my life.

I have a sister. She is everything I feel I am not but my heart swells with the things she is and the things she does. I don't think I have ever been mad at my sister. She is my best friend and I talk to her almost daily. We laugh quite often, mostly at ourselves, and know that no one finds us as funny as we do. Then we find humor in that. I was priveledged to witness and coach the birth of her second child. I love her. She has formed me.

I have a Mother who has a sister. They, too, share the mysterious bond of sisterhood. All through their adulthood, they have socialized or vacationed together. Even when almost a thousand miles apart, they managed to get family and friends to vacation together. They share a love of books and movies and the ability to laugh until they snort. They, too, come from another bond of sisterhood. That of their mother and her two sisters, who also had the fortune to witness the bond of sisterhood with their mother and sister.

And so it goes, I don't know if that was the beginning or not. I have not done the research. What I do know is that each of us was formed by this bond. It has determined the way we treat one another, respect others, and care for one another. I would not be who I am today if it were not for the women in my life, both older and younger.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Corners of My House #1

This is one of my favorite spots in the house. It is our unfinished sunroom. This, literally, is the corner where I sew, read, drink coffee or wine, browse magazines, dream, listen to the radio with my Handsome Prince every Saturday, and snooze in the middle of the afternoon. I have my collection of projects, materials, books, etc. on the shelf. There is a basket of yarn, hidden by the quilt in progess. There is never a want for something to do here. It's such a wonderful spot. When the sun is shining, all the animals can be found lounging in a bright warm spot, the girls spread on the floor or sofa doing their homework, me in the corner, the music playing. This is home.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

She's leaving home, bye, bye

Emma and I arose early for a visit to Shenandoah University for an Open House. This was my first experience. Pat (known as My Handsome Prince in previous posts) has gone on others with her. Boy, did I miss out on college. Anyway, the open house started with a short theatre production which was very entertaining. That right there was impressive to me (I don't think I'm hard to impress). We went from there to majors. The couple who head up the Music Therapy major were very thorough, exciting, and informative about concepts in music therapy. Unfortunately, Emma will never be rich in money, but truly in experience, if she follows this path. It does suit her. Then there was financial aid, student affairs, and a tour of the campus. I really liked the college, not the price, but I think she would be eligable for some scholarships. One, in fact, the Unique Major scholarship, which has to do with the fact that Music Therapy is not offered in any Maryland University (and for some reason the American Music Therapy Association is located in Silver Spring, MD, get that?). I'm sold, but I'll probably be sold next Saturday when we visit Immaculata in PA.

How in the world can I let my first born go? This is just breaking my heart, yet I'm so excited for her future. I wish I could go with her. What will I do if she really decides to go to Chapman in California?

Friday, January 20, 2006


I'm posting this photo because it makes me smile. I need that smile. Gus is on the left, he is 11 years old, and came from the local animal shelter. Shelby is on the right, she is 9 years old and came from GRREAT.

To put it mildly, this has not been the best of weeks. A little PMS, mixed in with a daughter with a broken tailbone, a dog (Gus) with torn ACL plus hip damage ($$$$$$), feeling like a bad Mommy, no creativity, a disaster of a house. Woe is me. So what to do? I am in control and can change this, can't I?

On the bright side, it is a beautiful day. I would love to share it with the puppies, but one is at the vet. I'm awaiting results on child x-rays and puppie ex-rays, so really can't leave. I guess there is nothing left to do but finish knitting my hat. That will make me feel better. Maybe I'll even pick up some small needles and knit a preemie hat - that will be even better. I'll be posting some photos this evening. The hot tub will be ready tonight for a good soak and there is a bottle of wine chillin' just for me. Hmmm, a good dinner is in order too, lasagne sounds yummy. TTFN

PS Can you tell I'm working on that Letting Go goal?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday - I am not Lisa

This was a well loved photo. I had this on my bulletin board for years, back before all the safe photo stuff. At one point, I stuck a thumbtack on my face. This is a photo taken in 1967 with my best friends, Lisa and Lisa. I am the one looking so adoringly at my friends. Backtrack 3 years or so. My Mother is pregnant with me and working in an office. There are other pregnant women and the usual talk of due dates, boy or girl, and, of course, names. Well, my Mom had been thinking of the name Lisa until a couple other women mentioned this fact also. Scratch that, she thought, and asked her neighbor in the office if she had any suggestions. "How about Dana?" Hence, me. In this photo, had I known this story, I probably wished my name was Lisa too.

Monday, January 16, 2006


About 15 years ago,we met while camping at Cape Henlopen, De. She had children 1 year older and 1 year younger than Emma. Audrey wasn't around yet. The kids connected and we connected. There was just something natural about our ability and ease with each other. We went our separate ways. The following year, without plans, we met again! We spent more time together, exchanged addresses, phone numbers and vowed to meet again. Well, time went on, we kept in touch, we arranged to meet earlier and earlier for girls and kids only camping. I can remember getting to my site and, what seemed a few minutes later, she pulled in with her camper. Before anything, we would scream and hug, so happy to be together at Cape Henlopen. Our sites were the gathering area. We met other families, other kids. It stopped a few years ago when they moved to NC. It sounds like it went on for 15 years, but truthfully, we probably only met 5 times, but it was intense and great! We did manage to meet off season, at our homes, every once in a while. She was a Pediatric nurse and a personal trainer. She was the most friendly person, with a smile and conversation for everyone. One time, she went to the pier for something simple, and I know spent an hour there talking to the old fishermen. She was just like that. She was exciting and easygoing. She was beautiful to me. She inspired me. I will mourn her loss, for her family, for myself, for her friends. I will know she is with me every year when I make that annual trek to Cape Henlopen, as her wish was to have her ashes spread there. I will rejoice that the world is truly a better place because of the part she played. C-ya at the beach, girlfriend.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Things that made me smile today

  1. The moon on a dark, quiet morning visible through the bare trees
  2. Elementary school kids walking to school. What a joyful bunch!
  3. Working up a good sweat.
  4. Steamy, hot shower after working up a good sweat
  5. Patchouli soap
  6. My amorous husband who likes my low cut jeans
  7. Field trip to Wegmans with new friends
  8. A friend following his dream

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My Finds

I need a little creativity to recover from all the mundane sorting and furniture moving. So, I decided to photograph my latest finds. Here are my metal/wire freezer baskets I got at an appliance repair store for $5 total. The wool is from my own stash.

These are cd cases from the dollar aisle at Target. I just love that aisle! I'm thinking of embellishing them somehow, either paint, bubble stickers, fabric, not sure yet.

These are my children's baby sweaters, knit by my Grandfather's wife. One of them is almost 18 years old and the other 13. They've been through 3 or 4 kids. My sister just recently gave them back to me. Aren't they sweet? The problem is, I don't know whose is whose, so I'll be sorting through photos to find out.

This is my mess. It's embarrasing to share it, but it might keep me accountable to continue sorting, storing, purging, and most importantly, creating. I'll post the after photos hopefully this weekend.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

But first

Today's task was simple and truthfully, I was looking forward to it. Clear out the tv room to make room for a new sofa. I had someone coming to pick up the old set. All I had to do was move one big bookshelf. HA! But first, I had to clear off the small kitchen bookshelf to make room for the taller one from my sewing area. Move that small bookshelf to the sunroom. So far, so good. Then had to clear off the sewing area bookshelf and take it upstairs to the kitchen, put everything from the first one to this one. But first...everyone knows that you must wipe down walls, shelves, vaccum floor or mop it when you move the furniture. When was the last time you were able to get back there? Of course, in the meantime, I'm finding all sorts of crap I don't want anymore. It gets stashed on a table somewhere so I can list it here (I highly advise you find one in your area - you can collect even more junk!). Okay, now I'm getting somewhere. Two shelves to go. I move my sewing table, a feat in itself, as it has 3 machines on it. Do I really need all these machines? No. Another thing to list. Vaccum, dust, move, clear, sort, move, wipe, clean, move, answer phone, show furniture, clear, dust, vaccum, move. My house will not recover for weeks! Or for that matter, neither will I. Ugh.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy day

Saturday was my birthday. What a simple day. What a perfect day. I remember when I used to expect spectacular things and was always disappointed. I never realized that things were spectacular as they are. I started my Saturday as I always do, with my Handsome Prince beside me, drinking coffee, listening to Car Talk. As the day progessed, I finished our holiday letter, walked the puppies, and went with Em to get waxed. In between things, I continued to work on the binding of my Seasons Quilt. I wanted service gifts from the girls (although Audrey strongly objected to cleaning her room for me, she did not feel it was truly for me, little does she know). Emma made me a couple cds, which I love! One of them I can't use, though because of some strong language (MF, over and over, we had a good laugh!). Audrey baked me some cupcakes from this month's Country Living Magazine. Here they are:

MMMMM! Rich and delicious! My cycle class this morning had to work hard to make up for me eating these babies. We ended the day by going out for Burgers, here, and to see Walk The Line. All four of us thought the movie was great! A perfect day.

On another note, here are some things that I have finished lately:

An online swap with a group of primitive appliquers and quilters. This one is just for us! First quilt I've ever made for our bed.

The first hat I ever knit. This is Audrey's hat. I am quite pleased with it. Even though she picked out the yarn and pattern, she has yet to wear it. That's ok, it was a pleasure to make.

And a pair of Isotoner slippers I emebellished. I dryfelted the squiggle and added some MOP buttons. I just love wearing these! An yes, it is another thing just for me! After years of making things to give away, I'm keeping a few.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

This was supposed to be fun!

Every single time I try to do something on this blog, I screw it up! It takes me a half hour just to figure anything out! I'm such a complete computer moron. If anyone is reading, please bear with me, sooner or later I'll get it (of course then I'll slap myself on the forhead, knowing I am really a moron). Yesterday, It took Emma and me forever just to get my picture on my profile and another forever to get that photo with my profile on the blog. Now I'm messing with links. OMG! Forget it! I'm going back to doing laundry.

Monday, January 02, 2006

In 2006 I'd like to:

Communicate better with Audrey, see Emma settled @ a good college of her choice, become a certified personal trainer, finish all those unfinished projects (or at least a few), thoroughly gut storage room, continue the romance with my handsome prince of 20 years, let go, pray more, see Emma in a healthier relationship, dance lessons with my husband (before the military ball), be better (spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend), redo bathroom, plan camping/kayak trips, take time to wonder, one of three physical challenges: bay bridge swim, body building competition or 1/2 marathon, enjoy the moment, do 10 pull ups.