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Archive for December, 2007

Oh, the whirlwind of the holiday season! I’ve been trying to catch my breath and think about this holiday season in retrospect. Here are some of my thoughts:

The Good:

  • We gave many handmade gifts this year.
  • There were books, wooden toys, and more books, given and received.
  • We had snow!
  • We had a wonderful solstice with our friends and the babes. L3 and I shared a lovely sunrise in the tree house.
  • We hosted my mom’s family in our home. It was relaxing, tasty, and I loved having my grandparents out and about.
  • Lots of hugs and kisses (possibly more than usual!):

Holiday Kisses from Mama

The Bad:

  • Some new plastics did enter our home. My step-sister at least checked to make sure what she was getting the kids wasn’t on any recall lists!
  • Repeat gifts–great ideas, we just don’t need two of each of them.
  • Gifts that just don’t fit “us.” (Inkwench & AG: think our conversation about the striped container I showed you during your visit.)
  • Not enough sleep!
  • Having two projects not quite finished. I can only knit so fast, not have my hands fall off, and still get some sleep. But I hope both will be done by early 2008 (as in the first week!).
  • Having so many people keep asking us, “Don’t you have paper napkins?” (Nope, nor paper towels, nor sponges…)

The Ugly:

  • A glut of food and calories, not necessarily healthy ones! Our refrigerator is overflowing, as is my belly over the top of my pants. Thank goodness our schedule will shortly be returning to normal!
  • Agonizing over if we “got enough” for someone. I love giving gifts, but don’t love that part of the gift giving. However, the one person about whom I was agonizing–didn’t even get to see her open her gifts. It was actually a relief in that respect.
  • Seeing selfish and/or consumerist tendencies brought out in L3 by the present overload. Now that we are home and the mad rush of celebrating 5 different times is over (yes, indeed, FIVE), he seems to be leaving those nasty tendencies in the dust.

I hope all of you had an abundance of good, little-to-no bad, and especially no ugly. I’d love to hear about any highlights from your own holiday whirlwind (good or bad, sharing eases the pain!).

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You may have noticed a drop in my posting, you may not have. It’s been due to a combination of finishing up the semester and crafting my hands bloody (literally, needles are sharp!). My absolute favorite handmade holiday gifts this year have to be Hillary Lang’s (of Wee Wonderfuls, see Happiness in Blogland) Make-Along dolls. I purchased the pattern several months ago and have been itching to make them, but have waiting until I had more time. Tonight I finished their faces up and am sooo happy with them. Happy enough that if my kiddos don’t like them, I’ll keep them for myself, and I’m not really the doll type.

Wee Wonderful Dolls

I have more patterns for their backpacks, snowsuits, and some overalls, but I’m going to wait and let the kids help pick fabric for those things (and I’m running out of time before the solstice!). I love that my babes will have something handmade with which they can play rather than just wear! (They’re also getting handmade superhero capes and new PJs made by Mama.)

I also finished these socks tonight, for my step-father-in-law:
Ribbed socks

I got the yarn at Rhinebeck in October and have been working on them for a month and a half (slow going when multiple projects are on the needles). Fun facts:

Pattern: self-created generic toe-up pattern utilizing a 2 x 2 rib

Needles: US 2s

Yarn: Alpaca Sox: sooo soft, knits up wonderfully, and lots of yardage in one skein (450 yds)

Tomorrow the crafting continues. But for now, I need sleep!

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Doing a Happy Dance!

I made my first sale at my Etsy shop today!  I’m so filled with glee that I had to share the news on here.  🙂  And now back to cookie making. . .

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No, I DON’T Want a Bag!!

Really, if I tell you ahead of time, I mean it.  For something I can carry in my arms, out to my car with consumes enough nonrenewable, polluting resources on its own, I can use my arms which need the exercise.  (Because I live in a country/culture that doesn’t include walking to places as one of its conveniences!)  When I forget to bring a bag with me to stores, I generally try to remember to say, “No bag, please.”  The clerks who check me out overwhelmingly have the response, “Are you sure?”  “Yes, thank you.”  Then they continue to check me out, eye my purchases and tend to say, “You really don’t want a bag?”  “I really don’t want a bag!”

Grrr.  Forgive my rant, but I just am so sick of this response lately.  For heaven’s sake, if nothing else, you’re saving your place of employment money by not using as many bags!!  I realize many people aren’t aware of the impact of plastic bags in our world, so I try to be patient.  And that’s why I can come and express my angst about the whole situation here.  Misery loves company, share you bag angst (or other environmental pet peeves).

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There is something about taking some pointy sticks, wrapping some beautiful fiber around them in a series of knots that is soothing, beautiful, and inspiring. I love to knit. Even when my hands are cramped and in pain from making all of those stitches over and over again, I keep on at it. The process, the skill of knitting is satisfying in and of itself, but the completed project fills me, and seeing someone wear something I have knitted for them makes me want to burst.

Adding to my bliss is when I can combine it with other blissful things in my life, like teaching. Today I was blessed with the opportunity to spend time with my friend Kerry and to introduce her to knitting. Not surprisingly, she caught on quickly and I’m sure she’ll be done with her first project by tomorrow!

Currently my knitting consists of multiple projects for the holidays. Recently I finished my dad’s new hat, modeled here by L1:
IMG_3479.JPG

Details:

Pattern: Halfdome from Knitty Summer 2006

Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style in Coal and Fog

Needles: US 2s and US4s

Here’s crossing my fingers that my dad doesn’t lose this one!

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Thank you for the thoughtful comments left in relation to my question about responding to my students’ discontent. Our entire last class centered around reading the comments (all personal information was removed from them) and then having a discussion about them which morphed into many other discussions. Here are some highlights: (more…)

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Unintended Consequences

Students in my classes will tell you that I like to assign them a variety of work during the semester. I’m not a “just give tests” kind of teacher. It’s part of my teaching philosophy. Recently my psych of gender students completed and assignment called, “Interview Across the Generations.” This entailed the class coming up with a variety of questions to ask people derived from the topics we have discussed across the semester, and then the class was split equally into 4 groups, with each group assigned a particular age group to interview (adolescent, young adult, middle adult, older adult). We spent an entire class last week discussing the responses to the interview. It was from this discussion that the title of my post comes.

(more…)

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