Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sock #1 Complete!

I finally finished knitting that sock I posted a picture of in progress a while back. This is what it looks like now. I will admit that I had to re-take the basic sock class at Yarn Garden Knit Shop in Lawrenceville, GA, in order to accomplish this feat. Because by the time I got back to my project, I couldn't figure out where I was in the pattern. (I am not the only person ever caught in this predicament. As a matter of fact, there were three of us in the sock class that second day, and we were all repeaters!) Despite this apparent failure, I felt that I was performing a bit of magic as I executed the kitchener stitch to close the toe of my little sock. I mean, I started with nothing but desire and a skein of teeny tiny yarn and knitting needles that look more like toothpicks than knitting needles--and look what I have now! A perfect, tiny sock KNITTED IN THE SHAPE OF A BABY'S FOOT. There is NO SEAM. Even the colorful design of the sock seems somewhat miraculous to me; the yarn comes dyed to create splashes and stripes and zigzags as one knits.
My next project will be Sock #2, and then I will "graduate" to a pair of adult socks. But first, I need to scratch "Learn How to Knit Socks" from my list of 100 Things To Do Before I Die.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


We've been a blended family for about six weeks now. Inspired by the Top Ten Lists that are a regular feature on the David Letterman show, below are the Top Ten Ways My Life Has Changed during this time.

10. My water bill has nearly tripled.
Despite this, we regularly experience a shortage of HOT water.

9. I am also spending a lot more at the grocery store.
But, according to the kids, there is never anything to eat around here.

8. Dinner has become a more formal, if not more elegant, affair.
Since the seven of us cannot fit around the kitchen table, we actually dine in the DINING ROOM. John and I are committed to planning and preparing balanced, nutritious meals, and serving them up in style; I'm talking tablecloth, napkins, candles, THE WORKS. And most days I think we do a pretty decent job. But let go of any illusions you might have about us engaging in polite conversation about our respective days. Most evenings it is more like Comedy Central around the dining table, with the kids taking turns on center stage. John and I sit together at the end of the table nearest the kitchen and speak little/roll our eyes a lot.

7. I am spending a lot less time on the phone.
Why do I need to talk on the phone? John is RIGHT HERE! :)

6. I spend a lot more time partying.
Birthday parties, that is. We have already celebrated two. Annie turned 17 and Nathan turned 13 this month.

5. I have fallen woefully behind on American Idol.
Nathan and I used to spend Idol evenings together. Now he has his step-siblings to hang around with after school and after dinner. I asked him if I should watch without him. But he wants me to wait and catch up with him. Which isn't going to be easy. I now have ELEVEN episodes of American Idol on TiVo. That's a lot of catching up! Worse, I have no idea what America is talking about on Wednesday mornings.

4. I wake up a lot earlier.
The girls have to catch the school bus at 6:10. I will admit that I don't actually get up in time to facilitate that, but I can't help but wake up when I hear John's alarm going off at 5:30 every morning. Sigh.

3. I have comrades-in-knitting.
As luck would have it, Annie signed up for an art class at school, and her first assignments involved knitting. But she came into the class late, and was having a hard time catching up with everyone. Her classmates were nearly finished with their practice pieces (potholders) and getting started on their real projects (scarves). I was happy to come to the rescue. I pulled out
knitting needles and scrap yarn and taught her the basics (cast on, knit, purl, bind off) and helped her with her potholder. Then we went to Michael's and bought fat needles and yarn and made scarves. I am proud to report that Annie received a grade of 100% on her scarf. Val caught the bug, too, and we started similar scarves while Annie was working on hers. We haven't finished ours yet--after all, we didn't have a deadline!--but we will.

2. I am committed to getting my financial life under control.
John and I signed up for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at a friend's church. We meet on Sunday nights from 5-7PM. I know several people who have turned their lives around as a result of this program. John and I are hoping it will help us to get off to a good start as we combine our resources (and our debts) and plan our financial future.

And now, the Number One way my life has changed in the past six weeks...
1. I am no longer walking down the road alone.
And THAT feels great!!!