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December 2010
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February 2011

cookies and kitties and fire

On Saturday, I finally gave in and went to a doctor, who let me know that I had probably had the flu and was now the proud owner of both a sinus infection and bronchitis. I'm an over-achiever that way. Antibiotics are being applied. The weekend, however, was low-key. 

Maddy and I made cookies.


The recipe came from Martha, natch. Hers are prettier but ours had a certain wabi sabi.


And mighty tasty.


The cats "helped."


McGregor and Trout, the kitty rarely pictured on the blog.

And by "helped," I mean "found the warmest spots in the house and occupied them.


Barney and McGregor.


It's hard to not just put your head on his belly and nod off, isn't it?

qotd, i haven't gotten to the sausages yet

"But she was smart. You could hear it in her voice, a slight tension, as in a coiled spring or a bent bow. I'm way ahead of you, it signified, but I'm too polite to leave you behind, so please think faster. It had always been something of a mixed blessing. It impressed college tutors and prospective employers at interviews, scared off boyfriends, infuriated her contemporaries at school and was completely wasted on her parents, who hadn't listened to a word she'd said since she was six."

-- Tom Holt, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages.


It appears that the silver button is the big favorite. Once I get the necklet finished-finished, I'll post a picture.

Also, on a purely self-promotional note, would it be a good idea to offer myself up on Skype, for, like, book clubs and such? Any thoughts?

button, button

I've finished the knitting on a Fear of Commitment Cowl. While my version is less long and less wide, the idea is the same. The yarn is Berroco Flicker, which is soft and sparkly. The chain/tubular construction seems to make up for the lack of elasticity that usually plagues alpaca-based yarns.

I now have a button conundrum.

Would you go with this one:



Or this one :



The button in the top photo was one I picked up on a whim from M&J in NYC. The button in the bottom is from Gita Maria, whose buttons are marvelous. Thoughts?

not up with figs + henry

Before you do anything else, please read Doula K's post on one of our meanderings, which involved a homemade skirt, a homemade sign, a heart full of love and a church.

Everything else I have today is less profound. Please feel free to stop reading. 

To those still left, Up with Figs was due to come back today. Lisa and I misunderestimated a couple of things about the fluid nature of time and promise it will be back next Wednesday. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I did manage to unpack some of the swag we hauled back.


The stuffed animal is the little mole Krtek, whose life and times are explained here. We loves him.

Artists set up booths on the Charles Bridge. Some of the art is more like "art" but some of it is truly remarkable. The  black and white etching is more detailed than this picture shows. I couldn't resist it, if only because it manages to capture one of the ineffable feelings Prague gave me. You can hope to see it best in small, almost wee sections. Well, that and that Prague is pointy.

The ribbon and green glass buttons are from Mar-Len. My plan is to knit a sweater (Rogue, maybe?) around them.

The other beads, including the yellowy green that I love and Doula K loathed, are from Star Beads. I have no idea what I'll do with them but I like having them around.

The tram matchbox simply amused me, as such things do.

There are a few other tchtockies hanging around the place. They, however, have other homes to go to and I know their future owners read the blog.

And, now, back to the snow day. It's still coming down here, in great white sheets. 


* Also, for the grandparents, etc, she got a couple of great pictures of the kids.

many things make a post

* Abi Sutherland is quickly becoming my favorite Making Light blogger. Her take on the Arizona shooting is pitch perfect. As is her take on That Guy.

* Rachel's Four Rules of Creativity.

* If you are in the city, please go see my girl Jomama Jones. Tell her I said hi. 

* My fear is that, someday, I'll have to wonder about whose underpants are in my bathroom.

* Crafting a recovery.

* "Interstate stories" are my favorites. Now I have a list of what to look for when I need something new to read. Not that that ever happens. I have more to read than I could possibly read, like, in my lifetime. But, still, you get the point.

* Sadly, I did not see this woman in Prague. And speaking of - does anyone know where I can get a crate of these? I had one on the flight home and crave more.

* The cuteness! It burns!

* I plan to read at least two of these.

* Not only do I hope my daughter has a little Kathleen Edwards in here, I hope I do, too.

* Five myths about why the South seceded. 

* Two from the Times: a collection of swallowed objects and the importance of fevers.

shameless self-promotion, 343 in a series + an apology

From the local almost-daily: pictures and memory.

The apology - 

There will be more about the trip, mostly about swag picked up along the way, coming soon. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you feel about such things. That is not why I'm apologizing.

No, the apology is that I am sorry that it's going to take a couple of days before I can deal with it. When we got home, late (late (late)) on Thursday night, I wasn't feeling all that well, which I chalked up to the rigors of trans-Atlantic travel.* I figured I'd jump out of bed on Friday feeling OK. 

Readers, that is not what happened. Long story short, the last 72 hours have passed in a feverish blur, coupled with a cough and phlegm and exhaustion and shivers. I'm thinking it is the flu, some dread German/Czech flu that my body could have easily shaken off under ordinary circumstance but that gained a foothold because of all of the planes, trains and automobiles. 

Given that, I'd still do it all again in a heartbeat.** But I'm moving slowly now, trying to recollect where I left the horse I rode in on, how to lure the horse back (I'm thinking peppermint candies) and if that's really the horse for me, given how it abandoned me when I was down. 

The kids, by the way, are just fine. 

We hit Dulles to wait out a 5 hour layover and they promptly passed out, because they are sensible and limber.


The Diva fell asleep on the floor, on top of Scott's coat and covered with her own coat.


The Boy folded himself into an airport seat and was out.

And unconsciousness is calling my name right now as well...


* I don't know how anyone survives trans-Pacific travel without dying. Which doesn't mean I don't want the opportunity to find out for myself someday.

** For Carol: we went because good friends are doing a sabbatic year in Prague and had space for us to crash. It was an opportunity that couldn't be denied. They intend to go back in seven years. We intend to intrude again. The Germany trip was to see a member of Scott's extended family. Visiting her was like being embraced in a warm hug for 24 hours. Can't wait to go back there, either.

yes, there is yarn in Prague

Doula K and I went out for some shopping. We ditched the kids. 

There were two yarn shops, picked from All Tangled Up's list. For what it's worth, Prague is not the best place to buy yarn. It is, however, a great place to buy beads and buttons, which is what I did. Pictures of the actual purchases will come out eventually. Now, however, the husband has packed them and I don't want to mess up his system.


This is Mar-Len. If you need any sewing notions and/or fabric and/or trim, this place is amazing. 


Seriously. Amazing.


We found a tea shop, too.


And a David Černý sculpture, which is a take off on the famous monument in Wenceslas square. I want to build an entire tour of the city just based on his work.



We also found the Hooters, just in case.


And the Spanish synagog, just in case.


And their gate. 

There's more about our wanderings, but I"ll leave that bit to Doula K. 

With that, we are out of here. I'm looking forward to being home but I also want to come back as soon as possible. When I get to Prague, can I stay with you?



and now for the packing

We're winding down on the Prague posts, because we are winding down on Prague. 


What I can't express in words or pictures is how beautiful this city is. You'll just be walking around then see something like this. 


This is the view from the Kampa playground. A playground with a view of several centuries worth of architecture. U.S. playgrounds must be a serious let-down.


Manhole cover.


Angry swan that wanted to eat Maddy.


Artsy shot of the statues on Charles Bridge.




Ditto, again.

And a random bit about the Boy, whose eye looks great now.


The house brand at the local grocery is Clever. Clever products are all over the apartment: Clever matches, Clever sour cream, Clever sugar. The Boy, when we walked in the door after our road trip, asked for some "Clever milk" before bed. He's going to be all kinds of disappointed when we return home and our products cease being Clever.

more Germany

And so, a quick tour of Mannheim, which a brief diversion into stories about an eyeball.


Schiller. You can tell which buildings were destroyed during the war. The ones that look new are.


The ones that look old are. This is the big Baroque Catholic church. 


They like their gold and silver.


Actually, a fair amount of this church was destroyed. Mannheim was a manufacturing center - still, is, really - and took a pounding.


This was the winter palace. It goes on for, oh, a half mile or so. It's good to be the King. Although this wasn't the King's. But you know what I mean.


I could do nothing but take pictures of doorknobs.


This is St. Hedwig's women's hospital. I took this picture for two reasons: 1) I like the name Hedwig and 2) they have a BabyKorb.


If you are a new mom and you've decided you can't handle the baby thing, you can leave your baby in the Korb and the good sisters of St. Hedwig's will take care of it for you. Which just seems humane. 

Speaking of hospitals, etc., the Boy woke up in the morning with a swollen, sticky eye. Our German friend called her doctor and she was kind enough to squeeze him in. It was all very exciting. He's fine now.

What was great about the whole situation was that we got to talk to other folks in the waiting room. There's just something about kids that make strangers want to talk to you about what it was like with their kids or what it was like when they were kids or how good the kids are being. We talked in a mix of English and German and, because I mentioned that I took a semester of it in college, Latin. We all agreed that it just goes so fast.

While I was in with the Boy and the doctor, who I want as my doctor, language barrier be dammed, Scott and an older man got to talking about the War. Scott and I kept wanting to apologize to everyone we saw in this part of the country, particularly when they would start to talk about what it looked like before we bombed the heck out of it. I mean, I'm glad the war was fought and that Hitler was stopped but I'm really sorry we had to destroy your stuff to do it.

Call it white liberal American guilt.

Anyway, the older man said to Scott, "We're glad you won the war." Which was one of those interesting and wonderful moments that you have when you're traveling.