Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I love using the old craft books and cookbooks that once belonged to these good ladies. Many of the patterns and recipes have faint notes written on them. Coming across their familiar handwriting on a page always gives my heart a little tug. Both of these ladies have been gone for many years now, but I feel that they are still giving me loving advice when I find a recipe note to "chill longer" or "use less liquid".
The booklet pictured above was my mother's and has a 1953 copyright. It is from the Bernhard Ulmann Company and contains a plethora of basic patterns, a few of which I have used before. With its 30 cent price tag, I can safely say that my family has gotten its money's worth from this original investment.
Apparently I am not alone in my fondness for good old basic patterns. I found a web site that has the patterns from this very booklet listed for free on line. (I note that their edition cost a whopping 50 cents - such inflation!)
Shortly, I will begin making the Classic Mittens from the pattern you can find here. The directions give the knitter a choice of a two needle or a four needle version. I am going to try to duplicate the colors of the Kate Spade mittens I wrote about earlier. Of course, back then they were $75.00 mittens. They are a better deal now, reduced to $53.00.
I have some suitable pink and white yarn on hand for this project. Now I just need to locate a bit of that bright orange. Oh, gosh, I am going to end up buying more yarn, aren't I?
That's OK. Mom Coombs and Grandma Holmes have left me well-supplied with enough patterns to use it all up.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I think this photo was probably taken and developed by our father, John Coombs, who was playing around with photography as a hobby around that time. The location is likely St. Paul, Minnesota, because that is where I was born.
I have been very lucky with my older sisters. We have remained on good terms for lo these many years. They are both good, giving, supportive, and loving people.
As a small child, I was often the recipient of many creative and generous gifts from my sisters. I remember being delighted by a coconut bunny cake Ruth Ann made at Easter one year. Years later, she made my wedding dress when I was married (the first time.)
Tonight, we three sisters will gather again to celebrate Ruth Ann's birthday. We and my HH* and possibly my son Tom will be going to a nice restaurant nearby that Ruth Ann likes. It will be a small, low-key celebration.
But fair warning, Ruth Ann. Next year is a milestone birthday, so I think we're going to have to pull out all the stops for that one.
However, for sheer pleasure and delight, I don't think I will ever be able to top your Easter bunny cake.
Happy Birthday, Ruth Ann!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
At noon, sunshine flooded into my classroom and I wanted to be a cat and bask in it. My boys dawdled with their assignments and gazed wistfully out of the window. Who could blame them?
After my work day at school was over, my friend and coworker Janine and I took a vigorous (for us) walk around the Village of Lake George. Too soon, the sun was slipping behind Prospect Mountain, but at least we got our walk in.
Driving home, away from the mountains, a bit more daylight lingered. And for the first time in weeks, I arrived home before pitch dark.
There is hope...
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Well, life intervened and it sat untouched for months at a time. I'd feel more guilty about not finishing it until now, but she hasn't finished college yet, either. Not that she hasn't been doing brave and honorable work for the US Army in Afghanistan in the meantime.
I hate to think how old that pink yarn really is. It may be pushing thirty.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The next day, our local paper informed us that a couple of a certain age had been struck by a car as they crossed Broadway, the main drag of Saratoga Springs, during the early evening First Night festivities. Badly hurt, they had been taken directly to Albany Medical Center.
This week we learned that Warren and Katherine Frederick, ages 59 and 60, respectively, have been ticketed for "suddenly entering the road" on December 31. Alcohol, the newspaper tells us, was not a factor. Both Mr. and Mrs. Frederick are due in Saratoga Springs City Court on February 24.
As one half of a similarly-aged couple (the HH* wishes me to re-word this as "slightly younger" couple) who was also zipping around Saratoga Springs that night, I find these charges a bit, uh, harsh. Talk about adding insult to injury!
Welcome to tourist-friendly Saratoga Springs, folks! Next time, Mr. and Mrs. Middle-Aged Couple, just stay home and mail your money in, wouldja please? You need to stop cluttering up our streets with your broken bodies.
* HH = Handsome Husband
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Just then, a next door neighbor came out and I said to the man, "Can you help me get my car out? I need to get to the hospital. I'm going to have my baby."
"Sorry," says he, "I'm late for work." And into his car he hopped and off he drove.
Why I didn't just call a cab or something, I don't know. I was just so mad that I shoveled like hell and like the Little Red Hen, did it myself.
Five hours later, a handsome baby boy arrived, 23 inches long and weighing in at 9 lbs, 2 oz.
That baby of yore is a fine, tall man today and a daddy himself now.
Happy birthday, John. You are still my favorite reason to shovel a driveway.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Today, as we were working on the pattern, a young lady on my quiz team wandered in, seemed interested, so I handed her a pair of needles and got her started. In seconds, she had the hang of it.
"I like to knit...," said another student wistfully, waiting for the late bus.
Mid terms exams? Fiddle dee dee! Let's learn something really useful!
And so it begins...
Sunday, January 3, 2010
If, like me, you enjoy watching the birds in winter, mark your calendar for the 13th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 12–15, 2010. Click here for more information, materials, posters, etc. Take note, teachers of environmental science: free stuff, neat project.
Tomorrow, it's back to real life: work, that is. January is always a little extra stressful for high school resource room teachers. There are budgets due, midterm exams to plan for, students and staff with the winter blahs.
Still, I count my blessings that I have a job, and better yet, one that I enjoy. Tomorrow may be a little busy, but I will be warm and dry, and I won't have to do any heavy lifting. Great kids to work with, too. Who could ask for anything more?
Click here for the Internet source of the winter birds image, above.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Next stop: the Joey Thomas Big Band at the City Center where we joined in with the enthusiastic crowd for a couple of slow dances. The many couples, both young and old, doing accomplished jitterbugging (below) was impressive. Makes me think there is hope for civilization.