Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The madness continues around here. We're at the theater nightly now, finishing up the props and sets for Little Shop of Horrors. We're running around town during the daytime, finding elusive items like period appropriate phones, cheap cigars and fake guts. We're finishing up annual dental exams, doctors appointments, hockey tournaments and dance camps.

Alas, Dancing Diva now needs surgery to correct her ankle issues. She is scheduled for surgery in 2 weeks. So, of course, we have pre-op stuff to take care of as well.

In those little snippets of time in waiting rooms, riding to tournaments and waiting for various and sundry kids, I have managed to finish one of two baby gifts for Bubba's swim coach, who just happened to become the proud father of twins last week.

I'm frantically trying to squeeze a few more minutes into each day to finish the second cardigan so that we can present them to the coach at the Summer Season Final Banquet.

In the meantime, poor Cable Down Raglan is languishing in the corner. I'm really hoping it doesn't start whining and writing letters of complaint before I can get back to it. While I'm still very much in love with it, babies will always come first.

Especially adorable twin boys.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Belated Anniversary

Sheesh, I know I've been in the Insane-Summer-Schedule-Frenzy but I can't believe I missed my blogiversary this year. I've now been officially blogging for 3 years and 5 days.

Not that it's a huge milestone but it might have been fun to throw a little whoop-di-doo of some sort.

But the ISSF has been relentless and I'm a little kerfaffled right now. Perhaps I'll come up with a little give-away next month - a kind of 3 years and 1 month-iversary deal.

For now, I'm still running rampant in the hamster wheel of life. I promised an update on Dancing Diva, so here goes. Her official diagnosis is posterior ankle impingement syndrome. In layman's terms, she is one of the lucky 7% of the population that has an extra little bone in her ankle. In the normal scheme of things, this little bone doesn't cause any issues - except in dancers, gymnasts and swimmers. Those sports tend to use an exaggerated toe-point position that causes a ligament that passes through the back of the ankle to get caught on and snap around this extra bone. That's where DD's little saga started.

The good news is that she is improving, albeit somewhat slowly. Her latest treatment involves a topical patch containing cortical steroids on the affected ankle. This is supposed to reduce inflammation and irritation. It seems to be working but we're moving forward cautiously. If it flares up again, surgery will be the next logical step. Fortunately, the surgery will just remove the extra bone, clean up any scar tissue and not require any special reconstruction. Recovery should be fairly rapid and will hopefully eliminate the source of the problem. She is working hard to follow her Physical Therapist's exercise regime and follow all the proper steps in her recovery. Ideally, we'd like to avoid surgery but are also content if the specialists determine surgery will be her best hope of continuing to dance.

Because she has decided to continue dancing. She has cut back significantly the number of classes she will be taking this year. So for now, she retains her title of Dancing Diva.

In other non-knitting news, DD and I are Co-Prop Mistresses for the upcoming Chaska Valley Family Theater production of Little Shop of Horrors. We've been working hard to come up with all the little doo-dads and thing-a-ma-jigs that this dark musical comedy requires. It's been a great deal of fun to do this with DD and I'm looking forward to seeing the show. The actors chosen are fabulous and it's going to be hilarious. If you're in the Twin Cities area, consider coming to see the show. Fair warning, though, it is rated PG-13. It's not really for the little ones (though Bubba and Peeps are both begging and wheedling to come see it.)

Well, I kept one promise but have broken the other. I didn't manage to get any photos taken today of the Cable Down Sweater but I am making progress on it. And a couple other little knitting projects.

I swear I am making progress! No kidding, I really am. You just wait - I'll show you - when I get a picture, that is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Well, life has been as hectic as it usually is in the fall. I truly thought blogging in the summer would be much easier to do. Alas, it was all a fragile dream that has crashed into a million pieces.

In knitting news, I continue to plug away at the Cable Down Raglan. I have about 6 inches left on the first sleeve. I did get a chance to try it on and it's going to be one of those roomy sweaters you wear over something else at the ski lodge while you hold your breath as your 8 year old bombs a black diamond hill. In other words, the perfect Minnesota Winter Sweater.

I also found myself at Coldwater Collaborative twice during the Crazy Days sale. I was as out of control as usual and picked up enough pink Rowan Calmer to make a long sleeve version of the Daily Sweater from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. I also found myself meeting a friend there without my ubiquitous knitting bag in tow and ended up getting another pair of 40" size 1 Addi Turbos and 2 skeins of sock yarn. Since I'd forgotten my bag, I just had to have a project to work on while my friend and I chatted over coffee and scones, following our shopping trip.

I have some non-knitting type news as well. For the past month or so, I've been working on getting certification as a stroke and turn judge for swimming. Since I've been a Hockey Mom for 10 years and done all the Hockey Mom duties over the past few years; and I've been a Dance Mom for as many years, doing all the Dance Mom duties required, I decided being a Swim Mom required the some extra effort as well. Gotta be fair to all the kiddo's, doncha know. Anyway, I spent the entire weekend at a swim meet, shadowing officials and learning the ropes of officiating at swimming events. I need one more shadow session at the A level to gain my certification, which will probably have to wait until fall, since the long course season is nearly over. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to shadow at finals or state events, which is all that are left of this season. But now I'll be able to add Stroke & Turn Judge to my Mommy resume.

There is tons more going on but I've got to take Dancing Diva to her physical therapy session right now. Which is going very well, which leads to even more news on the family front. But you'll just have to stay tuned for an update later.

And pictures. I promise I'll get some pictures up here - soon.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Home Again - Alleluia

Well, Summer Vacation '09 was not an unmitigated success. It wasn't the vacation from h*ll but it wasn't at all what I planned on or expected.

First of all, it rained for 3 days straight. It seemed as though the minute we left the great state of Minnesota, the heavens poured down. The closer we got to our destination, the harder it rained. The only blessing was that the rain slowed to a light misting when we arrived at the campground - just long enough for us to erect the tent and toss sleeping bags and suitcases into it. Alas, the skies began to fall as soon as we were in the tent and continued bombarding us all night.

I am incredibly thankful that my hubby and son had spent extra time waterproofing the tent last summer. We were nice and dry all night inside the tent, if a little cold. You see, the temperatures dropped in the night - right to the bottom extreme of the temperature rating on all our sleeping bags. In the morning, I found two little girls huddled in the bottom of their sleeping bags. It took several minutes of digging to find them down in the depths of their flannel cocoons. And Hockeyman, being the rough and not-so-ready type, decided he was too tough to bring his sleeping bag and only brought a lightweight blanket along. The only bright side to that brilliant decision is he was up at dawn, starting a fire in the ongoing drizzle and fog of the morning. It took him quite some time to get a decent blaze but at least he was motivated to keep trying, while the rest of us snuggled down in our sleeping bags, praying for some sun and heat. Hockeyman thoroughly regretted his choice to ignore his very wise mom's repeated instructions to bring his sleeping bag. (Teenagers think they know it all - teeheehee - this time Mom was the smart one.)

Because we were only able to set up the sleeping tent, I was unable to cook breakfast in the morning. The screened cooking tent stayed in it's bag because the ground was far too wet and muddy to risk trying to set it up. So, off to town for breakfast. After breakfast, we scouted around the local area for indoor activities.

After a day of eating out, bowling, playing board games in the campground game room, we retreated to our tent for yet another wet and even colder night. This led to another issue that made the trip a little less pleasant than it could have been.

Since Hockeyman didn't listen to his brilliant female parent, we had to improvise the sleeping arrangements a bit. So, Mom & Dad's sleeping bags were zipped together into one big sleeping bag and we invited Peeps to join us. That would allow Hockeyman to have Peeps sleeping bag and hopefully sleep a little more comfortably.

Now, you'd think that inviting the youngest member of the clan to join Mom & Dad in a double sleeping bag wouldn't be that much of an inconvenience. However, Peeps, who is just 48" tall and only weighs 40 or so pounds, is the biggest sleeper on the planet. She grew up with a few insecurity issues as a toddler and would often sneak into Mom & Dad's bed for comfort in the middle of the night. That was when we discovered her remarkable super power. She had this astounding ability to splay out all her limbs, turn sideways and take up 3/4's of a queen-size bed. No matter how many times you would shift her into an appropriate sleeping position, she'd rearrange herself into the most space-consuming positions imaginable and push one or both of us off the bed.

As a result of this amazing display of super-human sleeping size, my hubby has banned Peeps from sleeping between us and now I act as a buffer between Peeps and Hubby. So I spent my remaining nights sleeping in the middle of the double sleeping bag (which kept unzipping everytime someone turned over and exposing my body to the cold, night air), being kicked and slapped by the biggest little sleeper in the world (who also is know to giggle hysterically in her sleep - cute but definitely a sleep-banishing sound) and slipping between the two air mattresses under the sleeping bags (putting a portion of my bum in contact with the cold ground for a good portion of every night).

Alas, it stayed cold, cloudy and damp the rest of our vacation. We did get enough dry times to squeeze in horseback riding, go kart driving, a train trip to an historic logging camp and museum, a petting zoo, miniature golf and some fishing. However, I only cooked 2 meals the whole week, leaving an entire cooler of food in the car to be brought back home and unpacked.

We had a great time laughing and playing board games together, as well as enjoying a fabulous read-aloud book every night. So, while the rain kept this trip from being what we expected, it did bring a lot of togetherness and family memories. (And a few bruises on Mom, courtesy of the worlds biggest little sleeper and a horse named Tex).

And that's what family vacations are really all about . . . right? (Ah, memories - not bruises)