Archive for February 2009

Roots in Marthon, Texas

February 28, 2009

I just got home after a very quick three day trip down to Marathon, Texas for my grandmother’s funeral.   I have to be honest and tell you I really did not want to go and tried to think of a good and valid reason why I shouldn’t.   Guilt wouldn’t let me.   And now that it is behind me I have to say I am so very glad I went.   The trip down was better than I figured it would be.   I saw blue sky that I had not seen in a very long time.   In fact, I think it was more blue there than I’ve ever seen here.  I saw lots of countryside.   I saw old family homes.  I saw family I had not seen in a long while.   I saw family I had never met before.   I learned a lot about my grandparents that I never knew.   Get ready because I am going to blog about all of it, not in one post but in several.

First, I wanted to address the pronunciation of Marathon, Texas.   My mother, grandmother and uncle, who were born and raised in or close by have always said:  Mara-thun.   Equal emphasis on each syllable.  When I have talked about Marathon over the years many have said:  Isn’t it MaraTHON?    I’ve heard this over and over throughout the years.   When I was tasked with contacting the local (and this meant Midland-Odessa and the San Angelo) newspapers to make sure my grandmother’s death notice was posted I had this situation happen.   Me:  Does your newspaper cover the Marathon (mara-thun) area?   Guy:  I don’t even know where Marathon (mara-THON) is.   I noticed immediately and held my tongue.   I wanted to smart back to him and say:  if you don’t know where it is, why are you correcting me on how to pronounce it?   lol   So that become my mission (in my head) and that was to find out exactly HOW the natives of Marathon, Texas pronounce the name of their hometown.

The first stop we made was at the local library.   We were desperate for a restroom and the Shell station had TWO busses parked in the parking lot so we knew not to stop there.   Here is a picture of the tiny but very nice library in town:

Public Library of Marthon, Texas

Public Library of Marthon, Texas

There was a very nice lady named Cheryl working inside.   She allowed us to use the restroom.   We were very thankful!

But I digress….I was engaged in conversation later with my mother’s cousin Shirley who has lived nearly her entire life in Marathon and my uncle who grew up there.   I took the opportunity to ask both of them how it is pronounced and each said:   Mara-thun.   So there.   That is it and I will defend how ‘we’ say it from now on.   lol  My mother’s cousin said it’s a sure thing that when anyone says Mara-THON that they are not a native.   Case closed!

I took 133 pictures.   You may see many of them so get ready!   lol  More on another day.

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Wackiness

February 23, 2009

I bet you didn’t know that I had a grandmother still living….that is until Saturday.   She was 91 years old and had not been able to talk for a few years.   The last time I saw her she had already had a stroke or two.   I was warned that she might not be able to say much.   I remember sitting in her room at the nursing home and trying to make conversation.   I felt pretty sure she knew what was going on so I asked her if she knew who I was.    She shook her head yes but didn’t say a word.   My mother went on talking and pretty soon my grandmother turned to me and managed to say the word ‘granddaughter’.   I had to smile and say yes I was.   I was her first grandchild.

I’ve always known I was the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter.    Today I found out I was the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter!   Whew!!!   Now I know my bossiness comes from a long line of DNA.   🙂

Now for the wacky part.   My grandmother and grandfather were from deep West Texas.   When my mother was in high school they moved from Texas following my great grandparents to Huntsville, Arkansas.   My grandfather died shortly after they moved there and was buried there until 10-12 years ago.   My grandmother remarried a year or so after he passed away.   Ten to twelve years ago after a bad spat, my grandmother called my mother and begged her to promise  that she’d bury her (my grandmother) next to her first husband, my natural grandfather.   My mother promised.   Well, grandma also wanted to be buried in West Texas.   Hmmmmmmm.   So my mother and her brother contacted the appropriate authorities in Arkansas and Texas, had my grandfather dis-interred (Lordy, I hope I spelled that right).   My folks then drove to Arkansas and picked up the new casket with my grandfather’s remains ( which were considerably less than in 1955).   They drove back to Oklahoma and waited until the next weekend and then drove to West Texas where a new grave was opened and buried my grandfather back in his native land.   Just in case you had not figured it out yet, my grandparents never had much money.   So with that in mind, this is the last of the wackiness, my uncle is going to rent a U-Haul and drive my grandmother’s casket from Kansas to deep West Texas.   My mother had the headstone prepared here in Oklahoma and we’ll be taking the headstone to the funeral.   I don’t know if I have ever heard a more wacky story.   Have you?

Stash Enhancment

February 21, 2009

Hey, Carolyn!    Here it is:

Pagewood Farms Willow Creek  Really Redd

Pagewood Farms Willow Creek Really Redd

Loopy Legends by Zen String Debbie's Autumn Joy

Loopy Legends by Zen String Debbie's Autumn Joy

Malabrigo Lace Jacinto

Malabrigo Lace Jacinto

Shibuiknits Sock

Shibuiknits Sock

Lorna's Lace Sheperd Sock

Lorna's Lace Sheperd Sock

Malabrigo Lace  Garnet

Malabrigo Lace Garnet

Koigu-one solid, two variegated

Koigu-one solid, two variegated

I’m using the Koigu for a drop stitch scarf.   We saw the scarf and got the pattern at Kirkwood Knittery.

I plan to use the Jacinto Malabrigo for a Flutter Scarf.   I’ll make a triangle scarf from the Pagewood Farms Willow Creek.   We saw a gorgeous Evelyn Clark scarf/shawl at Kirkwood and it had beads incorporated into the edge points.     The Lorna’s Lace Shepherd Sock is for a hat for my nephew.   It is a pattern I found in a Rowan book at The Needle Niche and the hat is a loooooooooong stocking hat that is so long you use the smaller end as a scarf.   Sounds odd but it was really cool.   No specific plans for the Shibuiknits but I’ve played with another skein and I adore that yarn.   Nice twist and a joy to knit with.   I don’t have specific plans for the rest,  those were skeins I couldn’t pass up.

So that’s the stash enhancement from the Missouri trip.   Which reminds me, I need to get busy knitting!   Hope everyone has a great weekend!

TGIF

February 13, 2009

If I thought last week was a blur this week went by much faster.   But last week was much more fun.   For those of you who haven’t heard by now six of us (Anita, Emily, Karen, Marjie, Terri and I) drove to St. Louis for a big yarn shop crawl and some relaxation.

We all met at the airport (Park and Ride is great!) where we loaded a van we rented for the trip.   We put restrictions on ourselves that we would only bring one suitcase, one knitting bag and a snack for the road.   I thought it was a great idea but as it turns out we still packed that van pretty full and that was GOING.

Our first stop was The Red Onion in Joplin.   Let me tell you now that the food is good and the desserts are fantastic.   Leave room for dessert, you won’t regret it.   Across the street happens to be The Needle Niche, a lys.   It is a smallish shop that full of nice yarn such as Rowan, Nashua and such.   The lady working that day was fun to talk to and was working on a gorgeous shrug from one of the Rowan books.   There were many examples of intarsia projects and she promised if you can knit with both hands you can do intarsia.   lol   I love the intarsia look but I HATE doing it.   Oh well…..some of those projects haunt me in a good way so I may have to give it a try again.

Our second stop was Simply Fibers in Springfield on Campbell.   Marjie and I stopped there in August so this was our second visit.   Carol, the owner, was there and so were two groups of ladies knitting.   The store was pretty full of people but also full of yarn!   She carries Noro, Sublime, Cascade 220, Frog Tree, Elsebeth Lavold, Dream in Color, Lorna’s Laces, Malabrigo and my mind has gone blank.  I promise you I am not doing it justice.   Carol was a great lady and made some yarn shop recommendations when she heard we were on our way to St. Louis.

We got into St. Louis rather late since we made long stops along the way.   We crashed and rested up because Friday was going to be a busy day.

We met in the lobby at 8:30 and went to a local eatery to have breakfast.   We finished just in time to drive over to The Loopy Ewe.   I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you this was THE store that motivated us for this trip.   I’ve followed Sheri’s blog since she started it and almost felt like I knew her before meeting her.   Well let me tell you this, Sheri is as warm and welcoming in person as she is on her blog.   The only thing that surprised me was how tall she is.   But I digress.   We were standing in the hall in front of the door waiting for 10:00 to roll around.   (We are so polite.  lol)   This lady walks in and sees us standing there and reaches over and pushes the doorbell.   Pretty soon the door opens and it is Sheri herself!   She sees all of us, gasps, grabs the Loopy Elf who rang the bell and pulled her in closing the door.   Before we could register what happened the door opens wide with Sheri’s big grin and her arm waving us in welcoming us to The Loopy Ewe.   I’ve seen the various shots on the blog but it doesn’t prepare you for the real thing.   There were rows and rows of gorgeous yarns.   So many that it was overwhelming in the beginning and I had to wander just to let it all soak in.   Sheri lined us up and took our picture as a group and put us on her blog!   (I’m a little late so if you have not seen it scroll back to 2-6-09.)   We felt like royalty!   Thanks to everyone who sent messages.   I think overall we spent a good 2 hours there and I won’t tell our totals but I think we dropped a pretty penny or two.  😉   Here are some shots I managed to take.   I am sooo bad about not taking pictures.

img_1417

We left The Loopy Ewe with promises to return.   That is no empty promise!

We then went to meet some friends of Emily’s for lunch.   If you haven’t read Anita’s blog yet, this is where she missed the step and broke her fibula.   Bless her heart!   It slowed her down some but that is one strong gal!   She only missed out on one yarn shop and that was Knitorious.   Sandy is the owner of that shop and she was great!   That shop carries Kauni, Malabrigo, Koigu, Blue Sky Alpaca, Schaefer, Colinette, Dream in Color, Lorna’s Laces, Noro and bunches more.   I think all of us left with lighter wallets after this shop also.   Sandy was so nice.   She gave us a group discount because there were so many of us.   How nice is that!!!!!

The next day we decided not to do Myers House because of Anita’s broken leg and stairs.   So the first shop we hit was Kirkwood Knittery.   I have to tell you this shop was very worth the trip.   Carol in Springfield had told us this was a must see and she was right.   KK carries Koigu, Isager, Rowan, Pagewood Farms, Schaefer, Blue Sky Alpaca, Crystal Palace, Louet, Dream in Color, Ella Rae, Elsebeth Lavold, Alpaca with a Twist, Arucania, Rowan, Noro, Prism and bunches more!   The shop isn’t as large as Knitorious but I think the yarn selection is fantastic.   The staff working that Saturday were very helpful and wonderful to us.

Our next stop was Knitty Couture.   This small shop is in the University City area.   She carries Rowan, Claudia, Schaefer, Alpaca with a Twist, Fleece Artist, Dream in Color, Cherry Tree Hill, Lorna’s Laces, Indie Dyer, Interlacements and much more.   She also had what I’d call some luxury yarns that I drooled over but not on.   lol   I was so yarned out by that time that I managed to resist.

On the way home we made a pit stop in Tulsa at Loops.   So overall we visited 7 very nice shops with a couple of new favorites in the mix.   But do you want to know what was nicest of all?   When each shop heard we were on a yarn crawl all of them went out of their way to make recommendations about another shop.   That was so nice and generous of each and every one.

The other fact I wanted to mention was how great it was to find great color selections!    I loved seeing all the color choices.   I heard several in our group make the same observation.   We love choices!

I know The Loopy Ewe carried Handmaiden and Fleece Artist but so did some of the other shops and now I can’t recall which ones.   We all fell in love with those yarns.   One of the shops said it was one of their best sellers.   I can see why.

So that’s the summary of the shops we visited.   I, for one, spent waaaaay too much money on yarn but it was so lovely!   I really don’t have a single regret but I do need to seriously cut back for awhile.   Sigh!   I know I have more yarn than I could ever knit in a lifetime but it just calls to me.   Oh well.   I did promise Marjie, Karen and Terri that I’ll leave my stash to them in my will.   lol   I wouldn’t want it to go to waste now would I?

Psst!   Arlene!   Terri almost ‘won’ at one shop.   I’ve never seen her buy so much yarn in one stop before!   🙂

We’ll be right back….

February 10, 2009

Had a whirlwind trip to St. Louis last weekend.   It was great.   Yes, Anita broke her ankle but she’s a strong gal.   Will be back with details later.

In Honor of St. Brigid

February 2, 2009

 

I’m Only a Cat

I’m only a cat,
and I stay in my place…
Up there on your chair,
on your bed or your face!

I’m only a cat,
and I don’t finick much…
I’m happy with cream
and anchovies and such!

I’m only a cat,
and we’ll get along fine…
As long as you know
I’m not yours… you’re all mine!

Author Unknown