Monday, September 24, 2007

1 in 166

What's been going on?.....

One in just so many things. I sometimes escape. Sometimes I run to it with wide arms and smiles. I love it, and it terrifies me. It breaks me into pieces. It blesses me in so many ways...every single day.

It is autism.

In the last ten days, we have had:
* Parent Night...being the parent of the classroom's "difficult child." The child who suddenly becomes overwhelmed, breaks down and cries or throws his papers on the floor in the middle of class. Who can't stop making noises. And all I want to do is help people understand him...knowing I am a good mom.
* Crying episodes in the car on the way home from eight-year-old wondering why he just can't keep it all together, calling himself a dummy, and in five minutes completely oblivious to the meltdown.
* Making yellow, wooden safety signs for the front yarn to try to remind the sweet little person with no concept of cars or safety that...even though Mom is sitting at the end of the driveway...he has to learn to watch for cars on his bike.
* Angry and mean...thinking he is a grown up. Sometimes having to literally pick him up from the floor to talk to him.
* Five to fifteen minutes collapsing in misery every morning before school because he has to wear socks and sneakers to P.E...socks that have ridges in the toes and hurt his feet. And long-sleeved shirts that must fit directly at the wrist...not a half-an-inch too long or too short.

It has been busy. Long talks with the Special Ed case worker. Sitting in the parking lot with him sobbing and talking through the afternoon meltdowns with his school aide. Communication logs. After school meltdowns. IEP meetings to come.

Sorry if I've been a little out of sorts. It is all good...really it is! It is something I am used to...but I need to re-get-used-to time and time again. But I remind myself that this is not severe autism at all. Asperger's Syndrome is still not as difficult as it could be. He is loving. He's way smart. And he is so talkative. But the challenges are staring me down every day.

And I just looooove this kid so much. I just need to veg out sometimes. Get my head straight. Eat some cookies. Knit a bit.

And, of course, I had to write all weekend...literally. But I'm taking a few days to mellow. And knit.

I'll fill you in on some knitting this week. I'm excited about some progress...slow, but steady.

Hugs to everyone! Just want you to know that everything is good here...we're just keeping the train on the day at a time.

Luv, Bel

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Bit of Mindless Drooling

This has been a messed up week...not entirely this week itself...more like the last seven days. Dog days.

This is why my sister's sweet and rather gigantic dog, Kobe, is here today.

I hope you are all well. Seems like I haven't seen anyone in quite a while...except for Gina, who shares my love for clean cuticles (please don't say anymore!!) and Sandy (with whom I've been working on another dance sensation.)

Besides looking rather svelte in my disco gown...and MY, MY! Did I grow some bodacious Ta-Tas or WHAT???.....Here are the top ten bizarre things that happened this week:

1. I danced with Sandy on video...and did I mention that I grew some BODACIOUS TA-TAS??
2. Was the horrible victim of a malicious and rather nasty smearing by a woman who decided that I would be the sacrifice so she could get what she wanted...sorry, can't's a non-Mosaic work thing.
3. Chopped my hair. No, no photos yet. The cut is good...but I'm still not comfortable with it.
4. Thinking about going back to school. Am I nuts?
5. Want to get a tattoo. Hubby is working on #3.
6. My husband cleaned the oven yesterday...the world may be ending soon.
7. Starting the flame scarf with Gina this week...she's becoming a bad influence! Heehee!
8. Saving up for delicious yarn...three words: Classic Elite Posh
9. Decided I have way too much back fat.
10. Met the Mom and Grandmother of the young man who lived with Cho.

...Which made me realize how our lives are so intertwined and that we have such a strong impact on each other...or that we hardly know the people we believe we know. It made me think about the friends from long, long it was so easy to forget me in my hours of need...and now those friends are all strangers. It makes me firm in my determination to be a valued friend...and makes me value the friends I have now, the ones who joy with me, console me, wave a kiss in my direction when I'm feeling down (you know who you are!), and promise to visit me in the funny farm one day...

Love you, Bel the way....did you notice my new BODACIOUS TA-TAS in the Mosaic video??

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hello, Goodbye...???...And, No, I Don't Typically Resemble Edward Scissorhands

Yes. I should have blogged earlier this weekend. But I had a writing order due on Saturday night, and it was a doozie.
Glad to hear everyone talking about hair. Gina (don't we look like sisters here??) and I talked about the "long" and "short" of it on Thursday at work. As it turns out, I have a
tomorrow (Monday) at 1:00pm. So, here it is. I've been growing it for nearly 10 months. Now I need to make a decision........go short again...keep growing.... CHOP IT?? Or go LONG AS I CAN GROW hair...tangled in the trees...a hive for the bees...?? Sorry...flashing on the musical.

It is unruly. I agree there. I haven't had it cut in 4 months. To be honest, with the kids home for the summer and me working fewer hours, I spent the only extra $$ on yarn....what else!
I may not get any posts on this issue in time for the big event.....because in FIFTEEN HOURS I will either be.......
a.) a much tamer, less frizzy lion....or
b.) an ear-length cropped and somewhat spikey girl...with a lot more neck.
Hope I decide soon. It has been a 50/50 struggle all weekend!!!

Here is Pepper Jack...he looks as insecure as me! Can you tell he loves his toys?
Anyway...wish me luck. I've had short hair for over five years until this "growing" phase.
Love ya!!
~ Bel (off to the butcher!)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Feelin' BI-POLAR today

A bizarre week.
How, you ask?
Well, for one...we have TWO posts in one week. Miracles do happen.
And I completed my own project: the "One Week, One Night Out" Bag. Couldn't really think of a name. I saw a picture of a circular bag and liked it...I bet I can figure out one. Basically, I cast on 106. Decrease every third row with a S1, K1, PSSO...knit a few...then K2Tog. I just tapered it in, which gave it that hippie swirl. Then I cast on 12 stitches and made a huge "U," joined at the bottom, seamed up the sides...the rest is the handle. Finished a project in a week...very bizarre, indeed!
Here is the kicker...another BI-POLAR moment...I lined the bag. Yes, ME. The sewing-impaired. Shocked even myself. It was actually not very hard...tedious, yes...but not very hard.

Here is the looooovely Stevie Kate, my glamorous model. She actually sat through literally nine photos since my camera BITES!

Okay...back to the BI-POLAR issues.

So, we want to sell our house...move into town. Husband is all geared up...looking at houses...find a very, VERY nice out the price...can we afford it?? Then, he says..."no, we should wait...maybe in the spring..."
Can I smack him? He's making ME bi-polar! Blame HIM!!

ARRRRUGHHHHH!! It is so hard to find a house we can afford in B'burg. And then he gets all flakey on me. He's lucky he's cute...the stinker. So, I am bummed. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.
Since I'm feeling like a festering head case, might as well be annoying, too. SO, for everyone interested in the first annual BI-POLAR it is!
1. Potatoes....mashed or french fried?
2. Socks.....double point or magic loop?
3. Cravings.....salty or sweet?
4. Knitting Style....picking or throwing?
5. John Mayer.....puppy dog or "Ooooh, Baby!"
6. Amphibians.....cute or "ewwwww!"
7. Breakfast or cold?
8. the 'em or hate 'em?
9. Airplanes.....the way to travel or "heck no, I'll drive."
10. Sweet Tarts.....yummy or "why would they do something like that to perfectly good sugar?"

I look forward to seeing your polar-preferences! Think positive thoughts that hubby will decide what he wants to do. He's afraid of change. Send us some good vibes...
Love!! Bel

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why I Am So Lame

Where have I been? Good question. Unfortunately, I haven't a great answer.
Nevermind. We've been in the trees. Watching grass grow. I can say that we've had our "ho-hum" moments. The phone doesn't ring much in the summer, that's for sure! I haven't been out much, but this is a good thing sometimes. It has been just a vanilla summer. We just spend a lot of time...watching time go by. House hunting...home improvements...writing (after severe self-doubt...we'll see where this goes)...arts and crafts to keep the kids from destroying the know...all those summer things.
I've been on a knitting frenzy...and, thanks to Gina, will be embarking on yet ANOTHER project in a mere two days. This one we'll be knitting together, as I LOVE what she just started. More to photos...
Speaking of photos, you know it took me thirty minutes to download THESE? My computer keeps freezing up. Wants to see the underside of a van, I suppose. Makes me crabby!

In other news, I will also start reading...yes, I did actually say that! Gina is lending me a book written from the perspective of an autistic person. I'm compelled! We talked today about the strange, fascinating, and wonderfully magical things about having a child with Asperger's Syndrome. My little electrical engineer and Nasa-robot-builder-to-be just turned eight years old. Where have the years gone?

Anyway, I am a bit of a bore. Was it better when I was away? Don't answer that!!!
Here is the one photo that sort-of worked. It's the Candle Flame Shawl pattern in Claudia Handpaints, color: "Hokies."
I did get the "wild hair" on Friday and started a free-form project. I will be finishing it tomorrow, I hope. Then I will have something exciting to say! I promise!
More this week...I'll try to be exciting for you.
Love, Bel

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Sincere Waste of Time, Trust Me....

Wotcha think of me now? No camera tricks here...this is the real puss.

Anyways, want some exciting news? We got the FIRST "YES" confirmation that one of my oldest child's friends will be coming to his birthday party. I am soooo glad! You see, having a child with Asperger's Syndrome (High-Functioning case you were wondering), you tend to have a child with very few friends. Socially, emotionally, and sensory-wise, we have issues. BUT we can check one name off the list! HOORAY!!

He also picked out a new color for his room...yes, the baby blue heating vent will be painted white to match the trim. He's tickled...he picked it out himself...the color is "HAPPY CAMPER!"

Here is the "Separation Sweater" from the book "Knits for All Seasons." I've actually made the arm holes already, so this picture is a few days old.

And my Schaefer Lola sock is nearly finished. I still need to close in the tootsies.
This is a completely boring post.

Completely mind-numbing.
These are things I find really boring for the most part.
1. Television...unless we're talking about "Lost." DO NOT get me started on "Lost." Love, love, love....
2. Reading...shame shame! You don't say! Yes, I admit it. I like to read short things, like blogs, poetry, etc. And being a professional writer (besides a relatively decent knitter and rather EXCEPTIONAL yarn shop employee...heehee), I should read more. But again, I can squeeze in two major hobbies/passions. These three are reading, knitting, or writing. I choose knitting and writing...we must have these priorities straight.
3. Dishes. How many dishes can two dogs and four people use in one single day? It's revolting.
Things I find VERY interesting but disturbing:
1. Wal-Mart at 11pm on a Friday night. People talk to themselves. People eat things out of their carts. I've seen a boy eat half a dozen Slim Jims in line to check out.
2. The concept of skiing. Why do people, and I admire those who have the guts to this, decide it would be insanely fun to buckle strips of slippery wood to themselves and leap down giant, ice-covered mountains? It's cold. There are many trees. It's cold. I don't get this one.
3. Eyeballs. Now, I am no scientist. Maybe you can help me on this one, exactly do eyeballs work? They are mezmerizing and horribly creepy. Thus, I wear glasses and NOT contacts!!
Didn't improve much, did it? Sorry for the lamosity (my word again!)...maybe I'll go back to making up more words.
Love ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's was fun!!!!!!!!!!! Try exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Told you it would be a waste of time!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Did I say LOSER? Loser is merely a state of mind...

...a state of mind that pivots precariously on that fine line between self-absorbtion and responsibility.

In the land of faithful bloggers... yes, you may call me a Loser. Hands thrown in the air... I give in... you are right... 'tis I... a looooo-zah.... unrivaled in lamosity...

(that is the state of being lame, by the way...I just made it up)

So, for these, my shortcomings, which I know are far-reaching and pleantiful, I say...


But in yet another realm of consciousness, another frame of perception, I am... I am.

No, I have no philosophical insight, per se... no insighful treasure hidden in my shoe. But I have been... are you ready???????


Euphorically happy. Self-absorbed in "the satisfied." Smiling happy. Not to be mistaken for giddiness (or perkiness, as per Sheryl)... This is better. Oh, yes... I still have the insatiable need to please others before myself... for the most part, but I've rediscovered a Belinda left behind. Following a three day mellowing with Tiffany (love you, sister) in Charleston, South Carolina... no kids, no husbands, no pets, no schedule... I made some amazing discoveries...

Did you know that I can still sleep until 10am? I didn't know that!! Tiff thought I was dead... and I went to bed completely sober, trust me. Also, somewhere over the years I forgot how to breathe. I mean REALLY breathe, like deep breathing... like from your toes or somewhere. And I can really RELAX. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

I spend too much time freaking out... does this surprise anyone? (Don't laugh, Gina and Mimi!)
I mean, I am who I am, and I'm okay with that. I just think it is okay to be not least a little bit. Anyone with me on this?

Even knitting... I'm jumping right in. Decided in like two seconds to start a sweater (I should say another sweater besides my green Cathay, which is coming along... I need photos of this, don't I?) I love the "Separation Sweater" in the book "Knits for All Seasons." Frogged the Eco Wool poncho...we're doing the sweater.

I hope you're not mad at me for abandoning you. I've been thinking of you often, honestly, I have. I've just been wrapping my brain around the mellow side a bit, and I like how it tastes.

More experiments in nirvana and knitting to come... perhaps I should remove the "festering head case" intro for a while. Any suggestions?? Hee hee.

Peace, love, and flowers ~ Bel

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

i am NOT a loser!


photos from TNNA in Columbus. This was my first non-child,
non-husband getaway in nearly nine years.
It was...


Dinner at the Hyde Park in downtown Columbus. Loren, Gina, me, Mimi, and Debbie on Friday night.

me and Gina at the Vogue Knitting 25th Anniversary cocktail party

Loren, me, Mimi, and Debbie

mi2 in awe.... weren't we all

Breakfast with international designer Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton... she was so much fun!

International designer Maggie Jackson and me... awesome designer and super sweet person. So nice to see you again, Maggie! Come to Blacksburg again... I loved your Irish comedy!

The amazing... humbling experience... Debbie Bliss herself...

Mimi, International designer Louisa Harding, me, and Debbie

crashed at the Hilton... watching YouTube... let's get some shoes...

Loren was ready to kill me... can we watch it? Please??

Ahhhh, the slide show is now over. Thanks for bringing me, Gina. You have no idea how good this was for me on soooo many levels!
A quick highlight of my week since last Friday. I know I've slacked... but I have my reasons!
You still love me, don't you?
And now... drum roll... highlights from these last several days...
1. Husband and I celebrated ten years of marriage on Friday... smiling...
2. After a weekend of extreme binging, I can still button my favorite capris (no comments about my last blog, please!)
3. ColdStone on Saturday night after Kabuki for dinner... did I mention binging?
4. My Father-in-Law had successful surgery on Friday morning and is recovering well... Love you, Poppy!
5. Cheryl called me "Peppy" on Monday... SEE?? The proper term is PEPPY. Not SPAZTIC.
6. I got a microphone from Channel 10 news stuck in my bra today.
7. Gina found a piece of my lunch on the table... a slightly smooshed cauliflower that looked like a booger. I put it on my nose.... I guess you had to be there.
8. I found my iPod... thought I left it at the Hilton... almost became SPAZTIC.
9. Figured out how to get these photos off the CD... thanks, Mimi and Debbie!
10. The Hokie Healing project will start to wrap-up this Saturday at the Inn at Virginia Tech. I hope you will all be there!! Look for me... I'll be the peppy spaz with tight-fitting capris and a smooshed cauliflower in my nose.
Just kidding.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Battle of the Addictions: Sugar VS. Fiber

Debbie Bliss Cathay more delicious than Canoli? Definitely.
Schaefer Hand-Dyed Lola better than Ding Dongs? That would have to be a yes.

LET THE GLUTTONY BEGIN! That is, knitting my calories.

The worry has the accountability must begin. Time to get healthy and get real about this summer chubb. My husband forbid me to diet or exercise until we resolved the ticker situation. without guilt! Now that the heart issue is resolved, I need to refocus.
I've made a if I waiver, feel free to slap me upside the head. Please don't restrain yourself. You have my blessing. Be my guest.

My Pledge:

I, Belinda, the compulsive, over-eating spaz, being of long-awaited, sugar-anesthetized mind and body, do hereby pledge to live an excuse-free and healthy existence with a normal relationship with sugar. I vow this before I plunge into an irreversible diabetic coma or completely rot my teeth and become brain-damaged, to bid farewell, so-long, and adios muchachos to those oh-so-sweet past compulsions. This night I part with the Three Muskateers and the Almond Joys, the Double-Stuff Oreos and the homemade chocolate icing, the Bens and the Jerrys...even the Wavy Gravy. This I promise to be free of the gluttony and compulsive eating that leave me a babbling, over-indulgent, and powerless jellyfish doomed to jelly belly and butt.
Hello, moderation! I commit myself to helping my heart... for life.

How was that??

And now for something completely different...

What'cha think of all them squares? Pretty darn COOL!! I can't wait to see what comes in tomorrow!
And, Gina, here is the BAG!! My purse is pretty, but REALLY boring (sunglasses, wallet, and a few scattered cosmetics). NOTHING else.
So, this is my knitting bag. More interesting by far.

1. Schaefer Lola socks... ahhhh
2. Three inches of another Hokie Square
3. Phone/Address Book
4. Pens/highlighters
5. Nail file...don't know why...I have no nails
6. A yellow wooden clothespin...I still haven't figured that one out
7. Ella Rae and my new SOCKS book! Love it!
8. Maytag recall information on the dishwasher I had fixed like a MONTH ago...
9. Hand sanitizer...tell me that this surprises anyone...
10. A teeny pair of scissors, and finally...
11. Hand cream: Kiss My Face Peaceful Patchouli (please don't say "eeewwwwwww!) and Planet Spa African Shea Butter (my sister gave me)

One final photo... this is my little sweetie scoring a goal at his final soccer game on Friday. He's the blondie in the blue shirt and the winning kick.

Hope you all have a great week back!

More to come before TNNA!!

Love ya, Bel

Thursday, May 24, 2007


First of all, and I sincerely mean this...

ThAnK YoU!! All you people who had such wonderful things to say, such warm wishes and words of encouragement. It made me all toasty-warm to feel the kindness of you all...

And forgive me for taking so long to write... it has been crazy.

So... now the news...

I am fine. Met with the cardiologist this week. He read the echo and the halter, and, although I do have a PVC condition (can't quite remember what this stands for again, but it isn't serious), it is benign. I do have to take Beta Blockers three times a day. Most people, evidently, have periods of this heart occurance for like fifteen, twenty minutes, and then it goes away for five, ten hours...

Mine can go for like two, three hours. Relax for an hour or two, and kick back in for a few more hours... so I need to have my "med"s handy and..

here is the funny part... I need to, and this is verbatim of Dr. Rivera, "very, VERY, seriously consider options to reduce anxiety." I am a walking "adreneline junkie." My body produces adreneline from stress and anxiety... so I need to chill out.

Okay, Mosaic people!! You are RIGHT! I am confirmed a serious and hopeless SPAZ!!!

But, and I must say it again, thank you all for the kind words.

Now for some FUN stuff. I received a hand-delivered bottle of wine and wonderful card from Mimi, who was sad for me freaking out a bit and made me so happy I cried...a lot. I spent some time Saturday in the yard with the kids... watching them draw with sidewalk chalk while I crashed on the ground and knit my Hokie squares, received a visit from Mimi on Saturday night, who hung out for a little chick hang-out. And, of course, NBC Channel 10 coming to the shop on Wednesday. Man, I really need to get my teeth whitened. Either that or give up coffee... yeah, whitening... that's it. And we've got TNNA coming up... and my best bud, Tiffany, and I have confirmed a three day weekend away in about four weeks to her parents' condo in Charleston, SC. Lots of good things coming up.

Hope you're all knitting away, and I know that most of this is relatively boring, but it is all good news. Even my fortune cookie recommended a "peaceful" way in order to have more power, right, Gina??

Next post... knitting. I am totally serious. Something fun. And knitting.

Thanks for putting up with me. Love, Bel

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

blinded me with science and the curse of the ticked-off ticker

Wired. That would be me. Typical.
Work has been great, first of all. Tuesday we got a sqaure from Greece! Very cool. I love is a happy place.
However, it has been a bit weird on the other side of life.
Let me tell you about my FUN week.

Sunday: Crabby people in my house. More sick people. Kid#1 crabby, and I'm worried about a relapse of strep throat. Luckily, we are catching it all really early.

Monday: Sick kid #1. Carting people off to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Realtor's checking my house...all over my house. Annual physical. Doc says we do an echocardiogram and a heart monitor. Also thinks we might need to reduce some stress. WHAT STRESS?? ME?? Don't answer that....

Tuesday: The beginnings of sick kid #2. Kid #1 crabby with his rash...the unique rash that only kid #1 gets with infections and baffles the doctors. Need to find the energy to wash dishes, pots, pans...

Wednesday: Kid #2 home sick. Husband taking a personal day to help during my many, many examinations today. Therefore, kid #3 (husband), very crabby. Echo at 11am, surreal and a bit disturbing. I evidently have some "leakage" in one valve. Sounds like a plumbing problem. This can't be great news. But otherwise he said it looks pretty decent in there. Then, doctor appointment #2...gyn. Ugh. So, I'm wearing paper robes from neck to knee, making jokes, and she listens......"okay, I thought I had a heart rhythm there, and then it went "bullallullalump!"" I'm sure this isn't technical terminology. And my blood pressure was 140 over 90. Way, way high for me. Might have some fibroid issues, too. Well, tickle me surprised!! Husband is helping with dinner...did you all hear that?????? BLINK! Show me you're alive! Breathe again!! It is TRUE!!! The man who means well but can't heat up frozen corn...helping me with dinner. See... chivalry is not dead. is coming along. I've been tired, I'm afraid. But all is well, and I hope I don't strangle in my five dangling wires. Or that my wild dogs don't get lost between electrodes and blankets and accidently zap us all! Just kidding.

More this weekend. Lots of love, Bel

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mission: Incredible

Okay, not only do I get to have the best time checking in all these squares arriving every day, but how often does one get the opportunity to be a stealth yarn commando! Free yarn...hiding out there...waiting to be found. Bet 'cha can hardly see me in my cammo....

And, I'm proud to announce, we have reached 20 states. I received squares today from California and Anchorage, Alaska! I'm not sure how many squares we have at the shop just now...tomorrow I will count and give Gina a total. At any rate...fret none, little fiber junkies, we still need many, many squares. I did mention "many," didn't I?
By the and friends in the Lehigh Valley...where are you?? I know you are knitters and crocheters up there!! You guys!! I need you on the map!! Hugs to Pennsylvania.
Here are a few more photos from our recent vacation in Key West. Besides checking in some new yarn, filling up the "contributors" notebook, and pushing pins into the US map at the shop, it has been a relatively uneventful week. Gina bought me a frappucino today. Thanks, Gina. Yum yum!

Let's try something different... I have a question to my few but dedicated readers. I want to know who you are and where your dreams take you. I am Sagitarius; we are often described as "dreamers" and "wanderers." I like things to change. I like adventures, although I don't seem to have many. As the boys get older and life gets easier, thanks to family close by and a special needs fellow doing very well indeed, I hope I can do some soul searching in these next few years.
Here is your question. I hope to hear some interesting answers!

If you could live the "life of your dreams," what would it include? How would you re-write your existence?

By the way, I saw this little fellow on the street in Key West.
I liked him. Keep knitting! Meow, meow, meow!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Hip to be Square

How are things, Hokie Friends? It has been an exciting week...and a miserable one, too! Stapled to my house with my two boys with strep throat. Poor little guys. More catering and cleaning than knitting, I'm afraid. But it has also been an exciting week...mainly the week prior, because of all the support the "Hokie Healing" project has gathered. And among the craziness, alas, my blogging priorities are still relatively pathetic. I need to keep to twice a week.

Come on, keep me on my toes, will 'ya?! I'm lame! Need HELP!

Teasing!! Here are my two Hokie squares so far. This project has amazed me to no end. I called churches and schools, distributed posters...and I took calls from probably twelve different states within the first few days. Hi there!!...all you friends who spoke with guys were so great: Fort Bragg, NC; Littleton, CO; Michigan; Utah; New Jersey; NYC; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, VA; St. Cloud, MN; Pasadena, CA...these are all I can remember right now...major cyber hugs and big sloppy're the cat's meow.

Actually...Stevie Kate sends the big sloppy kisses, by the way. Oh, Thank You!!!

Yes, I have neglected telling you all about vacation. Too much going on around here! I decided to update on the "Hokie Healing" progress two or three times each week (nag me, please!)...but at the end of each post, I'll share a few photos and some highlights from my vacation in Florida. This was our first vacation in five years!! Now you all know how pathetic I really am!!

Top five Florida highlights for Today...this group of photos and highlights is from two days in Key West:
1. I was in the ocean when it was snowing in Blacksburg. Sorry...don't mean to rub it in.
2. Ocean from every direction... big time surreal.
3. Walking around Mallory Square eating a half a pound of European chocolate fudge all to myself.
4. Visiting Ernest Hemmingway's house and staying clear of the chickens...they say you can get arrested for messing with the chickens. They're from Cuba, so I understand. I only ate seafood...didn't want to upset the chickens.
5. Appreciating how long it takes to drive 128 miles from the start of the Keys all the way to Mile Marker Zero on US1. Trust me, I love the ocean, but between draw bridges, 30-45 mph limits, and nothing but water and sand to look at...128 miles is a loooooong time.
More this weekend. I have a little "assignment" from Gina for tomorrow evening. Adventure, anyone?? tee hee hee...
More this weekend...said that...mean it! Knitta, please! love, Bel

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back Home in Hokie Country

Yes, this is officially my worst blogging faux pas to date. I've neglected you all. Shame, shame on me.
So, yes, we had a great two week vacation in sunny Florida, visiting the in-laws, having a two day adventure in Key West...this is all to come, I assure you.
These last eight days have been ones of unpacking, laundry, and...of course....intense sorrow. Shephard Smith of Fox News said it all best... that this is such a beautiful and serene town, nestled in the mountains...a place you would want to send your kids to school...and he went on to say how it deeply saddened him for this community.

This is a heartbreaking time. What an unthinkable cloud of saddness that has touched our community. Unspeakable. I cry for people I don't know. I cry for friends touched personally by this tragedy. I can't make sense of it, and I feel so badly for everyone hurting and lost. Until now, I just couldn't bring myself to write about any of it. Walking around for a week, seeing people stricken with confusion and grief and anger. How this could happen in this beautiful, wonderful place. What can anyone say.

I kept saying, "what do I have to offer?" "What can I do to help?" Prayer...yes, everyday. Other than that?? Hmmmm...nada.

And then Gina had the fantastic idea for a nationwide project to bring blankets together for the families.

Now, I feel like I can offer something! If you want to learn more, check out our blog for Mosiac. I love, LOVE this community. This is the most wonderful town with the most wonderful people. I am so proud to be a part of this area and part of this project.

I know that I've been away for a while, but I will fill you all in on my travel and knitting adventures over these past few weeks. I was on campus a few days with the memorial events and took photos...these will be back and posted here tomorrow. By this weekend, I will be sharing some photos and events from our me, some of them are worth the wait!

Here is a quick preview of my knitted beach bag. I finished it just before the trip...whew!

Anyway, it is great to be HOME...and what a wonderful home we have here. May God's healing touch you all and give you strength.
Hugs and kisses to you all... Bel

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain....

My Fair Lady?.....hardly..... Fair?....well, now
that's a stretch. But, OH MY, those are some fine toes! Thursday I received more than thirty minutes of extreme pampering at the nail salon, courtesy of Gina, who was completely shocked that I had never, never had a pedicure. No more selling flowers on the corner, eh, Gov'ner! ~ Thank you again, Gina!~ And my bag is coming along dandy...I'll hopefully have it knitted and lined by Monday. Now I am also drooling over different "lace" patterns. Sandy showed me a beautiful shawl yesterday that I want to do with the Schaefer "Anne" yarn. And Virginia gave me some good pointers as I begin the green "oh-thank-you-Phyllis" yarn sweater. More photos to come!!
More culture shock? I even went to Kabuki for the first time. Poor Mimi had to help me order... totally clueless I am. What FUN! How tasty! I feel like the cultured woman. Is that tragic sounding? Haha!

Yes, perhaps I am a simple girl to a small degree. Perhaps not used to pampering...but I believe I could get used to a little extra "bliss" every now and again!
How about something to chew on?? Here are some other bizarre facts about me:
1. Besides having only my first pedicure, I've only ever had two manicures. Is this really that bizarre??
2. I won't let anyone watch me brush my teeth.
3. Mimi taught me how to knit. Love you, Mi2!
4. I'm a bit OCD about electrical fires and germs...and I particularly like seeing even numerical digits when displayed, like on microwaves, treadmills, etc.
5. Fine cheese, peanut butter, and real cream ice cream are my three guilty pleasures.
6. I despise hamburgers, gum, and spinach. Ewwwww.
7. Most times I feel like an eight year old: half the time feeling obnoxiously giddy and the other half worried that no one will want to play with me.
8. When I was little I believed that if you stuck your finger in your belly button you would unscrew yourself internally. I still don't like touching my belly button, and my husband still likes to freak me out by sticking his finger in his. ICK!!
9. I used to play the guitar and the violin when I was little.
10. I still have my favorite stuffed animals from when I was a child. I can never part with them.
Anyway, sorry it took so long to post. I'll be better, I promise!