Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

Mah Jongg as Inspiration

How could I not think of patterns and colors each week during my Mah Jongg game? Especially when someone takes a long time for her turn, there is nothing to do but stare at the tiles.  But it’s not such a bad thing – keeps my mind whirring with design possibilities.

There are three suits – Craks (red), Bams (green) and Dots (circles).  Each number has its own unique design within each suit.

I love the 8 Dot tile.  It’s all black as opposed to the others like the 9 in the back. But look at the 1 dot. Pretty! I found it similar to the carpeting in a hotel, where I recently attended a meeting.

The flowers and the jokers are the most inspirational. The flower tiles in my set are really quite stylistic.

I use my grandmother’s set which I think was manufactured around the 1950’s but could be earlier.  I love playing with these tiles because she did too. Sometimes I can hear her fingernails clacking on the table as she considers the next move.

The 1 Bam is super stylized – almost Art Deco.  I could see this being a repetitive pattern or maybe 1 large design just on its own.

I couldn’t end without showing the Dragons.

Thank you, Oma.

16 3/4″ – or Sixteen Inches and counting…

It’s been the longest sixteen and three quarter inches I’ve encountered in a while – the length to knit in one color, on size 1 needles, for LD’s one piece cardigan, until I reach the design part of the pattern.

I’m working on the Drops Glitter cardigan in midnight blue with the accent in orange, her school colors.  I figure I have to finish it while she’s in school so at least she’ll wear it. Of course, my hope is that she’ll wear it so much it’ll become her favorite “just throw on a sweater” type sweater so that by the time she graduates and is off on her own, she’ll just pick it up and wear it without thinking.

Cardigan Components

When I first got back to knitting, I only knit, mostly tops,  for myself.  Then I knit the Diva Shawl for a friend and the Lacy Stole for my mother.  Last year I knit a lot of hats, for other people.  I fell in love with the Anemone hat and knit 4 of them, and gave them all away.  I didn’t knit one for myself because I couldn’t decide on the color! Finally, someone suggested that I knit them in different colors for myself.  Great idea! I loved it!  But then along came this Glitter cardigan and the vow to finish it before anything else…

And here I am….back at 16 and ¾ inches.  The last 1 inch seems to be the hardest…

The New York Times – Why I Like It!

Done Reading! The New York Times

I originally wanted to write a post about why and how much I like The New York Times.  Then I talked myself out of it when I thought about the reality.  I get the paper delivered to my home. At first only during the weekdays, but now that the kids are in college, the weekends too.  But that’s not really the story. I get the paper delivered and bring it to work to read, thinking I’ll read it in between calls, at lunch, when I’m waiting for my computer to boot up, or when I just need a little break.

It used to take forever for the computer to boot up. I could get through the whole front section in the old days.  However, those computer support people “did something!” and now it boots up very quickly. Bah!

What I end up doing is taking the newspaper into work, and it sits on my desk, taunting me all day.  If I’m lucky and have the bandwidth I can read (i.e. flip through) at least one section.

I’ll admit it.  The newspaper goes back and forth with me daily, the pile getting bigger as the week wears on.  I may read some at home during dinner but end up weeding through the sections and finally taking the ones I really like home with me on Friday afternoon.  The ones I like? My favorite sections are The Arts, Style, Dining, Obituaries, Dear Diary, Monday and maybe Tuesday Crosswords (I’m a wimp) and the like.  Obituaries? Yes. I’ll leave that conversation to another post.

I like The New York Times because the writers have an edge, a sense of humor. Did you read the review last November of Guy Fieri’s new restaurant in Times Square? I even posted on Facebook about it.  Talk about cutting – and I don’t mean the silverware they picked out.  I loved it!

Tonight I was catching up on this weekend’s paper (somehow I guess by now you are not surprised) and came across Jon Methven’s Opinion on Daydreaming.  First I have to say, Jon Methven, you have a new fan! You are smart and hilarious. Your piece reinforced my need to write about why I love The New York Times.

Daydreaming Article

I don’t want to have to run a spoiler alert, so go read the article and come back. Then you can read one of my favorite parts describing the rules of what to daydream about:

SEX By all means, have sexual fantasies. Sleep with better-looking people. Have intercourse in trees. But under no circumstances should you daydream about fornicating with nearby co-workers. Colleagues can tell when you’ve been daydreaming about having sex with them, and it’s an unprofessional way to spend company time. Some whiz kid is probably months away from inventing an app that can decipher whether you’re fantasizing about co-workers, or whether you’re just fantasizing about normal people who will never have sex with you.

I found this particularly amusing because I work with (young whiz kid) mobile app developers, and could just imagine THEM daydreaming at work about building such an app!

And, if you’ve read my About page then you already know how I spend (some of) my time at work!

Have you Kickstarter-ed yet?

Helping others achieve their dreams!

Not tax-deductible, but it’s still tremendously fulfilling to help people get their designs/projects/businesses out in the world through Kickstarter.

I’ve backed 28 projects!

Kickstarter is a site where people solicit funding for their projects or businesses. They post a video of their project, what it is and what will be achieved when they hit their target goal. Each project includes different contribution levels, with incentives/gifts for each level.  People make pledges at whatever incentive level they like. If the project does not garner the dollar amount of pledges in the allotted time, it is not funded. If it meets or surpasses the dollar goal, the pledges are fulfilled.

One’s contribution is not tax deductible. It’s a straight out offer of cash (via credit card) to help people create their dreams, achieve their goals, move them forward on their chosen / created paths.

Contributing to help people achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams is very rewarding.

The incentives are just icing on the cake!

Some of the kickstarter products I've supported.

Some of the kickstarter products I’ve supported.

It’s really quite a clever concept. You invest in someone’s dream. They meet their financial goal. You pay a token amount of money, and then get the “gift” in kind. It may be a handwritten thank you note, the product itself, or the product and other items.  If I invest at a level where I get a product, and I almost always do!, I become an instant promoter.  It’s like I’m an owner of the project owner’s success. It is awesome.

Kristy and Coulter at Quinn Popcorn are in continued contact with their Kickstarter backers. I love getting their emails and hearing how they’re doing, what they’re learning about the food industry, how their business is expanding.

Alexa sends periodic updates about the film festivals in which her movie, Oma and Bella, is showing.

I visit the websites of some of my other Kickstarter projects either to order more of their products (like Savor Sweets – you have got to try their products) or just to see how their business is doing.

If you haven’t supported a Kickstarter project yet, I strongly urge you to do so.

It’s an inexpensive, quick way to help others achieve their dreams. How often do you get a chance to do that?

Here are the projects I’ve backed, in order of my support:

  1. Quinn Popcorn, August 9, 2011
  2. Over Our Heads – Umbrellas for Happy People, August 16, 2011
  3. Savor Sweets, September 4, 2011
  4. Phin & Phebes – Help Us Make More Ice Cream (Funding Unsuccessful) September 6, 2011
  5. Brys & Edgewood Fondant Cake Kits – September 17, 2011
  6. Ai Means Love, September 30, 3011
  7. Spice Mixology – Bringing Unique Spices to the World – October 8, 2011
  8. Oma & Bella, October 23, 2011
  9. Wonder Threads – Clever Laptop and iPad Sleeves – March 5, 2012
  10. The Golden Moth Illumination Deck – March 10, 2012
  11. Smidgen Stick – The Smidgen Measurement System – March 11, 2012
  12. Gremolata & Cancellaresca Milanese – April 14, 2012
  13. Angel Food…Bakers From Hell – April 21, 2012
  14. Stu’s Bloody Mary Mix! (Funding Unsuccessful) – June 2, 2012
  15. Artisan Hand-Painted Yarn – Custom Dyed for You! – June 9, 2012
  16. Crowded Teeth Fancy Stamp Ring – June 13, 2012
  17. The Magnetic calendar – Project Suspended – October 5, 2012*
  18. 15 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and will LOVE!) CD – November 1, 2012
  19. Genki-Su: Japanese Drinking Vinegar – December 15, 2012
  20. SRSLY Chocolate – December 27, 2012
  21. Clotheshorse – Fashion (Funding Unsuccessful) – January 5, 2013
  22. Ring Bracelet (Funding Unsuccessful) – April 29, 2013
  23. Malvi: Redefining the Marshmallow Sandwich – May 15, 2013
  24. Dizmio Wallet: Slim, Small, Minimal – RFID Blocking Wallet – May 17, 2013
  25. Kreate-a-lope – The Fastest Envelope Maker on the Planet! – May 22, 2013
  26. One Screw Loose, Jellies and Jelly Rubs, Spread It On Thick –May 25, 2013
  27. Ian James New York – Uniquely Handcrafted Bags for All – June 15, 2013
  28. Kobe Red -100% Japanese Beer Fed Kobe Beef Jerky  – Project Suspended – June 13, 2013*

* A project may be suspended if it:

• Violates or acts inconsistently with the letter or spirit of the Kickstarter Guidelines or Terms of Use.
• Materially changes the stated use of funds
• Makes unverifiable claims
• Exhibits actions that are more closely associated with fraudulent or high-risk activity


It is impressive when multitasking can be performed when knitting.  I think I’ve found an easy solution!

Kelli, the owner and podcaster from Knit Picks, often talks about how she reads and knits simultaneously!

Today I discovered I can also do that.

It’s called….


“Have a Great Weekend!”

I still am a little angry with DDSO for getting colon cancer and leaving me. I know it’s not his fault he got sick although if he had had a colonoscopy at the age of 50, it might have been detected sooner. But then I tell myself that this might have meant that he would have started chemotherapy earlier and he would have died before we could spend that  little bit of extra time together.

And I truly believe that the chemotherapy helped kill him. I don’t understand how dumping poison into one’s body is supposed to make you healthier.

The poison is kind of like Round Up (made by Monsanto) which is only supposed to target weeds and keep the genetically modified seeds/plants alive.

Chemotherapy medicine is supposed to target the cancer cells and not touch the other ones?

In the meantime, there are horrific side effects.  The patient ends up taking a slew of other medications to combat all the chemotherapy side effects.  And then there are side effects to the medicines combating the chemotherapy side effects. It is a miserable existence.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer, in one breast. She chose to have a double mastectomy, and had one dose of chemotherapy.  The treatment devastated her. She told me that she lay down on a chaise in her backyard after the treatment.  Her neighbor called the police because she appeared to be dead.  My friend decided not to have any more treatments, changed her eating habits to all natural and many vitamins, and take her chances.  In today’s world, run by pharmaceutical brainwashing, that was a brave decision.

She is still here and DDSO is not.

Yes, I am aware there are many different variables around the two cases.  It’s all about choices. Ones that we all hope we never have to make.

Weekends are the worst for me. DDSO and I spent Tuesday evenings and weekends together. We had plans to live together.  Then he got sick; his doctors were closer to his home, my children were still home, and then he died, so we never got to that Paradise. long as we're together...

…as long as we’re together…

DDSO used to say “It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we’re together.”

We were somewhat exclusive when we were together. We enjoyed each other’s company so much that we were fine not making social plans.  We did get together with friends every now and again, but it wasn’t necessary.

That makes weekends difficult.  Still.

I am going to pick myself up and go do the same, or the same type of, weekend activities that DDSO and I did together. Now I get to go to Trader Joe’s, do work around the house, garden, make gazpacho, etc. on my own, or with friends.   Even though the activities are the same, the experience is not. Life is different.

Disclaimer: This post is merely reflecting my personal experiences and observations. I am aware that chemotherapy has helped many people overcome cancer.  I do not intend to disparage anyone’s decision to partake in chemotherapy.  It’s all about choices.

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