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A helluva a year

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We moved cross-country for the second time in three years, back to a place that I thought we had left for good. We are thrilled to be back and have settled in rather well. The boys love their school. And it is only six minutes from the house.

Craig loves his new job, which is at a company that has been very good to us in the past.

It was my supreme pleasure to go to sock camp and make many new friends. April cannot come soon enough so that I can go again. SO EXCITED.

I have met many lovely bloggers in the flesh: Jessica, Ryan & TMK, Cousin Tom (eat your hearts out- he is one AWESOME monk!) The other KT (who is moving here!!!!), hung out with the gals from Blue Moon at the stash sale (serious crushes all around), and kept in touch with some of my fave bloggers .

Plus I have been teaching knitting to Duncan’s class 4-6 year olds. We have been doing finger knitting so far and are soon to move onto needle knitting. The best ones at the finger knitting? The Kindergarten Boys. They are seriously fierce. Teaching finger knitting to four year olds? A special kind of Hell.

On the not so pleasant side, we have had 8 kabillion bouts of Pink Eye, a Thousand bouts of Strep, Angus vomited more times in that single day than he had in his entire lifetime (vomiting when you are diabetic is serious business.. insulin is administered to combat food- food comes out of the body but the insulin stays in and you get very low blood sugar which can result in seizure or coma), a surgery for Duncan, a endoscopic biopsy for Angus, one ER trip for me and one for Duncan, which involved 2 hospitals and a rush hour ambulance trip across a floating bridge. Who knew that strep could present with abdominal pain and that an appendix could be so hard to find via ultrasound? A diagnosis of Celiac Disease for Angus, which by the way is a COMPLETE ASS KICKER. There is gluten in EVERYTHING. I seriously wept when I found gluten free stuffing cubes at Whole Paycheck at Thanksgiving. I had no idea how much I was dreading Thanksgiving without stuffing. And it was great!! I thought there was going to be no gravy either and the potato flour saved the day.

There were many icky hairy things about 2007. We are holding many good thoughts for 2008, I have my creative goals roughed out, we seem to have somewhat of a handle on our medical issues (I still think that if the software business ever tanks we could get a gypsy caravan with a sign reading “The Eisler Family Traveling Side Show of Medical Oddities and Semi-Misfortune “).

There are two happenings in early 2008 that give me such joy and hope for the world. Both this gal and this gal are going to be welcoming children into the world. We may have a fighting chance yet.

If you have stuck it out this far, a special treat- Angus picked out this yarn for me to make him socks- it is BMFA Sherbert in Heavyweight with Ruby slippers heels and toes. Knit on size 3′s. 6.5 sts to the inch. How can you not feel happy when your 7 year old boy wants pink socks.




HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!! MUCH LOVE AND PEACE. NOW GO FORTH AND KICK ASS IN THE SPECIAL WAY THAT YOU KNOW HOW. SHOO! GO FORTH AND KICK ASS!!!

Love you all to bits and pieces-

KT


I’m off

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The car is packed and I am making some coffee to go. Someone is having a de-stashing sale. I think 3 hours is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to drive for yarn. Luckily you don’t have to pay duty when bringing yarn across state lines. This could get serious.

Thanks for all your good Juju- Angus was so brave. The procedure was a breeze and the result stinks.

Love y’all to bits

Jewel Tones & We need your good JuJu

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blanket, knitting corner, wall color, swatch.

Well the recipient of this blanket is now about 6 months old. The good news is A) She is a six month old and therefore cannot tell time, B) It is finally getting chilly here, C) It is off the needles, washed, wrapped and ready to be given to her, D) It is a gift for Angus’ teacher’s daughter- and if Nicole (the teacher/mommy) were to bust my chops about something I highly suspect it would not be about the lateness of her daughter’s gift.

As mentioned previously, this is STR Heavyweight in Jade, Bronze, Amethyst,Rose Quartz, Blue Moonstone and Boysenberry. It is about 3 foot square and knit on size six or seven needles. Fun to knit and very easy. Also I gave it a bath in Fibre Wash and the hand improved dramatically. I have no basis for comparison- just soaking it, it may have felt just as lovely- not sure. Laid it out flat over night and when it was still wet this morning I threw it in the dryer on low heat for about 20 minutes. The tumble dryer did not diminish it one little bit.

For the past few days I have been reconfiguring my sewing/knitting laboratory. This is my new knitting corner. We have had these chairs for nine years and I had never sat in one to knit. Divine! But you must use the foot stool. The color on the wall is being auditioned- it does get rather grey here and I find this color very energizing. All my life I thought that this acidy green was puce. Wrong. I am a bit disheartened as I thought color was my thing.

The needles on the arm of the chair are a holding a swatch (in the round, thankyouverymuch) of BMFA STR Lightweight in January One. It is pretty amazing to me that I find size 1 needles easier on my hands than say 11′s. Speaking of January One, you must go see a most beautiful profile taken during her 20 week ultrasound.

Now the good JuJu part. Angus (who is doing remarkably well) has to go into the hospital tomorrow morning for a short testing procedure AND they have to give him light general anesthesia. We anticipate being home by lunchtime. We are not worried about the result (he is fine and more on this later) and yet I find my self a bit nervous about the whole deal tomorrow. So please, good thoughts- send your love our way. Dance naked in the woods, light a candle, say a prayer, chant (that would be you , you skirt wearing monk)- how ever you do it could you send us your good JuJu? Thanks.

Love to y’all

A very fine day…

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My boys took very good care of me this morning. A beautiful breakfast of a pepperjack omelette, bacon, toast, coffee and gifts. The smiles and love on their faces was the best gift. I am so blessed.

A wonderful way to begin my birthday. 39 is going to be a great year.

Love to all of you.

Spinning and Whirling

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Remember when I mentioned that I took a stack n’ whack class? Well, I’ve nearly finished the top! (Need to square up and maybe add a border).

This was really fun to make and I learned loads. Up to this juncture, I had never done point, just squares. At first it was intimidating and I think most (not all) of them turned out pretty well. Exhibit A:

The colors in the 2nd photo are pretty accurate. Also, I had never done any sashing, let alone a trellis technique. I loved the meta-construction and can see myself applying it to lots of quilts in the future.

I tried to really push the colors and I do love it. Lots of room for improvement in my piecing, though!

Have a great Saturday!

Love y’all to bits-

KT

Fire up the Colortini

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We had a really great family friend.

He taught me to like lime (at the Hotel Bel Air no less) with Perrier. He made my Auntie Eva pretty happy. He would make my Mom and me laugh to no end. I can hear his voice in my head, especially his laugh. You have heard the laugh. It was unstoppable. Last night it stopped.

There is a lot more I could say, but right now- I can’t.

He was a great man, his contribution went way beyond making me happy. Had I known who he was when I was young, I doubt I could have thought he was any greater.

Hoping you are enjoying the pictures flying by, Tom.

I am off to Fire up the Colortini.

God Bless and all my love. You are missed.

Big news

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In the middle of March 2000, there was a death in our family and Craig could not attend the services which were in the mid- west of the continent, so I went to represent and help with the arrangements. From there, I went onto Brooklyn to see my best girl friend from college (I was more than half way to Brooklyn anyhow. And no I did not sleep on the plane! Ha- I crack myself up!).

I walked into Heidi’s apartment in Bay Ridge and very tactfully said: “Oh my GOD! What are you cooking? It smells AWFUL!” She asked if I was okay and I said that I was really sore. She took one look at me and said: “You’re pregnant.”

My reply: “Get serious! I am not!”

For the next several days both she and her husband, Mark, encouraged me to take a test, finally on day 3 I relented. I dug a stick out from under her bathroom sink- yes it was still sanitary and wrapped. I did what I had to do. I went down stairs and talked to Heidi & Mark. Then I went up stairs and phoned home (Yes, “K.T., Phone Home” has been popular ever since the movie came out). Here is how the conversation with Craig went:

KT: “Hey Babe, its me. How are you?”

Craig: “Great, my brother is here and we are just hanging out, doing computer stuff.”

K: “Do you have a sec?”

C: “Sure, what’s up?”

K: “Are you sitting down?”

C: “Yup.”

K: “No, really, you should sit down.”

C: (somewhat exasperated) “I am sitting down!”

KT: ” I’m pregnant.”

Craig: (dead silence, then…) “Oh my god, I need to sit down.”

I love that story.

When I was pregnant with Angus, Craig bought me a sewing machine to replace my great-grandmother’s Singer that I inherited. It was not as ancient as it sounds, she bought it in 1982 and she passed in 1992. Pearl Nile Rappaport was her name and I miss her every day. She was married to my Boppa (Julius Rappaport) for over 50 years (Mom, is that right?) even though he was her 3rd husband. The first 2 went out for a pack of smokes or a carton of milk and never came back (as family legend has it). Anyhow, they were really my true grandparents and so much of who I am is because of them. Boppa & I had a garden, Grammy painted a beautiful sign that said””K.T.’s Garden”. I spent a lot of time with them when I was growing up. We had Sunday dinner almost every week. Pearl was a very accomplished seamstress, painter, very devout in her faith and loved me with all her heart. I can still feel her aged hand in mine when I said good bye to her. She was so happy that I told her, if she wanted to – she should leave the planet.

Anyhow, Craig bought me a sewing machine when I was pregnant with Angus and I did sew with it but because it was bought online, there was no store I could go to for support, classes, etc. We made a deal right before we moved back (after 7 years of me struggling with the blasted machine)- If I could not find the support/classes, etc that I wanted/needed then I could buy a new machine. At first, I think he was pretty appalled that I wanted to forsake my machine that HE bought me. Once I said to him: “What if I bought you a computer and there were no updates, support or software- would you want a new machine?”

That sold it. I would like to introduce you to Althea Pearl. She is a gorgeous Bernina 730E and we are currently having quite the fling.

The store I bought her from is taking wonderful care of us and offers a great many classes. I took a Stack N Whack Spinners class from the lovely Pat French.

Also I start my mastering my Bernina class series today. Very exciting!

Another exciting thing- On Sunday I went to a fête for a certain Buddhist Monk, thrown by his cousin and her partner.

Have a great day and I send my love to all of you.

Happy Happy Fourth

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I just had the BEST day. And I want to share it with you and capture it for myself. So, the blog is a natural solution.

I don’t even know where to begin, my heart is so full. I could make this really long or really short- I am just going to write and see how she turns out.

People, you are my community in a lot of ways and today I got to be back in another community that has been a part of me and I have been a part of for a great long time.

Long, long ago I moved to Seattle (1989) and spent about a year here. I lived on Capitol Hill and went to art school for painting (Cornish) and worked in a pie shop (Peerless Pie) that I could walk to from my $350 a month BEAUTIFUL studio apartment. I took a trip to Berkeley to see a girlfriend and met a guy who was for the record and in hindsight a total loser and decided that I need to move to the East Bay and live with him, which I did. (who she of course had a crush on but none the less she said “go for it” and then never talked to me again). Don’t even remember how long it lasted- a year- ish maybe. I left and rented space in a loft (makes it sound glamorous- it wasn’t) that was also a glass blowing studio. It was fun and boho and I dated and tried to figure who and what I was. I got an retail job (Whole Earth Access) that I could walk to from the loft/glass blowing studio which, oh by the by was located inside a bronze foundry (in Emeryville). Got an office job that I could also walk to.Then I was making enough money that could move out of said boho space and rented a beautiful mother-in-law in Kensington. It was so sweet the view was fantastic. It was a 3 bridge (Bay Bridge, Golden Gate, & Richmond), 2 prison (Alcatraz & San Quentin) view. For you who are not sure why this is great I could see ALL of the San Francisco Bay while laying on my bed. The MIL apartment had a view, a patio, was close to North Berkeley – it was a real step up and I was so happy and proud because I had done it myself. I got a job in San Francisco and then, I was a commuter! So fantastically grown up and professional. I worked for a firm that did Instructional Design and interstitial programming. I ended up moving to San Francisco and living on 14th & Geary (right around the corner from House of Bagels).

During that time I met Robert. No not a flame. Robert became a confidant and good friend. He was a support and a joy and on some level we just clicked. Another way to say it is that we just were. Robert asked me to be part of his commitment ceremony and I was- what a great honor. And I wore the HOTTEST red dress- well to be honest- I made it hot. Must find picture.

I got a new car and drove by Robert’s apartment with the top down (the car’s, not mine) the day I got it and leaned on the horn until he stuck his head out the window. You get the idea. I adore Robert.

Then through some wild turn of events- oh I remember- I realized that I wanted to get married and have a family and could not really picture raising a family in San Francisco. To those of you who do- right on! I just realized that Seattle was more my style and I moved back. No job, a bit of savings and a spot on the fold out futon of M&M- I stayed three months- they are a generous people and are my friends to this day. M&M (who move to England very soon- bon voyage!) and Robert are friends- they introduce me to P&P. Robert moves to Seattle and meets a wonderful man, D. (The commitment ceremony guy turns out to not to be such a good fit) I found a job working in a wholesale rose warehouse for the craziest boss ever and not crazy in a good way (accosting the pizza delivery guy that the pizza was too greasy by picking up a piece and thrusting it at him. So glad that is in the past.)

So now we have Robert & D, M&M and P&P and me. These are amazing people. And they in turn introduce me to M&A, who are a great couple who live in a little house on a lake WAY out in Redmond. I get a job (contracting) at Microsoft and eventually meet the most fabulous husband ever, Craig. I introduce Craig to the whole lot of them. Craig and I buy a house WAY out in Redmond and get a very nice 4th of July invite from M&A to come to there lake house for the 4th.

Craig & I went there every year on the fourth, eventually including Angus- until we moved to Virginia.

Well, today we went to M & A’s (which they have spectacularly remodeled, renovated and built an entire top floor on) (women who are general contractors- gotta love it) for the fourth. It is precisely 2 minutes from our new house. I walked in and A greeted me with a huge hug and a tour of the gorgeous house. Then I saw the female P, who I have known for almost 13 years, and Angus was talking to quite excitedly. While I was talking to her somebody came up behind me. It was Robert! The whoop that coma outta me was so happy, so involuntary and so perfect. I could barely pry my arms off of him. That hug felt so, so good. Then onto D who I adore! They have been together since there first date- it will be 11 years on July 7th! Congratulations- you are so good together.

Then I saw the male P and then I found M. Hugs all around. These are my people- they KNOW me- they know all the 800 shades of me and just get who I am. I got to show them my kids as big kids and what fine young boys they are. D took Angus paddle boating on the lake for almost an hour today. Craig showed up- more big hugs all around and eventually he took the boys and they did secret Eisler boy stuff and I got to sit and chat and cry and connect with people who have know so many versions of me.

I was talking to M, Girl P, Robert & D and I just welled up. I looked at each of them and realized I was exactly where I needed to be. With people who have known me forever and love me no matter what and without whom I would not be the person I am today. I told them that I never ever expected to be sitting on this deck on the 4th again (we thought we’d stay in Virginia forever- HA!) and that it was a honor and a joy. M raised her arms and said “Welcome Home”.

You know- I turn 39 next month. I have known Robert since I was 25.

Coming home is good.

So very very happy to be here.

Love to you all- I have missed you- KT

A Very Quilty Weekend

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We had a really nice long weekend. The boys were home from school on Friday (teacher in-service), so it was a four day weekend for us. Long weekends are a lot like snow days- you wish for them with visions of togetherness and making things and then about three hours into it, I think : “What was I thinking?”

This past weekend was the exception. There was togetherness and making things- making things together even! My sewing/knitting Laboratory has always been off limits to the kids with very good reason, I might add. Occasionally, they would be allowed in until they couldn’t sit still anymore. This weekend Angus came with me in there and worked, quietly for about 40 minutes. There are now a couple of ground rules: Rule One of Mommy’s Magic Sewing Room- Follow the Rules! Rule Two of Mommy’s Magic Sewing Room: They are all Mommy’s Rules! These seemed to work pretty well. Angus asked me for some pins to use on the scraps he found. His plan for the fabric is for me to sew a pocket…

Not exactly sure how that is going to work, but far be it from me to tell him that. I completely decline to squelch any interest he has in the fiber arts. When he was done pinning and began telling me how to make the quilt I was working on, it was time for some diversionary tactics. I asked him to pick out some fabrics that he liked and we could make something from it. Here is what he picked:

And let me tell you this MIND BLOWING OCCURANCE! First- I left him ALONE in my sewing room!! Can you imagine? I couldn’t imagine but I DID DO IT! When I left there were scraps and pins EVERYWHERE. When I came back in Angus, ALL BY HIMSELF, had put all the pins back in the box, put the lid on the box and put ALL THE SCRAPS IN THE TRASH CAN!! Holy Crap! He had no help, it was his own idea and he executed it PERFECTLY. This feat of wonder earned him the right to have his own little corner of work space in in Laboratory. He is really getting the connection between initiative and rewards earned. Very Cool and I never, ever thought I would see the day. My secret hope is that he will turn into a version of Jane’s Thomas- advising, helping and playing.

Do you remember this quilt top? I finally got around to putting the borders on it this weekend! And I think I found the fabric for the backing and binding. Now all I have to do is make the sandwich. EEEK! This gives me fits of jitters but I do have my pins, masking tape, floor space and a quiet house. The pansies in the front are for the binding and the large leafy is for the back. What do you think? I am liking it, though I would never have picked the lotus fabric for the outer border. Followed a suggestion from my new local quilt shop- WHICH I AM LOVING! Will tell more about them later. So whaddya think?

Here is a bigger picture, and again I am pretty pleased though a wee bit uncomfortable with the wide border- still not sure if I am 100% about it or not. And I am willing to try new things, plus fabric is a renewable resource, Right?

There are two more parts to my very quilty weekend. They have nothing to do with each other.


This was a fun, but not very personal post- Laura- I pledge to get more personal. Yes, I promise to take the coaching!

Thank you to all of our service people who stand tall and ready to defend our lives. God Bless you. I cannot manage more on Memorial Day as I get too choked up. For more read my post from last year here.

Love you all. Thanks for reading and Be Good to Yourselves!

What I Have Been Meaning To Share…

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Somethings I know about myself:

As much as I hate to admit it, my grammar and punctuation suck.

While I shouldn’t, I often begin sentences with “I” or “And”. The shame is immense.

My use of the semicolon is dismal; however, I love the semicolon.

The quarter inch seam is as elusive as the lost city of Atlantis.

My youngest son announced at 5:50 AM that he was a rooster and his job was to Cocka Doodle Do from the rooftop to make sure the family was awake. (He was in our bed, and thankfully not on the roof.)

(Oh, and I love parentheticals.)

Pretty sure we are done having babies which has me desperately sad and somewhat relieved.

Two nights ago I dreamed about Jane’s Allotment quilt throughout the night.

I dropped out of College.

Tom Waits and Bob Dylan are my favorites.

I am adopted. Can I tell you how shameful I feel for not knitting for the Red Scarf Project? That could have been me, easily.

One of my favorite words is idiopathic.

Though I am 38, almost (August 22) 39 I have yet to feel like a grown up.

My Mom looks better than me (and most) than I ever will. We each have our lot in life.

My husband’s love confounds me on a daily basis.

My kids will call out “Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!” and then I realize they are calling me. How did I get to be the mom? Yes, I do understand biology…

Being the Change I want to see in the World is hard and wonderful and awful all at the same time.

Post Secret is a guilty pleasure.

Both my kids are in school all day, 5 days a week and while I have MANY things to occupy me I often wonder what to do.

The thought of them leaving home is crushing to me.

The “Let’s cure everything RIGHT NOW” culture really weighs on me.

I have never, ever checked my stats for who or how many of you read this blog. Ever. It would make me too nuts.

I love you all (whoever you are)!

Crap! The iron is on upstairs! Crap!

Oh- I hate wooden spoons of all varieties.

My current obsession is knitting that resembles marquetry floors!

Mwah!

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