Wednesday, October 31, 2007

News, bad and good

First the bad news: There is yet another report today of a child who died after being left in a hot car. I wrote about this issue last year, including advice on how to make sure your child doesn't become one of the 40 or so each year who die this way. It has happened to loving, otherwise careful parents.

On a considerably lighter note, I have had the privilege of following the adoption of Lexie since her mom was in Kazakhstan waiting to bring her home. Lexie reunites with her friends from the baby house each year. Read about how these moms are creating an enduring legacy for their little ones.

"More than just Social Security numbers."

A professor at USC (the USC: the University of South Carolina) noted following this weekend's tragic house fire that he came into class on Monday and really looked at the faces of the kids he teaches. To paraphrase, he said the kids are more than just Social Security numbers and tests to grade. In a school of more than 25,000, that says a lot. To remember these, visit here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"To all who come to this happy place: welcome." Walt Disney*


Every member of my family is itching for a visit to our favorite place, the Happiest Place on Earth. There are those who visit Walt Disney World and are done with it and those of us who could go again and again and always find new things to do. Of course, the old favorites entice us, too.

Alas, we can't go anytime soon. The schedule is simply too full for us to go right now. (High school is a busier time than we expected.) But the idea is there, calendars are checked and rechecked and plans, if not quite in place, are at least mentioned out loud. We get this fever from time to time. It usually starts with the adults, but we aren't ashamed to admit it.

*In the interest of accuracy, Walt made this statement at the opening of Disneyland, but it is fully applicable to Walt Disney World as well. Tomayto, tomahto.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More from Chernobyl

After posting about our wonderful local volunteers who minister to children and families in Ukraine, I was contacted by Kathy at Chernobyl Children's Project International. Visit her site and learn about more ways to help. My goodness, the needs are so vast. It boggles the mind and causes me to count my many blessings over and over.

As promised to Kathy, links are below to the other stories in this series. Because they are old and no longer archived on the Tribune-Times' site, I have posted them here.

See Purls of compassion and Growing group spins yarn into divine stitches.

Knitting the spirit

Ukraine.01.07 071

This photo was taken last January by these wonderful people when they visited Ukraine to deliver gifts and supplies to families and orphans in need. It was cold, the luggage was lost, plans were thwarted left and right. As they neared Chernobyl, clocks (equivalent to those you might see on a bank sign here) displayed not only time and temperature, but radiation levels as well.

But their purpose for visiting was higher than anything that could be impacted by trivialities (and yes, they considered their risk from the radiation trivial by comparison). Many of the orphans are perpetually sick and have little hope of finding families. The situation is desperate beyond anything we can imagine here. The visitors bring warm, hand-knit sweaters and scarves, food, toys, love and the promise of eternal hope. The warmth surrounding them belies the weather.

Items, including sweaters and scarves, are needed for the next trip.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Today's episode has been brought to you by the letters "P" and "R"

Pajama pants! The easiest non-pattern ever is resulting in pajama pants for anyone in my house that will take them. So far, that's two of us. They come with matching drawstring PJ bags, too, of course. No patterns required -- that's my kind of sewing.


Pumpkin bread and potatoes...


"R" is for... what is that stuff called again? Rain? It has been elusive at best around here. It's wet, wet, wet today.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Stopping by the woods on a sunny morning

P1010100 P1010074




More from yesterday's hike. The weather was perfect.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Two hours and a world away


We all got a hawk's eye view of Lake Jocassee today.P1010011

I have a thing for wildflowers.


A reminder that it's fall...


At the Walhalla Fish Hatchery, which is way cooler than the name suggests...


Giant rainbow trout were really aggressive about their food.


The fish whisperer makes them jump.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dine Out for Mom today

Dine Out for Mom is today! Proceeds benefit Let There Be Mom, an organization worthy of everyone's time and support.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why it's hard to work sometimes


Terrific Places to Visit:

Adventures in Domesticity
All Recipes
Angry Chicken
Artsy Mama
B Women
Brookwood Church
Bunny Trails (Dianne)
Calico Daisy
Confessions of an Organized Homeschool
Good Fruit
Happy Things
Heart of the Matter Online
In Pursuit of Proverbs 31
Inspire Company
jmck crafts
John (My Husband)
Life with 3 Boybarians (Darcy)
Lindler 5
Marsha (Marsha, Marsha)
Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy
Milk and Cookies
Mommy Matters (Karin Katherine)
My Cottage Life (Susan in SC)
My Peaceful Valley (Susan in SC)
Noteworthy Days
One More Moore
Posie Gets Cozy
Quilter's Cache
Raesha D
Roby Di Giovine
Sew, Mama, Sew
Soule Mama
Split Decisionz
Stillmeadow Quilting
The Homespun Heart
The Longest Year
The Proverbs 31 Woman
TOS Crew (First Mate) Lis
TOS Crew Heather
TOS Crew Marie
TOS Crew Traci
Tree Fall Design
Very Mary
Wee Wonderfuls
Yarn and Needles

And if she doesn't get it, I can't possibly explain it to her...

This story is just a tad bitter, me thinks. In a scathing review of a craft book -- a craft book -- the reporter concludes: "If, back in the Seventies, life was too short to stuff a mushroom, then it's definitely too short to ice a cup cake now."

I did not check my I.Q. at the door when I left the full-time workforce to be a stay-at-home mom. I can't comprehend why those who have chosen to make the center of life somewhere outside the home feel the need to vilify those who choose otherwise. That reporter is in serious need of a cupcake. I'm just sayin'.

This chick, this is the one I want to be. She could make some cupcakes, I bet -- the original multitasker.

Life is too short not to make icing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Be vewwy, vewwy quiet...


Spot the boy in the picture? Of course not, he's camouflaged.

My first time ever making sleeves. I was stunned when I finished and they looked like, well, sleeves.  As a result, the kid who loves soft blankets is now the proud owner of a super cool fleece robe.

Monday, October 8, 2007

"Ooh, that's a great price for twelve pounds of nutmeg." (Marge Simpson)


It's been work, school, work, school, work, school around here, just non-stop. Domesticity not being a state that occurs on its own, the house has been a disaster, the cupboard all but bare and yes, clothes have been worn straight from the hamper in a few cases.

But with a work slow-down and school rolling along, it's time to get things in order, starting with the freezer. Food, glorious food now fills the shelves. Beef stir-fry, ranch pork chops, maple pork chops, stuffed shells, chicken tacos...the list goes on and on. Pictured above is Rachel Ray's Vegetable Stew. I love knowing that dinner will be ready to go -- for the rest of the month, by the time I am finished cooking.

Even with food in the freezer, don't forget about Dine Out for Mom Oct. 18.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mom's Night Out


OK, so I was working -- but nonetheless, it was fun. Last night marked the grand opening of the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg. The facility is breathtaking and came in on time and under budget -- two of my favorite qualities. The giant red ribbons were for (what else?) the ribbon cutting ceremony.


I had the theatre all to myself for probably the last time ever. And there was exuberance all around:


This weekend, enjoy Aunt Het Day in Fountain Inn. Don't miss the drool-worthy quilt show and the LHF run.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Just say "Cathy"

In what I can only assume is a running cosmic joke, people persist in calling me Cathy. I don't know why, but I am learning to roll with it. I mention it because it seems to be more prevalent than usual these days. Is there a Cathy Worthy out there that I should know about?

In a work-related update, Octoberish words are here.