Thursday, 31 March 2011

Progress on the Shawl

Here is how it stands at the end of the first chart. I like it

Friday, 25 March 2011

Dancing with the Local Stars

Well, the local University Ballroom Dance Club had their yearly show tonight and I got to do my routine. It was billed as our version of Dancing with the Stars although the stars were certainly not as stellar as the ones that twinkle on the network television show!

It felt a little like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland getting together to put on a show and we can use my dad's shed for the stage, (at least in terms of my contribution), but the students did a fantastic job, both of teaching us old fogies a few new licks as well as performing intricate numbers themselves.

One of the sisters shows off her waltzing talents below.

In between the "stars" numbers the dance club performed some really nice numbers.

This team was one of the best, showing off a number that had earned them a score of 97 out of 100 at a recent Twin Cities competition.

That is my partner Michael dancing with his sister Anna. They were absolutely fabulous together and had the greatest characters for their routine. She was reluctant and he persisted and won her over for a dance.

This couple (below) had a very cute story to their number about a poor street musician dancing with a woman that puts money in his hat. The nattily dressed man transformed from a dirty busker to a "swell dude" right before our eyes.

This was a very hot number, that combined Tango with other moves.

Our fox trot went okay. I flubbed a few of my steps, but I didn't fall on my behind and my partner was very kind and encouraging, so I am relieved. We did our routine to "Puttin' on the Ritz. My partner was very ambitious and invented a rigorous choreography that involved hesitations, promenades, turns, fans and even a dip, so I felt pretty good about our performance afterwards (given the complexity of the dance.) Of course I didn't take a picture of us dancing, but here I am in the living room after the event - a little bleary (and worse for wear?) but at least you can see the costume. Yeah, those are my far away eyes!!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

More Dog Pictures

I'm sorry. I can't help myself!

I'm sorry. I can't help myself!

On the Needles

I've been working on an MMario design called Vampire W(h)ine. I'm really liking it thus far. It is currently about 18 to 18.5 inches in diameter and I am going to have to order more yarn before I can finish, but here is what it looks like at the moment.

And of course I have to put a picture of my puppy up n the blog. Yup that's her on my couch!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

It's Great to Know..

It's great to know we have 4 Nuclear reactors on the fault line in California, in a place where the "big one" could happen any time and that Japan's nuclear reactors were extensively fortified to resist earthquakes.

It's great to know that Minnesota has recently initiated steps to allow Nuclear Power plants to be built after a 6 year moratorium! Yes, I know we won't have Tsunami in Minnesota, but we have tornadoes and floods and we still haven't figured out a place to store the waste.

I don't know what you think, but that sure looks like a big river that our power plant is sitting on.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Encounter with a playful puppy. We should not have both gone for the rope toy at the same time. The result was a collision, a trip to the emergency room and 5 stitches!

Looks like the vampires paid me a visit, doesn't it?

I can't wait for the swelling to go down! It's hard to open my mouth!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

What's On the Needles Now

I've started two shawls. Here is MMario's Vampire W(h)ine:

I'm only on row 35, but it is coming along. Currently 240 mm (9.5 inches) in diameter. Since there are 225 rows without the edging, this will probably be a pretty large shawl (and I will run out of yarn before it is done!!) It will be more than 5 feet in diameter when done before the edging if size is consistent with what I have done thus far!! The yarn is KnitPicks gloss.

The other shawl is a Niebling variation called Frosted Ferns,

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Arbitrary Images from our Trip West

These two were taken in North Dakota. We woke up to see the wild horses grazing in fornt of our tent in the campsite.

Below is one of many images I took at Yellowstone. What beautiful vistas!

This was in South Dakota.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Age and Loss

The older one gets the more one seems to have to deal with loss. One would think that this would make the act of grieving easier, as if with each loss one was able to detach a little bit more from the world and thus make the thoughts of one own's passing increasingly easier. Perhaps it is the other way around and we fight our own mortality harder each time. Of course there is also a third possibility. It could be that this really has nothing to do with us, but is simply the pain of knowing that something beautiful and kind has disappeared from the world never to be encountered again.

It has been a hard year for the family here at Purple Worms. In the last several months a dear friend, a cherished colleague, a mother-in-law, the last uncle and now an animal member of the family have passed on. Winter is a time of death and he has claimed his rights this year in extreme.

On Wednesday we lost our beloved cat, Deja. She has not appeared too often on this blog because she is what I used to refer to fondly as a "cat without a face." A sweet and delicate soul, she was a tortoise shell Persian cat, with a face so dark, that it was nigh impossible to photograph. Not only that, but through the years as I strove in vain to photograph her, she absorbed the timing of the flash and learned to blink always at just the right moment.

We had her some 13 years and have no real idea of her age, but despite her delicacy she ran our household with an iron hand, making sure that water bowls got changed, people got up when they were supposed to and that items placed where they didn't belong got replaced.

I have a few images I would like to leave with you. None reflect the true beauty of her face and personality, but they are what I have. I have posted this image before. It is not Dejá at her most lady-like, but it shows her iron will and her beautiful green and gold eyes, so very rarely apparent in the photos I collected over the year.

Dejá now resides in the Pet cemetery on the east side of the house with Bart the dog, Hagen, Snuffy and my much missed Naphta. It's time to turn back toward the living and remember how important our interactions with others are. I know today I will think twice before I make a sarcastic comment to a colleague or continue working when someone wants to interrupt me and I will certainly hug every member of my household an extra heartfelt and meaningful time and be mindfully thankful for the blessings of each presence.