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February 17, 2014 / erin

Braille Challenge

6 years ago Indiana started holding a regional Braille challenge. We attended that year and every year since, but this year the weather was definitely against us.
Friday, I took Jess out of school and we headed up to Indy early. Good thing too, because if we had waited any later to leave we would not have gone. We drove through a snow storm. A 3-3.5 hour trip under normal circumstances took us over 5 hours.
We made it though, and sticking with tradition, we ate at Five Guys, which we do every Braille Challenge weekend. Which was great, because Roz was working.

Now, Roz was working there 6 years ago, when we went there for our pre-Braille challenge dinner, and she and Jess hit it off instantly. She was there Friday, and as we walked through the door, we heard Roz yell, ” There’s my girl!” Mind you, we get to this restaurant once a year.
So we caught up with Roz, who told us if we ever stop in and she is not there to ask whoever is working to call her, because she lives just down the block. How sweet is that?

So after our wonderful Five Guys dinner. (We love that place) we traveled on to our hotel. What’s nice is a lot of the Braille Challenge participants were also staying at our hotel, and the kids all got to go swimming and catch up with each other. Some of the kids, who come from all over the State, only get to see each other during this weekend.

Saturday morning kicked off a Dr. Suess themed Braille Challenge.
One of the teachers dressed like the cat, and stayed in character for the little kids. There was a photo booth. (The pictures will be sent.) As our students did their best in the testing rooms, the families were entertained with a story teller, a local couple that write and illustrate children’s books, a craft, and instruction in tactile illustrating, and advice from the school’s home ec teacher on how to organize your kitchen and help your blind child play a bigger part in the kitchen.

It was a great weekend, that we all enjoyed. Now we wait. Indiana will post results on the next week or two. The those who qualify for Nationals will be notified in May.


In 2012 Jess went to nationals in LA. This year, I think everyone in her testing group has been to nationals at least once. (Indiana represents well at the national level.)

February 9, 2014 / erin

Hanging in there

The finger is healing. I’m looking forward to the day I don’t need the big bandage. Also looking forward to finishing these antibiotics. They are nasty!

School was out for most of the week due to the weather. I’m quite ready to return the normal schedule. Although Braille Challenge is this week in Indianapolis. Jess seems less enthusiastic then she has been in recent years.

It’s that time of year again. It’s time for Carma and I to work out the details of this year’s trip. So far we got nothing. Nothing but the date that is. So now to decide how to spend Memorial Day Weekend.

I have found knitting is possible with the hurt finger, but slow going and I can do it for long. Crocheting doesn’t bother it, so I’ve been doing a bit of that. I’m working through all my cotton and making washcloths. I know that doesn’t lend itself to exciting blog posts.

February 4, 2014 / erin


I had finished my manos de Uruguay throw. I have no pictures yet because as soon as it came off the needles, James snatched it, & won’t give it back. The ends haven’t even been woven in.

I have since found more skeins, but I decided to set them aside to add on to the blanket later.

I am impatiently waiting for my finger to heal over so I can get back to normal. I’m feeling a bit useless.

Plus the dog thinks my bandaged finger is some kind of chew toy that I’m playing keep away from her.

February 1, 2014 / erin

It has to.

Today I woke at 6:30 in a panic, manically trying to wake the house, because we had all overslept. Then I was informed it was in fact Saturday.

Feeling foolish, with a 3 year old that was wide awake now and was in no way going back to sleep, I got up and faced the day. Today I had no piano lessons, as I usually do on Saturdays, so I thought I would get caught up in the kitchen.

First thing, I decided that the remainder of our pears that were going soft, were going to become cardamom pear chips, and I set about slicing them and setting them in the dehydrator.

That was when I did it. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made. In trying to get a particularly stubborn pear through the mandolin slicer, I accidentally sliced off the tip of my finger.

It hurt. A lot. And bled. A lot. It in fact would not stop bleeding, so with a dish towel wrapped around my finger and me squeezing the holy hell out of it, to keep pressure on the cut, we all loaded into the truck, and Nate drove us to the ER.

By the time we got there, the towel was stuck to my finger and it took soaking the towel under the faucet then ripping it free, to get to my finger. There was nothing to stitch, so the plan was to stop the bleeding, and get it bandaged so that it could heal over.

So that’s where it stood and once it was all under control, I was released.


January 27, 2014 / erin

I want to make all the things!

My crafting time seems to be coming in smaller and smaller chunks.

Between the pup and my little guy demanding my constant attention, not a lot has been getting done around here.

It’s a shame, because I really want to make this:

Vortex from Norah Gaughan
This (trying to convince Carma of a knit along):

Rorschach from Elizabeth Zimmermann
And this:

Cleopatra Wrap from Miriam Felton

But first I must finish:

1. Jess’ Cardigan, based on Cameo in the book Custom knits.
2. Retro Rib gift socks
3. Garter blanket using my leftover Manos del Uruguay yarn.

So my portable project right now are these. Because they are small, cheap, and I can pick it up and put it down without any thought of where I left off.

Anybody need some washcloths?

I’m thinking about putting them on etsy, along with a few other finished projects that had no intended recipient.

January 24, 2014 / carma

Happy birthday

For your birthday I offer a small montage of goofy (are there any others??) photos of us through the years. I’m sad it’s such a small sampling. Next year I’ll do better.
Smooches –




PS. Why are we always on the same side of each other?!

–Erin here. I tried to comment but WordPress wouldn’t let me comment ON MY OWN BLOG! I just called up every digitized photo of us I could think of, and you are correct. We are always on the same side. The only exception seems to be if someone else joins the picture. That is hilarious!

January 21, 2014 / erin

No time.

I have a sweater in progress for darling Jess, some mate less socks, and a growing stack of crochet washcloths.

I have a pile of sewing, and countless unfinished chores.

I also have a three year old that is requiring my undivided attention, and constant cuddles.

All of it is clamoring for me.

Guess which is winning.