Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rangers lead the way!

Here are Billy and Aimee at Billy's Ranger graduation.  Notice the new Ranger tab on his left shoulder.  He just finished a grueling 62 day training, and graduated without having to be recycled on any of the training phases (there are 3).  Less than 20% of those who graduate do so without be recycled (aka failing one of the 3 phases).  There were about 170 graduates, including 1 from the Chinese Army, two from Canada, and one from 

To say that the training is rigorous is an understatement.  There are intense physical and psychological hurdles as well as just plain dangerous stuff.  They learn how to walk up and down vertical cliffs (like Spiderman) with ropes, how to blow things up, how to parachute (Billy got a concussion when they "jumped" into the 3rd phase in the swamps of Florida), and how to do this:

These little dots dangling from the helicopter are actually Ranger instructors demonstrating how to get extracted from a "situation".  A bad situation.  They got there by sliding down a rope from the helicopter.  They later hooked themselves onto this rope and the helo flew away with them.

They also learned a lot of hand to hand combat skills, all based on ju-jitsu throws.  Completely awesome, they throw each other around like rag dolls.

He now moves from Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia (BTW, they had not even ONE yarn store) to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky (unknown yarn store status).  He will be assigned a platoon of about 40 soldiers (knuckleheads) who have just graduated from boot camp.  His unit (101st Airborne) is on deployment in Afghanistan and will be returning in March sometime.  It was an incredible thing to witness, this graduation---definitely one of the highpoints of life, right up there with college graduation or weddings ( even if Columbus is devoid of yarn to quench my habit).  Later!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Celebrating our Knit Sibs

Fran and Shirley showing off Fran's mom's new wrap---really really cute

And here we all are gathered with our Knit Friends in celebration of our friend Dee Dee, wishing her not only good Knitting Mojo, but a wonderful experience in Iraq.  She said that on the first day she gets there she is going to find a new best friend and immerse herself in language and culture.  She will undoubtedly find someone, and their life will be all the richer for knowing her.  Good luck DeeDee, we will miss you but we look forward to hearing all about your experience on your blog!  On the upper right corner of this blog is the link to her web page.  The password is deedee.  You can bookmark it on your computer too, or if you don't know how, you can enter through this link.  

This is a short entry--gotta go knit.  Hope to see you all on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Have You Seen DeeDee?

OK, you simply MUST COME TO KNITTING ON SUNDAY!!!  It is a mandatory meeting.  If you don't come we will send the knitting police out to find you and drag you and your knitting to Papa San!  I am so serious that I am even going to call Papa San and RESERVE THE ROOM to make sure no nursing students steal it out from under us.

In case you didn't know, DeeDee is going to Northern Iraq to teach English to Kurdish women who are getting ready to go to the University.  Women have not been allowed to go to school until recently, and there are many of them who are now ready for the University, but must learn English first.  Because of her travel experiences, Dee Dee was asked to go for 7 months.  She will be leaving within 2 weeks.  Please come to knitting to see her off as only Knitters can do!  

***Roll your cursor over the title, and you will be taken to a link that you can watch to see photos that she will post during her trip.  The password for this web page is deedee (of course!).  Some of you who went to Europe and couple of years ago will remember the cover photo.  You can go to this map to see where she will be.  The star shows the town where the University is located and she will be in a village near this town.   PLUS___________If you look at the right side of my page here, you will see a section titled under my hit counter called "My favorite links".  You can click on  "Have You Seen DeeDee" and it will take you to her web page, magically!  Want to learn more about Iraq and it's culture?  DeeDee sent me this---  go to, then to online databases, and then to culturegrams.  You can look up any country--it is very interesting.

Hope to see you at Papa San on Sunday!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Holy cow, 2009!  Can you believe it?  Sounds like the future.  I thought that by this time we would have cars that would drive you, instead of you driving them.  You know, hop in and tell it to take you to Nordstrom's at Fashion Square, and you could sleep while it drove.  Or, cars that hovered above the ground.  And remember the way that the Jetson family cooked dinner?  They had a contraption that they would talk to and Shazam! the food would materialize.  And the robot maid?  What happened to all of that?  Where is that technology?  Hmmmm...

My mom's shawl needs one to two more repeats, so it is in progress.  I did finish her Knitters Without Borders socks yesterday.  Her Spring Forwards were actually don BEFORE Christmas, imagine that!  I am now working on her Fixation Riverbeds.  Maybe they will be done tomorrow?  Perhaps?

This is how I spent my New Year's Eve afternoon.  This is my mom's Knitters Without Borders Sock, my toe covered by a green blanket, and the gi-normous fireplace in the lobby of the Hon-Dah Hotel lobby outside of Pinetop.  My mom and one of our friends were in the casino, so it was great knitting time for me.  I made my nest on  a big leather couch in front of the fire, and the blanket was something that t
he casino gave my mom for her "frequent flyer" coupon.  

Here are Carson and I before he left for Las Vegas on December 30.  His Bacon 
Scarf is thinner and folds well.   We think that mine has decided to be a Bacon Wrap  rather than a scarf because it is thicker and wider.  These are definitely curious scarves/wraps.  You can see more about the making of these on my Flickr page.
I will have mine at knitting next Sunday.

Hope to see you next Sunday at Papa San's !  Until then, happy knitting!!!