Tuesday, January 27, 2015

paying it forward

He was shy about bringing the cookies to the new neighbors.
The assignment took him out of his comfort zone.
The hesitation and unease because of the unknowing were not familiar flutterings in his ten year old frame.  And this gift was different in that it had a request- do something for someone else in return.  He didn't know how things would work out-which is the thing about risk taking- one never really knows.

He gathered the ingredients and gathered some help.
He learned how to follow a recipe.  He tasted his success then put on his coat.
One neighbor greeted him with "awesome" and another sent a tender note explaining how the gesture had been the highlight of her otherwise rotten day.

Mr. Ninja felt that effervescent energy shoot straight from his heart to tickle his toes- his smile lighting up his face.
I imagine this is what his forward thinking teacher had in mind all along.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

beanie no.212

Their big brothers have store bought beanies that were making them jealous-especially as the January wind began stinging their ears.  Knowing there was a beanie pattern sitting somewhere in my ravelry queue, the knitting needles came out and in no time at all a project was underway.

On the home front, thousands of efficient hands used this very pattern to knit up millions of beanies for soldiers serving in WWII.  I like to think of the women gathered around the country during that time, sitting in knitting circles, offering their "bit" for the war effort. Not unlike the women that meet in knitting circles today- somehow there is a connection holding the generations together with all of our skeins of yarn.

Easily memorized, this free pattern can be knit up with varying stitches to provide interest for the beginning knitter to the advanced.  The yarn is ella rae- a super wash that can be picked up at Little Owls Knit shop in Camp Hill.  Which by the way has a lovely knitting circle of their own that meets every Thursday night if you'd care to drop on by.

Gull stitch (L) and Cable (R)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

chicken pox!

Did you know that perhaps one of the reasons chicken pox has it's name is because the little blisters resembled peck marks from chickens?  Or that the little red spots resemble chickpeas?  Frankly, after having been pecked by an ornery chicken once and having made plenty of hummus from dried chickpeas- I'm rather skeptical of either explanations.  Google might not have the correct answers for everything and Mr. Cook seemed to know exactly what was going on with his body despite the silly name of the thing.

His father suggested that he might be suffering from dry skin and a little lotion would remedy it in no time.  Unfortunately, dads don't always know everything either- all of the time.  Moms, too.  If we're lucky (and not too busy), we'll take a minute to listen to what the little humans in the household are telling us. 

Luckily, there were other, not so obvious, clues that had me pause at his self-diagnosis.  Mr. Cook wasn't feeling very well yesterday and he complained of a terrible headache that earned a massage for about twenty minutes or so.  His suboccipital muscles- the eight little muscles at the base of the skull that allow the head to nod up and down- were terribly tight and tender.   Usually these muscles, if released, will take care of those nasty headaches- and the massage did do the trick.  Notwithstanding- there were swollen lymph nodes, bouts of nausea and general fatigue that were surfacing as well.

"Have you drunk any water today?" I questioned as Mr. Cook sat on the kitchen floor, looking wretched in self-pity.
"No," he replied glumly. 
"You could be dehydrated, honey." Remarkably, he listened, downed a glass of water, and put a smile back on his face.  

So there really wasn't a need for further explanations of his achiness other than tired muscles from slouching while attending to schoolwork and forgetting to drink water in the northern hemisphere during January.  What American kid doesn't struggle with that?

What I learned this morning, after Mr. Cook declared that he had chicken pox, and after he told me he'd been popping these blisters that are spreading everywhere, and after I examined the said blisters myself and determined that they were what he said they were- and after disregarding what Samuel Johnson- the renown 18th century essayist, surmised about how the disease was thus a "chicken" of a pox because of it's rather benign nature: I learned that this disease can turn a household completely upside down for a given two weeks as we wait for the youngest ninja to start complaining of headaches and blisters in places that would make grown men cringe.  Sorry Dr. Johnson, but there's nothing "chicken" about that.

Source for fun facts about the naming of chicken pox: Wikipedia.  And yes- I Googled it.