Two years ago, I was in the back yard with the girls, while they played on the swingset. The dogs were chasing each other around, as they usually do when we’re out there with them. They love to play when they have an audience.

At one point, 150 pounds of dog came hurtling at me at top speed (Logic was in the tuck-and-run greyhound posture that he gets when he’s running at a full gallop) and slammed into my right knee, hyperextending it and knocking me to the ground. It took me a while to get up and I remember using the fence to pull myself up. I limped for a while from that, but it mostly got better… It just hurt when I sat with my right foot tucked under me and then got up (a favorite sitting position of mine), or after a long walk/run, or when the weather changed.

For the past few months, however, the pain has been more consistent. And there have been a few times when I’ve been seated for a while (like when tutoring) and I get up and my knee has just buckled. And I catch myself limping a lot more now.

So I have an appointment tomorrow morning with an orthopedic surgeon for an X-ray and an exam. Hopefully it’s something that can be corrected non-surgically, but I’m concerned. It’s been 2 years. I should be better by now.

Wish me luck.

Update: MRI on Friday. Suspected tear in medial meniscus. Will go back to the orthopedic surgeon for treatment options consult next Friday after he reads the results of the MRI.

Clouds — A Helen Story (a very short one)

After school today, Helen and I ran a bunch of errands. It’s a spectacular day — blue sky, gorgeous spring day, etc.

Driving from point C to point D, a dreamy voice drifted up from the back seat.

“Mommy, if I had a rope as long as the sky, do you think I could catch a cloud?”

And then later: “I’d want a big fluffy white one, because the gray ones rain.”

This is the kind of stuff that makes me love being a Mommy.

Stimulated. Very, very stimulated.

After anticipating this for over a year, I took two quilting workshops taught by Barbara Olson, an internationally known art quilter. The first workshop was on Cosmic Spirals, and she taught the technique she used in her quilt of the same name.

Here’s my version (still pinned together, and the center isn’t turned under yet, but you get the gist):

Cosmic Spiral, on point

For those of you wondering how in the world that got put together, here’s a hint:

part one

part two

It’s a pretty slick technique, and I learned a nice little trick that would have been quite helpful during the construction of this recently finished quilt.

The second workshop was more about the creative process, and less project-oriented (even though we each worked on the project she has on the front page of her website, “Wild Child.”)… She gave us each the pattern so that we wouldn’t be stumped by that part of the design, and it was VERY interesting to watch the different flowers come to life all around the room, as people chose different fabrics. One woman was using very vintage/heritage-looking fabrics, so her flower had an old-timey feel… Another used lots of pastels, so it looked springy. My mom’s looked kind of African because of the fabrics she chose, and mine took on an Asian feel.

Three of my petals have been machine-appliqued together, the one on the bottom left is pinned up there, and I’m getting ready to cut the pieces for the one on the top right. It’s a REALLY neat process and something I can totally see myself doing more of.

Flower, unfinished

Obviously, the white background is the pattern, and I’ll put this on a different background once it’s finished.

Dragons – an Alice Story

Tuesday, Alice and I spent the whole day together. This was the first full school day that she and I have had together since that miserable day in February where I completely lost my mind.

It was a WONDERFUL day. We have broken the cycle of destruction, which makes me far happier than you can possibly imagine. I enjoyed every moment of my Alice Time yesterday.

Especially this one particular moment, which still makes me snicker.

After lunch (which she really didn’t eat), I was cleaning up. She came into the kitchen to socialize a little bit before we ran errands (while we waited for Tom to come get the Army quilt), and was just chatting with me. At one point, she made a funny little sound and then spit quite dramatically on the floor.

I just stood there and gawked at her, in an oh-no-you-di’n’t sort of way.

She looked at me, shrugged, and said, “My dragons were in my mouth.”


I waited. She waited. I waited. She waited.

“You’re going to get a towel for that, right?”

“I’ll get a towel to clean that up, Mommy. We don’t spit on the floor.”

“Good girl.”