Sunday, November 15, 2009

itty-bitty fun

Another busy week for us- 4-H on Tuesday, violin lessons on Wednesday, an evening at the orchestra (what a fun treat!) on Thursday, a homeschool field trip to our favorite historical farm on Friday, and in true no-rest-for-the-weary fashion, a Mommy afternoon at a yarn shop, meeting Susan B. Anderson, on Saturday. Whew! Kinda tired just typing that (could be from staying up a bit late last night, but we'll all pretend I didn't just admit that).
My Dear Husband was home all day on Saturday. Not only was he home, but he was perfectly willing to oversee the entire brood for some hours in the afternoon so I could have some of that elusive 'me time'. For the record, I would've dragged all of my children to the yarn shop if he wasn't going to be home, well, okay, my two oldest boys could have stayed home and twiddled their thumbs for a couple hours... I was truly thankful that he was home, not only so I could have some Mommy time, but so he could have some Daddy time (notice how that works out opposite- my Mommy time is getting out sans children, his Daddy time is being home avec children...), and because my youngest little guy is just getting over a bit of croup, and he's a wee bit clingy and cranky, and may not have been the sweetest little companion around- unlike my sister's wee one, who was the perfect sweet pea!

Shepherd's Choice is so much more than a yarn shop, and I count myself blessed to consider it's owner, Kathy, a friend.
She makes the most wonderful natural soaps and moisturizing lotions- I just cannot say enough good things about them. Seriously. I told several perfect strangers about how Kathy's lanolin rich moisturizer cured my daughters severe eczema and psoriasis- she had what appeared to be both at the time, it was awful, cracked, bleeding, weepy, scaley, itchy, burning, no fun at all for a 2 yr old! We had a doctor prescribe an ointment (after we had tried every 'good' and 'natural' lotion on the market, Eucerin, Neutogena, Aveeno, you name it, we tried it, all to no avail- and they would sting, poor baby), an ointment we never used. After reading the insert, and learning that this ointment had been shown to cause benign and malignant growths, I refused to even try. Were they serious?! They actually wanted me to rub this stuff on my 2 yr old's precious baby soft skin, okay, baby soft except for where the eczema and psoriasis was taking it's toll... Anyhoo, I stopped by the shop one day, and brought in my 2 yr old for Kathy to see. She gave me a tub of her unscented lanolin rich moisturizer to try, and folks, I'm not even kidding, in a week there was marked improvement, in 2 weeks, she was almost clear, by the 3rd week we were just using a touch here and there for some dryness that threatened to get sore but never got the chance. I was amazed, and thankful, and have bought more of that wonder stuff since.
If you have skin problems, please give it a try, and give it time to work. Kathy is a wonderfully prompt shipper. While you're at it, order a bar of her cinnamon with lanolin soap, because, I mean, cinnamon soap!! I could almost eat it. Who doesn't love the smell of cinnamon? Especially this time of year?! Makes wonderful gifts as well!! Knit a washcloth, give with some of this luscious soap, seriously, the recipient will thank you.
Back to the main point of this post- meeting Susan was like meeting up with an old friend. After reading her blog for some years, tweeting back and forth for some months, listening to her podcasts and hearing her interviewed on others, even her voice was familiar. Just in case you're wondering, yes, she really is every bit as sweet as she seems. It was so fun to finally meet her.

My sister came, with munchkin in tow, and then my Mom stopped by too, so we had to get a couple shots of our designing family with Susan. There is another sister, my Little sister, but she's too cool to knit, or way too busy with her amazing job and her adorable Little guy. She's an amazing person, but she's the odd one out when it comes to the knitting and designing (and the sewing!) in this family. She's young, there's still time...
There were a few other local blogging knitters to be spotted, and it was funny how we kinda went by our blog names- "Hey, there's Knits In Class", (hi Kate!), "Oh, hi! Nice to meet you, I'm Skeins Her Way", "There's Twist Your Stitches", "The Blonde Knitter", and one of "The Rainey Sisters"!! Fun times. Yeah, Susan may have been onto something when she named her blog after herself, you know, so people actually know her name...

The sun came out for some moments and I ran over to the window to soak up some rays, cause I'm desperate like that, and then it got warm in the shop. I peeled off my Drops Jacket, 'cause, have you worn Blue Sky Alpacas' Worsted? So warm and cozy. I pulled out my water bottle, which I promptly left on the table so if there's a stainless steel water bottle doing crazy things with the flash in any of your pictures, sorry about that! Winters in the Frozen Tundra (I know it's not frozen yet, but Minnesota is always the Frozen Tundra in my mind) are so dry, my water bottle becomes my best friend, specially when the room suddenly gets warm, and I'm not even in my menopause years...

After mulling around for most if the afternoon, and after stocking up on more yummy soaps, some for me, some for gifts, I headed out to a local cafe with The Blonde Knitter. Avant Garden is a very cozy spot in the old historic downtown Anoka, serving the most wonderful paninis- we split a Roma- tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and I don't know what else, but let's just say it's taking some significant self-control to not hop back in the van to grab another for lunch today. Oh, and in a rare non-latte drink order for me, I went with a hot caramel apple cider, and I have no regrets, yummo!

All in all, a fabulous Saturday, and would you believe, I didn't even knit a stitch?

Happy knitting to the rest of you (I'm sure I'll knit a stitch or two today)-


Blogger Kristyn Knits said...

sounds like you had a perfect recharge kind of day! what a wonderful blessing for you to meet susan! the knit shop sounds wonderful! hope you get to knit a few stitches tonight!

11/15/2009 6:23 PM  
Blogger At Home Mommy Knits said...

Sounds like the perfect mommy day. Divine!!

11/15/2009 10:19 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh those mommy ME times are so special, aren't they?

LOVE the pics--I'll keep an eye out for that water bottle!

It was great to SEE you!

11/16/2009 9:26 AM  
Blogger Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Great to meet you too, Ali - Love your comment about the Mommy time = me time, Daddy time = time with the kids. So true!

The shop is amazing - Kathy might even be more amazing! I'll be trekking out from St. Paul for more soon.

(Love the pic you got of me and Susan - way better than the one my mom snapped)

11/16/2009 8:39 PM  
Blogger a friend to knit with said...

oh, ali. i love this post. you made me giggle a few times, too. (i think i would like to eat cinnamon soap, too...hey have you ever bought a sugar cookie candle? whenever i burned that thing i would eat EVERYTHING in the house. it made me SO hungry!)

anyhow. what a fantastic day. and i WILL order that lotion. i have had eczema all my life.... so am always looking for new things to try. thank you!

love seeing your whole talented family. that little sis is missing out. i actually love that she is too cool to knit. :) gives her character.

so glad you had a great day... and your hubby, too! :)

11/16/2009 9:26 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

We need to make trips to Kathy's a little more regular I think. Like even when there's no celebrities there! I might head back sooner than later. I realized I needed some needles on Sunday. Oops! Let me know if you're up for an outing this week.

11/17/2009 12:23 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

What a perfect and fun time. The shop looks amazing. I could spend a day in there just perusing all the goodies. How nice to get out and have fun together.


11/17/2009 6:58 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

Oh, that looks like just the best time! Glad that you got some well-deserved fun time.

11/19/2009 7:00 PM  
Blogger stitching under oaks said...

What a wonderful fun to meet in person all those wonderful knitter/bloggers. I'm going to check out those soaps! Thanks Ali!

11/21/2009 7:30 PM  

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