In Appreciation

Call me old-fashioned, not with the times, or even schoolmarmish, I cannot say enough how I appreciate a well-intentioned thank you.  Whether a wave from a stranger in a car,  a smile followed by a nod in a waiting line, it matters to me.  When it comes in the form of writing it is especially sweet but when in handwriting, that thank you lingers in my heart for a very long time.

As I transition back into the work force, I want to share these heart-felt notes that came my way from the volunteer experiences I recently had.  The first is from Buffalo City Mission where I taught knitting during their winter semester.  We had a very successful time as evidenced by the ladies’ projects as seen here.  I am heading back for their summer session and look forward to new projects while promoting our big idea of Stitch(ing) Away Stress.  That’s the name of our class.

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Relationship of fabric to design

Well, at this point, this project has been knitted twice.  Not by choice, of course, but to eliminate too much shelf time, aka, not be worn.  I knit to wear so if there is something about a garment that doesn’t feel right or comfortable, I know its future is doomed.   I must say, the fabric that was created by this stitch was the conundrum.

The honeycomb stitch is a type of cable that is dense, especially when using Lion Brand’s fisherman wool . .  held double.  Not so much dense in weight as the pulled stitches create a kind of air hole behind it.  Maybe, you can make this out here, but dense in body.

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A Star(lab) for the teacher

This is one of those rare, it-only-happens-to-other-people kind of stories, a story that whether you are a family member, a friend, or a person of the human race would appreciate. But, in this case, it didn’t happen to a stranger, it happened to my Dad!  So, I must capture the beauty of it so I can spread the word that values of appreciation, kindness, and gratitude are still evident in our world today.  Passionate in every way, here is how a lifelong interest of one inspired another not only through the years of direct instruction but also motivated her esteemed career in the field of science.  And how ultimately, over 50 years later, that student came back to this Buffalo area to thank him.

That teacher is my dad, Richard Zygmunt. Growing up, his enthusiasm for astronomy filled our backyard with his homemade telescopes, filled our Saturdays with lessons taught at the Buffalo Museum of Science, and filled our summers with the lessons he taught about the celestial skies from the little observatory he built on the hill of a local summer camp.

Through the years, he would study the sky either on his own or in groups with fellow astronomers. Telescopes were built by them and used for study. Here, a star-gazing group has convened.

As any astronomy-enthusiast would, he and others attended the very recent re-opening of Buffalo Museum of Science’s Kellogg Observatory.  After checking out the new telescopic equipment,  well, they posed.

It was in early August of 2018 when my Dad received this letter.

“Thank you for attending the grand opening celebration for the Kellogg Observatory.  With the re-opening of the Kellogg Observatory, the Buffalo Museum of Science cotinues its transformation, our reverence for our past informing ambitions for the future.
As an educator, you shaped Museum experiences and crafted memories your students cherish to this day.  You instilled a love of learning and an appreciation for the boundless possibilities space holds.  I am honored to inform you that your legacy of inspiration will continue to touch generations of Museum goers for years to come.
With this letter, the Buffalo Museum of Science formally acknowledges that your former student, Dr. Cora Musial has gifted a digital planetarium in your honor.  You taught Cora when she was a Museum Kid, and took her on her first visits to the Kellogg Observatory.  Cora explained that your astronomy classes “Stars and Constellations” and “The Sun and Its Family” inspired her and instilled in her a lifelong love of all things celestial.  To this day, she still has the notebooks from your classes.  
In the Richard Zygmunt Planetarium, the Buffalo Museum of Science will continue your work of capturing the imagination and fostering a new generation of star-gazers.  We are honored.” Sincerely, Marisa Wigglesworth, President & CEO
December 12, 2018

Family and friends gathered and celebrated. Here we are listening to the plan for the evening which included a demo of the digital planetarium’s possibilities for education and party sleep-overs.

We gathered outside the starlab, first, for a family photo and then, inside the structure to more fully understand the power of this high-tech learning tool.

Below, is a close-up of the plaque printed right on the digital starlab’s fabric.  No question about this dedication, a truly heartfelt thank you from student to teacher.

Cora, as you can see, was a museum kid turned Dr. Cora Musial, Infectious Disease Specialist.  Check out to what extent she shared his passion. Below, she is showing her former teacher the notebook that she still has with the notes she took from his classes.

Check out the date.  If you’re wondering, yes, she took her notes in handwriting during class, then re-typed them at home!  I heard it being discussed that these notebooks will be placed into the archives of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

May the minds of young ones be filled with the knowledge, interest, and wonderment of the skies above with help from the Richard Zygmunt Planetarium for years to come. And, not so bad that my Dad was given this recognition and appreciated for his fine teachings in this field.

Leg-o-Mutton ‘THEN’

I think it is interesting to hear of what inspires each of us.  For my inspiration, I can’t think of a time when I reached for any Vogue Knitting publication that I didn’t end up wanting to make at least one item from it.  Oftentimes, more.  This has remained true for over 40 years.  Now, currently on Ravelry, such magazines, publications, designers of well-known fame as well as fledglings have ‘groups’ one can follow.  From there one can drill down and find things like KALs (knit alongs) and surprise KALs (just that, clues per week to lead to a surprise garment in the end).  These things are found in ‘forums’.  These niceties  are all meant to inspire or motivate the knitter in us.  Well, the Vogue Knitting Group is no exception.  It offers challenges, and I am right in line to accept them.

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The Poncho Wrap

Is it a poncho?  Is it a wrap?  The designer, Vladimir Teriohkin names his design Helio Poncho, which means combining form.  Whatever you call it, it could not be easier to knit and exceedingly fun to wear.  Think, a few inches of ribbing, followed by a rectangle in straight stitch with a hole in it towards one end, and ending with the same number of inches in ribbing.  When complete,  pick up stitches around that hole for a nice 8 inch cowl.  It is as simple as that.  Knitted in Homespun from Lion Brand, a chunky, curly yarn, it knits up quickly and is impressively soft..  Wear it casual with moto joggers for Christmas tree shopping or fancy it up with more formal wear for an evening out,  The photographer snapped these photos while I was adjusting the multitude of ways of wearing.  We are at a Buffalo-famed ice cream shop, Anderson’s who rents out their lot to a Christmas tree farm every holiday season.  Paul Bunyan has stood proudly for years positioned along a main drag to announce the farm’s return to the local community.  So, here we are starting out where I’ve slipped this rectangle over my head, short length in front.

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Lizzie’s Love Letter

a re-homing letter from one who could not speak for herself . . .

To My New Family ~

I came into this world from a litter of 9. Summer is my canine Mom and Bono, my Dad. (The formal papers are attached). We were born in Cindy’s house. Ribbons of different colors were placed on my sibs and me, so we could be identified by name. Maybe, also to tell us apart as I do remember my sisters looking a lot like me. Summer was very patient with the 9 of us feeding from her and we thought nothing of kicking, pushing, and pulling each other before, during, and after Mom’s meals. When the door bell rang, Summer would jump up to gleefully answer the call sending us reeling into the air.

At about 8 – 12 weeks, cannot quite remember, I noticed people coming to visit. And, it seemed like when they left there was 1 less of us pups. It was at this time a couple came saying they wanted to adopt a yellow female. Cindy gathered my yellow sisters and me and we romped about to impress hoping to be the pick. I heard the visiting woman say she wanted a pup who might appreciate all kinds of tactile attention (otherwise known as loving) and Cindy pointed to me!

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Just a Note, Not

Not birthday,
Not holiday.
Not because you had to.

Just a Note.

From the heart
These words came
and are received.

One of my favorite
things in life
are words

Simple words, crafted with care
meaningful to the receiver
So thoughtful from the giver

Just a note

not to me
best gift
from one to another.

This note came with an added treat . . .

The title of the photo says it all; in-law family members included

Spring version of Renaissance Tunic

Well, I do keep my word.  Today, we had a redo photo shoot of my Renaissance Tunic, designed by Teva Durham.  Now, make no mistake as to how much I love this sweater as evidenced by its wearing this winter.  My love of this tunic is probably why I wanted to bring it to you, again as I wasn’t sure the first photo shoot did it justice.  However, this idea does add pressure to an already stressful activity.  That is how I feel with these photo sessions, pure stress.  Many reasons.  You see, hubby, who wants so desperately to please is not quite as flexible and energetic as he once was and the model is getting older.  Both get cranky and both want these photo shoots to be successful, at least in our eyes.  Also, a redo moment takes twice the energy to ready our ‘get-up-and-go’ and we (or at least, I) have high hopes of capturing some good looking shots.

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Top Ten reasons why Retirement is Hard WORK

TEN:  Imperfections of the house are staring you in the face . . . at all times.

NINE:  There IS time for exercise.

EIGHT:  Coffee breaks are not alone but with your pooch who needs your ‘watching’.

SEVEN:  You think there is more time than there is.

SIX:  Even your own grooming needs self-direction.

FIVE:  You can’t sleep in because your internal clock from years of work won’t stop.

FOUR:  Hubby mentions to you that you are annoying.

THREE:  There is no job description given to you of duties and responsibilities of your new position as retiree.

TWO:  The house becomes LESS organized as you move from one activity to another.

AND ONE:  All your friends have gone back to work.

 

The “Five Year Celebration” Project

I know.  You’re expecting some sort of fantastical  afgan, or yarn bombing of a city, or full blown suit knitted in fair isle with fingering weight yarn but you’re not going to see that with this post.

IMG_0409 (1)

One can never predict what is coming next in life and this little project that was to take just a bit of time has turned out to be what we are affectionately calling “the five year celebration”.  We say “five year” because from the time we (a dear friend and I) sat down to plan, make to wear this adorable fashion statement,  life offered its challenges which needed our attention that caused us to place this on hold.  Life challenges for both of us.  From serious, life threatening health issues including operations to losses, to life transitions both on a personal level and professional level  it has been five years since the onset of this project!  We say “celebration” because each of us faced the challenge(s) we were confronted with head on and found ways to accept, cope, manage,  and move forward enabling us to come full swing back to our original intention.  We did not let that life challenge define us or take hold of our lives, but rather took control to redirect to what we both wanted.

I loved knitting this little number!  Who wouldn’t especially with gorgeous hand-painted Tilli Tomas silk, laden with sequins, it was a knitting paradise for me.   Pattern from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009 #24 designed by Faith Hale and marked very easy was well written, sizing figured out, the knitting of it really didn’t take much time at all.  The only minor change we made to the design element is we did not add button holes and buttons because an heirloom brooch will be completing this look for her.  Oh, and I also added a band of garter stitch to match all the other band trimmings on the left front as there was no other finishing and I can’t stand curling of knitted fabric where NOT intended.

Happy days ahead!  Think of me tomorrow as I present this beauty to my dear friend!

think brooch where the yarn label is

Think brooch where the yarn label is.

Addendum:  I sewed in my hand-knit label after the photos were taken so as to not have it distract from the gorgeous sweater in the photos.

Of course, she will be able to place the brooch anywhere along the ruffle.

Of course, she will be able to place the brooch anywhere along the ruffle.

The garment really needs to be ON to be completely appreciated.  Maybe, a photograph with her in it is looming in our future?

To blog or not to blog, that be the question

IMG_0393To blog or not to blog?
Is blogging work or leisure?
I love thought-provoking questions such as these, recently seen on WordPress, and I’ve been contemplating how I might respond.

I think the answer to both questions is surrounded by one’s purpose.  And, what I mean is there are as many reasons to write a blog as there are bloggers. And, likely many reasons not to write a blog. Each blogger probably began with an idea or a unique purpose for their writing.  I mean you gotta have an idea!  In some cases, to share or chat or find commonalities to others or make connections. Maybe, even to find answers! Example of that is retirementtransition.  The author is carefully and strategically reinventing herself with a new sense of identity with her new phase in life.  In some cases, blogs are written to teach or inform like Live to Write – Write to Live.  I love that blog and am learning a thing or two.  (who vs. that, a common mistake of mine)  I think my favorite are the learning blogs.  Then, there are those who utilize social networking aka WordPress that is then linked to their Linkedin and/or Twitter accounts for their business as in Kate Davies Designs.  How lucky to have this resource in which to do so.  Her blog in particular, is so beautiful with its photography and equally compelling writing, whether you like knitting or not, it’s a treat.  Actually those blogs are the person’s business where patterns are sold, the author advertises the books they’ve written and the like. Oh, and I can’t forget the poetry blogs like O at the Edges I love to read them, too but admittedly cannot always interpret what the author is intending.  (And, no, I do not beat myself up about that.)

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