Monthly Archives: February 2015

In Honor of Margaret

My grandmother was an amazing lady. The oldest of 10 siblings, she was more like a mother to the younger ones, even though she had her own child when her youngest two brothers were born. She was always active with her family, her church and her friends and she never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. She traveled a lot, she’d been to Hawaii with the senior center, she told me stories about the road trips out west that she took with her sisters, I think she might have visited every US State except Alaska.

Mamaw and me at my college graduation.


Family was so important to her. She was our matriarch and genealogical researcher. She adored all of her grandchildren and was able to be a part of her four great-grandchildren’s lives.

With her first Great-Granddaughter, Ella.

With her first Great-Granddaughter, Ella.

Christmas 2013 with all the great-grandkids (and granddaughter-in-law)


She was kind, loving and thoughtful to everyone around her.

Mamaw and Papaw, 1949

Mamaw and Papaw, 1949


She was smart, funny and crafty. She did quilting, cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, and scrapbooking. She was in charge of printing the church bulletin for Sunday service. She remembered everyone’s birthdays (which is something I can’t even do with the aid of a calendar app!) She enjoyed good clean jokes and would give you THAT LOOK when you said something inappropriate.

Enjoying the shawl I made her for her 80th birthday.

80th shawl 2


I used to do a lot of quilting and I took her with me to a quilting retreat one year. We both had such a great time, and it’s one of my favorite memories.

At the quilt retreat, sporting a brand new purse I had just made for her.


She was as much a part of my growing up as my parents. She went to band concerts, school plays, awards ceremonies, and graduations. She even went to marching band competitions and sat in the rain to watch us play.

Trash bags are really great rain bonnets!


Last year, we found out she had cancer. It turned out to be an aggressive form of melanoma. Her doctors sent her to Vanderbilt’s cancer specialists, which I happen to live close to. The trips were long and very hard on her, but I’m grateful she was able to make them and that Jellybean and and I were able to see her so often.

Shortly after the first trip, I started the Haruni Shawl. I needed something to work on that would let me get lost in thought as I knitted. This pattern had been in my Ravelry queue for a long time, so I finally got the yarn for it. I cast on and got to work, and it wasn’t until much later that I read the description.

“The name Haruni means ‘Grandmother’ in Quenya, Tolkein’s elven language.”


Half Haruni


It took about 6 weeks to make it and during this time, my grandmother was back and forth to Nashville several times seeing doctors and specialists, preparing for surgery and then not having it, and finally making the decision to receive palliative radiation therapy and hospice care at home. The whole time feels like a blur.

Haruni Shawl Head


We were fortunate that we were able to go visit her twice before she passed away. Before our last visit, I knew it would be the last time I would ever see her. I knew that I was fortunate to have the chance to tell her anything I needed to say. I told her that I was so glad we had the chance to have an adult relationship and that I loved her very much.

In Honor of Margaret, My Haruni


She told me to “…take care of that baby.”

Great Gran and Jellybean, April 2013

I will, Mamaw. Don’t you worry about that.


Filed under Family, Knitting

Aunt Kat’s New Houseshoes

I am working on a post about a shawl, and in it I’m trying to tell my Grandmother’s story. It’s difficult and emotional to write (she passed away this past June) and it’s taking me a long time to finish it.

My Grandmother’s story centers on her family and besides her daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her sister Kat is a very large part of the story. Mamaw and Kat have always been very close and when Mamaw needed to move out of the house she lived in for 50 years, Kat insisted she move in with her. Mamaw always said it was temporary, but we were all glad she wasn’t living alone.

Kat took care of Mamaw, right up to the very end. I know I am not the only person who feels enormous gratitude for everything Kat has done for my Mamaw and continues to do for my family.

So, when Mom asked me to make Kat a pair of felted slippers, the answer was yes, without hesitation.

Kat Shoes

This is the seventh pair of these slippers I have made. They are fairly quick, and very fun to make. They do take a fair amount of yarn, and the felting can be nerve-wracking (if you go too far, you have to start all over!) but it’s so satisfying to have them come out just right.

Kat Shoes 2

Kat loves them. Mom said she put them on right away and I think they’re probably getting a lot of use right about now.

Kat in Shoes

I am so very glad.


Filed under Family, Knitting

The Nights Are Long, But The Years Are Short

That’s what one of my mom friends is fond of saying and boy, it’s so true.

Today my little Jellybean turns two.

42 weeks

Motherhood is no joke. Jellybean can make me furious one minute and doubled over in laughter the next. I’ve watched this little man grow over the last two years and I’m blown away. We’ve come so far and we’ve all survived.

And there is so much more yet to come.

We had a small party on Saturday with pizza, cupcakes and dinosaur party hats! He got to see Mimi and Papaw, Grandma and Grandpa, and Joey and Julie, and lots of other friends. Mimi and Papaw even stayed overnight and came over to play.


MMMM Dinosaur Head!

Today has been a nice, quiet day. I offered to take him to the bounce house (which he LOVES!) or to the science museum, but he wanted to stay home and read his new Curious George book (Thanks Mimi!) and play with blocks. We did take a walk down to the lake, but it was too cold and windy to stay out long. Then in for lunch and down for a good, long nap.

He definitely takes after his Mama and Dada in that regard. A lazy birthday sounds just right to me.

Happy Birthday, Jellybean.

Love, Mama

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Filed under Family, Not Knitting