Goodbye, Summer

It’s that time again – back to school. Jerry and Maggie started today. Unlike last year, I didn’t spend the day crying thank heavens. For me it was a mix of happy, sad, and rushing to get ready last minute. Jerry is going to a new school for 5th grade and the bus came for him first.



Yeah, it was too early for actual sunlight. Good thing I grabbed my flash at the last second! Considering he is going to a school where he doesn’t know anyone, and will be in a more challenging environment, he was surprisingly calm. I’ve been thinking about him all day and I hope he’s doing well!

Maggie, sweet Maggie, started first grade today. She popped out of bed with a smile on her face and didn’t stop talking for one minute. She is excited about school. Her teacher said they will be having a classroom pet and that is obviously the most exciting news in the entire world. We did not know if Humphrey the Hamster would be there today, but I’m sure I’ll get a full report when she gets home. Her bus was late so we had time for more pictures, ┬áin the daylight this time.





Where does the time go, exactly? Because I’d really like to know. It feels like we just did this.

Happy school days, everyone! I hope it’s a great year!


Back to School

Here’s my new backpack (in real life it is more in focus). It was a gift from my mother-in-law and I got to pick it out myself. I absolutely needed a new backpack because I start school tomorrow (says the girl with more bags of all kinds than anyone could ever need, but whatevs).

One of the requirements I used to choose this pack was the availability of “open spaces” on which to sew the patches I’ve been collecting for years. I settled on the Quad Backpack from LL Bean. Only after I started sewing the patches did I realize this was a dorky sort of thing to do (says Gerald) but I am old enough now not to care about being dorky. Because I’m not that uncool, mostly.

Back to School

The most necessary tools for this project were my thimble, which is silver and does not fit on my large man fingers, and those good sharp needles. It is hard to 1) sew through thick backpack material and 2) maneuver such a cumbersome object as a backpack while 3) blanket stitching patches with thick glue backing meant to be ironed. I sewed on one or two patches each day, only poked myself badly once, and now she is completely dorkified.

Back to School

Confession. So, most of these patches I picked up at the places they depict. But, once I started sewing I realized I needed more patches to fill in more of the spaces and display things that are important to me (gosh that is SO dorky). So I went on ebay and cheated (says Gerald). The Buffalo patch was not purchased in Buffalo, even though I’m from there and take great pride in being a Buffalonian. It came from ebay. And the Bills and Giants patches? Also ebay.

Back to School

My favorite patch is the Blue Ridge Parkway one because it is the prettiest. It was also the hardest to sew, based on its location and thickness. But I love it.

Back to School

The Have a Nice Day patch is hidden under a flap, just in case I am not feeling friendly on a given day.

Back to School

Tomorrow is my first day at school, almost a year after I decided that this was something I wanted to do. Yeah, I went in the Spring for some of my general ed requirements, but tomorrow is the first time I’m taking the photography classes. I feel ready but nervous, not really knowing what to expect. It’s that freshman feeling all over again.

But at least in terms of carrying books and school supplies? I’ve got that covered.

Back to School

another bear

Two years ago, almost exactly, I posted about a bear vest that I knit as a baby present (for my first cousin twice removed, or whatever, I don’t even know if that’s right). To remind you, this is the one I knit two years ago. It says “paxtyn” but it’s hard to read because he’s narrow in the waist.

i knit for bears

Well, there was another baby this year, and another teddy bear came to live with me for a while and left with a personalized sweater vest. It took me a while to get started on this project but once I got it on the pins all went smoothly. There were no gauge issues this time, and therefore no steek was needed. It’s a simple vest, but cute, I think. My Aunt, who commissioned the vest for her great-grandbaby, says that it’s “displayed” with the other bear. No higher praise for a knitter, right?

This bear vest says “conley” and is knit in the same pattern and yarn so they’re matchy-matchy brothers. I never wrote the pattern down or anything, so when it came time to knit the second vest I referenced the pictures from the first vest. Check him out!

I knit for Bears II

I knit for Bears II

Cute, right? Part of the cuteness is definitely the bears, which I believe were handmade by my Aunt! These guys are family heirlooms and I’m honored to be a part of their story.