Thursday, January 29, 2009



Email Forward via Blog

I read your blog about the scarves. Thought you might be interested in the total results to which you contributed. Thanks for the good words and good work.

Contact: Nancy L. Jewell
(704) 329-5031

Over 40,000 scarves received from Knit and Crochet Enthusiasts

(CHARLOTTE, NC) . . . When the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games ( begin in Boise, ID, February 7 – 13, 2009, one thing is for certain. All athletes, the delegates supporting them and visiting dignitaries will be donning Red Heart® ( Super Saver™ Delft Blue and White scarves lovingly made by knit and crochet enthusiasts from around the world.

The World Winter Games recently announced receipt of over 40,000 (and counting) handmade scarves, in response to an October 2008 partnership with Coats & Clark ( and the Special Olympics World Winter Games. The goal was simple; top the 2007 goal of 1,000 by reaching for 5,000 scarves made from Red Heart® Super Saver™ Delft Blue and White yarn, the official colors of the World Winter Games. The response was more then spectacular.

“We are so excited and more then thrilled with the outpouring of support from our generous knitters and crocheters,” said Alyson Bell, senior vice president, sales and marketing needlecrafts for Coats & Clark. “It is just a true testament to the spirit of people who want to give of their hands and from their hearts. It speaks volumes!”

No special pattern or skill was required. The only rule was the scarves had to be hand knitted or crocheted using the Red Heart® Super Saver™ Delft Blue and White yarns. Most scarves were accompanied by special handwritten notes of encouragement to the athletes.

Stories of great giving are emerging from this outpouring of support like the students in the Birmingham, MI school district who, over their winter break, made over 300 scarves, some knitting and crocheting for the first time ever. These kids reached out to their parents, grandparents and teachers to learn the craft, making the experience not only charitable but generational. The staff from Coats & Clark offices made more then 460 while supporters contributed over 1,200 alone.

The scarves have already made an appearance wrapped around Special Olympic athletes who participated in the Inauguration Parade of President Barak Obama Tuesday, January 20, in Washington DC. Plus, the scarves may pop up on sports commentators or a talk show or two, according to the International Special Olympics team. The Red Heart® Super Saver™ scarves will be worn for the Opening Ceremony in Boise, February 7, where special mention will be made about the love that went into each and every stitch, keeping the athlete warm and encouraging them to reach for their goals.

“The warmth of these scarves will wrap the athletes in love and support. As a matter of fact, we could probably wrap all the spectators too,” quips Bell.

January 21, 2008

Editors Note: Photo available upon request. Contact Nancy L. Jewell,
To interview spokesperson from Special Olympic World Winter Games or Alyson Bell from Coats & Clark, contact Nancy L. Jewell,

About Coats & Clark and Red Heart®:
Coats & Clark, is one of the most recognized names in yarn, sewing and needlecraft products in America. First marketed in 1936 under the name Chadwick’s Red Heart, the Red Heart® brand today continues to exude its founding principles; quality, value and inspiration for the knitting and crochet enthusiast. For more information, visit or

About the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games:
The 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held in Idaho, USA, 7-13 February 2009 and nearly 2,500 athletes from more than 100 countries are expected to compete. Surpassing the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games in athlete numbers and participating nations, the World Winter Games will be the largest multi-day winter sporting event ever held in Idaho. Competition will take place in seven winter sports – Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing and Speed Skating. Competition and other activities will take place in communities and venues throughout Idaho including but not limited to Boise, Sun Valley and McCall. For more information, visit

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As Promised - Fire Photos

Still wondering what I set on fire??

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Hobby

Last November a friend in Baker offered to teach me to crochet so that I could be a part of the Coats and Clark Special Olympics Scarf Project. I picked up a book at the library and, with the help of a few friends at the hospital, learned to crochet. I made the three scarves you see in the photo in honor of each of the three special friends I have- Josh and the two brothers. Josh especially makes me smile when I remember how excited he was to get to drive a car once. He is, by far, the most enthusiastic karaoke singer I've ever met.

Check out the 2009 Special Olympics for ways to volunteer and donate. Also, if you send me yarn, I'll make you a scarf or blanket with it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why I Didn't Go to Vet School...

A Photo Documentary

First, a minnow in the sink. Why is this minnow in the sink? I do not know. It is dead. I am not ok with dead minnows in the sink.

Title: Dead minnow with Rice Pudding

Second, a mouseface on the living room carpet. Stephan took this photo, it's the view I had as I bent over to get a closer look at what I thought was a scrap of paper.

Title: MouseFace #1

This photo has been removed due to its graphic nature. Please Click Here to view it.

Third, the view of the mouseface that Stephan delighted in- the one where you can see the eyeballs. I personally can't look at this photo, but I'll subject you guys to it.

Title: MouseFace #2

This photo has been removed due to its graphic nature. Please Click Here to view it.

This is a photo of two of our cows! I can't really tell them apart, except that they have green ear tags and the rest have yellow. The little red calf isn't ours, she just jumped in the photo at the last minute.

Title: Moo & Cow

This is our third cow, the one with the frost-bit ears. She does not have an ear tag. She is very friendly (towards some people) and here you can see that she thinks that Fuzz has cake for her to eat. He does not. Note the position of her tongue- it's being tucked back into her mouth.

Title: Fuzz and Tongue

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear Readers...

For the first time in this blog's long history I was actually tempted to delete a post. Why? Because it didn't agree with me.

Which one?

Do you see that poll down there, 2 posts down? The one where I generally ask people to vote for either Han Solo or Luke Skywalker? Yeah, Han is winning, isn't he...

I always thought Luke was cooler since he's like, got the Force and saves the day and all that. But Stephan is convinced that Han is much cooler because...

Him: Because he saves Luke's butt on many occasions, he's a blue-collar guy who bangs the princess, and his best friend is a Wookie. Need I say more?

Me: So your whole defense is based 2/3rds on who he bangs and an overgrown Besa?

Him: Pretty much. Oh yeah, and the fact that Luke kisses his own sister passionately on at least 2 occasions. PERV.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Me: The cat is puking.

Him: That sucks. What did she eat?

Me: I can't tell.... what's that on the carpet?

[learns over to take a closer look]


Him: WHAT?!


Him: Really??


Him: Because Cleo ate it and now she's puking. Where's the camera?

[photos to follow, apparently]

Him [overheard while hiding my head under a blanket & sucking my thumb]: Good girl Cleo!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Domestic Dispute

Me: ... Fine! I'll ask the internet!!

FAQ: How Did You Guys End Up in Montana?

Answer: Dart board.

No, seriously, here's the story:

Stephan lived in Bethel Alaska for 2 years, and for one of those years he lived with a guy named Matt (It was the second year that he lived in the "dog house" with a guy named Henry). A few years later he had to interview someone about what it's like to be a nurse. He emailed and then called Matt's wife Kayle who is a Nurse Practitioner. She had found a job in Baker through a placement service. When Stephan heard that they were hiring in scenic, rural, Montana he got excited. He knew there was a job available in Haiti, and he had also been offered a job at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department.

We wanted to live somewhere different than Chicago, so we took a short trip to Montana in December 2006 to visit. When we woke up the next morning we saw that "scenic" Eastern Montana was a totally different type of scenic, but the town was incredibly friendly and the hospital was nice. By Christmas we had decided to move to Montana, and we loaded a moving van the last weekend in January, 2007.

Two years ago... wow. If you want to read more about the first weeks and months of our journey you can click on the links to the left for 2007. If anyone has any ideas for how I should commemorate the 2 year anniversary of the blog next week let me know!

Look for the story of the latest thing I started on fire... (as soon as my dad emails me the photos).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Things for You to Do

Sitting at home, comfortably warm... thinking about the rest of my life- especially online grad school to get my Masters in Public Health. I spent more time at the IRC (International Refugee Comittee) website poking around. I signed their petition to help Iraq refugees, which took about 45 seconds and donated $1 of someone else's money to help some of the people our own bombs have displaced.

Here's the link. Have I guilted you into doing it yet?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Overheard: On the Phone

Him: It might be because you've been under a lot of stress lately.

Me: ME?! I'm not stressed.

Him: Do you even read your own blog?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


... to the young couple who got engaged in the Billings Airport yesterday afternoon in baggage claim!! He was standing there playing the guitar and serenading her when she came out of security, and she said Yes!! It was fun to watch, and really made me smile.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

FAQ: Pregnant yet? (seriously, this is a common question in my life)


"Giving You Too Much Information"


"Again, Not About Montana"

Answer: No. And in honor of hitting the 18-month mark here's a list.

Things that have happened already:
*A Pelvic Ultrasound
*A D & C
*A blood test
*Another blood test
*I've peed in a cup and tested that multiple times

Things that will happen next:
*More ultrasounds
*A hysterosalpingogram

I'm really unsure where all this fits into my life right now- things are still scattered in my brain, processing, not wanting to talk about it, but needing to extract it out of my head. Also, I have a strong need to document this so I can look back and remember what was going on this winter when I realize I've blocked it all out of my memory.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wow, Sudden: Warning, Sad Post Ahead

So Gramma died this morning. Even harder than rushing back to Chicago when Stephan's mom was sick- I wish I could teleport home right now (I also wish my laundry was done, the dishes unloaded from the dishwasher, and the clutter on the kitchen table put away). Stephan's at work, so I'm home alone. On the outside this looks just like any other day for me... get ready for work on Monday, clean the house, make dinner, etc. etc.

But inside I feel like I'm trying to rush through all 5 stages of grieving in 2 hours. Maybe the coffee isn't helping. Maybe I've studied too much psychology. Maybe I should brave the -40F windchill and go for a walk (maybe not). Maybe I need to cry more- or less. Maybe she's sitting on the couch next to me scratching my back, and I'm just too human to feel it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

FAQ: How was the trip Home?

Answer: Fine.

Real Answer: Ugh.

Reason: My gramma is dying. But don't mistake my tone- in my family, where we find the humor in everything- this is another "story", another drama we're all going through. Gramma moved in with Mom and Dad the week of Christmas because everyone finally realized she couldn't take care of herself. She moved into my old bedroom (which Mom has kept exactly the way I left it 10 years ago... creepy).

Without getting too into medical things, Gramma's voice has changed a lot. It's a lot more raspy, deeper, think Selma from the Simpsons but slower and more deliberate. By the time I got there she was still pretty active, walking around and eating cheesecake, watching Cheaters, Judge Judy ("she's very sharp"), and of course Dr. Phil.

She's in Hospice, so there are a lot of extra people/nurses/evaluating people around the house. I don't know how she feels with all those people around- she used to be pretty reclusive. She's supposed to ask for help when walking, but for a while there she was sneaking around. The nurse sat all of us down and made Gramma promise to ask for help.

RN Cathy: You have to ask for help. You helped your family when they needed it, and now they want to help you. Do we have a deal?

Gramma: Deal...

RN Cathy: Great! Then that's-

Gramma: Or NO DEAL!

So we all laughed at that- even sitting in a chair surrounded by strangers and in a lot of pain, we are a family of humor. It may seem weird, but they've started keeping a "Quote of the Day" to help keep the mood light. My brother was responsible for one of them:

Gramma (while walking from one room to another): I'm going downhill.

Brother (looking at the transition between carpet and hardwood): Yeah, you kinda are.

It was weird to get on the airplane this time. I'm sad to be leaving everyone to deal with Gramma, and to miss all the inside jokes and stories, but it's nice to get out of there and back into my own life. It's also nice to get to hear just the distilled stories instead of sitting through the hours of painfulness to get to the funny parts. Lots of elderly people are moving in with their families these days, a combination of the housing market and the sucky state of American health care. My family is definitely not the first, last, or only family to deal with someone dying in their house- I think they're just the only ones to keep finding humor in it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

I really hate it when people make "New Year's Resolutions" because that generally mean an entire nation of people vows to spend January 1st (a day I'm particularly fond of) dieting, exercising, feeling guilty, and buying clothing made of spandex. I never make New Years Resolutions. I actually go out of my way to Resolve to do things on almost every other day of the year except today. I like to take 1/1 off.

But I know a lot of people are really into revising life goals, using their bathroom scale, checking in with their Wii Fit, testing out that guarantee today, so I'm posting the following for you. I love the cat and my favorite line is, "Tell all your friends your goals. They will help shame you into following through."

Overheard: NYE

Him: Are you going to tell them about my hunting day?

Me: I don't know what to say about it.

Him: Well, that it's the last day of my hunting season -since I have to work the next 4 days in a row- I got outside and set up my little spot in plenty of time to settle in and be ready to get me some meat.

Me: Uh huh.

Him: But that when I went to scope in the area I couldn't see $#!* through my scope. I looked at it and saw that the back lens had fallen out and two of the cross hairs were broken, even though I always keep the cap on the lenses and treat the gun very carefully.

Me: Uh huh.

Him: This is so frustrating.

Me: Yep. I'll type all that.