Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Witness to History

I have cried 4 or 5 times already. I am so thrilled and excited and proud of my country.... Not just because of race, but because we had two roads before us, and we chose to take the high road. This win will have a profound impact on politics. We chose to reject negative campaigning and to believe in hope. It's amazing.

The streets of Detroit were alive last night with celebration. On our way home from the Lager House, where we watched the results, cars were honking and folks cheered to each other at each stoplight. Pedestrians raised their arms in triumph and danced in the streets.

Yes we can.

And for posterity's sake... J and I just after casting our vote.

Monday, September 15, 2008

There is knitting going on!

Snowman Hat
Originally uploaded by kbelle.
Amid the political action, neighborhood activity, church involvement, and time spent out enjoying Detroit, there really has been knitting.

This hat is a baby gift for a friend's upcoming shower.

Pattern: Snowman Hat from Itty Bitty Baby Hats
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (white), Knitpicks Comfy (honeydew green), smidges of leftover RYC Cashsoft for the nose, and some random black wool.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Originally uploaded by kbelle.
Ok, so apparently my girl time last night helped me to feel a bit liberated and today I felt strong enough to take on the slut shirt.

The shirt I am wearing in this photo was the one I wore on what turned out to be the last day of my first marriage. I was married for months afterwards, legally, but that day is now clearly the end. In a last ditch effort to have fun together my ex-H and I went to a baseball game. I had only a few minutes to change so I kept the pink 3/4 sleeve button down and white tank from work and just put jeans or capris on the bottom. And before we left for the game he told me that I looked slutty.

My self esteem at that time in my life was so low that I totally internalized the comment and completely associated that shirt with me being a bad person. Although the lighting in my messy closet does it no justice, it is actually a very pretty, very girly pink that looks quite nice with my pale skin. Other than the fact that it is mildly fitted and shows that I am indeed female, there is nothing slutty about this shirt. There is nothing slutty or bad about me. But despite how much my life has changed for the better I've never been able to wear this shirt.

Until today. Go me.

I'm still here!

I hope some of you are!

Knitting has been slow. I've settled into Detroit something fierce and I've been actually too busy to knit. Add on a wrist injury and there isn't that much knitting happening. This weekend I hope to sit down and knit.

But, last night there was partying. My friend S and I are apparently the youngest Billy Joel fans in existence. We must have looked like a pair of silly co-eds to the rest of the folks at the opening of the Windsor Caesar's last night, but we had a blast!

Here we are taking a picture of ourselves in the bathroom. Later we got a nice gentleman to take one but it makes my arm look like a giant sausage so bathroom shot it is!
And here is the man himself. Very good show, just missed out on some of my favorite songs. But then again, almost every song is my favorite and I sang along like a maniac. My poor sister also received several phone calls full of music because I would get all excited about a song we used to sing in our childhood.
In this last shot you can see the head on the right of the lady who turned around, slapped my knee and shushed me. Yeah, grandma... I was at an 8th grade dance when I learned to line dance to We didn't start the fire, and I wasn't born when most of his big hits came out, but I know all the words by heart, even most of the obscure songs and so you can kiss my ass with your grandma perm.

Woot. We had a blast.

Monday, May 19, 2008


We had a great day planned for yesterday. We would go to the flower market, pick up some screws to fix the deck boards Weatherboy ripped up to repair a pipe, clean the house and have friends over in the afternoon.

At least, that was the plan. We came home with supplies and were making trips in from the car when I accidentally locked us out of the house. So there we were, standing outside with a pile of groceries and all the pets happily inside wondering why we didn't come in. Whoops!

After an aborted attempt to climb from the neighbor's third floor window to our open third floor window, we decided to break the glass on the back door. Glass is cheap to replace, our neighbor pointed out, and Weatherboy is handy so this should be a 1 hour project.

Wrong. While attempting to remove the remaining glass we discover that our door is so ancient and so painted that any attempt to remove the trim to replace the glass will result in complete destruction of the door. So all of a sudden we are installing a new door.

Luckily, Weatherboy's friends are up to the challenge!

A mere 6 1/2 hours later - a new door! And it's only 2 inches narrower and 5 inches shorter than the former door and hole! Hooray for lots of insulation and finish work to do!
So there is still a lot of work left, but I think the result is rather pretty. This project was on the list, it has just leapfrogged a few others. And once Weatherboy is finished with the insulation and plaster, I get to come in with my paintbrush. Our house trim is a dark brown and since it is the back door and doesn't have to match any of the neighbors' I am planning on painting it "Potting Shed Green" a lovely Martha Stewart approved shade of green.

I'm glad we didn't call the locksmith.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Finally, I finished something knitted!

It has been a long drought. For the past few months I have taken on too many projects and not finished anything. Throw a new job and pain in my wrist and thumb and there has been no progress around here on any of my creative projects. But, my knitting guild held a bag swap for our last meeting before summer break and so I managed to finish my bag on time.

Pattern: Wishbone Cable Handbag by Tygerlily also on
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Natural heather
Needles: Size 11 and 6? 7?
Handles, frame and lining from Joann Fabrics

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reasons I love Detroit, part 3

Canine to Five. While in Florida I had a lot of options for doggie day care, training and boarding. I didn't feel like those options were as available when we were living in the Detroit suburbs. Then I found Liz Blondy of Canine to Five. She has set up a huge doggie day care business in the heart of Detroit, bringing a great business to the Cass Corridor.

My dogs love to go there! Annie absolutely looses her gourd when she figures out that it is day care day. Even Duke, who hates the care more than anything, will jump in when he sees Annie's excitement. He manages to find a girlfriend there every time.

And of course, Liz is the one who gave us Duke. She's the one who let me adopt that cute, skinny little puppy who is now a big strong baby who still needs hugs.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Reasons I love Detroit, part two

Another reason to love Detroit... baseball.

Although I will always be a Red Sox fan, if I can't be in Boston, it's nice to be somewhere with a great team, a great park and a strong fan base. Comerica park is really beautiful and while the issue of what to do with the old Tigers stadium has lingered much too long, the new ball park has done a lot for the Foxtown area.

The Tigers originally played at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, first at Bennett Park and then after 1912 in Tiger Stadium. Coincidentally, Tiger stadium and Fenway Park both opened on April 20, 1912. The Tigers moved to Comerica for their 2000 series, citing the lack of premium seating and it's impact on revenue as reasons for the move.

As a fan of Fenway, I can certainly understand Tigers' fans sadness at the move to the new ballpark, but as a fan of baseball and downtown Detroit, I am thrilled at the new park. It has that retro feel that is the hallmark of recent stadiums such as Camden Yards, and is located closer to the center of Detroit. Yet 8 years later Tigers stadium still languishes, sitting empty and stripped of all items of value, a blight for Corktown. Perhaps someday Kwame Kilpatrick will live up to his promises and do something with the old park.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Uncle J
Originally uploaded by kbelle.
I have no logical reason why my big tall husband hoisting up his tiny neice would be so incredibly sexy. It's not even that great a photo of him, but I snapped it because that whole moment made me swoon. Plus, our neice is just adorable. After dinner she told me all about Eeyore and the beach and puke. Her brother and sister kicked my butt at Wii bowing.

I married into a wonderful family.

Amy Singer likes my squares

Amy Singer likes my squares
Originally uploaded by kbelle.
Yeah, so I'm a bit late talking about this. A few weeks ago I joined the ladies from the Black Sheep Knitting Guild to see Amy Singer speak about non-wool yarn goodness, eat some yummy lunch and ruin our yarn diets. It was fabulous. Amy is very funny and the new book Big Girl Knits 2 has some absolutely gorgeous patterns in it that I might just learn how to do sizing for.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You are special. You make each day special just by you being you.

As a child, I loved Mr. Rogers. So much so that my mother made a beautiful cross-stitch pillow with Trolley on it that said "You are special. You make each day special just by you being you."

To this day the sight of a classic mens cardigan evokes happy childhood memories. There is a man in my office who wears grey or camel button cardigans often and I can't help but think they would be better with a zipper.

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the birth of the late Mr Fred Rogers, tomorrow is Wear a Sweater Day. It doesn't have to be a zipper down sweater, just one that is special to you.

I think I have a few from my Bampa that will fit the bill.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Awww, yeah baby

You Are 84% Massachusetts

Wicked pissa! Now go down to Dunkies and celebrate.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A miracle

A miracle happened at our house last night, and we weren't fast enough to grab a picture.

Went upstairs to get ready for bed. Duke likes to believe that he is not going to be crated, so he lies on the rug next to my bed. I turn on the light and there he is and right next to him, calmly laying on the rug, is Hermione. That's right - the cat.

Now both cats love Annie, the lab, but Annie was here first, and is much older and calmer than crazy puppy Duke. The cats like to kiss Annie and bathe her ears. She'll even give them a big sloppy kiss in return. But they both smack Duke across the snout on a regular basis.

And while Weatherguy went to grab the camera... Duke nuzzled her and put his snout down on her paw. And there they sat, touching, until WG arrived ready to snap the photo.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Well, this room is mostly finished. Finished enough. Apparently, the flying orbs like it so it will do for now. Headboard is not to my satisfaction (or weatherguy's either) but it will stay but for the weekend at least so we can host a big shindig and maybe even a guest.

Also, sewing machines are evil. I believe they conspire against me to make sure that I am the only one in my family who cannot sew. (Oh wait, can baby sis sew? She can paint, which is much more complicated.)

Please note the gorgeous flower arrangement which is... my wedding bouquet. Finally found a home for it!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Reasons I love Detroit, Part one

Reasons I love Detroit, Part One... Ice Skating in Campus Martius. Weatherguy and I had date night in Mexicantown, followed by a few sloooooow turns on the ice.
See? Slooooooow. But we got the hang of it and had a fantastic time. There is a DJ and lights and the whole thing had a bit of a "roller skating in 8th grade" feel to it, which was great. I didn't get to do teenager things with my husband, so it was a great feeling to hold hands with him as we attempted not to fall. The rink was filled with a large mixed group, including a group of very well behaved teenagers who were smiling and laughing and aglow with that rosy cheeked look that comes from having fun outside during the winter.

Campus Martius is a beautiful gathering area in the city, reopened in 2004. To quote blogger Rob Goodspeed, the park is "an unqualified success". Campus Martius was originally a much larger park, a part of designer Augustus Woodward's grand plan for the city of Detroit. It is also the center of origin for Detroit's mile system, so to get there suburbanites would have to venture a full 8 miles south, deep into the "wrong side" of 8 mile. During the 1900s the park was lost due to reconfigurations of the roadways to allow for more traffic. It reopened in 2004 and is surrounded by the Hard Rock Cafe, Compuware and many other office buildings.

And, it's just down the street from another downtown favorite spot, to be featured soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank you!

A big thank you to Margaux over at Tentenknits for the yummy sock yarn she sent my way. I know exactly what this yarn is destined to be... I just have to get through the millions of other projects first. Sigh.

Mmmmmm.... yummy koigu!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Life in Progress

It seems as if everything in my life is in progress right now. I am surrounded by things half-finished. I've taken a break from the efforts to take a few pictures...

In progress #1 - Painting the guest room. This room was a bright spring green with a blue ceiling with a lovely mural of a hot air balloon. Perfect for a little boy. Not so perfect for my guest/craft room. Several coats of Kilz and Behr later I have an almost finished room. Just need to do that pesky trim.
In progress #2 - Den. My grandmother very generously bought us a new couch for our den/man land. Now I need to put the feet on it, hang drapes, clean and actually decorate the room. All by March 8th! WOOT!
In progress #3 - Baby blanket. It's a joint project with a friend. Let's hope the squares can be blocked into the same size.

In progress #4 - Cabled jacket. Sigh. So pretty. Sooooooo slow. Maybe I will be able to wear this next winter.

In progress #5 - Bird in Hands mittens. Because it is still freaking cold here. I left Florida why?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Detroit's New Graffiti

These and many less destructive paper versions of the same message have been popping up all over the city. As Flashpoint says "An exposed coverup is worse than the original transgression."

When we moved to Detroit, both Weatherboy and I had serious questions about Kwame. The rumors of the infamous party and missing stripper, the Escalade episodes... but he also still gave us such hope. Projects like the Monroe Block deal have given me hope that when I tell non-Detroiters that the city is growing like a sunrise from the river out and up, that I am not talking out of my ass.

The bottom line is that Kwame cost us $9 million because he couldn't keep his d*ck in his pants. He fired three good cops to cover up his booty calls held nationwide using city funds. And once again the city of Detroit gets another black eye.

Over the next few months I plan to attempt to chronicle some of the reasons why I love this city so much already. My camera isn't the best and neither are my skills but I hope that you can understand why I am so outraged. This city has so much promise, hope, and soul.

Monday, January 14, 2008

For mom

Duke models shifting sands
Originally uploaded by kbelle.
What could be better than a dog modeling a scarf?

This entry gives me a chance to update everyone on Duke. About 6 weeks ago someone decided to give this dog a chance with a new family and threw him over the fence at Canine to Five. He was emaciated and scared, but has grown into the sweetest boy ever. He has a lot of puppy left in him, but he is eager to please and is just a love who likes to be cuddled. My ferocious pit bull also likes to spend quiet time with his girlfriend at day care, and shies away from the rambunctious dogs.

This weekend he shared his kong with Annie. After he worked it, she picked it up to get the peanut butter in the bottom, and Mr. Man Dukus cuddled up next to her and let her work on it. We are so blessed to have this dog in our life.

And this morning, he did the Tawny-dog head turn and talked back to me. Mom knows what I mean.

Pattern: Shifting Sands by Grumperina
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK in opulence
Needles: Size 5 knitpicks options

It curls a bit in this lighter yarn, but is still lovely. And I am now an absolute expert in cabling without a cable needle.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Whoops. Stash happened.

I've always thought my stash was small, especially compared to the legendary stashes one hears about all over the kitternet. It's mostly purchased for specific items, with a few early exceptions when I was new and made very stupid yarn purchases.

So after my resolutions yesterday I sat down and created a list of projects that I have the yarn ready and waiting for. A sweater started and put down so Christmas knitting could start. Another sweater's worth of yarn - birthday gift from DH. A few pairs of socks.

And then I started thinking about the non project random yarn. And all of the green yarn I bought for Wicked, that was absolutely the wrong shade of green. And I came up with a list of at least 16 items, some big, some small, that I can make from my current stash. And I guarantee you that I can make more than those 16 since some projects will mean leftovers. Ouch.

The good news is, I can absolutely make it until I go yarn shopping with Tracy.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Seems like I am always behind the ball lately, so here are my late resolutions for 2008:
  1. Knit from my stash with the following exceptions: yarn needed to finish a project, or if I am really down to the novelty yarn only I can consider the stash complete. I have some strange novelty yarn. This is in anticipation of my June yarn event with Tracy and Missy. In preparation, I purchased yarn for one last baby gift on my list. That reminds me of another exception... babies. If one of my very close friends gets pregnant, all stash bets are off.
  2. Enjoy what I knit and don't take on projects that will feel like a chore.
  3. Have less WIPs.
  4. Knit more, Ravel less. I spend a lot of time oohing and ahhing and not finishing my own work.
  5. Work out more often, but don't diet.
  6. Eat more veggies and keep up the cooking streak I am on.
Last year I also pledged to work out more. It went well for a while and then life got in the way. Let's see if I can figure out a way to make it a habit.

Projects planned for this year, that I have the yarn for:
  1. Finish Mom's Christmas scarf
  2. Anemoi mittens, attempt #2
  3. Bird in hand mittens
  4. Baby gift #1
  5. Baby gift #2
  6. Cabled Jacket
  7. Socks for J
  8. Socks for me