Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tidbits

1/6/11 -- Added some pics of the mystery cup.

 
With classes temporarily done (I'm off this semester, back on in April), I thought I'd be feeling lots of blissful free time right about now, but instead I'm finding that stuff expands to fill the available time. Mostly running circles right now trying to get my grad school applications finished and submitted by the 14th. There have been lots of last minute emergencies to that -- missing pages in my transcripts, slow-to-arrive recommendation letters, incompetent idiots working the helpline at the application server, etc. But I'm almost there and will be breathing a sigh of relief by this weekend, I think.

Unless some other part of it completely explodes.

Which, the way I'm going, seems very likely. So we'll see. 


***


Two days ago, Sofie and I were both coughing, so we decided to have some tea with honey, and as a treat I decided to use a couple of the nice teacups I inherited from my mother and aunt. Most of them were my grandmother's on my mom's side. They're lovely and we never use them, so I thought "why not?"

I let Sofie pick her own out of the hutch, and she chose one with blue flowers that I'd never really noticed much.

 Lovely, though, especially the plate, with its gorgeous birds:

 Later, when I was washing up, I discovered a little handwritten sticker on the bottom of Sofie's cup, that read "Mrs. Fischer, Rudie's grandmother, circa 1870." Now this is interesting because there's no Fischer in our family tree that I'm aware of. Also, I had no idea that the cup I was allowing my four year old to sip tea from was ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY YEARS OLD. Wowza. So glad she didn't knock it off the table or throw it at the cat or who knows what!


I can't be 100% sure, but the handwriting does not appear to be my mother's (although the last line reminds me of her writing), and the note is relatively recent since it's on one of those prefab stickers you buy at the drugstore. So somewhere in the last 20-30 years, for sure. But beyond that, I can't tell you anything from studying it.

There aren't many people I can ask about who Mrs. Fischer might have been, with my mother and aunt both gone. I checked my genealogy file and found no Fishers and no Rudy or Rudie, and I checked with my uncle, who didn't recognize the names either. So I guess it's a mystery. I wonder who they were! Friends? Neighbors? And whose friends or neighbors?

***

Sofie wavers daily in her life's ambition between being a kitty doctor (veterinarian) and being a mommy. Most days she tells me that when she grows up, she'll get a baby from the hospital and I can get one too, and then we can raise them together. Which is adorable. Her understanding of the reproductive process seems to involve ordering a baby from some kind of drive up window at your closest hospital. I'll have a brown haired girl, please, and fries with that.

I find it a little bit flattering that she so much wants to be a mommy - it must mean I'm doing something right, doesn't it? That said, if she did have a baby, she'd undoubtedly stuff it in a big cat suit and feed it catfood from a can, so perhaps it's best if this particular ambition waits a few decades to become reality.

***

I recently took up knitting, and I have to tell you, I'm not entirely sure about this whole endeavor. I'm getting the hang of it, slowly, but I'm perplexed by how I always end up with more stitches on the needle than I started with. How does that happen when I have not yet learned how to do an increase? Somehow I accidentally went from sixteen cast on stitches to eighteen stitches in the scarf I'm working on.

Which brings me to my other qualm about knitting. It's freaking slow. With 16 (or 18) stitches in every row, I can work on this thing a little bit here and there for days on end and only find myself maybe a tenth of the way through the length of a scarf. I'm going to keep working on it, but I think knitting might not end up being my favorite pursuit.

It is nice, though, to have handwork to do while watching TV. With so much of my quilting work now being machine-based, I've lost the pleasure of sitting in front of the television sewing. Back when I lived in Connecticut, my friend Sharon and I used to sit around and sew and watch Seinfeld together, and it was a very companionable feeling, that handwork and conversation. So maybe I'll keep at it, I don't know.


And that's about all of the news for now. Brett and I are both still trying to shake off a wicked chest cold which hit us right around new years, and only feeling about halfway better. Not the greatest start ever to 2011. But hopefully we're getting our yearly version of the winter plague over early and will be healthy as horses from here on out.

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