Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Friday was the 79th birthday of The Inmates’ Grandma (who shockingly also happens to be my mother).  I often refer to her as the “Coolest Septuagenarian I Know.”  In addition to all the stereotypical grandmotherly type things like cooking and sewing and quilting, she’s also a kick-ass blogger, wonderfully snarky, and, best of all, occasionally thinks I’m funny (as long as I don’t get too crude or obscene).

On Friday, my sister (the Inmates’ Uncle Chester) and I took Grandma to Mimi’s for lunch, then wandered around JoAnn’s clutching our 40% off coupons looking for something crafty to buy.  In the evening, they came to my house for Grandma’s annual request -- my homemade, award-winning white velvet cake with caramel frosting.  I really hate to brag on myself…so I’ll give you the link to my mother’s blog so she can do it for me.  (You can also get the recipe for the cake if you check it out here.)

My sister had been showering my mother with daily birthday gifts all week and finished up with some antique-y finds.  (My mother has an obsession with the old French-Bauer dairy in particular.)  Foghorn presented Grandma with a handmade picture, the Professor with a Scottie cookie jar he paid for with his own money.  (Scotties are another of Grandma’s obsessions.)

My own gifts went from one extreme to the other.  The first was an iPod Nano, already set up with all her favorite music.  The others were hand-knit items.  The first set was like something my 10-year-old self might have made her decades ago.  I knitted two checkerboard placemats (free pattern available here), then added a crocheted leaf to each (free pattern available here -- I lifted the leaf pattern from the wreath).  I also added three dishcloths -- the acorn pattern and diamonds (not shown) are both from the booklet Ultimate Book of Dishcloths & Pot Holders by Annie's Attic.  The third, with the figure of a squirrel visible in the center, is available for free here

The last knit item was the promised scarf made from the variegated Roving Acres wool yarn purchased at the Wool Gathering.  My mother is not one to bundle up in the winter (she and I share the common experience of having been frequently nagged by her mother to put hats on our heads), so she liked this somewhat lacy pattern.  With the wool it will be warm enough if wrapped around the face, but not overwhelmingly hot when the temperature isn’t in the Arctic range.  It was knit from the free pattern "December is for Stephanie" and can be found on Ravelry here. (Complete notes on the projects can be found on my Ravelry page here.)

We finished up the evening with a viewing of Breaking Away, one of our favorite movies.  And another round of cake slices.

Normally birthdays in my family stretch over an entire week or at the very least over several days.  This year seemed to me to be cut short…thanks to me.  Recycled Doggies, the rescue group from which I adopted St. Jimmi, was in need of someone to do the last leg of a transport coming from Green River, Kentucky and ending in Mason, Ohio.  Not only did my mother not object to spending her birthday Saturday with a van full of smelly dogs, she came along and rode all the way with a pregnant Chihuahua on her lap.  Two of the dogs, Grandma’s Chihuahua and Chester’s friend, a Jack Russell/beagle mix named Brae, are actually going to other rescues and were just getting a ride.  Recycled Doggies was taking the mommy dog who rode in the back of the van, in Frank’s cage, with her five puppies.  Unfortunately she looks nervous in the picture and you can’t see the puppies at all, but they were all adorable, trust me.  (Incidentally, if you’re in the Cincinnati area they will also be available for adoption in the next month or two, so check out their website if you’re interested in getting a new family member.)

See what I mean?  Coolest Septuagenarian I know.

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Anonymous said...

Aw, I'm glad you got a picture of the little Chihuahua mix. All of the dogs were so cute.

All in all, it was a totally cool birthday celebration.

Corinne said...

Fabulous pieces you made for your mom. I may just have to give the squirrel pattern a try for a friend who's squirrel crazy!

And, your mom's a good sport. I LOVE that y'all spent time helping rescue doggies! You made many individuals happy that day.

Sarah said...

OMG, your Mom is awesome! I can't believe she has a blog, I'm going to check it out next. Love your handmade gifts and the doggie rescuing! Sounds like a neat family!
Sarah @ made in usa challenge