This was going to be strictly a knitting update, but first I need to say I am thankful I have power again after 5 tornadoes came through the area--and those of us who didn't "technically" have a tornado were blessed with 98 mph winds. We lost power for 3 days, which sucked, but it could have been way worse.
I saw some amazing good, and it kind of restores faith in humanity (of which mine has been severely waning lately). All our neighbors met outside at 7am and helped clear tree branches from each others yards. That night when we were driving up Forest Street, one side of the street had power and the other side didn't...and the road was a sea of orange extension cords from the powered side to the not, powering refrigerators on the other side of the street.
The most touching thing was going into our favorite bakery this afternoon. I picked up the kids after work, and we thought maybe the power was on at home, but the kids wanted to go get their "Thursday cookie" first (which, after 3 weeks, is now a new tradition.) We went to the bakery, which still had no power, but had breads and cookies brought in from their Little Chute store. Mary was working behind the counter. She was so excited last week when we told her all about how we were supposed to go to the State Fair tomorrow...and this week the kids told her our plans had been cancelled. We need to use the money to replace food in the fridge that we lost, so we are going to Bay Beach instead (considerably cheaper). Mary was more upset than we were, "But you were so excited about going!!" I told her it was fine, and she said, no, it wasn't. She pulled out a card and wrote on the back, and said, "When we have power, call ahead to make sure we have them ready for you. It's a little bit of State Fair here." The card was for cream puffs. She gave us our cookies, then handed us a little picnic cake, "Close your eyes and pretend you're at State Fair". Made me cry.
So there's good people in the world. Some days they're harder to find than others, but they're always there.
And now for a knitting update--with no computer time, I had some time to knit, but not as much as you'd think. I discovered a group on Ravelry called "Free Pattern Testers". Designers put their patterns up and ask for test knitters. They give you a deadline. This is the interesting part--knitting something takes me For-Ev-Errrr....but not when I have a deadline to be fearful of. The first thing I knit was a shawl. The pattern was very beautiful and it had beads! Unfortunately I f-d up a large portion (not pattern writer error--definitely user error!) but it was beautiful none the less, and Anna claimed it for herself: