Sunday, September 11, 2011

Home Grown Grape Juice

I have one grape plant that has taken over the whole fence along one side of my back yard.  It is enormously productive.  I have so many grapes, but they aren't the pop-them-in-your-mouth kind, because each grape has 2-3 seeds in it.  So what to do?  I harvested a bucket of them and made grape juice following this recipe.  It was a bit tart, so I added some honey and I think I like it.  I hope my family will, too.

There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that, should every juice manufacturer go out of business tomorrow, I can provide a home grown alternative!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

First Knitalong, First Jumper Just for Me!

I've decided to join a knitalong with KristenMakes.  It's an adorable jumper (I'm borrowing Kristen's word, we say "sweater" here in Michigan, USA) called the Cadence pullover by  Jordana Paige available on Knitty.  I've knitted many hats, scarves, mitts and sweaters for my children, but I've never completed a whole sweater, just for me.  This is it.  This is also my first knit along and I look forward to sharing the creations of others and catching some motivation from them, too.  This is my yarn.  Now to get swatching.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Imagine a world where children with cancer survive and live out their dreams!

I'm captaining a team for the Curesearch Walk in southeast Michigan later this month. My sister designed this back in 2009 for our team t-shirts, but it was too pricey to have them made at the time.  This year, I just uploaded it to cafepress and voila'.  I told my team, "Buy a shirt if you want, but you don't have to.  10% of sales go to our team."  In other words, don't do it just to fund the team, if you want to do that, just send in a check.

It feels weird to ask for donations year after year from friends and family, but so often they thank me for the efforts I am making to help children.  All children deserve a cure to cancer.  No child can be blamed for causing his/her own cancer.  They are truly innocent victims.

My daughter died in 2009 and I am so afraid she will be seen as the "poster child" for my efforts.  I am passionate about this cause because of her, but I go out of my way to NOT use her for that.  She was much more than a cancer patient.  She was my child and I see her as so much more than just a victim of childhood cancer.  I don't want my child to be "the poster child."

I want to captain a team and work for this cause, but I'll be relieved when it's over until next year.  It's emotionally taxing to try to keep the positive team spirit going all while knowing first-hand the devastation and painful stories behind the upcoming event, knowing very well that it is those tragedies that tie us all together in support of Curesearch.  It can also be a bit tiring having to coordinate shirts, write the thank yous, walk people unfamiliar with online donations through the online form, and to feel my embarrassment at having to ask others for money - but it will always be worth it!  I will be glad that I did it again.