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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Any Knitters Out There?

A friend from Houston found this wonderful story in the Houston Chronicle today. Thanks, Worried American. I told you I'd probably steal it.

Here's an excerpt:

WASHINGTON — They started out just wanting to join a club, to gather in the cafeteria before school a morning a week, talk to their friends and learn to knit.

But for 80 third-graders at Westwood Elementary School in Friendswood, the knitting club has become so much more.

About 325 baby hats made at the school — and a quarter-million others donated by knitters and crocheters around the country — make a stop in Washington today en route to expectant mothers in Bangladesh and Malawi who may be able to increase their babies' chance of survival simply by covering their heads for warmth.

And 8-year-old Elizabeth Warwick is on her way to the White House, carrying a message from her classmates in Friendswood to the president of the United States: Learn to knit. Send yarn. Give more money to developing countries so little babies can stop dying.

What a simple idea. 8 and 9 year old kids learn to knit which in turn helps their language skills, their math, and their ability to follow directions. The wee caps are sent to children to improve their survival chances. It costs nothing except the price of the yarn and shipping.

We often wonder as parents or caretakers what we can teach our children about helping the less fortunate. Seems to me this is a good start.

In other news. This week is finally over. I need to replace all 4 tires at some point but my neighbor who works for a tire company gave me a usable tire which will get me through for a while. I'll stay off the freeway, I already combine trips as much as possible, and maybe I can get through a month with no extraordinary expense. The ordinary is bad enough.

Tim and I visited Carol yesterday. She'd had a bad day emotionally earlier in the week and I couldn't get in that day because of the tire. By the afternoon, some of her friends from her church had visited and she was feeling better.

I took her some of the snacks she enjoys and a couple of "message" t-shirts. She's doing okay, considering. She has the medical appointment in town next week. We'll keep that appointment just to find out what's going on and then if she feels like spending the night with us she can.

Rebecca and Rochelle have tentatively decided they prefer walking to riding the last bus in the afternoon. Today they came in at least 30 minutes earlier than they would have on the bus. I think I agree with them. They can still ride the morning bus of course but will walk from their middle school home which will eliminate both the afternoon buses since their transfer point is further from here (I checked) than their school.

They take a shortcut through the Mall, get a free drink of water at one of the fast food places, and a free sample of candy at See's. They already have the routine down to a science. It wasn't much of a punishment for Rebecca, was it.

Rebecca has improved so much this year. So far her only problems revolving around school (other than that one day of hookey) have been on or around that bus. Her other two drivers haven't complained. That doesn't mean I blame the driver. It means I know Rebecca's limits and I think too much time on buses at the end of the school day exceeded them. He does seem to be a little more strict than her other drivers but it's his bus after all. Perhaps he has to be because of the mix of kids on his bus. In any event, it often took an hour for the final bus to drop them off and then another ten or fifteen minutes to walk the rest of the way home.

I ended her grounding today and allowed the two of them to go to Rollerland for the once-a-month school special. Elcie and I went shopping at the Dollar store and then over to Barnes & Noble to annoy her Uncle Tim for a while. She bought valentine gifts for me, Ray, and her mom with her $ store money. Then she talked me out of a book at B&N. I laughed because I knew she'd do that. She selected an abridged version of Bram Stoker's Dracula. With my discount, it worked out to a little over $3.00 which wasn't bad. I don't know where her interest in Dracula, haunted houses, etc. comes from but at least she's reading.

B&N has started a Middle and High School reading club one night a month. They already have a club on Saturdays for the younger kids. Elcie seems interested. I'm not sure about the other two. They may be a little young - we'll see.

She had a raspberry drink called Bohemian Raspberry with a cookie. I had to explain the play on words - she's a little young for Queen although she's heard some of their music without knowing it. I know she's sung "We are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You" in elementary school.

It's okay. She doesn't understand the play on words with Cherry Garcia either. I had to explain it. Sometimes I feel so old.

Speaking of explaining, I shouldn't assume that everyone is familiar with Cherry Garcia. It's an ice cream produced by a company called Ben & Jerry's. All their flavors have odd names but Cherry Garcia after the leader of the Grateful Dead, the late Jerry Garcia, is probably their best known. Very good, a little out of my price range except for very special occasions.

Thanks to all of you for the comments. My internet has behaved for 3 days in a row. I may catch up eventually.

Please have a good thought and/or prayer for the people of Florida. I have blogging friends there as I'm sure many of you do and I keep checking back online to see if they've posted. I've survived one tornado, I never want to see another. Words can't describe the devastation and central Florida's was tragic with extensive destruction and loss of life.

Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend.


Puss-in-Boots said...

Yes, I have seen the destruction in Florida and some of the lucky people. They are in my prayers.

Spadoman said...

Hey sweet lady... thanks for the update. I've been busy with a new Grand daughter and the flu, but getting around to see my old friends. Still thinkof you often and send prayers your way to all. Peace Granny.

Anvilcloud said...

Ben & Jerry's is one American institution that hasn't crossed th border to my knowledge. It's probably just as well although I'd like to try it one day.

Jobthingy said...

i know of ben and jerrys but i dont think we carry it here.

have a great weekend.

lushgurl said...

I loved the knitting club! What a great gift for all involved.

I personally have never experienced the devastation of a tornado, but do know people who have...I will pray for all affected.

Yes we do have Ben and Jerry's here and it just so happens that Cherry Garcis is my fav...It is cherry ice cream with flakes of chocolate and real black cherries in it...YUUUMMMMY and so worth the cost (once in a while)

PEA said...

Hi Ann:-)

Children can sure teach us adults a thing or two...that is really amazing how a group of 8 & 9 year olds are knitting hats for babies in less fortunate countries! Simply wonderful!! Sounds like it really is a better idea for the girls to walk home from school. Yup, makes one feel so old when the younger generation have never heard of Queen or Jerry Garcia! lol Keeping Carol in my prayers!! Hugs xox

MaryP said...

My former MIL used to knit teeny hats, but hers went to premature babies in this country, because those wee ones lose heat so easily. They were so TINY! She could knit one or two in an evening, while watching TV.

Glad the bus thing with the girls worked out. It's not a punishment, no, but it is a solution which satisfies everyone (and even gets them some exercise!) No mean feat!

Merle said...

Hi Ann ~~ Nice to see a post from you again. Those little girls knitting are
so great and more should be encouraged to do that. Glad the bus thing has been resolved, home earlier, and getting exercise. So sad for the people of Florida who have lost so much and will keep them in my prayers along with Carol yourself and family.
That mother story was sad, but hopefully not too many kids are like that and they realise that Mothers are pretty wonderful usually. Take care
dear friend. Love, Merle.

Susie said...

Love Cherry Garcia. My son used to follow the Grateful Dead around (to a small extent) They have some wonderful flavors. I just bought one of the new American Idol flavors. They look pretty good too, and aren't quite as pricey as B&J.

Rosa said...

I know, I feel old too with new and old lingo. Cherry Garcia is the hub's fav ice cream. Just tell the kids to be careful. So much kidnapping these days, it worries me to death. Glad they are in pairs!

wolfbaby said...

that is a beatiful story, I wish I didn't know so much about Ben and Jerry;P

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Ann

That’s a good idea about the knitting club, with sweaters and yarn sent off to mothers in Bangladesh and Malawi.

School children everywhere benefit from such projects, learning more about other countries, even better to facilitate a dialogue between respective schools wherever possible.

In Malawi girls clubs have been established in schools to make sweaters and jumpers for themselves and for orphans. Orphan’s numbers still increase with the spread of HIV/AIDS which is devastating the country and reducing average life expectancy to under 40. Counseling services are needed to give the communities enough confidence and skills to talk with the orphans and their children re HIV\AIDS and death- difficult at present as it remains counter cultural.

Some aid is now being targeted at poorer women communities; co operatives to provide literacy skills, health education, bookkeeping, knitting and craft skills. The co operatives sell their produce cheaply for much needed income and for the communities benefit;
eg cheap mosquito nets to ward off malaria.

Most of the aid needs to be channeled to such women groups, who are the backbone to the community. There are good men, but still a culture permeates where many lack the desire to be committed.

Children learn that what they are learning is not only being learnt by their counterparts overseas in countries like Malawi but also by older women in these community co operatives.

The Government Hospitals & clinics continue to be overwhelmed by HIV\AIDS patients and so many children, with resistant malaria, chest infections, and pneumonia.
A poor country like Malawi cannot cope with so many ill in the community unless the west is far more generous. There is a need for more VCT-ARV clincs and affordable drugs.

Overall its hardly surprising however aid of this type so desperately needed is not forthcoming since your own heath care system is in such dire need of an overall, with so many unable to afford the high cost of private heath insurance.

Little wonder it’s hard to gather concern about the warm heart of Africa.

Best wishes to your family, especially to Carol.

Walking home from school for Rebecca and Rochelle sounds like a good idea.

Lavender said...

aww... those kids are so sweet!!!!!

"Bohemian Raspberry" that's great!!!

reminds me of wayne's world though. get the kids to watch that!

peppylady said...

What a wonderful story. I'm going to pass this story around and I know one person who does inspiration at church we attend and she shares stories of good things that is going on.

oldwhitelady said...

As long as the kiddos realize that knitting needles aren't playthings, knitting clubs can be a good idea. When I was young, someone taught me how to crochet, somewhat. That was really a cool thing. I made several covers, but lost interest when I stopped having much leisure time.
I hope the month is good to you.

Her Bad Mother said...

Gah, just lost my comment. Thanks for the story about the knitting kids - what an awesome thing.

JunieRose said...

Hi Ann,

Have been having trouble getting to your place here...The link I have for you on my side bar has stopped working for some reason...anyway, just wanted to know how things were going at your place.

The tornadoes were south of us but I feel so sad for all the ppl who lost loved ones and homes!....No way to prepare for these things!

Take care,


Andie D. said...

I love the knitting idea. Wish I had the ability. Good reason to give it a shot again. Ben and I have been talking about giving to our local humane society. Almost had him talked into taking donations for his birthday instead of presents. Instead, we're going to do a drive at his preschool.

clairesgarden said...

knitting for peace, great idea.
and walking home from school seems a great idea, I suppose it might be a real chore for them if the weather was bad.

PI said...

In 1970 i visited my sister in Vermont and I spent an afternoon with a group of American ladies sewing a patchwork quilt and I was allowed to join in. One of my happy memories, if a little off topic.

venessa said...

Hi Ann! Haven't commented in a while, but I have been reading and keeping you in my thoughts. Hope this week goes well for you and the fam.

Gina said...

Nothing I hate more than unexpected car expenses. We've got bad brakes over here that are going to cost about three hundred. Yikes!

Thanks for the update, Ann. I think about you and your family often.

Margaret said...

Hi Ann, these cars are such a necessary evil are they not? The other thing, unexpected care expense seems to crop up at the worst possible momment.
My thoughts and prayers have remained with you and family even though I was not blogging. Hugs Margaret

Meow said...

We saw on the news the devastation in Florida. I too have a few blog friends there ... hope they're OK.
Have a great week.
Take care, Meow

Meow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mreddie said...

The knit hats are a great idea - especially with the kids involved in the project. ec

Atasha said...

Just checking on you Ann. When I don't see a new posting I get concerned. Hope all is well with you and that the family is doing okay

Madcap said...

Hi Ann. I don't have anything to offer, I wish I did. Squeeeeeze.

karrie said...

Just stopping by to catch up and say hello!

I think it is great the girls can walk home. Sounds like a fun routine and a good way to unwind after sitting all day at school.

granny p said...

Now that's a good use for knitters...And I'm all for kids walking home!