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Mother Earth phases

December 4, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
I grew up during the formative years of hippie-dom, that youth cultural movement of the 1960s.

I was a semi-hippie. I tried to tell my daughter I was a hippie, simply by virtue of my huge bell-bottom pants and big hoop earrings, but she didn’t buy it.

“My friend’s mom was and still is a hippie, and you were no hippie,” she said.

How would she know? She wasn’t even a figment of my imagination in 1969. But I am willing to admit that okay, maybe I wasn’t a hippie, but I was hippie-ish. I sewed patches on my jeans and handcrafted a macramé purse with fringe.

In 1968, I was still young enough to be under parental rule. So I didn’t go to Woodstock, live in a commune, or sit in a circle passing around illegal substances. I didn’t congregate at “The Barn,” which is place that if you were younger than 30 in Trumbull County in 1969…you likely know of what I write.

But there was a time when I my hippie-ness emerged on a slightly smaller scale. It happened in the 1980s, when everyone else was wearing sweatshirts with ragged collars that fell off one shoulder, sweat bands on their foreheads, leg warmers and high hair. Always a late-bloomer, I subscribed to Mother Earth News, tried to figure out a way to create an energy producing windmill in my back yard, and planted a quarter-acre garden that I was convinced would feed my family throughout an entire winter. I crocheted a lot too.

My mother taught me to crochet when I was barely old enough to adequately manipulate a hook and thread. This was quite an accomplishment, I might add, because my mother was left-handed and I’m about as righty as a person can be. (My husband, also left-handed, had a particular camaraderie with my mother that many sons-in-law lack and I think it was the left-handed thing. They all tend to stick together like some sort of secret society).

In the 1980s, needlework seemed to be a lost art. Sure mothers and grandmothers tried passing it down to their children, but children were more interested in obtaining their first credit card and buying their lace from J.C. Penney’s rather than making it themselves. I, on the other hand, crocheted everything. Family members received colorful afghans for Christmas gifts. As a teenager, I mastered the “granny square” and figured out ways to make it into vests and purses, which I proudly wore and carried. I could crochet the thickest yarn or the finest thread. I had/have every size hook imaginable. There was no Internet and no “yarn stores” so I bought Red Heart acrylic skeins when it was on sale, three for a dollar and when I didn’t have a book in my hand, my fingers were flying with the next project.

But although I was, and still am, an adept crocheter, I envied knitters. When I would look through pattern books, it was the knits that caught my eye. Lovely afghans, sweaters and even doll clothes would catch my eye, only to disappoint when I learned the project was a knit. I could tell the difference by simply looking at the photos, but I am an optimist and there was always hope until I saw the pattern in person.

It took a while, more than 30 years if you are counting, but two summers ago, I finally taught myself to knit. I bought yarn and needles and “Knitting for Dummies.” I made a scarf and a few dishcloths just to try various patterns. Then I stuffed in all in a tote bag and left it for dead.

A few weeks ago, something happened that brought knitting back into the forefront of my mind. Perhaps it was a co-worker who also taught herself to knit. A much younger co-worker, which not only awakened my interest in the craft, but also made me realize that perhaps needle arts aren’t dead after all. It might have been the change in the weather that always seemed to invoke a feeling of keeping my hands busy with something warm on my lap on cold evenings. Or, it might have been the colorful new yarns I saw while browsing the local craft stores. Whatever it was, I was inspired to once again dig out those needles and try my hand at knitting. My goal is to make socks and fingerless gloves.

This morning, it is sad to say; I still haven’t gone shopping. Don’t blame me, it’s been a busy week with several late nights. It was egg pick-up day however, but pickup is after breakfast, so the eggs are resting comfortably in the back seat of my cold car until I get them home later. Before I left the house this morning, I did a repeat of yesterday’s breakfast of toast with peanut butter.

I didn’t post a photo of last night’s dinner on yesterday’s blog (although I did update it with the lunch I had after the evil doughnut incident, so go check it out if you are interested), but today’s lunch was somewhat of a repeat of dinner. The husband made potato soup and I couldn’t resist bringing it with a sliced turkey and lettuce sandwich. Yes, the soup has little slices of hot dog floating in it, as this is his favorite “condiment” in potato soup. Go figure, but it really is pretty good. As a teenager, he and his father would make this concoction and called it “bum soup,” as it basically used up leftovers prior to shopping day. I haven’t spoken to him about tonight’s dinner, so check back to see what was in store.

When I got home, the husband had prepared pork cutlets and oven "fried" sweet potato sticks. He also steamed me some broccoli, a vegetable I'm certain he hestitated even touching.


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Breakfast: 2 ounces grains; 2 ounces meat; 3 tsps. healthy oils