Your greatness is not what you have, it's what you give.

Friday, January 30, 2009


On January 30, 1925 one of the best men I know was born. My Daddy, William Grandison, was the last of nine children. He had a typical childhood of someone who lived through the Depression and served his country bravely and heroically in the Battle of the Bulge by driving extra personnel to secure the Bridge at Remagen.

My Daddy taught me honesty, integrity, good morals, how to honor a commitment, and how to wire a lightswitch. I had no brothers so I was always his assistant when there were odd jobs to be done around the house. I felt like his little princess, even when swinging a hammer! This photo of Daddy, my daughter and me was taken in the mid 90's.

And here he is meeting his great-grandson for the first time.

Daddy is a man of few words, but I know he loves me and I love him and respect him more than he will ever know.

P.S. Happy Birthday Karin!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Two Finished Projects

The first project I finished last Thursday was the baby hat using the Regia sock yarn. I steam blocked the edge so the picot finish would show up. This will be going to the donation inventory.

The second project I completed last night was my son's birthday scarf. I used about 2.75 out of 3 skeins of Frog Tree baby alpaca fingering weight yarn on a size 2 needle. The finished size is 65 inches long and about four or five inches wide. It felt like it took me forever to finish but it really took only 10 days, and that wasn't constant knitting. So now Andrew has an elegant scarf to wear with his good looking dress coat.

I'm working on a birthday gift for my sister next, can't say's a surprise. I'll also be working on a hoodie sweater for donation. I haven't picked out the yarn for that yet, but I have some ideas. What are you knitting?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back to Knitterly Things

Yesterday Karen and I met with Ray Schimmer,CEO, Julia Filippone, Director of Agency Advancement, Liz Waite and Charlie Vatalaro of Parsons Child and Family Center ( Parsons has been serving children and families and addresses mental health, special education, and developmental needs of those families in the community for 175 years. We were there to discuss how the Chicks can contribute to a program they have started to give baby showers and gifts to young mothers in need. They noticed that when a baby is expected in our families it is welcomed with open arms and baby showers and celebrations. But the mothers in the programs at Parsons are lucky if they have any family support at all, let alone positive encouragement. So we Chicks are going to make layette sets and clothing which can be gifted to these mothers at baby showers to help encourage a hopefilled and loving start to their families. They expect to have anywhere from 25 to 45 showers a year.
We will be knitting layette sets and clothing to help make a good start for these new babies. Our first donation consisted of 67 items including hats, mittens, booties, sweaters, socks, blankets.

In this photo from left to right are Ray Schimmer, Jody Mason, and Karen Ayres.

Here from left to right are Liz Waite, Julia Filippone, Jody and Karen.

Thank you to Charlie Vatalaro for being our photographer. Hey Charlie! We didn't get a picture of you!

There was an article in the September 2007 issue of the Parsons Newsletter written by Pastor Wendell Williams which I would like to share with you:

Chaplain’s Corner
by Pastor Wendell Williams

Hello friends, and welcome once again to the Chaplain’s Corner.

My subject this month is “I believe in miracles.” Be blessed.
Miracles. What a great word. To some, fanciful or mystical,
and to others like me—perhaps like you too—believable.
Miracles: when the divine breaks into the natural dimensions of time,
space, events, and human perception.
The first miracle recorded in the New Testament was at a wedding when
Jesus turned dishwater into wine. Yes, dishwater. Lots of it--about 120
gallons or more. What a great miracle. And for you wine connoisseurs,
they said that it was great wine, too. In fact, the master of ceremonies
called it “wonderful stuff,” “the best saved for last.”
This is a powerful story because it tells us that when we least expect it,
God can break into our routines or our ceremonies and show Himself great
on our behalf.
This story also tells us that God can use something ordinary, for
example you and I—destined for difficult, challenging, sometimes
dirty yet necessary work— and cause what we do to become something
beautiful, even extraordinary when submitted to the will and love of God
for his blessing, enjoyment, edification and service of others.
The making of a miracle comes in many shapes and forms. A miracle
may look just like you. Yes you. You are someone’s miracle today. Yours
may just be the smile someone needs when his/her world’s been hell all
day. Yours may just be the loving gentle human touch someone needs
when he/she is feeling like “some people who live, work and interact with
people day-in-and-day-out, but seldom, if ever, experience the kindness
or the warmth of another human’s touch, days on end, sometimes for
months.” You may be the miracle for those who live alone, are lonely and
untouched until God uses you to touch them. You become the miracle that
encourages and reminds them that they are not alone.
Sometimes the miracle is you. Yes, you—the one standing there with
that dishrag in your hands, thinking you feel like “dishwater,” not meant
for much. But trust me, you are here. You are alive. That alone makes you
a candidate to be a miracle and a candidate for a miracle.
So be blessed today. God loves you. You are one of God’s miracles and
miracles are His style.

We Chicks are going to think "Miracles" and pray we make a positive difference in the lives we touch.

Monday, January 19, 2009


One quarter of a century ago I looked like this. Yes, if you look at last Monday's post you'll see the entry about Amanda's birthday. Exactly three years, one week, three hours and forty five minutes later Andrew came into this world.

Andrew was quite the charmer. Here he is at 16 months old with Dad Ron on the occasion of his first visit to a circus. He was more interested in the Spotlight Newspapers photographer who snapped this pose than the elephants in the center ring.

And here is my little charmer today with his boss, Gov. David Paterson and his co-worker, Justin on the far right.

Andrew, I thank God every day for the gift that you are to me and my family. You make me proud to say I am your mother. I pray that you have a wonderful, long and happy life ahead. Happy 25th Birthday Anj and God bless you!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Streamin', Gleamin', Flaxen, Waxen

For those of you who are too young to recognize these lyrics, they are from the Broadway hit "Hair". Here are the photos!

When Breanna styled my hair it was straight and smooth, but since my arms are connected to the shoulders on which the head being styled is attached, I can't quite get the same look so I improvised a fluffier version with some curls. What do you think?


In answer to all the requests for photos of my new hair, there are no "before" photos. I couldn't take the chance of damaging my camera. If I can get Ron to figure out how to use my digital camera, I might have an "after" shot to post soon.

I got the nicest phone call last night from Breanna, my NEW hairdresser. Ooooo! It's so nice to say "my hairdresser"! Anyway, I had called the shop earlier in the afternoon to ask Stephanie, the receptionist, to relay my message of thanks and relief to Breanna and let her know she was featured in that day's entry on my blog. She called me back to say she had read it and wanted to thank me for being so sweet. She also tried to convince me I should take up writing as a profession, since she chuckled her way through the reading. But alas, I have enough to do without adding author to the mix.

Speaking of lots to do, it's back to the knitting needles for me. I don't have much time before my son's birthday on Monday and I am only halfway through his alpaca scarf! Gotta get clickin'!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Don't try this at home!

Monday I decided I needed to add a little lift to the color of my hair so I bought the Garnier kit to add a few little skinny streaks of highlights. YIKES! The gloves were so clumsy I couldn't get little pieces of hair and then a big blob of stuff fell off the application comb and left a wide clump of color instead of a skinny streak. Plus instead of a golden highlight (as described in the booklet) I got orange streaks...ORANGE!!! It was hideous! So after my chiropractor appt. I drove down the street to a shop I've never been to before and don't know anyone who has ever been there, but I took a leap of faith. When I walked into the shop it was bright, clean, neat, tranquil, had a little bar with complimentary coffee, tea, and water with thinly sliced lemons and oranges floating lazily in the lovely silver cooler, there was a hint of classical music hovering in the background. I felt like I was home again! Aaahhhh.....I spoke to the receptionist. Well actually I almost cried "HELP" to the receptionist and, knowing that I was taking a chance, I asked if anyone in the shop had time to do a color repair and a haircut. She perused the computer screen with a combined look of pity and horror on her face. Meanwhile, I was doing my best poor puppydog face. She tried gently to tell me she wouldn't have time to squeeze me in today, but possibly tomorrow. I screamed in my head! I CAN'T GO ON THURSDAY. I HAVE A DENTAL CLEANING APPOINTMENT AND I CAN'T GO TO THE DENTIST LIKE THIS! Okay, calm myself, you can do it Jody....I was prepared to leave and come back the next day when the dear girl asked me to wait a minute. She left to speak to the owner Sherry, bless her heart, came back and said there was a cancellation, if I would like to see Breanna, she would give me a consultation and see what she could do. IF I WOULD LIKE! I almost bowed down and kissed her feet! And I have to say all the ladies in the shop were very tactful. No one pointed fingers and laughed, although it would have been perfectly warranted. And in no time at all, Breanna was hard at work fixing the awful things I had done to my hair. Now one thing I forgot to mention is that it has been about four years since I have been able to find a hairdresser I like. And believe me I have been looking! So desperation makes one do funny things. But I felt confident in Breanna's hands. She was young and pretty (I didn't hold that against her) and I could tell by the way she touched my hair and moved it around that she knew what she was doing. We talked about my ability to style my own hair and I told her the most compliments I ever got were when I cut it myself. And believe me I listened for the snickers as the person walked away and there were none. So I guess they really liked the cut. Anyway, we decided together to go with lowlights and a smooth assymetrical haircut. Two hours later Breanna and I were thrilled with the results! My hair is now back to a normal color with warm, caramel lowlights and the cut is the cutest I have had since my eight year stint with my favorite Kelly (who got married and had kids and moved away, WHAT'S WITH THESE GIRLS? DON'T THEY KNOW THEY ARE THERE TO TAKE CARE OF US!?) Breanna was so impressed with her own work, she was miffed that she hadn't taken a before and after photo. Not that I would have let her take the "before" version. The best part of all is that I have found a new hairdresser...for now. She just got married in December! DARN!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I found the pattern

I think I found the correct link to the pattern for the Knotted Openwork Baby Hat that I showed in my last post. It's a really easy lacy pattern based on mulitples of three stitches. I'm using Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett sock yarn."

I'm thinking this pattern would also make a pretty spring weight scarf in a nice bamboo or cotton yarn. Hmmm....

Sorry about the link not working. Something has changed in the posting procedures and I can't get it to link automatically.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I'm sad to say we have to say goodbye to one of our Chicks. Karin Maag-Tanchak has asked to be excused because, well, life gets in our way sometimes. She is a busy mom and knitter/designer and is finding it increasingly more difficult to juggle all the responsibilities that go along with that. We loved having you join us when you could, even if we were overwhelmed by the speed at which you knitted, and didn't even look (we're so jealous! LOL!).So it is with a sad heart that all we Chicks say we love you Karin, we'll miss you, but we understand. And know that we will keep a seat warm for you if you ever get the chance to rejoin us.

Happy knitting and I'll still see you at knit night at Panera's!

This week with The Chicks

Our current project is making baby clothes and accessories for a local center that serves young mothers in need. Barbara finished this cute little preemie cap to add to our inventory.

Barb's next project is the February Beret, a little hat she is squeezing in between charity knitting, just for herself. We have to take care of us too!

Elaine is working on a sweet little sweater pattern that she found way back in 2006 on

It's an old pattern so you might have to go to archives to find it.

My current project, in between making a baby alpaca scarf for my son's birthday next Monday (don't worry, it's not a surprise gift) is a baby cap with open lace work. I found the pattern online, but can't retrace my steps to where it was. Sorry!

We don't have any photos of the evening knitters because due to weather, health, and family reasons we didn't meet last night. Maybe next week we'll have some progress photos to show. In the meantime, stay warm! I hear it's supposed to reach a high of 9 degrees today. YIKES!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Twenty-eight years ago I looked like this about two months before I delivered my precious angel Amanda. She was born four weeks before her due date and spent nine days in NICU but recovered with flying colors in a short time.

On Mother's Day, May 10, 1981 she was baptized wearing the beautiful gown her Nanny Boo made for her. What an angel! And those cheeks!!! So kissable!

Here is my angel all grown up with a family of her own now. I can't believe she's 28 years old! I hope you don't mind that I told everybody, Sweetie.

God has answered all my prayers by giving me a lovely young woman of whom I can be proud. You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside and I'm sending you all my love, hugs and kisses with prayers for a wonderful lifetime ahead for you. I love you Manda Panda, my pride and joy! God bless you! And happy birthday!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rosebud Socks

At the beginning of December I knitted a pair of socks for myself, since I hadn't made any for me since two years ago. I used Online yarn and called them Rosebud because the colors reminded me of my Grandpa's rosebush.

The pattern (called Synesthesia Sock from somewhere on the net)looked to me like the sepals surrounding the rosebud before it opens.

I love how they turned out and I've got the stitches on the needles for a pair of Jaywalkers for me next. I also finished a baby hat called "Sweet Baby Hat" to go with a Baby Surprise Jacket that I'll be donating soon. When it's blocked I'll take a photo to post.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas 2008

Christmas was even more fun this year now that Moose is 21 months old. The only gift I knitted this year was a hoodie for Moose.

It fit him perfectly as you can see and he wore it everyday. I'd say he liked it!

Moose and Uncle Drew enjoyed a couple of DVDs that Santa delivered. I think they both know the whole dialogue from "Finding Nemo".

One of Moose's favorite toys was a tunnel to go with his pup tent. I tried crawling into the tunnel with him and made it just fine. Getting out, on the other hand, was a different story!

Now that 2009 is here, the whole family sends wishes to you all for good health and happiness!