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    « This Weekend Was For The Dogs | Main | Terrier Tuesday -- Happy Birthday Edition »

    Monday, July 18, 2011


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    Cheryl S.

    Happy Birthday, Norma!

    I met you when I caught you burglarizing my home, attempting to steal my sweaters. You thought you would escape being seen, since you were dressed all in black knits, including a black balaclava. But the flash of my orange Thermal being stuffed into your project bag gave you away. You still would have gotten away if I hadn't managed to trip you up with my 47" Knitpicks Options cable.


    We met over a pot of rose petal jam in a small cafe in montreal. You were reaching for it at the same time as I, and our hands touched. I looked at you, and you looked at me, and we both burst out laughing. You told me to take it, as it was the last of the season, and i told you that you should have it. We decided to buy it jointly, bought a crusty baguette and some normandy butter, and shared it in the park. It's been true love ever since. Um, true friendship, i mean.

    gale (she shoots sheep shots)

    Really? because I thought you told me never to mention what happened that night in the balcony bathroom at Studio 54..but, well, it was a while ago, and otherwise we'd never have met..and everyone else was unconscious...and I don't think any of them became knitters, so... Love to love you, baby! (happy bday)


    Happy Birthday... and I hope to meet you in person one day. I am sure it was Margene who introduced me to your blog. I have been experiencing similar feelings.. so happy to get to keep on living and loving my life and my family, but also wondering what could break next. I am in reasonably good health but definitely middle-aged.

    (formerly) no-blog-rachel

    I hear you on the 52 and aches and pains. :) I do long for those long-ago days when we met at a UVM frat party, over a game of Twister. We sure wowed those frat boys with our ability to wrap a leg around our head - twice - while keeping a left hand on the orange spot and a right on the blue. But we left 'em all feeling very disappointed when we ditched them to walk downtown arm-in-arm to drink beer by the yard at the Black Cat.


    Happy birthday, dear Norma. I'll never forget how kind you were to me when we first met. It's hard to be the new girl on the cell block and you took me under your wing, taught me how to file my toothbrush into a shiv, and showed me how to get the most out of the jail's canned-mackerel based economy.

    Marcia Gehl

    I met you in a yoga class a couple of years back. You had misunderstood a remark I made to you as "You have the body of a 16 year old." When I actually said "You have the body ODOR of a 16 year old." We laughed and laughed.


    I was in the bathroom in an airport during a long layover. The person next to me kept moving their leg closer and closer to the wall between the stalls until they were thumping the wall.

    I asked them if they needed some toilet paper, but they didn't respond.

    I couldn't figure out what her problem was or why she was doing that...but it was weird. I exited the stall and Norma was standing at the sink with an awesome colored lipstick...and filled me in.

    Apparently I do lead a sheltered life cause I had NO CLUE I was being propositioned. I've always wondered now NORMA knew what that meant.

    nike free run

    Experience is not interesting till it begins to repeat itself, in fact, till it does that, it hardly is experience.

    Tressa in NC

    Happy 52nd birthday Norma!! Those aches and pains are beyond annoying, huh? Well, welcome to the crowd. Never thought it would happen to me either.

    Of course, you do remember our first meeting, I'm sure. We met at the airport and did our first solo flights one after the other. That was some instructor who taught us to fly! Your loops were impressive and you kept laughing and saying it was the most fun you'd ever had in your life. Oh, so many years ago . . . let's go back and do it all again, shall we? Perhaps we should tackle a different challenge . . . say, Mt. Everest? You choose -- it's your birthday.


    You bailed me out of jail.


    We met when your car broke down in the Adirondacks. You SAID you were headed to your daughter's school, but how you wound up on the back road to Bog River Falls I've never understood. That cute carpenter working on the Great Camp construction swore to me later he'd never met you before. But wasn't he sweet to get your car back to the highway while we shot the rapids in that tiny rubber raft?

    Happy birthday, youngster!


    Happy Birthday, Norma!! I don't really remember how we met but I'm glad we did. Maybe it was at the Filene's bridal dress sale. We both chose the same dress and almost tore it in half! Then we decided we could both wear it. BFF!!


    Happy Birthday, we met just a few weeks ago, at the Pain Center in Montpelier. We compared notes on what hurt worse and what worked better to relieve it, you said alcohol (the drinking kind not the rubbing kind) and sex made the pain almost go away completely!!!


    we met in the library. I was busy putting love notes in the romance novels and then putting them out of order in the 'how to write html' section. i figured those people need some love, you looked lost and asked directions to the knitting stacks and I brought you there myself since i needed to get a book on the ancient art of sail making slash knitters knots. on the way there we stopped for mimosa tea and have been fast friends ever since. I am fifty four, and have let my hair grow gray and they redyed it. i do not use make up or wrinkle cream and I do count calories when they stop wiggling long enough.


    We met at that Squeeze concert in Philly back in the mid-80s. We were both seated in the front row -- I was wearing my "Weird But Lovable" t-shirt and you were wearing your "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" t-shirt. Happy birthday!

    Mary Fran

    We met the summer after my junior year in college - I was backpacking through Europe and met this woman, 10 years my senior, who wanted to "show me the ways" of European men. My parents still won't let me speak your name in their presence.

    Mary de B

    It was a dark and stormy night.

    And that's all I remember! Next thing I knew, I was knitting a red scarf and eating jam made from roses... The world is a crazy place, I tell ya.


    Happy Birthday, Norma! We met in library school, didn't we? mwah!


    Happy Birthday to the Divine Ms. N!

    Well... I'm not sure that this won't result in some sort of legal action from Barry Manilow's people, but you remember... it was that seedy bar and he was over in the corner wearing that purple lame' suit with the feathers and the front zipper pulled down FAR too low, with the gold chains all twisted around each other, and you were really selling that whole "Lola" number. You in your matching purple Spandex get-up, with the push-up bra and the too-high heels, and when you climbed on the piano for the final chorus, and the leg on the piano broke? I was just glad I had that extra crowbar in my purse to shore it up so you two could finish the number in style. Wonder where he is today....?


    I remember it like it was yesterday. (In fact, I think it was yesterday...) We were chasing that tornado in Kansas - you in your big red truck with all the fancy electronic gear, and me on a bicycle with a pinwheel and a compass. I'm just glad you saw me before you completely flattened my bike. And thanks for the ride!


    Happy birthday, Norma!! I'm kinda disappointed that you don't remember how we met. . . it was the extreme chocolate event in downtown Duluth. I promised never to say anything more than that.


    I can’t believe it’s almost 25 years since our paths first crossed. I took that assignment in Mali to get away from my life here, never imagining a woman from Vermont would show up and change everything I thought I knew about myself.

    The witch doctor told me about you soon after you arrived in the village. When he heard you were going to climb the cliff, by yourself, without rope, he told me to go and talk some sense into the crazy woman. But you were so strong, so independent. So confident. You smiled at me, and said it would be fine. I learned that you always climbed alone. Being roped to someone else made you nervous, you said. I wondered about my own connections, the threads I had cut to come to Africa. Why did they still seem wrapped about me tighter than ever? It was as if you were trying to tell me something, just by being so completely who you were.

    The next morning the whole village turned out to watch you start up the cliff. You chose the most difficult path, of course. Yet the joy on your face was beautiful to see, and you were practically laughing as you climbed up and away from the little crowd, leaving us all behind.

    Later, the village women sang and called you a hero. You smiled again, and I knew my world had changed.

    A toast to you, dear Norma. I’m glad you’re in my life. Many happy, healthy, lithe, and laughing returns of the day.


    Happy birthday, Norma! You've been part of my life so long, I can barely remember when we met, but I'm pretty sure it was when you offered to hold the jump rope during recess because double-dutch just doesn't work without three people ... and you were much better at jumping than I was!


    I'm heartbroken you don't remember that first magical night at the gay bar when I asked you to dance.....


    I've never actually met you. I assumed you were just one of the voices in my head.


    Should I really do this? I don't want to out you. . . but, I do remember how nervous you were about your first assignment as a call girl, and how I gave you many helpful pointers. That's enough. I'm sure you can remember as well as I do.


    Though I suppose if I was meant to lie, my previous comment was a fail.


    Happy birthday, Norma(l). Fifty-two ain't so bad -- I was there X years ago. Forget the hair dye - if it's good enough for men to become silver and distinguished it's fine for us as well. Besides, roots are so damn bothersome. We have enough to do with aching joints and wrinkles, let the hair take care of itself.

    I'm not lying when I say we met at a bar. You were CART-ing the pick up lines this stud was handing out to all the gorgeous babes who were in town for a convention. He figured he wouldn't want to miss a chance with any who were not able to understand him so he brought you along. I was one of the babes and you kept laughing so hard at my reposts it was hard for you to keep your fingers on the correct keys. Some of your bloopers that night were, indeed, memorable...

    ann clifford

    ha ha ha! I was shopping at Kyarns and I looked over, and yes it was "her", the Norma! I even yelled it across the store..."Norma" I hugged her, even though we had never met, i felt like i had known her all of my life. I have shopped with her, had lunch with her and enjoyed her ever since! Best wishes, Norma, you look great! hugs and more hugs!!!

    Michele Linder

    Hi Norma, I turned 52 in June... I got a very late start on my garden this year, due to a trip to Ireland and an unexpected weekend in New York City (yeah, life is hard!), but when I returned home to northern Minnesota, I dug right in to turn the overgrown patch of weeds into something beautiful, once again. I decided that instead of focusing on planting much in the short season I had left, I'd devote most of my attention to working on my vision -- doubling the size of my garden, marking off a place for my future shed and greenhouse, and erecting a permanent fence.

    Since June 26th the earth where my garden resides has been weeded and planted. I added some strawberries on the ends of two of my raised beds, got sidetracked by a sale on hydrangeas, planting several in front of the barn, and have weeded a 24' x 40' area in order to begin working at leveling the slope to add more raised beds and a couple of cold frames. If all of that doesn't sound tiring, there is nothing but hard clay, sand and rocks in my yard, and so, I'm digging by hand and sifting out the rocks (in an area a yard square, and digging only a foot deep I'm getting at least a 5 gallon bucket of rocks, some bigger than a bowling ball.) one wheelbarrow at a time. I'm a digger and love rocks, so this is somewhat enjoyable to me, but boy is it hard work! And, boy, am I feeling it!!

    OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I can relate to everything you said in your post!! I'm wondering... if this is what working in the garden at 52 feels like, how am I going to do it for another 50 years?? Sigh... I don't want to be one of those people who do less and less as they age. I want to do more and more!! Let me know if you figure this one out. ~~Michele

    ann clifford

    now for how we really met....i was at the miss america contest, in my hot pink bikini, when this tart, showed up in her red "thonged" bikini. Little did she know that the ball and needle tattoo on her ass was showing, she paraded down the runway like she was king shit...It was more than I could bare.later, we compared tats because mine is a stitch holder, it's where my belly button used to be!!!


    We met at Harrods in London. You were perusing the tinned Spotted Dick since being away from your husband had given you the megrims. I pointed out it was a dessert, not something else... Then we decided to split a dessert plate at that cafe' around the corner, the one where you can watch the Mime in the park? We both decided that chocolate can cure all ills and watching a Mime reminds us that we both have guns and know how to use them.


    Norma, don't you remember? We met in an online chat room? It was the one for people with an unusual fixation with owls and cake.


    Happy birthday! I don't remember much more about the night we met other than warm breezes, naked cabana boys, delicious food, far too much ginger vodka ... then waking to the realization we'd somehow knit the cabana boys banana hammocks while in a stupor. I won't discuss how you sized them or the graphic novel you wrote about it. (Don't worry, I burned the evidence!)


    Aren't you the lady I spotted knitting a sock at the men side of the wailing wall in Jerusalem many moons ago? I was sure it is you! I am so glad I was there to meet you!

    Mazal tov Norma and many more healthy (with just a few aches and xomplains) returns :)


    God, I don't even REMEMBER!!!
    (So that must mean we had fun.)
    Happy Birthday, Norma!!


    It was 1977. We had just graduated from high school. Somehow, we ended up sitting next to each other at a Fleetwood Mac concert; at Red Rocks, if I remember right. We were both checking out Stevie Nicks' shawl. . . as we were rockin' out and singing "Dreams" at the top of our lungs.

    Happy birthday, Norma. And welcome to 52. (I am currently being plagued with a hamstring attachment injury. It's gotta be the age. . .)


    How quickly they forget. Must be the onset of memory loss.
    We were standing next to each other at the jewelry counter admiring Native American pendants when you elbowed me and grabbed the most beautiful one.


    Norma! How could you forget? We met running the Boston Marathon in 1980. Or maybe 1981? (It was the year Rosie Ruiz came out of nowhere to win. And she didn't start with us either. She took a much shorter route. But we didn't - You overtook me about mile 6, right there by the train station in Framingham. I was tripping over the tracks.)

    We were pacing each other for the rest of the race. (There was no way I was letting another red head get ahead of me.)

    Anyway ... the rest is history --. I left for Peace Corps and you went on to more civilized adventures -London, iirc. Those were the days before email and we had to wait forever for letters to get through.

    Thank goodness for the internet and email (and most especially blogging - otherwise I'd never be able to keep up with all your goings ons.)


    Hey Norm-a. Doncha remember me, Deloras (that'd De-lor-Ass Smythe), yur second cousin once removed and twice devorced? Ah been lookin fur to send you an email and here you popped up on my TV screen and ah looked real close shore enough, an it was you! And you be havin a birthday! You sure don look that old. Me and Mike-y (he's the latest and the bestest and he's got a real cute car too) are headed up yur way and wes hopin' we can just hang out with you and yur weenie little dawg fur a few weeks iffin you don't mind. Ah know you fergot you had cousins who moved to Albama but we never fergot about you! That time you and yur family came down here to visit was jus about the most exciting thing that ever happen to us. You was jus a wee little tyke, but so cute and full of spittle we kind of tried to ferget that you let all them pigs out of the pen to see how fast they could run. It was just a hoot watching you chasin them down the road. Can't wait until we can ketch up on all the news! See ya next week!


    I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my dearest friend Norma, whom I met on an Orenburg lace quest in Russia. As we were on opposite ends of the globe at the time, we met in Tblisi, Georgia, where we feasted on khachapuri, pkhali, plov, lobio and charkhlis, washing it all down with fine Georgian red wine. We then took the train to Orenburg. As I am the linguist, I was responsible for communicating with words, while Norma was responsible for communicating with gestures. A combination of rapid-fire Russian by me and Bikram-yoga-influenced interpretive dance by Norma got us directions to the market where the oldest of the Orenburg knitters sold their goat down. As we trekked along streets and paths that haven't been repaired since the Soviet era, we caught the fine scent of goat before we even spotted the grannies. Much negotiating and more interpretive dance scored us a fine pile of Orenburg down and we had visions of all the lace spinning we would do frolicking in our heads like baby goats in spring. We returned to the train to head to Europe, where we were informed that it is illegal to take Orenburg goat down out of the country. Left with no choice, we stuffed our bras and underwear—no, that ain't contraband, young man, baby got back!—and prayed the customs officers wouldn't choose to frisk us, though one particularly young one couldn't keep his eyes off our FF cups. They didn't and we held our breaths until we crossed into Hungary, where there were other adventures, but since Norma's mom might read this blog, I'll leave out the bit about Istavan and Almos.

    So, that's how I met Norma, my partner in crime!

    Teresa C

    You remember: I was married to that shit that abused me and you were a waitress. We took off in my convertible and you shot that guy that I danced with before he tried to rape me? (Thanks for that, btw), then we were on the run because you were afraid of something, I don't know what. Then we met that guy that looked like Brad Pitt and I thought I was starting a relationship while you were off ending one and after my one night in heaven he took off with all of our money? It was worth it. Then there was the FBI and that cop and robbing that convenient store. Oh! And the truck driver!? That was a hoot, wasn't it? I loved that. I loved that car. And we didn't get caught. Nope, we never did get caught. Happy Birthday!


    Heard someone in a booth of Shetland wool at a fiber festival say they were interested in knitting a sweater in their natural hair color. Heard them ask for a mirror to verify color. As I turned to watch the match-up, I saw you pull a flashlight from your purse, hold the yarn next to the mirror, then witnessed you pull out your waistband, shining the light to your nether regions. Since you were struggling to angle the mirror, yarn, and flashlight, I moseyed over to offer my assistance. We've been firm friends ever since!


    It was several years ago.... while walking my dog in the park, a green chicken flew past us at breakneck speed. My dog gave chase, and we caught up with you and your red scarf, which didn't match your outfit, I'm sorry to say. You were chasing Mr. Jeffries over the hills, behind some trees, and through a pond, where you slipped and fell, face first. Did I mention, you were wearing white capris? For shame!

    Thankfully, I always have a cardigan around my waist for emergencies, and as you emerged from the pond, it was clear, you needed my cardigan more than I.

    To thank me, for my timely rescue, You prepared a wonderful lunch of beet greens and olives, and we shared a bottle of white zin, while watching our little pups take advantage of your garden gnome.


    You don't really want me to blow your CIA cover, now, do you, Norma? Especially after the way you had my back at that secret document handoff in Smolensk. You know what trouble that gal Valerie got into by being outed! And don't forget you made me promise to never reveal the microphones you have hidden on Mr. J!

    Robin V

    Happy Birthday!

    I'll never forget our first meeting. I was wandering around Madison Square Gardens, admiring the dogs at the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. So many wonderful dogs, each a champion in his own right. But then I turned a corner and caught my first glimpse of a True Champion - Mr Jefferies himself! I commiserated with you when Mr Jefferies lost in the breed competition. (Really. Who had even heard of "Tyava's Sure Shot"?!?).

    And then when That Poodle won the Toy Group - oh, that was So Bitter. We both knew that if the True Champion had won the Yorkie competition, then That Poodle wouldn't have stood a chance.

    Mr Jefferies, of course, was gracious in defeat. And when Uno the Beagle went on to take Best in Show, Mr J cheered as loudly as the rest.

    But I still agree with Mr Jefferies - you should have let him go to Sardi's with Uno!


    I read about your blog in an article in Popular mentioned something about a charity seeking people interested in making training robots for chihuahuas and errant Yorkies.


    You sure have some funny friends! I can't stop laughing! Happy birthday!


    I'm not suppose to say ... Witness protection ya know! And only YOU know my real name!

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