Sunday, March 27, 2011

Second Bill of Rights

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”2 People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
·      The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
·      The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
·      The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return, which will give him and his family a decent living;
·      The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
·      The right of every family to a decent home;
·      The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
·      The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
·      The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.
For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Iknitarod 2011

I am an unabashed Iditarod Junky.  Love the whole shebang.  Have been following this race across Alaska for over 20 years and haven't gotten tired of it yet.

Last year a couple of fellow junkies started Iknitarod on Ravelry.  I joined, I made ravatars and I knit while forum talking to folks all over the place but especially in Alaska.  One of our members even lives in Unalakleet, about 700 miles into the race and the first checkpoint on the coast.

This year we had more members who live in Alaska so heard even more stories in real time.

I love the spirit that the race embodies.  I see mushers taking responsibility for mistakes and errors and triumphs.  I don't see blaming or slacking.
It's heartening for me to hear the stories and see the racers and dogs trying to do their best.

If a dog is lagging or a vet deems the dog not up to going on then the dog is 'dropped'.  This means the dog is taken care of as if she was royalty by volunteers at the checkpoints.  Then they are placed onto Iditarod Airforce planes and flown back to Anchorage to await their musher or handlers. In Anchorage they are cared for by trained specialists at either the Millennium Hotel or the prison.

This year there were many mushers who scratched, some not even 125 miles into the race.  In almost all cases the scratch was in the best interest of their dogs.  
My favorite musher, Newton Marshall scratched because his dogs were losing weight and would not eat.
The rookie from New Zealand scratched because he felt his dogs were not up to par.

One musher was mentored along the race by both the head veterinarian and 2 leading mushers, Dee Dee Jonrowe (she wears pink for Cancer awareness)

and Lance Mackey.  His dogs were losing weight and if they had continued to do so his team would have been pulled from the race, but since he is young but such a conscientious musher they figured out a way to help him while still leaving his integrity intact.  The story is here.

Meanwhile we knit and knit and knit.
I completed a Mushing hat (see last post) and a pair of socks from a newly designed pattern - Wings on My Toes.  Actually I had more on my list but once I saw the pace of this year's race, adjusted my sights accordingly.  

John Baker, a native AK from Kotzebue, beat the 6 year standing record by over 3 hours, winning over $50,000 and a Ford Ram truck. 
 (John speaking at the Banquet in Nome with his daughter keeping close.)

Ellen Halverson, who came in last winning the Red Lantern Award, could have won the race with her time 10 years ago.

Me, I get to use this Ravatar with pride.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Present #2!

So far so good.  Actually fantastic!  Present #2 was completed last week , leaving me the rest of the month to make new designs, repair sock holes and start on Jim's next pair of socks.

A friend of ours runs sled dogs, keeps 4 of her own and spends a good part of the winter with other mushers in the wilds of Minnesota.  I met DJ many moons ago when she came into my classroom with her sled, gear and a dog for my students to visit with, ask her questions and in general become a bit acquainted with the reality of the virtual race they were following - the Iditarod.

What's even stranger is that Jim knew her through canoeing as he repaired her boat a couple of times and made her paddles.  It was so funny the day she came to get her canoe.  I was here and did a double take to see her out of my context.

DJ and her partner, Anne (who trains seeing-eye dogs in her spare time) are good friends.  Usually I don't have time to make presents for other than family but his year I have lots of time...... so thought a nice winter hat would be appropriate.  I found and purchased a set of charts of sled dogs and musher designed by Alexandra Wiedemayer of Sweden.  Rav link here.  Monies from chart sales are going to help sponsor a sled dog team she follows.
from Alexandra "These Charts have been written in honor to the swedish wilderness and impression of my love to my dogs."

I used a simple watch cap pattern, double strands of AK Sunset and undyed Angora merino yarn to showcase the musher, sled and 2 dogs running around the hat.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chicken Tea Cozy - Done on Time

I have been remiss.  What with snow storms, the Iditarod (of which Jim and I are fanatical voyeurs) and knitting like a fiend, this blog has been neglected.  Well and plus the not so fun fact that our internet reception has been in the toilet for over 2 weeks.  They are working on the towers now and I can already see the reception and speeds increasing. The fun, delightful, enjoyable tea cosy was really completed by February 25 so the first Holiday present was done within my new limits.

If you are seeing this for the first time, please go here for the back story.

Check out these cute details.
The head even has wattles done with nice short rows.  The eyes are beads.

And the tail is just tooo tooo cute.  I added the braided feathers on my own.

The cosy is positioned on one of my teapots and it works just fine.

Liz doesn't read this blog, as far as I know, so I am not hurting the surprise.  Although the only hard part  of this new habit is not being able to give it to her right away.  Darn that postponing of gratification stuff.