Just in case you missed the press release earlier this year:

PANTONE 2012 Color of The Year:

Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango

So here is my Ode to Tangerine Tango!  (cue the band)

Check out this blog post from How About Orange for the latest in Tangerine Tango Sephora products.

Be Brite Baby!


photo by Chris Johns

Just my size

Another really great orange fashion post over here at gracefully50!

good for fencing?

So awesomeness from etsy….

What kids bedroom wouldn't this look cool in?

K for Kelly!

Something orange-y to knit with.

Just because he's a llama and a party animal!


The MS Society released a new campaign this spring to help increase awareness, help MS families, patients, and assist with education and of course fundraising. (Big Sigh) I’ve been around the not-for-profit world (public libraries) long enough (14 years) to know when there is a big push coming on, and yes, this is the Big MS Walk & fundraising season…

BUT this copy did make me stop and think! It did hit HOME! And yes! IT is personal!

Shortly after I was diagnosed and accepted the news, I told close family and a select few close friends and began the process of treatment etc. Then I started to notice that things began to get a little funny with a few of my friends, and not the ha-ha funny. I thought I was strong enough to begin telling people about this disease about which I knew very little and was learning every day, and suffer the fall out, but it turns out MS really does Kill Connections! It makes it hard for some people to adapt to your disease even though they are on the fringes, they might not be your best friend, but to have them pull back, stop calling, stop asking to get the kids together for play dates, and even keep run-in conversations to small talk hurts. As a parent, I would have told my kids that these people weren’t really your friends in the first place, but golly, we were in our thirty’s! It wasn’t like I was trying to be the poster girl for MS at this point in my life either, I didn’t want lots of folks to know, I just wanted everything to go away and return to normal because my symptoms had subsided with medications after all. Cripes, this is the first time I’ve really even owned up to these feelings til now.  I do see these folks from time to time,  we chat, catch up on the kids goings on and leave it at that, but I guess there will always be a part of me that feels sad for them, I hope someday they can be strong enough for someone who will need them. But on to the positives….

MS has brought into my life so many wonderful caring people who didn’t even know I have the disease until recently! Crazy as that might seem, but if it weren’t for the disease I would not have made the choices or decisions I have in the past three years. Most of them have been family or health related with a focus on what makes us happy or content, or keeps us spending time together or apart (which ever is necessary at the time).

The MS Connection site went live this week and has been hopping since! I logged on and have been enjoying the resources and connections. I hope this format will continue and word will spread to others affected by MS; because there are days that even though I know how much my husband and kids love -love me there is no way they can ever understand how I feel inside, nor would I ever want them to, but sometimes it helps to have someone to commiserate with. Someone you just don’t have to explain a lot to, they just get it.

The MS Connection site is just one of the many resources that the MS Society funds with the Walk MS monies raised each year. So please consider giving to Team March or Walk with Me!

MSAW 2012: Day 2

Multiple Sclerosis can happen to anyone, but just how prevalent is it really in Western New York? Well, I did a little bit of research….

Western New York has one of the highest prevalence rates of Multiple Sclerosis in the United States. For adult MS, the incidence rate in the United States is 50 cases per 100,000 people. In Western New York, the adult MS incidence rate is 160 cases per 100,000 people.”  

This quote came from a Pediatric MS center in Buffalo, NY just 45 minutes away. Anytime I feel the least bit whiny about my measly symptoms all I need to do is think of the children suffering with this disease. It’s not fair having to sit on the sidelines watching your friends play.

Not only does MS affect families here in the US but the map below gives you a good idea of the spread worldwide.

Yep, the red zones are the ‘hot’ zones for MS. Ug! When I was first diagnosed the best blogs I could find at the time that were the most down to earth, educational,  most personable and ‘warts ‘n all’ were from bloggers in Australia. It had never occurred to me to look that far out of the country for folks in similar situations but nothing is really very different.

Which brings me to my advocacy piece of MS Awareness Week 2012: Team March and their pledge to raise $5,000 this year in the Batavia Walk MS. This will be our third year! Each year has gotten bigger, more funds have been raised, more Team Members have joined, more MS families have been helped, more Awareness has been raised! Please consider Helping: Make a Donation OR Join Team March.

Please take a few moments to watch this video, I hope it will give you a better summary of the disease and it’s impact better than I ever could.

I was surprised how it moved me to tears and I knew all the statistics and live all the facts, but having them all summed up for me really hit home.

Wear your Orange this week!

As parents we inevitably have to make rules up to keep the household running smoothly. Nobody told us this, I don’t recall reading this in any parenting books that I read voraciously when the first two kids were young and then proceeded to throw out because I realized that I just needed to go with my gut, follow my heart, and pick and choose great skills I observed other parents practicing.
Some rules are made up out of necessity to rear well-behaved children, some to make good habits, others to keep the peace, and yet others to preserve sanity.

Here’s a sampling of The Marchville Rules:

#1 Be Kindness! (most important)

#24 Only socks can be thrown inside the house

#27 No you cannot hoard candy in your bed!

#56 Bus your own dishes, you do not live in a restaurant.

#67 If you come home in a really grumpy mood, you must spend 10 minutes on the punching bag. (instead of taking your bad day out on the rest of us! It also helps some of the Monkeys to be better able to pinpoint what went wrong in their day)

#71 You must eat the number of vegetables that match your age (example= If you are 7 years old: you gotta eat at least a combo of 7 veggies on the table that night – broccoli & cauliflower. I don’t try to be a really mean Mom and cook up brussel sprouts and squash on the same night, I try to make sure there’s at least something each Monkey will like.)

#89  You must use SOAP with the water when washing your hands or showering (this needed to be enacted due to a Monkey who shall remain anonymous but his initials are M.B.)

#111 dirty silverware must be deposited on the right side of the sink. (This is a fairly new rule, since we moved into the new house, the left side has a garbage disposal. I cannot count how many times utensils have been mangled and Mr. Monkey & I do not like sticking our hands down there.)

#120 If you leave the garage door open you owe Mama $5. (another new house rule – it’s a heated garage, albeit only to 40 degrees, but I’m not heating the neighborhood! I’ve made some money on this one, you’d think they’d learn.)

Gosh there are so many more, but I tried to pick the ones unique to Marchville. Do any of you need to pat down your 7yo son before they leave the house in the morning to search for contraband? That is quickly becoming another rule.

Are you willing to share and unique to your family rules?

All I wanted…

All I wanted for Christmas was an oven mitt and a clean and organized basement. Did I get either? NO!

So I set about knitting myself and oven mitt, but while I was at it I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out some color work experimentation because I have never attempted anything of the sort.

Not too shabby looking from the outside, but then an oversized mitten bound for felting can be quite forgiving in the final project.

All set up for the Kitchener stitch, I do it so infrequently that each time I do it I need YouTube's help!

A close up of the floats, no one was too ‘floaty’ for a first time, and nothing seemed too tight until…


But with a little pulling and stretching it seemed to sort itself out as you can see.

I used my own hand-dyed yarn for the orange tones and scraps of brown I had from other projects. It needed two trips through the washing machine for a really good felting. Heck I didn’t want to risk any well done fingers, I already have oven mitts that do that.

For the pattern, I researched a bunch on Ravelry, then I kinda cast on with what I had and went with it. There are a few different styles of thumbs and I chose my favorite, although it seems to have come out a bit stubby.

The finished project came out not too bad for a first time felted (on purpose) project, although it could use a good shave, but I’ll be gosh darned if it doesn’t keep my hands from getting the least bit burned though!

I guess I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed until Mother’s Day for the basement. One can hope…

I’ve finally been able to hold onto a few cowls that I’ve knitted over the past few months. usually I’ve knitted them, received compliments on them and then given them away to the flatterers.

This first one was a really quick knit I read about here the pattern is Schmatta and it’s so warm & toasty. I finished it off with some white mis-matched vintage buttons from my button bowl given to me by a dear friend (thanks Tracy!).

This is me goofing around trying to get a shot of me in the cowl but not very successfully!

I really need to wait til there is another photographer in the house besides the dog & lizard.

Next up: The Crofter’s Cowl, my first journey into lace – oooo, ahhhh. I know! wow, and my first chart – golly so much all at once, but it was for beginners and I highly recommend this pattern by Gudrun Johnston, easy peasy.

I’m just a bit disappointed that the color way of this Kitchensink Dyeworks yarn didn’t really show through, it’s brighter in person. I guess I’l have to promise more photos.

I did a bit of Valentine’s knitting for the Monkey’s too. They each received a heart knitted from a pattern as unique as themselves.

Crafter Monkey received the red heart the pattern from HERE. Quick and easy, I knitted two and stuffed it with extra yarn from the skein.

Wee Monkey received the purple heart the pattern from HERE. Another easy pattern, I made two and stuffed it.

Monkey Boy was thrilled with the multicolored green heart – (he should be, it was a much fussier pattern than I expected) but then he is worth it! You can find the pattern HERE.

As I created each of theses hearts the days and hours before St. Valentines Day it truly made me reflect on the individuality of each of my Monkeys and how each pattern and the yarn I chose really embodied their personalities so much.

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