Archive for January, 2012

January 29, 2012

Sunday Mornings with Dakota

Everyone has their own idea of how to spend a quiet Sunday morning. When you love yellow ducks, this is what relaxation looks like.

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January 27, 2012

Knitting for the troops

While Alex was home on leave this January, he asked me to knit him a hat. I am pretty much always thrilled when any of my children ask me to make them something. It means I can be fairly certain that if I make the effort, they will actually use and enjoy what I have made.

We discussed certain options and one thing Alex wants is a hat decorated with the Frost crest.

The Frost Crest

I will admit I gulped a bit when I pictured myself rending this rather complex design onto the front of a hat, but I guess I am game. It would be unusual.

We also had a long discussion about the color coyote brown.  This is apparently the color du jour in the military. I googled coyote brown yarn, but for some reason the yarn industry hasn’t latched onto this meaningful colorway yet. See the swatch below:

What a lovely shade for someone who really doesn’t like browns that much. But it is for my Alex. Further sleuthing revealed that they do make Paracord in coyote brown. Now, this could be really useful. If you needed some paracord, you could just unravel your hat. Might not get you too far, but could do in a pinch.

However, what I also found was a wonderful site and organization founded after 9/11 which knits for the troops. The Ships Project offers guidelines and patterns on what the troops need to help them be comfortable on the ground, on ships, etc. Not only does knitting keep the troops’ toes warm or necks cool, as the case may need to be, it reminds them that we are thinking of them and appreciate the sacrifices they make for us–no matter our own personal politics.

So, I’ve got my work cut out for me. From the challenge of duplicating that crest to finding something besides paracord in coyote brown and finding the extra time to make something for someone serving far from home.

January 22, 2012

The Betty Frost Fan Club Gathering

The weekend of January 6-9, 27 many Frosts gathered in Stuart, Florida to celebrate the 90th birthday of Betty Frost. Betty’s five children formed the core of this group (or “corps” as a Frost would put it), the balance of attending admirers were Betty’s significant other and consort, the redoubtable and loveable Bill, various spouses, girlfriends, grandchildren and the one person who could almost steal center stage from Betty, her great-grandchild, five-month old Deacon.

Crowds of Frosts began arriving as early as Thursday with more joining Friday and throughout the weekend. Headquartered in two houses right on the beach on Hutchinson Island near the famous House of Refuge, the weekend was a constantly changing kaleidoscope of Frosts. The weather was perfectly warm and sunny and the constant breaking of waves on the beach punctuated the chatter as everyone caught up with recent events and made acquaintance with new arrivals to the clan.

The weekend was a combination of planned events and relaxed gatherings. Friday night kicked off the festivities with sandwiches in the house which was headquarters for the Michigan Frosts (including a few formerly Michigan Frosts). Early risers tended to gather there as well to greet the dawn,drink coffee and chat quietly. During the day, movement and gatherings tended to shift to the New York/Atlanta contingents’ house two doors down the beach.

The days were filled with walks on the beach, sporting events on the tv, lots of use of electronic devices from Cupertino and several forays to local favorites spots for lunch.

Saturday night was the formal dinner event at Prawnbrokers. We had a nice back room all to ourselves and enjoyed tasty food, lots of photo opportunities and great conversation.

Sunday night was a second informal celebration at the New York/Atlanta contingent’s house featuring the birthday girl, a host of admirers, a popular cake and singing.

Perhaps one of my favorite moments of the weekend took place as flocks of Frosts gathered to greet yet another arriving couple. Almost all of us were gathered in a small space to make welcome the arrivals and my beloved spouse, the youngest of Betty’s five, said to his mother, “This is all your doing. We would not be here without you.” Of course, Jack’s presence was there as well as a nod to the past and to the progeniture of the family. It seemed to me to be the most fitting tribute to a woman who has lived her life with dignity, great intelligence and humor and a strength of spirit.

The weekend was great fun, full of warm camaraderie and a testament to how lucky we all are to have Betty and to have this outstanding family she has built.

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WARNING: you may need to be a Frost to make it through the entire slideshow.

January 12, 2012

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

This is one of my favorite anecdotes. It is from Richard P. Feynman, a truly brilliant mind with a tremendous sense of humor. Since this is such a favorite of mine, my LOML (love of my life) wrote it out for me.

I would like to report other evidence that mathematics is only patterns.  When I was at Cornell, I was rather fascinated by the student body, which seems to me was a dilute mixture of some sensible people in a big mass of dumb people studying home economics, etc., including lots of girls.  I used to sit in the cafeteria with the students and eat and try to overhear their conversations and see if there was one intelligent word coming out.  You can imagine my surprise when I discovered a tremendous thing, it seemed to me.

I listened to a conversation between two girls, and one was explaining that if you want to make a straight line, you see, you go over a certain number to the right for each row you go up, that is, if you go over each time the same amount when you go up a row, you make a straight line.  A deep principle of analytic geometry!  It went on.  I was rather amazed.  I didn’t realize the female mind was capable of understanding analytic geometry.

She went on and said, “Suppose you have another line coming in from the other side and you want to figure out where they are going to intersect.” Suppose on one line you go over two to the right for every one you go up, and the other line goes over three to the right for every one that it goes up, and they start twenty steps apart, etc.—I was flabbergasted.  She figured out where the intersection was!  It turned out that one girl was explaining to the other how to knit argyle socks.

I, therefore, did learn a lesson:  The female mind is capable of understanding analytic geometry.  Those people who have for years been insisting (in the face of all obvious evidence to the contrary) that the male and female are equal and capable of rational thought may have something.  The difficulty may just be that we have never yet discovered a way to communicate with the female mind.  If it is done in the right way, you may be able to get something out of it.

April 1966 address to the National Science Teachers’ Association.

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