#1 daughter and I went to visit my parents and then out to one of the local battlefields. This one is a national park, part of the wonderful system of national parks we have in this country.

There are people who go around to all the national parks after they retire, and I can see the charm of that.

This one preserves essentially unchanged the site of a horrible battle of the Civil War that took place just about this time of year a century and a half ago.

It was a beautiful spring day when we went, and we enjoyed traveling around the park, but it’s also sobering to think of all the young men who died there, and the anguish of making the strategic decisions which people now can so easily say were unwise decisions.

Stand Waitie, the only Native American general in the Civil War on either side and the last Confederate general to surrender to the Federals, led a Cherokee battalion in this battle. Two generals were killed, and there seems to have been a lot of internal power play and political positioning. This battle gave the north control of the Telegraph Road, the main source of supplies and communication to the south, and of Missouri.

We were   getting photos and information for our educational website, and #1 daughter made this little video with the pictures:


It was an enjoyable day, and made me feel a bit like Spring Break. I also quit early yesterday, so today I must work to make up for it. I have a couple of blogs to do and content for a security company’s website, and a couple of articles, and mountains of grading.

There will be some knitting, too, and perhaps even some sewing as well.

I’m working on Adelaide from Vintage Modern Knits: Contemporary Designs Using Classic Techniques. Since it’s worked from the bottom up, you get all the zombie knitting first and the epic knitting at the end when you do the colorwork yoke.

I’ve therefore been knitting while reading Stark on my Kindle. Kindle reading is hands-free and therefore perfect for knitting.

My other knitting tip is what to do about painful hands and wrists. This comes from doing all that movement while keeping the hands essentially closed. The muscles that close the hands — the flexors — get stronger than the ones that open the hands — the extensors — and the result is a painful imbalance. The solution is to lift small weights in a strange way: hold your arms out in front of you with your little weights held loosely in each hand. Pull your hands back toward you from the wrist and then push them back down. You then turn your arms outward and do the same thing from the side, pulling the thumb side of the hand toward you from the wrist. These are small movements, but they isolate that extensor muscle and strengthen it. That way you can keep on cheerily knitting.

We’re expecting rain today, so I hope to do a fair bit of cheery knitting once I get my work done. Exercise first, then breakfast, then work, then knitting while reading. That’s the plan. I’ll need to shoehorn grocery shopping and a little housework in there somewhere, too.