Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I saved $1.25 and lost my mind

This is my sidekick. Her job is to find my mind and put it back. So far, she sucks.
But she's soft and fuzzy...
It's way too long of a story, the one where my mind is lost trying to save $3.00 that turned into $1.25 not including gas and the hours lost to the project, and involves the phone company and my mother, so I won't bore you with the details. In fact, if I tried to relate them I might explode my brain on my laptop, and that would make a mess. Not to mention raise hell with my writing.
Anyway - I went to Storey's 25th Anniversary on Saturday which was a lot of fun and very enjoyable. I sat and spun the most glorious roving in human history, dyed by Gail just for me to match some beautiful hot peppers from her garden.This roving, it looks like the way I feel lately. All chaotic and wild and burning up. I adore it spun, but more on that later. I talked about spinning for a while, then signed a couple of books. And I met Noella, who's a Raveler, and avid 2-at-a-Time soxer, with her Flat Feet Sugar Maples.I think they're very lovely!
I also got to meet Carol Ekarius and we traded books. Carol is like my hero. It's not just the chickens. It's way beyond that. The woman is what I want to be when I grow up. AND she's off the grid - my lifelong dream.I watched Crispina ffrench make flowers from recycled sweaters with a group of kids (of all ages), who were enraptured, as they should be. Very cool.Jayme, Storey Publicist turned Dairy Maid, made Marvelous Mozzerella while an attentive crowd watched.I saw sheep waiting to be shorn,
saw art,and then drove home to change clothes and head back to North Adams for a really splendid dinner at Jae's Inn in North Adams. It was an honor to be one of the recognized authors at the evening's event, and I am very grateful to Gwen and Storey for selecting me.
For those who asked about my mother - she's doing as well as can be expected. She had a rough day Saturday and almost had to go back to the hospital, but snapped out of it after a few hours. Yesterday she made the big move to her new digs, and seems as contented as one can be in them. She has no phone (hence my brain coming out). She's already making friends, and I walked through a knitting circle on my way in and out doing errands in the evening. They were quite vocal about recruiting my mother to join them. I bet I know where she can get some yarn...although she'd prefer counted cross stitch, I think, with great big Aida cloth, like 7 count. I wonder if there's some kits...hmmm...must research...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


at times like these it's important to remember the words of Dori.

Metaphor Yarns in Shelburne Falls tonight, 5:30pm, come and see me. Meta promises I will make you laugh. No pressure, right!?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Come and See Me

I have been so busy that I forget to update you with things like where I'll be this fall.

August 20, Metaphor Yarns, Shelburne Falls, MA for a demo, Q&A and book signing.
August 23, Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA for Storey's 25th anniversary fair.
September 20, Coordinated Colors in Yorktown, VA for a full class and book signing.
October 18-19, Rhinebeck, NY, wandering and signing books at Foxfire Fiber and Design.
November 21-23, Knitter's Review Retreat in Williamstown, MA. I am very honored that Clara invited me to join her for this event. There was a lot of giggling.

Somewhere in between that and teaching, I have a book to write!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Road Closed

So they said when they announced this road repair, which we desperately needed, that they'd not pave till spring, or that's how Mr. W and I read the letters anyway. They got it all nice and compacted, sprayed it with chloride, it looked like a beautiful Vermont dirt road. Then yesterday they came through with graders and dug really really deep, destroying the lovely hard packed surface. I was sad. My car slipped and slid and banged and crashed through it. Rocks the size of my tires. Muck where the water rises to the road surface, but since they'd dug below the surface it was just a mud pit. Ever go muddin' in a Honda Fit? I think it'd be fun if the car wasn't so new.

Anyway - I came home to big signs that said "This road will be closed Tuesday or Wednesday. Please plan accordingly. For further details call Gary at (insert Gary's cell number here)"

So I call Gary's cell phone and leave a message. Gary calls back. I say "Gary, here's the thing. I've got an 8 month old visiting and I need to be in Greenfield for 11 for a care plan meeting regarding my mother who's in a nursing home down there. So...when you say 'closed' what are we talking about, like, exactly?"

And Gary says "Well. Up where you are. Uh. Ahh..." (Gary is nervous) "Um. Well, I'd say if you're not out of your house by 7 or so you may be stuck there till at least noon."

So I say "Well, Gary, can we nail it down a bit more like in terms of DAY of the week? Because Wednesday really would work for me, I have no where to be, but Tuesday, not so much." He said he'd let me know.

Gary just called (promptly at 7:09 am!). It's today. But they're running a bit late. So I can stay till 8:30, but I need to have my person (and the baby and associated stuff to last us both for 4-5 hours) out of here by 8 - 8:15. And I can't get back home till probably 1 or 2.

Where does one go at 8am with an 8 month old to waste 3 hours without making enemies? Time was when I'd just run to my mother's house. Time was.

I need to go pack my car.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yarn Leaves Me, More Arrives, and a Metaphor of Sorts.

I have only a moment to post - April is visiting me for 3 days and nights, and since she's down for the count now I can take a moment and make words, and maybe wash a dish or knit a little. I love babies, but my routine is altered by them, so nothing gets done.
FINALLY I got the yarn wrapped up and ready to go for the 1,000 knitters contest at Ravelry. It seems like every time I have tried in the last couple of weeks to get this super simple thing done, something interfered and stopped me. At last, tonight after I got April to sleep, I managed to find time. Off it goes, to 7 waiting knitters. One winner has not yet responded. I was going to hold it all until everyone responded, but I can;t stand the suspense! So prepare, winners, for the mail to come!
In my mail today the most awesome thing arrived. A gift from Tina at Blue Moon. Well, a gift with strings. Or maybe it's a gift of strings? Either way. It's YARN. All of the chicken colorways for me to play with, some Knitters Without Borders, and one skein with no tag. One skein that looks a lot like some feathered people I know.Doesn't this look a bit like these people? And she also sent a rooster. Of sorts. And I love him.
Mr. Wonderful loves him best, I think, because there's no crowing involved...
Now, the fun part - on August 20th I will be at Metaphor Yarns in Shelburne Falls, MA. You can call Meta (say it like Rita, but with an M!) for more information (413 625 9191). There will be a 2-at-a-Time demo, then a Q&A, then a book signing. Come, bring a friend, bring a book for me to sign (or buy one!). Sit and knit, ask all those questions you're dying to ask, even the ones about socks! This is going to be a lot of fun. Meta's got a bunch of other things going on too - classes with some seriously cool people, like Gail Callahan - in fact, you can dye yarn with Gail, then knit it up into socks (2 at a time, of course!). And a yarn and wine tasting, and sales, and raffles and all sorts of fun. See you there?!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Yup. Sorta. Life has been reduced to packing a Peke to the nursing home for visits, and sorting through 137 mismatched Tupperware containers, 1,200 Splenda packets (who knew??), and 20 odd pair of magnifying eyeglasses, all of which cause me to bang my head on solid objects and ponder the meaning of life. In my more lucid moments, I walk with the dog, knit a little, and make phone calls to various state agencies allegedly aimed at "assisting" elders...although at the moment I question the motives of some. Ravelympics? Yeah. Uh. I'm workin' on that!

It's a roller coaster. My mother and I are hardly what one could call "close". A nurses' ultimate role is that of patient advocate and educator and this whole experience has reminded me that truly one cannot ever stop being a nurse. It's kind of a Borg thing. We are Nurse. We are one. You can take the nurse away from the bedside, but you cannot take the bedside out of the nurse. Although my emotions are often at the surface and frequently conflicted, my role here really is that of advocate. While she can speak for herself she often does not, choosing instead to suffer until she's in so much pain that she lashes out at someone. That's not easy to watch, tolerate, or be silent about. The oddest thing for me, really, is to think that at 41 I am "already" a grandmother times two, and the daughter of a parent facing some pretty significant health issues. Mr. Wonderful says that this means the next 40 years will be a breeze, since I've gotten all the hard stuff out of the way early.

Peace equals:
Corruption of the innocent and spoiled - phase two of Tricky Woo's conversion.
And just like that? A dog becomes a DOG! Really. In spite of the daisy print jacket - it was 55 this morning, and the thing is only 8" tall and 9 lbs - this little monster is All Dog, All The Time. Dig, scratch, chase, bark, yowl, scratch more, dig more, etc.
Chasing feathered friends (or fiends depending on what time of day it is). Who knew 3 little old hawks could make so much racket? Mr. W. said we made a heck of a sight, me in hot pink Worcester State sweatshirt and Dazee in bright floral print stalking a hawk on hands and knees.Hawk seems concerned as well. "Natur fotografy - yur doin it rong!" (But Mr. W. didn't have a camera so the idiocy is not preserved for posterity!)
Shooting Fungi. And there's more but this is all I will torment you with...And H2O
Water, water, water, water. It makes me feel whole and at peace. Never thought I'd be so grateful for a simple brook.
If you need me tomorrow, I shall be at a very special shower, for a very special bride. A super special princess bride. In fact? The coolest bride since December 1997.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Thousand

I suppose that should say the thousand plus. That's the current number of members of the 2-at-a-Time Socks group on Ravelry. Now, my plan was to give away yarn to a few lucky members when we hit 1,000. But thanks to the generosity of Gail, the Kangaroo Dyer and Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and Kathy of Webs I had 8 prizes to distribute. I've seen the random number generator thing used before, but never had a call to employ it myself. And I wasn't quite sure how to do so - I mean, I can generate 8 random numbers out of 1024 members, but then how do I match those 8 random numbers up with the 1024 members to get my 8 lucky winners? It came to me pretty quickly. Calculator. Total number of members per page. Random number divided by number of members per page. And so on. With the assistance of, in the interest of fair play, my capable supervisor I chose my winners. I was surprised, and tickled, when the first winner selected - the lowest number of the bunch - was Stacey of Crimson Purl fame. The Other Lucky Winners are (drum roll please…)
I am waiting to hear from a few, so if you know any of them, give them a shout for me. I know a lot of Ravelers don't check their Rav messages daily, or even regularly.
I did do some knitting last week. I was sort of a captive audience in the hospital on Friday and Saturday and Sunday and part of Monday. I finished a Falling Leaves scarf, and used the leftovers to make a tam. Scarf will appear next week after blocking. I didn't have circs so I did it on straights and seamed it up.I also did not have a pattern. It's not blocked yet, and you can see my model was super-coperative. Here is the little diva between shots, having a bit of a snack. Or a read. I am not sure which.Either way she seems enlightened by the experience.
Mr. Wonderful took me for a de-stress drive in there someplace. I don't even remember which day it was now. I was just kind of over my head, so he stuck me in the car with the camera and took me in search of water. If you click on this, and look at it big...for some reason I am in love with it. It looks like glass. Or water. Or both.
Also somewhere in there I came home to find Mr. Wonderful waiting for me with this on a stick.I took April (she was visiting for a bit) inside and grabbed my camera. Coolest. It's a Cecropia moth caterpillar, they are a form of a silk worm, and it will eventually develop into a beautiful creature nearly 6" across. I found out about it at Wormspit. No, really. Wormspit. What else would you call a website devoted to worm spit? These folks managed to photograph a Cecropia moth from egg through metamorphosis. An awesome site, really, loaded with detail. I loved watching the process via their website. The caterpilar looked like a baby toy, right down to it's bright blue feet and red, yellow, orange and blue head knobs. Too cool. Then Girl brought out the baby, and I forgot about the caterpillar. Who wouldn't? I could eat her up. I adore this infant. She's the cutest baby on earth since the person to the left. And she's smart, too. Smarter than both parents put together. After all, she said "Omie" when she was a mere 12 weeks old, so of course she's brilliant!
Fan-freaking-tastic. Twist Collaborative. Awesome!
Last - but NOT LEAST - Still Standing. Which may become it's name.We've had a rough start. He developed flip-over which is usually fatal, although Girl and I have saved a turkey with flip-over by conscientious, consistent monitoring, flipping back, and patiently waiting for them to grow out of it. They flip, get stuck, and cannot turn back over. It's believed to be a metabolic disorder and seems to be associated with high-carbohydrate feed. The thing is, I feed a high protein feed, and it seems to be chicks or poults who don't eat right off. It's the ones I have to coax and remind to eat and drink that flip. I've lost some to it. This guy amazes me. He was born with a bit of a mushy belly (another thing only chicken people know about) and I thought for sure we were going to lose him. Somehow - unbelievably really, since it's almost always fatal - it healed and he survived. Here again I've only ever had one survive who had a mushy belly and that was with a bit of opsite over his tummy. I love my birds. The loss of the six last week is still heavy in my mind, so losing this guy would have really been awful. And I keep saying guy. It could be a girl!! Either way, isn't it cute??