Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Dear Heart, 'a change is as good as a rest'...I am prayerful that your spinning trip and your fibre heroine will inspire and encourage you, and that you'll come back rested, refreshed and revitalized!
Hugs and travelling mercies!

By Blogger Margaret, at 12:02 PM  

HEY - Quit talking trash about one of the best people I know! It's no surprise that, after two years of dizzying wedding planning/sewing and a horribly frightening experience with BD, that you're rebounding in the other direction. Cut yourself some slack, girl!

Any chance of getting to see you while you're up here at MAFA?

Love -

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 PM  

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Thursday, June 30, 2005  

Capt. Jack says “Thanks for the compliments.” Too bad I don’t have more photos because I certainly don’t seem to have anything to say these days. I am still sort of buzzing through time and space, extraordinarily busy but not ignited with creativity, worthy thoughts, or even any yearnings, beyond wishing I had grass in my yard and wondering if I am cursed to live on a plot of bare dirt the rest of my life.

I drive by the most abandoned wrecks of yards and they never seem to lack some sort of fibrous vegetative cover. I can’t even seem to get wire grass to grow around my yard any more. We have had a month of rainless days followed by an inch in an hour on Tuesday night. What little plant life that was left clinging to the sandy soil in my yard has been beaten to a pulp. If it would stay damp, at least the grit and dust wouldn’t cloud in through the back porch but alas, we are at the beginning of summer, not the end. There are more weeks of Virginia summer ahead and I haven’t any idea what to do and even less inspiration to seek a solution. I am sure the only answer will be to cut down all the trees, rendering my house as hot as the last room in hell, and we’d still have to wait till the fall to have some reasonable hope that anything planted would sprout, much less survive. That, or go with expensive hardscape - which I would actually prefer. Two large patios around the house would be interesting, cool in the heat and far easier to sweep clear of the heavy leaf fall. The big question then becomes; can I get someone “up off it”, as the phrase is coined ‘round cheer.

I am not sure why I am so dull and desultory these days. Perhaps it is a final collapse of spirit after 2 jam packed years. At least that sounds like a good excuse and I am ready to grasp at straws. The other explanations are far too critical of me: that I am lazy, that I am selfish and resentful of the needs of others, that I have used up all my creativity and passion and must end out my days a dry husk of humanity. (well I better quit here - this is going downhill very fast)

In 2 weeks I’ll be packing to go to the annual MAFA (Mid Atlantic Fiber Association) convention where I’ve already paid for 12 hours of spinning instruction under my heroine and inspiration, Patsy Z. So how am I getting ready? I haven’t sat at my wheel since the first heady days after MS&W - and believe me, spinning is no different from other hand skills - you get rusty if you don’t keep practicing. Zip. Nada. Well - I will spin some to practice - but I don’t feel that rush of joy that the thought of spinning used to spark. Heck. I haven’t even finished that last baby booty - I swear it - probably 200 stitches to go and I just sit stupidly leafing through catalogs. La - talk about doldrums.

Anyway, my dearies - that is why the posts are so brief and I try to pad them with photos. I am sure time and effort will move me from one rut into another - one which I hope will be, at the least, worthy of recording. I have begun a piece about what I read and why I choose what I do. It is becoming a loooooooooooooong piece and I promise there will be a Lite version of it too, for those of you who just asked for “some interesting titles, please, no revelations of your soul.” So perhaps the reason I am so dull is that I am navel gazing (psyche pondering?) and am not ready to perform. Sort of like practicing for a recital. One doesn’t want an audience till one is sure of the notes.

posted by Bess | 6:38 AM


What a cutie! In that first photo, he sure looks like he knows he's gonna get a bath... :-)

By Blogger Margaret, at 6:43 PM  

He's so adorable. It's amazing how fast puppies become Dawgs.

By Blogger Catherine, at 7:41 PM  

Aww... He's certainly learning fast how to really be a dog.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 7:06 PM  

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Monday, June 27, 2005  


And you thought I had a yellow lab. Here's Capt. Jack just backfrom a trip through the marsh.

It takes a really good friend to see you get all the mud off. Here is LD with Capt. Jack in the snake pool. This is a favorite spot of mine - just below the culvert that carries Jacob's Gut beneath the lane. Usually the little snake lies in the bushes to the right, but we haven't seen him for a month.

Here's a happy dog. Smilin' Jack, for sure.

This is what true friends do at the end of a long hot day.

posted by Bess | 4:33 PM


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Walked the floor last night with insomnia - can't figure out why, but there's no time for a real post. Probably from unexpected exertions to match my soul twin C in house cleaning activities. Finished all but 1/2 a baby bootie - two packages will be shipped today - the third will go out tomorrow. Happy Babies, New Moms.

This is supposed to be an easypeasy week for me. I'm so ready for it. And a long weekend is coming up for all. Nice.

LD took the film when he left for Walmart - lets hope he remembered to drop it off. If so - at least there will be pictures of Captain J.

A real post tomorrow.

posted by Bess | 7:50 AM


Ohhhh! I love the Brother Cadfael series. My parents and I watched them a few years ago when they were originally showing them on PBS. I too adore Hugh Beringer, and consider Sean Pertwee the TRUE HB. :) I most recently saw him in Equilibrium - which as you said is a somewhat obscure sci-fi/action flick. It's got a very interesting story to it and I enjoyed it immensely.

Now that I think of it, I run (well, now it's more like "help run" as I've turned much of it over to co-moderators) a Yahoo Group devoted to Cadfael, at - they've done a good job of keeping the discussion going lately. We'd be happy to have you there! :D

By Anonymous Julie, at 9:53 AM  

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Sunday, June 26, 2005  

Yes, dearies, it is wonderful to feel the stress lift. The quickest way to lose weight, huh?

Of course - I ought never to make vows that get printed because, of course, I forgot to get the film out of the camera bag so I have nothing cute to post here today. Fortunately I didn’t post my other "vow" which was more of a deep hope - that I would finish up the last of the baby booties and pack them all up to ship out on Monday. I didn’t do anything, in fact, but I have today to (maybe) do so. The boy D’s are supposed to go off in the boat today. That should mean a morning of knitting for me. Only one of these babies has actually joined us at the table, but the other two are immanent.

What I did do was to come home starved, fix an early dinner, and watch Brother Cadfael videos with the boy D’s. We’ve seen them all once, and they are splendidly done. The first series has one of my favorite obscure British actors, Sean Pertwee - whose career has mostly consisted of equally obscure sci-fi flicks. His father, Jon Pertwee, was Dr. Who in the early 70’s, so obscurity and cultism runs in the family. My sister had a crush on the doctor but I am in love with Hugh Beringer. (Evidently a predilection for Obscure British Actors runs in our family.) And none of the actors who took the role of HB in later BC videos lived up to the original.

We hear GreatNews from A who is home, healing, and celebrating her release from the hospital. Since this looks to be the Year of the Doctor for so many of us - it’s a good thing there are so many good ones out there. I have a healthy skepticism about the priesthood of medicine, and I am still a little resentful that we don’t have those happy beeping Star Trek Tricoders, but I am mighty glad for the technology we do have.

So - since I have only one day this weekend to goof off - I believe I shall go goof of some.

posted by Bess | 7:25 AM


Ah, yes, the differences in our behaviors & our bodies as we pass the 40 mile marker. As I read your post, I was nodding (perhaps that was the sound you tho't you heard at 11 AM or so?) & "um hmmming."
Hopefully we do learn to avoid sweating the little stuff, to trust in the process, to believe in our heart brain, to go w/the flow.
Keep feeling better - have some of that ice cream & send me a wink.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:02 AM  

SO glad you're feeling less stressed, lovey!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:02 PM  

After reading your blog for the past DESERVE a good, long summer! See you soon. Jane

By Blogger jane, at 7:22 AM  

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Saturday, June 25, 2005  

One of the best things about getting past, oh, say, 40 or so, is the accumulation of mastery over one’s life. By the time one reaches the approximate half way point one has learned the routines well enough to keep functioning through almost anything life, other people, and the body can throw at you. At 40 you know exactly how long it takes to clean your house. You may choose not to clean it - but if something looms up on your personal horizon that demand a clean house you know to the minute when you have to begin with the vacuum. Once past the center point of your timeline, you have at least one good dress up outfit that you keep in the back of the closet for emergencies, be they coronations or executions. By 40 you know enough about your job to keep doing it even when all else crashes around you. You have also learned that, unlike the way the world ground to a halt when you were 10 and failed science for the 6-weeks, almost no errors in the adult world come with such dire or swift consequences. So long as you don’t actually commit crimes, it almost always turns out that the deadline was not so rigid, the project was not so crucial and the boss had been screwing up/goofing off/living under stress way more than you were and he never noticed that you were not the PerfectEmployeeOfTheMonth. Truly, if we must get grey hair, wrinkles, and gravity-obedient flesh as one ages, we can at least give thanks that we also get mastery.

I was made deeply aware of this over the past week as the summer reading program at the library unfolded across the days, bringing hundreds of wee, and not so wee ones, into the building, with eager eyes, clutching their Funtastic Book Bags and ready to scrabble through the prize box for their reading rewards. The addition of an extra hundred or so library patrons to our normal day cranked up the ambient energy level among both staff and readers. The added excitement of a guest story teller performing at the end of the week had everybody in a party mood. Adult computer classes just made the mix richer, because nearly everyone who comes to those is in the senior citizen category; they’re the ones who didn’t have to learn about computers before they retired and now they have time and their kids bought them a computer for Christmas, but using it is just not part of their brain synapses. In short, it was a wildly busy week at the library, where they were still short staffed since I was out on Mon. and Wed.

But it all went off, if not splendidly, at least adequately. As usual, in cases where I have been out of the building for 7 days of quality time with my angst, hormones and pain, my expectations were not high. In some ways it was as if I were a collateral witness and potential victim of whatever was going to happen. I couldn’t remember if I’d signed the contract with the entertainer (I hadn’t, but he came anyway. That was in the Heart Attack Undone Projects Pile on my desk) I didn’t remember that there was an 8 a.m. meeting yesterday, but they picked up the key anyway. I didn’t have time to make the prototype collage, but one of my middle school volunteers did and she had great fun with it. No matter what had to be done/ready/remembered - in at least a C+ fashion, it was.

And long about 2:30 or 3 o’clock I could feel weeks and weeks of tension just lifting off my body, first from my shoulders, then the back of my neck and head, and then the whole body just began to lighten as the many pounds of worry floated off into the ether - to go land on some other poor unsuspecting soul - one hopes it will be another 40+ person who has the mastery of life needed to keep plugging on. It is someone else’s turn now. I’ve paid my tension dues. I am ready for summer.

Ready to celebrate with friends over A’s successful operation. Ready to go see J and her TKN, who are the reason the Huguenot Road Barnes & Nobel has such a FanTabulous knitting section. Ready to spruce up my house enough to have company. Ready to read books sans guilt, start projects with no residual guilt about all those UFO’s laying about, go swimming with Capt. Jack. Ready for some fun.

I have to work today - but even that is fun thing - for doing the Saturday shift always feels like getting paid for playing. I’d do it more, if BD didn’t complain so much. Unless I have an ice cream emergency or else am working, I never go into town on Saturdays, but since I am going today, I vow to take film in to be developed. I know there are some CJ photos and who knows - maybe even a knitting pic or two.

Coda: Oh Law - I always start writing this post while I’m looking at the rest of the internet world so that I can get off the computer in something under 3 hours and get dressed for work. The last thing I look at before I post is the queen’s blog in case there are comments - which, today, there are. I ought to tell you first, instead of at the end, just how much I love comments - and how precious your words are. But if I waited till I’d read them to start writing I probably wouldn’t post at all. Of course, I could read the comments first instead of last - and often enough I put my responses at the beginning of the day’s post. Somehow, today I wanted to put it last. But I always put my affection and gratitude for your loving comments first - so just you remember that and feel good about yourself. You all know who you are.

posted by Bess | 8:00 AM


Well, hooray! At least tentatively. I hope time and nature don't take too long. And that the pain meds are adequate for all normal purposes. And, well, you know, just that everything is gonna be okay now.

By Blogger Larry, at 10:11 AM  

fibroids. hmm.. I think the plan of action you've decided is the best. I mean (I worked with fibroid specialists as a secretary.. so I've seen all the cures) if this is your real first attack.. then you are fairly well off to take the meds route and wait it out. Glad to hear it is something more treatable with meds then other options!

By Blogger purlewe, at 2:08 PM  

I had a fibroid that was doing its level best to kill me - screaming pain, hemmoraging, etc. Took me two years to find a doc who would get rid of the evil thing - and SO glad I did!

Hope yours resolves quickly, dear!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:56 PM  

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Thursday, June 23, 2005  

The verdict is

No surgery.

In fact, no cyst.

It’s a very large fibroid having a last fling at making something grow in that fertile environment. I was offered several options for treating this, from conservative to aggressive. I can either:

a. take painkillers and wait for time to make all moot
b. take synthetic hormones and get horribly depressed
c. go through instant menopause via chemistry and who knows what will happen
d. go through instant menopause via surgery and basically take the summer off.

I’m choosing a. for the moment. I don’t trust hormonal tinkering. I’m doing okay with the pain meds. Just knowing what the problem is makes it so much easier to bear. And then - I can always change my mind. I am, after all, not going to grow younger, so sooner or later all that lower body activity is going to grind to a halt. In fact, I’d thought it had done so last fall - with relative ease and grace. Eh. Bodies. They are such enigmas.

Which puts me in mind of an even worse conundrum - the brain and how it works (or doesn't)! Why does the brain operate so secretively to torment, derail, and otherwise put one into such misery? Whence comes this idea that getting sick is proof that one is bad!? Why do I feel so freakin’ guilty for this whole thing? Why do I feel guilty when I sprain my ankle? Why do I feel guilty if I have allergy attacks that cause me to gasp for air? Where does this utterly sick but deeply held belief come from?

Is it the result of hearing all through childhood “Eat your vegetables so you grow up healthy.” “Drink your milk so you become strong.” “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy...” So what? If I watch the late news I will be sickly, strapped and stupid? Why is it that I feel like I did BadThings and now pay with BadHealth? I didn’t do anything to make muscle cells begin to grow in my endometrium? They just did, daggummit.

Nor am I using sickness to punish me for non health related badness. At least, I am not consciously doing it and let’s face it, folks. We do have to spend most of our time in the conscious realm, trusting that our subconscious is there for a useful purpse, not to lead us into medical hysteria. Granted, Virgo’s are quick to condem ourselves, to find those places where we stepped off the narrow puritan path to paradise, but I still would chose some other form of punishment than secret, inside the dark caverns of the body (where only knives will reveal the problem), illnesses. In my more rational moments, I’d rather just apologize, atone and move on.

But then - perhaps my subconscious figures that if I am sick, not only will I be punished, but everyone will feel sorry for me and have to forgive me. Oh god! This is so perverse!

Then there are all the alternative medicine options to taunt you from the sidelines. For all that I am [not so] secretly terrified of disease, especially the ones lurking up ahead, just for me, I am not really a hypochondriac. My usual regimen for dealing with HealthProblems is to self-medicate with sleep and water then see a traditional left brain doctor and follow his chemical path. But I know there are these other paths ...homeopaths ... spiritual paths... psycho-paths - and I torment myself with wondering if I am on the WrongPath. The healing white light? Reiki touch? Micro-nutrition? It is not possible to try them all! (but if you don’t does that mean you are Lazy and therefore BadEnoughToDeserveToGetSick?)

Besides. Mostly I want to forget about my body. Mostly I want to feel nothing at all. Mostly I want to use all these fabulous creative disease finding brain cells to make beautiful knitting or a really great garden or to invent super sex positions or anything positive - not this minute dissection of MyHealth.


You probably wouldn’t be able to guess that by the past week’s posts. Okay. Promise.

No More Health Posts - at least, not for a while.


posted by Bess | 7:35 AM


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Wednesday, June 22, 2005  

I indulged in a little extra sleep this morning since I woke in the night and read for several hours. Besides - it’s arranged that if I am not feeling up to it, I can take the afternoon off. I went in to work yesterday, perhaps a little pre-maturely, but the first of the big kiddie programs was yesterday afternoon and I really wanted to lead it. We made neat paper books after reading about circus life. This age group - used to teachers and sitting quietly and cutting with scissors - is both more challenging and less. They don’t need the manual assistance, but they make more intellectual demands. Pretty picture books won’t do it for them.

But really, I adore working with kids in this way - where nobody has to be tested afterwards and whatever spark I do ignite is theirs to light up whatever path they chose.

A good look around the place, though, shows me that the SRC is up and running, staff understands what to expect, new computer use rules are posted, the Wednesday afternoon meeting was canceled, and in spite of the tornado detritus my desk is, I can leave everything till tomorrow - or even next Monday.

The toughest part about yesterday was driving myself. Both vehicles are stick shifts and even the little Sentra’s clutch is a stomp. It’ll be worse this afternoon since I’ll have to get myself home in the truck which is a Big Manly Truck, not some Tonka Toy-ota thing. BD has promised to join me for the dr. visit, but he’s off to the upper Chesapeake this evening for another of his Jamestown 400/Captain John Smith activities. He’s Mr. Jamestown at this point in his career, and everybody wants to know where Capt. Smith really went. Lots of people have ideas, but even National Geographic isn’t going to make a claim if they haven’t run it past Mr. J-town. Check out the June issue for erudite quotes opined by my very own BD.

(Am I proud of my big guy? Whaddaya think?)

So he’ll be out of town for a day or two, with 4 boatloads of historians, hunting down which creek really was Orahattuck or Piscopeake or whatever. (In true spouse fashion, we divide up our knowledge responsibilities and assume when the need to speak about a topic occurs, we each stick to our own specialties - I can be proud of him even if I am somewhat ignorant of exactly what he is doing.)

The bad thing about all this is that I will have to drive the truck home - the good thing is that I don’t have to cook dinner. Sounds about even.

posted by Bess | 8:08 AM


I'm glad your dr. appt is over! That little book is so cute, I'm saved the site for next year. My K classes LOVE to make books and this will really keep them busy.

By Blogger jane, at 7:32 AM  

Dear Heart,

Sorry to hear about your malaise; hope all is back on track now. I've been up to my gussets in Knitting Week here, so haven't read/posted much of late. Do take care of yourself!

P.S. the nurse is pleased with H's wound; it looks messy to me, but it is responding to treatment - PTL!

By Blogger Margaret, at 8:09 AM  

the ordeal is past - now, on to solutions! Feel better, darling girl!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:44 PM  

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005  

The Dread Ultrasound is now only a memory. In the end the technician couldn’t find my left ovary. Or rather, she couldn’t get the one digitized view of it that had been ordered. The LeftBrainers are just going to have to do with what they got - onnacounta I am not going to torture the lower half of my body again any time soon. I was cranked up enough afterwards to go home and sleep for 2 hours - even though yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I could have gone in to work - but I had conquered my fears and was going to savor victory - asleep. I meet with the doc on Wed. to find out where we go from here.

Cute little baby puppy Jack slept with me, because he’d has his shots too and was willing to cuddle up the rest of the day. He’s 31.5 lbs now and his legs are really growing. Still has his puppy teeth but there are big gaps between them. Unlike his predecessor, he isn’t interested in balls, but boy does he love empty plastic liter bottles. They crack and crunch and slip out of the mouth in a most satisfactory way. I can hear him right now, in the front yard, wrasslin’ with one. Driving to town yesterday with him, he proved again that each dog is different. This is our first dog who does not want to stare out the window - not even to bark at horses in a pasture just north of town - much less to give warning to other canines who dare to walk upon this earth. All CLBPJack wanted to do was to sit on my lap - which was full to bursting and definitely not comfortable - with his head on BD’s lap. This dog is Mr. Cuddle. Gotta get some pictures up here.

The blue baby booties are done - ready to ship off to the new parents, since BabyH hasn’t graced us yet. This is the Melanie Falick pattern that is knit flat, folded in half and sewn down the front seam. It’s cute, fast and takes only 100 yards of sock yarn to make new baby sized booties. I used a satin ribbon on these instead of knitting i-cord ties. That much wee i-cord is so boring to knit and besides, this yarn, an end run of one of Spirit Trail’s superwash sock yarns, just cried out for ribbon trim.

I have fiddled with several ways of joining these booties. Instructions just say sew up the seam, but I did a three needle bind off along the bottom of one pair while, with another pair I didn’t bind off the last row, but rather, put half the stitches on another needle and kitchner stitched the seam. I prefer the 3-needle bind off. I still had to sew the front of the booties together no matter how I joined the soles. I wonder, if I made these booties in worsted weight, would they make good slipper/socks for toddlers? I wonder what changes are needed to make booties for me. Hmmm. Christmas gifts.

I go back to work today. I don’t have any fever and I can avoid picking up anything if I try. Summertime is such a busy time at work - when I drove by the library yesterday, every spot in the parking lot was filled. I hope things were organized well enough for the first day of SRC to run smoothly - nobody called in panic mode, so I assume they were. This afternoon we will have our first Crafty Stories for the bigger kids. The summer theme is a circus one so we’re going to make this - and then design our own bigger ones from plain paper. What a clever fold!

My starry guide says that I am supposed to be glad that everything feels like it’s crashing in on me. It’s supposed to be some sort of cosmic spring clean - let us hope he is right. I got lots of rest over these past few days and feel pretty good except for the one hot spot. I’ve managed, just barely, to not gain weight, even though for 5 days I lay about, within 10 feet of a refrigerator and the only exercise I could do was to stroll out to the kitchen and back. Tonight is WW. I haven’t decided if I’ll try to make the meeting - much will depend on the energy level. I’ve been S L O W L Y getting back to goal, with 7 lbs to go. Since this week has been at least as successful a week as most - it would be fun to chalk up a little progress. But not at the cost of drop dead exhaustion. But the real question is:

How am I going to survive 8 hours without cuddling Capt. Jack?

posted by Bess | 6:26 AM


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Monday, June 20, 2005  

Today’s lunar instructions are to not argue with anybody no matter how wrong they are. Somehow I am supposed to find points in common. The only people I am supposed to see all day are BD and the person who does the ultrasound. Oh. And myself. I can always find reasons to complain about BD - poor man, he’s my spouse; that category of human invented to take the brunt of another’s misery. In his case, though, I can find myriad points in common: son, puppy, rickety car, mother tongue ... you get the picture. I am dreading the ultrasound. The last time I had one was so painful - because if you have to hold a quart of water in your bladder and you already leak when you cough - you don’t need any other explanations. Just remember that the area of misery will be centered right over the original source of pain. Not a happy time. I am sure the only thing I shall have in common with the technician will be the fact that we are both carbon based ambulatory bipeds.

That leaves only myself to struggle with. Me. My worst critic. My sternest task-master. The person who disses me 24/7 like a thrumming string, echoing overtones in a lute band. I’m aware enough of the absurdity of trying to be perfect that I keep a store of alternative viewpoints for difficult situations. Usually, when I feel that I am a Bad Person I can dig around in the OtherWayOfLookingAtIt closet and talk myself out of the PitOfDispair. But when you add dread to hormones and dust rhinos all along the baseboard molding, that you have looked at for 4 days and nobody else seems to see! - well - I better go check out some comedy tapes or something. I am in serious need of a new frame to put around my picture.

In addition - this is really not a “sick” situation. It’s more like when I sprain my ankle. I can’t walk, but I feel okay. I can eat, especially sugar, which does nothing for the attitude, I know - but is so easy to find. I can read, but I seem to have a taste only for old favorites, nothing new. I could knit if my brain would settle down to it (and I did finish one bootie yesterday) and I know I ought to be thinking about work and deciding how best to see that Things get done that need to be done, even if I am not there to do them. So toss in a generous helping of guilt.

It would be so much easier if I had a fever or was throwing up or could just drift off to sleep. The Virgoan need to be doing something productive is really a curse. I need to sign up for Indolence Acceptance lessons.

So - I suppose I ought not post such cranky entries - but then - nobody has to read this stuff. In some existentialist way of looking at it - I am the sum of all that I am, right? Even the crabby parts. Okay - off to go drink water. Ugh.

I wonder - will knitting the second bootie take my mind off my body?

posted by Bess | 7:56 AM


Bess, Dear... Take care of yourself. I can sympathize with the problems you are going through. I don't know why our bodies think they have to betray us at every turn. Wishing you a healing, wonderful day.
As to my blog, tblog has been goofing around with their set up for the last couple of weeks - but I will tinker awhile to see if I can make it better to open for you. You haven't missed anything... yet - I am home after my wonderful workshop, but have been to beat to post anything.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 8:31 AM  

Stop blogging right now!

By Anonymous Donnie Dower, at 2:12 PM  

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Sunday, June 19, 2005  

I tend to listen to my body and when it warns me of an undesirable effect I try to avoid the cause. I don’t wear high heels when my ankles warn me that they’ll twist on me. I do not do rides at amusement parks or fairs because I get unholy motion sickness. And right now I am not taking anything seriously because I am laid low with Emotion sickness, riding the roller coaster out of Hormonal Hell. Everything makes me cry, unless it makes me furious, including playing solitaire on the computer while I wait for the K.R.Forums to load. All words are arrows aimed straight for the fragile zone of my ego. It was all I could do to hold back the tears before BD got out of the house yesterday and even then some stupid post on the forums sloshed the tears over the rim, not because the post was so imbecilic, though it was, but because I wanted to rage at the author. I didn’t, because, as I said, I know better than to take anyone seriously when I am in this state. My lack of patience with nano-brains ought to preclude my responding to them. Heck it ought to negate my awareness of them at all.

Only someone spoiling for a fight would read a topic titled “Will it be really terrible if I use acrylic? [to knit socks]” I mean - who cares what you use? If you can conceive of knitting acrylic socks why should you ask if it would be bad to do so? One can’t possibly be aware of the two fiber camps without knowing the arguments from both sides. Why should knitting socks in your fiber of choice be any different from knitting a sweater or hat or underpants for goodness sake?!? Why should anybody care what other people think about her choice of fiber anyway? Who on earth, much less on the forums, is even going to know what you knit your socks out of? Half a brain? A quarter?

My present state of crankiness has even effected my ability to knit garter stitch. I had to rip out the baby booties I’m making for a wee one who, I suspect, has already been born. Hmmm better call B-i-L this weekend and find out. It’s hard to believe anybody could actually screw up garter stitch but I managed to do so. Somewhere in the midst a 32 stitch row I managed to put the thing down, pick it up and short row back to the wrong end. Sheesh!

Well - that’s perhaps not so weird, as not seeing it till 6 rows later!!

Okay - well At least the gods have given me good weather and the world’s sweetest baby puppy who came running up to me every time I howled with misery and snuggled up close. I swear it, nothing is as loving as a loving furbaby. I am spending a lot of time lying on the floor, because Capt. J is too heavy for me to pick up. He weighs considerably more than a telephone.

BD went to the festival in town yesterday and not only did he remember to empty the trash (another thing that had me weeping, after looking for 15 minutes at the pistachio shells that Capt. J had pulled out of the trash can and spilled on the floor and that everybody was just stepping over and couldn’t they see there was trash on the floor and am I the only person on this earth who knows what a damned broom is?!?) but also he brought home dinner (you aren’t the only person in this house and just because you don’t plan on being hungry 5 hours from now, maybe someone else is, don’t you think huh?)

You should be extremely glad you are not visiting me this week!

But fortunately, mama called and we could laugh at me weeping over a computer card game and then my sister called and had fabulous news and we laughed and she kept telling me happy tidbits for almost an hour and while we talked I leaned against the dishwasher that was heat drying the clean dishes and it felt sooooooo good that I realized that what I needed was a Hot Bath, even if it is mid-June and 84 degrees outside.

So I took one - to the barking complaints of Dr. Jack, who couldn’t figure out why any good Labrador mama would want to get into a hot spring when there was such nice cool water in the snake pool down the lane. Eventually he just curled up by the tub, giving me only the occasional yelp and later he came into my room and slept on the rug by my bed.

And now there is only 26 hours to go before the ultrasound test (ugh! have you ever had an ultrasound when you weren't pregnant? 32 oz of water and don't pee!) and another 2 days after that for the old bod to start clearing things up before I have to decide if I want to move things along with a little help from the doc or not.

Let us hope today’s roller coaster has lower hills and shallower valleys. But if not - I am sure everyone will clear out and leave the grouch to her trash can.

posted by Bess | 8:02 AM


Sending lots of healing light & love to you. May you be feeling better on every level ASAP.
Ditto to Shelia too!
Glad, Bess, that the furry canine threesome are watching over you. Take good care & feel better.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 PM  

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Saturday, June 18, 2005  

You darlings! Thank you for your warm loving wishes. Sheila - I am soooo sorry you have a staff infection. Nobody lets you be cranky and weepy over infections but everybody lets you be so when it has to do with the the dread Female Problems. “It’s H[ormone] cells.” they whisper. “You know....” Amy, you devil - I will too drive all the way up to the land of Yankees, I will, I will. Jane? Lissa? hugs right back to ya - and yes yes. I will pamper myself.

In fact, this lolling about stuff is great! I never even put any clothes on till about 3 o’clock, when I finally put down my paperback novel and wandered into the shower to wash the Banana Mint Hair Masque out of my hair. Capt. Jack kept me company all day, along with Aunt Socks. Aunt Priss stood guard at the open front door so I could walk around naked with impunity. Never did get around to doing anything except to read blogs, eat lunch, eat snacks, and sleep. The Darvoset(t?) left me feeling pretty normal, just a twinge now and then, and I often thought about walking out to get the mail, but never did get around to it till BD got home from the city.

Of course, by the time I discovered that I’d walked too far, I was already on my way back home. Thank Goodness, GD drove up just as I was trying to decide if it was better to sit and rest, but then have to get back up and walk another half mile, or to grit my teeth and struggle on home. Instead, I was not only driven home but the sweetheart even cooked dinner - a job which would have left me in tears if I’d had to do it myself.

Of course everything leaves me in tears right now but fortunately they aren’t connected to any thoughts. Usually I can find all sorts of reasons why I have not been good enough and ought to cry about things. After all, I am a Virgo and a champion fault finder. This time I just cry. And then I stop. And usually after that I just laugh. Weird. Chemistry!

Today looks like more of the same, only BD is home and we can read to each other - unless he gets the boat in the water. It’s been out since The Heart Attack and it feels so strange for him to be without a boat. Oh - the canoe is in the water, but first he couldn’t paddle it because he wasn’t supposed to lift anything and now I can’t paddle it because I’m not supposed to lift anything.

And since it is dry and mild I think I will see if I can finish that roll brim hat - so that this will continue to be a real knitting blog. Of course, we all know it’s not - it’s just an opportunity for me to talk about me. Still - talk about me ought to include some fiber and let us hope tomorrow’s post shall.

posted by Bess | 8:35 AM


I can definately sympathize with you - I have a staph infection in my lymph nodes, have been on penicillin for almost two weeks, and have NO energy at all! I am sorry that you are so poorly, and hope that surgery isn't even remotely necessary. Take it easy, enjoy the puppy, and knit and read endlessly, while eating chocolate, of course!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:39 AM  

Love, there are easier ways to get out of driving to see me in Baltimore! ;)

Misha and Aslan have each gotten into the bath with me (once each). Trevor is not a water cat, but those two definitely are (were). It's an interesting experience to see a cat change their mind and not be able to find a grip on the slippery tub bottom to push off with....

Love you

By Blogger Amie, at 1:44 PM  

Oh No! Don't be sick! I hope you feel better soon. That Mermaid Jacket is wonderful. I want it, too! Jane

By Blogger jane, at 5:23 PM  

Oh dear, my dear! You MUST follow doctor's orders and completely pamper your sweet self this weekend. I'm so sorry you're feeling so ill. Here's a (gentle) hug, and electrons bringing robust health.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:41 PM  

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Friday, June 17, 2005  

It looks like it is a cyst and it has ruptured and is leaking gunk and that is why I feel like weeping at nothing and everything. There was also some other endocrinological evidence of TroubleInParadise, causing fevers, chills and litmus paper color changes. Instructions are to take Darvoset (which was amazingly effective! Got my first night’s sleep in 3 days.) and lie around the house watching soaps (what a joke) and do not lift anything heavier than a telephone. Ultrasound on Monday to be sure nothing is being missed and surgical decisions to be made on Wednesday. Of course, the body might just decide to make it all go away, which would be my outcome of choice. Let us hope.

The concept of hanging out at home is very sweet and would be absolutely perfect if this were last week or next week, because those are the weeks the Marvelous Sheryl comes and performs magic on the floors, table tops and kitchen counters. Alas, much damage can be done in the intervening weeks. Double alas, I am one of those people who catches the flu, goes home, vacuums, hangs up all the clothes, starts the wash, changes the sheets, sorts all the magazines and reshelves them, washes all the dishes, throws up and then gets into bed. It is extremely difficult for me to lie about in a cluttery messy house. It is also extremely easy for me to go out doors or off to work if the house is cluttery and messy. Mr.LeftBrainButWithAHeartDr. said, specifically, do NOT do any housework (okay, I can live with that) and do NOT go driving off in a car, especially ‘98 Nissan Sentras with rough tires, over bumpy dirt roads (much more difficult). No exercise except gentle walking.

Well. This certainly changes my plans for the weekend. Staff training day is postponed. I will probably skip the Rivahfest since it means bumping down my bumpity lane in said '98 Nissan Sentra with rough tires. No spinning, of course, unless I use the spindle. But I can knit. And read. And sleep. I can also order the fabulous sounding New Knitting Books mentioned in this weeks Knitters Review, by Cat Bordi. Wow! Not only is everyone I admire writing new books (Nicky Epstein, Melanie Fallic, Sally Melville) but they are writing about my favorite aspects of knitting; design, color and Christmas. Woo woo - I am so excited. Since book ordering for the library is on a 6 month cancellation schedule and is done on-line, the shopping part of my job can be done anywhere I can find a computer with a connection, even before the books are in the stores.

And that Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid Jacket? Ooo La La! I have never bought an HF kit because they are pricy and a little to angular for me - even if they are gorgeous. But that one - mmmm. Where is my VISA card?

As if the gods really want me to concentrate on how I feel, they have lowered the temperatures around here and diminished the humidity. Yesterday was still on the warm side, but since I was still shivering with chills, the heat was a welcome comfort. Today, medicated into some semblance of normalcy, I can thoroughly enjoy the cooler drier weather as I lie about with my sleepy baby puppy, who, btw, kept me company all yesterday afternoon as well.

Speaking of cute little baby puppies - BD says I have the ultimate in spoiled dogs, because Capt. Jack, who is fascinated with the bathtub and barks incessantly whenever I take a bath, actually got in the tub with me the other day, lay down with his hind end under the faucet, and prepared to get comfortable. This is a dog with an opinion, but then, he is, after all, a water dog. I have seen lots of funny dog sights in 30 years of dog ownership, but that has to top out as number one. So who is sillier, Jack or TheQueen?

Now, in a final bit of delicious trivia, my old fav. NYT has an article today about the wonderful anti-oxidant properties of your friend and mine, the coca bean. Yes yes yes. The article is very careful about countering any really hopeful claims, but this is the nugget of useful information I found:

The antioxidant potential of a substance can be measured using something called an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) assay. Green tea has an ORAC value of 1,686 units per 100 grams. Oranges are just 750. Dark chocolate, it turns out, registers a whopping 13,120.

So - I am off to spend the day lolling. What a novel concept.

A P.S. to CarolynH - I can’t get into your blog on the home computer. Since I can get in using the newer faster machines at work, I am suspecting it’s my computer’s problem - though that makes it my problem too. But I used to be able to read it and now I can’t - did you change anything?

posted by Bess | 8:54 AM


Actually, Bess, I think many good doctors have a feel for both the art and science of medicine.

Because, yeah, sometimes bodies do weird things that are not predictable.
I have had situations where I went in to my doctor with a "This happens sometimes but not others" and she sort of throws up her hands a little and says "well, I've not heard of that before, but you've got it timed well, it's probably hormonal/related to your diet/stress-related"

(Although I will admit a little frustration when my doctor does throw up her hands. What I really want her to say is "Oh, yes, there's an article out last week that described just that symptom; turns out it's related to a combination of pollen allergies and PMS...")

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 8:52 AM  

I need to take my car to the mechanic because it just doesn't feel right. They're gonna laugh in my face. But in the end I will be proven right when the car breaks down, hopefully close enough to get it towed for free with my AAA card. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Ed doesn't "do" the conventional medical treatment bit. If you ignore your feelings, nothing gets looked into. You may not get an answer but when everything breaks down you can always say "I told you so."

Sending lots of good thoughts and wishes your way. Hormones have a lot to answer for.

By Blogger Larry, at 10:31 AM  

I tried posting a comment but can't get it to show up. You may be able to find it if you click on your comments button. Computer talk baffles me.

By Blogger Larry, at 11:04 AM  

Sugar, I love ya. And I understand. Hang in there. It'll all work out the way it's supposed to.

By Blogger Amie, at 8:47 PM  

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Thursday, June 16, 2005  

Some people love logic puzzles. There's great satisfaction to be gained from intelligent analysis of a complex situation. If, by a process of elimination, you can rule out every wrong idea until you eventually arrive at the right one, all well and good. What, though, if you are dealing with factors that are neither consistent nor reasonable? Then, your heart is much more likely to be helpful, than your head. What matters now is not what you think or why you think it. It's your ability to trust what you feel.

Okay. That’s good. I feel like crap. I feel like I have a cyst. I have a doctor’s appointment at 11:30. I feel like a fraud. And I'm taking this feely body to a Science Guy. What the heck am I going to say to him?

I hate it when bodies act like cars. They bloat or hurt or shut down and who knows what is wrong with them. Invariably you have to take them to expensive Left Brain People who work with things and stuff and collumns and tools. You must tell them about little clinking sounds or little twinges that remind you of the last time you had some illness. The 30 minutes before you get to this person, the clinking sounds and twinges disappear so you can’t describe them and they fade immediately from your memory so you can’t even dig up a past description. Is the engine block shaking or just shuddering? Does it always squeal when you turn or only make that sound when you turn left? Except when you drive to the garage and turn left into the driveway. Was the pain sharp or was it just a dull ache? Did it last all night or only wake you 4 times? Where the heck are my keys? Where the dickens is that stupid thermometer?

I don’t understand why cars and bodies aren’t made transparent; like those Visible Dolls that were popular in the 60’s. I remember my sister had an Visible Woman that had to be painted and it snapped together so you could see where all the body parts went. There were two sets of digestive and reproductive organs so you could have a pregnant VW as well. I coveted the little baby part because I loved all things baby, though this baby had a creepy umbilical cord wrapped around its stomach. Still - at least you could have seen if something was wrong with any of the parts. And I want a doctor who uses one of those Star Treck thingys that looks like a PDA and makes a little happy beep to tell the doctor what is wrong. Heck. I want one of my own so I can run it up and down my body and decide if I really need to make this appointment or if I can just sleep through the day. Because every part of my body that has a nerve ending aches to the max and sleep combined with hot baths (yeah - I woke in the night with the shakes and chills, but no thermometer) sounds like the perfect remedy. Only what if it is a cyst - or something even creepier? I want the medical guys to be prepared to schedule me for serious medicine if I’m gonna need it.

So. Since I don’t know what’s wrong - or if there is anything wrong with me - but I feel like the pits. Thank goodness the stars tell me that if I feel it, it is real.

So - who casts charts for ‘98 Nissan Sentra’s?

On a lighter note, I leave you with this fabulous quote from Andy Rooney my sister sent me. Thanks sugar, I really needed this chuckle!

“For every stunning, smart, well-coifed hot woman of 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 18-year-old waitress.”

posted by Bess | 7:27 AM


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Wednesday, June 15, 2005  

Only three of us met last night for the TKN but since it was my favorite other two why should I care. I taught C how to do I-cord and we all "oooed" and "ahhhed" over the new books. If it weren’t so bloomin’ hot and I weren’t so utterly exhausted, I would go dig up photos of the covers and post them all, thus making my blog more interesting. Maybe tomorrow.

I began knitting on the last of the baby booties - these have a little flaw in them already so I will give them to the niece who doesn’t knit and won’t know. Alas, as is obvious by the dearth of Knitting Content to be found here over the past weeks, I am mired in some inspirationless desert. I am hoping it is just the weather or some lunar phase. In fact, though, all I really want to do is post whines and complaints and since they are so vague, with sources so well concealed, I end up starting a sentence and then staring off into the white void of the monitor. Then realizing how banal it sounds, I erase it and stare some more.

Ahh well - there is nothing for it but to put one foot in front of the next and slog on. The nice thing to know is that even after such a long dry spell of subdued passions, I will wake up sometime and find that I had continued to do something with my time - even if it wass knitting baby booties for grand nephew/niece babies.

posted by Bess | 7:26 AM


You'll probably want to knit more when it cools off. I know I'm not as excited about having a lap full of warm yarn on these last few hot days.

By Blogger ShelbyD, at 4:22 PM  

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005  


I pushed the launch critical updates for Microsoft before I could think this morning and that was it for computer use at home.

It's hot here. And busy, still but not quite as bad as it has been. We're done with the constant stream of kiddies. Now it will just be intermitent waves of them for the next 6 weeks or so.

Tonight is WW and Tuesday Night Knitters. Two good things. I have no knitting to speak of but lots of new knitting books to share with everyone. What a great library they have!

Be back soon. Off to learn the new bookkeeping software.

posted by Bess | 10:00 AM


Thanks for sharing your Memory Lane walk w/us & for putting me on that road for myself too.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 PM  

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Monday, June 13, 2005  

This was the weekend of Nostalgia. It began with my precious cousin Anna’s high school graduation, to which we were all invited, and which came on the heels of a week where I was pretty much peopled out. The young darlings were going but BD didn’t want to drag himself away from a pressing amount of work. Besides, he hated high school so much, he still has residual rebellion attacks, 44 years later. My own high school experience was aggressively ordinary - neither hideous, nor cinematic. Just a plod through adolescence to the world of grown ups. But the moment of graduation - ahh - that was something else. That was the first time the door opened for me on that Emerald City life of being InChargeAtLast. And the chance to revisit that experience was too much to resist.

Besides, there is nothing like being in a steel pod, at the wheel, alone and isolated from every other person in the world, the radio tuned into an oldies station (Motown, soul and grrrrrreat rock’n’roll) to help you shuck off a week’s worth of being nice to people. I admit - I didn’t try very hard to get BD to come with me - I knew that 6-8 hours of driving on a shady 2 lane highway would be better than 3 years of therapy. And it was.

But oh those beautiful coltish younglings with their excitement and energy - their anxiousness to shuck off childhood, their confidence, their strength - their youth! What a treat to watch. What a treat to remember. Lawsee how I longed to be on my own at last. To know that nobody could break bad on me, clamp down the rules, forbid me ever again. Oh, of course I understood that living with other humans means living with rules. But even a babe could see there was a vast array of choices still left, once one’s life was one’s own responsibility. Bad job? Find a different one. Bad boyfriend? ditto. Not sure your parent’s church is telling you the truth? Read about other paths to God. Feeling a little curious about art? literature? hang gliding? Well, give it a try. No money? Save it up. Don’t like hypocrisy? Then don’t live it. That choice was yours and at last you didn’t have to explain yourself, or beg, or try to convince anybody any more. That suspected flower of opportunity lay just outside the door and it was my turn to pluck it.

Wallowing in my car, my ears awash in Songs of the Sixties, I could remember how it all felt, which put me in such sympathy with my cousin and her friends it was fun to watch even strangers prance up to the dais and clutch their little blue folders. Opening the gates onto memories, though, made me sensitive to lots of other times - and other people as they are now, and as they were then. I couldn’t help but remember the sweetness of my relationship with mama as I grew up. For such a baby doter, she still made a fantastic mother for a teenage girl. She was younger than I am now, when she dropped me off at the graduation theater oh those many years ago. The woman I am now could have been that woman’s big sister - and in some ways I felt a big sister’s tenderness towards my own mama as I let the memories wash over me. And while I could identify with Saturday’s graduate, (especially well enough to find just the right graduation present) I was also wallowing in my own misery when I was the mama at LD’s graduation. For an entire summer I was just a bundle of resentment of my enemy Time, who had rolled around to the point of shoving me into forced retirement.

Each oldies but goodies song brought up pictures from my past. It was like looking through a photo album: 14 year old Bess dancing to the tune of My Girl and wishing the boy was someone else; 15 year old me, riding the bus back to my Aunt Ellen’s the summer of ‘68 with the Hollies in my ear; 16 and sitting on the beach with my girlfriends listening to the Door’s version of Light My Fire. Midnight Cowboy took me to D.C. and the summer I played a double schedule with the opening season of Wolf Trap Farms, conducted by some of the top names in music doing guest appearances. I hated the movie, but was excited that I was old enough to go to R rated films without worrying about being carded.

There are so many songs that can rocket me back to my teens. There are fewer that can hit the target of my late teens or early 20’s for by that time I had made some artistic choices that were a part of my walk away from pop culture. A scant 5 years after my own high school graduation - when I was only 4 years older than Cousin Anna - I started my real life, for, thirty years and one day ago, BD and I pitched the tent in our own big woods and started our New Life In The Country.

Yep. Yep. Yesterday was our 30 year anniversary of what BD calls Chesituxent Day, though at the time we had yet to name the place and it was still called “Over Margaret’s” by our neighbors. So after I got home, and after I’d had a nap, we opened up our hearts and our memories and our very skin, and walked down the Home Path to the campsite and reminisced. The whole time we were soaking up the sweetness that is our precious forest, sucking in the scents of swamp magnolias, listening to the symphony of tree tops in a summer breeze.

Thirty years can make some big changes in a forest. Together we argued about where the campfire was, tried to decide exactly where the shed was built, scrabbled our way down the bank to the bend in the creek where I swear I could sit and take a real bath, leaning up against the creek bank. It’s so silted up now only about 6 inches of water floats over the sandy bed, but then, 3 trees have fallen just down stream, and I am sure that’s what has built up the bottom so. We could almost smell the linseed oil that had been rubbed into Pop’s W.W.II buddy tent, where we lived for 2 months. It’s hard to realize that there are more years between today and that first night on the farm, than there were between the first night on the farm and when Pop landed on Normandy Beach with that tent.

Time. That was the theme of this weekend. Time and it’s inexorable passage. Time and the way it scatters the jewels of memories all around you. Time and the way it never runs backwards, but it allows you to carry it’s gifts forwards. All my life I looked forward to some Future Time that was better than now. I looked forward to growing up when I was a child. I looked forward to marriage and motherhood when I grew up. I looked forward to a cabin when I lived in the tent and a real house when I lived in the cabin. There always seemed some time when I would have what I want - but it was always off in the future.

Then suddenly I got there. I realized about a year ago that every dream, every wish, every desire I ever had, way those 30 years + a day ago, has come true. Oh - I still want things, still hope for bright future days, but that hunger, that longing for what was missing has at last been fulfilled. There is something indescribably delicious about giving up the quest for A Time. And for all the beauty and opportunity of youth that those high school graduates hold in their arms, I wouldn’t trade places with them for all the world.

posted by Bess | 8:18 AM


Yay! More Pioneer Girl stories to come. I am excited!

By Blogger Carolyn, at 10:01 AM  

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Saturday, June 11, 2005  

I will make the drive to Bedford. I was there when Anna started kindergarten. I want to be there to see her finish high school. Besides, one of the most beautiful drives on earth is that stretch of Rt. 60 between Midlothian and the turn off to Appomattox. It’s not only a beautiful blue ribbon of 2-lane highway shaken out over gently rolling hills, it’s also crammed packed full of sweet loving nostalgia. Yep yep. It’s decided. I can crash at mama and daddy’s on the way home and be back here by 10 a.m. tomorrow. (Mama? you readin' this? Surprise!! See ya tonight!)

The work week is over and since it was so full of way too much of every stress and strain you could ask for, perhaps the less said, the better. I am a fairly social person - good with people, enjoy them, like to solve problems in a committee - all that sorta thing - but being nice to 80 people in 5 hours is a bit much - especially after taking a class in the morning. I have one more major thing to get ready for the summer reading club, but I think I have it within my sites - if so - I’m good. I have to put together a training schedule/manual for a staff work day on Friday (we’re closing!!! the whole day and the following day for our little town’s summer festival) and I have to lock down the crafts for the Crafty Story Hours scheduled for the next 6 weeks - and after that .... easy street.

I did not weave in the ends of the i-cord for the baby booties (didn’t I promise to do that?) which will be given to the new parents on Sunday, so I will do so before I head out. Gotta be in Lynchburg by 1 o’clock.

I swear it - I promise - I will write a bit about reading and My[Other]FavoriteAuthor soon. Funny how shy I am about letting anybody see this part of me. ‘Specially since all you gotta do is come into the library and I'll start pouring out all my opinions. I just can’t seem to write about them. I even know why - but explaining that is explaining it. So - it’s comin’. Along with Further Adventures of Pioneer Girl. I promise.

Erica - you're hired - a busman's holiday on the Rivah, okay?

posted by Bess | 6:43 AM


Bess, if I could do a little volunteering at your library I would. I've been making reserved book calls lately at my current volunteering stint, so I would be willing to check the shelves. I hope you have some wonderful volunteers to wander the shelves for you.

By Blogger erica, at 9:31 AM  

Nothing pithy...just a big ol' hug for you and BD.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 PM  


Hugs and prayers out to you for time to Knit and TimeToJustBE. I have a DH who's had 2 heart surgeries, eye surgery, 2 amputations...Luckily, I don't least, not that I know of! Hugs to you too!!


By Blogger Margaret, at 9:04 PM  

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Thursday, June 09, 2005  

No time No time No time

But other than that I'm alive and well. I must go in horribly early to work today and tomorrow. Saturday is still up in the air - I may make the 8 hour drive up to Bedford and back, I may not. Next week will be strenuous, but not quite as mad as this week - after that it's just normal busy summer. Oh. Except that I have to master that new bookkeeping software before July 1. But it's just an elaborate spread sheet, right? How complicated can it be?

The computer system at work has been so screwed up that we had to reboot with a 10 day old backup disk so hundreds of people got overdue notices for books they checked out. The ones that are still in the building can be checked in - but the ones that went out between crash and now aren't recorded anywhere. Sometime in August I'm going to have to do a major collection check - dear lord send me a literate, community service volunteer who can walk the isles looking for books. Sheesh. This is a cruel curse.

No knitting. No fiber. The only fiberish thing I've done in 2 days is to pick the bag of yarn up off the floor before Captain Jack gets his teeth into it. Between now and Saturday I will wrap a knitted object - does that count as knitting content?

Life is very coy about dishing out GoodThings. It never seems to want to give the good stuff all at once. So, if your diet is humming along with crack precision, then the car will break down and suck up all your savings so you can’t buy new clothes, or if your artistic creativity is blossoming, you can be sure that you'll get in a fight with your best friend or some ImportantFamilyMember, so you have to spend hours on the phone trying to mend things. So, right now, with a quaking heart, I am trying to get my work life in order after waking up from that unpleasant dream WifeOfHeartAttackPatient. (Isn't it funny how you don't realize the pressure is on till it lifts?) So, of course, I am having such a good time at home with BD, it’s agony to pull myself away in the a.m. and go to work - it’s impossible to stay even one moment late in the office, when I know he’s waiting to take the dogs for a walk before dinner. Man - why oh why can’t we have it all? At once.

posted by Bess | 7:13 AM


Okay, you tease, who is Your Favorite Author? Did I miss a clear hint? This could open up a new reading direction for some of us!

Sorry life is so busy, and there is so little time for sleep. It has become summer-with-a-vengence here as well, and I'm just not ready to retreat into a/c yet.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 AM  

Nope Nope. It's a wicked tease. I will write about My[Other]FavoriteAuthor but - she deserves a Whole Post and I am not going to say anything till I can give her her due. Evil Me!

By Blogger Bess, at 9:23 AM  

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005  

Once a year we conduct tours of the library for elementary school children. We’d love it if the teachers would schedule them the last 3 weeks of school, but they always cram them into the last few days. It means a spate of days where we arrive early at work, read the same cluster of stories, lay all the Barbie, Nascar, dinosaur, snake, cake decorating and drawing books on the tables in the children’s room and brace ourselves for 30 minute tidal intervals of squirmy cute little kids. It’s fun, but mind numbing and it doesn’t mean that other people don’t come into the library wanting the same services they always want. The phone still rings, the computer network still freezes, in short, life goes on.

As a rule, in the weeks before the library becomes KiddyLand, we start planning and organizing the programs we’ll be offering during the summer. Everyone pitches in but the responsibility is mine. Unfortunately, this year, my mind was a little distracted with heart attacks and the unexpected responsibilities of doing all the lifting, toting and driving. The demands on not just my time, but my brain, were insidious, not really apparent, so I hadn’t realized how much else I was forgetting to do. Now, it is 12 days till everything is supposed to begin and I’m scrambling around trying to line up performers and design crafty, yet literary, activities for 9 year olds. Usually it is not only fun, but something I can do without much conscious thought. Nevertheless, some actual brain activity must occur in order for things to happen, and evidently, what little brain I have has been concentrated elsewhere.

So work is not just busy, but mad. It only lasts for a little while, then we’ll get a brief moment to catch our breath before the onslaught of SummerReadingClub and RivahVacationers pours over us. Between mid June and Labor Day the tempo at work notches up about 45%. It used to be really rough because there were only the two of us holding down the fort 49 hours a week. Life is a little easier now that we have a little more staff but that quaking sensation, that eerie stillness before the storm, still permeates these days after Memorial Day but before the last day of school.

We’ve been blessed with a spring of idyllic weather; dry cool days followed by Camelot-ian rain; it only falls after midnight. This happens only once in a very blue moon and 2005 was our lucky year. In true Virginia fashion, though, this Edenesque weather smashed into the misery that is an east coast summertime on Monday. Slimy humidity and 90 degree temperatures plunked themselves down along the riverbank, leaving us gasping and sweating. Doors swell and either won’t open or won’t close. Your hair does it’s humidity thing, flattening down around the temples making your face look like a pear, or sproinging up into a 60’s ‘fro like something from Mod Squad. In 24 hours the rose bushes have all sprouted black spot mold and the peonies - which are usually burnt to a crisp by now, have balled and hung their droopy heads. It matters not what the earth is doing on it’s orbital track round the sun. It’s summertime with a vengeance here in Gawd’s Country and don’t you forget it.

Gone are the sweet clear May days when it’s a pleasure to walk outdoors at lunchtime, peeking into shop windows as you stroll down main street. Gone are those sleepy afternoons when I can look around the library and say “hmm. I think I’ll weed the 600’s.” (library talk for updating the collection.) Gone is that feeling that I got it all done and can go home with a light heart. In it’s place is an edginess, a scrabbly feeling that I forgot Something Important. And I probably did.

And so, what does TheQueen do when her life begins to crumble around her? Oh - well, she retreats into a book, of course. Better yet, into an "oeuvre" by Her[Other]FavoriteAuthor. And she is having so much fun escaping into HerFavoriteWorld full of HerFavoritePeople she is staying up late or waking early and trying to do That Which Is June on 4 hours of sleep. Needless to say, she is not posting much on her blog. She’s not even reading other blogs or even - gasp - KRForum posts. She is even imagining how she could read while driving to work - although she is not attempting to do so.

She will come back one of these days with details of her travels, but until then, you can take comfort in the knowledge that she is multi-tasking to the max, feeling frazzled and guilty, and still thrilling to the secret pleasure that is reconnecting with favorite fantasy friends.

posted by Bess | 7:28 AM


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Monday, June 06, 2005  

While it's nice to be busy - this is getting ridiculous! Like the Mad Hatter I'm late I'm late I'm late.

Good news - the Bookkeeping is done. Heart attack care in VA costs the insurance company $1,046 an hour. Now, I wonder if that emergency room doctor actually did get that $851.00 his bill asked for. I too, would like to make 567 an hour.

Well, I did a lot of math yesterday. And a little knitting.

And I will write some sort of decent blog post one of these days.

Dashing off now to fulfill other obligations.

La, when will it be Saturday again?

posted by Bess | 7:14 AM


Does this mean that on June 26th we should expect more Pioneer Bess updates, and also additions to Things About You??? :D

hugs to you and all the darlings, furry or fleshed!

By Blogger Amie, at 10:39 PM  

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Sunday, June 05, 2005  

So now I am finally sitting here with only 2 chores which MustBeDoneToday, a plethora of Important Topics available and time to expound on them. I could flow on about the barren literary waste that is today’s movie and television desert. I might connect with you over our mutual loss of acoustical percussion in popular music or wax joyful over the wealth of LYS (s) out there. Then, there are the wonders of Exploring Nature and the pleasures of friends and families to expound upon. All this wealth of opportunity for Opinions!

So, where is my scintillating wit, my flow of trenchantly wise verbiage? Alas, I suspect it has gone where a goodly number of blogger’s wit has flown. I notice that several of my favorite bloggers have been posting less and less. In some cases, I know the reason why - travel, new baby preparations, business claims. I hope for others there are deliciously glamorous or deeply satisfying reasons for the silence. But in my own case, I blame it on the stars - or rather, the planets.

“This is the last full month of Saturn in Cancer for the next 30 years. No matter what your sign, look at where you’ve felt weighed down with burdens and responsibilities over the past two years. Consider where you’ve made slow and steady growth thanks to plain old hard work during that time. Think about where you‘ve managed to ‘get real’ since 2003.
Then thank Saturn, the Lord of hard work, enduring results and reality checks.
At the end of this month, on June 26, Saturn gets a kiss from Venus, just before he prepares to head off for Leo. For many, hard work is about to start paying off and heavy loads are about to become a whole lot lighter.”

Well. Isn’t that interesting - because the past two years really have been demanding. Of course, a year is a long time and among all those many days, there have been the few which were relaxing, soothing and restorative. But in the main, since August 19, 2003, I have faced some of the most challenging issues in my life. I am comfortable with the idea that I'm a fairly insignificant speck in the universe, so the thought that anything in my life would be Important or Demanding is a little ludicrous, but of course, every one of us is the queen (or king) in her (or his) world. I can’t even claim that I have worked hard for 2 years. I feel rather more as if I have just hung on tight. But the idea of life easing off is very very sweet.

Of course that is merely the promise. At the moment I still see Tons-O-Work up ahead. (including balancing that danged check book that I share with Mr.NeverWritesItDown) I’d best cling tightly to this other bit-o-advice.

With Jupiter so active this month amid the Saturn vibe (including a Capricorn Full Moon) perhaps the ideal quote for June is this classic from Lao-Tzu:
If one remains as careful at the end as (s)he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.

I seriously doubt there will ever come a time when I don’t have opinions nor be desirous of expressing them, though. So after a wee bit more of Doooing my Dooty I am sure I will be back with delightfully witty, soul shifting, inspirational posts. And maybe even some knitting content!

Oh! Wait! Real knitting content! The booties are from Melanie Fallick’s book Knitting for Baby. It’s so simple and so portable. And knit in sock yarn it becomes that wonderful thing: a washable wool baby gift!

And there is that alpaca silk hat - I could tell you about that - only I haven’t knit a stitch on it since last weekend. Ahh well. Only one month more and life should ease off, right? Just count on the heavens to look over us. Yeah. That’s it.

posted by Bess | 8:36 AM


Re: the baby i-cord - are you doing the booties in Socks, Socks, Socks? I think I'm going to do a few pairs of those for some young'ens I know and will know...

By Blogger Amie, at 9:34 PM  

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Saturday, June 04, 2005  

Who would believe I have ANOTHER rushed morning. I would. It’s been that sort of week. The circulation system crashed at work yesterday and the Computer Wizard is coming at 8:20 to fix it. Pray pray pray he can get it working by 10!!

I’ll swing by the gym while I’m in town and pick up a few things at the store. A real post will have to come later.

Fiber news? Ahh yes! Real news. An FO!! I finished the 7 inches of tee-tiny i-cord for the booties for baby #2.

Th th that’s all, folks.

posted by Bess | 7:29 AM


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Friday, June 03, 2005  

Something for Catherine

The Crochet Sweater Book by by Sylvia Cosh. Who would believe I paid $5.98 for it back in the 1980's - must have been a remainder. If your library doesn't have it, I'd bet Orange Co. PL does - they have the best craft book collection!

I imagine this with a black skirt and heels, for a city lunch with an Important Man.

posted by Bess | 5:46 PM


Not only do I have this book, but I am making this sweater!

It deserves the honor of my longest UFO.

By Anonymous Lisa, at 7:13 PM  

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Here's another one I'd like to make.

posted by Bess | 5:45 PM


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This is the back cover but it has teaser pictures of some of the goodies inside.

posted by Bess | 5:39 PM


Yes, great news about BD!! I am so happy for the both of you.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 10:12 AM  

Yay for BD!

And have fun with the endocrinologist! it's where all the cool kids are hanging out lately...

By Blogger Amie, at 12:47 PM  

YIPEEE! Love to you both.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 PM  

Ah, I love the good news about Ed's appointment!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:03 PM  

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Thursday, June 02, 2005  

More rushed days with not enough time to do all I'd like are cluttering up this week - and perhaps the next 2 weeks. But there is good news which I must share. BD was given a clean bill of heart health yesterday. He is to resume normal activities, which, for him, are probably much more vigorous activities than your average D. This is so good. By January '06 they will begin to wean him from his meds and by 12 months we can look forward to a pill-free dude. At least - a heart pill free dude.

Next on the list of ThingsToDo is to spend some time with the endocrinologist.

I promise there will be a post this weekend - but make none about the time between then and now.

posted by Bess | 9:57 AM


Hope the doctor's appointment went well!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:28 PM  

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005  

Oooo Carolyn! Yes yes yes! On the possible and the positive visits to VA. And Diann, thank you for the kind words - but there really are days when Virginia is heaven. (ask any virginian!)

I am so way behind in everything I can't really post. German doccumentary film makers called up BD on Monday and came by to interview him yesterday. He brought them down to the library to meet me and we went out to a very late lunch. I'm out all afternoon while we go to the doctor for the 6 week check-up. (can we now be a two driver family?) tomorrow is meetings and Friday is classes and god knows when I will ever get any real work done.

There is fiber in the Queen's Palace - she is knitting a hat from some KnitPicks alpacca yarn and is very pleased with the way the stranded colorwork is developing. She says there will be a photograph sometime.

posted by Bess | 7:56 AM