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



Well, I'm back to thinking about WW again. It's been so long since I could, and while I feel better because I really did have a medical reason for gaining all that weight (I just didn't know it for several years) the fact is the weight is still there. And while I want a tee-shirt that says "My thyroid cancer made me fat, what made you an idiot" that won't help me get back to the body I should have.... In fact, I drove into work today planning to spend time researching meeting times. They're running a commercial right now that makes me cry everytime I see it, I swear...


Fat stinks

By Blogger Amie, at 11:07 AM  

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005  

Please consider the animals in your prayers and actions.

The Humane Society of the United States
Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue
World Animal Net - Louisiana
Ditto - Mississippi

Wow! Thanks, Ellen! I’ll get some this week!

Long ramble all about body issues

This morning is the best I’ve felt in 2+ weeks! I’m not yet pain free but wow! How wonderful to be not too bad. The check-up with MrDr was, as usual, more fun than anything else. I have the dearest doctor. His home is the only other one in the county where, should I give him a call, it’s likely Stravinsky will be playing in the background. He is also open to total healing and advised me to go to the chiropractor - but will also write up a referral to the physical therapy folk. What he also said, though, was that it could be November before the ankle is healed - Tincture of Time was his main prescription, along with a renewal of the muscle relaxer - which I can also use as a sort of anatomical watch, for I can tell when 6 hours have passed since the last time I had one.

I’ve lived with "BadAnkles" all my life - or all my life since I was 11, at least - so I don’t really consider a sprain a "real" health issue. It’s just one of the huge boulders in my life that I must flow around, like the James River at the fall line. But the pinched neck nerve and tingling arms - ahhh - that is a new (old age) disorder and I’m still learning the routine for that. I know I should not stay on the computer as much as I do - and I shall stay away much more from now on - but I really do love to sit at a keyboard and let the mind open and the words flow. It’s just that, unlike fresh fruit and salad, this particular pleasure shall have to be portioned out like bread or meat - enough, but not unlimited.

While at MrDr’s I asked the (cousin) nurse to see how tall I was - and oh what a blow! I’m 1 inch shorter than I’ve been saying for years and years and years. I have always wanted to be tall, and not just because it ment I could weigh (and eat) more. Tall is authoritative. Tall has power. Tall spreads out proportional issues like short waists and necks or heavy shoulders. Tall is my size of choice. I hit 5’6" in high school and held my head high to give off the impression of an extra inch, but I always wanted to be 5’8". And now I am 5’5" which is a cute #, with it’s matching feet and inches, and still "above average" but, sigh. I really regret that lost inch. And you do know what that means on the height/weight charts. Yep. Bummer.

Following the intense introspection of my on-the-road-to-health body came my regular WW meeting where I could at least see that I had not gained any weight while spending days within 10 feet of the refrigerator. But I have been 10 lbs over my goal weight (which was calculated for a lofty 5’6" inch woman!!) for over a year now. I have not been impeded by ignorance of healthy eating and exercise habits. Instead, I can lay claim to a whole passle of horribly false beliefs that tangle my feet and my brain and that need to be erased, expunged, and banished from my life.

False: I come from a fat family.
True: Well, dearie, the operative word isn’t fat, it’s from - as in: going away from, as in departed from, as in, no place I have to go back to!

False: I don’t have time to fix all that food.
True: I don’t have time?!? What do I have time for, then? Half an hour in front of the closet trying to find something that fits?

False: Corollary to the above, I’ve got plenty of time to take this weight off.
True: Oh do I? I’m moving deep into menopause when my metabolism will slow down even more! Muscle mass is fading away, skin is sagging on arms. Recoup time is longer. Weight loss time is too. Just when do I think is going to be the right time, huh?

False: It’s only 10 lbs
True: It’s really 17 lbs.

False: That photo of me at this weight, taken 13 years ago, that wasn’t all that bad.
True: Yeah, right. My hair was still brown, back then, too, and the wrinkles left from sleeping on my face disappeared with my first cup of coffee. Gravity had yet to take such a toll. Besides - that was a distance shot next to an enormous boxwood bush. Erase that picture from your memory Oh IdiotQueen!

As sometimes happens, help is waiting for you when you are ready to pick it up. The topic of the meeting was "Are you satisfied with your weight loss?" to which, of course, we all know my answer. The leader then offered us a wonderful quote from Winston Churchill:

Sometimes it’s not enough to do your best. Sometimes you must do what is required.

She went down the basic list of WW rules - all of them no brainers - and then challenged us to identify which of those rules we were not following, turn to the person seated next to us, and tell her what we vowed to do this coming week.

Now, the psychology of obligating myself to another had a powerful emotional effect on me - on everyone, I suspect, based upon the excitement generated in the room. To make a promise - a specific promise - to someone - to anyone - seemed to jump start the whole room. It certainly inspired me. Time to get real with myself.

And quiet obviously time to quit typing, too.

posted by Bess | 6:27 AM


Here are some more well wishes for you. It's so good to have you back. Take it easy, just as the doctor says. Keyword: delegate.

By Blogger Larry, at 11:38 AM  

Bess, UltraSwim shampoo and conditioner are good for the chlorine can get them at Walgreens or Rite Aid or somewhere like that.

Ellen in KY (formerly WA)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:46 AM  

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005  

Thank you, dears, for the well wishes and sage advice. That first day back was tiring, though not quite exhausting. I was about 55% effective = by mid afternoon I was mostly just sitting at the circ desk clicking people in and scanning books out. The week looks fairly easy - a super week to clean off my desk - which is such a disaster I can’t seem to get started on it. But my my - wouldn’t it be great to begin my Birthday Month with an efficiently organized desk? Hmmm. It’s a thought.

Still severely limiting the keyboard use - and working hard on meditating when I wake in the night with age/work/virgo related worries. So far- good results. I also made it to the gym yesterday for a wonderful water work out - and alas, the faint reminder of chlorine in my hair. I have to find something to do about that - hopefully not something like a bathing cap and not made of plastic.

No fiber today because I am just knitting squares at the moment. I need dozens of them. I also realized that I have to revise my knitting class schedule a bit - thank goodness I hadn’t published it yet. But it goes into the paper next week and the week after and the first classes begin the end of September.

I’ve been riveted by the photos from New Orleans and saddened to hear of so many deaths. And along with the combination of horror and sympathy I feel, there still marches a certain thrilling love of the absolute enormity of nature’s power. What is it about the good, that it seems to need the contrast of the bad to be fully felt?

... and BD pulls Plato off the shelves and explains to TheQueen.

posted by Bess | 8:07 AM


Glad you're back - a little. Now go rest! We want you back for good, even if it means a longer wait now while you get healthy enough!

love to you!

By Blogger Amie, at 12:10 PM  

Welcome back, sweets. Lovely to hear your virtual voice.
Be patient w/the process of healing & please, love your recuperation!

By Blogger Martha, at 7:29 PM  

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Monday, August 29, 2005  

I am back. On a limited basis, of course. Limited will be difficult. If I find myself unable to function within boundaries, I’ll be off again. But I shall try my utmost to shepherd my hands through the transition from youthful resiliency to middle aged stiffness. There is still some tingling and pinching in my left arm but my right feels perfect. The ankle sprain, of the triangular ligament on the inside of my ankle between the heel and the bone, will take weeks to heal. I have a wonderful foamy velcro strappy thing to wrap around it that fits into the world’s ugliest brown shoes which clash with everything I could wear except jeans, but which totally support my feet. So the second most difficult thing I’ll be doing in the coming weeks, (after severely limiting my time at the keyboard) is to sacrifice fashion for health. I feel a bit like an 18th century French saloneuse being told to give up her lead based makeup. I can do it. I see the need to. But to sacrifice fashion to this degree is extraordinarily difficult.

Tomorrow I have a check-up with DR. and today I begin water therapy at the gym.

So - how did I spend my week of recuperation? Asleep for the most part and wishing the painkillers were stronger when I was awake. And reading very light books. And napping. And watching frivolous movies. All of the Vicar of Dibley. Several Ginger Rogers/Fred Astair movies. The Addams Family. And sleeping.

I also did some desultory knitting on class prototypes. I finished the Christmas stocking, but for the weaving in and blocking. And I’ve knit numerous squares for my finishing class and the Crochet for Knitters class. I finally did a little reading from Debbie New’s book Unexpected Knitting. It’s a big book and heavy. I’ve had the book a year and a half now, and haven’t really studied it. Her architectural understanding of knitting absolutely blows me away and I’ll admit it - intimidates me a bit too. Also - I suffer from Librarian’s Syndrome - you don’t have to know something, just know where it can be found. I tend to buy the books and smugly shelve them, like some lexiconic pack rat.

Okay - I can feel my wrist protesting so I shall end with this photo which warms my librarian’s heart; not the posed reader in center front, but the mama reading Thomas the Tank Engine to her little boy. It also demonstrates Bess’ Theory of Blue: that blue is the color of choice for the majority and, all else being equal, they (including fiber judges) will pick the blue one.

My prayers go out to the folk in New Orleans and all along the path of Katrina.

posted by Bess | 6:27 AM


Oh, no - sorry it is so bad! You probably won't see this, but if you do, I'm sending healing energy your way (did I ever tell you I'm a reiki practitioner, honest, I really am). Read some good books, and watch a few favorite movies, that can't stress any of your injured parts.

By Blogger Shelia, at 7:58 AM  

Oh, sweetheart, you just feel better! Was any of that about your hands?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:52 PM  

Sending you & all your muscles & ligaments tho'ts of health, love & vegetarian chicken soup.

By Blogger Martha, at 7:57 PM  

I hope all the meds and rest help lots! (and that you can enjoy this little "vacation" from everyday life).

Love you, Jen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 9:54 AM  

Ouchie! Get well and we will see you next week. Maybe the Universe is just trying to tell you to rest?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 AM  

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Monday, August 22, 2005  

Diagnosis: Sprained deltoid ligament in left ankle.
Treatment: Stay off it for 1 week

Diagoniss: Muscle spasms caused by fall that sprained ankle (a.k.a. whiplash)
Treatment: No computer use for 7 more days - light use afterwards.

Plus pain killers, ibuprophen, muscle relaxers - that stuff

But mostly it means I'm home, I'm off the computer (after sneaking in here for this quick post) and I'm to rest rest rest.

Other bad news? I can't meet up with J's TNK gang and I can't go to my parents, whom I've put off now 3 times, nor can I meet up with L who has been put off twice. I miss you all SO much - I miss posting, I miss commenting - I just miss you.

Good news? I can knit. No great loss without some small gain.

See you guys in 7 days

posted by Bess | 5:52 PM


Oh dear. Take care. I hope it passes soon.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 8:41 AM  

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Hugs! xxoo Jen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 12:25 PM  

Hope your "paws" are feeling better very soon ^..^

By Blogger Martha, at 9:54 PM  

Hi. It's me.


The world's biggest idiot who thought about you, but didn't call you last night because your hands hurt too much to talk on the phone.

Do you think maybe I've become a little too vocally obsessed???

Anyway, I did think of you, and hope your hands are much better very soon!

By Blogger Amie, at 11:46 AM  

Sayin' a little prayer for your hands to recover... Is it arthritis? Would a hot wax treatment help? What about those spandex-type fingerless gloves?

By Blogger Margaret, at 11:53 AM  

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005  

Serious hand issues going on around here so expect posts to be brief till either:

A. Weather patterns stabalize and air pressure quits massaging my throbbing hands
B. Lots of rest gives aching tendons and tingling nerves time to regroup
C. Something so cool happens I type through the pain

Happy hump day to you all.

posted by Bess | 7:27 AM


It's only Tuesday & I too feel that I am dithering away the week - drat, there is too much to be done.

By Blogger Martha, at 7:24 PM  

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005  

What started out as a little jaunt to the airport, yesterday, to pick up a friend who is also the daughter of a friend, ended up being an all day trip! The airport is about 1 hour from town, the plane was on-time and we got a parking spot in the garage right by the door. But it was 6 o’clock before I got home and alas, none of the other things I planned to do in town got done. Thank goodness Mr.Horoscope had warned me that this week would be the week of Dither. Of spinning wheels, moving nowhere, and frittering away time. I am to enjoy it and await the forward movement of Mercury come the weekend.

Marching beside my own inability to effect progress is an Internet server at the school which needs parts, (no public access at the library!), another server intended for me that is languishing in some Gateway warehouse out in computer land, and a hurricane off the coast that is wrecking havoc with the atmospheric pressure. My hands ache as if highway department vehicles have rolled over them. It may be that I don’t do much blogging this week - or even any knitting.

Usually technical issues or physical difficulties would put me in a blue mood, but curiously, they haven’t this time. Perhaps it is because I was prepared for what I think of as a “stupid” week. A dither week. A wheel sinning fritter week. A vacation!!

The joke is that I shan’t be taking the vacation - my assistant will be. She leaves tonight and doesn’t come back till Thursday next week. But her schedule shift means everyone else shifts too and in my case, a change is going to be something of a rest. I’ll work the circ desk a lot more than usual and all the office work can just wait for me. I’m rather looking forward to more time with the public and less with the bookkeeping. And this may be just what the aching hands are needing - a change - or even a rest.

No knitting content today.

posted by Bess | 7:00 AM


Ah, puppy bliss! There's nothing like being loved by a puppy!

Sorry there was stress, but delighted that all went well. Are we still getting together on Saturday?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 AM  

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Monday, August 15, 2005  

When I was 17 I spent the summer in Siena Italy, at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana. It was a glorious experience for which I was entirely too young. I was invited at the last possible moment, after an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, who sponsored a student orchestra for the conducting master classes taught at the Accademia. I got into the school. They offered me a scholarship plus free summer in Italy. Of course, there are never enough violin players, so it’s not really surprising. And I, like the typical high school graduate, was all about GettingOutOfHere. A retelling of that summer, my own comming-of-age story, would take up a week’s worth of blog posts. Fear not. The task is beyond me at the moment and, in fact, I may never get around to it.

What prompted me to mention this at all was this travel article in the NYT. It’s a suprisingly long article about touring Siena. I wanted to see if the city had changed very much and more to the point, if Mr. Johnson noted any of the things I considered important. He did pick out a few of my favorite highlights, though I don’t remember the hills being that breath taking - in the literal sense - but then, I was 17 with the boundless energy of youth. I do remember that I walked everywhere in a pair of cheap wooden clogs and had fantastic leg definition by the end of the summer. I loved to hear the wooden soled shoes clack against the ancient cobble stones. I loved everything about Italy and almost nothing about the people I was with - who were of a particularly snotty artificial wannabe ‘N arteest mien. More than anything else, that summer showed me that I was playing in the wrong back yard. It’s tough to be in a grand thrilling place with a lot of completely incompatible people, but I wouldn’t have missed that experience for all the tea in china.

I was surprised that Mr. Johnson didn’t even mention the Accademia, since they give concerts all summer. I recall the orchestra gave performances every Friday night and I remember one thrilling afternoon when all the brass players at the school set up on two elevated cross walks that spanned opposite lanes feeding into the Campo and played antiphonal brass music, the rich bell tones echoing off the ancient stone buildings in a heavenly swell of sound. Perhaps he’s just not a music lover, but Siena could never mean anything to me without it’s rich store of music. Besides - St. Catherine is the patron saint of music - and Siena is her town!

But what really shocked me was that for a mere $448, maybe I could get the very room I slept in, with 3 other fiddle players, at the Hotel Continental on the Via Banchi di Sopra. I’ll admit, I loved the hotel we stayed in and was constantly full of that feeling of being in Count Ugolino’s palace - but whew! What a waste that the only time I’ve ever been in a real luxury hotel I was too young to know it. I wonder where the house the orchestra players now?

Anyway - this is not the post I thought I’d be writing after the Big Reunion weekend. It may, though, be appropriate, since Oldest Daughter of Favorite Cousins leaves for college in 13 days and is as anxious to be Out In TheWorld as her Cousin Bess was, lo those 35 years ago. As for the BigReunion - it was not all that big this year. Perhaps 60 people made it, but none of the North Carolina cousins came, only half of the Connecticut cousins, nor could my favorite W.VA cousins make it, either. Even some of the local kin were on jaunts to far flung places. Happily, though, most of the cranky cousins stayed away.

For some reason, everyone I love, who is part of the getting ready for the reunion club, was feeling tense about it this year. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the knowledge that several of the top generation had died this past winter, or was in very poor health. BD’s generation are the great grandchildren of the couple who’s wedding anniversary this reunion celebrates. They can still remember the clack of the slamming screen door as they dashed in and out of the kitchen of the big house at Midway. They knew TheSisters, ancient ladies clad in black dresses with white lace collars, who sat in rocking chairs and nodded admiringly at each other’s progeny. Since his generation is now mostly grandparents, there are a lot of freeze-tag playing 9 year olds who haven’t a clue who Aunt Emma or Cousin Mary were.

Whatever the cause, the resultant edginess was most unwelcome and almost universal. Fortunately, the core group of Favorite-est Cousins gathered at our house in the afternoon and we quickly got into the river, where all vestiges of tension were swept away by the rushing incoming tide. What a glorious afternoon - broad sunshine, water with multiple layers of cool and warm that shifted in swirling currents, happy talk, motor boats pulling tubes at the end of long ropes. We haven’t any babies in the family right now, so moms are free to join in the deep water conversations, but there are still some teens, so one must be careful about being grabbed by the ankle and ducked underwater. The joke was on me, though, because Capt. Jack insisted on me holding him the whole time we were in the river. Labradors tend to worry if you are in the water - they want to retrieve you unless you get a stick and wiggle it just below the surface. Then they’ll swim after it and dive for it till you get tired of the game and give up the prize. Our other dogs will wade ashore, run out onto the fields and dig for groundhogs. But not Capt. Jack. He wanted to be with us, and specifically, he wanted held by me. 40 lbs of dog is not all that heavy in water, but clinging puppy claws grow wearisome after a while. Any time someone else wanted to hold Jack he’d begin to whine and look around for me. As soon as he found me, he’d push away and swim straight to his Mommy’s arms. Back in his safe harbor, he’d put his head on my shoulder and fall asleep.

We stayed in the river till we were not just wrinkly but beginning to get pinched. Back at the house there was so much leftover reunion food that for the very first time in 13 years, I didn’t cook anything for dinner. Not that we ever need to eat dinner after the reunion, but we always do. Conversation flowed from one room to the other till wee dark hours, when palettes were set out on the floor for the overflow of sleepyheads and all tumbled exhausted into bed. Sunday morning was groggy and leisurely. The YD’s joined us for a late breakfast and we picked up where we had left off the night before.

And so another reunion has come and gone. For me, it means summer is almost over. No. It means it’s actually over, and these few weeks till September are sort of free time. There’s nothing on the schedule that requires me to "perform". All I need do is show up for the next few weeks, and I’m ready for that. I’m still working on the plans for fall classes. I’m knitting away on the P&P Stocking (on the instep now) and gearing up to write the handouts for all the new things I’ll be teaching this year.

There’s a cool breeze floating in through the window behind me. I hope it’s a harbinger of change, of crisp days and deep sleeping nights. I’m ready for the skein of summer to be knit up. I’m ready to start on those fall projects.

posted by Bess | 5:44 AM


Look forward to reading your news of the reunion.

By Blogger Martha, at 6:07 PM  

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Sunday, August 14, 2005  

Lots of company
too much food
hours of sunhine
life is good

be back monday

posted by Bess | 7:41 AM


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Friday, August 12, 2005  

Just a dash through today to rejoice at the good news. Favorite Cousins are coming to the reunion and will spend Saturday night with us. I always want Favorite Cousins to come but this year my house is all a-jumble and I couldn’t really make it nice no matter how hard I tried. I can get it clean. I can even get it picked up. But it’s not right these days and I can feel it every time I open the front door. So I am glad Favorite Cousins will be here only long enough for me to wallow in the love, and not start to worry about the inconvenience, discomfort and all round wrongness of this place.

Now mind - I have a darling house. Much of it is super and some of it is absolutely super. But it’s not right. It’s got too many crowded stuffed full places. It needs to be swept clean.

* * * * * Long Pause While I Write A KRForum Post About Harry Potter 6 * * * * * *

Yikes! It’s after 8 and I have to be in town by 9. I’ll write more about our comings and goings sometime this weekend. Knitting on the heel flap of that christmas stocking.

posted by Bess | 8:10 AM


Wow, It's looking great!

By Blogger Carolyn, at 3:42 PM  

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Thursday, August 11, 2005  

Progress - cute too. What do you think? 5 P rows then 1 P, 5 P rows then 1 P, then start the heel? Yeah. Me too.

posted by Bess | 1:04 PM


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Thank you all for the compliments. Those snowmen are done now - and I’m moving into the area just above the heel flap. Of course, Knitpicks doesn’t have a yarn named P & P . It's called something else, which I forget, but it's a merino yarn. I wasn’t sure if I had enough P colored yarn so I ordered another skein. They shipped yesterday This stocking’s a sample, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Dyelot differences won’t bother me. It’s to show people how one can be creative with a Christmas stocking. I still haven’t scheduled those classes, either and I really have to hop to it on that. I want to teach them all before Thanksgiving - possibly before November altogether.

I’m going to be off for a 4-day weekend after work today and all week I’ve been rushed and crammed and tensely trying to GetItAllDone. The day after I come back to work I’ll be hosting a Pizza party for the pre-teen volunteers. I gotta get my act together!!

Our library’s website has been down for 6 months - you would not believe the slapstick comedy we have endured to Get Back On-Line. The final 2 month delay turned out to be something the techno-geek - who would not return phone calls, but would speak to me via the receptionist, with whom he was instant messaging - called a "billing problem". The billing problem was that I sent them $150 and they did not register our domain name. Interesting how my demand for the return of my check got the url registered and the website up in 4 hours. It’s official now, though - we are up and running.

But the techno-revamp is not over yet. We replaced 3 ancient computers with 3 old computers. We’re purchasing a new server and ups - because our ups died and our server will probably do so any day now. The network engineer we use is a wonderful man who used to be NetAdmin for the local school system. Somehow he fell in love with our library and we’ve become something of a pet to him. He moved on to another county but he still has a library card, belongs to our friends group and continues his role as technology godfather. He does all the work for pennies except when he does it for free. But - we must adjust to his schedule - I can’t call him and say "Come now" and expect him to obey. I wouldn’t anyway, of course, but I don’t even have the right to do so. He’s a 10 month employee in another school system so he has afternoons and summers to fondle his pet library’s wires, bells and whistles. He can come for 2 days the end of next week to transfer all data from old to new equipment.

I went on Gateway’s website and selected, with NetworkGodfather sitting right beside me, btw, the machine I wanted. We got a quote, a quote number and a phone # to call. Sam the Salesman was effusive, funny, friendly and zipped through the process and then asked if I had a Net30 account set up. Well - I have ordered from Gateway before but not for a few years. All our machines got updated via Bill Gates Foundation gifts the past year and I used a 3rd party vendor the year before that and I believe there was something on state contract before that. So it’s been a long time since I had to actually pick out and purchase a computer. Although I have bought from the Gateway website I didn’t know if 3 years was further back than a computer business would maintain records of customers. I have grave suspicions of the computer industry’s ability to remember what they did yesterday.

Sam the Salesman took my order. "We can ship this tomorrow" he assured me "Once your Net30 account is set up. He faxed me the paperwork to set up the account and lo - I realized I was ordering from the Small Business website - not Local Government. The only difference between the two is how the accounts are set up and whether you have to send them 3 business references plus all your bank info - And list the principle officers of the company and all sorts of business designations that are called something different when it’s a non-profit or a govt./ed set-up.

Hmmm. It’s been a while, but I know I didn’t have to send in 3 pages of names and phone numbers and bank account #’s last time. I went looking for the last purchase order I had, 2002, yee gads! and there is a name and phone number. I call and what do you know, the number is still good and that fellow is still working as a sales rep for Gateway.

I tel Bill the Salesman what I want and he says "Great. We can get that to you in 10 -15 business days. "

"3 weeks! I need it before then"

"I guess you need it yesterday"

"I’d like it then, but I need it before the 20th."

"Well you can always put Rush Order on the PO"

"Will that do any good? What about little butterflies and flowers and some tear stains?"

So the fax went out with flowery descriptions and gushing compliments and we shall get down on our knees and pray that it arrives in time.

But what do you think about this? I could shop as a small business, though I’d have paperwork I can’t really fill out - but if I could I could get my computer in 3 or 4 business days. Or I can go with the Gov/Ed folk, order immediately and they will get me my machine in 2 or 3 weeks. What is wrong here? Do they have special factories that use slower robots to assemble the computers sold to government? Do they figure since the government only pays bills once a month, they need only build the computers once a month? Is this the great conspiracy that makes government so inefficient? Special GI computers?

Well. I put in the order to Bill the Salesman, who promised me he’d "see what he could do" about the rush order. I will make prayers and light candles to Mercury, god of messages. Let us hope we can have the data migration done and the new machine up and running before school starts.

posted by Bess | 7:50 AM


Does P and P stand for Prettier and Prettier? It should!

Love -

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:58 PM  

Who says purple and pink aren't Christmasy?

By Blogger Heidi, at 10:13 AM  

I think it should be "P3" for Pretty in Pink and Purple!


M in C

By Blogger Margaret, at 2:41 PM  

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005  

Here's the P & P Christmas stocking. Snowflakes and snowmen with pink hats. The yarn is P & P Merino from and white Classic Elite Le Gran mohair blend from so long ago I believe I paid $3.99 a ball for it!!

Those were the days.

posted by Bess | 5:24 PM


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Fool fool fool that I am! How could I have such unguided hubris as to post anything in the KR Forum OT sections? I don’t even like to read them. If I hadn’t had those vivid HP dreams on Sunday night I am sure I wouldn’t have been so stupid. At least, I wouldn’t have written Bumbleore for Dumbledore. Idiot!

Well, there. We are never so humbled as when we fall from the boughs of an idea. Let us hope I have learned my lesson.

Among the other trivial bits about my life, I did let my dogs come in for a while, even though I just cleaned the carpets and we have a family reunion on Saturday. Who am I, to resist the pleading eyes of a little blonde puppy? The wicked heat of July has given way to plain old ordinary heat of August. Weather dot com says it will not rain on Saturday - happy thought - it has for the past 2 years. But I will be glad when the reunion has come and gone. I am not in a big party mood this year. I have Friday off - to prepare for it - and Monday off too, so that I can drive to Richmond and pick up a friend at the airport.

Tonight is Tuesday Night Knitters and several folk are bringing friends, so we may have a big group tonight. I hope so - it’s always fun to talk knitting. I have one Christmas sock to show for the month, plus the beginning of the P & P Christmas stocking and some handspun yarn. I have yet to work out a time-table for my fall classes. I had thought I’d do it at lunch yesterday but we had the computer network wizard in all day and I didn’t have access to my desk or my computer for big chunks of time. I will try to get the info to the parks & rec people this week, so it can be put in the paper before Labor Day.

Ooooo. Labor Day - yes! That great holiday that proves that Birthdays are coming. My big gift this year will be my sister, who is moving east, after decades of west coast living. She has an extremely nice man waiting here in Virginia for her. This is more than good - this is great.

And once again my ENFP brain has ricocheted off the topic and is now bouncing down the hallway. Must mean there isn’t really anything else to say. I shall go spin a bit, instead. Ta.

posted by Bess | 5:41 AM


I'm trying to decide if your repeated use of "Bumbledore" instead of "Dumbledore" is a freudian slip or a joke...

My general feeling of this book was what I feel almost everytime I enjoy a series and get to the second-to-last book. I feel like she went "Holy poop! I've only got one more book to get all this info out!" and dumped everything. She introduced an awful lot of new information, and did it in a very rushed way, I felt. It wasn't as natural a reveal as past books have been, but more a hurry to get it all said so she could tie up the ends in book seven.

Book 3 remains my favorite by a mile still....

By Blogger Amie, at 11:07 AM  

I had similar thoughts when I finished book 6. I think it's all a ruse to get Lord V to finally come out and try again.

And about your Sunday post, couldn't you be a little more cryptic?

By Blogger Larry, at 11:10 AM  

Idiot me! It's a total freudian slip - Goodness - I wish I hadn't posted it on KR OT. Teach me to venture where I don't belong!

By Blogger Bess, at 3:02 PM  

As God is my witness, I'll NEVER post on OT's again! I'll NEVER even LOOK at the OT's again.

By Blogger Bess, at 3:14 PM  

I know, sweetie, I'm pretty ticked off on your behalf. I'm sorry!

By Blogger Amie, at 4:48 PM  

I was almost ready to fire off a response in support when I saw that Amie had already done it - sorry for the mix-up on the name. I agree that the OT section is generally to be avoided for most of us, I've been sorry most times I post there and always think 2 or 3 times before I do these days.

By Blogger Shelia, at 8:30 AM  

And as for HP, this book definately seems like a set-up for the next one in many ways. My two favorites are the first and third books, the ideas are fresh and the interactions between characters seem more "real" to me.

By Blogger Shelia, at 8:32 AM  

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Monday, August 08, 2005  

WARNING! Harry Potter spoilers at the end of this post.

Oh I love it when Blogger remembers my log-in info. Can’t tell you why this little convenience tickles me so, but it does. Alas, if I turn off the computer, blogger seems to forget. Probably a cookie issue. But though storms marched across the land to the north of us, they didn’t trigger any power blinks, so this a.m. the blogger screen opened up in my file.

And this morning delicious cool zephyrs are creeping over the windowsill, caressing the back of my arms and neck as I type. Even if the day degenerates into another August meltdown, we know, don’t we? Autumn is on the way. Sweaters. Colored leaves. Hot soup. Birthdays. Just around the corner, now. All we gotta do is hold on.

We had a pleasant surprise visit from K & Family, incl. dogs. It was half a doggie play-date and half just two families catching up with each other. K got her older lab about 3 weeks before we got Ike, The Dog - that stunningly amazing lab who came to live with us for 4 short years. Those two boys played together often. After Ike died they stopped bringing Echo up to see us and for the past few years their lives have gone in different directions from ours. We see each other in neutral places - after all, T-town has only 2,500 people in it - we see everybody sooner or later. But we haven’t really visited and they had yet to meet Capt. Jack, Dog of our Senior Years and Object of Total Slavish Devotion. Since their last visit another lab, Loki, has come to keep Echo company. This was his first visit to us.

Taking your dogs to someone else’s house is always an iffy proposition. I never take my dogs anywhere but the vets, because, for one thing, Priss runs away and doesn’t come back when you call her, but mostly because dogs are very territorial and it isn’t fair to take my puhfekt diddle puddy behbee doggies over to some other dog’s marked grounds, thank you please. Besides, we live on a farm, where our pets have fields and marshes and forests and the river. They don’t need a chance to run and sniff and wallow.

I don’t mind if others bring their dogs here, just so long as they understand that if the dogs don’t get on with my pets, their dogs have to go in the pen. Since K&all not only understand this, but subscribe to my dog-opinions, and they asked first, if they could bring their dogs, of course we said yes. And since we have only girl dogs and a very friendly pup, while they have boy dogs, the visit really turned out to be fun. Priss is such a slut she runs after every boy dog she sees and plays kissy face with them. Socks is utterly horrified by strangers and hid away the whole time. Jack was fascinated with the leg lifting lessons.

Later in the day the rugs all got Rx from the rented Rug Doctor, preparatory to weekend guests who may or may not come. Amazingly, I am cool with this - totally ready for all, some or nothing. Odd how I can get my knickers so twisted over some things and be totally cool with others. People really are crazy.

I did a bit of knitting on a sample for a Christmas Sock class I want to teach this fall. It’s in purple, pink and white - not Christmas colors, but it’s from stash yarn and otherwise I never get to knit with these colors, since I mostly only knit for myself. I’ll also make a red white and green Christmassy looking sock as a class demo - and it is just barely possible I will make one for me too - since I have an idea I’d like to try out, and besides, there is no holiday stocking in the house for moi. But that last thing is just an idea at the moment - time alone will tell if it ever becomes an object.

I finished HP last night - and had HP dreams afterwards. How about that. Okay - so. What do you think? Is Snape really bad? Who was he obeying? Did he murder the pleading Bumbledore, or did he put Bumbledore out of his misery. Was B actually begging S to finish him off, since all that poison he’d drunk was going to kill him slowly - and perhaps painfully - anyway? Was Snape’s grimace evidence of misery at having to kill an old friend or lust for the dark power? After all, he’d botched Voldemort’s plans by not letting Malfoy kill Bumbledore as M had been ordered to. And Snape didn’t do any fighting - at least, none that we heard about, after Bumbledore’s death. He also had known a good while that Harry had Snape’s own potion book. For that matter, he was fairly non-committal about his role within the Death Eaters, in the early chapter when he was talking with Malfoy’s mother and aunt and it took absolutely no persuasion by M’s mom to get Snape to swear the unbreakable vow. Sounds suspicious to me.

After Bumbledore’s abject admission of his doddering sentimentality at the end of book 5, ought we not to have expected him to reassess all his assumptions and come to the realization that Snape was a bad’un? I don’t buy Harry’s assumption that Snape’s "proof" of his reform was his admission to Bumbledore that he’d told Voldemort about the prophecy. That’s a logistical misfire. Besides, Snape has been such a rotter throughout the whole series, he rival’s Voldemort in evil. You can’t have two antagonists, any more than you can have two protagonists. All supporting characters have to be less interesting than those two adversaries. At least, in good fiction they do. Life isn’t like that, of course, but fiction is not life. It is Symbol of Life; Representation of Reality; it is Metaphor.

I have always thought Snape the most important character after Harry and that their relationship was the important one, too. So. We shall just have to wait a while to find out if I am asking more from the author than she is prepared to give. I give book 6 a C+ for entertainment. I had to slog through many of the chapters, but at least I was able to do so. Book 5 got a D from me, while books 1-4 all made the honor roll. OTOH, Rowling gets straight A’s from me for the artistry, craft, effort, and sheer work involved in putting such a fun story together for us all.

P.S. Don't you think Hermoine would make a great headmistress for Hogwarts some day?

posted by Bess | 7:02 AM


it was pretty awesome.

By Anonymous Mitchell Padden, at 3:11 PM  

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Sunday, August 07, 2005  

Sometimes you have to do something that is not hard to do, a simple act of honesty that preserves harmony and balance and truth in your life; an admission of a fact that is no dreadful truth, merely a truth, that is in opposition to all the other facts in the present situation. It is a reality that says, "Hey! I don’t belong here. Le’me go!"

Only, at these particular sometimes, those other facts all have receptors, like a red blood cell, that can lock onto a WrongThing, like some fatal carbon dioxide molecule, and carry around that simple true, but WrongThing as if it were a triumph, even though the true but WrongThing is killing the poor little cell. Gory analogy, but true - you can kill your soul if you lock those wrong truths up in your heart, in your psyche, in your surroundings, like jewels in a strong box. BH says it’s like those people who refuse to admit there’s an elephant in the living room. An elephant isn’t a bad thing or even an untruth. It’s just an elephant. But if it’s in the living room you have to admit it. The puzzle to her, and to me when I am being rational, instead of a 9-year old, is why other people, who I shall not name, get furious at her for pointing out the elephant, noting that it doesn’t belong there and asking when they’re going to let it go.

So. Yesterday I had to get that elephant out of my living room. And I got mad at the people who pointed out that there was an elephant in the living room. And I kicked and screamed and threw my temper tantrum - only, of course, I’m a Virgo, so I don’t act out in a way anyone else can tell. I turn all the venom and pain inward, finding all sorts of reasons why I Am Bad and It’s My Fault. Half a century of living has produced within me the faint ghost of a WiseParentToInnerChild, so I was able, not only to do the simple honest act, but to point out benign omens and pull up memories of past GoodGirl successes to the Inner-9-Yr-Old. But it was still a painfully difficult day of groaning under the weight of my InnerScold.
I did my Chore, canceled my plans with my family (wisely - it would have been impossible for me to have acted cheerily and truly - there is no reason for them to try to cheer up a gloomy 9-year old), sulked the rest of the day away, and went to bed with what passes for a headache.

Happily, it is now Sunday and the Chore is done and I don’t even have to think about it tomorrow, at Tara. And Mr.Horoscope promised me yesterday that "... what's preventing you from making such an ascent? A ball and chain around your feet? Not really. You just have to be realistic about an unattainable aim... and then put your energy into something that could really bring you a great result." Well. I’ve done that. Or, at least, I’ve done the first half, the unattainable aim thing. For the coming week, he assures me that "The astrological implication here is that you are about to have a brush with some hidden force that stirs up strong reactions. Keep your desires and concerns in separate categories. Don't confuse a wish with a need, or a fear with a real reason to worry." Hmmm. I certainly have a strong wish that is not a need, and a not quite so strong fear that is not anything to worry about. Okay. Sounds like a plan. Let us hope that I can step wisely along the PathWithoutConfusion and move " onward and upward. [where] You [I] have the chance to enter a realm where all seems vastly different because you are viewing it from such an enlightened height."

Yes. Enlightened heights. We can do that. Need: Be Met! Worry: Begone!

posted by Bess | 8:21 AM


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Saturday, August 06, 2005  

It's Saturday at last. I'm off to Richmond again - though it's not really Richmond, as BD loves to point out to me, but it involves driving through the city to do MoreChores and visit my folks. My sister is here from the west coast too, and we'll have lunch. BD is joining me on this trek because he has to lift HeavyThings for me. I might be able to lift stuff under ordinary circumstances but not when the ankle is still wobbling.

The YD's got home from their vacation and came to dinner last night. They were full of travel tales and mountain tales and wilderness tales and old friend stories. It's good to see them again, but it's even better to see them so animated. They are young and, unless unusual circumstances crop up, they do not get tired in quite the way we geezers do. But even youthful vigor needs a rest now and then and it looked like this vacation was just the thing.

There's been a bit of a break in the weather and now we have clouds and cooler air. This is August and there's a thrum of hurry hurry hurry echoing behind me. "If you're going to get that summer stuff done you better get a move on" it keeps telling me. We only this week got the porch cleaned - a job BD really has to do because it involves Clorox, to which I am allergic. The house now smells like a swimming pool. Lord give us a bit of breeze this weekend and blow this stuff away.

Okay - I am writing merely to be filling up space since I don't have anything to say, nor have I any inspiration to say nothing with wit and verve. So. I'm outta here. Be back tomorrow.

posted by Bess | 8:02 AM


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Friday, August 05, 2005  

There are some things that none of us like to think about, or talk about. Usually, these are not the things that we have no understanding of. They are the things we understand only too well yet feel intimidated or repelled by. The facts we don't want to face. The realities we would prefer not to acknowledge. When we hide from these, we place a superficial layer of polite calm over a raging torrent of urgency. The new planet, Xena, is now inviting you to be more real, more brave and more bold.

Thank you Mr. Horoscope. Don’t you know we’re Virgos? We don’t like to look at unseemly things? And I am from the south as well, where nice girls don’t talk about such things, (thank you Uncle Remus) unless the mint juleps have been around twice. Of course all this means that I am probably a roiling kettle of seething secrets that don’t get to see the light day nor hear the sound of chattering voices. Ahh well. Let us hope nothing particularly onerous is about to pop up on my horizon today. It is, after all, Friday and I am in the mood to slide.

All of yesterday’s errands could be handled in roughly the same part of town. L, my dear friend, is a library volunteer. She’s 87 and doesn’t know Richmond well enough to drive there and probably couldn't handle the traffic if she did. We both had appointments with the same doctor - one who used to have office hours down here in T-town. Those were scheduled for mid-morning and after that we slipped deeper into the west end for a stop at The Knitting Basket and lunch on Grove Ave. L is a long time, skillful knitter who doesn’t want any more sweaters or shawls or vests or hats. She knits for charity now, especially making little bags with sample sized shampoos and soaps in them, for our local women’s shelter. But she does have a granddaughter working in New York and she picked up 2 sale balls of something shiny and slinky to make a simple lacy scarf for a 21 year old in a fashion city. I bought a ball of guy colored sock yarn, because BD has only one pair of good socks, which he wears every time they get put back into his sock drawer. Poor orphan husband, like the cobbler’s child, he is the [almost] barefoot one. The guy color was important, because I'd started 2 pair of socks for him in interesting, but not blue yarn and he pursed his mouth over both of them in that shuddering way a man rejects hand made gifts from tender loving hands.

I know better now. It's blue socks for BD from now on.

I had 2 more appointments in the same neighborhood and I dropped L off at the Barnes & Nobel at Libbie & Broad while I finished up my chores. Then I made a quick dash through the store, jotting down titles of books that I think library patrons would like and scooping up the fall copy of Vogue Knitting - with the utterly glorious jacket designed by Annie Modeset on the cover. It’s really a stunning design - with the architectural wizardry I’ve come to expect from her. So far I haven’t tried any of her patterns because they all seem too complicated to me, but I love looking at what she comes up with. This particular issue has lots of other things in it I like too, so it’s well worth the purchase price. I’ve been rather more pleased with VK this year than I had been for a long time. Almost pleased enough to subscribe, but not quite. Besides, there’s something fun about going to a bookstore and coming out with a knitting magazine, even if it does cost twice as much as the subscription price.

In other reading news, I'm till slogging though HP, but I’m near the end, which I have already read anyway. It’s continues to be okay. There are 3 other books stacked by the bed that I really want to read as well as a dozen more littering the flat surfaces of my house. Will there be any reading time this weekend. Probably not - but at least the ankle is improving enough that come Monday I will start spinning up the warm green blend.

La. Even though it’s Friday, and I'd very much like to have it, I just realized I can’t have that kicked back what’s happen’n feeling today. Our computer classes have started back up again and I’ve got to be in town early to meet up with the car pool. The network priest is going to be at the library today too and in the afternoon there’s a director’s meeting. Looks like a day of scattered forces. Best be bold about it and stride bravely into the future. Thank you Xena, warrior princess planet.

posted by Bess | 6:59 AM


I can't wait to hear what yarn stores you went to. Hope you have a good day. Jane

By Blogger jane, at 2:37 PM  

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Thursday, August 04, 2005  

It’s the wee dawn hours here - actually pre-dawn hours. Seems as if this is the 7 hours of sleep month since I seem to pop awake at that point and either roll around wishing it were Saturday instead of Thursday - or just get up. Lying in bed dithering, the word coffeeeeeeeeeeeee floats through my brain and the rest is ambulatory.

Thank you all for the kind words about my ankle. It is healing. It’s at that point where the wrappings are as uncomfortable as the weakness I feel when the ankle is unwrapped. If I didn’t have a stick shift car I would pretty much say it’s well. I will be driving that s-f-car to Richmond today, to take both my face and a dear non-driving friend’s neck to the dermatologist to have Little Things taken care of. Isn’t it fortunate that Richmond has so many yarn shops? Too bad it’s going to be standard August hot for the south. But it’s not like July - when the nights are too durn short to even pretend to cool off the baked to clay-like substance earth. Here it is 5:30 and not the glimmer of dawn anywhere.

August brings with it some of the light of early May. The sun’s angle slants through the emerald of forest in a familiar pattern, reminding you of fresher days before, and of crisper ones up ahead. There is an August scent too - a ripening smell different from July’s green growing fragrance. We discovered our first patch of goldenrod, that harbinger of school, 10 days ago. I had never thought of goldenrod as either a July blossom or an outrider for the troop of school days fast closing in on my summer vacation, but Grandma did. My mother-in-law could still grow sad, in her late 80’s, at the sight of a patch of goldenrod. Since we shared September as a birthday month, I found her September sadness a puzzle. I, who can’t wait for 9/1, to begin thinking about, dreaming about, talking about my birthday, was perfectly willing to take school’s imprisonment and nodding golden blossoms as a pretty mild bitter along with the sweetly delicious better of a day AllAboutMe. But then, I, middle child that I am, probably wasn’t as indulged the rest of the year as she, the last child and only daughter of an extraordinarily elderly, post-civil war Southern Papa, was. The slightest interruption of her blissful summer play probably seemed like a gross imposition.

Still, the sight of the rich golden clusters, bobbing heavily on their slender stems, reminds me now of Grandma and I miss her so much. How I wish we could loll on her porch, cool drinks in hand, and gossip about things. She was particularly fond of LD and we could spend hours praising him and comparing him favorably to his paternal grandfather. She also had a gift for story telling and a turn of the century way of combining words in her rich Tidewater accent that held all of the 19th century in it. Hers was no Hollywood caterwaul that lengthens syllables by stretching their vowels out with breathy grunts. It’s the old Tidewater pronunciation, rich with the memory of 18th century Englishmen staking claims in the El Dorado of tobacco country. I could imagine George Washington speaking this way, or Patrick Henry, crying out for justice and liberty. I don’t believe there are 10 people left with that old Virginia drawl in their voice. BD has it a bit, as when he says fow-ard for forward, and both of us will say cyaar just to be silly and to bring back sweet memories of ancient ladies with black lace up shoes and blue flowered shirtwaist dresses.

There was Carrie Faulkner, who drove some behemoth of green Detroit Steel through town and taught LD how to pronounce Tappahannock. There were the sisters, cousin Betty and Gusta, who’s house was filled with Wright heirlooms, including the most beautiful chenille flowers in a shadow box. They were really the generation before Grandma, so she enjoyed being the young thing around them. Neither drove a car, so Grandma would drive them to the liquor store, after it moved out of town to the shopping center. It was their naughty outing and they relished it.

There was Teddy Acree, who would send you an invitation every summer to come Dancing on the Green in King and Queen, where you were sure to find Klinks Fauntleroy with his steel guitar in the back room singing his signature blues piece, Furniture Man. She was the postmistress at New Town. I first met her on a bicycle trip through the back country from Richmond to Tappahannock, way back in ‘72. She always called BD ‘cousin’, though he said he had no idea how, or even if, they were kin.

There was Helen Warfield, who had been a Ruffin, from the Richmond Ruffin’s and their only daughter. Dr. Warfield had taught in university and was kindly, elegant and gentle. Helen had a bit more lemon in her bloos but was ever gracious and warm to me. She certainly was a match in grace and elegance for her husband and neither of them ever batted an eye when LD would greet them at the door, 2 years old, buck naked, and full of his own elegant manners, to invite them to "come join me on the porch for a drink."

I can remember a host of these women, and in my mind’s eye they are all tall and sturdy and utterly dependable, with a softness wrapped around a core of steel that was prepared to stop any child from stepping across the line of decorum, yet with twinkles in their eyes that spoke of a wealth of stories to tell; but after the gentlemen left. They told them, too, now and then, without malice or cruelty, but with a kind of global understanding of humanity that accepted, and even sometimes laughed at, the foibles of human nature.

Who is going to take their place, I wonder. Can you imagine Roseanne or the Osborns or the folks on Friends, as ladies with scope and a global view? I can’t. And I shall never be comfortable in a slip and stockings in the summertime, though with my ankles, I can see those black lace-up shoes in my future. Still, who could have dreamed that bellbottoms and ponchos would ever ever come back in style. Maybe little berry print shirtwaists have their future too.

Well. Humph. How did I get here? (scroll back up) Oh yeah. Sunlight. August. Goldenrod. Well. The dawn’s here now - it’s more than an hour later and I’ve been sitting here dreaming about days gone by. Not much news about fiber other than the above mentioned yarn stores in Richmond. But there is time for another cup of coffee so come join me, on the green, next to King and Queen.

posted by Bess | 5:42 AM


There is something very sweet about returning from vacation to find one has been missed by someone she's never even met! Hugs for you -- and that **!!!@@@ ankle!

By Blogger Margaret, at 8:40 AM  

Hope the ankle is feeling better & better w/each passing day!

By Blogger Martha, at 9:41 PM  

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005  

Slept late. I'm late. Ankle still hurts enough to make me crabby. Today is Wednesday and we all know what Wednesday means. Harold and the Purple Crayon day, of course. TA.

posted by Bess | 8:01 AM


I've lost your email address, I think - can you send it to me @ Thanks!

By Blogger Catherine, at 7:40 PM  

Ooooh - pretty!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:06 PM  

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005  

Delicious red yarn from last week's spinning
and experimental warm green slub yarn plied on Finn.

posted by Bess | 6:59 PM


Aaargh! I come back from Scenic Alaska to find you have injured yerself!

I am relieved it was a wrench and not a break, and that it is almost better. As for the Ugly Shoes...I wear 'em a lot with everything -- the easier to push DH's wheelchair, m'dear. :-) So put on your party pants (cropped or shorter) and make like you've just had a workout with your PT! ;-)


By Blogger Margaret, at 12:59 PM  

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Well, yes LWLY, I can spin with my right foot but I don’t. I tend to torque my body when I use the right foot to spin, bringing on sciatica, so I pretty much avoid spinning with the right foot unless I’m doing a short draw or plying a true boucle yarn. Then it’s fairly immaterial which foot I use. Alas, the stuff I’m working with demands to be spun with a faux long draw technique. But not to worry - I don’t have to spin. I can always knit! For that matter, I can spin with my spindle.

And I shall do very little of either today because I’m going in to work. The ankle is better - not well - but okay. I have to wear the jogging shoes, to support my foot and to keep from becoming cranky. The ugly shoes may mean I have to find a pair of long pants to wear - something I really hate to do in summer. Eh well. Fashion has it’s power and looking deliberately ridiculous is something I only willingly do if it can be done with style.

I did not finish HP yesterday. I did make progress. I’m past the half way point. It’s cute. It’s not really enough of a story to hold me and if I didn’t work in a library I wouldn’t bother to finish it. But people will want to hear my opinion about it and I have to read it to have one. This isn’t always true. Some books are bad enough that I can talk about my reasons for not reading them at length. Bad books deserve to be sliced to pieces with my razor like intellect and matching tongue. (in cheek, here, dearies) I don’t have a strong enough reaction to HP to toss it across the room, like I did the Da Vinci Code. That was a book that was fun to despise on literary grounds. HP is no stimulate for vituperation. It’s just a pretty good book. So I’ll finish it and share my views with those who ask for them.

I wonder, how many folk hear the movie theme whenever they try to read the book.

I spent a little time (after I hopped about my bedroom on one foot, pushing the vacuum cleaner) thinking about what knitting classes I’d like to teach this fall. I’ve come up with 1 all day workshop, 2 2-hour workshops, a 2 week sock class and the ubiquitous beginner class. Scheduling them will be a challenge. I’ve had several folk ask for an evening beginner class, enough to fill one up I believe. It may be that I shall only do the workshops on Saturdays. I’ll try to hustle along with this scheduling stuff and contact the Parks & Rec gal in time to get posters up and notices in the paper before Labor Day.

And so, I knit a little, read a little, watched a little spinning on the VCR. I also decided to look into having my sister, the commercial artist, transfer my spinning & knitting videos onto DVDs. I don’t really like the DVD format, because it’s non-sequential and flickers and jumps around like lightening. But more and more video info is going DVD and less and less is being produced on cassette. BD can, if he is forced to, learn how to operate a DVD player, but he will never succeed in mastering a switch between one technology and the other. He has already told me does not intend to try. This is not because he is stupid but because the process is needlessly complex and couched in such spurious jargon only a mind still fixated on secret decoder rings could have created it. I don’t blame him. I have the same complaints about some of the software I use at work. I don’t use it enough to remember it, and the switch into it is designed by people whose brains move in serpentine, tortuous pathways and who expect me to follow their circuitous reasoning with ease and a blithe spirit. Or perhaps, they just don’t care if I follow or not. After all. I’m well into geezerdom. Like a dog that talks, 50 plus-ers are worth staring at when they manage to master new technologies, but they’re not someone you would actually listen to. Their complaints about the superfluous complexities of technology are just proof that their brain synapses are no longer firing.

And they are probably right. I don’t know which I miss most - my youthful appearance or my facile mental processes. It matters little, they are both gone. Fortunately, I can still wrap my fingers around ancient technologies. Where is that drop spindle?

posted by Bess | 7:12 AM


OUCH - rest up and enjoy your unexpected day off. Can you learn to treadle with your right foot?

Love you!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:17 AM  

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Monday, August 01, 2005  

Yo Rebecca - don’t you worry - I rested most of Sunday. Oh, I thought about finishing up the kitchen, but it was so much fun to just look at the already cleaned up parts, I never got around to creating more of them. Every time I’d walk through the kitchen I had to open each drawer and sigh, open both lower cabinets and just stare, bemusedly, at tidy, organized, dust free surfaces. Had I been ambitious, I could have cleaned the cabinet under the sink or the one with all the fancy dishes in it. Had I bustled just a tad more, I could have cleared out the corner where all the cookbooks are. Alas. I was far too satisfied with what had been done to prompt myself to do more.

And now it is Monday and there isn’t time.

Add to that the fact that I wrenched my ankle on a walk with BD just as the sun set -Handsome Prince Consort hurried back and got the coach, to transport HisQueen back home - and I really ought to spend the day in bed, with my foot up. Ought to and shall, in fact. Mr. Horoscope may say that today is one in which to seize life - I believe I shall seize Harry Potter instead and finish it up, lying on my bed with the fan pointed directly at me.

Alas. Twisted ankles mean no spinning for me. Boo Hoo Too - since I had just thought of something I wanted to try with this week’s color. BTW, I got 84 yards of pretty red yarn from one bobbin full of singles. Plied it from a center pull ball. Then I waltzed into the den where I rummaged through the bag of W-0-C fibers and chose the warm spring green for this week. Since it wasn’t all that late in the afternoon I experimented around with yarn design.

All this fiber is basically mohair and some slight to moderately coarse wool, carded together with a bunch of bits and cuts and odds and ends of different colors, though all still the same 2 fibers. This means that now and then there are little half inch curls of mohair lock tips or tangles of wool or mohair that guarantee a slub. It seems to me it has been through a high quality electric carder one time, since some of the blending is very well mixed and some is not. The actual spinning experience varies from a relaxed hold on the well blended, where I mostly sit and let the yarn pull out of the bat on its own, to a very active process, like playing serious ping-pong or racquet ball, where my fingers have to be ready to pounce or draft, leap or backspin, vary my treadle, and decide quick quick quick that this is acceptable yarn before it zips onto the bobbin. At these active times, I do a good bit of stopping and re-spinning, breaking off and joining again, but not more than is fun. And the next thing you know, I’m back to the smooth self-spinning stuff - just in time to give me a break.

No matter what I do with this fiber it is going to spin into textured yarn - be it highly textured or only modestly so. The spring green fiber, though, seems extraordinarily well blended and I thought I’d have a go at spinning a thick and thin slub yarn and ply it against a tightly spun smooth fiber. I have some Finn, undyed, but it would do for a sample piece. Making those fat slubs, the sort of horrible things you made when you first picked up wheel or spindle, followed by thin sections that are not over spun, but twisted just tightly enough that when you ply them they will match your smooth worsted spun single in twist and grist is Hard as H**L - but it’s also a deeply rewarding challenge to meet. The thing I was least satisfied with, while spinning the single, was how long the thick bits were and how great a distance between them the fiber tried to stretch out. And thank goodness for that second bit of frustration, for it lingered in my mind so that when I had plied the sample yarn and wet set it I was still obsessing about it. Looking at the finished sample, though, I realized that, for knitting purposes, I really want those slubs far apart. I want to knit a moderately smooth fabric with random slubs popping out on the surface - not an overall bumpy fabric.

Best of all! I realized that this is true for when I add beads to the yarn as well. I don’t want beads all over the place - I want them to pop out here and there on the surface of a somewhat smooth fabric. So! Just the sort of thing to go into the Project Notebook (which I have yet to buy) so that I will look wise and scholarly and as if I take my craft seriously - or else really anal. No, no. I am sure the urge to make a Project Notebook is pure mnemonic. Like writing notes in a lecture, it’s a way of reinforcing the learning process. And maybe it will give me an opportunity to brag. But it will also give me a chance to share and teach and show others what I did and save them some time. Ahh the dual nature of TheQueen.

If I were going to spin today, I'd spin up another slubbed sample, this time with longer stretches of smooth yarn between the slubs. But there shall be none of that today. I treadle with my left foot - this week’s twisted ankle foot - so instead I will knit away on the socks or drop spindle a wee bit of the merino top - both of which I can do in bed. And read.

I am enjoying HP, but I can’t seem to stick with it for long stretches. Perhaps my brain is too scattered these days, or I am too ADD, or ENFP-ish to stick with anything, even an HP novel. There seems to be a humming going on in my brain that makes focusing particularly difficult these days. When I spin, I can let the humming have its will with me - but when I am reading it’s a decided nusicence. Fortunately, HP isn't so riviting I can’t put it down and pick it up after my brain cools.

The important thing is to Rest That Ankle so I can function properly the rest of the week. So. I am off to rest. That ankle, of course. But perhaps I’ll hobble through the kitchen first, and look at Clean Cabinets.

posted by Bess | 8:27 AM