|Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.
I know that it's blasphemy, but ravelry isn't all that exciting to me. I'm in - I was on the wait list for a month I think, but I've been in for several weeks - but I'm not there often. It seems to be mostly for people who want to see all the other versions of what they're working on, or want to do knit-alongs, or that sort of thing. And that's fine for them. But I don't care what total strangers are knitting, so the big plusses for ravelry aren't that thrilling for me. Eh.
I saw some gorgeous forest green sock yarns on the Loopey Ewe last night (including some Claudia Handpaint that were nearly solid colors - nice).
Well - here's where I am standing in line:
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Oh! Lookee what was in my mailbox yesterday!! Isn’t it beautiful?
Thankee thankee thankee, Linda - for not letting me forget - for calling me and packing this up and shipping it out and oooooo. Beautiful!
I’m just about always going to be in the field and forest and earth tones I love, but I’ve been particularly green this year. The absolutely fabulous skirt I bought 2 weeks ago is green - a green on green embroidered cotton puckered at regular intervals down to the hem - difficult to describe and I don’t have a photo that would do it justice. It’s a medium dull green so it’s complicated texture doesn’t beat your eyes up when you look at it. It’s very youthful without being jejune or inappropriate for someone old enough to be the boss. It’s cute but not silly looking. I am a pretty conservative dresser. I don’t have the figure for exotic shapes and besides, I like to look stylish and appropriate, but not flashy. So when I can find something unusual that fits my idea of style, I snap it up.
Well, anyway, who cares about that? I’ve just been buying a lot of green this year and enjoying it a bunch. And this yarn fits in perfectly with my Green Phase. I’m very busy right now working on some commissioned sock designs, but I may take a pause after the lace socks to knit this up.
Dad didn’t answer his phone all weekend. Mama called 17 times, worried about him, but Sister says he’s fine and things are moving forward at a wicked clip up there. My own bout with the blues is fading fast as new days with new duties keep slipping between then and now. In time everything I look back to see will be soft and pretty and joy filled because it’s just so easy to forget about the bad stuff if you keep moving forward. I just hope I can always see the adventure up ahead.
I forgot that I’d scheduled an art show for the local high school artists next week. Yikes! Got to get those babies hung. And TheReunion is now less than 2 weeks away. That means favorite cousins coming and that means, good lord, I better give $heryl a call and see if $he’$ available to come help me clean this pit next Friday. And then my dear friend Lucy comes in the following Monday. I'll pick her up at the airport in - guess. Yeah. Richmond. She only visits once a year. Time will be carved out for her. And R’s daughter wants to visit and bring a friend with her, although BD will entertain her. Oh yeah, and there are 3 doctor visits in Richmond in August - plus the $Guy$ for Dad. That’s another trip to Richmond. Ha! It really is Richmond now though. Think I’ll tease BD about that, but Whew! Where is a bit of a break in here? Hmmm?
So. Here’s my last question of the day. Why can’t I get into Ravelry? All you early birds who joined during the beta testing - do you know? Have they opened it up to the hoi paloi yet? I thought I’d asked to be put on some sort of waiting list but I haven’t heard a thing? I’m beginning to feel like the only girl not invited to the Prom.
posted by Bess | 7:44 AM
Inquiring minds would like to know.
What a lovely expression of understanding! I've been troubled by similar feelings - my parents moved 500 miles when I left for college, and then back about 15 years ago. Neither of those houses was "home".
So glad you've made peace with that house. I am spoiled that my parents still live in the house I grew up in, although part of me wishes they'd move to something smaller and easier to manage, and make decisions about their junk now, so we don't have to. Probably won't happen, though.
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Sunday, July 29, 2007 I never did like that Powhatan County house. It never touched me; not my concept of functionality, nor my esthetic taste, most especially not my sentiments. I remember the mixture of hurt and insult I felt when I read the letter from Mama, telling me they had moved to an apartment complex deep in Chesterfield county, while their new house was being built. I hadn’t even known they were planning to move and here my childhood home was gone. The wonderful house with the balcony in back, the carriage house off the alley, the wide side yard, the basement with floors so warm you could take a nap on them in the winter - gone forever. Truly gone, for the new owners had had to sell off the side yard to pay for the it and someone with the most appallingly vulgar taste had built an utterly hideous cedar shingled 70’s bungalow in a lovely 1920’s Richmond neighborhood, smack on the yard where I used to play. Whenever I happen to drive past it I shudder at the ugliness of it - even now, 30 years later. How could people have so little concept of beauty or even apropriatness?
In addition those magical time-travel-trips to Grandma’s wonderful Washington House, I’d hoped to be able to take William to visit my childhood home at Christmas time, to show him the special ornaments that I’d played with, to walk with him up to my library or my ten-cent-store, to stroll with him across the Nickel Bridge over to Maymont or Dogwood Dell where I’d once been The Spirit Of The Woods in their summer theater program, to let him run up and down the steps of the Carillon. Instead, a visit to Grandmother was an extra 30 minutes of driving through the most banal suburban strip-mall sprawl, to an utterly mundane house that held no memories for me and no stories to tell William.
In time I grew used to the drive, figured out the shortcuts through the city, had enough money to burn up that much gas and enough seniority at work to take off that many days days to spend up there. I’d tell BD I was going to Richmond to see my folks and he’d correct me with exasperated voice, "It’s not Richmond! It’s Powhatan!" But it was Richmond, since I had to go there first to get to my parents’. And I could certainly appreciate the joy they found in country living. I’d sought and found that same pleasure myself. I could admire the few little touches they added to the house; the sun room, the gazebo. Of course, my PTSD dad was a great one to put things of forever and a day and then suddenly make snap decisions when he was backed into a corner and had the fewest options. Under those conditions, his results were always half-hearted halfway efforts. In the 30 years he lived in that house, he never did get around to finishing off the upstairs so, instead of having plenty of bedrooms for his 4 children, 4 in-laws, and 7 grandchildren to stay in, he had a pull-out sofa - one pull-out sofa - in the room he used as an office. You couldn’t even enter that house by the front door. They never built a walkway up to it so everyone just entered through their sloppy, cluttered garage. Dad never was one to put anything away and as he aged it just became easier to ignore the white noise for the eyes that lined the snaky path from garage door to kitchen. In fact, as my parents immobility increased you could see their house shrink; down to the path from bedroom to recliner chair, from recliner chair to refrigerator. The dining room table was 3 inches deep in papers, receipts, empty pill boxes, dog leashes, junk mail, coins and other pocket clutter. Anything more than an arm’s reach from those narrow tracks just grew dustier and dustier with disuse.
Eventually even that narrow path became too much for them; first my mother, who is now in assisted living, then my father, who is ever so slightly more mobile. And so.
And so, that house that I never came to like, even though Mama and Daddy loved it so; that house that always seemed like the rebuke I had earned by growing up and moving away, in the oh-so-natural way of us all; that house that seemed to say "Humph. So you wanted to leave home, did you? Well. Then. I will see to it you’ll never go back." - that home I feared I’d never pry my parents out of, no matter how old or feeble or sickly they became. That house is nobody’s home now. Daddy is in his new apartment. Mama is in hers. There is some cleaning to do this week, but Sister is hiring someone to do that. The contents will be sold next weekend. The repairs, prior to putting the house on the market will begin the week after that. Once the house is sold, I can’t imagine any reason for ever driving down that road again.
There is no sense of triumph about this even though, in every way possible, it is a good thing. There is a slight, dull ache in my heart that I won’t be following a routine I’ve practiced for 30 years. There is a sadness that my parents don’t live together any more. Every permutation of the myth that I could "go home" has evaporated, the way it does for us all, because, in spite of what the quantum physicists tell us, for all practical purposes time only moves in one direction.
This utter knowing that it’s gone, it’s over, acts like some emotional archaeologist’s pick, dredging up memories of how nice it was. My adult relationship with my parents is, has been for 30 years, far nicer than my childhood one. These memories are the only things that could make me nostalgic for the Powhatan house and really, they are the memories of loving my parents, not of loving the place they lived. Eventually I believe just the love will remain and I will forget about the house.
But for now, for a little while more, I will grieve over closing down that house; that ordinary, plain, unwelcoming place where I never could get comfortable. I will weep a little that I could never love that place and will never get the chance to and couldn’t begin to if I were given another chance anyway. I will acknowledge the role it played in fulfilling dreams my parents had and value it for giving them things they’d always wanted. I will - oh my - I had never thought about this before - but I will love that house because it made my parents happy. Not the kind of happiness I would ever want, but the sort of happiness they could feel, they could savor, they could carry in the pockets of their hearts. Ha. Well. Who would have thought it. After 30 years I can finally connect with that crusty nest of a house and thank it for the job it did.
Huh. Who’d a thought? posted by Bess | 7:09 AM
Sending calm and happy moving-day thoughts - and good doctor visit vibes - your way, Bess!
You may not read this until tomorrow, after today is all said and done, but here's hoping that the doctor's visit and the apartment move goes perfectly smoothly, despite this god-awful heat and humidity. I'm running around with relatives all weekend myself -- I imagine we may pass each other on some Richmond road today.
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Saturday, July 28, 2007
SRC is over and done with - with statistics up over this year, though not quite what they were in ‘04. Since we hadn’t done anything special to try to topple that benchmark year’s numbers, I am pleased. We beat the ‘05 and ‘06 numbers and that’s enough for me.
While I am not necessarily one who seeks opportunities to dust my hands and say "That’s one job well done", it doesn’t follow that I don’t enjoy being able to do so. And after today there will be another opportunity to do the same - for we help Dad move into his Independent Senior Living apartment today. There is every opportunity for him to be happy and have fun, but I must remember that in effect he’s losing everything he’s known since the 1950’s. All his old furniture is too big for an apartment. It’ll all get sold next weekend. So he’s moving into strange surroundings and there won’t be any going back. Must be patient and understanding. Must be patient and understanding.
Once the liquidation sale is done there will be money to buy new pretty apartment sized things for both mama and dad. That should help cheer them both up a bit, although it still isn’t the same. I hope hope hope, I plan plan plan, to do this for myself, when I still can, and not when poor LD has to do it for me.
But no matter how Dad feels at the end of today, I know I will be dusting my hands and saying "that’s another job well done."
The sweetest thing happened to me yesterday! LJ from EweKnitKits in Va. Beach called me with the happy news that the Shibui Sock Yarn had come in. I’d asked her to let me know when they got theirs since I didn’t want to scour the net looking for it. Besides, it’s nicer to buy from a friend. And she remembered! She kept on top of it for me, emailed me when it came in and then a week or so later just hunted down my phone number and gave me a call. Now - this is a shop I’ve never visited, only because I haven’t been to VA Beach in ages and it’s 100 miles away. Talk about customer service and making me feel special! So, this is what’s on its way to me via our friendly postman:
I also have to take BD into the doctors today. He still only sees white haze out of the left eye and doesn’t drive except on the little empty road from our house to the post office. He would be useless helping a cranky old man set up housekeeping, so I will park him at Sister’s house for the day. Thank goodness the brothers-in-law like each other. It may be we’ll all go out to eat tonight - or it may be that BD will have had enough of waiting and want to go home. But tomorrow - ahh tomorrow.
posted by Bess | 6:12 AM
Tomorrow I will play with lace socks.
yeah, you definitely deserve a quiet weekend. I will say a prayer for BD.
Oh Bess, I hope all goes well with BD. I'm so behind on blog reading and am just catching up. Many healing thoughts and prayers will be sent your way this weekend.
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Friday, July 27, 2007 Woo Woo! The lace is playing nicely with my needles.
Dad moves into his new apartment tomorrow. (read: I move Dad while Sister moves his furniture into his new apartment tomorrow.)
BD goes for a check-up about his eye tomorrow, too. He still can't see anything through it but faint hazy shapes. I've whispered up a prayer for his recovery and sent if flying.
TheReunion invitations go in the mail in 9 minutes.
The Grand Finale of the Summer Reading Club is at 2 p.m. today.
That's about enough for one stretched gal. posted by Bess | 8:46 AM
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Thursday, July 26, 2007 Just as I thought. HP&OoP does much better as a movie than a book. And the really smarmy crap from Dumb. at the end was edited down to a minimum. The stupid statement that he wanted to "keep HP safe" did not further challenge my intellect or sentiments (or stomach) by adding that he "just wanted Harry to have a normal childhood." Yeah. Right.
But as a transition from cute magic stuff with pet-able creatures to X-Men struggles, with a logical opportunity for Our Favorite Heroes and Heroines to learn how to cast a patronus spell, it was just right and fit neatly into the time frame. The two wicked witches added to the mixture were deliciously evil, although I had always pictured Belatrix as being colder and more stately and a little less like a rock star gone bad. I guess I just think controlled evil more impressive than the p.m.s. type. Snape, the wicked, scares the bejeezus out of me. Pre-teens on emotional steroids bring out the parent.
No knitting was done yesterday, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a photo of my sock design, being offered as the first pattern in Spirit Socks Club Update in the latest newsletter from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. This is the sock I was working on in June - the one you did not get to see. I shipped them off without taking my own photos, so it’s nice to see them in pixels. I am working on 3 more designs for STF and simply loving it; both working with the different sock yarns in J’s glorious colors and the mental challenge of designing. This opportunity came about in the late spring and when I said yes to it, it completely changed my knitting plans for the rest of the summer. But hey. Plans are just possibilities. I (almost) never make plans that can’t be upgraded when better options come along.
Today is the last day of Family Film Night at the Library and tomorrow our Summer Reading Club comes to a close. It hasn’t been too hectic a summer at work so I’m not sure if I’ll feel the letup, but I am sure my staff will. I’ve been having some quiet time these days, weeding the video collection, to make room for more DVD’s. We’re a little more ruthless with them than we are with the audio collection, since many folk still drive cars with just a tape deck in them. But one of these days, all those bulky cassette boxes will follow the bulky video boxes and it’s possible some of those titles will never be seen or heard again. Eh. That is the way of technology. You gain some, but you always lose some too.
This morning I must stuff TheReunion invitations - 100+ of them. On my lunch break I’ll print out the mailing lables and after work I’ll have about an hour of sticker fun with stamps and lables and then I will have fulfilled my obligation for another year. God knows why I always put this off so long. Heck. I could print, stuff, stick and store these things any month of the year and then just pop them in the box come July 1. Well. Maybe one of these days I will.
Okay - guess this means it’s off to Secretarial Dooty for me. Happy Thursday. posted by Bess | 7:53 AM
Ah Bess, you and I know that the movie is just 'research', right?
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007 Today I plan to sneak away from work early and watch the Harry Potter movie. I’ve wracked my brains - I’ve scrabbled through the hours on my calendar. I just can’t find a block of time when I know I can go to the movies and I want to see this one on a big screen. This is the one HP book I didn’t read so I want "Just the Facts, Ma’am," which is all any director is going to have time to cram into 100 or so minutes. While in the past I’ve complained when there wasn’t enough fun magic in the latter films, this time I’ll stay mum. I’m going to have enough trouble with the sulky Harry, the Brave Little Spartan silence among them all, and the utterly smarmy (BH knows what pejorative I’m thinking now) Dumbledore with his weepy creepy speech at the end. But I do want to know the high points of the plot, things I could only surmise when I read Book 6. I’d like to see Nevil grow in importance, since he had been pretty peripheral ever since Book 1. I’d like to see the horcruxes come into focus and I’d like to see how Dumb. looses his hand.
I would also like to skip out of work early today. There’s a 4 o’clock matinee at our little local theater. I’m gonna be there.
Knitting away on a pretty lace sock. I’ve had to rip it out twice because the lace did strange things that weren’t in the pattern - all by its self, I’m sure, since I would never have done it on purpose. In fact, I tried to do it on purpose, because I came to like what it was doing very much - and then it stopped - and I couldn’t duplicate it. Lace is like that, for me. It likes to play these sneaky little tricks on me that stranded colorwork or cables wouldn’t dream of doing. They have way too much respect for my eyesight and mathematical skills.
Lace, otoh, knows it’s slippery and shifty and crafty and beautiful and it knows that it is Mama’s Favorite; that TheQueen loves it best. TheQueen will forgive lace the sort of behavior she’d never permit from a cable. Lace knows that there is a large wooden box in TheQueen’s Chamber full of lengths of beautiful lace that never had to do a durn thing but exist and permit itself to be stroked now and then, or laid against a piece of silk or velvet. Lace knows that it has a hold on TheQueen’s heart that is permanent, that it taps into a secret frilly girly sugary core that is welded to the royal persona, that defines, for TheQueen, her very being.
Lace is beautiful. Lace is special. Lace is just like the spoiled pretty girl you went to elementary school with, the one you forgave all sorts of things because nobody that pretty could have meant to be so mean.
What Lace may not know, though, is that the frilly girly core is made of Damascus Steel and though flexibility is one of its many fine qualities, this is the substance that conquered the world and it is going to conquer lace as well.
So. Ta. I’ll be back tomorrow. posted by Bess | 7:39 AM
Well the RSS sure helps out your regular readers who use feed readers. Otherwise, I would fall far behind in reading you!
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 I have the Statscounter code buried in my blog template somewhere and I can go to their website and see how many people log on, and before RSS feed came about, I could also see the link to the website that directed the visitor to me. This, in turn, led me to some delightful blogs and websites. Sadly, now that it’s RSSly fed to my visitors, I don’t discover any new seekers. I’m glad people still visit, but I can’t visit back in return. The only changing, and unusual places that direct people to TheCastle now are search engines and, my word! You wouldn’t believe the odd searches people type in, nor would you believe the bizarre word connections that link my site to their search. Oh, some are knitting searches since obviously, there’s knitting content here and some are queen searches because my name is Like the Queen’s and some are porn searches because all things on the internet eventually lead to porn. But some are completely off the wall - like the one about Wonder Bread building strong bodies in 12 ways. Certainly I remember those ads. I probably said something about them too - or used the slogan as a bit of flippant description, but don’t you just wonder what that seeker thought when she went looking for bread and ended up on a knitting blog? Can’t you just see her face?
There you have it, though. Obviously nothing much to write about. My long haul into Richmond, yet again, left me thoroughly tired of that place. I’ve been there so many times this summer I can’t imagine ever wanting to go back. And I have to go back. I am thinking 3 more times before the house goes on the market. I’m hoping that is all.
Forgot about all the coming doctor visits.
Okay, please, then. Only once a week from now on, Please universe?
I’m knitting on another commissioned sock. Christmas socks are set aside for a bit - for I really must get this other sock out of the way. There will be a number of them in the next few weeks which will totally engross me, but not be for public consumption ... yet. It’s challenging and it’s fun and there will be new skills under my belt when I am done.
Hmmm. Pretty dull here this morning. Think I’ll go pick up the needles. Happy Tuesday to you. posted by Bess | 7:15 AM
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Sunday, July 22, 2007 Not a Harry Potter Spoiler.
Just a word or two to say I think Rowling wrapped everything up nice and cleverly. Most people will like the ending. She won’t have to write any more HP books but she could if she wanted to. She closed the door, but she didn’t lock it. There were no surprises, no sudden character revelations that shifted your prejudices, and no disappointments, either. She did a good solid job and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
I also stayed up into the wee hours to do so. And I read all day yesterday as well, so I didn’t get a lick of housework done .... no. I did get a lick, and a swipe, but only so as to keep the dust dragons at bay, for they’ve been slashing their tails up above the baseboards and dressers for a week now. Today a real housecleaning must be done or I shall become depressed.
The Dr. gives BD encouragement about his eye, but he’s got to lie about on his right side half the day. We don’t go back to again till next weekend. You just have to love a doctor who has Saturday hours. But the instructions are - No Sailing and No Swimming for 2 weeks. Maybe, just maybe, BD will be cleared for the river in time for TheReunion, but no promises.
Well. That’s the way it is. We couldn’t have gardened this year either. I have seen the drought get worse than it is right now - but it’s just mid-July - plenty of time for it to do so again. We’ve driven through Hanover County (pronounced HHHah nova) enough times this summer to see the truth, and the results, of scattered showers. The grass is green in peoples’ lawns. The corn is tall and straight and just beginning to get that ripened look. There are no yellow poplar leaves, no red black gum leaves and no orange sassafras leaves. They look like July. We look like - well. We look like disaster relief. You can almost hear the 2 inch soy bean plants crunch as the little animals scurry across the fields. So. I am thinking Rain and even Hurricane with minimum winds, say or a long slow northeaster. And seeing the little plants go Ahhhhhh as the ground soaks up wetwetwet. And trees! The trees. Seeing them relax into emerald splendor.
Tomorrow I get together with Sister, Dad, and financial planner. Sister is still trying to find a place for him to move. Dad suddenly doesn’t want to move to the Stony Point location and she’s actually glad about that. But he’s making more and more emotionally charged, franticly foolish decisions. So far, only a few of them have been costly, but we want to see that he doesn’t do too many more dumb things with his money. There’s certainly enough for both Mom and Dad, but that doesn’t mean he won't fritter it all away in a flailing attempt to prove that he can make decisions for himself. We want to get as much of the $ stuff on autopilot as we can.
In the mean time, I have this delicious day ahead, with low humidity and no reason to hop in the car and drive down the road. Hope your Sunday is full of good Sundayish things; strong spirit, love, good food, and good knitting. posted by Bess | 7:14 AM
Glad to hear all the good things that happened yesterday. We just went through cataract surgery (at that very same hospital) with my dad, both eyes, two different surgeries, four visits, etc., etc., so I can relate, (except for the long drives you've had to endure).
I'm so glad all went well, have a good week, Jane
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Friday, July 20, 2007 Yippee! Sock #2 of Christmas pair #1 is as good as done. Surgery was loooooooong yesterday, or rather, waiting around was long, for the doctor told me it took much less time than he’d allowed for. Evidently other patients took longer than planned, and we had arrived earlier than we needed to. Even with a foray into the cutest dress shop and a stop at the Starbucks - both of which were just across the hospital parking lot, I had time to turn the heel, finish the gusset and knit the foot before BD was released. Nothing but the toe to finish up tonight.
But how I wish we had rented a hotel room in Richmond. This repair requires him to keep his nose pointed to the ground or else lie on his right side (6 foot man in Nissan Sentra - no way). We could have stayed somewhere with a/c and a big TV and whiled away the time being indolent. Instead, poor BD had to keep his head down the whole drive home - 2 hours - and will have to go back tomorrow and then come home again - 4 more hours. Poor baby. So. Fingers crossed, this will be our last trip to the retina man. Cataract man is next, but we’ll say eyeball chants so that will be a few more years down the road.
And now? This glorious weekend? Well. Now we have only a house to clean, laundry to do and a Harry Potter novel to read. And if we can’t get any rain, at least we have dry cooler weather for patients to stay in bed and care givers to sink into books. posted by Bess | 7:13 PM
With my "real" name I got Fleur Brocklehurst. But with my online name (fillyjonk) I got Cassandra Durmstrang, which seems much more dramatic and "darker."
Olive Shrivelfigs, reporting for duty! I quite like that....
Your very welcome! I've had to change my name for online for the blog to go with the sock swap so for now just call my "Lily Pettigrew". Good thoughts for BD's surgery and recovery are coming your way . . . I'll wave my wand in your directions ;)
Millicent Trelawney here. I have a full day of errands and picking up that book is one of them!
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]Oh! Suddenly something interesting has cropped up, changing my knitting plans in the nicest way. I am still knitting away on that second Christmas sock, planning to durn near finish it today, in fact. And there is a second pair of Christmas socks that must be knit as swiftly as possible. But in the mail yesterday was a box of sock yarns from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, each yarn asking for its own sock pattern. Yep. Just as I’m getting all fascinated with the many permutations of sock pattern designing, along comes a request for me to do just that very thing. This wasn’t a total surprise - I knew J wanted me to come up with a ‘nother design, but in the box were four different yarns, twisted into colorful nests; each a mouthwatering temptation, each inviting my fingers to curl into its springy wooliness. I’m so excited I want to stay home and knit all day.
Which I can’t, of course, but I can knit all day today, when I am not driving, that is, and I can hustle along on my Christmas projects AND I can also start working on the commissioned designs, because, as a Totally Fractured ENFP, I am happiest when I have several projects going on at the same time. That way, completion can sneak up on me and I’m more likely to avoid Completion Grief by just not finishing a project. I know this is a bizarre attitude, but I also know myself. Neatly stacked, all in a row, everything in its final resting place, that’s one good job well done, is not an ENFP’s preferred state of being. It may be one we most admire, but it’s definitely guaranteed to make me feel Loss, Nostalgia, and Depression. We should always be in harness. We should be in charge of all toddlers. We need work that never ends in order to feel, not just safe, but immortal, for, as long as there is Work To Do, we will always be Necessary.
Er. Ahem. Er. Mmmmm. Yes. Well.
(Look a bird!) (an ENFP joke)
I succumb. Sorry. I just can’t keep a linear approach to the world today. Here is a random cluster of things I am noticing right now.
Which tells me this: You have successfully transfigurated yourself into Fleur Quafflepuncher. This is good. I like being a Fleur and I rather like Quiddich too, so I am satisfied.
Got to admit, this is cute. I am sure there are Harry Potter-things all over the web these days. I haven’t looked for any, but I did stumble across this and I wanted to share. Thanks, M.* Oh C. Oh wicked twin. I think I shall put one of these out in front of Daddy’s house too.
Honestly, they'll publish a book about anything these days.
So. My dear hearts. Off to the city now. Accepting all prayers, wishes, good thoughts and white lights for BD’s successful surgery and speedy recovery. And for those of you who have sent them already, M, R, J, et. al? Fortylevendyhundredthousand hugs of thanks.
Hello, Dear Bess. I'll be keeping you both in my prayers as you go forth for surgery. How lovely to be so companionable in the car with your Sweetie -- knitting, driving, whatever. Enjoy, and travelling mercies.
I have read the Monica Ferris books and found them to be entertaining and enjoyable for when you want light reading. I enjoy her frequent references to whatever needlework she is concentrating on at the time, and like that she had trouble learning some of them. Linda
By 5:05 PM, at
Not the best way to get some guiltfree knitting time, but so good that you have a productive way to pass the time while you wait. All the best to BD for a successful outcome.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007 More surgery. That was the doctor’s news yesterday. Less invasive, less pain, quicker recovery, but stil,l more surgery. So off to the hospital we shall go on Friday. Thank goodness this is a weekend I am not needed at the parents’ since outpatient surgery means you have to be back at the dr’s office at crack o dawn the next morning so he can see how healing is occurring. Whew. But good news really. This could be 1907 and BD would just have gone blind.
Besides, we always enjoy getting in a car and talking to each other. Haven’t run out of things to say yet and we don’t seem to mind repeating ourselves either, when we’re saying kind or loving words. I could wish that I didn’t have to do the driving, but this route is sweet, especially if we remember to leave in time to drive in a poky way instead of edging the speed limit. I’ve knit the heel flap of the second Christmas sock and will turn it this a.m. before I leave for work. Then, on Friday while I wait, I can knit that foot - maybe even challenge myself to get to the toe by the time BD’s out of recovery.
The only serious things on the agenda this weekend are to clean the house and read Harry Potter. Knitting takes second place , or even third, since I have to get the library copy into circulation as fast as possible. I do not want to own a copy but the rest of my staff who want to have ordered theirs so I expect everyone to have her nose buried in the book all weekend long.
And now - a personal note to Marg.
I am so glad you are posting again. What a treat to see the sheepie photo and hear about misty blue and green Scottish heaths. posted by Bess | 7:13 AM
I try to count my blessings whenever I can -- it really does change one's perspective on things.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 More advice from MrHoroscope:
Who controls your destiny? And isn't it time you were introduced to this individual? Don't you have a few questions to ask? Aren't you entitled to some explanations, some apologies and some promises that different priorities will be honoured from now on? And aren't there also, some things you'd like to say a heartfelt thanks for? The funny thing is, you already know the person to whom these remarks ought to be addressed. The one who has all that power is you. Act accordingly today.
The only thing better than getting good advice is taking it. Yesterday I spent my drive in to work counting my blessings, a la Bing Crosby and yesterday turned out just fine. Or at least, I turned out just fine. The day pretty much stayed however it always was going to be. All the change was on my part, but happily, it was positive change and I had a good and productive day - even did a wee bit of sock knitting. I shall do a good deal more today for I have to take BD back to the doctor’s for his eye, which is shadowing up a bit. Positive thoughts of him seeing clearly are welcome.
What a busy week. posted by Bess | 7:01 AM
So sorry for your funk - I'm glad you're leaning on friends to bring you out of it. Congrats on the budget and on finding your dad a place to live. My SIL's mother is also living there now, and it is wonderful. I think you all will be happy you found that place -- rejoice! :-)
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 Are you striding in or shuffling out? Are you about to enjoy a great success or are you engaged in a serious damage limitation exercise? Your confidence is oscillating. Your enthusiasm is dissipating. Matters might improve if a particular person stopped changing their tune. But then, we must ask, how come you feel obliged to dance to it, regardless of what it may be. And while we're asking, what about holding your head high and expecting the best, regardless of what you fear?
Oh Law! Thank you Mr.Horoscope!! This past week was so busy and so good and so productive and yesterday around 4:30, after I’d faxed the draft budgets off to the budget committee members, I tanked. Just slid down the slope of sloth into sluggish sadnessness, both mentally and emotionally. Even the truly good news that, in one foray, my utterly magnificent Sister found a senior condominium place Dad LOVED! and he wants to move NOWNOWNOW!
Once started into the slough of despond, it was easy to hit bottom fast. I realize I must not look at any more old photos for a while. I’m creating futures out of pasts that are gone forever. I’m getting blue when I ought to be content. Heck. I actually got a freakin’ budget done - one that makes sense and might actually work this coming year. I ought to have been jumping up and down with glee! Instead, I drove home, mentally listing every reason for being sad, even the little ones tucked into corners of my psyche. I dragged through the evening right on the edge of crankiness or weeping and I woke up this morning gloomy and blue.
And whatever for? Humph. Seems to me an attitude like that is bound to attract every bad driver, every rotten patron, every technological glitch hovering out there looking for a soft spot to land. So. Again. Thank you MrHoroscope. I don’t have to dance to anybody’s tune and what the heck. I think I’ll go expect something really good. Something like ... email from friends! Yes. Letters from all my dear ones who haven’t written all summer. Yes yes! I am going to look forward to hearing from people I think might not like me any more (shades of Sally Fields). :D
Keep your head up too, ya here? posted by Bess | 7:06 AM
Thanks for the tip about liquor store boxes -- good to know. And there's an ABC store just up the road a bit from me....
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Monday, July 16, 2007
More of that stuff.
Here is another 80/20 tip from your librarian. 80% of the time, the best box to pack things into will come from your local ABC or Package or Liquor store. Those places always have lots of boxes. They are sturdy enough to hold 6 or 8 full glass bottles of whiskey, or your own heavy personal items, but small enough that, when they are full, you can still pick them up. Unlike hefty produce boxes, they never have nasty organic matter rotting in the corners. Unlike lightweight hefty appliance boxes, they won't tempt you into creating Lazy Man's Loads - too big to move without dropping. Obviously sometimes you must pack things up in special boxes designed for their intended contents - that’s the 20 part of the 80/20 rule of packing. The rest of the time, depend upon Jack Daniels or Jim Beam or Jose Cuervo to help you out.
There are 15 of those boxes on my back porch right now, the last, but one, of the things I intend to take from my parents’ house. Most of them are full of letters, genealogies, or photographs. There are some few sketchbooks and a very small stack of Mama’s watercolors. My job, as family librarian, is to sort through all this, toss the trash, make copies of whatever should be shared by all and divvy up the rest to be shipped to the pertinent sibling or niece or nephew.
We finished up the house this weekend. It wasn’t nearly so hard on Dad to have us pawing through his personal effects as it was last week. With Dad you never can tell what will upset him and what won’t - so it has always been, which made growing up in that house such a challenge - but this time we had the inspiration to bring him drawers and file boxes that we’d de-junked about half way and let him finish off the jobs. Note to self: Keep Dad in the loop with opportunities to be useful.
Since we didn’t have to sort the things that are going to be sold (yeah estate liquidators!) we got through the whole house. With the exception of pulling together a small apartment’s worth of kitchen equipment for a man who doesn’t cook, packing up his clothes and, in the (very possible) event he hasn’t chosen a place to move to by sale date, shoving all his personal possessions into one room, we are donedonedone with the house. Sister is still sorting out tools in the barn, but the loft has been emptied and sister already had the tack room organized and ready to mark as Off Limits the day of the sale. LD has promised to go up next weekend and lend a hand, which will be needed outdoors doing the sort of work I absolutely hate to do. But there - I will read that box of letters and make sure they find appropriate resting places. We each of us bring our gifts to the table.
But just so you won’t get the wrong idea, the one about how nice it is for me to be dealing with a normal family and people doing sensible, even logical things, I offer this proof that I am still visiting bizarre-ville. Yesterday Dad told me that his painter found a home for his mother that costs a thousand dollars a month less than "that place your mother’s in". So Dad is planning (in the midst of all this sales prep) to move mother there and stay put on his rural acres. Or not, of course, because it really all depends on how lonely he gets during the week, with no daughters bustling around doing stuff for him. And Sister had the good sense to tell him to call that newly discovered home and ask them for their base price and level of care costs, neatly putting it in his lap. She has enough to do as it is.
And so. Life goes on. This is my crunch week of the summer, with a library board meeting, a new budget to prepare, TheReunion invitations to get out and ... hmmm. Oh. This white fur on my red rugs? Those thick grey rolls of spider web/dog hair/dust fringing cabinets and peeping out from beneath the bed? The Mount Everest of laundry in the bathroom? I think I’m going to have to get help. Some long time ago I had to bid farewell to the More$butMarvelous Sheryl, who’s 2007 prices stepped beyond my personal bankruptcy line. The housecleaning burden fell back upon my hands, causing only minor dismay. The truth is, I was in the mood to get to know my house again, the way only the person who cleans a house gets to know it. I’m still not ready to scrounge up the $ to ask the +$bMS back on a regular basis, but I think, with all that’s on my plate this summer, I’d like to have her in that weekend before TheReunion, to help me make this place fit for non-residents.
Knitting? Christmas Socks? Oh yes. Well. I had to rip the second sock I was working on. Cast on and got about 3 inches of the leg done. It’s just a blue ribbed man’s sock. Not worth a photo. And speaking of photos - maybe I can get through a box of them right now.
Ta. Happy Monday! posted by Bess | 6:41 AM
Since I live just two blocks from the neighborhood you describe, it's fun to read about what it was like for you growing up there. And since we both went to the same high school, it's fun to imagine you there, even if you were sad and wore black that fateful day.
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Thursday, July 12, 2007
What is probably the first of many posts about life's passages.
I was almost grown when Daddy finally bought it and it stood in the foyer of our nice 4 square house on Westover Hills Blvd., just up from the river in Southside Richmond. When I think of home, that’s the house I think of, even though I was 11 when we moved there. The other places we lived were such obviously temporary stops on my father’s economic climb. They were starter houses and movin’on up houses, and they were in the county suburbs. This was a real city house within walking distance of everything you could want: school, library, grocery store, movie theater, dry cleaners, even a ten cent store with penny candy sold in bins and sewing notions, Red Heart yarn, lawn handkerchiefs, china bibelots, and even a tiny little hardware section. This was where you could take your doll and help her try on new clothes! There was a Standard Drugstore that had a monkey living in a big cage down in the basement floor. There was also a Rexal Drugstore owned by Mr. Cox, who was our next door neighbor but one. They had a soda fountain and sometimes I’d go there on the way home from school to buy milkshakes. The back of the school was really a city park with tennis courts and I took tennis lessons there one summer, till my mama found a way to kibosh that. She was very anti-exercise and her poor sad body is the result of that life long hatred of motion. They also held fireworks displays on Halloween night and 4th of July.
I learned to drive in that house. I learned to type on an old Royal typewriter in that house. I learned about budgets and checkbooks and interest rates from my dad in that house. I fell in love while living in that house, and wept my broken heart into my pillow there as well. And went to school wearing mourning black the day after my high school boyfriend broke up with me.
That house was made for decorating at holiday time. It had a long wide staircase with newel post at the base. It had a wide foyer with a jeweled oriental rug spread across its floors. We always had gloriously pretty Christmas trees, for the ceilings were high and the rooms were spacious. And one Christmas, just before I moved away, Daddy bought a lovely Grandfather Clock. It was a slick dark brown wood with a little ornamental fence around the top, behind which they kept the key. The clock face was neither too elaborate nor plain. The moon phases marched across its forehead and there were pretty scrolls etched into its cheeks, but it wasn’t gaudy. Its melody was the Westminster Chimes and it sang "O Lord our God/Be Thou our guide/That by thy help/No foot may slide." It chimed the quarter hours and bonged out the hour 24 times a day. It required winding once a week - three different weights had to be lifted. It’s only worked this past year if I was visiting, for neither parent is strong enough, or even tall enough any more, to reach the key on its ledge.
I'm Massachusetts, I think because I said I admired Ivy League institutions. I don't admire them THAT much....
Whew! What kind of quiz is this anyway? I am "The Virgin Islands".
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007 Okay loves, I found this on the blog KnitsWithCats and had to give it a try. It's absurdly random, so don't take the results personally. Hope it gives you a chuckle.
And Eurika - the library has a jury-rigged high speed connection. Our website is down but people wanting to use the internet can do so again.
I am feeling like moxie superior champion conqueror library director tonight.
posted by Bess |
What I like about the BW books is the surprise factor. It's so much fun to see how the stitches look when they're converted to real yarn and in color! Especially the lace.
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]The electronics gods obviously have something different in mind for me than ordinary EZ Livin'. Dial up, which we all know sucks big time, is even more wretchedly slow this morning than ordinarily so. It’s been
Happily, we heard on Monday’s visit "YES. You can sail and swim now" so guess what happened Tuesday afternoon. Yep. A crasher of monumental electrical force. Blown up out of who knows where, right when BD got off shore. Power outages, trees down and half an inch of rain. Even the 100% failure of the library’s itnernet connection. Let us hope the router suffered Death by Weather and the insurance will buy us a new one. At least the internal network is doing just fine - so real library activity can continue. We were in the dusk for about 90 minutes, smack during the Pirate Stories and Crafts hour - and just before it ended the power came back on. "Turn the lights off!" was the cry from the 14 or so brave souls who sloshed through the rain to make paper pirate ships (albeit, with some sporting pink glitter hearts)
And the upshot of all the storm and dang is that I will now beg my network priests to see if we can streamline the setup a bit. We have a wireless modem plugged into a switch that goes into the router that goes into another switch. All of them are on a rack OrganizedByGuys - which means I have to stand on a kick-stool to get at them and all of them face the wall, so plugging in and plugging out must be done blind. Every network outlet in the building is hot - even though we have only 6 public access and 5 staff computers. We only need 11 wires coming out of the switch into pipe in the wall. Instead we have a medusa of snaky wires that turns my heart to stone every time I have to go work on things. I am the front line operator - I can do minimal things like powering down and booting up different components. I can even fake it with the jargon when I’m talking to the uninitiated. But if the system really needs to work, I have to get in my subcontractor electronic network guru priests. And anybody who’s ever tried to get a plumber can multiply that by 1K and understand what it’s like for a tee-tiny little library to function in the digital age.
And it is also testimony to how really good these computer networks are - because we don’t go down that often, nor do we stay down long. It’s just that - when we are down, we’re really down. Patron visits plummet, circulation tanks, and our ability to impress people with our lightening like answers to their complex questions slows down to a page turning crawl. Ahh the digital age. Instant answers to your slightest query. Now you can Know - Instantly. Except when the power goes out. Reminds me of how glad I am that in April I bought the book version of the Encyclopedia Americana as well as the on-line subscription.
So. Knitting Blog? Uhhhh yeah. Hmm. What’s knew? Oh. Yes. I succumbed. I bought the Vogue Knitting book of Knit and Purl stitches. I know, I know. I own 3 of the Barbara Walkers and the library has all 4 of them. Really, what is it? 2,000 stitches in the BW’s? . And I hear the Harmony guides to stitches are being reissued within the next 6 months. Paper back editions, under $20. Still and all, I have been wanting more, and different, knit and purl stitches. Or maybe I’ve just wanted prettier photographs. I’ve been having the most creative thoughts about sock designs that are both interesting and beautiful, with stitch patterns that can be memorized quickly so the knitter doesn’t have to carry the pattern around with her. I know there are plenty of such stitch patterns in the BW’s, but sometimes, as I flip through the pages, those dingy grey photographs leave my heart flat. I can wrestle with my intellect, read the instructions, analyze the stitch sequences and figure out if something would work in a sock, but if my emotions don’t kick in, I don’t really trust my brain. Or if I do, I’ll still be missing that "good feeling" that true E’s live, and judge by. I just won’t enjoy the deciding or the doing as much, and for goodness sake, when it comes to knitting, or life in general, for that matter, why not go for maximum enjoyment?
I am sure that one reason I like the Nicki Epstein books so much is that her photographs are so clear, so precise, so big - and in color. I could wish that both she and the Vogue editors had put charts in along with their written instructions, but they leave lots of white space around their designs. I can always draw in my own chart. And so, even though the tomb cost almost $30 and even though I could have ordered it on-line for less, when I was in the city last week I plunked down the $ and walked out smiling. I knew it was going to be a tough weekend. A little pre-house-emptying gift is a good thing. I’m still smiling over my purchase and I shared it with the Tuesday Night knitters last night. They all agree - it’s a fine addition, even if there are some overlaps. And it was obvious that it was the beautiful visual presentation that was giving them all that pleasure, not the wide variety of content.
So. If one can’t judge a book by its cover, (Though I sometimes disagree) for sure one can judge a stitch book by it’s pictures. Even if I were to never knit any of those stitches, the book has fulfilled its mission by giving me delicious visual pleasure, stimulating my imagination and providing me with inspiration to share with friends. Not bad for $30, hmmm?
With my internet issues, (Hotmail won’t load, Blogger won’t let me post comments, high speed internet down at the library.... )I’m pretty much unable to make personal contact with my dear friends, but know I’m thinking of you often. posted by Bess | 7:20 AM
Sweet Bess, we could probably trade places in our parental-familial worlds and be able to step right in without missing a beat. I'm happy for you that Action is being taken and Decisions are being made!
For the longest time I've been wanting my parents to Take Charge of their old age and clear out their house so that we won't have to do it when That Time Comes. But I had a revelation a few weeks ago, during my nephew's graduation when my mom was so hard to corral, and it was this: she must live out her (healthy) days in their house, because she would never be able to adjust to new surroundings -- she'd be perpetually wandering off and getting lost. She must stay in familiar surroundings for as long as she is healthy, awake and aware. That revelation eased one burden I'd been carrying.
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Sunday, July 08, 2007 I’m back from my parents’, not nearly as exhausted as I was when I got in last night, and much more confident that we can get this done - and a wee bit shocked at how fast it will all happen. Sister and I began the great clean-up of my Dad’s house. Sister has had an estate liquidator in and he helped her draw up a plan. It’s an extraordinarily rapid plan too, with an estate sale date set for the last Saturday in July. All personal stuff Must Be Sorted and we got the garage done as well as Dad’s office and clothing. I have to be at home today but I’ll be going back next weekend for both S&S. That’s when it is supposed to be a little cooler (please weather gods?) and we will hit the attic - the other place where there are a lot of personal things. LD has promised to go back with me the next weekend.
Poor Dad is watching his footprint grow small and he’s scared and angry and depressed. If you try to get him to talk about it he growls and says he doesn’t care or growls and says we’re taking away his life and he won’t have it! He’ll make his own decisions (inert ones, those decisions of his). My responsible sister is taking the brunt of this because A. She’s brisk and responsible, and B. She’s the one who is actually there making these decisions. My role is to make mmmmmmmm mmmmmm shhhhhhh shhhhhhh soothing noises and to back up my sister in a soft gentle voice. And to watch closely, then slip in very soft little stilettos of good sense, coupled with a request for a decision, the moment I see his native intelligence kick in. In transactional therapy language: As long as he’s cathecting either child or adaptive child I play the role of parent, but the moment his adult steps up to the microphone, I switch into adult mode and speak to him like a peer. It frequently works! But oh god, having to pay that much attention to someone’s complicated psyche is harder than cleaning out 10 garages!
In a month he will have about 6 pieces of furniture, all his clothes, his personal files, a TV and the video collection Band of Brothers. And then his house gets repaired and goes on the market. And then, if he hasn't done so yet, he’s going to have to decide what sort of apartment he’d be willing to move into. And I keep thinking of my darling friend HL, who moved into assisted living with his wife, who’d gone bonkers with senility and over-medication, and one day just went back to his old house and blew his brains out. Because don’t you believe it when folks say suicide is not an answer. It certainly is one. Not very pleasant for the folks left to clean up, but it sure as hell is an answer.
Well. These are the weird tricks your brain can play on you as you deal with Hard Decisions. Mostly I tell those Dark Side thoughts to go back where they came from. Mostly I’m really fine. Confident. Even happy. Last week it just hit me that all I have to do is move forward and we’re gonna get wherever it is we are gonna get to. What’s the Next Best Step. That’s all we have to do - take it. And I really do have deep confidence that I will - that we will. After all, every family - as I told Dad on Saturday - every person has to do this part too, if he bothers to get born. It’s just our turn.
I could write an absolutely ridiculous rant-like post about this End-0-Life stuff, but I wonder if it would just add to the bonfire of emotions that hover about during a time like this. And I don’t want to be discourteous to my parents either - even if no one who knows them would ever read it. Humor is a great healer, but I’ll save my comedy routine for verbal, not written, delivery. Next time you see me face2face, ask me about it. I’ll have you aching with laughter in 3 minutes.
Got a little Christmas sock knitting done while I was up there and I went ahead and bought the summer issue of Vogue Knitting. I’d looked at it before but honestly summer knitting mags almost never do it for me. But then I looked again at that little knitted dress with the cute sleeves and thought - If I really did get serious about WW and the gym, and got that moxie figure back and if I put long sleeves in that dress - it would be one knock out of a winter outfit.
Stay cool today. I shall be dining with Lord H from Essex Co., UK, on the banks of the Rappahannock, dressed up as Wife of Important Smart Guy. La de da! posted by Bess | 8:35 AM
I have a little corner of my mind reserved just for good thoughts about you, Bess. As for the rest of my mind? Well, let's just say that disarray is a state I'm familiar with!
If I'm on your list of people you feel you owe letters, please feel no obligation in that regard.
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Friday, July 06, 2007
Been feelin’ a little under the weather this week and now that I’m sort of back on my feet I’m off to do daughter duty as we begin the process of readying Dad’s house for sale. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get to a computer (that’s faster than continental drift. I’ve been waiting to log onto Hotmail for 30 minutes.) before Sunday - or Monday - or even Tuesday.
There is a ThingsToDo list a mile and a half long, but for some reason, I’m not particularly daunted by it. Some of it is work related, like getting a budget ready for the July board meeting. Some of it is family related, because, not only is Dad at the top of the Family list, but there is The Reunion coming up and yrs. trly. is in charge of the invitations. Some of it is health related and some involves dressing up to be Important Wife of Smart History Guy. Oh, yeah. And the Summer Reading Club, though that’s being most capably handled by my very good staff.
Perhaps my apparent equilibrious state is because I am just numb about it or I don’t believe it’s going to be as twisty-windey a path to get from here to peace as the milestones along said path would indicate. Who knows. It will get done. Or it won’t. For sure, September will come and I’ll be officially a Sr. Cit. and can begin asking for discounts. ;>
Those of you to whom I owe letters, know I will be in touch when the dust settles. Know I am loving you and thinking of you and being so warm and glad that you are my friends. And we can all be glad to know that Christmas socks are being knit, even as you read this. (Er, that is, if you read this in an hour or so.)posted by Bess | 7:26 AM
Happy 4th, Dear Bess! And yes, the knitting basket is definitely cute. :-) As for the photos...you have me both drooling over your collection of yarn/projects, and feeling prodded to (a) work on my own WIPs and (b) update my blog with photos!
By 10:26 AM, at
If you have to travel that far to get to an Outback, I certainly hope you ordered the filet! I so know what you mean about the fitted sweaters. Girlchild has been very successful at reshaping her body at the gym, she has gone from very pretty mortal being to bordering on supernaturally perfect. I have been moderately successful, I feel great and look better, but we've decided that July will be the Big Push Month to Git 'Er Done. I'm thinking of starting a tank, since it will be warm here through October, and right now the Plan is that the house goes on the market in November. And it's kind of inspiring to think of making a small tank and racing to fit into it. ;-)
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007 Thank you for the compliments on the knitting basket. It is the cutest thing, isn’t it? My friend, who runs the little shop where I bought the peacock vase, sold them, oh my, 2 years ago. I’d post their website, but they don’t have one.
Tappahannock is a little town with some great shopping in it. There are 2 whimsical, but different, little gift shops and 3 antique shops all within a 2 block walk and another antique shop and a splendid little coffee place just a few blocks further. Of course, as is the case with one-off shops, if you see something you like, you’d best get it, for it might not be there the next time you look. It helps, though, when your friend, who knows you and your taste, is at the trade shows, because you can count on her coming home with something special she picked out just for you. I know that when I’m selecting books for the library, I frequently have specific patrons in mind and if I read about something I think A or B would love, I’ll put it on the order. And that library with the personal touch and the fantastic knitting and pretty durn good all ‘round craft section is just another 2 blocks away from all that shopping pleasure!
As for the contents of that basket, at the bottom, and taking up a good third of the space is this almost completed sweater.
Yep. Begun when I was a good deal slimmer and quite figure hugging, I have let it languish mostly because - who wants to knit on a sweater she can’t wear? It’s of Brown Sheep handpaint yarn, a mohair/wool blend that is springy and soft and surprisingly un-itchy, though I must admit that I am low to moderate on a sensitivity scale. It’s knit in a deep brioche stitch and very stretchy. Thus, the need to have very few lumps beneath the sweater, for it was ment to cling. It was also knit in pieces because I thought (and still do think) I need(ed) practice sewing pieces together. Especially putting in set-in sleeves. The body is done - sorry about the sideways picture - forgot to rotate it and can’t now. Two sleeves have been begun. There are no size 7 needles in the basket so evidently I needed them for OtherThings. I swear, when I die, somebody will excavate about 200 lbs of knitting needles and get the (wrong) impression that I was a commercial knitter.
Just looking at this sweater, and the image if me at the right weight wearing this sweater, gives me a little thrill. Maybe I ought to hang it on the refrigerator to remind me that I’m supposed to be following the WW regimen.
There was also this little ball of Jade Sapphire yarn,
silk and something wickedly luxurious, maybe cashmere or merino and silk or something. I forget and the other yarns are buried in my stash buckets. But I am sure there is a little silk in it because you can see the two spots where the dye didn’t take and that, my dears, is a sign of silk stubbornness. It really should be a shawl - maybe one of those knit half the yarn in one direction and the other half in the opposite. Hmmm. thoughts.
At the very bottom (oh lawsee - I just had the word image of "In the sheep’s bowels." Er. Sorry. Please laugh.) was this,
a gift from K, who brought it back from the Emerald Isle oh law, years ago. I simply love the idea of using a handkerchief, but I always imagine ruining it and so it sits, souvenir-like, it its little green box with its little foil shamrock on it, proudly proclaiming that it is Irish linen.
There were a few odds and ends of yarn leftovers in the basket, but I took them out. Everything in the basket is intended to be knit up - much of it, this summer, for, now that it’s July, it’s Christmas Sock knitting time. In fact, today I shall finish up that blue open toe sock and cast on it’s mate. I will also rip out the toe of the manly colored Regia sock I’ve been knitting for BD and make it just a tee tiny bit longer. I love it when I’m at the toes, because things go so swiftly that completion is a real option. And so, let us proclaim the goal for today shall be "both boys’ second socks on needles by bedtime."
Although it’s a summertime holiday, we can’t swim and we can’t go out in the boat because of BD’s (rapidly healing) eye. But we can eat. We are going to the Outback Steakhouse because the only time ever, during the whole year, you can get in without a one hour wait is on the 4th of July. Wickdly wasteful silliness, since we have to drive 100 miles to get to the nearest chain store steak house, but, then again - that’s 2 hours of knitting time.
But for the rest of you picknickers and firecrackers and otherwise outdoors playful types, Happy 4th.
posted by Bess | 5:01 PM
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]posted by Bess | 5:01 PM
Oh where did you get your knitting basket? That's too cute!
Well, you know that blue-green Trekking sock is my favorite, (of course), although the lavender with the lace cuff is a close second. What yarn did you use for the lace cuff?
That is the cutest knitting basket ever! I could never own such a thing, that would totally arouse the Terrier Prey Instinct. Murphy would have to attack it, and then I'm not sure if he'd want to kill it or marry it.
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]Ahh. Amie - I’m so glad someone heard my voice and could laugh with me. I’m particularly glad it was you. I do feel a little guilty about the photo tease, though it was unintentional. Time was the enemy yesterday morning. But I got home early enough yesterday evening to sit down with my knitting basket
and the camera for an exploratory journey inside, to find out what is waiting patiently for my tender ministrations.
First the yarns. This is some sock yarn from Holly Springs Homespun in Powhatan County. It’s a very heavy yarn and they have their own pattern for it, which I didn’t buy. It’s called something like Spring Bouquet and I plan to make it into some winter weight socks, using a basket weave stitch on the cuff but a plain foot.
Here is another of their yarns, a merino silk blend -
I am sure it is the same stuff J uses. I knit socks for the Spirit Trail booth from this luxury yarn. I’m not sure how strong it will be, it ought to be plenty sturdy, but then I am not hard on socks. I’ll make socks for myself out of these skeins.
This is the leftover ball of the same yarn, dyed by J for her Spirit Trail Fiberworks.
I just realized it ought to be a baby’s hat and I’ll knit it up for her in time for the Fall Fiber Festival.
And here, in ascending order of completion, is the reason why one can never own enough tools like these.
All of the following are languishing in their present state because I’ve ripped the needles out of them for Other Projects.
I once belonged to a very inexpensive sock club - commercial yarn plus a pattern - for $15 a shipment. When the woman who sponsored this club joined up with the folk who bought out Patternworks the club ended, but I have been feasting off the yarns from that club for a long time. It was lots of fun to get a little surprise each month without having to shell out big bucks - heck, without having to do anything at all except pay homage to Visa. Here is one of the yarns that have yet to be knit up into anything:
Here is the toe of a toe-up sock made of beautiful yarn I got for my birthday last year.
In the midst of my yarn diet, darling L sent me a care package and this yarn will be knit up into a highly textured sock, probably something out of Sensational Socks book 1.
Here is the black Regia Silk Cuff that will one day be the foundation of my D’Artagnan Socks.
Here we have a nice 60 stitch cuff in Trekking - not sure who this will go to or if I shan’t rip it out and use it for something else. I am sure this started out life as a Sock for BD. Can’t tell you why it aborted the way it did. Something better must have come along.
Here we have a foot with no cuff and a cuff with no foot.
The footless cuff is another Sock Club offering. It is the only one I tried to knit into the pattern that came with the yarn. The stitch is very interesting, but it’s about a 30 row repeat and if I remember correctly, it was uncharted. I got so tired of reading the directions I set it down and then, alas, lost the pattern. The cuffless foot is a Lorna’s Laces yarn that started out life as a scarf. It’s my first toe-up effort and it’s really not very good. I believe it deserves to be ripped out and knit again. It’s way too pretty a yarn to be badly knit. It just might become a Christmas Sock.
Next is a sport weight man’s sock that needs only have the toe grafted - and you see the Gourmet Yarn Bra beside it, that holds the rest of the yarn.
There is no excuse for not finishing this pair - they can be knit on size 3’s.
Here is a completed, but mateless lavender lace sock that really must have its mate knit. I have the yarn for it - Brown Sheep Wildfoote - picked up at the yarn store in Fredericksburg. The horseshoe lace pattern is from a BW book and looking at this sock I think it, too, might become a Christmas Gift. It’s very pretty, isn’t it?
Lastly - here is a completed pair of socks, knit from gorgeous Spirit Trail yarn, that started out life destined to be mine, but when my mother saw them as I knit beside her hospital bed last October, she asked for them and I gladly gave them to her. Alas. They are too small for her diabetic feet. She ended up with some very brightly colored Interlacement Toasty Toes socks so she is happy, and these can be ripped out at the toe and re-knit a bit to fit me.
Tomorrow we discover what lies at the bottom of that sheepy basket. posted by Bess | 12:31 PM
Weird, commenting on my own blog, but I've added a little more to the book reviews in the sidebar.
Just stopping by to say hi...been having problems with my old ISP so my blog has moved. (dissipatedmind.blogspot.com) I can't wait to see your sock yarns! I'm trying desperately to get motivated to finish a pair for myself and start a pair for the LYM's Christmas pile.
By 10:45 AM, at
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Monday, July 02, 2007 Yikes! No photos. I just couldn't get them taken this a.m. But I've updated all my literary sidebar stuff. Promise. Photos sometime on Tuesday. posted by Bess | 1:57 PM
You, tease -- offering us photos and then withholding them! A pox upon ye! ;-)
yes, dear, definitely laughing with you! LOL
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]Yesterday, as I puttered around the house, all sorts of life’s oddities and absurdities, its contradictions and its surprises, flitted through my mind, each one of them a worthy topic for a blog post, or even just a meander down the path to conclusion. Alas, creature of habit that I am, I never stopped to write any of those quirky thoughts down, not even any little mnemonic notes, and so I am left this morning with nothing to write about beyond a catalog, with photos, of yarns I plan to knit into socks, which I offer forthwith.
Hmmm. I am listening to Recorded Books’ History of the English Language these days. I fell back on their trusted lecture series after I’d struck out 3 times with assorted novels on tape. I tried a Janet Evonovich - an extraordinarily popular author I have yet to read - but my musician’s ear nearly inverted after listening to an assumed New Jersey working class accent for half an hour. I gave James Patterson a fling - only to discover that listening to a sex/love scene is ... utterly repulsive. The sighs of a lover either have to come from someone I love, or have to be diluted by engaging my eyes with very handsome movie actors, which even then might not be enough to ease the sensation of being a Peeping Tom. Good sex scenes belong between the covers, either of my bed or a book. Then I can make the sights and sounds exactly to suit my taste - at which time, if it is well written, one can be thoroughly entertained. I tried a novel called The Thirteenth Tale, but the reader’s voice hit right at a decibel level where my own hearing is weak - I couldn’t hear anything unless I cranked up the volume as loud as your average grocery store parking lot boom blasting youth’s - and even though I suspect the book might be quite good, no novel is worth loosing my hearing over.
And so I returned to my faithful Modern Scholar Series, which has almost never disappointed me, but instead, has beguiled, entertained and informed me in 30 minute increments for several years now. And the title that grabbed my attention was the above mentioned History of English. And if you aren’t laughing at the absurdity of my claim that I have nothing to say today, I hope you will be tickled by this bit-0-info about this particular series. The professor (alas, I don’t remember his name) spends 15 minutes discussing the theory that; though there can be a finite, even if enormously large, number of words, they can be arranged into an infinite number of sentences. Since this is completely unlike the logic of math, he claims it took him many years to reconcile himself to this truth, and so to help us leap over this particular grammatical paradigm, he gives, as an example, an Earnest Hemmingway sentence that contains several hundred words. He shows you how it can be made longer by saying "Martha told me that ..." + sentence, which can be further extended by saying "After tea on Monday, Martha told me..." + sentence. So, you see, one can do that infinitely, thus the theory is proved - at least to the professor and to me.
But what really struck me was how very long Hemmingway’s sentence was - and how quickly I lost the thread he was trying to give me, among the tangle of loose ends and digressions which formed, not just a haze about it, but perhaps, one might say, even linguistic pills! And so. And so I am really trying to write long sentences here just to see if I can keep hold of my own attention and, one hopes, yours too. I believe, the longest sentence so far is 64 words at the end of paragraph two, but my favorite is the second sentence in my opening paragraph.
And if you are still reading this, I do hope you are laughing your head off at me, or at least chuckling and saying to yourself, "Yes. Language is absurd, but not quite so absurd as the people who use it." By the way, I also like puns, and do not at all think they are low humor. As for those photos - well - I’ll post them later today, where the computers aren’t 20 years old. posted by Bess | 8:16 AM
It's so cool here this morning that I am wearing a sweater. I predict that at the end of the day we will still have smiles on our faces!
A perfect description of today's welcome weather. :-) Glad your trip to Rivah City was fruitful. Tidying up family business AND getting good needles and good sock yarn -- success all around. :-)
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Sunday, July 01, 2007
Ahh, my peacock blue loving friends. I didn’t make myself clear. That vase is already mine. Yes yes yes. It stands in the place of honor - where my framed StashBusting vow once stood - on top of the bookshelves in my office at work. It would clash horribly with my brick and green ... Colonial Williamsburg brick and green and cream house. It is for the studio, which is going to be different in both color and ambiance - an oasis, a journey into another space. And feminine!
For now, though, Monday through Friday I can look up from my desk and be reassured by my Nouveau Art Nouveau swoop of porcelain, that the studio is on its way. My dear friend M owns the shop where I bought it and she let me pay for it over time. She also has something else I want to add to the decor of my place of whimsy and creativity, and it’s another slightly pricey bit of frivolity which I will probably pay for over the summer. It will make a perfect birthday gift to myself.
I did some more day-dreaming about the studio yesterday and have made a vow that I will spend 4 hours a week working on it. I have the basic lay-out in my head, but I’m designing the cabinetry right now. That means really inventorying the things I do and the tools and supplies needed to do them. And of course, planning for additions and changes for when I discover new passions. I rather like making inventories and lists so this is no chore, but since it’s all daydream stuff, I sometimes find myself drifting away into a nap or obsessively following one dreamy thread down a rabbit hole, either of which results in losing sight of the Big Picture. Hence the StrictScheduleSitRightDown&MakeYourLists. Which is fun too. I have always lived both a real life and a fantasy life and they wrap around each other like climbing rose vines, giving the appearance of a whole plant, with two different blossoms - or like those weird apple trees with two or three different species grafted onto one trunk.
And speaking of beautiful things - for you crocheters - howsabout this pretty baby?
Mr.Horoscope wasn’t too interesting today and MsHoroscope doesn’t have her July predictions up, but everyone has to know that Mercury is about to stop going retrograde on July 9 - and a few days after that I will be ordering all new flat screen monitors for the library. Yippee! And AnotherMsHoroscope tells me that I shall be both travel and meet lots of new people and be very popular throughout July. Well. I expect I’ll be traveling to Richmond nigh on to every weekend in July, to meet a lot of real-estate people and all the peripherals who support house selling.
Friday’s meeting with sister, father and realtors was as productive as one could expect under the circumstances. My father has only one desire, at the moment, and that’s to drive to Alaska with his grandson. If he doesn’t have his license revoked and if grandson can go with him. I have my doubts about both and am pinning my fragile and sickly hopes on the DMV to prevent this - NOT because I don’t want dad to have fun, or travel, but because he Should Not Be Driving. You who have such parents - ones you have neither the charisma nor the legal right to get them off the road and so really need a Big Bad Bureaucracy to lend a hand - know of what I speak. You, my situational soul siblings, tremble as I do, and wait for disaster.
But since Dad can’t see tomorrow, for the sadness of an aging today, he can’t really do what he has to do today to have much of a tomorrow. Looking at it from the outside I can really see his dilemma. Like a mule on a treadmill he can only see the same circuit he’s always seen and knows he can't keep it up. I think the death of imagination, that loss of future possibilities, must be the worst death of all.
Eh. But. There it is. I wouldn’t have an inflexible mind for all the tea in China. I may not get everything done, but I always have a door to open, a hatch to escape down, even if it is just my daydreamy imagination. Long live ENFPedness!
While in Richmond on Friday I had this tiny opportunity to stop in at the Yarn Lounge and I bought some Addi Natura circulars. I have this lust to knit lots and lots of socks and to have them all going at once. There can never be enough pairs of good circular needles and I wanted to give these wooden ones a try. They’re actually a little too grabby for wool knitting, but I am thinking of a pair of long lace stockings knit in silk so ... they will come in handy I know. I also decided to treat myself to some sock yarn - and boy did I have a hard time choosing. There are so many interesting ones, so many pretty ones, so many so many so many. I surprised myself, though, by buying 3 skeins of Brown Sheep’s Wildfoote Handpaint. It was just so Bessish in color - so .. so .. majestic! All warm red and gold and rich green and Royal Purple: strong and vivid and bold, but not the least bit shrieking or harsh. I knew in a flash what I wanted to do with the yarn. I know it tends to split, but truly, no more than some of the other fancy schmancy expensive sock yarns. And these will be for me, so they’ll get photographed and shared - when they’re done.
We had a little drizzly rain on Friday night that lasted into Saturday. Now a front has come through and the humidity has dried up, leaving us with the sort of summer days you long for. Clear, clean feeling, sparkly and fresh. The sort of days when you can do nothing at all, but if you found you had to move about, it would be pure pleasure, with your skin feeling welcome in the air that cloaks it and your muscles stretching out in pleasurable anticipation of the next move. A perfect summer day. On the weekend no less.
posted by Bess | 8:20 AM
May your own Sunday be so perfect.