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


Welcome to the 20th century! ;-)

Okay, okay -- 21st.) Enjoy that new high speed. What will you do with all your extra time now? Knit, I hope! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 1:53 PM  

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Friday, August 31, 2007  

It’s just all so wonderful. The constant hum of a wheezing fan is gone. The shaky connection to the telephone - *poof*. I want to look at a web page and *boom* - there it is. If I want to post a comment on someone’s blog the little pop up screen fully opens. All of my blog shows up on the monitor now. I don’t have any reason to play endless games of freecell or solitaire. It’s just all so wonderful.

Now it is just a matter of adjusting myself to the new time frame. Once I had a whole morning routine - I even had a folder in my favorites that had all my regular morning sites in order so I could just click them off in my preferred sequence. As web sites got bigger and browsers became more complex and dial up calcified into petrification. (“Our mission is to provide you with voice phone service. Data transmission is your problem.”; July, 2007, Verizon Tech) almost daily I found myself dropping interesting news sources and eliminating google searches. Why bother if you waited 20 m minutes and then got the “Web page failed. Check with your network administrator” message. I still spent about the same amount of time at the computer in the a.m. I just didn’t do as much. For a while, I’d write blog posts or emails to friends in Word while the pages tried to load, but eventually even that couldn’t fill the long blank spaces of time. I wish I could say that as soon as I realized I was throwing away hours of my life to the waving Microsoft banner in the upper right hand corner I did something about it. Alas. I did not. I just complained - here and elsewhere - but you must understand. I live a shared existence and, while it may appear a cheap shot to drag BD into this equation, it is not quite just a matter of seeking an object for blame. My beloved is a historian who works at home. He lives in the past and must please only himself 90% of his day. The pliant give and take required of those who have work colleagues and drive in traffic is a foreign thing to him. Like Jack Horner in his corner, he spends hours dreaming up how he wants things to be and somehow they never coincide with how Microsoft, Verizon or even the very nice geek-boy in town think things ought to be.

It was pure dread that kept me from pushing hard for an Internet solution. That and some very real understanding about what BD was doing this spring as he ftp’d enormous graphic files around the country during a simultaneous book reprint and pamphlet development. I couldn’t see my way to asking him to adjust to a new machine, even if it did mean he could do his work a lot faster. Sometimes the learning curve is worse than the problem of Old Ways.

Instead, I cast my mind forward and imagined a point when I would be through the strum and drang of family issues, BD would be Done with Jamestown, and in comparative calm, we could enter the 21st century. August. In August we might be able to get back on the info-hiway. Maybe. Yes. August felt good to me. So. In true Law of Attraction/TheSecret faith, I asked - with joy and excitement and feeeeeeling - that I could have good Internet on a decent computer in August. I didn’t, mind you, ask BD if we could do this - I just asked the world. And on August the 1st, I got a call at work from Himself, himself.

“Honey? I think it’s time we called those satellite guys.”

“It means you’ll have to get a new computer, you know.”

“Yeah. Well. So?”

“You might not like how MicrosoftWord6 looks on the new machine.” (That was stupid. Almost peeked into the horse's mouth! gotta learn to Not Do That)

“So? Do you think I can’t find something I like?”

“No. I’m just warning you that every machine looks different even running the same programs.”

... other “what? do you think I am unable to adjust to modern things I will have you know I am always adaptable and always get along with everything just so long as it always goes my way” types of sentences...

That part didn’t last long, though, because I am not about to keep looking a gift from TheUniverse in the mouth or anywhere else. I just told him I would go with him when we shopped for a new computer. Once I was assured the ones he was looking at had all the features I wanted, he could pick his favorite from among them.

But I gotta tell ya – I was surprised - I mean, August 1? I ask for new computer and faster Internet - in August - and I get it on August 1? At least, I leap the biggest hurdle on August 1? I mean. Hey. I ought to have asked for it on April 1!

Happy blogging – and knitting to you all – and my goodness – go out and ask for what you want!!

posted by Bess | 7:40 AM


Hooray! You know, I used to tell myself that dial-up wasn't all that bad, because I am a patient woman. I was wrong. Now I have time to be patient somewhere else!

By Blogger Jane, at 6:16 AM  

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Thursday, August 30, 2007  

Wee Haa! High speed is here at last - along with a new(ish) computer - plenty new enough for me, at least. I can hardly stand it - things are moving along so nicely. I can go back and read KRForums again and hotmail opens in seconds instead of halves of hours. Yup Yup Yup. I feel unchained at last.

No big news on the sock knitting front. I'm motoring down the foot of the newest sock design - but then - I'm putting in an afterthought heel. When I'm done thinking, I'll go back and put in that heel.

I'm not much of a night person - so I'll sign off for now - but I'll be back tomorrow a.m.

Time to go do some happy dancing.

posted by Bess | 8:33 PM


Why you'll be zipping around the internet in no time at all! I hope the installation and the break-in period are painless and swift!

I love the new sock design (I've got one percolating too!).

By Blogger Jane, at 5:52 PM  

Here's hoping GeekSquad gets my machine up and running again. Every day, all day long, I think of things (files) on it that I miss. Please, God, let me be able to recover them! Even if it means a new machine! (Wouldn't hate that too much, anyway!)

Love the new sock pattern -- a very nifty kind of rib. :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 1:56 PM  

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Monday, August 27, 2007  

Thursday. That's the day Mr.SatelliteMan comes to my house and connects his magical tools to our New(er) Computer. Yes. We did. We bought something from the recycler guy - Windows XP that still runs BD's beloved MicrosoftWord6. They call it Word 2007 these days - so you don't have to think about what it would otherwise be called - Word28? Word 64? Anyway - it leaves a man as happy as he can be and perhaps a little more complacent about the World-0-Computers. The dear thing said to me "I guess there's no point trying to get what you want from these things, you better learn to want what you get." At last. He has come to Right Understanding about this Brave New World.

The specially good news is that we have enough USP ports - on the front, thank you - to hook up my camera - and enough hard drive space to load a nice photo editing program. Yes, my dears. We have finally entered 2005!

My latest sock design is well on its way to completion. Each pattern is faster to write - if not to knit - so I don't expect to be so long with this one, even if it is chock full of twisted stitches. It's definitely a unisex design - and has been BD approved. My man is very conservative and too many curlicues would offend his sensitive tastes. This is basically a rib, if a bit of a fancy rib, so he didn't complain that it was .... ahem. er.hmmmm. (which translates to "too girly")

Here is a bit closer look. I think it shall get an afterthought heel. I think it might set off the textured ribs a wee bit better. We shall see.

posted by Bess | 10:23 AM


Bess, Luv,

The socks -- both pair -- are lovely! Reminded me of the article by Clara I just read -- both pair are what I think she'd call "semisolid" vis a vis their colour-ways. And just scrumptious. But the purply-pink morning-glory-like ones are my faves!



By Anonymous Margaret, at 11:03 PM  

Dearest Bess,
Bee-ute-tee-full new knitting creations from you! Really lovely. Am sure Jen & her Spirit Trail Fiberworks fans, like me, are happy to know we will be able to purchase some of your creations.
Way to go.
Lotsa hugs & XOXO

By Blogger Martha, at 3:26 PM  

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Friday, August 24, 2007  

Here they are! The Mother/daughter lace socks designed for Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Pattern to be available Oct. 1.

This is the adult sized lace
and this is the child sized lace.

I'll write more later. Off to the nail girl for a manicure, now.


posted by Bess | 8:45 AM


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007  

Nattering on and on and on.

We are having rain. We are having cool, grey, somewhat clammy days and roof-drumming nights. "Oh la, she’s talking about weather now. Sheesh! I thought this was a knitting blog!" I can hear the drought free, non-farming, probably knitting community saying as they click the little x up in the right-hand corner - but if you are the least bit gardenish - or even just green in general - you share my relief over this rain. True - this is only the second worse drought I’ve ever seen in 55 years, but lawsee it’s been dry. The farmer’s are harvesting our corn right now - pathetic though it is - and insured though they might be - because, even if you don’t have a crop, you have to burn up all that fuel to harvest what is in the fields and subtract whatever you get from what your average yield has been and that’s the part you are reimbursed for. Oh - I understand the math of it all - but ... I’m glad I’ve got my day job.

Hah! A day job from which I shall sneak away this afternoon to take my dear friend Lucy to the airport. Oh, well. Yes. There’s more than a quick drive to the airport involved. It’s also a day in the city with a friend who lives on an island where one might be able to pick up a pencil, or sugar, or a bar of soap - if the boat brought any on its last trip. Or then again - one might not. The Caribbean breezes, I am sure, make up for the lack of consumer goods, but when she visits the mainland once a year, she is not looking for quaint little shops, she’s wanting to go to the big box stores, the WalMarts and CostCos and Michaels and Ben Franklins, where she can get the things we think of as ordinary. Shopping with Lucy lets me see my own world in a different light.
And we will talk. And her mother will be with us and we’ll have that delayed 90th birthday party for her, complete with birthday cake, if we want it. I’ll do the driving because it’s urban driving in a city I know well.

Last year L#1, L#2, and I had the most splendiferous day, giddy with delight and excitement and discovery. We had both been immersed in Law of Attraction books - all new to me and still fairly new to L#2. The energy that pumped out of us was like the back beat in a rock ‘n’ roll song. It was L#2 who introduced me, via Lynn Grabhorn’s book Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting, to the law of attraction literature. Thus began a journey that has transformed my life - and I am sure which made it possible for me to sail through such a summer as this has been. I haven’t ever been much of a proselytizer, though I am an enthusiastic - some might say gushing - introducer of things which interest me. That’s one reason I ended up in a library, where all ideas can be housed, shared, and kept ready for the next hungry seeker. I caught that pop-theory wave just before Oprah Winfrey started pushing The Secret, to which I had also been introduced, back when you had to order it from Australia and pay $60 for it. Once you start scratching the surface of an idea, you find others doing the same and a dear young man, a former boy scout from LD’s troop, gave me a copy of his and I knew this was something that had to be in the library. Fortunately, you can get it for $25 from Amazon these days.

And yes, I know, it’s nothing new, it’s power of positive thinking, it’s pro-active trust in a higher spirit, it’s belief in God, it’s faith and delight in that faith. At least, that is what I have gotten out of it and by approaching life with much more belief that good happens (not just s***t) I’ve realize that my faith is not misplaced - good really does happen. In fact - I think I will get me a t-shirt that says just that: Good Stuff Happens. And it’s been all I could do to not grab people and say "hey there, look at this! Did you know the good news? Wanna hear what just happened to me that proves it?" To the few who are dearest to me, who will not roll their eyes and cross the street next time they see me, I have confessed all my enthusiasm, iterated all my incidents of uncanny blessings, gushed my excitement all over their unsuspecting, but forgiving ears. To just about everyone else I’ve just said "oh, you might like this (or that) book." All part of that neutral, both sides of the issue, librarian training we get. Balanced collection is the library jargon for it.

There are a number of authors out there preaching this particular gospel and I’ve purchased quite a selection for the library: one for men, one for the tomboy girls, this one for the softer more spiritual types, that one for teenaged boys. Some do better in audio format, some in print, and it’s surprising how some don’t translate well into another medium. I’ve had the most fun seeing how folks react to these books, tapes and DVDs. I’ve even had the pleasure of seeing my most harsh skeptical critic finally "get it" and come tell me so. (she’s the friend who crossed the street) It helps that FamousTVPersonality pushed the concept, so I’m not just collecting fringe stuff.

Knitting blog? What? Huh? Oh. Well. Yes. You see, it was remembering that I’m going to spend the day with L#2, who got me started on all this good vibe stuff - a woman to whom I owe a deep debt of gratitude, but who wants only my happiness, not my thanks. But I am knitting. I am writing. I will be photographing. Give me a few more days and pretty pictures will be on the blog.

posted by Bess | 7:56 AM


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Tuesday, August 21, 2007  

Is coming my way - which is a good thing since the dial up has decided to Act up - or stop acting at all. The GuyWithTools showed up earlier today - of course, we will need to buy a new computer too - but, hey, you don't hear me complaining about that, now, do you?

Not a wiz bang, probably but something with a USB port on the front - with a decent graphics card, RW-DVD and all that. Big enough to run your basic photo editing program - something Kodak-ish. Pictures from home now! What a thought.

Hot, humid, busy, but fine. The eye dr. gave BD a good report yesterday. Guests have all gone home. I have tomorrow afternoon off. Yup. Life is pretty durn good.

I'll be back with real posts one of these days.

Missing you all.

posted by Bess | 4:18 PM


You paint a very attractive picture of Culpepper. I've never been, but now I'm dying to go -- for cheese and chocolate alone! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 1:17 PM  

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Saturday, August 18, 2007  

Stuff’s going on and I haven’t had much time to write, nor much inspiration either. I thought I’d have that sock pattern written by now but I haven’t. It was a bit of a draggy week and it was coupled with a few unplanned and most unwanted chores. Frost this all over with abysmal dial-up access and it’s no surprise that TheQueen’s Blog has remained static.

I did manage to slip away to Culpepper VA, yesterday. When I was a girl, one of my friends had grandparents who lived in Culpepper. She was always visiting up there and to my 11 year old ears it sounded so sweet and somewhat aristocratic, since I knew there had once been a Lord Culpepper. It was really a sleepy farm center, one of the little county seats strung like beads along Rt. 29, on the way to Mr. Jefferson’s Village. I’d never been to Culpepper till the librarians, and later the KRRetreat, started meeting at Graves Mt. Lodge. To get there from here, though, I have to go through Culpepper and since I’m usually with a colleague, we often stop there for lunch. The first time we did that we were enchanted with the town, which has managed to retain its grid and its charm and even its real old time hardware store where you can still buy nails by the pound or seeds wrapped in brown paper or Aladdin Oil Lamps for $250. Those were the last oil lamps developed and can give out 100 watts of bright light onto the oilcloth covered kitchen table, ‘round which little boys in knickerbockers and girls - in what my mama used to call hind-end dresses - could do their homework.

R and I are usually on our way to a meeting so we never have time to really stay and meander through the shops, but a visit to the library, in high summer, gave us a bit of an opportunity to look around. Though we always intend to eat somewhere new whenever we’re there, we failed, again, to be venturesome and instead had a magnificent lunch at It’s About Thyme, one of those rare gourmet restaurants that serves manly portions. The citizens of Culpepper may be slipping into the NoVa tastes and income bracket, but they still have farm-fed appetites. I’ve been slipping a bit this summer, sipping in way too many calories that is - comfort eating, I am sure - so I stuck to a lunch salad, but oh what a salad! Big enough and delicious enough to make it possible to pass on the luxurious desert tray, especially since we knew that there was both a fine bakery and a chocolatier waiting for us as we strolled down the streets.

Of course, we stopped at Clarke’s hardware store and poked through every bin and box, shelf and stand. The store has that old wooden store smell and it also caries every Radio Flyer toy made, including a wonderful rocking horse. They also had a display of sleds in one of the front windows. I like that sense of humor. We wended our way down Davis street, peeking into some shops, but not stopping at them all - there are too many of them. We did pop into Designers Choice where a combination antiques, accessories, floral and Christmas items charmed and tempted and won my heart - at least the wee tiny music box, hardly bigger than a matchbox, with a minuscule nutcracker scene that twirled to Tchaikovsky’s holiday theme, did. And little advent calendars to mail to god daughters. They won my heart too.

We skipped the very tempting Janal Leather shop - the owner had gone out for some reason - and that was probably a good thing. The beautiful pink leather jacket with the zippered front was awfully tempting. Across the street was Pepperberries which had the most delicious perfume - a rose perfume, but with some sort of buttery note to it that lingered softly. A bit pricey so I didn’t purchase - but R and I have scheduled a day tp play up there, come October, and really - it was more of a winter perfume. Very light and very subtle, but tenacious.
We zigzagged back and forth across Davis Street for some reason, probably just for the silliness of it - but we did have to stop by Tea, Lace and Roses - a Victorian Tea House (Tue-Sat 11-4:30) where, had we not been stuffed to the gills, we would have stopped for a cup. We poked among the tea accessories a while and then strolled back down to The Cameleer, where we ogled the international fare and tried on beautiful clothes in the fanciest dressing room I’ve ever seen! I was reeeeeeealy tempted by that white duck skirt with the flouncing handkerchief hem trimmed with gathered lace and beads. It was very reasonably priced. I may regret not buying it, but I just don’t see any place where I will be going for the rest of the white skirt season that would support a lace and bead trimmed skirt. Sigh. It really was darling, though.

We slipped in and out of several other charming little shops but the highlight was The Frenchman’s Corner - to quote their blurb "A European style gourmet shop, chocolatier and bakery." Well. What it really has is cheese - luscious, creamy, tangy, haunting cheese. Cheese that sits on your tongue and tickles it, that blossoms in your mouth and perfumes your head. Cheese whose flavor ripens as you savor it, surprising you with tastes and aftertastes and after-aftertastes. The young girl helping us was very friendly and willing but as I chattered on and on (and on and on and on) the manager edged up and we began cheese talk in earnest. I told her about the doccumentary film The Cheese Nun and she told me about her line of cheeses. They had a raw milk cheddar cheese that had the taste of grass in it, giving you the sensation of walking across a rolling meadow while you savored it’s creamy texture. Peggy, the manager, introduced me to another cheese - alas I forget its name and somehow the label fell off or perhaps, was never put on the block I brought home. But it is a twin cheese separated by a layer of ash. The bottom layer is made from the evening’s milkings, after the cows have been on grass all day, and it has that same recognizable grassy taste, but the top layer is made from the morning’s milking and it is much sharper and yet mellower - with a rich butter content and minus the verdant undertone. Chewed together the cheese was a symphony of Frenchy cheesiness in your mouth that went on and on and on reminding you of how much fun you just had. BD doesn't know about the secret hidden in our refrigerator. On Monday I am going to get a bottle of something white and crisp - maybe Rhine - and cold - and surprise him with a frenchy dinner. Something on the porch, with fruit and crusty bread and a dish of olives. Oh. And greens. Salad greens. He's going to be so tickled!

We had been lured into this shop by the Belgian Chocolates we could see through the shop window. We hadn’t known about the fromagerie in the back, so of course, Peggy had to introduce us to her select and true Belgian Chocolates. Stuffed with lunch and reluctant to let go of my dairy memory, she laughed and offered us a single sample of perfect chocolate, one she assured me would not war with the lingering cheese flavors still caressing my tongue - and she was right. These are chocolates to be savored - to be given all the time they need to share their subtle offerings to a discerning sweet lover. R and I could still taste that magical chocolate, 15 minutes later. This is the first time I’ve ever really been, not just satisfied, but entertained, with a single piece of chocolate.

And no. I didn’t buy any, but I will be going back. I will get some - maybe for my birthday. Yes. I think that might be a fun trip to take with BD in September. He can play all day at Clarke’s Hardware and I can do the cheese thing - and the chocolate thing - and maybe, the lace skirt thing - and definitely the rose perfume thing. Yup. Yup. That is a real birthday possibility.

Our last stop was at Rathuil - all things Irish ... and Italian, since that is where I picked up 2 skeins of light green tweedy merino/silk/cashmere - Kathmandu Aran from Queensland Collection but made in Italy. Talk about an international product. In my designer’s eye I saw a cabled hat but it may be they will become wrist warmers.

So there. I managed to make this into a Knitting Post after all. Of course we were at the library up there, which is very nice, but this is just how we spent the late afternoon.

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posted by Bess | 8:19 AM


Pretty sock! Your patience in uploading it is our reward! I hope to get to the FFF this year, and also hope for good weather this time! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 10:04 PM  

Bess, Dear,

Lovely socks! I'm with Mary; it was worth the all-day download. And you just go ahead and enjoy those two pre-planned days off. I know that we Vs tend to worry about deserving such stuff, but you can't argue with something that's already been scheduled! :-)


By Blogger Marg, at 8:40 AM  

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007  

Ahh. It is back to work for me today. I’ve been out of the library so much this summer, people in the grocery store are asking me if I’ve retired. (“You wish” I tend to mutter beneath my breath.) Even this week is a short one, with two long scheduled days off. Yesterday I drove to Richmond to pick up Lucy at the airport and got lost!!! Yes. I am not sure if it is because there is a chunk of my brain missing or if the DOT took down some of the RIC signs along 295, but I was all the way down to Route 5 before I knew it and had to drive into Varina and onto Laburnum Ave. Friday I am going to go play with a library friend from King George. We scheduled this back in April, back before all the madness that is summer reading in a library, back when we thought August looked like forever away.

The next 2 weeks still require me to drive to doctors offices in Richmond but come September I believe we will be having our usual distant relationships with all the medical guys we know and for which we are so grateful. I am so glad there are doctors (and nurses) but I am tired of them. I’m a wee bit tired of this whole past year - and Sunday I cracked a little, with weepiness and crankiness and all round general pity party pouting. I can still hear a whisper of it hovering about me but I am telling it to go haunt someone else.

Knitting? What? you thought this was a fiber blog? A Knitting blog? Well, all right. Here’s what I have been working on. A lace sock pattern for Spirit Trail Fiberworks:

This is a fun lace pattern to work with because there are only 4 rows and 2 of them are straight knitting and the other 2 are the same sequence of stitches only staggered by one stitch. It’s from Barbara Walker’s first book and it’s such an obvious sock choice I can’t claim nobody’s ever thought of using it before. But the pattern writing is my own.

Lace doesn’t take nearly as much yarn as other knitting and there was enough in J’s standard skein put up to make matching toddler socks for a Mother/Daughter duo.
Adult lace
Child's sock lace - a little narrower.

This pattern will be available the Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier, the first weekend in October. And here’s a head-up for the curious. I will be doing my Fiber Story telling in the children’s booth this year. Sooo excited about that!

*edited much later in the day:

It took all day to get these photos loaded.

posted by Bess | 6:47 AM


Geezer doctors! Yep. The paperwork I was given to fill out before I see the retina guy included the question, "Do you drive?" and I realized - again - that the aneurysm catapulted me into the Medical Senior Tour.

By Blogger Catherine, at 9:37 AM  

The daughters.... Yep, already being roped into that service more than once, recently.

I'm glad it went better than expected and that you got to play with J. Have a lovely Sunday. :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 11:02 AM  

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Sunday, August 12, 2007  

The good news is that the surgery was much less demanding, much less invasive, than the dr. had predicted. In fact, things went so much better that he was still almost gleeful when we saw him on Saturday morning. Consultations with a cataract specialist sucked up so much time that the 10 a.m. surgery didn’t begin till noon and BD wasn’t cleared to go home till about 3, but hey, we were staying in town anyway. Besides, waiting always means knitting time to me. Much progress on the lace socks was made and it shall be shared on Tuesday when I am back at a computer with a usb port.

I have spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices this summer and on Friday it suddenly hit me - These particular doctors are Geezer Doctors. Their patients are almost all older than I and none of them come by themselves. These folk couldn’t get here by themselves because they are old and they can’t see! They come with walkers and in wheelchairs and with daughters - so many, many daughters - with a few 60 year old sons whispering gently or silently ignoring their garrulous white haired mothers.

And they are coming long distances, too; from Charlotte Courthouse or Buckingham County or Champlain, VA. They have left their big frame Victorian houses on Washington Street in Rustburg or Lawrenceville in the wee hours of the morning and rolled down the blue highways towards Richmond, worrying if they will get well enough to stay one more year in the home they’ve lived in for half a century. They try to think about moving into the new retirement home that was built just out past the cemetery, but their brain ricochets off of that frightening unknown to spin into dithery non sequiturs or stubborn insistence that Nothing is the matter and there is No Reason to Change.

Well. That is our future. It is everyone’s future. It may not be eyes. It might be joints or it might be hearts or it might be the BigC. It’ll be your Grandma first and then your Dad and then it’ll be your turn. Like the paddles on some enormous water wheel, each of us gets her chance to rise to the top and then dip back down into the water. I felt this all the more this time because we spent the night at Dad’s old house. Though he has moved and the house has sold, the estate sale scheduled for August 4 was put off till the 18th, leaving us a place to stay overnight, albeit a sparsely furnished place. We carried along our own mattresses, the ones FavoriteCousins usually sleep on during TheReunion weekend. I would have preferred a nice hotel with room service to provide a wee bit of luxury in the midst of all the medicine, but BD (McScrooge), the man who always looks for the cheapest place to stay because, “You’re going to be asleep all that time, what do you care what the room looks like?”, the man who has been an absolute prince through this whole thing, neither grumbling, nor refusing to follow the doctor’s instructions, nor even being cranky about other things, couldn’t believe anybody would think $69 a night was a special rate and jumped at the chance to stay somewhere close, for free. I wasn’t about to give this guy a hard time, and besides, I had an urge to go back there; one more time.

I shan’t do so again.

It was too sad for me. I know the memories that get called back when I am there are 20 years old. The last really happy energetic visit I paid my parents was in 1998. After that it was a long slide down into helplessness for them and frustration for me. I’m grateful the place was there on Friday night and I am glad I made sure that we’ve moved out everything of importance, of value, be it sentimental or intrinsic. I can truly close the door on that place, that time, and move on.

But I must share the wonderful treat that came my way on Friday. Several wonderful women who live in Richmond had offered their hearts, their time and anything else I might need for Friday. I was only in the office one day last week and the dial up internet was just not cooperating at home. It was particularly reluctant to open up Hotmail so I barely had email access all week. I’d lost everybody’s cell phone numbers and on Friday I even forgot the cell phone so couldn’t have called anybody anyway. When we finally got to the hospital there was a note from J saying to give her a call. She had come by the hospital, knowing about when we thought we’d be there, and waited (forever!) just on the chance she could keep me company. She finally left, but was still close by. We could do lunch. And that’s just what we did. It was simply wonderful to catch up face to face, to giggle over family situations, to eat a delicious lunch, to show off our respective knitting projects. The time flew by.

Knitting friends are really the best! Thank you, each and every one of you, who wrote emails or posted comments here or called or just sent your love across the air. Feel good about yourself, because I promise you, each time I felt low or blue or down, I’d read and reread your words and feel comforted. You’ve all made it so much easier for me - so easy that what the heck! I feel pretty durn good. In fact. I believe I feel like picking up my knitting needles.

Thank you one and all.

posted by Bess | 6:24 AM


I will keep you guys in my prayers. On the bright side -- hotel room A/C. Holler if there's anything I can do for you while you're in town, including meeting you somewhere if you need a break, or bringing you something.

Safe travels to you both and a successful surgery to BD!

By Blogger Mary, at 6:07 PM  

Prayers from here. Enjoy the A/C, order room service, pamper yourselves, this is stressful, you deserve a lavish room service breakfast, for sure. Room service breakfasts always make me feel spoiled.

By Blogger Catherine, at 7:10 PM  

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Thursday, August 09, 2007  

More surgery on Friday.

Yep. It's back to the hospital and more surgery for BD. The doctor is still confident that he can save both the eye and the sight. (you can believe I gulped when he said that.) We have to be there at Crack-0-Dawn tomorrow and we are staying the night in Richmond. No more of that hauling up and down the highway on these sweltering August afternoons and then getting up in the 14 hours later to drive back.

I'll be back sometime - maybe Sunday.

All prayers welcome!

posted by Bess | 5:16 PM


Sending prayers your way. :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 9:25 AM  

We need a patron saint of retina repairs, and this twinnishness is starting to get out of hand - though my retina isn't detaching, it's doing something wacky!

By Blogger Catherine, at 12:53 PM  

Bess, dear, you know you have them.


By Blogger Marg, at 10:03 AM  

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007  

Well, my dear hearts,

Here is another All Points Bulletin asking for your prayers, your good thoughts, your visioning, your love and happy requests that Ed’s eye heals for good this time. Yesterday, on what we expected would be a routine check-up at the eye doctor, Ed’s retina began to bubble away from his eye again. It was sudden, painless, and disappointing. He’s now got to sit hunched all day over a table, reading a book, or walking gently looking down at the floor. sleep is on his stomach - not - or at least propped with pillows on his side so his eye faces down. We go back Thursday for another look-see but there are other possible surgical steps that may lie ahead.


So. Let us hope that we don’t have to go that route. As Mr. Bennet says “Let us hope for better things.” Let us see my darling all healed up with better vision than ever.

And here is one of life’s odd little balances. This weekend is TheReunion. In a summer that has included cleaning out my dad’s house, selling it and moving him, 3 retinal detachments for my husband, a funny little health blip of my own and a drought that has eliminated 45% of our farm income, TheReunion and it’s subsequent visit from FavoriteCousins just didn’t loom high on my horizon of happiness. It was something that we do and we enjoy. I can't imagine evern not having a good time when FavoriteCousins are visiting. But the weekend really had started to feel like just one more thing to check off the list. After the doctor visit, though he didn’t say so, I know there is the chance that Ed’ll be in surgery again on Friday and by gum, this time we are staying in an air conditioned motel room and watching junk TV. We may not get to TheReunion at all.

So, how is this for the universe balancing out. Last night FavoriteCousinC called and said, with a teary voice, “We just can’t come this year!”. I mean - it was all I could do to not shout “Yippee!!”, which I didn’t do, of course. I laughed though. And told her how it was with us. And how there were 15 boxes of family memorabilia on the back porch and another half dozen on the bed they’d be sleeping in and how our yard looks like Death Valley and you know we don’t have A/C. And we talked for an hour and laughed about it and were both so glad. I miss them. But they’re really busy with 2 girls going off to college and one boy coming home from a summer abroad and we will get together again sometime soon - when we can just sit and visit and not have any distractions.

Yep. Sometimes the world just likes to right itself.

Still and all - good thoughts, white light, happy healing hopes are so so welcome right now. Please fill your hearts with the joy of the thought that my dear Big Darling is, as baby LD used to say, “All Fixed”.

Much love and thanks to you all.

posted by Bess | 7:08 AM


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Monday, August 06, 2007  

The house sparkles, except the kitchen, which is only tidy, and the porch, which I didn’t bother with. I have to move the 15 boxes of letters, photos and diaries out to the shed before I tackle that. I may leave it for BD, anyway, since he never seems to mind and I hate cleaning the porch. I don’t even like sitting on the porch this summer because it’s so dry outside the only thing you get to see is mammoth poke weed plants in the garden and dead grass. I’ll get to the kitchen later this week and later this morning I’m going to tackle Mount MailMore, which I just stacked up yesterday so I could dust the table it was on.

I’m off today and tomorrow; Dr. visits for BD and then another family pow-wow with Sister and Dad about $. His house sold last week - never even got advertised - at a fair price. Nothing like it would have brought in 2005 when people were mad to spend more money than they had, but a very fair price. And of course, it hasn’t closed - so I suppose nothing is certain till the ink dries. But we know what sort of numbers we’ll be working with and that’s always to the good.

Thanks for the compliments about the socks. They’re truly luxury socks - so soft, yet with body. This is heavenly yarn and I’m glad for an opportunity to play with it. And I just love lace socks. In fact - there are some lace stockings in my future - once I can be sure they’ll stay up if I knit them.

On a final note, I want to compliment IK’s editors for the really good technical articles in the fall issue. I found the cable discussion completely inspiring and the very clear photo essay on hairpin lace was top notch - and just in time to give some serious consideration to this:

Yeah. I know. You really need some great hips for this skirt, but oh my - I really do love it. It’s something of a goal sort of thing. And yeah, I know. It’s party fare. But I am still smitten. That’s the fun of a world full of tastes - even the outré will find it’s admirers.

posted by Bess | 5:44 AM


Oh Bess, the sock yarn looks delicious! If I weren't on a yarn fast...

And is that Vogue edition out yet? Haven't seen it up here in the Great White North...but you can believe I'll go for one too -- just because it's, well, Vogue!


By Blogger Marg, at 12:20 PM  

I love your sock and the yarn -- lovely! So glad we get to see pictures now! And I'm happy to hear you're on the on-ramp of the information parkway, if not superhighway. ;-) You won't know how you lived without high speed, once you have it. (And your life will be vastly improved -- food will taste better, the air will smell sweeter.... Okay, maybe not that last part, but still - enjoy the speed!)

I don't normally buy Vogue Knitting, but this issue seemed like an important one to own, so I snapped it up.

By Blogger Mary, at 6:24 PM  

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Saturday, August 04, 2007  

La. I slept like the dead last night, or the deserving, at least. These hot nights don’t keep me from falling asleep at 10 o’clock - especially following hot sticky days or hectic ones at work. But for the past month I’ve been waking around 2 and reading for a couple of hours. It would be all right if I could just stay in bed till 8. I don’t mind sleeping a split shift. But if I want to read blogs or my personal e-mail, or write in mine, I have to get up by 6 on week days. After 7 or 7:30, the digital traffic jam absolutely shuts my dial-up down. (Don't you just love the image those words create? Shutting, both up and down? Inspite of the vivid word pictures, just imagine an Amish buggy on the freeway at 7:45 in your city. Yeah, right. Story of my life these past 2 years.

But that is about to change. Sometime in August a guy-in-a-van will rumble down my dirt farm lane and install a satellite dish and we will go purchase a computer that isn’t run by hamsters in fly-wheels and I will have decent internet access. Yes. I know it’s not the world’s finest but I’ve never been a freeway sort of driver. Dual lane is plenty fast enough for me.

I wonder how many hours of life I’ll regain when I’m not waiting for hotmail to load?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared photos of my knitting, though several times I’ve coyly mentioned that I’m designing socks for Spirit Trail Fiberworks. I didn’t want to post pictures of my work till I’d had a chance to talk it over with J, since I’m doing the work for her, for her Spirit Socks Club. Our schedules finally meshed and she gave the go-ahead for me to natter on about what I’m doing. My first sock design has already gone out but I forgot to load the picture of it when I was at work yesterday. Here is a scan of the lace that will be in the next design.


I’m working with a very soft merino/nylon mixed at an 80/20 blend but you will never believe it doesn’t have a smidgen of angora in it. There is the merest hint of a halo about the fiber - not enough to interfere with a pattern, but enough to make you think not just of socks but of baby bonnets and christening gowns. J is putting these yarns up in single (approximately, of course) 400 yard skeins, so the possibility of a baby sweater from a single skein isn’t out of the question. Maybe a baby sweater pattern is in the future.

Dear J and S are also working on Spirit Trail designs so you might like to check out their blogs too.

There’s been a little discussion on KRForums about the fall VK 25th anniversary magazine. I’d heard that Clara Parks was interviewed in it so I was going to buy it disirregardless of its other content. Besides, fall issues of knitting magazines are almost always worth owning. But this one has so much that excited me or intrigued me or left me thoughtful about knitting, design and knitters, I really want to give it a full review. I was particularly stimulated by the ads - the quantity and the quality. Be prepared, then - since one day soon I’m going make a similar post to this archival gem.

While on the topic of fall knitting magazines, the fall Interweave Knits also sports some interesting layout changes that kicked me out of my ordinary magazine routine. I don’t know if Eunny Jang - the new editor of IK - was responsible for the decision to put ads on all the back pages, pages that are usually just pattern text - but whoever it was ought to know that this is probably only the second time I’ve ever looked at Every Page in a knitting magazine. I mean - who doesn’t skip the pattern pages for designs they don’t want to knit, hmmm?

Alas though, there shall be precious little knitting today. I have serious house cleaning to do. Not the I deserve a sparkly environment type of house cleaning of Crazy Aunt Purl, nor the Got To Sell This Place type of cleaning of my cyber twin C, but the Company is Coming in 5 days sort of cleaning - ugh. Hope the breeze keeps up all day.

posted by Bess | 3:24 PM


You're so right about us Garfield (the Cat, not the President) said on a bookmark I own, "Virgo: A picky worry-wart". Hmmph! As for life shortening, well, JC pointed that out too: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matt. 6:27)...Ain't it the truth?! (Still, easier said than done, Hon.) Knit on!


By Blogger Marg, at 10:15 AM  

Glad your packaged arrived safely. And your still on the list for the late August delivery.


By Blogger Linda, at 8:01 PM  

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007  

Oh La! It’s August already! I’d forgotten till just this moment. This means the August horoscopes will be on-line. Last Sunday Mr.Horoscope advised me to lay low, take it easy and shrug my shoulders, especially during this transit of Venus.

Actually he said this:

Your Week Ahead Forecast: If you are doing your best, what else can you possibly do? And if you are not doing your best? Well, here's a good question... how can you be so sure that you are not doing your best? Do you think that your best must automatically involve struggle and strife? Does the definition of 'best' inevitably involve sacrifice, compromise and the application of tedious efforts? Sometimes the very best thing you can do is nothing - or next to nothing. A policy of watch and wait can be the wisest of all options. As the Full Moon now obliges you to review old allegiances and alliances, it is becoming clear that actually, you are doing your best now and it is about to pay off.

And My Cyber Twin C said this:

... and realized that there was simply no way anyone could fix it all, and stopped worrying about whether I could do all of it, and narrowed my focus on doing a little of it.

Which is one of the reasons why I love her because she is NotAVirgo but she hit that target bulls eye. I’m not going to worry about it. I am Alfred E Newman. What? Me worry?

I don’t know why worry seems to equal so many other things: Proof you love someone (that’s my Mama). Proof you’re doing a good job. Proof you know enough to deserve the job you have. Proof you are important. Worry has to be the most usless, unproductive and misery creating thing in our lives. If I added up all the time I’ve wasted in worry in my life I think I’d have another whole life saved up. I could be two people at once! Me and TheWorrier. I am sure I can trace my worrying behavior back to a few sources, but it’s not really important to know why I do something stupid. It’s just important to stop.

Just this week it hit me that I’ve been working all year on attracting the things I want and not attracting the things I don’t want. Especially the things I worried about. Each time I’d find myself worrying about how I lost something, forgot to do something, felt hurt by something, wasn’t thin enough, rich enough, healthy enough, loved enough, I’d switch my thinking over to things I did want. Maybe it was being thin, healthy, rich and loved, but usually it was something closer to the day. I’d think about Mom living in some place where I knew she was eating well and getting her meds on time. Or on my way to work I’d think about a day where I remembered everything I was supposed to do - I’d imagine myself looking back at my desk from the office door and seeing it swept clean of clutter because It Was All Done. On my way to work I’d really get into the feeling of how it is when you know you Got It All Done. How strong you feel. How energized. How you would decide, since you felt so powerful, to go to the gym. I even faced my greatest and most fearsome task, getting Dad in a better place - and tackling his finances. That one involved a good deal of reflex worrying but pretty soon I switched it off and started with the asking, the imagining, the attracting.

And when I look back on this past year; well! If I listed all the things that happened or that I had to deal with - well. It sounds like the screen play for a disaster flick. But instead, really it has been the most wonderful year. True, I had a few moments of scary quaking in my boots, but mostly I’ve had a really good time and been really upbeat. And when I did find myself in a situation where I thought I’d have fun but instead felt like the fat girl at the cheerleader’s party... Well. I also felt very clearly that I could see Just what I didn’t like about it and Just what I wasn’t going to do next time. Like C saying she suddenly saw all the Wack-0 tasks she was being asked to do and could pick out exactly the ones she was going to deal with and exactly what she was going to let lie.

I got the idea to do all this from books, btw. Just months before Oprah catapultedThe Secret into the stratosphere, I’d stumbled upon several books by different authors, who were all singing this same tune. "You really do get what you ask for; at least, you get the nouns you ask for, no matter how loudly you predicate them with "Don’t! Ack! No NO! Not that!" I think most of those titles are in the side bar under The Queen’s Books.

Not that I haven’t always sort of done this. Sometimes it was just instinctive to do it and when it has been so, I got what I wanted pretty easily. The thing I hadn’t figured out till this past year is that I can deliberately just start asking for what I want and then letting it come to me. But this year I did, and when I look back over this past year, I’ve gotten more of the things I want, more of the time, in more areas of my life, than I have ever gotten before! Ever! It’s been the most incredibly wonderful year I can possibly imagine. Not an easy year, not a lazy lounging year; not one long vacation. But oh my, what a fabulously fun year with tons-0-progress in all areas of my life. Both my parents are in safe places they can manage. I’ve developed a loving bond with a sister I admire. I’ve gotten many good things done at work. I’ve changed some health habits for the better. I’ve challenged myself a couple of times and stepped out of my Personal Box Of Comfort - and found it was not so bad after all. I can make cold calls and sell tickets. I can sort through my dad’s finances. I can set a price for my story telling.

And by golly. I can stop worrying about things. I really have worried less this year, in spite of the asteroids-of-life that have showered down upon me, than any year I can remember. I don’t equate worry with success; not consciously, and by gum, not sub consciously anymore, either. And even though Saturn, the planet of Hard Decisions, is moving into Virgo in early September, I am not going to worry about it. In fact, I am redefining this planetary movement. I shall call it Saturn, the planet of Good Decisions that Stick, and I plan(et) to welcome him in.

Happy August to you all.

posted by Bess | 7:43 AM