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


Glad to see you back. I always worry a little when someone who normally posts goes silent for a long time...

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 8:36 AM  

I was hoping you were feeling lots better - glad to see you posting again - it was all my fault though you know - I finally figured a way to check your blog daily - so what do you do but get sick and disappear from it ;)

By Blogger rho, at 9:25 AM  

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Saturday, July 25, 2009  

Don't you believe the date above. I wrote this thing today, Monday, July 27th!

HRRM. I hate typing the same thing over again but there's nothing for it. I can only get into blogger through the back door and it won't let me cut and paste from the nice tidy text doc I wrote this on yesterday - but here goes.....

I truly did not intend to to let my poor blog drop off Loquacity Cliff into the Pit of Silence
I'll admit. I have wondered if I had said all there is to say about the Life of TheQueen but there hasn't been any desire, or even intention, to make some sort of Grand Announcement about the End of Blogging. I have just needed a hiatus. Work has been utterly demanding. We've had a spate of delightful guests. 2 weeks ago I was felled by an allergy attack after triple exposure to the things that do me in. Let us hope this Sac-0-Pills will detoxify me. I've been home for a few days and am taking today off too. BD says the coughing is less but it always seems to be worst at night, robbing me of sleep and making me unfit for the public during daytime hours.

I have been singularly cursed with cameras too. My new camera was lost on a trip. The old camera worked a while till the little door that hides the memory card jammed. Even the library's Brand New Camera - bought so we don't have to keep remembering to bring our own in - has stopped responding to its' miniature buttons and it's making a little whirring sound, which is somewhat awesome, considering how tiny the thing is ... what could be inside that is big enough to whirr? At least it's still under the 30 day warranty with the shop. But cameraless blogging is not as much fun as blogging avec appereil photographique.

Still and all, I am in the mood to play catch-up. So. What has been going on since July 8?
On July 9th we had our wonderful Weekend With a Writer Summer Luncheon (means not the whole weekend long) with fabulous guest Sheri Reynolds of Rapture of Canaan/Oprah Book Club fame. She came up the day before and we had her up to our house for dinner, where she fit right in with the dogs and the eagles and the yurt and the Friends board on our back porch. She was an absolute darling and when she spoke at the luncheon the next day she lead that audience out as far as their imaginations could stretch and then softly, gently, brought them all back into the center of the room. She teaches at Old Dominion University and man - I am so jealous of her students. She was enthralling!

On July 10th LD came home to drive my Dad and me up to DC to visit dad's old stomping grounds. Traffic was appalling. I never thought there would be so many people driving into DC on a Summer Saturday but I hadn't taken into consideration Kings Dominion, south of F'burg. that, at least made sense, but who all those folks were north of Woodbridge heading into hot sticky down town DC - I will never know. We got off 95 there and took the stop light trip up Route 1. thank heavens for Sons and their portable GPSs.
Dad and LD at his childhood home.

Blessed Sacrament Church ... the family church

It was a long day but we're all still smiling about it.
Thursday the 14th M, BH, and TheQueen ...

went to Richmond to attend the book launch of our friend Emyl Jenkin's newest book The Big Steal. This is the second in her series of mysteries set in the antique business, which, given Emyl's own background, is thorough and entertaining.
Emyl was our first WWW author and has been instrumental in helping us get other authors to give up a whole weekend to enhance the literary world of Essex County. I love her mysteries because they're kind stories, not gory. The people main characters are not unduly flawed, but rather, more humanely flawed, like I hope that I am. Quirky, but not twisted. I didn't make this comparison first, but I agree that they are far more like Precious Ramotswe's Botswana mysteries than Stuart Woods' gritty city crimes.
We girls had a splendid time which is good because the very next morning I woke up with the worst allergy attack since '02! Bad enough to hie me to a doctor last Monday to get on Zyrtec and codeine and back again on Friday for bigger stuff. I'm almost better but still coughing enough to sound like a consumptive so I shall stay home today as well. There's no pressing dooty on my schedule for today and I'll be better for one more Day of Not Talking.
And tomorrow - perhaps I shall feel up to sharing with you Thoughts From A Knitter Who Has Spent 5 Days With Her Stash.

posted by Bess | 5:45 PM


Blogger is a tempermental teenager at times. That is why I moved to Live Journal some time ago... also, I like to write entries that only I can read on LJ... it feels good to vent sometimes ;-)

By OpenID verachou, at 11:41 AM  

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hmmm. Blogger why won't you let me cut and paste?

posted by Bess | 5:41 PM


Oh my goodness! The lady's hat, and that fur scarf!!! Love them! I'm afraid by the time I was born, grown ups dressed in polyester clothes and had long hair and sideburns, hehehe.

By OpenID verachou, at 1:52 PM  

I forgot to say good luck with your la-di-da picnic! :)

By OpenID verachou, at 1:53 PM  

Casual country picnic overlooking the river... sigh. Sounds wonderful!

By Blogger cathy, at 10:34 PM  

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009  

Finding ways to take the afternoon off

Without using up vacation time, that is. Our Friends of the Library summer author is Sheri Reynolds, of Rapture of Canaan fame. She speaks tomorrow to a gathering of book loving locals. But she comes tonight and she's invited to dinner at my house ... a casual dinner for the 12 members of the FOL executive board and the author. The idea was casual homey country picnic with a view of the river and a look in on Mr. and Mrs. Bald Eagle.

Only it's been so long since I've had dinner guests who weren't blood kin relatives who have to ignore my housekeeping flaws I feel like a new bride entertaining her husband's boss. Everywhere I look are Things I Would Like To Fix (Clean or Change or Hide). Eh. I will have to depend on the hospitality of Jack, Priss and BD to cover for me.

But this is just a little pricking feeling. I know I can entertain people and I know I will be fine. This is one time when Mind really has to take over from Emotions.

Besides, it's hump day. The weather is lovely. There is actual grass growing in the yard. The garden is full of blooms, even if you have to view it from afar. Blackberries are ripening. Truly - a perfect summer day. And there is something fun to look forward too.

This Saturday LD is going to take my dad and me and possibly another friend, up to DC to see my dad's old stomping grounds. La! I haven't seen that old Harrison Street house in decades!

So. Who remembers when all grownups looked like this?

posted by Bess | 6:48 AM


Love the socks, especially the fair isle pair! You are quite the industrious knitter! You had a wonderful mini vacation and just the thing I would do (minus the cleaning, lol) if I had a few days to spend as I wished to. Hope you have a good week at work and more of the same at home!

By OpenID verachou, at 10:41 AM  

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Sunday, July 05, 2009  

Full summer begins

Thank you all for the kind comments about my socks. Much progress was done over the weekend and now I have another pair completed, allowing me to cross off 3 of the 14 on my list. There are photos of the Finished Objects at the end of this post. What follows next is a little catch-up of what has been going on at TheCastle.

Prepare to be sprung from your prison. Expect, soon, to be given the key to your cell. But be ready too, for a reluctance to leave the familiar comfort of your old environment. You have been unhappy with a situation for a long time. You are in the habit of complaining and of getting nowhere. Shock may be your first reaction when the door that you have been pounding on opens up. You may suspect a trap. But, slowly, you'll come to like the inspiration and the opportunity that presents itself to you this week. It's going to be an amazing month...

Thank you MrHoroscope. You have been promising me a pleasant change for a long time. I've been waiting for this since oh... January? Yeah – about that long. I am completely ready to be “released” and looking forward to an amazing month.

I am also pretty doggone relaxed after 3 and a half days of doing exactly what I wanted..... which wasn't much, barring a marathon cleaning burst on Saturday. I'd cut out early on Thursday, a day of perfect summertime weather: sunny, breezy, clear and dry. Somehow, I just couldn't make myself stay at work till 5 and with a bank of vacation days saved up and plenty of staff on hand ... well there. What would you do?

Well, what I did was go buy enough groceries to make it through the weekend, pick up the first 2 Harry Potter movies from the rental place and zip on home about 2:30. The air was so sweet and tempting I convinced BD to join me on a walk out to Robert's Landing and, for me, at least, a swim. Oh how the water felt – so silky and sweet as it flowed past me on its way to the sea. Tide was going out and little leaves and floating bits slipped past me as I dug my toes into the sandy bottom. BD is not much of a swimmer but he never minds sitting on the bank and talking while I'm playing in the water. Virgos may be earth signs, but I must have many planets lurking in the water signs. Water is my medicine of choice for whatever ails me .... drinking it, swimming in it, bathing in it ... I adore water.

Friday I rented the Rug Doctor from a store in town and cleaned the rugs and upholstered furniture. It's exhausting work because the heavy rugs have to be vacuumed, flipped, vacuumed on the back, flipped and vacuumed once again, all the while the year's worth of dirt tracked in off the farm by man and dog must continually be sucked up off the floor too. That is a heckuva lot of flipping and vacuuming. Then you start using the wet vac. The products that go with it are remarkably effective, though, especially the pet odor remover which you can use as a spot treatment or dump in with the soap and hot water. In particular, that is needed on the blue couch in the den where three dogs think they are welcome to lounge no matter what swamp they've been sloshing through.

I went to bed Friday with aching limbs and stiff fingers but the rest of the weekend it was fun to wander from room to room, sitting on clean furniture, lying on clean floors and saying “No No Out” to begging dogs at screen door. I will relent after Wednesday, when we have guests coming, for dinner but for now, no dogs in the house.

But after all that effort I just didn't have it in me to do another thing all weekend. At least, not another thing that required getting dressed. I've been in my pj's for 2 whole days and it has been delicious. I didn't even take a walk! I just knit and read and watched the first 2 Harry Potter movies and the second disc of TLC's What Not To Wear. What a fantasy that is. $5,000 to spend on a new wardrobe with fashion experts to tell you how you really look in what you're picking out. Yum! Also, I really like the guy who does the hair for the victim's makeovers.

BD wanted to be close all weekend and the best way for us to do that is to let him read to me while I knit. I had recently picked up Mort d'Arthur on tape, read by Derek Jacoby. Oh what a grand job he is doing too – with his perfect classically trained voice. Ahh I wish there were more Brother Cadfael DVD's out there. I, alas, have seen them all at least twice. A discussion with BD about Mallory lead to talk of Spencer and his Faerie Queen and the next thing you know I'm listening to this complex and sexually latent tale as I knit socks. What fun it's been, especially since I know I'd never read it myself. I have enough dyslexia issues with normal spelling as it is. I could never plow my way through the secret code of Spencer's Spelling. BD, with all his years of 17th century research and also his perfectly visual way of reading, can breeze through the strange pronunciations and keep the elegant pace of the poetry.

Much knitting was done as these photos will attest:

I finished these plain jane stockinette socks for me. This is a beautiful Spirit Trail sock yarn knit on #3 needles.

This is a Trekking sock yarn I bought at Stony Mt. Fibers ages ago ... it's what I call a "guy" color and these socks are intended for BD. I'm not sure what happened since I bought this stuff at least 4 years ago, but I don't think there was a full skein here. Fortunately, this color, #66, is still available. Neither BD nor I care if the dye lot matches all that well. These are, after all, men's socks. They will be felt, not seen.

Again, plain stockinette sock knitting.

Of course, I like to have an upstairs sock and a downstairs sock going and though there are still at least 4 more half knit pairs in the queue, I couldn't resist starting something different. This is another Spirit Trail sock yarn combo - an almost solid green with a beautifully coordinating handpaint. I've been waiting for just the right inspiration to knit these two yarns together. The yarn is still from the downstairs stash I inventoried a month ago so it's legal to knit it up this summer.

I'm using the first reticulated pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. It's the blue and yellow pattern - but look at the color match between the book cover and the sock yarn! Pure coincidence, but isn't it ... coincidental?

I chose the other pattern because this particular yarn isn't truly self striping and I wanted to be sure enough bits of the handpainted colors showed up.

And now it is Monday and it's back to work. A busy week with a guest author, dinner guests at my house as well, and prep for the coming library board meeting. Yes. It's July again.

Happy Monday to you all.

posted by Bess | 3:58 PM