Sunday, March 29, 2009

Other voices and more words

I can tell her she's not alone and that thousands of people have struggled to survive this.

I can tell her that grief is a wild, crazy, unpredictable emotion and all feelings are valid.

I can tell her that true understanding may never come, but acceptance is possible.

I can tell her that all the dreams she has for her own future are still out there waiting.

I can tell her that hope, joy, and laughter will return someday.

I can tell her that it will get easier over time.

I can tell her all of these things and more, but it is still only me doing the talking. Maybe it takes more voices, maybe other people can come up something better.

So if you have a minute or so to spare, would you please go here and add your words to mine? I don't know how much it will help, but it's certainly worth trying.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We do not want you

This club is not looking to expand its membership. In fact, within the limits of their abilities to do so, current members will do almost anything possible to prevent any new additions. There are absolutely no benefits, and though annual dues will decrease over time, the initial sign-up fee is truly brutal. Sadly, despite this, the club roster grows every year. 

So if you do join, you will be welcomed with open arms, because we know what it took to get you here.  We will offer boxes of kleenex and share our stories.  You'll use the first one right away, and the rest slowly over time, finding your own place in the tales of mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends and lovers. The sharing of stories is important, not just to you, but to us as well.  In telling you, we heal ourselves, and the lost live again.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tomorrow is going to be painful

This I am sure of.

I have a wood table and chair set on my balcony that did not survive the winter well.  They were very poor quality to begin and I didn't expect much, but still...for outside furniture they really should have held up better than they did.

The table top is the worst:

But the chairs aren't too much better.  I knew in order to really enjoy them on my balcony this season I'd need to give them an overhaul and somehow, I got it in my head that this would be a good weekend to do it. Warm, dry sunny weather, an empty patio space to work in, and three whole days to get it done, right?  I figured I'd do the sanding on Friday, the color stain on Saturday, and the clear poly coat on Sunday. (Yes, I know you can buy the color and poly coat in one - but they do not sell that here.)  This seemed like a perfectly good plan.

I'm not sure at what point today I realized my folly.  But it's about on the level of your average Jack or Jill suddenly deciding out of the blue that tomorrow is a good day to run a marathon. I forget sometimes, that I am not the person who works out at the gym three times a week and spends weekends shouldering trays of fancy covered plates and toting bus pans full of dirty dishes, that I am now the person who sits on the couch with a Macbook all day. And that person spent several hours today moving her arm back and forth in the same repetitive motion, gripping a sanding block.  As a righty, I did try to remember to switch to using my left hand periodically, but instinct is hard to overcome.

So despite the fact that I spent today sanding and prepping the table and chairs, I do not think I will be staining them tomorrow.  In fact, if I have a functioning right arm at all tomorrow, I will consider that a full-on miracle.  At the very least, I expect to spend large amounts of the day making pathetic wimpering sounds and dosing myself liberally with ibuprofen.

For tonight, I believe I will go with a liquid painkiller and applying heat to my poor aching and abused muscles. Tomorrow will come soon enough. And it's gonna hurt too.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In my next life

I think I want to be her...


This one does not stress about forming grammatical sentences in Spanish or memorizing ethical theorists, worry about whether or not someone will call, or even waste one moment thinking about holes in walls, stained carpets or dripping faucets.  Sure there's a few basic hygiene issues to get past, but on the whole???

Fresh food and water delivered daily, shelter provided free of charge, love and affection on demand, and endless naps in the warm sun.

Yeah, I think I could handle that.

Haven't done this in ages

A Saturday Sky:

I'm feeling sort of oddly stressed/anxious/frustrated about a variety of things, some of which are actually beyond my control. But as we've all experienced, just knowing that doesn't stop the brain from spinning 'round in circles, into the wee hours of the morning. A night of tossing and turning is so not what I need right now, it won't help anything at all.

What will help is that tomorrow is predicted to be a rainy day, and for once I welcome it. I want a quiet gray day of showers, a day I can hunker down inside and focus on the few things that are within my control, making progress in those areas should bring a little relief, at least improving my overall mood.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Maybe these are the electric sheep the androids dream of

You just gotta love this:

I'm impressed as all hell with the idea, but the execution?  Whoa....

*Edited to add: If the post title made sense to you, or you caught the reference, let me know!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The stash burped

Just recently after seeing the photo of my Stitches West haul which included some Cascade Fixation, my friend and fellow blogger beentsy contacted me to say that she had some of that springy cotton yarn she'd love to send on to someone who'd put it to good use. She listed all the different colorways and I replied back saying that I'd love to have the two blue and the two purple and she responded to let me know that they were on their way.

Then the other day I went to the post office and picked up a package.  I recognized the sender's name and location, and thought, "Wow, kind of a big package for four li'l balls of cotton yarn...she musta really wrapped that up good..."

You see what's coming don't you?

I didn't.

She sent me all of it. The whole enchilada.

Uh, hunh - yessirree.  That is eight, count 'em, EIGHT balls of yarn.  The equivalent of up to four pairs of socks. That's like - my whole summer sock knitting right there!

Yes, of course I know you can use that yarn for something other than socks. (And I plan on proving that soon, more on that another day.) But this is me, remember?  She of the sweaty Southern California summers?  I know I will want to knit socks during the season, even when I am too hot to be wearing 'em, and on those days, this may be the only yarn I wanna get near.

Between my Stitches purchases and this, my stash is full to the bursting point.  I already had a guilt thing going about the yarn still lurking in my stash from last year...but now??? Knitting exclusively from stash will be my mantra for the coming months, and clearly, I also need to be knitting more! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stitches West '09 - the rest of the story

The nice thing about blogs is that if you need to leave them for awhile, they just sit there and wait patiently for you to come back. (The blog readers, now that's another matter.) Cats however, if left for a week, even in the care of someone nice and sincere, have issues. Serious issues. Forgiveness is still pending.  I'll keep you posted.

So where was I?  Having entirely too much fun at Stitches West. More fun than I've had in the longest time.  I took a class in designing cables taught by Fiona Ellis, and missed out the opportunity to take classes in double-knitting and knitting continental style because the classes filled up much faster than I'd expected.  I tried knitting with square needles and learned about sock knitting machines from an enthusiast. I visited with friends I met last year at Stitches, like DidiTracy, and Wendee. I met some great new people like Christine, Michelle, and Laura.

And I did do a wee bit of shopping:

That, from left to right and then top to bottom is, a pair of sock blockers from Chappy's Fiber Arts, a couple skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Louet Gems fingering from Discontinued Brand Name Yarn, Madeleine Tosh sock in "Jade" from Webs, two skeins of Hazel Knits in new colorways "Blacklight" and "Lipstick 1984" from Bobbins Nest Studio, some Cascade Fixation from Rumpelstiltskin, and a skein of worsted wool from Creatively Dyed. Phew!

I'm very pleased with what I bought, I think I did I much better job of navigating the marketplace than I did last year, when it was all just completely overwhelming. But that's not all I got, just all I bought.

The night before I left to travel to Stitches I was frantically calmly packing my suitcase and tying up a few loose ends when I got a surprise phone call from my friend D.  Now I'd already received a great b-day card from her, and an email, but phone calls are nice too.  She informed me that a couple of her old friends from her glass-blowing days ran a business selling their glass beads, jewelry and other work and that apparently they were going to have a booth at Stitches West. Okay, any friend of D's is a friend of mine - great!  But then she went on to say that in honor of my 40th birthday, she had arranged for me to have a $40 credit at their booth! Oh wow - do I have the bestest friends or what???

So on Thursday evening at the market preview I went and introduced myself to Mingo and Asho of Glasscapes.  Their products were so amazingly gorgeous I knew I was going to need to come back and spend some quality time making a decision. And on Saturday afternoon, after over 30 minutes, I finally did:

A beautiful glass pendant and two stunning buttons. (Ruler included for scale). I wore the pendant when I went out Saturday evening, and had Mingo and Asho's business cards in my back pocket so every time someone commented on get the idea!  I don't know what I'll use the buttons on, they are similar enough to be used together but so outstanding I think it'd be great to use just one as an accent at the top of a line of plain black buttons, or solo on a hat. We'll see!  (And thank you so much D!  Wonderfully thoughtful and far too generous!) 

But I got a lot more from the trip to Stitches West than what you can see in these pictures.  For just those brief days, I was completely surrounded by people who shared my level of interest in knitting. Not just a few people, not even a few dozen, but maybe a few hundred.  This, for a long time solo knitter like me, is a fairly heady experience.

Is it any wonder I'm experiencing a bit of difficulty in returning to my regularly scheduled programming?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just had too much fun...

to stop and take pictures or write blog posts. But I'm on my way home now, spending a quiet night at the Days Inn in Castaic and tomorrow I'll be on the road again and then on a boat back to the island.  Once I've had a chance to unpack, peel the velcro kitties off me (I do miss the critters), and get caught up on my life I'll also get the blog caught up with stories of Stitches and pics of what I brought home with me!