Fingerless glove

looking for what's missing... I'm a knitting, spinning, mother of teenagers with a big dog, a small cat, minus the lovely rabbit Meliflua.

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Location: Virginia, United States

Right now I'm listening to "An Irish Country Village" by Patrick Taylor, reading "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen and knitting Wisconsin Wintersocks. And casting off the lace shawl I've been working on since I last posted.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

1st Robin of Spring

I'll bet you thought I'd forgotten my password to post blogs. No, I've just been busy.

I've been busy pulling nails out of some lovely pine tongue & groove I'm recycling onto one or two of our bedroom floors. (Better than ending up in the landfill, isn't it?) I was doing this outside yesterday when I saw my first Robin of spring. It's been warm & sunny so they've probably been around for awhile, but I don't see that many Robins here, no matter what time of year. Still, old feelings die hard and even though they aren't the harbinger of Spring here that they are in Wisconsin, I get a little thrill when I see the first one of the year.

I've been busy writing an application for a summer internship doing research. It's very competitive but even applying has been a boost. There's nothing like reading good things about yourself in a letter of recommendation someone has written for you (especially if those things are almost true.)

I've been busy dropping a truckload of Boy Scouts & middle aged men at the Virginia/West Virginia border so they can backpack the 54 miles of the Appalachian Trail that goes through Maryland. (It's only supposed to rain 2 of the next 6 days...)

I've been busy listening to Neuromancer by William Gibson. The technical stuff in this SciFi written in the 80's still sounds fresh and his use of language is so entertaining I bought "Pattern Recognition" at the used book store so I could keep going. Neuromancer is the concept for the movie Matrix, even if Gibson never got credit.

Now I'm going to get busy studying for next Tuesday's lab exam.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Little Lambsie Divy

Rondi rescued this little pair, born in a South Dakota snowstorm to an inexperienced ewe. Wool is pretty cute on the hoof, isn't it?


I think the front one got a nice 'do from the blow dryer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pants or "What was I Scared of?"

Vince is trying to conjure up a pair of ski pants for his upcoming trip, so maybe I'm just sensitive, but it I've noticed a lot of pants references lately.

Henrik Ibsen, who was born on this day in 1828, said, "You should never have your best trousers on when you go out to fight for freedom and truth."

And "What was I scared of?" by another March birthday boy, Theodor Geisel. You don't recognize that title? We always begged for it as "The Runaway Pants." It's one of the other stories in "The Sneeches and Other Stories," a ghost story as only Dr. Seuss could tell it:

"Well...
I was walking in the night
And I saw nothing scary.
For I have never been afraid
Of anything. Not very.

Then I was deep within the woods
When, suddenly, I spied them.
I saw a pair of pale green pants
With nobody inside them!"

Which brings us finally to Anne LaMott's sage advice in a commencement address. Never buy uncomfortable pants. Words to live by, don't you think? (It may sound frivolous, but think about it. We'll have a woman President when we all stop wearing ridiculous pants. And don't even get me started on shoes.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Less invisible

Last Monday at Prince William Purlers I cast on a new multidirectional scarf with some lovely yarn Claire gave me to cheer me up. (We will not mention the invisible scarf. It's around somewhere. I think. Who can tell? It is invisible.)

Claire had crocheted kewl fingerless gloves in a shell pattern with the same dyelot. Crochet really takes advantage of the long color changes. Even though I was sorely tempted to knit some fingerless gloves (Knitty has a dashing pattern in the Spring issue I think is just perfect) all I could see was this scarf:


This is just what I had imagined and I love it. No more invisibility, which was exactly why I needed cheering up.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

March sky

This is why I like my car.


It has a sunroof.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Mother Earth News.

I finally did it. I put my collection of The Mother Earth News magazines -- starting with Volume 1, number 1 -- on EBay. (If any of you pine to own the wisdom of the Gaea generation just past hippy but before global warming, let me know. They'll be up on EBay for 4 more days.)

Even though I haven't cracked the spine on a single issue in several years (well, maybe the issue with the tepee instructions. I have a serious love of good design and tepees are amazing), it's hard for me to let them go because they are hard-copy proof of an aspect of my personality that has gotten a little lost lately.

Do you dream of living in a McMansion with a swimming pool, electronic gate and a gardener? I never have. For awhile I dreamed of a fairly traditional -- but earth-sheltered -- home: 3 bedrooms, roomy kitchen, garage, etc.

For the last decade or so my dream home has been to find a lonely red tile silo of a decent diameter, top it with a glass geodesic greenhouse & some solar panels, build a spiral staircase around the inside & make a home out of it. Kitchen & bath plumbing on the first floor. I haven't figured out lightning protection & the window plan yet: lots of glass block following up the staircase like that funky visitor center at the Grand Canyon, but I'll need some windows that open... Which just goes to show, I am not afraid to dream.

I love high places. Can you imagine the view of the stars on a winter night? This could be the next best thing to the fire tower (July 31, 2006).

Ironically, selling my TMENs was spurred by an article I read about Tiny Houses -- houses under 500 square feet. People that live in them say "...as their homes got smaller, their communities got bigger." Makes sense to me.

I can appreciate that this is not every one's ideal environment. My own knees may not agree with my heart on this one. What kind of house would you have if all you had to do was dream?

P.S. Keep Fr. Tom in your thoughts today. He is having neck surgery. Or as he says, don't pray for him; pray for his SURGEON.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hansel & Gretel

Cass had an assignment to write a poem in the style of a famous poet. Frost? Yeats? Wordsworth? Sandburg? Angelou? No, she chose Roald Dahl a la Revolting Rhymes and wrote the following, to which she owns all the copy rights. All I did was buy her books to feed this fierce imagination of hers.

Hansel and Gretel walked along
In perfect step, singing a song,
Looking for a nice old crone
Who'd let the kiddies eat her home.
"I think," said the smallish German child,
"We'll have to find one who's less wild.
The last one was completely wack
While restraining her I threw my back."
"Yes," sweet young Gretel agreed,
"I know just the place to do this deed."
So they wandered far away from home
Into the forest, all alone.
When they arrived, dear Hansel spied
The old crone's house and nearly died.
The house was made of gingerbread,
Fat Hansel almost fell down dead.
Gretel grabbed his arm and with all her wattage
Launched herself upon the cottage.
They ate and ate and ate some more,
Until they lay there, on the floor
Completely incapacitated,
It seemed, my dears, that this was fated.
Soon enough, a witch came out
And promptly turned the kids to sprouts.
A lesson ev'ry child needs to learn:
Avoid all sins, for they will turn
You into something grosser by far
Than the little twit you already are.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I would like to thank the Academy

I've been thinking about this post for a week but have had other writing to do. (Go ahead; ask me about amoebic dysentery ... if you dare.)

I am usually not a watcher of awards shows, but I really did intend to watch the Oscars this year. I didn't actually watch them. I planned to. I think that should count. I wanted to watch the acceptance speeches. (Well, that and the clothes.)

I wonder what I would say if I had all those people listening to me.

I would like to think I would take a risk, that I'd pass by all those trite "I'd like to thank the Academy ... my producer ... my guru ... my agent ... my dog ... for always believing in me" phrases. Here's an opportunity to say something that will reach the brains of -- not to exaggerate -- a LOT of people, and that's the most they have to say?

My darling daughter has already warned me, after watching contestant after American Idol contestant, that if she's ever on national TV about to dedicate a song, she is not going to say, "This is for my Mother." She loves me but she thinks she could come up with something a little more off-the-beaten-path. She's different than every other person on the planet, so why not celebrate that? I can appreciate her sentiment (although if she dedicates it to her dog, we will have words.)

Maybe this is the ultimate luxury of being a non-celebrity. We don't have to be what people expect us to be (although we don't always take advantage of this blessing.) Maybe actors are so accustomed to having words put in their mouths that they don't feel the power of original thought. Maybe the "it's better to look good than to be good" culture is as much as they aspire to. Then again, maybe I missed some moving, powerful, thought-provoking acceptances speeches on Sunday.

Or just some thought-provoking clothes (mostly, "how does she keep that thing on?")

What would you say?