Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Solar power

If you have not encountered Accuweather Blog 38 Below, you should consider doing so. Here's his description of the weather in Charleston, SC, yesterday:

"Okay, close your eyes. Imagine one of those polaroid pictures. We've all seen them before. Outside is the classic white border. Now inside picture a gray square. Now, next to you is a guy holding a bucket. He seems nice enough. He smiles and waves. Now he throws the water on you that he had in the bucket. He does that four or five times.

"Now you have an idea of what the weather was like this morning. (Open eyes now.) Fortunately this was better than the weather in Orlando, which was similar to the above except that the square in the middle of the polaroid was black, and the fellow with the bucket brought 39 of his closest friends with him."

Now what is amazing is that this is the very description of the weather, _here_, today. Only he forgot that the smiling man periodically throws the bucket at you, too. If God has decided to hate everyone who hoped make an honest dime off leaf-peeping tourists, wouldn't it be more effective to say so first?

I find bright yellow cornbread with apricot jam is helpful, first because of the spiritus magic, and then because sugar and starch are involved (and grease), and finally because I had to turn on the oven. My cats are going insane with boredom.

Posting for the left of center


Monday, October 24, 2005

62 days till when?

I can't hear you, Harlot. I have All The Time In The World. I started my father's size 13, 7.5 stitches to the inch, sock(s) yesterday. Gonna spin that laceweight for my mom's thing too, and say nothing of my children... one time of year having a small family is not a bad thing.

It has been cold and dark here FOREVER. I think we had one nice day after Rhinebeck, when I did indeed plant bulbs. Maybe two, when I planted most of the rest of the bulbs. I still have not nearly enough (like 5 daffodils and some small stuff, scillas and crocus) for the Courtyard Garden (fancy name for area outside the Loom Room, whihc I only began to cultivate in maybe August), but since we're doing dank, dark, and rawr I am beginning to wonder if I'll get those in at all. After today and yesterday's rain, we're supposed to have a nor'easter for 2 days named Wilma. At least the air should be warmer.

I must take my hat off to Stitchy for coming up with a real Rhinebeck spirit-guardian.

So, my great Paroxysm of Cleaning, the one I have been on since Rhinebeck? It looks a little better here, and there is some deep improvement, but we are also looking for shallow, superficial tidiness, the kind that offers you surfaces. We need to look pretty hard still. I am starting to lose enthusiasm, and it is not anywhere near done.

I though what if I FORBADE myself to do any shelving, any unpacking of boxes for a day? What if I did a little dyEing in pursuit of the right color to ply my Black Hills Gold (that's the one I started spinning August 29, yes)? SO I went up to the organized realm of roving and got some pale gray Mary Pratt and remembered why I was in an unpacking frenzy: because I need to unpack boxes to uncover the small gas thing in the glassed-in, uninsulated, leaky-air porch so we can install it in the Loom Room, which though potentially much more heatable now feels like USDA Zone 2. Those boxes look suddenly worth attempting again.

(Although there are 2 oz of roving soaking in a vinegar solution in the kitchen.)

I am murdering enough time by doing the second thumb of my modular mittens while reading blogs. I am finding myself so much less enchanted about doing the thumbs that I fear my fantasized career as a gloveknitter to the stars will come to nothing. At least I may have a Finished Project to show, one of these days. But none of my relatives would want them for Christmas.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I may have seen the last butterfly of the year this afternoon. There was only one frog around yesterday, and one dragonfly. The juncoes have been here since about October 4th (the last hummingbird was September 20). I brought the pepper plant (one of those 'ornamental' ones? Hotter than you'd expect) in; it made it through last winter and seems to have enjoyed having a summer outside.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I was there. It was good.

Juno said it all better than I shall. But despite the driving (which was just long, not harrowing -- I reached Poughkeepsie by 1:30 on Friday, before it got dark or hairy), and the sudden terrible depletion of my checking account, I have to thank Norma and TooMuch wool for making me go. They were, as always, entirely right. Having a brainworm of "Touch Me in the Morning" for over a week was making the wycked speryts come out in their ghostly hosts. All the friendly people, and the colors, and a Mary Pratt fleece from a sheep called Peggy Sue took care of that.

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Nathania and Julia

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Mama Cate, whom I may now actually recognize

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an unfortunate person who photographs badly with a Rhinebeck katsina

I will forget something important, but here are a few of MY highlights: The wonderful pleased delighted welcome I got when Julia and Cassie and Laurie found me;

the lamb chop/kebab/spinach/mesclun plate, perfectly done but not charred;

getting Norma to admit she spindles just fine with the right material (I also taught a perfect stranger, whom I hope finds the article on dog hair in the recent Spin-Off);

the sun coming out;

Image hosted by Photobucket.com (oh, yes, that's the Mary Pratt fleece I bought myself, Jazz...oh, yes, I washed it on Monday...you mean you don't wash your fleeces before you unpack the rest of the car? yes, that's a mini-skein of Peggy Sue there, from the handful I washed in the hotel room on Saturday night, I spun it up Monday night because I had this diz and I needed to use it. Why do you ask me if I am compulsive?) (and two skeins of Socks that Rock and two Linda Diak batts and a sample of the roving I got from Tintagel Farms/Persimmon Tree Farms. I did also get a Diak crochet hook and some Mountain Colors and a skein of heathery purple yarn)

my new little TreeTops niddy-noddy, my new Charis spindle, my new Woodchuck diz and nostepinde;

a very small girl with a toy sheep;

the glow over the Woodchuck's stall, reflecting off his finishes;

a fine room party on Friday and a loud huge take-over-the-lobby that the management didn't object to on Saturday night;

perfect timing with my ride and roomies on Saturday, so they were heading to the car just when I wanted to drop off my fleece, and agin when my feet were dropping off me and I needed a Voice of Reason to tell me to Go Home and Put Them Up.

Saturday I ran into everyone at every turn. Sunday I missed nearly everyone and left about 2, wondering whether walking through one more barn would have turned them up again. But I know I will see youse all again soon.

Since I got home I have been doing things like tidying the fleece loft so I will have room for the new fleece (I am banned from even looking at anymore for as long as it takes to whittle the stash down) washing the fleece; planting 95 daffodils and a motherwort; and actually unpacking and organizing some books, which I had been putting off for the last 15 months. Not that I am wholly unpacked or organized but it is good to feel some motion there.

Thanks for the energies.

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

It was good

Rhinebeck was fun. The people were fun to be with. No one I know drank too much, although it must be said that Norma said, stone cold sober, with absolute conviction, that flecks were very important.

She is right, of course.

I did not need to buy anything, but I managed to. The Woodchuck's stall was as seductive as I have always been told. I restrained myself the first day and only bought 2 ounces of Blue-Faced Leicester to spin on a Charis spindle as I walked around. This was supposed to make me buy less. I think opaque contacts lenses would work better.

Mostly I just want to say I got home in four hours, and yes, there were big gusts of wind and I hope Linda and Helen get home okay.

Possibly more when I get a night's sleep.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Moose pictures from dig

If you want to see the moose, you have to go here. Right now I am getting ready to go to Rhinebeck. I didn't know I was going, either, but Norma and Cassie have given me an offer I can't refuse, to say nothing of threatening me with a giant Motherwort.

If you aren't that interested in moose, it's enough to know I had a fine log Columbus Day Weekend, with much less rain than they apparently got here. And that they are getting here. If the weather were going to be good, I might not have given into the evil beckonings toward excess in upstate NY (great title for the next entry? We'll see).

When I got home about 3 on Monday, my impending housemate Doug watched me reel around and took me to dinner, partly because he wanted to go to the same restaurant two nights running with two different women. Worked for me. He saw logs and trees coming down the river on Sunday (though no propane tanks), but it was clear but for whitecaps on Monday. VERY high and approaching the level of the bridge.

So naturally, I am driving Southwest. I hope Route 9 stays open this evening.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Got me right

You scored as Gytha (Nanny) Ogg. You are Nanny Ogg! A talented witch, able to make yourself at home wherever you are, and insist that Greebo is just a big softie. You enjoy drinking, a lot, and singing about a hedgehog. You have a huge family, and get your daughters-in-law to do most of the housework. You are kind and gentle, and help put people at ease.

Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Unmistakably autumn

Weather: my compliments to the chef. This is what I would like to live for, only I might not make it through the year. Dry, crisp, sunny, not too cold in the shade.

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I was forced entirely at gunpoint to go up a hundred miles north to Randolph for, essentially, a very small amount of light labor and three hours of knitting (in the car) time, with good conversation. It is always beautiful in the Mt. Washington valley.

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On the way home I had a hankering to see a heron, so I pulled into the boat launch road I have never gone down. I was a little late, but apparently in the right area:

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The water was so still I could hardly tell the reflection from the trees, which was funny when one of them was upside down.

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My knee is 90% all better (except when I flex it backwards. Not good). Here is the shot out the bedroom window, which should become more colorful for a few weeks:

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About that funeral

So I helped pick out funeral readings for Grace's mother, a woman who died at 91 years; the last few of them she was missing a number of brain cells and became kinder and gentler. We should all be so lucky, really. Between the sexual orientation of most of Grace's friends and my increasing desire not to use what faith I have remaining to threaten or bully other people, and the natural desire of Christian (Roman Catholic) lectionary/liturgy pickers to promote their own relatively narrow Way, I found I had trouble finding any choices that suggested that God was not a respecter of labels or a cosmic person of very short temper.

I also haven't been to Mass in about six years because my parish collapsed a year or so before my marriage and the faith thing did not get me through either of them (now I suppose I could be inspired by the infinite sight of ways people can shoot the church they run in the foot, but I think they have run out of feet and are now working on destroying the rest of the body). So I had trouble suggesting any hymns because I have been resolutely shuttering that area of my mind.

The funeral liturgy was not actually as badly done as it might have been. If they read the instructions in the front of the sacramentary, most services would improve beyond recognition, but reading the manual is no more frequent in RC liturgy, at least in New England, than it in any other endeavor. Although the peroration on how living to old age is a sign of the Lord's favor was rather dubious when the length of days had killed off all of her own generation and she was about, with great reluctance by her daughter, to be consigned to the minimum security prison of an old folks home. Oh, don't get me started, I know they have a lot to do, but would it kill a priest to ask a few questions about the deceased before talking about how we (mostly lesbians or liberals) will want to go carry out her ideals and principles (mostly homophobic to an absurd extent, back when she had any)?

But I was still blind-sided when the over-amped (but I gotta say, on-pitch) tenor belted out "Be Not Afraid" and I was shaken with racking sobs. I think it may be because we're all going to die and whether I outlive you or you me, it is going to be tough on someone.

And I am also still sad about parts of my life which are as dead as Marley's ghost, if they were ever any more alive.