Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Not tracking very well

I ought to go to work. I WILL go to work. Only I have a Finished Objects from last week, and what kind of devotion to my public is that?

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Now I can send them to my daughter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Life bird last week

Last Monday, to my great relief, it snowed hard enough to keep me out of work. Doug had a sweet little bird out his window; it seemed to be a sparrow with a goatee and a snazzy cap. Considerable work with field guides later, we found it was a redpoll

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which is not a sparrow but a goldfinch (redpoll on left and probably right, Eastern goldfinch in middle). WhatEVER. Today I had a flock of about 40 dipping and swirling outside my window. I am happy.

Monday, January 23, 2006

pretty insanely busy

NB - I added a picture of the anniversary dinner to the previous post, if you're into that.

Work on Friday was a bit odd, because the fledgling Administrative Assistant had booked her boss into two meetings essentially back to back. I hope he lived. I think he did, because I spoke to him this morning while it was snowing too hard for either of us to go to work. I can't wait for my computer to get its more memory-upgrade. I staggered home, where my cat and my daughter's cat explained that Doug had not fed them for the past two weeks. I was only away for four days, so I ignored them. I did laundry. I read more Lois McMasters Bujold(this trilogy, particulary the first two, has some interesting thoughts about religion), and then on Saturday I got up andand did yard work, because it was over 60F. It was lovely, and the deck needed the rotting birdseed to be scraped off. The only good weird thing the previous owner of this house did was to run a hot water line to the hose; it is much more efficient, and less unpleasant, to spray hot water all over a deck in Januaury than to use cold. Doug helped a lot.
Then I made Scallopped Jerusalem Artichokes, in quest of a low-carb dish that would warm the cockles of diggers' hearts. the past two years we have had the SCRAP winter party in the coldest large room on the coldest day of the year. This was possibly the warmest day of the year, so far, and we had it in a smaller warmer room, and I think more people than usual turned up.

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No excuse for this picture, except that I thought it was pretty.

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Sarah and I managed to get some spinning done.

Doug and I staggered home and got up the next morning and eventually set off for Claudia's.

This was the largest private fiber gathering I think I have been privileged to attend. I met a bunch of people whom I ought to remember, and I ate some delicious food. Sandy and Carole and Beth and Cindy among others, and fresh mozzerella and linzertorte and ... it was am amazing gathering. Etherknitter Laurie called Cassie; Norma came down with a very fanciable Polworth fleece. I also took the shoes picture that Julia posted; it was like, you go in the door and they spilled out at you.

Insanely busy

January 14, it rained very hard and Ellie drove us to Boston while I knit a sock. We had a festive dinner with my parents in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary. They had the decency to be embarrassed about it, as neither of them could possibly be that old. They decided to pick up an option on another 13 weeks, together, too.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe waiter told me to squeeze in; I was NOT drunk. Not that drunk, anyhow.
Do I need to add a key to the players again?

The next day, I pondered Arisia--the certain loss of a lot of money--and decided to go straight from Back Bay to Woburn, where I visited friends and met Ellie, who drove to Northampton, while I knit the sock. After some indecision, I spent the night there, getting to hang out with the very nice women on her hall.

The next early evening I drove to Henniker. Couldn't knit the sock. The next day was Tuesday. I picked up my boss, who has been out of the Bible Society/ Council of Churches office due to some broken bones, and he decided I should go to New York for an 11 o'clock meeting on Wednesday. It was supposed to be the ABS consulting with the local Bible societies, only without giving us any agenda or hotel reservations in advance, which was why I had not know when or if I was going.

I visited the archaeology office and found I am getting paid for the middle two weeks of the session of field school, as the total finds from the discovery of the site were in a medium-sized bag on Dick's desk. He says he doesn't think there will be much lab stuff to supervise. Two weeks is, coincidentally I am SURE, the length of time I am going to be given off from my real job this summer, but I may see if I can pry another week out of the office (unpaid) and be in the field. Anyway, this was not bad news at all.

I also bought a pair of real people shoes to wear in NYC, as my office boss thought the slushy hiking boots were not New York-ish. He did not want them to think I am a hick. Despite the lack of Vibram soles, vents, laces, or ankles these were really comfortable shoes. I went home and packed and drove back from home to Concord to get on 93 and return to my parents' apartment.

The next day was not as foul as they had predicted and I carried my cardboard suitcase and the dreams in my heart to the Acela on foot, proving my faith in the Shoes well-placed (which was a good thing, because I left the hiking boots with my parents). Got on the train at Track One at 7:15 like the guy said and found to the conductor's horror I was on a local. They made a very kind fast emergency stop at 128, where I did pick up the Acela. It was full of displaced air travelers. I sat next to a Size 4 blonde from an advertising agency, so I had lots of self-hatred to get on with and finished the sock I had started knitting in the car with Ellie on Saturday. And started a scarf. I don't think the straight garter-stitch horizontal cast-on-150-stitches necessarily works with all novelty yarns.

The winds which had closed the airports brought wires down, so the Acela was an hour late into NY. Winds and rain drove the New Yorkers into taxis, so I was 2 hours late for the meeting I was going to at the American Bible Society. It may not surprise my readers that some enthusiasts of Bible societies are a bit right of center. (If you need more information, email me and I will rant, but I am better now.)

After a long time, they set us free in our nice hotel in the low 70-Streets at 3:30 and I went out in search of an internet portal I could use. This gave me a wonderful walk with some amazing grocery stores

Image hosting by Photobucketolives and sun-dried tomatoes and so on
Image hosting by Photobucketmultiple mushrooms
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the coffee was more photogenic than the tea, sadly

and some views of sunset (which I was too lazy to photograph) on the buildings down the wide streets full of every kind of people under Heaven (which had stopped raining. It was in the high 50's Fahrenheit).

My shoes did what they could, but my knee is not too great and my ankles are not too great and I was tired when I got back to my room after an hour or so. I had a cup of tea. I watched a little X-Files. The other Bible Society people, all four of them, called from the lobby and we walked to a delicious Italian dinner at Coppola's. It was pleasant and pushed none of my rage buttons. By 8 pm I was having trouble staying awake, so we went back to the hotel, where I watched Comedy Central and enjoyed being an evil-minded liberal. I also pushed my camera over the edge of its resources and it is now permanently set on "night." Or there would be more pictures of New York, which is lovely and deserves to be in focus.

The meeting the next day included a few more, older, equally white, people--regional volunteers. I realized I was no longer having a very good time and knitted faster.

Image hosting by PhotobucketI wasn't too fond of this picture but actually, it may convey some of the 'end-of-my-seraphic-temperament -resources' feelings

At 4 Cassie (whose hat
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is PERFECT for her -- she doesn't usually show her whole face so I won't, either) called and I was able to go FREE into New York with another liberal, to a yarn shop
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and a perfect teashop and then to Penn Station. The train back to Boston was on time and I sat across from a tall (6'6"), pleasingly proportioned youth with long, clean hair and no pimples and an Apple laptop. My parents picked me up at the station, which I may be too old for but it was REALLY nice. My mom had also bought me a turtleneck so I had a clean shirt to wear to work on Friday.

And I haven't even reached Claudia's lovely party, but more soon.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Not a bad day

It is hard (though I am sure I could manage) to complain about a day beginning with someone begging to make one of one's pictures part of the cover of his new book. I believe it will be one of several and I am not getting paid, no, but I AM getting a credit, yes, which is plenty cool enough for me. Since I took it, I have no angst about looking fat or demented in it. My two friends look, in fact, cute.

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The author wanted the color version. I'll let you know when it comes out.

Then I went to the adequately hideous strip-mall Post Office that Concord must have done something awful to deserve, and there was a treeful of birds in the slushy, dangerous parking lot. Not sparrows, not even goldfinches: cedar waxwings, who were ignoring cars so I could take a picture. Even if it isn't a very good picture.

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And I was early to work so I could take trite pictures of the beautiful rime.

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The workday was so-so, but I came home and Ellie made Stuffed Gluten-Free Shells, allowing me to try Hot-Pour dyeing like the Twisted Sisters. Way cool. The green was the only one that the dye struck the way it was supposed to, but I think the rovings will be pretty.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

There are times I realize my life is WASTED

because I could be producing real art, art that means something. Like this.

I could knit a Firefly....


First Finished Object/s of 2006:

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Two or even three days ago; size 13, Lorna's Laces 'Tuscany,' and even with handpainted yarn it might be good to check dye lots. Nor is it worthwhile to do a seed-stitch rib if you flank it with K2. One has to learn these things sometime.

I have almost finished the first sock for Ellie, and am back at work on The Experimental Hat. It would be nice if I finished that one by Saturday, when I will probably see its intended donatee (donee? Sam, anyway). It's quite possible, particularly if I can persuade my ever-loving daughter to do the drive down to Boston.

Ellie and I are not in mourning or anomie or just LOSS at all from having finished watching the DVD set of Firefly. We still haven't watched Serenity so we aren't missing the crew or wondering what would have happened if Joss Whedon had been permitted to carry his story arcs out more than maybe ten degrees. No sir, we are not FanGirls.

It snowed enough for Doug to christen his snowshoes (not in the Aussie sense, as far as I know), and then it rained really hard last night, with son-et-lumiere (even in French it's backwards). this will give my re-wrenched knee a chance to get better before we snow-shoe again. Eight inches of powder and leaves underneath that is a very comfortable fall, but I must learn to get my limbs properly composed.

Friday, January 06, 2006


It seems to have been a year since I started here at Blogspot. On the whole, a good year. Not only have I got a Job, which I really needed, but I have met a bunch of very nice people online and had the pleasure of meeting some of them in the real world. To say nothing of being practically bludgeoned into going to Rhinebeck.

Sometimes blogging helps my knitting, and sometimes knitting helps my blogging. I have made great progress on my father's second sock (he may get the pair next week, which is I think the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and still strictly speaking Christmastide). On the Sisyphean side, my daughter fell hard for a pink-lemonade colorway of Sockotta so I am in no danger of knitting anything for myself. The Experimental Hat lacks about 2 hours' work, because by Christmas my thumb hurt and I was kind of tired out. So I baked and made puddings instead, largely.

Christmas was fine; my mother thoughtfully got me Robin Hansen's mittens books (possibly trying to make sure she got the right one) and other people gave me 1491 and several others i need to pay more attention to, and some beautiful earrings from Ellie in green amber and silver. My ex-husband had hoped I would offer a blender and was pleased with the Cuisinart stainless-steel monster. She hosted Christmas Day Dinner and we all ate much too much and went off home or to the houses of girl and boyfriends.

I lack either, which probably contributed to a spiffing case of post-holiday blues, cured by both of my kids' talking to me (separately) for a couple of hours about themselves, which made a change from thinking about myself, lunch with a friend I had not seen for a couple of years and calls from some other people I hadn't heard from in a while. Maybe sometime I'll learn to call up people myself before I get so bleak. Score one good thing for the holidays; people do tend to think about reconnecting. At least other people. I was grateful.

The thumb is better, though not entirely, whether because it was time or because I am wearing a Tibetan medicine bracelet I was given for Christmas. I spent some days off reading Patrick O'Brien and watching Firefly (I'll link these later) and getting a lot done on the above-mentioned socks.

Then on the 3rd I went back to work, where my boss informed me that I had had a much much better New Year's Day than he had: he fell off a ladder and broke three ribs and his pelvis and sacrum. For various medical reasons he can't take anything stronger than Tylenol and he is still in the hospital. This has caused work to be even weirder than before, since, he knows all the ropes and I know very few. He calls and gives useful directions,but it is plain his good humor is wearing thin. Considering how much I complained about a mere sprained knee I don't blame him at all. He is probably more worried than I am about how the work is to get done, since his consists of going to a lot of widely scattered meetings and he can barely move.

I will try to be more diligent. it looks like I posted about every three days in the past year, and I am sadly behind. I hope all of you have at least as good holidays as I did, and certainly none involving untoward encounters with ladders.

Weather complaint: It hasn't been miserably cold and it hasn't sleeted much and it has hardly snowed more than is ornamental. Honestly, how can I moan and whimper? More, how can I go snowshoeing? Doug bought himself a pair and I imagine that will make the ski-slopes go bankrupt.

Do take care.