Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Two things I learned this summer

One is important and should be generally known: Original Ban Roll-On Deodorant, applied liberally over poison ivy, eases itching A LOT.

The other I learned this morning: Sometimes when your trousers are harder to button than they should be, they have haven't shrunk, and you haven't gained. They're inside out.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Revival was EXCELLENT

I have been on a go-slow with the knitting this summer (it was too hot, I have too much stash, I want to make stuff out of silver...leading to self-castigation for having too many hobbies, a messy house, a depleted bank account, and no finished objects, it feels like, ever, in any medium) and did not connect this with an increasing tendency to gnash my teeth and mutter. I knew I missed the lively social life of digging (is it lively, if you are grateful for one another's company, happy to eat together, and stagger off to bed at 8:30, totalled on two glasses of wine?). So I began to think what impractical thing might help and there was Julia.
For some reason the plea for chairs brought it to life for me and I decided to go to the Revival. After a summer of relative chastity, I spent too much money at the Elegant Ewe (the Woven-Stitch Kimono-style sweater in Noro)on Friday, and I feared this was the beginning of a binge. I was mostly okay though -- fortunately, there were not too many vendors at the revival and 4 oz of roving and a pair of needles is hardly anything, right? And I blame Cate for the roving; I was looking for help when I complained that there was a completely unlike-me colorway (neon green +) of roving at Heather's booth, and damn if three minutes later Cate didn't decide she needed to see it. And then she suggested we could make matching socks (although I think she may make four little ones instead of two big ones). It does spin like a dream.

It was wonderful to see people from faraway Northampton and people I know and like whose last names and homes I have no idea of. And Kelly's baby, to say nothing of Kelly. I have almost met the Island Pond Spinners enough to recognize them now.

I noticed that similar makes of spinning wheel seemed to clump together. No Majas were in evidence, but more Schacts than I would have expected (they don't seem very portable, but I must be mistaken). Three darling Victorias, some Lendrums, our small ode to Joys (three in a row).

Sarah felt bad because all around her people were spinning wild colors and she was doing white. She is intending to make a handspun, naturally-dyed Bohus sweater and spinning white for a LONG TIME is part of the deal. I can't wait to see it. It will be my own fault that that will take longer because she decided she also needed to knit the Kimono thing (which the Ewe really needs to put up on its website). I spent Sunday muttering until I finally just gave in and knit instead of doing anything useful, and Doug is knitting a new floor for the chicken coop, I think the wood is 4-ply...

Real life. Bah.

Monday, August 13, 2007

She blogs, but not very often -- trying to catch up

Okay, it's been busy. Only not really. I came back from the last week of digging on August 4. We never did find anything but the foundations of a good-sized wall. Tidiest early Americans EVER.

It was very hot. It was very humid. It was harder to cope with than the greater, though dryer, heat of last year, even though we had patches of shade sometimes this year.

While I was digging (except for the first week when I thought I would die, that I was too old, that I had fibromyalgia, and then remembered to take aspirin/ibuprofen/ something like that BEFORE going out to dig) my knees and back became perfectly good and did not hurt particularly. Both places are getting cranky again now I am home. I don't really know what to make of this, as I do not really want to go be a contract digger.

Two days before the end of the dig I got a couple of very small patches of poison ivy, much less than most people. I did not get horrible dripping pustules, but the patches did propagate random very itchy dots all over my body. These finally stopped itching a week later, when I heard Deb was not going to need chemotherapy after her lumpectomy. I like good news.

I believe that was also the night we had guests.
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Dark they were and golden-eyed.

On Wednesday, my daughter got back from her trip digging in Italy (she landed in MA late Tuesday night and stayed at her boyfriend's parents' home). She was not impressed by the administration of the dig but she learned to use a pick and found some pottery and tiles and was in Italy. She liked to cook before she went there (and has not been exceptionally lucky as far as the food she got from the places she studied) and within about half an hour of my arriving home after work, she and her boyfriend and I went to the Henniker farmers' market, where she made crooning noises over the tomatoes. I am very fortunate.

On Thursday, we got her a new driver's license and a cell phone and she was able to take a deep breath because she existed again.

On Friday we visited Sarah in Canterbury to get some rennet (enzymes are sensitive to heat. It is excellent ricotta, though) and we went for a walk through the Shaker Village gardens. This was closely followed by a trip to the Shaker Village vegetable stand, since the little yellow cherry tomatoes were addictive. I began tidying and OBD began cooking for my birthday party (scheduled for Saturday; birthday on Sunday). Friday and Saturday were both gorgeous, with lower humidity than we have had lately, which was good because it had been too miserable to do anything as lively as decluttering

My parents, my ex, and Dick and Deb arrived in the late afternoon and found they had lots to talk about. The daughter and the boyfriend worked through the first course (fresh and delicious bruschetta, bean salad, and mozzarella-and-tomato with basil) working on the pasta, but were able to sit with the rest of us (Doug the guests and me)outside for the second course. She is prone to stress over cakes, but loves making them. Her gluten-free chocolate cake is better than most people's conventional. Her father has always made beautiful cakes (the year of the giant cardboard apatosaurus you could hide several kids in, matched with the cake with the blue Jello pool with a plastic plesiosaur, is unforgettable) and they made me an archaeology cake.

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We had the cake inside as the waether was actually cool, though the mosquitoes remained active. All afternoon the hummingbirds parted people's hair. Excellent party.