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August 2005


I was doing some figuring.  I've posted 151 times since I switched over to Typepad, and only eleven times this month (August).  I was busy, much busier than usual.  I also find that it's hardto get back in the blog groove once you've had a hiatus.  I've had 684 comments, roughly 4.5 per post.  Hardly gangbusters there.  It figures that about one out of every eighteen people, or hits, leaves a comment.  What do the rest of you think?  I'd love to hear from you, know who you are, stuff like that, you know?  Typepad's figures are a bit wonky.  I have another hit counter that isn't coming up witht te same numbers.  Maybe they're both wrong, who'd know? 

Trivial stuff in the face of the natural (seems super-natural to me) disaster that keeps unfolding in our south.  I sit here in my office / bedroom / studio and work on this months' billing, check my email, and ply bobbins of mohair that I've been accumulating over the past weeks while waiting for the printer to finish each batch.  The pouring rain has let up enough to take a breather and walk down to the barn.  I have everything.  Guilt creeps into the cracks in my psyche.  I am a TV voyeur,  awstruck at the enormity of what I am witnessing.  Contrary to reason, those in rural or poorer conditions may actually be in a better situation to cope.  Imagine being walled in by all the concrete; your home, your neighborhood and all those surrounding you, filled as you would a backyard pool.  City dwellers neither have the resources nor skills to fight back.  Country folks use propane, not natural gas.  It's stored onsight in big tanks in the backyard.  We're used to having power outages and stock things like batteries, candles, and drinking water as a matter of daily life.  We have axes and chain saws.  We have tractors, and folks that know what to do with them.  I can't imagine what it would be, to be stuck on an elevated highway, or a roof for that matter, an island of concrete in the hot sun without water or food, with kids or elderly parents or just not knowing where they were... or..
Get those people on buses, trucks and boats and get them out of there where they can be taken care of or take care of themselves.  Water trucks, where are they?  This is a disaster that has been in the making for years.  I remember talking to folks in New Orleans fourteen years ago about just this kind of a situation.  There must be a plan, right??    

Monday & Tuesday flew right by..

082805048 I have been working.  This picture was from long ago, um mm.. Saturday.  It feels like a century or two may have passed since then.  Sunday was the Fleece to Shawl at the Champlain Valley Fair. 
Monday was mostly fiber stuff in the morning, then C was stung by something black that flew away ( maybe a white face hornet?) that he became increasingly allergic , until I rushed him to the closest medical clinic.  When I phoned to make sure that they were open they had the audacity to inform me that they did not take 'walk ins'.  I told them I was coming in, they were 20+ minutes away, a hospital MUCH further, and to get themselves ready if they needed to.  We spent the rest of the day with them.  He's still swollen and I don't think the adrenalin did much for his disposition.  Time; it's taking its jolly old time to stop itching. The swelling is still going down 30 hrs later.  The hives are mostly gone.  We now have epi pens at the ready.  I wish I had one yesterday.
Today, I stayed in the kitchen, unless I was running stuff down to the freezer.  I picked and froze tomatoes, broccoli and did apple sauce.  The apples are starting, today was just sauce from the drops I've collected. 
I found a set of 1.5 needles on my way home Monday before all the excitement at home began.  I was thrilled and amazed to find them so close to home.  Now, what to start next.  I haven't been able to decide.  I'm having so much fun reading lately.  I'm thinking about 'Frost Flowers'. 
Sam is in outdoor training, total supervision.  He's loving it and I'm loving him. 



Sheep to Shawl

082805003  Sunday, 10:30 am 
Clean fleece and a four member team. 

082805005  the first of many, in a five hour competition, quality is not the first order.. speed (and basic funkiness) is #1.

082805009  two spinners, different wheels.. plying begins


082805014  teamwork..
knitting, fringing, beading, and weaving in the ends.  Everyone takes a turn knitting until your fingers cramp and it passes to the next in line. 082805023

3:30 pm.

082805020  Finished!

cat wrangling

082405003  cat wrangling...  when I asked my niece why her cats were so good and mine were so ornery, she answered: "If you want a good cat, give him a hat".  That's why I 'hired' her.

082405002  Surprisingly, Sam enjoyed all the attention.


Wednesday morn

I needed to empty rain water from my kayak. The kids had left it right side up and I had been to busy to notice. That was when the weather looked like it would clear and I would go kayaking. The day turned out like the past few, more heavy showers, spaced out during the day so that just as it dried enough to get on with whatever (beans, mowing, transplanting, kayaking…) another downpour would let loose and on and on. Not that the weather held me back. I carried the still wet skeins (they were hanging on the line ‘drying’) I had dyed on Monday, back to the barn and over dyed areas until I was satisfied. These are ONE TIME colors, I don’t think I’ll try to repeat them. After lunch, still hopeful, I hung them back up on the sunny line where this morning they continue to be rinsed. Tomorrow, they will dry. So says the weather man.


What I started to say, when I sidetracked onto weather and yarn, was that at the water’s edge I found a complex of swimming pools, built by my 9 yr. old niece, for her frogs. They have mud walls and a mote. Nothing I can save. I found the life preserver she wears when she goes out in the kayak, and a path she made through a weedy area where the frog catching was better. Things left behind from an all too short summer vacation. I remember the first year we built the house. My nephew was six. He too caught frogs. The first order on the agenda each year was a trip to the local general store to get mud boots. He was so excited, loved his boots. He wore them constantly as well as a tool belt around his waist to carry ‘important’ things. As soon as he’d get back to the pond with his new boots he’d test them out, going out further and further until water crept over the top and filled them up. We’d shake our heads, what were the boots for, anyway, certainly not to keep feet dry. I still have the radio he made that first year, a rectangular shaped rock, wrapped with grass. It had one long stalk of grass protruding upwards, an antennae, don’t you know, that has since dried up and fallen away. I keep it as a reminder of summers past, and of children grown. This year, it was cell service (or lack there of) that entertained him, not rubber boots and frogs.

blog worthy??

The pressure of blogging… what to say, did I actually do anything during the day that would interest anyone else, be deemed blog worthy? I mean half, no… no… much more than that, of the things that we do in a day (that I do in a day) are not interesting to me, let alone to anyone else. There’s the quandary. That’s life, what can I say? We’re all in the same boat. (Want to add to the colloquialisms?)

Here’s something. I broke my 5” #1.5 sock needle yesterday and can’t continue my feather and fan socks until I can order one. There are most definitely not any of those floating around this neck of the woods. I could carry on and tell you that I was devastated but hey... it’s a sock needle, I need it, I want it, and eventually I’ll find one. Maybe I’ll just use a #2 and let it rotate. The socks will be wearable and I’ll bet that VERY, VERY few people are going to get down on their knees to check my gauge.

Or how about... yesterday I bought a couple snow tires. What can I say; it’s cooling down at night around here. 

Another one… I have had RIPE RED tomatoes and we haven’t had frost yet. Now, that is BIG!

Today… maybe I’ll do some kayaking late this morning with a couple friends if the weather holds. That will be blog worthy, right? And the broccoli, beans, and zucchini are waiting for me. Oh yes, and one of the colors I dyed yesterday is just NOT what I wanted. I’ll over dye it, give it a second chance. Sam needs an outdoor training session, sans cat wranglers.  There are bobbins of singles ready to ply, then lots to dye. 

My days are full, but blog worthy?? 



The house emptied around 10am Friday morning.  At 11:30 I headed to the fairgrounds for day #1.   It was a fun sort of day.  There were enough of us spinning to make for an interesting time.   I managed to spin another few bobbins of that oatmeal grey shetland I've been working on.  That makes it sound like an absolutely awful color.  It's not.  It's sort of a non color. I like it enough that I could make a sweater for myself from it.

It was all us, only us, as very few people came by.   Attendance was really down.  Entrance fees were up.  I’m pretty sure the sign said $12.00 for an adult.  Around here, families can be large.  Add a bunch of $4.00 tickets for the kids, fair food, a couple rides on the Ferris wheel or whatever, gas to get there and you’ve got an expensive day.  People are already strapped.  Everywhere, I heard conversations like... I’m so glad we burn wood... what are people going to do come winter..?  You get my drift.   By 3pm Sunday, the only crowds were at the Demolition Derby and we were anxious to pack up the tent and go home.  The animal trailers had been loading up off and on all afternoon.  Next week is the start of the Big Fair, the Essex County Fair.  I’ll be curious to see how the attendance is there.  It’s funny how almost anything, even a country fair, can become an economic indicator.  So, if we can see it, what’s wrong with our gov?  Last I heard they were still saying that there wasn’t any inflation.  Of course, they did say that they had not included gas or food in their figures… go figure.

I had a few minutes to sit and type this post as it has started to pour, sun coming out, rainbow ready and me sitting here waiting to run down to the freezers in the barn with a load of packaged corn, freshly scored form the cob.  Waiting in the barn is a dye pot, hopefully cooled and exhausted with its batch of red wool silk.  That must come back up to the house to be washed out and hung to dry.  It’ll stop raining in a minute; it has been doing this all afternoon.  Poor C has been radioing me from the field where he alternately digs in the mud (it is hosta splitting time) and waits in the van. 

I’m pretty sure I mentioned that Tivoli is finished.  I’m pleased with her and will begin another in black Calmer.  She could use a blocking when the weather dries out.  After which, there will be pics.

Spiderboy Sam continues to be trained, without the crew of cat wranglers.  We're all exhausted with our efforts.  He's loads of cute fun.  Ooops! Sun's out, got to fly!

a little bit of dyeing




I squeaked out a little bit of time while my family was involved in other projects to get a little dyeing done.  I managed 4 different colorways, 8 skeins each.  It was more than I expected I could do when I started.  The colorway I haven't shown is Blueberry.  While my sister sanded and finished her HitchHiker, I worked over the dye pot.  I generally am alone in the barn working and having company made it go quickly. 

Everyone left this morning.  The house actually seemed spacious when I got home from the fair this afternoon.  Lots to tell, but now I need to catch my breathe.

the blur

It's a blur.. I'm here, I'm alive, I'm exhausted, and I'm still in motion.  This will have to be brief, I'm falling asleep here at the keyboard.  I'll be thanking the Lord of Typepad for spell check before this post is over.  I remember Thursday going to Burlington and hitting the high spots like Ben & Jerry's on the way.  Umm, there was a shortish stop in Stowe to pick up stain for my sister's project.. hold on, it's coming up.  Friday, more berries, this time thirty some pounds of blueberries.  Have I mentioned (no, of course not, not yet)  that my BIL is a pie maker / baker?  Everyday he puts two more pies on the counter, and everyday we decide that they make for a perfect breakfast (fruit and carbs, I've had to shelve the whole low carb thing this week.. no one is that strong).  Saturday, I remember doing the Farmer's Market.  Sunday, it rained... all day.  The boys did what boys do on rainy days.

The girls did what girls do. After, that is, going for High Tea at a local Perennial Garden.  I felt like I had been transported back in time and was living in the Secret Garden.  I've probably read that book twenty times since I was 8 or 9 yrs. old.  Anyway..

And today, the weather cleared. It was lovely and we got back to work.  (remember the stain?)  There was no way my sister was leaving here without her own. 


Oh, Tivoli is finished, except for kitchnering the endles icord edging that I decided to knit around the bottom and neckline.  It fits great.  Picures soon.

I need to catch my breath..

SP5 is my first round with secret pals. I really hit the jackpot when I was matched up. I have absolutely no idea who she is, but my SP is someone I’d like to get to know. She makes jam AND shares. She has spent, apparently, an awful lot of time going back in my archives to figure out what I like, what I do, and who I am. She WROTE ME A LETTER! It’s one thing to send stuff, but she took the time to write.  This is to my secret pal.. I just got your absolutely amazing package. I love it and you knew that I LOVE alpaca, have wanted to try Knitpicks, yes I do use stitch markers, and yours are lovely, and I think that Loop-d-loop is fascinating. I will probably make the first scarf pattern from the green yarn. I will post pictures, as soon as I catch my breath. My sister and her family arrived last night, making 7 people and three cats (very unhappy, they may just run away for the duration) in a two room house. It is WILD and WOOLY! I mean that in every sense of the word. My sister arrived with her own assortment of knitting projects (say many bags) and has already gone over to the Merlin Tree to draw out her own HitchHiker on my left over spalted maple. My niece’ fed ‘Sweetie Pie’, we went to pick muchos blueberries and two pies are presently in the oven. I’m exhausted, blogging will take second fiddle to the calamities, umm adventures. Please excuse me.  I will get back into a regular routine as soon as I can.