Whether you know her in real life or via Blogland, I hope you'll make her birthday more festive and participate in my new meme.
List three ways Scout rocks, then go wish her a happy birthday and tell her to visit your blog. Let's fill her day with love!
1. Scout rocks because she has one of the most infectious laughs I've ever heard. You know she means it when you hear that laugh.
2. Scout rocks because even though she may have thrown out all of her materials, she's still a fantastic teacher. Who taught me how to warp a board? Who taught me how to dye yarn? Who taught me how to knit English (thereby getting gauge)? Who taught me how to use html? Who taught me how to use the wireless feature on Phineas the laptop computer? Scout, that's who!
3. Scout rocks because she has a heart bigger than the Grand Canyon. Her generosity continues to impress me. She gives of her time, and she gives of her heart. There are few bloggers who are more committed to promoting other Indy businesses than Scout is.
Happy Birthday, dear friend! Love you and miss you tons. XX
About this wedding, besides the groom, of course, it's going to be to create the most beautiful lace stole I can. Time and skill level prevented me from achieving my original dream of spinning my own yarn and creating my own design, but I think that was a fortunate thing. Look what Scout has made me. I can't tell you what it means to me to know that I will knit this beautiful pattern with the yarn of my dreams, made for me by my dear friend, and I will wear it on my wedding day.
Since we set our wedding day, I've brought up, in small doses, little details that require Neal's opinion. Once in a while he gets chatty about the subject, but usually a glaze appears about his eyes after a few minutes. We agreed early on that roughly half an hour is all I should ask of him in one sitting. Last week we spent time laughing over websites of Justices of the Peace. We did not, by the way, select one yet. I want to ask a friend to get ordained and do the job for us. She's got the right blend of spirituality and pragmatism that speaks to me. We did manage to agree on a fewthings we want to have read and found a wedding vow that we feel comfortable with.
You know my wedding dress angst. I found the perfect dress for me, but alas, don't know a seamstress whom to ask to reproduce it. I'm not sure I have the time to get into NYC to find fabric, anyhow. There's another dress that I like quite a bit, so when my mom gets back from her winter in FL, I'll go with her to try it on. Worst case, there is a festive party dress that I adore in my closet.
Neal's wedding clothes angst? "I don't have to wear a suit, do I?" Of course not. I want the man to wear what he wants. When asked: Seersucker. A whole suit of it at first (how quickly we change our minds). Yesterday, thankfully, the new L.L. Bean catalog came, and in it were seersucker shirts. In green. Perfect. He's already got a pair of linen pants, so a perusal of his shoe closet, and he'll be all set.
In the wee small hours of Friday night/Saturday morning, I joined a few others in stoking the flames of the fire kiln at the studio where I took a class this winter. It was kind of wonderful to be out in the cold, stars fierce in their brightness, a brook bubbling just beyond where we worked. Wonderful in the truest meaning of the word: full of wonder. I learned quite a bit, but I also had a lot of quiet time as I fed the fire to think about the breadth of history of pottery. I have no illusions about the quality of my pots that made it to the wood kiln. They are the work of a beginner and will look like it. But just as I feel connected to a deep history when I knit and spin and when I write a story, throwing clay and then tending the fire that makes the clay functional gave me connection and helped to root me on this earth. Next Saturday the kiln will be opened, and I'll have five vessels (if they survive the firing) to remind me of this experience.
Last night was kind of wonderful in a different way. Neal and I went to the Calvin Theater to see Lucinda Williams and her band. Her voice is rough and dreamy and rich, and her lyrics are the same.
And here it is: my history, in five-year increments.
1972: I was three years old, so I don't remember much of anything. I suspect this was the summer that I got burned from fluid that blew out of the family car's radiator, but I don't remember. I only know about it from my siblings and a few pictures of me with my legs wrapped up--not from my own memory.
1977: I turned eight.I was a voracious reader by this time and couldn’t get enough of the Young Lives biographies.I used to spend a lot of time gazing into the third grade classroom.They did cursive in third grade, and by golly, I wanted to do it, too!
1982:I felt so awkward in middle school.I was tall and gangly and one of the smart kids.Some of the burnout girls wanted to beat me up, but I became friends with Maria, who was much tougher than I was and not at all bookish, and she scared off the bullies.Maria passed away soon after high school graduation, and I’ve never forgotten her loyalty and kindness to me.I was really into gothic romance novels at this age.
1987:An overnight trip to Boston with Cae!Senior prom!A vintage 1930s dress!High school graduation!I spent the first half of the year madly in love with the boy who became my first husband.In July we broke up, but I had fun with my school chums.I went to community college because I couldn’t afford a four-year school (I paid my own way through college, although my folks bought my books…they might have spent less on tuition!!).I was working part time as a bank teller with a second part time job at a pharmacy.That November Neal and I started dating—he took me on the best first date I ever had.
1992:I was in my second year of marriage.I worked as a bank teller and encouraged my husband to quit his full-time job to pursue his music career.I was frustrated because I felt unfulfilled by my job, but I made one of my best friends at that job.Cheryl and I used to bike 8-15 miles after work every day.F. and I moved into the apartment where we would live for nine years and gave up television, which lasted 14 years for me.I began to make quilts and found great joy in playing with fabric.I got my first tattoo.
1997:I finally finished my bachelor’s degree.I published my first essay and a poem.I was happy in my marriage.My oldest sister gave me a gift of funding for my last semester of school so I would be able to concentrate on my classes without working at all.For the first time in my adult life, I felt that I was capable of fulfilling my goals.
2002:I turned 33 and had the best birthday of my life:my sister flew up to New York, and she joined me and F. for a day in Manhattan followed by dinner at my favorite restaurant in Peekskill, Zeph’s.That weekend, I took a call that was pivotal in changing my life:F. was offered a European tour.I worked hard that year to help him to save the money to go on the tour (despite what someone not in the business would think, it’s not a money-making venture; breaking even is a good thing), but when he came back, things were different.In October I began talking to him about separating so that we could get our heads straight.By Christmas I no longer knew the man I had loved with my whole soul.
2007: I’m on the verge of marriage to a man I adore and who loves me with humor and zest and devotion and loyalty.I’m nearly at the point of completing my MFA in creative writing, which brings me to a point in my dreams and goals that, five years ago, I would not have imagined possible.I’m living in Connecticut again—not loving it as I believe I’m a New Yorker at heart—but happy to be with my man, near my folks, and close to my girlhood best friends.That depth of friendship is precious.I miss my dear friends in NM, but I talk to Dana about once a week (she totally understands that I can go on for an hour about the final episode of Sex and the City), and I’ve started a new knitting group…it won’t replace the one I left in the southwest, but already I feel more settled.I feel more at peace with myself than I have in a long time, and I’m excited for my future—both as a writer and as a wife.
How lame is it when you don't even want to do the things that usually work well for procrastination? I don't really feel like working on any of my writing projects, and usually I clean house when that happens. Something about the smell of Murphy's Oil and the look of tidy tables and counters makes it easier for me to return to the writing with more zest. It's noon already, and I've only managed some half-hearted picking up.
Maybe I'm just in an "meh" state of mind. Last night at the Tobacco Valley SnB group, I couldn't concentrate on anything. I knit a little on Neal's sock, then spun a bit, then worked on Bejeweled. Nothing was rocking my world. Is it because I've got Granny on the brain? I spent a lot of energy being diligent about finishing UFOs last year, so I'm trying not to start too many new projects, but I may just have to admit to myself that, at least in this part of my life, I don't like monogamy. Is this what everyone means when they talk about lost knitting mojo?
Thanks for the good wishes on being observed. My students were fantastic; they were chatty and smart, which made everything much easier. I still have to have the follow-up meeting with the department chair, but it's a relief to have it done for another semester.
Anyone else suffering from a wee ennui? How are you shaking it?
I can't stand seeing all of the Granny Squares around blogland without succumbing. So many pretty colors, such a portable project. The last time I made any, I made one-color squares for a baby blanket, back in 2004. I'm thinking they may be a good use for the basket of cotton that I have--lots of pretty colors in that basket.
While watching the final episode of Sex and the City, I cast on for Bejeweled in Fiesta La Luz in Cabernet. I have to turn the heel on Neal's sock, which requires concentration, and I needed to knit. Simply needed to knit. Until I have an hour or so to do that short row heel, this will be my pick up project. Scout is working on my shawl yarn, and once that arrives, I will have to be totally monogamous to the Print o'the Wave stole if I'm going to finish it before mid-May. Let me tell you, though, that Bejeweled is a great pattern, easy to memorize, and La Luz is a dream to work with.
I'm off to glaze the pathetic little bowls I made at my pottery class. Loved working with clay, but I just can't commit to more studio time, which is what I need if I'm going to be any good at it. Some day. Some day.
After I play with clay for a while, I've got to finish grading papers and prep for the continuing education class I'm teaching. Then, later tonight, I need to prep for tomorrow...it's my observation day. Wish me luck!
About the time I'd been in New Mexico for a year, green became my favorite color. I love my pinks; they remind me of my Gram. Green, though, speaks to me of fresh starts, of potential, of anticipation. Since my lesson at the TVSnB last Thursday, I've used my spindle every day with this "bunny bundle" (angora/wool blend) purchased at Village Wools last spring. My Bossie and I are becoming fast friends...she spins like a dream --on and on and on. The lessons I've had at the hands of a variety of spinners are finally coming together in my head and translating to a yarn I can be proud of.
Lest I ignore Project Spectrum in my zeal for green, here is my Calorimetry. I finished it in early February, before my epic cold, and I can't quite remember the details. I used Malabrigo, size 7 needles, and 88 stitches per Shiny Red Type. I loved knitting this--quick and fun--but I don't love how it looks on me and my wonky little head, so I think I'll make a matching pair of Fetching and call the set a Christmas gift.
Among the many urges I feel during Spring is the urge to purge. I went through my purses and found a couple I don't use. I also admitted to myself, painful as it was, that I don't use my Kate Spade pocket organizer. I adore how it looks, but I've been hooked on Moleskin for the last two years. So I'm going to offer a few things for sale...if the organizer doesn't find a new home, I'll take it as a sign that I should start using it. Want a peek? I don't have the 2007 inserts for it, but there are lots of To Do and Project sheets, along with the tabs for the address section. First $115 + shipping takes it, or make an offer!
Here's the Ralph Lauren red leather purse. This is in like new condition, and the first $25 or best offer (+ shipping) takes it home.