Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Ash Wednesday
I was at the UPS store yesterday, mailing a package to our son- a copy of One Cosmos Under God, because I thought he might like Godwin's unsaturated language. I was trying to write a note about how I was sure it wouldn't give him the Jesus-willies, but the proprietor was watching The View and I was deeply distracted by how much I wanted to climb into the TV and give Joy Behar a sound thrashing.
Way to start Lent, there, Sal.

P.S. Spinning is in a zone all by itself. I may have to invest all my spare moments in it, just to survive the times. I could work my way through all the sheep breeds, then add the other protein fibers: cashmere, camel, mohair, llama, silk. Then I could take on the plant kingdom: flax, cotton, bamboo, hemp. And then blend. And learn how to dye.
That could keep me busy 'til 2012.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Be Prepared...
for the Boy Scout Food Drive!

Met with Kris and some volunteers to set up the Holiday Site for the intake from Scouting for Food.
Thanks to the help, tables were moved into place, pallets and labels were put against the wall, miscellaneous hoo-hah left over from Christmas was corralled out of the way, categories for food sorting were taped to tabletops, the floor was swept and we're set for tomorrow.

Now, the Scoutmasters will move tables into a better formation and otherwise re-configure the set-up [because they're MEN and know our business better than we do, ; ) ] but that's okay.

If not too many cans get broken (don't ask) and no one gets seriously injured, then the day is a success.
Thanks, Scouts!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rumplestiltskin, look out

Had my first spinning class today here. It's about an hour's drive from home, but so worth it.

The beginning spinning class is taught one-on-one and the first session is about three hours. Then you're turned loose at home with the class handouts, a drop spindle, two bags of wool roving (grey and white) and a spinning wheel, the model above, to practice for a week, until the next class.

Spinning, it seems, is all about using physics to put twists in fiber. Which explains the puzzling captions in Spin-Off magazizne about 6:1 ratios, etc. All the motions are simple, but co-ordinating them is the trick. But the teacher assured me that, just like knitting, it will all come together once the muscle memory is established.

It was a little hard to pay attention to the lesson, since the store is a treasure trove of everything fiber: wool rovings for spinning and felting, 'blank' yarns of various weights and all sorts of fiber for dyeing, dyes, spinning and weaving equipment, handspun and hand-dyed yarns, home-made soaps, two looms and a kitchen area for dyeing.

My major assignments: learn to treadle the wheel as slowly as possible to be consistent. And to practice drafting, which is drawing out a thin bunch of fibers from the larger mass, on the drop spindle.
And possibly spin on the wheel. But I'm in no hurry.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sissy
Thirty years ago, when they handed you to me for the first time and I looked into that level, blue baby stare I thought: "Uh-oh, this one is going to keep us up to the mark."

And you have. Thank you for always being the arbiter of excellence and for putting up with your eccentric family.

We are so very proud of you and love you so much.

(Oh, and thanks for the grandkids, too!)


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day
Keep your candy and flowers.
A middle-aged guy sitting on cold concrete, screwing angle irons onto 2x6's so his honey can have another garden bed...
That what I call romantic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

'Cause I've only been telling them since February 3, 2002 that someday this would happen...
Telling them? I've been playing the Goldberg Variations on this theme.
Now I can't stop laughing.
Sometimes I'm not a very nice person.