Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Just a Hint

Just a hint of spring in the air today, as the temperatures were in the mid-sixties.  So I left school as soon as the students did, and took a walk on the beach.  
And it was beautiful.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Learning A New Skill

My youngest daughter, Melissa, and I took a weaving class this morning at my local yarn shop, and we fell in love with it.  We have wanted to take a weaving class for a few years now, but just haven't had the opportunity until now.  I paid for hers as part of her Christmas gift from me, but taking it with her was a gift to me as well.  Our teacher could not have been nicer or more knowledgeable, and the experience was wonderful.  I was amazed at how involved the process of warping the loom is!  The weaving part is the simple bit.  The class was three hours long, with one more three hour class next Saturday, to learn how to take it off the loom, and practice warping it again.  
I chose two skeins of yarn I purchased at Rhinebeck this past year, but Melissa chose some funky handspun, along with two colors of Green Mountain Spinnery Weekend Wool for a unique looking combination that I never would have thought of, but that everyone seems to love.  Can't wait to see the finished product.



I spent Thursday and Friday at an AVID training this week that was held on the campus of Tidewater Community College.  I earned an Associates degree from there in 1988, and I don't think I've been back since, so I was amazed at how the campus has changed.  

This was the view from the classroom/meeting space I was in.
It was a great two days, with lots of great teaching strategies that I can use with my 2nd semester students starting this week, but the highlight for me was this young woman:
She came up to me on our first break to remind me that she had been a student of mine when she was an 8th grader and now she's a high school English teacher.  I thought that was pretty cool.
Meanwhile, Gracie continues to snuggle with me in the evenings after work, becoming quite vocal if I don't sit on the couch in a timely manner.  Too funny, but also too cute.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Day

I took this photo one morning last week; it looks like the sky is on fire. I continue to struggle with the blues and indecision and anxiety, but mornings like this remind me of how much beauty there is to see in the world, if only I remember to look.  
On Friday I found a sweet little package in my mailbox, and when I opened it, I found all of these wonderful treats, sent to me from Deborah!  What a wonderful surprise!  She made the cherry pie notions bag and the stitch markers herself, and included a lovely note, a measuring tape, and a tin of BadgerPoop mints!  
 Here's a closeup of the stitch markers.  Deborah and I met through Ravelry or our blogs, I'm not positive which now, as it's been so long ago, but we've also been fortunate enough to meet up in person at least twice.  She is the sweetest person, and I hope to visit her state someday soon.
I dropped in on my youngest daughter on Sunday for a few minutes and was able to see my "grand cat", Fern.  Fern is the sweetest, most lovable cat I've ever met.  She's playing with her "baby" in this picture; Melissa told me that she has acted like this toy is her baby ever since she got it and becomes upset if she loses it temporarily.  
As for the Women's March, I chickened out.  After hearing about the violence in DC on Friday, I became apprehensive about attending alone, but decided to keep my options open, so on Saturday morning, I drove all the way to Woodbridge, just outside of DC.  I stopped at an IKEA there to take a break, and look at some Twitter feeds to weigh my options.  When I saw how crowded the metro stations were, I decided to play it safe and come home.  Am I sorry I didn't push past my fears?  Yes, a little bit.  It's so hard to tell whether we should listen to the voice in our head or stretch our boundaries.  How do you know when to do which?  I'm terribly pleased there was no violence and flabbergasted by all the pink hats, and I hope against hope that positive change will come out of it all.  But at this point, I have unfollowed so many people on Facebook that I'm not sure if there's any point of still being on it, because I'm exhausted by all of it.  Both sides.  All of it.  I need a break.  Is that wise? Is that right? I doubt it. I don't know.  I just know I'm tired and sad and disappointed and need a little time away from it.  Maybe I should have marched, maybe it would have invigorated me, but I didn't and I'm not.   But I also know that there is beauty in this world, if I remember to look for it.  So I will rest and I will keep looking.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A State of Flux

Flux, according to Webster's dictionary, means the frequent and usually sudden passing from one condition to another.  I am attributing my absence, at least partly, to my being in a state of flux.  One minute I'm highly productive, the next I'm a slug.  Happy, then sad, and so on, ad nauseum.  All perfectly normal but a bit frustrating nonetheless.       So let's talk knitting, shall we?  I finally ripped the hem of my Stopover and put in a plain rib instead of the color work; I was too tired to bind off last night, but plan to do so tonight so I can give it a good soak.  
I really don't know if the fact that I knit top down for the new hem when the sweater was originally bottom up will have any effect on the way it looks or not, but it can't be worse than the amount of rolling it did as it was.  Again, this was an error on my part, not the pattern.
I still haven't fully committed to participating in the DC March on Saturday, but I'm leaning towards it.  Again, another example of my flux state.  In the event I go, I'm going to wear this hat, having donated the unflattering-on-me Pussyhat to a coworker who was very happy to get it.  Frankly, I'm not someone who can wear a hat well, but in the interest of straddling the line, I decided on this luscious raspberry yarn and a more traditional pattern.
I'll take pictures if I take the leap.  Take care, dear ones! I fear we're entering the scary unknown.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lovely Lazy Days

This photo perfectly depicts how I spent the majority of my snow days.  From left to right: book, wool lap blanket, flannel pjs, and in the far right of the photo, Gracie.  You may have to "embiggen" the photo to see her, to borrow a term from Yarn Harlot.
 I read the last four of Louise Penny's books over three days and while I'm so sorry I'm done, I also realize I may actually be able to do other things now, like knit.  Quite awhile ago I wrote that I rarely read books that totally absorbed me anymore, but these absolutely did.  I've loved every minute I spent reading this series, and on Monday, I read the last two back to back, from morning to night.  It was a wonderful way to spend a snow day.   I decided to finally fix the hem of my Stopover sweater.  The way it rolled up really bothered me, but know that it wasn't a pattern issue, it was a knitter issue.   I was super nervous about it but remembered that almost everything knitting related is fixable, so I started by cutting off the cast on edge.   
I've gotten all the body stitches on the needles and it's ready to go, but I put it aside to begin a hat or two.
I've had the pattern since it came out, but for some reason I hadn't cast on, and when I went through the stash, it turned out I didn't have pink yarn, other than the yarn I have for my Mary Rebecca sweater. So I ventured out to my LYS today and bought these two beauties.  The one in the right is Cascade 220, and the one on the left is a new to me yarn, Susquehanna Knitting Company, from Maryland.  I know a colleague who is going to the March, so the Cascade hat will be my gift to her, and the other one will be for me, but here's my dilemma.  I'm not sure I'm brave enough to go.  I have always considered my myself to be a "hippie, born ten years too late", but it seems I may less of a risk taker than I want to believe.  What are your thoughts?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy Snow Day

 I got my wish for snow!  We only got six inches, due to a lot of sleet beforehand that was probably supposed to be snow but it is enough and I love it.  It helped that I didn't lose power.  Snow is much more cosy seen from inside a warm house.  But I did venture down to the beach on Sunday for some pictures and a chance to wear a lot of hand knits.
Most of the time has been spent enjoying the peace and quiet and snuggle time.
 I don't know who is happier, Gracie or me?
 Just heard school is closed for Tuesday too, so glorious day!  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter Weather

Jim Cantore is in town, so you probably know what that means: a winter storm is headed our way.  We are under a blizzard warning, which seems a bit excessive, but apparently it's the high winds, along with an estimate of 8-12 inches of snow that qualifies as a blizzard.  I know that doesn't seem like a lot of snow compared to many areas of the country, but our region has almost no budget for snow removal, so it will effectively shut us down for a few days.   As I was talking to my students and coworkers about the weekend, I realized the snow really wasn't changing my plans that much.  Other than cancelling a tutoring session, I'll be doing pretty much the same thing as I would have done without the snow!  Lounging around reading and knitting was my plan anyway.   
I was sitting in my yarn room last night and Gracie decided it was time to explore the bookcase.
 After she finished exploring, she snuggled down on the back of my chair.  She may not ever sit in my lap, but she likes to keep as close as she can. Silly girl. 
I'll post snow pictures as soon as I have some!  On with the weekend and the winter weather!