Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How the Day Began...

Wake up with thunder and lightning, and the ztttp of the power going out for hundredths of a second, then coming back on with the beep of the microwave. The crack of thunder afterward was enough to wake the dead. Sadly, I wasn't dead. Okay, maybe not so sadly, but I decided that I needed to get up and head for the bathroom . I carefully walk around the land mines (covers tossed off the bed when it's too hot, clothing and shoes removed and discarded where they lay, and a lamp, that isn't as bright as the overhead, which you can see with your eyes closed due to the 100 watt bulbs <4 of them>). Now, I'm on hubby's side of the bed, and manage to miss the chair where I usually stub my toe in the darkness. In fact, I don't even think I opened my eyes-- Then suddenly, WHAM. No, not the chair. The door. I'd forgotten we'd closed the door to hold in the cold air in our room due to the A/C . I woke up hubby. My nose was throbbing. The dog barked. Alright. Everybody wake up and ridicule the idiot who just tried to cram her nose into a solid object . "Did you forget we closed the door?" That's my husband, laughing behind his hand. "No, I just thought I'd wake up the whole house trying to put a dent in the's your sign." I expect it will be a bad day today.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mission Impossible (Apparently), Part II

Well, it was mission impossible all right. I didn't get my shower. I wasn't on time. My friend was late, and the venue was so totally different... I would say it was a disappointment, except that I was outdoors with my spinning, and therefore, it was a good day, all in all. But I forgot to charge my camera the night before, and ran out of juice before the day even started. Poor planning. Guess I should have put it on the list, eh? No phone means no camera. No camera means no pictures. And, so mission failed pretty miserably...except for being a perfect day. A nice breeze that kept my roving falling off my arm (I was spinning on the trindle), and the tent was sufficiently large to hold the whole group without anyone getting too much sun. And then my sugar levels dropped--quickly and suddenly. One spinner gave me a cookie. Another gave me a dark chocolate disk. My friend bought me lunch. Things settled down, and I started to ply my yarn. It was strange, because I found out that the other venue had been cancelled at the last minute, and the smaller park required the committee to scale everything back. There were no vendors, no border collies, no booths for buying scottish goods, and only one bagpipe band. But the coolest thing happened. My friend gave me the dvd of my interview with the local PBS about my spinning when I was at Alma! I had completely forgotten about it! This made me even more tickled. And you know how much I love to be tickled. I was on television in the Alma, Mt. Pleasant and Clare area! One thing I noticed when I got home and slid the dvd into my television was that my voice sounds JUST LIKE MY SISTER. She and I aren't related at sirree. When I got home, I realized that I wasn't really hungry, and so I waited until 9pm before I felt that I really should eat something (although I still wasn't hungry). So I went to town and bought some bread and chips and dip, and while I was at it, I bought some glucose tablets to carry. I'm hoping never to shake like I did at the festival. It was pretty scary. I'm alright now. Today, my hubby came home, and he took me to see the dinosaurs at the Lansing Center. It wasn't REAL dinosaurs, and that was disappointing, but we really loved watching the kids, and the information was really interesting. We decided that we had a good time, but that it wasn't what we expected. After we left there, I showed him the piece of the twin towers that Lansing purchased and placed on display in the middle of town. He looked at it, and said it was just so much twisted metal, but I touched it and closed my eyes, and realized that the folks who died that day found peace with God, and that all was well in the universe again. Come September 11, the whole crew will congregate at that "so much twisted metal" and pay tribute in memory of the lives lost that day. The bagpipes will play Amazing Grace, and we'll all remember once again, to never forget. So I have a little bit of yarn to start knitting. I'd love a longer weekend--they just go by so quickly.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mission Impossible

Your mission, should you decide to accept it... Is to wake up in the morning at 6am sharp. The alarm has been set for you. At this point, you must rise, take medication that has been loaded into the medication box, and then take a shower from which you must emerge damp, but clean. You will then towel dry and stand under the ceiling fan until you can actually pull clothing over your head and down onto your torso. Once dressed, you will clean your ears, brush your teeth and gather together your supplies: 1. Folding chair 2. Spinning wheel 3. Spinning fiber 4. Sock yarn, wrist yarn holder, sock pattern and needles for when you get tired of spinning 5. Keys 6. Purse 7. Cash 8. Medication 9. Trindle for when you get tired of knitting 10. Camera/cell phone and lastly, brush your hair and lock it up in a comb, so that you don't die from the heat. At this point, you will sit in your chair and wait for your friend to show up. You will drive his car to Kalamazoo, based on the directions he has purloined from the world wide web on a secret server based somewhere in space. You will use the directions and arrive at the festival fairgrounds in one hour (no more, no less), and you will set up your gear and wait for the festival to begin. At this point, you may see people. (ACK!) Don't be afraid, because they are there as a distraction, so you must make sure that you stay on task and get your mission complete. You will smile. Invite people (ACK!) into the tent you share, and spin with them. There may be many. There may be few. Either way, don your best attitude and smile frequently. (ACK!) Before evening rolls around, and at various times during the day, there will be games. There will be music. There will even be bagpipes and drums. These last are for terrifying the neighborhood dogs. Enjoy what you can. Eat festival food. Watch the cabre toss. Take pictures. You will be required to report on the happenings in Sunday's blog. As people (ACK!) start leaving, you can gather your things, your associate, his car and his gear, and drive back home. This blog will disintegrate in 5 seconds. 4,3,2,1......................

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Michigan Fiber Festival

This last weekend was the Michigan Fiber Festival, and once again, I bent the credit card in half. I bought 2 small batts of mixed fibers--one in sunset shades, one in fairy shades, and 3, yes, I said it, THREE trindle pin sets--2 in Jade and one in a black tiger eye. All three are just beautiful. When I came home, I didn't have much to revel in, and it was something of a let down. I'm spinning some fiber already on the trindle I purchased at Stitches, and my husband asked me "Why don't you use your wheel for that!" Typical. Just typical of a man who simply doesn't understand fiber things. He doesn't understand why I have so much yarn (and he hasn't see the half of it yet, but he doesn't know, so don't tell!). He doesn't understand why I need so much fabric. He doesn't get that this is my retirement! I plan to live 2 more lifetimes! The weather at Fiber Festival was perfect. Lots of animals to pet, including lots of bunnies. I almost walked away with a lilac bunny, but I slapped my own hand and moved on to the alpacas... And of course, they hummed their worry about me. I don't know what it is about them. They are only social with each other or their owners. Usually most animals will come right to me! Then, there was a mother and her cria. And the cria was so little! And the cria was so cute! Cream color with deep brown eyes. That one will be a head turner! Of course, the sheep were being sheared in the back of the barn and I watched for a couple of minutes while the shearer went about his business with one sheep, while the rest of the herd stood at the other end of the "corral" with worried looks on their faces knowing that one of them would be next to feel the coolness of no hair--and it's supposed to be a wicked Indian summer (in the 90's!), so a late shearing this year might be a good thing. Don't worry, they will have enough hair again by snowfall! Several of the show sheep reminded me of PeeWee, and one of them allowed me to scratch her brisket. Sheep love that, but PeeWee used to shake her tail in happiness when I did it. She was such a lovely girl! In other news, I signed up for retirement today. I have no idea if I'll rescind it or not, and if not, my retirement goes into effect on February 1. It means I will have to drive in the snow and walk in the most extreme cold, but then, just as it's REALLY getting cold, I'll be home, and then spring will come with new opportunities. I'm looking forward to that. Spring will bring new beginnings. Hubby and I plan to do some camping, and maybe a bit of traveling. Nothing set in stone, but it sounds like there's going to be some fun in the future. So wish me luck!

Stitches Midwest!

I'm not usually one to go ape over a trade show, but this one--holy cow! Keep in mind that I've never been to a "Stitches" trade show, but when I walked in through the doors, my chin literally hit the floor, and dollar signs shot out of my eyes. This thing was huge. All the colors! All the yarn! All the doo-dads! (This is the stuff I can really get into.) It all started with a trip to my mother's the night before. Since we were all getting up really early to take the bus, but first had to drive to Delton to pick up friends. So, 5:30am, I am up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, rolled up my bed roll and ate breakfast. When the clock hit 6am, I was in my car, and on my way. I drove to my friend's house, where she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, looking for her glasses (which were on top of her head, but no one noticed THAT.) I finally went to my car for my extra pair, and handed them to her. She put them on. Another friend asked why she was wearing two pair of glasses. After much laughter and embarassment, she gave me back my glasses, and the last rider showed up. We loaded up the van and headed for Delton. When we arrived in Delton, we unloaded the van and loaded the bus. There were several people on the bus already. I sat with one of my friends, and the other sat up front with her sister. The bus took off and headed for Kalamazoo to pick up more folks. Then the long trek to Chicago, boredom staved off by good, friendly conversation, lots of laughter, bus-door prizes, snacks and sock knitting. We all got goodie bags with coupons, snacks and yarn. SCORE! When we arrived, there was a lady outside with a camera (from the newspaper?) and we all gathered around for a picture. We all smiled and waved! Then we were finally allowed inside. And that's when my chin fell on the floor. I had to drag it along for a little while--wanting to keep my hands free to touch all the pretty yarn and fiber and yarn, and did I say "yarn"? There were project bags everywhere. And yarn. Shawls and shawlettes are coming into vogue BIG TIME and there were dozens, if not hundreds of them scattered all over the place, many made with self-striping yarn that was soft as a baby's bottom. And yarn. My first purchase was a project bag, red, with black and white sheeps on it to hold the coupons and whatever else I might buy. (I should say now that I did bend the credit card clean in half. My hubby is not going to be happy about it when he finds out, and so I'm keeping it a secret for now.) I walked all over the place, the last booth was #933...that alone should give you an idea of how big the place was, and I walked the whole of it--at least 12 times. And then I started bending the credit card. My next purchase was some rosy red and pink sock yarn. Then I found the booth with the Signature Needles. Well, you know that I *had* to have some! I bought a set of size 1 dpn's with stilletto points. I can't wait to try them out, and I considered really casting on the pink yarn, but decided to wait until I got home. Hubby can buy more of these for me for Christmas. They are so pretty! Then I bought a knitting abacus--which is a bead bracelet that helps count your rows. Then I found the contraption that holds your yarn on your wrist, and I bought that, too. Then, a yarn store had a 50% off sale, and I bought some novelty yarn for a shawl. And then, late in the day, I found the spindles. Now normally, I would wait until the Fiber Festival for things sheepy, but I couldn't pass these up. I kept coming back to the booth and drooling over this nice walnut lace spindle. I tried it, and it spun like a Golden. On the last trip through the arena, I finally bought it. Then, while walking around with my friends, I found a Trindleman spindle. I tested this out, and just about died and went to know I didn't escape. After all of this buying spree, I thought..."Gee, I really don't need to go to Fiber Festival....NOT!" and laughed at myself. How silly of me! I need another set of arms for the Trindleman spindle for normal fiber, right? We ate sometime during the day, and shared our goodies, each of us jealous of the others good deals. We ooo'd and ahhh'd appropriately, and smiled about our good fortune. I found some cakes of yarn going for $70. I thought it was a little too much, and told them so. It was sad, because I really did want to make that shawl, but not with that yarn! In the end, we closed the show, and put our purchases under the bus so that we had room to sit down. The sky started to darken, the bus lit up, and we all got out our socks to knit. I didn't quite finish mine, but my friend finished hers up to the kitchner. I finished mine on Sunday. They are ready for kitchner, which I'll finish tonight after I get home from the office, or perhaps I'll take them with me to the hospital while I wait for my husband. Or perhaps I'll start a new project or finish another? Goodness only knows. I just know that I have a lot to do, and I'm going to have so much fun when I retire.