Sunday, March 25, 2007

here's the scoop

Here's what's up.

I hate my computer right now.
About a week and a half ago, my mouse wasn't working, and when I "fixed it", I blew up everything else. Now the printer doesn't work, I can't plug in my camera an upload photos, nor can I get music onto my MP3-playing cell phone. You'd think it's something with the usb ports, but TheMostImportantGuy (whos is much geekier than I am) says that doesn't explain I don't have speakers, either. I'm hoping he's got some time to take a look at the thing today, because it's driving me nuts.

All of this is making sitting down at the computer to read blogs, write a post, or even return emails, a very unpleasant thing for me.

So I've resorted to doing more purging around the house.

And yes, it has become evident to me that there is in fact, for me, a great big fat link between sitting at the computer for hours, and sitting and knitting for hours, and the piles of crap in my house. So I haven't been knitting much either.

But the house is coming along great. It's not the kind of great you can easily see, though. It does not have that zen feel or anything. What's getting purged is all the cabinets and drawers and underneaths of beds and stuff. So at the end of the day you make a trip to goodwill, but come home and it looks like nothing has changed. But I know it has. And our plan is to move this summer, and this is going to make it a whooooole lot easier.

These last two weekends and the days in between we focused on MyFavoriteKid's room. Now usually we clean out his room and discard unused toys twice a year. Once in June, right around his birthday, and once in Decemeber, right before the holiday. Obviously a wave of new stuff comes in at both those times, so we clear a few old things out to make room for the new. But last summer I was on tour, so we skipped it...and I'm not sure what happened around the holidays, so we skipped it then, too. Add to that the fact the MyFK has made some huge leap with what he is interested in this past year, and there was a ton of stuff to unload. The entire backseat of my car has been filled with donations TWICE. MyFK's room looks great, and he got all crazy with the labelmaker, it really feels like an organizer came through and made some magic.

So that's what's up over here.
When cleaning stops being so entertaining (because yes, it is hard work...but it is feeling realllly good) and the computer stops being a mean nasty bitch, I'll be back.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

blog? what blog. (part 2)

Still catching up, but closer to getting current...

For The Birds

This daylight savings time crap is for the birds. Actually, now that I really think about It is not even for the birds!! AT THE TIME I HAVE TO GET UP IN THE MORNING, THE BIRDS ARE STILL SLEEPING.

Who had the hairbrained idea to bump up the changing of the clocks into March???
I am not. A. Happy. Camper. I am having to wake up in the dark. After dinner time isn't all wintery cozy like it still should be this time of year. And MyFavoriteKid and I are totally off track with the bedtime routine. It's like, whoops...all of the sudden it's 8pm. And it's driving me nuts.

Makes me want to move to Arizona or something.

Speaking of Moving

That's a good portion of why I haven't been posting as much lately. I'm on a mission to move. I've started looking at neighborhoods and checking out school districts. I've even spent a day touring homes with a realtor.

I can't stay in the house that I'm currently in for too much longer.

First of all, there is all those lovely problems with my neighbor. It's been all quiet on the western front lately, but still. Who needs it.

The bigger problem about where I live now though, is the schools. MyFK is only in 4th grade. and the elementary school is pretty decent. The local middle school however, is riddled with alllll sorts of problems. The 7th and 8th graders are already peddling drugs and whatnot. The kids from the more crime infested areas are being bussed in, and sadly the teachers are not equipped to teach them a new way of life. If you think that is bad (and I do), then the local high school is completley out of the question. There have been shootings close by in broad daylight, and students have to pass through a metal detector to get into the school each morning.

Ummm...I don't think so.

I'm moving us to a nice, clean, quiet, suburban (ugh), neighborhood. One with top ranking schools an a low crime rate. Yay. And it's only about 25 minutes north of where I live now, so getting back into down here to teach dance classes and see TheMostImportantGuy shouldn't be too big of a deal.

My intention is to move over the summer, hence all of this purging of crap from TheShanty. I'd already started organizing anyhow...but the notion of moving has kicked me into high gear.


More About Purging

So, I'm learning some very interesting things about myself as I get rid of stuff. Expect me to be blogging about all these insights ad nauseum,

The current phenomena I am examining is the "Waste Not, Want Not" thing.

Here's a fine example:
I bought some shampoo and conditioner a couple of months ago, washed my hair with it for a couple of weeks, and I really hated the way it made my hair feel. All flat and greasy feeling. Yuck. So I bought new shampoo. But what did I do with the stuff I didn't like? I put it under the bathroom counter. Why? Well, because it was almost a full bottle and I didn't want to waste it, and besides...what if I run out of the good stuff? Let just forget about the fact that the shit was so icky that I probably wouln't even wash the car with it, right?? (I mean, hellooooooooo). Save the shampoo!! I might just need to look and feel that way again, right??


So I'm passing it along or throwing it out. Someone with a different hair texture mioght love the stuff.

But this whole not wanting to waste thing needs to change, because if I never ever intend on using the item or passing it is still being wasted.

I've figured this out by reading the blog over at The Seven Things Project. I've learned several things by reading that blog, actually. Check it out.

My Current Motto For Life

It's PBS membership drive season, and that has meant lots of shows with lectures. Hours upon hours about, travel, spiritual inspiration, and adding fiber to yours diet. You get the idea.

I kept running into Suze Orman's Women & Money show, so I gave it a watch one night. She had lots of things to say of course, but there was one message in there that has stuck with me like white on rice. Well, okay. I prefer brown rice. So, it stuck to me like brown on rice.

Anyhow, this particular portion of her schpeel had to do with fear, and where we get the courage to do things.

She was talking about how when we need to make a change, really the only thing that will make that change real, is an action. Not thinking about it. Not wanting it. Not wishing for it. But taking a decisive action towards it. She was talking about how scary that can be, and how what is needed in that moment is courage. But from where do you summon that?

Well, Suze goes on to say she has a little motto she uses for that. For those times when she knows that she really needs to do something but is "stuck" and would rather bury her head in the sand and wait it out to see if it fixes itself (yah, right)....she tells herself:

I am a warrior, and I will NOT turn my back on the battlefield.

I love that. I mean love it. I can use it on every single situation in my life that I am fearful of and hestitate in the face of.

I guess it helps that I already see myself as a warrior, otherwise it wouldn't's the not turning my back on the battlefield bit that I needed the help with. And the mantra is helping. And I love it. It's my new war cry.

I was telling TheMostImportantGuy about this new amazing thing, and he got a big smile on his (instant messenger) face and said that it was very Xena. I've never seen a single Xena thing in my life, so I have no frame of reference for that.

The image that comes to mind for me is of Eowyn from Lord of The Rings. I could be here all day trying to find a screenshot of the exact moment in the film that I am thinking of, but this is as close as I can get to it, and IMDB wont let me save the photo to upload here, so you'll just have to click it.

Here's a few more of Eowyn to give you the general idea, though:

But the image that keeps coming to me most often is that one moment when she and Merry just charge full speed ahead into battle, and it's working for me.

Must go get me sword ;-)
I got things to do, man.

That's a little bit more of what's been up for me the past few weeks.
But there's still more.
Ciao for now ;-)

Monday, March 12, 2007

blog? what blog.

I'm still here. And I have lots to write about. I'm behind in my blogging, and I'm even further behind on reading the posts of my favorite blogs, too. I'm not kidding. I opened up my bloglines and it has over 800 unread posts in it!!! I'd say at least half of them are of Socks That Rock Club bloggers posting about stalking their mailmen or drooling on their yarn, so that's easy thing to scan and/or delete. It's like 400 posts and we're all saying the same thing. But seriously, I haven't been keeping up with my online bloggybuddys, and I haven't even read the Yarn Harlot in so long that I am 18 post behind!!. That's a good sign that I'm buried.

Why so behind?
I have been cleaning my house.
Not your typical cleaning, though (actually TheShanty is still covered in it's usual thick layer of dust).
I've been purging. Big time purging. Like on the organizing shows on television, purging.
It's going super-duper good, but it is one massive effort, and it has totally taken me away from the computer. Actually, I'm beginning to wonder what role the computer has played in getting me to this state in the first place.

So. I'm going to try to catch up with my own blog posting, and then catch up with reading a blog or two a day until I get caught up. We'll see how it goes.

I suspect the next few posts will entertain only me. It's going to be me trying to catch up on 3-4 weeks of posts for a few days. I have all of these newer blogable things brewing that I'd like to share here...deep thoughts, and some project spectrum photos...but I'm suffering from some kind of bloggers block with the newer stuff because I feel like I have to write about some of the older stuff before I can go forward. I thought about just letting everything go and just picking up and going forward, but of course I feel compelled to fill in the blanks intead. The list of topics is long, and it will take a day or two or three to do it probably.
But do it, I will.
So, here I go…the first installment.

Comments on Comments

I don't think that I have replied to one single comment in weeks. Maybe I have. Maybe I haven't. But I dont think so. Hard to say. Let's blame it on the fever.

Here's a global thank you for everyone that sent get will wishes when I was sick, for happy accidentaversary notes, and thanks to folks that gave me things to think about. I always love that.

A very special thanks to Mr or Mrs "Anonymous" and their comment about how blue is the color of health, not just disability. Thank you. It's been very good for me to reflect on that. I love it when people get me thinking.

TheBon Tour '07

So TheBon came to visit to California. We've been chatting on line for awhile, and she is absolutely just as much fun in person as she is chatting online. Second online knitter buddy I’ve met, and I have to say: All hail the mighty power of the internets.

We spent one day doing a tour of the East Bay. I hope the hell TheBon blogs about it soon, because she took some really great pics, and of course, I took nothing...but she had the fancier camera. The tour we took that first day together was primarily about checking out the buildings of famous architects. The highlight of the day was going to see the building that was the highest on her list of things to do (a Bernard Maybeck building), and when we got there, ladyluck was with us. A docent was just unlocking the doors to set up for an afternoon tour. But she first let us inside and gave us our own private tour. It was so very cool.

TheBon and I got together again a couple of days later to go to Stitches West (more about that in a minute). We were also supposed to get together for third visit while she was in town, and that was when she was going to teach me to spin (which didn’t happen, because I got the crud), so that was a bummer. But it means that one of these days I'm going to toss my wheel in my car and drive to Oregon LOL.

TheBon brought me one awesome birthday gift when she came:

275 yds of HANDSPUN and HANDYED merino/tencel that she made. Sooo yummy! (thank you!!!) I think it will probably be a scarf, and I really want to use a simple stitch pattern that will showcase the yarn.


Well, I probably don't need to aks any of you fiber folks thing, but how much fun was Stitches??!! I had a blast, and I most definitely used my “get of (knit from my stash) jail free” card for the day….which is a good thing, because I needed some new yarny love to get myself excited about knitting again. I was in a bit of a slump, and the fumes of the new yarn has revived me.

I bought a couple of skeins of Socks That Rock in lightweight (Carbon Dating and Puck’s Mischeif), a niddy noddy, some of Cookie’s sock patterns, a couple skeins of Malabrigo, and a couple of Manos del Uraguay in the most luscious of saucy reds you can imagine (the picture does not do it justice).

My big splurge was to buy a shibori scarf kit from Blue Moon Fiberarts.

I’ve been working on that while I’ve been sick. Oooh. And I found a shawl pin for the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl that is being gifted in a couple of weeks.

How perfect is that?!!
What is very cool about this thing is that it is all one unit. You can't lost the stick part, and it makes it very easy to put on.

See? The pin is attached to the clasp. Neat, eh? The artist has a website here.

So all the booty scored at Stitches was great….but the best thing about Stitches for me was the people. For starters, I rode down with a carload of really fun gals, and once we got there, we met up a few more people there to shop along with, including Carliegh.

I got chat with Morgaine from Carolina Homespun for a bit (I just adore her).

I had a really nice chat with Hollis of Full Thread Ahead, whom I’d met at the Yarn Harlot book signing last year.

I got my Knitting Vintage Socks book signed by Nancy Bush, which was my total gaagaa starry-eyed moment.

Oh wait, I had another starry-eyed moment meeting Yarn-A-Go-Go!

And I got to meet no-blog-Rachel!!

I ran into a few ladies from my old knitting group at Skein Lane, and I got to run into Merrily Parker (designer of the infamous Mariposa shawl), whom I don’t see often anymore as she’s found a new SnB and has left us lonely.

I saw a woman carrying a Black Bunny Fibers tote bag and introduced myself, and (damn, I hope I get this right because it was later in the day and I was high on yarn fumes) got to meet Jocelyn.

And probably the best run-in I had all day was running into a buddy of mine I knew from back in my early 20’s: Rueben. He was very contendedly (or so it seemed) playing pack mule for his wife-turned-knitter. He had their new baby strapped to his chest in a carrier and his arms were loaded down with shopping bags LOL. It was very funny timing to run into them after all these years, because I had thinking about them regularly for months. They used to host these weekly dinners, and I've been wondering if one of these days if I could do the same thing. They would have a potluck dinner every Friday night. They would make a main dish. The door was open to a wide list of people who could just pop in unannounced on the way home from work. You were to bring your own plate, your own utensils, a cup, and dish to share. It was an awesome way to begin the weekend, and I have very fond memories of sitting around plates of good food in small clusters of friends, and just having something on the calendar that I could just go to, or not go to...but it was always there. I'm wondering if I can host something like that someday. Maybe once a month rather than weekly? Wanna come?


The Bringer of Crud

I'll end by telling you a little bit about how MyFavoriteKid and I got so sick, how I got uber-pissed, and the power of my mojo to bring you evil...hahaha.

MyFK's best buddy and family moved about 5 hours north a couple of years ago, and they come visit every once in awhile. It was presidents week vacation, so I made a plan with the father of this buddy to have the buddy and the little brother come stay with us for two nights.

The exciting day comes. The kids arrive and disappear into MyFK's room to check out any and all new acquisitions since their last visit. TheDad and I sit and catch up on news for about 15 minutes. TheDad goes out to his car and fills my living room with sleeping bags and pillows and overnight bags. TheDad says goodbye to the kids, who quickly shut themselves back in MyFK's bedroom. TheDad is now on my front landing saying his goodbyes to me. TheDad turns and says, "Oh. Keep an eye on the older one. He has a bit of a fever. Bye!"



So off TheDad goes. I take the OlderKid's temp and he doesn't have a fever, but he just had some tylenol or something. He has a wicked rumbly deep chest cough though and is spewing germs far and wide, and probably over every little game piece and video game controller that is being passed back and forth between all of them.

I call TheDad and basically tell him that he's an twit. He apologizes profusely, but he feels so stuck because this was the kids' vacation trip, right?? Umm yeah. Right. So I deal with it for a night as best I can, The OlderKid's temperature goes up and down, and we're washing our hands a kajillion times and whatnot. The next day the YoungerBrother starts complaining of a headache and now has a fever. I call TheDad and tell him the party's over, and I give the kids the boot.

Two days later, MyFK is sick as a dog. He misses an entire week of school. And a few days after he gets it, I get it...and I miss all sorts of important things, too. It was an asskicker.

I am capable of feeling ill will and am seeking to make TheDad be the recipient of my revenge. I spend several days wanting to call him and say nasty things about what he'd done to us, but I don't call. Finally, a few days after the fever breaks, I do call, to ask him for his email address. I'd taken some pics of the kids together and I wanted to send them along. TheDad answers his phone and it sounds like he's been punched in the face by TheWickedVirusMonster.

Dudes (hi Carol!), I kid you not....I shouted, "You got sick too!!" And then literally burst out into uncontrollable giggle.

I felt a little bit rude for not being able to keep my joy of another's misfortune under wraps. But only just a little.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

three years to the day

a "trophy" given to me after the first anniversary sits on my bedroom altar
created by Brooke Fletcher ~ see more of Brooke's art

The accident will always be a life defining moment.
For the last two years, marking this day has been an acknowledement of loss.
This year it feels more like a celebration of life.

a tiny placard at the bottom awards me a "Gold Metal" (teehee)