Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Is slacking contagious?

I should talk. It's been a while since I have checked in with my fellow knitters, and I too have been slacking I suppose. I read today that the Sockapaloooza (3 o's to represent the 3rd exchange) Exchange is at 90% completion. While this is a great success, I can't help but feel a slight twinge of disappointment that I happen to be in the 10% of people who have not received their socks. Out of 606 participants, approximately 60 or so people still have not gotten to experience the thrill of the package arriving in the mail, and wondering what goodies might have been carefully put together especially for them. I know I was very excited to put my package together and send off to Sydney, and I was even more excited to read her post about receiving the socks I had made, just for her. But enough already, when is it MY turn?? I'm whining and don't mean to, but hey if Grumperina can shame her sock pal into at least e-mailing her about where her socks are, I can post a little about my impatience, right? To her credit, my sock pal DID e-mail me to say she was running behind. But when I check her blog (ok, so I figured out who she is-what can I say? I'm determined) and see zero updates about socks, I can't help but feel sad. I was very worried about letting down my sock pal, cuz I have always been habitually tardy. But I set my mind to it, and finished, not on time, but a week early, and mailed them out exactly on the right day. Oh well, it's sandal season anyway. Hopefully I'll have 'em by fall.

I have been knitting some, but mostly I've been working on my spinning skills. I have gotten more consistent with my drafting and have finally gotten the Andean plying technique figured out. I even tried Navajo plying and will be trying that again soon, to see if it's better the second time around. I went to the Spring Fiber Day at Mt. Bruce Station in Romeo over the weekend. The weather was perfect for a drive out in the country, and the kids enjoyed checking out the animals. I was expecting more vendors but I did get some lovely glycerin soaps and purchased some handpainted llama, to try my hand at something other than "gray wool". I spun a small sample on the drop spindle and it handled very well, and plied nicely. I'll be spinning that up pretty soon, even if it is on the spindle and not a wheel. It's a bit fuzzy so I'm not sure that it will become socks as I originally thought, but I have a few ideas in mind for its destiny.

I've got my ears open for spinning wheels for sale, and have been checking e-bay regularly. My hopes are to find a used wheel, in good condition, somewhat locally, because on e-bay most sellers are out of the country. If anyone has any tips, send me a comment and I'll check it out.

I hope to have pictures soon of what I've been working on, I just need to get my butt in gear and set it all up to photograph.

Enjoy this sunny day!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

It's a waiting game!

But how do we know when to stop playing? What are you waiting for?

I was doing yard work over the weekend. Every time I am forced to perform such tasks I am given a lot of free time to mentally wander thru these types of questions. First of all, let me start by saying this. My lawnmower decided to take a dive last week. I HATE relying on others to fix stuff or get me out of a jam. I’m very independent by nature. I found out the part I needed was about $35 and that didn’t include shipping. My SO said he’d look at it for me, but of course when the mower croaked my lawn was already about 3 weeks overdue for a trim. My impatient nature (which battles regularly with my independent nature) decided to look at it myself. So I went into my tool box and pulled out what every single woman should have in theirs, duct tape and super glue. And I went to work. By some stroke of luck, a little duct tape, a little more super glue and a handy pair of pliers, I got the power drive cable thingy (technical term-straight from the manual I think) reconnected so that I could once again steer my mower with my little finger and no longer have to push what seemed like a small car across the lawn. Oh, and by the way, I prayed. Seriously. A pathetic type of prayer that went something like this: “Dear God, I know this is really not high on your list of priorities, but it’s kind of important to me to get my overgrown lawn cut to satisfy MY anal retentive needs, and I really don’t know that I know how to fix this thing myself, but I’d like to think I can, and since you’re probably the only man who hasn’t let me down lately [I know there’s no proof that He is a man, for all the feminists out there, but I’m traditional, and since we pray to Him and He forgives us etc., I’m just going with that] could you find it in your heart to cut me a little slack here?” I guess He couldn’t kick me, knowing I was already down, so needless to say, my mower is fixed, even if only temporarily, and the WHOLE lawn is cut, since I just HAD to pick a corner lot with more grass than 3 houses normally have-did I mention I love yard work? Why I didn’t pick a condo I’ll never know-glutton for punishment I guess.

Anyway, while all that was going on I had plenty of time to think about things. It seems that we are always waiting for something. That ever-elusive “opportunity just around the corner”, the raise your boss never seems to give you, the vacation that is always far away or that never seems to get planned. Whatever it is, we never seem to be happy with the “right here, right now”. When couples get married, the first function they attend after the nuptials seems to invoke everyone’s favorite question “When are you starting a family?” After they have the first member of said family the next question is always “When are you having another one?” Why are we like this? Aren’t we ever just happy for people as they are right now? When someone graduates high school, the first question is “Where will you be attending college?” Or with a college soon-to-be graduate “Where will you be accepting a position?” Can’t we just let them settle into their most recent accomplishment without placing additional pressure on them. Obviously these are questions they are asking themselves, do we need to state the obvious? If they are ambitious enough to graduate high school or college, do people really think they are just going to turn into perpetual couch potatoes and simply reduce themselves to channel surfing? Not likely.

There’s an e-mail that’s been floating around for years about someone preparing a loved one for a funeral and choosing a beautiful dress that’s been hanging in the closet, never worn, being saved for a special occasion. The bottom line of the mail is to use your good dishes, sit on your furniture without plastic covers and live your life every day as if it were your last. We should do that. I was half tempted to bust out my satin strappy sandals for work but thought better of it. They wouldn't go with my jeans. And I might revive the term "working girl". Not what I was going for. But you get my point.

I’ve been feeling very frustrated lately because I feel as if I’m constantly waiting for whatever is around the bend or over the next hill and frankly I’m tired of waiting. I have a bunch of crap coming up that is unavoidable and I am going to do my best to live my life in spite of what is most likely about to suck a whole lot. I'm going to continue to be a great mother to my daughter, enjoy my friends, my hobbies, my relationship, and if more comes of any of them, great. If not, I’m happy with the way things are, except for the stuff that's going to suck a whole lot-that I could do without.

There are days when I wish I had an easier life. You know, the kind you see on tv where the husbands go off to work, bring home a fat paycheck, and still manage to find time to cut the grass and keep the cars running. They have what is perceived as the perfect family with 2.5 kids (as an accountant I’ve always had trouble with this number), family functions are a joyous event shared by all, and other than more money, they have no real wants, they are happy just as they are. Then I look around me and think nah! I’m glad my dad raised me to think for myself, do for myself, and taught me that girls COULD learn how to work on cars or use tools, if they wanted to. So I did. I feel that life is a huge uphill struggle sometimes, but for every new plateau I reach, I feel very proud of my accomplishments, knowing I got there by myself. I’m not financially dependent on anyone, and while my life may not be the way others think it should be, it’s the best life I know how to live, and I love my daughter with every ounce of my being and I have no doubt she knows she’s loved. I teach her to think for herself, to be independent, and not to follow the crowd unless it’s what she really wants to do. She stands up for herself and I know that she feels the same pride as I do in a job well done.

I wonder if June Cleaver could say the same about her life.

Well, the grass should be fine for about a week, so hopefully the next post sticks mainly to knitting. I did get a nice e-mail from my sock pal, my socks should be on their way shortly, and I think I've figured out who they're coming from, so I should know soon if I'm right. I haven't seen that my sock pal got HER socks yet, so hopefully she does soon! Can't stand the pressure!

Take care all, send out some good vibes and prayers for me, got a rough morning tomorrow, and then hopefully smooth sailing the rest of the week.

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