Thursday, July 29, 2010

'Why not' is an slogan for an interesting life. (Mason Cooley)

I've been in a horrible funk lately, but I think I've finally come out of the worst of it. Actually, I'm trying my best to fly up over it all, with my arms flapping madly as I desperately try forget to fall when I trip.*

Anyway, tonight I went all out on my recovery and I finally did something that I've been talking about for the last twelve years. Actually, I've wanted to do this since I was a teenager. But my husband thought it was dumb and I gave up the idea while I was married. But when we ended up in divorce court, I thought it would be a nice way to celebrate my new independence.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the money at the time. And I had a responsibility to my kids. (Single moms are under a lot of pressure to set a good example.) So I kept putting it off. And then I was too old. (And too fat, but I won't go down that road right now.)

Now my youngest is a teenager, and she has her own ideas of what would be really cool to do. Her ideas don't really line up with my ideas of what is cool to do. But while I don't totally approve, I also don't want her to be in her forties and talking about things that she wished she had done while she was young enough to do them. So we talked about it, and this evening I took her to Ink Link where she had her eyebrow and her ear cartilage pierced. She looks great!

While we were there, I casually asked how much a tattoo would cost. The answer was more than I probably should spend, but a whole heck of a lot less than what I had thought it would be. I thought about it, discussed it with my daughter (who was totally "go for it mom!"), and I left with a beautiful tattoo! After twelve years, I finally have my statement permanently etched across my shoulder bones.

There will be pictures. I didn't have a camera with me while Marc was needling me, and now it's covered with a bandage. But as soon as it's healed enough, I'll be proudly showing it off.

*Bonus points for everyone who knows the literary reference.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let's face it, far more reliable than a man.

(Miranda Ingram)

The Good:
  1. Cello cherries are on sale at Walgreens, 2 for $3. I love cello cherries, and I'm really enjoying the box I bought. (Okay, the boxes I bought. They were on sale, so I had to buy 2.)
  2. I've stuck with my goal of spinning everyday for the Tour de Fleece. It's day 9, and today I did 30 minutes with the drop spindle and 1 hour with the wheel.
  3. Becka made a wonderful dinner. And cleaned up afterwards. I didn't even ask her to do it.
The Bad:
  1. It's one week until payday, and one day until bills are due. Sigh. Why doesn't the money come out even? (And don't tell me it's because of the cello cherries -- they were on sale!)
  2. I went in and worked all afternoon, even though I've promised myself that I was not going to work on the weekends anymore. I am so far behind on the reports, it's starting to really panic me. Especially since they're talking about bringing in more students.
The Ugly:
  1. My son's dog got into my baskets of handspun yarn, and tore up three skeins. My son put the tangled, slimy skeins back into the basket on the bookcase, thinking that I wouldn't notice. ("What mom? There's nothing wrong with your yarn. It looks pretty.") It took me an hour to untangle the first skein, and I'm not looking forward to doing the others. My spinning wheel, rovings, and hand spun yarns have all been moved from the living room alcove into my bedroom. I'm not happy, since my bedroom is now very crowded and I really liked sitting in the alcove by windows to spin. But while both the dog and the boy survived (barely) this incident, I'm afraid that they wouldn't be so lucky if Rocky were to attack the yarn a second time.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. (Bertrand Russell)

It is day 5 of the Tour de Fleece, and I am totally obsessed with spinning. I've managed to get in a little bit of knitting (mainly because it's easier to sneak knitting time in at work than it is to try to spin at work), but the biggest emphasis has been on spinning.

I think I mentioned that I started a drop spindle of BFL since all of my bobbins were full. I'm having a great time with it, but now I've added fancy drop spindles to my Wish List. I'm starting to wonder how I'm going to get 1 1/2 ounces onto the spindle, and then how I'm going to ply that much. I had a gift card to Barnes & Noble, so I treated myself to a copy of Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont. I'm hoping that the book will give me some answers.

My drive band came Tuesday, so I was able to ply a skein of the Auntie's Yarn. It came out so wonderfully soft and squishy, I hate to give it away. (But Auntie is going to love this yarn, so it's okay.) It ended up as a worsted weight (14 wpi) with 243 yards.

This evening I brought my wheel to knit night, and started spinning the Shetland Top from Crown Mountain. I didn't split the roving before I went, which was a mistake. A couple of the girls helped me split the 8 ounce rope of roving into thirds, which took several attempts. We had that roving stretched all the way across the coffee shop trying to figure out the math!

My goal is to spin this as thin as I can (which turned out to be 40 wpi), and then to three ply it. I would have liked to get the singles to match, but I quickly gave up on that idea. It's definitely going to be a wild barber pole plying. I think it will still look really nice. And with the singles at 40 wpi, the final yarn should be nice fingering weight. And with 8 ounces to spin, I should have enough yardage to knit a pretty shawl or maybe even a shrug.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own. (Carol Burnett)

At work I've been trying to get through the monthly and quarterly reports. It's slow going, especially since I am checking the monthly service logs in addition to writing my goal reports.

Most of the time, reading through the service logs drives me crazy. It's very irritating to read that our blind student "watched a movie" or our deaf student "listened to the radio." Sometimes instructors get rushed, and they write an entry automatically. But today, I came across several entries that made me laugh.

One student "was in a samba mood." I guess she wanted to dance.

Another student "was sober." This is a good thing, especially since it was our big beach party day. I wouldn't want to send anyone home drunk.

But the best one of all was "played with vibrator for stimulation." It was listed as a Leisure Activity, although I suppose it could have also been an ADL (activity of daily life). As long as it wasn't a Community Event! And the state can't complain, since it is age appropriate. (All of our students are adults.)

You do know I'm just joking around about that last one, right? It was a real entry in the service log, but the instructor was referring to an electronic ball that shakes when you move it. The wording just made me laugh.

Monday, July 05, 2010

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. (Marie Curie)

Day 1 of the Tour de Fleece
I managed to spin up the last two ounces of what will be Auntie's Yarn #4 once I get it plied. This was after having spent four hours at work (on a Saturday!), and hanging out at CityPlace with my sister and my niece.

Day 2 of the Tour de Fleece
I probably should have gone in to work again Sunday, but I didn't want to. So I didn't. Instead I went over and hung out at Barnes & Noble with my spinning wheel. I was there long enough to spin a full four ounces of the Auntie's wool. (I wish I could remember what breed it is so that I could tell you, because it's so soft and yummy and spins like a dream). Paula came by with her daughter (such a cute kid!), so it was a really nice afternoon.

The problem is that now all my bobbins are full, and I'm still waiting to get the drive band for my plying head that I ordered to replace the one that my son's dog chewed up. Instead of being all upset, though, I'm taking it as an opportunity to do some drop spindling during the Tour de Fleece. I practiced a bit using my CD spindle (which also came in handy for several quick mini-spinning lessons -- having a wheel in the bookstore tends to attract a lot of attention). I've borrowed a small wooden spindle from Paula, mainly because I like the size of it better. It'll be interesting to see if I can do the full 3.5 ounces of Wine BFL roving on the drop spindle.

With all the spinning that I did yesterday, my hands are really hurting today. I think it was the spinning, even though I would love to blame it on the rain. Not that it mattered, since I only managed to get in about 30 minutes of spinning today. It took me a little bit to get into the rhythm of the drop spindle, but I managed to get a really nice even single that's about 32 wpi. I was hoping to produce a fingering weight, but it's looking like it will be a sport weight once I ply it.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Desire is the most important factor in the success of any athlete. (Willie Shoemaker)

The Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to the excuse of having to sit and spin a little bit everyday. It would be really nice to catch up with my stash, but since I have over 4 lbs (really, that much?) I doubt it.