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May. 25th, 2015

Memorial Day

Thank you seems like a lame thing to say to all the people who have died in service to our country. What else is there to say? Thank you, Captain John Ryan Dennison, for being killed in the prime of your life in Iraq. As Patton said, let the other guy die for his country. I wish we didn't have to have wars, but it seems that it will always be with us. David, meeting a pacifist who claimed that war never solved anything, replied, "Yes, except for slavery, facism, communism, and Nazism." Not a small detail.

Since last I wrote, I've taken a couple of weaving workshops, done a lot of AA service work, and taught a lot of aqua aerobics classes. I keep my calendar full, but today I have nothing scheduled until 6:30 tonight. David is peacefully playing some video game on his phone, and I am futzing around on the computer. I may venture forth later to buy some curtains. My rose bush is blooming again/still, the nasturtiums are blooming, the peas are coming in, and the lilies are covered with buds. I planted a dogwood, but it seems to have died directly. Damn it.

Last week, my old job called to say that two people were leaving at once, and would I work part-time on a temporary basis. I agreed, and will start on June 1. Because one of the people leaving is my former supervisor, I think they'd just like to have someone around with some institutional memory of the department. I told them that I have a lot of travel already scheduled, and I will need to work around it. Anyway, I will get to test my theory that I could do that job in two hours a day. Once you get the system in place, it's pretty easy to manage. I hope the system's still there.

Mar. 7th, 2015

Almost daylight savings time?

Tomorrow, we spring forward. Unlike most people, daylight savings time does not make me mad or even inconvenience me in any way, and I fail to appreciate the biannual histrionics. For heavens' sake, people, this has happened twice a year for your entire damn lives, get over it already. I may be a little unsympathetic.

Last month, I took a weaving class as an advanced beginner. I learned quite a few things, and got some new weaving tools, and I'm looking forward to using them. One is a kit to convert my four treadle loom to six treadles, and that will be a big project. I look forward to getting that done, and winding on and warping again. I wound three warps at the class, and threaded and rethreaded several times. The last three times, I had no threading errors, which is unprecedented. Practice is a good thing!

This weekend, I'm staying with my dad while mom is out of town. It's a low-key commitment - his aide is doing all the heavy lifting. We mostly hang out with our respective electronics. I met up with my cousin and his kids today. (Anonymous because I'm sure my cousin would prefer it that way.) I got a tee shirt for the boy and a box of cute candy bunnies for the girl, and they were both thrilled. They are great kids, and I always enjoy seeing the whole family. While I'm at mom's, I'm developing a relationship with their new kitten, Annie. She was cool at first, but after a few days of dishing out the wet food, she's warming up to me.



Look at those crazy whiskers! Man, I need a kitty at home.

Jan. 26th, 2015

Getting in a new routine

I'm finally starting to get organized at home. I've got the two floor looms warped up and in progress. I finished the first of a set of 5 dishtowels today. I hope I get that many out of the warp, anyway. If not, well, live and learn.

I started my January with a few playdates with doctors. Welcome to fifty two, whee. That's all over with, at least. I have three AA service positions, as well as a service position in my weaving guild, and that's a bit time consuming. Still, I'm getting a few things done. I did cut some of the fabric off the Saori loom the other day - that's one of the neat things about it. I can do that with the regular loom, but it would not be pretty. I promised David that I'd make him one thing and repair another, plus there are the usual pile of knitting projects awaiting my attention. So I'm not running low on things to do.

David and I are getting along fine. He spends all his time on the phone, as expected, and I do whatever I need to do - weave, go to a meeting, walk the dog, what have you.

Oh, that dog - he follows me around like he's on a two-foot leash. It's a little much, really. He does obey when I tell him "enough, go lie down" but he flings himself to the ground and heaves a big sigh in disgust. It's pretty funny.

Last night, he was curled up in his family room bed (what?) and a little mouse came out and paused right by his nose. David said, "Wake up, Jake," and the dog opened his eyes. It took him a minute to figure out what this new thing was, but I am pleased and little amazed to report that Jake caught and killed that poor thing. (It may have died of fright in his mouth - it didn't seem to have any bite marks.) Jake didn't know what to do with it, so I tossed it outside. My goofy dog, how I love him.

So things are different but good, and I'm adjusting to life at home.

Dec. 31st, 2014

It's the last day

The last day of 2014, and my last day at work. Gads, it's hard to imagine. I turned in my keys and my name badges after lunch. My poor replacement got a data dump this morning when I showed her how to add a class in the database and then make a flyer in Word. We're going to make a few invoice requests this afternoon. At five, I'll be off like a prom dress. No more time clocks, no more dress clothes.

Since it's New Year's Eve, David and I will celebrate in our usual fashion, by staying the hell home. We might even stay up until midnight, if we can. Tomorrow, I'll make collards, black-eyed peas, ham, and corn bread for the new year and my new start.

Dec. 26th, 2014

Countdown: four days

The holiday was lovely, but I'm still glad it's over. It was more work than fun this year. I did spare myself the marathon baking - I planned to make a lot of cookies and two pies, and I just skipped it. I bought a pie at the grocery store and (gasp) Cool Whip, and called it good. It was fine.

I'm a little stressed about my big change coming up, but I'm counting down the days until I leave my job. I work today and Monday through Wednesday of next week. There are so many things I want to make. I'm keeping a list on my phone.

I've been at this job for nine years, and I have a pile of stuff here. I've been taking it home piecemeal for a couple of weeks now. I actually dreamed about taking my stuff home the other night. I don't know where I'm going to put it all at home - I may end up tossing some of it out, or giving things to a thrift store. Whatever works.

Dave's looking forward to me being home so I can take care of his admin work, and go with him to job fairs. He also wants me to go to the gym with him every day. We'll see if that happens - probably not right away. Jake's going to get a lot more exercise, too. We can all use it!

Dec. 19th, 2014

no regrets

Just in case I might regret my decision, at the holiday party, the marketing department played a video of the party in 2005, when I got roped into singing the Redneck 12 Days of Christmas with my boss. That was also the year that I realized that not entering a competition wouldn't keep them from adding me to it.

This morning at the division birthday party, one of the planners decreed that you couldn't get a piece of cake unless you sang a line of a song first. Most people don't want to sing, especially in front of a group like that. I left the room. Boundaries, people. Learn about them.

I'm going through various projects, trying to get some things done for the poor slob taking my place. Today, I'm making 36 copies of a training manual for January. There's another one to be done next week, for another class. Six more days and I won't have to fool with that stupid copier ever again.

Dec. 15th, 2014

Short timer

Good LORD this month is moving slowly. I still have 10 days to work and zero motivation. Come on, New Year's Eve.

This week at we have the division holiday party, the agency-wide party, and I have my weaving guild party. I baked some bread and a pile of banana bread for various things. I still need to make brownies for the Guild party, but I know better than to have that stuff lying around the house any longer than it must.

This past Saturday, I went to Durham to see my folks, and we went to some kind of special holiday craft show thing at a German restaurant. Bratwurst for lunch, yay! They had several vendors there with different items, pastries, jewelry, fiber art, paintings, ironmongery. I could totally sell a pile of woven scarves here. I will check into how one gets to attend that event. There was a meadery selling mead, so I got David a little something from them. They seemed surprised that I declined to try a sample. No thanks, I have somewhere to be in January.

Jake lost his old ID tag, so I got him a new one. This one reads JAKE!, because he deserves the exclamation point. He's a sweetie pie. I got out and walked him a few evenings last week, and once I'm off work, we will get out a lot more. My hips just aren't up for the big multi-mile hikes anymore, but the dog park allows him to run off lots of energy without requiring me to walk distances. That's a great feature.

The loom room is pretty crowded right now. The Christmas tree is sitting in the living room space where the floor loom goes, so that's tucked in the loom room. I also have the wrapping paper and boxes in there. The table loom's back in the family room, at least, where I can work on it while watching TV. David doesn't mind that there are looms all over the place, which is good, because there sure are swords all over the place. Anyway, once the floor loom is back in place and the Christmas stuff is all put away, I may have room to pull out the craft table (thanks, Aunt Jean!) and block some projects that are waiting their turn.

Come on, 2015!

Nov. 13th, 2014

Big Change

After, let's see, about 16+ years of complaining about my boring administrative work, I have decided to take a sabbatical and work on weaving for a year. I gave notice yesterday.

I quit my job.

I'm staying until December 31, but damn, you guys, I quit my job.

Of course, I talked to David first, and he thinks it's a great idea. (He's already planning how I'm going to help him out, and go to the gym with him, and that kind of thing.) If Jake could talk, he'd be looking forward to more walks.

I'll miss the folks I work with here - they are great. I told my boss to call me if he gets the grant funding he's applied for and needs a part-time assistant. I don't mind what I do, I just don't have enough of it to do, plus, DULLSVILLE.

Anyway, heaven knows I have the equipment and the stash to weave for months without even buying anything else. I've already signed up for a class in February. It's a big change, but I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm really fortunate to be able to do this.

Nov. 10th, 2014

The year of Jake

So, we got Jake last November 13. He is a terrible counter-surfer and food thief. He is a giant love bug and affection hog. He sheds all the time. We are crazy about him.

Oh, my sweet boy.
jake

How could anyone resist this face?
Dogface

What a peach.
Untitled

David likes him okay.
Puppy love

I still think his name needs an exclamation point.
Jake

Oct. 30th, 2014

Asheville

I got to go to western NC last weekend for the Southeast Animal Fiber Festival near Asheville. I stayed in Hendersonville, about 15 minutes south of the site. I've been in the area a few times, so I felt right at home. I even know where to find meetings, and went to two.

I had two weaving classes, Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. The first one turned out to be a very basic discussion of how to figure warp and weft amounts. It was so basic, I probably could have taught it. Oh, well, no harm, no foul. I did find a skein of yarn afterward that I had to have (shocking, I know).

Saturday, I went to the NC Arboretum, and enjoyed both the hiking trails and the Fiber Arts show at the Education building. The show was really good - I took several photos of works for inspiration. The weather was glorious, as were the fall colors, and the hiking was great. I was creaky for the rest of the day, but it was worth it.
image

After hiking, I went to Asheville for lunch and shopping. I got some yarn (surprise!) at Earth Guild, chocolates at The Chocolate Fetish, earrings at a gallery, and plenty of exercise. Then I took the Blue Ridge Parkway up to the NC Folk Art Center, to see what's new there. I arrived at the same time as a busload of people from Charlotte, so the place was crowded, but they sure have lovely things!

On Sunday morning, I checked out of the hotel and headed north to the festival. It's across the road from the Asheville Airport, and quite close to Barkwells, where we were earlier this month. On the way to the cabins, I'd noticed a park, so I went there walked around. The park has a boat launch for the Mill River. I walked around the park (pretty small, really), but I did get to see some cedar waxwings, a species I haven't seen in years. They are so lovely and elegant looking, I just love them.

I went to the Festival and wandered around, saw all the products and had some lunch, then went back and got three lovely skeins from Brooks Farm Yarn. (They are my Kryptonite, I can NOT resist their yarn.) I talked to the folks at the Saori weaving booths, too. There are only a few Saori shops in the US, and we had reps from the one in Louisiana and one from Georgia. My afternoon class was Saori, and I really really liked it. Here's my class sample.

image

In fact, I liked it so much, I got a Saori loom. (Actually, Mom got it for me. Thanks, Mom!) I put it in the back of my car and drove it home, whee! However, because I have a double weave workshop with my guild this weekend, I haven't taken it out of the box yet. I have to warp my standard loom and get that ready for the workshop before I get to play with the Saori loom.

I've been fascinated with Saori for a while now, and last month, I made a moebius cowl in the Saori style on my table loom.

image

I wove most of the scarf, then unwound the completed part from the cloth beam and wove the ends crosswise into the other end, to make the cowl. I think it's fabulous.

Recently, I was writing about what I have (not) done with my college degree, and I tend to feel down about being (essentially) a secretary. But then I remembered - I'm actually a weaver with a day job. Most weavers are - it's not a lucrative profession, though some make their living that way. It took me a long time to find the thing I love to do, and weaving is it.

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