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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.

Oct. 14th, 2014

October

October is a busy month! The first week, Jake and I went to the mountains with my folks, to Barkwells outside of Asheville. It's a great place, completely fenced in, and they love dogs.

image

Jake has not shown any interest in going in any water or puddles, but at Barkwells, someone else's dog chased a toy thrown into the water and he sprang right into the pond. He looked rather surprised, got right out, and didn't repeat it, but I got a good laugh out of it.

We had a marvelous time - we went to Biltmore, and sat around on the porch enjoying the view, and played with the dogs.

David's had job fairs each week so far. This week, he's going to Pittsburgh. Last week, he was in Chicago, so he got to spend time with our daughter Sammi, who is beautiful as ever. The week before that, he was in Baltimore. It must be that time of year.

This weekend, I have a two day AA service meeting in Raleigh, so I'll be gone from Saturday morning to Sunday evening. (So much knitting time!) Next weekend, I have two classes at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival (SAFF) in Asheville, and I'll be gone from Friday to Sunday. My classes are Friday and Sunday, so I'll have Saturday free. I may get to scout around for property up there - David and I really like it and are thinking of moving.

October is also big for birthdays: David's was the 5th, Aunt Jean's is the 13th, and mine is the 20th. Lots of excitement. The State Fair is coming up, too. My favorite!

Sep. 30th, 2014

Dolly, 1999-2014

Dolly

dog & dogwoods

dolly&anika2

dolly_plaid

pets

jonesrun

blogger

Dolly

The World's Greatest Dog.

Sep. 23rd, 2014

Jake the Giant

I took Jake to the vet today, to get his kennel cough vaccine (he's going to the Pawprints Inn this weekend). Last year when I got him, he weighed 93 pounds, and I put him on some fancy grain-free food (mostly to cut down on the epic farting), 2 cups morning and evening. Of course, he's not getting much exercise, which is our fault. But today at the vet, Jake weighed 99 pounds. He needs to lose about 10-15 pounds (don't we all?).

He goes to 1.5 cups at each meal starting tonight. Sorry, buddy, but if you want to get to 15 years old like Dolly, you have to be in better shape!

This information can be extrapolated to the humans in the house as well. We are all under exercised and over fed. Except Dolly - she's actually lost weight over the last year, because I cut her food by half. Her hips are so bad that any extra weight on her is a real problem. Her feet go out from under fairly often, and she has a terrible time getting up from the floor. My sweet old girl. I really don't know how much longer she has, but I'll take what I can get.

Aug. 25th, 2014

Progress!

Wow, there were a lot of threading errors on this project. This is the widest project I've ever put on the loom, and a new draft (pattern), so I guess I was asking for it. I am glad that I can keep my cool and just fix things as I find them instead of getting all worked up over it. It looks like I've done very little:

image

Until you see what's hiding underneath:

image

I've rigged up all kinds of things to help me keep track of the pattern. The other non-plain pattern I made had about 8 steps which were repeated throughout, but this one combines pattern changes with thread color changes, so I just have to go through them one by one.

On Saturday, Aiden came over to do some yard work, and was injured while using the weedwhacker. A small rock hit him in the eye. No, he was not wearing safety glasses. I grabbed a book and some knitting and took him to the ER. (David was out of town at a fighter practice.) The ER doctor was great, and we were there about 4.5 hours, which is an express visit by their standards. Aiden was lucky - he has corneal scratches and a small cut, which should heal up in a few days. If the rock had punctured his eye, he'd have lost some vision at least. Wear your safety glasses, kids.

Sunday, I did all that weaving, and what a lovely contrast to the previous day. I also met a friend over at the frozen yogurt place and ate way too much yogurt and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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