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Archive for February, 2009

Reality Steps In

So, how many of you really thought I would post every day? Anyone? LOL – I figured it was pretty unlikely, myself. I have a nice life, I do fun things – but not much of it seems very blog worthy and I really don’t want to bore everyone to death! I really give credit to people like the Yarn Harlot who consistently post almost every day. It really is hard work!

I’ll try to do a little recap of what’s been going on in my corner of the world.

Not much spinning lately, though I am finishing up some inherited mohair roving that I have been spinning on and off for years. The darn stuff is starting to felt, and half a dozen times I’ve come close to chucking the stuff. But I end up soldiering on, for who knows what reason? One more Monday night spinning group and I think it will be done! Once that happens, the Golding spindle I’ve been using will find a new home with a friend who has been admiring it for quite a while now. I don’t know what it is about that spindle, but we’ve just never bonded. I have two Kundert spindles that I absolutely adore, so I will never notice that it is gone.

I have a warp on the loom – all I have to do is tension it and I can start weaving. It will be another hand dyed, hand spun scarf – 10 inches wide this time (the others have been skinnier). After that is done, I think I am going to try some rag place mats just for a change of pace.

I placed a HUGE wholesale fiber order (almost 50 pounds of roving) which should arrive tomorrow. Although that may sound like the world’s largest stash enhancement, it is really just inventory, as I have a vendor spot at the Whidbey Weavers’ Guild Spin-In in April! I am excited, but I kind of feel like a little bird that fell out of the nest and has to learn how to flap her wings really fast! I will also be a vendor at the Whidbey Island Fabulous Fall Fiber Sale in September. These are great opportunities as they are both close to home. Well, the spin-in isn’t all that close (about 45 miles away, two days in a row) but the fall show is literally around the corner from my house. So I will be busy playing with the pretty dye colors in March!

I’m at a bit of a crossroads with knitting. I like to knit, but all I am doing is creating more stuff that I can’t use and don’t need. My sock drawers are full. My shawl drawers are full. I have more scarves than I can possibly wear in 20 lifetimes. I have little use for warm sweaters where I live. I have no one to give the stuff to. So I’m not sure, but I think my needles may fall silent for quite some time to come. I do have a pair of mitts to finish up, but after that?????? Time will tell.

In non-fiber matters, I think DH & I may have finally found a decent dentist. I won’t entertain you with all the horror stories about the local (and highly recommended) guy we were going to – but I will say that he froze my optic nerve with anesthetic, drilled a hole in the bottom of my mouth (both on the same day) and gave DH a cap that doesn’t fit right and is shades lighter than the rest of his teeth (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!) I got a professional recommendation for a female dentist on the mainland who we saw on Wednesday. She seems extremely intelligent and insightful, and we both have high hopes that she will be able to fix some oddball dental issues that we each seem to have.

Last but not least, we have been hunting for a new refrigerator. Ours is ten years old and is soooooo noisy! It drives both of us up a wall. Since the living area of our house is essentially one big room, a quiet refrigerator is a must. However, choosing a new one is about as straightforward as choosing which bread to buy amongst the 45 different offerings. And the manufacturers are not good about rating how noisy the thing is! To make matters worse, we do not want an ice maker or water dispenser, which evidently is almost as strange as our not having paid television! We found a Maytag unit that may fit the bill, but I need to do some (more) internet research first.

So that’s the update! Aren’t you glad I’m not doing this every day?

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Magpie Goes to the Beach!

It was beautiful here yesterday – temp in the 50s, sunny, no wind, clear sky. So I drove down to the beach (all of two miles away) for a stroll, and to take pictures of the Olympic Mountains which were making an appearance after hiding in the clouds and fog for weeks. By the time I got to the beach, the mountains were going into hiding, but since it was low tide, I went for a long walk. We have extreme tides in the Puget Sound, so the best time to go for a walk is at low tide.

I’ve always loved walking on the beach. When I was little, my father and I would go to Sandy Hook on Sundays, and walk for hours (and miles). Sandy Hook is a sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean, quite different from the rocky beaches we have here along the Saratoga Passage and Puget Sound. We would carry a couple of pails and fill them with seashells – mostly the nondescript, huge clam shells that are so abundant on the east coast beaches. Every once in a while, in the dead of winter, we would find a prize, such as an intact scallop shell or sand dollar.

Back to the present………….off I went on my walk, not expecting to find anything since our beaches are so rocky. But I discovered that things change a bit at extreme low tide. I found pretty spotted and striped rocks, some broken sand dollars, shells with a beautiful purple interior, and a huge mother-of-pearl lined shell! Happily, my coat has big pockets and I was able to bring my treasures home. Before we moved, I returned my east coast shell collection to the ocean. My west coast shell collection has now been started!

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New Toy Numero Tres

Lest you think that I am just a huge spoiled brat who gets all the goodies………..

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The black guitar on the right is DH’s latest acquisition. Evidently guitars multiply like spinning wheels! LOL! But seriously, it is a Fender Stratocaster 2004 and it has an amazing sound! Much nicer that the red one on the left. I wouldn’t be surprised if he decides to find a new home for that one someday.

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New Toy Numero Dos

Since moving west, DH and I have both entered into a musical phase. He has been playing guitar, and I have been doing my usual floundering about. I have a couple of Native American flutes which I enjoy playing around with, and I am taking a workshop on March 1st with Gary Stroutsos. I joined a marimba class last year, which I enjoyed immensely but did not continue for various reasons. I have always been drawn to drumming, but I am spinning my wheels on that one right now, trying to figure out what kind of drum(s) (because knowing me, there will be more than one) I want/need. That path may become more clear in April, when I’ll go to the World Rhythm Festival in Seattle. For now, I play around with a drum beater and a tambourine, a small kid’s drum that I picked up at the thrift store, and a snare drum practice pad.

DH, who is usually pretty good about figuring out what I need, especially when I am clueless, said that I should try a xylophone, since I want to both beat on something and have many notes to play. So off I went to do my research on the computer. After reaching the conclusion that xylophones are even more rare than tongue drums in the Seattle area, I decided to see what instruments were listed on Craig’s List. And lo and behold, what did I find but a xylophone, for next to no money, only 45 miles from home!

So please meet my other new toy:
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It came with a ton of sheet music, a beginning band textbook for learning percussion and xylophone, and the before mentioned snare drum pad.

My favorite toy when I was little was – yes – my Fisher Price Xylophone, so I think we may be on to something here! And I am loving all the extra notes!

I think it is so interesting that the things I liked the best in my childhood are re-emerging as I get older. Hmmmmm…..sounds like a topic for another blog post as February winds along!

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New Toy Numero Uno

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Meet my KitchenAid Professional 600 6 quart mixer! This baby will take up to 14 cups of flour (like I would ever mix that much at once – LOL!) But I figured bigger capacity = stronger motor, so my theory is that this tool should last forever!

So what have I made?…………..
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Wish you could smell it! Now, if you will excuse me, I think it is cool enough to slice and eat!

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January Mornings

I thought it would be really neat to photograph the same location at approximately the same time each day, for a year. So I present to you…………9 A.M. in January:
Jan 2009 9AM

This is just a selected assortment – not much is changing yet! Please note the dusting of snow in the last photo.

I’ve also been doing this at 4:30, photographing a different spot in my yard. For some reason my camera has been having exposure issues on those shots. I’ve had it for about seven years now, and it seems to be getting persnickety in its old age (it’s always been a fuss budget!)

I’ve joined NaBloPoMo, which stands for National Blog Posting Month. The idea is to blog every day for a month. So, if all goes well, you will be hearing a lot from me this month (and thanking your lucky stars that February is the shortest month!)

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