Archive for August, 2013

August 30, 2013

Deployment

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Alex deployed this week. His current orders state he will return in eight months. He was both very excited and nervous before leaving.

I can’t say much more about his deployment on line for security reasons, but he should be safe. He was very happy about his mission. It is quite an honor.

The amazing thing is that as he left all of his worldly possessions were either in a storage locker (including his very cute, but somewhat ridiculous white two-seater sports car) or with him in his duffle. We have so many things in our lives. Sometimes it feels like such a burden. Alex headed off like a turtle with his life on his back.

The other thing I have been thinking a lot about is that when these guys deploy, they put their lives on hold for us. They can literally freeze many of their bills during deployment. No more car payments, no accumulation of interest. Their private lives cease to exist and they are 100% devoted to their mission. That is quite a time out of normal life. It may not be the ultimate sacrifice, but it is a tremendous gift to the rest of us.

Semper Fi indeed.

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August 25, 2013

The Brassia

A major pleasure. My Brassia is blooming.

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This picture doesn’t do it justice. Jim got me this brassia for Christmas 2011. It was in full bloom then. Happily it has bloomed every six months since then. I think it is magnificent. The blooms only last a couple weeks tops, then slowly they fade down to the tip of the spike. Time stands still until months later, it sends out a new spike and slowly the whole process repeats itself.

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Orchidphilia is not for the impatient.

August 17, 2013

Spinning Heaven

the sun was perfect for drying the dyed roving

the sun was perfect for drying the dyed roving

This was a gorgeous weekend in the country. It broke my heart to have to leave. The weather was perfect. Not too hot, but sunny and bright with blue, blue skies and perfect fluffy white clouds.

The new roving I ordered arrived during the week and I couldn’t wait to get up to the house to work on the dyes. I have three sets of roving which need to be made into yarn. With any luck that yarn will turn into three projects.

Project one: I have some very brightly colored yarn which I hope to make into a vest. Initially, I was going to ply the brightly colored yarn with natural white, but once I was spinning it became clear the yarn I was making was too thick for two ply. I have in mind a vest with alternating rows of the colorful and the natural white and some fancy trim on the bottom. I need close to 800 yards so this weekend I was trying to match the first skein of brightly colored yarn. Matching using Kool-Aid is no easy feat, but I think it is just fine.

roving drying in the sun

roving drying in the sun

Project two: This began as a mis-fire. It was my first attempt to dye more roving for project one. Pre-dyeing I left my roving too wet and all the colors bled and I ended up with what Jim termed “a long intestine.” It was soft runs of colors from salmon to pink to purple. At first I thought it was a mess. Then I thought it might look quite lovely plied with yellow. So that became the plan. The plan continued to evolve when I began to spin. Funny things happen when you dye and spin. The dyed roving that looked like salmon is spinning up into quite lovely yarn. It is a festival of pinks, purples and will look super with the yellow plied together. The “disaster” is an exciting new project.

the dyed roving for project two

the dyed roving for project two

sweet rainbow of color

sweet rainbow of color

Project three: this evolved while I was waiting for the new order of roving. I had a lovely raspberry colored roving which I must have bought at Sheep and Wool years and years ago when I bought my wheel–and then didn’t learn to spin for five years. I began spinning the raspberry quite thin and plan to ply it with some natural white Blue-faced Leicester that I bought last year. Perhaps that will be a sweater if it yields enough. I am still not very practiced at all in estimating yields.

Leaving the country was doubly heart-breaking. Not only did I want to enjoy the perfect weather, I was in spinning heaven.

Just in case you are wondering, Jim was pretty busy, too.

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August 3, 2013

The View from Behind

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Two thoughts I share with those who follow my car. Ellie gave me the knitting bumper sticker for my birthday. I think it is hysterically funny and just wish it were true. Every time I see a car with a sticker which says Semper Fi, I think of my favorite Marine. I am proud to let everyone know my status.

It drives Jim crazy that I have these bumper stickers on my car. They are on magnets, but the magnet discolors the paint. I don’t care, I like to share these bits of my life.

A big thank you to Peter Benjamin Frost who carefully and lovingly washed my car in the driveway and installed my bumper stickers.

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