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I mowed the lawn last night, for the first time. It was quite good to push the little human powered mower around the yard. I was pretty lathered up when I finished and I didn’t pollute anything – either noise or carbon footprint. Just a whirring sound and me huffing and puffing. It was a lot of work because the ground was wet and the grass was tall, and the foxgloves were blooming. That last part, that only made it hard because my eye was drawn to the flower beds.

What a treat! I have this image in my head of a little fox wearing these lovely gloves. The picture doesn’t do the actual coloration or pattern justice. There is this fine outline around each of the spots in the throat of the flower. It’s so magnificent that it brings me to tears.

It also gives me ideas about future knitting projects. Unfortunately I need to knit from my itsy bitsy stash for a while longer because I have big expenses coming up and I need to spend my money there.

There has been lots of drama around my house lately. None of it relating to the titular Drama club. All of that was put aside for a moment last night when the estrogen haze hanging over the house lifted briefly to attend a Red Carpet event. The Kudos night for the drama club.

My daughters sat next to me most of the night and I got to meet the super woman who runs the department. I see why they love being there so much. It’s like a big warm family, the kind I’m not able to give them because I’m mental and because my family is more mental and spread out along the West and East coasts (and Hawaii).

When I say I’m mental I don’t mean that I’m abusive or I behave badly (most of the time). I’m broken in some ways, and I feign an air of serenity and sanity that is really just a veneer sometimes. But I digress.

Anyway I would love to hang out in this place if I were a kid. It makes sense now, seeing them all together. I made a decision which I hope I can follow up on. I want to volunteer for sewing and stage construction next year. I asked the kids permission and they both said it was fine with them.

I’m a good seamstress and I can follow pattern instructions and paint with the best of them. I’ll also get to see my kids more often, before they fly the nest.

I’ve all but finished Marc’s second sock. It needs a bind off that is done with a needle. He will be here on Monday and I’m looking forward to having him model them for me. I’ll post pictures!

From here things get better. I finish cleaning the house, and start to relax. I go to the gym. I take Hoku to the groomers and get he all washed up so she smells good, instead of just smelling. I get to spend the evening with one of my oldest and dearest friends and her daughter. We had a blast just visiting, eating and watching Dances With Wolves.

Monday is spent resurrecting the sock whose heel would not turn and the cuff without ribbing all the way around. It’s fixed and almost finished now. Soon I’ll start on the socks for my sister’s birthday present.

It’s a good day and I try to stop and think about the people who have given their lives so we can enjoy this good, good life.

Read on if you dare. This weekend was an experiment in empty nesting. My girls were off with friends and I was totally and utterly alone. Just me the dog and the bird and various plants that needed tending.

Part 1: The Sodding lawn

I hadn’t gotten to finish the lawn yet because the sod I bought from Home Depot to fill in for the dead one from Best Buy in Town was crap. I arranged for a pick up from Best Buy in Town for one final roll on Friday. Which they couldn’t find. Keep in mind they had already shorted us two rolls earlier. We were credited back for those two, but still.

After some searching they led me back to a pile of sod pieces which they offered. I took one and drove it home. Excitedly, just waiting til the moment I could say TADAH! it’s done! I removed the old half dead pieces and rolled the new piece into place. It was 18 inches too short and 2 inches too narrow on either side.

Trying not to cry I called Best Buy back and asked to speak with a manager. I mentioned that while I understood that it wasn’t personal, I was starting to take this personally. They could not locate my roll, because they had given it away. Their suggestion was that I go to Home Depot and find some. They also offered me a 25$ credit on anything I might purchase in the future. If I ever decide to purchase anything form them in the future.

I drove home from Home Depot and wrangled the too small piece out of the pie that makes up our lawn. I rolled out the new Home Depot treasure and lo and behold. The lawn was now done.

Too tired for even a tadah, not capable of a TADAH! I surveyed my handiwork and called it good. The lawn is officially down.

Part 2 The Stupid

Here’s where it gets hysterically funny if you are not me. I woke up rested and refreshed. The day stretched out before me with all sorts of tempting treats. Farmer’s market, belly dancing, knitting with other knitters, free to move about as I chose.

I went to the ATM to get cash so I could buy a few things if I saw something that caught my eye. Another foxglove threw itself at me and said I must take it home an d plant it with it’s “people” in our new flower bed. Who was I to say no. I wandered the length of the market and then jumped in my car to drive out to Belly Dancing class. It was my least favorite teacher and in my hormonal state I couldn’t bring myself to finish her class. She yakked on and on telling these lame jokes and I really just cannot stand to take another class from her. Everyone else loves her, but me I’m difficult and crotchety. I left class early, never to return as long as he is teaching.

Then I headed to the knitting group at Kathy’s Knit Korner and think I’d like to have a chai as I drive. I reach in to pull out my debit card. Which is not to be found anywhere. I am just sick, and disappointed that I’ve managed to make a shambles of my relaxing weekend. I’m tempted to panic as I drive back to the last place I’d my card – at the ATM machine. I call my bank along the way – and am sassed by a young insensitive twit (ok hormone alert – again). I arrive at the ATM to find no card.

Before I can call the bank again, a stranger (attractive older woman who appears to have her act together) tells me that she has done the same thing before and that the ATM will pull the card back if it’s left in too long. I must have gotten flustered with my new wallet and the excitement of doing so many fun things in one day and just left the card in the slot.

Well shit

I could have used this as an excuse to run home and beat myself up. I called the bank back and asked them to let me pick up the card on Tuesday – that’s a no no for them. They have to cancel my card and wiat for a new one. I head down to Kathy’s Knit Korner anyway and find no one there for knitting group except the owner Mary and her grandkids. I sit down and knit anyway and it proves to be one of the highlights of the day talking easy over our projects and getting to know my LYS owner.

Part 3 The Heavens open up and roar

I left at 3:00, drove home and began planting what was left to plant. It was muggy and overcast which is a sure fire indicator that thunder and lighting are on their way. It arrived with drops of rain and plenty of noise to keep any pet on their toes and thunder enthusiasts happy. The sound and fury continued over the next 6-8 hours and watered the newly sodded lawn into happiness. I was thrilled to turn off the sprinklers and let Mother Nature take care of it for awhile. There is something so satisfying in a thunderstorm. Afterwards the air is clear and not so hotand humid and it’s like making up after a fight. If you do it right, it’s peaceful and quiet.

Tomorrow I’ll finish up the rest.

Things are a little smoother at home. I’m sleeping better with my darling boy off in Baltimore, no snoring. My daughter still treats me like a senile, bloodhound who is sniffing around trying to figure out what’s going on, despite there being no need for it.

Some days I resemble a senile bloodhound to be sure. I can’t keep up and nor do I want to.

This weekend should perk me up. 1. It’s not going to be HOT. 2. I have lots of free time to do things I like, such as Farmer’s Market and dance class and possible Kathy’s Knit Korner to sit and knit for awhile.

I have some cleaning to do, some sleep to catch up on, and hours of time to decide what I want to do with myself

It’s training for the empty nest you know.

Marc’s socks have been really grumping me today. I turned the heel successfully. Third time’s a charm! but now I have knit the cuff without ribbing all around so I will frog it back to the join of the instep and sole and try again.

Sigh!

Work should toughen you up some. I sit at a desk all day, so not so much. This past weekend I was able to work outside – in the 90 + degree heat – all weekend long. It felt really good and really hard and I loved every minute of it. Even the sweaty hard ass busting parts.

I only got a little sunburned. For a day or two I saw a slight tan and I panicked a little bit that maybe my sun screen hadn’t worked. After all of the effort I had put into getting my sun spots taken off it was hard for me to even consider that I had undone any of the work.

I think it will be ok.

So here is a lovely picture from the yard. Grass in and all.

In other news, I have lost my ability to knit. I have turned the same heel 3 times now and it’s still not working for me. I hope my knitting skills return someday. I truly want to finish these socks for Marc.

I’m not sure if this is a new disease that robs you of your faculties so slowly that you don’t notice until one day you simply cannot function like a normal person anymore. I’m a mess.

It was so interesting to meet so many fellow knitters. I had show and tell with my Fair Isle project and received some lovin’ for the sweater. But that wasn’t really the reason I went. I wanted to just hang out with other knitters and talk knitter talk. I knit on my sock for Marc for a little while and looked through a few books that someone had gotten down at Powell’s earlier in the day. It was their first visit to Powell’s and what wonderful books they are.

She had Shear Spirit which I’ve put on a wish list for myself. There were a couple of hand dyer books and one on linen spinning I didn’t get around to looking at.

I left a little earlier than everyone else because I need to be up so early. I was yawning at 8:30 so I headed home in time to hang out with Marc for a little bit and then off to bed a very happy knitter.

On my last post I had my first real comment!! I’ve received 1 or 2 that were your typical spam comments – love your website – come look at my naked girl picture. It was from Rachel aka trtlgrl on Ravelry. It made me so happy!

I suspect someone else will have used that title before. But I’m fine with that. I’ve been knitting a bit more and using my new Schact hand spindle to spin a fine single just to keep my hand in. It hurts too much to sit down to spin sometimes. Standing is a nice change.

I’m going to try and head out to the pdx knit bloggers meeting at Starbuck’s in Tanasbourne tonight. I’m excited to meet up with some of the folks whose blogs I read each day. I want to make more connections as I feel the connection to my oldest daughter slip away.

I want to stay connected to my youngest daughter who still needs me very much. It’s a delicate balance. One that is made all the more difficult by the fact that my oldest is being viciously unkind to everyone. Especially to me.

I;m wondering if this is a failing of my mothering of her, or just normal 16 year old behaviour. Everyone tells me, she’ll be back in 15 years or so. I don’t know if I can wait that long.

Yes it’s me, again. I disappeared for awhile. Work was so stressful and it was all I could do to get going in the mornings. Here’s an update on the Ivy League vest

Only now in retrospect can I write about the latest news of the Ivy League Vest. It’s been one of the toughest projects for me to complete and one of the most enlightening.

I have a significant curvature in my spine that makes clothes fit me differently than most people. The front of the vest was too large between my shoulder and neck on both sides. I tried it on an cried, I was never going to wear this vest because it just looked funky.

Enter my bright idea to rip out the armhole ribbing and then re-pick the stitches closer in. What a great idea – and it worked. Until I cut the steeked area too close to the ribbing. I thought I was doomed. After a good cry I took Elizabeth Zimmerman’s advice to knit on through all crises. I took out the armhole ribbing on the other side and recut – c-a-r-efully. I then ripped out the “bad” side and re-picked up the stiches a second time.

Success! And it fits me beautifully. To think I almost tossed it into the trash now makes me cry almost as much as the bad cut. I have blocked it just so I could admire it’s loveliness and watch the steeks fuzz up and become more bulletproof. I read Eunny Jang’s blog on steeking and Fair Isle and she talked about the lovely quality of the wool after blocking and how serging is so counter to the way that Fair Isle sweaters are generally constructed. I am glad I read her words before I serged away. The sweater has a light fluffy feel with no rough, flat or stiff edges. And it really does fit me.

I’ve always felt that I was not able to tailor make things to fit me. It’s either been the luck of the draw or store bought, but Knitting Daily’s written pieces on shaping and this experience have taught me that maybe I can do this thing, in fact I have done it – and I didn’t ruin my garment. Although for awhile it looked as though I might.

I’ll post pictures soon.