Sunday, June 28, 2009

Spring Woods , Tapestry and ta-daaaa, the Lizzies!

Pix of the woodlands by the path I often walk daily, never fails to surprise people who know what a heavily populated and industrial region I live in, but there you are.

Then there's the tapestry, which I am getting along with -- I used the Burningham book for tips on how to create the frame and how to warp it, and I made my shed sticks from matboard, also a couple of small shuttles, but fingers really work better for me. The current piece is about flower gardens, an abstraction of the notion, that is. The frame is an old canvas, canvas cut out, the remaining frame and stretcher are true right angles, and very strong, just about right for my purpose.

At the bottom are some of the yarns I spun from the fleece I washed, along with darker yarns spun from the roving I was given, just thought the donors would like to see this in action (!) and I'm incorporating all kinds of fun colors and textures from yarns donated by other people over the last couple of years.

Tapestry is different from other weaving in that the warp is only there as a support, not meant to be a visible part of the piece. I warped mine with strong masonry twine, meant to hold still and not fray out in use, as well as to vanish obligingly when I tamp down the weft with my handy comb.

It's a great art that can be interrupted a lot, my current new normal, without losing anything, but it still calls on all kinds of thinking and changing and adjusting and playing about with color and shape and form, great stuff. The only thing is that kitties like it, too, and once in a while I'm poking about in the yarn and come face to face with a little black hairy fizzog blinking back up at me. So that's the art front for now.

The HP front is that his birthday was yesterday, and we celebrated with a special lunch attended by HS, complete with birthday cake involving strawberries, his favorite fruit. Later neighbors stopped by with a present and visited a while. And in the evening I put on a DVD of one of the Foyle's War series, which we both love, terrific acting, great Michael Kitchen and the others. HP had a bit of trouble grasping that it was his birthday, but as the day went on and people talked with him, and he was enjoying it all, his lucidity came right on, and was terrific for the rest of the day. Good stuff. He's 77 now, hard to believe, but oh well!

And, since Midsummer Madness is upon us, I'm only a few days late in declaring the first Summer Solstice Annual Lizzie Awards.

You've heard of Oscars and Grammies and Tonys and Webbys. Well, here are the Lizzies!

The award consists of being mentioned in here, sorry, no little statuettes this year, but we'll see about next year, as a tribute to outstanding performance in various aspects of life that have benefited the Great Me in recent times.....

The Award for Grace Under Pressure Despite Losses and Catastrophes goes to HP, a gracious and good gentleman who needs no introduction.

The Award for Total Generosity of Spirit and Tact in Tough Times goes to Handsome Son, who has never wavered in his support and courage and encouragement to his mom over the last few years and especially the last few months. His email of encouragement at the start of our crisis, assuring me that "we will get through this together" kept me together more than he can realize. And his daily visits to HP in the hospital over months, every evening right from work, postponing his own dinner till late at night, were acts of huge compassion and perseverance, deserving of much more than a simple mention in here.

The Award for Supporting and Enabling Art Adventures and Serious Fun Stuff in the spinning category, drop spindle entry, goes to Carol Q. who not only delivered the spindle and a supply of roving, plus instructions, right into my hands at my house on a day when she felt physically rotten, but has been hugely good humored and supportive ever since.

The Award for Supporting and Enabling Art Adventures, in the spinning category, wheel entry, goes to Jinny B., who not only delivered her personal wheel into my hands but gave me a rapid lesson in how to approach it, in the parking lot, before she put it into my car, and has been a consultant since, and patiently awaits the day when I get the hang of it.

The Award for Supporting and Enabling Art Adventures, special category, fleece, goes without doubt to Paula L., a knitting designer and talented artist in her own right, who hand delivered the fleece you heard about and saw in progress in this blog over the last couple of weeks, having guided it from the original ovine owner, via various family arrangements until it finally got into my living room.

The Award for Musical Encouragement By Remote Control goes to Liane S. who made a long term loan of a beautiful silver flute, named Floot, for me to learn on and has been generously happy with the pleasure it's been giving me daily for almost a year now. She is spared having to listen to my performance since she's far away, but we won't go there right now.

The Award for Musical Participation, duet entry, goes to MaryCarol C. a pianist extraordinaire who played duets with Floot followed by civilized tea and chat, at intervals (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) for months until our lives got in the way, but one of these days we'll manage it again. Her patience with my beginning tone and her sheer niceness in dumbing down her playing to fit with my capacity, were worthy of awards quite aside from the tea and chat.

The Award for Photography and Friendship Combined, over years, even when there was a hiatus, we just picked up again where we left off, goes to Susan K. Her own total unselfishness in being helpful to me, despite having plenty of personal challenges, deserves a whole category of awarding power. And her photography is stunning, always improves the day when I visit her blog. Generosity personified, is Susan.

Next year a new lot of awards, no doubt, but meanwhile, please, wild applesauce cheering and stamping of feet and waving of knitting needles and crochet hooks and spindles and tuning forks, for all the recipients, who are now going, aw gee, and rubbing their toes in the dirt and ah, anyone woulda done it, and so on, too modest for words.

And one last huge award category: Friends and Neighbors and emailers and card senders and callers and visitors and shoppers and blog readers who have done all kinds of favors, quietly and sometimes anonymously, to keep the Adams show on the road. There are so many of you, and we thank you daily. You're in our minds more than you can know.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Field and Fen Lives Up to Its Name

While all the wild antics of invalid care and house running and aide supervision and yarn making and fleece washing and drying and fending off kitties from same, and spinning and cooking -- some really good stuff lately, about which more later -- nature has been moving right along without the assistance of humans.

It's been a cool, wet, gloomy June up to now, and we are seeing some of the upside of that in the last couple of days, as you see from the series of pix.

Anyway, you will meet our new friend in the front yard, nearly got stepped on when I went out there this morning, Toadore the American Toad! beautiful, posed obligingly for long enough for me to run for my camera and get a pic before continuing on his way to our shrubbery, which is certainly wet enough even for an amphibian like Toadore. Last toad who made friends with me lived in my community garden, and would watch me closely while I hoed and weeded, looking for lunch to fly out of the undergrowth. I named him Toadore, too, seemed right, and I gave him an upturned flowerpot in the best tradition of toad lore, to hang out in. He stayed a whole season with me.

Back to the meteorological side of life: last night right before a huge rainstorm, wonderful rainbows all over the place. The white spots on the pic are raindrops on the lens as I was running for cover. These were taken from right outside the front door. You really don't need to hike to enjoy nature...

And right after the rainbows faded, fine fine skies, enough to make Constable swoon, exciting to see and the electricity in the air from the impending storm made my hair sort of move a bit! short curly hair will do that ahead of a thunderstorm.

One time many years ago, our long ago tiny house was struck by lightning, and as the lightning jagged around the living room from outlet to outlet, blowing all the electricity, tv, everything, my hair stood completely on end! distinct smell of ozone in the house, too. Not an experience you fancy repeating, especially with a three month old baby in your lap, as I had at that time.

And there's the polyphemus moth wing I found on the sidewalk as I was out earlier yesterday. I've made a picture of this -- it's the lower part of the wing -- the upper part I found years ago and have been keeping in my Little Golden Book of Butterflies, the page of which you see here, to show you the entire moth. It's named after the one-eyed mythical creature Polyphemus, Greek guy, from the round clear section on each part of the wings, which is actually like a clear window, that you can see through.

These spectacular moths are found in our kind of shrub and tree environment but alas, fall prey to rotary mowers and other landscaping crimes. So when I find one like this I preserve it in the right page of the butterfly book as a mark of respect, really.

Indoors, the food recently has been okay, since the weather's been cool enough for soup, and I've been making my kidney bean and barley with added chicken, and then a lot of added fake crab, which is surprisingly good if you just add it in the last few minutes to heat up. With garlic bread doused with turmeric, olive oil, black pepper and crushed garlic, it goes down a treat. And it's enough for two full meals at least, if not three. Very good stuff. Eat fresh fruit for dessert to allow your mouth to recover from all the spices.

These days, Handsome Son, who has been visiting on Saturdays for years to help out, has taken to arriving for lunch, which is very nice, so he can join in to the soup feasts and the crustless spinach quiche I made recently, which he was surprised to find he liked a lot. Served with chunks of roasted potato, very nice stuff.

Easy to make: usual mixture of eggs, grated cheese, thawed frozen spinach, diced onion with garlic or shallots or whatever you like as a base sauted in olive oil, spinach added briefly to cook, then the whole lot goes in a greased piedish and does for half an hour at 350. Easy, and has become a staple of la maison Adams. I put leeks instead of spinach, add peas, whatever I fancy or happens to be lying around. It's all good.

And the homespun yarn, courtesy of P. and C., is coming along at a rate of knots, no, unfortunate expression, inches and feet! and is destined for an upcoming tapestry I am just now planning on, together with cotton roving bits, courtesy of J., and various yarns donated by friends F. and EP and MA and others. I'm planning it now, so I can't talk too much about it, but the frame is marked and I'm going to warp it today, then go from there. Wheee!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Riveting yarns!

I thought I'd better try spinning some of the cleaned fleece to make sure I don't spent the whole summer washing it wrong and not being able to spin, so I hauled out my lovely drop spindle, one of the nicest presents I've ever had, and hereby show you my first output of spun yarn from my handwashed fleece, ta-daaaa. Words can not adequately express the total smugness and joy I feel about this. Not only am I learning to spin on the spindle, the wheel will have to wait a little bit, but I'm spinning my own processed stuff.

It's lumpy beginner yarn, but heck, it's yarn. Yarn, yarn, I tell you.

The other pictures are of the spinning I did of some of the roving (?) that came with the spindle as a present, first one a sort of ball of stuff, second one showing current output wet to set the twist, at least that's the plan, and drying on a plexi board, put there largely in order to get a picture of it! not stretched, just sort of wound on.

Here for the moment ends the gripping yarn about yarn. I know you will all be so sad that I have stopped putting up pictures of filthy fleece and mud, but oh well, you'll live...

Meanwhile, what I'm reading, among all this excitement (and other excitement relating to Handsome Partner's health and our household arrangements for helping me a few hours a week, both are a bit dodgy at the moment, but I don't want to dwell right now): Lisa Scottoline, detective novels, on CD for walking purposes and in actual printed books for just reading, what a concept.

She's one of those people who really annoy you, because she was a trial lawyer, is brilliant, is now a terrific novelist with a social conscience, and is beautiful, too. Not fair, is all I can say.

But I do recommend her writing, very exciting stuff set in South Philadelphia, which you don't have to know in order to enjoy it, but she sets the atmosphere of the Italian community just perfectly. Several of her main characters are lawyers, women, who find themselves detecting in the course of their normal work, and getting into all sorts of scary stuff as a result.

But there's a serious thread running through her work, too: she takes on causes. For instance, did you know that during WW2 in real life, there was mass internment of Italians living in the country, had been here decades in many cases, lost everything, homes, families, businesses, etc., and were shipped to Montana.

No guilt of anything ever shown, just they were Italian and we were fighting in Italy. I had never heard of this bit of US history, though it's very much like the internment of Japanese, even Japanese Americans, for similarly loony political reasons. Very sad stuff, but important to know about.

At night I can't read exciting stuff like Scottoline, so I fall back on Nancy Mitford! Currently Love in a Cold Climate, which I've read numerous times, but still like. Easy stuff at night when you're tired. And funny even the nth time of reading.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fleece, Freecycle and Freedom

The washing of the fleece took place in the last couple of days. After close perusal of various websites variously advising that you don't do it, that you do it only according to the rules laid down by the blogger in question, or that you just go ahead and try it.

I'm of the last school of thought, so I did just that. Took about one tenth of the amount of fleece I was gifted with, and proceeded to wash it, encased in a net curtain, since I didn't have the net sweater bags they recommend, and proceeded to see an incredible amount of mud come off it.

Actually, it smelled very benign, just like being in the country, except it was in my bathtub, and a lot of what I had originally thought was sheep dung turned out only to be harmless teasels and burrs and various stems of straw and heads of grain, actually very clean and interesting vegetable mattter. No probbo.

I realized that it was actually legal to discard the most hopeless looking bits, and did so once I got clued in. And had a wonderful time, washed the fleece bag (ended up added two more bags to my stash, so now I have Three Bags Full, heh) four separate times with detergent, then two rinses, all in hot water, which took a bit of waiting to get enough hot water going. Then daringly put the second sand third batches into the washing machine on a spin cycle to remove a lot of water from them.

The washing and rinsing reminded me strongly of washing a little kid at home after a camping trip -- rivers of mud and other mysterious stuff. But not at all unpleasant.

And now I have a little fluffy cloud, after hours and hours of work, and some carding, using animal slicker brushes and various wide toothed animal combs. I think this wool is pretty long staple, given the length I can tease it out to, which bodes well for spinning it, I am guessing. And it's some of the best fun I've had in a while. It still needs more done before it's spinnable, but what a treat this whole thing is.

Good thing I like it, because this one sack will probably take me all summer to process. I threw out the stuff I eliminated from it under the trees out back for nesting material for the local birds, who were very interested indeed.

The deal is that if you don't hold your mouth right when you do this stuff, the fleece will FELT, that four letter word dreaded of spinners...but as far as I can tell mine survived.

And I can quite see why people charge serious money for processing fleeces for spinners to avoid all these processes.

So I'm giving you part of a long dull series of pix I made of the process, sparing you the fine detail and just giving the um, big picture....from mud to fluff!

And then, while the rest of it is still drying -- this can take a while, and it's in an unused bathroom with the door firmly shut against marauding kitties who would love to sleep on nice dry fleece, that seemed to be a good time to see what I can recycle via Freecycle, to make room for the incoming material.

Freecycle, for them as don't know it, is a wonderful grassroots movement where stuff that is still good and usable but has outlived its welcome in your house can be given to other local people for whom it's useful. The idea is to keep material out of the landfill, particularly here in NJ where we have a large population and a small land area. I've given and received all kinds of great stuff via Freecycle.

So today, I posted on the Freecycle sites I use (this is a Yahoo deal) two big rolls of indoor outdoor carpeting which were surplus to requirements, as they say, and a huge piece of good denim which I will never ever use, despite good intentions. Within seconds of posting I had about six requests for each of them. The people will come and pick up (I leave stuff outside in a sheltered area) and everyone's happy.

Last week I freecycled a bunch of camera related items which again I will never use and it's just wrong to have them sitting in a drawer when someone else can use them.

And the other day I gave a huge bag of art materials, paper, crayons, cookie cutter things, all sorts of fun stuff good for kid summer entertainment. One slight snag arose here: I put it outside on the bench as usual, labeled Freecycle and the name of the taker.

Then while Andy's HHA (home health aide) was here for her shift I explained that someone was going to come while I was out to pick it up, not to worry, no need to take care of her, she knew what to do, etc.

C., the HHA, looked stricken and said, oh, that big bag, not garbage, then? nooooooooo. I explained no, it was labeled Freecycle. She'd never heard of freecycle, thought it was like popsicle or something, and rushed out to the dumpster to rescue the bag, from right on top, good thing, or it would have taken a stepladder for her to get it back....just before the garbage trucks arrived.....phew. Great hilarity all around. Afterwards. Very conscientious lady. If it looks like garbage, it gets taken to the dumpster.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Roving reporter, fleece and flamingoes

Here to report that it's Fleece Week around here!

The Fleece is in! and the cotton roving....both fell into my arms today within a short period of each other, the fleece as promised from the relative of the person with the little flock he's very attached to, won't eat the lambs (!) and the cotton roving from the library director and close friend, who got it for a summer program last year, used as much as they needed and is passing on the rest to a deserving cause, me. Hoping here that roving won't be my ru-i-in, fair maid!

P., the fleece donor, heroically not only went through various hoops to get hold of the bagful (she has more in her garage, but mercifully let me try the one before going any further...) but delivered it in person, what a friend.

She was on her way to a craft guild meeting to which I can't get any more, so took my thanks and greetings to other friends when she left. She's a knitting designer and all around major talent in the yarn and fiber art world, so this was really a big deal to have this delivered.

So now I have to find out what you do with a fleece recently off its owner, complete with straw and various other inclusions. It feels wonderful -- full of lanolin, you can smell and feel it on your hands. Other odors don't matter to this country woman, it's all good! and the summer on the patio looks like the right venue for this adventure in washing and carding and whatever elseing.

And the cotton roving, I just happened to stop by the libe in a mad rush with a little addition to their games stash, and friend J. said, ah, I must have conjured you up with the power of my thought! just thinking who would like this box of cotton roving, cotton all ginned and prepared into roving ready to spin, except that spinning it might be a bit of a heartbreaker, it being very very short staple.

But I can see it taking part in some fiber art wallhangings I have in my mind right now....woven or used as is, who knows, it's beautiful, a blonde color. As is the fleece, lovely natural soft colors, maybe dyeing might happen, too.

and then yesterday, just to show the universe has finally got back on its axis around here, I saw wonderful accidental art on the floor at the post office: tinfoil tiny flamingoes on the floor. Photographed exactly as is, no rearrangement necessary. This was an omen!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pictures now!

Slight delay on the pictures, happens on this site now and then. Anyway, here they are.

Free range knitting and weaving and blogging

Yarn adventures continue! a friend sent me some lovely totally wild in every sense, yarn, the hairy kind, very slippery, wild colors, totally with a life of its own. I knitted it up right away into what was cast on as a scarf, but once off the needles, turned into a wild animal, maybe a stole, maybe a headwrap, maybe a scarf, depending on how you hold it, very gymnastic piece of work. I wrestled it to the wall and took pix, of which a couple caught it before it flew off the about feedback.

And the friend whose spinning wheel I'm learning on is threatening me with a little loom, too, passed from artist to artist and I will accept a long term loan out of artist solidarity! but she reminded me of the weaving I did a couple of summers ago, you know how summer calls for a project of some new kind that accommodates hot weather and humidity.

I used a wonderful book, now almost unobtainable, named something like Weaving without a Loom, and created several cardboard looms of my own and learned a ton about weaving.

The bag in the picture, which used self striping sock yarn, all I had available at the time, is a circular weave, no seams, which used the front and the back of the cardboard, great fun. And the strap was created on weaving sticks, another discovery for me, which I bought from nice people with a home based biz in the low tech weaving tool area. If I can track down their name, I'll give them a free plug, because I like them, but for now, can't remember.

I wove several useful items, including a key holder, and a little purse for my cellphone, etc. And I've now found that this current bag, which has seen some use as a bag, is the EXACT size to fit my new little netbook, very cool, high tech meets low. Ever since the weaving adventures, I've been unable to throw away any small stout piece of cardboard just in case it has loom potential.

And the little nature pic, can never resist a nature pic, is dogwood blossoms in the grass, very Natalie Wood, seen in the park.

About blogging: several friends who read this blog have got interested in the idea of having one, and asked about it. Well, as people who really know me know, I'm the least computer savvy person, but blogging on this site is actually not hard at all, and a ton of fun. And they're not paying me to say this!

All you need do is look at the opening screen, top right hand corner and you'll probably see a place where you can click to Create Blog. Then follow their very simple instructions. That's IT. My own blog is simple, as you see, since I'm not making money from ads, nor am I very interested in fancy presentations, since what I'm saying is what I want to convey, for better or worse. But you can get very fancy indeed if you want to and like working on it.

One thing I would suggest: when you get to the Add Widgets part, add in the Follow This Blog widget, then I can click on it and be notified of your entries as they come, and you'll know I'm following your words, too, always a nice point. I'm very loyal to friends who start blogs, so count on me as your early adopter if you do open one, but be sure and email me with the information on how to find it!

See what happens when you read in here? you're in trouble before you know it..

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Opera Parva Naturae NewJersiensis

aka Small Works of Nature as seen in New Jersey!

HP is arguably a small work of nature, since he describes himself as a "wee ugly Scot" and we see him here triumphantly sitting on the patio enjoying a wonderful Sunday afternoon of sunshine, birds, watching me work in the garden, reading and generally acting like he's on vacation.

The three part ramp finally arrived, and allowed me to get his huge reclining wheelchair out, via the patio door, over a two inch obstacle, doesn't take much to stop a wheelchair, and he enjoyed his time in the air wonderfully, is sleeping it off even as we speak...

Other small works were on the patio: the first radish of the season, promptly eaten by HP three seconds after the picture was taken....and then there are the lovely seedpods, tiny, beautiful, like miniature honesty seedpods, from the yellow alyssum, and the little blue flowers whose name escapes me every single year, but who only have to be out briefly for bees and clearwing hummingbird moths and other small works of nature to show up and play in them.

Wonderful Sunday in June, perfect weather, who could ask for more...and I'm reading a couple of delicious Olivia Goldsmiths too, beach type reading, great fun, happy endings, the bad guys get theirs, and the good women get their rewards -- as Oscar Wilde's Lady Bracknell would say, clearly a work of fiction!

In a much more serious but just as readable vein, I'm reading Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook, which I hugely recommend, as a wonderful appreciation of the craft and skill and art of poetry, with all kinds of insights that really make you run to the poem itself to see what she means. Not written to puff up the writer, such a refreshing change in the world of English Lit. She touches with a light hand on the history of poetry as well as what to look for in a poem, why it works and doesn't.

No use quoting from here, I'd end up quoting the entire work, you just have to be there.

I'm not always a great aficionado (or aficionada, to be exact) of this art form, loving a few poets very much and not being much up for a lot of others, but this book is enough to wake up a lot of energy about poems. Five stars! Multae Stellae! since I can't remember the Latin word for being a while since I was in Latin America.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Confessions of a beginner hapless spinner


I've been working (!) with J's spinning wheel, have more or less learned to treadle, and I'm now finding that though it appears to be spinning the fluff well, more or less, it isn't putting it on the bobbin. In fact it's feeding it right back at me! I've tried tightening and loosening everything that seems relevant, but the mystery remains for the Spinning Committee to take under advisement.

What I can't fathom is that if the flyer and the bobbin are moving at the same speed in the same direction, which they are, how can winding take place? doesn't one have to move differently from the other? (editor's note: disregard this bit of demented thinking) and no matter which way I send the wheel, sometimes even on purpose, it still unwinds rather than winds.

J had scrap yarn on there already, and that unwound all over me when I treadled, so whatever I am doing wrong now, I was doing wrong then, too! please advise!


Hapless Wouldbe Spinner


Hmmmm. I need to have my wheel in front of me. I'll look at mine tonight - has to be something logical. I have to be doing it, not trying to think it.

EQUALLY PROMPT AND HELPFUL SUGGESTION FROM OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBER (jostling against the other email in the box, they arrived neck and neck)

My ARE spinning backwards....To start things moving the the right direction, you usually take your right hand, and kind of prime the wheel--that is give it a stroke or two downward to get it going going....Then your foot "listens"...picks up the impetus and sets to work....With seemingly the same foot movement, the wheel can go either direction....(like a kid's tricycle)'s the hand push that gets you on the right track.....OK...if this doesn't clear the mud a bit, let me know....but I'm fairly sure this will set it right!!! :)



Now, I'm aware that you committee members (editor's note: in real life, these are high level professional women with a hundred pressures unrelated to me and my spinning) really have nothing to do but listen to my whining and fussing over my spinning life, but I think you'll be relieved to hear that I have diagnosed the problem.

It's not how I'm spinning, it's what I'm spinning! I shifted over to crochet cotton to be at the other end of the spectrum in seeing how the bobbining worked, and it winds on just perfectly...which means it was my lumpy misshapen "yarn" that was binding on the hooks and getting the flyer all unglued. In other words, the nut behind the wheel needed adjusting....

So the answer is to do more and get it more yarny as I may feel free to return to your actual lives now, and thank you for your time, heh.

Seriously, this is pretty good fun! and my cats are seriously studying my current little lumpy output and wondering whether to hunt it down.

Thanks both


That's the news from this end as of last evening. Then wonderful Abby from Ravelry directed me this morning to a video she'd made which showed exactly how to draft and whatever that other word is, which confirmed that I'd been rushing at it all wrong, how unusual for me.....and now I will Do Better.

It takes a village to teach one beginner to spin.....good thing my life is full of villagers, none with pitchforks!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spinning, yarns and plates

This patchwork quilt of a life goes on apace.

Sample day, today, to be exact:

up at 7, yoga practice to divine Rodney Yee tape before HP woke, catboxes and food and water upstairs and downstairs, personal care for HP for hour and a half, pretty heavy labor, new problem, call to nurse which has not yet been returned, so I rationalize that not much can go wrong in a day, breakfast, rush out to vote, remembering it's primary day in NJ for state elections and I must do my bit to return my local assemblywoman whose office has done significant service for the Adamses over the last few years, then home, cook a lovely spinach quiche for lunch, with mixed green salad, followed by fresh blueberries and watermelon chunks, then brief flute practice, remembered my fingering and played actually surprisingly okay considering, shop for vital groceries, watch part of the French Open tennis, at least I wasn't shellacked like Sharapova today, HS needed to rest in bed, transferred him using Hoyer lift (this happens several times daily, depending on need) went for a half hour walk, met the usual suspects in the park, I always speak and people after they get over their surprise, start to speak in return, home to find HP in need of more care, not problem, just routine but a bit unexpected, laundry, practice with the spinning wheel, and then it was now, chatting on a latest style high tech computer. And it's not even evening yet.

This is how it is, I guess! but it's lovely to juggle all the spinning plates and still feel things are fairly okay considering, and speaking of spinning...the spinning study is coming along nice and slowly. The great spinning wheel portrait above, came to stay with us yesterday, and I have been studying it and the book that came with, and the lender kindly threaded the wheel so I could see how before I get all lost with it.

I can now treadle, more or less, and get the wheel in one direction most of the time, and I have found out about various parts of this nice machine. A spot of silicone on the metal parts stopped it from shrieking, which the cats liked, and for which HP is profoundly grateful. But the drop spindle still calls, too.

I realized that one reason I was so frazzled over computer and other issues is that I didn't have anything on the knitting needles, my personal unfailing cure for anxiety. So I cast on a nice little washcloth, always an easy choice, created a stitch pattern I liked, and now have a new cloth in my bathroom.

The stitch pattern, for anyone interested: multiple of four stitches, knit two, yarn over, knit two together, to end, next row purl all stitches. It makes a nice little ladder effect, fun to knit and with enough friction built in to work as a washcloth without overdoing it. A few rows of garter stitch at beginning and ending. Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. Size 5 needles, I think.

The other reason for anxiety is that we still have not got a steady supply of home health aides, partly because the nice one we had was too allergic to our cats to continue, and they had to search at the last minute for another, who we fervently hope will show up on Thursday.

Either that, or there's another washcloth in my future...