Sunday, January 31, 2016

Paradise Lost

We are home again, after ten lovely days of sun in the Caribbean.   Actually, paradise is not lost -- our little village is just another sort of paradise, and, although we love St. John dearly,  we are happy to be home again and sleeping in our own bed.  We are glad to have Cairo home.  His leg has healed up a bit.  Although he will always limp, he can go for a walk now.  we made it almost all the way to the beach today, for the first time in a month.

Caribbean Cosmo on the balcony of Asolare, my favorite restaurant in Cruz Bay
I'm still getting back into our routine after doing several loads of laundry, paying bills, grocery shopping.  I took yesterday afternoon off.  I sat in the sun with the dog under a duvet and finished a book.  It was great.  Today, however, I am diving back into work.  I have lots of ideas for new patterns, and I am preparing for a class on sculpted hooking with my students and for a beginner needle punch embroidery class to be held at Hallockville Museum Farm.  And it will just be a blink of the eye before our shows start up again.

It won't be long before the forsythia blooms and the daffodils bloom.  I'm looking forward to that!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Slow Start to the New Year

I've been dawdling since Christmas.  We had a lovely and exhausting holiday season.  Clara came home with her significant other for 10 days.  We took a day trip to Connecticut for Christmas dinner with my extended family -- the first time in a long time.  Our almost 14-year-old dog Cairo tore a ligament in his hind leg running around like a crazy man after a bath.  He can't have surgery, so I've bee administering anti-inflammatory and pain pills twice a day, and carrying him just about everywhere. I had one class gathering, and our guild's holiday party, but I haven't done much work.  And now we're jetting off to sun and fun for a few days.  What a life, huh?

I'm actually writing this on the airplane.  It's been quite a morning. We woke at 3:45 and were out of the house by 4:20.  We made it to JFK in plenty of time, but getting from the car to the plane was brutal in the 20 degree air.  We dressed lightly so we wouldn't be over-encumbered when we arrived in St. John.  We checked our bag and were sent on a shuttle to another terminal, where I overhead an attendant say our flight was actually leaving from the terminal we had just come from.  We got back on the bus and walked a mile or two and found our gate.

Our seats on the plane were occupied by a woman and her very young daughter who wanted to sit together, so Pete gallantly moved to the rear.  An attendant said we could move forward once boarding was completed if there were any empty seats.  But another attendant moved me to the back, because the other open seats were "extended comfort" seats and cost $49 more and she would have to charge us.  Meanwhile, my 6 foot 3 inch husband is accordion-ed into a seat next to a couple and their 6-month old baby boy.  The head attendant came by told my husband to move to the extended comfort seat, so we high-tailed it forward to the emergency exit row.  We were told that this was a gift, usually we would be charged, and if we sat here, we had to agree to help during an emergency.  So a traveler not only has to pay more for these seats, but they also have to work for them if the plane crashes.  Not much of a bargain.  This is our third airlplane flight in the last 6 months, all on different airlines, and I have to say, Delta is the worst.  The seats are smooshed together so even short people feel like sardines.  I miss the old days when travelers actually checked bags and received a choice of hot meals on real plates.  But I guess that dates me.

We've been trying to sleep, but the obligatory offer of a drink and peanuts keeps waking us up.  The woman in the row in front of us just ordered vodka on the rocks and its 11 AM.  It's hard not to be in everybody's business when sitting so close.  But maybe she has a good idea . . . I think a straight vodka would knock me out -- if I could manage to swallow it.

I'm going to close my eyes again, at least to rest.  I'm looking forward to sunshine and trade winds and lots of snorkeling.  I'm a lucky girl.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

I'm back in the saddle again, after weeks of prepping for and celebrating the holidays.  I've been filling out applications, buying insurance and booking hotel rooms for our shows this year, which I've listed in the side bar on the right side of the blog.  I will post them to Facebook as well.  

My resolution this year is to get through the pile of UFOs in my studio.  They include the big bird rug I started in August and put aside, the sheep mat I started in September, the proddy I call the Rug in the Grey Flannel suit that I started several years ago, and the large basket weave hit-or-miss that is also several years old.  There are many smaller things that need finishing, too, but I won't bore you with that list.  I'm thinking if I commit to posting some sort of finish every Friday I'll feel obligated to get to them.  We'll see.

I've been tending to my poor little old Jack Russell Terrier Cairo, who tore a ligament in one of his hind legs last week.  He has to lose a pound, and stay quiet for several weeks.  No surgery -- he is 14 and the anesthesia would probably kill him -- just rest for the inflammation and to let scar tissue form and stabilize the leg.  It is like having a baby again.  My biceps are getting a work out because I carry him everywhere.

We have our first below freezing weather today -- even a few flurries -- but the temps are ring up again in a day or so.  Such a mild winter -- much needed after last year's cold and snowy one.  It's a good time to get hooking.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays, One and All!

My daughter and her boyfriend are heading home for the holiday, so I have been cleaning and baking and cooking and wrapping to get ready.  Can't wait!  I hope you all have a marvelous and merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's December

I'm sitting at my kitchen island, watching the afternoon light wane in the west and listening to the foghorn lumbering across the bay.  I am grateful to be here in my comfortable home, making plans for the coming holiday when my daughter will be home and I can hold her close.  While we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends in Massachusetts, we missed Clara, and came home to the news that two dear friends had died.  Both were remarkable woman: one was my age, the other old enough to be my mother.  But no matter how old, or how sick, or how wonderfully they lived their lives, it is hard to say goodbye. 

I am not doing a good job in the blogging department, am I?  I seem to only manage a post or two a month these days -- even though lots of stuff is happening.    Hmmm, I see a New Year's Resolution coming on . . . .

Barb and I have just finished up our busy show season.  We had a great weekend at the Fiber Festival of New England.  The whole thing proceeded smoothly -- from set up to tear down.  We have the most delightful next door neighbors there -- sisters Jenn and Cheryl of June Pryce Fiber -- and we get to see the gang from Wool and Dye Works, and Dan Tracy the woodworker and his wife Lorraine, and our other favorite set of sisters, Jen and Melissa of Going Gnome, and Sandy of Cozy Rabbit Farm. You get the idea: one big, happy fiber family.  We had good sales, too.

Pete and I went to Toronto for a long weekend, where we ate lots of good food and saw the fabulous rug show at the Textile Museum of Canada.  They have a great collection -- which you can view on line here: hooked rugs.  We also went to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which has an amazing room full of Henry Moore's original plasters for many of sculptures.  Saturday morning is market day, so we walked down to the St. Lawrence Market for breakfast.  We did some shopping, too, since the exchange rate is so good.  

Now it is time to get ready for Christmas.  I listened to carols in the car today, and started choosing what cookies I will make this year.  Despite the long nights and the sense of loss lately, life is good.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here I am!

We've had a busy fall with several shows -- the biggest of which is the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York.  I swear 50,000 people went through the barns over the course of the weekend.  It was crazy busy and profitable and full of germs.  I came home with a cold that knocked me for a loop.  I didn't even get to take pictures of the booth until Sunday morning, after we rearranged the whole thing.

Our booth at Rhinebeck, Sunday Morning

You know I love the sheep . . . 
My cold put a damper on preparations for the Fiber Festival of New England, which happened this past weekend at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts.  But we still did well and got to visit with old and new friends.  We are a little squished in the booth there, so we are trying for a larger one next year.
Our booth at NEFF

My friend Melissa VanSant's  Santa, designed by Mary Ellen Wolff
We have one show left -- the Country Parlor Holiday Sale at Hallockville Museum Farm, the three days after Thanksgiving.  Barb and I don't attend that one -- we deliver our stuff and Barbara Blossey Chuvalas waves her magic wand and turns the Naugles barn into a winter wonderland of handmade gifts.  It is a sight to see and a great place to find special presents for special people.

I hosted my first class here at home -- the ladies I had been teaching at Farmhouse Quilt Company.  It was a joy to have them here.  There's no better way to send a day than hooking, talking and laughing.  Can't wait to have them back.
My delightful students
Judy and her newest rug 
My husband's birthday is tomorrow -- Friday the 13th.  He was born on a Friday the 13th and his 95-year-old mother still says that Friday the 13th is her lucky day.  We will have a festive weekend, then it is back to the work table on Monday.

The Peconic Ruggers will meet this coming Tuesday, November 17 at the Cutchogue Presbyterian Church, 7 to 9 if you would like to join us.