Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Long Time, No Write

I fell off the blog wagon.  I was lured away to other social media -- I love Instagram, and was very fond of Pinterest, though lately I am really tired of all the stupid "What to Shop for at Trader Joe's" type postings and the links to a bunch of blogs that were created using the same "Use Pinterest to Earn $1000 a Month" website.  They all feature the exact same layout, with a photo of a young woman with some pithy comments describing her life and LOTS of ads that float across your computer screen as you scroll through thousands of photographs and inane stories trying to get to the actual recipe you want.  I have to admit to sending a lot of time on Facebook, too, with all its stupid tests -- "Can You Spell These Words Correctly?" and, even worse, silly animal videos.  I skip over all that and look at the hooked rugs, and news from relatives, thank you very much.

When my students told me this morning that reading my bimonthly email was like reading a story, I realized I had better get back to real writing on my blog and leave the other stuff -- except for Instagram -- to people who have a lot of time to waste.  Writing has always been where my heart is and I miss it.  So here I am, climbing back on the wagon.

Barb and I started our spring season of vending a week and a half ago at the Connecticut Sheep & Wool Festival.  It was lovely and warm this year -- in the past we have had to take turns sitting in the car with the motor running to warm up.  It is a small festival, but sweet, and we were happy to see lots of our friends and fellow fiber enthusiasts.  Several members of the Quiet Corner Rug Guild stopped in.  They are getting ready for their Hook In at the Woodstock, Connecticut Fairgrounds in June. (See the sidebar for more information.)  Barb and I will be there vending again. 

We will also be at the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair this coming weekend.  LIFFF is close to my heart and a close to my home.  It is held at Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead, New York.  I have been a member there for many years.  It is where I first demonstrated rug hooking almost 25 years ago.  The museum is a big supporter of all the local guilds.  I will be teaching a needle punch embroidery class there as well, on June 11.

The Country Living Fair at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York is the first weekend of June.  It's a big show, very well run by Stella Management, and brings the pages of the magazine to life.  This will be our second year there.  Be sure to come visit us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another Sad Day

Thinking about the people of Brussels this morning.  Wishing the world wasn't so evil.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mourning Doves

I woke early on Sunday morning and sat on the sofa with the dog. We watched the sun rise over the tiny sliver of Peconic Bay that I can see from my front windows during the winter months.  The two mourning doves that nest in our wisteria-covered pergola every year were cooing loudly at six o'clock in the morning.  They lifted my spirit -- spring must be on its way.

I'm sad to say that Pete's father, Joe, passed away just days after we returned from our vacation.  He would have been 99 on the Fourth of July this year.  He was taking his morning walk at the nursing home and slowly collapsed to the floor.  Although his body wore out over his long life, his mind was still sharp.  Being in the nursing home was difficult for him, but his physical ailments made it a necessity.  Pete's mother, Betty, who is 95, visited him daily.  

We scrambled to find flights to the midwest, and had to drive through a snowstorm to get to Kennedy airport.  Planes were delayed and we were late meeting Clara in Minneapolis and getting to the family viewing on Friday night.  The funeral home stayed open so we could say goodbye, and the entire family -- 24 all together -- waited for us.  Saturday was -- needless to say -- emotional and moving.  Joe, a physician by trade, was a woodsman at heart, and Betty ordered a beautiful blanket made of pine boughs, cedar, pinecones, fungus and lotus for the coffin.  The cemetery was covered in snow, and as the coffin was lowered, Betty made a snowball and placed it on the coffin -- a sweet gesture.

We returned to the church for a luncheon and visits with family and friends.  When our funeral party returned to the hotel, we met a wedding party and discovered that Joe had delivered the bride and her 8 siblings many years before.  An ending and a new beginning.  The circle of life.

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.