Monthly Archives: August 2006

Slow Down!

So, it’s three days into the new semester and my personal time bubble is going all wonky. It seems like these three days have sped by, yet I’m also left thinking, "it’s only Wednesday?"

I have no deeper thoughts on that. Just an observation.

I do, however, have a gift for all of us who miss Calvin and Hobbes: a wonderful, funny, occasionally biting, often sweet but not at all icky webcomic called "Little Dee." You can read the archives here — be sure to go to the first strips and read in sequence, which can be done in one lovely evening. New daily strips may be found here.  What makes this strip for me is the character Vachel….an ill-behaved, roadkill-eating (and sometimes roadkill-causing) vulture who reads a lot and knits.

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So why no new musings, messages, mopings, etc?  Because 1) classes start next Monday and meetings start this Thursday and while I’ve done a bit of work on each of my 3 syllabi, no one syllabus is done, and 2) I turn 43 on Thursday and while in the long view, aging doesn’t bother me, the short view makes me hyperventilate and 3) I need to clean all my sterling silver jewelry so I can look polished and sparkly for school (see the entry from last August 8) and 4) I’m weaning myself off of the naps I’ve enjoyed every single afternoon since mid-May* and the weather has stopped being searingly hot and is instead in the upper 70s and lower 80s and it’s raining every two or three days and remember that little rush I got from mowing my lawn** back in searingly hot June? Yeah, that goes away when, 3 days after you’ve mowed, the damn grass has grown so much no one would guess you had mowed and if you don’t mow again soon, you’ll need to hire a threshing machine and it probably won’t be operated by a shirtless, Midwestern, George Clooney look-alike.

*Recreational napping. Try it.

**first time to mow a lawn, any lawn, ever.

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Storm O’ Crafts

WELL. Who knew how wonderful it is to have a crafting room? I sure didn’t. I’ve spent the 23 years* since I moved out of my parents’ home living in one apartment after the other, and any crafting or sewing I did had to be assembled before and put away after each session.

But now, I have a basement room, a room with sewing machines** that I can leave up, an ironing board in the corner, and a maple hutch full of yarn and thread and beads and beginning to collect fabric. How did I live without this? How will I pull myself away as summer ends and school begins? Can I train the animals to clean house while I craft? Finally, I understand the wealth of room and time that led to the first Kleenex box cozy.

In the past few days I’ve lined a felted bag and created pillow shams to match my new bedspread.  I knitted the bag in lopi using the booga bag pattern with the addition of an I-cord castoff. Then I made a lining with a reinforced bottom and pockets, and I even used one of the fancy edge stitches the new machine makes possible:


The new shams were necessary because I used some birthday money (thanks, Tom!) to buy a new bedspread and sheets, but I wasn’t going to shell out $20 each for two matching sham covers. So I bought two plain pillowcases ($9.95), two rolls of wide ribbon ($6) and a package of double-sided, sticky, fusible interfacing ($5) and went to town. You can see in the picture how impressed Ricky is by my craftitude (oh, and the stripes are meant to not line up. Really):


In other news, a couple of weeks ago, I had an old ash tree removed from my backyard. It had three main boles, one of which was cracking away with a trajectory aimed at my spare room/computer room. Removing it in July***, however, meant that I lost the afternoon shade to my backyard and house. I’ve been wondering if I jumped the gun, if I could have/should have waited until late fall.

Then the storm came.

Tuesday night, we had a storm blow through with 80 mph winds. Tree limbs and some trunks littered town the next morning. The most telling (and sad) testimony, however, are the two pics below. The first is the historic Maryhill Catholic Church, more than 100 years old and having stained glass windows valued at more than $300,000, before the storm. The second pic, from the local Storm Lake Times, is after. Note that a tornado did not cause this — a Midwestern phenomenon known as "straight line winds" did.  No more regrets about the tree removal.




**I bought a new sewing machine this summer. Nothing fancy, but my mother’s old Singer, a chunk of gilt-edged black iron that could withstand an atomic blast and probably could sew through sheets of tin, only does plain stitching, forward and back. No zig zag, no button holes, no bunnies pulled out of hats.

***hey, it’s when I had the money. If I’d waited, it would have been frittered away on, say, crafts….

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