Wednesday, August 22, 2007

a peek at clapotis

Clapotis is one of my favorite patterns ever. It suits my criteria of having miles of stockinette, along with little bits of oddments, like increasing, decreasing, dropping stitches, but for the most part, it's an easy-peasy knit up.

This is my 4th Clap, and I'm savoring it, though I'm not entirely convinced that I'm in love with the colors anymore. But the yarn, Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb, is just lucious and yummy.

My hope is that I'll finish this in time for my trip back to my Olde Country at the end of September. I think it'll be just the cozy comfort on that 13-hour flight...

Tonight is dedicated to the furthering of mundane tasks. Scooping dog poop from the backyard. Washing dishes. Recycling. Stealing and re-formatting my husband's iPod shuffle, as he has run off to Samoa with my iPod. It makes sense, it's just a game we play with those funny little nuggets of technology, continually swapping my preferred playlist for his and vice versa.

Interesting in relationships, who is perceived to "own" what in the household...even for things that were bought communally. I have a lot of trouble sharing a computer, though we have done so for the past year. I've worked out a lot of my problems with it, and the upshot is that I spend a lot less time on it, now, which isn't a bad thing, entirely. The power tools are somehow designated as "mine" even though I rarely use them. Ditto the leaf blower, the weed wacker and the lawn mower, which is currently on loan to my friend Marie, as I've hired a lawn service, like all the people in my neighborhood. (I'm not proud of this, but our property is steep and rocky and I'm damned if I'm gonna mow it, and I think that's the attitude of most of the neighbors, here, too.) Of course the blender and mixer are also mine, yet P somehow gets the tv, though I am the hardcore user of the tivo function. The digital camera...I'm the only person who ever uses it. I do not ever touch the 2 electric guitars in the house, though I have been know to use the sewing machine a time or two.

I have a dvd to watch: "Life is Beautiful", and leftover tandoori chicken and roast veggies. Oh, and cherry jello. Ahhh, dessert.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

forbidden pagoda

I grew up playing in the graveyards of rural Virginia churches, and old overgrown family plots that my sis and I used to stumble upon in the woods. I don't fear the dead, as a general rule, though I have a healthy respect for ghosts and spirits. During the brief time that P and I lived in Falls Church, our apartment overlooked a cemetary. I remember telling a friend in CA about our location, and he asked me "So, are you taking long contemplative walks through the graveyard at dusk, now?" and I had to laugh, because it wasn't far from the truth.

Ella and I took a walk to our local cemetary, er, "memorial park" yesterday, to view a big pagoda on the grounds. The access road to the pagoda has been closed for the whole time I've been here, but I was going to go take some pix of it anyway. We were pleased to find the road open yesterday, and we could go down to it. It featured this graceful moat around a smaller temple, with koi, and even smaller pagoda sculptures.

Of course, then, the whole expedition became an exercise in keeping my water-lovin' dog out of the moat.

Today, the husband flies to Samoa for a week of work, while I stay behind and hold down the fort. As I wrote earlier, I welcome the routine and mundane, right now, so this suits me. The order of the day, alas, is housecleaning, as I do not like to be home alone in a dirty house. Knitting? Comfort knitting, of the latest Clapotis (this is the ONLY pattern I've ever knit more than once - I'm on number four) in its called-for yarn of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb. Now I understand the allure of this yarn, as it is buttery soft and ever-so-slightly fuzzy and shiny and is keeping me going through what is a somewhat boring pattern, except that I'm in love all over again with miles and miles of stockinette stitch.

crawling out of the suck

I don't know when I started calling mid-August "autumn", maybe since I started working in Hawaii's year-round school system? At any rate, Det and I used to joke about my August Malaise, triggered by school starting, but really, the month of July, the last days of it, anyway, sucked so monumentally, that I have totally re-thunk my August tendancy toward depression and overwhelm. I can't go into a re-live of my fast forward summer; suffice to say, we are all safe and sound and well on the other side, now, and I welcome the relief of the mundane, the comfort of friends and routine, and this particularly outstanding pizza which I am eating as I write this. P went downhill to fetch the pizza from Domino's, but the clerk dropped it off the counter and had to make a fresh one.'s the little things.

New school year - new sock, and yes, incidentally, I did get re-hired at my smug little school, with its high test scores and contentious staff. I am no longer a classroom teacher, but am now working as a resource teacher; doing reading and math support. The rules concerning how children having academic problems are referred for Special Ed testing have changed, and now before a child can be tested, they must be taught in an 'intervention program' and data collected on their progress. I am that intervention teacher at my site. I have to say, I'm enjoying this job a lot more than I enjoyed last year's exercise in tolerance and compromise. I like doing my own thing, and while I'd never say this to someone in a position to hire me, in an interview, I don't think I'm much of a team player. The small group work, the data collection, the autonomy of working with the whole school, rather than sharing one classroom, pleases me. I am replacing a very talented teacher, who, last year, ran afoul of the law in an unfortunate way that ended her teaching career. Good person, bad decisions.

The sock is merino/nylon, from Spirit Trail Fiberworks; a small Virginia-based dyer, and purchased at last year's Fall Fiber Festival, in Orange, VA. I figured, since I'll be attending that again, I'd better be knitting and spinning up my stash in preparation. It's a simple garter rib, and mindless enough.

In spite of the appearance of canine harmony, my Life With Dogs has been difficult this summer. I'm becoming a devout student of NILIF approach to taking my pushy Ms. Bossy down a notch, and firming up my leadership for Mr. Juvenile Delinquent/Anxious Headcase, with improving results. Both dogs are being exercised and worked separately, now, and getting a lot more action, and I'm hoping it puts them on the right track.

I hope to write more. I'm feeling more chatty, more like myself than in some weeks.