Tuesday, June 18, 2013

tweaks and adjustments

June is shaping up to be a sodden, muddy month, with big storms, torrential rains, and hard winds, at every turn. Added to that, is the heat, which isn't as bad as it could be, but is bumming me out, nevertheless. Sticky, 90-ish, and rainy has lost its appeal. I do like the thunderstorms, now, don't get me wrong. I'd just like some humidity-free sunshine in betweentimes.

They do provide for some spectacular cloudshows, though.
Last week, I went to Tucker, to meet some friends at the farmer's market. It was the week of the first Georgia peaches, and cause for excitement. We had just enough time to get our produce (cutiecumbers! new potatoes! Italian green beans! Peeeeeaaaaaaaches...) before a massive, storm hit (much like the one that's pounding us right now, in fact) forcing us into a local bar n' restaurant. Nice dinner, and then when it was over, a dramatic cloud show. I drove home through downed trees, and the aftermath of what turned out to be a tornado. Arrived to find my entire neighborhood without power, which wasn't too much of a thing, as we keep big man-killer flashlights by each door, and pagans always have candles, so I wasn't in the dark for long. It's nice to sleep in a completely dark neighborhood. No ambient lighting at all, and a powerless house is so. very. quiet. I spun the rest of my brat-paca by candlelight, and listened to music on iTunes til my laptop battery died. Power came back on late the next afternoon, just in time to salvage my freezer full of food, which was a happy thing; I didn't relish a meat-cooking extravaganza, nor throwing it all out. 

I plied the brat-paca, which is 2oz of green suri alpaca with firestar, and 2oz of reddish alpaca from the Big Island of Hawaii, courtesy of Acornbud. That was some sweet spinning, but man, oh man, was that Hawaiian alpaca dirty!! I can picture the alpaca lounging around in the red dust of Hawaii, rolling around in the mud, wallowing in the vog...I expected it to wash out into a white fiber, but it was truly red, and very soft and pretty. 
At the risk of descending this blog into the zone of the ridiculous and possibly NSFW (especially if you work with alpacas) I share a video; some inappropriate but inspired silliness. 
I'd share the brat-paca yarn (sportweight, shiny marled green and brown goodness) but I put it outside after washing it, to hang dry, and it is currently being rained on. Meh. A little more washing won't hurt that alpaca...so no spinning. Practically no knitting, either, except that I will offer you a gratuitous hexipuff: 
I have been assimilated into the cult of the Beekeeper's Quilt, after years of curiosity. The puffery is fun, a little addictive, and I don't see myself finishing this thing for like a million years. But it is a portable little project for my light rail rides to GSU, or my lunch hour. Trouble is, I realize I need to knit more socks so I'll have leftover sock yarn to make the silly puffs. I am adding a wee bit of lavender in each of my puffs, because in some distant future, when I am an ancient crone, I will lay me down under a lavender-scented puffy quilt...this puff is made of Koigu, and happens to be the only thing I have ever completed successfully in that yarn, despite my obsessive love of the stuff. Koigu, like Kidsilk Haze, just confounds me, for no good reason. But I love it hard. 

So I realize that I am well and truly sick of working for the Tiger Mother Tutoring Business, and am looking for work. Hard, in a hard market, especially when one is working and going to school. I am in the happy position of being able to sub this fall for some $$ and Tiger Mother will take me back to work, (assuming there are students in need) should I desire this. But I need a change, at least a temporary one. My commute is too long for the $$ I am making, and the part of me that wants to be administrative, and make organizational changes in an organization that doesn't want to change is frustrated. Even something as simple as requesting that our students bring water bottles instead of providing them with a zillion styrofoam cups at the water cooler, gets shot down. Never mind that the water cooler is replacing a water fountain that hasn't been repaired in a year. Ditto the busted toilet in the boys bathroom, forcing us to have co-ed bathrooms (does not bother me, but it's a symptom of bigger issues) When I finally got my own students to bring in water bottles, and they left them in the room, the ones that appeared "disposable" were thrown away by a custodian. Grrrrrrr!!! I'm having to share my classroom this summer, because I am working only two days a week, and the teachers who use the room use all my post-its, paper, and supplies, and stuff I've bought with my own money. Arrgh. I want a different scene altogether, and miss the days of having my own personal fiefdom of the classroom. It feels good to vent my spleen about this here. I am on very good terms with my boss, and I've given notice for my departure at the end of the summer. Now my personal challenge is to fight the short-timer syndrome...

Work frustration, hot flashes in a hot summer, and old dog hijinx are playing havoc with my sleep patterns, resulting in me falling apart, and it's not even Litha yet!! Ugh. I've started a yoga class after a hiatus; a new vinyasa class with the parks department, and I'm re-embarking on Project Z, again, to try and fix my sleep, or lack thereof. We are early in the process, so I haven't seen any huge results yet. 

Am I the last person to have discovered the blog A Veggie Venture? In my quest to make green beans with new potatoes, a dish from my Grandma Carr's table, in my rural Virginia childhood, I stumbled onto it, with insanely delicious and simple results! 

Considerably less porkified than the ones from my childhood, and smashingly buttery and delicious! Serious country food. 

Hopefully my whining hasn't ground you down, dear readers. In lieu of any real sunshine here, I leave you with a bit of sunshine from my neighborhood. 
Our neighborhood school crossing guard spends hours embellishing pine cones and arranging them in little vignettes at the corner near the school. This pile of sunny yellow cones reminds me of (look out, geekish moment coming up!!) the scene in one of the Song of Ice and Fire books, at the Iron Isles kingsmoot, where Asha Greyjoy dumps out a treasure chest full of pinecones all over the floor, and proclaims "The gold of the North!"I do love me some Asha Greyjoy...


Acornbud said...

I hope the alpaca was not smelly. How did it turn out after the washing? That you tube is so weird, lol...sure to get one out of any kine funk. The knitted puff didn't catch on with me yet. I'm crocheting some instead.
I thought only in Hawaii teachers had to shell out personal funds for supplies.

kbrow said...

It was pretty soft and lovely after the rainwater wash. It didn't smell, which was why I was so surprised it was dirty; I just found so much dirt on my hands after drafting it!

Oh no. ALL teachers buy supplies with their own money. Even in schools with lots of money, I think...