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Archive for July, 2004

On the Way to Wisconsin

Saturday, July 31st, 2004

Ironwood Michigan was very good to us! We thoroughly enjoyed staying at the Sandpiper Motel. We met the owner, Annette, and had a nice talk. I love meeting people who run a small business. I find this sort of person so interesting… I have taken risks to be myself, and they have also taken risks to be true to themselves.

Annette said that she had grown up in the U.P. in the motel business, but had gone to lower Michigan for 16 years. At that time she decided that she wanted to bring up her kids in the environment she felt was comfortable and nourishing to them, so she moved back up to the U.P. and has now been running the Sandpiper Motel for over 10 years. I love the sign for the motel, we talked about that a bit. I took pictures of the sign and the neon “Office” sign over the door… but noticed there was a large crate with a large, more modern sign, in the parking lot.

She says that unlike Mom and I, a lot of folks are attracted to the larger chains and she needs to compete. So she will be changing the name of the motel to Classic Motor Inn and they are putting up a sign that looks more like those of the larger chains. Mind you, the place is adorable and clean and well-kept. But it doesn’t look like the Comfort Inn, and a lot of folks would like consistency rather than quaintness. She had orange juice and a nice coffee cake and really good teas and coffee for breakfast, as you might get at a larger place. She didn’t have a swimming pool, but I never use a swimming pool anyway… and I don’t really want to pay for amenities that I won’t be using.

We talked about the new sign she got. She really wanted neon but she could not find any supplier who could/would do it for her. Most of the signs she found were rectangular, and she did not want that, either. So she found a sign in the shape of a shield (the shape of a highway sign). She also paid extra to have a grouping of stars at the top of the shield. She said she really wanted the stars to be neon, flashing, but that was impossible to find and she had to give in to reality and get what was available.

Annette took the picture of Mom and I in front of Sandpiper, soon to be Classic Motor Inn. The day was lovely as we drove the last 90 miles to the wedding.

We got to Hayward in time to go into town for a few minutes. I had forgotten a card for the couple, so we found a little art gallery called Art Beat of Hayward, and got a wonderful card. Then I found a good cup of tea at a coffeehouse (see photo of flowers in coffeecup planter, from outside the coffeehouse) and mom got a not-very-good ice cream cone at a place that had a wonderful old neon sign. It’s a very quaint and lovely town, with many places pedestrians can walk easily and happily. I enjoyed our short time there, but it was time to head to the hotel, as it was getting closer to the time for the wedding.

A Long Ride North

Friday, July 30th, 2004

On Friday Mom and I left at 10:30am on the way to Hayward, Wisconsin for the wedding of my cousin, Marc. We had really good weather in the lower peninsula of the state, then we crossed the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula, where we eventually met up with some steady rain. It was a pleasant drive, all in all. Our state is so big, that we drove until after 11:30 pm our time, about a thirteen hour drive, and all in Michigan. We passed Michigamme, which is where my dance friend Marie is from. In the end we stayed in a lovely family-owned motel in Ironwood, right on the border of Wisconsin at the very far west reaches of the Upper Peninsula (known as the U.P. around here).

It’s funny, but I’ve found a way to feel comfortable being myself and dressing sort of funky and full of color, in Lansing… a not very colorful city. I also tend to compare Lansing to Chicago and Toronto and Boston… so I think of Lansing as a small town for the most part. But when we got to the U.P., the perspective changed a good deal.

The U.P. is green and is just as beautiful as nature can be. Much of the commerce and business in the U.P. is tourist-driven, which means that the folks up there live on slim incomes much of the time. There are a few good jobs working for the National Forestry services or the Michigan Department of Transportation. However, much of the business here is family-owned, doing their best to make things work out. I actually love that… I love eating in restaurants and sleeping in motels, where I know who gets my money. I love meeting other businesspeople, since I’m self-employed, too. In Lansing, I eat at Altus and Aladdins… on the road I like to find little diners and the like, where I like to buy my meals if at all possible (this is harder now that I am unable to eat so many foods, but I try to at least buy my cups of tea or soda pop at these little independently-owned businesses.

Friday it was funny… we got into the U.P. and I was wearing my typical wildly-colored skirt, a tuquoise blouse, and a hot fuschia/pink rayon scarf around my neck. Oh… and very large, dangly blue star earrings. So we started looking for a place to buy a soda pop. We drove for miles where it was just the road, and our car, and trees. Then we found ourself at a settled area which we found later called Strongs, on the map. In Strongs we found a little bar with two gas pumps in front of it, and in front of that there was a rack, like a clothing rack in a mall, but on it was hung all sorts of animal pelts for sale. There were pelts labeled XXL weasel, silver/blue/red fox, beaver, possum, raccoon, coyote, skunk and one bear. The skunk pelts were $25 and the fox were $80 or $85 if I remember right. Since I don’t really know anyone well who hunts, this was a sort of surreal thing for me.

I went into the bar while mom took a look at the pelts. Let me tell you, I looked like an alien I was so out of place in there! It was a large square room. In the front left corner, there was a cash register where you could pay for your gasoline. On the right wall, was a bar with a glass-doored cooler behind it full of soda pop. There appeared to be one person working there, a strong and sturdy woman who was behind the bar.

As I walked in, I noticed there were a good number of men at the bar, and a handful of men at tables, all the men at tables sitting alone with a drink. It was not smoky but it was a bit dark, and the juke box began playing “Louie Louie” so I started to dance to myself. The men would slowly turn to see who had walked in, and then they looked away pretending that I was nothing unusual.

Truthfully, I’m not comfy in a bar, especially when I’m the only female customer… I stood tall and proceeded to the bar, and asked the woman there if I could get a soda pop to go. She said yes, to go behind the bar there and get out whatever bottle I wanted from the cooler. Hmmm… in Lansing there is no place I have been that would let you behind the bar, but this was a lot like Hanksa, MN where my mom grew up, so it was not totally unfamiliar. I proceeded and picked my bottle. I asked for a glass of ice (I really prefer my soda pop to come from a fountain, with lots of ice to water it down a bit) and she got me a small plastic glass full. I then joined her at the other side of the room to pay for my soda after a guy paid for his gasoline.

I did enjoy dancing to the jukebox while I was waiting my turn to pay. I wonder if I gave the guys something to talk about when I left… I mean, even in Lansing my colors and my tendency to dance alone while waiting in line, makes me noteworthy… here, I was just plain a boat out of water. However, the bartender was very nice to me. I commented she had a lot of running to do today (between bar and gas sales) but she said that “this is nothing” and went back to her post at the bar.

When I came out, Mom said that she had just been watching a dozen or so men who rode in and parked across the road, all driving ATV three-and-four-wheelers, which are typically only off-road vehicles where I live. In this part of the country, you see folks driving these all times there is not a lot of snow, and during the winter people drive snowmobiles all over. We saw folks driving the ATVs in town, crossing a “main” street in one of the smaller towns. It’s part of the lifestyle here. By the time I got out of the bar, the ATV’s were roaring away to their next destination.

We proceeded to Ironwood. Ironwood is on the border of Michigan and Wisconsin, the very very western tip of the U.P. By then we had some pretty heavy rain but we were in very unpopulated areas and had to keep going to a town before finding a motel. We asked around, many of the spots were full, but were referred to the Sandpiper Motel, a mom-and-pop type operation which was very clean and very pleasant. Best of all, the rain had stopped and we got to park right outside our room door. It was simple to unload and we slept like babies. I want to write more about Sandpiper but will do that another day. I’m typing this on the road and I pay by the minute when I’m dialing long distance.

Photos: Mom in front of a family-owned burger restaurant, only 5 tables and one employee, the cook/waitress. View of Mackinac bridge just before the center point. Mom inspecting a skunk pelt. Strongs Bar and gasoline station.

ColorJoy Stole Kits are Up!!!

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Well, my friends… it was a long haul for some reason, but I have eleven unique, one-of-a-kind ColorJoy Stole Kits up for sale on my Fiber/Yarn site. These all include five or six yarns, some of them handpainted by me, some of them handspun by me, all beautiful and ready to make a glorious stole!!!

And here is the scoop, for those of you who read my weblog to hear first: I am having a special offer. Anyone who buys over $60 USD of any ColorJoy/LynnH merchandise, whether it be yarn, patterns, kits, roving or books… they will get a free CD of The Fabulous Heftones, entitled Moon June Spoon. The CD is a value of $15 USD.

This offer is good until August 6 (paid by that date). I will be taking my Goddaughter, Sara, on a trip east on August 9 and will be unable to ship for a while (Brian will be home but he emphatically is not my employee). So get it while the getting is free!

Or don’t, and just keep reading. Just the fact that you are out there is wonderful to me.

Thank you once again, each and every wonderful one of you… for reading my ramblings here. I love writing and it is very rewarding to know you are out there reading. You make my life better, thanks.

A Delay, & Irene’s Garden

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

I am still putting together the web pages for my ColorJoy Stole kits. It’s after 1am and I have a violent case of the hiccups. When that happens, it’s my body telling me to sleep. So tomorrow (Thursday) just became Stole day.

For your viewing pleasure, here is one (of many more I’ll post) picture of Irene’s garden. I went to Irene’s house for the weekly guild knit-in on Tuesday night, and got there in time to take photos while the sun was up. There were many beautiful angles just in her front yard, and I’ll show you more later.

Good night.

ColorJoy Stole Kits on Their Way

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

News leak… I’m preparing some ColorJoy Stole kits right now. I’m assembling yarns into groups that will each make a lovely ColorJoy Stole, with none of the fussing or worry you would have if you assembled your own. Each kit, of course, will include a pattern/guide to knitting the stole. Each will be one of a kind, never to be repeated.

I’m making these up from yarns I have in stock already, to see how they go. It looks like I have eleven kits in the making. If they do well, I will plan to do more in the future. This group of kits will be unique, as four of them feature yarn I handspun myself. I do not plan to continue selling my handspun, so this is first-come, first-served special stuff.

I am hoping to have the web page up by Wednesday midnight, but it’s a big push to make that timeframe. We’ll see. I’m out of town on Friday/Saturday/Sunday for a wedding… Mom and I are going to Wisconsin. Therefore, I will probably be shipping stole kits to their respective new owners on Monday.

Tomato & Fava Bean Salad

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

Aaah, summer! About a week ago we picked our first tomato. Not just the first tomato of this year, mind you… the first tomato I have ever grown, any year. My friend Art says his tomatoes are not ready yet but his garden is by a lake where the temperatures are cooler than on my southwest stair landing. That landing has room for only one container, meaning only one tomato plant, but it has proven a good spot this year.

Art’s wife, my friend Marlene, is an incredible cook. She re-introduced me a few years back, to the fava bean. Fava beans are used a lot in mideast cooking. They are large and have a meaty flavor, without being grainy. And they look sort of like a little pillow with a dark line on half the edge… Marlene says they smile!

Well, fava beans are really easy to prepare, they come in cans ready to eat… just rinse and add whatever you love. Sometimes I add them to red spaghetti sauce for an instant dinner. Marlene makes an amazing fava bean salad. So I decided this was how we would celebrate the harvest of our first tomato… a fava bean salad.

It was perfect. The only things in the salad I didn’t grow myself, were olive oil and fava beans. I opened a couple of cans of fava beans (they had cooled in the refrigerator overnight) and rinsed them well. I added dill weed from the garden, some chopped parsley and swiss chard leaves (like spinach) from the garden, and the exquisite fresh tomato, just picked. I guess I also added some black pepper we got at the store, and then the olive oil. It was just wonderful!!!

Photos: Plant before the harvest (we picked the tomato furthest to the back), me holding freshly-picked tomato, fava bean salad ready to eat.

More Amazing Links

Monday, July 26th, 2004

photo by roland, (c)2004Well, I finally let myself have time to surf a little bit Sunday. I found a few links that you might want to check out.

From The Boogie Knits is how to make a bra from a pair of Men’s underwear. No, I didn’t make this up.

From One More Row and Another Latte is a link to the Knitting Tarot. I know a bit about the tarot (no, I do not believe it predicts the future and I do not feel it conflicts with any “traditional” religious practices) and this artist is right-on with the symbolism even though she’s using different words to describe the concepts.

photo by roland, (c)2004On Mind of Winter, I found a link to a free pattern by Annie Modesitt, which is found on the Interweave website. The pattern is for a Fiesta Tea Set (in PDF format). Gotta love it… I’m a fanatical tea drinker. Now when will I find time to knit this? It’s far too cool!

photo by roland, (c)2004Oh… stopped by Threadbear Fiberarts‘ new shop today. It’s full of boxes, shelves, boxes, yarn, boxes, books, boxes… and today there was one dog. The dog who disappeared last night. I’m delighted for everyone that Tate is back safe and sound (and acting as if nothing out of the ordinary happened at all). Whew! I did help check in a bit of yarn and some books. I used to work in wholesale and then in retail, and I really like doing physical merchandise work. It was fun. There were several folks I know from Mid-Michigan Knitting Guild there, helping out or stopping by to say hello.

photo by nate, (c)2004After I went to Threadbear, I went to Emil’s Restaurant and had dinner with my dance friend Marie and her three children. We had a wonderful time. I love the kids… the two oldest clamored to sit by me, which was a big honor. I’m not used to all the activity created by three children (one of whom is not school age yet) but they sure are alive and fun and good company. I did some knitting as I was waiting for them to arrive, but no knitting happened (although both grownups and two of the kids knit at least occasionally) photo by nate, (c)2004after the crowd arrived. That was fine, the conversation and togetherness was good enough.

I let the boys use my digital camera to keep them happy while we were waiting for our food. The first three photos today were taken by the youngest, a preschooler. The last three were taken by the older boy, young-elementary-aged. (Sister I believe will be in 6th grade next year.) Yes, their mom thinks it’s OK for me to post their pics here, I’ve actually posted one before.

It is interesting to see how a youngster approaches a camera. The youngest kept turning the camera around, pointing it to his face before pushing the button. We don’t know if he wanted to see the familiar side of the camera or if he is left handed and the button was easier to push that way. He got very excited when he actually could tell he had a photo by nate, (c)2004photo of my face (picture 1). Actually, the older boy also got excited when he got a shot of the back of my head (picture 4) and my turquoise crystal bracelet (picture 5).

I sort of like how surreal the children’s shots can be. I’m posting them here un-cropped, and un-feathered at the edges. I did lighten them up some, and I changed the contrast on most of them so you can see detail better, but I did not change the layout of the shots at all. I also kept them small here so they would look more like the display unit on the back of the digital camera. This is how the boys viewed their photos… just a little smaller than I see them on my screen.

Hurrah for Brian!

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

Speaking of art, my beloved hubby Brian is artful with computer programming on the web. I had something like 2000 spam comments on my weblog in just a few days, most trying to sell pharmaceuticals to men. What a hassle!

Well, it took less than two days and Brian figured out a slow but effective method to remove the unwanted comments (we ran his routine while we were sleeping and in the morning the unwanted comments were gone). He also set things up so that it will be a little harder for the unwanted messages to happen again.

I am a geek but not in this area. I am really grateful for my beloved. Thanks, Brian! Comments are restored to ColorJoy again, and I’m grateful.

Yarns From Online Friends

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

Well, I have been enjoying my snailmail lately! First I got a box of yarns from Cyndy and then I got an envelope from Laura. So many yarns, so little time!!! These are just gorgeous. I am definitely checking out the one yarn from Laura as a possible felting yarn (which is why she sent it). The brushed mohair in the same colorway (she dyed this herself) is also fabulous. You all know I adore brushed mohair… I wonder what this will become. It’s not a lot but could be a stripe in a legwarmer or a cuff on a glove, perhaps. Hmmm…

The yarns from Cyndy were out of the blue. She knows I use a lot of eyelash yarn, since she watches my weblog. So here she sent me some Crystal Palace Fizz (this is a wonderful yarn that comes in so many great colors) in color 7320, a cobalt. Wonderful stuff, which screams “Mom” to me. She also sent Plymouth Yarn DazzleLash, a poly/rayon metallic which is teal (on the green side, greener and darker than in this photo) with gold bits. The color number is 143. Totally cool, and totally me. Can’t wait for time to knit another ColorJoy stole just for me. This one could work great in a stole for wearing onstage. Glitter is wonderful on stage.

The last yarn is something I’ve never seen before. It’s a yarn called Potluck (150 yards, varying weights) and it is by Ellyn Cooper’s Yarn Sonnets. The label says “Hand-dyed yarns” but this is more like hand-assembled yarn. It yas bits of all types of yarn, from chenille, to brushed mohair, to glittery wrapped yarns, to a shiny rayon, a smooth wool and a shiny cotton, and even strips of woven fabric, mostly calico-flower prints. They are all tied together with overhand knots, clearly intended as decorative accents. Very innovative, think Crazy Quilt for yarn. It will need a swatch to really see what its best potential might be.

The color is called “Minty” but it ranges from mint/aqua to sage green to gray, gray-blue, soft purple and mauve. The colors look about perfect for a purse for my friend JoDee, but she is seriously sensitive to wool and mohair, so this is not to be. I have not a clue what this will become, but it seems to be purse material more than anything else right now. I’m thinking maybe of knitting it as one strand along with another solid-colored strand for stability and unity.

I’m so busy making my dyeing business get up off the ground that this will probably wait a little while, but I’m thinking…I’m thinking. It might be nice in a weaving of some sort, too… a table runner perhaps, mixed with other yarns. I’m not sure yet. When I find out what it is telling me it wants to be, you’ll hear it here first.

Photos: Laura’s handpainted wool and mohair yarns. Box from Cyndy… can she do ColorJoy or what??? Then the three yarns from the box… more color and more joy! Thanks, ladies.

Two Days of Ann Arbor Art Fair(s)

Saturday, July 24th, 2004

I just spent two days in Ann Arbor. I didn’t stay the night, I drove home to sleep, but basically I did almost nothing else for two days.

On Friday, I did a shift helping watch the booth for Ann Arbor Fiberart Guild. I did not have any work in the booth this year but I just helped out on a shift they had found it hard to fill. It was fun enough and not too long to be boring. After the shift was over, I actually was fighting a headache so I did not feel like hanging out very long.

I did look up Kathleen Dustin (Polymer Clay Fine Artist), and she was there so I chatted with her a little while. She is a woman at the top of the innovators in Polymer Clay, doing work that is truly Museum quality work. If you ever check out Ornament Magazine, they often use her work in their advertising. She draws and paints on polymer often, usually women’s faces. Then she also layers and shapes and molds layer after layer, sanding and polishing and sometimes carving into the clay then filling the carved areas with contrasting clays.

Kathleen is an example of a true artist. She will tell you exactly how she did the piece, show you what she did, have examples of each step she took… and there is NO way you can duplicate what she does. You won’t come close. No matter what you do, you can not have her style… which is as it should be.

The truth is, no matter how well someone teaches you, you have your own hands, your own sense of touch (in polymer this is very crucial… how hard do you push, are your hands warm or cool, what brand of clay are you using). It’s a very personal thing. You can try all day to be someone else, but you just can not be them. You must be yourself. You will have your own style, your own touch, your own way of bringing the art to the surface. You can only create in your own way. You can not be anyone else, nor should you even want to. You can aspire to be that good, you can aspire to be that inspiring, that original, that polished. I mean, I’d love to be Lucy Neatby when I grow up, but I never will be. I’ll be LynnH. Period.

So… please go to Kathleen Dustin’s site and check out her amazing work. She is a one-of-a-kind innovator, a true artist of world class, museum-quality work. She is also kind to me when I’m not really in her league… a class act. Of course, when I was at her booth, there were people purchasing and I needed to stand back and let her make a living. However, we had a nice chat when things slowed down. I may actually possibly see her when I’m in Vermont in August. She’s doing the same large art fair as my friend Luann Udell (that fair is 10 days in duration), and there is a chance I’ll go to the fair in order to see Luann. We’ll see what happens once I get out there.

I headed home Friday after talking with Kathleen… before the show ended. I just could not shake my headache and I knew I had to get up early on Saturday to go down to the fair again and dance.

Saturday we danced at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair (The Original… the first of the four large concurrent fairs that now all happen on the same weekend). We danced near a fountain and near the tower. This fair is the juried fine-art fair that is very hard to get into (this is where Kathleen was) and it was I think the first time they had this sort of stage. Friday I saw the goodbye bows of what looked like a modern or jazz dance troupe, and a singer-songwriter who was very good but who probably was wishing she had a few more people in her audience.

Today we had a pretty decent crowd… the sound guy said we had the best crowd of the week thus far. That was wonderful! I had a little solo in the middle of a set of two dances, and that was very fun, I think I did just fine. The stage was black, covered with a rubbery surface which means we had no risk of splinters in our bare feet… but the stage had no tent or roof over it, and the floor was so hot a few girls got blisters on their feet from the sun’s heat on the black. Fortunately, my friend Donna/Maya had a pair of modern dance slippers… they are suede leather, skin colored, with just a pad under the ball of your foot and straps to keep them on . This allowed me to dance on my toes without a lot of discomfort most of the time. The things that happen in the great outdoors!!! Burned feet from a stage, who would have thought?

After the dance performance, most of the girls went home and I was going to go with them. However, Donna/Maya said she might like to stay and see the fair more. I didn’t have any other plans so I went back with her. We had such fun! I was delighted to find that I could eat the sweet potato chips so I bought them… they cost too much for junk food and they did not agree with me since I have not had deep fried food in about two years… but I enjoyed tasting them and having the outdoor-junk-food experience common at events like this. When I couldn’t eat any more, I asked the two young women behind me if they wanted the rest and they accepted. I like it that in the midwest you can offer your leftovers to strangers and have them accepted right away without hesitation.

Oh, while Donna and I were wandering the booths on Liberty Street, I got talking to Betsy Youngquist about color. She is an artist I had not met before, it was her first time selling at Ann Arbor (she is from Illinois). Betsy makes incredible “paintings” and sculptures in a mosaic technique, but she mostly uses glass beads rather than tiles or glass pieces. She gets really excellent subtle shapes this way. She had a beaded otter, maybe 2 feet long, perhaps longer, that was exquisite. Her wall pieces look like they are constructed on ceramic sheets, but they could be watercolor with a shiny glaze to make them shine like ceramic. You might like to check out Betsy’s website and see her excellent works..

The photos today are: the Ann Arbor Fiberart Guild booth (on left) in the middle of the crowd on State Street, at the corner of North University; the beautiful mall area just behind the stage where we danced… elephant ears (large fried pastries) on right, fresh fruit smoothies on left, Potters Guild booth straight ahead, artists to far right and behind, past the stage; two pictures of Habibi Dancers… I’m in the purple on left/front in the first picture, and the second shot is other dancers; and me eating one huge sweet potato chip… really, this was all one piece of potato.

Right Brain Workouts/Creative Challenges Link

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

Someone on the Quiltart list posted a link a good while ago, to Right Brain Workout pages. Looks really fun and interesting. Don’t blame me if you lose a few hours over this!

No More Comment Feature

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

Well, in the last day and a half, I have received 1200 spam comments to my weblog. Most of them are advertising drugs of some sort, some are sexual in nature. I had something between 500 and 600 comments, in the last year and a half combined. Then I got 1200 in not even two days. I got so many, it would have been very easy to miss a legitimate note from one of you wonderful readers. It makes me just ill.

I had to do it: I removed the link from the weblog that let you click to comment. I’m really bummed. As it is, I get fewer than one comment per entry. Now folks will have to go out of the way to switch to their email program and type in one of my email addresses (Lynn AT ColorJoy DOT com) to send me a comment. Just because someone figured out how to write a computer program to send me spam faster than I can delete it.


An Artful, Rainy Wednesday

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

Wednesday was our concert in the Park at Meridian Historical Village. We got there and the sky was growing darker. They asked us to start 5 minutes early and play only a half hour rather than 45 minutes, hoping that this way both bands would play.

Well, it was a pretty nice crowd especially given the looks of that sky. In fact, there was a severe thunderstorm *warning* but nothing raining at the time we got there.

So we got the sound check and started playing. We played maybe 20 minutes, perhaps 25. At one point it looked like we might luck out, I could see an actual raincloud pass by to the north of us, while the wind whipped around like Dorothy’s house flying away from Kansas. Well, the wind died down but then the rain came. I had to stop in the middle of a verse to Paper Moon, and we all ran for cover in the barn nearby where they keep the electrical equpment.

It was a shame… the main band, Honest D and the Steel Reserve, did not get a single note played. They have been promised first priority next year, because tonight was the last concert of the season.

I was delighted to see some familiar faces. My Mom and Fred were there, of course. Sharon P and her beau Lynn were there. A very talented gentleman from the poetry community was there, and he even bought a CD while we were hiding from the rain. Our dear friend Bob McCarthy who is in the Abbott Brothers band with us, was there. It was great to see him and give him a big hug!

A man who used to be a neighbor when I was growing up also came, and it was nice to see him again. Of course, Diane Grettenberger, our contact person, and her husband George, were also there. I’m sure I missed someone and I hope they forgive me.

After the concert, I ran to Foster Community Center for the end of the Habibi Dancers’ rehearsal. We are dancing at Ann Arbor Art Fair on Saturday so I needed to be there, as well. I wanted to have a clone but in the end it worked out OK.

When I first got to the room, Anne/Nyla was sitting with her daughter at the other side of the classroom. I was delighted when the child looked up and asked her mom “Is that Lynn?” How cool is that?

I gave my ColorJoy stole to the child to play with, while we danced. I tend to give her things to play with when I see her. She *LOVED* the stole. She wrapped it around herself all sorts of ways, she played peek a boo, she had a wonderful time. I had to dance so I only got one shot, but isn’t this sweet? Anne loves her baby!!! Raising a confident and happy child is the highest artform there is, and this picture reflects a bit of that art.

I can not see this child without remembering that she started out at only 3 pounds and 1 oz. That is just plain tiny! She is doing very well in all levels of development, except that she is pretty small. If that’s her only problem area, she is doing just fine in my book. I’m so happy she’s healthy and thriving. And look at her mom’s face… love. Lucky kid.

Tomorrow I visit a few knitting friends, then I go to work at Foster for a few hours, then I have dinner with Sara again. I love that kid, speaking of a confident and happy child. She’s wonderful. We are really working on her stick shift lessons and she’s doing well. I am looking forward to seeing her.

Photos today are: Brian and I at the Meridian concert, photo taken by Lynn (Sharon’s beau). Unfortunately, I gave him my camera set to take close-ups. Don’t blame him for how fuzzy it is (see Sharon’s blog from the link above and see another photo from the concert). Second shot: Anne/Nyla with her delightful child, playing with my ColorJoy Stole.

A Hot Day, Catching Up

Wednesday, July 21st, 2004

Wow, so many things to catch up on here! It’s 84 degrees and only 10:30am, we are going to have a hot one. Brian and I are scheduled to play at Historic Meridian tonight at 7pm. We have a 70 percent chance of rain, so everyone cross your fingers if it pours, it does so before or after the concert. So far they have had excellent luck in this department and we are planning on that to continue one more time.

I got a notice from Michigan Fiber Festival (Allegan, MI) that my two classes are doing well with registrations. Polymer Clay on Thursday is 14 people, and Knitting with Novelty Yarns (ColorJoy Stole) is at 10. I think my max is 16 so if you were hoping to be in those classes you might want to get going with your registrations. Or just wave as you go by my workshop, if I happen to notice you are there. I tend to get very focused when I teach, the only real time that happens for me.

It looks like Annie Modesitt and I will be rooming together at Allegan. I’m thrilled! We tried to meet last September when she had the Seaside retreat, but I got really sick and had to stay home. We’ve been corresponding for several years and are both excited to finally meet up. Once she had one of those Myers-Briggs personality test things on her website… where you could find out how alike you were… and we were something like 97% compatible. Very strange, since our type is only 8% of the population, and because we both do approach knitting design very differently. Anyway we just will have to be sure we don’t stay up all night talking like a slumber party, because we have classes to teach.

Yesterday Brian and I performed at a luncheon my mother had for 37 of her friends that she knows from Florida. Most of the folks she knows there, summer in the north and winter in the south. So these folks came in from Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and other more local places. She has done this for three or four years now, and they have a very nice time. They are a great audience for our sort of music, and we had a nice time, as well.

Last night I went to Ann Arbor for the Borders knit in. I went early, though, so that I could have dinner at Exotic Bakery (a Syrian deli) with my brother, Eric and his wife, Diana. They are just about the best friends a person can have. We talked a LONG time, then I went to the knit-in, then I went over to their house in Ypsilanti and we talked more! I got home late but it was very worthwhile. I didn’t get much fiber work done yesterday but it was a successful day, nonetheless. And I did actually do a pretty good job of not worrying.

Pictures today are: Brian and I entertertaining the crowd at lunch, Mom and I at lunch (can you see where I get my ColorJoy?), a Monaco “retro” vehicle someone drove to Mom’s house for dessert, Antonia at Borders wearing her finished sweater… knit on size 2 needles out of French cotton boucle’ (you should have seen the suit and cape she has worn on previous occasions), and the Ypsi/Arbor Bowling neon sign on Washtenaw. I’ve always wanted to get a photo of that sign but I never have gone by with a camera in the evening. Love that sign!!!