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Archive for May, 2005

A Gentle, Happy Day

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

SummertimeYasmina Amal and Eudora

Aaah. Today it finally felt like summer. It was a full day, but a gentle day. I started with my modern dance class, followed by a performance at a 100th birthday party with two other Habibis.

You know, things like this don’t get me nervous any more. I love this sort of performance. I do get some adrenaline rush just from the need to stay on top of my dancing itself, but stage fright is not part of the process any longer. I’m grateful for having had so many opportunities to perform (be they music, theatre or dance) in my life, that I can put those days behind me. Don’t get me wrong, I still make mistakes. They just don’t immobilize me… and the prospect of the next one doesn’t keep me from going back on stage. I need to be on stage much more than I need to be perfect, I guess.

Maya100th Birthday Party Show

We danced for a gentleman who, although in a wheelchair, was 100 years spry and chipper. In fact partway through one dance, he exclaimed “yeah!” out loud. That is the right kind of audience, you know? His party was a very fine event indeed, with friends and family and folks who live in the same building as he does joining in the fun.

I got the loveliest compliment after the show. Mrs. Anderson, who regularly comes to our Aladdin’s performances, is also a dancer. She told me today that I always look like I’m happy to be dancing. What a fine thing to hear! I’m delighted. After all, it is about entertaining. And isn’t it comfortable to watch a performer who looks happy? I hope so, I think so.

More City Gardening
After the performance, I had time to run a few errands. I picked up a tomato plant for my back landing. I did that last year for the first time. Tomato plants are so pretty in a city garden! I have room for only one large bush. This one already has a handful of tomatoes growing and several bunches of flowers blooming. I look forward to a good year in tomato growing!

EudoraI then looked around at quite a few places for a large ceramic pot to put it in. I just do not like those plastic lightweight pots. But boy! Some of the pots big enough for what I wanted were pricey! I found them priced anywhere between $30 to $100 at most of the places I looked.

Fortunately, I was at the Frandor Shopping Center. After checking out JoAnn Fabric Superstore (which has a lot of beautiful pots 50% off but those still ended up higher than I wanted to pay), and World Market, and Michaels, I walked past Kroger grocery and they had a little outdoor gardening area. I found a 14″ pot glazed blue for $9.99. You gotta love that!

I collected some food for dinner and headed home. Because it is my beloved Brian’s birthday today!

Yasmina AmalMy Man’s Birthday, Too!

I did finish one full ball of yarn on the first sock for Brian yesterday. If he wanted a shortish sock leg it could be done now. However, he’d really like the thicker socks to have a higher leg since he’d wear them most in cooler weather. I need to go visit the boyz at Threadbear again soon and collect one more ball. Meanwhile, I started the toe of the second sock (these are toe-up with afterthought heel, my current favorite structure).

I made a stir fry for Brian’s birthday dinner. Red and yellow bell peppers, onions, and seitan (a Japanese vegetarian protein source that is remarkably close to the texture of meat). Flavored with tandoori spice (as in that red-colored chicken found at so many Indian restaurants) and orange juice. It was pretty good, though I should have been a little more daring with the seasoning… it was a bit mild.

Birthday Pie
Then I went back out in the garden and picked some rhubarb for Brian’s birthday “pie.” It’s really rhubarb crisp, a fruit dessert with oatmeal crumbly topping. Rhubarb, for those not in areas that grow it, is a plant that has huge leaves and stalks that look a little like red celery but without the strings. The leaves are poisonous. However, if you cut the stalks into small bits and add LOTS of sugar (it’s powerfully tart stuff) and other ingredients, you get a tart dessert. One that folks either adore or despise.

There seems no in-between opinion on rhubarb. I think it tastes closest to cranberries/lingonberries or very tart lemon. We love it at our house. Mom loves it, too. She grows rhubarb plants in the beds around her house instead of small bushes. It’s quite decorative, and tasty!!! I could eat rhubarb every week, but it’s good I don’t like to bake that often or I’d look a lot plumper in my dance costumes!!!

More to Come

I do want to tell you about Brian’s socks but I’m going to put that off for another day. And soon enough, you will get more photos than you asked for, of my plants. Today you get photos of our birthday party performance.

1)Me as Eudora in front, Yasmina Amal (my teacher and our Troupe Director) behind me. 2)Maya playing finger cymbals. 3)Eudora again, showing off the new Egyptian dress. 4)Yasmina Amal at her glowing best. Isn’t she beautiful?

The Temporary Blahs

Monday, May 30th, 2005

Knitting Ho-Hums
I taught Basketweave Rugs at Threadbear on Sunday. That meant I got to be in the middle of a hub of a whole lot of knitters during a big sale. Add the fact that this is a holiday weekend, where folks just came to the shop to knit for entertainment, and it was a rollicking good time. I met one woman from Arizona, and one from Cincinnatti, Ohio, and one from Muskegon, MI which is a hike even though in this state. On a holiday, people will travel for yarn!

I got talking to Sarah Peasley and another local knitter whose name escapes me now. We all three had found ourselves on Saturday night, bored of our current knitting projects. Now, it is my experience that knitters do not generally get bored. We may flit from one passion to the other, we may be undecided which passion to pursue today, but bored is not a commonly used word in our lives.

Tagliatelli and one sockYet all three of us sitting there agreed that on Saturday night, we surveyed the possible knitting projects, noted that nothing sounded particularly good, and considered just going to bed early. We were actually bored. We figured maybe it was the way the planets were aligned or something… it was just too odd for it to happen just that way without some reason!

What I ended up doing Saturday, was that I pulled out a wrap I started when it was still snowing. I was trying to knit spring into existance! The wrap is mostly spring green with some turquoise and blue. I’m making it just for me, without a pattern in mind, just randomly knitting 5 yarns as I go. It is about 100 stitches or so, knit the long way, and I maybe did 5 rows before I fell asleep a bit early.

A Race to the Finish
However, Sunday brought new purpose. I knew this was coming… Brian’s birthday is Tuesday. Now, I could have started him a pair of socks on Saturday night. But I wanted to make his sox in sportweight yarn and I only had purple or turquoise or purple jacquard in sportweight.

I knew I’d be at Threadbear, that they were having a 20% off everything sale, and that I’d been itching to knit again with some wonderful washable sport/DK weight yarn I’d knit with on the airplane on my trip to Ethiopia. (Yes, on the airplane. On bamboo 6″ size 1US needles given to me by my friend Luann, just for the trip. I finished the whole pair on the one long plane ride.) It knit fast the first try… I figured the yarn was fat enough for me to speed-knit Brian a pair this weekend.

This would have worked if I had done nothing but knit from the time I left Threadbear until Brian’s birthday. As it is, I’m very close to finishing the first sock. But Tuesday I have a dance class at Happendance. Immediately after that I have a mini-rehearsal followed by a performance with two other Habibi Dancers, for a 100th birthday party. We should get out of there about 4pm.

That pretty much guarantees that I won’t finish a whole pair by Brian’s birthday dinner. Thank goodness, he’s not much for expectations. He won’t expect any present at all, and if I show him the one finished sock, he’ll be very happy to wait a few days until I can complete the second. I did, indeed, marry the right guy!

I did buy yarn at the Threadbear sale. There is some Colinette handpainted wool ribbon called Tagliatelli which I adore. It’s intense turquoise with bits of purple and green (Colorway: Neptune). It’s “Squooshy” which I know is not an official English word, but that word says it all. I just love everything about this yarn!

I have been visiting it every single time I went to Threadbear, for months. I pick it up, hug it, then put it back on the shelf. Sometimes I take it to a friend in the store so I can share my delight in its perfection, before I put it back. The stuff is just too darned pricey for an impulse purchase. I hear that Colinette is not expensive in Australia and the UK, but the import fees make it pretty much out of reach for this self-employed grrl in the USA.

To justify buying this lovely stuff, first I had to figure out what the heck would be a good thing to make with it… especially since two skeins was really at the upper reaches of my yarn budget. I finally realized that a tight-fitting shrug, basically two sleeves connected at the back, for dancing, was a perfect answer. I have a cheap, purchased acrylic/nylon shrug I wear a LOT. I dance at least 4 hours a week and most of that time I wear this shrug (dance rooms are nearly always too cold for me). So wearing the wool sleeves instead would be a step up (both in beauty and comfort) and it would not be a frivolous purchase, since I’d wear it a good deal.

Having solved that mystery, I then had to figure out how to justify the purchase. Usually I buy yarn that is for work projects, this or that sock I’m designing or this or that class I’m teaching. Right now I don’t see a shrug pattern in my future, though stranger things have happened.

I fantasized about a gift certificate in my future, but my birthday is in November. Ugh. And let’s face it, summer is a slow time for knitting teachers. I’m probably not heading into a new prosperity in the next month or two.

But then the boyz of Threadbear throw a 20% off sale at me. And Colinette almost never, ever goes on sale. Jump now, or regret later. The boyz make it hard on me sometimes… though they really do treat me as though they love me, so I can not complain too much.

In the end, I bought on sale two skeins of Lana Grossa Merino 2000 Cool Wool (unshrinkable merino, gorgeous stuff) in loden green for Brian’s socks (a pre-planned purchase I would have made with or without a sale), and two skeins of my beloved Tagliatelli. Ouch! Thank goodness I earned some money teaching there the same day, so the total seemed do-able. I can’t do this every day, but I will really love working with these yarns, and wearing my shrug when it’s done.

Memorial Day Turned Sunny
For the record, Monday turned out beautiful here. It was supposed to rain but it did not. I slept in a little, went with Brian to the neighborhood diner where he had breakfast and I had tea and knit his sock.

Then we came home and had a lazy day (I even took a nap) until dinnertime. We drove to the Grass Garden at MSU, then the Perennial Garden and the Annual Garden (those are right next to one another), then we walked into East Lansing (parked on campus) and found that an Indian restaurant was open.

We enjoyed our meals… his was spicy eggplant and chai tea, mine was medium okra and black tea. While we ate, we watched clips from movies all by the same very good looking actor/singer (who sings in Hindi language).

Indian musicals are amazing! Some of the scenes had easily 75 people all dancing at once. I found the dancing styles very fascinating… saw some Michael-Jacksonesque moves (especially arm gestures, lots of them) and some moves (head slides, shoulder moves, gentle hand movements) that reminded me of things we do in Mideastern dance… And the costumes! Indian women just have the best clothing (for making a woman look beautiful) of all women in the world, in my opinion.

We went home and sat on the porch till the sun went down. Brian worked on a website on his laptop and I did some spinning. I am still working on some electric purple mohair roving I bought at Michigan Fiber Fest last year. I seem to spin forever and the “bump” of mohair stays big. The bobbin is almost full, so I probably spun about a half a large bobbin today. It felt like I spun forever and got little done. It was very relaxing, though.

Tomorrow I’ll probably post some garden photos and perhaps the story of how I “designed” Brian’s socks. Until then, have a wonderful evening!

Another Dirt Day

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

flowerpotSaturday I had my big “dirt day” of the year. My hands were black and my fingernails were packed with soil. I know others enjoy that process, but for me it’s just something I have to force myself through.

Fortunately, it takes less than 2 hours to plant the 5 containers I have worked myself up to over the years. (I started by buying 2 geranium plants, already potted, for each side of my front stairs. That was about 10 years and one house ago.) I actually also plan to plant some food: lettuce seeds and dill seeds, parsley if I can find some, and maybe one bush tomato in a container. However, that will wait for one more, less messy day.

This year I have two pots at our most-used entrance at the side/back of the house, with geraniums, petunias, a few foliage plants and a cream pansy or something (that one is new to me). I have two pots at the front of the house, with three colors of impatiens, some purple flowers I still can’t remember the name of, a big spiky plant and a two-color vine.

Then my newest addition to the yard (started last year) is a larger pot at the other front corner of the house, with a geranium and petunias, a spike plant and a vine. We’ll see how that goes, it’s in an area that gets different amounts of sun during different parts of the year, but I’ve found that geraniums forgive me when things are imperfect.

The picture here is a pot I planted (back entrance) last year. I’ll show you this year’s pots when they recover from the shock of repotting.

Harmonium House Concert Fun

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Wally Pleasant with AlisaWe had a lot of fun Friday with Wally Pleasant at the Harmonium House Concert in Charlotte. Of course, it was a holiday weekend so folks had many things they could do that night, but we literally filled the space by the end of the concert, with folks filtering in a little at a time as they finished with other obligations.

Folks keep asking what a house concert is. It’s literally a concert in someone’s home. This is our second one so far. We also did the Music in the Pines concert in Haslett, last September. The concerts allow a casual atmosphere where musicians can keep more of the profit (unlike most commercial venues) and thus can afford to have a smaller and more intimate show. It works well for us, since we’re just two folks who don’t need much amplification. Bands with a drum set don’t do well at house concerts!

Therefore, it was an intimate space (we estimated capacity at 40 seats). The seating was more dense than at the restaurant, with no tables and all chairs (and comfy couches in the back row, where most early concertgoers preferred to sit).

The Fabulous HeftonesI was delighted to see some folks I knew, but who had not made it to our concerts before. Since Wally also performed, there were also a good number of folks we had not met before and that made it extra fun.

Mom came with her friend Fai. My friend Donna (who I dance with) brought 3 friends. Then some women I know from Working Women Artists and my church came. That was an extra-special surprise. Some of our regulars could not come, so we had a new mix but that made it fresh and exciting.

Harmonium House ConcertBless her, my dear friend Donna did her best to take photos with my camera, but unknown to us the camera was on a last gasp with its batteries. She is always willing to be my photographer, and I am truly grateful.

Photos earlier in the show turned out best. She got this nice photo of Wally on guitar and Alisa on viola before things got shaky. The photo of Brian and I did shape up enough to post once I went over it with PhotoShop. And I just had to include this last shot, it’s so artsy… showing the space early in the set, before all the seats were filled. Love the pizza boxes and the tiki lights for a true sense of the environment. That photo looked nearly black except for one corner, until I did heavy levels adjustment in PhotoShop. I think it turned out pretty fun in the end!

We had a wonderful time. Thanks, Wally, for inviting us!

A Lovely Thursday

Friday, May 27th, 2005

flowersThursday was wonderful. I started my day with my friend Altu. We sat together for an hour or two, outside in the rare sunshine (it lasted only a few hours but we had great timing), at a table at the Beaners Cafe’ in Okemos. We talked and laughed and listened and sipped and talked again. We have not had nearly enough time together since we got back from Africa. It was wonderful to have that time together again.

After that, I delivered some patterns and samples to Rae’s Yarn Boutique near Frandor. This is the first she has carried my patterns, and I’m delighted. I have scheduled a few day classes at her shop this summer and we are hoping they will go well. It is literally a bicycle ride away from my house… not all of 4 miles from home and only about 6 blocks from Foster Center, where I spend two afternoons a week. I owned a house in that neighborhood for 5 years. It’s my home territory. (As Brian would say, it is my stomping grounds.)

I also had CityKidz Knit!, followed by a computer lab. Such fun. The kids are getting creative. One boy started a pouch for his game boy. A girl started a set of wristwarmers yesterday and since she has super bulky yarn and size 15 needles, she is making good progress with not much time invested. One of my regular girls figured out that a cotton garter-stitch swatch that came in some yarn donated yesterday by the famous and generous Sarah Peasley, would make a wonderful washcloth (if small). She worked the ends in and took it home knitted as is! She’s got the fanciest, nicest, handmade washcloth I’ve ever seen.

flowersBetween Altu and Foster Center, I ran to Lansing Gardens and bought a whole lot of lovely flowers for my gardens. I do not enjoy digging in dirt at all, but I absolutely love having flowers in my yard. I water plants happily, and I don’t mind picking off the wilted flower blossoms, but I just don’t like the feel of any stuff stuck to my hands. Especially gritty stuff!

Once a year I dive in, and then I get all that dirt stuff over with in one fell swoop. Then I enjoy the watering ritual for a few months. Later in the year, the sun goes down before I get home (this would be around August) and the gardens had better be full of well-established plants by then, plants that can take a little ignoring. I get home after 9pm at least 3 times a week, and so just as the weather gets hotter, I am less able to do my watering routine.

I have found that geraniums do well in full sun on the west side, even with my personal style of “water early in the season, then ignore later.” I also found last year that petunias worked well in that environment. On the shady east side of the house, I have done very well with impatiens and I always give a try for some tiny dark purple flowers whose names escape me right now. They don’t like being ignored but in the shade they do well through the end of July anyway.

Every year I try at least one new thing in the garden. Last year I tried carrots, and they did not do well at all. I also tried leaf lettuce and one bush tomato which I kept in a decorative pot by our back door, and it was wonderful. This year I bought some multicolored coleus that are supposed to get bushy and tall, and I’ll try them in the back of my hosta garden where a few of the hosta plants didn’t make it from last year.

I love adding color to my yard. Last year I waited to buy my plants, and ended up with orange flowers. This year I found my flamingo-salmon-pink geraniums and three related colors of impatiens. I found some gorgeous velvety-purple petunias, too. I’m very happy with what I found.

Oh, and I got a few seeds. I love dill, and it grows well in my garden by the garage. I can’t seem to find plants anymore so I got seeds and we’ll see how I do there. I also got several packets of leaf lettuce seeds to put in containers on the north side. Last year I wished I’d planted ten times as much lettuce as I’d planted. Well, this year it will be 3 times more.

Last year Ulyana gave me small seedlings of morning glories and they were wonderful by the door, I hope they re-seeded themselves so I can have them again this year.

It is such fun to plan for the beauty of my tiny piece of land. Our lot is about 30 to 35 feet wide (a city bus is 40 ft long), which is just about right for how much time we want to spend on keeping it nice. I spend hours in the spring pulling tree seedlings out of the grass, and Brian is big on digging out the dandelions (we do not use chemicals on the lawn). But we like doing other things with spare time in the summer (like play music on the porch, or nap in the hammock, or get out the spinning wheel on the porch on a nice day).

We both are geeky so we also spend a lot of time indoors (although Brian rides his bike to work on non-rainy days when it’s warm enough). We do not intend to be, as my friends Sue says, slaves to the goddes Flora. This yard is just right, as Goldilocks would say.

Photos: 1)The flowers I got for this year’s garden project. 2)Lansing Gardens, a Lansing institution started in 1920 when Jolly Rd. and Pennsylvania Ave. were waaaay out in the remote edges of the city. Now there is a 7-11 not far away, and a car stereo place, and all sorts of other city things, surrounding their farmland. The place is up for sale so I never know which year will be my last time, buying there. Notice the sky… this is a typical Lansing/Mid-Michigan sky… clouds as far as the eye can see. When sun peeks through even for a few seconds, we really appreciate it.

This Says it All

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

“Don’t just ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and then go and do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
     — Howard Thurman

Harmonium House Concert on Friday with Wally Pleasant

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

The Fabulous HeftonesThis Friday Brian and I (as The Fabulous Heftones) are doing a concert with Wally Pleasant, in Charlotte (just over a half hour southwest of Lansing). It will be a cozy space with a fireplace, another house concert.

Wally PleasantWally will do one set and we will do another. If you do not know Wally’s work yet, it’s a treat. He’s a thoughtful, funny, songsmith/wordsmith. He is a poet as well as a musical performer. He’s also just a fine person to know.

Brian has played for occasional performances as Wally’s backup “band” for years. In fact, on one of Wally’s albums, you can find Brian in the credits for playing cardboard box. My husband may be the only professional cardboard box player I have ever met!

The concert is at 8pm, and the cost is $7 at the door. Since the event is in a private residence I will not post the address here, but please feel free to email me at Lynn AT ColorJoy DOT com and I will send you directions and a map. It’s a pleasant drive.

I’d love to have you join us if you are free and in the area that night. Being that it’s the first evening of a long weekend, we know that some of our regular folks will be away from home (there is a Traditional Arts Weekend, for example, that will take away many contradance friends). Please come out and join us for the fun.

Sometimes Life is Perfect

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Today I had a brief moment while sitting in the car waiting for the light to change… where I was just sure that my life was perfect. I didn’t need to be on the beach in Mexico or Kenya, it was perfect in the middle of 5:00 traffic in Lansing.

I was eating a soy “ice cream” bar and some 70s song by the Eagles was on the radio. The sun was trying to shine through all the cloudcover, the grass was green on the side of the elevated highway, my car was washed and just had been repaired properly, I started my day with dance class, I had no pressing deadlines, I was clear that my husband loves me, and all was well with the world for that moment.

Life is full of small moments, ya know? If you wait for big things, you will just be unhappy. I worry about money most of the time, and my allergies some of the time, but I have nothing to really complain about. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Sculptural Crochet

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

Two women doing crochet like I’ve never seen before:

Renie Breskin Adams (Check out speckled coffeepot and walking houndstooth)
Ming (See the appx. 6 foot tall outdoor fish sculpture)

You must check it out. This stuff is truly creative. Not merely original, because some truly original creations do not please the eye. However, this is originality of the best sort. These are original, creative, and well-designed in many ways. You will not want to miss these.

Home, Happy and Tired

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

Yasmina Amal in Concert, Virginia, MN 2005We had an efficient trip home, with little sleep beforehand. We left Minnesota at 7:30am their time, 8:30am our time. We got home somewhere around 11pm.

Happily, I got a few short naps in the car! I got to knit a little, chat a little, laugh a little. And I’m finally home with my sweetheart. This is the life.

Here is a photo I took of my teacher/dance troupe director, Yasmina Amal. This was at the end of her solo on Saturday. Gorgeous, huh?

Back tomorrow with more photos. For now, I’d have to say that this one photo is more than enough.

A Good Day in Minnesota

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

Saturday was lovely. We had a good dance seminar during the day, which ended at 3pm.

Then I met Rita, a knitting friend from online, and we went to a lookout/museum which overlooks the former open mines which are now like pretty lakes, full of water (this is iron mine country). After that, we found a locally owned restaurant and chatted over a meal and tea. It was a very good time. Rita drove about an hour one way and she’s really busy right now, so I really appreciated that she took the time to come and see me.

Then at night, we had the dance concert. Our troupe had five numbers… four group numbers and one solo for our teacher, Yasmina Amal. I was in three of the numbers personally. The show went very well indeed, and we all had a wonderful time.

I got pictures at the workshop, from the overlook/museum, a pic of Rita and I together, and some shots of the concert from backstage. I don’t know which will turn out well as illustrations, but we need to wait on that anyway. My camera is locked into someone else’s car right now.

It’s 2am Michigan time, 1am Minnesota time. We are leaving Minnesota around 7:15am tomorrow. I need to go to bed, don’t you think?

We’re on the road for the entire day of Sunday. We took a leisurely trip up, in two days, but we are trying to do the trip home in one very long day. With seven drivers in two cars, we should be able to switch and keep us all fresh even if it’s a long day.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend. I’ll catch you when I arrive home.

Pair #114

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

LynnH Sock pair 114While I was in Michigami at the gorgeous resort, I finished this pair of socks. That makes 114 pair to date.

This pair is made of Kroy 4, a purchase from Rae’s Yarn Boutique near Frandor Shopping Center. It feels a little thicker than some other yarns I use for socks (Regia, Blauband, Opal and the like), or at least more coarse. I have the impression they will be in my sock drawer a long time before getting holes worn in them. I used size 1 US metal needles, because that is what I happened to have available when I started them.

These were knit toe up using the same technique I use in my Turkish Toe-Up Socks pattern. However, I used an afterthought heel rather than the one used in that pattern. Both heels would be culturally accurate, as both are used in Turkey.

However, I used my favorite rolled sock cuff, and that is pure LynnH. I personally have never seen anything similar in actual socks from Turkey.

These fit me really, really well. I am finding that the socks I make myself in solid colors, I wear a lot more often than those with self-striping yarns. These will get worn a lot, I’m sure.

Michigan’s Beautiful Upper Peninsula

Friday, May 20th, 2005

Lake SuperiorI’ve been on the road with the Habibi Dancers now for two days. We left Lansing around 9am on Thursday, had lunch right around the Mackinac Bridge (which connects the lower peninsula of Michigan to the upper peninsula), visited a wonderful park in Marquette (a place I really had wanted to see in a previous trip up there) and had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Ishpeming.

The day ended with an amazing relaxation at a resort in Michigami (where my friend Marie grew up), on a lake, with lots of beds and a sauna, the whole big deal. It was a great place to stay. When we stay in a hotel, the eight of us have to split two or three hotel rooms between us and there is no really comfortable place to hang out and enjoy one another’s company.

Lake at ResortHowever on Thursday we took turns in the sauna, and about six of us played cards, and a couple of us took turns reading, sewing costume parts (there is always one more bead to add to any costume no matter how long you have had it), and I knit and did a little crochet.

When I’m on the road, I pay for internet service by the minute, so I’ll leave you with two photos. The first is Lake Superior, the coldest lake you ever could imagine. The girls who dipped their toes in it, said their feet went numb. (Once in high school my brother and I had fun splashing in this lake, in our street clothes… it’s a fond memory but I had no desire to go in again.)

The second photo is a view from the back deck of the resort house. The deck is just outside the fully-windowed back wall of the living room. It was pretty fantastic, wouldn’t you say?

Off to Virginia, Minnesota

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

I am off. Eight Habibi Dancers are going to Virginia, Minnesota, about 1 hour North of Duluth.

My mom was born about six miles east of Virginia, in a tiny town called Gilbert. When mom was young it was an iron mining town. Her father was the principal of the school, and her mother was the teacher until she married. In those days, married women were not allowed to teach. They did not want children to see a pregnant woman, apparently. Times have sure changed! Grandma finally was allowed to teach again during the labor shortages of World War II.

We perform on Saturday at a college in Virginia. I’m hoping to meet an online knitting friend sometime… but she’s far enough away from where I’ll be, and she’s enough busy, that it may not happen.

While I’m gone I won’t be shipping yarn or patterns, as you might expect. We will be back either very late Sunday or sometime on Monday. A few of us may choose to dawdle on the way home.

While I’m gone, check out my sister in law, Diana’s, new weblog. She is called OtterRomp. She’s a talented quilter, writer, photographer, gardener, cook, you name it. She also loves my brother, Eric. (Me, too.) Check her out!