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Archive for November 8th, 2006

I Need a Life

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I spend all day driving around from one appointment to the next. In less than 24 hours I drove 42 miles, and I hadn’t left the Greater Lansing Area. Last week I taught ten classes in five locations. This week I will have 8 classes and two musical performances. I’m very grateful for the work, but I am wiped out. I’m emotionally exhausted lately. I need to look at my scheduling and start giving myself days off again.

When I started teaching, I spent some time with my loving brother, Eric. He implored me to make days without appointments. I scheduled Tuesdays alone and Fridays where Brian and I both had the day off. Now, sometimes I had guild meetings on Tuesday nights, but that’s something I’d do no matter if I worked in the knitting arena or not. Generally, it was a quiet and wonderful day alone, capped with a social gathering.

Well, right now I have a helper in my dyeing business. The only day that both of us seem to be able to connect is on Tuesdays. So now I dye yarn on Tuesdays, at least afternoon/evenings. Or that is, I work on the knitting business while she skeins yarn.

Sometimes I write patterns or print patterns, sometimes I take photos of yarn for the web. But without her I would be significantly less productive, and thus I’ve given up more of my Tuesdays. Usually I still have Tuesday mornings free, so far.

Fridays vary, I sometimes schedule classes, sometimes have events with Brian (this week is a 50th anniversary in Grand Rapids for his aunt/uncle). I’m more likely to have a Friday off than a Tuesday, but on Fridays Brian is in the house. I adore Brian but I need some time in dead silence and serenity… he’s not loud at all but it’s different when he’s home.

Besides being overfocused on my art/knitting business, I’ve been focused on new recipes, trying new foods (that I’m probably not allergic to). I finally “woke up” tonight that I was too focused on the food thing when I found myself reading in a cookbook: “…if you have goats…”

What? If I have goats? Oh my, where did reality go? I feel like I just woke up on mars! I’m a citygrrl who needs to eat a broad variety of foods each week. I tease that I’m an “earth muffin” because I eat organic sometimes, because I actually like tofu, because I’d rather eat beans than meat, can tell the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga. But I’m just reading a cookbook, and I get hit with that?

I don’t have as much as a gerbil or parakeet. I had no garden this year, and when I do have one it’s about a yard/meter wide and not as deep. I don’t grind my own grain, I wish I could call for carry out! I need a life! Aaaaargh, as my friend Charlie would say.

OK, I do have a spinning wheel… I do make yarn “from scratch” but I buy CLEAN wool, usually dyed and combed wool, for me to spin. No dirt, no animals, nothing to shovel, thanks! I really appreciate those (some of you who read this blog, even) who raise the animals to produce fiber that I use. However, that lifestyle does *not* appeal to me!

Goats. How did I get to that? I need a day off!

(For the record, I admit I didn’t have to leave the house today till 1pm. I didn’t get home till almost 9pm, but I did have a tiny bit of leisure, and I enjoyed that YouTube exploration I shared with you…)

One More: How to Do the Charleston

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

This is the coolest YouTube video I’ve seen today. It literally includes a dance instruction with photos of a couple dancing… well, just their feet. Before that, an orchestra with dancers. And after, there’s a clip of a couple dancing on top of a car/taxi in busy traffic. A must see for those with interest in dance, the 20s, or popular culture/history. It’s not slick, but it’s charming.
How to Do the Charleston

(Now I’m off to have a workday. It’s such a luxury to have a morning free!!! I’ll get home around 9pm but at least I got to stay home past noon…)

Ruth Etting on YouTube.com

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Oh, wow! We just got faster internet this week and Brian has been checking out YouTube. It’s a place where folks put up videos. Often it’s hokey home videos or a quite amateur take from a small pocket digital camera of a live concert, for example. But there are a few historical gems as well.

Ruth Etting was one of the most popular singers of the flapper era. She has a very interesting story (married to a mobster) and I think her personal life was really sad… but boy, could she sing… and from what I understand her peers adored her.

Now there is some Ruth Etting on YouTube. I just finished watching “That’s Him Now.” Oh, my. Flapper and then some. Totally 1920s. If your connection is at all good, I highly recommend this cut.

Also consider these items from the same era:

Anita Page Tribute

Ukulele Ike (with crowd of tap dancers)

Singing in the Rain (Ukulele Ike and dozens of dancers, incredible)

Gold Diggers of Broadway (tap, acrobatics, ballet and incredible costumes)

Annette Hanshaw (my fave early jazz singer, this from 1933)

Thanks-Christmas 2006

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

lynnbirthday48small.jpgMy family gathered on Sunday for our annual holiday event. We celebrated my birthday (coming up on Nov. 28), Thanksgiving and Christmas. We did not give gifts for the second year in a row. We eat and chat, and this time Brian and I sang a little.

My family consists of me, Brian, my brother Eric and his wife Diana, my Mom and her beau of decades, Fred. That’s the whole family, in the whole state of Michigan. The closest second cousins are in Illinois and the closest first cousins/aunts & uncles are in Minnesota.

I sort of like the compact nature of my immediate family. There is no chaos at our gatherings, it’s peaceful even when the talk on a subject becomes passionate. For the most part, one person speaks at a time and I don’t miss out on anything. My mind does not filter out chaos well and when I’m at larger gatherings I am not comfortable. This small stuff is “just right,” as Goldilocks would say. Not alone, not overwhelmed. Very good.

thankschristmasfamily2006sm12.jpgWe like to take photographs at gatherings. Mom especially likes to take the annual birthday photo. Some are better than others. This year I look very nice in front of my piece of pumpkin pie. We also got a group shot, Fred took it so five of us are in the photo. I like this photo very much.

Mom goes to Florida for the holiday season so we do the holidays early. I really enjoy this. It takes one important gathering out of the confusion of December. It lets me spend Thanksgiving at home with Brian. I like quiet holidays. Being home, sleeping in, eating food I bought the day before (just heating up in the microwave), that is the kind of Thanksgiving I can be most thankful for. We usually go for a walk, we have some sort of special dessert I typically make the day before. I knit and we play music and we hang around. It’s precious stuff for someone like me who is typically over-booked beyond capacity.

I’m thankful for one more year of enjoying my family. We’re all doing well health-wise this year, and we are really having fun belonging to one another. I know that many people can not say this, and I don’t take it for granted.

May you find something to be thankful for today.