Tuesday, February 16, 2010

fat tuesday

Tomorrow is the beginning of Lent -- a time for reflection and quiet, and of pondering deeper things. I am not sure what I plan to do for this year, not sure where the journey will take me. Last year, I had some incredible experiences during Lent, very private journeys that really rocked me to the core, while at the same time giving me hope and direction in a very difficult time. Things are better and worse this year, and while the only constant in life is change, I'd love to have stability and a measure of security. Maybe in the middle of this state of change and growth and flux, this Lent will lead me to the anchor line, to the firm path ahead. Maybe I should try to emulate these holly trees -- bend without breaking under the load of snow, remain green even in the deep of winter, and when cut down, give rise to four more saplings in the place of one tree. And as nothing remains the same, the instability cannot stay forever. I have faith that something better will come.

Meanwhile, tonight we are going to eat pancakes. Laissez les bon temps roulez.

Monday, February 15, 2010

snow event(s)

Wow... that's about all that can be said about the past couple of weeks around here. Snow and more snow -- more than I've seen since we moved here from Mass. in '03. Beautiful drifts, piles of snow everywhere. But we don't seem to do the snow thing very well here in the DC metro, as the rest of the world now knows from the endless news reports about "Snowmageddon". And in a two week span, the guys only went to school for a day and a half! At least none of us had to go anywhere, so we just holed up and did a lot of sledding and igloo-building. Sometimes I really do love working from home. And I have to give it up for Comcast, who kept the internets humming during the whole thing, at least for me.
Below is the back yard in the beginning stages of Snowpocalypse #2; the light was eerie and gorgeous at about 7 am, before the blizzard really started.
But there has been a flurry (ha!) of activity around here indoors, too. I used two whole weekends at home to clean out boxes of junk from the storage closet (biochem notes from grad school, anyone?) and to help the guys find the floors in their rooms again. The fiber room is next, and then the bedroom. Clutter makes me nuts, but I seem to be my own worst enemy in that department. I leave things out because I plan to get to them next, and then n life happens, and they remain out as a constant reminder. This is fine if it's one or two small projects, but it's easy to let stuff pile up, and then it starts to nag like an old codger. And some days it seems like I'm running a nursing home of whiners around here, with all the unfinished business lying around... but that's a post in and of itself.
Spinning has continued apace, as well. The huge blue basket of loveliness that I posted about a little while back has become this:
I spun the singles on a Woollee Winder, and they were full... but neglected to remember that even the mighty Lendrum plying head might have a problem with all that yarn...(hark back to the 70's -- can you say "rollin' a fatty"?) It just barely fit, and ended up being just over 1000 yards of something between laceweight and fine DK. Absolutely gorgeous! I am inordinately pleased with myself, since this is one of those projects than turned out even better than I'd imagined it would. The wool is Targhee or Dorset, and the mohair is local from a now-departed goat named Jasmine. I dyed all of it in batches in the crock pot, then carded it so that the colors graded from light aqua to purplish-blue. It looks like the sea in the Bahamas, and the angelina sparkles look like sunlight flashing on the waves. Here are a couple of shots for scale:
Hangin' loose on the coat rack... it was perfectly balanced, too!! And on the laptop, for further scale.

But not to hog all the glory and fun. The animals were fun to watch as they all dealt with the weather in their own ways. The dogs were ecstatic with the snow, and many icicles were eaten;
Happy mastiffs! And the boys spent most of their days off outside doing things like this:

Yes, there is a six-foot-tall fourteen-year-old in there somewhere.
Jake, the boss cat, still likes snow at age 16, but preferred to spend his time in front of the wood stove, or hanging with his buds on the sofa. Buncha couch potatoes. Good thing the sofa is long.

Jake actually sharing the beanbag with Willie, who is really stressed out by all the snow, as you can tell from his posture here to the right.... and below...
And the mysterious Ellie found an elusive patch of sunlight on the kitchen counter and deigned to pose.
Willie says, "Me, too!"