Tuesday, March 23, 2010

just "do" it!

holy showers batman-it' s april!!! how did that happen? i completely missed blogging about st. patrick's day and the first day of spring. i always do a blarney type equinox post. it's all about the green!!! where was i? what was i doing? on the first day of spring......yes, i remember now.

the family started out the morning gathering with community members to do some spring cleaning in our local historic cemetery. there's liam and hubby hard at work next to our CVFD fire chief alan(on right.)

we were only able to stay till noon as hubby and i were city bound! Hubby has a friend/business associate that was having a going away party in Oakland to attend. now as you know i am a hermit and prefer the solitude of our hill top hut. but- i am a person of extremes. i tend to like opposite ends of the specrum. i can do "frontier" yet i can do "city" as well. it's the in-between realm i have a hard time with.

this said-there's one thing i usually don't "do" when i'm doing "city" and that is drive. i hate city driving, it's crazy and it's scary and i never know where i'm going and i hate getting lost and hubby and i usually start arguing. in my past, when i did live in the city i didn't "do" cars-i did public transportation or rode my bike. so i never became experienced at it. in fact whenever i do hit the city-it's always a given that others drive- i scare people with my city driving. they always offer to drive.... out of shear fear plus they hate seeing me stress out-not a pretty site.
this trip.....i drove.

we arrived in oakland(me sweaty, white knuckled and very tightly wound) around 4:45pm(got stuck in marysville by a fricken parade-a fricken parade!!!!!)-just enough time to stop by the hotel and head out to the party. we were staying in jack london square, oakland. i took many deep breaths and studied my directions-again. made it to the party no problem. after the party i felt pretty calm and collected as i knew exactly where i was going. but then someone needed a ride home. gulp! Gads! holy crap! sure i replied. double gulp! beginning to sweat as i realized i was about to go out of the bounderies of my heavily studied and much needed directions. i made the passenger rachel promise to give me easy directions to get me back to our hotel room. i didn't want to rely on hubby's directions-we won't get into that right now-that's a whole post in itself. anyway- i did it!!! even though i can't see well at night-i was able to get us back to jack london square without crying or getting into a fight.( okay-i'm sensitive!!!) hooray!!!! call me sexist, but i understand directions given by a woman way better than given by a man. nothing personal babe.

we woke early sunday morning-even with those blackout curtains shut tight, no kids, no dogs and no chickens to let out, we still find it impossible to sleep in. so we decided to go wander the square. look-it's jack london's cabin...sort of.a farmer's market was happening. gorgeous veggies!

eggs were selling for $6 a dozen!!!! holy carp! i sell my organic eggs for only $3/doz. wow! we ate a delicious homemade pizza fire baked in a small portable clay oven with veggies from the local growers while looking out over the water.we also noticed all the well behaved normal type city dogs hanging peacefully with their owners.

after checking out of oakland i had cleverly written up directions from our hotel to none other than "a verb for keeping warm." i hadn't driven this far and come so close, after all berkeley is right next to oakland-to drive by without stopping. the shop is open on weekends!!! we got there in one piece-with only one minor set back-hubby didn't like my directions. well, we did get a little lost-i panicked, freaked out a bit, got pissy at hubby but then he did get us back on the right track and we found it. thank goodness i had my weleda deodorant applied liberally that morning.

the shop is tiny but cute as hell!!

for those of you that don't know- all of their yarn and spinning fiber is naturally dyed. the colors are fabulous and the fiber is ultra soft! i couldn't resist.

the top spinning fiber is BFL in the colorway "alice." the yarn is a blend of merino, cashmere and a bit of nylon for strength in the colorway "le cirque." i plan on making the "calais shawl" with the yarn. i guess i'm still having a pink jag!

there's one thing i don't like whether i'm in the city or small town. and that is....colossal grocery stores. down the street from "a verb for keeping warm" is the berkeley bowl. Now, ive never been to the berkely bowl-hubby has. i thought we could stop by and do some grocery shopping since we were so close. my god...i was shocked and amazed at the hangar like appearance of this natural food store. we wandered around for what seemed like hours and all i came out with was an ice tea and a tub of tahini. sensory overload, too many choices and downright overwhelming. so much for my extreme theory.

i calmed myself down by wandering around the warehouse district. we found an old foundry that looked to still be in use. liam would have loved it.this was sitting outside-isn't this foundry cool-i could live here. if i had to. there were a few old bricks laying around. i took one Liam. shhhhhhhhhh! yes, he collects those too. sorry no photo-i know you are dying to see some brick photos-maybe another time.

one thing i miss about "city" are the telephone/power poles. they always bring me back, make me feel warm and fuzzy-a bit of nostalgia i guess.

well, it was time to hit the road back home. we had a wonderful weekend get away-alone! berekely was a breeze to navigate(we were right by the freeway-hee hee). i gained confidence in my city driving abilities and yes, i can still "do" city but it sure is nice to get back to our hill, where the UPS man won't venture down our driveway but hangs things at the top of our driveway in trees.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

weekend well done!

My son Liam is a collector. He collects many things. He’s good at it-some may say obsessed with it. I look at my childhood. I was a collector as well. My collections were different. I collected rocks, shells, those tiny porcelain animals you could get at the local hallmark shop, stuffed animals, beer cans(much to my mother’s dismay) postcards, stamps and Hotwheels. it’s no wonder my boy is a collector as well. He has much more sophisticated taste than I ever did at his age; as he collects antiques. Especially glass insulators and old bottles. Which is why we headed to chico last Saturday for an insulator and bottle show.

these shows are so much fun and the folks are always so nice. Liam gets good deals cause he's a kid. and of course i can't resist a few treasures myself. an old rainier beer crate, a few insulators, old canning jars, and the cutest little oil can- thinking of using it for my spinning wheel oil.

it was a good show and liam was happy with his haul. the flea market next door had some great deals as well!

the weather was incredible-after days of rain the sun came out and it was perfect! we decided to do some exploring on the way home. we'd heard that this was the perfect time for wild flowers and vernal pools at table mountain near oroville. WOW! what an incredible hike. what makes california so amazing is all the different terrain and geographic landscapes. we live in the foothills amongst the pines, cedars, manzanita, oak and madrone. what a beautiful change for us.

the tree above was taken from the parking lot. my pictures don't do this magical place justice. the sky was blazing blue and the grass was so green it hurt. i felt like we were transported to ireland. this is ranching land as well. the wild flowers were just starting to bloom. being on the top of this mesa like mountain the flowers have adapted and grow very low to the ground -like carpet.side stepping cow pies and soggy vernal pools the land would change suddenly. dips and crevices produced many surprises.

cutting across a field we came upon this gorgeous site.

we were actually in search of phantom falls but only found hollow falls. phantom is hard to find-and falls 165 feet. it doesn't flow in late spring-fall. we are determined to go back soon and find the phantom!!! there was tons of my new pink color as well as yellow, white and purple.

what a great day!

the weekend continued and sunday i stopped by my friend sue's and she was having her spinning flock sheared.

she has angora goats as well. i took lot's of pictures of carl the shearer but they didn't turn out-all a blur. here's sue skirting a fleece.

yum! i just love it when the weekend goes well.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

i'm working on it.......really

i don't really let my new year's resolutions be known-as it often just sets me up for failure. my list is usually miles long as well-nothing you all want to witness anyway. but one resolution i will share with you. this year i plan on getting a handle on my addiction. my addiction of starting new fiber projects before finishing old ones. it's WAY out of control. what a bummer to never have the "fruits" to show for your labors-they remain unfinished in bags, boxes or baskets. i get bored quickly and get too excited with new ideas and inspirations that i can't control the impulse to start something new. there's nothing like the fresh exhilaration of casting on for a new project. it's a drug-what a high! those of you with serious startitis know this feeling. it's dangerous.

this year i plan on going thru my UFO's (UnFinished Objects) and evaluate. Seriously decide whether to frog it or actually finish it. finish up the projects and then-attack my "to do" list with a vengeance. i have sooo many groovy things i want to make. i also plan on spinning everyday-even if it's only for a brief moment. i need to destash my spinning fiber before it takes over the house!

okay-that said...

i have finished 5 projects so far this year. this a BIG deal for me. especially if you could see how many projects i have started. i won't even share that number with you-it's too embarrassing. here's a few pics of completion: i finished my everyday vest knit from Rowan Chunky Colourscape. A holiday gift from my dear friend anne.

and it fits!!! i love this simple norwegian pattern-knit in the round, no seams except the shoulders. not particularly fond of the pink stripe right across my middle though-ha!!!

my friend rowan turned me on to a great free pattern called "malabrigo hand thingies"-super quick knit-on size 7 needles (yes! instant gratification). i made it from some of my handspun merino. MMMMMMMM! been into this raspberry color lately-what is up with that??? hence the need to change the color on my blog.

a new favorite pattern! i strongly urge you to knit this pattern.

last sunday we had another dye day at willow springs to work on our dye books. we accomplished a lot and we even had a spur of the moment BFL dye fest. i really like the way mine turned out but i would love it more if i hadn't diluted the dye so much. you were right rowan!!!maybe to prevent some muddiness when plying i will dye a solid to match and ply with that. a soxchik technique. plus i will get more yardage. maybe if i choose a gold it will look less eastery.
new word, new word!!!

spring is sooooo close! this was taken at the end of february.

ta ta for now-gotta go spin!