Monday, June 30, 2008

Colorful Grilling

Still life with zucchini, red onion, and ultramarine plate.

In actuality, the plate is more of a blue purple.

I work with babies

Today, the office didn't have telecom services. No phones, no internet, no e-mail. However, the intranet was still up, and staff could still work on reports, powerpoint presentations, flyers, etc.

At 9am, I called the telecom company. They'll send someone out, but don't know when. We've been having electrical storms roll through Atlanta every day since last week, so I'm sure there's outages all over the city. We even lost power at the office on Friday for 5 minutes.

Some of my staff turned into babies. All day long, they would ask, did you call? What are we going to do without the phone? I'm going next door to see if they have telecom. They have internet, why don't we? Hey, I'm over at a neighboring office in our office park and a telecom tech is here. Can you call the telecom company and ask them to tell him to come to our office and fix the phones? and on and on all day. It was like having whiny children staying inside on a rainy day. This would be in the days of yore, of course, before video games and other electronic toys. Like the internet.

I had a report to revise. It was 7 pages and I already did the red pen edits Friday. All I had to do type in the edits. It took me all day, because the staff kept interrupting, asking when the technician would be here.

I don't know people! It's not like I secretly have the skills to fix the smart jack (or loop or whatever the telecom company said), but decided not to do it, just to annoy them. For crying out loud!

A few years ago, I was was talking with another executive director and mentioned that I don't have any children. She said, Oh, but you do. You have employees.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Half a lifetime

This week, I realized that I will be turning 38 years old soon. The significance is, that 19 years ago, half my lifetime ago, is when Best Friend and I first met. A few years ago, I thought about this milestone and was looking forward to it, and now here it is.

We were housemates sophomore year in college and just clicked right away. We're both craft-y. One of the first things I remember doing together was putting together a Japanese paper box kit I brought from Taiwan. She taught me to crochet, cross stitch, and duplicate stitch onto sweaters. Both of us love the color red. But then I think so did everyone else in Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin, the land of red and white).

She's also a bit of a techno-geek. She was the first person I knew who had a laptop computer and would "log on" to something called a "list serve" but she had to be careful because she paid for only a set number of minutes. This was in the early 1990s. I had no idea what she was talking about.

I really admired her (still do). She put herself through college by working at McDonald's as a manager, and saved up enough to travel through Europe, making sure to stop in at McDonald's along the way.

She's been really, really, really active in local Democratic politics in Wisconsin, lived on a farm, and raised chickens, selling their eggs. She's worked in the nonprofit sector as well, is a vegetarian, and is now married to a botanist. She's living in Colorado now as a stay at home mom, organizing play groups, and making organic baby food for her kid.

Other than my relatives, she's the person I've known longest. I've known her longer than Husband, who came along 2 years later.

This week, I said, "hey! let's get together and celebrate!" She said, yes! let's!

So today Husband bought plane tickets (less than $250 each round trip, can you believe that?), reserved a hotel and car.

I don't know what we'll end up doing, but I'm sure it will involve crafting, talking, eating, politics, gardening, art, and lots of love and laughter.

I can't wait!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby blanket done

Finished a blanket for a co-worker's of Husband. They are expecting their first child and they don't know (at least I don't know) what gender.

Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn in the Bluegrass colorway (2 skeins used) held with one strand of Bernat white worsted cotton yarn (1 and half skeins) for the center. Border is one strand of Bernat, double crochet, 3 rows.
Size 9 US needle, size J hook.

Here's a close up of the center. I love the yarn. The Bluegrass has blue, green, purple, and red in it.
I hope they like it.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors

I've been meme-tagged by KnitTech:

Pick up the nearest book. Open on page 123. Find the fifth sentence. Post the next three sentences. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

So the book is The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith. It's the 9th in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. It's about the first female detective in Botwana and it's really gentle and descriptive of life in Botswana in southeastern Africa. The cases are illumative of the human condition and Precious Ramotwe, the main character, often reflects that what she does is easy enough for anyone to do, if only they're attentive to details and aware of how people interact with each other.

I've read them or listened to the audiobooks, and they've made me want to visit Botswana. Husband want to visit Namibia on the southwestern coast, I want to visit Botswana on southeastern side. Maybe one day we'll go from Namibia to South Africa to Botswana.

The first book, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, has been made into a movie starring Jill Scott.

Here's what I found on page 123.

"We must tell him before he asks," siad Mma Ramotswe. "And remember, I have offered to do this thing for you. I will go to see him and tell him what happened."

Hm.... who to tag? Many of my friends don't have blogs, so if anyone is interested in trying out this meme, go for it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Knitting Queue and other crafts

Went to the Why Knot Knit clearance sale yesterday again. Got more Kid Silk Aura and Kid Silk Haze, in about the same colors. Very slim pickings as this is the last week of their store clearance sale (see previous post about why).

Also picked up a Rowan magazine, for ideas for what to do with all that mohair yarn! When I flipped through it last night, I thought, I know Rowan has their fans, but I'm not one of them. Still, the magazine was 50% off, like everything else left, and there are some patterns I like.

The highlight of my day yesterday was organizing my yarn stash and thinking about the projects I want to make. Here's my project list for 2008:
1. Finish Husband's afghan
2. Finish Brother-in-Law's sweater vest
3. Finish baby blanket for Husband's coworker -- expecting their first, don't know the gender
4. Cardigan for baby for another of Husband's coworkers -- expecting their first daughter. Will make Helena from the new Knitty.
5. Sweater vest for my father -- probably the tennis sweater from Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch
6. Shawl for my mother -- probably from Victorian Lace Today, or the one from Big Girl Knits
7. Cardigan for Sister - yarn already bought, turquoise Lamb's Pride Bulky
8. Cardigan for myself -- using all that Kid Silk Aura and Kid Silk Haze I just bought.

Next July 4 will be my parents' 40th anniversary, so I'm trying to think about what to make for them. I thought it would be great to knit a wedding ring shawl for my mom, but then I came to my senses. I've never knit anything quite so ambitious before, and I'd still have to make something for my dad. Perhaps I'll make something out of pottery.

For their 30th or maybe 35th anniversary I designed a crossstitch piece for them. Maybe I'll design a cross stitch, embroidery, or needlepoint piece. At least I have time to mull it over.

As for pottery, I'm taking a new class, about surface embellishment. In the first class, she gave us wooden spoons with shapes carved in the handle. We have to make a lidded vessel, incorporating the spoon and the shapes somehow. My spoon had a crescent moon, so my lidded jar has to have the crescent moon motif.

I like how the teacher has really pushed us to think about what we're making. Made me realize that I've fallen into a rut. Usually I make bowls with the same surface designs.

So in the spirit of branching out, I will make a baby cardigan (see #4 above), instead of yet another baby blanket. Should be fun. And since I just organized my stash, it should be easy to find 500 yards of machine washable yarn.

But first, must finish a project!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yarn Clearance -- Why Knot Knit

A yarn shop in Atlanta, Why Knot Knit, is going out of business. It's located in the Buckhead neighborhood, in an area that's undergoing some serious renovation. All the buildings in about a 5 block area are being torn down and so there's been a major drop off in foot traffic and now the shop is closing.

Yesterday, everything was 40% off and that's how I scored 8 balls of Kidsilk Aura, usually $12 a ball. Fortunately, they took only cash or check. I usually pay by credit card and use cash for things that cost like $20 or so. I only had about $60 on me and even to pay for this stash below, I had to go scrounge around the car for change.

Top row: Walnut, Quarry Tile, Nearly Black, and Forest.
Bottom Row: Antique Bronze, Grace (actually Kidsilk Haze), Loganberry, and Cream (again Kidsilk Haze)

I really love the Loganberry, which is a dark purple. And I just realized that Aura cost $12 and gives 82 yds and Haze cost $13.95 and gives 229 yds. If these balls weren't 40% off, I'd be kicking myself for paying too much for the Aura. Anyway, my choices were limited, and again, it was 40% off. Anyway, moving on.

But not anytime too soon. It's 92 degrees out. I was going to go to the Indie Craft Experience at Olympic Centennial Park yesterday, but it was too hot and the park has very little shade. Instead I went to Why Knot Knit and bought yarn.
Tuesday morning I have a doctor's appointment. Maybe I'll swing by WKK again and see what's left. Next week, everything's 50% off and I'll come prepared with more cash. Not that I need more yarn....