Annnnd, We’re Live!

Man do I miss my friends; fiber friends. I miss seeing them at shows and festivals; catching up with gossip, hugs and shared meals. I know that these terrible times (that as an introvert has not been THAT hard) will end but when things get slow, old timers like me start whispering the R-word. Lucky for me, the spouse will hear none of it, and so we wait.

One of my dear and much younger friends happens to be an old soul and a mensch, full of ideas and enthusiasm that seemingly only a Sag can convey. Linda Dean has been the head of the Hangtown Fiber Guild and then moved on up to be the president of the Crochet Guild of America. (The girl knows how to herd cats.) She has been trying to figure out how to create collaborative work with folks of different artistic disciplines, which ties into the work of ANOTHER mensch; Brenda Atchison. Brenda is the head of a faith based women’s empowerment organization and just happens to be the business end of LickinFlames, with the artist part being taken care of by the very creative Jim Atchison. We all met at a fiber show and have been buddies, ever since. Are you sending a connection?

Linda’s idea was to create this collaboration between the three artists and have a kit that would include a one-skein piece that could be crocheted or knitted AND a beautiful embellishment. That kit has gone live on their site! LickinFlames https://www.lickinflames.com/store/p690/Bombora__Wrap_Kit_-_2_color_options_in_Paprika_or_Deep_Sea.html

Here are better shots of the colors of both options.

Paprika
Deep Sea

The yarn is Timaru and that lovely shimmer is due to the Bamboo ingredient. Cellulose fibers do not accept the acid dyes and so they just are a bit more muted and silky than straight protein fibers. Jim’s “pins” are actually magnetized and will STAY PUT!

The kits are $48, which is actually a great deal, considering the normal retail price of the components! This will make a great gift!

Staying Safe and Cozy

While the western half of the family is having some peace and quiet and hiking time, we are entertaining and boring the bejeebers out of our one and only grand dog.

Ziggy

It is mighty quiet for her, here with Grammy & Grampy, instead of the constant commotion of a household of 5, with two young girls with lots of energy. Walking the dogs feels a lot different when one pulls you up the hills and the other lollygags along behind. True, her little legs are just that, little. She went to the groomer before the “parking lot handoff” (better known for children of divorce) and man, this cut makes her keep moving, because it is COLD up here, in the mornings! I think that her papa is sick of picking out weed seeds, from a longer coat, so there’s that. She is mighty low to the ground and would prefer to go through the bushes than around them. Oh, Ziggy.

We are canceling the need for Thanksgiving, this year. He and I will be doing the same old, same old and not minding it, one bit. When I see little videos of folks packing airports, I just wonder why I have had to sacrifice 90% of my business, to stay safe and keep others safe. Oh yeah, because I give a rat’s patoot, that’s why. The folks who look after our seniors, in the nursing homes, at least here in California, are from the Philippines and we now are coming to find out that they and Pacific Islanders are being hit the hardest of all ethnic groups. They are caring for the most vulnerable population; frail people in care centers. They may have to interact with the scoffers who are going to gather, despite pleas from doctors and scientists, and then infect great grandma. There is not one thing that I can do about any of it, other than to stay as safe as I can and be respectful to the lives of others. I am willing to sacrifice this year and income, so that life can go on, once the vaccines become available. Where we live went from Orange to purple tiers, skipping the red one, because there are so many scoffers here. So be it.

I just paid for the services of Wix and have to get busy taking photos and deciding what it is that I want from the newer and sleeker website. Rod found someone who will help me to set up the template and then teach me how to use it, so that I can not only pare things down a bit but be able to add or subtract offerings when I want or need to. I especially want a spot for specials, which will be kits and other things available for a short time. It is exciting and daunting but things have come SO far, since Brenda Zuk first dreamed up the website, in 1999. Holly Haynes took over, years later and helped move me further along in this long journey from Analog Lisa to someone much more comfortable in this digital world. Grandma told me to learn something new, every day, and, well, this will be the next phase. I just want something user friendly for folks on phones and tablets, so I will be excited to get started, whenever Kathy carves out some time for me.

In the meantime, be good to yourselves and stay safe. I will be here, putting one foot in front of the other, keeping you all in my thoughts.

Can I Get An Amen?

There is a meme floating around about yarn hoarders and another round of shutdowns, saying that knitters, crocheters and spinners have just been Prepping. Yeah, that’s it, Prepping.

No longer monogamous, it seems.

I have had nights of dream filled Deep Sleep, since last Saturday, knowing that while we have Shenanigans to wade through, there WILL be an adult in the room, on January 20th. There is something called happiness creeping up on me and after we Went In, in March, this was so far out of reach, it seemed. There were soul saving visits by our thoughtful daughter, who always wanted to keep us safe, all the way up to my back porch birthday party and then, the final Halloween picnic at her house. I think that I have enough happiness stored up, right now, that Distance Holidays will be just fine; you know, no weeping.

You see, as of about 12:30pm today, this happened.

My Bug-out Bag

It is all because of this.

The rain has come.

Yes, I unpacked that Run For It bag and put the suitcase away. We have rain bands coming in at regular intervals, which makes me SO HAPPY! Teejay got a bit worried when I brought my bag in, not fathoming that clothes being put away does not mean that he is going to be here, alone with the kitties. Oh happy day, the sound of rain.

View from the dye table.

I am going to spend the rest of the day knitting, and with a weird bend to my mouth; a smile.

Full of Hope

From my own backyard

Everywhere that we went, today, as we drove to town for lunch, the colors of the changing leaves were at this year’s zenith. No doubt it was because of yesterday’s first rain of the season but, to me, it felt like the colors were so beautiful because I was really happy, for the first time in four long years.

Placerville was full of smiling people today, and no political signs. That made me extra happy. I have hope, even though I know that we have to steel ourselves for the next couple of months. We will get through this. I have hope.

I. Am. So. Happy. A bottle of bubbly is in my fridge and it is almost time. (Just look at all of the children in that parking lot in Wilmington!)

Election Day

I am wearing my hope for a return to a civil society, right here on my sleeve. This is one of those times, like World Series games, when being three hours behind Washington DC, is a plus. There is so much riding on this election and for me, and my family, I choose Science and the Value System that is built on The Golden Rule.

In 2008, we were in Baltimore, for Stitches East, having a nice dinner at one of the restaurants in the Inner Harbor. The place was pretty dead, because it was ELECTION NIGHT and a pretty amazing election night, it was. Growing up in Oakland, in the 50’s and 60’s, Baltimore felt like a wonderful place to be on such a night. I got to hear that Obama and Biden had been elected, as I was drifting off to sleep, in our hotel room and I just felt so much hope for our country, at that very moment. The next morning, when we ate breakfast in the hotel dining room, I just could not get over how calm all of the black people were, because I was beyond excited. They were probably jumping for joy, INSIDE, or at least, that was what I imagined, as I tried to catch the eye of our server. I, personally, was so proud of my country, for electing the first African American President. Looking back through Pete Souza’s photos, I am missing that kind of family in The People’s House; one that has a dog and has fun with one another. You know, a REGULAR guy who goes to the Kennedy Honors and has fun with the children of staffers, on Halloween. I want THAT again.

This time, I am so happy to see all of the new voters, who finally feel as though they are voting for their lives, whether they are young or of my generation. Folks who never felt engaged have been voting and boy howdy do I love seeing the stories of the elderly getting their ballots in.

Personally, I just want to be able to sleep, the way that I slept before this night, 4 years ago. I feel like an abused person, with wave after wave after wave of bad things that keep coming so fast that we can’t even adjust to the news of the first, before another terrible thing is lobbed our way. I want to see our country come back together, to vanquish this virus, and to do that we need real leadership and a compassionate administration that will give as much as the First Responders have been giving, especially as we get to January.

It is after 3 pm, here in California. I am going to try to get the day’s errant dye off of my fingers and go over to the house to listen to the news.

Stay safe, everyone. Hydrate and get some rest.

Halloween and Whatever

Grampy and the Chicklets

Gee, is that the young Tiger King? Why yes, as well as a Black Unicorn and a Zombie Bride. We met these individuals , who were lurking in the backyard of Cat Woman and Zombie Dad.

The West Coast Bunch

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, the Souza bunch had a rip roaring good time hunting for treats in THEIR back yard!

Coco
Evan

While I was leery about Halloween, it turned out to be a great time, first, picnicking in the back yard and then, joining the surprisingly large throng of families, who braved the hilly walkabout. The candy delivery systems varied from house to house but, waiting for Grampy, at the home of Syd’s former teacher, was a Snickers Bar. She looks forward to giving him his favorite treat, every year and had asked another family to deliver it to him, if our family decided to stay home. (Epic) All in all, we had a great time, especially with the almost 15 year old with his “thrown together” Tiger King outfit. I was hoping that he would accompany the Girlies to the doors but he was self conscious about being a 6 foot teenager. We were safe.

I hope that you have already voted or plan to vote, tomorrow, on the most highly anticipated Election Day in my lifetime. I have never seen anything like this turnout OR the openly blatant intimidation tactics near one of our town’s polling places. While the latter makes me sad, the former gives me a great deal of hope, because people are so engaged. I especially love hearing about folks who voted for the very first time, as senior citizens! Rod and I have missed only one off-year “dog catcher” election, in all of our years together, simply because we both take the act of voting as a duty and privilege. Let this be the last time that guys over 70 are vying for The Big Job. It is time for the younger generation to take over. I saw so many great candidates in the primaries, this year, and I am grateful that they have helped to Get Out The Vote. Come what may, we are all Americans and need to focus on healing these self inflicted wounds. I can only say that friends in other countries are very worried about us all. Let’s fix this!

Now, one more thing, we are anticipating rain by this weekend (prayers being sent up) and so these lovelies will be on the ground, if everything goes as hoped for.

Barberry

Be kind to yourselves, tomorrow. Hydrate and get rest. We will get through this.

Where have you been, Lisa?

To say that I have been busy, all of a sudden, is an understatement. Believe me, I am so very grateful but after a disastrous three months for my business, fueled by a general malaise and the NEED to organize closets and drawers, this sudden influx of BIG orders threw me for a loop. Something had to give and it has been my social media.

We are in a real Indian Summer, right now, after that dip in temperatures that gave us a true deep freeze, right in the middle of our most recent Red Flag Warning that caused a 2 day+ power shutdown. I can only imagine how rough it was for the folks around here, without generators.

Black oak

Raven’s are calling to one another and clicking their castanet beaks, as I sit here in the waning sunlight. Rod saw vultures circling, so perhaps the Raven’s are here for something. I just love their society.

We lost this little soul to the window. It always makes me sad to see birds succumb and it is the medium to large birds who do not make it.

Thrush who has ceased to be.

I have tried to upload the photos to this site for a couple days and finally, while heading to visit the kids for Halloween, it finally worked. Curious.

Speaking of Halloween, we got to FaceTime with the East Coast Souza family, who had just completed a backyard candy hunt. So creative and fun! Of course, by the time the call ended, the littles were wrestling their dad, as the sugar kicked in! Hoo boy.

The latest.

Of course, I am writing this in the car, so the name escapes me but I think that it is Festival of Stitches. I am making it with a combo of Silk/baby camel and Deluxe sock. It is relaxing and soothing.

It is warm here, as we rocket Down The Hill to our daughter’s backyard. We are still waiting for rain and I see the trees at our place are under so much stress that I am worried for them. There is something teasing us, out about a week but like Tuesday’s outcome, I will celebrate when I see it. In the meantime, tomorrow is NOVEMBER. Happy Halloweenie!

Just Stop

I can hear the breeze kicking up in the trees and so I just KNOW that they really ARE going to shut everybody down again; THEY being Pacific Gas & Electric, with whom California has a love, hate, hate relationship, these days. Yes, the Weather Channel sent the Red Flag warning and so PG&E has warned us that they could shut off our power between 3-5pm. This had darned well be the Blow of the Century because those of us in El Dorado County with wind measuring thingies are beyond jaded. Yes, I see pine needles and maple leaves dropping but not much else. Ah well, the Big Ass Generator will kick in and we will Still have light, but, as with the pandemic, we are OVER THIS. Perhaps if they had taken care of the infrastructure, instead of giving fat bonuses to the failed management, we might not be in this mess.

Kody

Today was supposed to be my day off, and it IS, to a certain degree, but we had to run errands and I needed to vacuum up much too much dog hair, after ignoring it, in favor of getting ready for and doing the Virtual Rhinebeck thing, last week. Now that I am done with the vacuuming and dusting, that guy up there has been yelling at me to make a lap, so that WE can take a nap. He is now zonked out, next to me.

Nap buddy.

I have been picking this up for comfort knitting. Festival of Stitches by Lisa Hannes.

Festival of Stitches

This is natural Silk/Baby Camel and Deluxe Sock in Blackbewwie and Zin. I am really enjoying the way that she makes the bobbles. I have always loved the texture of the darned things but her way of doing them is foolproof. Old dog, meet new trick.

Orders are making their way through my hands and while I wish that I was as fast as we were, during the days of having help, I have to keep reminding myself that it has only been a week since the “show” ended. It is all about efficiency of movement, at this stage, and after a very slow summer, I am getting back into the groove of the work. Thanks to all of you who ordered!

Time to succumb to the cat, who will sneak onto my lap, as soon as I stop this tapping. He always wins.

Getting After It

Ready for tomorrow.

In the Old Days, pre-Covid, we would have driven back to our son’s house, for a couple of days of fun with our family, before making the long drive back to California. Today, after a long weekend of greeting visitors to studio, via Zoom, there is no long wait for those who have ordered, due to the drive time, across this big country of ours.

I was so happy to spend the morning tagging and wrapping orders, placed before the show, to go out in today’s mail. After lunch, I began attacking the orders that came in over the 4 days of the show. The weather is still what I would consider to be Indian Summer, which makes possible drying yarn and fiber in the sun.

We got to spend last evening with the West Coast family, celebrating Rod’s belated birthday. It was so nice to relax with the kids and do that thing that happens, when we are all safe with one another; namely, “Grammy, come see my room”! Sydney, the 9 year old, is turning into a pre-teen and has decided that she is OVER her unicorn obsession, which is great by Lily, who is happy to inherit her sister’s unicorn that is sit-on size. Syd’s walls are now covered in pictures torn from preteen magazines. So cute and so familiar. Jacob, aka The Schnickle of days gone by, just keeps growing. At “almost 15”, he has a wicked sense of humor and managed to get straight A’s in his first semester of high school, simply because he is very determined.

We really miss not being able to have times like these with our East Coast family. They are growing so fast, making pictures and videos so precious. I am just looking forward to the time when we can jump on a plane and go for a visit!

Time to fire up the pots and pans for dinner.

Last Day of Virtual Rhinebeck

Oh my goodness, has this ever been a learning experience! Having an ISP that has been slow and erratic, for so many years, put us behind in the learning curve for all of this new technology. Now that we can reach out and stream, taking part in this, our first Virtual Event has been wonderful.

Thanking my Lily for the sign.

We now know that the volunteer crew for the DFW Fiberfest has decided to focus on 2022 and skip the expense of trying to do it in 2021. This is the writing on the wall, I suspect, for all of the shows for this next year, with Covid-19 as the specter in the wind.

This event, Virtual NY State Sheep & Wool Festival has set the bar for how something like this is supposed to work. I am so very grateful to the volunteers, whose faces I know so well on Check-in Day, for their hard work and dedication to making this event successful. I am also so grateful to the folks, both old friends and new faces, who have come to visit with me. It has been a big boost to my moral.

I am now at 20 minutes to 10, on the West Coast and waiting for the doorbell sounds of attendees entering the “room”. By the time these three days are done, I will have a better understanding of this Zoom stuff, making it easier to enter into this next phase of How Shows Are Done. I am so grateful that I could do this. I mean it.