Friday, June 15, 2007

OK - Cats, Sticks and Iowa!

Observe: a cat. And sticks. (Which are not, as it may seem, sticking into the cat.) This is the first kitty pi I made, out of stash leftovers in three days (!) Evangeline likes it, she really likes it! So does Lilliane in fact, and I made another so they could each be kitty-pi'd. But the second one...well, not so great. One bunch o' yarn did NOT full and it's a peculiar shape, although Evvie prefers it over this one, second only to the top shelf of their tree. (Wait a sec, going for an ice cube for the tea - summer she is arriving.)

So far, June is continuing to be the Month of Awesome Weekends (separated by decent days). First there was the Weekend of Restored Grandsons; next, last weekend, the Magical Trip to Iowa. SCOFF NOT! Mr. Dearling (formerly known as The Husband) admits to growing up with the belief that there was New York, there was Los Angeles, and they were separated by a vast wasteland known as "Flyover Land". Nothing here. Few trees, a river or three - nuttin'. Where DID he think his Oshkosh B'gosh came from?? Whereas, in truth, there's Where Normal People Live -- and the coasts.

Well - last weekend we drove to Fairfield, IA with our friends for the celebration of their 60th anniversary and to see their son's geodesic dome. NOTE: Fairfield, Iowa is the site of a beautiful, bucolic, Iowa town - AND the Maharishi University, which combination makes it friendly, easy, peaceful, artsy - and a truly interesting blend of Eastern philosophy and Americana.

Lovely ride down; Mr. Dearling is a very skillful driver and likes it, so the rest of us just lounged. Mrs. and I knitted all the way - except for the time when I lolled back and slept. Mr. Dearling declares that going somewhere with me is like travelling with a little kid: somewhere along the line I just zone out. NOTE: everyone's good at something....if they ever make Sleeping an Olympic sport stand aside, you can just engrave my name on those golds right now.

We arrived mid-afternoon allowing time to go visit the Dome (which young friend Steve, son-of-the-bride-and-groom) is building, as opposed to the "dome", which they're renting in the meantime. When I've learned to negotiate photos I'll post some. Until then - suffice it to say that this is a stunning, well-insulated, well-planned domicile being built, by hand - that's single-handed. The skills required for this feat are quite literally beyond my comprehension - not only the carpentry and construction but the geometry, mathematics, visualization, patience....and think about it. In future, forever, if anything goes amiss or awry or wonky, he will know not only where it is, but how it was constructed and therefore how to repair or replace it easily. Rather than spending a few hundreds of thousands of dollars to have it built, he's spending days and months o fhis own time, a reasonable trade-off. And besides all of THAT (!) there's an additional element, something invisible to the eye but clearly evident: with every hammer blow, with every sawblade, Love is being infused into that building. Steve could build this house and it would be remarkable, but because he's building it for himself and Marcia, the bond they share (which includes laughter, philosophy, tranquility and peace) is being infused into every single part of that Dome. And you know? all of that doesn't begin to truly indicate what I think of this place. "There are no words." (And yet, I've used a bunch and still not really got it.)

OK. I like the Dome.

Later we went to dinner at Vivo, an Italian restaurant I daresay is the equal or superior to any five-star establishment in North America. Glasses were raised to toast 60 years of marriage. These people, our friends, are world-class artists (she in embroidery, pottery, knitting, beadwork - &c &c; he in photography, as in - a retrospective of Madison unequalled). Am I coming across here is the Queen of Hyperbole? The truth is, it's the truth. I'm just privileged to have encountered this unparalleled family and the good fortune to have them call us "friend". Whew. Good dinner.

Other events of the weekend: while standing outside the dome, Steve said "Look at the field over there (across the street)....there's the fox!" This was followed by about half-an-hour of our watching not one but three little foxes, playing and disporting right across the road. They chased, they ran, they leapt, as if to entertain us, which of course they did! How often can one say "We watched foxes"?

The next day, Saturday, included a trip to the Farmers' Market for we three ladies. The Bride of 60 Years and I took our knitting, found a comfortable picnic table, and boldly, unashamedly, forthrightly Publicly Knitted! Right there in front of God and Everybody. Later we ambled downtown (a matter of a few blocks) and I was pointed in the direction of the LYS. It's called "At Home", and in the front there is a lot of wonderful kitchen stuff - and snuggled in the back, a yarn shop! They had lots of Kureyon, some terrific Lantern Moon baskets (oh I loves me some baskets). There was a table and some chairs and a little sofa, and a class going on. I asked if I could join them (to knit) being as it was all public and knitty and so on, and they said "Oh yeah! WWKIP Day!" and "Pull up a couch!" The lady teaching the class introduced herself and all the other ladies....NOTE: my children could use t-shirts with their names on, because I'm just that bad. Faces? Never forget 'em. Names? Uhhmm...err....terrible. So I enjoyed a couple hours' delightful conversation, watching the class, publicly knitting (even if it was in a yarn shop). They even gave me a cup of delicious lapsang souchang and no one laughed at my gawky big clumsy knitting over the top of their wondrous baby sweaters. Afterward I walked back to the dome, an enjoyable walk of about a mile past yards exploding with juniper and hostas and roses.

Sunday we plunked back into the car and came home. The weather all weekend was perfect, the company incomparable, the food exquisite (that was some fine spanokopita, Marcia) and the celebration of 60 years of a marriage...merry. Honestly? A weekend of very different events from the previous, and equal wonder. This is being a capital month. Capital!

This weekend? I'm going to turn my interesting knitted scarf-oid into a bag and felt it (yes yes, Mr. Dearling, I'm actually going to "full" it - I do know the difference) and finish my Old Shale scarf from Kureyon (there are pictures {sigh} of these days). I'll finish my cabled baby wrap (I'm just mattress-stitching it together) and it's Peculiar so probably no pictures. Then - wait, can it be? Nothing on the needles??? WHOOAH NELLIE!

Let's see - I have a new pattern with seven lace scarves to try, there's the hand towels in the Mason-Dixon book, I've heard whimpering coming from the sock yarn under the futon and there are those four skeins of delicious hand-dyed that I got at the Yarnery in St. Paul. Oh wait - I do have a granny shawl on the needles but that almost doesn't count.

On the other hand, I am reading four books and there are five tapping the corners of their covers impatiently and there are gladiola bulbs on my kitchen counter that are learning to walk on their little roots. I'd best plant them, I fear for the cats.

On my Must-Do list: learn how to put pictures in here (I put them all in a new file in my MS Office photo thing and can't find the new file); learn how to put links here to my favorite blogs I read every day; and try some of those sticky strips to hold in the dentures to see if they really ARE better than "those oozing pastes you used to use". Hope you all have as much fun as I will!


Elizabeth said...

Great post!

We'll have to have a little blog help session.

Joy said...

Sorry you couldn't make it to Milwaukee - I'll have to mail your present, but how great you had such a wonderful weekend. However, you might tell Steve that the work on the dome will go faster if he uses BOTH hands

dale-harriet said...

Elizabeth - I'll write! and Joy, the "two-week advance notice" about the teaching didn't happen! I was quite bereft when I went to check to see when it was, and discovered it was RIGHT THEN. *sigh* Hope I get another opportunity somewhere down the line!

Cindy G said...

It all sounds completely delightful. Is the pattern with seven lace scarves from Blackberry Ridge?

Chris said...

Sounds like an excellent getaway indeed! I've been to Fairfield, for a knitting workshop with Anna Zilboorg. Surreal town!