Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Winter is coming!

OK, it's just after the Opening of Autumn; it may be a little early to actually talk about winter. My fun, funny tomato plant is absolutely loaded with tomatoes, all as green as can be; I'm assured that they'll redden with time. I may wind up bringing them in and either a) learning to make fried green tomatoes; or b) testing to see if putting them in brown bags really does allow them to ripen indoors. They're absolutely wonderful, and I'm just as tickled as I can be. I'm planning to plant some next year - I think I'll make a litttle area with a fence around it and fertilizer in it. My ordinary dirt here is dusty, clay-y and allover not great, but I can richen up a small section. I suppose it's dorky to grow tomatoes at the front of the house (although my Mr T is a very attractive, big bushy thing) but there's not so much sun in back. But WAIT! That's not WINTER ANTICIPATION..........>

You can see my early plans. The large skein at the top, ornamented by my #11 Lantern Moon rosewoods (I really DO use them, but I also just stroke them sometimes, they're so beautiful) is alpaca, undyed, 820 yards - this is the stuff that I keep threatening to put a pretty little collar and leash on so I can just carry it around petting it. What's it going to be? Aye. Yup. Uh-huh. No idea.

Going clockwise, the variegated wonderful soft stuff is Wisdom Yarns' "Poems". It's almost like those Paton "Natural" yarns...very much like it, actually, I'm VERY partial to that colorway/feeling/texture &c. Get a load of the DPNs there. They're the ones that look like tortoiseshell, but they're actually a plastic of some sort. I thought they might be too slippery to use very well but somehow, they're NOT! They're warm and they have a "grip" to them not unlike the bamboos. I'm going to do some research -- my feeling that 18th century knitters had tortoiseshell needles are not enough on their own for me to take them to reenactments, but I'm hoping I can find some documentaton because they are just so COOL!

Continuing around clockwise - some NETTLES! It's a fairly coarse yarn, and I bought two balls of it because I can use some of it to illustrate nettles drawn into fiber as the Wisconsin native population did. Then I saw a lace window panel, actually made from flax (probably Euroflax) at the Sow's Ear, and it occurs to me I can try to replicate that with the nettle stuff. I have NO idea how it will wash up (or even "if") but it's intriguing and I'm going to give it a shot.

Then that lovely blue-y, gray-y ball...it's Rowan, 'Tapestry", 70% wool and 30% soybean! Honestly, I bought it because it was soft and beautiful and luscious - would you believe it if I said I honestly didn't know a) that it was Rowan; and b) that I didn't know it was soy, until this very moment? Well, I'm blushing ly admitting that, and I'm delighted that I bought two balls. What's that? What am I going to make out of THAT? Yes, well. That would be -- err...determined later. I feel a great spate of wrist warmers and fingerless mitts and maybe anle warmers and/0r legwarmers of various lengths coming on; very possibly this'll be something along those lines.

I reiterate: I am a Process Knitter (with a nod to the YH for defining the differences). What that means is, it almost doesn't even matter WHAT it is when I'm done, I'm tickled to pieces to end a skein, hold it up and go "OH! wouldya lookie that, a shawl!" (Or scarf, headband, &c) The sheer tactile delight of this yummy stuff sliding through my fingers is an almost obscene pleasure. And I"m not the only one like this, I've seen knitters hunched over their work with that satisfied, contented, drowsy-eyed expression of sheer joy.

And lastly, I"m anticipating more READING. I happened to hear an author on NPR last Sunday...I almost shouldn't even listen, I can get into more trouble that way. His name was Charles de Lint, and he was talking about incorporating what I call the Elven World - faeries, satyrs, that sort of thing - amongst normal human 21st century regular joes. Sounded intriguing. Fascinating. Irresistible. The new book is called "Widdershuns". I went to Barnes & Noble. Now, Mr Dearling states that he has taken out a Restraining Order keeping me out of bookstores, but my Old Lady with Benign Smile disguise has never let me down. So I bought one of the earlier books, pictured here: "Greenmantle". I'm enjoying it a great deal (yes, I know, this is supposed to be about anticipation, but I couldn't resist starting it, right after finishing Crazy Aunt Purl's book).
That's the beginning of my Winter Anticipation. When my friend delivers her triplets, on (or maybe before) the third week of November, I'll begin the project I have planned for the three wee kiddies. And I have another de Lint book too, not to mention a burgeoning list of other things I want to read this year. I think I'd be well advised to keep myself so busy reading that I can't listen to "All Things Considered".......

Sunday, September 23, 2007

...the Mice will Play

Mr Dearling is away, still enjoying the wilderness and lakeshore of the Upper Peninsula, and we've actually spoken by cell phone! The Lovely Daughter says "You're still surprised? You know, the novelty probably should've worn off by now." Probably true, but we are Old and Easily Entertained. Friday, therefore, Lovely Daughter and I planned to meet mid-afternoon at our favorite barbecued rib place (it's Famous Dave's, which we love - and the "Dave" is Native American and supports a lot of tribal benefits with his income, so I'm especially partial). Now, Yom Kippur started at sundown, so we wanted to be sure to have had a good meal before that. I should state, I tend to be an "ethnic Jew"--I keep the major holidays, including separating milk and meat during Passover; I fast on Yom Kippur and stay in and don't "work" and I eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah.

Our plan after eating was to go to the Sow's Ear (our favorite LYS which is a yarn-and-coffee/tea/sandwich/pastry-type of place)for the Late-Night Knit, which has been monthly. Henceforth, it'll be TWICE a month, and we're delighted.....and it seems the large-ish crowd in which we found ourselves were delighted too, if a hearty round of applause is any indication.

We stopped at Target en route to get my monthly prescriptions (aaah, Advanced Age). We arrived, settled at a convenient table and ordered up luscious minty Italian sodas with an eye on the horizon. (The Lovely Daughter is pretty much the same as I, Jewish-wise.) Incidentally, one son is pretty much unobservant (except to come over, *religiously*...ok, pun intended...for gefilte fish and vast quantities of horseradish during Passover; and the other son is Lutheran with my full approval. I see it as an "in" to future Lut'ran Church Suppers, of which I am very fond. We stayed until about 10:40 pm, just twenty minutes before closing, and knitted and gabbed and laughed and, I'm embarrassed to say, failed to take pictures. But I'll have future opportunities, it would seem.

Fast-forward to Saturday - Yom Kippur. Now, I had determined to fast, but of course am required (by Jewish law, as well as common sense) to take medications, so I took my usual morning lot. That would *almost* constitute breakfast. Just kidding. Maybe. The rule for the day, as interpreted by recollections of my daddy, is that one should do no work, which includes turning on appliances, using the telephone or say...writing letters. One must also not handle money - which Lovely Daughter reminded me when, at about 9:00 pm the night before I was ogling and stroking some lovely yarn. The act of reading can qualify as "work", too. The main idea is to spend the 24-hour period in restrospection, introspection, and prayers to not commit the evils of the previous year in the forthcoming one.l It all has to do with the ultimate prayer: that I be written, by God, into the Book of Life for another year. Hopefully, Lovely Daughter says, "The hard-cover edition."

As I see it, reading-for-pleasure is allowable. Listening to music is allowable (to split hairs, I only had to use the remote to turn on the radio to NPR). Knitting? Well, knitting gifts or for pleasure is probably OK too, but not knitting items for sale.

So I read. I read Crazy Aunt Purl's book. In spite of Lilliane, who said "OK, I tasted your knitting, very nice -- but I need to nap on this book, there's a cat on the cover." She'd like to think she can read, but she has to follow along with her paw and sound things out.

I spent the day resting on the couch and reading. The WHOLE day. Now...I had left the computer on ("stand-by") so jostling it opened the screen and I could check the time. I knew that sunset was at 6:55 pm. That's important to know when you can't eat anything until sundown. Also, I did talk on the phone, but only to family members. ("Does that count, God? Just keeping in touch?") Oh...except for the time it rang and when I picked it up to hear a recording about Medidcare, Part B.

Side note: it creeps me out that "The Department of They" knows that I'm turning 65 in a couple of months. No, I'm not really that naive, I know that department knows what kind of security pads I buy, what magazines I read and that my cats occasionally get mail from other cats. Still creeps me out.

The other part of Yom Kippur is something I really do: I think. I think about stuff I may've said or done that I haven't been particularly proud of. I also think about the state of the world. This is especially true when the day is winding down and I feel really hungry. Because, ladies and gentlemen, I have never, in the whole of my (rather respectably-long) life, been truly hungry. I may've missed meals, but always with the knowledge that - after sundown, or after I go to the grocery store, or when I meet my friend at the restaurant, I'll have all the delicious fresh well-prepared food I can manage.

I remember when my children were little, and they would say "When's dinner, we're starving!" It made me angry sometimes, because we didn't always have a lot of food (the result, usually, of unwise money management on my part) but we NEVER had NO food. I'd get huffy, they'd get petulant (don't you love petulant children?)

But at 6:45 last night, I cried. I thought about Africa. I thought about the Balkans and India and China. And I thought about Louisiana and Mississippi and northern Minnesota and Wisconsin and the Dakotas and I thought about all the places I don't know about in the world...in this country...where there are people who do NOT know that they're going to have a good meal after sundown. Or maybe tomorrow. Or maybe they don't know when they will. And I realize, again, that I'm pretty gol-durned blessed and lucky and however else you call it. And I do remember to savor my messy little house and my scruffy (and elegant) friends and my rowdy (sometimes) children and grandchildren.......and now I've gone all maudlin.

OK - enough of that. If I knew how to caption pictures (but at least I'm repositioning them, sort of!) the one of Evangeline would read "Not going to let you use this, Mom, it's Yom Kippur."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Yesterday I was at Barnes & Noble with my friend for our weekly "knit" (she actually crochets, but I think that's just fine, so there). As a result I finished the sage baby wrap pictured here - see also a shawl finished the day before AND the current "Toque Francaise". It'll be sent with the baby wrap to Colorado when it's done. Notice too, if you please, a copy of Crazy Aunt Purl's "Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair"!!

There we were, happily stitching and...well, at that moment there was no actual bitching going on. And my cell phone rang. It still takes me a minute to recognize the sound and remember that I have to dig it out and answer it. Lo and behold, it was the Lovely Daughter, saying she'd just read Crazy Aunt Purl's blog, and it said that her book was OUT (early!), and that it was ON THE SHELF at Barnes & Noble. I thanked her, said I'd get back to her - and tore down to the Knitting section. There are a LOT of books there - but I thought maybe it wasn't actually on the shelves yet, so I went to the Information kiosk. (I should say here that I was fully prepared to insist that they allow me into the back room to dig through unopened boxes of books until I found it.)

HOWEVER! As I was led back to the section by the Helpful Clerk-type Lady, I SAW it! Five copies, right there, face out, recognizable, looking just like the picture on her blog....I grabbed two instantly. Yes, yes, I know I have a copy coming from Amazon (I just looked and it says it hasn't shipped yet). One copy, of course, is for the Lovely Daughter and the other copy....well, when my Amazon copy comes, I'll give IT to my friend Ginny. I know she'll love it, and I want to give her a clean copy without my eyeball prints all over it.

Now then - today Mr Dearling took off for a few days' camping, hiking and nature enjoyment. He does this periodically. During this time, he's sleeping under the stars, stomping about in nature, enjoying his solitude and eating things sandwiches with potato chips IN them (I'm not making that up). And *I* am sleeping under a pile of books, cats and knitting, as likely on the couch as in bed. I'm eating things like shrimp, Amy's Cheese Enchiladas, or other things that are either a) something Mr Dearling's not overfond of; or b) something too expensive for two but reasonable for one person.

He had originally hoped to go to the Adirondacks, his favorite-of-all destinations; but he really didn't have enough time, so he's gone to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he can find beautiful woodlands and the Porcupine Mountains. They're not the Rockies, but they are wonderful, and it may be that the autumn colors are underway there. I can't imagine anything as wondrous as being in a forest at the height of autumnal color.

Now, for a long time there Mr Dearling was travelling to New York every month to care for his elderly parents. I was still working then, and every time he left, he'd send me flowers at work. EVERY time. My colleagues would say "Oh, where's he gone this time?" or "How do you rate?" or "If you die can I have him?" Since his parents' passing, he goes off less often, but to my surprise, as I put the car in the garage this afternoon (home from a long chinwag over delicious crepes with a friend), a delivery guy from our favorite florist followed me up the drive with these beautiful flowers!

So I can enjoy beautiful flowers while reading, knitting, snorgling cats and noshing. This is the life - and now I'm going to read. Note: in Colorado I got some DPNs that look like tortoiseshell. I started a pair of mitts on them yesterday, and in spite of their feeling pretty slippery, I find that they're EXCELLENT, and somehow they're really not so much less slick than the bamboo needles! Details later....

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Illustrations of Being Away

"Bird Woman" - Sacajawea, as interpreted in bronze at the Leanin' Tree Museum, and little Pomp sleeping happily in his cradleboard on her back. I've always loved her story - did you know that, when the Lewis & Clark party got to the lands of the Shoshone she stepped into the lodge of the headman to translate...only to discover that the headman was her beloved brother, whom she hadn't seen for years? Or that her son was educated in Europe and spent many years as the darling of foreign courts? It's said that, at the end, he returned to his mother's people and is buried among them.

Next we have the "this is not Wisconsin" mountains, which are silencing in their majesty. I can see Mr Dearling's passion, especially as he's been a climber; I imagine hanging there, pressed with the whole of one's body against the rocks, could create such a passion. Being more of a Taproot Person myself I feel that way about the forests - and home - but I understand that part of him.

I couldn't resist this: we stopped one morning at the Golden Arches for breakfast, which we .... well, we just don't. Ordinarily, even while travelling, we don't stop at a squat-and-gobble until lunch time, as my morning cuppa suffices for me; we're not big breakfasters anyway as a rule. (And yes, I know all the stuff about it being the Most Important Meal. Shut up.)I have to admit, though, that warm, sticky, sweet sort of cinnamon-bun-y thing was tasty, I was glad they provided a fork (you'd need a bath after digging into that mano a mano) and you can see that I began my first concession to autumn, the annual reading of "Harvest Home". It's not like there aren't enough books to never repeat a read, but that just sets me up. I may have mentioned before: there IS a movie made from this. Do. NOT. Watch. It. Or...don't watch it if you a) have ever read the book; or b) never will read the book. It has to do with Bette Davis, a sterling actor if ever there was one, being cast dead wrong to play the Widow Fortune. Think Jack Nicholson playing Harry Potter. Or don't - but you get the picture.

I did NOT finish the baby wrap, in spite of knitting all the way home; I also did not finish the toque, likewise. But both are near completion and will be sent off together before too long. I take the toque along if I'm going to need to watch or pay attention to wherever I am, as I'm still in the "no-need-to-watch" stage (plain old straight knitting on the circulars, if that makes sense) and I am in the end stage of the wrap. I'll photograph both before they go......and now I can "return to your regular programming" and carry on with the Daily Doings at Chez Moi.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Slow Learner....

OK - I started my last post a few days ago, forgetting that the day you START is the date on which it will APPEAR on the blog. So for the last posting, please read the one labelled "September 8" and pretend it's today. The 13th. Does that make sense? I WILL get the hang of this, I will, I will, I will.........

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New France in Longmont

The morning after the weddin we packed up and headed for Longmont (a short drive) to spend the day with our friends.

No sooner is my seatbelt fastened, I'm knitting - the baby wrap is unfinished, and here we are headed for the Intended Recipient. Well, she's too young to be upset about it, I am cranking along and even if I wind up finishing it and sending it back I'll have the satisfaction of knowing it'll come in handy in the Colorado winter.

We found the house easily (have I mentioned that Mr Dearling reads maps like other people read magazines, and has an unerring sense of direction?)

Now, we refer to this young man as our "nephew"; he and two other like young lads, all comely, bright, creative and interesting, are fellow Living Historians. We've "adopted" them.

When we came in, we sat down, started talking - and did not stop for twelve hours. Mr Dearling referred to it later as "the 12-hour brunch" and it was! We caught up, we looked at pictures, we discussed books, other friends, Colorado.

The highlight for me was meeting our "great-niece" Aspen. (This picture is going in a frame for my niche at the Museum, by the way.) Oh - and I cannot tell a lie: I shamelessly, whole-heartedly, unabashedly fell in love with another guy too. That would be Roquefort, seen in bliss with his ladies.

Roquefort is a Papillon, and a sweeter member of the canine family I cannot imagine. Jas tells me Papillons are "lick-y"; I prefer to think he loved me back and was kissing me. He's a small dog but has such personality, and he's portable, and I think he's either a tiny person or a cat in the body of a little Butterfly Dog.

During the course of the day, incidentally, they provided delicious comestibles - tomato & mozzarella salad, crusty French bread and wine...and later, Coq au Vin as good as any found anywhere, period. A more delightful day would be hard to imagine, as it had all the components: good friends, good food, companionship, a sweet baby...and Roquefort! I DID, of course, keep knitting. Didn't finish, but I WAS knitting!

We slept very comfortably there...I'd have loved for Roquefort to creep in with me, but he isn't a cat, and doesn't do that. I looked at my purse; I studied my knitting basket; I felt through my pockets - small as he is, Roquefort wouldn't fit. And besides, if he'd turned up missing when we left, I think they'd have known exactly where to look. But at least I had my fuzzydarlinganimal fix.

The next morning we set out for the Rest of the Vacation. What a delicious and terrific day, the Twelve-Hour Brunch!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Touch of Sad

I ADORE Autumn. I fall for Fall. Where some people get "the itch" for SPRING cleaning, I get it (well, at least what passes for it in me) in the Fall. It's an urge to tidy up and settle my nest in anticipation of Winter.

I love the colors of Autumn, I love the turning, changing trees, the gradual diminishment of the garden, the crisp and fresh days, the blue of the sky. I love getting out the long-sleeved shirts, shaking out the scarves and caps I knitted last year. I love shaking out the breathtaking long down coat with fur-trimmed hood that a friend gave me. I love lining up what I want to read on the long snowy nights over my tea or cocoa or melasaneppe (see below).

I adore scrounging through the stash and planning new knitting projects. I'm inspired by all the characters living in my head and waiting to emerge as children's stories. An occasional poem even creeps out of my brain.

The anticipation of the Fall is one of my most favorite feelings.I'd have to say it's equal to the excitement folks feel for Christmas in the best meaning of the Season.

But forever more, the first time I feel this wonderful anticipation, which I think of as "the Snap!", an almost-audible sound of the Wheel turning, the year changing - is touched with a single, bitter and deep little poignant pinprick of Sad. The joy of it all brings with it the Realization that it's September 11th. I don't "spend a moment of silence", I don't "bow my head in a moment of prayer". But I do Remember. I will always Remember.

I step briefly into a dark room in my mind, furnished with heavy dark furniture, heavy drapes, small candles offering sparks of illumination. The walls are filled with heavy dusty books as far up as the eye can see; maybe the ceiling is Heaven. And while I'm in that room, I think of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon on That Day, the field in Pennsyvlania. I also think about John F. Kennedy. And the submarine "Thresher", the shuttle "Challenger".

And I remember Christmas Eve, 1963. I spent the evening with Peggy, my BFF (we didn't say that then, of course). And late, after we'd gone to bed, the phone rang. Her father (with whom she lived) answered it. It was for me, and it was my brother-in-law, telling me that my father was gone. It was a heart attack. He was 52. That was the deepest sadness of my life. I think about all those things in the Dark Room of my Mind. And today I thought about all of those things. It's September 11, and a lot of us are visiting our rooms today.

"Melasaneppe": to a cup of boiling or very hot water, add pure 100% maple syrup "to taste" (in my case, 'til it's the color of strong tea). Stir. It's the most energizing, refreshing beverage, hearkening back to the Shawnee peoples of the East.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Walk in the Woods....

Did I mention that Mr Dearling loves the mountains? The rest of our Colorado vacation was spent driving a long distance over those amazing twisty-turny-switchback-y roads, UP until the air is thin and then DOWN (remembering the descriptions of my OTR Driver sons, who weren't delighted with the scenery on these runs). I sort of plastered my face against the window, opened my eyes as wide as possible and drank in this exotic, foreign, stunning and unWisconsin vista.

We finally came to rest at a trailhead. It was a beautiful day - warm enough to be comfortable, slightly overcast. Mr Dearling got himself set and headed out for a proper Hike. (He walks between 7-10 miles a day at home most of the time, but it's through town and nothing like this.) He'd looked forward to the moment for a while.

I, in the meantime, was also ecstatic: I found a picnic table in the shade and arranged my book ("Wendy Knits") on the little bookstand, got out my baby wrap, arranged my honey-nut granola bar thing, looked around (see above) - and began knitting and reading. Then I realized I had a Little Friend. "Sooooo...what are you reading?" he said, "and more to the point, what's that you're eating?"

"Uhm...a honey-nut granola thing. Would you like some?"

Fast-forward a couple of hours. I had knit about three rows, read the same page five times - and fed a whole BUNCH of my little friend's little friends and half the population of the park of nine-line ground squirrels and chipmunks. Fed them the rest of my granola bar - and a large bag of walnuts, diligently broken into teensy bits. ("The WHOLE bag of walnuts???" said Mr Dearling. "Welll...yeah," said I.) It really was amazing; the birds and little fuzzies were bold. NOT fearless, and although they might have, I didn't try to feed them straight out of hand. But I didn't use the zoom lens, they were all within inches. I do, however, remember the saying of us Bear Aficianados: "A fed bear is a dead bear", by which we mean that animals who become so accustomed to humans as to lose their wariness can wind up in serious trouble.

When Mr Dearling returned we compared notes, and it would be difficult to say which of us enjoyed the time more. If the right combination of factors came together he would move out there - or to New Hampshire, Vermont, Upstate New York - in a heartbeat. He used to climb in the Shawungumk {sp?} Mountains near New Palz; he says with pride, "Oh yeah, I was a Gunkie Junkie". And truth to tell? If his terrain was covered with trees and forests, I could move just as fast.

On the way back to the motel we came to an area where there were a few cars pulled off the road and having Snoopy Genes as keen as the next one, we pulled over too. It was just the barest sinking of light - and there, in the large meadow and deep forest, were two young male elk cavorting and stomping around in a creek. There were a couple of females ambling around looking unconcerned. I couldn't actually see from that distance, but I'm sure they were peering out the corner of their eyes and saying to each other "Don't you think the tall one's cute?" and "Does this angle make my butt look big?"

Then - as we stood there ("we" being four or five people and two ranger-looking ladies who were, it turned out, volunteer Elk Rangers, knowledgeable folks who manage traffic control in such instances and provide no end of fascinating facts about their charges) - a huge bull elk emerged from the deeps of the forest. He strolled along, bearing his enormous antlers high. The elk-boys noticed but kept their distance; the ladies looked, if possible, less concerned ("Oh nuts, I KNOW it makes my butt look big" "But Sylvie, we're elk, that's a GOOD thing.") And twice, as we watched, the bull elk bugled - short, wavering tones which the Rangers told us are practice tones; the actual full-throated "I mean business, c'mon punks, gimme your best shot" bugling would start in a couple of weeks. It was exciting...no, thrilling...no, more than all of that. I found myself whispering to him "Megwetch" -the Chippewa word for "Thank you". I have some pictures, not so good, but I'm going to do another post today of a bunch o' pictures and see how that works.

The next day Paul took another hike and I stayed in the motel room; not as nice a view, but it was drizzly and I had my computer, the TV, my books, my knitting....

The last of our time in Colorado included a stroll through Estes Park (where our motel was). We found a spectacular shop serving coffees and stationery! To my forever delight I found a new daybook exactly like the one I have this year, which I LOVE and haven't found anywhere at home. Also in our conversation with the pleasant young proprietor I mentioned being a calligrapher (and therefore a lover of papers and blank books and pens) and he said if I were ever in the area for any length of time to consider myself hired to teach! Ooooh...yeah, I could surely do that. We also spent some time sitting on a scenic bench by a small grassy park - in which there were four female elk! Square-splat in the middle of town! They were lying on the grass, enjoying their cuds, as people stood around taking pictures. ("Point your nose straight at 'em, Stella - otherwise your ears look too big".) I was relieved to see that no one, in spite of their docile appearance, approached too close to them. For they are BIG and carry Sharp Hooves.

The next day we began our wending-homeward...but Mr Dearling, living up to his name, made a point to stop in Loveland and Greeley armed with yarn shop addresses! In one I found that pet skein of alpaca (which is dozing on my desk); in another, three pair of DPNs, one looking like bone and two looking like tortoiseshell..did I mention that before?

We stayed in North Platte overnight, continued our trip home, arriving Saturday evening. Today - being Thursday, I am contentedly Tucked Back In. I will now resume your regular programming, including What Evangeline and Lilliane are up to; What I'm Knitting; and What I'm Reading.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

We Came for a Wedding...

The wedding, on Sunday, was simple but elegant. The reception was at a posh hotel in Boulder, beginning with the cocktail hour (or "time to eat little munchies" where we come from) on the outdoor terrace with a stunning view of the Flatiron Range.

Now, I knew we had a wonderful dinner coming, and even though I was hungry I had determined to go easy on the wee munchies (hors d'oevres to the pinky-up crowd). The first little tray to come around had tiny pieces of seaweed with "tuna tartare" on and a dab of something tasty. I'd never had the tuna before, and I really liked them. Managed to stop at two. I love trying new things, but harbor the secret dread that I'll pop something in my mouth and go "GAAAGH" and let it roll off my tongue into my lap while scrubbing, teary-eyed, at my tongue with my napkin, Mr Dearling's shirt-tail and the tie of the guy next to me. Fortunately Breeding Tells and I've never had the experience.

The next Handsome Lad who came around with a little silver tray blew my resolve. He had spears of fresh asparagus with some sort of something good around the bases which were then wrapped in prosciutto. I believe I politely, delicately and elegantly shovelled about six of them in before the chimes (which sounded like the old "N-B-C" chimes) announced seating for dinner. To my credit I did not actually stick out a foot and trip the guy with the asparagus. I AM a lady.

Dinner was as anticipated. I had filet mignon and Mr Dearling had chicken, so we could trade bites. We did, once...and then I finished up my steak with minimal smacking of lips. The cake was cut and the dear newlyweds earned my respect by tenderly feeding each other a taste, representing (as I understand it) their willingness to feed one another, body and soul, throughout their lives together. NOTE: I don't know where the smash-cake-in-the-face deal started, but I find it altogether offensive, ugly, destructive and mean, and it often seems to end up with a beautiful wedding gown stained with frosting and a bride bravely trying not to cry. I was much relieved to see that our young relatives apparently saw it that way too.

Incidentally, it was very good indeed that we came; Mr Dearling's cousin (father of the groom)is very sensitive, and he was deeply moved that Mr Dearling represented the only blood relative in attendance excepting his sister. I was very pleased we were there, delightful company, darling couple and asparagus spears notwithstanding.

Monday morning we got up and prepared to go to Longmont to visit our young friends, whom we had not seen in quite a long time, during which they had gotten married, lived and taught in France for a time, returned to Colorado and had a baby girl! We were very excited, to say the least.

Because I still don't have this picture thing down very well, I'm writing about this trip in lumps, in order to insert appropriate pictures; therefore, the Longmont section is coming next. However -- to say that this is a beautiful and inspiring part of our country is to do it a disservice. It is so much more than that.....I am convinced that one could find the Land of One's Heart's Desire within the borders of America, no matter what that might be.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Travelling, Day One!

So we're TRAVELLNG! I'm actually writing from our motel room in Ogalalla, Nebraska (I love to say that; it's a tribal group of the Lakota nation). The picture is earnest. No no...I mean, it's EARNEST. That's the dog's name. (Look at that face, could it be anything else?) We're using the Subaru, which is "my" car at home (although I adore our Toyota, but that's another story), and Earnest sits on the dashboard and nods wisely when I cuss out other drivers, and holds onto parking-ramp tickets for me, and shrugs innocently when I say "Oh great, are we lost?"

I did, as usual, stay up all night packing the night before we left, so I lost Many Valuable Hours of knitting time sleepingin the car. NOTE: I'm actually writing in the morning of Day 2, details of which will follow when it's been accomplished. So we drove all day, stopping only for gas/bif breaks, a nosh at Wendy's about 3:00, and then last night we enjoyed a wander through Wal-Mart in North Platte. Mr. Dearling wanted an eyecover because he forgot his (near as we can tell, that's the only thing forgotten!) I found a beaded eyeglass chain, which is prettier than my usual, and we got a couple of other things.

Had one amazing experience, though: I have decided I like wearing little kerchiefs on my head to keep the wispies out of my eyes. They have neat calicoes at W'Mart, so we went and I found six pretty ones,and on sale. We took them over to the cutting table to buy one yard of each, the idea being that I could cut 36" squares, the right size to use. Mr. Dearling asked the clerk if she would please, after cutting off our yard, square them and make one more cut so I'd have the squares right away; of course we were buying the whole piece.

She said NO! She flat refused to make one more cut on fabric we'd bought, one little scissors action. REFUSED! And may I say, had a smug and sassy face on when she said it. I was all for just walking away at that point; as it was, I gathered up three of the bolts and put them back; she cut the goods from the other three and we walked away. I was FURIOUS. I mean........ {fanning myself} OK, think peaceful thoughts. Let it go. But if she drops a bowl of raw eggs on the floor and then her toilet overflows, don't look to me.

Well, the rest of the day was fine. We found and checked in here, and I'm glad to say we're staying at Super 8s the next two nights too, in Westminster, CO (near the site of our wedding doings, &c). I LIKE THIS! The room is very nicely appointed, there's a cunning little one-cup coffee pot with a disposable "basket", which worked brilliantly when I simply replaced the instant coffee packet with my Double Bergamot Earl Grey, and as you can guess by my being *here*, the wireless works terrifically. it SAYS it's a low signal, but it's certainly strong enough.

But it's time for me to pack up, we have a few miles to go today (3 hours' worth or so) and I'm well-rested and have some Power Knitting to do. Today is the barbecue at the Happy Couple's house and Mr. Dearling will get to see his cousin (a terrific guy) whom we haven't seen since, maybe, my dear in-laws' (of blessed memory) 50th wedding anniversary. I'll write again tonight!

Blushing admission: as much as I love our forays into the 18th century, and primitive camping, cooking over my fire, &c---I'm enjoying this modern stuff and motel and hot shower and indoor plumbing and tea....and wireless access. Just sayin'.