Sunday, January 30, 2011
Okay, last time I wrote about what a fun little snow overnight that I had with my buddy from work. And I know some parts of the country have it far worse - winter has been a real bear this year for folks nearly everywhere.
But honest to Pete, it's getting pretty wearing already. January is really locking us in very cold temps and threats of major "snow events" not to mention ice. Which is worse? Not sure. Snow is pretty and sparkly the first few times and then it gets annoying. Still I'd ten times prefer winter over summer. We had ONE warm springlike day (yesterday) where it got up in the 50's - that was a mere tease, because winter is returning with revenge.
The thing that most annoys me about winter is that everytime I plan to go someplace, my plans are subject to derailment. Like last weekend when I was going to an Artyarn workshop in Harveyville, KS, I ended up coming home early. Scardy cat of being stuck in the middle of Kansas with an ice threat. (Plus I missed sleeping in my warm bed - as you get older and more set in your ways, you miss your own house more than you might imagine).
Anyhow, I attended one day of Jacey Boggs' artyarn class and then came home Saturday night - so I missed the whole second day of class. The day attended was great - well the instruction was at least. I had a bit of technical difficulty, when the little piece that acts as the delta orifice flipped off Rhoda the Roadbug (my spinning wheel) and I didn't have any superglue to reattach it. That's all it would have taken - a few drops of superglue. So note to self: add superglue to my spinning supplies.
At least I had a chance to experience Nikol's delicious cooking. Someday that girl is going to come out with a Yarn School cookbook, and when she does, by gosh, I'm going to get it. Nikol is the owner of the school and host to those of us who visit.
Here's my friend Christine, who was kind enough to drive us to Harveyville.
I learned a lot about art yarn - which is now more appropriately called "textured yarn" - Jacey's term and I like it better than "art yarn" because textured yarn is really what it is. It's all art yarn right, we're all fiber artists making art? But some of us try our hand at making big, funky, yarn with texture. I don't honestly know how much I'll be spinning this type of yarn in the future, because I tend to more traditional yarn. But then again, it really does help make you a better spinner overall to learn new techniques. Plus, I love corespinning.
I see much, much corespinning in my fiber future.
So now as we face this next week - with a long three days of extended "snow and ice events" leading into my work week, I wish you all a nice fire to curl in front of with your spinning wheel, favorite novel, or kntting/crochet project. Enjoy and try not to get too stressed about all the activities you are missing. This will just help us appreciate spring all the more when it DOES come, right?
Thursday, January 20, 2011
It was a really slick and BIG storm - the roads were a mess. Luckily I'd packed some extra work clothes in my car for just this kind of snow emergency. My plan was to stay at a nearby hotel, as I've sometimes done before. But a coworker friend of mine, Diane, invited me stay at her house overnight. I was reluctant to do this, because frankly, it just felt "weird" staying at someone's house - encroaching on their personal space. But she insisted she didn't mind - so she drove me home.
Let me just say, it was a fantastic idea. We had a blast! What is usually a hum-drum mid-week evening turned into one of the most spontaneous FUN sleepovers I've ever had since I was ten years old.
We started by cooking a delicious casserole for dinner. It was a recipe she'd never tried but had found on the internet. It's called "Fiesta Chicken Casserole." It has chicken (we used frozen chicken), salsa sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, black beans and Campbell's condensed chicken soup. The recipe called for pie crust as a topping, but instead, we decided on crumbled tortilla chips for a crunchy topping. Then we baked it in a 13 X 9" casserole dish for 40 minutes. It came out SO delicious! Piping hot comfort food, and I bet it could be made to be less fattening by choosing the low-fat versions of the ingredients. My kind of cooking, inexpensive, and delicious.
Since she likes to sew, she showed me gifts and things she's made for family members. She is a really craft-oriented kind of person that can make fancy gift packages with a theme. She makes diaper cakes for expectant mothers full of all sorts of baby stuff. And she makes just really clever things. I enjoyed sitting in her sewing room and brainstorming cute sewing, knitting and quilting ideas - she doesn't know how to knit (yet) but I have a feeling our craft obsessions might rub off on one another eventually.
Her home is one of those homes that is just COMFORTABLE. From the moment you step in, you feel at ease. Not fancy - just clean, comfortable and welcoming. Before night fell, we watched the birds as they scurried from the snow and into her bird feeders. She has different feeding stations for different birds.
Then after dinner, we sat up and watched her favorite sit-coms - her current favorites are "The Middle" and "Hot in Cincinnati" - while we watched, I snuggled in a warm blanket on her couch and finished knitting the Gimme Five Vest from an old issue of Knitters that I was finishing up using some art yarn I spun. I haven't had time to block it yet, but here's an idea of what it looks like. Pretty cute for a fast knit. It's a drop stitch design.We stayed up until 11:30 just giggling, talking and watching the snow fall down, covering the deck, the driveway, the road. It was a real hen party. She had a comfy guest bedroom for me and a guest bath - just perfect.
The roads weren't well plowed in the morning, but by afternoon, the streets were clear so I could return home. But I was SO glad I stayed with her rather than risking a long commute at best, or an accident at worst.
And this snow slumber party also made me glad I'd said "yes" to one of those serendipitous
opportunities to open up my world to happy everyday adventures.
Friday, January 14, 2011
It was so fun to escape sub zero temperatures and 5 inches of snow to go away to Vegas and just step off the everyday world for a while. The glitz, the glamour, the "over the top" nature of Vegas was just what our heads and hearts needed right now.