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I am on vacation.  That is, I have a bit of time off between my summer job and the opera.  I am spending it by cleaning up the cat hair and cat gack that accumulated in my apartment over the summer.  That and napping.

Yesterday I accomplished part of my to do list by cleaning and mopping the bedroom and hallway.  Then I set out to run a few errands, kitchen restocking and whatnot.  I also planned to stop by the opera and check on some things and use the internet since I cancelled mine before I left and I needed to print out some receipts and that’s not possible at the other places where I can get online.  Then I was going to meet up with the Friday night knitters.

At the opera, my key would not turn in the lock.  This is not unusual because the door is out of whack.  But, it wouldn’t work in the other door either.  No access for me.  It is now past 5pm and if people are still there I don’t want to disturb them since I am not on contract yet anyway.

I head to knitting instead.  The coffee place we meet at is empty of knitters and there is no reserved sign on our table.  I am hot and bothered.  I order a smoothie and check Facebook on my phone.  Knitting cancelled.  I also attempt to check my opera email but either the password has been changed or I simply can’t type it in correctly on my teeny tiny phone keyboard.  Another fail.

I drive home.  It is hot and I have been in California all summer where it is hot but not so unbearably muggy.  My car works better if I don’t use the air conditioning in city traffic so I have the windows down, sweltering and breathing in car exhaust from the other vehicles.

Once at home, all I want to do is lie down in my cool apartment.  I proceed to the bedroom with it’s newly clean floor and behold:  fresh cat gack.

Clearly I was just supposed to stay home and nap.

Serendipity

I don’t have a bucket list.  I don’t have one because the most enjoyable, unique, and memorable experiences of my life have always been unplanned.  A list implies that one has a plan in place to do certain things, visit that place, have that experience.  I know having a list doesn’t mean one can’t also have spontaneous wonderful moments while pursuing one’s list, it’s just that for me, the much anticipated planned activity never quite measures up to the ones that just happen on their own, serendipitously.

Today the stars aligned perfectly and provided me with an unlooked for fortuitous opportunity and if I had a bucket list, I would now be crossing an item off.   I had dinner at Chez Pannise.   It was lovely, beautiful place, attentive staff, fabulous meal.  It was wickedly expensive and I may regret that later but not just yet.

Thanks, Leon, for aiding and abetting.

Numb

Balanced here,

Waiting to fall forward,

To dance in the sunshine.

Even to go  backwards, to slip

Plunging down, washed overboard,

Drowned in a sea of rage and tears.

Rising after the storm has passed,

Dissolved in pure light.

I am stopped here,

Above an abyss of nothing,

Waiting for happy.

It was a soggy, drippy sort of day.

My plan was to do some dyeing because my Etsy shop has been a bit more successful recently than I was prepared for and I am running out of stuff to sell.

This is the day because soon I will have multiple work projects beating me up begging for my attention and then presto!  I will be spirited away to that alternate universe that is my summer job.  In that world there is neither the time nor the means to create things for Etsy.

Since this is not my first time stirring the cauldron, I have the prep routine down.  Move everything I don’t want dye on out of the kitchen.  Get out my apron that covers from neck to knees.  Get out the utensils, the pot, the dye, the salt, and soak the blank white scarves in a clean dish pan in the sink.

Lilith, who feels very strongly that if I am in the kitchen then I should be feeding her, keeps getting under my feet.  I know that should I need to leave the room a nano second later she will be on the counter searching for edibles.  We have a difference of opinion about this and I banish her to the bedroom.  Imp wants to know why I have shut Lilith up in the bedroom.  Did she perhaps get a treat?  If so Imp wants in the bedroom too only not if I am going to shut the door.  Imp finally goes back to destroying her scratching pad while Lilith cries pitifully.

The first dye bath is successful.  I clean out the pot and get everything ready again.  I am using IDye which I like a lot because instead of a paper packet, IDye comes incased in a thin film that dissolves in hot water.  Nothing to open, just toss it in the pot.  No muss, no fuss, no tiny little dye particles floating in the air and landing precisely where I don’t want them to be.

This batch will be turquoise and I fill the pot, toss in the packet of dye, set it on the stove and sit down at the computer while the water heats up.

When the pot begins to make noise, I get up, get a scarf out of the dish pan and dip it in the dye.  I am doing an ombre technique so after a few dips, I suspend it on a hanger above the pot and move on to scarf 2.  I am moving the scarf to and fro in the dye bath when I notice a patch of something dark and gooey on the fabric.

In my eagerness to move on to the next color.  I forgot to stir the pot.  If I had I would have noticed that the packet had not dissolved yet.  It has deposited clumps of dye and whatever substance the packet is made of here and there on the fabric.  I haul both scarves out and frantically try to wash out the clumps with hot water.  While normally I use tongs and other tools to lift and move the fabric, this needs a hands on approach.  I am scraping the dye off the fabric with my nails.  I stir the pot.  The dye is still in big clumps.  I add the salt, which I also forgot to do and stir some more.  Finally I have everything back to what it ought to be and I am able to dye the rest of the scarves.

I let Lilith out while I clean up.  She isn’t happy, thinks she deserves to have her dinner a full 30 minutes early and starts banging her food bowl against the cabinet like an angry prisoner.

While trying to save my scarves from big blue blobs of dye, I managed to slosh dye everywhere.  Clean up takes some time, a lot of paper towels, bleach, and just when I think I have got it all, I find another spot.

But now I am running behind because I also have dinner plans.  My hands are a fetching  shade of zombie blue.  I am wondering what I am going to wear because it’s raining outside, we will be walking to the restaurant so  appropriate foot wear for the rain will have to dictate my attire and what goes with blue hands anyway?

I head for the bedroom to peruse the possibilities.  I step on something very squishy.  I take another step, more squish.  I look at the bottom of my shoe and there is the largest hair ball I have ever seen clinging to the bottom of it.  More paper towels, time, and elbow grease.

I have now dined, the scarves are drip drying in the bathtub, the cats have been fed, and we are all listening to the rain while safe and dry.  Unless I find another hairball or blob of dye, everything can wait until tomorrow.

One Sock, Two Sock

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I have now completed 2 pairs of socks.  The world did not end.  It was not a random phenomena.

What’s more:  I bought yarn on Friday to start a third pair.  I am designing this pair myself  and I am hoping it will look like a aran sweater for my feet, only in burgundy.

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Squoosh Fiberarts, Ultra Sock, superwash merino.  The color is Raison.

In other news,  the town I live in was featured in Travel and Leisure magazines as having one the most beautiful town squares in America.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-most-beautiful-town-squares/1

This is no surprise to anyone who lives here and anyone who knows me also knows that I love where I live.  I love that it feels like a small town even though it’s surrounded by the rest of Atlanta.  I love that the Library is half a block away, that I can walk to the bank, the grocery store, or any number of great restaurants, and that the Marta train will take me most places if my car is out of whack.  I love that everyone cares what happens here and that it isn’t such a big place that it’s hard to manage well.  And I love the Courthouse square and I’m thrilled that it was noticed.

Of course, I might not be so thrilled in a month or two when tourists start showing up to hang out here instead of going to the World of Coke or the Margaret Mitchell House.  When I can’t park in front of my building or get a seat at my restaurant of choice.  When the free concerts in the park or the Art Festival are so mobbed it’s better just to stay home.  Sigh, then I might as well go brave the crowds at the aquarium or the museum myself.

I guess it’s too much to ask to expect people to stay where you left them.  Even my keys sometimes wander off and because I need them I search everywhere, even in the unlikely places, empting closets, and leaving a trail of disruption to mark my path.  The keys always show up though, right where I left them.

A long time ago my path diverged, not through snowy woods, but certainly down a road less taken and my friends of those days went on down the path meant for them.  One I couldn’t stay on.

I didn’t hunt for them, like I do for my keys, because our paths had split too far apart, but now and then I wondered what they were up to.  Occasionally I uncovered a name I knew while searching the internet for something else.   Which is a bit like finding a key that goes to a house you don’t live in anymore.

Today I learned that someone, whose friendship from those days I cherish, died a few years ago.  The most comforting thing about this is that the friends we shared back then were all there for him during his illness and final days.  They are still there on their journey, having traveled together past many milestones, while I continued to see them in situ at the crossroads where we parted.

I can mourn who you were, the lovely, charming, playful man I left at that fork in the road.  It’s much, much harder to mourn the man you became, the one I didn’t get to meet.  That man who moved mountains and uncovered every stone searching for humanity’s past and then suffered through a long painful illness.  All I  know about him now is that he was well loved.

I originally started blogging because I wanted to write and blogging was less daunting than writing a novel. 

Now I know that writing a novel is a bit simpler than I used to assume it was.  Mostly you just need to do it and it helps to have a deadline.

This blog was originally about knitting in particular and life in general with occassional  interludes about my cats.  Because all the cool kids had knitting blogs and many of them had cats and some knitters with or without  cats are known to have exceptionally funny takes on life.

I still knit and I still have cats.  Sometimes I am even funny.  But I have come to the conclusion that what this blog is really about is Murphy’s Law.  Specifically, why this both amuses and befuddles me.

Why, for example, if I take my knitting, a book, and a bottle of water to the doctor with me, I am called to the exam room before I can even sit down but if I take none of these things I will be in the waiting room for 4 hours? 

If I take just the water, the bathroom will be around the corner and down the hall and I won’t be able to go because they will call my name while I am out of earshot.  I will then be there for 4 hours until I realize they thought I left and bring it to someone’s attention that why, yes I am, indeed, still waiting.

If I take just the knitting or just the book the nurse/office asst. will need to ask me lots of questions.  Or fill out lots of paperwork.  Or the office will be crowded with lots of sniffling but rowdy small children or some  loud family drama.  I will be interupted to give blood, get weighed etc as soon as I get into the middle of a row of knitting or after the first 1 or 2 paragraphs of the book.  I will have to frog everything I did while trying to ignore the family drama.  I will still have to wait to see the doctor.

I may have actually learned this lesson.

It only took you 60+ years

Because this morning I went in for a chest x ray.  I opened my bag and was deciding between reading and knitting when they called my name.  Less than 10 minutes later I was on my way.

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