Monday, August 27, 2007

Summer weaving experience

Well would you look at that, my scarf is finished. It took me all summer and I am so proud of it! I made just a few errors that I didn't catch and reweave while it was still on the loom. I actually made many errors that I went back and fixed while it was still on the loom, but I missed a few. Now it is washed and the yarn softened up quite a bit, Lou (my teacher) says if I didn't beat it so tight it would be softer yet. I am sad that with my school schedule I will not be able to continue the class , maybe in a couple of years after nursing school is done. I did begin to wind on a warp for some cotton dish towels. I got the 370 ends wound onto the back beam, but I still need to thread the heddles and sley the reed (don't you just love the vocabulary). Weaving at home I will miss the camaraderie of my fellow weavers. There is something to be said for sitting in a room full of looms to transport you back in time to another era when groups of women actually did this. The sound of many treadles, beaters and shuttles clacking made me imagine that I was living in another time when the pace of life was a bit more sane. I imagine I am in an ancient Celtic village weaving tartans and catching up on the village gossip. All around us the children are playing with scraps of thread and the young girls are learning to spin and weave too, we can hear the sheep in the pasture and smell the bread baking in the village oven. Nevermind that we don't have flush toilets and we have to carry our water, let me live in that fantasy world for just a few hours a week.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm a two college student

So I didn't get into the physiology class or microbiology at DVC, but I did just hear that I am enrolled in the physiology class at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland that starts next week. YeeeHaaa! Now I know my schedule finally. I'm at DVC Tuesdays and Thursdays and at Samuel Merritt on Wednesdays. Mondays and Fridays are free for studying. Two colleges at once! how about that. At least now I can sing with the kids at St. Catherine's every morning, I was sad when I thought I wouldn't be able to do that. I love starting my day singing. St. Catherine's started this morning, Rose was very excited, and her best buddy started there today. Now she and Hailey will get to see each other every day even though they are in different grades. It feels good to have a routine to fall into. We love the long days of summer and sleeping in, but Rose was getting bored and she really does function better with a set routine that she can count on. Pat is off at school helping with freshman orientation at Alhambra. They start school next week, we picked up their schedules yesterday, and we had to keep reminding Joe that "school is fun! school is great! we love school!" he isn't anxious to go back, I guess it takes too much time away from his piano practice.

Yesterday I was in the line at the coffee shop at DVC which is inside the bookstore, the line was long and there were many students ahead of me. A young man with his hands full of a drink and some snacks walked up to the young student in front of me and said "you know, I could just walk out with this stuff" the door was right there and they had students checking people coming in and out. The boys just laughed and then this boy walked right out the door! nobody stopped him or even noticed (it was crowded and busy) except me! I was saying to the boy in front of me "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" and "he just did!" The young man in front of me just laughed, I watched the door and that young man stood outside and opened his drink and started enjoying it waiting for his friend in the line. After the one in front of me paid, I nudged him and said to him that he ought to give his friend a hard time for what he just did. I kept thinking that I should have said something to the cashier but I didn't. I walked past both boys as I walked out but neither of them would meet my gaze, and I didn't say anything. I already feel like every one's mother there rather than a student. What would you have done? should I have said something? Why is it so easy for people to just break the law, because they can? I find the whole thing rather discouraging.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Last hour of peace

There is this octagonal pool in the garden by the spa that is fed by the natural hot springs and surrounded by benches with foot baths in front of them. Here I sit enjoying the soothing water on my feet and the shade of the giant oak tree behind me. I am feeling quite blessed to have had two relaxing weekends away this month. I'm tring to store up this experience as we go into the fall. Fall always feels like a runaway train through Christmas. And I fear that this fall will be intense,with my heavy school load, Pat's college search and Brian's job on top of the usual shedule. I will just need to take good c
are of myself so that I can take good care of the rest of the family too. I think now about all the people who cannot get a break like this and my gratitude swells.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I can hardly knit, I am so relaxed from my trail ride this morning through the woods and the afternoon in the spa. This is the good life. Here is sock in the grand lobby waiting for ribbing. I am waiting for the other Clyne women to come back from the Jefferson hot springs. Maybe I'll just rest my eyes for a moment...zzzzz..

Heel trouble

Here is second sock, we just touched down in Roanoake, VA. We're here to surprise my sister-in-law for her birthday. A significant one but I won't tell you which one. My brother, Peter arranged it all at a resort in the mountains. I have been flying all night and this morning, so I got the foot and the heel done. I am not sure I like this pattern, the heel always ends up with some holes at the ends of the short rows even though I think I am twisting the stitches the way the pattern says to. Anybody have any pointers?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

t-minus 2 days

Two days from now I will be in school again, a week before Rose starts and 2 weeks before the boys start. How can that be fair? I should be in physiology, microbiology, nutrition and interpersonal communication. Some of you know that I decided to go back to school to get a nursing degree, (read looming college tuition) and it has been more than an education so far. I am trying to take care of my prerequisites at the local community colleges(DVC, Los Medanos, and Contra Costa College), however the classes I need fill before I am allowed to register for them. You see, I fall into that group of people that is disadvantaged because we aren't discriminated against. I have a BS degree already so I only need a few (in high demand) classes, thus I do not have many hours under my belt at the community college, I have enough money to pay for school (it only costs $20/ credit hour) so I am not economically disadvantaged, I can read and write without any disability so I am not learning disadvantaged, and I have a working husband so I am not a displaced homemaker. All those people get to register for classes before I do. Physiology and Microbiology were full when it was my turn to register at all three community colleges in my area. For the next several weeks I put the registrars office on my cell phone speed dial and every time I picked up the phone I called them first to see if someone had dropped and I could get in. WooHoo ! by the end of June I got on the waiting list for both classes. Now 2 days before classes start I am 6th on the waiting list for physiology and 3rd on the waiting list for microbiology. I emailed the professors to see what my chances are for getting in, should I purchase the books yet? They said no, last semester only the first 1 or 2 people on the waiting list got in. AAAAHHH!! I drive over to the Samuel Merritt College website and see that they have posted their Physiology class for the fall, it starts in 2 weeks, and meets on Wednesdays and online (it is a hybrid class). It would fit with my nutrition and communications class. I print the application, send it in with my $35 app fee, and email the professor to see about space. The BIG problem with this class is the cost, $1300 plus books compared to $80 at DVC. But a good thing about the Samuel Merritt class is that it doesn't start until 1:30 in the afternoon and is only 1 day (albeit a loooong one) a week instead of 4 days a week starting at 8 am at DVC. I would be able to still sing with the kids at St. Catherine's everyday, and Rose would only have to go to after school care 1 day a week instead of 4. (I don't really need the micro class if I apply to the 1yr nursing program at Samuel Merritt, I already have a BS in micro, I just wanted to refresh; after all I graduated in 1980!) This should be a no brainer, I should just spend the money for an easier schedule. I am constantly fighting my Scottish genes that balk at spending the money for convenience if there is something cheaper. So I wait. T-minus 2 days. I still don't know what my schedule will be or which school or schools I will be attending.
I am off to my last weaving class, I am glad I was able to squeeze weaving in this summer, it has been a blast. I hope to get my loom warped today for weaving some kitchen towels at home. Tonight I study, study, study, for my last quiz and my final in Life Span Development. I'm glad this online class is almost over. If I take the final tomorrow I get an extra 20 points for doing it early, to me it is worth it.
There is still the house to paint...........

Thursday, August 9, 2007

crazy disaster scarf

I have been working on a beaded scarf kit that I bought at Stitches this year. It is called Gilda, from Twisted Sisters Knitting. The yarn is their Rayon/Cotton called Mirage, and you knit beads into the scarf as you go. First you string beads onto the yarn, the directions say to string 7 strands of beads on. I happily knit along following the directions, a fairly simple pattern, moss stitch with a bead every 5 stitches. At the ends each panel is scalloped by sliding 10 beads between the panels, then 9 then 8 etc... Like so:

It was all going just fine until I ran out of beads with about half of the scarf left to knit. AHH!
so I unraveled the ball of yarn remaining and started stringing on more beads. (My friend, Char gave me a floss threader that works much better than the copper wire I was using) I slid the beads along the yarn toward my knitting then, the yarn broke! Beads went everywhere, in my lap, between the couch cushions, on the floor........ now it all is a big messy disaster. I am about ready to just shove it under the couch and pretend I never started, beaded scarf? what beaded scarf? I've always wanted to try beaded knitting. Maybe I'll forgive it tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

pickles keep me from knitting

Brian has been growing pickling cucumbers this year, so every few days now a basket of them appears on the kitchen table. I could ignore them, I've tried that, but they just get all moldy and icky and I have to throw them in the compost pile and that goes against my grain. So I make pickles. I've made several batches of bread and butter pickles, and different recipes of dill pickles. (he also finally got some dill to grow in our yard too) Someone gave me a recipe for Hungarian sun pickles, but I just couldn't bring myself to try it. It calls for alum, and leaving the pickles out in the sun for three days. I've tried just the standard kosher dills, and also some that you don't process at the end but store in the fridge. I am hoping that these are more like the refrigerator pickles we sometimes buy.
It takes a couple of days to make a batch because the first step is always salting or brining the cucumbers overnight.

here are some cucumbers salting with onions to make the bread and butter pickles. The dill pickles get soaked in a salt water brine without onions.Here are the ingredients gathered for the dill pickles. Cucumbers, salt, dill, pepper and garlic.

both the bread and butter pickles and the dill pickles get packed with a hot vinegar brine. The bread and butter recipe has sugar, turmeric, pepper, and mustard seed.
Here are the bread and butter pickles getting heated in the brine.then they get packed in sterile jars, the dill pickles get packed cold and have hot brine poured over them, the bread and butter pickles get packed hot.

Then they get processed in the boiling water cannerand voila! jars of pickles!
Today I am making another batch of bread and butter pickles. I have given away a few baskets of cucumbers too, let me know if you want some. We are eating the traditional cucumber and tomato salad too, but I think Brian is just about ready to pull out the plants and move on. Tomatoes are not coming with the abandon we are used to, it has been a troublesome year for them. But that is another blogstory........ At least I have my weaving class today so I will get to fondle some fiber.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Here is sock at the ocean. My bff Sheila has brought me to Fort Bragg for my belated birthday tradition. It is the most lovely afternoon. Shopping in Mendocino, some local seafood for lunch, and soon some more for dinner. A couple of girl movies and here we have a great recipe for my beach getaway. Wish you were all here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

the daily sock

We had dinner with our pal Kristi and finally got to meet her boyfriend Javi. Here they are, Javi looks a little bewildered about holding sock, but that is half the fun of traveling with a sock project. Kristi served us a fabulous lasagna and an unbelievably good peach crisp. I tried making a peach pie the next night and was terribly disappointed. It must have been the peaches. Javi works at the Berkeley Bowl and so Kristi always gets the BEST produce.

Poor sock has been dragged around to many events this week, dropping the old Mercedes off for repair, many rows knitted since the shop wasn't open when we got there, Rose at the orthodontist getting her spacers, a few rows here, watching our goddaughter Katy perform in Grease, a few rows there, waiting to pick up Joe at drivers ed, and a few more rows everywhere. Here is Rose this morning when we stopped for a much needed latte (for me) after shopping for her school supplies.

a few more rows while sipping and chatting. This sock is just about done. I love shopping for school supplies and so do the kids. They always look forward to the new school year, it is great to start off with fresh new markers and notebooks, and a brand new supply box. Besides it is the only time of year you can find folders for 10 cents and binder paper 10 for $1. It appeals to the Scot in me.