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Archive for April, 2008

I took my daughter to her university for an accepted students open house yesterday.  It was a VERY long day, filled largely with “Yes, this is the greatest university in the universe and you will be so happy at this most awesome of universities”.

At the lunch break we got a sandwich and headed outside to sit by the pond and soak in a few rays.  There was a young woman with a gravelly voice and a guitar belting out Janis Joplin tunes.  I looked around.  No granny glasses, afros, peace symbols or (thankfully) Nehru jackets were in evidence, but other than that it could easily have been the 70’s…and when my daughter takes her daughter to college she will most likely sit by the requisite collegiate body of water and hear someone singing an ancient tune from 2008 and look around and think, does this place ever change?

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We are all wandering around like sleep deprived zombies lately thanks to a lonely female duck who has taken up residence in our pond. I’m assuming she lacks that “je ne sais quoi” that attracts male ducks, since poor Ugly Betty swims around the pond honking forlornly – and is still alone. Unable to avail herself of ducky liposuction and a beak job, she’s forced to strut what she’s got. If you’ve ever heard a duck call – you know, that really loud “Wack” sound they make? – That, it seems, is what she’s got.

While I pity her plight, I just wish that she didn’t start her search quite so early in the morning. Who knows, maybe the male ducks don’t want to get up that early either.

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We had one of our neighborhood block parties last night.  I live on a wicked curve of a busy street rather than in one of those bucolic neighborhoods with windy, interconnected “ways” that require a GPS navigation system to find your way out.  I generally see my neighbors en masse only when there’s an accident – which is rather frequent.  Last winter a Jeep, driving too fast on the ice, jumped the curve and crashed into my house and totalled my car.  Another car lost control and took out a neighbors fence…we don’t do fender benders.  Last nights bit of excitement involved multiple strike zones.  A van hit the telephone pole in front of my neighbors house taking out its front bumper – but then, that pole tilts into the street and everyone hits that.  The car continued to squeal down the street with the bumper  crunched up under the tires, swerved up onto the sidewalk a few houses down, careened into a stone wall on the other side of the street and came to rest in the middle of the street, it’s driver madly burning rubber in a vain attempt to keep driving.  The police were there almost immediately, ordering the driver to shut off the car and get out – but they weren’t nearly as fast as the neighbors who were already gathered on the sidewalk by the car.

We discussed our relief that the neighbors new fence was still intact, checked that noone’s cars had been damaged and that all pets and loved ones were safe and accounted for. We shared a bit of small talk, pointed out to the police officer that the accident had actually started further up the street and blended back into our homes and our lives.

We all seek our own level of community and, for those of us on this busy thoroughfare, this is ours.  We know each other and share a communal interest in the well being of all, but we don’t intrude.  If someone has a serious need, our little community is there.  Otherwise, we wait for the next midnight gathering.

We had a young family move into one of the 5 houses on our block a few years ago.  The woman came around visiting us all, got to know all the neighbors on the surrounding streets and decided to throw a real block party.  We should all come to her house, drink beer, eat burgers and have a wonderful time together.  We all thanked her and politely declined.  They sold their house soon afterward and moved to one of those neighborhoods with the windy streets, telling anyone who would listen that we were all a cold and unfeeling group.  We’re not.  We care very much about one another…we just don’t do beer and burgers.

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According to the Extinction Timeline (nowandnext.com), blogging will be extinct by 2024 along with the Maldives and spelling – which is pretty much extinct already.  Skinned knees and elbows are on their way out as well.  That’s not surprising at all, sadly.

At least in suburbia, my frame of reference, children are busy – oh, so busy.  They have very little time to just be children.  Where is their time to lay in the grass and stare at clouds or build a fort or chase frogs in a pond while they are rushing about to lessons, practice, playgroups, and day care?  It’s like ants, scurrying around grabbing crumbs, when the real feast is being held somewhere else.   We’re raising a generation of children who don’t know the inestimable value of a cardboard refrigerator box and who have no idea what to do with themselves on a sunny day.

My 15 year old son recently built the ultimate coke and mentos gun with hot glue, PVC pipe and soda bottles…OK, he’s a boy and it’s a gun, but since it shoots relatively nonlethal diet coke I doubt that the future of the world is in danger.  The first few prototypes exploded on my porch and he got drenched in the process.  It was messy and sticky and, from each attempt he learned something and the mentos gun evolved and got better.  I’ll take a messy deck and a sticky triumphant child who’s built something of his own over any slick afterschool class project on earth.

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I am truly in awe of knitting blogs. They always seem to get so much done. You know the ones…”This is a pic of the 500 skeins of yarn I dyed yesterday in my kitchen sink using onion skins and goldenrod and then, well, I just had to try it so here’s another pic of the lace shawl I made with them last night.” Sigh…

My current – ongoing – project is to get some chenille scarves woven for a craft fair on Mother’s Day. I used to weave hundreds of them in all kinds of designs and colors and travel the craft fair circuit, but times have changed. Here’s the latest one on the loom. It looks a bit like aquafresh toothpaste at the moment but the yarn is really soft and it will, hopefully blend together once it’s been misted and fluffed.

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Fiber…finally

I actually got a comment today…OK, it was spam from some sort of paparazzi website and it was exceedingly weird. I know it’s a long step from weirdo spammers to actual readers, but I felt that little feather of hope tickle my nose.

Weirdo spammers aside, I was going to finally get to the fiber part of the cafe. I’ve been a working fiber artist for the last 12 years, mainly a weaver and feltmaker. A few years ago, I started making pleated silk shibori scarves. As anyone who’s ever tried to actually sell their work will no doubt concur, making is fun – selling is not. I’m desperately tired of doing craft fairs, which is a whole rant in and of itself, and I’m trying to do more wholesale. To that end, I asked a fabulous photographer to take some close up shots of my scarves. She sent me her first efforts and they are gorgeous, so I thought I’d share them…I wonder if weirdo spammers like scarves?

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It’s pouring outside – like Niobe, all tears. My offspring are enjoying a school trip to New York City…broadway show, NBC studio tour, Ellis Island, shopping, eating out. Hubby and I had planned to take Roland (requisite cute puppy photo) to wander about on one of the beaches in Wells, ME to continue his lifelong search for disgusting things to eat. We were then going to follow this up with antiquing and lunch at Lord’s – my favorite lobster restaurant. BUT… Lord’s doesn’t open until the first of May, the children have used all the money and – did I mention it’s hosing? Perhaps it’s time to humiliate the cat in technicolor for his debut on Stuffonmycat.com – or maybe I’ll just take a nap. Have you noticed that putting stuff on your cat is somewhat amusing, but that its sister site, stuffonmymutt.com is just pathetic? Perhaps it’s the look in the cat’s eyes that says “I am going to shit in your shoes for the rest of my natural life” versus the dogs look of “That was fun sir, can I have some more sir”. I’d insert a clever image here, but I have no idea how to do that – yet.

But wait…the sun seems to be peeking out.  There’s hope for the day after all…

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