Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Whirlwind Tour of New England

And only bits of it, at that. I'd like to go back at and take a more leisurely pace through Boston, at least.

Our original reason for going was the annual meeting of the American Milking Devon Association, held annually in Tunbridge, Vermont. Tunbridge is a delightful town. We met in the Town Hall, next to the church.

After leaving the meeting in Tunbridge, we stopped at the birthplace of Joseph Smith (paging Carrie!) and visited the monument there.

At the bottom of the hill, we stopped at Dixie's. I believe there were eight tables inside, they only took cash, and they had the best turnovers I have ever eaten. Which cost $1.25. It is good Dixie's is not nearby, or I fear I would develop an addiction to her raspberry turnovers. Yum.

Continuing our (completely unintended) religious education theme for the day, we stopped at the Enfield Shaker Museum. Our guide was pretty funny, and tried to draw us into a discussion of national and local politics. Having no knowledge about the latter and being pretty tired of the former, we politely declined. In fact, I believe we played dumb, which is a more useful tool than you might believe.

The next morning, after church, we drove to Walden Pond, and saw a replica of Thoreau's house, and the pond itself. I was most struck by how quickly I could clean that house, leaving plenty of time for knitting. Of course, I'm not sure my yarn stash would fit. Or I'd have to choose between Paul and the yarn. So probably moving is not a good idea.

Sunday evening, we arrived outside of Boston, and the next morning we went on a whirlwind tour of the city. We saw the harbor

and the aquarium

and the Old Burying Ground

where Sam Adams is buried

and then a swan napping on the Boston Common.

We left the next morning, after deciding that the 12 hour trip home would be better split into two days. We stayed overnight in Seneca Falls, New York. (Thank goodness there was one hotel room left. One. We didn't have a reservation, and ended up in the handicapped access room, which is the same except more room between things and a very large shower. In fact, we liked it a lot.)

After breakfast in Seneca Falls, I realized that one of my favorite yarn dyers is in the Finger Lakes region. I couldn't remember exactly where, but I thought if we were really close, I'd never forgive myself for not trying. Figuring we were probably a couple of hours away, I decided to give it a shot anyway. A friend at home found their phone number on their website (thanks, Big Daddy!), and I called. We were only 15 minutes away. I was very excited, and Paul was very tolerant. :)

Here's a picture of one of the stockrooms at Schaefer Yarn. I nearly had the vapors.

The company operates out of an older yellow farmhouse, and I was able to watch some of the employees dipping yarn, and hand-painting yarn. I was asked not to take any pictures of the process, so I can't share any here. Lovely, friendly employees. I enjoyed myself very much.

We drove back to Seneca Falls later that morning, and went through the national park for women's rights. Here's a picture of me next to a likeness of Sojourner Truth.

If you've never read her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech, delivered in Akron, Ohio, you should go do that right now. (That's a link, for your convenience.)

That's about it. Hope you enjoy the pictures. I'm off to bake cornbread and chocolate chip blondies, and then take a nap.

P.S. Picturs? Ain't I an editor? Thank goodness for the edit function.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Big Secret

My friend Carrie has a dear daughter who was scheduled for heart surgery on May 1. I wanted terribly to DO something for them, but since they live eight states away (or more; I didn't count), I couldn't give them hugs or bring them food, which is my usual expression of love and concern.

So I thought about knitting something. A prayer shawl seemed like an okay idea, but not quite right for a five year old. I was stewing about it and not coming up with anything and coming right down to the time when I really needed to cast on or I'd never make it (and yes, maybe panicking a little), and I found the pattern for this.

(Modeled by a friend's daughter, since just lying there by itself on the couch it looked like the dog's breakfast.)

It's a Little Red Riding Hood cape. It's a costume, it's a toy, it's a warm hug, and it's a prayer shawl. I was very happy. (I was also very happy that it was well within my limited knitting skill set.)

Carrie is a loyal reader, so I didn't dare post anything about it before the package reached her. Happily, the mail was quick, and I found this picture on her blog.

Anyway, the Big Secret itself was physically small, but it was a big surprise for Carrie and her daughter. And it was perhaps my favorite thing I've knit so far, and the most fun I've had. It was a nicely done pattern, and easy to knit, but I think the secret was all the love and good wishes that were in my heart while I was knitting.

I am happy to report that Little Red Riding Hood came through surgery like a trouper, and the surgery itself was pronounced a resounding success. She'll be wandering through the woods for many many years, charming the teeth out of the big bad wolf, and spreading her special brand of love.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh, dear.

I realized that I never revealed The Big Secret. (Although the person most interested discovered it in her mail, so that's alright.)

And I haven't put up any pictures of our trip to New England.

I'm leaving the house in 15 minutes, so probably now isn't the best time. Tonight, though, or tomorrow. Swear.