Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Post-Holidays Wrap-up

Goodness, I've somehow managed to miss a month between entries again. It's been an eventful month, that's for sure.

Christmas Eve was spent decorating our tree here before Jim and I headed to Jersey to decorate the tree at Momolla and Daddum's place. There was warmth and laughter and cookies and the wrapping of many presents and then we all went to bed. Jim and I slept next to the tree all night, which was pretty cool. Christmas morning came, and as usual, I had to drag my family out of bed to see all the pretty presents and to have some fun. I even waited til dawn this year, I've no idea why they're always so grumpy.

Christmas morning was lovely, Santa was almost as good to us as we were to each other. Jim got the monitor he'd been begging for, and I got some amazing presents. Jim got me a spinning wheel! The rest of my family pitched in and bought me rovings and pretty fibers to play with and as soon as everyone had opened their gifts and there was even a little room, we started putting the wheel together. Without a picture. Or directions. It was an adventure, and eventually I left Jim and Daddums to figure it out together, since it made them so happy to have something to play with.

We eventually packed up and headed for home to spend some time with Jim's family. We hosted Christmas dinner this year, and because of our crazy work schedules and such, we didn't manage to get to the store to pick up most of our supplies. Of course, not a single grocery store was open on Christmas Day at all. I figured we'd still be all right, Jim's parents were bringing us a ham, at least. And oh, they brought us a ham. A Krakus ham. In a can. Now, forgive me dear readers for this, but I was horrified. I'd never even seen a real canned ham before. I had no idea how to cook it or what to do and so I might maybe have possibly been just the tiniest bit freaked out. Internally. It was still good of Jim's parents to bring us food. They're good folk, and I didn't want to be offensive. So, we had a pre-packaged Christmas meal. Between the canned ham, the canned beans, the boxes mac and cheese, and the canned corn, there was plenty to go around, though. And the meal was spent with people we love, so all in all, I guess that's one for the win column.

New Year's Eve was rather less than exciting. I stayed home and went to bed around eleven thirty because my boss decided that I wasn't allowed to take the week and some off that I'd requested a month ago. Why, I'm not sure; she gave me a bunch of lame excuses. So instead of going out or even celebrating at home, I went to bed feeling sorry for myself (i can't be noble and optimistic all the time) because Jim was in Jersey with friends having fun. I got through the night, and the day, though, and was told (through a text message, no less), that I could have the next several days off. I had to call my boss's boss to get this to happen, but hey a win's a win, right?

I spent last week sending out resumes and filling out applications online. I also had dinner with my parents twice, hosted dinner for various people twice, did a little knitting, found an awesome, huge bookstore not too far away, slept, went to a funeral for a friend's grandmother, and played with my wheel. Once it's not incredibly cloudy and gloomy and there's some decent light, I'll post a picture of the wheel for you. Maybe the crap I've been spinning, too, though my first batch of crap was used as cat toys. Mirri doesn't usually play with anything, but she loves the handspun yarn for some reason. And the wheel. She rubs up on the wheel whenever I sit down at it. And when I'm not there, she's sitting right next to it. She's just so damned weird.

And there you have it, folks. How I spent my winter vacation, an essay by Emily. I did some thinking and decided not to make any resolutions this year. Mostly, they don't stick. And I have my 101 in 1001, which I need to review and update. The only thing I would add or change at this point is to be kinder, both to myself and to the people around me. There's really not enough kindness out there right now, with everyone so uncertain and afraid of the economy and the future. This is the time when we need to band together and be good to ourselves and good to one another, and I think that's doable. And it needs to start here, now, with me.

There's not exactly a lot of knitting news to share at the moment, I've been absorbed with spinning, and learning the many things that can go wrong. Bells recently mentioned that she spun for an hour and a half the other day and forgot to take a break. I spin every day, but I have no idea what it's like to get that kind of wheel time in. See, my wheel lets me know when I need a break. She either snaps the yarn that binds her treadle to the driveshaft (i have a tendency to use automotive terms in reference to parts of my wheel, and it amuses momolla) or she launches the flyer across the room for no reason. My personal favorite, though, is when she slips the yarn off the hooks on the flyer and instead of winding onto the bobbin, it winds onto the shaft of the flyer instead and then ends up so tightly stuck I have no alternative but to cut it and spend lots of time swearing. It's been a learning process, it really has. I have the treadling motion down pretty well, and I'm starting to be able to spin while I treadle instead of parking and drafting, so that's good. The whole doing one thing with the feet while doing something else with the hands routine is not unfamiliar, so I think I'm starting with an advantage. Colleen says spinning looks peaceful. I defy her to sit behind the wheel and tell me that. Even once I got the motions down, peace didn't enter into the equation, just a kind of fierce concentration. Ah, well. It'll come eventually.

Sorry for the hugenormous post, guess I was feeling like chatting more than I thought. Time to go eat and get ready for work again. I hope your day and the rest of your week are peaceful and productive.


Galad said...

It's so good to get caught up on how your life is going. I'm certainly keeping my fingers crossed on the job prospects.

I already bugged you for news on your spinning wheel but now I have a better idea of the challenges. Hey - you've already created a cat toy which is more than some people ever do :-)

Rose Red said...

Sounds like a great Christmas (canned food and all). Spinning. I can't get into it! But I'm glad others do, so I can hear all about it from you guys!

Monique said...

I would love to sleep beside a christmas tree. I always think tat spinning seems a peaceful thing to do too. Thanks for sharing your good to me and others resolution em.

Bells said...

see i love that I can read your para about spinning now and have some notion of what it is you're talking about.

You, me and the zombies will be just fine, I think.

What a lovely Christmas!

Donna Lee said...

My yarn slips off the hooks,too and I have to take it all apart and unwind it and start over. Frustration. But, it is sooooo worth it. I'm proud of you for being a Wood Woman and dealing with the canned monstrosity for dinner. I knew you could do it. It's not the food that matters (although good food is nice,too), it's the company you eat it in.

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