Apologies...these are certainly in order. I don't post very often. I'm sorry. I have a lot of terrific ideas throughout the day but I am finding it difficult to choose a good time to sit down and put them into words. That said, I am going to try and bring Scott back into this thing as soon as possible to alleviate my own guilt. Plus, he's more interesting than I am. I do like posting though, and it feels good being in touch with all of you on a more personal level. So my plan is to get Scott back in here but continue to add a post of my own every now and then.
Also, we keep putting Chloe off, and she's getting ticked. It's funny, we have more time together these days, obviously, and yet it's difficult to find enough time still. We've promised her she can post in the next few days. We're hoping to make it a part of her lessons. Of course, we're hoping to do a lot of things. You know, things like being more organized, get up earlier, make it to farm markets during their open hours, make candles, and bike tours of America and Europe. You know, everything!
Onto other news...I have finally completed Chloe's handmade Christmas gift. Bless her heart, she has been patient and absolutely forgiving of my tardiness. Lucky for me, chillier weather has settled back into the area. (See, now that is an example of looking upon things positively.) The pic below shows Chloe modeling her new Cowl. She loves it, thank you very much. She thinks, and we agree, that she looks like our 'Little Gerbera of Lovliness'. My next project is a pair of wool socks for Scott. I have started them three times already. Each attempt is looking better but, let me tell you, learning to deal with four needles at the same time is a bit challenging for my stunted coordination. Whenever I master these things, and the term master is relative, (Thank you God that I will be giving them to someone who loves me and knows nothing of knitting.) I have my eye on some absolutely stunning wool yarn in muted blues and greens to make myself a sweater.
The best part of doing the socks so far is when I was thinking out loud about the pattern. I have decided to use the women's dimensions on the pattern. Scott is totally offended. I assured him that yes, I am still using the manly brownish green wool that he chose, and that no, I am not switching it out for the purple that I have left over from Chloe's cowl. However, his feet and legs are so damn skinny that I am worried about them falling off of him. I also had to assure him that, no I did not think he has "girl feet" and that I will add enough length (very important to males I've heard) that they will fit his manly feet.
We've also been doing a lot of reading around here lately. I recently finished The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I enjoyed it so much that I am now reading Drown, which is his first book. A large part of the appeal is that it makes me feel like I am walking around the NYC area eavesdropping. It's a great reminder of what it was like to live there. I am also reading Richard Price's newest book. I love his books, but man are they dark.
Chloe, of course, is devouring every book that she can get her hands on. She is, for some reason, fascinated by a series called "Animorphs". I know nothing about them except they are Sci-Fi. We have found that the biggest collection is at a nearby Goodwill Superstore. You have never seen a child who wants to go to Goodwill so much in your life. So, we have a deal, two library hits and then two Animorphs. It seems to be working out well, but yesterday we caught her re-reading an Animorphs that she just finished a week ago. The master plan is that she reads history books, informational books like insects, weather, geology... during her lessons and then before bed she reads fiction. We alternate between her choice and our choice of what she will read before bed every other night. This way she is reading things like Classics, but also books that we loved in our younger years. The one thing that is difficult is finding books that are on her reading level that don't include unsavory information like teen issues.
The biggest reading news around here is that Scott has almost finished a book! Now, he assures me that he used to read a ton of books but I personally have never seen him finish one book. I have seen him start a million of them but never finish one. He decided to challenge himself to break this habit. He let me recommend the book that would be his first foray into completion. I thought long and hard about this. Should it be nonfiction, which I know he enjoys, but which can be difficult to complete. Should it be fiction? In the end I chose a book that I discovered last spring. It is fictional, but a very slow book...another worry. However, the book is so beautifully paced and the feel of it is lovely. It is Plainsong by Kent Haruf and it was written 10 years ago. The story weaves the lives of a small farming community in such a magical way. Anyway, he is well over halfway and, to my relief, is finding it as wonderful to read as I did. As an incentive, Chloe and I went to Powell's and picked up a book he has been interested in reading. Jazz Ear is sitting upright in the middle of the fireplace mantle staring at him everyday but he has been forbidden to touch it until he finishes Plainsong. Otherwise, the habit will continue with his bookmarks being found 1/3 of the way into almost every book we own.
In other news of cultural things...as anyone who has helped us moves knows (Thank you to all of you beleaguered folks out there!), we cart a lot of musical equipment around with us. Some of which is back-breakingly hefty to carry. I am happy to report that we have had a drumset up in "the drum room"/toy/craft/storage room for weeks now and Scott plays every day. He is finally enjoying playing the drums again. It is wonderful to see and hear. We are presently trying to locate other musicians in the area who enjoy playing Free Music that he might play with. So far, it seems that the players anyone knows of are no longer in the area or have stopped playing. So, we'll keep looking. He has also been talking about the possibility of giving lessons. I think that would be great, he is a fantastic teacher. One of his former students is one of our best friends to this day.
Also of late, we have taken up the family rides again. Now, these would have never stopped if it weren't for my lack of gumption. It started with my totally wuss behavior in the Minnesota Winter. No matter what I could not keep my hands and feet warm enough to even pretend to enjoy riding. They hurt too much! Fair weather rider that I am, we picked up our family rides again in the warmer months. By then, Scott had far surpassed me in power and strength and stamina, but he rode with us at our pace and then would go out for another ride alone or we would meet somewhere and he would straggle through a family ride and home after he had used up some of his energy solo first. Then the move came. I have just been too tired since then. Working days and feeling overwhelmed about everything, it was easy to make excuses. Finally, as my bottom half can attest, we are riding again! It feels so good, sort of. Most of our rides have been between 13 and 20 miles each day with a ton of breaks due to my saddle discomfort. Some days I am good for 5-10 before it's killing me, some days it's only 3 miles before the first break. On the upside, the rides rarely end because my legs are tired. So, this small thing makes me feel better.
We are taking full advantage of The El Dumbino. Almost every family ride has some errand attached. Scott is getting a workout! He has been hauling Chloe and anything else that I can think of. Problem is, I am still suffering far more than he is!
In December, Chloe crafted a gift for President Obama. She fashioned a replica of the White House with mounds of Qtips and Scotchtape (Doing our small part to keep our friend Bob employed). We finally mailed it out today. Included in the package was a self-portrait she did along with a letter and a list of things that she would like him to accomplish for the US and the World during his reign.
Below are some pics of the finished masterpiece:
So, to wrap this tome up, I will say that Scott is fine, also since he has been riding a lot on the El Dumbino w/Chloe & lots of cargo he looks like he is dropping more weight. So, I forced him onto the scale, and it read 175.8 pounds. I'm gonna be really pissed when he weighs less than me.
Oh, and this happened too:
An expensive, celebratory Trappist ale can mean only one thing when you're unemployed... you've found a job and are celebrating! Which we are...
Bye for now!