Sunday, July 17, 2016

Labouring and Spinning

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan? And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these.… -- Matthew 6:27-28
Hallo, world. I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks: life sometimes just gets in the way, doesn't it? It's strange, though: I've been writing here long enough that I feel all out of sorts when I don't post for a while. Maybe it's just a habit that I've developed. Or maybe I just like to talk. A lot.

It's been a busy couple of weeks, sometimes frustrating, sometimes tiring, but it's been interesting. I've been spending time observing myself and watching how I react during these stressful times. I'm proud to say I'm learning not to collapse with a bag of chips and a couple of chocolate bars like I normally do. I'd still like to learn how to switch off the ol' brain when I wake up before my alarm clock. 

I guess small steps are still forward steps.

I had a last-minute trip to Vancouver this week to deliver some packages to a client. As I placed them into my suitcase, I could see they were going to shift around in there. I looked around my house and decided to use the most effective package padding in the world:

Yarn: the great package protector. And it's lighter than a pair of trousers.. in case you didn't know.

It's always tiring to rush off on a day trip, but I lucked out on the way back and snagged a nice comfy chaise longue to relax on in the departure lounge at the float plane terminal while I waited for my return flight. I sat down and pulled out a notepad and made some lists. I thought about pulling out my laptop and working, but I decided that it's not often that I get to sit back and enjoy the view:

I was glad to get to the weekend. I look forward to Fridays, not only because it's the end of the week, but because it's also the day I get my weekly CSA veggie box from a local farm. I'm always delighted by the bounty, but I've learned that getting a box of veggies you did not choose yourself requires a certain willingness to experiment:

Those patty pan squashes on the bottom right were new to me, but when I cut them open, they looked a lot like zucchini inside. I scooped out the seeds, chopped them up along with some onions and fresh garlic (also from the box), and tossed them with some olive oil , a little salt and pepper, and some fresh basil (also from the box). I put them into the oven and roasted them until they were nicely browned:

I also roasted some of the beets, and tossed them in with some more fresh basil (it's a big bag), some tomato paste, some cooked quinoa, and some cooked textured soy protein (which is basically shredded dehydrated tofu). I quick toss together:

... a little more seasoning, and them I had lunch for the week:

We went out for a walk this afternoon. Every time I go to the city, I am always so grateful to come back and enjoy the outdoors. I think I am also extra sensitive to my surroundings when I return. It's not every day you notice a slug in his mushroom condo:

In fact, I seemed to be especially attracted to mushrooms today. Take that however you want:

We stopped at the local plant nursery to pick up some soil, and to greet the nursery cat:

And then came home to enjoy some of the blackberries we have been picking. I like them frozen on a warm day like this:

I'm still working my way through the Tour de Fleece. A friend of mine and I met up with another Islander on Saturday at a local yarn shop. We sat outside and spun away, the two of them on their wheels and me with my spindles. We attracted quite a bit of attention, both from passers-by and mosquitoes, but luckily none were too annoying. It's always lovely to around fibre people:

I brought along my Golding spindles. It was so nice to spin on them again: like driving a luxury car after chugging along in a jalopy. This is some merino/silk pencil roving that's been sitting in my stash for a while. It was such a nice, satisfying thing to spin:

I also spun the rest of a fun batt that I got ages ago from my friend, Tara. It's got all sorts of stuff in it: wool, sari silk, some mohair locks... just a jumble of things. I think I might ply it with some nylon or silk or something, just to hold it together.

Listen to me talking all spinner-like.

I didn't bring along my merino that I'd been working on since the start of the Tour because it was at the plying stage and I always need a lot of space for that. I found a box at work that I thought might work well as a makeshift lazy kate. It's working pretty ok, but I think one of these days I'll have to figure out something more permanent, especially if I continue to spin.

The resulting plied yarn is so lovely that I think I HAVE to continue. It's so lofty and springy. I have a skein from this same batch of wool that I spun and plied a couple of years ago, and I daresay that I have successfully duplicated it. It's like riding a bike, this spinning thing. It's not perfectly balanced like a commercially spun yarn, and it has a knot or two in in, but it's MINE:

And, if there's one thing I keep learning, I'm not perfect. But perfect isn't all that interesting, is it?

And here we are, at the end of another weekend and at the start of a new week, with all of the new things to think about and work on and worry about yet to arrive. And well, I think I will sit back and just wait for them to come. I heard Oprah Winfrey say something once that went something like, "When you are overwhelmed and you don't know what to do, just do the next right thing. And then the next one, and the next one, and soon you'll have worked your way through it." And you know, it works.

I think the next right thing is to go get a snack and a glass of milk. Happy Sunday, all.

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