Monday, March 31, 2014

Carolina Fiber Frolic

Photo heavy post ahead....
I spent the past few days in the mountains of NC with 40 or so people who are as fascinated and obsessed as I am with fiber, yarn, spinning, knitting and just about anything else you can do with string.  My friend Michiele and I drove up on Thursday, but our friend Roxie who normally goes with us couldn't make it, so Rosie the Sock Monkey was her stand in for the weekend and she had a lot of fun!
Here's Rosie hanging out in my bag of stuff the night before because she's ready to go!

Rosie got an early start Thursday morning because she had to make a couple of stops along the way.

Rosie had a quick visit with Mom & Dad in Greensboro.

Rosie also saw Carey Statesville,and got to check out the barn where she's getting married in October.

Rosie, Michiele and I took a selfie when we arrived at our destination.

Rosie relaxed with a glass of wine at dinner Thursday night.

After a long day on the road, Rosie was ready for bed.

Rosie started off the morning hanging with her friend Peggy.

We were in a class on making rolags, and these were my first few pitiful attempts using hand carders.  Rosie was too ashamed of these to be in the picture.
Our wonderful instructor Kristen showing us how to do it, while "princess" Ann looks on.
Eventually I produced some rolags that Rosie wasn't ashamed to be seen with.

This was a spinning wheel someone had for display.  Made by a custom motorcycle guy.  A little too fancy for me and Rosie, but pretty cool looking anyway.

Rosie met Mel from Singlehandedknits who was quite a hoot!  Rosie will definitely be listening to her podcasts in the future.

Rosie is hanging with the yarn and fiber dyed in my afternoon dyeing class.  There was too much dye flying around for pictures during class, but she's very proud of my pretty blue yarn!

The knitting contest Friday night was a lot of fun.  Sarah, Priscilla, Burgl, Renata, Sharon & Sharon are concentrating hard. We all loooooved knitting with Homespun on size 19 needles.

All the spinners competing to spin the longest strand in a limited time.

Kathy, Anne, Sharon & Fran are flying. There were some really fast spinners, but Rosie and I are pretty new, so we just watched this part.

After all the competitions, Rosie gave her friend Blue a little hug before heading to bed.


Rosie must have snuck out of the room Friday night, because somewhere she found a new boyfriend. I believe he hitched a ride up from Myrtle Beach with Peggy, she's always picking up strange men. Meet Swatch, the sock bunny.  I found them hanging out by the fireplace Saturday morning.  It was rainy and dreary outside, so I didn't blame them.

Inside, Barton was flying a kite. 

Out in the lobby Michiele was spinning, while Nora looked on.
Saturday night dinner was tasty, and rather well endowed, although it was modest enough to wear a bay leaf.  No my mind is not in the gutter, what ever do you mean?

After a long day, Rosie and Swatch hit the bed.  Yes, they're living in sin, I'm so ashamed.  I think they saw too many carrots at dinner.

Everyone was looking happy in Mel's sweater class.  Too bad they hadn't finished those sweaters yet, because it was a little cold!

Janis, Mel, and Kathy smile for the camera.  Peggy is concentrating on her knitting.

Nora, Leslie, and Karen were getting ready to make magic happen in Vicki's Nuno felting class.
Just before leaving, Rosie & Swatch took a quick swim in all the gorgeous yarn from The Copper Corgi that I wouldn't let them bring home.  Can you believe the restraint I showed?
It was a wonderful long weekend, and I can't wait to go back next year!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday - Got You Covered

This week's Twisted Mix Tape theme is cover songs.  I had to do a little googling to fill out my list for this one, mainly because I don't always know when something is a cover.

So here, in no particular order are some of my favorite songs that are covers...

Blinded by the Light - Manfred Mann's Earth Band

I had no idea until Google told me that this song was originally written and sung by Bruce Springsteen.  I like Bruce Springsteen, but this version is definitely better in my opinion.

I Love Rock and Roll - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Another one that I never realized was a cover.  This was apparently originally done by a British band called Arrows.  Their version isn't bad, but it isn't Joan Jett.

Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin

I think somewhere in the back of my mind I knew Kris Kristofferson had done this song first, but Google reminded me.  I love a lot of things Kris has done, but Janis just does this better.

Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker

This song, originally done by Old Crow Medicine Show, has been covered by several artists, but Darius Rucker's voice just adds something to it that makes this the best version in my opinion.  I think I've used this one before, but it's one of the first songs that comes to my mind when I think cover song.

Hurt - Johnny Cash

I never cared much for Nine Inch Nails, but I kind of liked this song.  However, in my opinion, the original of this song is lacking something. Johnny Cash's deeper voice adds a richness that makes it so much better.

No Journey song this week, but that's because I don't think they've ever done a cover.  If I'm wrong, please let me know. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday - It's My Life

So I'm back with another Twisted Mix Tape, and this week's theme is the soundtrack of your life.

I think this can be interpreted two can mean songs whose titles and words describe your life & it's events, feelings, etc., or it can just be songs that were significant at some point in your life.

I decided to take the easier route on this and just pick songs that stand out from various points in my life, and because I tend to define the first half of my life in terms of what educational level I was in, I've narrowed it even further to those.  And to make it even easier on myself, rather than try to figure out if a song "defined" that part of my life, I've just picked the first song (or in some instances band) that popped to mind for that period of my life.

So here goes....

Delta Dawn - Tanya Tucker

The only reason I can think of that this was the first song to come to mind when I think of my elementary school years is that we used to sing this song on long car rides, so I have memories of singing this with my whole family.  It's one of the few songs (besides "Found a Peanut") I can remember my father ever singing.

Mountain Music - Alabama

I'm not sure if I was in 7th or 8th grade when this album came out, but my best friend and I loved this song in particular and played it over and over.

Troubled Child - Journey

Of course any mix tape of mine has to contain a Journey song, and this is the album that came out during my high school years.  As is common for me, my favorite song on an album is often not one that is regularly played on the radio, and this is one of my favorites from this one.  The entire album of course was played until the cassette tape (yes we still used those then) was stretched.

Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel

This was pretty much the theme song for my college years.  We thought we were wild and crazy and breaking all the rules...we weren't...but it felt like it right?  I can't hear this song without thinking of my college roommate and some great memories.

Let Her Cry - Hootie and the Blowfish

Back when I was in law school, Hootie and the Blowfish was still a bar band.  My boyfriend at the time lived in Columbia, SC and was friends with the band, so we traveled all over North and South Carolina, and sometimes Virginia and Georgia too, on weekends following them from bar to bar.  We never had to pay a cover charge because we were always on the guest list, and often crashed wherever they did for the night.  Maybe I'll tell some of my more humorous (and a few embarrassing) Hootie stories someday....or maybe not.

So there you have it...the soundtrack of my life, at least until age 24 or so.      

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

I keep trying to get better at coming up with things to write about here, but I always seem to realize too late that what I'm doing at the time is something I could write about and I should have been taking a few pictures to illustrate and then I also put off writing about whatever it is, and then the events just don't seem current enough to recap, especially without a bunch of pictures.

Case in point...I went with Rob to the Dixie Deer Classic on Saturday.  His friend bailed on him, and I didn't have any big plans for the day, so I went to keep him company.  I took a knitting project that was simple and that doesn't require my to look at it, and basically walked around with him, knitting, while he looked at hunting stuff and talked to outfitters.  It wasn't until we'd been there a couple of hours and I was sitting in the stands at Dorton Arena knitting while he was in a lecture on trapping coyotes (yeah, I skipped THAT) that it occurred to me I should have been taking a few pictures to illustrate the day.

So I took a picture of my knitting.....

And then I went and took a picture of the cool eagle they had at the raptor rescue display....

I meant to go and also take a picture of the wolves, but Rob got out of his class and I forgot.  I did however get a picture of this....
I liked how they at least gave the mounted deer some context, instead of just a plain deer head.  Rob says if he ever gets a "trophy buck" it's getting mounted and displayed in our living room.  I'll agree to one on display, but I want it mounted something like this, with some added decoration, so it's not just a partial deer coming out of the wall.

In other news, we had snow a couple of weeks ago.  At first it was just a little snow....

And then it was A LOT of snow....well a lot of snow for us...this is central NC you know.

We had a good 6-7 inches here, which is a ton of snow at one time for us.  And it was very cold, and I didn't go to work for 3 days, so I decided I needed a very warm cowl and I made this....

Which can also double as a ninja mask if you want to go play in the snow.

We had sleet and freezing rain again today, but it didn't really start until late afternoon.  The roads will probably be ice in the morning, so I'll probably go into work a little late.  It's supposed to get down to 18 degrees tonight too, so maybe I'll be a ninja in the morning.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday - Give Me Some Love

Yeah, I haven't felt much like blogging lately, but I'm back today with the Twisted Mix Tape of the week.

Valentine's Day is Friday, and so of course this week's theme is love, love songs, all things love.  This got me thinking about love songs that have meant something to me over the years, and so I give you a brief snapshot of my life in love songs.

Ripples - Genesis

O.k., this technically is not really a love song, but it has a place in my romantic history.  When I was in 6th, 7th, 8th grade the local Elk's Club used to have occasional teen dances.  A friend of mine who was in high school always DJ'd and this was the song he would play last at every dance.  It's 8 minutes long so it was an opportunity to slow dance with whomever your latest crush was for a good long time before your ride picked you up.

Stay Awhile - Journey

I was a geek growing up and spent a couple of weeks of the summer between 8th and 9th grade at an academic camp at a nearby college.  The dorm we stayed in had the college radio station on the first floor.  It also had an adjoining dorm that housed all the guys at football camp.  As is the norm at that age, couples were formed quickly.  Needless to say there was a lot of song dedication going on those 2 weeks.  When I asked the college DJ for a song to dedicate to my football player at the end of that week, this was his suggestion.  Although the relationship didn't last, my love for Journey remains.

Amanda - Boston

I had a huge crush my freshman year of college on a guy I was in band with.  He was a good friend and I agonized about whether or not and how to let him know I wanted to be more than friends.  I ended up writing him a poem and making him a mix tape that included this song. He didn't feel the same way, but I got over it, and we stayed friends.  And no, his name wasn't Amanda.

Just So You Know - Kristen Hall

Unfortunately there is no YouTube video available for this song that was considered a "B" side.  The lyrics to this song don't quite do it, but I couldn't leave this one out.  I had one truly serious relationship before I met my husband.  It ended in a slow, long, drawn out process that was the result of both of us not really being willing to admit our lives were going in different directions.  I listened to this song over and over during that time because it captured my feelings almost perfectly.

My Best Friend - Tim McGraw

My husband and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day.  It's not a big deal to either of us really.  But this is "our song" and has been since we were dating.  We danced our first dance at our wedding to it.  I'm not a sappy or romantic person really, but he's still my best friend, and this is our love song.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Twisted Mix Tape Thursday - Dance Memories

Yeah, so it's Thursday, it's been a busy week y'all, but I'm finally getting this done.

So this week's Twisted Mix Tape theme is your favorite dance music.  I suppose most people upon hearing this theme start thinking of partying and clubbing and the dancing that occurs in those locations.  But I like to be different, and that's not what comes to my mind.

From the age of 3, until I graduated from high school at 17, I took ballet, tap & jazz.  By the time I stopped I was dancing 20+ hours a week.  With at least 14 dance recitals, and umpteen-million actual dances performed, when I think of "dance music" I think of the songs I spent hours upon hours listening to in little snippets as I learned carefully choreographed steps.

Thankfully for you (and me) all my dance pictures are still at my parents' house, so no photographic evidence will be presented today.  So without further dance memories.

Brick House - The Commodores

I think I still remember half the steps from the jazz dance we did to this when I was in about 6th (?) grade. 

One - A Chorus Line

I did at least 5 different versions of chorus line to this song, because you can't end a dance recital without a chorus line right?  I remember when I was younger thinking I couldn't wait until I was old enough to be in the advanced class that got to do this final number. 

Footloose - Kenny Loggins

We had a lot of fun with this one.  I remember the dance started with the curtain almost completely down except for about 6 inches so you could only see our feet the beginning of the movie scene that just shows feet ya' know?

Let's Get Physical - Olivia Newton John

Yeah, I know, but it's seared in my brain & it made an awesome jazz dance song! 

Shim Sham Shimmy - Leonard Reed

O.k...this one's not really a song, but a dance, but I can't leave it off, because I hear the sound of the steps, and that's music to me.  Tap dance was always my favorite.

So there you have it...what dance music means to me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Just Don't Get It

I just don't get some people.  I'm trying to decide if my morning was just people not thinking, or if it was a form of passive-aggressive in some way.  I may be reading too much into it calling it passive-aggressive, but that's sort of the way it felt.

So here's the relevant info you need for this to hopefully make sense....I'm the "lead" staff person to a committee, which basically just means if something doesn't get done, I'm the one that gets blamed.  Said committee is trying to go "paperless", i.e. we're not making copies of all the handouts & PowerPoint's, etc. but rather uploading them to a committee website that people can view on their own device or print out a hard copy if they so desire.  Said committee was meeting at 1:00 pm today, and yesterday was a holiday.

So I sent a quick note Friday to some other staff that I was assuming they would upload their presentations to the website themselves, but if they needed me to do it, just send them to me.  One (A) responded his was still a draft & he'd upload it this morning.  I got an out of office message for the other (B). 

This is how my morning went....

Email from B to me - Oh I sent my presentation to the committee clerk last week
Email from me to B & clerk - Clerk, could you upload what B sent you to the website, or send it to me & I'll upload it.
Email from B to me & clerk - A will upload mine when he gets back from a meeting.

2 hours later....

Phone call from clerk to me: - Do you want me to upload these presentations to the website? Me: Yes, if you have B's presentation, please upload it, as I haven't received a copy.  Do you know anything about A's presentation?  Clerk:  Oh yes, he emailed it to the other clerk this morning and she sent it to me.  Oh and he just sent an email saying he's still in a meeting so could I upload his presentation to the website. Me:  If you would upload them both, that would be great.  Clerk:  Do you want me to send you the presentations? Me:  Yes, please!

30 minutes later, and now an hour & a half before the meeting....

Email from B to me - A is still tied up in a meeting, do you want to to go ahead and upload my presentation?  (and finally attaches a copy of the presentation)

Email from me to B - Clerk has already done it.

I have to add that both A & B are in another division and are staff that I haven't worked with much, but it's common knowledge that B likes to be in control, so maybe that's why I read more into this.  But I just wanted to say WTF people???? Just send me the damn presentations and I'll put them up on the website!

On a positive note, the meeting went well and was a lot shorter than I had anticipated.

I haven't had time to come up with my Twisted Mix Tape for the week yet, so it will have to be a Twisted Wednesday instead of Tuesday this week.