Sunday, December 31, 2006

what santa brought

Yes, it's true. Finally, my very own wheel. Not some broken cast - off; no way baby. It's a brand new Lendrum double treadle complete package, and it's mine, all mine!!! How on earth did Santa know? Or more specifically, was I really that good?

I'm going with yes. Okay, I knew the box was in the closet. I dreamed of ripping it open and laying out the pieces. But when it came right down to it, Christmas morning, I got a little worried. Did I really deserve this? Am I really so dedicated? Do I have a clue how to put it together? Not to mention spinning on the darned thing.

Because "Santa" was still watching. Tentatively I tore away the wrappings...gingerly I laid out the wheel. It is silky smooth and smells like a fresh tree. I smoothed out the directions. "Set the frame on the floor. Straighten the drive band. Unscrew the frame knob and remove it from the frame." So that's how it folds up! "Unfold the frame and lift the wheel...." It was all too simple. It was all to perfect. Perfect in its beautiful simplicity.

The world has fallen away (witnessed by the picture above)...I am a spinner, at long last. Disregard the mess please, and focus on my beautiful, wonderful, perfect, simple wheel. I settled on the Lendrum because so many of my guild member friends had one. Now I know why. It's PERFECT, and so easy to use...I am spinning, dishes be damned...

The weird ball you see next to the wheel is some merino pin roving I've had since last February...I call it witch's hair, though dh thinks it looks more rasta - like. In any case, I've had not a snitch of trouble with anything I've tried spinning so far. I'm entranced!

A "complete package" means it came with a fast flyer and a plying head, both of which are yet to be explored. Meanwhile, you know where to find me.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

just one more day

Traditionally I take down the ole' tree on New Year's Day, to the blaring background of the football games. It's a bittersweet time, revisiting each precious ornament and putting the decorations to sleep for another year. I also take the time to cull things that are broken, too ugly or useless, or whose origin I have long forgotten. There are always plenty of replacements within this year's gifts.

It's interesting to me to notice how long other people enjoy their trees. I once picked up my daughter at a friend's house one cold February day, and was surprised to see her fully decorated tree still erect, brittle and dark, in the family room. There were ornament boxes piled up all around it, so maybe she was just taking her time...

Another time I was invited to swim at my friend's sister's house during a particularly hot July day. I ran in for a towel and, being nosy, poked around to the back of the house just to check it out. Yikes!! There it was...holding up well since it was artificial, but it looked kind of ghostly. I guess it was just too pretty to disassemble.

How long do you leave your tree up?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

christmas collections

Over the years I have tried patiently to downsize the size of our "stuff". When it comes to Christmas, it seems to be a matter of collecting what's important.

Witness our collection of Nutcrackers. Each one is different, and every year we get more. I also own the Nutcracker Ballet on tape, and adore the music, so this really works. P. #2 tried to crack a real walnut with a couple of these this year...alas, they are mainly decorative. My favorite is the cat. Like many others, it's a thrifted specimen.

Candles are another collection. The first Winter Solstice spent here at the Ranch was very, very dark: no power, as we were revamping the solar system. Hence the tradition of buying out every local Mexican market of seven day candles, the more variety the better.

Snowglobes are so magical! Every one is like it's own little world...the themes overlap, yet each one remains special. We enjoy these every year, and welcome more additions.

bien sur.

Happy Holidays to everyone...Merry Christmas and Joyous Solstice to all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

party on!

We like making our gingerbread house each year. It's always a dramatic scene with crashing roofs and an evolving collection of characters. This year's crowd are a bunch of partyers!

They are at it all night long, the party never ends. 'Tis the season!

And guess what? I got my second Secret Pal Package!

She got me lovely seasonal ornaments for the tree, chinese pincushions, all wonderful colors. Also not shown: yarn and patterns. This yarn is so special it deserves it's own post. So stay tuned, and think mohair.

Friday, December 22, 2006

mele kalikimaka

"How'd ya like to spend Christ - mas.....on Christmas Island..." It makes me tear up a little when I hear that song now, especially since it's been almost a week since our return. Though we had a wonderful Solstice party with lots of friends, family and fun, I still find myself grouching about the cold weather and returning in my mind to the warm, watery energy of Hawaii.

I caught this Hula Santa just walking down the street.

Some would scoff at our choice to stay in the busiest, most crowded section of Oahu, but for us the choice is perfect. When you live in such a remote space for your everyday life, you logically enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city. This is a view from "our spot", two blocks from the condo and just steps to any convenience one might need while doing as little as possible in the warm, warm sun and water.

The view from our condo, a modest but comfortable space, shows the Ala Moana canal and the golf course beyond. At night the lights were wonderful; by day it felt like we were on a ship as we looked down from the 22nd floor (thrilling to the children, not so much to dh)

Quan Yin was present on a high shelf, so we took her down and dusted her off and she became the center of our vacation altar. Bits and pieces from the beach, fruit and flowers, important gifts (the rubber anemone) and other treasures graced our space. It became a quiet place to center.

Goodbye for now, dear Hawaii. We will return soon...the leis have been cast, and we're treasuring the $200 vouchers we received as a result of the delayed flight! Hmmmm, it may be sooner than we think...

Monday, December 18, 2006

ups and downs

Every vacation has it's ups and downs. Here are some of mine:

UP: The gorgeous, wonderfully warm ocean water. We hit the beach daily by 10, lingered until 2 if there were no plans, and more than once stayed until sunset. It is so incredibly salty that floating is like breathing. The longer you swim, the better you favorite part is feeling warm pockets that envelop you as you paddle along (never too strenuously).

DOWN: Twice there were signs up for jellyfish warnings (Danger! Stings can be extremely painful!) though they seemed largely ignored. We also spotted gigantic garbage scows far out to sea, a sad reminder of what we are REALLY doing to our beautiful oceans.

UP: Noone got sunburnt, thanks to the diligent application of SPF 30 every morning before heading out. (OK, I switched to 15 by Thursday.) P. #2 was happy in her SPF 100 wetsuit too.

DOWN: Once arriving home, it's freezing, and I doubt I'll be exposing much tanned skin for anyone's admiration for a couple of months. And by then I'll be pale again.

UP: Creating some amazing sandcastles. Every day we tried to make a better one. We even had people take pictures next to them...what an amazing medium! Turrets, holes, caves, moats...we did it all.

DOWN: Life is so darned impermanent.

UP: Bonding with my dh, who is truly a dear. It's so wonderful to be warm and relaxed together. Our condo was cozy, the malls were amazing, we went shopping and he bought me stuff.

DOWN: Coming home. Immediately the prospect of going back to work made him surly and mean. (He's over it now thank goodness.)

UP: I had many incredible dreams that lingered far into the next day. One particular one puzzled me; I had a deep cut across the back of my left hand. It was about an inch deep, yet didn't bleed...I was worried about it though, and felt helpless that it would never heal.

DOWN: The next day, I lost my 18K gold wedding band somewhere out in the waves.

May Pele be appeased, and may the memory of my precious ring be balm to my sad heart.

Friday, December 15, 2006

the good life

We have arrived home again, safe and sound after a 10 hour delay of our scheduled return flight (who dares to grouch about one more perfect day on the beach?!) The trip was tonic, though it had it's ups and downs, and there are many wonderful pictures to show and stories to tell. Since I've been up for about 20 hours, I reserve to right to post a little at a time for the next week or so.

So glad to be back! But missing the island rhythm already too.

The light of a Hawaiian sunset is like no other, and this captures the sweetness that was our final evening. We stayed until sundown every was like liquid love, honey for the heart.

I look forward to sharing more with you!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Farewell all, we are off to Hawaii early tomorrow morning. I'll be back in ten days. See you then.
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