Saturday, November 18, 2006

Send the VBAC vibes along

OK...countdown begins. I'm officially at 37 weeks as of today, and my midwife assures me that I am 'allowed' to have this baby any time now with a minimum of medical intervention, provided that he gets (and keeps) his little head down in the right position, and no weird stuff develops to throw us off the path.

I grant that we are officially not ready for this baby to arrive. One big thing is that he has NO NAME yet. It was so easy to pick a girl name and this boy name stuff is just so hard, aargh. We want to be a bit non-traditional and nothing seems to fit. I am hoping it will just fall into place. Meanwhile, Craig's choice of 'Zeus' just isn't going to fly with me--sorry dear. Aside from the name trouble, mentally, I think I'm ready for this to happen. The house, however, is NOT ready for our new addition. I bought a handful of onesies and some warm clothes for him today, but have much to work on. Granted, if he arrives, it'll be tough luck and we'll survive--babies have been brought into this world in far worse conditions than disorganized homes with parents who have too much on their plates daily, but I'd like to get a few last minute things ready, just the same.

Still some last minute things to tie up that I'd like to finish--maybe it'll help me if I post them here:
--making doubly sure I have backup with friends so A can be out of here if need be while I labor at home
--getting the upstairs uncluttered and bed ready so my Sister can stay here and take care of A until we come home with her new baby brother.
--getting extra clean blankets and pillows ready, keeping the living room and bedroom clean, etc. so I can labor at home in relative comfort for us and for our Midwife and Doula (until we transfer to the hospital at the last possible minute).
--setting the crib up in our room, which involves getting junk out of A's closet so we can move a dresser out of our room/in there for the baby, and then have room for the crib in our room. I really wanted a new co-sleeper, but it just doesn't fit with the shape and size of our room and/or bed height at all, so that's out.
--pulling out the newborn stuff from A, to see if any of her stuff is gender neutral and go through my stash of cloth diapers to see if I need to supplement them much. I think we'll have enough to get by for a few weeks. Washing the old and new clothes and diapers and getting them into that dresser...
--writing our birth plan, visual imagery for relaxation and anything else that we need to finish up...gotta do this tonight!
--packing my bag for hospital...also a gotta that I can't leave undone!

On the other hand...I'd throw much of that 'readiness' out the window to make sure we don't go too far post dates, please! Sooooo with that in mind, send positive vibes along for a successful (and fast, if you can throw that in there) VBAC birth, and most of all, for a happy and healthy baby and Momma when it's all through.
End of the Season

It's time...despite the gorgeous, warm weather today, winter is coming. Clocks have been turned back, days are shortening. The garden, which was overtaken by the late summer burst of weeds two months ago, has begun to succum to the cold. The last remaining beauties unfold, to be overcome by the browns of winter in no time. Here is a short photo essay that will have to carry my mind through the winter.

From September, in my parents garden. A dark chocolatey sunflower that I picked and put a bit of Ampelopsis (porcelainberry vine) with, for the contrast of those wacky blue berries with the unbelievable dark brown velvet of the sunflower:
chocolate sunflower with porcelainberry vine

Late blooming dahlias...a gorgeous pinky mauve color--hubby's plants:
Last Dahlias

Real fall-blooming Saffron Crocus from our herb 'circle'. I picked the stamens once to use in a dish, but it was so much work. Now I understand why saffron is so expensive!
Saffron Crocus

An Anise catterpillar, eating a piece of bronze fennel. They turn into a type of swallowtail butterfly. A few weeks ago they were here, fattening up. A few days later they were gone. Such wonderful colors. I name them Luigi, as I always think of Anise/Fennel as an Italian herb, and Luigi just seems right.
Anise Catterpillar

One Freaking Fig--had this plant for 4 long seasons now and I got to eat this one tiny, pathetic, nearly ripe fig from it this fall. It's finally got a decent fruit set this year, that will never ripen now--too late, too cold. So much for buying 'hardy' Russian fig varieties, right? I'll give you one more season, silly fig, then we'll decide your fate.
Lone Fig

And I leave you with this stunning beauty, the last Chicago Peace Rose in bloom.
Chicago Peace Rose

Habu heaven...

Sorry for the long silence, folks. Just writing now to flash my new stash, and I'll play catch-up later on the subjects of life and all the stuff that's kept me from blogging for months.

So yesterday, on a ridiculously hot day, our little family made a trip into NYC and headed to the Central Park Zoo. It's really my favorite zoo--quite small--with some fun animals and a nice petting zoo, as well as some really nice plantings--which, quite frankly, I enjoy more than the animals, but that's my horticulturist self speaking :) Of course, little girls are generally more enamored with sea lions at feeding time than gorgeous Oak Leaf Hydrangea in blushing bloom, but she'll learn to love both in time.

So anyhow, after torturing this large 23 weeks preggo woman in the sweltering heat as we watched polar bears sweat and ice cream melt faster than we could eat it, my wonderful Husband 'enabled' me to venture onto the 8th floor of a building in Midtown Manhattan, to a non-descript brushed stainless steel door, behind which lurked the tempting showroom of habu textiles, a Japanese specialty yarn shop I've been aching to see in person. Dear Craig patiently assisted while little A sorted through some sale yarns neatly stacked in baskets on the floor in the main room, and I oohed and aahed in the tiny room that held the tempting display of sample skeins. After not too long and nearly $200 later, I ended up with a gorgeous stash of yarn and threads to fondle and use for many months ahead:

Habu yarns to drool over!

I admit that the photo doesn't look huge for the money spent, but as plying thread for my handspun (which was my goal), it should last me quite a while. The yardage here is just massive...probably several thousands of yards in total. The stash includes gorgeous white India Silk, 'fique' yarn (pineapple fiber), paper/nlyon moire, assorted cotton and linen tapes and yarns, several cones of tsumugi silk in assorted colors (my favorite textured plying thread so far), a fantastic thin white-ish silk with fiddlehead fern 'cotton' stuck in it, rough and rustic Kenaf fiber, a natural dark brown thin silk called Taira, and a bunch of small miscellaneous yarn remnants. I also bought a few oddities that I hope to be able to work with--some hemp bark, a bag of Curicura silk cocoons in a golden honey color, and a very cool vintage wooden spool with Chinese characters on it, that Hubby wanted (how could I refuse after he indulged me like this?). The spool is a nice curiosity and will also make a good niddy noddy for tiny skeins now and then...

After spending nearly $200 , I can honestly breathe a sigh of relief that I'm not much of a knitter or weaver yet, or the possibilities here would have been endless, I'm sure. I tend to lean toward very rustic materials, so I barely scratched the surface of what's available there, despite the small size of their showroom...aahhhhhh, habu. If you ever get a chance to go there, don't pass it up! I can't wait to use some of this stunning fiber. Keep an eye on my web site as it'll start appearing in my handspun over the next few weeks!

MSWF road trip

We're back from the weekend of travel to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and a wonderful weekend with spinning friends!

First, I'll report on the fair, I suppose. It was a bit of a disappointment to hubby and I. The fairgrounds were unbearably crowded on Saturday, the food was not great and was overpriced--2 lamb gyros, a sandwich, tiny chili and a lemonade was $36--and I'm a carnivore, but would it kill vendors to offer a salad or some fruit, really? They had lamb served 56 ways--I felt like Bubba from Forrest Gump "....lamb stew, lamb gyro, lamb kabob, lamb chili, roast lamb, bbq lamb..." you get the picture. The food, drink and bathroom lines were long, there was nowhere to sit out of the hot sun, and little A and I nearly got trampled to death trying to buy a T-shirt, a sport I abandoned quickly when a woman in front of us got pushed to the ground and nobody came to help her. This fair has most definitely outgrown it's property and needs to either move on to a larger venue, charge admission to weed out people who are just trying to kill a day, or maybe make the vendors park off the fair grounds to free up some space. It was really unreasonable and uncomfortable and not at all family/kid friendly, imo. I plan to write a letter to the organizers about all this to let them know our impressions of the whole thing. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention hubby's disappointment that the local traffic control police were deliberately making up some bs story of a horrible car accident "blocking the road in that direction" to make people go the way they wanted to (can you tell he didn't follow their 'orders' to turn left out of the parking lot?)

On the other hand, the animal barns were great, vendors had beautiful things and were friendly and helpful, the spin-in on Saturday night was great fun! I did manage to add a pile of goodies to my spinning stash, and didn't bring home any sheep, heh. When I get my tech hubby to figure out how I screwed up my ftp editor, I'll add a photo of the goodies that I just had to bring home--yay--I finally got things fixed, here's my photo:

MSWF accumulations!

I got two new Jumbo bobbins for my wheel, two ounces of mixed bright colors of Silk Noil for blending, rosy tussah silk roving, a bump of cormo roving in fall colors, a gorgeous mixed batt that I split with the enabler Angela, and a whole bunch of mohair and cotswold locks that were so gorgeous, brightly colored and ultra clean that I couldn't resist, plus some silk hankies in orange and burgundy.

The best part of the trip was the excellent company of old spinning friends who I haven't seen since October, and meeting new friends from my blog and internet travels, (though I'm sad to say that I missed some of you, unfortunately.) It was great to shop together, share spinning techniques and info., swap fiber at the spin-in, and stay up late chatting at the hotel. I made out like a bandit with extra fibers and goodies from Julie-Ann, Natasha, and Elizabeth, and will have to do some digging through my stash to make up some fun goodie packages to mail out soon!

We arrived home late Sunday after stopping several times with a sick kiddo in the car who ended up with a fever and nasty head cold on arrival home. Then there was the usual unbearable NY traffic; we sat on Staten Island for over an hour in traffic, only to find that 3 construction barrels were blocking off a lane for no reason--not even a pothole, aargh. I love NY, I swear it! All in all, we had a nice time, and I miss all of my spinning pals already and wish we lived closer. And so another weekend passes into history...


New Easter yarn...not much to write, but just a few quick photos of my latest addition to my web store, Handmade. This was fun yarn to spin. Simple single ply with many stripes spun from bits of commercially dyed merino wool, with tufts of plastic lavender Easter grass spun in, and a whole lot of glass egg beads slipped onto the roving as I spun. It would make an amazing Easter basket or purse or hat band for a straw hat, or something cool like that!

Easter Egg yarn
in the skein...