Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Not as easy as it seems.....

I've always enjoyed an eclectic range of friendships - I like so many different kinds of people. When I was in school, I never 'hung out' with just one group of people - more that I sort of migrated between many groups. It made the parties at my house most interesting! Well into adulthood, I will occasionally organize a get-together and always I have this moment of panic just before wherein I realize I haven't considered how these various groups of people will interact. Like the time I had a Halloween party for the kids and invited a farm family from down the road, some like-minded friends of ours, and some Quaker and Mennonite friends.

There was one group about which I held a biased opinion and, I am sad to say, struggled with that bias until just a few years ago - the cheerleaders. I tried to like them and, my grand mistake, tried to be friendly to them. Somehow, it escaped my sphere of reality to realize that I might have just stumbled onto some particularly evil and selfish people disguised as cheerleaders and I just assumed they were all the kind of friends who would snub you and then ask you for some grunt work favor at the same time.

Years later, whilst having some wine on a summer afternoon and watching our kids play in the yard, a friend of mine and I got to talking about the music/clothes/etc. that we liked in our youth. Somehow, my bias slipped out and said friend revealed she was, indeed, a cheerleader. I was stunned. How could she be? I mean, I liked her! We laughed about my predisposed mistrust of cheerleaders and she giggled, 'Well, you knowwwwwww, being a cheerleader isn't as easy as it looks. Not only do you have to be friends with exactly the kind of people you've described (your fellow cheer leading mates) but you have to be popular, and kind, and attractive before the watchful eyes of everyone at school.' I ruminated on that and decided two things: 1. Gawsh - I'm so glad I'm not a cheerleader and 2. see 1.

Recently, I joined a KAL on the best place in knitterdom called 'Summer of Socks'. The whole notion of sock knitting during the summer just thrills me - they are the perfect small, portable project year round but I find them particularly pleasing during the few but humid and hot months of summer. The problem with this knit-along is that, apparently, you have to be aware of when summer ACTUALLY begins. Which, I am but my reality is skewed by being a gardener in Maine. For the record, summer in Maine consists of three short months wherein it is safe to tend a garden without threat that frost will swoop in whist you sleep and wipe away all your vegetable delights. So, I hatched a stellar plan. I was going to knit the x-mas pair of socks for each chick in my clutch during the summer (as opposed to my normal gift knitting ritual which begins in late October and consists of two months of me knitting even in my sleep to barely pull off a portion of my lofty gifting goals). It was beautiful....perfect, even. I selected the 'right' yarn for each recipient and bravely cast on. Knit one sock of each pair in a week and then, deeply inspired, went back and read the rules. It seems that most people associate the season of summer with the summer solstice. And, I failed to notice that the rules stipulated that all socks had to be STARTED after June 21. Mine were started on the 15th through the 19th. Surely, I thought, this doesn't mean I'm disqualified. black magic woma sock But, on the contrary, I watched a few excited knitters post their first socks of the summer and others swoop in and remind them that their entry didn't count because ravelry, as you know, documents the date you begin your project so even if you don't read the rules, there might be someone else to do it for you. Bummed is so not a word appropriate for describing my emotional state. None of my three pairs would qualify for the SOS KAL. Whimpers. We decided not to let it get us down. After all, there was the 'vacation sock' portion of the KAL that we could still participate in. We chose the new colorway 'Black Magic Woman' and waited for the camping trip to come so we could start knitting. And knitting happened!

black magic woman canoeing on the lakeWhist the other socks sat patiently in the basket (I didn't have the heart to leave them at home so they still got to come along on the trip, too), BMW sock vacationed her heart out. She went canoeing on the lake (note that Thing 3 is rowing for the first time and is not so thrilled to have to feel the boat swaying while I fish out the camera and then ask him to pose Ms. BMW).

black magic woman on the beachShe was positively stunning on the beach, even with the high tide that was so strong that it nearly carried Thing 2 and I away whilst she sat on the towel (except for the incident when a seagull came and sat on her while going through our pack and trying to fish out some food) having a grand time.

she tells the other socks all about itShe was totally jazzed when we got back to the campsite and I fixed a cuppa the life elixir and sat down to knit. Only, then I realized how hard it would be to knit AND to cook dinner on the camp stove so had to dash off and feed the Things first. I pulled the discontented socks out and she told them all about the adventures. You know, I can be pretty naive but I just have to say - things SEEMED to be okay between them.

acadia 027Lastly, she got to go on a whale watching cruise which I only hope she enjoyed. It was almost canceled due to a tropical storm but, instead, we braved the high tides and I along with a many other poor passengers on the cruise made good use of Dramamine and sic sacks. The trip out to sea was so awful that people couldn't even manage to walk on deck. I didn't take Ms. BMW out of her pouch for fear I might poke some one's eye out when the next big bump happened. Also, I was deep in my meditation on the virtues of Dramamine, sic sacks, and ginger ale for me and Thing 1. Things 2 and 3 were an interesting shade of green when we finally got out to sea but they made it through without a need for such tools.

acadia 028Still, it was worth it. We've wanted to go whale watching for years and this year we made ourselves a little trade-off. We decided that the money we'd save by strictly cooking for ourselves and not buying drinks and treats out would be used, instead, to go on a very pricey tour and get sick with a bunch of strangers. The best part? Would have to be that we saw the very rare Humpback Whale in our Maine Gulf. Oh, he was beautiful! I wish I hadn't been so shaky and nauseated or I might have managed to get a shot of his beautiful tail but you can still see him, here.

sock snob revengeWell, it turns out my friend was right. It really ain't easy being the cheerleader, ya know? Something just snapped in the rejected SOS socks and, upon return, this is the gruesome scene I was met with. Can you believe the rage that the Esmeralda sock in progress that I stopped working on to start the vacation sock is exhibiting? Stabbed with not one, but three dpn's at one time! revenge In true form of a mass attack, even the new, yet to be knit socks sat off to the side with their genius inspiration, mocking poor Ms. BMW. She sits, waiting for her mate sock to be finished, and I just know how she's feeling. By now, hopefully, she's realized that life just can't always be fair and will be able to move on and not take it personally. Maybe she won't take as long to get over her biases as I did. Maybe she is a wise woman sock.

Thanks to all who wished us a great time (which we had) and who shared inspiration and joy for our new friend, Brego! I may have missed the importance of including my history of horse-womanship but it seems that as there has been some concern expressed about our horse care know-how, I just felt I should add that I did barrel race for four years and have been a rider since I was a wee one. It's just that when thing 3 was born, I found myself unable to ride and realized that I wouldn't be able to care for a horse properly and give it the attention and friendship that it needed for a while so I've been horse-free for some years. I certainly know enough to keep the sweet fellah cared for, though, and I've been able to fit and saddle a horse since I was about 7 yrs. old so no need to worry - he's in good, loving hands. We've been working on the 'getting attached' practices and I am just in awe of this guy's personality. So sweet. He leads and responds to the kids with absolute care and precision - which is so very important because I think the experience of loving my old crazy paint mare when I was in my turbulent teens radically altered my life in a good way. While so many others were experimenting is self-destruction, I was scooping out stalls and picking hooves and I thought that was so uncool. Yet, I cannot recollect so many of the names of those 'cool' and 'hip' friends I wanted to follow but, without hesitation, I can tell you that Prissy had one blue eye on the left and one brown on the right and could color you an exact replica of her paint spots though I have not seen a photo of her in some 22 years....that is love!