It’s 5 in the morning here in Austin, TX and I just can’t sleep.

I have this overwhelming sense that something is on the horizon, but I have no idea what it is.

Obviously, the best way to deal with it is to get rest – yet here I am, writing! And listening to my peaceful, Italian 13th C. love songs performed by Anonymous 4. At least THAT is restful.

The Constant in the Back of my Mind
Gerry is recovering, but not at the miracle speed that we experienced immediately after the stem cell transplant. And it doesn’t help that I’m away so much, that’s hard with the two kids…

So here I am in Austin, paying the mortgage and fretting. And not sleeping. And listening to love songs.

I think I sort of like to be hermetically sealed after I finish teaching for the day until I go back to a shop the next morning. It’s sad to say that – I feel like I’m not taking full advantage of the chances I have for meaningful personal interactions – but right now my mind is so full that I also need some ‘blank slate’ time where I’m just totally neutral.

I have a tendency, when I’m around folks, to chat. A failing of teaching and lecturing for a living. And my chatter recently has a brittle, one-sided vein to it that is hard for even ME to listen to, so I can only imagine how difficult it is for someone else to absorb.

And my chatter lately – today – has been more Gerry focused that it’s been before. I need to curtail that a bit, more for my own sanity, and perhaps be a bit shallower when I interact with so many folks? Every day is another experiment in working things through.

And I just go on and on and on.

Large Gaps
I have a 5 hour gap between most of my classes each day this week – I finish one class at 1, then don’t have another class until 6 pm. It makes for a VERY long day, and I can’t totally relax until I finish my last class. So I’m sort of on ‘standby’ for those hours, still in makeup, hanging out.

It’s enough time, though, to go see a movie. I’ll find a local theater and go do that tomorrow. THAT will be a real treat, something I love (afternoon movies) but don’t get to do much.

First Class in Austin
Class today was good – I felt a little off, which was due pretty much to my darned backache AND especially to the fact that my luggage did NOT arrive in time for class. Dang.

So I had to scoot over to a bead shop and spend $110 on beads & wire for the knitting with wire class before it started. An annoying way to spend my lunch hour.

I usually order my wire in bulk, wholesale, so I can put nice amounts of wire and beads in a kit that folks buy for the class. I don’t really make any profit off the kits, I just like everyone in the class to have the same materials, but since I get the stuff wholesale I can put a LOT in the kit.

Today the suitcase arrived just at the end of class, enough time to give everyone an additional spool of wire and more beads – which means that I ended up losing a bit of money on that end, not really a big deal. I’d rather that folks have some extra material to play with at home.

I’m a firm believer that class is where you experiment and have the freedom to screw up. You go home, though, to work with new materials and perfect techniques.

Unfortunately, when the suitcase arrived all of my wire samples that I keep in the top part of my suitcase (so they don’t get crushed against the inside contents of the luggage – I keep them in hard plastic boxes) were missing. It was only about 5 pieces – thank goodness I didn’t just pack my large plastic box of samples – but it was 5 pieces I hate to lose. Five nice pieces. This is the second time in 6 months that I’ve had things lifted from my suitcase.

And these are 5 pieces that will be time consuming to reknit.

So now I have to face the additional cost / fret equity of sending my samples via UPS or Fedex when I travel. Yet another reason to love to travel by car rather than air. Nothing feels easy these days – like walking through sticky mud – and flying in cramped seating, waiting in lines, carrying/pushing/pulling so much luggage feels harder than ever.

I think a movie tomorrow is EXACTLY what I need to clear my mind. Maybe this one?

Wired / Weird
Austin is awesome (Ausome?) and different than the rest of the state – a kid rode by on a bike yesterday morning with a tie dyed T shirt which read, “Keep Austin Wierd”

I’m glad I’m here – but I’ve yet to really settle in and feel COMFORTABLE in my skin here. It generally takes a few days – and my luggage arriving late screwed my thinking up (that, plus the missing jewelry – I just sort of wanted to cry when I opened the case.)

I think tomorrow on the way into the shop I’ll find a place where I can just get a nice bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. That always gets me started right. This place looks good…

It’s hard to have a bad day when you start with a hot, fiber-filled breakfast!

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