Tag Archives: italy

Rome, and Home

Frascati

I’m home!!

It took me a few days to get my internal clock back to St. Paul time, and I’m not entirely certain I’m there, but I’m feeling more ‘present’ every day!

View from my Window

Italy was absolutely amazing.  Frascati, the town where our tour stayed, was a beautiful, hilltop, sun drenched maze of cobbled streets and shuttered windows.

We stayed at the Hotel Colonna, which was much nicer than any of the pensiones I was able to afford the last time I visited Italy 30 years ago!

Capuccino at Breakfast

Each morning breakfast was laid out for us – a full spread of fruit, yogurt, breads (but not for me!), juices and water, a HUGE tea selection AND any coffee drink that we might want.

I’m not a huge coffee drinker in the morning, but I did allow myself a few cappuccinos while I was there!

Cheese Piglets

After a few days the coffee became a bit too much for my system, so I retreated back to my world of tea, but I enjoyed my trip to coffee-land!

I am not sure how Alanna did it, but the Tactile Travel group was diverse enough to be absolutely fascinating, similar enough to create very good friendships, with each individual bringing a great deal of enthusiasm  to our entire experience.

Roman Flowers

She says this is how all of her tours are, which is pretty amazing!

I arrived later than the rest of the group and jumped in with both feet on my first teaching day showing everyone the finer points of entrelac (using my charted entrelac handout) and discovering what other techniques they’d like to learn in future teaching sessions.

The group was exceptionally skilled.  In every group there are very fast learners, and folks who digest all the information at a more measured pace, which was certainly true here.

The Secret of Sprite?

But – as usual – the folks who take their time learning the techniques seem to work on a deeper level, so everyone gathers a great deal of information.  We all learn, some get it at once, and some get it at last! It’s simply the distribution of information that changes from student to student.

But my teaching was not the main reason folks traveled halfway around the world – ITALY was the reason!

The relaxed Italian attitude of la dolce vita is a life enriching experience.  Each conversation, meal and moment are enjoyed to the fullest, which is an extraordinary thing.

Coliseum at Sunset

This attitude also kept Alanna on her toes, matching our group size to available transportation and taking the steering wheel when necessary (she’s QUITE a good driver!) Alanna was constantly revising our itinerary so our group could get the most out of our time in Italy.

Temple in the Restaurant

Folks were flexible, and they weren’t disappointed.  So much can happen on a trip, but having a flexible attitude and a good sense of humor brings it all back to a joyful place – which is where we found ourselves again and again!

Our group was FUNNY!  Each person was so full of laughter, so full of fun, and we played off of each other – encouraging our silliness – in a wonderful way.

GF Pizza

There were 3 “couples” – two friends, a mother/daughter and a husband/wife – and a solo traveler (like me!) so we sort of hooked up together for some stuff.

Imagine my surprise and joy when I discovered that Robin & Jack, the husband/wife duo, live near me in Minnesota!  We hit it off beautifully, and I hope to introduce them to the entire Modesitt-Landy clan in the near future!

Namaste Bag Travels Well!

I’m hopeful I’ll get to see Rosie & Linda, two friends who took the trip together, at Knitters Day Out in Pennsylvania next weekend!

I was thrilled to see that my friends Jill & Sheryl (daughter/mother) who I stay with when I’m teaching in their home towns, were on the tour. 

They both suffer from wheat sensitivity, so I wasn’t the only gluten free diner for most of our meals!

Ristorante Sibella, Tivoli

Rounding out our tour was Katherine, a lovely, funny, unexpectedly scintillating knitter from Washington, D.C.  I loved spending time with her, I only wish we could have arranged it to ‘do’ Rome together for a day before I fly home!

The food was tremendous – molto delizioso - and the greatest surprise was that when I got home I’d actually lost a bit of weight!  It certainly wasn’t for trying!

Breakfast with CROISSANTS!

Not eating wheat while in Italy may have helped, but I did have some pretty amazing gluten free pasta (Jill told me that 30% of all Italians have some form of celiac) and I did NOT want for food at any time on the trip!

At one point Sheryl and I escaped to a grocery and came back well stocked with gluten free goodies (croissants!!) which became a welcome part of our prima colazione each day!

Villa D'Este Tiles

Along with the scheduled group trips, we each took separate and small group trips to Rome, Ostia Antica, or just walking – or, given the main export of Frascati, stumbling – around in the beautiful village.

Me & Tivoli Fountain

I didn’t go on all the day trips, I enjoyed being with the group, but I also was happy to have some me-time to recharge my batteries so I would be a more pleasant traveling companion! I’m an extrovert much of the time, but I have enough introvert tendencies that

I really do need my alone time if I’m going to be fit company!

I heard from the everyone that the trips I missed were absolutely amazing, and based on the day trip to Villa D’Este in Tivoli which I did participate in, I would believe it.

ME Time

Tiber Side View

Tiber Side View

While the group visited a villa on Friday, I took time to gather my thoughts, take a train into Rome, and rented a not-great bike near the Coliseum and rode over 13 miles.  Absolutely amazing.

Caeser's Feet

I was on a wild goose chase for a restaurant that had gone out of business, but having a goal allowed me a sense of direction.  I enjoyed myself on my wild ride more than I had in months!

I’d read that Rome was a difficult on a bike, but I found it to be a very good biking city.  There are a lot of scooters, and therefore the traffic is used to small, quick things darting in and out of the way.  As long as I rode intelligently, signaled, stayed to off roads where possible and bike lanes, I was golden!

Roman Bubbler

Unfortunately, in two bike rentals I blew two tires.  Whether that’s a commentary on Rome’s streets or my weight, I’m not sure, but with my blowout in Scotland that makes me a triple threat.

There are small fountains, like constantly running hydrants, all over Roma.  The water is clear and cold and sweet, and my bottle was seldom empty.  Most welcome was the fountain on the Via Garibaldi at the top of a LONG stairway (I carried my bike up) where I drank about 3 bottles full.  I had such a hard (read, sweaty) ride that I felt like I drank my body weight in fountain water, but I saw more on that ride than I ever would have with a group or on a bus tour.

Sunset Column

As a doctor recently pointed out, I’m not fit.  Well, not perfectly fit, but I’m doing better than I was… I get around.

Turtle Fountain

I’m an almost 50-year-old, overweight Minnesotan.  If I can handle the hills on a bike in Rome, there’s a good chance that many other folks can, too!

A bike is a great way to get the ‘lay of the land’ – to get a sense of the scale and layout of a city – and the €10 I spent on the bike rental that Friday was some of the best money I spent!

The next day, Saturday, our entire group went into Rome for some button and fabric shopping, some eating, and some walking around.  Part of our group then visited the new MAXXI museum and had a feast of contemporary art.

Jewish Quarter

Jill, Sheryl and I sought out a wonderful gluten free pizzaria, Voglia di Pizza (nom, nom, nom) shopped, and took a walk through the Jewish quarter.

We also got a bit – ahem – lost (entirely my fault) but a happy cab ride later and we rendez-vou’d with the group at the lovely yarn shop Pippi Calzelunghe Roma.

See my last blog post for more details…

TEACHING

Who's Who in Tivoli

Sunday was more teaching – a morning class, then a few hours in the afternoon – covering some tips and tricks and fun stuff.  It’s always odd to teach to a smaller group of accomplished knitters – I don’t want to teach down to anyone, but I want to make sure everyone gets something that’s new and exciting to them!  I tried – and I think I succeeded – in giving everyone a little something new for their various knitting toolboxes.

I tried to spend one on one time with folks who wanted/needed it – I let everyone know that I was available at any time if they wanted to stop by my room or grab me if they saw me lounging in the piazza.  A few took me up on it, but I always walk away feeling like I should/could have done more.  I guess that’s what keeps me hungry for new techniques to share with my students!

MORE ROME

Pincio

Monday evening a tour was scheduled for our group to travel around Rome by van, guided by Alan Epstein (author of the book, “As The Romans Do”) but the finalized plans were up in the air (the availability of promised, reserved tour buses was a constant headache for Alanna!)

There was a question as to whether the bus would be large enough to accommodate our group PLUS the guide & driver, and I didn’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable (either physically squeezed, or feeling bad that I couldn’t fit into the van…)

Roman Biking Holiday

So after teaching in the morning I headed off to Rome where I’d arranged to rent a second bike, this time with a more reputable bike rental place, accompanied by Jill – she was ALSO dying for a good ride!  We rented from Top Bike Rental, and I cannot recommend then highly enough!

Our bikes were excellent!  Well maintained, all gears worked great and we had helmets, a lock and a cable.  All for €13 per person for the full day.

We arrived very late and the proprietor felt badly that we’d only have half a day.  He suggested that if we had a safe place to lock the bikes up all night we could keep them until midday the next day.  SOLD!

A Roman Cat with Attitude

Of course, that meant that we had to make sure we caught the ‘bike train’ back to Frascati and could not return with the group as our bikes would definitely NOT fit in the van (we weren’t even sure if we would!)

So off we headed, all over Rome, having the most MAGNIFICENT ride!  We headed to the Coliseum, along the Circus Maximus (watch my wheels, Jill!) then down the stairs to ride along the Tiber River.  As in St. Paul, there are metal gutters along many stairways to allow folks to roll bikes up and down easily – yay!

Bartolomeo Bikes

But once we hit the river-ride, I had a blowout and we were reduced to limping our bikes back to the bike rental place.  On the way it occurred to both of us that there was NO need for Jill to go back with me, that she could ride around and have a great time on her own, so we split up with a rendez vous point of Voglia di Pizza.

Off she rode, I waved goodbye and turned a corner and happened right upon a – BIKE SHOP!  And not just any bike shop, but Bartolomeo!

For €5 my tube was replaced (I was happy to pay that rather than walk uphill 2 miles to the bike place) and I was off again with an hour to kill before meeting Jill!

Life is good when fortuna smiles on you!

Gluten Free Dessert

We ate (desserts!) and rode and shopped and ate and shopped – what a great day!  Then we rode over to the La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali, where the group was meeting for dinner, arriving at around 8:30pm.

We’d been texting folks in our group all through the day, updating them on our change in plans (overnight bikes) and checking on their progress.  As the last train for Frascati was leaving at 9:52 and the group was due to arrive at the restaurant at 9:00, we were terrified that if we waited to eat with everyone we’d never make our train.

Previous Unlucky Bike

So we ate early!  The restaurant treated us like royalty – we ate alone at a HUGE round table for 9 – and had a magnificent gluten free dinner.  YAY friendly, amazing Roman chefs!  We were just finishing dessert as the group arrived and could only stay with them for 15 minutes.  We thought we’d allowed a good amount of time to get to the station, but one wrong turn + one HUGE hill + two very full bellies made the ride much more exhausting than we’d expected.

Roman Lace

But we made it (whew!) and immediately collapsed into our train, the bikes stowed in their little holders, our happy full bellies finally able to rest.  What an amazing day!

The hotel staff was kind enough to allow us to park the bikes in the garage.  It was quite a run – literally a run – to the garage.  The clerk ran ahead and Jill and I biked to keep up, it was some kind of crazy midnight running-of-the-bulls and we giggled like hyenas (including the clerk!)

The next morning, bright and early, Jill and I biked to the station and caught the 9:30 to Rome.  Other members of our group were on the train (we didn’t see them until we got off!) and they headed from Rome off to Ostia Antica.  I was sorry to miss that non-official trip, but we had bikes, and the bikes were calling our names!

VILLA BORGHESE

Centurians!

If you do get a chance to bike in Rome, GO to the Villa Borghese park!  It will be one of the best things you’ll do!

The closest I can find in comparison would be Central Park in NY – and we found the equivalent of the Literary Walk up by the Pincio area of the Villa Boghese Gardens.  Amazing, beautiful, wonderful!  And if you don’t already have a bike, you can rent one there!

The View

Of course we had to stop and have a Caffe Latte Freddo and some chocolate (keeping up our strength!) before riding down to the Piazza del Popolo, and then heading up the Via Flamina crossing to a point where I’d discovered a slightly scary-steep ramp down to the Tiber edge path.  No walking/carrying our bikes down THIS time!

Ride by the Tiber.  It may seem touristy, but it’s wonderful.  And I saw a LOT of broken glass (maybe THAT’S what happened to my tires?) so be aware and be careful.  But it’s a lovely, rather isolated place to be while still in the middle of everything, and the views from the river edge are quite wonderful.  Just amazing.  And no blow out that day!

More Views!

Extra bonus for us, when we decided to walk our bikes back up to street level we were right by the Tiber Island, where the stairs are not steep and the metal bike gutter is far enough away from the wall that rolling them up was a breeze.

A bit more riding, just to get ourselves back to the bike rental, and then we were on busses or walking for the rest of the day.  More eating, more shopping, more fun – wonderful!

The train back to Frascati was an adventure (my bobble head gladiator fell on me…) and then finally home to shower, check email, and meet the group for our last, sensational dinner at – well – I don’t remember.  But it was fun and delicious and wonderful.

Last Shot Before I Dropped My Camera

Just like Italy!

Italy on Flickr

I’m going to be lazy today – it’s Sunday – and we had a very lovely and LONG day yesterday!

To see all of the photographs I’ve taken of Italy thus far, please check out my Italy 2010 flickr set of Italy photographs!

www.flickr.com

modeknit's Italy 2010 photoset
modeknit’s Italy 2010 photoset

Debil Cat

Like Friday, yesterday was a Roman day.  This time our entire group went in, and we had a lovely time shopping for some buttons, fabric, and just – well – shopping!  We visited with some cats who were entirely unfazed by a group of cooing American knitters.  Unfortunately one of our group wasn’t feeling well, so I hope she gets a chance to go back in to Rome soon.

Gluten Free & FABulous!

After shopping we split into two groups, one going to the MAXII Contemporary Art Museum, and the other, smaller group (Sheryl, Jill & myself) to have a lovely gluten-free lunch of PIZZA!! and a walk to the Jewish Quarter.

In one of those kismet-esque events, a nice couple sat next to us at the pizzeria and we began chatting.  A few facts we gleaned from this couple:

  • They live in Saint Paul (small world!)
  • One child lives in Williamsburg, Bklyn, where J lives (smaller world)
  • The other child lives in Maplewood, NJ, near South Orange (smaller world)
  • They’re Jewish (smaller world)
  • They bike in Saint Paul (even SMALLER world)
  • and I hope they’ll be coming to Max’s bar mitzvah in January!

Kosher Bistro

After our separate days, our whole tour group was going to meet up at a Roman yarn shop for knitting night.  But unfortunately I misread the map (it was ENTIRELY my fault!) and J, S & I walked for about 3.4 miles until we realized we had MANY more miles to go before we would arrive at our location.

It was hot, we were dusty, and we’d just passed through the Roman version of the Brooklyn entry ramp onto the Long Island Expressway (hubcaps, motorcycle helmets and car parts, anyone?)

So we hailed a happy cab with a non-English speaking driver (well, he spoke a LOT more English than we did Italian!) but he was so funny and nice, and we had a wonderful ride out to the yarn shop – and an Italian lesson on the way! 

Once we arrived at the shop we had the MOST wonderful time!  The shop was crammed with happy knitters and crocheters, many of us couldn’t understand each other, but we spoke the universal language of FIBER!

Why is this night different?

We saw some truly beautiful pieces, shared a bottle of Limoncello I’d bought earlier, and had an all around wonderful evening!

Then back to Frascati for dinner.  We were all SO tired – I left before dessert (go figure!) and snoozed as soon as my head hit the pillow!  The restaurant had some WONDERFUL gluten free pasta, but for our starter all they had were some GF crackers and beautifully flavored olive oil.  It was like having a little bit of Pesach in the middle of Rosh Hashana!

Now I head off to teach this morning – covering some millinery, some tips, some tricks, some embellishments and other stuff.  I promise a better blog post after my nap this afternoon, with addresses for the GF restaurants and the yarn shop! Ciao!

Market Flowers in Rome

Ciao!

Wings Over Engalnd

Finally I’m feeling non-jet-lagged enough to blog, and I find myself with a day on my own, so of course the first thing I do is return to my room and begin web logging.

It’s amazingly beautiful here in Frascati! I arrived late on Tuesday and overslept on Wednesday (a 9:30 call woke me up 30 minutes before my first class was to begin

(I must remember to REMOVE the headphones from the iphone when I’m using it as an alarm clock!)

Passenger in Italy

But since the group had already had several days to slide into the Italian mindset, they were very gracious at my late arrival and after taking a poll of the group I proceeded to teach a short day of entrelac techniques.

It was quite amazing to see everyone getting it so quickly – they’re a skilled group – and I may just sleep in before ALL of my classes if this is the result!

Roman Pines & Palms

After a day of classes I had a nice glass of wine with a lovely couple from Minnesota, Robyn & Jack/Marco (of COURSE they’re lovely – and the live near me!) and we were joined by my good friends the Sessa’s (Jill & her mom, Sheryl) who then accompanied me to a very nice dinner.

Other tour members are just as lovely, I’ll introduce you to them in later posts.

Gelato has no Glutino

Alanna, our hostess for Tactile Tours, is a beautiful combination of American ‘get’er DONE’ and Italian, ‘but why hurry?’ and I think by the end of our tour we will ALL be incredibly relaxed.

Me & Fountains

It’s true there’s a lot of gluten here – pasta, anyone? - but there’s SO much wonderful stuff that I CAN – and WILL – eat!  I could thrive on the eggplant alone!

Yesterday our group went to the Villa D’Este in Tivoli and visited the water-fed gardens which were AMAZING!  So lovely, so well designed and such a joy to stroll!

Villa D'Este, 100 Fountains

I was unprepared for the difference in, well, comfort that is presented in the Italian villas vs. Irish/Scots/English castles, which were NOT designed for comfort at all.  Even something as simple as the scale of the stairs, with an easier rise and tread, is apparent here.

We heard the water organ (the construction was quite fascinating) and the walk did us all good!

So much water flows here!

Our tour guide was adorable, if a bit long-winded (evidently it was very important that we know the dates that each room was painted, re-painted and then re-re-painted)

After our tour we had lunch at an amazing restaurant, Sibilla Antico Ristoriante, built in 1730 with an outdoor dining area covered by a 200 year old Wisteria vine.

Crocheted Plate Cushions

It sits next to the Temples of Vesta & Sibilla (circa 1st Century BCE), incorporating part of that into the outer dining area.

Temple of Vesta, Tivoli

I have learned new phrases, “Non che glutine?” translated: “This Doesn’t Contain Gluten?” and it’s gone a long way toward helping me find gluten free alternatives.  I’ve also learned, “Non posso mangiare glutine.” translated: “I can’t eat gluten.”

Lunches of the Royal & Famous

The walls display marble plaques commemorating visits by royalty and other famous persons.  It was quite a wonderful location.

But the food was even more outstanding!  We started with an antipasto (which actually contained quite a bit of bread, but the non-bread items were pure heaven!) and then found ourselves so full we opted for a small tasting plate of the pastas they serve (I had gluten free with clams & gambero [crawdads] and it was magnificent!)

The Beautiful Ristorante Sibilla

Resting in the late afternoon and dining late is quickly becoming an easy side for all of us!  More wine, ham and cheese last night at the wine bar where we’re becoming regulars, then I retired after a gelato, not really requiring a full meal.  I’ve eaten plenty!

We’re a bit south of Rome, but within commuter train distance so while the group goes on a tour of artists studios in the area today, I’ll take the train into the Eternal City and just walk around, searching for good things to see.  And look where I’ll be eating

It’s My Party!

And I am NOT crying today! I’m 49.

It’s a lovey day (a bit overcast and cool, but that’s what I love) and our neighbors are tearing down the skanky old fence and putting up a new one, so life is VERY good today!

Roses, a beautiful mug, some green glass earrings and other cool stuff was waiting for me downstairs this morning.  I fixed breakfast, set aside warm-up-ables for the sleeping family and chatted online with the the tour organizer for my Italian adventure.

Cow Escapes From Kemp Bug

I feel very disconnected.  Not quite, “If it’s Tuesday it must be St. Paul…” disconnected, but almost.

Somehow I acquired a few odd things in my suitcase (a remote control from a friend’s TV, an adaptor, other stuff) so I’ve been mailing those items back to people along with some book orders.  And, for whatever reason, my book orders have increased so dramatically that I have to do another printing of Confessions, a mixed blessing (happy to have the sales, hard to come up with the up-front print costs!)

Mulberry Silk Lace

I’ve just finished a sweater for The Knitter that may become one of my favorite pieces of all time.  I designed it about 3 years ago, and have had it in my “ideaas” folder since then.  An opportunity to submit it came up, and I was thrilled that it was accepted.  It’s worked up in Louisa Harding Mulberry Silk, which has become one of my favorite yarns in the working of this.

It’s a ribbed cardigan with a lace collar and sleeves, which also feature short row shaping.  Although the SR shaping is worked in lace, I kept the motif very simple so that my head wouldn’t explode.  When the short rows are finished, the lace blooms into a more complex motif, which – I must say – was a very satisfying knit!

I can’t post photos of the completed garment as it’s not been published yet, but here’s a detail shot.  LOVE the Mulberry Silk!

Italy

I’m so excited, and yet so – subdued – about this trip.

I have had a love affair with Italian history since I first read I, Claudius by Robert Graves in the early 80’s.  Most recently I listened to a wonderful biography of Joanna I of Naples, and of course I love the whole Masters Of Rome series by Colleen McCullough.  It’s so much fun it’s almost a guilty pleasure!

I’ve not been to Italy for over 20 years – and I’ve NEVER been as far south as Rome.  I’ve been to Florence a few times, but that’s it (that’s PLENTY!) To be able to go with a group of knitters, several of whom I know and just love, and to be able to share knitting tips and tricks and new patterns with them is going to be pure joy!

I think any hesitancy is because I just haven’t been home so much lately.  When I can get a workshop type of teaching assignment, it works out much better for me financially.  It’s also easier, physically, to arrive some place and stay PUT for a few days while I teach, I can recover more quickly than when I travel from yarn shop to yarn shop on an extended trip.

So instead of taking on any single engagements this year, I’ve only done multi-class workshop type of events.  The fact that three of these trips are happening in rapid succession (Scotland, Italy and Knitters Day Out in Harrisburg, PA) is just the luck of the draw.

State Fair

Sheep & Lambs

The family took the city bus to the state fair this week – we picked the BEST day to do it, too!  Sunny, cool, beautiful, and we had a blast!

We took along a friend’s daughter who is a favorite with both Max and Hannah, and let the three of them run loose and ride as many rides as they could.  Gerry and I strolled around, watched the baby animals meet the world, and just acted like old farts.

Baked Goodies - But Not For Me

Then we met for lunch, we split up again, and I found myself a nice sunny corner to sit and crochet on a pillow project for a book.  Just sitting at the fair is an adventure – a fellow playing the pipes stood very nearby and I enjoyed his music while I worked some decorative chain embroidery!

Friends are coming up tomorrow and I’m very excited about showing them a bit of Saint Paul!  If they want to go to the fair, though, I think they’ll be on their own – I’m too tired!

Fibro

It’s been chilly here in St. Paul overnight, and my fibro is flexing it’s muscles.  It makes me aware of how I’ll be affected when the winter really does set in, and makes me very happy that I turned down any winter-time teaching engagements that were sent my way.

I think my next scheduled engagement is next March 4-6 at the WYIF Conference in Virginia (DC Area)  More to come on that as details become firm!

So I’m looking forward to some months of hunkering down, recovering from a 6-week teaching blast, and working on my move-ability.

Pondering In My Heart

I’m trying to work through some stuff, directions, etc.

I thought I’d find a shining sign at TNNA: GO FORTH AND DO THIS! But I didn’t.  I did get a lot of support, though, which is excellent.

Shrug En Route & "B" Twist

I’m finishing up my Lace Bootcamp and Twisted Float Shrug Online Classes, which start on July 1.  I always feel doubtful about a class the first time I run it, and this time is no exception.  Time to just keep plugging away and try to make it as comprehensible as possible.

If you’d care to sign up for either of my new classes, please use the code “july” for a 25% discount. I feel better discounting the first run of a class, I figure I learn as much from you as you do from me, and this allows me to give a break to folks who are willing to be guinea pigs!

Wavy Lace Wrong SideAside from working on the classes, there’s not a lot going on.  I’m mentally and physically preparing for UK Knit Camp in Stirling (I’ll be teaching a few classes) and on the horizon is that magnificent Italian adventure in September (I’ll be teaching, it should be – how you say – amazing!)

But mostly I’m just – mentally – trying to find my place right now.

Calm Mississippi Dog Run

I need to find a peaceful, calm place to roost, a place where I can do what I love, pay the mortgage, and not feel encumbered by this fibro crap / pain that crops up at the most inconsistent times.

Mentally, the fibro is wearing me down, I have to say it.  When I was first diagnosed I was not aware of how much this would affect me.  This renewed awareness is almost more of a boulder in my path than the fibro itself.

I’m sorry I’m not more – me? – today.  Funny?  Joyful?  Deep down I’m all those things, really!

But right now the part of me that’s rising to the top is the scared and hurt part.  Obviously I need to knit more.  Or maybe I need to stir things up?  Or maybe I need some dispersant? However you spin it, this fibro-depression is lurking just under my surface like a 300 foot plume.

WHY?

Why am I really so low today?  I had a bad doctor’s appointment.  Not a bad appointment, a bad DOCTOR who just went off on healthcare, political stuff, etc. with no encouragement from me.  Honest.  None at all.  And I know from encouraging folks to go off, it’s a real skill of mine.  This time, it wasn’t me.  He was going off on folks before we even arrived (we heard him explaining some of his views as we passed another exam room.)

This picture has nothing to do with the text. I just wanted to show that we'd been to see the Dead Sea Scrolls for Father's Day.

It was bizarre.  If Gerry hadn’t been with me (and if I hadn’t seen the look on the Physician’s Assistants face, who was in the room with us and was trying to keep it together) I would have thought I was nuts.

Well, maybe I am – but this guy was NUTSIER.

He tried, belatedly, to apologize for going off on  – me? the world? – I don’t really know who his anger/frustration was directed toward.  But he was angry.

He said so at one point – “I’m angry.” Very odd.

So that was my last visit, not so much because he’s a freakazoid (and I know from freakazoid docs, this was the fellow who delivered Hannah in Oct 1996, the same month as the carving incident) It was our last visit because our insurance runs out in 10 days.

See, a silver lining already!

The kids will have to be uninsured for 4 months before they’re eligible for MN care, Gerry will be on SSDI Medicare.  But I’ll be floating along like a dandelion seed, wafting away on a breath blown by an asthmatic kid.

Twisted Float Detail

And me? I will knit. I’m putting the resume together, looking into temp type work, but I just don’t think I have the physical stamina to work a full 8 hours in a day without resting, or coming home in severe pain.

Obviously the work a bit, rest a bit schedule is great – but since January I can’t seem to produce enough to keep it going.

How can I be terribly upset, though, when I have such amazing yarn to work with?  This is a swatch using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd’s Worsted (Zombie BBQ) and a tiny piece of Pico Accuardi merino as waste yarn.  The Pico was used above in the lace swatch.

This is excellent therapy.

Monday, June 21, 2010 By Rick Levine

Yesterday | Today | Tomorrow


Virgo
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You may long for a resting place in your ongoing struggle to hold on to recent gains while still embracing the future. Inevitable change seems to be knocking at your front door, but just as you think it’s okay to let it in, something happens that makes you question your assumptions. Don’t be attached to your expectations. Instead, be ready to flow with the shifting tides until they settle back down.