Saturday, April 21, 2007

So . . . it's been awhile

It's been a longer break from writing than I expected. The last 2 weeks have been crazy - school, home, and weather!

Our town managed to emerge relatively unscathed from the huge storm that pounded the Northeast this past week, but many folks in nearby towns weren't so lucky. Many flooded basements, yards, houses turned into islands, etc. And the road damage is pretty incredible. Sections of a major highway have been closed since Monday due to landslide, washouts, and bridge damage. Several local school districts have been closed much of the week. The sun finally came out yesterday, and the next few days are supposed to sunny and warm and late April-ish!

I also went to VA Beach over Easter weekend to attend my brother's Navy retirement ceremony and party. Cold, unseasonable weather there that weekend, even snow! But we had fun too!

I have been knitting pretty feverishly on a baby blanket --Debbie Macomber's "Baby Blocks"

I used an acrylic yarn - Caron Le Soft.

Close up of the blocks:

They alternate between garter and purl and look interwoven.

I'm almost done with the 2nd "Town Meeting" sock. Then it's time to decide what new major project to tackle. I have lots of sock yarn for the in between project times, and a shawl to do, and a summer shell to finish. But the new project -- hmm, I'm thinking a summery top or cardigan.

It's vacation week for me. We're taking a mini-trip to Nantucket. I've never been there, so I'm looking forward to exploring a new place. We're only going to be away 2 days, but even a mini-trip is great! The rest of the week will be devoted to grading 39 myth projects, and planning out the rest of the year for social studies and reading/language arts -- Rome, and poetry, and another novel. At least I don't have to get up at 4:45 am!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


A foot of snow fell overnight! Another snow day here in NH. Of course the sun is out now, and temps are almost 40°. At least it seems as though our flight will be on time later today.

I finally decided to take my sock and the baby afghan I started on my trip. I would just take the socks but I really need to get the afghan finished before the baby for which its intended arrives. I'm using a Debbie Macomber pattern, "Baby Blocks" and Caron Simply Soft. I haven't used acrylic yarn in a long time. My hands have gotten used to the feel of merino, and alpaca, and silk. I prefer using the natural fibers over acrylic, but for a baby item, I wanted machine wash and dry, and I really didn't want to use cotton. THe afghan looks really nice, and the pattern is finally getting internalized so I don't have to keep reading and re-reading the directions.

I'm hoping to find a sunrise service on Easter that I can get to before our 10 am flight!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Traveling - and Lent

I hate packing! I love to travel, but I hate trying to figure out what to pack. I always manage to take way too much stuff. I think it's because I've been raised to be prepared for anything. I usually end up traveling at those iffy times of year too -- the weather is too changeable to know whether to take a coat or not, spring shoes, or winter ones, etc.

We're not traveling far - only from NH to VA, and only for 3 days. My brother is retiring from 20 years in the Navy, and we're making mad dash down to Norfolk for the celebration. Trying to figure out what to wear, when it's snowing like the dickens at the moment here in the north can be challenging.

It will be weird traveling this weekend. I have rarely missed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter services at my church and I will be missing them all this weekend. In fact, I'll be in the air just as the Tenebrae service gets underway, and again on Sunday as the Resurrection is celebrated. It's been an odd Lenten journey for me this year. I have been trying to read The Last Week, and find time for reflection, but have failed miserably. I feel as the disciples must have felt, falling asleep in the garden, rather than keeping watch with Jesus. So in some ways, I do not feel prepared to celebrate Easter joy - I haven't been keeping Lenten watch. . . . and yet, that is the true grace we are all offered. We are still offered the gift, even though we don't deserve it.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Town Meeting Socks

Last weekend was our annual town meeting, which had been postponed from the previous week due to heavy snow. If you've never had the experience of attending a bona fide town meeting, you are missing something. It is the remnant of democracy at its best - one person, one vote, all voters getting a chance to stand up and speak if they so choose! It was perfect timing as far as I was concerned. I'm teaching Ancient Greece in my social studies classes and we had just been discussing the development of democracy in Athens. I challenged my 6th graders to come to town meeting for at least a bit, to see for themselves something of what was intended. (Only one showed up, but that's another story!). Town meeting does require a commitment of time - our meeting lasted about 6 1/2 hrs, but where else can you literally stand up and be counted? The big money items, which are usually discussed for what seems like for ever, usually result in a secret ballot, but in this particular meeting we also used voice vote, and a stand up vote. I'm always amused when we approve a huge expenditure for a $2 million bond, and then spend 2 hours fighting over whether to spend $5000 on a repair item. It's sad to see this experience dying out. Too many of us just don't have a day to devote to discussion and voting. Most minds aren't changed by the sometimes heated discussion, and we'd rather just take 10 minutes to go in and cast a ballot. Years ago Town Meeting Day was a holiday of sorts --- every thing else was put on hold so that the voters could meet. I make a point of making sure my students learn that in ancient Athens, voting wasn't just a right, it was a duty. Citizens who failed to vote were fined!

So what does this have to do with socks? Easy! Town meeting is a perfect excuse to sit and knit and know that aside from being a good citizen, you have a good long spell to sit and knit! I started this sock using a basketweave pattern from my sock bible - Sensational Knitted Socks.

I'm using Regia Strato and size 2 circular needles. The color isn't coming out well - it's a navy background with lighter blues, browns, and tans.