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Off to see the . . . Rocks?

Our latest class at Olli (Athens, UGA) was a study of the geology of the Colorado Plateau taught by Dr. R. David Dallmeyer.  I don’t know a rock from a button, so I was a bit nervous. Add to this I needed to explain to David that it was necessary for me to knit during class in order to stay focused. Well, it all went smoothly and David is one of the best teachers I have ever seen.  I didn’t need help staying focused.

We not only signed up for the class, we also joined the group going to Arizona and Utah to see in person the real strata we had just studied.  ( Actually, pre-class, I was just planning to paint my way from A to U. )

Two problems had to be solved.

1.  How many art toys do I need to take?  How few can I get away with is a better question.  Best I can tell, there are no art supply stores in the National Parks.  To start I filledthe dining   room table.  After a week of slow, steady deletions, I am packing these:

Luggage space is limited in our vans, so I may have to wear all my clothes on the plane and find a paper bag when I get to Phoenix. 

2.  Getting to the airport and finding a parking place.  

We flew to France from Atlanta a few years ago and almost missed the flight because we couldn’t find a place to park–and then there were the fees!  Not doing that again.  Also, I’m not in Charlotte anymore and the airport isn’t 18 minutes from my house.  We are going to Atlanta today and spending the night, leaving our car at the motel (free parking) and taking their shuttle to the airport Sunday am. Yes, the hotel fee and the airport parking for 12 days balance out,and it’s much easier emotionally.

  The trip will be far less boring than this blog. There will be opportunities to fall off a cliff, tear up a knee on a trail, or meet a wild animal. 

Keep me in your prayers.

More later–


Thank you, Cat, for asking

(Reposting to get this to Facebook friends.  I hope.)

Moving, especially when you are a senior, is not easy. No matter the draw to new places or the excitement of an adventure, leaving lifelong friends of all ages leaves a hole in your heart.  I’m going through the normal depression of that now. I was feeling like I was purposeless and worried at how little I left the house. I thought my creative life was stagnant. 

Then Cat wrote and asked “What are you making?”  This young woman is clearly clairvoyant. She made me look around and see that I had indeed done some things. Even some I liked. 

I thought I would share them with you. 

Took a drawing class. a 2 min. sketch.

Still collecting lichen for dyeing.

Slowly planning a village street scene.

Some scarves unblocked of course.

Drawing birds to make note cards.

making small notebooks out of marbled paper.

Marbled more paper in 90 deg heat.

Watercolor of one of the millions in the backyard.

Practicing watercolor sketching on back deck.

Trying to spin like Jan Smiley. Failing.

July visit to Philadelphia.

Practising for Fall trip to Arizona and Utah.

watercolor and ink sketch this morning

Steve made this barrier to keep Lexie out of his Bat Cave.

And——I rowed 6 miles on the Broad River in a solo kayak. 

But I still miss my Charlotte friends. All of you. Have not met anyone here yet that comes near to you. 

Maybe today.

More later . . .

Good news from Athens

Lexie and her cow.

This is Alexandra Elizabeth, a rescue Chihuahua from Colbert, Ga.  She is 3 or 5 years old depending on which expert guess you like best. She has Olympic caliber athletic skills and loves to dance on her hind legs. She is NOT house broken. Thank heaven the fence will be installed Thursday. She has made lots of progress since December 24 when she came to her forever home.

February in my backyard. The yard is also filled with cardinals, goldfinches, bluebirds, finches, and Carolina chickadees. I wish I could get a decent photo of them.

We also have deer.

This is Margaret Agner. She is a neighbor and friend. She is an artist who primarily does silk paintings.

She joined Erica and me at a fashion show for independent designers held at the loading dock of the local paper.  My new hairstylist tells me that this is a typical venue at New York fashion week. She works the shows each year.

 My design hero, Natalie Chanin, came to town as part of the Georgia Sewn Conference and I was able to talk with her and participate in a mini-workshop. This is the newspaper photo from the local paper. I had a very nice seat on the floor of the Atrium in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. UGA.

There have been other activities:  meeting Charlottean Meta Thompson at the Fibercraft Guild,  seeing “The Graduate” at the Town and Gown Theatre, a drawing class at OLLI (Google this if you are 50+), et. al.

There are at least six special activities every day, most of them free.  I just wish I could bring all of my friends and family down here to play with me.

There will definitely be more later–

New House–New Life

I’ve always wanted to live in a university town where town and gown really like each other. And now I will.

Steve is retiring and we are moving to Athens, Georgia. We are as giddy as teenagers.

We close on the new home Friday.  It is perfect for us.

 Lots of natural light.

 A screened porch and a deck.

 A studio with skylights.

We will move ____???? Retirement is in January. House has to sell. Donna Harding is my incredible real estate guru, so hope it will be soon.

Where we live in the meantime? We don’t know. Everything is day to day and I don’t care. Strange, coming from a planning Nazi. It is just part of how right this decision is.

Did you know that people over 62 can attend the University of Georgia for free? I am checking off classes in the catalog nightly.

We have spent a lot of time in Athens with my older daughter and my older grandson and their friends.  We love the foodie culture, the many arts groups and the amazing cycling. So many good things await us there, and I hope all of you who have so richly influenced my life will wish us well. I wish everyone could feel in their own lives as much joy and excitement as I feel today.

Y’all come on down. Real estate and taxes are cheap!

Faux Bolero

This was an experiment.  It was inspired by a photo of Courtney Kelley’s “Starboard Cape” in Interweave’s summer 2011 of Knitscene.  Hers is a knit version, simple and quite elegant.  I was attempting to make a crocheted shawl shaped like several I had recently designed in knitted versions.

I actually accomplished it, but it is rough.  Increases in several places have small holes—which maybe I can fix.  The pattern seems to go wonky after several increases for a bit.  Perhaps I should have kept it simpler, but them I wouldn’t have learned so much.

Anyway, when I finished it, I tried using a chain of stitches to form a connection under the arms on both sides.  It took some trial and error to find the best length, about 4 inches, and the best places to join.  I went too far forward on the front to begin with.  Finished, it looks and wears like a short jacket.  The drapyness of the lace makes the sides look like sleeves.  It may just be a lucky accident.  I have notes, but am not willing to try to recreate it at this moment.  So far it has no edge finishes, but I like the plain look.

The yarn is a wonderful cotton by Isager which is discontinued.

A Historic Day for the US

How to feel about the death of Osama Bin Laden is complicated for me.  I am so proud of all of our citizens who were involved in locating him; very proud and grateful to any soldier who risked this assignment; but celebrating any death is a little delicate for me.  Also, I worry just a bit that in our euphoria we will miss the important part of this.

Watching Morning Joe on MSNBC, I had the opportunity to listen to comments by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Pres. Carter’s National Security Advisor and a very smart man.  He cautioned that how important this event is depends on what comes next.  He emphasized that this gives our government opportunities and it is important whether we take them or not.  Opportunity, because the President’s prestige is much higher than ever, to emphasize that our enemies are the terrorists, not the Muslims of the world.  It is an opportunity to reevaluate our role in the Middle East vis-a-vis the war–and the millions of dollars and the young lives we pour into it each week.  We, the people, must not be distracted by this from our concern about our economy.

We also need to take the opportunity to look at the reasons for this success.  Obama, even if he didn’t want to, continued the policies of Bush and that continuity led to success; the Bush administration made a seamless transition to the Obama administration possible, at least in this area.  Somehow behind all of this people of diverse opinions worked together.  Intelligence agencies had to curb their competition and cooperate.  The military also worked together in amazing cohesiveness.

There is a lesson here for our politicians in Washington and at home;  there is a lesson here for each of us, in our professions, our communities, and our families.  Disagreement and civilized argument is good for us; it produces more ideas; it makes good decisions and solutions possible.  However, we must always emphasize civility.  Am I the only person who thinks that is what is missing from the modern world?

Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.  By reading this, you have given me, the teacher that I am, a chance to do what I think good teachers do–raise questions for others to think about.  I appreciate it.

Magic Friends Are Marvelous

All friends are treasures, but one with magic powers is WOW!  You mention a wish you’ve had for a bit and with a phone call, VOILA, your wish appears.

Thanks Linda.  I’m even sleeping in them.

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