28 May, 2007

I've got the Jim & Pam blues.

From Dunder Mifflin, of course.

I guess I just miss Kenny. Too many episodes of The Office, too many glances at cute pictures on the wall. Oh well. Summers go fast when you're working at camp.

In other news... I'm almost ready to leave here. I'm pretty much packed, and today I vaccumed the whole house, every single room. Two whole vaccuum bags, mainly cat hair. The rugs are now very vibrant. Tomorrow I squeeze in my last flameworking session before I have to drive my now empty oxygen tank across town and return it to the shop. Still a lot left on the old to do list, however.

Just keep working, just keep working... and then it's off to Orientation, a week of "grown-up camp" that we'll so desparately need to have in order to be ready for campers arriving. Oh my stars, I still feel so lucky to get to play with beeswax and dye and cotton all summer. Probably means little to no sunshine for me, but hey: I'll just have to use my free time wisely. And by wisely I mean lounging on the grass. Ah the tough, tough life of the modern camp counselor.


25 May, 2007

LOST Season 3 Finale (no spoilers)

Oh, my god.

You know, the pacing of that show is so weird sometimes. There were more than a few episodes this season where I felt like nothing got accomplished. But this season finale, the pace was a sprint and there were so, so many twists. And as a good finale should, it's left me with both a feeling of finality and like I'm hanging on a cliff. I'm really unhappy with the final reveal (which we can talk about after you all see the episode) because it's so hopeless. Like going to a pessimistic fortune teller. But that's my opinion, and therefore subjective, and thus is not a spoiler.

I have to admit to tears welling up at more than one scene. What a freaking great show.

23 May, 2007

One week to go...

I just realized this morning that I leave Vermont in a week and a day. How did that happen? There's a lot I want to get done this week, so that things will be "ready" when the NH clan arrives home. Two of the major things (get the entire lawn mowed and buy the yarn for my summer knitting project*) happened yesterday, so now I'm down to:
1) pack!
2) ship camp stuff to camp
3) finish the serenade songbooks
4) vaccuum up all remaining cat hair, dust/dirt, cobwebs
5) organize any of my stuff that I'm not bringing into boxes
6) replace the kitty litter
7) take all my passwords & files off of the house computers
8) generally spiff up house

I think 8 is enough for now.

*I changed my mind about the Angel hair blanket. I don't really need any new blankets, and I do want to knit this sweater. I love the idea of having a camp project (socks don't count, duh) to knit in my free time and after hours (ah, hanging out on the staff living room porch with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a pile of stitchwork in my lap! Heaven!). Here's the picture of what it will look like (but with different colors) and my color choices:

Lite Lopi Pullover by Norah Gaughan

The Shearer's Yarn from Walople, NH in lilac, grape, fur green, light green, and blue heather

17 May, 2007

Cozy and warm

Keto came up from Boston today and we celebrated by making a feast: sweet potato fries were my contribution (with rosemary from the backyard garden) and fried scallion pancakes with a spicy dipping sauce were her specialty. YUM. We each had a glass of white wine and are now off to bed at slightly after 9pm. Oh my god, I love chilly spring nights!

In knitting news, I got six sweaters for $30 from the thrift store downtown so that I could unravel them and recycle the yarn into new projects for a much lower price than buying new yarn. Of course, this means I have two weeks to unravel them all (yikes). But it also means that I'll have fun, practically free balls of yarn with which to practice dyeing at camp this summer. Hooray!

Off to bed.

16 May, 2007

You make the baby, I'll make the socks

Sounds like a good compromise, eh? Here are Eliina's socks, safely arrived in Canada and modeled for us by her eminence the 9 week old. I'm so glad they fit!

14 May, 2007

Summer fun (somethin's begun)

I've been trying to think of a knitting project that I could work on all summer that wouldn't cost me my whole camp paycheck. In addition to our cute, cozy little yarn shop in town there's also a big box store, JoAnn's Crafts, that has an aisle or two of semi-cheap yarn (not as gross as Mall-Wart, but you definitely have to wade through all the Boucles and Chenilles), and this morning I looked up and was stunned to see that they have a whole, like ceiling shelf of this stuff:

I actually really like the colorways but when I was standing there, aware of the groceries melting in the car outside, I couldn't bring myself to buy a skein or two because I couldn't think of what to do with them. I'm not into making scarves anymore, and the fuzziness doesn't lend itself well to cables, and I wouldn't want a fuzzy sweater, but i did like the way the colors all looked thrown together on the shelf.
Then tonight when doing my requisite before-bed-blog-browsing, I saw this granny-square inspired project on Flickr, and it hit me: at 2 skeins/$4, the Angel Hair would be perfect to just grab lots of in four or five different colors, take a pair of some chunky needles, and make squares all summer long, seaming them as I go (so I'm not faced with a stack of chores at the end of the summer).

So that's it; I'm going to make a blanket! And as I'm going to be trying to teach as many counselors to knit as possible, maybe I can make it a community blanket, and as each girl or guy finishes their square, I can add it to the blanket and then more and more people will want to contribute.

Boo yeah!

A few more pieces falling into place

The universe and I have once more met in the middle with satisfactory outcomes. This weekend I went to Williamsburg to interview at the Montessori school and to scope out the town and Law School, so that Kenny and I know a little more about where we'll be next year. It's always a bit of a gamble to make such big decisions without first seeing for yourself what you've been reading about online. On screen, Williamsburg seemed like a puzzle of a town: it's touristy, but is it too touristy? It has a quaint downtown, but can you navigate it on foot or bike? How realiable is the bus system?

Well, sometimes you investigate and everything seems dimmer than what you had imagined. And other times, like this weekend, you see for yourself and you see possibilities and selling points absolutely everywhere. Here's what I thought. [Disclaimer: I only have about 3 days of experience so far, so this might all have to be taken with a grain of salt.]

First of all, the interview was successful on a few points: one, the staff and teachers that I met were all very warm and welcoming, and the head of school herself is really easy to talk with and had a manner that I foud to be a perfect mix of friendly and professional. She's a friendly professional. Two, I got the job! Which is great, because as we were taking the tour I was developing a little bit of a crush on the sweet gardens, the potential that my teaching space has, and the very thoughtful layout of the classroom environment. So, I'm glad I get to come back. I'm really excited to be a teacher again. My official title, actually, will be After School Coordinator and Movent & Music Specialist. (I'll run the after school program in the p.m. and lead music and movement lessons before and after the lunch time hour). So, once I had the employment question settled, I was free to explore and make a few decisions as far as where we should orient ourselves for optimal living next year. The town is actually pretty small. It's surrounded by the slightly larger James City County, or JCC. Which is funny, because growing up in Charlotte the JCC meant the Jewish Community Center. So looking at the map I was thinking, gosh, there certainly is a large Jewish population down here. But then I figured it out. Anyway, we definitly want to live within walking distance of the Law School, since that'll be Kenny's lifeblood, and I also want to take the bus as much as possible next year, so we want to live on the corner where both the green route and the purple route pick up passengers. The apartments on that corner appeared slightly less gentile in person than they were trying to make themselves out to be on paper, but I feel like they're a good kind of funky. Older, more humble housing. But two floors, two bedrooms (we get an office!) and hardwood floors, for an affordable amount of rent. Granted, a girl I talked to said you can hear every thing that goes on next door to you, and that maitenance was minimal and less than enthusiastic, but such is the nature of apartment living in a college town. All in all, I'd say not bad for our first year in a new town. We can always investigate different housing for our second year if we need to. Here's a few pictures of what will hopefully be our next nest:

Once i felt pretty good about applying for housing there, I went over to drop off our application and fee. They said that since we're looking at flexible moving dates, our chances are good at being accepted for a unit soon. Hopefully it'll happen, but we'll see. If not, then something better is in the works. I do
really like that it's behind a shopping center, so we can walk to Food Lion, an Indian resteraunt, a Vietnamese resteraunt (the only one in town) and lots of other shopping-certer-type places like Steinmart and Marshalls. Oh, and Big Lots. It's not rural Vermont anymore, is it Toto?

I've got to hand it to my pal Kenny. He made a really good decision as far as the Law School went. It had a really good feel to it. Friendly, it seemed, based on the bulletin boards and lost&found pile and the lockers and the coffee bar. Smart, it seemed, from the Friday morning classroom activity that I observed and from the snippets of conversation I heard as people passed by, no doubt wondering who I was and why I was taking pictures of the walls.

All in all, I'm happy that I got to take the bus everywhere, go to the knitting store and meet a few (hopefully) new friends, see our (hopefully) new place, and take lots of snaps of where K will be spending most of his time next year. It didn't hurt that it was a gorgeous weekend, very sunny with lots of breezes to show off the old trees and green lawns. I like it. There's a UU church and a contra dance and the coolest Rec center/gym that has saunas and a great lap swimming pool and a freaking pottery room with a kiln (Just time me. I am so getting permission to work in there). Williamsburg, get ready for us!

05 May, 2007

Light as a feather

Ah, contra dancing. Although there's never a day that I don't love you, there are some days that I forget exactly how much you mean to me, how good you make me feel. Thanks so much for tonight. You made me look graceful and assured, and let me tell you, after my wrestling match with the lawn mower this afternoon, I needed to regain a little physical dignity. I'm so glad that the neat tricks I learned in North Carolina aren't yet the norm up here, so that I looked cool with all my little extras (hey, I was just doing it Old Farmer's Ball style, and it spread!). Oh, and THANK YOU for the Lost & Found giveaway that happened tonight: the shoes are perfect. They are my new magic dancing shoes. You probably sent them my way to ensure that I would have no more blisters as an excuse to just stay home and knit, but you know what? I'm ok with that. And hey, next dance is Peter Amidon's dance and also my last one in Vermont for awhile. I can't wait.

Until then, I remain your faithful devotee.

I'm on Flickr a lot.

Jessica K.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr