27 February, 2012

A weekend in the country

When people talk about time off work and good vacations, there is a tendency to think that the farther you travel and the more exotic the locale, the better. It ain't necessarily so. Thomas and I had a wonderful weekend in Alisonia, VA, staying in a cabin. We were there with your friend Samantha. We all brought our dogs, so the six of us had fun.

The cabin wasn't so far away, and it was hardly exotic, but I had the best time. We cooked and ate some delicious meals (and washed a lot of cheezits down with a lot of wine). I worked on some quilt squares and Sam knit a shawl out of yarn she handspun. She helped me figure out how to edge a shawl I am working on.

Saturday was a freezing cold, windy day - and snow flurries fell outside the windows. Sunday was warm and sunny...the change in the two days was amazing.

Sam brought some videos with her, and we watched a bunch of episodes of Psych and laughed like loons.

It was a good weekend.

22 February, 2012

Tax Prep is a pain in my arse

It is the end of February. Well, the end-ish of February. You know what that means...it's time for me to start thinking about taxes. And what am I thinking? I am thinking that it would be nice if we didn't wait so long this year that I go all postal on Thomas.

Do you think I am unreasonable for wanting to get our taxes done by the middle of April?

Anyway, I am getting my stuff together as far as charitable donations, receipts, etc. Anything I can do to move us one step closer to Tax Success 2011.

15 February, 2012

MAQ, hurry it on up!

The Mid-Appalachian Quilters Symposium (MAQ) has not put anything of interest on the website yet, and we are into the second half of Feb.

I am looking forward to the class list. I finished my top from the class I took and am sending it out to be quilted. One more thing to add to my finished list!

She's not really a natural performer

At quilt guild last night, i was the auctioneer. When i got home i felt like all the energy i have ever had was gone. Like i had been boiled, pummeled, and mashed flat.
Maybe i am not as much of an extrovert as i like to think i am.

11 February, 2012

They are installing my Christmas present

Yesterday the plumber came and set things up with the gas lines and whatever needed to happen, and today the new inline gas generator is being installed.

This is what Thomas and I jokingly said was our Christmas present to each other. I gave him half of it, and he gave me half, so sometime later when the power goes out and we still have heat and light, we will be thankful for our thoughtful present.

Today I am powering through the 24 blocks I am making for the 1812 quilt. I have the fabric marked and the machine is ready. All I have to do is sew, trim, and press. I already have five made, so this won't be very difficult. I have to hand them back to Joan at next Tuesday's guild meeting, so I want to get this out of the way.

I will try to post some pictures.

I read Janet Evanovich's new book, called something like Welcome to the Nuthouse. Sort of disappointed. The idea had potential, but it was kind of...dare I say, dull. Surprising, since most of her other book make me laugh.

09 February, 2012

Deeply asleep yet fully awake. Say what?

Last Friday I did an hour and a half yoga nidra practice at the studio where I've been taking gentle yoga. First we did about 40 minutes of gentle yoga, then 45 minutes of yoga nidra, which is sort of guided meditation. It encourages you to deeply relax your body while remaining awake and yogically awake - it means being deeply asleep and awake at the same time. Which sounds contradictory and sort of wack, but I enjoyed the practice.

For the time we were listening to the yoga nidra instructions I felt NO PAIN anywhere in my body. To understand how amazing and unexpected that was, you have to know that every minute of the day, waking and sleeping, I am in some kind of low-grade discomfort. Back pain, knee pain,  tension in my shoulders and neck. Aching feet or painful joints in my hands, there is always some twinge shouting angrily, "HEY! Pay attention to this!" Immediately after the practice I was aware of how bad my right hand hurt and that my knees were sore, but for much of the meditation, I had no sense of pain in my body. Didn't expect that, or the sense of joy that I felt several times while I imagined floating over the ocean, looking at sunlight on the waves.

After we finished, the general discussion was that people had fallen asleep or felt sort of relaxed and groggy, but I felt alert and happy.

This was all very unexpected to me, because I ordinarily find it hard to let go of my monkey mind and just meditate. Once I tried to be hypnotized, complete and utter waste of time. I read once that it was hard for, let's say, LESS SMART people to be hypnotized, and I've wondered if I might be LESS SMART, because I absolutely could not listen to the hypnotist and let go. It was like there was Me listening, another Me saying, "Well, this is never going to work," and a third Me standing by observing all this going on, and wondering idly why I was bothering. I felt like a complete pratt during the whole thing.

It was a good weekend. We had dinner with several friends on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday I did a home visit for some people who are thrilled about getting a dog. Funnily enough, turns out the woman I did the home visit for is a friend of my neighbor. Small world!

I finished Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers this week. So good! Highly recommend it. It's the story of Masada, as told by five women living in the fort. Very different from most of Alice Hoffman's work (disclosure: I think she is The Bomb, love her books) that I have read. Historical fiction, based on a true story. Not magical realism, though there is magic of a sort.The last couple of her books I have read are filled with more pain and sadness than earlier works. I wonder if she has had something painful and sad happen to her that is making its way into the stories?

I'm working on some blocks for a small group from quilt guild that is making  quilts for the War of 1812 Quilt Trail. I feel like a complete dope because I cut a bunch (and I do mean a bunch) of the fabric into squares that are too small. I am salvaging some pieces that work, but it is taking me a lot of time. At least not all of it will be wasted. Maybe the person who is doing the final border can use my too-small blocks.