Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom in the hills and valleys of the York of New. Legend had it that many magical things could happen here, if only one could find the way. Our Heroine read about the legends, spoke to many who had seen the kingdom, and yearned to go herself. Many years had passed, but Our Heroine was never able to leave her small village to travel the great distance; the distractions were many. There were offspring to lead, festivals involving music and uniforms, great itineraries to juggle, and other folderol.

One day, when the youngest offspring made ready to depart, Our Heroine had a flash of inspiration. Consulting her astrologer who went by the name of “Kitchen Calendar” and counting her coin, she realized that at last! her dream was within reach. So she planned and dreamed and read some more.

The great day came. With her trusty Hero beside her, Our Heroine made off for the faraway mountains and the magical area known by one and all in the Court of the Ravelry as Rhinebeck. Lodging with her great friend, the Earl of Hampton, she arrived on the evening of Friday and observed with great delight many of her people gleefully sharing their craft and discussing the great events about to happen on the morrow. She lay her head upon her pillow and dreamed yet again.

When the great day dawned, Our Heroine was breathless and not just from the mighty wind that blew across the land. Such colors! Such textures! Such rich aromas wafting across the tents and amid the trees! Such wonderful people in the magical land! Even the very animals possessed a regal sense of being! With her hand firmly clasped in her Hero’s, Our Heroine walked slowly among the booths, shyly deciding to enter her first. Shyly.

Shyly didn’t work. Our Heroine soon became aware that these magical treasures must be seized upon first sighting, or they would be consumed within seconds with none to replace the empty spot! (Our Hero wisely decided to wait *outside* the tents.) Perusal must be done quickly, and decisions made instantly, or hearts would be broken.

Eleven skeins, two sets of stitch markers, pins, bumper stickers, earrings, and two chicken pot pies later, Our Heroine told her patient, exhausted and grateful Hero that perhaps it would be time to return to the Inn to rest. After all, they would be going out again to the Prince’s Ball from the Court of Ravelry!

Driving the carriage back to the magical area, Our Heroine felt dizzy with anticipation and delight. Would she really get to see the Prince Code Monkey? The Princess of Smiles-A-Lot? The Delightful Head Lady in Waiting of Goodly Rainy Days? There is the site! There it all awaits, under a magical tent! Alas, what is this? Drive our carriage on a goodly distance and return by modern conveyance? Why thank you, kind coachman!

Behold! A goodly amount of the kingdom has gathered in this massive area! And here comes the conveyance, that wasn’t a terrible amount of time to waste, was it? What a good show! We’ll be on promptly and soon carousing with the other wonderful visitors!

Forty five minutes and ten frozen digits later, Our Heroine received word from a reliable messenger that the Bags of Goods were indeed gone, and still more carriages of modern conveyance would need to arrive before any mingling were to be done. After a quick consult with Our Hero, they wisely decided to depart for a Friendly-er place and consume much food and laughter.

After revisiting several areas on the morrow, Hero and Heroine indulged in Chops of Lamb, Donuts of Cider, and tasted many fair wines and cheeses in Ye Olde Foode Pavillionne.

Highlights: Seeing all the friends from Union County Crafters. Meeting Princess Sandi of WiseHeart. Spotting among the commoners the royalty of Queen Knitspot, Queen Knitter’s Review, and the ever lovely and mysterious Ladies of the Gryphon.
Lowlights: Not going to the Prince’s Ball. Not realizing until I got home (for crying out loud) that I was in line at Spirit Trail Fiberworks behind the Queen of Grump herself! It was such a silly thing for me to have missed, but there it is.

when all is said and done, I consider myself to be one of the Luckiest Ladies in the Land.

Someone's just a *little* proud!

This is the one I just took to college last Thursday – doesn’t she go to a purty school? Of course, Thursday it was 95 degrees and this photo was taken back in April, but hey – the important thing is, the cord has been found. So there will be photos again!

Loving the garter stitch

And this is the blanket I made for the new baby neighbor – Chloe. Again, it was a 90 degree day when I delivered the wooly square, but I rationalized that air conditioning can make babies chilly, so wool is okay. Someday I’ll do another, but I’ll use Jared Flood’s blanket design with lace edging. This was more of a modified log cabin edging. Pink yarn is Trekking and white yarn is Cascade and that’s all that I can tell you about it because this was back in the beginning of May! (Told you I lost the camera cord. I don’t mess around when I lose things.)

1. Good news! I found my camera!

1a. Bad news! Can’t find the cord to the computer.

2. Good news! I did a buttload of knitting!

2a. Bad news! See Bad News #1a.

3. Good news! Maggie’s college blanket is almost finished (awesome pattern, btw, it’s the surround blanket by one of the rainey sisters and it’s on knitpicks )

3a. Bad news! By being almost finished, it’s almost time for her to go!

4. Good news! The garden is doing great this year!

4a. Bad news! I shredded 32 cups of zucchini yesterday and there’s more coming!

5. Good news! I’m posting!

5a. Bad news! It’s totally lame!

What a blur. The last of everything is now complete, as the younger child did all the things associated with growing up: the last concerts, the last class attended, the last prom, the graduation, and the graduation party. We have attended college orientation and I, at the late date of July 12, finally feel like my summer vacation can begin.

Which means I can find my camera cord and charge the camera (again) and post some pictures so that this blog, although hosted on wordpress, doesn’t become strictly wordy.

For now, tea. And maybe some knitting.

“When I get enough time, I’m going to…..”

“Oh, I’d love to, but I really don’t have enough time….”

“Where did the time go…”

I have time this week, and what a beautiful gift I’ve given to myself. Right now I’m in a Starbucks in Wheaton, Maryland, knitting and sipping tea and writing my blog post. I’m actually watching other people. I’m doing something completely different from my regular routine and I am reveling in it, baby!

Look, it's not baby knitting!

There’s so many things I could be doing with my week off from school such as writing lesson plans, learning how to make a podcast of my third grade, clearing years of junk out of the basement and having one heck of a yard sale (yard not included), planning the vegetable garden, changing over the closets, etc. That’s what you plan on doing when you have a week off from school and nobody else in your family does, right? You pick up the slack on all the chores that are drifting by and requiring chunks of time in your mental to-do list.

Instead, when Non-Knitting Daughter came home from school for Easter, I impulsively decided to drive her back to college and spend a couple of days there. No plan, no agenda, no hidden to-do list. (Okay, one thing: find a yarn store I saw on Ravelry). We drove back on Monday and went to a mall – we wandered. We window-shopped. We sampled tea. We had the luxury of time, and we enjoyed spending that time being unstructured.

What a gift!

When I woke up in my hotel room, I realized I could do anything today. I could knit the day away in the comfy armchair the hotel so thoughtfully provides. I could find that yarn store whenever I wanted, and I could find other stuff too. There would be time.

Looking at other folks in this Starbucks whom I’ll never see again, I realize how important a new perspective is as well as the time to relish the moment as it’s happening. There’s people conducting a business meeting here, which makes me wonder what kind of job allows you the chance to spend time in a coffeeshop and talk so engagingly with another and still get paid for it? There are people writing on their laptops just like I am… are they writing about me writing? It is so out of my usual loop that I’m feeling completely jazzed and I’m gtorn between wanting to stay and see more people and wanting to find more places. Routine usually runs my life, and it has its place and is certainly productive, but I’m seeing that it also has the capacity to make me feel tired and a bit weary.

I’m gonna have to write myself a thank-you note for this luxurious gift I’ve given myself.

Between the flood of water falling from the sky and the flood of negativity sweeping New Jersey teachers, I’m just all in. Will resurface soon, I hope.

Searching……

Searching…………

C’mon, Rav and Knitty , I need a new project. Worsted, please. Bigger needles. No need to squint or to realize I can’t even feel the yarn.

Searching…………. hmmmmmm, maybe a hat? No, did that.

Blanket? Too much of a commitment right now.

Scarf? Too much like the stole I just finished.

……. sigh…….

Searching……………….

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