Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry Yarn: WIP Wednesday

     Jennigee's Etsy Shop

That's what I always say.
When the going gets tough, the tough get knitting.

We are heading down the home stretch on several fronts. Mom's last-minute house stuff, the looming holiday season, the knitted items I'm preparing for sale at the artisan's fair in a week, and that, in the middle of this, they just had to go and have a sale on couches at the local home furnishings store. So add to that going through my mom's paperwork, my piled up paperwork, the office closet that never got organized and "where am I gonna put all this stuff, since the couch is going in the corner of the office where the boxes sit unpacked?"

Yesterday, I had to take a break to knit.
I was one hot mess.

I was overloaded, upset and on the brink of pitching in the proverbial towel. I had started a sweater for the Rescue Pup, it’s colder now and she’s short-haired. And I wanted desperately to have a project I could finish right now, very quickly. I guess because I’m not finishing these endless "must-do" projects, and then even more shows up.

So I think, this is garter stitch - the most basic of stitches in knitting, easy peasy - sturdy, big needles thick yarn right? Well you could tell I just wanted to get through it, and man was I frustrated, cause the dog is big! So I looked at what I had knitted. Long length, like a … REGULAR sweater, lol. THAT's no short project.

Then, I found it to be too long. The minute I saw that I said, "Hey stop, look how tight, how wrong the seaming, how too ill-fitting this is." And I had to actually stop. Sit several minutes... to let the anxiety, frustrations, etc. go. This is the first time my “art” was imitating real life. Not good. (but a great post!)

How could this be?
Then again, how could it not be?

Who was I kidding? I was physically sublimating my life into craft. These knitted bits of love I do and make have meaning, beyond clothing. They do not need the frailties of life knitted into them, like a cocoon of despair.

Point is...
1. When in the middle of one hot mess, stop, find something to do that is equally opposite of what is causing your frustration. Yes, even if working. That means - stop take a few moments to meditate, sit quietly, whatever, at work.

2. OBSERVE what happens.
See. I told you. It does create a gap - a pause that refreshes the brain, like say, a page on the internet.

3. Do you need me to tell you this?
And no. lol.
Sometimes we know better, but we don't do better.
Don't make that mistake.

No, the dog sweater is not done. I have to sew it together. But still. Almost!

Yes, the artisan fair items are coming along.

And yes, I did. 
I did shove everything back into the closet so the sleeper sofa could be delivered.
And what a sofa. It was on clearance! It fits! It's comfortable! And best of all, my mom can enjoy a night or two here, when she wants to. All on the main level. :)

Proof is in the pudding:

 My artisan fair items: a quick-knit hat and some cool wrist-warmers I made up. Mostly, the yarn is by Quince & Co. What a beautiful stitch definition, huh?

                          On the needles....

Life is a WIP. Sigh.

Have a calm one. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hello, My Name Is Kevin

No, not THAT Kevin
And with that, a beautiful partnership has begun.
I'm talking about the new, from-the-Mainland UPS driver.

Kevin will deliver packages down our lane come Hell or High Water.

High Water arrived first, and Kevin drove right through it. He actually packed down the growing, rain-induced crevice across the gravel drive, saving us from certain washout.
If that's not extra service with a smile, then I don't know what is.

Meanwhile,  a different package service stopped delivery that same afternoon, because the boats were canceled, due to wind. Fact was, our "track-package" indicated our delivery was already ON ISLAND, lol.

"Off-island Kevin" beats it past the rescue dog barking - will even stick the package inside our door (permission granted), if it's unlocked.

He delivers day and night. One day, he dropped off a package before I had my first cup of coffee in my robe, and left one after 8:30 pm that night.

I do not scare him with my morning "Einstein" hair and pjs, sitting at the table writing.

He introduced himself to both my husband and me on separate occasions. With no prompting. Held out his hand. And he's under age 30. Where did the old-school manners come from?

I see them in their brown uniforms, when I sometimes drop off my commuting husband at the Steamship Terminal for the early boat. Off they troop, lunch bags in hand, looking young, determined, even eager to start their shifts for the day.
Oh we've had regular UPS deliveries on the Mainland, but not with this kind of connection.

And frankly, there have been times here I have been less than impressed.
You might remember my 17 steps-of-terror story.

But now here's a new man in town, and his name is Kevin.

No more  "drop-shipping" our exercise bike off the back of the truck to the driveway below.
No more taking out the gravel driveway to the tune of $400.
And no more "Deliveries of a Thousand Days." Remember that story?

No siree.
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these
"sea-born" couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Except of course, a canceled boat schedule. :)

Have a good one.  :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Parlez Vous New Anglais? Or As They Say Here, Rs Ah Fa Losahs

Sometimes, that's what it seems like here.
Moving to a new place requires a lot of you.

But I didn't think language acquisition would be one of them!

Yes, I have been North and I have been South and I have been West, but I find moving East to New England, the Cape and Islands in particular, and trying to understand the "slanguage" - it's a bit like, well, like being a fish out of water.

Rule #1. No ifs ands or buts: try to talk like an Islander.
I am, of course,  a "wash-ashore" - someone not born on the Island, but that doesn't preclude me from learning the language tricks of the trade, so-to-speak.

When I drive Southwest to Aquinnah, Menemsha or Chilmark, I drive "up-island" - indicating longitude markings, rather than realtime directions.
When I travel, I go "off-island."
And when I tell people where I'm from, it's "The Vinyid."

Rule #2. Conversing with people from Boston and understanding them means you have to remember, for the most part, there are no "r"s in Boston speech.
Something you drive is a "cawh."
Where you put said "cawh" is a "pawhking" lot.
And there may be a "pawhty" going on near where you "pawhk," if you are game.
If you are game, said party could be "wicked pissah." (meaning really, reeeeeally good)

Rule #2. Names for foods and drink are tricky.
If you want a sub sandwich, you order a grinder.
And buns are bulkies.
If you want a milkshake, you order a frappe not a milkshake, or you will get just that - milk and flavoring shaken.
If you want chowdah, it's the milk-based variety NEVER the tomato-based concoction.
And, if you are looking for the water fountain, ask for the "bubblah."
If it is late, and you need milk, one of the only places that stays open late is "Cumbies" (Cumberland Farms). And, if you plan on a boat-load of food, you will be putting it in a "carriage" not a cart.

Rule #3. State-related language is also approved here.
If you are so inclined, getting into a fight here in New England is confusing.
You could "whale" on a person, but if arrested and put into a "cruiser" by possibly a "Statie," you might eventually become a "wicked losah."

And honestly, if you go "off-island" to "The Cape" and drive any real distance, it's almost as if you can't drive legitimately if you don't cut off people, use no blinker, drive at speeds that approach the speed of light and have no patience "whatsoevah" for other drivers on the road. For that you earn the name, "Masshole." :)

See what I mean? Am I even in America, lol?

I'm not sure why all these expressions cropped up, but I'm betting, like everything else here, it probably all began, like it does everywhere else, with the weather.

It's cold, you're snowbound, people didn't travel like they do nowadays. So being stuck in one place, with a lack of a lot of outside language influences, you can't continue to say, "hand me the thingy over there by the whatchamacallit." So Voila! a local expression is born.

As for me, being the new kid on the block, I will play it "wicked smaht," listen intently when Yankees speak and remember two things:

When it doubt, lose the "R." And....

Have a wicked pissah day. :)