Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting this party started....

Hello!

It's been a while since I posted last. I'm going to try to post more often now. Things have been pretty rocky trying to adjust to my new lifestyle and get things up and running for myself. We've also been traveling quite often. Things are great now. :) I'm starting to feel really great about things.

Our trip to California was EXCELLENT. We crammed a ton of stuff into one week!! We visited with Bryan's relatives in Napa, checked out the town, as well as the surrounding towns of Sonoma, Petaluma, and Sebastopol. We drove through San Fransisco on our way from the airport and walked on the Golden Gate Bridge. We briefly checked out a winery before deciding that the 4th of July weekend was a really bad time to do that. lol We drove up the coastal highway all the way to Crescent City up by the border of Oregon! Along the way we stopped to check out all the towns in Humboldt County, we drove the Avenue of the Giants and got out to explore and climb on fallen redwoods, we stopped at Bodega Bay for an AMAZING seafood dinner and some salt water taffy, stopped at a reservation to get some smoked salmon (WOW!! Can't wait to taste that again!!!), and we went to the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA and rode the skytram through the tops of the redwoods! .....WHEW! What a crazy week! It was awesome. I can't wait to go there again in a couple weeks. Of course this time will just be for a few days. You can check out our pictures from the trip at http://rockymountaintrudy.myphotoalbum.com

I've also got my teaching studio up and running now with a small handful of students, and I'm adding more students every week, so that's good. I'm knitting and designing and waiting for more money to come my way so I can buy a ton of yarn to make more awesome things!! :) I'm designing a sweater that will be made out of Malabrigo Silky Merino. SOO pretty and shiny and soft. :) And I'm going to make the Mystic Earth stole (finally) out of Dream In Color Baby in the color Tea Party (a rich brown shade).... For now, I'm working on my Waving Lace socks, and waiting impatiently for the Peacock Feather Shawl pattern to get to me in the mail so I can make it with my Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in a bright red color. Woohoo! :)

On another exciting note, I'm starting to write. And this time I think it's the start of something more permanent for me. The other day I had this great idea for a book, and I decided to make a short story out of it first. Kind of like a synopsis. Something I've never done before. And I think that will really help me so that I don't start keep on starting a big long book, getting a few chapters in and not know where to go from there in the storyline, and giving up. If I know the whole story already, then the book length version is simply expanding on that original story. So yeah! I'll let you know how it goes. :) Ever since I was 7, I've wanted to be an author. And that is the one longing that has always been there and never changed or left. I'm going to start following it, damnit!

Well, I'm going to get going now. I have a hot date with some great books next door at Barnes & Noble. :-P ........I like this lifestyle. hahaha.... Oh, oh!! And also I'm going through the background check process to become a volunteer at Crittenton Children's Center, a place for traumatized children. They have a dire need for tutors, so I'm going to be tutoring some young children in math and other subjects. Yay!!

Have a great sunny day!
~Trudy~

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Woohoo!! The fun times are here!

Well here we finally go. Bryan is officially done with his 3 month probation, and now he gets every other weekend off and a trip home to Napa Valley, CA once a month! We leave for Napa in two days and I CANNOT WAIT!! I've never been to northern California at all, and I've always wanted to go. This is going to be so much fun! I will have my camera and video camera and will be posting a bunch of stuff as soon as we get back I'm sure. Today is all about doing laundry and other things to get ready to go.

So when we fly into Oakland, the first thing we're going to do is pick up our rental car and cruise the long way home via the Golden Gate Bridge because I've always wanted to see it. Bryan said we can walk around on it. That would be awesome. :) Then we're going to his Grandma's house, which is where we'll be staying for a few days. That's in Napa. We'll be exploring the town he grew up in, and doing a little bit of wine tasting probably. We're also going to do a lot of walking/driving around exploring the beautiful countryside. Then we're going to head down Highway 101 along the coast either north to stay by Humboldt and the redwoods at the Avenue of the Giants and everything, or we'll head south to stay by Big Sur and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and stuff. Oh, decisions.... :) My cameras are ready and waiting!!

In other good news, I believe I've chosen a studio! It's called the Rogers Foundation of Music, and I'll have a good-sized studio there as well as gaining access to free private lessons in jazz/improv and recording. I'll also have free unlimited access to a recording studio for me and my students, and might even have an opportunity to do some paid-to-sing type gigs recording on various recording projects they do there. I'm excited! It's going to be very nice.

We've been exploring the city a little more lately, and we went to the World War 1 Museum last weekend. That was pretty neat. I have some favorite restaurants and hangouts now, and I can even go to the Kansas City Conservatory to play the uprights and grands in their practice rooms. So that's nice too. One place I know I want to revisit is the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, which is free all day every day. There's some rooms I haven't seen yet. And I want to go to The Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas about an hour away from here!! It's an incredible warehouse-sized mecca of yarn and spinning and all things fiber. :-P Mmmmm..... yarn, needles, drop spindles....

Speaking of knitting, I've been taking a break lately but not by choice!! I just realized that the yarn I bought for this amazing shawl was completely wrong for the project. Not even close to thick enough! :( And we're short on cash at the moment but all that will change in a month. However, I did a yarn swap recently through Ravelry, and my partner sent me the coolest yarns. :) I've decided to use a really cool sock pattern I've been wanting to try in this fingering-weight hand-painted sock yarn that she got me. It's these gorgeous colors of maroon and emerald with a touch of cream. It's going to be really pretty! I hope I can modify the gauge enough to be small enough for my feet! The trouble is that the yarn is heavier than the pattern calls for, and the pattern itself is already too big for my feet. lol But I went down a needle size, and I think I'm going to change the pattern a bit too. It's an easy one to modify, so that's why I picked it. Right now I'm fighting with the tangly mess I made of the skein trying to wind it into a ball, but as soon as that fiasco is over I'll be making pretty things with string again before you can say, "Bob's your uncle." lol :)

Well I'd better go. Mountains of laundry await.....

~Trudy~

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Knitting, Designing, and Traveling

Hello! Well, I haven't updated in quite some time. I've been in and out lately, so that's probably why. For Memorial Day weekend Bryan and I went to visit my Mom while my Dad was gone fishing in Canada. We spent a day at the Brookfield Zoo while we were there, so that was very fun! Today I'm packing to leave this hotel tomorrow since Bryan will be traveling about Missouri doing various trainings and blitz stuff for the next two weeks. So I'm packing up to go to my parents' house for a couple weeks. That will be fun. Hopefully my cat Mia agrees....

This week I've been mostly running errands and hanging out at the hotel designing and knitting. I've got this new idea in my head lately about designing knitting patterns for all kinds of garments for people to buy on Ravelry. If you're not a knitter, Ravelry is a knitter's home on the internet. :) It's like Facebook for knitters, except better because you can find any pattern, yarn, book, designer, etc. on Ravelry and buy, trade, sell, and network. It's awesome! Anyway, I want to start creating designs and selling them on Ravelry. And who knows where it might go from there? There's all kinds of new young upstarts making it as designers these days in the knitting world, and many of them only started knitting advanced things like some of the stuff I'm doing now anywhere from three to six years ago! What if I could design things and actually start making a name for myself? So anyway, that's an idea that has been popping up in my mind lately for the past six months or so, and I'm ready to run with it now. .....Now if I only had the money to buy yarn to test out my designs! lol :) Well, I think I will be able to start teaching music again at least by the end of June. So that will be good.

Well, here are some of the projects I've finished lately. These are NOT my own designs. The first one is called Delphine from the book French Girl Knits:

It's made with Blue Sky Alpacas - Alpaca and Silk yarn (50% alpaca, 50% silk) in the "Blush" colorway. SO luxurious to knit with!! And to wear. :) I am SO happy with this top. This was supposed to be for my Mom, but it was just a bit too snug for her. :-/ So I adopted it, and I'm going to make it again for her in a larger size.

The next one is a pattern called Diagonal Rib Socks, and I think the designer is Ann Budd if I remember correctly. I changed the pattern a bit to fit my small feet! (Made the straight ribbing panels thinner but left the diagonal ones as written.) Here they are:

These are made with Claudia Hand Painted Fingering (100% merino) in the "Just Plum" colorway. The pictures don't do the pattern justice at all. It's really awesome!

Right now I'm working on winding this behemoth into the most gigantic ball on earth....

The Unique Sheep's Aurora in the "Chocolate" colorway. It's going to be the Mystic Earth wrap by a designer I have recently discovered and really love, and I believe her name is Anna Dalvi... Something like that. lol :) ....I've got the skein about halfway wound or more and the yarn ball is bigger than a softball already! Good Lord! 1300 yards of lace!

And then, to keep me busy until I have the money to buy the yarn I want to use for my new blouse that I'm designing, I am going to use this delicious stuff right here....

.....Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace (100% silk) *drools a little bit* .... to make the Peacock Shawl by Dorothy Siemens! I can't wait! So many great goodies to get started on. :) Life is great.

After those comes a pretty Estonian Lace scarf designed by Nancy Bush that I'm going to make out of my ivy-colored KnitPicks Shimmer (alpaca and silk)... and sometime in the middle of all those I want to make both a pair of socks and a really awesome sweater for my amazing fiance Bryan. :) .....By the time I finish all of those things I suppose it will probably be just about time to start planning out who's getting knitted Christmas gifts this year and what they will be. .......Man, I really can't believe how much I've progressed in my knitting this year! Before this whole past year I had only ever really made scarves, one poorly made jacket, one poorly made sweater, sweatpants, and..... I think that's it! Now I can make socks, awesome tank tops, sweaters, baby blankets, and do really intricate lace patterns and other advanced techniques, and I'm starting to design! ....Woohoo! :) There's really nothing in the knitting world that I have much fear about trying anymore. .....Except steeks. Don't ever ask me to steek anything. I'll punch you... I also know a ton about different types of fiber now, which I had no clue about before. So that is an enormous help. Now nothing I make is scratchy or awkward and I know how to choose the best fibers and yarns to show off certain patterns or modify the look and feel of a garment.

I think a lot of my new knitting expertise comes from having gone to the knitting group for so long in Albuquerque too. Kim is the one who taught me how to make socks. :) I'll always think of her now every time I knit a sock.... And I learned and got ideas from seeing what other people were doing. It really got me out of my little comfort box.

Well, I suppose I'll go for now. I'm going to do a little more gigantic ball winding before finishing up the car packing. ...Ooh!! And Bryan just called and said he's taking me out to an Italian dinner with his coworker Roger. Yippee! :)

"For those of you who are about to knit..... I salute you." (LMAO, I'm such a dork.)
~Trudy~ :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The good life...

Hello! Everything is going great here in Independence, and we're just happy to be here. Bryan's job is going great! I'm having a great time exploring the city, meeting new people, and doing a lot of knitting. I'm cooking a bit more, and cleaning a lot, and it's nice to finally get into the habit of those things. Bryan is the sweetest. :) He's so thoughtful and supportive. Yesterday he asked if it was okay if he makes a short to-do list for me, since he works until 8 or 9 almost every day. I said of course, and he gave me a couple things to do for him, and then as we were going to sleep he said there was one more thing he'd like me to do this week: go out and find new people to hang out with. He said, "Hell, if I were you and I had all this free time, I'd go to a different knitting group every day of the week." lol :) I told him I was trying not to live it up too much or he'll get jealous, and he said it was too late for that anyway. Haha... Yesterday I looked up all kinds of different volunteer stuff, visited a couple yarn shops, and went to a really cool knitting group. I think I'll have lots of fun with those girls!

Oh my gosh, I had the most AMAZING weekend ever!! Seeing my old college buddy Bettina and her boyfriend Greg was SO much fun! :) We went to downtown Kansas City and ate at a cool little place called Tom Foolery's. Then we took pictures and walked around downtown together, and after we said goodbye to them Bryan and I drove to the art museum and walked around there a bit, and then walked around outside at an Earth Fair going on across the street, and then we went home and relaxed in the hot tub, and then we went out to this AWESOME and highly entertaining dinner at the Samurai Chef Steak and Sushi House. It was one of those places where you sit with other people around a big table and the chef comes and cooks right in front of you and sets things on fire and throws food at you and stuff. :) It was so much fun!! We'll definitely be going back there again. ...What... a day. We felt so pampered that day. :)

My Mom's tank top is almost finished! It looks awesome... I just hope it's not too snug. I'm really excited to give it to her over Memorial Day weekend, and to visit with people up in Illinois again. That will be very nice.

Well, today I'm going to go visit a few more yarn shops, see if I can find some nice ribbon to use for the tank top, and then do some laundry later on. I was going to do dishes too but... apparently the maid did them for me yesterday.... So, la-dee-da! lol :)

Next month when Bryan's probation period ends, we're moving into corporate housing out in Lee's Summit, MO - just a short ways away from where we are right now. Alright, I'm going to get going. Maybe later I'll post some pictures finally??? We'll see how long I take at the yarn shops. :)

~Trudy~

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Settling in

Hello again from Missouri...

Well, things have slowed down here and I'm settling into my new lifestyle. It's definitely an interesting one. I'm cooking a lot more now and I have a lot more free time... both of which is very nice and refreshing. I've read a lot about Kansas City and yesterday I stopped at the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, which is pretty incredible by the way and charges no admission fee! I thoroughly enjoyed that. I think Bryan and I are going to go there together this weekend. I also checked out Union Station for just a bit. There's an "Extreme Screen" theater there that shows huge 3D movies, and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is there too. :) I got a couple chocolate haystacks for Bryan and I. It sounds like Bryan might actually have his first 2 day weekend off this week! Maybe even Friday if he does super well today... That would be awesome. My college buddy Bettina is coming into town on Saturday afternoon with her new boyfriend to say hi to us too! So it will be a nice weekend.

Right now, I'm blocking the tank top I made for my Mom. :) Then I have to graft the straps together, put the picot edging around the neckline and armholes, sew on the little pearl buttons and get a pretty ribbon to put around the neckline. Then it's done! Sweet!

Two nights ago I gave my first massage treatment here at the hotel to one of Bryan's colleagues Kiki. Tonight I'm giving another treatment to his campaign lead. Yay! Money! :) This could be very, very good.... Heehee...

I am feeling a bit homesick for Albuquerque with its gorgeous mountains and awesome people and friends. But I'm also enjoying the green and "wetness" of Missouri. Well, I will write more this weekend. Hope you are all doing well!

~Trudy~

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Endings and Beginnings...

Hello from Missouri!!

Well I know this blog has been completely silent for a couple weeks, but I was extremely busy preparing for my imminent move. But now here I am, settled into the hotel suite with Bryan in Independence, MO. It's a little suburb just about 10 min. east of Kansas City. It sure is a convenient area! I can walk out the hotel door and practically be in a mall already. Right across the street is Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, all kinds of other stores and restaurants, a full mall, an AMC 20 movie theater, and other things. So that's nice...

The room is VERY nice. We've got a good-sized bedroom and bath area with a door leading into the kitchen and living room. The kitchen has everything a full kitchen would have except for an oven. We do have a range though, and of course a full fridge and dishwasher and stuff like that. Two TVs. lol... We get continental breakfast 7 days a week, a daily maid, all expenses paid by Bryan's job of course. My kitty Mia has settled in very well so far. She's such a good little girl... Poor thing. I almost lost her on the drive!! We stopped for a litter box break, and she wriggled out of her leash and harness and ran into this barred area where some vending machines were, so I had to grab her real hard by the scruff of the neck and get this guy to help me lift her out from behind the bars. What made her wriggle free and bolt?? .....A bird. ...Yes, a BIRD. ....Yes, my cat is a complete wuss. LOL :) At least she's all fine now. She got lavished with treats after that.

Tomorrow Bryan goes to work, and I am going to do laundry, get some groceries, and buy hangers so I can put my clothes away. Oh yeah, and bring my keyboard up here so it's not in my car anymore. I think we'll store it in the closet for now. There's not really enough space for it here. But my goal is to have a studio within a few weeks. I also have my guitar here, and I'm learning a Joni Mitchell song on it right now called, "Both Sides Now." I think I'll actually be able to play guitar pretty soon after all! :) At least enough to accompany myself singing. That's all I want. And then to understand the guitar enough to write songs for voice and guitar.

Well, that's all I got for right now that I can think of. I did the drive (which wound up taking 14 hours with stops) all in one day. I was exhausted by the time I arrived but miraculously I never got even a little bit sleepy on the road. Must have been the adrenaline from the move. lol :) Anyway, the only mishap, luckily, was almost losing my cat. Thankfully, that was definitely an ALMOST. So, I say it was a good trip. It was really bizarre to watch the grass slowly appear and then turn from yellow to emerald green as I drove, and also to feel the air turn more and more humid! It was a cool day as I drove, but I started the drive in Albuquerque with short sleeves feeling dehydrated, and ended it wearing a coat and feeling like every inch of my body was slightly wet. LOL What a weird experience. :) I can definitely feel the humidity a lot more now that I've been out of it for so long.

Alright, time for bed around here. Talk to you later!
~Trudy~

Monday, April 20, 2009

In a nutshell...

Monday in a nutshell:

-- Got flirted with three times - one of them resulted in a free chai latte, and one of them was a decade younger than me (what the hell, people??)...

-- Did NOT have a cat with diarrhea (that was a plus)

-- Spent an hour talking myself out of buying more yarn... again... when I've got three projects in my lineup waiting to be started....

-- Helped a woman get rid of her migraine and severe pain caused by whiplash at the massage clinic and gave her ideas for curing her allergies

-- Read about social injustice, knitted a lacy tank top, and taught music to a bunch of people :)

-- Stayed up too late on the internet drooling at yarn, playing with Facebook, and writing in my blog ;)

Summary: A day well spent.

Old college roomies, brainstorming, and lots and lots of cat poop

Today was a very exciting day! ......Wait, back up.... Today, AFTER 3:00 pm, ....it was an exciting day. BEFORE 3:00 pm... was the morning from Hell. My cat decided that Sunday morning, my only day off, was a great time to start having diarrhea, letting it run all down her legs and feet, tracking it onto the carpet and the bed (YUCK), and protesting mightily every time I approached her with paper towels, water, and a good brush. And then Mr. Cockroach decided he would take the bathtub for himself this morning, so I also had to figure out the new vacuum and dispose of him during all this mess. Meanwhile, my cat is locked in the bathroom and yowling, I've got poo on the bottom of one of my feet and I'm trying to clean myself up and get dressed so I can get the vacuum all set and take care of Mr. Cockroach.... *siiiigh* But, thank goodness, by 3:00, the cockroach was gone, the cat was clean (as possible), and the floors at long last were vacuumed. LOL So, after that, it felt like an awesome day! ...Now let us never speak of this again...

Moving on, the rest of the day was great! I got to eat at Borders, hang out, knit and read for the whole afternoon. (My favorite thing to do with a Sunday, other than hike... or laze about the house in my pajamas pretending I don't know what time it is.) :) At any rate, it was good. AND, while I was at the bookstore, my awesome old college roomie from The Hartt School, Bettina, called and caught up with me!! :):) She's going to be in Topeka, KS for a few days one week after I move to Kansas City, MO!! That's an hour or less away!! :) We are SOOOO excited!! We haven't seen each other in five years, and we are like two peas in a pod whenever we are together. I can't WAIT to see her again! Bettina spends most of the year on cruise ships performing in musicals and other acts. Pretty cool!

Other than that, my head has been spinning with so many ideas of things that I could do in my "new life" that begins in 12 days. There are literally SO many ideas, or beginning hints of ideas, in my head that I don't think I'll ever get bored. There are so many things I would love to do! I know that this year one of my big goals is to write some more music and cut my first CD. I also know that I'm going to be doing some massage, and hopefully a bit of teaching when we're in one place long enough... I've also been thinking about things I could do in the future, like designing knitwear for fun and selling my patterns on Ravelry.com (obviously only for fun, it's really not lucrative but who cares! That's not the point.) :) And I also want to do volunteer work this year, and I am really becoming more passionate than ever about helping people somehow. I have a lot of little ideas flying around in my head for that, but I can feel that that one is probably going to take quite some time to develop. I would also still really love to write, but nowadays I'm leaning away from fiction.... Toward what topic I'm not quite sure yet. But I have a ton of time to think about that. Suffice it to say that I am enthusiastic about what lies ahead and the increase in freedom of choice that I am about to have since I will not be able to or need to work as much.

I watched "The Motorcycle Diaries" last night. What an incredible movie. Che Guevara is mostly awesome. I love the cause that he led and the ideals that he strove for to free his country and give rights back to the people and I mourn his execution by the CIA.... but the fact that later in his life he became a killer of so many people during the bloody fight for freedom.... I just don't know about that. I realize that most freedom comes at a cost, but I can't say I know what was right at the time because I wasn't sitting there in the middle of it. Oh, and tonight I'm watching Hotel Rwanda. It's nearly over, but I had to stop to check something on the computer and decided to write in my blog before I returned to the movie. :) So far it's so heartbreaking!! At any rate...

On another upside, I am 2/3rds of the way done with my Mom's tank top! Making the armholes right now and zipping along. :) I hope to be done in another couple weeks. ......Oh, that is if moving to another state in the middle of the process doesn't slow me down.... Haha..... Okay, we'll give it 3 weeks. :)

~Trudy~

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm moving before I've moved!

......Well!! Okay then... I just got off the phone with my fiance Bryan, and found out that I am no longer moving to Jefferson City, MO. His leg of the statewide campaign is moving to Kansas City, MO! LOL I can hardly keep up! Well, at least it's a bit shorter drive from Albuquerque, and now I think I'm going to try to bulldoze through it in one day. This should definitely be interesting. He will be moving out there sometime after the 22nd. Well on the upside, there will certainly be lots more to do in Kansas City than in Jefferson City, so that's nice. I have a new city to Google now. lol

I am working on the bust line on my Mom's tank top now, and it's coming along great! I'll have pictures up soon. Monday through Wednesday are my busiest days, so I'm pretty tired tonight. I think I'm off to do some knitting while I watch a Netflix movie. But one other exciting thing is that my Aunt Allie from Durango is coming down to Santa Fe in a week, and I'm going to be staying at a really nice hotel with her Friday and Saturday night and checking out Santa Fe (finally finally!!), so that is awesome. I'm glad I get to check it all out before I leave! That would be pitiful if I never made it to Santa Fe. Especially considering all the other way farther places I've seen in New Mexico since I moved here. LOL

Goodnight! Sleep tight...

~Trudy~

T minus 17, and counting.....

Well.... it's only a little more than two weeks until I head out of Albuquerque. It's so hard to believe! I still have a rather large to-do list, but much of it can't be done until my last week here. Life is going to be interesting! I've been spending some time at Borders in the mornings lately looking at pictures of Napa Valley and reading about the area. One of the employees at Borders was raving about Napa to me today, and couldn't say enough good things about it. Wow, I just can't wait to start visiting it regularly!

I'm very tired tonight, so this is a very short entry. Not much went on today besides teaching and cuddling with my cat. I suppose I'll go get ready for bed and knit for awhile. Tomorrow's a big laundry day. The cat is endlessly tapping my leg and nudging me with her forehead. She needs her nightly cuddles. :) Sorry no pictures today from Carlsbad Caverns. That will probably come this weekend.

Goodnight, everyone...

~Trudy~

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WOW... what an awesome weekend!!

That was officially an AWESOME weekend. It was so wonderful to see Bryan again, and we decided to do the 5 hr. drive down to Carlsbad, NM on Saturday to see Carlsbad Caverns on Sunday. It was AMAZING!! I'll let you know when I post the pictures and video from our trip! This cave was 3,000 ft. underground, and you hike unbelievably steep switchbacks down into the cave for 3.5 miles before it starts to level out a bit! It was incredible. I've never seen anything like it.

The inside of the cave was HUGE. There were miles of hiking trails. We took the longest loop, and the stalactites and stalagmites and everything were just so amazing. That was definitely a weekend well spent! I got some really kick-ass pictures.

Speaking of kicking some ass, my knitting is coming along smashingly. :-P I'm making serious headway on the Delphine lacy tank top for my Mom. I'm up to the bustline now. AND ...I got my first yarn order in the mail from EatSleepKnit.com upon our return from the caverns on Sunday! It's beautiful yarn! Claudia's Handpainted Yarn - the Just Plum colorway. Mmmm.... awesomely purpleish socks... :) When I am less exhausted, I'll take a picture and show it to you.

Well, Bryan and I have decided that when he buys a "new" slightly used car in a couple months, he's going to give it to me! :-D We're going to drop my car off in Napa Valley to keep there for our monthly Napa vacations. (Napa Valley is Bryan's "homebase," so once a month his job will pay for him to take a trip there.) For now it will live in his Grandma's garage. :) But in a year or two it might be parked at our weekend condo! We're planning on getting a cheapish condo in Napa Valley or the surrounding area (Sonoma, Santa Rosa). I find this exceedingly funny coming from a couple of people who three months ago could hardly pay their heating bill. :) Oh the weird twists and turns of life....

Anyway, I am entirely exhausted. So I'm going to go to bed. There will be more tomorrow, and maybe even some pictures! Goodnight for now. Oh, and to my fellow Ravelers, Happy (belated) Bobmas! lol :) (Isn't that cute??)

Goodnight.....
~Trudy~

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hurray!!

Today Bryan gets here! :) You probably will not hear from me too much until Monday. Just thought I would let you know. Now I have to go tend to a very whiny and demanding cat....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One safe place....

Tonight I'm listening to a little-known song by Marc Cohn called "One Safe Place." It's just such a beautiful song, and I love the lyrics. The acoustic version on his "Marc Cohn Live 04-05" CD that I got on ITunes is just awesome. It's been one of my favorites ever since I heard it. It's applied a lot to my life lately. The first time I heard it was shortly before I moved to New Mexico, and it applied for obvious reasons then. I was looking for something. It also had meaning after I got here and met Bryan.

Bryan traveled so many roads, wandering all over the entire country by hitchhiking and stowing away on frieght trains from age 15 to about age 20 looking for a sense of belonging. And as for me, I've been looking for a sense of true belonging now for quite some time. Nothing to do with a lack of family or friends. I've got wonderful droves of those. It was more of a sense of not really being able to figure out who I really was, what I really wanted to be doing or where I really wanted to be. I had an awesome life growing up. I did have quite a few periods of deep melancholy within myself though, and never really knew why. I often battled secretly with depression in my teenage years. The human mind is a very complex thing... I think it was due to many factors within myself. But I think that part of it may have just been that I really didn't know how powerful or capable I am as a person. As we all are. I had no idea... And I think that starting my own business, then moving to Albuquerque, going to school again, and rebuilding my business on the other side of the country with no network or ties in the community, all really gave me a glimpse at the power we all hold within ourselves.

It's a sad thing that most people don't realize their true power, and many never will. I've only seen the tip of the iceberg within myself, and some days I try to convince myself that that's all there is... Even that much is plenty to celebrate. But I know there's more in there. And I'm going to really be working on bringing that out more these next few years. I'm going to really brainstorm and see what I can come up with for these next few years on the road...

But getting back to the song I'm listening to, I think that's all that all of us are really looking for in a way. One safe place. Whether that be a geographical place, a partner, a career that you love and enjoy, or simply stepping into your own shoes and learning about who you are -the good and the bad- and acknowledging that. (Nothing like a relationship with a blunt, opinionated and very wise boyfriend to chip away at your shell and bring you face to face with your own great and not so great qualities.) :)

And we'll never truly (hopefully) reach that one moment in life where everything feels perfect and hunky-dory for the rest of our lives... That would be very boring and we wouldn't grow very much at all through that. But hopefully we can reach outside of our box a little, push that comfort zone, try new things and really find that place where we fit into the puzzle. Like settling into the perfect cozy armchair in front of the fire... That's my goal in life. To feel like I'm really living My Life, and no one else's impression of what that should be.

That's what I wish for me, and for Bryan, and for all of you out there. My family, my awesome friends, fellow knitters, or random strangers stumbling upon this blog. :) Just one safe place...

video

"How many roads you've traveled
How many dreams you've chased
Across sand and sky and gravel
Looking for one safe place.

Will you make a smoother landing
When you break your fall from grace
Into the arms of understanding
Looking for one safe place.

Oh life is trial by fire
And love's the sweetest taste
And I pray it lifts us higher
To one safe place.

How many roads we've traveled
How many dreams we've chased
Across sand and sky and gravel
We're looking for one safe place."
-- Marc Cohn

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

MMmmm, new projects...

Hello, friends and knitters!

Today I am continuing my apartment cleaning for when Bryan gets here on Thursday. I can't wait to see him! Since we met we've been together every single day for the past year and a half, and now I haven't seen him in over three weeks. Seems like a while! They're paying for him to fly home for the Easter holiday, so he gets to be here from Thursday until Monday. It's going to be so nice.

Well I started another beautiful blouse out of that French Girl Knits book and I thought I would show you my progress so far. The funny thing is that it's going to be a tank top for my Mom, .....but it looks so tiny on the needles!! In the design picture that I posted you can see it will stretch out quite a bit and lay flat after I block it (that's getting it wet for the first time, shaping it and pinning it out, and letting it dry into that shape when you're all done knitting something, for those of you who don't knit). I'm making it exactly as the directions say, so I'll assume it's right. :) Here's what I've got so far, and the finished design picture from the book:

I think it's going to knit up pretty fast. I've only been working on it for a week and a half so far. The yarn is awesome too! Blue Sky Alpacas: Alpaca and Silk. Ssooooofft! I must say that in the past month something has snuck up on me that I never thought would happen.... I think I've become a yarn snob! Not entirely, I have to say. I'll still use acrylic yarn for baby blankets or special funky-looking scarves or what-not. ....But the allure of animal and plant fiber, once you've been spoiled with it a few times in a row... It's intoxicating. lol :) I've also begun to LOVE buying yarn online. Seeing something you absolutely love and then having it show up on your doorstep in a little box like a present from The Yarn Fairy is an awesome experience, I must say! Ravelry is truly an awesome website. I like to check out reviews of yarn so I can find out the quality before I buy it. Of course I also love yarn shops. Who doesn't??!! But somehow random balls of yarn get stuck to me as I make my way through, and the only way I can get them off is to dump them at the register and take out my debit card... Online shopping is a bit safer for me at the moment. :)

Some day when I learn how to spin and make my own yarn, I am definitely going to collect my cat's hair after brushings and use it to make yarn! She's a Ragdoll cat - really huge, big blue eyes, and fluffy bunny-soft fur. I've heard of other people using Ragdoll cat hair and they say it feels very similar to cashmere. Here's some recent pics I took the other day of my crazy cat Mia:




She's a sweetie. Alright, well that's all for now. I gotta get ready to go to my teaching studio. I can't believe I only have three more weeks left to teach!! :( I'm going to miss all of my students, and Judy, the owner of the piano store that I teach out of, SO much. I'm also going to miss the mountains and the New Mexico landscape, and the laid-back friendliness of the people here! You just can't beat the laid-back mentality of the West, or the hospitality of the South. (Yes, I know we're not technically South here. Southwest is different, but still - New Mexico people are awesome.) Strangers and people in general are way nicer here than in the Midwest. You can strike up a conversation or a smile with just about anyone here, and you can take your time at the grocery checkout. Ah well, on to new adventures in May. :) Should be fun! I'm looking forward to seeing green grass, lots of lush vegetation, farmland, and water when I get to Missouri. I want to ride that bike trail! And I'm excited to meet Bryan's friendly and eccentric co-workers. :)

Alright, talk to you later!
~Trudy~

New header!

Just a quick post to give credit to the photographer for my new header. :) I got this from http://thegreenfingeredphotographer.blogspot.com (I added the text myself of course and also blurred his image just a bit.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Okay, I give in...

Well, so many people lately have been telling me I should start a blog to log all of my adventures traveling around with Bryan for his new job. I have finally succumbed to the peer pressure. :) I figured the blog name I chose would be fitting in that I am going to be a wanderer for awhile now. It's also a partial ode to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the writer of "Free Range Knitter," among many other very funny books about knitting. :) Fitting, since I am obsessed with knitting.

We're getting closer and closer to my moving date on May 1st when I go join Bryan in Jefferson City, Missouri. Time is flying fast! It's about 3 and a half weeks away now. I'm starting to get things organized for myself, including filling out the paperwork and saving up the money to get my new massage license for the state of Missouri. I have a lot of little things I need to do to get ready. Nothing too huge, so that's good. I sure am going to miss my knitting group!! They have been such an awesome group of friends for me here and I feel like there's many times in the past year that would have been way tougher to make it through without them! But I hope to keep in touch with them when I leave, at least online.

We won't be moving all of our stuff out of this apartment until June, when Bryan's through with his probation and we know for certain that he has the job (although it's looking more and more like he's not only going to get the job, but that he may also get an immediate promotion once he's in.) Everyone is amazed by him at the workplace, which is so awesome. :) And so typical of Bryan. We did find out today that we'll be in Missouri for under a year. I guess for tax purposes they move their organizers around so that they're in each state for less than a year because otherwise they have to pay state taxes in two states, or something weird like that. But one thing about Missouri that I am looking forward to is something I just found online yesterday called the Katy Trail. It's a 300 mile bike trail that goes across the middle of Missouri!! :) Part of the trail goes right through north Jefferson. And you can even rent bikes by the trail in a couple places if you don't have one. It goes through some really beautiful areas, and it would be awesome if I could find a cheap bike and bike rack for my car somehow so I could ride part of it a bunch of times a week! Anyone know of someone wanting to get rid of a good bike rack that would fit on a Ford Focus sedan?? :)

For my knitting friends, I'll report that the ends are still hanging from my red blouse... big surprise there. But I'm determined to come wearing the blouse next time I come to the knitting group! ...Realistically I may not be able to come this weekend. Bryan will be in town and Saturday morning I have to work at the massage clinic, so I'd rather not leave him alone the whole day when he's here to see me! But here are some pictures of the blouse! :


(Sorry for the toilet shot.) haha :)

Now, I'm working on that Delphine lacy tank top pattern for my Mom from that French Girl Knits book. It's awesome. It looks SO small on the needles right now, but I'm hoping it's just a figment of my eyes' imagination. :) I think it's the right size... I'll just keep telling myself it is. lol I've also realized how much unused awesome sock yarn I've got laying around here! So I've decided to start working on some more socks for myself. Also, I fell prey to the perils of Ravelry tonight.

I was innocently checking my inbox when I saw a colorful ad for a website called "eat sleep knit". I checked it out.... Oh dear. Somehow before I could blink I had some awesome hand-painted sock yarn on order in a mouthwatering self-striping colorway called "Just Plum" and I also registered with the website for an awesome program they have called "The Yarn Marathon," in which you see how many total yards of yarn you can buy throughout the year and get milestone prizes along the way when you reach certain yardages, such as $20 gift cards, surprise bags of yarn, and other cool stuff. *ssiiiiigh* Why do I sense I'll soon have as many knit socks as Kim from the knitting group?? The entire website is devoted to handpainted and hand-dyed yarn, which makes for really yummy sock and lace yarns.... *drool, drool*

Oh!! And and... On the sidebar of my blog you'll see a button that says "eat sleep knit." If you ever want to buy awesome handpainted yarn from them, come to my blog and click on my button to link to them and buy yarn, and your purchase adds yardage onto my "yarn marathon" count so I can get free stuff!! :) :) Please click and buy!! :-D heehee.... Okay, that's my one and only shameless plug.

Well, that's about all for now. I'll write again tomorrow!

Goodnight, friends and knitters....
~Trudy~