Ready to Go!

As chaotic as the couple of days before I leave for a trip are, I sort of like the frenzy and the tying up of all the loose ends.  And once I am on the road, I don’t have to think about anything that goes on while I’m away, I have a very competant husband, and the kids do just fine without me.  As a matter of fact they appreciate me more I think.  Course now, with a nineteen year old son living in the basement, he doesn’t have a whole lot of need for me anymore, and my daughter is away at camp.  So my husband will get into all sorts of adventures while I’m gone, like having a new driveway put in…

The weather here has been glorious, and yesterday was no exception.  After I did what I had to do in the studio, I took my lunch outside, and enjoyed the deck, except the neighbor decided to have a monstrous dump truck back into his backyard, and dump a gazillion pounds of stone down the back of the hill.  I sort of needed ear plugs to enjoy my lunch.  Once the truck left, I gathered my yellow legal pad, and a pencil, and the journals for one of the Designers’ Challenge Teams from 2008, and sat in my gazebo, listening to the birds, and the waterfalls, and the Mongolian wind chimes, and wrote my article for Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot, the old fashioned way.  There is something to be said for a yellow legal pad and a pencil albeit a mechanical one.  (I love mechanical pencils, there is something about always having a crisp fresh point!)  It felt good to get that out of the way, and really good to just sit outside and enjoy the gardens.  I really tried hard to avert my eyes to all the myriad weeds that have sprouted with all the rains.  We have about 300 maple trees springing up all over the place.  They are only an inch tall, but they grow fast!

wool1fleeceThe crock pot is getting a much needed rest.  I have quite a collection of beautiful shades of wool, and there is still one batch drying on the rack in my studio.  There is plenty more fleece to dye, so I’ll crank that puppy up when I return.  I did scrub the bathrooms down today, so I’m not leaving a dye ring around the bathroom sink.  Since I’m dyeing the fleece in the grease, there is a bit of a lanolin ring around the bathroom sink, tinted with whatever color I used that day.  Comet is a wonderful thing…

My husband figured the crock was never coming back to the kitchen, so he went out and bought me a new one from Sears.  🙂

So today I worked on updating my files in the laptop, moving over presentations, my keynote address, burning additional CD’s and pen drives, just in case.  And this particular conference has me doing 6 different talks/seminars/workshops, so there is a huge amount of different materials to pack.  Because I’m not getting on an airplane this time, I have more flexibility in the suitcases, and I’m bringing equipment I can’t fly with that I don’t normally bring, packedlike a warping mill, and cone holder, for the class on Paddle Warping, and my larger inkle loom for the inkle loom workshop.  I have a suitcase or totebag for each of the seminar/workshops I’m teaching, that way I can be organized for each changeover, and I never know if my classes will all be in the same place.  I HATE when they aren’t!

I’ve printed out driving directions to the Amherst Inn where I’m staying for the conference.  The conference itself will be at Smith College, in Amherst, MA.  So I found an address for the college to plug into my trusty GPS.  And I loaded up a book on tape, except now it is a book on MP3 player, to listen to during the three hour car trip.

Now that I’m working again, there is a big discussion about updating my electronics, exciting on one hand, but a huge roll your eyes headache on another, while I adjust to new equipment and a huge learning curve.  I would dearly love to reduce my 25 pound computer/projector bag to just a few pounds, this is getting sort of critical with airplane travel.  So I’m looking to get a NetBook, and a much smaller digital projector, and upgrading from my trusty Palm Pilot (Ok so I live in the dark ages, it works for me…) to an iPod touch.  My tech savvy husband and girlfriend convinced me last night at dinner to try Google Calendar which syncs with my Outlook Calendar, and can also sync with my husband’s Google Calendar, and will eventually sync with an iPod Touch, and my head is already reeling…  I want to go back and play with wool…  So I tried to load into my Google Calendar two months worth of data, to see how I like using it, instead of the one I’ve used for years on my Palm, which sync’d up well with my computer.  And of course I desperately need to upgrade my office suite to Microsoft Office 2007, (I’m still using 2003) and I have to install and move all my bookkeeping over to Quicken because Microsoft Money is no longer being supported…  So much technology and so little time to learn it all.  The stupid thing about technology is you work at learning something, finally get a working proficiency at it, and the software and/or hardware changes and you have to start all over again.  Blissfully, handweaving is NOT like that.  You can hand weave the old fashioned way and get great satisfaction from four shafts, throwing the shuttle back and forth, and watching the threads slowly become cloth.  And sewing too, I have a high tech machine, but I sew my garments the same way I did when I learned 40 years ago, with a straight stitch, that goes forward and backward, a good pair of shears (now there is something that hasn’t changed since the beginning of time…) and a needle and thread, and yes, I still use a thimble.  So, sewing and handweaving are my antidotes for the swirl of technology that leaves my head in a frenzy.  And if the power goes out, I can still hand sew and throw a shuttle.  🙂