Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Departure: January 2nd, 2008

It has been a busy couple of weeks around here and I would like to share with you some of what has been going on. First I should let you know that we have a departure date! Finally!!! We are leaving on January 2nd. That is a week from tomorrow. Are we ready? Nope -not even. But we are making progress and I am not too stressed out about it - yet. But we have had some lovely gatherings.
Some of my dear Homeschool friends had a going a way party for me and it was really lovely to see all of them, many of whom I do not get the opportunity to see much these days. We also had the Open House/Bon Voyage party during which we were able to catch up with old friends. Here is Conner now as tall as the two Bills!

So we have our passports with visas and are fairly set to go, I think I even have the cat thing figured out, I just need to make sure that all of the paperwork for bringing them with us is done properly. The bureaucracy is killing me. This form, that form, copy this... I really hate this kind of stuff. Somehow I get the feeling that this is good training for dealing with things in India though.

We still don't know for sure about the house. although we are a little suspicious that we don't have it. We keep hearing things like, "Haven't been able to get ahold of the owners", or phone calls not returned, etc... which makes us suspect this is the Indian version of "It is not available" We'll see. I am actually, miraculously, not too worried about it. I would prefer to know where we will be, but I feel fairly confident that we will be able to find something that we like.

We have all been packing and cleaning and have appreciated VERY much all of the help we have received. Really, a large part of the job is getting rid of all of the junk that we collect on a daily basis that makes it impossible for us to see what we actually have! As I have been packing I have found a different sort of stash... chocolate! I didn't realize I had quite so much! I open a drawer and there is a bar of dark chocolate. I clear a bookshelf and hiding behind the books is more dark chocolate. I have been finding it everywhere! Very funny. I hide it from my kids and then can't find it myself..

Now, before I get too far, I also need to send a HUGE, HUGE thank you to Denise!!!!She sent me this lovely yarn and- check out the card! I didn't realize that she makes these!!!! She has a whole line of them. Dang. They are cool! I hope some of my favorite LYS owners will see this and get her cards or something... And the yarn? Well, see for yourself, but it is lovely. The colors are jewel like and some of my favorites. Yum!

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6

Now, on to the knitting. Yes! I have been knitting! It has actually been really nice to have a project that I can turn to when I need to relax and unwind. It is just challenging enough to distract me, but it doesn't contribute to my stresses. So, enter Cookie and her test knitting project. Wanna peek? I knew you would!

Nice, no?

All of the gatherings really remind me of how fortunate I am to
have so many beautiful, wonderful and loving people in my life. I am so grateful that we have things like blogs, Google chat and Skype to keep in touch! It will help me feel like I am still surrounded by all of those that I love.

I am going to miss all of my homeschool friends. I am going to miss all of my knitting friends (how can I replace Bobaknitters?!) I am going to miss all of my favorite yarn stores with their vast palettes of yarns... Rowan, Malabrigo, Blue Moon, Regia, Crystal Palace, Cascade... We are so spoiled here!

I am going to miss having family a close drive away. Family that laugh at jokes that no one else gets. Family that love you regardless of your flaws and weird tendencies (like bringing knitting with you to every family gathering!) I am going to miss watching the younger ones hang out and enjoy each others company and the loving teasing that goes back and forth between us all. I am going to miss the hugs and the love...

This last week is going to be very hard in many ways. There is A LOT of work to do yet, boxes to pack and things to move. There are quite a few things that remain on our to-do list, but hardest of all are the many goodbyes that need to happen. I am hoping to get to see all of you who are close by before I leave, but if I don't... rest assured that you are being thought of and I look forward to our next meeting, whenever and wherever it may be. Thank you to all who have helped, to all who have come by to visit or send a card, an e-mail or leave a kind comment here. It is much appreciated!!!

I guess that is it for now. I'm not sure that I will have a chance to post again before we leave on the 2nd but I do want to wish all of you a Happy Solstice, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!!

I'll catch you on the flipside of the world- Bangalore!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Knitters in the news...

In case you haven't seen this, the Wall Street Journal printed a story about Sock Wars yesterday and mentioned Ravelry as well! How cool is that?!

I have a lot more to post, but it will have to wait till tomorrow.

In the meantime, if you are so inclined, you can go look at Lisa's blog and enter her contest- you have until midnight on the 19th!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Need a Little Christmas...

Boy, I feel like I have more unfinished business than a shy cat with constipation.

Okay- sorry - that might be a strange image.

Anyway, I am trying to feel Christmas-y and my mother brought over a little tree.

A really little tree.

But somehow it is very sweet and it has endeared itself to me. (Now I just need to remember to water it!)

Today I am feeling like the tide has shifted. My car is listed for sale on Craigslist. We are getting calls from the movers. I am making appointments to get things fixed around the house and we even have renters. All of the little things that need to get taken care of in India are starting to happen and as my husband said the other night, "This is really happening."

We are having a Bon Voyage/ Holiday open house on Saturday and I know that when I picked that date it was because I thought that by then things would be winding down. :) Silly, silly me. Oh well. It shall be as it shall be. I am looking forward to getting to see people before we take off but the "goodbyes" have already begun. Saw Cookie this weekend and had to give her a goodbye because she is going to be leaving soon, and by the time she returns we should be in India. If you are local and would like to come and somehow did NOT receive an invitation through other means, just drop me a line. All are welcome.

I did have one nice bit of knitting related news over the weekend. One of my blogfriends, Denise, had a contest on her blog in celebration of her blogiversary and I won a large skein of Fleece Artist yarn!!! I shall make something nice and Indian-ish with it.

Oh - and Jeni had her pattern published in Knitty! W00t!

I am still knitting on things I can't show you and am doing some test knitting that I am not sure I can blog about (forgot to ask about that) - yeah. Test knitting. Because I need more to do. Really. (okay, actually I find that it is relaxing and helps me focus a little better when I am working on other things- honest!)

So this is probably one of the most dis-jointed blog posts I've ever made. But this is it for the moment and now- back to that unfinished business...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A few things...

You know you have been e-mailing a lot about India when you see this at the top of your Gmail page:

हवाई टिकटे - - भारत जाइए 559 मे ओनलाइन बुक कीजिए
I'm pretty sure that's Hindi. (Hey- at least I know it isn't Kannada!)

Benny update: He has been diagnosed with probable early stage heart disease but has been cleared for travel! Yay!!

Yesterday I was at home sorting papers at the dining room table and looked up to see a stray Pit Bull* in our backyard with Benny in his mouth, tossing/shaking him back and forth. I ran outside and chased off the dog who thankfully dropped Benny right away and I then managed to get Benny inside. I took him to the vet later but he was miraculously okay. Amazing. If I hadn't been there?...
My mom had arrived just after this had happened and said that if he could survive something like that, he ought to be fine with an airplane trip! Love my mom.
*I have nothing against Pit Bulls. We used to have a lovely Pit Bull named Bandit and she was one of the most wonderful pets we ever had. But after having her I am also very aware of how incredibly strong they are and how much damage they can do.

I am continuing to sort, give away, donate, pack and throw away STUFF. So much stuff. How does this happen?! But I must say that while there is still a lot to do, I am seeing a difference and it looks a little (okay, minuscule) bit better every day.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Got Yarn?

Check it out. I made yarn!

2-ply Blue Face Leicester

We had a wonderful spinning day at Margit's yesterday. Mary, Lori, Rachel, and Sheetal were all there as well. They were incredibly supportive and encouraging and after a lot of humming and hawing on my part I plied and skeined my first yarn! I couldn't be prouder!

2 skeins, about 340 yards!

No, it's not perfect. I still have much to learn to be a good spinner. But I did it and I got over the intimidation factor. (Totally weird, I almost didn't go because I was scared to ply!)

Then, after celebrating with a little champagne I got to work again and starting spinning up some pencil roving that I had picked up. It will also be pretty!

Here's to spinners!

* A special thanks to Margit who took all of the pictures here. I had forgotten my camera!!!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I Love This World

Why? Well I think we need to start with Freecycle.

What is Freecycle? Well, it allows people to post things that they would like to give away, or receive for FREE. Why is it great? Well, lets take today for example. I was looking at the latest local Freecycle list, I have it set to daily digest at present, and I saw that someone is looking for a couple of twin sized mattresses. Well, it just so happens that I have a couple of twin sized mattresses that we need to get rid of! They are perfectly usable, but no one is going to be using them for the next few years and I would rather not pay to store them. So. instead I get to pass them on to someone who desperately needs them and is incredibly grateful. We are both happy. Win win.

Now a couple of weeks ago I had posted a big long list of things that I had available for pick up for Freecyclers. I received many replies and was stunned by how quickly everything had been promised to others. So, one of the first to reply on a number of items came to pick things up and asked "Where are you moving to?" She was floored when I said Bangalore because that is her home town! How weird is that? We spoke for some time about the city and then later she e-mailed me asking if I would like to borrow from her a movie called Outsourced. I had actually heard about this movie and had it on my Netflix list, only they didn't have it in stock yet because it had just been released on DVD. Anyway, she lent us the movie and it is absolutely hysterical. If you have any connection to India you will die laughing and will enjoy even if you don't! But it is not just a funny movie, it also offers a lot of poignant truths about both India and America. Really, I cannot recommend it highly enough! Here is a preview that you can enjoy if you are so inclined.

Then a few days ago I received in my e-mail an 8 page document that my Freecycle friend had typed out that told about all of the different areas of Bangalore, where to shop for what, nice neighborhoods to live and shop in, what to be careful of, etc... WOW! Awesome. This is exactly why I am looking forward to experiencing India. Geetha, you are wonderful!

But I also love bloggers!

I have had a couple of other synchronistic exchanges in the last couple of weeks around blogging. First, a couple of weeks ago I was trying to sort of track down a "blog friend" who hadn't posted anything in some time. I sent messages to other bloggers who had a connection to her and in so doing started an interchange with Lynne during which I discovered that Lynne will be moving to this area in about a month. And I mean really this area. More "weird" huh? So we have been exchanging messages and I am going to make sure that she knows about all of the local knitting groups and LYS's. I will hook her up! Hear that Lynne? You are in like Flynn! (omg- that totally rhymes!)

I also received a comment from a woman, Debbie Ann, yesterday who is from San Francisco and she and her partner are currently living in Bangalore! We are already planning on getting together once we arrive (and she even indicated a possible interest in learning how to knit- muahh ha ha haaaah!) and, well, again- I was just marveling over how this sort of thing would not have been possible just ten short years ago (maybe not even 5 years ago!)

Oh yeah- final thing. I came to a sudden realization yesterday as I was looking at all of my yarn and trying to figure out how much space it would take up, where I would stuff it, etc.... And then, I realized that I could totally fit all of my yarn in one of our large suitcases. Who cares about clothes! Those I can buy there and I don't really need that many clothes... I am bringing my yarn. Hear that world? I am bringing my yarn!!!!!!!

Oh, oh oh!!!!! Check this out! I just saw this. That pic? That is Bangalore. Did you see? He is wearing a KNIT hat and a KNIT sweater! Knitting! Bangalore! Oh, I am happy!