We made it home. Whew. And I made it through the guest lectures I had to do in a friend's classes yesterday. Double whew. With luck, things will now ease up for the rest of the week (says the woman who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner -- but only for twelve people total, which is a dawdle, really).
The weekend was, as always, incredibly intense. It's a training for people who are working to revitalize endangered California Indian languages. I've been going to these trainings since 1994, and I never cease to be amazed and awed by the dedication and tenacity of all of the people there. It is a constant honor and privilege to be allowed to be there and to work with these teams. This training was particularly wonderful in that there were families there in which the parents had learned their languages through this program and were now raising their children speaking these languages as first languages. Unreal.
It's also held in one of my all-time favorite places on earth -- the Marin Headlands. The whole family came up with me; this is one of the places where Rick and I (and the dog!) used to come and hike and hang out on the beach before we moved -- hell, before we had kids. I love going back. There is some part of me that gets to the Headlands and just unwinds, like all the muscles in my body say aahhh... We went for a few hikes, but mostly I was working. The hikes were foggy and wonderfully cool.
I know it's blurry, but that's how it looked out there. I honestly could not be happier than in weather like that -- fog so thick it's almost, but not quite, rain.
You know, I just really looked at that photo. T is almost as tall as I am. Wow. OK, I can't think about that right now. Moving along...
The girls each sat in on some of the meetings with me, which is a new thing -- they're finally old enough for this to mean something to them. After the first evening's meeting, which T attended with me, and in which all the participants introduced themselves and talked about their goals for the workshop, I asked T what she had gotten out of it. She said, "Well, people want to learn their languages so they won't die." (she meant the languages, not the people) I said, why do you think they want that? She looked at me like I was nuts and said, "Because their languages are part of who they are." (there was a clear note of duh, mommy there) All right. Full marks.
Knitting took place as well. This is the only benefit of over 1,000 miles of driving in three days (well, that and listening to Harry Potter on audio book). I finished the Embossed Leaves socks, but don't have a picture of them right now. To be frank, the second one looks just like the first one (a definite plus in socks), so it's not like you'd be seeing anything new and exciting. I also made some progress on the sweater that I'm knitting for Kivrin -- only about five more inches to go, and since I'm now decreasing for the yoke, that should go relatively quickly. I also cast on for a pair of socks for Rick (with the Trekking I've been hoarding, and the now-not-so new size three sox stix I bought last time we were up north). However, all of that was a way to keep myself entertained because I hadn't received the necessary stuff for the Mystery Project (which most of you probably already know about from other sources, but allow me to maintain my Air of Mystique for one more day; I don't often get to be mysterious).
However, when we arrived home on Sunday night, guess what was waiting for me? The Yarn. It's Geisha, in the Shadow colorway. I adore it. Truly, madly, deeply. It's gorgeous. I was really torn between Shadow and Haida, which I'm just going to have to get for something else sometime. Anne can tell you how I agonized -- she patiently talked me through it. I actually ordered the Haida, and then decided that I just had to have the Shadow. The nice folks at Blue Moon were kind enough to change the order for me. I am SO glad. This yarn is stunning. It shimmers. It's black. Really black. In a subtle variegated way, so that looking at it is like seeing the Pleiades when you live in the city -- you can spot the light spot where they are out of the corner of your eye, but not straight on. This yarn is like that. I have pictures, but they don't do it justice.
The pot is very black and shiny; the rock is a slate (ha) gray. Maybe that helps give a sense of what this yarn is like? Except it's blacker than in that photo.
The pattern was waiting for me, too. And then I discovered, to my horror, that I had no needles. My needle list says I have size 5s, but they were nowhere to be found (note: they were found this morning. Ah, well). So I had to wait until yesterday, after giving the guest lectures, to drive an insane distance to the only yarn store in the area that's open on Mondays to buy needles. I came straight home and cast on. I'm one and a half repeats into the first bit, and tonight will be a marathon (Bones, House, and SVU are all on). Tomorrow, I will lift the Veil of Secrecy, and All Will Be Revealed.