Friday, December 28, 2007


The girls and I have been enjoying our days off together (they go back to school on the second, so this is pretty much it). Each morning, we've been lazing about, reading and playing with our new toys, until about 10, before getting ourselves dressed and heading out. I've also been sleeping quite a bit. I think I'm finally starting to catch up after those last stressful couple of weeks of the semester, when I wasn't getting even close to enough sleep. Turns out I'm one of those people who needs the higher end of average on the sleep scale. I went to my doctor a few years ago, insisting that something must be very very wrong with my thyroid, as I seemed to need 8 and a half or more hours of sleep a night. She tested everything under the sun, and then told me that people generally need between 8 and 10 hours a night, and that I was clearly on the higher end of the scale. I goggled at her and pointed out that I have two children. Never mind the job. And the husband. Where in the day were there 8.5 hours for sleeping? She laughed. I suggested that perhaps, if she couldn't prescribe me something for my thyroid, maybe she could write out a scrip for cocaine? I've heard that it's good for what ails you. She laughed again. I think she thought I was joking. Hmph.

The short of it is, though, that I have learned my lesson. If I choose to get by on less than I need, I can do that for a while, but I always end up having to pay the piper in the end, and this week, the piper and I have been settling up. If I run true to form, a couple more long nights should catch me up, and things will be back to normal.

On Wednesday, we went for a nice long hike together. Kia Ora (the dog) was very pleased, although she then slept for the rest of the day.
You can't see it from here, but we headed straight up one of the larger hills around here, and the view from the top was gorgeous -- ocean to the west, and mountains to the northeast. Very nice.

Yesterday, the girls and I spent a lovely couple of hours at a local bead store, and then at the bookstore (Older Daughter felt compelled to spend her gift card as soon after Christmas as possible; as I understand it, she has already read the two books she bought yesterday. Sigh). And last night, we all bundled up and headed out to the Wild Animal Park to see the winter lights. It was gorgeous, and veryvery cold (OK, I know that for those of you who don't live in SoCal, 37 degrees isn't really cold, but come on!).
It was (duh) dark (hence the name The Park at Dark), so the pictures are fairly blurry. But the girls got to go on the merry-go-round, and to do some of the crafty projects that were there.
We circumnavigated the whole park, even the parts that weren't lit up, which we all agreed was very spooky, but great fun. Of course, all the animals were asleep, but we caught the last keeper talk, and got to get up close and personal with a golden eagle. The lions were sleeping right up next to the glass; every single person who walked up to them put their hand up against the place where they were leaning, as if compelled by a need to get as close as possible to something so large and magnificent. I completely understand the urge -- knowing that they could kill a person in one pounce doesn't change at all that pull towards something so elemental. The evening was declared a success.

Today, the girls and I headed up to Temecula to check out a fiber store up there (the Temecula Valley Yarn Company) that has not only yarn, but spinning wheels and roving. It is a very nice shop, and the lovely lady who was working there was not only kind to me, but also to the girls, which always wins giant brownie points in my book. While my friend the lovely Rabbitch has publicly dyed a gorgeous roving for me (I am patiently waiting for it to dry, and am hoping that the border guards don't recognize its beauty and confiscate it), I figured it would be a good idea to scope out the local options for spinning for future reference, especially since I could take lessons on a wheel there should I ever decide to up the ante on this whole spinning thing. (I am all about planning ahead...)

In spinning news, I have been playing with the high-whorl spindle that I also got for Christmas. It is heavier than the turkish spindle, and so spins thicker yarn. I think I'm getting a teensy bit more even, but the fact remains that I find it easier to spin, then stop the spindle and draft a bit, then spin again. My drafting is much more even that way, and I don't end up with quite so many lumps. I am not saying that it's not lumpy, just that it's less lumpy than when I try to do everything at once. I am encouraged by Stell's reminder that she started spinning two months ago; her yarn is absolutely gorgeous, and dead even. Mine, well, not so much.
Meanwhile, I shall drink my glogg, and knit on my new project (more about that next time), and read the issues of Wild Fibers that I picked up at the store today (I'm considering subscribing -- does anyone get it already and have some input on that one?). The girls want to watch the new DVD of Hairspray they got for Christmas, which seems like an excellent opportunity to play with fiber while keeping them company. Happy Friday, all!


Marianne said...

Sounds like some very good times being made!
I saw Rabbitch's post earlier today, and saw your fibre in the dyeing process, Very Pretty!
That's yarn.... you are making yarn!

So... was the glass warm? you know, with the lion on the other side?
Many years ago when Conor was Very Young... we took him to the Zoo during the holidays, (at night) they had lights up, very pretty, we rode the little train all round the zoo, our magical moment was with the giraffes... their area is a bit secluded and the mama and her young one were out 'watching' us... The expression on Conor's face was absolutely divine.
He decided it was a 'mama and her boy'...

Anne said...

I'm up making pumpkin squares for the swim team since the kitten had grandiose ideas about breakfast time. How nice to read about your day! We too have been catching up on rest, and reading (what did Older Daughter get at the bookstore? inquiring minds...), but my younger one is already impatient with the whole vacation thing and would like to have an outing a day at least. Unfortunately, she's not the one going to 2 hour swim practices, and would be bored bored bored waiting around at the pool.

Two years ago we went to the Christmas lights show at the Bronx Zoo. It was *amazing*. And no, I'm not going to bite on the 37 degrees being cold comment. (My students would all be out on t-shirts and flipflops, though.)

Rabbitch said...

That yarn is most excellent. I'd knit with it.

Anonymous said...

You found a copy! Good.

Sounds like a good time! And book gift cards must be spent as soon as possible as the Great Book Famine is just around the corner. Always.

8.5 hours is about my minimum, the earlier the better too. Well, reasonably.

Stell said...

ooooo look the spindle is full of more even yarn - see it doesn't take long... are you hooked yet?

Anonymous said...

You have spun very respectable looking YARN! :-)

Don't fret about needing to park and draft. Shoot, I do it all the time so I can do long drafting. The only difference is the spindle is lightly touching the floor so it continues to spin as I draft.

It's great you're learning on two different types of spindles in the beginning. You'll be more well-rounded.

Your week sounds good and relaxing. A needed break. Most of us really need at least 8 hours of sleep.

Anonymous said...

Yup, that's what vacations ought to be. Sounds like a lovely slide out from Christmas.