It feels like it's been a long week already. Does anyone else ever have that happen? It really seems like today should be Wednesday, and I'm simultaneously relieved (there's so much to do!), and horrified (how could I have done so much and still have it only be Tuesday?!) to find that it's not. Ah, well.
We met yesterday morning with the superintendent of Older Daughter's school to talk about the cancellation of something like 90% of the music program. I have generally noticed that in situations like this, administrators fall into one of two categories.
(Beware: Huge overgeneralization incoming.)
In both categories, administrators say that they have to make hard choices because of the state budget situation. This I accept as truth, knowing what I do about California's budget, and about the persistent refusal of her citizenry to fund the things they say they want. (Obviously, they've never read Heinlein; all I have to say is: TANSTAAFL.*) Administrators also invariably say that they hate to have to make the cuts they're making. I'm willing to accept that as truth, too, but I have noticed over the years a major dichotomy in possible administrator reactions to having one of their constituents suggest alternatives to proposed cuts.
Some administrators seem really happy to know that a) the stakeholders in their enterprise care enough to come to them with ideas, and b) that someone's come up with some other option that prevents quite the same degree of cut-devastation. Those administrators respond to suggestions with lots of information about how to make those suggestions work, or, if they won't, a good reason why not, and an open conversation about what might work instead. Those administrators seem truly to regret having to cut things that are working, and truly happy to find alternatives.
There are other administrative types, though, who respond to stakeholder suggestions as threats to their authority. Those types respond defensively as an automatic reaction, and use tactics like obfuscation, aggression, and allocation of blame to railroad the conversation. They don't share information, but they say that they already have. It's hard to be convinced under those circumstances that they really do regret the cuts, but they certainly feel defensive about them.
I'll leave you to guess with which type I was dealing on Monday morning. Looking at the positives, we did, in the end, come away with some information, and better yet, I came away with the good feeling that I'm not the only parent who cares, and that we parents will be working together to see what we can do with the information that we do have, and to obtain more information when possible. Our strength is great because our cause is just, right?
Because yesterday was one of those days (that's how it started, and it didn't get much better), this morning I took myself off for a long hike with Tilly. We spent nearly an hour on the trail, and I came home feeling much refreshed, and grateful for the chance to be outside, grateful for the lovely cool weather (60 degrees and a marine layer), grateful for the crew of volunteers who have been working faithfully to restore the native plants to the open space where I hike, grateful for the blooming sage that makes my dog smell wonderful for days after a hike, grateful to my dog for her cheerful willingness to walk up hill and down, thinking not about tomorrow or yesterday, but about the now. She's a good nudge toward mindfulness.
And once I was home, I found that Henley Redux, which I finished last night and blocked, was almost dry, and ready to have its buttons sewn on. I also discovered that it's almost exactly the color of my beloved jacarandas which are, even now, busily (as Rick puts it) jacarandizing.
Our jacaranda is always a bit late to the party; by next week at this time, it will be a mass of purple blossoms. For now, it's just hinting at the beauty to come, while all around our neighborhood, trees are entering their blooming phase.
And the sweater? Here it is (a bit washed out in this light, but trust me, the purple is very much like those blooms above).
I'll get better pictures, including some modelling shots, but for now, it really goes with all of the springtime purple blooms, not just the jacaranda.
The sweater turned out beautifully (if I do say so myself); I'm happy with the seams, and I think I did an even better job on the button-band than I did with the first henley (which is also blocking right now, so it'll be pretty and clean for me to take with me to the Great Lakes Fiber Show this weekend -- more on that next time).
And it fits very nicely. I was worried it was going to be too tight, but if anything, I think I blocked it width-wise a bit more aggressively than it might have needed (I'll remember that next time). And it's a good thing that I finished it when I did, because I took a nasty spill on my hike this morning, and landed hard on the ball of the palm of my hand (I'll spare you the pictures); I'm not sure how knitting is going to feel - typing isn't all that pleasant, actually.
So, to recap, this is the Henley with a Twist, from Knitspot, knit in Knitting Notions Merino Bamboo, colorway Dusk. This time I knitted the size small (last time, it was the medium), and used size three and four needles. I also fiddled a bit with the pattern to knit it in the round, since I knew I wasn't going to have the time or inclination to deal with much in the way of seaming at the end. It worked out really well. I'm actually wearing it now -- I put it on as soon as it dried, and I don't think I'll be taking it off any time soon. Here's a quick preview:
Maybe Anne will get some good shots of it this weekend when I see her, on her home turf this time, because as of Friday morning, I'm off to Ohio! See you on the flip side.
*TANSTAAFL: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch