I have survived the first week of classes. That's always a good sign, since it means that it's time to start settling down into a routine for the next twelve or thirteen weeks, until the chaos of Thanksgiving and finals comes around. I'm still finding my feet with all of the schedule changes, though. This is the downside to being a teacher and having kids in school at the same time: all of us have everything shift around at the same time at the beginning of the school year. Everything from class times, to soccer practice, to dance practice move right about now, and I spend the first several weeks of September obsessively checking my calendar, sure that I've forgotten something crucial (mostly because it has been known to happen).
But I did mean to share at least some pictures from our trip up to the Bay Area for Grandmom's memorial. Her actual memorial service was beautiful, a completely fitting tribute to her life. I think that it was harder to get through, for me, than it might have been right after she passed away; at that point my sense of her readiness was vivid, and while "happy" isn't the right word, maybe some of you know that feeling of vicarious relief for someone who was really OK with having reached the end of a long and good life. By now, though, I've had time to remember how much I miss her, and how much I'm going to miss her, and hearing people talk about the person she was, in the years before the end stages of her life, just reminded me more vividly of how much I enjoyed her company and valued her friendship.
The other good thing about the trip, though, was the gathering of family. The girls got to spend more time with their cousin, whom they absolutely adore, and we got to spend time with lots of people, but especially Rick's brother and sister-in-law, whose company we really enjoy, and which we don't get enough of. We dragged them to the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, where the girls grabbed their own maps, and requested that we not follow too closely behind them.
So we wandered around on our own, taking in the sights.
Some of which were rather unexpected.
We got to chat a while, and visit.
We saw trees that didn't seem like they should be thriving quite so well as they were.
Plants that were aptly named, like this spiral aloe.
And plants whose names didn't seem to fit them quite so well.
(That little sign says "Giant Stipa", in case you can't read it.)
The girls kept playing with their maps.
Until we hauled them off to see the little amphitheater in the redwood grove where we were married.
Lest you think that I've completely lost the thread (pun intended) with this supposed knitting blog, my sister-in-law and I did, in fact, manage to visit two yarn stores while we were there (and can I just tell you how much fun it is to have a partner in crime on these trips? even if she is a terrible enabler...). We went to Stash, where we spent a lovely time browsing before deciding on our yarn. You should see the stunning coppery silk laceweight that my sister-in-law bought -- there was no way I could have let her walk out without it. And I decided that it was time to try some Noro sock yarn, which I'm working up into plain meeting socks (as in, socks that I can knit without thinking about them, during meetings).
I'm not quite sure I'm 100% convinced about the whole Noro thing, but more on that another time. Then, when we were in the City, I mentioned something to Rick about having heard there was a fabulous yarn store that was really worth a trip, and he, lovely enabler that he is, promptly hauled out his phone and found it for us. He even got us directions. So off we went to Imagiknit, about which all I can say is, boy howdy. We were a little overwhelmed.
In a sort of hysteric kind of way. There were two rooms chock full of yarn. Perhaps more amazingly, when we both looked to match a skein we'd found so we could get more of something, the folks who worked there would calmly say things like, "Well, it looks like we have 30 more of that colorway in the stock room" (!!), and then they'd go and get more. Unreal.
I managed to walk away with (only) three skeins of Malabrigo sock yarn for a sweater. I adore this colorway. Love it. It's the first yarn I picked up when I walked in (you can see it in that picture up there), and after looking at yarn for an hour, I was still clutching it to my chest and refusing to put it down. That seemed like a sign.
I'll work on getting a better picture, because the blues are more robin's-eggy, like in the picture up above. I'm thinking this will be the perfect yarn for Anne's latest henley, no?
So there you have it. There was also a trip to Muir Woods in there, and a walk across some of the Golden Gate (of which I have no pictures, but I'm sure someone does). Lots of good food. Lots of good company.
This past weekend has been a busy one, too, with two birthday parties, a feis, and a bat mitzvah so far. But today there is nothing scheduled for me except a date with the washing machine and my spinning wheel. Just what the doctor ordered, I think.