Wednesday, May 30, 2007


That's Fantasy Yarn Store. I own one. Want to come in and browse?

It's called Fuzz Buzz. Not only do I offer lots of fondling fodder in easily accessible wooden bins on one side of the store, on the other I have a little coffee shop/cafe/wine bar. You can pull up a chair at a nice little round table to nibble on a composed salad of pasta and veggies in vinaigrette du jour but you can also sip your favorite wine (OK, maybe I'll add Sam Adams for grain-lovers) or snarf a fudgy brownie past your latte froth-mustachioed lips all while clickety-clacking away on your latest WIP. Muted TV in corner tuned to popular Man Sport In Season to actually convince beer drinking DHs that an evening at the yarn shop is a great idea for this week's date night. Or come with your girlfriends and spend the evening in our sofa cluster. Noshing. Knitting. Nattering. Knocking back a few cold ones or red ones or whatever buzz-inducing bevvy you fancy (from whence the inspiration for the "Buzz" part of the shop's name).

I'm thinking warm hardwood floors, walnut stained fixtures, slate tiles, big cushy leather sofas, copper and verdigris accents. Tables are wooden tops with wrought iron legs. Chairs to match. Lots of plants. One of those glass cases with all the food and sweets showcased. Great big swimming pool-sized white porcelain cups for coffee. The usual glassware for everything else.

Now, admittedly, I stole the idea for this business from these people, but my adaptation is infinitely more appealing, don't you think? Though, I do like their fireplace. Maybe I'll steal that idea too.

Or maybe I should just move back to Minnesota and shop at the Yarn Cafe. It might be cheaper than starting my own business. A little. Maybe.

Friday, May 25, 2007


There are few things in life as satisfying as hanging a load of whites on the line to dry in the afternoon sun of a hot early summer day (98 degrees on my deck).

Wait a minute, what am I saying? There are lots of things a thousand times more satisfying than doing the laundry, no matter how much energy I'm saving by using the sun as a clothes dryer.

Like, for instance, knitting something. I've been working my way through an overstock of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the shade Wheat by cranking out one Great American Afghan square after another. This is the series published by Knitter's Magazine back in 1996 to which I am referring. I have a nice little stack of 5 different squares (photo here woefully missing) and am working on the 6th, to the detriment of finishing that V-neck pullover I started this winter not to mention the Zoe Mellor Fair Isle cardigan I started last year for Jujube and the Mission Falls cardigan I started for myself when I was a whole differently-lettered size than I am now. It's so old, I've actually advanced a generation as it has been composting in my project room.

I call this photo "Project Montage with Pooh Sticker". I apologize for the lack of detail in the knitting appearing here. Adjusting photos goes well beyond my PhotoShop abilities. Frankly, taking photos is something well beyond my abilities too. To paraphrase my mother, you're not laughing at me, you're suffering with me.

Having used up all the Wool-Ease, the yarn you see here is positively petrified nasty KMart Acrylic from one of my very first knitting projects. To exhibit my total geekness to you, I'll admit to purchasing the "aubergine" (huh?) yarn to make myself a Dr. Who scarf while in college. Crawled all over my then-home town begging assistance from every LYS staffer who didn't possess the good sense to run in the opposite direction and hide in the stock room the minute I set foot in the store. "What's Awber Gyn?"

For a Dr. Who scarf.

Oh brother.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heaven On Earth

My friends, this is the Lodge at the Valley of the Moon. My sister and her friend own it. They bought it on a whimsical inspiration received from the ether while weekending at a scrapbooking retreat somewhere in the Seattle metro area. The two of them looked up from their work and across the table at each other and proclaimed, "We can do this!" Their search for property landed them this little log gem a mere half mile from my sister's house as the crow flies, 7.2 miles by road. That should be all you need to tell you that it's situated on the side of a hill. It possesses mountain views glimpsed between the branches of fir trees. Several deer inhabit the lawn on a regular basis. There is a long list of western songbirds that can be seen from its windows.

The lodge is mere minutes from the infamous Snoqualmie Falls. The fans of Twin Peaks among us may recognize the falls from the show's introduction.

Miraculously, all this is a mere 15 minute drive from I-90 which will deposit you another 20 minutes later, if you're lucky enough to qualify for the car pool lane with 2 or more passengers in your car, in downtown Seattle. My wee family spent a blissful week here post-lay-off. It had been planned pre-lay-off and we had the great good sense not to cancel. This little cabin in the woods possesses in spades the most remarkable Soul Balm qualities, it is practically medicinal. It is truly a space for relaxing, creating and even healing (which is perhaps just another form of creating, after all). Though I am not generally prone to psychic experiences or spirit sightings, I could have sworn I witnessed a flyover by the archangel Raphael.

Frankly, the place spooked me at night, which makes me wonder whether people who are more receptive to, how shall I say this?, alternate realities, multiple dimensions, spirits, ghosts, gods and/or angels might find lots to see and engage them here. There's truly something magical about the lodge, even if it is nothing more than the fact that someplace this quiet and pastoral can exist so close to another place so urban.

Maybe that partially explains my New Age literature bent at the moment. There was a bookshelf at the lodge well-stocked with some classic texts from the alternative spirituality genre. I dabbled. It benefited me. At the very least, I am finding this the most calm, relaxed, post-layoff job search I have ever undertaken. This is especially important for me since my job requirements are much more stringent this time around. I need to accommodate the schedule of a day care and, ultimately in a couple years' time, the public schoolday.

I hear so many women say "I think I'll go back to work once my kids are in school" and it always makes me shake my head. How on earth is it easier to go back to work when someone needs to be home by 2:00 pm when school lets out? (And let's not get Coach started on the subject of school schedules vs. corporate expectations because the rant may just spiral out of complete control and the dictates of blogging decency.)

So I'm looking for work in a suburban company that is no more than 20 minutes' drive from my daughter's day care and, eventually, her elementary school. The company must be open to flexible work days or working from home since I intend to remain employed there until the Jujube is at least high-school aged. The implication of this is that the company must be stable enough not to undergo lay-offs on the usual cycle of 2 - 4 years as is the habit of most high tech firms or departments.

I realize that, while what I am seeking is completely sensible and should not be that big a stretch for the technology industry, in reality it is like trying to find a four leaf clover or that proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Thanks to the Hicks' writings and their Deliberate Creation ideas, though, I fully intend to find such a position. It may take more time than it used to take to land a testing job in downtown Boston (of which, if I so chose, I could currently take my pick), but I'm not looking for a winning lottery ticket or the key to eternal youth or immortality or anything really very hard. What I want is out there. Somewhere. I just have to reel it in.

Thanks to some quality time at the lodge, I believe whole-heartedly in that possibility.

The Jujube and her cousins.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Irony Alert

The guy sitting right in front of the
Turn off
Cell Phones
while inside
the Library"
sign just had to leave the quiet study area to take a phone call.

Brrring, brrring, doodle-deedle-doo!!!
Brrring, brrring, doodle-deedle-doo!!!

Oh, and he's drinking a DD's iced coffee too.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Quick Message

Sorry friends. It's been quite a whirlwind. Here's a bullet list. I'll write for real soon...
  • Pulled into director's office on 4/11 and told my job was eliminated.
  • Effective date of layoff: 4/30. Previously booked vacation: 4/26 - 5/6.
  • Told to "transfer knowledge" during remaining time in office.
  • Called headhunter upon immediate return to desk.
  • Updated resume.
  • Began packing desk.
  • Held wringing hands of still-employeed colleagues who felt the need to pour out their despair at being left behind to pick up all the work (awwwwww).
  • Attended layoff orientation at which I learned Medical Flexible Spending Account is a COBRA-eligible bene which means if you keep it, you're pointlessly paying for it with after tax dollars, but if you use all funds before termination date then, oh well, company's loss.
  • Immediately booked myself into every medical professional's office I could.
  • Filled cracked tooth.
  • Bought contacts.
  • Bought glasses.
  • Met with 2 headhunters.
  • Had 2 interviews.
  • Told by a development manager to "make some time in my schedule" to "transfer knowledge" to a colleague prior to my vacation on 26th (you know me by now, imagine thoughts running through mind...)
  • Flew to Seattle to visit sister & family.
  • Found gorgeous house on Ames Lake but no job at Microsoft.
  • Returned sadly to Massachusetts on 5/6.
  • Signed up for the dole.
  • Attended Dept. of Unemployment Assistance workshops.
  • Had 3 more interviews and scheduled 2 more.
  • Managed to unpack & grocery shop. Somehow.

I'm pooped. Job hunting is exhausting because these days, you're on the phone or e-mail all day long, leaving you night-time hours to actually SEARCH for opportunities. I was hoping to kick back this time. Take it all a little slower. Filter out the dross since I need flexible scheduling. Haven't figured out how yet.

Anyhoo. That's the nutshell version. I've been thinking of you and this blog. Had some funny experiences -- one in Pike Street Public Market in particular -- that I wanted to share with you. Another time. I'm late for my Bedtime Story shift. Dying to know what's up with you but all my e-time these days is on Pew.