Dude, This is Not a Flare

This is my one hundred and eighty-sixth post.  I think at two hundred there should be a celebration, but I’m not sure what.  The numbers are important to me only as reminders that I have persisted with this task.  I never set out to achieve any particular number of posts, and I can easily foresee writing for years to come, so there isn’t a “goal” number of posts.  But I do want to schedule a little happy dance with my 10 year-old self, so we can sing “we’re doing it, we’re doing it”, a little rejoicing in the pleasure of writing. 


This week I read this:  A Northern Family’s Role in the Slave Trade, http://www.alternet.org/rights/87500, about the DeWolf family of Rhode Island.   I currently live in the south, but the point of this referral is not to gloat that slavery also existed in the north.  Instead, I read this as a courageous exploration by nine family members, descendants of a prominent slave-trading family.  They investigated their family’s history and traced the route of the slave trade from Ghana in West Africa, where the slaves were obtained, to Cuba, where the family had plantations, to New England, where the family became powerful due to their lucrative business.  The family members were even willing to acknowledge and examine their current privileged existence and it’s direct relationship to their roots.  I applaud their honesty and bravery.  Another small piece of the conversation on race that is overdue in the U.S. 


I am not more suspicious than the next person.  In fact, I am a pragmatist.  If I can foretell the future (as sometimes I can, in an odd way), then I accept that I have an uncommon family trait and there’s nothing crazy or evil about it.   On the other hand, when I spend paragraphs describing how well I’m doing one day, and have a recurrence of severe symptoms the next, I have to wonder if I jinxed myself by publicly revelling in my recent good health.  I’m sitting here, enduring the nausea from a pain pill, typing with stiff fingers and moving my legs restlessly to try and find relief from intense knee pain.  Are you kidding me?  Has my B-cell production mechanism suddenly swung into full gear and started pouring a fresh crop of cells back into my marrow?  I don’t want this to be the start of a flare.  I want it to be some fluke produced by the confluence of high temperatures, the Riverbend Festival, and the length of my hair, and further provoked by indulging in three different kinds of hummus in one week. 


While I am letting that inner voice plead with the Big One (“please, God, not the flare”), I am working on a conscious denial:  this is not a flare.  This cannot be a flare.  No lupus flares this week, buddy.  I am not starting into a flare.  No, nein, non, no eyebrow-plucking way can this be a flare.  Un-unh.  Nope.  Not even gonna talk about.  It. 


My dog got into the compost and filched a meal of rotten food.  She’s paid the price.  Nausea (I sympathize, Lu), vomiting, diarrhea…bad doggy stomach symptoms.  I feel guilty.  The compost bin needs repairs-no, it needs rebuilding.  No more old Rubbermaid storage thingie with holes punched in it.  Time for a custom, homemade, wooden pen, accessible only to earthworms. 


But man, that compost is doing the job!  Today, two more plants, both of the Goose Lake tomatoes, have little baby tomatoes growing.  It’s amazing how true these guys are to their genetics.  I have five pairs of tomato plants, of five different origins.  So far, it seems that the members of each pair grow at the same rate and begin to produce at the same time, to the day.  I go out and examine the plants every morning.  I’m fascinated to see this pre-ordained path of development. 


Tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public Day.  I plan to be there with or without pain and stiffness (which I’m sure won’t be present, because this is not a flare).  10:30 a.m. at Niedlov’s, dude. 




World Wide Knit in Public Day, Further Planning

I see from the comments that I am not the only one who avoids Tennessee’s largest mall.  It is so true that, especially with school out, a Saturday morning will be painful there.  I have a duh kind of suggestion.  Niedlov’s Breadworks is in public.  How about we meet there and bring our knitting?  We can enjoy breakfast, and maybe lunch too.  They have addicting cookies, the best pasta salad in the world (no mayo and lots of little inobtrusive veggie pieces), and I’ve heard the staff treats knitters well.  How about it?  It’s across the street from the fire station on Main Street.  We might even get lucky and see some good-looking firemen.  If our numbers rise too steeply, we could rotate seats on the street or that grassy mound by the odd sculpture.  I will bring a few lawn chairs.  Um, if we choose this venue, please hold me back from cleaning out all the peanutbutter cookies. 


It might be nice to have a souvenir of WWKIP Day.  Maybe we could do a scarf, each of us bring a leftover and knit a few rows.  It could go to some charitable purpose, either directly or through an eBay auction. 


More about today’s activities later.  Whoo-hoo, blogging twice today! 



Tomatoes, Sneezes, and Knitting Lace in Public

I really should make a big lead-in and build up to telling my best news, but I can’t help blurting it out:  I’m knitting lace!!  When I first began to knit seriously, there was a mental hierarchy of knitting goals.  The things that I both avoided and aspired to were (1) cables, (2) socks and (3) lace.  Now I’ve done them all.  Well, okay, I just started the lace.  But I have gotten my nerve up and learned new stuff. 


I told you I was starting the Leaf Kimono Top from the latest Interweave Knits.  Yesterday I swatched.  Today, I started the back.  I’ve done three repeats of the eight-row lace pattern.  I’m finding that I love knitting lace.  It’s very intellectual knitting.  You have to pay attention, and in some cases use your logic.  My brain sees the lace instructions in phrases.  For instance, this set of stitches:  “yo, k1, sl 2 as if to k2tog, k1, pass 2 slipped sts over, k1, yo, k1” is recorded as “yarn over, knit 1, slip two; knit 1 (has to follow the slip) and pass 2 over; knit 1-yarn over-knit 1 (to precede next yarnover).”  While I am recalling what I’ve memorized, there’s a simultaneous commentary explaining why the stitches go that way.  Crazy, hunh?  This also goes very fast.  My breathing goes with the phrases, the way I used to breathe in time with my running. 


In all that talk, I don’t think I mentioned that this English Lace pattern is beautiful.  Of course it’s not opened up like it will be after blocking.  More to come!     


My axillary (underarm) infection is getting better.  Now there’s a cold vying for my attention.  Pooey.  One of the kids in the house is matching me sneeze for sneeze.  We’ve got plenty of Kleenex and fizzy water. 


I’m thinking Coolidge Park is a great place for an early afternoon knit on June 14.  How about it?  Someone suggested having buttons to wear (and I think to have for anyone who wants to join us).  I went to the World Wide Knit in Public Day website, linked to their shopping page on Cafepress, and scored 30 official minibuttons.  I’ll give them up for a mini-fee.  I feel like I’m opening my coat and saying “Psst, KIP buttons, cheap.”  Talk to me, people.  I’m thinking that as soon as we set up the champagne table, catering, and red carpet service, we’ll be ready.  Has anybody notified People Magazine? 


I’ve been in the mood for a grand “hehe” all day.  It’s Dustin Hoffman’s fault.  In a Today Show interview that aired this morning, he told a joke:  Two cannibals were eating a clown.  One said to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?” 


We staked and tied up the tomato plants today.  They are growing rapidly.  One of the Black Plums has two tomatoes starting!  I’m going to have to call up my gardening competition and sell some wolf tickets.  I’m sure my tomatoes are going to be out first!