Sometimes a small change brings huge results. Sometimes a large change of habit gives a space and then a return to former happening. My concern is to wait on the 'small still voice'. And if it doesn't seem to be 'speaking' - to wait.
I listened to one of Lily Tomlin's 'Ernestine' recordings last night. Oh, what fun. Humour is so fantastic - it should be required on a daily basis in some form or other. I forget how good it feels to laugh.
Four people, a mom and dad and two kids, were staring out of the newspaper this morning, all with 100 watt smiles. Now normally I applaud and appreciate cheeriness in any form, and in this particular instance in an article to do with the home, because without people in the photos the houses looks like showcases and not real at all. But for some reason I was frowning and, intrigued, sought a reason. The article had to do with making use of space for family activities so no fault here. Then I got it! In the living room photo they are seated on a chesterfield and they are all wearing socks; the chesterfield is on carpet. I have trouble with homes where I am expected to take my shoes off at the door. For three reasons. High arches and feet a bit too small to support my height make shoeless walking and standing rather uncomfortable. Add to this the past experiences of having to remove shoes out of respect with both the physical and psychological aspects. Lastly but perhaps most potentially 'jarring' is the fact that even in houses with wall to wall carpet there are areas without carpet- like the kitchen, bathroom, and - stairs!
Just what I needed while being 'challenged' by a bout of sinusitis! An interview on the radio with 78-year-old Anthony Smith who has put an advertisment in a London newspaper for three over-65's to join him on an Atlantic crossing. On a raft. A 25 by 40 foot raft made from yellow gas pipes, if I understood correctly. He plans to start next December in the Canary Islands and be "escalatered" along a route that he hopes will get him to the Bahamas in about fifty days. He sounds a delight. What struck me most about the gentleman is his sense of fun. Oh, not that he doesn't seem in earnest and serious about the endeavour but I get the feeling he has learned (or never did!) to "not sweat the small stuff" and knows how to enjoy life. He says he wants to make the crossing "in a civilized manner" and already has a deck chair and bedroom slippers. "You're not pulling my leg, are you?" the interviewer on CBC asked. "Not yet," replied Anthony. Then he said he looked forward to squeezing fish and drinking the water thus obtained as he understands it will be drinkable. And he hopes one of those who accompanies him will be a good fly fisherman with a hat adorned with hooks. Can't you just see this! Maybe a movie will result. Or am I having my leg, gleefully, pulled?
It seems we are re-discovering the charm and cosiness of shawls; interesting how something like this can ebb and flow in consciousness and practise. I am wearing a shawl loosely tied around my shoulders as we 'speak'. It keeps the morning chill from settling and seeping. Many people are wearing ponchos at the moment, another version of a shawl. I feel no hesitation about commenting on the lovely handmade ones and in these impromptu conversations in public I have learned that many were received as Christmas gifts made by a mother or aunt or friend and others are the art of the wearer. Knitting is such an avenue to communication!
I'm having great fun constructing a scarf/shawl using circular needles and knitting sideways rather than lengthwise. I cast on a zillion stitches (stopped when I got bored) in the picot cast on (thank you, Carol!) on white plastic needles about the size of my little finger, using doubled heather-toned (brown/orange) wool. The cable is not that long but it sits complacently in my lap while I knit: one longer cable needle I tried had a mind of its own and I felt I was doing battle so I frogged like mad and went for this more pliable one. The actual length of the scarf is going to be a surprise as I can't stretch it out fully but this is part of the charm of Intuitive or Freedom Knitting. Did a dropped stitch for the first row for a lacey effect and then switched to a very soft acrylic in a sunrise orange. Testing out the gauge to see how this new yarn looked (using this yarn singly and not doubled) I knit five forward and then 'knit' those five backward (which is actually a purl as I 'knit' into the back of the stitch going from left to right) and then knit those five frontward again, going into the back of the stitch. Well, an "I wonder what would happen if....." then occurred and I continued in blocks of five across the row (am still working on that row - maybe not a zillion stitches but LOTS!). I like the look. The ply of the yarn and the size of the needles have allowed for the 'quints' to join together loosely with a sweep of a stitch. The plan is to do the next row in a plain knit or purl to sort of 'mortar' the 'quints' to the rest of the scarf. I know this will work because I shot awake at one a.m. with another idea in mind on how to enhance the 'quints' - not on this scarf (lord, no way am I frogging it! - if it suddenly fails to please it will be one of the projects that gets tossed as is out into garden for use by nature of Cat next door (I think he was a sheep in a former life and feels some affinity to wool) or wind and rain) - but got out some deep purple wool that has been waiting on a narrow scarf idea and I experimented with the 'quints' enhancement (it worked!) and found that the 'mortar' idea works as well. Knitting under a full Moon is magical and the item Knit will carry that.
Perhaps it isn't so much that the praises of the services of pharmacists are not sung loud and long but that they seem, for some reason, a 'well kept secret'. When we do talk about the benefits we are most applaudative and appreciative. For any question to do with drugs or supplements or additives I head to my local pharmacist. And almost any health concern - well, concerns the possible use of any of these so I come away with the feeling of having acquired information to make an informed decision.
I was reading an article in the newspaper about the Men are From Mars, Women from Venus author, John Gray and it said he engages in something he calls "gentle bouncing and limb shaking", that he was doing it while being interviewed, that he finds it ten times more effective than walking. Well! I've been playing with this practise for months and now will take it more seriously, do it less randomly. Such is the power of sharing an experience! I came about it by chance as an antidote to reduced activity as the cooler season approached and I was no longer biking daily. I found that if, upon awakening, I sort of shimmied my whole body about (yes, a "gentle bouncing and limb shaking" aptly describes it!) before I got out of bed it felt like a jumpstart to the day. And remembering to do this during the day, even for a few seconds, perks me up. It can't hurt and I would imagine that the beneficial aspects will increase as I do it more. And, as with any care-of-body endeavour, the body does respond and will begin to dictate when it needs a 'shake' and for how long. Often the simplest of things are the most effective.