I am sorry for the patchiness of my posting lately. As you know, I have been feeling under the weather and I get so tired at night that typing a few hundred words just seems like so much effort. Not to mention the far greater effort of organizing my brain so I will know what words I want to write . . .
So, to recap the weekend for you:
On Saturday we had a chai party to get ready for. Lucy of course is not here and Mercy had to be at work at 3:00. Spencer was out of town at a rugby match and Jasper and Walter had their yard jobs to do. Also, our cats have been prisoners downstairs for some time because of recurring flea issues, so we had to do something about that.
Mercy got the kitchen cleaned up and then assisted me in bathing the cats with flea shampoo. We did the worst cat first, the one we derisively refer to as Whiny Pants. It was hand-to-paw combat, with her having the advantage since she had weapons and I did not. She screamed her lungs out while trying to kill me during the entire ordeal, which included five minutes of just letting the shampoo do its work before we rinsed it out. She ended up clean and (I hope) flea free. I ended up with multiple lacerations and a bitten and bleeding thumb.
Next up was the feline matriarch, Eppie (also known as Fluffy Pants). She is the one that most people are afraid of because if you try to pick her up when she doesn’t want you to, she will make you regret it. Saturday, though, she was surprisingly compliant even when she realized what I was going to do to her. She meowed loudly and very sorrowfully, but did not try to hurt me. What a relief! She looks half her usual size when she is wet because she is so very fluffy.
Last of all came Neko (Ginger Pants). He is not a cuddly cat at all, but he is also nonviolent. He endured his bath in miserable silence. He tried to make a break for it a couple of times, but relapsed into compliance quickly. There was no feeling of victory when he was clean; just a huge sense of relief!
We imprisoned the three wet cats in the bathroom while we fumigated the laundry room. Mercy had to leave after making only 2 batches of Rice Krispie treats, so I had the rest of the baking to do. I had asked if some students could come help set up the tables and chairs outside, and we had some very willing helpers. Right before the chai party began, I had Janet come over to help set out the food and drinks.
We had a pretty good turnout, and I was able to be outside visiting for a while before I had to come back in and practice my music for Sunday.
Sunday morning I totally forgot to make Mercy’s birthday breakfast in bed because I was busy tuning and practicing my autoharp! Oh well . . . she will get it soon.
Mercy wanted her birthday dinner on Sunday, and she requested French food, so after getting to talk to Lina for a while I was busy the rest of the afternoon making a huge vat of coq au vin and also some homemade balsamic vinaigrette for the salad. I was a little disappointed that none of our usual Sunday evening guests came, but on the other hand it was nice to have just the five of us together for a family dinner. That rarely happens anymore with the busy schedules that everyone has.
In addition to the birthday dinner, another family tradition is that the birthday person gets to pick a movie to watch with the family. Mercy picked “Knight and Day,” which the rest of us hadn’t seen, because she knows that my husband likes Tom Cruise movies. Even if the movie hadn’t been amusing, it was so nice to just have all five of us in the same room together for a couple of hours. Plus, I got some knitting done! I am working hard on my gift knitting.
Which brings me to my September FOs (finished objects). I can’t show them all to you, but here are the ones I can show:
Apron #2 Both aprons went with Lucy to Bolivia for my dear friend Elizabeth. I’m not sure how the tradition got started, but I have been supplying Elizabeth with aprons for many years. When I know that someone will be traveling her way, and I ask her what I can send, she always wants aprons!
Alpaca Shawl. Three years ago, Elizabeth sent me some lovely brown alpaca yarn and I made this shawl for her. I am including it September’s FOs because this is the project that had moth damage and I had to work very hard to fix it so I could send it with Lucy.
A hanging kitchen towel. This was a birthday present, but the recipient should already have it, so I think it’s safe to show. I use these in my own kitchen all the time.
Burp Cloths. I made six of these but only photographed the last two because the others were already in the mail. I like to give these to new moms because they are so handy and practical. One side is soft flannel and the other side is terrycloth for mopping up spills. They are “notched” on both sides to fit around your neck so you have full spit-up coverage. I can’t tell you how many times I have given these as a gift, and watched the young mother try to look grateful for them. Let’s face it, burp cloths are not glamorous. In almost every case, the mother contacted me later and raved about the great design and usefulness of the burp cloths. These particular ones went to Germany, where my niece is due to have her first baby this month.
I’m already hard at work on this month’s projects, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to show you any of them!
Finally, I just found out today that my story Dragon Moon has already been published! You can find it in this issue of The Colored Lens: