Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Epiphanies! Breakthroughs! Ah-ha moments!

Whatever you want to call 'em, I've been having 'em lately!

First, drop spindling. Seriously. I've been trying to learn to spin with a drop spindle for a couple of years now, and I have had very limited success. I do more dropping than spinning, and what gets spun isn't pretty. Still, I keep a spindle sitting in plain sight in my bedroom, and a little bump of fiber nearby, and every once in a while, I pick it up and give it a try, usually yielding the same old disappointing results.

Yesterday? I looked at it, and even before I picked it up, I just KNEW I had figured out what I was doing wrong. No idea how I knew that, and I'm not sure I can even put it in words, but I was right. I spun the loveliest, finest (think lace weight!), most consistent singles I've ever spun with a spindle. Incredible!

The only thing I can credit this epiphany to is something Amy said to me about spindling when I got to talk to her at MS&W, and then something Cosy said to me on Saturday when we were walking around the fiber show in Ohio. I can't even remember what their comments were exactly, but the essense of them must have been working on my subconscious, though if I had to categorize what I'm doing differently, I'd have to say it has to do with how I'm drafting the fiber, but I really can't explain it more than that. Whatever it is, I'm happy about it, and I am finally starting to see what makes people so happy about drop spindles even though they've got perfectly good spinning wheels sitting there. It's nice to have options.

My second breakthrough is pretty has to do with my clotheslines. Yes. Clotheslines. See, I love hanging my sheets out to dry, and to this end we've always had clothesline poles in the small, flat area of our backyard (as opposed to the rest of our back yard, which is pretty much a hill). One end of the clothesline attaches to the pole, and the other end attaches to the house. The thing is, when my husband has one of the larger tractors here for some sort of destruction home improvement project, he needs to drive the tractors through this narrow, flat area, and he always takes my clotheslines down to do so (which is, admittedly, preferable to him garotting himself on them). But once they're down, they rarely go back up, and thus ends my open-air sheet drying for the summer.

But this year, I had an epiphany! Bungee cords!

See them there at the pole ends? I tied the clotheslines to the bungee cords, and now any time he needs to take them down, it will be easy-peasy, and I can put them back up again with no hassle. (And see the orange foot sticking out from under the yellow tarp to the left of the clotheslines? That would be the current tractor that is residing here, which is responsible for doing this to the lower part of our driveway...

This mess is brought to us by the intention of improving the drainage at the bottom of the driveway so the rain doesn't bring a river of mud down it and onto the back porch.

...because, seriously, it just wouldn't be summertime here at Chez Beamer unless some segment of our property was dug up and muddy. At least it isn't a grassy area this year. Yet. :::sigh:::)

Anyway...bungee corded clotheslines. A huge breakthrough in my, smell-good, energy-saving, sheet-drying efforts.

Lastly, a gardening "ah-ha!" moment. (You knew I'd sneak gardening in here, didn't you?) Upon reflecting about how much more I'm enjoying my gardening efforts this year than I have in years past, it occurred to me that one of the things I like least about gardening is that it usually makes me hot and sweaty. And I have always really, really hated the feeling of sweat trickling down my hot body, making my clothes stick to me, and gluing to my skin anything that is flying around -- dirt, bugs...whatever. Ick.

The whole "hate to sweat" thing is also largely responsible for why I've always hated exercising. However! Now that I've been going to the gym for the past six months, and I do nothing BUT sweat there, I seem to have gotten over my sweat phobia! Sure, sweat still feels icky, but I seem to have learned to transcend the sweat in order to reach other goals...such as learning to kickbox, and now, to be a better gardener! So, in essence, going to the gym has improved my willingness to garden! Isn't that interesting? Ok, never mind, maybe not...just look at the pretty flowers and forget I brought it up! ;)

The front corner of my flower bed...prolific lilies abounding, hostas that even God probably can't kill, the transplanted rhododendron from last year that my husband claims is looking healthier than it ever has (I'm not convinced, but it isn't dead, so we'll go with it)...and on the right, coral bells, which I didn't know actually flower because these didn't last year, but they are this year. And in front of the rhodo I added two dianthus (dianthii?) plants to take the place of the two hibiscus (hibiscii?) that did not survive the winter. (I chose the dianthus not only because they should be the right size for this spot, but also in honor of the quirky, half-demon character in Charlaine Harris's southern vampire novels that is named after them...I know, I'm a dork.) And in front of the dianthus are some annuals I bought just to fill in and have color. I can't wait until all this stuff starts to really flourish! :)


pdxknitterati said...

Sweat. Not my thing. But I did do a major garden stint last week, and it looks great!

Anonymous said...

hahaha! i love how epiphanies happen. the click.

Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

It's beautiful!!