What’s up?

February 2009 – January went by in an Arizona blur!  We deserted poor Nim (who has Jim and Shera wrapped well around his left front dew-claw) and took Bekka along with us for the marathon install and startup of the 1st TCSA Excitation Unit at Glen Canyon Dam.  All went really well – hard work all around – success!

I’m back in the office.  Catching up and moving on.  I have one of the “wristies” finished and am well into the 2nd – I did little knitting in January.  My loom is still awaiting me.  I’m thinking instead of a twill weave – I will use some of the stuff that I got from Kathy and make a mixed media tabby weave shawl.  I am intrigued with using different fibers in the same piece – yet have not much experience in doing such for figuring out drape and feel, etc.  Well – still looking at the colors and touching…  No set plans yet.


2009 – New project, new technique

It’s called “Twined Knitting” – a Swedish method of knitting.  I found the pattern (Larus & Ardea) on Ravelry (ravelry.com) by Spinnity – and the technique was detailed at Knitty.com by Teresa Vinson Stenersen.  It sounds complicated and looks impressive – but has been pretty easy to follow along (thanks in large to a very well written pattern!).  The fabric as I knit is very cushy/thick.  

Happy New Year!  We’ve been home.  Hannah is home too (heading back on the 10th).  We’ve kept things pretty quiet – and that’s just fine.  We are contemplating the best approaches to rebuilding our front porch/stairway.  I would like to make a small deck out there – the streetside of the house benefits from a lot more sun and a lot less wind than the ocean facing side of the house.  I’m hoping to get to this in the 1st part of 2009.  …. and if wishes were horses…..  !

We’re all three off to MacWorld on the 6th – Jerry’s coming along with us.  We’re wishing Tim were here too!


Phew – it’s been awhile

I’m startled to see how much time has passed since my last entry…  Hurricane was intense for us.  We went from California to Pittsburgh that next Sunday.  From Pittsburgh we convinced Hannah on St. Thomas to check out generators at Home Depot – which she did.  She ended up buying a 6000 kva(?) one and she hauled it to the ferry and then she put herself on a plane and went over to St. Croix (on Wednesday Oct. 22).  

The tenants were happy to see her and the generator and the chain saw.  They had lost electricity the evening of Omar and it still wasn’t restored.  And the big sea grape tree on the south street side of the house has broken some big branches and was pretty much blocking Bob’s driveway access.  

Ted and I arrived Friday the 24th – noonish.  Hannah met us and we made a quick grocery trip – then to the house.  We surveyed and basically went right to work on the property.  The house was fine – inside is dirty (6+ months of not being there – the Sahara dust combined with the ocean-front atmosphere = grime on everything….), outside was equally poorly maintained.  The landscape guy was coming by more less than often it appears.  So there was a lot of neglect along with the hurricane damage.

The house – after our 10 day stay is still not really cleaned up.  We didn’t get electric until Sunday evening Nov. 2nd (18 days without – thanks WAPA!).  The generator is so loud and intrusive that you ran it only when really needed – and we powered 3 fridges, fans, washing machine, lights, computers with the generator – it didn’t support the water heater.  I cleaned the floors with a mopping of bleach and water.  I got most surfaces with some cleaning products and a rag.  But….  Ted worked like a fool on the yard.  He put a lot of energy into getting things back in shape and did well.  He even sifted the beach sand (we could use more to ‘freshen’ things up – but the stuff is $85/ton and you have to haul it yourself – whoa).

Hannah arranged a trip to Buck Island for us with one of her peers – Ian Lundgren.  He works for Fish and Game and his normal job is monitoring turtles on Buck Island – so he’s used that to form the basis of his masters thesis.  In a nutshell – he is studying how soil composition and shade/sun variations equate to success in turtle hatches.  We went over around 5:30pm – and were back by 11pm.  We witnessed two Hawk’s Bill turtle ladies dig nests and lay eggs (awesome) and one of Ian’s relocated nests hatched while we were there – so we helped him to take his data from the hatchlings and release them to the ocean.  Hannah is sending me pictures – and I’ll post some once I get them.  It was an amazing evening.

We’ve been home since late on Nov. 4th.  I’m almost recovered from the 4-hour time change (I’m definately getting older….)  Ted left for Arkansas for work yesterday.  

The SLO weaver’s guild held their annual sale this weekend.  It was amazing.  I’m inspired and have new energy to work at the loom.  The Alpaca Scarves I’ve been weaving measure up nicely to some of the very lovely things I saw these amazing weavers have done – so I have renewed confidence.  …. now I just need to be home more than a few weeks at a time….


Hurricane Omar

…. is off of St. Croix as I type.  It’s been an unsettling day.  Hannah was all set to get on an early morning Cape Air flight from St. Thomas to St. Croix today – and they cancelled all flights.  So not only were our hurricane prep plans for Rust op Twist on St. Croix stymied – but now Hannah was without a plan…  Her condo sits high up on a mountainside (higher = stronger winds potentially) – but the road to her home is steep and tho generally paved – very narrow and will likely become impassable with mud/water/etc.  So even if the structure of the condo remains sound – she would be stranded up there…  But as of now she’s safe in the Holiday Inn in Charlotte Amalie.  Jaquie and Lisa (THANK YOU GUYS!) picked up our truck from the airport and buttoned up the upstairs and all of the downstairs shutters and probably a dozen other prep tasks….


Omar as of about 4pm Pacific time on Wednesday.  The big white outline is Puerto Rico – I circled St. Croix in red…


NOAA graphics (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/)


Tognazini’s for Lunch

Ted and I went to Morro Bay – Tognazini’s for lunch.  It was a fabulous Fall day – crisp and clear.  No wind (at least at noon).  This sea gull was happy to join our lunch….  Ted didn’t really think that calamari and chips (fried) were on the approved list for sea gull diet – but in true Gray-family fashion I couldn’t resist sneaking him a few tidbits.  He was grateful.  

(pic taken with Ted’s iPhone)

Tognizini’s is at the T-pier in Morro Bay – it’s mostly a seafood shop – with a patio dining area and a fish and chips-mostly menu.  Good food.  Dogs welcome.


Soccer Day!

Nicolas – the little guy to the left coming at the ball – is 4 years old. The new skill is to run down the field (in this age group they don’t play positions) and get in front of any play and defend the goal! And he’s determined about it! Jessica is in high school – these girls are tough. Play is about an hour and a half…. She is generally playing mids. Ian played in Templeton this week – 8 years old – this is his 3rd year of soccer. He has been mainly playing goal – but some forward too. They are all three good players – smart about the game. Note the cheering section! Amy (their mom) is in the foreground. She was at Nic’s game at 9am, Ian’s (an hours drive away ) at 11am and then back to Jessie’s game at 2pm…. Home at 4pm….


What’s new?


What’s up? We spent the weekend in LA… Ted is a Hot Wheel (yes, the little toy car) collector and attends the conventions pretty regularly. I join him – not so much for the hot wheels – but to be social and to travel about. There are generally 2/year – and one is almost always on the west coast – LAX this year. Hannah came out – so I enjoyed spending time with her. Not so much the LAX area. I just wasn’t up to fighting through the 405 traffic (at any given time of day) to go somewhere I didn’t really feel strongly about getting to. We did explore some of Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. Shopped a bit…

Charles and Sophia Kitson – Hot Wheel fans from London – drove up on Tuesday and are spending
the week with us. They’ve been before so know what to expect and what they want to do! Which is a good thing as I have plenty of work to be doing! They are off to explore the old Hearst Hacienda in Jolon today. The weather has gotten a bit cooler – I think they will have a good time.

I finished reading Ted Bell’s new book “TSAR” last night – and enjoyed it.

So that’s the current skinny. I’m not feeling terribly philosophical or up to commenting on anything really important… The state of the economy is discouraging – waiting to see what the next day will bring. I’m trying to keep a focus on those things I can control and have an effect on.



William Butler Yeats — The Second Coming (1920)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Unhappy Loom

Does this look like a happy Loom to you?  It does not.  I warped this up with beautiful browns and cream alpaca yarn at the end of June…  and it’s only become a collection spot for “Karin’s Stuff” since then.  🙁  

Granted – I was out of town for nearly 8 weeks and I’ve been busy since I’ve returned.  But I’ve gotta get to that weaving!  Now!  Today!