Category Archives: Colorado

When Pollyannas Collide…

From the dusty archives of our Drafts folder:

This is what happens when the Pollyannas met up on Facebook late one night… The colors let you know which Pollyanna is which. Also, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Not us. Our families, silly.

Anna-Liza:     Hey there – are you really on right now? Or is it just a Facebook illusion?

Lyda:              Yes, I’m on.

I went and started a cooking project and now I have to stay up ’til I’m done.

How much longer are you going to be up?

Hoping less than half an hour. I have something simmering – have to check it once in a while. Then I can pour it in a jar and let it cool and go to bed.

Not too much longer, then.  Hey, I graduated.

I saw! Congratulations!

It’s kind of weird. It felt like this huge thing before it happened, and hardly anyone has even acknowledged it. I thought the people at work would all sign a card or something.

Wow. Nothing?  Although it’s not totally surprising, I guess.

Nope. 

Then again, there’s that whole karma around getting validation from outside.  Bleh. 

People keep asking me “What are you going to do now?” and the truth is I have no idea. I’d like to do something completely different, but I’m not sure what.

I’m hoping that, now that the kids are in school again, life will be less crazy and I can indulge myself with a call to you once in awhile again.

And, in re: “boring job,” you *must* read “Radical Homemakers.”

That would be awesome! I miss our long talks. I saw your note [on Facebook] about “Radical Homemakers.” Sounds interesting.

It’s a quick, but sort of intense, read. I think it will weirdly fit in with your studies.

My son the Sith Master thinks I should be a teacher and teach English so kids will learn to love books and reading and writing, instead of learning to hate it.  I don’t know though.

I have to do some posts on the blog…

God, I am not even sure when the last time I posted was. Blogging is another thing I want to get back into.

And I’ve started making these cute little stitch markers that my knitting group is “test driving” for me. If they work well, I’m thinking of selling them on Etsy.

Me too. I need to post about graduating, for one, and check off a big thing off my Bucket list. I did do this.

To jump around a little, one of the big reasons we like living in our own house is that we can garden a lot more extensively. We want to do an “urban homestead” kind of thing with a lot of edible landscaping.

Stitch markers – cool! I haven’t knitted in so long. It’s finally cool today, so I can think about dusting the needles off. I’m thinking I’ll just make a scarf with yarn I have, and then give it away to someone…

Maybe even backyard chickens eventually.  A scarf’s a good way to get back into knitting.

“Urban homestead” – I like it. Edible landscaping is a terrific idea.

You know those books about women’s knitting or quilting groups? I swear our knitting group could inspire one of those.

There you go, something else to do in your copious free time. And hey, while we’re at it, we really should write a book together too.

We’re growing pole beans on our front porch railing, and we’ve been getting really tasty green beans.

[about writing the book together] Yep.

Something with lots of sex in it. I’m not having any right now, so at least I can live vicariously by writing about it.

Hee!

I can’t write well about sex – it always comes out too serious.

Or just stupid.

“Mmmmmmmm .. Mmmm … Mmmmmmm … ” Didn’t we make fun of some book like that way back when?

I know – comes out serious, stupid, or insipid when I write about it. Maybe together we can keep it fun and funny.

 “RRRRRRrrrrrrr …. VVVVVVVVVv”

Sorry. Got carried away there.

You are cracking me up!  “And she arched her back and screamed like a lioness…”

Do lionesses scream, exactly?

I’ve always wondered…

The scream thing annoys me. How many women actually scream when they orgasm?

Probably not so many.

Well, mountain lions scream, or so they say. I haven’t heard if they scream during sex, though. On the nature shows, the lioness always just looks bored during sex.

Yeah, she does. Lions seem a lot like this one guy I dated…

[On “How many women really scream during sex?”]  Good question. Probably less than men pretend they do. But is that because the women are worried about someone hearing, or are they thinking, “I’d scream, but it would be stupid”?

Or it’s just not a natural response.

Moaning, gasping … “Mmmm”ing … seem more real.

OMG, I think we should do a whole chapter of the book comparing old lovers to animals from the nature channel.

Brilliant!

Names or aliases? I think names could cause problems…

Yeah, moaning, gasping is more real. I think Playboy started the screaming rumor, and some women just play along. Probably most women don’t even talk except to say “yes yes more more” but really, what else do you need to say?

Definitely aliases. We might want to visit Texas again someday.

[On what else women need to say during sex]  “Stop that”

“Get off me”

“I told you not to do that”

Hopefully followed by “do this instead,” or “let me be on top now.”

Yeah, but I wonder if men hear it after “stop that”. It would be a turn-off to hear her say “I hate when you do that”… or maybe not, what the hell do I know?

I think we have a blog post here.

I don’t think I’d say that during the act…

Well, “stop” if something hurt or was really unpleasant.

At least one! Hey, let’s just turn it into a knitting / quilting / urbanhomemaking / sex blog.

Isn’t it that already? Well, maybe the urban home thingy not as much.

I keep having this image of two very proper people explicitly discussing sexual acts over the tea and crumpets. Sounds like a Monty Python skit.

Which is actually not a bad idea…  I mean, if you really need to give detailed feedback or suggest something complex, maybe it’s better to discuss away from bed.

The Radical Homemaker thing is about disengaging as much as possible from what the author calls the “extractive economy” and engaging in the creating of a “life-serving economy.” Backing off from consuming…

Yeah, I guess the urban home not so much, especially since I stopped writing about cleaning too.

And yes, discussing away from bed is probably best.

Wait; let’s go back to talking about sex.

Nothing like a serious discussion to kill the mood.

We should just copy and paste this chat to the blog.

True. Et voila!

And when discussing one’s partner’s technique, they might feel safer if they have their clothes on. Of course, the dinner table might not be the place either… not if there are knives on the table. Better to serve pasta…

Or gazpacho.

Yeah, hot soup would be a bad idea….

This one time, the bed collapsed. I thought that was pretty frickin’ hilarious. How can you not laugh when the damn bed collapses? The man in question, however, did not think it was funny. An important clue that this was not the guy for me.

So another chapter in the book = funny, embarrassing, weird moments in sex.

Hey, are you done cooking yet? And by that, I mean on the stove…

How could we not? I remember the bed collapsing story – still can’t believe he didn’t think it was funny. That happened in a production of Fiddler on the Roof I did makeup for – Tevye’s dream sequence. He ran and jumped into the bed, and it collapsed.

Yes, the jars are cooling now.

Oh wow. I bet everyone working the show still tells that story.

Cool. We can work on the post tomorrow. Or I should say “I can work on it tomorrow.” Since I’m not the one with two active kids at home…

Probably. “Tevye” is now a voice actor in CA. Works for Disney, done some good stuff.

And I’m babysitting AND Very Superior Husband is doing a weekend retreat up at the cabin.

I sometimes wonder if I’ll run into one of our theatrical classmates out here but hasn’t happened.

Speaking of sex… you could go jump in bed with your gorgeous husband now. But… don’t jump too hard.

And no I can’t – he’s at the cabin.

You see how I did that with the bed-collapsing reference? I’m so good.

Which is probably why I’m up late cooking.

[finally getting a clue] Oh. Well. He’s at the cabin and you aren’t?

[about the “I’m so good” thing] Yes! You are!

And he’s doing a retreat.

So you are herding the kidlets alone this weekend? Wish we could do it together. Damn I miss living in the same city as you. Stupid pointy mountains!

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Sneezy Pollyanna and the Harbingers of Spring

Anna-Liza here. I am not sure that “spring” means much of anything to Lyda anymore, other than the name of the town where I went to high school, since she lives in SoCal. Here in Colorado, spring means a lot.

Sunny days in the 60s alternating with snow.

Wind. Crocus blossoms and, eventually, daffodils. Pollen. Wind. Trees budding out. Crabapples blooming. Wind. Pollen.

Also, hay fever. Spring and fall are both allergy seasons for me, but the shock of spring allergies after a winter of a non-itchy face makes it seem worse. Yes, I have things I can take for the symptoms, but on the worst days nothing relieves them entirely. It’s better, but I’m still Teary, Itchy, Stuffy and Sneezy. And Grumpy. And I wish Doc could come up with something to keep me from wanting to scratch my face off that doesn’t make me Sleepy or Goofy. Yeah, I know that last one’s not a dwarf. Don’t care.

Yesterday it was windy and cool, today it’s snowing. And Darlin’ K is off at Ski Jam 7: Beats on the Steeps for a day of snowboarding and music. Me? I am thinking about tacos for dinner and wondering if takeout Mexican for lunch would be too much. And will I have time for knitting if I spend all day on the internet? Probably not much, so I guess I’d better go get something done! I’m working on Sea Tangles, and I want to have it finished to wear when the weather finally gets warm!

Teh Startitis – Pollyanna Haz It

Anna-Liza here. That last post seems to have unblocked my creative urges. I’m not over the sadness – it’s not the sort of thing you really “get over,” you just bring it into your everyday reality more and more until it’s normal and you can function again. And by “you,” of course I mean “I.”

And, oh, my goodness, I haz teh startitis Bad. Really, really bad. Oh yes.

First, I’ve been working on the Melody Shawl by The Pearly Queen for about oh, eight months now? And I’ve got one inch – that is ONE inch – to go before binding off, but it’s long rows of stockinette and I’m bored with it. I’m still making progress because it’s great for knit night – I can talk all I want and still get work done on it. The next one or two ought to finish it, bar the blocking.

And I’ve got some summer knitting for the Rocky Mountain Spring days that are too warm for a lapful of wool: Sea Tangles, from Knitty.com, in Textiles a Mano’s Fina, a handpainted pure silk laceweight in a mostly-turquoise-with-a-bit-of-lavender colorway.

I won’t even go into the list of sock patterns/sock yarns that are trying to get my attention right now. Sheesh.

And then I started a drop stitch scarf out of a lovely, floaty mohair-and-sparkle yarn called  Mélange from Knit One Crochet Too – great to stick in my purse for takealong knitting, and yet …

 Saroyan has been calling me. One person in my knitting group has made one for a gift and plans to do another for herself, and at least two other people besides me have it queued. Liz Abinante does lovely patterns. I’ve made two Traveling Woman shawlettes, one for me and one as a gift, and most of us in the (Mostly) Harmless Knitters have made at least one or are working on one.

And then Knitting Sprite and I went to Fancy Tiger and I had to go look at the Malabrigo. Not a good idea for a person trying to knit stash and resist yarn temptation, but I did it anyway. Of course, I found the delicious Hummingbird colorway, two skeins left in the same dye lot – worsted weight – just what I need for Saroyan. How delicious? Take a look!

Yum.

I can’t stand it, I’m casting on Saroyan NAO!

Pollyanna and the Perfect Autumn Day

Anna-Liza here. While autumn officially started over a month ago, it’s only recently that things have felt like autumn here on the Front Range. Nights have been getting colder, dipping below freezing in the wee hours, and warm fuzzy slippers are definitely nice to have in the mornings. The afternoons, though, keep on heading up into the 60s and making us want to wear T-shirts.

Saturday was one of those jewel-like days. We all went for a hike in the foothills west of Boulder. We were on a segment of the Walker Ranch Loop Trail, for those who want to know.

Brothers hitting the trail

 The whole loop is about eight miles, but the segment we were on can be accessed from the Ethel Harrold trailhead and is perhaps a mile and a quarter, one way. Very doable with kids, if you give yourself enough time. It’s even doable with kids and an out-of-shape mom! (Darlin’ K probably thought of this as a “fun-size” hike, sort of like the “fun-size” candy bars).

Shall we play Poohsticks?

South Boulder Creek

One out of three people is afraid of heights ...

 Yeah, that would be me that’s afraid of heights, but this rock “stair” wasn’t really too bad, as long as I didn’t try to rush.

Mr. R conquers a boulder!

Mr. B celebrates hitting the water with a rock

 What is it about little boys and rocks, anyway? If there is a body of water nearby, rocks must be thrown into it. If the rock’s too big to be thrown, it must be climbed.

Boys being boys

 Okay, maybe not just little boys ….

We had a wee picnic by South Boulder Creek, and relaxed a bit before heading back out.

This spot was just made for reading!

This spot was just made for knitting!

 Yeah, that’s another sock.

A father/son moment

Darlin' K in his natural habitat

It was a terrific day. We had a good time, no one got hurt, no one fell in the creek, and the kids hardly argued at all. 

All in all, it was a good day to be outside.

The Slippers of Pollyanna, They Are Complete

Hi, Anna-Liza here. I finished something! Okay, not the post about DeathGuild and Kidsville, but it will come. And I finished something else, too, (*cough*OrigamiCardi*cough*) but that will be another post.

Cute slippers & a shapely pair of ankles

The pattern is the famous French Press Slippers pattern — famous because of the Harlot Effect from about a year ago. Wow, Stephanie wields so much power, yet remains so humble! I think a few world leaders should definitely take  lessons from her. Okay, more than a few.

Okay, all of them. But, I digress. (See? I’ve been taking lessons, too!)

I got the psychedelic buttons from Hancock Fabrics. The yarn is Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Mulberry, which I bought ages ago at a shop which no longer exists.

You know what? Way, way too much of my stash is from shops which no longer exist. Knit One Purl Too in Longmont, Posh in Denver, Aurora Yarns in, yes, Aurora, and now Woolen Treasures in Loveland … all gone. Okay, topic for yet another post. But, for now, if you have a nice LYS and you’ve been neglecting it, git yer ass in there and buy something. If you own a LYS, go hug a customer … maybe not literally, but, you know, at least smile at them and say thank you. Okay, I’m digressing again.

As it generally does, the Lamb’s Pride felted beautifully, didn’t it? Bit fuzzy, but I don’t mind that. Knitting Sprite and I had a little felting party at her house, and we took the pattern’s suggestion of forming the slippers on our feet. Well, we formed all of them on my feet, as the ones she was working on were a gift for someone about my size. If you haven’t seen us together, Knitting Sprite is a good bit taller than I am and her feet are proportionally larger.

Mmmmm, wet squishy felt on my feet. 

Knitting Sprite’s version was made with Cascade 220, I believe, or a similar yarn. They also felted beautifully, and rather less fuzzily, as well. So if you want a smoother finish, go for a smoother yarn.

I sewed the straps on first, because I was worried about losing them and I hadn’t found buttons yet. In this case, I sewed the wide ends down as soon as I figured out the placement, but sewed the narrow ends very loosely. Later, when I found the buttons I wanted, I snipped the threads at the narrow end and sewed the buttons on the straps, then sewed the narrow ends down more permanently.

Why didn’t I sew the buttons on and the straps down simultaneously? Two layers of thick felt and limited space on the interior of the slipper made that more difficult. Why did I sew down the narrow ends if I was just going to snip the threads later? Partly to avoid getting them damaged from flopping around loose, partly because I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to find buttons, and with the flaps sewn, I could go ahead and wear the slippers if I wanted to.

If I had the buttons already at this stage, I might sew them to the straps first, before sewing the straps on at all, just to cut down on the awkwardness of handling a larger, shaped piece as opposed to a smaller, flat piece while button-sewing.

Um, did that make sense?

The pattern has a nice little detail which makes the upper edge of the heel curl in slightly, so the slipper stays on better. You gather the edge at that spot when you sew the two halves of the upper together, very simple. It really does work. I dislike the feel of slipper heels that slide off with every step, so I like this a lot, and I might incorporate it into future slipper knitting.

Anyway, I’m very, very pleased with these, and they were done just in time. While we still have days in the 60s or even 70s, the nights are cold and it’s so nice to snuggle my feet in these!

Woolly warmth is even better with cuteness.

Pollyanna’s Hometown Halloween

Hey, Anna-Liza here. I love Halloween, and one of the many reasons is my town’s Halloween Parade. The whole thing starts with one of the high school bands leading off with “I Want Candy,” (actually all the local high school bands participate, and I think they all started with “I Want Candy”!) and everyone who wants to march just jumps in and walks the parade route. We go down one side of Main Street and up the other, then the kids scatter for the candy given out by all the local merchants.

But this is one of those “a picture is worth a thousand words” moments, don’t you think?

The official lead-off. Who *are* these people?

Cool band uniforms.

How to hide a clarinet.

Instead of the three bears ...

A father and daughter moment.

 You can’t tell from the photo, but “Princess Leia” is wearing a knitted Leia wig!

The family that skips down the yellow brick road together ...

 And, of course, I can’t leave you without a glimpse of Wee Sprite and Knitting Sprite …

Cutest little Dia de los Muertos doll EVAH!