Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring arrived

My tulips are blooming!
I am having a very nice weekend so far! Friday afternoon I went up to Mary and Nils house. Mary volunteered to give me a much needed hair cut, and even if I hadn’t needed it, any excuse to visit Mary and Nils is a good one! So, we started with the hair—me perched on a piano stool, Mary with the scissors, and the hair cutting instruction book on the ironing board where Mary could see it and cut at the same time. I’ll’s a little scary getting a hair cut from someone who’s reading a book to do it…but I’m pretty pleased with it, actually! And I inherited a very pretty hair clip from Maureen (another lady at church) via Mary. It was too big for Maureen’s hair, too small for Mary’s and just right for mine.

After our experiment in hair styling, we munched some peanut butter cookies and inspected a whole pile of lace and linens that Mary got from her neighbors who are moving. (I met the neighbor later when we went for a walk, and their daughter is living in Hillsboro!! What a small world!). Anyway, apparently the woman made tons of beautiful things for her house, and when she died, after the family and friends had taken what they wanted there were still drawers full of things. So Mary had a stack of left-over doilies and lace and appliqued napkin holders that she had promised to find happy homes for. Now, it’s a stretch to say I have a “home” to house these things in, but you know what a sucker I am when it comes to linens…oh, and dishes. She had dishes too! So, I came home with some GREAT stuff! Check it out:

Ok, I realize this picture has a lot in it, but the woven cloth and the bowls are new. So are the little shoes, but those are from the GPs. I think I should switch the shoes, now that I'm looking at it. The right side is a bit visually heavy. But I do have some other stuff on the left side of the shelf, so I don't know. I'll have to go inspect it again.

Bowls! The design is considerably more Asian than my other stuff, but I like the colors, so it works.

A nice hand-made lace on linen...

I admit I have no place to put this at the moment...

...but it's nice, don't you think?

By that time, Janet had arrived too. So, we made some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, looked at fabric patterns from the 1930s (apparently, according to Mary who went to textile design school, my fabric taste leans Scandinavian with a strong dark/light orientation) , and then Mary taught me the basics of knitting. I can now knit and purl, and if my life depended on it I could probably remember how to “cast on,” (not to be confused with “casting” or “fish on”). It means “put the yarn on your needle.” Now, I know knitting might not seem that cool to you, but I've been wanting to learn for a while, and there's the whole tradition aspect to think about. Pioneers! The Oregon trail! World War 1 socks! Obviously a historian should know how to knit. I bet Doris Kearns Goodwin and Arthur Schlessinger, Jr. are knitting fiends.

Today was beautiful and warm and I sat out on the patio reading homework (yes, homework!) in the sunshine, got a walk in, did my housework, wrote this blog, talked to some people online, finished some other important homework, etc. Tomorrow after church I’m going hiking out in Aesch. Most of my church friends are going dancing tomorrow. There’s a big dancing event in Basel with free classes in lots of different dance styles all day, and then a big dance party/ball in the evening. That would have been fun too, but I’m actually kinda glad to be heading outside for the afternoon. It’s supposed to be great weather again tomorrow. And with that, I should hit the sack. Night!


  1. Now that you mention it, I remember a Schlesinger stroy about knitting. How knitting saved the world.

    It was during the Cuban Missle Crisis and JFK called on Schlessinger for advice. Schlesinger said, "Mr. President, you surely are tense, here let me show you how to knitt a row." They practiced knitting together in the Oval Office. Kennedy found knitting so theraputic that he soon forgot all about the Crisis. And when his generals insisted he launch nuclear warheads at Cuba, Kennedy said, "Hold on boys, help me finish knitting this." Even General Curtis LeMay joined in. The anger trianed within them for military service melted away. It was Schlesinger who had the next brilliant idea: mail the knitted Kennedy masterpiece to Kruschev as a show of good will. Kruschev was so touched, he took off one shoe and started waving it around. He also agreed to stop sending nuclear missles to Cuba, if he too could just learn how to knitt (that, and Kennedy had to pull his nukes out of Turkey). Schlesinger was then appointed goodwill knitting ambassador to Moscow.

    Doris Kearns Goodwin was also known for her knitting for LBJ, though the garments she made for him are not appropriote to discuss in this forum.

  2. uuuuhhh huuuuh.... :)
    That story says 'joe' all over it.