Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm learning every day...

This week has reminded me that life is about learning, just in case I'd forgotten! Here are some of my new insights...

1) I'm just not in touch with mainstream media. I don't watch TV much or at all. I listen to my news on the radio or I read it online or in print. We have basic cable (it comes with our internet service as a package) and it's the most TV channels we've ever had. So, when I say I don't watch TV much, it means: our TV is on for 2 hours or less a day, usually between 7-9pm. When the professor is out of town, there are multiple days in a row that the TV is never turned on. If we watch, we watch PBS, or DVDs from the library. We've gone wild in the last few weeks and we're trying out Netflix so we can watch our favorite BBC shows. I learned from your comments that most other people know more about Comedy Central than I do, that you apparently stay up late enough to watch it, and that you have those channels! You also have opinions about it -- and see the video clips online faster than I do! (OK, so I'm not mainstream here. I'm fine with that. I just forget how the rest of the U.S. works...)
2) a. Starting this summer, we began hanging out our clothing consistently on a clothes line. It saves lots of energy, reduces wrinkles, and saves wear and tear on clothing. (clothes last much longer, according to all sorts of research, when not dried in a dryer.) Every Sunday, the professor and I wash our clothes. We hang it out. At night, the professor folds the laundry while I knit. Sometimes, we watch Masterpiece Mystery on PBS.
2) b. Last Sunday, the temperature never made it above freezing, so this is what happened. This might be where "stiff as a board" or "frozen stiff" came from! We resorted to using the clothes rack and dryer in the basement to resolve the issue. The professor urged me to get out my camera. We thought it was pretty fun to play with stiff flannel in this way! We now understand, first hand, why our ancestors didn't manage clean clothes as often in the winter time. It's hard to put on anything this stiff. Guess we need a wood stove next so we can dry things inside on a clothesline strung above the stove. :) (maybe not here, but in Winnipeg?!)

3) I'm still learning the ins and outs of my new great wheel. It is amazing how subtle and sophisticated the adjustments are for a well-made great wheel...I'd thought that the antique ones needed to be babied because of their age and adjustment quirks, but actually, even new great wheels have the same subtle adjustments in drive band alignment, tension, and other details. As the weather changes, the wheel changes too. I've spun up some gray to oatmeal Shetland wool. The two larger skeins here (Haven't set the twist yet on them) were done on the great wheel from carded rolags. The little skein is from my spindle, done with teased locks. The fleece itself is very soft; my goal was to keep the yarn just as soft. So far, I've managed that softness, but may try some other wools to keep practicing. I visit the wheel for about 15 minutes a day and have my "lesson." Soon, I'll get this--and by that, I mean I'll be able to spin the yarn I want with this wheel rather than letting it dictate to me how things will come out. In the meanwhile, it's nice to know that after 23 years of spinning, I can still be a beginner all over again!

In other details, my nephew is still in the hospital but definitely improving (hurray!) and we're still having jackhammering and other construction noises here. I dream of a quiet neighborhood with no "improvements!"

Are you still learning something new every day? (I hope so, it's fun.) What's your latest discovery?

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Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Things I've learned recently:

Using lifelines in lace is not a stupid waste of time.

Don't poke at the bread while it's rising.

No compassion is ever wasted.

It is possible to put a hat in such a safe place that I cannot find it.

December 12, 2008 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I do not have my lesson with my great wheel as often as I wish I could. I just seem to run out of time.
That's the lesson I've learned recently....I simply cannot do as much in one day as I used to be able to :(
Your are right about adjustments - each time I use the great wheel, I need to tweak something so we can proceed. My spinning is getting more to my liking - the old addage *practice makes perfect* truly applies here :)

So glad to hear your nephew continues to improve! Hopefully he can come home to his family soon.

December 12, 2008 at 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joanne, life got in the way and I'm just catching up on your blog.
1. LOVED the video (don't like Colbert usually). I posted it on my facebook page.
2. So glad to hear some good news about your nephew
3. Ditto for the thyroid adjustment
4. LOVED your research on Lady Reading!
5. Things I've learned recently: My over 50 memory does not work well with our current world of login names and passwords....took me 4 tries to get logged into google and still can't remember my password. Karen J

December 13, 2008 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hurray on the nephew!

Thing I learned last night: the person at the next table over, who did drink (we don't), was just as weirded out as we were by the entry "chocolate espresso organic vodka martini" on the menu, to the point that she had to order it to find out what it was like. (My husband did pass on the dessert menu, but I insisted on at least looking at it and that was on it.)

I have no idea how it tasted, but "nonpsychodegradeable" certainly applies, don'tcha think?

December 13, 2008 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger SueJ said...

Learning every day? I hope so. Its sewing skills I am working on at the moment.
Its cold here in Yorkshire too. We have had some quite serious snow but this weekend was too damp for clothes drying outside. Ours had to make do with the 'Scotch airer' above the kitchen door and the rail on our rayburn.
Glad the small person is doing well!

December 14, 2008 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

We have a clothesline in the basement - easy step from the washer. My MIL has wooden portable racks instead of a line. Those might be worth a look. I've seen them at big box stores.

I'm learning laptop which with Vista is not compatible with my scanner. I need to download a driver. I do love Adobe 9.

That's all I'm up for learning this week.

Glad the nephew is improving!! Good thoughts continue.

December 15, 2008 at 11:22 AM  

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