Pretty sock, pretty sky, pretty strange place to have a conference. :)
Saskatchewan.....a lovely province and according to my husband everyone who matters is from Saskatchewan. I'm from BC so I'm not sure how to interpret that.
What a cool place to be! No, you don't need help or anything-LOL. Enjoy the bread.
Beautiful socks! Bra making in a monastery. Now I've heard everything. I think. Time will tell.
Oh, dear LORD! A bra? To go with your new thong, maybe?
You lead a strange and interesting life, my dear.
It looks comparatively relaxing for you (I hope). I so love my Signature DP needles. Love. Serious love. Have a wonderful trip. Nuns and monks...I see a theme developing.
Hmmm...a harlot staying in a monastery...have there been any suspiciously localized lightning strikes?
If not, I wouldn't worry about the beer drinking.
hee hee- a harlot in a monastery making bras! you temptress you!
That's just too cool! So beautiful and sounds like a fabulous conference!
Your sock matches the sky!
Bra making? In a monastery... You lead an interesting life.
I would like to have been a fly on the wall when they were discussing those classes amongst themselves.
The sock is wunderbar =) and big sky country is always grand
You do realize that the only thing that keeps us from hating you out of sheer envy is your difficulty with home appliances, don't you? Beautiful!! I am sitting here pea green with envy.
Ah....Saskatchewan! One of my favourite places to be.
The oddest place that I have ever knit has been in an abandoned grain elevator in northern Saskatchewan. I hope you can look around a bit while you are there!
Fresh bread baked by monks; beautiful, endless blue sky; gorgeous socks...sounds perfect! Enjoy!
Debating the prairies. Beautiful sky no doubt, but the winters? Ontario & Michigan about do me in. Maybe an eternal SK summer?
I will say though that the skies in the Durham region are pretty darn good!
Hmmm, there's a Franciscan friary near where I live. I need to look into a little knitting time there. You're always giving me ideas...
I'm sorry...I love the Harlot in a monastery. It is truly perfect... And monks are wicked awesome with bread, jams, jellies, honey. One can only hope they've gotten into microbrewing. Looks a great change from the airport.
I love it when people think outside the box. I mean, why not have the classes at a Monastery and eat wonderful bread? I'm glad someone thought of it. Love that blue sky too.
Are there bread making classes??
Love the prairie sky. Here in New England we definitely don't have pretty sky like that. (I went to a conference in the south of France and we were based in a monastery. The mosquitoes were as big as Buicks.)
Socks and monks and sky, oh my!
Monks rule! They are almost as misunderstood as knitters!
Have a wonderful time with them.
Peter Gzowksi wrote an amazing piece once about the sky there and how it's the best-kept secret about the prairies. We prairie folk have known for a long time, but we never get tired of having others (especially Ontarians ha!) exclaim at how beautiful it is and how stunning a storm looks building on the horizon.
So thanks for the little shout out, there.
PS: Monks ROCK!!
PPS: How're the pterodactyls - er, mosquitos out there?
Sounds lovely... I didn't actually realize it was STILL a monastary... glad for the heads up, I'll be there tomorrow!! Wahhoo... roadtrip!!
The monastery thing reminds me of the drug prevention program I did a huge number of years ago. They shipped us all off to a convent for a week to learn why drugs were a really bad idea. Being in the convent always had a surreal feeling to it.
Lie in the middle of a field on a clear night. You haven't seen sky until you've lain in the natural planetarium that is the prairie sky.
Oh, that sky picture! Oh, Saskatchewan!! Must go there someday.
Ok. That does it. You win for having the most unique experiences!
Your socks seem to fit in well with the sky! Both beautiful shades of blue...
Ok, I was just showing my boyfriend the post - the sunny sky because we've had soooo much rain. He says the sock is not long enough. Isn't he so helpful????? And he wants me to continue on his big afghan..... : )
Prairies do indeed know sky, and Nebraska prairies are among the widest in the world! I miss my childhood, and watching storms come in from infinity.
Beautiful. The sock matches the sky you're holding it up towards.
I had a college roommate from Nevada. She felt very closed in at BYU, with the mountains above and all the trees around in that town. I, being from the East Coast, felt like the sky went on forever--the place felt completely opposite to us, which intrigued us both.
Hey, I had a cup of coffee at a monastery in Saskatchewan once. We were looking for a place to go for a walk where there were trees (the prairie was getting to us. There was a huge garden, with chickadees that sat on the palm of your hand to eat seeds. The monks came out and invted us into their kitchen for a cuppa. It was in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful.
Now if it's warm, 66 km to the south, you have the town of Watrous, where you could go and float in a lovely salt lake. Check it out: http://watrousmanitou.com/
Monasteries are definitely the best for getting knitting done, although I think I'd get less done with Benedictines (especially those hosting bra-making conferences...) than with the Cistercians I've visited before. Do these guys make brandy?
The prairie is indeed gorgeous. Big Sky.
that was the picture they used when they made the sky blue crayon. What a place to knit.
Awwww. Et cum spirito tuo.
A friend of mine is taking your class there. Not sure she knows it's a monastery - I'm sure she'll be delighted when she finds out. Sounds like a great place to be.
Your sock is gorgeous......ell us more about the monks.........Amy
Are you sure that pattern isn't Monk-ey Socks?
(Sorry. Couldn't resist. Have fun!)
Public beer may be out of the question for the weekend, but you could luck out and find the wine cellar! Beautiful pictures...we love our prairie skies!
First you were flying with nuns and monks, now classes in a Monastery. Humm.
I grew up in saskatoon :) but now live in Manitoba. I agree, prairie skies are the best! I always say, the people from BC are missing out because the mountains are in the way of the skies!! ;)
It's lovely here in Corvallis, OR as well. Except for yesterday when we had a big storm, but it's gone now.
You should come see for yourself.
Awww, now you've gone and made me homesick. Not that Alberta skies are too different but I truly miss the rolling prairies of my home province.
Enjoy all that good ol' Saskatchewan hospitality!
Oh I am so glad you had a pretty day in Muenster! In Saskatoon we were really grey and cold. Hopefully the Muenster weather is what we can expect tomorrow when we go to see you.
Eagerly anticipating the class and diligently packing my knitting bag...
Big sky is best. Enjoy the monastery - I hope it's nice and quiet! Loooove the socks...dragons? near a monastery?
Glad to hear the monks are nice. It takes a saint to put up with a bra making class in a monastery.... LOL. I smiled a lot while reading this post.
I was *this* close to being able to come and see you, other things came up so I'll be there in spirit.
Are the conferees living according to the rule?
I think silence after Compline might be a tough sell to knitters and quilters...
The sky is beautiful! Living in Oklahoma, I guess I had the mental image of Canada always being snow-covered and frozen (I am apparently wrong...). After the whole beer-drinking thing, I find it absolutely hysterical that you are staying in a monastery.
Frankly, I think you HAVE TO take the Bra Making class. I doubt that will come around twice in a lifetime.... What a shame to miss your chance. I'm just sayin'.
forget baking bread... are they brewing beer??!! :D :D
Does that mean no Beer??? Or swearing??? What kind of knitting retreat is that??? Hope you have a heavenly time!
That's absolutely hysterical!! Bra making in a monastery! I love the sock. Beautiful pattern and I love that yarn.
I love your writing to death. I just want to meet you and be your friend and pick your brain. Just thought I'd let you know.
I'm a 21 year old male knitting in Athens, Ga.
Benedectines are the best! Did you know that one of the Rules of St. Benedict was about the importance of offering hospitality to travelers, visitors, and guests? For real.
This kinda makes it all worthwhile.
The socks are gorgeous. The kind of week I have had (three different plumbing issues with water everywhere) a monastery sounds kindof nice.
"Have you ever had a day where you realize that if you tried to explain where you are and what you do and how things are in your life that people might try to get you some help or something?"
I am a fibre artist. I "quilt" with fabric, floss and (sometimes) yarn. This sort of thing happens to me (or I fear it will) *every* day. What's say we get together and commiserate over a (relatively good) bottle of scotch? ;-)
ummmm...maybe I should suggest B&B (Benedictine and brandy) instead?
P.S. When you get home, I suggest you pick up Brother Tvedten's "View from a Monastery". Compare notes...
You know you're going to have to leave such a heavenly place and go back home. I hope the days you are there are as beautiful as today, that you packed* enough yarn to enjoy being there, and get all the goodies that the monks have to offer (including a bra if appropriate—I've never had a comfortable bra, so I really doubt even monks could supply that, but I know they know bread).
*Silly me, of course you have enough yarn!
Serenity of the monastery, knitting at hand, comrades in stitches, and wide open prairies - sounds perfect!
I used to work in the library at the Mt Angel Abbey - also a Benedictine Monastery - where an elderly lady volunteered at the circulation desk, she always spelled it Monestary when adding registrations in the computer. The next morning I would look through the newest cards then open the accounts and correct the misspelling. She took herself so seriously it was halarious.
I'd spin and pray while walking up the hill to work, passing monks using prayer beads. Spinning seemed just as effective.
Do you know the Saskatchewan Pirate song by the Arrogant Worms? If not, let me know, I will share!!!
As for monks...My housemate's twin sister is a nun, and though I'm not at all religious I'm learning a lot about human connections and the power of compassion from the two of them!
Does that mean you are going to make another bra to double your bra-wardrobe? You could perhaps knit one?
Well, considering the first time I "*met you", I was at an Ashram (Yoga community), I'd chalk this latest up to divine intervention, or for those less inclined to believe, cosmic synchronicity.
*Read your book Yarn Harlot
After all the hassles you've experienced on your travels, a Benedictine monastery is a perfect place for a knitting conference. Contemplative socks - gotta love it!
My husband and I drove through Saskatchewan once. I think we had lunch at a gas station/restaurant there. A couple in Winnipeg told us the joke that if your dog runs away in Saskatchewan, you can watch it go for 3 days. We're American, so we missed Canadian jokes growing up. Glad to hear you're enjoying your stay there!
That update made me incredibly happy. The sky is beautiful and so are the socks.
I'm jewish but, I could totally be swayed to be a monk if I knew I'd be living there. and a bra class to boot!
I have never purchased a pattern on line before, but you sold me on those gorgeous socks. Perhaps TooMuchWool should pay you commission?
This sounds like a restful conference. I have stayed at an Abbey in our area - Norbertine priests abound there - for workshops. Totally restful and awesome sunflower-sized showerheads as the building was put up in the 50's. Taking a torrential/rainforest downpour shower after all the years of a water restrictor on our home shower was like an unplanned nostalgic guilty pleasure. That and knitting would be - perfect!
I have been to some pretty great stuff there, the bread is awsome and the monks are great but I must say that in all of the crazy things that have been put on there over the years I think that bra making wins for the most unusual.
I second (or third, or fourth...whatever) your opinion about prairie sky. I live on the coastal prairies east of Austin (where you just were and I couldn't come, doggone it). The sky owns you after a while. It is a living thing, drop-dead gorgeous at one minute, something you want to hang onto and keep in a box forever. But then a front comes through and it's green and you might end up in Oz talking to little people. Rarely boring. Highly underrated, prairies are. I learned this late in life, but I'm happy I didn't miss it altogether.
I attend a traditional rug hooking camp at the Assumption Abbey every August. I look forward to it all year long. The monks and priests are the best. So welcoming and kind. A truly serene place with great food and company.
The ski and the sock look wonderful!
The sky and the sock look wonderful!
Loksins is my all time favorite sock pattern and they look lovely in blue. I have been tinkering with adapting the motif to a sweater but have not made much progress so far.
Bra-making classes? Without even looking at the lineup, I figure this must be Beverly Johnson teaching that class (or someone trained by her)...well-worth taking, btw...ask her about belly-dancing, while you're at it!
Being from the east central Minnesota, (the woodlands area) I've never desired prairie land, but you've managed to break through my prejudice. I'm ready to pack my bags and head west!
I really hope you take that bra making class, take pictures. Even if you don't - the idea of monks making bras will have me chuckling all day.
My husbands grandpa went to school for a while operated by a monastery in Meunster SK. St. Peters was the name of the school. Is that where you are?
It sounds like a good place to be... I can't think of many places that are funnier - perhaps a psyc. asylum...?
I don't know about your monks, but the monks here in Bavaria are quite famous for their beer.... So it might be worth to investigate :)
wow! the beauty of a praire sky in spring. i guess the monks really have found a place to know god!
I've only ever been through SK on the train at night, but I concur the sky was beautiful: it was the only time I've ever seen the Aurora Brorealis.
The monastery sounds very peaceful, even full of knitters.
Jealous, envy. I want to be there.
Lovely socks. Enjoy the conference.
Monasteries and convents are great places for seminars and retreats. I hope the peaceful atmosphere, the delicious bread, the endless sky, and the beautiful knitting are a sufficient antidote to the craziness that has been your life recently! Gorgeous socks, too!
I would love to go to a conference in a monastery - it sounds so peaceful. There is something awe inspiring about prairie skies. Taking the train from Chicago to Seattle, one goes through a lot of them - in fact, I think Montana calls itself The Big Sky state (although personally, I always think of it as the mountain state - having spent a vacation in glacier National Park.) Sitting in the observation car & knitting can be a true meditative experience.
You know, I love those skies. I grew up in IL where it is very flat. When I move to Pittsburgh, it was rather disconcerting. I love the very hilly landscape around here, but it did discombobulate me not to be able to see for miles and miles to the horizon. Enjoy that sky!
I love that sky photo -- absolutely gorgeous. I once went to a conference on language endangerment in Guatemala which was held in a convent where the gate was guarded by a machine-gun-bearing guy named Jesus. No joke.
I have never lived in Saskatchewan but have only travelled through. I think it is the most beautiful place on earth and I have seen it both in the summer and winter.
I'm told that a lot of sailors used to come from Saskatchewan since the big open skies on the prairies and on the open seas were so familiar.
Love the sock btw.
I've been places that would be difficult to explain to others, but none so pleasant as where you are.
That's hilarious. I love that they're making bras. I always knew men were responsible for such creations - you've just proved it.
Counting the days until SS09....
Love the sock and the Saskatchewan sky
At first I thought that the monks themselves were actually teaching these classes, including bra-making. But after linking to the conference information, I see that the monastery is just the venue. Anyway, I think that knowing how to make one's own bras could be very useful. They might actually FIT and not have straps that constantly fall off my shoulders. I lived in Saskatchewan for five years and the sky is very lovely, and spectacular when a storm is coming. The sight of a field of yellow mustard in bloom under a blue prairie sky is not to be forgotten.
Maybe you should watch your language. I bet they know what ARSE means. hahahahaha
They are wonderful people, eh? maybe, in another life (or even the near future) I might try to attain that kind of strength/calmness.
It's good to see you put your feet up :)
It's even better that they have new socks on them :D
Those socks are almost perfect for that sky (but not quite).
I'm glad they have a sense of humor! A knitting lingerie class I would think, might push such a thing to their limits!
I don't know if you planned it like that (for sock and sky to match) or if it was just serendipity, but how lovely to have those socks as sort of a 3D memory of your trip. Kind of like measuring a small part of your life in knitting.
I love the socks, but the bra-making is just the best!
Prairies definitely have the best sky. I miss them when I'm elsewhere.
I need to learn how to make my own bras... good ones are just way too dang expensive, and I'm really sensitive when it comes to lace and elastic. :P
Bra making in a monastery. Nearly collapsed. And yet ... why not??
It looks truly beautiful there.
Many years ago, I was friends with Benedictine nuns who lived in a monastery. A couple came to my (Orthodox Jewish) wedding and I can pretty confidently say I'm the only woman I know who had two nuns at her son's bris.
The Benedictines are so incredibly cool. Have fun with them. Extra points if you get them to pose with the sock.
"A flat country gives the sky such a chance." Vaguely quoting from a book called "I Capture the Castle." Enjoy.
It should be pointed out that there were no monks in attendance at the show and tell part of the bra making class.
Hey look. Stereo comments.
I hope the atmosphere is very healing to your insanely hard work of recent and the traveling juju and camera hijinks. And, that would be verry cool to have a bra that works, trippy.
Wow, from Texas to Saskatchewan...two big sky places within a week! I looked at the schedule for the Stitches Conference and assumed the Bra Making class was a typo of some sort. I hope you're having fun!
Wow! Great socks and sky! Were you trying to make socks the color of the sky or was that just a happy accident? Look how flat the land is there. It's like Florida or Louisiana! I live in the mountains so large patches of very flat land always amaze me. It's so pretty. So, do the monks make beer too? I hope you have a great time. Happy knitting!
The broadest, bluest skies are found in western Kansas, US, in August. But those are a beautiful second. :)Just saying. :)
Holy Smoly, Just imagine the stories you will have to tell to your grandchildren one day !! Lovely socks. Do the monks knit too ? Happy trails to you and thanks for the laugh.
You are so right- the sky over flat land is amazing. I never realized how big the sky was until I moved where I live now- we are surrounded by flat farmland and the sky is the prettiest part of the landscape.
Try the sky in The Dalles & Dufur Oregon sometime. I'd put them up against your Saskatchewan anyday:)
Very cool, creative enterprises in a peaceful monastary, just lovely. I have friends who are making decorated bras as part of breast cancer awareness project and fundraiser. am watching the sock summit site and see it is pronounced sold out. Congratulations! I have done organizing and hope that only nice knitters get to attend this dream event. Thanks for all you do on our behalf
The bra-making class could only be taught by Beverly Johnson. I hope you meet her - she's an absolute scream, not to mention an authority on making and fitting bras. The class I took with her was as life-changing as learning to knit was. Her on-line store is one of the few places to purchase supplies and patterns for professional looking garments. Highly recommended.
Time knitting in a monastary sounds like heaven. Throw in good bread and good company and it has all the makings of a vacation. Rest up - you have a busy few months ahead!
I second the notion...bread be damned!
Bring on the beer!!!
(ooooh nice sockies BTW, didya match the sky color on purpose???)
LM ARSE OFF!
My first convention was in a convent. I was disappointed to miss, though not prepared for a Holiday Inn, drinking and promiscuity. It was a YWCA childcare conference and very cozy.
Beautiful sky....beautiful socks. ;)
You certainly deserve good natured monks who bake bread and to be covered by blue prairie skies. May your lovely dragons continue to sleep.
(Thank you for the magic words in Tina's ear.)
You certainly deserve good natured monks who bake awesome bread and blue prairie skies to cover you. May your lovely dragons continue to sleep. (Thank you for the magic words in Tina's ear.)
Hee, hee! That sounds fantastic... monks, bread, and bras :)
The sky is lovely...
All I could think when I saw that last picture was: "yeah that's a prairie sky there's even a grain elevator". Love the socks too. Hope you're getting a good relax and having a fun time. Hugs from Iowa (not quite that flat)
Of course a Benedictine monastery is the perfect place for a knitting conference. One of my friends is a Benedictine and he has more fun than almost anybody I know, between prayers.
thought you'd like to know...
Meg Swansen mentioned the sock summit and how she was looking forwards to it during her talk at the UK Ravelry Day this Saturday....
just thought that would make you smile...
I too have spent a little time in a few monestaries... I am sure glad they exist - and so many different kinds, too.
Hey Steph, I was reading your book, I'm up to the part where you talk about teaching kids to knit in a toy store & describe how your girls learned how to knit. That's pretty much the concept of unschooling in a nutshell! :) Have you heard of Sandra Dodd, Joyce Fetteroll, Pam Sorooshian, etc.?
You are so right about the sky. My home in the Panhandle area of TX is on the edge of the Great Plains and the sky is awesome. Sunrises and sunsets that show up 360 degrees around are fabulous!
there are times when i envy your life .... monks + knitting +bras.....what more could one want?!
Prairies are the best. Grass and sky. Can you imagine what is was like thousands of years ago? Who were the first knitters?
The States thinks they have weird down. They don't know for weird!
OK, so knitting bras. Is there a Ravelry link for that? Enquiring double-Ds want to know...
I don't think Dallas gave "good sky" when you were here. My apologies. Glad some clouds caught up with you. And those are divine socks, indeed.
Gorgeous socks and great place to stay in Sask.
Well my jaw just dropped!
I agree that the Prairies yield some of the most incredible skies in North America, but they are soooooooooo large . . . .
Flying in doesn't have quite the same effect as driving across them. In the late 70s, I crisscrossed the continent in a small Honda for several summers while in the process of prying myself out of the Midwest and moving to the Pacific Northwest. In 79 or so I wrote a poem about Sask. I can't find a copy around here but I remember how it started:
Saskatchewan is as flat as a floor
And driving across it induces torpor,
But fortunately the Saskatchewanese
Have combined their verbal expertise
And created municipal nomenclature
To compensate for Mother Nature . . .
Now here's where my memory fails, because I had quite a list of their cunning names that included Moose Jaw and Saskatoon . . .
And musical names like Kilwinning Siding
That capture the ?????? of everyone riding.
More that I forget . . . then the concluding couplet:
And if that's not enough for a traveler's pleasance,
There are amusing signs warning "Caution, Pheasants."
I think the "Caution, Pheasants" signs were posted only for those of us driving westward. The prevailing winds blew them away from the vehicles headed east.
Beautiful, indeed, but never ending when one's derriere is immobile.
p.s. Is this too long a comment? I'm new to this blogging phenomenon and I'm not sure of the of unspoken but understood rules.
It's so true, Saskatchewan knows skies! Do miss those Prairies skies.
Gosh, when I stayed at a monestary they made my friend and me sleep in the outbuilding where the jumble sale stock was kept. In December. In a snow storm. Luckily, there were lots of fur coats (olden days) and an only-slightly-out-of-tune piano for my friend to tinkle ivories upon.
Fur Elise drifting out between the snow flakes...
Benedictines rock! I once stayed at a Benedictine Monastery here in England (Ampleforth Abbey, if anybody knows it) and the guys there were fabulous. Baked the best cakes, ever. Even funnier was when one of them came to our Uni to give a talk and came to the bar with us after... tall, pale, skinny guy in a big black cowl... the barmaid nearly had a fit!
I've BEEN there! At a conference many years ago. One of the monks is an astronomer, with a little observatory, and he invited us out to look at the stars - stars on the prairie are awesome too. It was in November - breathtakingly cold but wonderful.
How FUN! And the sock is lovely.
Saskatchewan! Have you noticed EZ's watercolour of someplace in Saskatchewan in Knitting Around? Apparently EZs summer camping excursions took her that far. cool. Prairie skies are the best.
Beautiful socks. Blue is my favorite color, too. The sky is gorgeous! It looks like the sky in South Dakota, too. In Wisconsin, we have too many trees, to see skies like that! LOL!
Once upon a time I used to organize an Irish language immersion weekend (see "if you tried to explain where you are and what you do") that we held at a convent. There weren't enough nuns to fill up all the rooms so they reorganized to have an empty wing and rented it out to people as a retreat center. They were a little nonplussed by our Saturday evening musical festivities but it was nice all around.
Welcome to Saskatchewan! We think it's rather grand here and so glad that you're enjoying it. Having lived all over the world, I couldn't wait to come home myself. You'd be surprised how many treasures there are hiding around here. So happy you found a few of them already!
Welcome to Saskatchewan! So glad you've found a little treasure or two already. There really are tons of them around here. Having lived all over the world for the better part of 20 years, I couldn't wait to come home again myself. Glad we could share a little bit of our sky with you.
I had to respond to "prairies know sky!" So true. If you ever have a chance, I heartily recommend Kathleen Norris's book "Dakota." She is absolutely eloquent about prairie skies. Jo
Sounds like a really neat experience! Could we switch lives for a day?
Beautiful socks the color of the prairie sky! Too cool!
Don't you think it's timely that this trip happened now? Srsly - after all of the heck of the past coupla weeks? So glad you are/were there. Deserved.
Thanks so much for the Sask pic - makes me homesick. Enjoy the venue - my sister from Saskatoon goes to writers' retreats there and loves it. (And folks, monks and beer go together - not just in Bavaria; here in Toronto we buy great beer made by Belgian monks.)
Oh my, how that picture makes me miss home.
I have traveled far and wide; seen the dusty expanse of a texas ranch, a crisp dawn over English fields and a bright sunrise over a sleepy village in Brittany, but nothing makes me happier than that big Saskatchewan sky over my head and open plains for miles.
The boreal forest of Northern Alberta is pretty, but it's no Saskatchewan. Thank you for sharing!
p.s. The monks are pretty kickin' aren't they?
Please, I needed a spew warning! Bra making classes in a Benedictine monestary! That's fantastic! And now I have a clean monitor, but next time the warning, please! :-D
Why would one need to make a bra? I really can not comprehend that one.
The Prairie Sky is 90% of the reason I moved back to SK. I love living here!!
Prairies do know sky. And those are beautiful socks.
Regarding point #8:
My wife is a lurker. I am an occasional blogger, so the commenting falls to me. Please allow me to share a story with you. One day several years ago, I was searching around the freezer for a buried bag of frozen veggies or something similar. It was at the back, so I had to pull all sorts of stuff out. After I found what I was looking for, I jammed everything back in and shut the door. Weeks went by, and we started to notice a mysterious smell, but were unable to locate it. The smell remained after emptying out and cleaning the refrigerator, taking out the garbage, etc. It even seemed to project itself to various nearby areas, like some kind of olfactory ventriloquism. Finally, as improbable as it seemed that something was rotting in the freezer, I decided to empty and clean the freezer as well. As I started to empty out the freezer, I noticed a bag on top of the refrigerator: two chicken breasts, marinating in their own green, fermenting juices. Check on top of your fridge.
I would never try to talk you out of prairie. I lived in Normal, IL (yes, you read that right) for 11 years and I never stopped loving the drive between there and Champaign-Urbana straight across the prairie. Before we moved back home to the Blue Ridge mountains in NC, I bought Larry Kanfer's book, Prairiescapes, just so I wouldn't forget that sky.