August 4, 2004
Can't talk, must drink coffee.
I've decided to own up to the fact that I may be a little stressed this week. I'm packing 5 people for a very complicated trip involving planes, boats, cars and bicycles, I have a huge work thing due on Friday, organizing Joe is like going to a submarine race (they tell you that it's all happening, but you really can't see anything moving), I'm trying to get the house clean enough that a friend can stay here without having stories to tell our other friends (you know, stories that start with phrases like "and when I opened the fridge...") I've got several clients to wrap up with, and to top it all off, I can't find the pattern (read: lame little notes scratched on a variety of receipts, pieces of graph paper and the back of a paper bag) for the stupid baby sweater.
The Top 10 ways you can tell that I have a little stress.
10. I have started another poncho.
This one is knit from the Fleece Artist mohair boucle that I got for my birthday. Yeah...the stuff that I was turning into a shawl. I care nothing for shawls now, I care only for pointy magical ponchos. This affinity for ponchos is purely unnatural, and the only reason that I am not checking myself into the Queen Street Mental Health Centre for having three ponchos on the needles (and yarn purchased for a fourth) in the last week is that I have somehow managed to convince myself that it's ok as long as only two of them are for me. Pity me, for I am headed down a dangerous fringed path.
9. I am so worried about not having Megan's poncho done on time that last night I stayed up until 2:45 working on it, as I have estimated the number of hours that I have left to knit it in Megan's absence, compared it with the number of hours that it should take to finish, and decided that these two numbers are not compatible without substituting coffee for a fair bit of sleep.
This yarn defies being accurately photographed. It is impossibly red.
8. While abusing the glorious brown elixir of life known as coffee is not new to the Harlot, she has (since her children left) discovered that if you have no children...you really don't need to cook meals or go to the grocery store as long as you have *enough* coffee. We will not discuss the side effects of this, but say only that I have discovered that if you drink *enough* coffee, you can feel the hair on your legs grow.
7. When I discovered that I had lost the pattern for the baby sweater...I cried.
6. I believe, even given the points discussed in item #9 above that it is reasonable that I should have cast on the Fleece Artist poncho, since I am still trying to get to Fleece Artist on the Maritime vacation (even though it is located a three hour drive from where I will be in Nova Scotia, and I will have no car) purely because knitting it helps me keep my "eyes on the prize". I freely accept that this is obsessive and weird.
5. Here in Ontario, if you don't make a reservation for a campsite at a provincial park you can't get one. When I called the campsites in P.E.I. yesterday, every very, very nice person that I spoke to told me that they don't take reservations. They acknowledge that they may be full, and that there may be no sites, but assure me that they will work it out when we arrive. No worries.
This worries me.
4. After a careful assessment of minimum needs for the trip I have determined that each person absolutely needs to take more than I can possibly fit in our bike saddlebags. As an indicator of my stress, it would seem that the only response to this problem I can muster is to cast on a poncho.
3. I had to put the Dublin Bay Socks in a drawer because I couldn't stand the way they were looking at me.
2. Instead of dealing with the problems outlined above, I am instead using this time that the children are away to compile a detailed list of things that are definitely their fault. For example, now that they have been gone for two days, I have written on the list that it is definitely not Joe who sometimes doesn't flush the toilet. Even though this is not solving any of my issues, I feel productive and useful. Since this activity is unproductive and useless, yet taking time that could be spent knitting a poncho it must be a procrastination stress response.
1. Even though I am obviously losing my mind, and am dangerously hopped up on caffeine and ponchos, even though I have a work deadline that would kill a lesser woman, a twitch over my left eye, and I couldn't find the camp stove while trying to pack 76 pounds of crap in a bag that holds 23 pounds, and even though I have a bizarre obsession with not buying groceries even though we have none, just because I don't want anything to go bad while we are away...even though I really, really need to get it together over here,
I am going to Lettuce Knit for a Stitch and Bitch tonight. Fear me.
Posted by Stephanie at August 4, 2004 1:57 PM
Ah, it might indeed kill a lesser woman.
You, my dear, are not a lesser woman. You are HARLOT, hear you ROAR (or for a Harlot, should it be scream and moan?)
I briefly contemplated suggesting that you could convert your crap to American Pounds, not Canadian, and see if it would fit into your bag then, but I thought it might cause your head to explode.
i think this will be the post to sustain me during your long absence. i'll just keep coming back every day at lunch and re-reading it until you are back. then i won't feel so deprived. i freely accept that this is obsessive and weird.
You're a Harlot after my own heart, love! All of it, I mean all of it just had me screaming with laughter...
Submarine races, I nearly fell off my chair laughing... See, my soon-to-be-ex, he told me that at this local man-made lake where he grew up, well, his siblings would tell them they were going there to "watch the submarine races" - which he believed and would always beg to go with them.
He believed it up until the day a friend enlightened him (after years of believing one-man subs zoomed around under the water) that everyone saying that meant they were going out there to neck.
When he told me this, he had driven me out to the lake to see it and I damn near fell out of the car laughing when he told me this story.
You really need that SnB tonight! Really, it's true about the campsites in PEI. No worries there. THe campground staff will take you home with them sooner than leave you stranded.
I can't wait to see that mohair boucle poncho. I am knitting a wrap with the Cherrytree Hill version of that yarn, and I will have a ton left from the 1000+ metres in the skein. At least I think I will....
Whatever you pack, they will all only use half of the stuff - but which half, that's the problem!!!
I'm casting on for a poncho as we speak. I hope this'll help alleviate some of your stress.
(My pointing out that actually eating something would solve half your trouble (and I know this for a fact) would be futile, wouldn't it?)
Ooh, can't wait to see all these ponchos! Not feeling that I am quite to the point in my knitting that I can tackle a poncho on my own, I have signed up for a poncho class! I never got one as a kid and I WANT one now:)
Ummm, does your bike have a cup holder for the coffee?
Oh, I feel your pain. While we are going camping with a van to carry all our crap, we are camping in medieval costume (don't even tell me how loser/geeky that is, I KNOW), and so I have to spend this week making 2 1/2 weeks worth of costumes for a 9 year old. Bleech. On top of packing, fixing the tent, going to the doctor, getting a haircut. . .
I have packed 6 weeks of knitting for our 2 1/2 week holiday, including the musthave cardi which would take the whole 2 weeks on its own, and still cast on a poncho yesterday to throw in the bag IN CASE I RUN OUT OF KNITTING, then started a design this morning for a cabled cardigan that I *might* have time to do also.
(insert deity here) help us.
Ok, something's wrong with this picture. The answer to stress is not coffee. Where's the chocolate? I suggest that you hurry on out to the nearest store and get some. NOW!
Crazy woman: We drove out east for a camping vacation 3 years ago. I'm pretty sure we couldn't get a reservation for our PEI site either. It worked out no problem. Like you said, here in Ontario you need a reservation, and at some of the more desirable campgrounds all the reservable sites are booked during the first 5 minutes they're open in February. My husband is one of those cruising the campground reservation sites in February, so the lack of a reservation for PEI drove him nuts. It all worked out.
Oh, and another idea......I was wondering how we would pack 3 weeks worth of clothing as well (even in a van) - and also because noone in our family has that much underwear......when it occured to me - campgrounds have laundry facilities! So, we camped for 3-4 nights in each of the 3 provinces we visited (sadly, not Newfoundland - that will be a trip on its own some year) and did laundry during the last day, thus arriving at the new place, and being in public places like ferries, smelling and looking good. This might help you with the amount of clothing needed?
Hope this helps..........although I still don't see what all this poncho thing is about. Must go hand-in-hand with the Prince obsession. I figured out I'm a whole 10 years older than you, so maybe Prince and poncho obsession is just one of those generation things.
Have a great trip! PEI truly is red, and the beaches are amazing.
Your comment about how the PEI campgrounds aren't taking reservations is so true. I also hail from Southern Ontario, but have lived in the maritimes for 6 years now. A few years back my sister and I took a road-trip that included Cape Breton and part of the south shore (in Nova Scotia). It was Labour Day weekend. The campgrounds were EMPTY.
Have a good trip to PEI!
Is it too late before you embark on your trip to tell you that it is possible to knit on a recumbent bike?
Or, at least it is at the gym. Real world road application is still merely theoretical; but you, dear Harlot, would be the perfect test pilot.
Why does the expression "trying to herd cats" spring into my mind? And I agree with the chocolate recommendation. You can't expect your body to hold up to this stress without Chocolate, now can you?
Also, what yarn are you using for the Megan's Poncho?
Going to the StitchNBitch is logical and reasonable. Given the high amount of stress you are currently dealing with, it makes perfect sense to take some time to relax so you are more ready to take on the near impossible tasks ahead. Or at least this is my usual reasoning when I have taken on 5 times what a normal person would do at one time and take an hour to do some *needed* light reading or knitting.
Are you sure we're not related somehow?
OMG! You are TOO funny - I have a sock (one sock, I never could finish the second one) STARING at me, reproachfully, for about three years now... Now, reading your blog, I finally have the courage to BURY IT - Out, damn sock!
Hopped up on caffeine and ponchos? I'm giggling now, sitting in a room all by myself.
Anybody else out there make the connection between Prince and Prince (Edward--was that his real name once) Island? Maybe he'll be there, holding a campsite open for you, right next to his...
I just got back from vacation and you have my sympathies about the whole organization thing. As I have often been reminded when packing, the object of the exercise is *not* to see how much the suitcase will hold.
You are scaring me. Its the ponchos.
Re: #10--They don't ALL have to have fringe...curiously mad for ponchos myself. Not sure I will recover.
Even though I am obviously losing my mind, and am dangerously hopped up on caffeine and ponchos, even though I have a work deadline that would kill a lesser woman, a twitch over my left eye, and I couldn't find the camp stove while trying to pack 76 pounds of crap in a bag that holds 23 pounds, and even though I have a bizarre obsession with not buying groceries even though we have none, just because I don't want anything to go bad while we are away...
I am madly giggling here. Madly!
I am also unable to get out of my head the image of you bicycling (perhaps in a lovely recumbant tricycle) while knitting a poncho with a ball of yarn rolling along behind. All I can say about knitting and camping, based on experience (medieval camping in fact, jodi me friend!) is either (a) bring a nice clean cloth for the laying on and wrapping up of the knitting or (b) use smooth yarn that brushes off easily. Well, unless you want that rustic macrame hanger look...
OK, I come home from work, plan to glance at the computer, and fall into bed. Suddenly, in a weirdly obsessive way, I am dyeing mohair RED because I MUST make a poncho. You are a powerful harlot. Besides, large projects such as afghans and ponchos can serve as a stealthy way to store yarn, untill you want it later.....
I think what you truly, absolutely need to do is to design a poncho that is NOTHING BUT fringe. All hangsy-downsy goodness..... a little risque, a little 20s vintage flapper. And then you can name the pattern "The Lunatic Fringe". That would nothing but poetic justice.
You're going about it all wrong!! Do not PLAN what to pack a week in advance. This provides too much time to think and reconsider those must have necessities. Do what I do (which I learned after over-stuffing suitcases one too many times!: since you're packing for 5 people, allow 10 minutes (15 absolute max!!) for each person, which in your case is about an hour to pack --and here is the catch--and start packing that amount of time precisely before you are leaving. No opportunity to obsess about what you're forgetting. And it seriously limits the amount of time you have to stuff things that you won't use anyway! Honest, this works! Set a timer if you must. Make ONE BASICS list that works for everyone: toothbrush, toothpase, soap, undies, 2 t-shirts, 2 shorts... That kind of thing. Every person needs to wash, brush teeth --right? And if you only bring one change of clothes, everynight you stop, as someone already suggested, you throw everyone's dirty clothes in the washer and you're set! Tooo easy.
And get this. Here's the bonus: since you will be travelling so much lighter, you should be making better time and saving some energy and therefore have enough steam left for that last little jaunt to FLEECE ARTIST!! Now isn't that a brilliant plan?!! Good luck. Fleece Artist awaits you!!
Personally, I need 3 cups of real coffee before I can do anything
Home Equity Loans
Home Equity Line of Credit
For a great
Home Equity Loans
Home Equity Line of Credit
For a great