Secrets, Socks, Phone Calls and Stuff

So, I’ve been a neglectful blogger, which is bad considering that I have the folks from WordPress sending me ideas every day of what to write about. The truth is that I’m working on a big project in my personal time. I can’t yet tell you what it is but it could be a real game-changer for me. More to come on that in the next few weeks as things develop.

In my knitting life, things are pretty slow. I don’t knit for the holidays and I only have a couple of projects going at the moment. It’s not that I don’t want to give people handmade gifts, it’s more a case of not liking to knit on a deadline. You see, I work in the software industry where every day is driven by deadlines, so I just don’t like them in my personal life. Also, my job makes life a bit unpredictable because you never know when you’ll suddenly be on an airplane and afghans don’t fit in the carry-on if you want to also take clothes and toiletries with you. So, at the moment I’m plugging away on the Brunello cardigan and a pair of random socks. The Brunello is turning out to be beautiful but the lace on the edges requires some counting and concentration, so it will be a stay-at-home project for when it’s quiet and I’m not trying to multi-task.

It’s a bit funny because for me, knitting socks is like going to the gym is for some people. It’s just something that you do, not because you plan for it or you think a lot about it, you just get up and do it because you should. Now, you could easily argue that I should also be going to the gym, but let’s not get over-ambitious here. Socks are great knitting, very portable, imminently usable and easy to knit. Unless they have a fancy cuff pattern, they’re good conversational knitting too – I’ve made enough at this point that I can just cruise along while at the same time, carry on a conversation about foreign policy or which place has the best Chicago-style pizza. (Gino’s East, hands down, in case you were wondering, although Lou Malnati’s runs a close second).

In other news, I finally resorted yesterday to shutting the ringers off on our phones. Colorado is a swing state and with four registered voters in our house, we were getting besieged with calls. It doesn’t help that the people who previously had our number must have been big campaign contributors and gave their phone number out like candy to every cause they supported. We must have been getting three or four phone calls an hour yesterday, all from auto-dialers telling us how to vote. (And not really the right party either). Truth is, most of us have already voted anyway, and what we really want is to be left alone at this point.

This morning on the news, there was a video clip of a local little girl who is so tired of the campaign ads she was in tears over it. She’s had enough of “Bronco Bamma” and Mitt Romney.

I think we kind of know how she feels…


Overworked, Overscheduled, and Cranky

So, it’s early morning here in Colorado and as usual, we’ve had a beautiful sunrise. Unfortunately, also as usual lately, I’ve been too busy to really enjoy it, but my office faces west so perhaps I’ll get in on the sunset instead.

I feel badly because I’ve been neglecting you, my dear readers. Life has just been insanely busy these past few weeks, between business travel, personal travel and simply too much to get done. I haven’t had time to pull the camera out of the bag, not to mention rifling through the photos from New Mexico to find good stuff to share with you. I’ll put it on my list of things to get done soon and hopefully you’ll continue to be patient with me.

I’m over-scheduled to the point today that I started off cranky about it, which really isn’t good. After all, it’s not the fault of the people around me that I have too much to do. In fact, it’s my own fault. As my son would tell you, I’m a joiner and I tend to take on more than I have time for and then get cranky about it when I can’t keep up. What I need to do more effectively is prioritize – and make sure that I’m focused on the right things. The other thing I think I need to do is to sit for a moment in the quiet and think about the many blessings that I have, realizing how lucky I am to be so busy and to have so many things to do.

As a wise man once said,

If God adds another day to our life, let us receive it gladly.

~ Marcus Annaeus Seneca

…even if it’s over-scheduled and there’s too much to do. After all, at least some of it can wait until tomorrow when I’ll be blessed with another day and there will be another sunrise. Life is good, especially if you take time to find a few moments of peace in the midst of the busyness, and remember why you are busy.  Blessings abound, I just have to remember to look for them.

Happy Wednesday, everyone. I hope you find your blessings today too.

Of Bibles and Socks and Airplanes

Subtitled, The People We Meet on Airplanes.

Those who know me are aware that I travel for business. Not as much as I used to, but still more than I’m quite comfortable with. Until the day comes when I can be teleported to a business meeting location with spinning wheels and Westies in tow, I’d prefer to bloom where I’m planted, thank you very much. However, sometimes, like this week, circumstances arise where try as I might, I can’t quite duck the travel. As much as I dislike it, for all the hassle of TSA and airplanes and waiting and such, I can’t quite bring myself to say no to the trip, and I certainly could  never fake being sick just to stay home (even if the occasional desire to do so might strike in the night before a flight).

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I’m afraid of flying. I’ve flown so many flights at this point that we could land on two wheels on the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier and all I would do is say “Hmm, that was bumpy” before turning back to my book.

I think it’s actually the comfort of home that I miss when I travel; that feeling of familiarity when I sink into the sofa and especially when a dog deigns to grace my lap with their terrier presence. Not only that, the whole process of getting from one part of the country to the other is just darned inconvenient. Which leads me to today’s topic, which is the process of getting here (in this case, Detroit) from there (in this case, Denver).

I know the drill. In fact, I’m so practiced at the security procedures that even the TSA people are impressed. No liquids, no laptop, nothing in my pockets. I arrive, line up with the rest of the cattle headed for the chute, and follow the process.

It’s when you get past the gate that it gets interesting. You see, airports are kind of anonymous places. In some ways belonging to everyone and no-one at the same time, and filled to the brim with our fellow man (or woman).

As we proceed through the airport, I notice myself assigning people to types: families on vacation, older people traveling to see family, business people like myself. Then, if I get a chance without being too overt, I watch their behavior and use that to further build my profile.

All of which, today, left me wondering what kind of profile others built about me based on my behavior in the airport and on the airplane. I cleared quickly through the airport, headed straight to my gate, so clearly aware of the procedures that you might suspect I was a business traveler even though I wasn’t dressed as such.

At the gate, I pulled out a Bible to read the book of Luke. So now, I’m wondering, are these people thinking I’m a pastor, a middle-aged church lady, or a religious fanatic? (In reality, I’m a time-stretched volunteer trying to get ready for a Christmas program, but that’s beside the point). Once on board, I took a nap, drank some coffee, and kitchenered a hand-knitted sock.

At the end of the voyage, I’m remarking at the little snippets of myself that I’ve revealed to my cabin-mates: a caffeinated, Bible-reading, hand-knitting who? And realizing, that we have all these little encounters with people. We think we know who they are and we further think that we can place them into categories. Yet in reality, we are incredibly complex beings with many facets to our real selves.

Interesting thought, at least for me today. Who are you taking for granted, thinking that you ‘know’ them based on the superficial evidence of what they do around you? Dig a little deeper. It’ll be interesting to see what you find.

A Bit of the Bull…

Hi, dear readers. I’m going to do a very quick post today. It’s been way too long since I posted but I’m headed off tomorrow morning to the Wool Festival at Taos! I’m sooooo excited!!

In the meantime, though, Colorado’s seasonal change is coming along beautifully. The aspens are giving us their annual show of color and the elk have come down from the high places to gather in harems and make new little elk for next spring.

Hubby and I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park over the weekend to see the show. Well, that and because I start to get twitchy after a while and then I need some mountains to refresh my psyche and bring me back to my calm self. How I managed to live without mountains for nigh on 45 years is beside me, but now that I have it, a little dose now and then keeps me in good stead.

So, here are a few photos from our drive. If you haven’t been to RMNP, you definitely should put it on your bucket list. Fall is a great time to come because there are fewer tourists, the weather is beautiful, and of course, there are elk!

The colors were just beautiful. Unfortunately, it was a bit overcast and I wasn’t quite able to get the color right but hopefully you’ll enjoy the photo anyway.

This group of cows and their bull were hanging out in the woods just above the road. We didn’t realize he was there at first until he started bugling.

Eventually he emerged from the trees. There were other bulls wandering nearby and I think he wanted to make sure his cows stayed together.

Meanwhile, the Westies were looking kind of worried. Because there were so many elk and they were so close to the cars, they had to stay in the Mustang and watch from a safe distance.

This lone bull alternated between grazing and bugling to see if any cows would come. Sadly for him, none did, at least while we were there,
and eventually he wandered off to try his luck elsewhere.

Meanwhile down the road, this bull had 13 cows in his harem, plus a few smaller elk that we think were probably calves. If you look closely, he’s in the upper right surrounding by two cows and a calf.

Here’s a closer view…

This young bull was in a group of young males that was hanging out by the road watching the people and having a snack.

Eventually they got bored of snacking and decided to have a little friendly sparring practice.

This was such a great experience. Even though this is the second year we’ve gone during elk bugling season, I’m still amazed by these gentle giants and the fact that they will come so close to people.

I hope you all get to come experience it yourselves soon. In the meantime, enjoy the photos and look for updates coming from Taos and the Wool Festival soon!

All images (c) Mardee Brosh. All rights reserved. Please send me a note to ask permission before using my photos, Thanks.
Edited to Add: This is not my video and it was taken in Grand Teton National Park but in case you are curious about what an elk sounds like when it is bugling, this is a good example:
Also, here’s a bit from the good folks in Estes Park CO explaining the elk bugling season and what all goes on: