Wednesday, October 01, 2014


Def: The basic backwards movement in fencing.

Thus I take a giant step backwards to a new subject. Wasn't that smooth? Ha!  ;-)

Homemade épeé – or foil?
As you may remember, Brian got to wield a plastic sword and "Fight a Knight" at the Renaissance Festival on Labor Day. But that was not his first taste of, nor initial interest shown in, swordplay. Don't ask me why (testosterone?), but least a year ago he created a pair of fencing tools and has been entreating his dad and me to spar with him off and on ever since. After his experience at the Renaissance Festival, he asked if he could take lessons. Hmm, that seemed like a positive way to channel his interest and energy, so I turned to the internet to see if there is a fencing club in Salem. Not only is there a fencing club in Salem, they offer a weekly homeschool fencing/PE class! I reserved a spot in the next session for Brian . . . then well before it started, a Groupon for deeply discounted fencing lessons at the same club landed in my inbox. Well, obviously this was meant to be! The offer didn't include the homeschool class, but the evening Learn to Fence class actually worked out better for our schedule.
The first four weeks culminated on Monday with sparring practice. A maestro who taught fencing at Willamette University for 27 years came for the occasion, along with one of his students. Brian got to spar with both of them; sparring with the maestro (below) was a memorable experience.
The second (and last) four weeks Brian will take both Beginning Foil and Beginning Épeé (one session of each per week). He would LOVE to continue his classical training; we'll have to see what the budget can bear. At least we have ideas for birthday and Christmas!

That's it for this retreat from the usual subjects at . . .

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Did you miss me?

I haven't had time to post. The only people noticing this may be my parents (Hi, Mom and Dad!), but it bugs me. I have lots of things to document, but haven't had the luxury of time to sit and organize my thoughts and photos. (I don't know about the rest of you bloggers, but it takes me quite a bit of time to create a post. Maybe it's the graphic designer and editor in me; my sister once called me a wordsmith.) And as more things back up in the blogging pipeline, it gets harder to pull pieces out to post about.

So let me start with this:
I got to have a tea party!

Sunday afternoon I drove over to the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival in Canby to meet up with friends.

Franna (who brought Vienna, above), Shelly, Laura, and Jeannie were the ladies on my to-see list; I also got to see Wally, Dusty, Suzie, Troy and Loren. Sadly, I'm not good at getting photos of my friends, and I'm just not into the selfie craze. But I did get a snap of Shelly holding Vienna for me:
As for shopping, I was a good girl. ;-) I found one perfect skein of yarn for Artesian while browsing with Shelly and Dusty, and fell in love with some American Top Laura hand-painted and was demo-spinning in her booth.
Fiber inspired by the North Santiam Pass; yarn that reflects the clouds
I am feeling a definite connection of place with my purchases, as the colors all sing "NW Oregon" to me. The hand-towel in the photo plays perfectly into the color scheme, too, although it wasn't a purchase. It was a gift from Laura  – my first hand-woven item! Laura followed me home to spend the night, so we got in more quality time together. I'll share some of that in my next post – whenever I can get it done.

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Project notes

The hat pattern is Able Cables, and it's a free Ravelry download. (Not a member of Ravelry yet? Why not? Best resource on the planet for knitters!) Next up will be these mittens in the same yarn. Big "cables" on the head, little cables on the hands.  ;-)  Then I plan to knit this for ME. I've adored the design since I first saw it, and this week I got a coupon from Romi so I could get the pattern for FREE; whee!

Today I processed the remaining pears with a few apples to fill seven quarts of gingered sauce.

Now to tackle the apples on my laden tree at . . .