Monday, March 31, 2008

Louisville Part 4

I played tourist on Saturday and walked all over the city. Here's the latest:

- Waterfront area is in a sad state following recent flooding, part(s) of River Road are closed and walking was dangerous as the mud on the hardscape was slippery. They are working feverishly to get it cleaned up before the festival season begins.
- Lots of great photo ops here
- Wonderful food, if you get here check out Bistro 301 - I had the portabello sandwich and derby pie - yummmmm!
- Finally had a day warm enough to leave the coat off after work and it wasn't raining.
- Because it's downtown, found more places closed early - Payless Shoes closes at 7:00 PM.

Thanks for all of the fun, helpful, loving comments on previous posts. Great big hugs to all!
Judi

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Louisville Part 3

Thanks to all for comments and email, you all rock!

Took a chance and went to Kroger while still light out - no problem, even found Silk Soy Milk and favorite brands of other items. People here are very friendly, many will actually look you in the eye and say "hello" even on the main streets.

That's it for tonight. Peace and hugs to all. Judi

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Louisville Impressions Part 2

Still trying not to judge anything until more time goes by.

- I miss family, friends, librarians, familiar postal workers; Trader Joe’s, Johnny’s Foodmaster, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, whatever store has soy milk; knowing the bus/train system; trees, grass, flowers, other suburban nature opportunities.
- Work is very busy, especially for the first week. Worked until 7:30 last night. Left on-time tonight.
- Passed the fitness assessment, now can use the gym whenever I wish.
- Moved some of my items to the apartment yesterday, the rest this morning; this will be my first night sleeping here instead of the hotel. Will try to get pics in daylight; might be over the weekend.
- Have cable TV and Internet in apt., had same in hotel – I’m getting spoiled!
- Mostly unpacked and nearly ready to go to sleep!

Until next time – hugs and peace to all.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Louisville Impressions

Been here 3 days now, here are some of my first impressions:

- Lots of visual arts items around where I am staying – must take photos!
- Much of downtown closes down after 6:00 PM; even Subway wasn’t open to get a sandwich. Had dinner tonight at a Mediterranean (Middle Eastern really) deli – Vegetable Paradise – tabouleh, feta, and hummus in pita with lettuce, tomato, and pickle – delicious!
- No grocery stores nearby, will have to shop at Walgreen’s. One Kroger, I was told by a nice young woman, is a scary place to go. Suggested another store about 4 minutes away (but need a car to get there, she said not to walk it – again, too scary.)
- So far weather is just like Boston – cold, windy, and below normal. Higher temps predicted for the next few days.
- No smog.
- Lots of medical buildings in the area, plus Jefferson Community College.
- Theater just a couple of blocks away will soon have Celtic Women, The High Kings, and a couple of other interesting shows.
- There are some museums northwest of here – may be able to get there via bus.
- Full-time employees and the other contractors all seem very nice.
- Good cafeteria in building – grill special today was a veggie burger – of course I forgot about it by the time I got inside and ordered lunch! Duh!
- There is a small but well-equipped fitness center in hotel, a slightly smaller one in apartment complex, and a huge on in building where I am working (need to have a fitness assessment before you can use that one. With all my years at Jazzercise ™, should pass with flying colors.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wonderful Fun Today





Several months ago I signed up for a class in wire knitting being offered at the Fuller Museum of Craft in Brockton, MA; the class was this afternoon from 1:00-5:00. The object of the class was to make a pin/brooch suitable for wearing on a jacket or sweater. I had no idea what the entire class would entail, but it sure was fun.

The only prerequisite skill was to know the basics of knitting - cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. So, with some fine silver wire that had been pre-strung with various beads, we cast on 8-10 stitches and started our little projects.

The knitting was not the relaxing type I usually do with yarn, but worth the slow and unrhythmic work to make the beaded section of the pin. The bead soup I used was the greens and blues of sea glass with some clear and amber pieces thrown in for good measure. We each cast on 8-10 stitches (very loosely as there is no give in wire and the other needle had to be able to be inserted into the stitch to work the next row), worked stockinette for 6-8 rows, then cast off. Except for the cast on row, a bead was placed between each stitch. The beads ended up on the purl side.

Next came learning to anneal copper. This process was done with an acetylene torch - something I never expected to use in my lifetime. Turned out it was really fun, but required paying close attention to get it right and not burn myself or anything else. After the torching of the copper, using copper tongs, the piece was dipped into quench, then placed in pickle (an acidic solution) for a few minutes. The piece was then cleaned with dishwashing liquid and a brass brush. We did this on a practice piece; the pieces for the finished products were already prepared for us, including placement of two spots of solder where the pin would be attached and three small holes where the knitted piece would be later connected.

Using the sample piece, we tried out various hammers and techniques to create texture on the surface of the piece - I finally chose one that would produce small dimples and proceeded to hammer the actual copper piece that would become the top of my pin/brooch. The hammering would make for a great way to dispel anger!

After completing the hammering, the pin-related findings were soldered onto the back on the prepared spots - again using the torch and flux. It was amazing to watch it turn colors and the flux and solder melt together to attach the pin catches and hinges. The piece was again dipped into the quench and pickled for 5 minutes; then cleaned again with dishsoap and brush.

Now the knitted section and copper were attached by weaving the tails from the silver wire through the holes in the copper and eventually weaving in the ends. After this the pin stem was fastened to the hinge by simply squeezing it with pliers.

Now some dangles were made using extra beads, head pins, and appropriate pliers/cutters. Once three dangles were ready, they were hung off of the bottom of the knitted section. Et voila - the piece was ready to wear! Check out the pictures to see the finished product.

It was great fun! We stopped frequently to unkink the shoulders and eat cookies our instructor's husband had made. The woman who taught the class is named Genny Hunt and she comes from southern Mass., has a studio in New Bedford; she was just great - and her husband's cookies (an ER doctor, BTW) were delicious.

I hope I'm around the area when Genny offers the next class later this year.

Peace to all.
Judi

Friday, March 7, 2008

Silence - Part 2 - Silence is Golden

It seems the more silent time I take, the more I can be in touch with who I really am, not just the noise around me. I’ve still got the noise in my head – the voices that we all have that say "you should do this, you shouldn’t do that, don’t run with scissors” or whatever. But the more the outside world becomes still the inside becomes more still as well. (Hey, maybe this will help me clean my clutter, one can only hope!)

This is just my list of some things I’ve been doing to try to reach this goal of golden silence:
1. Drive without the radio
2. Be at home without any media turned on
3. Walk without taking along the portable player
4. Stay away from the computer
5. Shut up and listen

OK, it is unrealistic in this day and age to think that I would do any of these all the time. I love music, my work is on computers, etc. But even if we pick one 30-minute drive a week to have no self-inflicted outside sound – no radio, no CDs, no iPod, no cell phone, no speaking out loud to yourself – it can have a remarkably calming effect.

The more I do it, the easier it gets; hope you’ll try it too.

Peace to all,
Judi

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Word is Silence – Part 1 – The Sounds of Silence

I’ve been planning to write this for several days now – have notes and thoughts in order. However, the word silence has now taken on new meaning, so I will digress for a moment.

I am one of the 700,000 Oprah/Eckhart class attendees who began the “A New World” webinar attendance tonight. For the first 20 minutes, the voice and video were going along just fine. Then, suddenly, it began to stutter, and finally got so bad that it stopped completely. Now in another time, maybe if I hadn’t just read this book, I would have been very upset and screaming at my “stupid computer”. But now I know that this “silence” is just how it is supposed to be tonight. I’ll catch up with the podcast tomorrow or Wednesday. For the “now” silence is the way thus giving me time to write this blog post.

On to the Sounds of Silence.

No matter where you go in this world, there is no complete silence. Here (or is that hear ;-) ) are some of the sounds I have found when attempting to be in silence:
1. falling snow landing on trees, other snow, the driveway, the car
2. falling rain hitting gutters, trees, the ground
3. wind blowing past ones ears
4. birds chirping or cawing or cooing in close or some distance away
5. the sand beneath your feet at the beach
6. the plane overhead even in the remotest part of the wilderness
7. the clock bonging or church bells chiming
8. a police or fire engine siren

For the most part, the sounds above are out of my control. To me, these are the sounds of silence I want to hear.

Next post I’ll give some ideas of how I try to bring silence to my life.
Peace,
Judi

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