|Hamburg after WWII bombing|
I'm still under the weather, so no newly finished knitting to show off, but if you are searching for the right St. Patrick's Day gift, it's in my shop.
|Hamburg after WWII bombing|
Despite, or because of all the communicating we do online, a lot of our messages seem to have been shot into space or dropped into the sea. Metaphorically, I think many of us feel like our voices are lost--drowned out by the crowd or too small or unimportant to be heard.
Some respond by yelling louder or standing on soapboxes. Many give up and stop talking.
I could get political with this now (your vote does matter) but that really isn't where my thoughts are headed.
I have a lot of experience sending out communication without any idea if or how it will be received. While raising teenage sons, all information not connected to food or computers was met with non-committal grunts.
As a teacher it felt like every day I would carefully explain the day's activities in front of the classroom only to see my students turn to each other to find out what we were doing.
Now I write, tweet, Facebook, and email my congressmen wondering if my communication will result in even a checkmark made by an intern.
But whenever I literally shout to the sky, I have always feel heard. Faith doesn't come easily to me, and I am skeptical of a lot of things I learned in Sunday School. But no matter how logical arguments to the contrary may be, I have never been able to doubt that there is a God, that He listens and He loves me.
I don't do a great job of getting on my knees morning and night, but I run a constant Tevye-like conversation throughout the day and it never feels one-sided.
So, though I may question the reality of Orrin Hatch, the benevolence of Jason Chaffetz, and sometimes even the existence of you, dear readers, I always know there is Someone listening.
I keep you all in my prayers.
I finished nothing this week. Everything is a work in progress. Kind of like life. I can partially blame illness, being less productive than usual this week, but the main problem is having four projects on needles. I need to finish up at least one this weekend. Probably this one:
This will soon be an amazingly soft warm-weather sweater. By the time I'm done knitting for the night, it will start looking like a sweater. This photograph cannot do the yarn justice. The brown is recycled wool and Angora from Renaissance Yarns. The blue and purple are wool/alpaca/Angora by Jill Draper.
Next priority is the project I showed you last week.
It will eventually be a cowl/eternity scarf, but it was too thick and using up yarn too quickly, so I had to start again. It should work up quickly once I am again smart enough for color work. The amazing mountain merino is raised, spun, and died in Wyoming by Mountain Meadow Wool (and came through their legacy wool club.)
This will eventually be an amazing circular shawl. The mixed color is my homespun wool. The pink and black is 100% recycled cashmere--once again by Renaissance Yarns.
Finally, Bingo helped me photograph what will eventually be a skirt.
I have been working on this since before Christmas. I am not small and I wear my skirts long. If it is ever finished, it will match with almost half of my tops.
Today, Feb 17, is Random Act of Kindness Day. I will be kind to myself by watching lots of nature shows, but will ponder what else to do.
I consider Sandra Boynton's artistic postings on Twitter and Facebook to be acts of kindness in themselves.
I have fallen for a fish. This arapaima is beautiful and enormous. You can learn more about him here: http://www.thelivingplanet.com/essential_grid/clown-fish/
As part of self-care, I have to get out of the house. I need the distraction from my own pain and worries and the escape from social media constantly reminding me that America is in danger. (I also need to escape social media so I don't buy more political t-shirts--of course I have been donating to LDS Humanitarian Aid instead.)
I long to travel, but my body objects, finances are carefully controlled, and my first plan to mooch a trip with my parents is in May.
But I have found a solution. I can now take mini vacations, so far weekly, to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah. I bought a membership which will pay for itself after about two more visits.
It is a large, two story building divided into five main environments: Utah, Ocean, Antarctic, Asian Rainforest, and South American Rainforest. There is really too much to see in one visit, but attempting to see it all took my family two hours.
The biggest draws are the otters (three from Utah, two from Asia) and the gentoo penguins. Getting to pet starfish and stingrays is pretty awesome too.
But South America is my favorite. It takes about a quarter of the building on both stories, with a full wall of windows and rainforest heat and humidity. There are no mammals in this exhibit, but there are free-flying birds, jungle plants, caimans, piranha, poison dart frogs, and a fifteen-foot-long anaconda. There is also a waterfall and a series of little streams with fresh water rays and tiny fish you may have in a home aquarium.
Though I am a desert girl in my soul, my skin disagrees. What little humidity we have out here has been frozen for months. My whole body itches. I have not been without coldsores since before Thanksgiving.
South America makes me feel better. My muscles relax in the heat. Humidity softens my skin. Even the noise helps. The combination of piped-in drums and bird song mixed with children laughing or crying apparently matches the ambient sound level I got used to while teaching middle school. I think better there.
Thinking while there is particularly nice because I am trying to write a novel set in the Orinoco river area of Venezuela. What I know comes from books and television. I can now add the aquarium to my sources.
Good thing this is a horror novel, so the need for accuracy is limited. (Don't expect this novel any time soon. I started months ago and am beginning chapter 2.)
There is also gentle exercise involved. I walk up a ramp through the penguins, then down a ramp in South America. If I feel lively, I can walk both or either ramp twice. There are stairs if I get really ambitious and elevators if things become desperately bad. No matter what, there are plenty of benches and other perches (throughout the aquarium) where I can sit to rest or write.
The aquarium is mostly inhabited people-wise with mothers and grandmothers herding toddlers, but this weird blue-haired lady with a notebook is now a regular too.
(I'm having trouble with captions today, but all of my pictures come from the aquarium website linked above. That weird mammal you are wondering about is a binturong from the Asia exhibit. You can learn more about each of these creatures on-line or at the aquarium.)
|artwork: @CourtneyPrivett) pic.twitter.com/4zMPlDZwOk|
|This tough native bird knows how to survive year round.|
|Scrub jays don't help with housework. I need bluebirds.|
|When you have enough peanuts, please share with the rest of us.|
|Although it was inspired by my scrub jays, I call this "Bluejay." It is available in my shop.|