I razz Greg all the time about "Man Paradise," which is our nickname for the downstairs family room. Because I rarely go down there, Greg has decorated the place in all his typical manly squalor -- I mean splendor. He has the downstairs TiVo filled to overflowing with reruns of dusty old "Star Trek" episodes (I am the only person in the computer industry who's sick to death of "Star Trek"). The treadmill and exercise bike are set up to accommodate him. Because he'll happily eat the same things every day and likes to water down everything he drinks, I kid him that he takes his gummy microwaved spaghetti and his watered-down water down to Man Paradise every night for his workout.
This explains why I had to squelch a chuckle or two when Greg called from Wyoming yesterday to proclaim that "It's Paradise!" Not that I'm surprised. If you could put together a collection of Greg's favorite things, including mountains and grand pianos, you'd probably get Ucross. This residency is probably going to be the quickest two weeks in his entire life -- but he should be coming home with inspiration enough to last him for at least another year.
He says he took about 100 photos yesterday, and will send me some of the best ones when the network comes back up out there. Apparently the winds knocked something around last night, with the result that Internet access went down. At least the cell phone signal is strong enough to keep in touch.
As for the rest of us, we're muddling along. After I dropped Greg off at the airport on Sunday, I did what any red-blooded American woman would do when the Man goes out of town: I went shoe- and yarn-shopping. (Honest, the yarn-shopping part was an accident. I took Route 1 toward Freeport to buy a new pair of moccasin slippers, and the yarn store pulled my car off the road and sucked me in through the door, no matter how hard I struggled to resist. I was forced to buy some of the new Regia sock yarn by Kaffe Fassett, plus some black Berroco Bling Bling for a scarf for Susannah. It was an accident, I tell you!)
My mercantile-therapy excursions haven't stopped there; I stopped over at Lowes to take an in-person look at a storm door I found on their Web site. It's a Larson brand metal storm door that has a large-sized doggie door built right in! That's my idea of Paradise -- no one barking at me to open the door while I'm trying to think (this means you, Charlie Brown). This could mean a whole new level of productivity for me! Isn't technology wonderful? (Hey, Reading Public: I'm eager to hear reviews. If you have one of these doors, could you please leave a comment about it?)
A long time ago, I remember reading an Erma Bombeck column about how much she enjoyed book tours and hotel rooms, because she had the time and the quiet to do things she normally didn't get to do at home, such as paint her toenails in bed. I keep telling myself that these two weeks on my own will be filled with pedicures and bonbons, but really -- who's kidding whom here? I don't even wear toenail polish. I'm thinking I might just take half the junk in the house to the Treasure Chest at the local transfer station before Greg gets back, though.
I took The Lovely One to the beach on Saturday...
Sue mentions on her blog that she's learning to spin! Woo hoo! She's been wanting to try it out for a long time, and she was welcomed with open arms at a local spinners' gathering a few months ago.
A bunch of my friends have taken up spinning, including Pam and No-Blog-Rachel. I'm not yet sure whether spinning is for me, even after Pam patiently taught me the basics while she was visiting. I just didn't take to it the way I'd hoped I would. Maybe that's just as well. If I'm having trouble finding room in a 9-room house (with a garage and a barn) to fit a yarn stash, just imagine what the space issues would be like with a roving stash to squeeze in someplace!
I finished the Sockotta socks a little while ago. They please me because I can reliably match up the stripes on the two socks with this yarn, instead of knitting along on faith (as I have with the Trekking and Tofutsies yarns) and come out with two socks that at least show some family resemblance. I'm a bit on the anal side when it comes to making stuff match.
Next on the sock needles: the Jawoll socks in autumnal colors for Jody. The Trekking socks were originally intended for her, but I was so put off by the mismatch in the two socks that I kept this pair and am knitting her another from yarn that won't let me down in the perfection department.