A View from Sierra County
Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros
- Name: Birdsong
- Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States
I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir
Friday, December 24, 2004
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Cheryl and Jasmin are making beaded snowflake ornaments while I finish up my gift hats. I also made a bead garland for my miniature "feather" tree.
Rana models the pink hat, almost finished... too bad the light is so poor in my office!
The two earflap hats are almost finished... Rana modeled the pink hat for me last night so that I could see how the fit was turning out. I prefer to make hats from the bottom to the top for just this reason. The Sirdar Snowflake hat is a little too soft-bodied, so I am finishing it with a row of single crochet in Bernat Galaxy (which is what the stripes are), then adding I-cord in Galaxy.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Knitting Like Crazy
Denim Jacket Cardigan for Glenn.. partly done and stored in the cedar chest.
Teapot Sweater.. light moss green cotton with intarsia design of a teapot on the back, but I can't locate it. I started this about ten years ago and the sleeves are done as well as part of the front. I hope it turns up in one storage location.
Knit Patchwork Vest .. this was a design from Knitters' Magazine that I started about eight years ago. Made the plain back and one of the fronts. I will probably finish this one eventually, but kind of dread the thought of doing the embroidery embellishments.
Chenille Pillow.. started three years ago, but my decorating scheme for our bedroom changed this summer when we finally finished it. I am looking around for a nice tank/shell pattern to channel my effort into something I can wear, because it is one of my favorite colors, a garnet-red.
Silver Mohair Jacket .. this is a sad case; all I need to do is complete the button band and finish seaming up. I just hate finishing. I plan to get back to this after Christmas.
I also have yarn set aside to make the shrug in Knitting Goddess, but decided that it would really look better if I got black for the main color, as it was originally designed. I think I will use the pale blue I have for it in a capelet that I can wear with one of my "Widders' Ball" vintage costumes, and just ordered the black yarn tonight. I would also like to make a bolero from Crystal Palaces' new "Trio" yarn; found that pattern last week while surfing for an earflap hat pattern. Of course, I ended up having to modify the pattern for the yarns I wanted to use; story of my life. Good thing I learned about pattern drafting early on in my knitting life.
The Downieville Fire Fighter bear is wearing a neckwarmer scarf made from Chinchilla for my mother-in-law, Diana.
Three of the scarves I have made this fall. The one on the far left is a pattern I found on the knitty.com website
Welcome to the New Gazebo
I cooked a 25 pound turkey and trimmings, and we all had a great evening.
The new gazebo, being initiated by (l to r) Glenn, Wayne and Dale. Special effects courtesy of Photoshop.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
I don't know where this came from, one of those things that people forward to you without attribution, but I wanted to post it here, since it conveys succintly what I would wish for people. I am opposed to excess, so obvious in our culture this time of the year. If we have enough, live is much richer than if we have too much.
Winter Solstice greetings!
Friday, December 17, 2004
Happy the Donkey
Why is this important to me? Well, first because I have five donkeys, who love to greet us with their voices, just like humans and many other animals. So far, my neighbors have seen this as one more sign that they live in a rural place, but what am I to do if an intolerant person moves into the neighborhood? A donkey can hear another donkey bray up to two miles away, and I'm not sure how well we humans can hear in comparison.
Secondly, it is important to me that those of us who live in rural places are able to maintain our cultural traditions and livelihoods in the face of an onslaught of urbanization throughout the West. Back in about 1990, while I was working as a paralegal in the Sierra County Counsel's office, we drafted a "Right to Farm" ordinance at the request of a local mining company executive, which passed into law. There were several such laws passed in rural counties throughout California, including neighboring Nevada County, and in other western states as well. Since then, the 2000 U.S. Census has identified some of those counties as "cappuchino" counties, where urbanization has changed attitudes about life and work, as well as created a demand for a different lifestyle, including coffee shops and high home prices. Situated in eastern Yuba county, almost at the boundary with Sierra county, does not necessarily give me the long-term protection I desire. I only have a four-acre parcel, although I am fortunate to have thirty empty and almost undevelopable acres behind me, and Forest Service land beyond that.
I would hate to see the neighbor prevail over Happy and his owners, as that would create a precedent that would certainly lead to more suits against people who want to co-exist with animals. Crystal Ward (www.asspenranch.com) has circulated a plea for help and I update my blog once a decision has been returned.
This is our baby burro, Asteroid, at birth on 18 May 2004. Mama April is in the background
Thursday, December 16, 2004
A blur of meetings
Yesterday was the First Five Commission meeting, which was more relaxed and upbeat. We were celebrating receiving a State Library Grant for the Loyalton Library and Childrens' Center, which will match grant funding already received from the California Department of Education for the childrens' center portion of the building. While we are excited that construction can begin, we also discussed our anxiety about raising funds to cover operating costs.
Today's big event will be the Winter Party at Pliocene Ridge School.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Toy Drive at The Connection in SF
Tom Morris, owner of The Connection, Father Bob from Saint Anthony's Dining Room, and my husband, NGH Glenn Sundstrom converse just before the parade
Glenn, Mrs. Claus, Santa himself, me - Sat. 12/11/04
Parade up Mission Street in honor of the Toy Drive and escorting Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus to the event.
Glenn in front of the cute tree inside the bar. Besides being the Chapter 1849 Official Watering Hole in SF, the bar is a local hangout for lots of people who still live where they grew up in south San Francisco.
Friday, December 10, 2004
Getting ready for Christmas
I don't usually go much further than Sierra County with my involvement in charities. In the eighteen years I have been here, I have volunteered on average 5-10 hours a week, and since I have been teaching, I probably spend between $20 and $50 a month on local fundraisers. I pay attention to bigger concerns out in the rest of the world and rely on the Internet for the news, but my time and money is pretty much used up by the time I am done supporting my local community each month. It is particularly tough to watch as this region falls onto increasingly harder economic times. Even though the main parking lot in Downieville is packed each summer day, now it is virtually empty. Tourism is NOT sustainable!
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Yesterday, we experienced first-hand the very real effects of cuts to county services... the students from the Alleghany area were late getting to school because the road wasn't plowed. The Public Works Department has been saying since the summer that they wouldn't have the money this year.... guess we will be more thankful than ever for a sunny day to get out and take care of things this winter.