A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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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


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Exciting News and a Product Review

The exciting news is that I received a call at 7:30 this morning, as I was struggling to get out the door, to tell me that the two people from the school district I interviewed with yesterday had selected me! I knew I had interviewed well, but I still didn't expect them to pick me, because of the math. Did I admit that I managed to get a college degree without taking any math classes? I certainly hadn't told the interviewers, but did say that this was my weakest area out of the five subjects that the GED tests... anyway, I will be starting to teach two afternoon classes a week next week.

I had to quickly rearrange my plans for the day in order to get back to Nevada City and get fingerprinted. Do you know someone who has to have fingerprint clearance for their job? Well, I have been through this many times as far back as 25 years ago, when ink and paper were used, since I have almost always worked with children. I support the concept, and think that it is pretty cool the way they can roll your fingers over a glass similar to the copy machine and your prints appear on a computer monitor, get accepted or rejected (then we try again!), and can be instantly transmitted to the Department of Justice. That said, I had never needed to go through this process in Nevada County, and was stunned to show up, form from school district in hand, and learn that there was at least an hour's wait ... and I had left my knitting in the car!

I spent my wait time with my trusty Palm, making a list of words for every remaining letter of the alphabet, so that I could be planning my post! Now before you get too envious over how together I am, let me tell you that some of those words are pretty sappy, and several won't make for good photos of any kind, so it was really more for self-entertainment.

I did also jot down my ideas for the Eat Challenge posts I will be doing; the other "job offer" I got in the past week was to join a group blog of authors writing about the Eat Local Challenge and related issues. I have committed to one original-content post a month, as well as smaller ones as I am so moved, and the blog will be up by this weekend. Us authors just voted on logos, and I will have a button up very soon too. I hope that if you are considering trying an Eat Local Challenge of your own any time this year, you will let me know and link to this blog, once it is up and running. I do intend to try to inject some humor into the subject, including the story of my first attempt at making kimchi... I just love food and want the idea of eating locally to be a fun challenge and not a scary one.

After the endless wait and the indignity of having four of my ten fingers rejected, I finally was turned loose of the sheriff's office, and headed to one of my favorite coffee shops for an early dinner of soup and cafe mexicali mocha, while I read Wendy's new book (see Product Review below) and waited to attend an already-ongoing GED prep class in Grass Valley to pick up some teaching materials. I felt inspired about the positive impact I could have when I realized that three of my former students who had dropped out before finishing high school were among the dozen or so hard at work taking practice tests. I didn't stay for the whole session, as I need to leave early tomorrow AM to take training in a brand new software to be installed at our clinic, but on the way home I had to stop and capture this sky for you:

Spring sky in the evening light

I am the luckiest person in the world to live here!

Product Review


Yarn name: Wendy Knits: My Never-ending Adventures with Yarn, by Wendy D. Johnson
Manufacture:Plume: April 2006
MSRP: $14.00

This book, just out, and probably already familiar to everyone from reading other blogs, is a totally delightful read. Why buy some other book with 20 knitting patterns, only, and miss out on Wendy's funny, entertaining, and touching stories about her cat, knitting on public transit (you'd be amazed at how rude people can be to knitters, unless you have knit on public transit yourself), and being surprise gifted by fellow bloggers (we already know that we are the kindest, most generous bloggers around). The patterns are great too, and range from a catnip mouse and felted pet bed through her own unvention of toe-up socks and some very stylish yet classic sweaters. My knitting night buddy Linda got a kick out of reading the intro to knitting with socks, which Wendy managed to avoid for the first 40 years of her knitting life.

I also learned that Wendy's knitting website gets over a million hits a month; talk about bursting my bubble and making me feel insignificant! (I know, that wasn't her intention - hey, I don't really want to try and compete). She discusses having an epiphany about trying to continually outdo herself, and then realizing there was lots of value to making simple, wearable garments as well as the most complex things possible. Also, according to Wendy, it helps your blog popularity to have a photogenic cat.

This book can be readily purchased at a discount through some of the mainstream online sources, or when you buy lots of yarn at Knitpicks and get free shipping (and probably other ways I am not aware of) so there is no excuse not to get it and have a great laugh reading it. You will then keep it around and make a few things out of it, as the patterns are versatile and timeless. You will also love her knitting manifesto, if you haven't already seen it, as well as be supporting one of the most informative knitting writers in blogland.


Blogger margene said...

How wonderful that you landed the job! You'll be a good teacher.
Wendy's book is great fun to read. Your reviews are always so informative.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Ruinwen said...

Yeah! I'm so happy you got the teaching job! Thank you for the review on Wendy's book...it is on my to-buy list.


2:44 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks for such a lovely review!

3:34 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

Congrats on the job! And I'm waiting for my copy of Wendy's book. I'm glad to hear it's a good one.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Congratulations Birdsong!

I know you will do well.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yay for you!

I've been fingerprinted for teaching jobs a lot as well. Fun stuff. Apparently I have the perfect felon's fingerprints as mine are hard to capture. It makes for a long day at the police station just to get them done.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous evagorman said...


9:13 AM  
Anonymous Imbrium said...

Congratulations on the taching job! That's so exciting.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...


Thanks for the incredible sunset image. It was beautiful. I am delighted for you and your new job. I also loved your little bird pillow in one of the posts showing your chair.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Bear Knits said...

Congrats on the teaching job! Thanks for the review of Wendy's book!

6:53 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

I'M SOOO happy for you! Congratulations, and oh btw, on the math issue - you just have to stay ONE class ahead of them! :)
(been there, done that!)
Great review of Wendy's book - I just love her, and Lucy, of course (as does The Meezer)! And wow - she visits your blog and comments! Too cool!

8:15 AM  

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