Sunday, July 22, 2007

Things I'm Loving

I'm reading an incredibly inspirational book right now - Eat, Pray, Love - a friend from California sent it to me, and I had no idea how much I'd get from it.

It's a popular book - a bestseller, even - and I just love the author's tone. I love it so much that I put HP aside to read this for a bit. Elizabeth Gilbert unfolds the mystery of her journey in an easy, non-fussy or not-overly mysterious manner.

I feel like she assumes that I, the reader, may not know the details of the different prayer traditions, but that doesn't mean I'm dumb. She writes "up" to me, while at the same time informing me. I'm enjoying this book quite a bit.

I'm finding it inspires me to get up and write - there's so much I want to do right now. Not enough hours in the day.

My head is so full of ideas, design ideas, rambling wordy essay ideas, poem ideas (?!), kitchen ideas (stop the madness!), religious ideas (!!) that I need to just take some time and organize them - sort them out - write them down. Yeah, that would be a start.

One thing I do know is that today is Edward Hopper's birthday. He's one of my favorite artists - I love him, and Thomas Eakins.

This painting, which I put on my blog after our Duluth trip was actually a print of an original by Christina Mount Kapp, a Wisconsin artist I met at an art fair.

This is her grandma - Christine paints off of black & white photographs of regular folks - and I just fell in love with this painting. Of course I couldn't afford the painting, so I got a print - which looks very nice.

It makes me think of the Sandberg poem, Red Headed Restaurant Cashier
, and makes me think of Edward Hopper. It's going to be the inspiration for our kitchen colors - she's going to be hanging in the kitchen, our own Goddess of the Short-Stack.

My breathing sucks today. Partly because the air is just bad this weekend - I get emails about this sort of thing;

(The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is forecasting an Air Pollution Health Advisory for the Twin Cities metro area from Sunday July 22 through Thursday July 25)
My breathing is also bad because last night my next door neighbors decided to set off all of their leftover fireworks, the wind was blowing toward us, our fans were on and the house was FILLED with that gunpowdery smell in minutes. It lasted for hours. Thanks guys.

My neighbor is a funny kid (not in a ha ha sense). I don't know him at all, but I hear him on the phone, swearing a lot, talking like a gangsta', yelling at his girlfriend
(at least, I'm assuming that's who "Bee-yotch" is.)

The first time I heard him say, "Yo, yo, mah ni**er" (bear in mind this kid is so white he makes ME look cafˇ au lait) I thought he was saying, "Yo, yo, mah knittah!"

Obviously my mind is always on fiber. Well, it seemed appropriate for Minnesota...

But to get back to my breathing, thank heaven I have a nebulizer, which I used to good effect this morning.

Minnesota health care is a marvelous thing - back in NJ I'd just wheeze all day, then get very scared and maybe end up in the emergency room later in the evening.

I probably could have gotten a nebulizer, but my pullmonary doctor never brought it up, and the whole insurance thing just seemed more - daunting - back there.

Running the gauntlet of sometimes-not-so-nice medical staff was daunting, too.

Here, my doctor asked me (as she was giving me a nebulizer treatment in her office - NOT the emergency room - yay!) if I'd like to have a nebulizer, and her office did up the paperwork and I picked it up a few days later.

I've only used it twice since then, but those were bad days and they saved me (and my insurance company) an expensive, scary and time consuming trip to the ER.

And, back to my designing. I'm trying to line up several projects to work on while I'm Rochester, so I can go back and forth between them. I won't have all my yarn with me, but in a pinch I could come back up. Not really. But I could. I'm waffling.

I'm trying to get the smaller stuff I'm working on done now, a bit early, so I can take the larger stuff with me. Here's a little stool I did for a book - it's a fun little piece, and will be fun to knit up!

Design is being able to say, "Two inches." Period. No waffling, no what-do-you-think or maybe-it-would-be-better-if's.

Even if you're not 100% sure, you know you're a designer when you have the ability to take a leap and say, "Two inches."

That's when you deserve the big bucks.

Having an assistant who can say, even more firmly, "TWO inches!" is when you deserve the bigger bucks.


Knitting Linguist said...

I think the bags are pretty funny, actually -- nice use of "found data" from your neighbor :) And I'm glad that your doctor has set you up with a nebulizer. So much nicer than the ER! I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love for the same reasons you mention. That, and I love reading about people going to places I wish I could go; it feels like getting a small vacation. (And, back to HP I go...)

July 22, 2007 3:07 PM  
Jill said...

Nebulizers are great. My mom depends on hers a lot and it helps take some of the stress out of her bad days, too. When we were in Rochester for my dad's surgery we liked eating at the Canadian Honker. It was good Midwestern food that kept us warm in February. My mom even picked up a goose poop picture! We found everyone there to be extremely kind and helpful.

July 22, 2007 3:15 PM  
KibitzKnitz said...

Ha! Those bags are awesome ~~ they will be mine on payday! Also, we must have the same neighbor kid...

I'm on our library's hold-list for 'Eat, Pray, Love' I've only heard wonderful reviews and I can't wait to read it.

Look forward to seeing you at Threadbear in a week.

Peace and Blessings to all of you.

July 22, 2007 4:28 PM  
Anonymous said...

Love the bags and will order as soon as I can.Nebulizers are great calming insurance.Reading good books ranks equal to knitting in my world.Love the photo of Hannah's HP rapture.She is beautiful. Enjoy my home state of MI-Marsha

July 22, 2007 4:36 PM  
Kay said...

Ya (a Minnesota yeah), the bags are very cool. And they made me laugh!

July 22, 2007 5:22 PM  
Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

I have heard nothing but good things about "Eat Pray Love" and in fact had bought it for my summer reading but I gave it to a friend (She was doing a whole lot of traveling due to a seriously ill family member and needed uplifting books to read on the plane). She also found it inspirational and I am looking forward to getting it back. A book she recommended as being both uplifting and funny is "Buddah Da" by Anne Donovan. Also, I find the bags very funny but everyone who knows me thinks I have a warped sense of humor.

July 22, 2007 5:49 PM  
susanc said...

I'm with ginersnaps - I, also, have a warped sense of humor, so I loved the bags.

I'll have to pick up a copy of "eat, pray, love". I enjoy books that deal with people's journeys in other countries. I need to find a good book to read.

I'm glad you were able to get a nebulizer Annie. That should help so that you don't have to suffer through so much when you're breathing isn't so great.

Hope Gerry, Hannah, and Max are all doing well. I think of you all often and wonder how things are going.

July 22, 2007 7:00 PM  
Lynn said...

I read "Eat, Pray, Love" last week and loved it. Notwithstanding some of the language, I thought it was excellent, and very moving. Have you read any of Anne Lamott's books? You might like her style, too.

I like Edward Hopper's work, and I *love* Thomas Eakins. One of his paintings hangs in the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth.

July 22, 2007 7:21 PM  
annie said...


I've tried to like Annie Lamott, but I just can't get into her voice very easily.

July 22, 2007 7:57 PM  
. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I think that your white boy neighbor was explaining knitting directions to to his favorite auntie (Bea Ahtch), but you mentally translated it into knitting abbreviations.

He was giving her words of encouragement, "Yarn over! Yarn over, my knitter."

And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

(Robb, on the other hand, thought he was talking to that cellist.)

July 23, 2007 1:03 AM  
Niente Zero said...

'Nebulizer', the very word, gives me an incredible feeling of well-being stemming from early childhood asthma. Just reading it makes me feel the difference between not being able to breathe and being able to breathe. So glad your doctor got you one for the home. It's so much better than having to trek in to the ER.

July 23, 2007 9:49 AM  
Kitt said...

"Eat Pray Love" is a really good book to read when you're in a Bad Place. Very comforting. It kind of fell apart for me at the end, but I got a lot out of the journey.

Anne Lamott's writing has become very forced in recent years, I think, but I'm a big fan of "Bird by Bird" and "Operating Instructions."

I'm glad you were able to get some breathing relief!

July 23, 2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

i finished hp yesterday. :-)


July 23, 2007 12:13 PM  
Cynthia said...

Oh Annie, I just love you so much! Your strength, character and ability to make wine out of vinegar will get you through this; you remind me of my husband who has to be the one in charge (and I am not always stoic about my pain but there is probably an element of trying to protect him that keeps me quiet sometimes)and deal with all the shit. The book is wonderful. I hope it all calms down in a good way soon - be well and take care of your lungs.

July 23, 2007 3:29 PM  
Mrs.Q said...

I absolutely loved that book...though be warned, it may have the effect of stimulating mad, mad cravings for Italian food!

July 23, 2007 7:51 PM  
Ellen in Minnetonka said...

Well, Annie, we are sharing a reading list, between Harry Potter and Eat, Pray, Love. I beat you on HP but you are ahead of me on EPL - along with about 350 people on the waiting list at the library. After getting recommendations for it from you and from my very lovely sister-in-law, I may have to go buy a copy.

I head to Chicago for a long business trip on Thursday - any yarn store recommendations?

July 23, 2007 10:50 PM  
Tracy said...

I love Edward Hopper too--I saw the exhibit of his work at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston a week ago, and I was just amazed. Here's the link to the virtual exhibition so you can see, too:


July 24, 2007 9:29 AM  

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