Finding a new normal and getting back to fiber

Well, last week was the annual BCMA (Book Club, My Ass) meeting on the shores of Lake Michigan but it wasn’t quite what we are used to. We women friends of very long standing always manage to find our way back together, come hell or high water, at least once a year and the Michigan Fiber Festival is the best excuse in recent years. Most of you know by now that we gather at Roberta’s 1920’s pink cinderblock cottage perched high on the dunes and we eat, drink, buy wool, talk to alpacas,knit, spin, skinny dip, surf ride, campfire and s’more our way through 4 or 5 days of estrogen (half of it synthetic) heaven. Really, it’s like heaven, like a great movie, like your best high, like your best book ever- we are friends like that.

This year things sort of came undone, with hell and high water. First Kristen, after years with NWA, got transferred to Atlanta and Delta headquarters. Bah. Then I got totally swamped with the remodel-that-turned-into-an-entire-new-house situation. Plus, Rich surprised me with the upcoming long-awaited honeymoon/60th birthday trip to Italy and we used almost every frequent flyer mile to make that a first class trip. And then came the worst bit and that was when a core member of BCMA got the terrible news I wrote of in my last post. So three of us were out and we sorely missed the week and they claim we were sorely missed although it appears to me that they had fun in any case.(I have no idea. Really. I guess you had to be there and I wasn’t, dammit.)

My dear friend has had her surgery and that went well and I just this minute finished talking with her husband who said they were home from the hospital. He reported that she was cranky and on his case and their daughter, who is Abby’s friend from nursery school, can do no wrong. So I said, “Great! Sounds like things are pretty much normal!” and he agreed. She has good supports in place, including her brother who is a nurse and her favorite sister. Next Wednesday they will meet with the tumor board (what a name- gak) and discuss lab results and what’s up next. And we continue to send her massive amounts of bad internet humor, good wishes and sincere prayers- plus I believe that BCMA has concocted a comforter of sorts and I will post photos of that when I get them. Kristen and I had to mail in our contributions.

Back here on Little Mt. Pisgah, we hosted our first official dinner party to thank some of the neighbors who have so kindly fed and sheltered me during construction, who leave me plants on my doorstep and bring fresh eggs and goat’s milk soap. I made grilled pork tenderloin and then sliced it into medallions on a dried Michigan cherry demi-glace and topped with a blue-cheese pine nut cream. We had local Yukon gold mashed potatoes, greens from the earth boxes and a ginger-crust apple tart with caramel sauce and french vanilla ice cream.

I also made an appetizer that I worried would be too hot but it was snarfed up in an instant before we could even get seated on the deck. I roasted some poblano peppers from the garden on the grill until they were black and then let them sweat off their skins in a paper bag and cut them into thin strips. Then I sautéed and crumbled andouille sausage. I spread some delectable goat cheese blended with ginger and apricots on flour tortillas, added the sausage and peppers, folded them in half and made quesadillas that I grilled and cut into triangles. That was some spicy starter but yum, yum, yum. And I made up that recipe and now I’m giving it to you. It would probably work with datil peppers, too, if you had such a thing.

Anyway, it was a wonderful evening with like minded folks- lots of laughter and good story telling. I figure everyone had a good time because they all stayed late. I can report that our new dishwasher, in addition to being very quiet, does indeed hold service for 14 and gets them clean.

With everything that has been going on, my fingers have not been near fiber, except to finally unpack it, for a couple months (I’m not counting the week of epic pillow making with seven-year olds at art camp). This morning I had my neighbor, Diana, over to do some silk dyeing. I wanted to use her as a guinea pig before I offered a free afternoon workshop when people can become acquainted with my teaching here in the Asheville area. We had a great time with some good results and the new studio space works well, with lots of counters, light and sinks. I also felted a couple of bars of this beautiful goat’s milk soap and I like how they turned out, too. Makes for a nice all-in-one loofah with natural antibacterial properties.

Right now I am very excited because Kristen is driving up from Atlanta, sort of spur of the moment, so we can have a little satellite session of BCMA these next couple days. Things are going to get fuzzy around here as we get the drum carder and spinning wheel moving. How cool is it to have friends who call and say, “Hey! I think I’ll drive 4 hours to come hang out with you.” ? I can’t wait to see her. I’m thinking we should felt a hot water bottle cover for Roberta’s tummy.

11 responses to “Finding a new normal and getting back to fiber

  1. When I come to visit, I want that menu cooked for me – minus the blue cheese (which I can’t stand – sorry)!

    The silk looks extraordinary and the loofah felt soap holders are terrific!

    Sorry about your friend, but I know with BCMA, she will be given special care.

    Love that photo, but if it were me in it – I’d be screaming to get it off the blog…..LOL

  2. I love reading about all your goings on and seeing your gorgeous photos.

  3. I am so glad to hear that your friend came through her surgery with flying colors… keeping the prayers for her recovery.

    The table looks so festive! And those soap covers… how ingenious. But then, you always have been that imaginative one!

  4. I love, love, love those plates and all those pretty colors. Sounds like lots of fun is happening up there and just think, I will be there in less than two weeks!!!!!!!

  5. Such wonderful goings on at your place. I wanna be your neighbor! Sending love.

  6. Finns know that loofahs
    Must come from a gourd.
    Scrub up in a sauna
    And thank the good Lord!

    Your silks are so pretty
    They make my heart melt.
    Ditto girlfriends, dishes, glasses
    Goat soap and felt.

    Your new normal
    Ain’t at all like mine.
    Mine’s rather dull;
    Yours: super-fine!


  7. If I had to compose poetry every time I wanted to post a comment, there would be precious little time left over for, say, yoga.

    Love the ear-lick photo. It’s a classic.

    Where does one obtain beautiful plates like that?

  8. Gosh … this is girly of me, but that table setting is REALLY pretty.

    I hope your buddette heals swiftly from this cancer.

    I now have a shipping box, so datil sauce to follow.

  9. I’m taking the quesadilla recipe and thanking you kindly for it. Clever woman.

    Wishing your friend all the best for a speedy recovery and good news in her talk with the tumor board. You’re right. What a dreadful name.

  10. Not that rereading this post is boren, but what the buck? Where are your balls? Your fuller knowledge on a certain subject deserves an encore post, in my opinion. Perhaps if I promise you a pair of nanopants?

    Let architects sing of aesthetics that bring
    Rich clients in hordes to their knees;
    Just give me a home, in a great circle dome
    Where stresses and strains are at ease.~R.B.F.

    Love is metaphysical gravity.~R.B.F.

    Who ate up all the jelly beans before our buckyball was finished?!~me

  11. Bonnie knows something that I don’t know. SHARE, please!

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