The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


The long, fuzzy days of summer

Celosia (cock's comb) and ornamental chiles at Ligonier Country Market, August 2007

I've been twitchy and buzzy for days. I can't focus, can barely think, and keep swatting away distractions and negativity like flies. And like flies, they keep coming back.

Ideas swirl around in my head, floating up to the surface, sometimes bobbing around haphazardly -- maybe running into a buoy or dinghy -- before losing air and sinking again. I can see them just under the surface, but can't make out the details.

On Saturday I found some relief by getting out of the house and doing instead of stewing. (ha)After three weeks of failing to get up early enough for the Ligonier Country Market, I finally made it. I'm not a morning person at all, and my desire for local produce and baked goods was thwarted by staying up until the wee hours and having no chance of getting to market.

I've been having trouble with farmers markets in general lately. Two weeks ago I tried to go to the Tuesday market on Wednesday. The following week I tried to go to the Thursday market on Wednesday. Clearly, both of these should have been open on Wednesday! I was beginning to think I just wasn't meant to have fresh veggies.

But this weekend I prevailed! I wanted to get to Ligonier by 10:00am, but my body told me that was just silly after going to bed at 3:00am. I managed to get up by 10:00 and got there around 11:15. I only had 45 minutes to zip around and fill my arms with goodies. It was blazing hot and some of the selections were limited, but it was well worth the trip. I think the trick is to get there when they open around 7:00am. (Geez -- maybe I should just stay up all night and then go!)

I was giddy at the delightful sights and smells, drunk on local flavor. I bought a bunch of flat-leaf parsley for 75 cents; a pint of grape and pear tomatoes; green beans from an Amish family; homemade lavender soap; a loaf of potato bread; raisin-filled cookies for the hubby; a delicious raspberry-cream-chocolate pie from Sand Hill Berries; a lunch of tabbouleh, spinach and feta pie, and baklava from a Greek food vendor; and not one but TWO bunches of gorgeous fresh flowers, one of luscious lisianthus and little white hydrangea, and a glorious wildflower mix that includes plump sunflowers, jaunty zinnias, and shy snapdragons.

I also lusted after a gaggle of hand-knitted, felted purses by Toni of Raggz. I'd link to her website, but she doesn't have one yet. I'm encouraging her to get one ASAP so I can tell everyone I know to buy a purse or three. I'm not a purse kind of gal and typically can't find one that I really like, but I wanted to buy everything in Toni's stall! (For more Raggz goodness, check out my flickr set. If you see something you'd like to buy (for yourself or for me!) -- contact me and I'll connect you with Toni.)

Raggz creations at Ligonier Country Market

Toni was also kind enough to offer to help me learn to knit if I wanted to sit with her some Saturday. I've been thinking about learning to knit for awhile now, so when I won the book Knit Wit from Felicia Sullivan's Friday giveaway a few weeks ago, I figured it was time to take the hint and try it out. I found a local yarn shop (also named Knit-Wits Inc., incidentally) housed in a little red school house. (Photo at left is from their website.)

I think I could fall in love with yarn. It's yummy. The inside of Knit-Wits was like a candy shop. I wanted to gobble up all the rich colors and textures. I'm not sure if I'll ever love knitting, but I may just start collecting beautiful yarn and displaying it as art. I have a feeling I've hit the tip of the needle (har!) with this knitting and yarn thing. Something tells me that there is a whole knitting community, even yarn cults, out there. It's the fuzzy underbelly of the arts&crafts movement.

The kind lady at Knit-Wits told me about the boutique's knitting lessons for $15/hour. I think I'll do a lesson or two, especially after trying to use the book, which was--how do you say? Hard. I think the book is pretty well-written. But learning to knit from a book, especially when you've never even held a pair of knitting needles before, is like learning to use American Sign Language from a manual. (Trust me, I've tried it.) It's nearly impossible to teach a three-dimensional activity from two-dimensional illustrations. Then again, I'm not so great at anything involving spatial relation skills, so I enlisted James to help me decipher the pictures. With his help, I managed to "cast on" using the "long tail method," but had trouble with the actual knitting of stitches. And I didn't even attempt purling. My favorite part of the night was watching James puzzle out the directions, do his best to knit a row of stitches, and then say, "But what do I do NOW?"

I find myself asking that question all day long: What do I do now? My Saturday outing was lovely, but I still can't focus. I keep waiting for my head to quiet down so I can think. I hear that knitting is a good balm for such brain buzz, but I have a feeling that's true only after it stops feeling like trying to "floss your teeth with your toes," as Knit Wit (the book) described beginning knitters.

Are you clear headed or fuzzy these days? What's in or out of focus for you?

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add to kirtsy | 12:33 PM


Blogger megg said...

clearing! I haven't tried knitting yet, but I have a kit to teach me just waiting to be torn into - your day sounds wonderful. Don't worry, it'll clear soon!!

8/29/2007 10:02 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

i can crochet up a storm and knitting is so next on my cold winter night agenda ~ i really have no excuses as i have a beautiful amazing yarn shop 1/2 block from my house ...

i am clear headed and fuzzy all at the same time as i want to do tooo much and end up scattered a bit but that is all okay i think, i'll just muddle along ;-)

8/29/2007 11:56 AM  

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