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December 13, 1998
a year ago

Deaconing Weekend

An interesting weekend, all in all.

It actually started Thursday night, unbeknownst to me. We went to the church after work and packed 15 heavy, dense bags of canned and dried food for the Emergency feeding program in the area. It was a satisfying kind of service, solid, real, touchable and viable. Something that someone was going to get to help against the wet and cold. It had been raining, solidly since we'd gotten home from Albuquerque and it rained, solidly, throughout the weekend, steady, constant rain.

Due to various things happening in my mental state, I finally got the courage to do something that I've been putting off for nearly a year. When my hands went bad, I had to give up on my spinning and knitting. My hands simply couldn't handle it. I had boxes of raw wool and two spinning wheels and lots of raw materials. When the kitchen was built, John tried to please me by building me a closet for all my wools and fibers and when it was done, he filled it with all my materials. He didn't ask me how it should be put in there, simply satisfied with it being put away, I guess, neat and out of the way. And with it out of the way, it was easy for me to avoid, so I didn't look very closely.

In fact, I think I did my best simply not to care anymore, that such an important part of my life had been cut away from me, all at once. I avoided the closet, eventhough I had hints that the raw wool, some of it at least, was entirely inadequately protected, some of it a clear and present lure to moths, not just vulnerable to them. The raw, dirty Scottish fleece had been put away in just a rent, torn, and broken egg box, the one it had come to America in, and was just ripe for insect invasion. Even when I saw the insect pods on the ceiling, I'd avoided it all.

I finally got tired of my fear Thursday night, and I finally got sick of the possible waste, and I waded in.

Went through every box in the closet, yanked everything into the light, ruthlessly cleaned out every corner, vacuumed every surface, and examined every bit of fiber. The Scottish fleece, had four nests as big as my fist, and had dropped a good inch of eggs, pupea, and dead moths into the plastic crate below, covering about five pounds of raw tussah silk with the dietris. The insects had gotten into the other boxes, but I'd packed the really delicate and truly expensive things in plastic that couldn't be chewed through by insects, and they were all safe. All the good stuff was just fine, even the silk. Two raw fleeces had eggs and a few pupea in them, the eggs hissed like sand against the broken plastic bags. So I pulled those completely out of the closet and set them in the washroom sink, which was where I tackled them Saturday morning.

Friday was short. Work forces and eddies set us from from work right after lunch and so after a fun lunch with James at an IHOP, I found myself let loose. John and I went to a bar to talk with other folks for a while, then went home early, to the dilerious joy of Fezzik. We took him on a walk, as his limp wasn't bad when we got home, but before we were halfway through the walk, he was limping pretty hard again, so we turned back and got him home, and for the rest of the evening he was hobbling around. Poor kid.

I got Saturday at OryCon dictated in and wrote a preliminary version of my stuff for Sunday morning. Then took a lavender fizzy bath. The dispersal mechanism of the fizzing is mildly amusing, and the resultant bath was simply as if I had added bath salts, which meant I could soak longer and my muscles relaxed happily into the solution. Mmmm...

All of Saturday was fleece washing. I laid out the two fleeces, split them into four near-equal bits with like-wools in each pile and then dumped them into the wash tub. Each section got a soapy soak and two equally hot rinses. The soapy water came out, each time, as thick as mud with dissolved oils and nasty things. Two rinses and then a spin in the washing machine, and four hours later I had two mounds of fluffy white on two different drying racks in the house. The hardest thing was trying to make it so that none of the heavy lifting was with my fingers, I tried to keep it all done by my arms; but I missed enough times that it made my wrists and fingers pretty sore later.

I also grew some sourdough, which turned into waffles on Saturday and cinnamon rolls Sunday night, which turned out excellently.

We went out to see Enemy of the State Saturday afternoon, and then meandered about shopping like crazy afterwards, until dinner time. John made Shake and Bake pork chops with pre-packed mashed potatoes and veggies while I finished up my deacon's sharing. Luckily, with fewer people and a part-time pastor, the church decided to only have a later service, the 10:30 service, so I didn't have to get up all that early this morning to get there on time, with John.

Penny was good, and we went through the service before starting, which helped a lot. It all went smoothly, and folks said that they appreciated what I said. It always astonishes me, what a little time it really is to say what I say, but how much it dominates my life until it's said.

Afterwards John and I did two crazy things, went to the main, Bellevue Mall and Costco two weekends before Christmas. They were both mobbed, but doable, and we got what we needed. Dinner was comfortable home cooking, meatloaf, mashed sweet potatos with a touch of brown sugar and butter, and nuked mixed vegitable. Simple, yummy and fun. Cinnamon rolls for dessert, after which I felt better.

I'd missed my previous period, which was a pain, but with all the things going on at church, and then additional stress factors from work, it was actually somewhat expected. This one reassured me that life was getting a little bit back to normal, so that was good. Odd to think of bodily functions as a meter for just how chaotic things are getting in my life, but it's also both sobering and interesting, to me, to know that my body actually gets out of the way when I have to *deal* with things in my life.

One of the things we got for Fezzik was a big, cedar bed at Costco, like a doggy bean bag but filled with cedar chips instead of beans. When I put it in the area of his bed, he kinda looked at it and walked away, but later in the evening John heard much rustling and stomping of the bed and when he came down, Fezzik was lying in it happily. That was keen. There is also this bakery at Bellevue Square called Three Dog Bakery, and they sell baked goods for dogs. We bought Fezzik a brownie and he happily wolfed it down, and then cleaned every crumb off the floor.

John took him for a walk while I curled up on the couch in a blanket, so the pup slept just fine all night. I spent some of the evening writing, some of the evening thinking, and some of it wondering what I should do next with the wool. It was good to be home, but if things work the way they're starting to look like they're going to work, this may be the only weekend we're going to be home for this entire month. Whoof.

Given that, this journal is, very certainly, not going to be as frequent as it's been, but I'll do my best.

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