Wednesday, June 05, 2002

A cat toy for you. Look, it's the

Now I could have sworn that that is just a laser pointer that you can buy at Office Max.

But take care! These are daaaangerous toys, children.The FDA has issued a warning!!

But if you must, and you want to be the coolest, you have to get a green one.

Good morning! Well, we're back. You know, I'd never really been in the 'deep South' before. We drove through Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and finally got to Tennessee. It was neat watching the landscape change from prairie to low mountains. It was really amazing to see the Appalachians and think that they had started out as a range of mountains similar to the Rockies, and this is what they had worn down to. That's oooold. We went up to Roan Mountain, which is bald on top, I still don't know why (my guess is that the rock is too close to the top and no trees can get enough roots down). It was beautiful and quiet (except for those people who feel it necessary somehow to shout at the top of their lungs at the top of a mountain). So we stayed up there for quite a while, and it was much cooler than back at the bottom where it was supposed to be topping out at ninety degrees, they said. Watched a storm come in and headed down just as a few sprinkles started. People were still hiking up and I felt like saying "Don't get hit by lightning!". But I suppose you could just run back down to the trees. I have never seen a rhododenderon bush before and some of the flowers were blooming! I really enjoyed seeing all the different flora and fauna- although it wasn't much, really. Little sparrow like birds, possum roadkill on the side of the road, some big trees I couldn't identify. I still have yet to find out what a laurel tree is.

Tennessee is a slow place. I kept thinking about how much maybe the weather has a part in shaping how people are. Here, we're all hyper (and that's nothing compared to the speed of life in other places), but there everything had a slow, unending feel to it. Like, things just neverendingly grow on and on there. The whole way down we were passing through farmland and so there were always old barns to look at. But as we went south more and more the barns would be covered with vines- just covered! Not so in MN. It was very lush there. Things know how to get old there and not worry about the time in between too much it seems. It was nice to get that perspective.

Our friends pointed out the rectangular barns that were wider in the front and said that that is where they would hang the tobacco to dry. Man, it sounds like he is living the life! He works odd jobs and rents a house for !cheap! and goes off adventuring every now and again. Exploring caverns, climbing mountains, trying to find little cafes where they serve the local quisine. My husband has some Scotch in him (the people, not the drink) and our friends said that many of the people who live there are descended from Irish and Scottish families who settled there. So he said that you can see some of that in the culture- family ties are strong and fierce. What an adventure. It was good to get away for a few days.

So I knit and knit away on my shawl and we listened to Lord of the Rings- which really helped pass the time, I must say. I got a few more inches (inches!) done and stopped increasing with the yarn overs. There are two lines of YO, K, YO pattern up the sides of the shawl and I didn't want to lose that line, so now I 'eat up' the stitch I make by my YO by K2TOG thusly- K2TOG, K, YO, K, YO, K, K2TOG. It looks a little different, but that's to be expected, I guess. I've decided that I'll try and knit and knit until almost all the yarn is gone and then do an edging right onto the edge (without binding off beforehand). Hopefully I won't underestimate how much yarn is needed for the edging. We'll see. But I'm not even near that yet! :). 'K. Gotta go grocery shopping now. Bye.