What more could you want from a Labor Day weekend? You know, life just doesn't flow in a normal pattern for me. Ever. It does keep things interesting. (There is actual knitting content below if you'd like to scan past the hillbilly stuff.)
Let's see, where do I begin? Well, we drove off through the Ozark hills to Salem, Missouri to do a float trip on the Current River. On purpose. People DO that. On purpose. Who knew? It wouldn't be a big deal to a NORMAL family. But with Mountain Man leading our expedition, you KNOW we wouldn't stay on trail or on track or on river. We did actually have a wonderful time and no one flipped over. (At one point I threatened to beat said Mountain Man with my paddle in full view of all four children if he flipped my canoe or didn't stop splashing me.) Yes, our children will have really good stories to tell to their therapists someday. The river is fed by three natural springs, which keeps that water COLD but not freezing. Water temps are between 58-60 degrees. All four kids were in and out of that water SWIMMING. I kept making them get out after about 10 mins at a stretch so hypothermia didn't set in. Apparently the river doesn't freeze, so you can even take a canoe trip in the winter, which apparently people DO and also ON PURPOSE. Boggles the mind.
Now, don't worry, my obsession with the ticks continues. Note what is NUMBER TWO on the safety list. I'm just saying my fear may not be as irrational as some would imply. Seriously? Checking yourself for ticks is ABOVE the risk for fires (in a forrest no less), weapons, flash floods and alcohol? Ticks? cripes. Thank Goodness we were staying in nice motels instead of the tent. Seemed to keep us tick free.
Now, of course the ENTIRE weekend Mountain Man played the dueling banjo's song. I am not exaggerating when I say I heard that thing (blasted with all windows down to share the love with the rest of the hillbillies) over 42 times. Our off-road/off-trail mud fests through the tick infested hills and caves (not the publicly maintained caves, just those holes in the rock where critters live) only gave us a few scares, none of them banjo-playing-scary-hillbilly-Deliverance kind of scares. All in all, it was a good time. I may even do it again. I'm also thankful that the only copperhead we saw was on the road TO the river, not actually IN the river with us. Mountain Man was a bit disappointed that the guy that was trying to get rid of it didn't need or want his help. Mountain Man assured me it was one of those "look-a-like" snakes, masquerading as a poisonous one. When I asked him how he knew it, he said because it's eyes didn't look quite right. Yeah. I'm sure the fact that when Jeff leaned out his window asking if He could help and I was waving my hands "NO NO NO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO!" had nothing to do with the guy's waving us off.
You know, people sure are friendly when you get in those back-hills towns. I was making friends with all kinds of people. I'm a friendly soul. Well, at one point I was pretty much being picked up by a passell of old guys that looked like a biker gang. Long, long frizzed out blond hair, leather pants, looked a little worn by the years of rock & roll & too much fun too many years ago. You get the idea. Wherever I went in that town, there they were. They were even staying at the same hotel, so I really kept running into them. Well, long story short, they were MOLLY HATCHET, a southern rock band that made it bigtime in the late 70's early 80's. They thought I was a groupie there for the concert. First of all, I never know who sings anything, so I said, "what? you guys have a band? Do you have a demo out or anything on itunes?" Apparently that's not what you say to a group of old rockers reliving their glory days on a victory tour. Who knew? "We were on DUKES OF HAZZARD, MAN! the DUKES OF HAZZARD!" They're most widely known for their hit song "Flirtin' with Disaster" which I did recognize once Jeff played it for me later on his ipod.
In a nutshell, I freaked out the group immensely because #1) I didn't immediately recognize them #2) I didn't recognize their big songs (They were on the Dukes of Hazard movie soundtrack, are on the radio still and were pretty big in the late 70's early 80's. #3) I didn't want to ditch the husband and 4 kids to go to the concert with the band. I will admit, the thought of that sounded a lot more fun to me than the float trip, but you know, FAMILY VACATION and all that. :) After introducing them to Jeff, who instantly recognized their band name and bolstered their egos greatly, we laughed and hung out with the group while Joey was talking about how cool it would be to have his own rock band and he now plays the CELLO so it's only a matter of time. Yeah. I got rockin' kids.
Now, I'm not bagging on the guys, they were all kinds of fun and if I hadn't been married with four kids I'd have thought about heading to the show with the band. seriously. BUT the 80's were long ago. I think I look pretty good for living through the 80's. I'm not so sure leather pants, late nights, rock & roll lifestyles and all that bleach on that hair was quite as kind to the band. Wow. I did at least feel good that at least the one doing most of the attempted flirting was the youngest member of the band and still was working the long hair, tight pants thing. (A few members joined the band for the tour a few years back).
I thought I looked cute, not old rock band groupie (let me just say I met some of those groupies and am pretty sure the band looked better than them.) What do you think? Old groupie or regular old mom of four/dying spinning fiberista?
Tired of this post yet? I promise to break it down in the future. The cable thing? Made me crazy. C.R.A.Z.Y. I've not picked up the sweater yet. What drives me the most crazy isn't that I fuxxed up the cables. No, it's that I fuxxed up the cables and SHOWED it in the picture where I show how I fixed the other cables! I'm acting all smarty-farty and totally screwed it up. Ah well. I think I'm going to embrace the fuxx up and keep them. Embrace them. Or at least wear them on my belly in the sweater.
You'd think I'd be tired of cables, right? not want to see them for at least a week or more, right? Well, I found out that a dear friend was going in for the big 7hr post cancer surgery where they do all the biopsing and reconstructing and whatever else-ing they do. She was teary in the meeting with her surgeon as she gets cold since she's lost her hair. They wouldn't let her wear her wig or a regular hat in there. She pleaded with them and said if she found a small, natural fiber hat that would fit under the little puffy hat they stick on you for surgery could she please wear it? Well, then she went out and tried to find such a hat in a store. many stores. I just heard about this on Friday and it hurt me to think of a friend of mine being COLD when she's already in a compromised position with the whole surgery thing.
So, basically except for when I was paddling down the river or hanging out with an 80's rock band, I was knitting cables. Cables, cables, cables. Shedir out of Knitty's Breast Cancer issue was just what was needed. I knit non-stop and got it done the night before my friend's surgery. She wore the hat during the whole surgery, recovery and even now in the hospital. All biopsies are showing cancer free and we're all so very thankful. She's made it through a long, long battle and will continue to battle to make sure nothing comes back. I felt so good that something I knit helped someone out. I'm usually a pretty selfish knitter, so this whole generosity thing could be catching.
Shedir on Knitty.com
Yarn: rowan calmer 1.5 balls
Needles: sz 4's
Time of knitting 4 days and nights