Bad Juju

Yesterday, African Kelli took a pretty bad spill on her bike. (If you don't read Kelli's blog you should go over there right away. She is an awesome craftster, not to mention a darn fine human being. I don't know her personally, but I'm just sayin'.) Luckily nothing was seriously damaged. I thought to myself, "That sucks, I'm glad that'll never happen to me." Mostly this is because I probably will never ever achieve a speed even close to 19 miles per hour on my bike. Anyway, that was yesterday.

This morning I crashed my bike.

Wait - it gets better.

I had just left the house, and was walking my bike along side the back of the building when I happened to notice through the fence that I could see into the kitchen of a ground floor apartment of an adjacent building. (All of the little apartment buildings on my street are very small - 8, 10, 12 units max, and it seems like they all have different management.) So, being a curious (read: nosey) human being I started backing up so that I could get a better look. Why on earth I felt the need to look at the apartment I'll never know. Seriously, I just moved into this place not 2 months ago. I was backing up with the bike (remember, I am not actually on the bike but rather only walking next to it) and somehow, somehow I managed to trip over the wheel, or pedal, or maybe I had my own private earthquake, because the next thing I know it's all going down (literally) in slow motion and I end up on the ground.

I crashed my bike, walking, backwards.

Good think I had my helmet on already because I hit my head on the ground. Somehow, even though I landed on top of the bike, I ended up with a scraped up ankle, and a gouge in my knee, and I even managed to abrade my rear end through my jeans (without actually ripping the jeans). That's going to be one colorful bruise in a day or two, let me tell you. My poor bike, only 2 months old and already had a major (to me) trauma. I'm sure there must me something wrong with it, something loose or bent or broken clear off, but since I don't actually know anything about my bike I couldn't tell you. If my chain came off like Kelli's did, I would have been SOL. I so need one of those "bikes for dummies", or some other such nonsense, books. I made it to work ok, popped Tylanol all day, and limped home. I'm not sure if I'll be able to walk tomorrow though, I am so stiff already.

Oh, yeah, one other thing. This happened at 7:30 am outside a whole bunch of apartment buildings. I made a huge crashing noise when I hit the asphalt. And not one person came outside to see what had happened. I must have lay there, on top of the bike, for a good minute before getting up the energy to haul myself to my feet.

Thanks, neighbors!

So what's the cure for this? Knitting, of course. Am slogging away at the giant Mediterranean Lace shawl. I hope I will finish by the time I am, oh, let's say, 60. It's that daunting. It sill looks the same as it did yesterday, so no, there is no photo.

What there is a photo of is this beautiful little rose I bought at Whole Foods this weekend. I didn't dgo in there looking for plants, in fact I went in there looking for some Villa Italia's Italian Blood Orange Soda (I love the stuff - it's sweet and orangy without being too artificially sweet and orangy. It is also a rather cool shade of dark pink.) But the roses were only four dollars. How could I resist? There are not the tiny miniature blossoms, nor are they the giant double blooms or anything like that. They are regular old roses just small still. (Some variety called "Parade Rose", which apparently, unlicensed propogation of is strictly prohibited. Hey, it's my rose, I can do what I want with it, right? Not that I could actually successfully propogate it even if I wanted to.) And unlike every "miniature" rose I've ever had (and killed) they have a heavenly scent.

Just what I needed, another plant.


O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

I have been informed that I am being remiss in my blogging duties by not posting anything for several weeks at a time. I would understand it if folks started jumping ship at an accelerated rate (though I still apparently have 30 subscribers - who are you loyal fans? Thank you!) Anyway, needless to say, things have been quite busy here in my new home. I had hoped to provide a new banner photo to highlight the change, but alas, I have no optimal photos of that as yet. (Actually, I do have one photo, but I seem to have downloaded it to my other computer, and can't access it right now, seeing as how I am sitting on the couch.) So instead, I offer you a list of Things I Have Been Doing to convince you that I have not simply dropped off the face of the Bloggoverse:

1. I bought a new computer. As intimated in the previous paragraph (such as it is) it is a laptop. Hooray! Furthermore, it is a type of fruit. Needless to say I have been very busy playing with it and generally enjoying its non-desktopness and non-PCness.

2. I went to the wedding of two dear friends. I learned of the impending wedding of two more. It was beautiful and depressing all at once.

3. I enrolled in an Italian course at Istituto Italiano di Cultura in San Francisco. I have paid good money for said course in order to give me an incentive to actually go and learn something. It also gets me out of the house (fairly) early on Saturday mornings, when otherwise I might sleep until noon. Be prepared for badly written and grammatically incorrect Italian to appear on a blog near you very soon. You have been warned.

4. I attended two operas. I am making plans to attend a third in a few weeks. There sure are a lot of (small) opera companies in the Bay Area!

5. Work has been kicking my butt.

6. I have not bought a car.

7. I have bought a certain book that everyone has bought, but I have not read it yet, nor have I seen the movie yet. Don't tell me what happens!!

8. Knitting has occurred! But, sock knitting has been cast aside for the time being, as it is too hot and I missed the last two months of the SAM3 anyway. Instead I have embarked on an epic journey making one Mediterranean Lace shawl from A Gathering of Lace. It is the most intricate (and large) shawl I have attempted to date. I'm not sure what prompted me to make such a complicated pattern except that I have several cones of lace-weight yarn in the stash that have been begging to be used. Also, did I mention that it has been hot here. I am on row 160 of the center panel (total rows: 418). Lessons learned so far? Use stitch markers. Indeed.

That's it for the update! I hope to post more regularly from here on out...


Lily of the Valley

In the house I grew up in there was a horse chestnut tree in the front yard. I loved that tree - it was big enough to climb into but not so tall that you ever had to worry about hurting yourself by falling out of it. My sister and I would pull the large compound leaves off of the branches and make fans out of them. That tree was the bane of my father - it produced hundreds of spiny horse chestnuts, which aren't really good for anything except being a hazard to barefoot humans. To make matters worse, the main branch I would use to climb up into the tree was the perfect height to clothesline a person on a riding lawnmower going about his business trying to defend the yard against the dual scourge of crab grass and dandelions.


Beneath that tree grew the most beautiful Lily-of-the-Valley, real Lily-of-the-Valley, not the wild variety (I think they are called "False" Lily-of-the-Valley) that grow in the New England woods. They had delicate white flowers strung in a single file along nodding stems, and the most wonderful fragrance wafted from their little bells. I don't know how they got there - Lily-of-the-Valley are bulbs, so someone must have planted them, but who? My great-grandmother? Surely it was not my great-grandfather or great-uncle, who lived in the house together after my great-grandmother had died. These were people who made their own pickles in a big brining barrel in the basement and who kept pheasants in a fenced off area in the woods behind our house. Who knows?

We moved away from that little cape cod when I was in high school. Our family had outgrown the house, and the one we moved to was bigger, newer, nicer. Still, I missed the Lily-of-the-Valleys, and I even tried growing some at the new place. (They didn't thrive.)

Meet the newest addition to my little family:

Lily. Of the Valley.

PS I did it, I marked all the Bloglines posts as read. I was experiencing anxiety over what to read first. So I decided to read nothing.


Not Dead In A Ditch

But I did have a little accident:

PS You people post a lot. There are 1748 unread posts on my Bloglines. I might have to skip a few.