Sunday, August 28, 2011


because I can.

But I've chosen not too, opting to cook for myself instead, guided at various times by Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, MFK Fisher, and my mother. The voices are all consistent with "Tonight, Lucullus dines with Lucullus." Greens, Lentils, Chicken, Wine.

Others will look for and point out what I can do better. If you don't act, the answer is always "no". Who will buoy and support me? Does it matter?, I ask myself. Tonight I am satisfied with my day and my self.

Fentons can come another time.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grand Lake Proverbial

Grand Lake - modelled by AVFKW in the garden
About one month after casting on, I am wearing this, AVFKW's Proverbial number 4, the last of the 2010 season, "Grand Lake" designed by Kristen Hanley Cardozo. AVFKW's Floating yarn in "2 Gems and a Pearl", 70/20/10 Alpaca/cashmere/silk, is pink, tender, and yields to the touch. I've never felt anything like this yarn before, which has resulted in prolonging this knitting experience - there's been no reason to rush this project. The finished shawl/scarf feels incredible when worn on the skin.
Grand Lake - modelled by AVFKW in the garden
Grand Lake - modelled by AVFKW

I learned to rely on my ability to read charts, make nupps and cast them off ("P5 tog" is not easy for me), and use a stretchy* bind off with the same size needle (and looser than normal tension - "loose" is typically not in my personality so this is a relative term) used to knit the body. Very clever design feature to use nupps to provide some weight at the edge of this piece.

Okay Kristine, I'm ready now, bring on the first delivery of Proverbial Club 2011 in October!

*in this case, on a predominantly purl row: P1,** P1, transfer both stitches from R needle to L needle, then P2tog**, repeat from **.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Keeping it real

I traveled to a new destination recently. I was armed with knowledge gleaned from internet posts and searches. The route was laid out, estimated driving times planned for, road conditions anticipated. The last 20 miles would be on an "interesting" single lane mountain road. I fed my 197hp vehicle with oil, gas, water, air. I packed and repacked, paring my load to what was required by deleting what was "nice to have".

This is what we saw 10 miles before the end of the road.

This was at the end of the road.
Trees in a wash.

And these were seen while on foot. In the city, my leisurely pace is 3-4 miles per hour. Out here, I planned on 2 miles per hour, depending on ruggedness of terrain, knowledge of the trail, ability to read the land, physical fitness, and mental attitude.
Ward Mountain

Meadow and Ward Mountain

It was not a city saunter. The terrain was moderately rough and unfamiliar, my body was not conditioned for the altitude and weight of the pack, and I expected to reach my destination sooner, not believing that I could be walking at such a slow pace. I had a map, food, and water. I started reading the landmarks better. I saw the movement of time in the rock whorls of Ward Mountain. And I began to observe the sights near me, registering them as visual "bread crumbs" for the return journey.
A system.

A stream along the path.

A trail.

Entwined, evermore.

Looking back at the beginning of the trail.
When there are markers on a path that is otherwise difficult to read, we proceed with more confidence and lose less time being lost. Although there's value in wandering, it's nice to be able to choose when and where to explore.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Water & Power

Water is essential to our existence. In addition to our bodily need to drink it, we have found ways to harness its power and direct it for our benefit.

At the Portal Powerhouse site (el. estimated 7100 ft), Engineer Eastwood and Construction Director Ward are recognized for their vision, engineering, and execution of a 13 mile tunnel through a granite mountain, under Kaiser Pass (el. 9184 ft).
This is one component of the "Big Creek" project (c. 1920s) that gathers water from a rugged sierra 1200 square mile watershed that drains into the San Joaquin River and its tributaries.
The words on the plaques eloquently describe the accomplishments achieved given the technology of the time. It's really a testimonial to great thinking. [Click on the image and zoom in.]
The tunnel diversion provides flood control as the water is directed into lakes until it is released again in a controlled manner for irrigation. In the 1950s, a hydroelectric powerhouse was constructed at this outlet.
Upstream, to the east, a concrete dam with horizontal arches contains one lake in the system. Remnants of construction with work and power embedded in them are here.

Sunglasses provide scale.

On the other side, Florence Lake. Spillway 7328 ft.
Reigns, territories, and civilizations flourish or fall based on their ability to control this essential fluid. What follows after the fundamental ability to harness water for our benefit is the luxury to embellish and pay homage to it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


On a recent journey I decided to take two days to get to a destination.

The first day, I drove through urban, rural, and logging roads to get to a campsite.
Table Mountain Casino. Hmm.
High Sierra Station
As I set up shelter and prepped to eat and drink, I realized that I am a walking commercial for REI Co-op. Add that shop to others that I spend time in - places that contain artifacts, fiber, books, art supplies, hardware.
A smoky fire keeps bugs away.
This probably also explains why, especially whenever I travel, I usually look like I came off a mountain. Others' appearances are more chic and acceptable to city folk; mine is typically met with a questioning look or comment. Whatever.

The second day, after a short boat ride and a hike filled with wonderous views, evidence of the power of natural forces, some anxiety and weariness, I arrived at the destination.
Waiting for the ferry.
A compass would've been helpful.

Destination benchmark.
Plays well with others.
There were friendly creatures, beds, pillows, home-cooked meals with fresh, varied and healthy ingredients, a river, some hot springs, and horses. This is a working place.
One of twenty-five.
Where it gets done.

A working place.

Another kind of horse.
I slept soundly the first night as my body recovered from internal chills and sore spots (mercifully no blisters!) from the hike and altitude. The next afternoon was spent napping. I brought some fiber to keep me company.
Can I have a witness?
My pre-occupation with it in the late afternoon was costly because mosquitoes and black flies (I didn't know they would bite!) gorged on me when I couldn't move around enough to shoo them away. Experiences are embedded in this fiber.

updates "Premise" (Aug) and "TdF: eve of the end"(Jul).  Learning a little more about html along the way.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cats and camels

They seem to be related.  Similarities include the need to wander, the ability to go long distances and periods of time between refueling, and the habit of returning to where they are coddled.  The tom may roam but will always return to the feathered lair.  The camel may protest but will remain compliant in the end. Their expressions are steady and do not register what lies within. Maybe there is no change within to be expressed outwardly.

The cat's demeanor does not change during each new hunt, pounce, and the merciless period of toying with the target. Don't know about the camel's, I'll find out.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I heard that stones have spirits and that stones like to travel.
Photo: M.Peterson
These travelled on the vaka Marumaru Atua which arrived on August 2, 2011, with five sister vakas.
They arrive while the replacement eastern span of the Bay Bridge is under construction.
They berthed on the eastern side of Treasure Island.
Captain Patai, trained in traditional wayfinding and navigation, is in the foreground with another crewman of Marumaru Atua.
The crewman observes a sister vaka nearby.