Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hello Again

I'm home!  I love home!  My doggies, my husband, my girls.  My bathroom, my "stuff", my pillows.

First Things First
The purpose of the visit was, of course, to visit dear niece #2 in her new college digs.  We had a fantastic visit together, so much laughter and cheer.  She's really engaged in the college experience and is surrounded by lots of similarly minded students; I think she's well on her way to a great 4 years.

The campus is gorgeous, I might have mentioned that before.  Regrettably, I didn't take any photos outside of the Sheep & Wool Festival so you'll have to take my word for it.  There was a lovely surprise for me at the end of one walk-about: Ms. KSM had painstakingly learned to play "Falling Slowly" from the film Once on piano and it sounded so beautiful in an acoustically perfect room played on a gorgeous Yamaha...  I can't thank her enough for that.  So sweet.  She did a wonderful job at it and its one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever done for me.  I'm so glad I had my trusty iPhone with me and was able to record it.  Its a treasure.

New York Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck)
Well, as big and exciting as I expected it to be, it was more.  It was a beautiful day: sunny, about 55 degrees, light breeze; it was a a great day to be out of doors.  The volume of beautiful,
 creative things was really overwhelming: everything from wool on the hoof to finished woolen items, tools for all kinds of wool handling you just really can't imagine how much there was to fawn over (get it???).  There were thousands of people there.  And we saw a baby lamb only four days old....such a wee sweet thing!

I was not really shopping for anything there but was a little mindful of my burgeoning stash here so was fairly certain I would  not be buying yarn unless it totally knocked me out.  And that didn't happen.  Fairly early in our meandering, however, I began to think I might like to make a tentative foray into the fiber arts a bit closer to the sheep... just for edification, really; not out of any desire to master another skill or switch crafts.  So it was that Ms. KSM and I both left the festival with top-whorl drop spindles for spinning yarn:

While I'm certain that the act of spinning is simple, it is not completely intuitive so I find myself in need of some tutelage greater than I've found at YouTube.  It was completely fun to find both of ourselves excited to learn a skill together and I know KSM is going to be a whiz (she's already better than me).  Here are a few more photos I took at the event:

We watched tons of movies, listened to loads of tunes, made lists of tunes to trade, played Super Monkeyball on my iPhone (oh, how fun!!!), sang in the car (lots of driving to be done), ooh-ed and aah-ed over the many colorful vistas.  Identified a week's more activities in the area...  I hope I get another chance to visit here there! 

The Culinary Institute of America is located in Hyde Park, NY, situated right along the route from my hotel in Poughkeepsie to Bard near Red Hook, NY---I had no idea or I'd have made advance reservations to dine in one of their fine restaurants.  As it was a very busy weekend, there were no tables to be had so we had to file it away for the next time when we might actually be able to take a short course there as well.

A great autumn jaunt, it was.

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