Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Elfauna Eaglewing, Ranger of Healers United, Quellious server, Everquest Posted by Hello

Hail Everquest!

It would not feel right for me to go on talking about flowers and fiber without talking about my other passionate past time...Everquest. I am Elfauna Eaglewing, Lady of the Karanas, and Ranger of 54 levels. Loral Ciriclight, in RL, is my son....and we are both officers of Healers United, a guild on the Quellious server. See Loralciriclight.com for stories that are magnificently crafted by Michael Shea, the writer who is becoming quite formidable at his skill. Everquest has opened up a whole new world to me. I started playing after Mike bought me the first powerful computer (he has now bought me three of these wonderful monsters) and the game and helped me set it up. I was a slow beginner, and it took me a lot of trials to learn how to use the interface. I had never played any computer interactive roleplaying game, and all those who play by my side, and know me as Elfauna, know that things do not come easily to me. For 3 years, I have spend some part of most days at the keyboard, living the life of a Ranger, helping to fight the evil foes, and help all who come to me for help in the lands of Norrath.

If you do not know Everquest, it will be hard for you to understand how important this world can become. If you want some idea of what I am talking about, see Loral Ciriclights stories, which he tells so well. He alone has put into words the love of adventure of thousands of people who log on every day, who live the story, but find it hard to put it into written words.

In real life (RL) knitting, crafting, being with my soul mate, my family...all are very important to me. But, also very important to me is my character Elfauna, who displays in another world many of the qualities that I find most valuable as a human being in the world we life in. Patience, kindness, willingness to help others....these are all displayed by me and others every evening as I connect with my guild mates, Healers United, and make some of the best friends I have ever had in my life. I have friends all over the world because of Everquest. These friends are as important to me as if they lived next door to me. Many of us email. Some of us even fall in love and get married. It is an amazing world that we "live" in. Michael and I play together and talk every night on the phone because of Everquest. It is a world that I am so fortunate to know and love and hopefully I will be here, sitting at my keyboard in the den, living the life of Elfauna the Ranger of the Karanas, for many years to come. More about Elf's adventures coming up.

:0 Eeeeep

/waves to her friends in EQ


Monday, August 30, 2004

Random acts of knitting

Last night I finished another scarf. Details: Plymouth Yarn 24K in color 1373 (brown and gold flecked) with brown Flutter. Cast on 35 stitches, so it is ample, not narrow. I would rather spend a little more and have something truly wonderful, than something that is narrow and too short. One ball of yarn will make a scarf, but you don't get much scarf. This scarf is coppery, shiny, flirty with eyelash yarn and.. fancy. It reminds me of the Roaring 20's. It is not long enough to get caught up in the wheels of a Model T, like poor Isadora Duncan's did. The good news is that is nice and long, reaching at least down to my waist on both sides. The bad news is that to make it that long, I had to use two balls of Plymouth 24K @$9 each, and two and a half of Flutter at $5 each. Let's see: $33 for yarn alone. That seems a bit excessive. But with only one ball, the scarf would not have hung lower than your collarbone. Pretty is as pretty does, or pretty is as pretty costs. Knitting is not a cheap hobby. I keep telling myself that it is cheaper than collecting antique cars, or flying airplanes, or even golf. One of my friends takes cruises for a hobby. Knitting is not THAT expensive. I need to sell more scarves. I found a willing victim last winter, and sold one red fancy one for about the cost of the yarn that I made it with. I made business cards: Wildflower Designs. But my corporate policy is not to make anything I wouldn't wear myself---since I will probably have to. Any other scarf addicts out there?

:-) cheers

Random acts of kindness

This morning was a trip to the dreaded Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. The line was only 1/2 block long when I arrived at 8:15, which is 15 minutes before they are set to open. They like surprises. Anyway, in line, I started chatting with the folks who hate the place as much as I do...and I loaned a pen to someone, who seemed very surprised to find kindness in such a place. Actually, it was not bad. They happily took my $41 and gave me a slip of paper for my glove compartment, and the fellow at the window had lots of time to chat, even with a long line of scowling people waiting. State workers are very friendly lately it seems. Anyway, today I will try to open doors, help old ladies, lend pens, and spread a little cheer to folks who expect the worst.

:-) Cheers!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

red head Posted by Hello

Larousse Gastronomique

I noticed that this book is on sale on Ebay for around $10. It is a big book. I am tempted to get another copy. I bought my first copy in the early 70's when I was newly married and living in an apartment in Chicago. I very much wanted to be a good cook, and I had no idea where to start. I started with this book. It is full of deglace sauces, stocks, long explanations of techniques, tools, etc., and I'm sure that it is all very classic and very old fashioned. But, I learned a lot! I made Pot Au Feu as my first dinner. Then Beef Bourgogne. The dinners I made would take a whole day to prepare, and that was after all the shopping around to find the ingredients. I did not take any shortcuts, and gradually, I learned how to cook. Watching Julia Child, and reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking helped too. What a fine book for a beginner. We used to invite the same friends over for dinner, over and over, so I could try the recipes out. It was costly to buy the right ingredients. I had the right cookware. It was fun. Some of the pans I bought then, I still use, over 30 years later.

My worst cooking mistake was also made then. After a day of stock making, with chicken, beef, red wine, all kinds of fresh, lovely ingredients, hours of stirring and fussing....I put the colander into the sink and strained this lovely stock right down the drain. I'm sure I almost cried as I stood there holding the colander full of the cooked bones and boiled carrots. My mom loves to laugh at this, our favorite cooking mistake. That one mistake has sure paid for itself in laughter over the years!

Jesu , Joy of Man's Desiring

Sunday morning. We would all be better off if we would just turn the TV off. Today I am listening to Bach performed by Yo Yo Ma and Isaac Stern and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as well as Jascha Heifetz performing Brahms Violin Concertos and Beethoven's 7th Symphony. When I was in highschool, I took a music theory course with a handsome young teacher named Mr. Marsh. He was not hard to look at as well as listen to...he later married another student, and my silly fantasies were (happily) not realized but that is not why I loved the course. I loved listening to only one symphony, knowing it by note and passage, and really thinking and talking about it for a whole semester. That one class was the high point of my highschool years. Sad, but true. It was Beethoven's 7th. I listen to part of it every morning and I never get tired of it. Thank you, Mr. Marsh, wherever you are.

I do not hear many people talking about classical music, and my enjoyment isn't very educated...I had it in my home when I was growing up, when I was taking piano, voice and organ classes, and it is something that I want to make room for in my life every day. I have decided to put a filter on what I hear and see. I do not want to see violence against children, or hear the latest terror report. I cannot subject myself to horror movies of any kind. I do not want to see rivers of blood unless it is by Quentin Terrantino. I want to filter out the emotion wrenching media that we have become used to. I do not want to unwillingly become audience to someone elses plastic surgery. I need more loft, more peaks, more sky and sun, more gladness, more hope and joy. Do I need another episode of the Victory Garden or CSI or do I need more Brahms and Beethoven? Am I selfish? Or is this self control and self care?

Last year we took a trip to see the National Cathedral in Washington, where Kennedy and Reagan were buried, as well as the venue for many other huge historical events. I can just imagine what the music was like....and wish I could be there for a service some day. Another goal to add to my moleskine.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Last week, when I was in Washington DC visiting my son, he gave me two really wonderful gifts. As I met him in the airport he offered me "my first gift". It was a shiny and classic, black Waterman pen, perfect to write in the Moleskine journals which we both love.

For my birthday present, he gave me a brand new IPOD, so beautiful, sleek, small, white, heavy and so....new. I listened to Madonna the other day for the first time. I downloaded Beethoven and Stephen Sondheim. The sound is amazing, and is like listening to the music just the way it was recorded, instead of listening it through the filter of noise on the car stereo. I love my IPOD. I am so lucky to have such a generous son, who is also my best friend. My IPOD is comfy in a new cotton print case that I bought, (looking very un-techie like) and I'm going to enjoy it for a long long time.

Technology is wonderful, but even more wonderful is having a son to share it with you. Send in the clowns.

Thanks, Michael.

Thank you to my anonymous helper

I did it. Woot! I downloaded Hello and it worked much better. A few false starts, but I am used to that in my life. That seems to be the way I learn. I don't learn things the easy way, but when I get it, I got it! Thanks for the post my new friend.

Me listening to the music. Posted by Hello

Savoy Music Center, Eunice, LA, on a saturday morning in May. Listening to the local musicians who meet there every week. What a delight! Posted by Hello

The afghan I finished in July at the cabin in New Hampshire. Posted by Hello

Choosing a name....

I chose Flowers and Fiber because I love to do so many crafts, love to learn new things, and love the people ... well, the people I love. I chose Fiber, because knitting and spinning are so important to me. Knitting things for the people I love is one of my greatest pleasures -- Flowers and Fiber!! It is amazing to me to be able to share my thoughts with the world. I suppose, like all of us, we have much to share, but it is still hard to open up the package for the first time and explore what I have to say. In time I'm sure I will turn this blog into something less personal, but right now, it seems, it is all about "me".

My mother is one of the people in my life I love most. If this were her blog, it would be about practical things like housework, cooking or gardening. I like all those things too, within reason, of course, but I like to sit and knit a whole lot better. My knitting is creative, rarely following a pattern, but letting the texture and patterns take shape. I heard once that "good rippers make good knitters", and I have to do my share of start overs. My mother and I laugh often together. I never take our conversations for granted, since she is now 94 years old. God has been good and granted us a long time together, and I am grateful for that every day of my life. Our joke is that if the phone rings, and company is coming, she would first take out all of the pots and pans and paint the insides of the cupboards. I would run outside to cut flowers to arrange them and put on a lace tablecloth. I tend not to be all that practical sometimes. I like to create and look at things, and see colors and posibilities. I love to change my mind. I have learned not to be hard on myself. I am not my own best friend, yet,...but I'm working on it! I have one good quality,-- once my mind is made up---I see things through, and have very few unfinished projects, despite my whirling curious mind.

Can't wait to see this in print, so I'm off. More later, my mysterious reader.

The WeatherPixie