Saturday, September 24, 2016

Oh Crap...

I really don't mean to jinx myself, but I did something stupid. I rarely do this, and usually I know it before too long. 

I dropped a stitch in the Pumpkin Baby Sweater. 

Seriously, I'm not a "professional" knitter. But what I am is scared to death of dropping stitches. Which is why I'm a slow knitter. 

I was zipping along on the sweater, not looking at it, because - hey - it's straight knitting. What could go wrong? 

Well...I "felt" the stitch was off, but I wasn't sure. I did what? Three or 4 more rows. And then I looked. Drat Master Chef Canada! I was watching someone do something stupid. 

When you're given truffles, you don't use truffle oil. And this guy did. And in watching him implode, I dropped a stitch. I can fix it; I have a crochet hook. It's thankfully only a few rows down. But it bums me out. 

So I'll pay attention to my knitting, not to seafood mousse...And fix it when it comes around again. I've got it marked. 

It's practice. It's practice. It's practice. Just keep telling myself that. 

Yoga@TheFields...

So it's time to consider ending the outdoor yoga class. By October 15, the weather will undoubtedly be too cool even at 10 a.m. to do yoga outside. I'm hoping The Fields will ask us back for 2017, and we'll have even more time. This year, we began in June, but perhaps we can start in May for 2017. I taught the class, and it was a great yoga + movement class. For ten bucks, I made almost $500. 

You know that yoga isn't all about asana and meditation. It's also about being able to make a living. Seriously, we have been under-valued - we've done it to ourselves. But it's also the public's perception; I have had people call and say, "You charge $*** for yoga? I can get it at the gym for $**." Well, then you should do that. 

I've invested thousands of dollars into my training. I'm considering going for my 500-hour certification, which will be at least another $3,000. And 300 more hours of study. Plus a thesis project. Yes, you can say that I'm whining, but I'm not. 

I'm telling you that yoga studios generally have teachers who've invested years - and hard cash - on their training. These are not "weekend certification" yoga teachers. These are folks who've sought out teachers that resonated with them. Teachers  who gave them inspiration and education. And they spend hours working on sequences to help their students learn and grow. 

And that's valuable. It's a service to you and you should be happy to pay a reasonable fee to take advantage of that. 

I spoke to my mentor about this. Especially since I bought the studio from her. For a long time, the studio had the cheapest prices in town. It didn't bring regulars in. We also had "free" classes, which I ended when I took over. If I want to boost a class, I'll charge enough to pay the teacher - and it gives you, the student, some skin in the game. If I give it away, how will you value it? 

If I have a "free" class, I'll pack it. I've seen it. And then? Next week? Crickets. If I charge you five or ten bucks, you'll be there, and you will usually come back, or even take another class on the schedule, because you've paid for it, and you know the value we're giving for your fee. 

So, yes. It's about asana and meditation. And living with ourselves as professionals. 

Random Picture...

Yes, that's Tippi with a phone on her head. It's from our last therapy session. She was resigned. And patient. One of the students this year has attached to us and spends a lot of time with us. And that's fine. Being a prankster, the phone ended up on Tippi's head. And thankfully, Tippi just looked at me as if to say, "Well, here we go with the funny headgear."

We've been at the university for a number of years now, and we're in a groove with the place. The students welcome her and Tippi still enjoys going. 

The only thing I have to do is figure out how to get her into the truck. She's going on 9 years old, and she's a bit of a "chub." So the other day, she "high-centered" herself on the way up into the truck and now she's a little reluctant to jump up into the back. I have a "ramp" for her, but it'll take some time to train her to get used to it. And it'll take me time to figure out how to stuff the thing in the back of the truck. 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

We Interrupt Our Regular Program...

...because LIFE. 

I'm sorry to have been gone so long. It seems like I dropped off the face of the earth after vacation. The truth is, I'm spinning madly and I wish I meant that in a fiber-related way. Instead, I'm spinning plates in the air and trying to keep them all going. And not always doing so well. 

Nothing Serious...

Nothing serious - heart's fine, family is cool. Just that I'm over-scheduled and upset with the fact that I'm too busy to do much of what I'd prefer and am instead, doing things I'd rather not be doing. 

I did resign from a board of which I was a member for over 15 years. It was time. I'm a firm believer in enabling others to take over. I'm not the be-all and end-all of anything. It's very much "to everything there is a season" and I had found an able replacement for my seat so I didn't worry about it too much. 

I'm still involved in one group, but I've let up on myself. If I miss a meeting, I miss a meeting. That's the way life is. 

Boss said to me the other day, "your billing is way down." Well yeah. We hired a new staffer and I have to train that person. I can't bill clients for training...so it's going to be slow for me for a while. And I've stopped going in to the office at 7:30 a.m. and staying late when I can. 

In short, in some ways, I'm burning out. 

Even my yoga students: I have a "garden yoga" class that the students have asked me to continue after "garden season" - and at first I was flattered. But I'm gradually re-thinking the commitment to teach 4 times a week, build up my private students, and run a business while working a "day job." I think I can use the break and I think they'll come back in the spring - since for the most part, they're my Monday & Thursday students. 

Writing...

Because of the busy-ness, I haven't written in a long while. I'm out of practice. I did try a poem... I was reading far too much Plath and thought I could do a poem. Turns out that I don't do so well with poetry. No surprise there. Kid #2 critiqued it and said that I needed to work on cento styles - where you take various lines from different poems and basically rearrange them. 

I thought about it. I thought about trees. Do you KNOW how many poems there are about trees??? 

So I'm thinking and planning and trying to find time to write. It's hard to come by. But I think I need it. I'm starving here for putting words together. 

Knitting...

Two projects on the needles, not counting the WIPs. 

Here is the Sally Melville "Shape It" scarf, in baby alpaca, on larger needles. I'm working on the "wings" of it. It's a pretty one, and I think that if I can get myself moving, it'll be ready for the cooler weather. I'm really liking the way this is knitting up and I think the "bouncy-ness" of the resulting fabric will not only block out nicely but will be almost "thermal" with the little halo of the alpaca fibers. 

I have another hank of baby alpaca in fall-ish colors which I could use to do another one, and this is really a "traveling" project, much like the Before and After scarf. Once you've done the triangle part in the beginning, the wings are the mindless knitting part. 

The other is seriously something I might re-name -- my favorite baby sweater. Our young associate is pregnant, and she loves orange. So this is on the needles as well. I have brown buttons with a cartoon-like giraffe figure on them. It'll work. This looks a bit bright, but it's a very lush autumnal orange. It's the "New Arrival Cardigan" and I'm thinking of re-naming it (even though it's not mine to re-name) "My Usual" because it's actually my go-to baby gift lately. I'm stashing them with unnamed yarn thanks to my friend Doris (not the Franklin Habit "Doris" but a real person who handed me over several large balls of acrylic - good acrylic, but acrylic nonetheless) and I'm just knitting them up as I go. I'm trying to do matching hats, but that depends on the yield I get from the yarns. I can use buttons from my button tin and they don't have to match or be "baby-themed." It's kind of a grown-up baby cardigan with the asymmetric front. 

So I have a knitting gripe... I bought two yarn bowls from Darn Good Yarn, and I'm disappointed at them. The sweater yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash wool. And it's spilling over the yarn bowls. I measured them, and I didn't take into account the thickness of the base of the bowl. 

So I have one for a Christmas present, and I have to decide what to do. I got them on sale. They're stunning. But they're small. Maybe the Arne & Carlos 50 gm skeins would fit more nicely, but this large cake isn't cutting it.

Anyway, I've got to get my stash under control (go ahead, laugh) and see what's what. Start knitting my way through stuff and getting my act together. 

Really Ironic...

At the Fresh Thyme, I saw these two things and I was gobsmacked. S'mores kits. Seriously. 

In full disclosure, I've never had a S'more. My kids think I've missed something essential - like water or consistent meals. But I never had one. And this apparently is a great way to experience that. Notice that they even have the firewood there. A complete family evening. 

Maybe one day I'll experience them, but right now, I just thought that was a very odd thing. I've see the usual thing: Buy a box of graham crackers, a dozen Hershey bars and a bag of jumbo marshmallows. I'm not sure about this kit. I guess I think "It could have been sitting in a warehouse for months. I wonder how fresh the contents are?" 

Food snob much?

And this was the other abomination. Look at the middle shelf there. And tell me how hard it really is to make "infused water" at home. I mean really - glass bottle, cucumber, water. Assemble. Chill. Done. It would be different if they were at least in a glass bottle, but they're in plastic. I just can't imagine the laziness. 

I totally get convenience; but this is just one step too far. Just think of the increased number of plastic bottles that'll be tossed because of this "convenience." Boggles the mind...

Yoga...

Well, the studio is humming along; I wish I could devote even more time to it, but the "day job" is definitely cramping my style. These are two pictures that Kid #2 did for me. I wasn't sure where I was going to hang them, but the saying is on the far wall, and the Om is on the dark blue wall over the altar. It's really amazing how the blues in his stencils do so well with the blues on the wall. Blue is notorious for being difficult to match and coordinate. These really look good. 

When I first saw the saying, I misread who said it. I thought it was Gandhi...but it's Malcolm Gladwell. The students are enjoying both pieces and while I was thinking of framing them, the consensus is: No. 

We just had a great workshop, and another one is coming up in October. We've found that we really do need to have one workshop per month. Our market won't stand more, but we do need to do something special every month. So we'll work on 2017 and see what happens. 

I did some math. If I could get some private students on a regular basis, in order to replace my own salary, I'd have to do about 650 private sessions a year. I've made a start, with having a two-time private student. At first, they were all one-offs and I couldn't get anyone to sign up for more than one, except for the one guy who ordered a gift certificate for his wife! And I haven't heard from her (or him) since. 

So the plan going forward is to do what I can to start building that up - it will mean even MORE busy-ness and even LESS time to actually have a life, but if I want to reach my goal of ditching the day job, I need to create a situation where I have reliable income from the studio. 

It's definitely a work in progress. 

Random Picture...

I had had it with the boss and the job; it was more than a step too far and I'm rapidly burning out. So I started clearing out my office, under the guise of "I've been here a year, and I find that I'm cluttering it up and don't need this stuff." It's annoying because I've removed a bit too much, like I do need to put back my favorite hand lotion. 

But this Buddha was at the window, and now he's occupying my desk. 

The two stones are from Lake Michigan. I love the vague heart-shaped spot in the rock on the right. I use them as paperweights when I need to. My desk is pretty much a disaster, and often I need to hold things down, since I have a fan running all day in the office. 

When Buddha was in the window, the light shone through the blue and white and pearly stones; he looked as if he were floating. But since I'm "clearing out" and I've applied for other jobs, I figured I wanted to get it to the point where it would be a "one-box" walk out if I needed to do so. 

There are some things I feel like I can walk away from: the Christmas decorations, Halloween things, etc. I don't need that stuff anyway. I would just rather be ready to go when I'm ready to go.