Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today we took a carriage tour

You've probably heard it all before, thinking that this is what the tour companies tell you just to sell you their tour packages, but a carriage tour really IS an amazing way to learn about a city. Maybe it's not true of every city or even every carriage tour within that city, but I can tell you that our experience with Palmetto Carriage Company was a great one.

Today our family took a tour in a city we already know quite well, thank you very much, and we all learned a lot from our very well-informed guide. I fluctuated between being impressed and slightly freaked out as our guide deftly navigated the narrow streets between parked cars, moving cars and other carriages, all the while looking at his passengers. This means he was not looking ahead. At the road. Ever. Like I said, it was borderline freaky. But I figured he did this all the time and our adorable mules "Hit" and "Run" were smart enough to know where to go anyway. I also knew that carriage wrecks in downtown Charleston are infrequent no matter which way the driver is looking.

The pace of a carriage, combined with the expanded viewing area that you don't get in a car, topped off with the fact that you're not walking the whole way, make a carriage ride worth it. I saw architectural elements on buildings that I've walked or driven by for years without noticing. And the stories are fun, of course. Every guide is different, but tour guides operating in Charleston are licensed and trained, so they all know quite a bit.

I came away from our carriage tour adventure today thinking 2 things: 1) Has anyone ever thought of doing an "Earthquake Tour" to discuss the 'Quake of 1886?
~~The result of having read City of Heroes: The Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886 recently~~
and 2) Wow, there is just SO much to learn about this city!!! I guess when you've been settled since 1670, there's a lot of history to toss around.

There are plenty of ways to tour Charleston, and plenty of things to see. Take it from this local--Palmetto Carriage is a winner.

Charity knitting

Go read this: KnitOasis, Jan. 30, 2011

Thank you :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Knitting in Public (or How Not to be a Hater)

(This blog post comes to us from KnitOasis, my alter-ego) (Because I myself never the house without taking along my knitting)(hahaha)

There are many variables in my life (despite appearances to the contrary). I have many interests and a few true passions, plus there are things that must be done every day or every week to fulfill commitments and obligations. Knitting is one thing that can be described as a constant in my life, though. I've knitted through good times and bad. I've knitted easy things and things that were so challenging that I swore it was going to make me give it all up; lock, stock and yarn stash. I've knit alone and in large crowds and in everything in between. It is a rare day that I leave the house without a project, carried along "just in case" there is a moment that could become knitting time.

And yet...

And yet I sat today in a lovely class at the Charleston Museum (aka one of my favorite places), and witnessed someone, other than myself, knitting during the class. Why is this even worth mentioning? Because, believe it or not, I HAD NO KNITTING WITH ME. Knitting in the car, knitting in several rooms of my house, but not with me. I had just been chatting with a dear fellow Knitter-Mom about how we really should have brought our knitting in with us, chuckle, chuckle. Then not 10 minutes into this class, I catch a glimpse of this other mom, knitting away while listening to the teacher. I am sure this woman is a kind, generous, lovely person, but I found myself being a Hater. As in, I hate that SHE thought to bring her knitting, and I didn't. It was bad, let me tell you. The milk of human kindness had ceased to flow from my heart and I had no one to blame but myself.

I can excuse it all by saying I had no idea what the structure of the morning would be and thereby could not have known I'd have tons of sit-and-listen time to make use of. But really, is that a good excuse? I think not. I purposely carry a handbag large enough for at least a small knitting project (and I don't fill it with things that would take up valuable yarn space), I make sure I always have a small project on the needles to keep handy for excursions, and I know that knitting is an activity that can be done in so many different situations without being considered rude or distracting. (Of course, there are exceptions to this, but that's another story.)

Later, as we toured the Civil War exhibits in the Museum, I saw displays that featured knitting needles and yarn and descriptions of how the women left behind during the war knit ALL THE TIME for the boys on the front. I felt them mocking me, those women of the 19th century. I just know they were always prepared when they went visiting...Parasol? Check. Lace gloves? Check. Knitting? Check.

I claim to be committed to my craft, and I have big plans for all the things I will knit this year. So, if you see me taking a few moments to knit in public somewhere, please know it can mean only one thing: I'm trying not to be a Hater.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Year Dawns

Fan that I am of making lists, I am not really such a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. Still, I keep making them, so what does that say about me? Don't answer that.

Of the 8 resolutions I made last year at this time, I can safely say that I only stuck to one or two, leaving me with the following quandary: do I move last year's unfulfilled resolutions to the top of this year's list, or do I chuck them altogether and start fresh? Does anyone else ever have this problem? I mean, those goals were worthy of setting a year ago, so are they no longer worthy of pursuit just because 12 months have passed wherein I have totally forgotten about making them?
You see my dilemma.

I think I'm going to keep what still feels pertinent and add what seems timely and let the chips fall where they may. After all, there is more than a slim chance that I won't remember making this list anyway.

New Year's Goals for 2011

1) Revise 2009 & 2010 NaNoWriMo novels into one spectacular, readable, publishable work.
2) Knit something for the Red Scarf Project well in advance of the yearly Dec. 15 deadline.
3) Start Christmas knitting much much sooner than I did in 2010. We're talking before Thanksgiving.
4) Blog at least once a month on at least one of my blogs.
5) Continue my quest for the perfect cup of homemade mocha.
6) Cut back on caffeine.
7) Teach more people to knit.
8) Tackle the knitted sweater again, hopefully with more satisfying results this time.

Happy New Year and may you have great success in keeping whatever resolutions YOU set for yourself this year!