in which I need to warn you: there are slugs in this post

I mean, it just seems like the polite thing to do: slugs give folks the willies, but I don’t want to surprise anyone, all— HEY, LOOK AT THESE SLUGS, because I don’t think that’s what anybody is coming here for, you know? I’ve got to talk to you about the leopard slugs, though. I really, really do.

I mean, nobody is forcing me, but I’m going to anyway.

About two years ago I was doing trunk shows on Long Island. A lot of trunk shows on Long Island, actually; New York, SW CT and MA were good markets for Cephalopod Yarns, and I did a ton of trunk shows up that way. One of the first things I noticed on the Island were the leopard slugs; I was sitting outside my Air BnB one evening, saw a couple of them just crawling along and just sort of watched in horror. I’m not scared of slugs, but I also don’t like them; they’re just… meh. Snails, yes. Slugs, ick.

Leopard slugs are these huge, spotted monster slugs; they can grow to 4- 8 inches (some of you are beginning to understand that whole “horror” bit now, I’m guessing) and if you see one, look for a whole bunch more; I’ve never seen a solo leopard slug. They aren’t native to the States, but they’ve been here for a few centuries. Click that link for more info and some pictures; I didn’t want to put any in the post, so as not to offend delicate sensibilities, but they’re actually kind of pretty. I mean, for a slug and all.

So here’s the thing: I remember sitting there, on maybe my third, fourth visit to the Island, just staring down a crowd of these slugs and thinking about how boats are pulled out of the water in certain places, you know, where there are invasive species, and cleaned off. I’m not what you’d call a “boat person” (if that’s even what you’d call them?) but I’m a coastal girl and I’ve been around enough of them to know a little— my uncle, my in- laws, my sister M, friends— and I know this one thing, right? If you’re taking your boat out of an area that contains a potentially invasive species, you’re expected to scrub the bottom of your boat.

So I’m staring at these slugs as they drag themselves around, thinking about my car, thinking about how I really, really don’t want these slugs in Maryland. Ever. We have enough wildlife, really. It’s terrific here. Loads of nature. We are rich with the stuff. I’m just not into giant slugs, folks. They are not my thing. But what do you do? It’s not like there’s a car- scrubbing station, and the whole idea is ridiculous. Just one of those silly things you think at 12am after a completely exhausting drive. Whatever. I laugh at myself and go to bed.

Let’s jump forward in time to last Tuesday night, okay? Sam and I are in the backyard, sitting around the firepit, because SUMMER and FIRE and AWESOME. It’s about 11 pm and everything is amazing and I et up to grab a few medium- sized logs to feed the flames and LO AND BEHOLD THERE IS A CROWD, yes, A CROWD OF LEOPARD SLUGS BY THE WOODPILE.


Naturally, because I am incredibly important and influence things like the migration of an entire species, I turn to Sam and say, “I knew I should have scrubbed the goddamned Fiat.”

Right? Anxiety works this way, I know. It’s funny, though, because for one horrible, shameful, hot second I really did think that; this is probably all my fault. I brought an invasive species into the state. I am the worst.

That’s obviously, patently ridiculous; the sort of self- blame I picked up from a childhood of scapegoating, and it’s really helpful to be able to point it out, laugh at it, hold it to the light for the silly, overblown worry that it is. Viewing my anxiety with humor doesn’t change the fact that there are now giant slugs all over my woodpile, though. That’s a reality that won’t change regardless of who is to blame, and I’m pretty grossed out over it.

I guess we’ll end up leaving a pie pan of beer out for them, although they’re so prolific I’m not sure there’s a point, and really, my Buddhist heart isn’t quite all right with that— so perhaps we’re just going to get good with our new, slimy overlords. It’s strange, though; like a blast from the past. I think of my friends Lauren, Todd & Cori who live on the Island every time I see these monsters, which is really weird but also very, very sweet. (I’m so sorry, L. I know that being associated with giant slugs is not terribly flattering, but it does mean I will be thinking of you a LOT, because these things are everywhere.)

Hard break to the right: for these of you here for the Great Yarn Giveaways— I’ll be picking up with the shop and the Giveaways next week. I’ve gone through existing stash and I’ve got things ready to list, so keep an eye out early next week- I’ll put up a post before the shop goes live with new stuff. Best of luck!

in which we are missing a small but significant friend

Our sweet Emma.

Our sweet Emma.

Emma left us suddenly this Sunday night. Sam and I came home from a late lunch with friends and she was panting like a dog, laying on her side on the kitchen floor, Barrett curled up beside her. Kiddo had texted us when we were on our way home to say she was worried, and we knew as soon as we saw her that we needed to take her to the ER vet. She made it as far as the waiting room, and passed in her carrier, on Sam’s lap. In retrospect, I think I might have preferred she died at home, but there’s also comfort here.

The vets did their best, but she was already gone. She’d had a heart attack; it was quick, and that’s another comfort. We took her home and buried her somewhere she would have liked.

Emma liked to sneak into the bedrooms. Every so often I'd break the rules and let her stay.

Emma liked to sneak into the bedrooms. Every so often I’d break the rules and let her stay for a little bit.

Emma came to us out of the blue; we used to call her our “accidental cat”. It was December, and there was a really nasty snowstorm due in— one of those “we’re going to be snowed in for two- three days” sorts of storms- and exactly then is when we found out that Kiddo had been feeding a neighborhood stray in the carriage room under the house. Emma was in early adolescence, only barely out of kittendom. Kiddo revealed that she had been feeding her for several weeks, and it was a Friday night, which meant our vet’s office was closed.

She also liked to follow us around and have conversations.

She also liked to follow us around and have conversations.

So we did a very foolish thing which I don’t regret at all; we took her in “just until the storm passes/ the vet’s office opens/ we can get to a shelter,” and we can all see how that turned out. She lived in segregation in our bathroom for two days and that was all it took for us to fall in love with her.

Emma, pretending to be shy.

Emma, pretending to be shy.

Emma was a talky cat, if you know what I mean; she’d follow us around the house, meeping and waiting for a response. She’d get ornery if you didn’t answer, too; she expected a conversation. She waited for us to wake up in the morning, and she followed us up to the bathroom every evening to talk to us while we got ready for bed. She was the perfect cat companion: she loved her people fiercely, and pretty much nobody else (although she made a few exceptions); she had an ice- cold glare but also these love- stares that just reached right down into your soul, you know? She was always wholly her own animal.


She only lived to be eight, but she had a really good life— full of love and cuddles and conversations and even snuggles with Hugo. Much better than what she would have had if she hadn’t stumbled into Kiddo, no doubt. I’m so glad she got that.

We are sad, these days. I miss my talky cat friend. I miss our late night conversations about politics in the Cat Party, the way she shouted at us when it was time to eat, and her generosity with headbumps. I know that this will fade, even though right now I don’t 100% want it to; eventually we’ll go back to feeding the other cats without wanting to cry. Right now, we just miss you, Emmeka. Rest well, sweet girl.

on tardiness and better subjects

Everything is going to work out in the end. I keep telling myself that, because it is in the nature of things to be transient—as we are, ourselves, all transient. Everything changes, so when things are feeling crap I remind myself that hey, it can only be this way for so long, that the pendulum will swing the other way soon. One of the very best things about being older is the realization that nothing lasts forever, especially feelings— agh, that’s something to add to the every expanding list of Things I Need To Make More Serious And Longer Posts About, but that it isn’t for today. Today I want to tell you about my friends.

First up are Higgins & Maeve; really good people who are just not having a banner year, culminating in Higgins being jumped last week by a group of people while walking home. They didn’t take anything, just knocked him down,  kicked him in the face, smashed his glasses, and stomped on his chest until they broke his collarbone. A passerby walking his dog helped out, thank glob, but Higgins’ primary profession involves holding up really large cameras with one arm, so the whole “looking for work” thing is on hold for the moment. He’s been working on his bachelors while doing occasional National Guard weekends and taking on side jobs, but with a completely broken collarbone he’s been worried about making rent, paying his medical bills, replacing those glasses, etc. Higgins is looking for work he can do with a jacked up wing, but with more time left on his degree it’s slim pickings; his fiancee, Maeve, is already working her lovely tail off.  Friends have set up a GoFundMe to help them get by for the moment, and if you’ve got a couple of bucks to spare, hey, I would personally appreciate that. (Anything that comes in and isn’t used to help the two of them make ends meet while Higgins is on the mend heads out a Baltimore youth charity, but I kind of don’t see much surplus coming along, you know?)

Yeah, it’s an awful thing to have happen, I know. People can be shitty. Then again, people also sent food and support and love to both of them immediately afterward, so, while I’m at it: people can be pretty great.  I keep thinking that Higgins & Maeve are really nice, sweet, good people- folks who care about other people, who care about the city and the politics of the city and their friends and art and you know, just care. Caring, btw— that’s a skill, and it gets overlooked; it can be easy to stop caring, especially in a city. You get busy, you get overwhelmed, you get overbooked, you get blunted. Caring matters, folks. Giving a damn about where you live and what you do is always cool. That stands out.

This shouldn’t have happened to them but in reality, it shouldn’t have happened to anyone, because violence is bullshit: I wouldn’t want this to have happened to a jerk, either. Not even the jerkiest of jerks from my way- back past: I’m not into violence. Higgins’ curse upon his attackers- that they be caught and be forced into a future working as osteopaths- that’s so more my style.




Here’s something happier that’s happening: the brilliant Acacia Sears put up her Yes Means Yes Kickstarter this month, supporting her album of progressive feminist children’s music and it is going really, really well. (Some of you might have met Cacie at a show or in the studio. ) She’s getting a serious amount of buzz and we are all watching this, crossing our fingers and— I don’t know how to explain it. It’s amazing, witnessing someone you care about reach out and snatch up their dream: she’s so good at what she does, she has a clear vision, she’s very focused, incredibly driven and then… cover it all in whimsy and top it with a flower crown. It’s perfection, and it’s a privilege to see this take off.

There have been trolls, because it’s the Internet. Also, hey, let’s be real: ” fun, progressive music for children: songs about consent, ableism, anxiety, non-binary gender, dinosaurs, robots, and more!”… What isn’t there to troll over in that, right? Of course, right. Agh. You can’t begin to talk about feminism, racism, or equality in any form online without being targeted. She’s taking it well, but it’s scary stuff. I’m glad she has songs about dealing with anxiety, because some of those comments were just walking proof that her work is necessary.

One of the lighter examples.

One of the lighter examples. People can be gross. (Also, please don’t make your kids hug people, folks.)

We skipped most children’s music when Kiddo was little; so much of it contains gender stereotypes, weird religious overtones, violence, etc. She grew up dancing to The Cure, Pet Shop Boys, Tupac, Eve, Dropkick Murphys, Billy Bragg. I would have loved a resource like this when she was little, and I’m so glad it exists for my new baby niece, Alyssa. I’d love to see this as widely available as possible.

So: yeah, I know. I just asked you to support my boy Higgins a second ago. It’s cool. Nobody is made of money, but if you can? It’s one hell of a project, seriously, and her rewards are great- a $10 donation gets you the album, she has some amazing ideas for stretch goals, and just a couple of bucks is a huge help to artists trying to get a project started.



See what I mean? Higgins got jumped (so not okay) but friends came together to help him & Maeve (so very good). Cacie’s Kickstarter is beginning to get some really awesome positive attention (Dan Savage promoted it! Amy Poehler favorited it on Twitter! Kickstarter made it their Staff Pick!) but also TROLLS, and (that can get weird and scary and always gross). It’s like that here lately. Very eeeeuuurrgh where’s my blanket fort/ oh wait, maybe it IS a finger painting and playground day after all. I’m guessing it’s going to shake out on the finger painting and playground side of things. OPTIMISM, it’s my thing.

So I have that Gregor Samsa packed and in my car, ready to go except for a shipping label. I’m not putting up a new giveaway until I reload the Etsy shop; I need to take a moment and take stock, see what I’m putting up, etc, but I’ll do that soon, too. In the meantime, if anyone wants to leave their favorite comfort behaviors below? I offer my gratitude in advance. Here’s hoping your July is much more playground than blanket fort.


on attachment, clearing out, and hey, who wants yarn?

I thought this was going to a lot harder than it has been, to be frank. As I’ve been shipping things out, I’ve been feeling really good about creating space, and it just gets easier and easier to put things in the “destash” pile. I’d originally suspected I’d struggle with relinquishing CY yarns, especially tests, out of sentimentality: this is quite literally the very last of this stuff, and I can actually remember the days some of these skeins were dyed. It stings a little at times; I need to remind myself that we were always making items of use and beauty, that it’s a disservice not to see them being utilized. Archival just doesn’t sit right with me, though; it isn’t my style.

There are a few things I just can’t let go, and I’ll make a post about those later, once I’m absolutely sure of what those are. I know a few off the top of my head: a bag of Sochi Pride in Traveller, the last few skeins I dyed in the studio, four braids of BFL/ silk fiber in a perfect oxidized copper.

Mostly, though, I want to keep a few things dyed by members of the studio, yarn made by my friends, a few things with clear intended projects, and my fiber stash; everything else is on its way out, and that feels like a relief. Next, I’m going to take on my comic book collection. Oh, gutting. 

So: the winner of last week’s Great Yarn Giveaway is Ela— please, drop me a line with your address and I will send you a shipping estimate & get your yarn out to you! Next up for Giveaway purposes: one skein of Irregular Skinny Bugga in Gregor Samsa. This skein has two small smudges of lilac on one strand; imperfect but utterly knittable.

Gregor Samsa this time!

Gregor Samsa this time!

By the way- for the folks who’ve asked, I got the yarn bowl above from Skeletal Dropkick, and I swear that the name only pushed me into purchasing from them a teeny, tiny bit. They’re really great and I love the pieces I have from them- solid, one custom, and relatively affordable (at least when I was buying- it’s been a while). Also ADORABLE, obviously.

Want to give that skein of Gregor Samsa a proper home? TOTALLY EASY, you folks. Tell me your current favorite indie yarn company and why you love them. That’s it! I’ll RNG the answer, but I’m seriously paying attention to this one. Bonus points for telling me which of their yarns makes you the happiest, but just the company name/ link does the trick. I’ll pull a name next Tuesday— good luck, everybody!

in which kiddo is with the times

I came home after a doozy of a day and went immediately for my pajamas. While I was changing, Kiddo knocked on my bedroom door and asked to come in. “Did you hear?” she enthused, bouncing on her heels. We talked about the SCOTUS decision, about the dissents, about our reactions and the reactions of our friends. How we’d both thought that this might happen eventually, but not so early into our lifetimes, not even halfway in, honestly. That so much progress had been made but that we thought things had been slipping lately.

In the hallway, she said, “Now Hugo and Barrett can get married!” which struck me as immediately taking steps toward Pat Robertson’s inter- species marriage fantasies, although his always involved a human contingent, if I remember correctly. It seemed timely, if slightly off center.

We’re in for the evening, going through the list of suggestions everybody sent us— and holy cats, thank you guys, there’s some seriously good stuff in there— joy- binging on supermarket cookies, because while I don’t bake there was a sale, and any time there is a sale I make up for my not- baking self as best I can. Hugo is draped across the back of my couch like a living scarf, and I’m letting him do it; it’s actually nice enough in Baltimore tonight to let it happen. I have some Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn at my feet waiting to be knit into something new, and Sam should be home any minute now. It’s a good day, you guys. Today was a really good day.

in which I’m still on about this yarn thing, and also drugs

Hey there, Word Lilydrop me an email when you get a second!  You’ve got yarn coming your way; the Random Number Generator chose you this week! Send me your mailing address and a good Paypal address for shipping costs and we will be in business.

I’ve shipped out the first two waves of Destash, and added some more things to the Etsy Destash shop. I’m surprised at how much I’ve managed to get out of the house already, and how little of a dent I’ve managed to make in the overall mass. The real issue is how non- intuitive the Etsy Seller’s format is; there’s no ability to create a template, which really slows things down. Not the end of the world, but boof, these updates. Luckily, I have a healthy Netflix queue to help me along (I’m looking at you, Sense8), but I’d be lost without a little enhancement.

Stash talk aside, I had a minor bit of housekeeping I wanted to do: some folks had asked me for a Gilenya update now that it’s been almost two years since I started the drug. I’m still a little surprised that it’s actually been that long— time flies, right?— but sure enough it was July of ’13.  So for my MS/ Gilenya folks: I’d said I wasn’t going to pass judgement until 6 months had passed, and here it is, two years later. What do I think?

It’s a lot better (for me) than Copaxone was. Zero relapses in two years vs an annual spring relapse on C. Some symptom progression and the addition of side meds, but I’ve adjusted with lifestyle changes (some of which were far overdue) and PT. I did notice a low/ dull headache, fatigue, and some nausea in the beginning but moved my dose to bedtime and after that, zero side effects after the first two weeks. My heart rate did get lower but I’m naturally bradycardiac (healthily) so no big. No dizzy spells, and blood pressure is cool.

Yeah, I heard about the PML cases and I’m not worried about it; lots of folks have been on different treatments before taking Gilenya, we still don’t know if the Gilenya PML cases took Tsyabri or Techfidera (or if they had been tested for JC). Also, we now know that PML isn’t always the death sentence we’ve been told it was, and while I’m definitely not looking to take any chances, I’m also not leaving the disease- modifying therapy that’s working best for my body at the moment over a .001% not- always- lethal chance.

There’s the obvious plus of it being a pill, as well; after years of self- administering shots I’m not injection- averse, but transporting meds is so compact & easy now, and hugging people is a lot less painful, too.

All the standard disclaimers: I am not a doctor or any other medical professional, your body is completely different from my body and your disease is not my disease, either, etc, etc. Still, it’s working out for me. I’m into it. I have a weird- looking, birth control looking pack of pills that don’t make me feel any kind of way and supposedly keep my disease in some kind of check. They don’t make me feel like I can’t breathe and like my chest might be caving in every six weeks, like Copaxone did. I don’t have relapses, or at least, I haven’t in a while, and that’s pretty rad. My disease is definitely progressing, but it’s very, very slow, and I’m as okay with that as I can be.

Last piece of housekeeping: the next giveaway! This time around I have a very slightly spotted skein of Skinny Bugga in Blue- Ringed Octopus. It’s marked Irregular, and I’m giving it away because the spot is so, so obvious- it’s red, against that pale Tiffany blue, so you’d almost positively have to cut it out. That said: it’s just the one spot as far as I can see, so hey, give this little guy a home, would ya?

When it comes down it it, we are all a little irregular, aren't we?

When it comes down it it, aren’t we all a little irregular?

Today it’s easy: I need something free to watch while I’m packing orders or listing yarn on Etsy. If it’s on Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix or any of the standard free channels on Roku and it’s awesome, recommend it in the comments! I’ll Random Number Generator it on Tuesday for a winner. Good luck, everybody!

about that giveaway, though…

Shoshana, you recommended Ardent, by Janina Kallio— and you were also selected by the Random Number Generator! Would you send me your address, please, as well as a good paypal email address so I can hit you up for shipping?

Sorry it took me an extra day to make the announcement!

I spent a bit of this afternoon visiting Kate & Nancye at Dragonfly Fibers— they were having an Open House, so I took advantage of an opportunity to see their studio when the air conditioning would be on and actually making a difference. I’m completely unashamed to say I fell down and picked up a few skeins; it’s mostly work, a reknit of Theodosia and a colorwork cowl idea I’ve been kicking around.

At the Dragonfly Fibers studio open house this afternoon.

At the Dragonfly Fibers studio open house this afternoon.

Of course, it isn’t like I didn’t pick out colors I love, and I’ll be keeping my samples, so yeah, it’s a kind of cheating, but it’s the sort of cheating I can write off at the end of the year.

A new giveaway, before I leave you: I have a slightly light (3.8 oz), caked skein of Oleander Nymph in Skinny Bugga waiting for the person who helps us find our next dinner in the comments. We aren’t picky eaters, but there are a few things that make it a little tricky: Sam can’t eat corn in any form, Kiddo is a vegetarian, and we’re trying to keep dinners as quick/ simple as possible in the evenings, because Baltimore is swiftly turning into a humid sweaty summer mess. Random Number Generator will make the final decision; leave a comment with a link or a recipe below to enter and I’ll run the RNG this coming Tuesday! Oh, and there’s more stuff in the shop, but I’ve been updating steadily as the week has been moving along.

Look, it's so lonely. Don't you want to bring this skein home with you?

Look, it’s so lonely. Don’t you want to bring it home with you?

so let’s do this thing, then

I forgot how nice it can be to photograph things that stay still.

I forgot how nice it can be to photograph things that stay still.

I’d been holding off on starting my Epic Destash, thinking Oh, I’ll just wait until I have a big block of time and can blast through a chunk of it. The fact of the matter is, there really IS no big block of time to be had, so I’m doing the brighter thing and going at this piecemeal so the thing is done already. I came home from Weird Day Job this afternoon and just got going on getting the destash online. (Hey, we should talk about that some time; it is both weird to have a Day Job again, and said Day Job is also weird.)

So there’s a little bit of yarn up on my Etsy right now; it’s just a bit of caked- up Skinny Bugga from waaaaaaay back in the day, ZOMG. I was surprised at the level of attachment I had going on here; I had a hard time letting go to a few of these not because I wanted to do anything with them, but because I could remember how and when they were made, and with whom. I miss my team, and how we were. Who we were, ooof. But we’re still us, and these things are still here, and it’s just too awful if these things aren’t used. That’d be the biggest disservice of all, I think, so. So- take these off my hands, loves. We made these things so that they would be used. Let’s make some use of them.

I’ll be adding steadily to my silly little Etsy shop throughout the month. There is a bunch of stuff— fiber, yarn, tools; SG, CY, mill samples, samples from other dyers. If you’re looking for anything in particular, feel free to drop a comment and ask, but the chances of my having it are slim— it’s a smorgasbord, but a very random one, KWIM?

There are two skeins of each color, approx 795 yards total.

There are two skeins of each color, approx 795 yards total.

In the meantime, I have a random half- pound of Skinny sitting at my feet, sort of Easter- themed, I think. It’s free to whoever wins the Random Number Generator lottery—you’ll only have to pay shipping from Baltimore, MD.  Leave me a comment with your current favorite simple shawl pattern, because I really need something new to knit and I just can’t do another pair of mitts, I’m so over hands right now and cowls are great but kind of boring after the long winter. I’ll hit up the RNG on Thursday! Good luck, all.

in which we talk about stashes and creating space


Let’s talk about this stash thing, okay?

I don’t have a stash, exactly. I mean I do: I have yarn and fiber that I’ve purchased/ collected just for myself. There isn’t very much of that, actually; I’m really, really selective and I don’t like to have very much stuff. Owning things makes me feel twitchy, weighed down, and obligated: when you own things you need to keep track of them, take care of them, and in this case, use them, eventually. So when I started making yarn and fiber— years and years ago— well, things sort of got out of hand.

I started selling on Etsy over a decade ago specifically to avoid that issue of collecting— I liked making more than I enjoyed having. Much like spinning, once I’ve dyed something I frequently feel finished with a thing: There. That is complete. It should go to someone else now. (I love knitting handspun, just not my own- it always seems just a little boring, sort of “I’ve seen every inch of THIS already.”) And while I did knit with my own yarn, because it was free, and hey, that was awesome, I’ve always been more of a process person than a product one.


Part of the entire process of dyeing and designing is making tests, though, and we don’t sell tests on the whole. I’ve also got a bunch of leftovers from closing the studio— just weird, random bits and bobs, odd little things. And balls of yarn with only 20- 30 yards used from when we used to make SG swatches— man, I still have old SG stock, it’s obscene.

Also: for the non- fiber types, there is this thing that seems to happen when people learn that you are a knitter and a spinner. Someone in their family will move into assisted living or pass on and they’ll show up to your doorstep with a couple of boxes of yarn, fiber, fleeces, or tools- or just yes, all four. Sometimes it’s a treasure trove, sometimes it’s just a transfer to Goodwill/ the dump, it’s always a crapshoot. You can try to tell people the value of what they have, show them Ravelry, tell them how it sells on EBay/ Etsy, but most don’t want the bother. I get it. I’m intimidated already by the task at hand.

So I’ve got a fair bit of that going on too, because I am a sucker and can’t say no to folks who are sad and have boxes or bags of their elderly relatives’ belongings. The good stuff I’ve kept, but at this point it’s just ridiculous. I’m looking at SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) beyond all measure, and I have no intention of winding up on Buzzfeed for that, please and thank you.

What else? Oh, also a few tools from teaching, and some bits and bobs from when I was first dyeing— bases that we just don’t do, that sort of thing. All things that just weren’t marketable via CY. All things that are eating up space in my house & life. Sam and I are looking at downsizing (I want to move deeper into the city, we both want to have even less stuff) but even outside of that, this is just… an occupational hazard, sure, but too much for me.

So: I’m going to do a couple of things to lighten the load. Some of this stuff just isn’t sellable in good conscience: it’s early dye work, or skeins that are a little weird, stuff along those lines— I’m not comfortable asking for $$ for them, so I’m going back to my roots and doing some Great Yarn Giveaways again. I’ll put up posts on the blog, ask folks to do something silly in comments, pick a winner and ask for shipping only.

For the rest of it, I’m thinking… Etsy? That’s probably the easiest way to go about it. I don’t want to clog up my personal Instagram doing this, although that might be a simpler/ cheaper way to go about things. I’m not crazy about Etsy these days, though. (Anyone out there sell via Instagram? Might be worthwhile to open a second account.) I know I don’t want to do EBay- the idea of bidding brings back that awful SG- update- rush feel; hated that then, hate it now. I’m looking to begin the actual selling off of stash next week, so if you have information, please send it my way— I’m taking photos this week.

on road trips, rejuvenation, and a review

It’s a busy month. I was up in Boston earlier this week- Cambridge, actually: my step- sister Bianca received her second master’s from Harvard this Wednesday. (Hot damn, right?) Outside of the absolute joy of Boston in the spring- a pleasure I haven’t experienced for about two years- I was thrilled to be headed up to see my dad, stepmother Lily, Bianca and her husband Pete, as well as my absolutely precious brand- new niece, Alyssa. A badly- timed jury duty summons kept me from attending the actual graduation ceremonies, which was a bummer, but with the family gathering on the same coast, neither hell nor high water could keep me. It was really good to see my dad again- we don’t get to do that nearly enough.

Me and my dad.

Me and my dad.

(Hey, in case you ever need to know this: if you’ve deferred jury duty once due to illness, obligation, or work, there’s a strong chance you will not be allowed to do so again within an 18- month period, even if you’ve gone to jury duty once within that period and not been selected. I’m not bitter, just really surprised. They never want the Buddhist vet who is pro- marijuana legalization, has had addicts & convicts in her family, and has been the subject of a violent crime. I’m still surprised there isn’t a thick black line drawn through my name, they reject me from jury panels so fast, which is disappointing as I love 12 Angry Men and I’ve always wanted to see how that process works. It’s just that in this particular case I would have really liked to see Bianca graduate. Man, why didn’t the summons come one week later? Boof.)

It was a really good road trip, though, and gave me the chance to spend some serious time with both of my families: my family of choice, and my family of kin. I had an entire afternoon with Chion eating Nepalese and hanging out at Get Baked, and an abundance of time with Teresa and Derek (we went to Mystic Aquarium, I haven’t been there since I was a girl, I can’t even, you guys). It was good and happy and all of the things I remember about late Connecticut springs, plus goats. (There are goats on Teresa’s street now. It’s a plus.) Oh, and plus puppy, too! T & D have added Dexter to their life, a tiny white mutt who looks more than a little like Falkor from The Neverending Story.

Mostly he only looks like a luck dragon when he sleeps, but he wants to sleep a lot lately.

Mostly he only looks like a luck dragon when he sleeps, but he wants to sleep a lot lately.

Today, we’re off to a coop- raising, which I expect will be a bit like a barn- raising but more adorable and will likely involve less competence and more booze. The chickens involved aren’t fully grown, the adults involved aren’t all that skilled, and it’s happening in the middle of Baltimore city, so really, it’s bound to be interesting. More news on this as it develops, but keep an eye my Instagram; you know I’ll be photographing this.

Some admin: a product review, which I’d mentioned earlier last week. A rep from Dose Of Nature contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I would try their CBD oil and write a review. I thought it was spam at first, but she wrote a second time, and I thought, What the hell, I’ve always wanted to try!

The bottle hit my PO box in mid- April, but I couldn’t get over to pick it up until the beginning of May. The company asked for a two- week trial period, so this isn’t the most in- depth review possible, but it’s definitely better than “yeah, tried it once, didn’t kill me.”

Here’s the gist: some cannabidiol products have been shown to be useful in managing the symptoms of inflammatory conditions, chronic pain, epilepsy, things like that. MS is on that list, too. There are some issues with the actual products on the market, though- quality control, dosage/ intensity of product, sourcing, etc. There are also questions as to whether CBD is really efficient solo or if it works best in tandem with small portions of its partner in nature, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Eh- it’s all a new market. People are still figuring it out. You can acquire CBD products legally in all 50 states, though, so if you’re living in a prohibition state and wish you could be a patient, products like these- if/ when they’re good- can be really great.

Redstrap CBD

They sent me a bottle of their Redstrap CBD in Apricot Oil. The directions on the bottle read to take 20 drops (8ml) daily, and I’ve been doing that directly for about 20 days now. I came into this skeptical and honestly, I’m still pretty meh on this. It could have something to do with the intensity of the product, or the short period in which I’ve been using it, but the effects I noticed were mild at best. There were a couple of things I noticed, though, and that’s interesting.

You can take this straight- it tastes fine. A little lighter than olive oil, slightly grassy. (Pun totally not intended, but I’m letting it stand because I think Pam would be so proud.) The instructions said I could mix it into food, smoothies, etc, as long as I didn’t heat it, but I didn’t want to muddle things. I didn’t ever feel intoxicated- there’s no THC in this product- so no worries there.

I was hoping for a decrease in a few symptoms I’ve had with the recent heat, but I haven’t had much traction with that. Maybe it helped with the neuropathy in my hands and feet, which- hey, I appreciate that. I might have slept a little better too, but again, I can’t really tell. So: a solid meh all around with this. I’m going to stick with it until the bottle is done; it’s not quite at the halfway point yet, and I’d like to see if it gets any better, or if it’s doing anything at all, really. (Let’s be realistic— it’s also VERY possible I’m just having a good lead- in to summer. Most possible. The possible-est.)

As it stands? At $79.95 a bottle and a consumption rate that looks to be maybe a bottle every 6-8 weeks, this isn’t for me unless I see some huge change in results over the next few weeks. It might not have been a complete wash, so if you have some extra dosh there are worse things to blow it on because again- legal in all 50 states- but I just didn’t experience enough of a punch to justify paying that or to recommend anybody else pay that for it, especially when I look at the expenses that most chronic pain/ major illness patients already carry. If you’re looking to buy supplements for MS— fish oil, vitamin D, and B- complex make more sense to me, have tons of studies to back them up, and cost a ton less.

I feel a little like a traitor telling folks that I don’t recommend a MMJ product, but in truth I just don’t really recommend this particular one: still a medical supporter, it’s just that this preparation didn’t work for my particular body.

All right, it’s time for me to feed cats and get back to pushing other people’s words around. You guys know we’re putting out another Knit Edge soonish, right? We are. I know, I know: we just did that. AND YET. More about that, and oh yeah, my epic- and epically intimidating- destash, in the next post. Be well, have adventures, tell me all about them?

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