Volkswagen Golf

The need for cupholders

Some days Emily suggests that I get a mini-van. This suggestion seems to be coming more frequently these days. I think it has to do mostly with looms and the transport there-of, though I'm not completely certain about this. It might be that she is just fed up with my little manual transmission Volkswagen Golf. She (the car) is 13 years old now and just turned over 234,000 miles. She has a few issues. The air conditioner is touch and go. As we currently live at high altitude in Colorado I am toughing that one out until next summer (just in case). The antennae for the radio fell off years ago which can get a little frustrating when the only station that comes in is that station that I'm sure teenagers love but I'm just too old for... or Focus on the Family radio. They must have strong signals because NPR NEVER comes in. The locks pretty much don't work (until they do and I set the car alarm off), and the squirter on the back window has emptied the contents of the washer fluid reservoir onto the ground when you turn it on accidentally for about a decade.

The very worst problem though is that the cupholder broke. This happened a few months ago spilling a large soda all over my lap. And I ask you in all seriousness, what good is a car without a cupholder?

So the mini-van isn't a horrible idea, though I have always reserved them in my mind for soccer moms. I completely understand why if you have four kids you need a car with a big side door that opens magically with a remote keychain, a flat floor that is easier to vacuum the cheerios off of, and a long distance to the backseat so you don't get hit in the back of the head quite as often by flying bits of soccer gear. After all, minivans get relatively good gas mileage considering how large they are, they have seats that come out resulting in a large cargo area with a flat floor which would be great for looms, yarn, and other weaving-related items. The slider doors would be fantastic for accessing the tubs of teaching materials or the wet dog, and if I got a newer one, I bet it would have a cupholder. What I'm worried about is that a minivan is definitely not cool for a young(ish) artist... but then is weaving tapestry really cool anyway? Maybe it is a lost cause.

At any rate, this is what is happening in the Southwestern USA right now...

The Hatch green chili is out in huge burlap bags in the grocery store parking lots. And the chili roasters are going ALL the time.

I hiked up to twelve thousand some feet on Sunday and was disturbed to find this:
I know I go through this every year and every year it is traumatic to me. My list of hikes to be completed this year is hardly touched and the snow will fly within the month most likely. The high country will be inaccessible to me by Thanksgiving (no, I don't want to heli-ski or learn to telemark). But winter brings it's own time of growth and I will soon be looking forward to the spring again. Plus the changing leaves are very pretty.

And I am still dyeing yarn.
Sometimes in the rain. (Yes, this yarn is white. It was drying after scouring a large batch. It will be colored soon enough.)

But the best news is that I was able to start a new tapestry yesterday. It turns out I don't hate the LeClerc tapestry loom as much as I thought I would and the little tapestry is coming along nicely. It is so good to weave again. Since I just took a new part-time job in which I have to drive a fair amount, lets hope that (1) the Volkswagen doesn't shit the biscuit, (2) the job is enjoyable and leaves me more time for weaving *it should*, and (3) I figure out a way to fix the cupholder because I am really going to need it.

Actual Size

They say size matters, but sometimes smaller is better. This is a photo of a car I saw outside the yarn shop in Buena Vista. I'd love to drive a Mini Cooper, but there is the small matter of being able to afford one, and then fitting four big dogs into it not to mention weavings, yarn, and stacks of books that usually accompany me pretty much everywhere. I guess the mini is not for me. My little Volkswagen Golf will have to do for now... and once it goes to the big car place in the sky (hopefully after many more years although I may be deluding myself as it has almost 170,000 miles on it now) maybe then I'll be ready for a mini. Or maybe by then someone will be making a super fuel efficient, small, high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle that can handle my tendency to drive up dirt roads looking for trailheads (which has caused me twice to have to replace the oil pan on my Golf--thanks to my brother-in-laws it didn't push me into bankruptcy), the snow drifts that form instantly after a half inch of snow falls and the wind sculpts it into cement walls, and the mud that is axle deep after that snow melts. And we can't forget the 4 big dogs. I don't think that is too much to ask of a vehicle. Oh, and considering the miles I drive for my job working in the rural school districts around here, I'd like it to get at least 45 mpg. I'm pretty sure this car doesn't exist at this point. I'm also pretty sure the mini isn't going to meet any of my criteria.

But really this post was connected to weaving because the car was sighted at the YARN SHOP. Of course I was buying knitting yarn, not weaving yarn. Fortunately for my budget, the weaving yarn I use is all the same and comes from a mill in Harrisville, NH in very big boxes, all in white which I dye myself. This doesn't leave much room for impulse purchases. As far as weaving goes, the yarn shop holds little temptation. Unfortunately, I also love to knit and find it an essential activity when stuck in situations where I have to stay awake (like meetings involving lots of boring discussion on policy and procedure or gatherings with people I'm not the most interested in)... so the knitting gets me in trouble in yarn shops. I've recently discovered the Yarn Harlot. This woman is an unbelieveable knitter. I want to watch her knit somehow because I just can't believe she knits as many items as her blog features. She is a knitting goddess for sure (and her books and blog are damn funny). I'm not sure if the knitting has just become a distraction from my focus on weaving, or if it is an essential part of my life. It does often save me from falling asleep or drifting off into reverie at inappropriate moments when used as described above. And I've knit up an impressive collection of baby hats lately. I don't know enough baby heads to wear all those hats.... but I figure eventually I'll be off on some other kick and the hats will last until the baby heads show up. Despite the overpopulation problem on this planet, babies seem to continue to arrive. And when you consider how cute those hats are, how could you not want a baby to put under it?

Lastly, here is a photo of one of the dogs on top of my Golf. I think she was trying to tell me that she is both a goddess, and that I shouldn't be so angry when she misbehaves. After all, well-behaved women seldom make history! Her name is Ten. Actually, her name is such a long story I can't get into it... but her full name is Big Ten-Jita-Pumpkin Martinez-Diez-Barbie Cinnamon. And sometimes she just gets called Trouble.