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-the redhead-
Part the first - 4:30 pm

Well, son of a..... buck!

My mom phoned me this evening to talk orchids. I was expecting to hear from her, as I had left her a message earlier about my orchid having 'housepets'.

Tricky woman tried to slip the fact she broke her ankle this morning into the conversation. +After+ we had talked about orchids for 10 minutes. Trying to be all casual and such. Argh! Why does she do this to me? She tries this hit and run thing with surgeries too. Like I'm not going to notice that part of the conversation?

Typical mom, broke her ankle and then spent an hour and a half delivering orchids before going to the ER with one of her companions in orchid crime. Not to mention not calling either my brother or myself +sigh+

The ER gave her a temp cast, a walker, and instructions to go to her orthopod tomorrow. She said she has a few days to get in to her Dr, according to the folks at the ER. I disagree, and have offered to call her Dr's office tomorrow morning for a chat if they can't fit her in right away.

So, now that I'm done with the venting...

Is anyone in the Lancaster area aware of any dependable home care services in town? I've advised Mom to ask her doc for a home health aid 'prescription', but want to be prepared in case that approach doesn't work out. Mom lives alone, with her 80 orchids and 2 cats. Naturally, being across the country, I'm concerned that she has some help with the daily things and stays off her feet. That's the trick, as she will +undoubtedly+ try to do too much.

Suggestions for home health care sources, or even trusted housekeepers/services gratefully accepted.

-the redhead-
...breaking out the Ben & Jerry's...

Parts the second and thirdCollapse )

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
From this article at MSNBC about the 2009 jobs outlook:

Indeed, many economists expect an extremely tight labor market this year as the economy sheds more and more jobs.

“Another 2.5 million jobs will be lost in 2009,” says John Stapleford, an economist with Economy.com. That is on top of 1.9 million jobs lost in the first 11 months of 2008. (Preliminary figures for the full year will be published Friday.)

Stapleford he projects the jobless rate to peak at 8.7 percent by the end of the year, up from 6.7 percent currently, while some experts predict the rate could rise to 9 percent or more.


And unlike past recessions, when there were certain parts of the country that did better than others, this downturn is hitting almost every corner of the nation, with almost every region in recession or at risk of falling into a recession, Stapleford says.

But there are tiny pockets of hope in a handful of towns and a handful of sectors.

Only 13 out of 381 metropolitan areas are actually growing, he says. According to Economy.com they are Boulder, Colo.; Lafayette and Louisiana, La.; Bethesda, Md.; Jacksonville, N.C.; Binghamton, N.Y.; Oklahoma City; Okla.; State College, Pa.; and Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, and San Antonio, Texas.

The growth industries of health care, government and education show no signs of slowing so far, he adds. But even among government and education employment, Stapleford expects tightening this year.

I got this one right.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
26 December 2008 @ 10:05 am
What's this empire coming to?

Now they want us to stop greeting people with "Io Saturnalia!" "We have all these different cultures in Rome," they tell us. "We shouldn't offend anyone," they tell us, "We've got to be inclusive."

We've got the barbarians from the north with their tree decorations and their fire rituals. And the weirdos from Gaul, cutting mistletoe with a golden sickle. And the Mithraists, the Zoroastrians, the Isis cults, and, of course, those characters who hang out in the catacombs. "Hail, Winter!" we're supposed to say now.

I ask you, what next: we lose the feast? We stop the Solstice parties? No more honoring Ops, goddess of abundance?

I was buying some greenery down by the Forum the other day, and there's old Macrobius with some Visigoth chick, and she goes, "Gut Jule." And I go, "Hey! In this country, we say, Io, Saturnalia! Maybe you should go back to where you came from." Then Macrobius goes, "She can't, she's a slave."


At this time of year, the Visigoths sacrifice a pig and burn a special log that they dance around, instead of acting like normal people and going to the temple of Saturn.

I swear, I was at this party over at Septima Commodia's house the other day. She always has a Saturnalia party. Anyway, she decorated the place with prickly green leaves. "It's holly," she said, "The latest fashion from Brittania. They all do it in Londinium."

It gets worse.

She had this statue of some goddess from Ultima Thule or somewhere, name of Frigga, sitting right there on the dining room mensa. I mean, this is darned near blasphemous. I'd be scared about what the lares and penates would do if I put that thing in my house. But Septima Commodia just said, "Oh get over it! We're cosmopolitan here." Cosmopolitan. That's what they call it.

Well, by Jupiter, I live in Latium. I'm a Roman. And this empire was founded on the principle that the gods, our gods, must be honored at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way. None of this foreign heretical nonsense or these strange customs from Germania or Hibernia or Palestine. I say, "Io, Saturnalia!" and if you don't like it, you can leave.

~ by Diane Roberts

It’s from an NPR radio broadcast, the link below lets you listen to the original broadcast.


-the redhead-
-the redhead-
20 December 2008 @ 06:16 pm
Buy fireplace gloves tomorrow.

The worst thing that happens when you stick your hands in the dyepot is your fingers turn purple. This is not the same.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
18 December 2008 @ 01:44 pm
No! You're showing your Arkansas. This ain't Monica!!



Her Grace Ilissa defending my honor on the household list. Or perhaps it was my reputation.

Just for the record I do not own a blue dress. But I do now get my own tourney to repair my besmirched honor. Fun fun! Poor Connor - I bet I can dig up some old chiv & hats to beat on him a bit...

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
14 December 2008 @ 03:49 pm
2 hours!

Screw that, I have a Subaru. A few inches of snow is nothing.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
04 December 2008 @ 08:10 pm
... a vacuum cleaner by the boy. The year I gave him a video game system, 5 games, and a gift certificate to the range.

Beware of the Doghouse

*cues the music*

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
27 November 2008 @ 09:29 am
My Thanksgiving is being spent out at a friend's farm. Here are some of my charges (60+ sheep, llamas, horses, goats, dogs, and cats):

The little twins are the cutest

821 is a little curious

More of the gangCollapse )

-the farmhand-
-the redhead-
18 November 2008 @ 06:42 am
Yesterday was my first day at the new job. I have a badge (with the requisite convict picture), an email address, a working phone, and a lovely new office:

I forsee more time spent wandering the greenhouses at Fantasy Orchids, as I have 12 feet of floor to ceiling windows at work to fill in addition to all the room at home. I already picked up a couple of small plants Mom reserved for me there, and she is also sending me something that she's bought from Japan(?). I want one of these

I'm going to learn to cultivate orchids come hell or high water, according to Mom ;)

I met dozens of people, most of who's names I'd forgotten by early afternoon. Thankfully, everyone's names are on their doors. The folks there are all very nice, and I'm heartened to learn my new workplace has been voted into the top 10 companies in Colorado to work for the last two years. Once I get settled in I look forward to biking to work, tho my work ID doubles as a free buss pass in the state and there's some underground parking for the bad days.

My calendar is already filling up, much to my surprise. They are very serious about helping me get dialed in, which is the sort of challenge I appreciate. I brought home 60 pages of contracts reading for the next couple of days. I've gotten through about half of it, but will undoubtedly be reviewing the policies, procedures, and templates for several days. I'm grateful there wasn't a quiz at the end of the day ;)

They have all sorts of other perks, such as a real cafeteria two buildings over. It was an absolutely spectacular day, so when my new boss treated me to lunch we spent a lovely 40 minutes sitting outside in the warm sun.

One the home front, Home Depot is a dangerous, dangerous place. It seems I'm over there everyday - it's difficult to escape the gravitational well. Yesterday's trip included a stud finder and several sets of decorative poles so I may hang the drapes I've sewn. The HD list, however, grows ever longer.

Good times.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
03 November 2008 @ 07:04 am
Thanks for the good wishes and kind thoughts everyone. The last month has been a bit stressful, to say the least. I would not suggest trying out the whole having to find housing, getting laid off, taking a business to it's first show, and moving all your worldly possessions yourself in a few short weeks for amusement.

Not only did I get the cool job, I was selected over an internal candidate as well.

The final tally is 2 sprained ankles, 1 sprained wrist, a 23% raise, a 5 mile bike commute, 4 weeks of vacation per year, a big new place with a deck, a lovely basement for my fibery fun, numerous new black, blue, purple, and green freckles, and a now damaged floor loom in my kitchen (the table is still in the car as I didn't have the energy to muscle it inside). Despite what the menfolk declared, the loom did not make it down the stairs to the basement. Their grasp on size was a little off...

My start date is the 17th, so I have the luxury of a bit of time to play around in my new home. Which is good because right now it looks like a bomb went off in here. If I could only find my underwear...

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
30 October 2008 @ 05:28 pm
I got the job!!

*happy dance*

I can ride my bike to work.

More details to follow.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
30 October 2008 @ 07:18 am
Well, as of yesterday afternoon I was still in the running for the position I interviewed for - thanks so much for all the good thoughts.

I spoke with the department manager today, who said they are still meeting about the position. He said when there is more than one highly qualified candidate it makes the final decision much tougher. At this point it's all about personality and nuance and such.

My 2nd interview went well. Only 5 pages of questions and 2 scenarios this time ;) I met with the same folks, as well as an additional person from another department. I think they liked what they heard, and we had some lovely chuckles.

I'm pleased (and a bit surprised) at the thoroughness of their process. The department manager called every one of the references I gave (more than the standard 3) and had substantial conversations with them all. They even went to my website and viewed my tutorial videos. I hope that's a helpful thing :) One of the gals is a knitter - it set a nice tone when she brought that up at the beginning.

I had a nice chat with my mom this evening to let her know what was up. In a +completely+ uncharacteristic move, I asked her to put me on the beads. It was amusing that I managed to render her speechless with that one ;) I was worried for a second, but then discovered she was thrilled at my request. I apparently got that one right. She is firing up her network of friends as I type.

So, now I wait. And hope. But at least I know I have the right stuff.

In the meantime, I'm busy playing pack mule as I move to my new home. Last evening's entertainment was driving oh-so-carefully over to the new place with stacks of pretty green dishes riding in the back of my car, as I wasn't about to wrap and box all of them.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
22 October 2008 @ 10:23 pm
I have my second interview with the quasi-governmental agency tomorrow morning.

I believe it will be more along the lines of a 3rd and 4th interview, really. I understand that I am one of the final 3 candidates from a largish pool of applicants. The director of the department has been very thorough, having called 5 references and had fairly lengthy chats with them. I appreciate that attention to detail, and am also thankful for the feedback my references have given me on him. They all share my impression that he is a straight shooter. They've given me 'permission' to go work with him ;)

The story of the first interview is had a first interview about a week and a half ago. It was an interesting situation - I was expecting a 1st interview, but what occurred was much more along the lines of a 2nd. I knew I would be interviewing with 3 people (dept. manager + 2 team leads), but was not expecting the 7 pages of questions they had. I was a little surprised at that, which lead to me becoming a bit nervous and not being at my best for the first 30 - 40 minutes. I did bring things around and had some very good informational moments and a few moments of mutual levity, but wad disappointed I wasn't perfect, yanno. They had told me to expect about 60 - 90 minutes, but I was there with them for over 2 hours. I hoped that was a good sign.

I was pleasantly surprised, and very pleased to be asked back. Other reasons I felt the first interview wasn't my best were I was exhausted after being at the conference and vending for a week plus traveling the previous day and getting home late, combined with The Cold (the bad kind that makes your eyes & teeth hurt and leaves you in fear of drowning in your sleep). So I should already be better out of the gate on the 2nd.

This whole experience has made me feel better about my skills, experience, and abilities. Not to mention helping me to feel better about the interviewing process. It's not bad to make the final cut for a competitive and desirable position on my first interview in 2 1/2 years.

Hopefully there won't be another 35 questions ;) And no, I didn't try to memorize the Federal Acquisition Regulation in 4 days...

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
20 October 2008 @ 07:20 am
Edit - the entire collection has been sold to a good home. Thanks for your interest.

I have decided to sell my collection of C&I books. I'm happy to gain suggestions on anyone who may be interested or any ways to get the word out to interested people.

Amongst other items, there are copies of:

- the green hardcover Book of Kells (Knopf, 1988 ISBN 0-394-56859-1)

- the large hardcover folio version of The Grandes Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry (Thomas, Bibliothèque Nationale, 1971 ISBN 0-8076-0613-8)

- hardcover From Durrow to Kells, The Insular Gospel-books 650-800 (Henderson, 1987, ISBN 0500234744)

- the hadcover Gottingen Model Book (University of Missouri, 1972 ISBN 0-8262-0261-6)

- hardcover The Art of Calligraphy Western Europe and America (Whalley, Bloomsbury Books, 1980 ISBN 0-906223-64-4)

- paperback SOTHEBY'S - LONDON. Sale 6 December 1993: Catalogue of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures

- hardcover SOTHEBY'S - LONDON. Sale 29 December 1960: Fifty-Nine Illuminated Manuscripts Dyson Perrins Collection

- hardcover The Book of Kells (Sullivan, The Studio Ltd, 1955)

39 books in total. List available upon request.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
14 October 2008 @ 05:13 pm
Somehow it's much more satisfying to make an actual cash deposit for my little business in person at the bank than having the credit card payments deposited directly into my account. It was fun to stand in line. Paying the largish hotel bill in cash was pretty cool too.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
13 October 2008 @ 03:03 am
Home safe after an exciting and fun week at SOAR. I even made a small profit on the whole trip - go me!

Have an interview tomorrow morning.

First, a hot bath and a good night's sleep in my own bed. +yawn+

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
11 October 2008 @ 04:56 am
I brought spiffy wristbands as pressies for all my customers:

The background courtesy of some polworth from Francine / Rovings.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
10 October 2008 @ 11:26 am
What I've been up to this week at SOAR. My first booth at my first show:

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
03 October 2008 @ 08:25 pm
Aaaarrrrggghh - cover letters!

I cannot describe how much fun I'm having trying to craft the perfect cover letter...

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
28 September 2008 @ 03:45 am
I have +so+ got to stop dyeing late at night - I just jacked up half a pound of cashmere/superwash. To be fair, it was more a case of not having tested the color in question on the new fiber using this particular dyeing technique. But still, I ended up with something that isn't as originally intended.

Overdyeing is the only option. I'll have to bag this stuff up in the fridge until I return from SOAR, as I don't have time to devote until then. I still have some other colorways to finish up by Monday night. Not to mention more batts, packing, having signs printed, pulling together all the last minute knick knacks, yadda. Maybe I'll even get a little sleep along the way...

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
26 September 2008 @ 07:08 am
A little preview - a table full of cashmere/silk rovings on their way to SOAR:

cashmere & silk rovings

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
It was a pleasure to watch this interview wherein the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, a Harvard Divinity professor, renders Stephen Cobert speechless on several occasions.

We all have your neighbor. That's why we don't love themCollapse )

Now this is my kind of preacher. I'll have to purchase his new book The Scadalous Gospels of Jesus

-the redhead-
...who attended the big blue schoolhouse down the road...
-the redhead-
31 August 2008 @ 11:57 pm

-the redhead--
-the redhead-
26 August 2008 @ 06:47 pm
For dinner I had

3 fresh ears of local corn with butter
a big Western Slope peach
and 2 ice cream sandwiches.

Suddenly my day is so much better.

Now I get to go to spinning.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
25 August 2008 @ 06:46 am

Exciting news! Red Stone Yarns is offering a Fiber Club for October - December 2008. This is not a single type of fiber club - it will include both luxury batts and rovings to provide you with a variety of spinning experiences.

The club will be limited to only 24 subscriptions this first time around, so please let me know soon if you are interested.

Red Stone Yarns 3 Month Fiber Club ($73.00) will include the following (split by month):

  • 2 oz 50% Cashmere / 50% Silk roving

  • 1.5 oz luxury spinning batt

  • 1.5 ox luxury spinning batt + coordinating 1 oz silk

The Deluxe 3 Month Fiber Club ($130.00) will include 2 each of the above. Since *I* always wanted more fiber in similar situations, I thought some of you would appreciate that option :)

There are a limited number of subscriptions available. The information is on the website, but you cannot sign up there. Please contact me directly at theredhead@redstoneyarns.com or through the website to sign up. This available session will run Oct - Dec, 2008.

The Fiber Club price is a 10% discount off normal fiber pricing, and includes shipping.

All US shipments will be sent Priority Mail w/ Delivery Confirmation. Please contact me for international shipping rates (additional charges apply).

Please join us in the fun!

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
12 August 2008 @ 01:10 pm
I sent 7 skeins & came home with 10 ribbons - including Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, and 2nd place in the new Flock class. I'm pleased :) I think next year I'll pass on entering and offer to judge instead.

The Flock class is judged on the execution and diversity of 4 or more skeins entered in the regular classes. This is meant to encourage people to enter more classes, enter a variety of types of yarn, and inspire people to work outside their comfort zone. I'm glad I finally talked someone into adding this little scheme of mine to a show ;) The Flock class was won by my friend Sue, who also brought home People's Choice and Superintendent's Choice. Yay Sue! I told her several of her skeins could come live at my house.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
12 August 2008 @ 01:53 am
Yannnooo, I just want my car back.

5 weeks I've been trapped in this bad dream.

They are still holding the Scooby Doo hostage, leaving me with the tiny rental car. Apparently they cannot figure out why the light for the pneumatic suspension remains on. This is a concern because the the pump is located in the area of impact above my wheel well. They repaired some lines which had been kinked, but are unable to determine the source of the light's unhappiness.

5 weeks...

Then there's the fact the guy at the auto body shop didn't listen to what I said when I dropped the car off. I +specifically+ told him the check engine light came on, and I wanted them to investigate. I may not be automotively astute, but am certainly smart enough to read the idiot light on the dash. He, however, thought I was referring to the suspension light. Then he tried to convince me that they were the same thing. Yeah, riiiight. I am +not+ that stupid. The upshot is he's promised to have them look at that too.

5 weeks...

I have been nice, I have been polite, I have given people every opportunity to do their jobs. I have been patient. But they all +really+ need to pull it together.

I forsee they will start calling me ma'am again.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
11 August 2008 @ 06:38 am
This antique (dated to to the 1890’s), working Creelman Money Maker comes with a 60 cylinder and a 30 ribber. This machine has been refurbished, repainted, and is in working condition.

It has the yarn mast & pole, weights, a buckle, a cast on basket, a yarn winder, and a bobbin. This machine does not come with needles.

Please note there is a steep learning curve with using an antique circular sock knitting machine. This machine is working, but that does not guarantee you will knit socks without some education and effort. This machine sold as is.

More pictures and video of machine in actionCollapse )

$850 or best offer. Buyer will receive exact machine shown in pictures and videos. Buyer to pay shipping or can pick up in Boulder, CO. theredhead@redstoneyarns.com

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
Red Stone Yarns - -the redhead-'s Birthday Sale

It's -the redhead's birthday and she's giving you a present. Please join me this coming Saturday, Aug. 9th, as I celebrate my birthday. Red fiber would be most appropriate, but everything will be marked down. I wouldn't want the other fiber to feel left out ;)

Featuring Movie Star - 20% Silk / 80% Merino / Angelina blend batts.

Drop by to see Birth of a Batt, the Movie (supercarder video) starring these lovely batts.

-the redhead-


All images copyright Red Stone Yarns
-the redhead-
03 August 2008 @ 07:28 pm
"I learned from a wise friend that sometimes, you have to keep your chin up, even if it breaks your neck."

~Kasey Carroll
-the redhead-
03 August 2008 @ 07:09 pm
I'm a planner. Numbers aren't my favorite thing, but I'm good with them. It’s très annoying to be off plan – I’m not so good at being wrong about my own little plans ;)

7 months ago I made up a budget and timeline for being a vendor at SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) – I have spreadsheets and everything. Perhaps I could have a chosen a smaller show for my first time out - SOAR is the biggest spinning conference of the year, which also involves travel, shipping, hotel, lots (!) of fees, and such. If you're gonna dream, dream big, right? It will be a challenge, but I hold no worries I can't pull it off well.

After 6 months it works out I'm a $650 short for ordering supplies this week +grumble+ Which doesn't even include the fabulous suggestions I recently rec'd from one of the top people in the industry. I haven't yet figured out if I’m going to be able to enact them or how to fit those in the plan yet.

Over the course of the last 6 months I have made up over half of the huge (for me) amount of fiber I want to take by working late every night (after my day job) and weekend - it's all very time intensive. I was smart enough to put the batts, which take more time and effort, at the front of the queue. I've paid class fees, vendor fees, advertising fees & planned and advertising campaign, hotel bills, bought plane tickets, bought raw supplies, researched & opened a merchant credit card acct. (this weekend's project), arranged for my Mom to come to the show, planned ads, researched advertising give-aways, stuffed 300 little goodie bags with hand dyed and hand blended fiber, done all the squizillion normal things for my little business (SOAR stuff is all ‘extra’, in addition to all the required business stuff), printed all sorts of stuff, stapled, spindled, and mutilated a myriad of things, on and on... Whew! It's been a +lot+ of work for one little person. I don’t get to do things like spin or knit or sleep anymore.

In the grand scheme of things, a few hundred dollars isn't a huge disparity over 6 - 8 months. But it is in my little world. I have set myself some strict limits to ensure my little business doesn't become an unmanageable, money sucking, black hole. It's a tiny budget, but something I can manage and still pay for gas every week. Tho I’m getting’ kinda tired of PBJs.

The timeline is important because I need to spend the next month dyeing - hence needing to purchase the fiber now. I’ve all but used up the raw fiber I have. Falling behind schedule isn't really an option - all this stuff is hands on so I cannot just order it up. Everything needs to be done by mid-September in order to allow time to ship to the conference.

I’m pretty discouraged about all this today. +sigh+

My current birthday wish is for this all to be magically fixed. Now I have to figure out what to do and how to make this all work. Bleh. Well, at least I have the big whine out of the way.

-the redhead-
…who has a day job, and evening job, and a middle-of-the-night job according to Judith and the class group…
-the redhead-
29 July 2008 @ 10:54 am
They are fixing my car +and+ picking up the tab for the rental. I dropped my Scooby-Do (a friend's kids' name for Subaru) off at the body shop last night. They said it would be done in a week to 10 days.


I'm still quite displeased it took them 3 weeks to get to this point. They should send me cookies or something.

On the other hand, it's been interesting to drive an automatic transmission, as I had not done so for more than a couple of days previously. It took me a few days to get over wanting to shift, but it's not as bad as I thought.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
New Aubergine batts are available at Red Stone Yarns.

Aubergine - 20% Silk / 80% Merino in a subtle blend which spins up to a rich plum. The natural luster of the silk shines throughout this batt. Treat yourself to some spinning candy today.

-the redhead-

All images copyright Red Stone Yarns
-the redhead-
28 July 2008 @ 11:40 am
Dear boss,

Deciding to flip the super deluxe queen sized mattress by yourself wasn’t the best plan. Do you realize it outweighs you by at least 50 lbs? Those mission head and footboards don’t help either. Drop the tough girl act and ask for help next time.

You’d better come up with a really good bar fight story for the people who see us, otherwise we’re gonna rat you out.

Love and kisses,

Your black & blue knuckles and sprained wrist
-the redhead-
25 July 2008 @ 03:14 pm
The car epic continues.

Since our installment from last week, several things have happened. You may remember we left off after the other party’s insurance company had requested pictures of the damage to my car as required by their procedures, but would not let me email them due to ‘security reasons’. +snort+ Fine, if they are going to be that difficult and suspicious, they need to send one of their people out to take photos. I certainly don’t want to get caught in a situation wherein they accuse me of altering the photos. At that time (Wed morning) I let them know I would not be available Thurs – Sun.

Last week
Wednesday afternoon

I followed up that afternoon, but this task hadn’t been assigned yet. They said someone from the local office should be contacting me ‘soon’.

Thursday morning

I phone the claim office and am told my case had been assigned to someone in Colorado & they gave me the number. Great! I call them, hoping to set up something for that evening after work. Since they have multiple offices (8+ according to Google) in Boulder, I don’t see this as a stretch. The ‘local’ office ends up being the regional office, and they have not yet assigned a specific person to handle this. They gal I spoke to explained it wouldn’t happen today, probably not until Monday. I explain again that I will not be available Thurs – Sun. And that my car is still undriveable. She makes notes and tells me someone will be contacting me.

Friday afternoon

While in class I receive a voicemail from the insurance co. representative wanting to set up an appointment. So nice they had bothered to read the notes in the incident… I called her back when class was over to set up appt.

Their rep (not a claims adjuster, just some sort of assistant) says she is not available until Tuesday. That seems a little odd, but whatever. Then she asked where my car is parked, she’ll just drop by. Oh no, that wasn’t going to fly. I told her I +would+ be there when she took the photos.

Fine, could we meet Tuesday mid-afternoonish? E (still politely) explain that I will not be available unit after work & I was coming from Golden. This little gal then stars in about how she’s coming from Denver and cannot stay up in Boulder that late, yadda. I’m a bit mystified they have to send someone up from Denver, but frankly don’t give a flying fig what’s convenient for her. At that point I told her this was all supposed to be at +my+ convenience, not hers. She grudgingly relented, so we set up the appointment.

This week
Tuesday afternoon

Their person shows up & spends ~ 5 minutes taking pictures. Including one of how the door doesn’t open (this is important later). She seemed non-plussed when I cracked the door open as far as I could ( 2 – 3”) and said ‘Jump in’. She tells me they will have the pictures at the claims office Wed.

Thursday morning

I call & leave a voicemail with the last person I was told is handling my case.

Thursday afternoon

I receive a call from the person I left the voicemail for stating my claim is now being handled by someone else in their office. He gives me their name & extension & tells me to call her. Because he couldn’t forward the voicemail or give her a message?? +sigh+ Whatever. I call & leave a voicemail with the new person. Do not receive a call back.

I did receive a call from the guy at my insurance company asking for an update. That was nice. I brought him up to speed. He’s also disappointed this hasn’t been resolved yet. He tells me to call him with any updates & he will contact me tomorrow afternoon to check up.

That’s brings us to all the fun from today.

Friday morning

I call & leave another voice mail.

At 11ish I receive a call from the claims adjustor with good news – they have accepted responsibility for the accident. Yeah! I see the light at the end of the tunnel. She lets me know they will forward the claim on to the ‘Colorado office’ and someone will be getting back to me. That should be done either today or Monday, but I could call her back if I don’t hear from the local office by this afternoon. She assures me it’s all done electronically, so it will go right through.

I pointed out (as I have done +every+ time I had spoken to someone from their organization) that my car is undriveable and I’m in a rental. She seemed unaware (even though it had been documented numerous times, I had told this particular person, and she has pictures) that my car was undriveable. Indeed she asked ‘is your car not driveable?’ and then what the issue was. I pointed out that I had told them this information and it should be documented. To which she responds with a lame ‘yes, I see that but’ they need basic information, yadda. I know 3 year olds who could come up with a better save…

She then proceeded to inform me that I had a ‘duty to mitigate my damages during their investigation’. ??!??!

Claims agent “Do you have insurance on your vehicle?”

Me “What does that have to do with anything?”

Claims agent “During an investigation you have the duty to mitigate any damages. So if you have insurance on your vehicle you should have been moving forward with that with them to avoid just renting a car while we are investigating your claim.”

Followed by more ‘we’re not responsible’ blather. Apparently it’s my fault I didn’t already have my car repaired??


My other question is if they required photos of the damage to my car (you know, the ones they wouldn’t let me email for security purposes) before they would determine liability, what would have happened if I had proceeded with the car repair (run through my ins. co. & paying my deductible) and they had been unable to take photos of the damage?

Their insured hit me, but somehow I’m supposed to pay for the privilege? I will give the local claims adjuster one opportunity to get with the program and cover the weeks of car rental.

I may yet have to shout at people.

-the redhead-
…reduced to using extra punctuation...
-the redhead-
21 July 2008 @ 12:27 pm
'cause I know y'all need to have hot chocolate cake on demand too... ;)

4 tablespoons cake flour (that’s plain flour, not self-raising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips(optional)
a small splash of vanilla
1 coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

A little instant gratification is good for the soul, hmmm? I'm thinking this can be modified to other types of cake, but chocolate is, of course, the best. I'm planning on some with my favorite local dark chocolate/cherry/chili bar instead of boring old chips. And french vanilla ice cream.

This might motivate me to drag one of the nice, hand thrown, ceramic mugs out of exile from the closet...

-the evil bitch-
-the redhead-
21 July 2008 @ 10:37 am
From Judith's class at Shuttles last weekend

16 people (including the wheel Judith used in center) = 12 Schachts and 4 Lendrums.


-the redhead-
-the redhead-
16 July 2008 @ 04:48 pm
This whole car wreck thing continues to be highly annoying. If I have to talk to any more +stupid+ people I’m going to start shouting.

Last week’s recap:

Sideswiped a week ago last Sunday by an old lady during a left turn. After being stopped at the light and waiting to make a left turn. A clearly marked double left turn with lights, signs, and freshly painted turn lanes through the entire intersection. To make it even better, it’s the old lady from out of town in a rental car. Seriously, should this woman even be driving? Especially a large Infinity FX35?? The nice State Troopers came, told me I wasn’t at fault, and gave her a ticket. I took pictures and had my insurance co. on the phone before the Troopers even showed up.

more narrative hereCollapse )

This week’s fun:

Monday morning – I give everyone until 10:30 am to get with the program. No one calls. I become more annoyed, so I call and have a couple of emphatic chats with my idiots and their idiots. I neither swore nor raised my voice, but was very pointed.

Their idiot tells me he’s ‘very sorry’ no one got back to me all last week. Telling me they ‘should have’ called me back doesn’t mean a thing. Find out that they +had+ spoken with their insured on Tuesday prior to my last call to them, and they knew there was a debate about her coverage. Gee – that would have been nice to know, hmmm? I might have made different decisions about the rental car and such if I had known.

I told him the failure of their procedures needs to be addressed and I don’t want to be responsible for the additional rental car fees because they couldn’t get a grip. That they had not told me until today there was a coverage question (different from a liability question, apparently).I point out to him +again+ that my car is undriveable and ask what they are going to do about it? Are they going to cover my rental? He hemms and haws a bit, then spews some fantastical theory about how there’s still a question of coverage. He tries to tell me even tho that old lady is a named insured on the policy, she may not be covered because she rented the car. Somehow, however, if her son on the exact +same+ policy had rented the car she would be covered, but they don’t have that information yet +snort+ How does that make any sense?

He assured me he was trying his best to get that information, although he couldn’t give me a timeline. Oh yeah, and how, based on the police report, it’s ‘leaning toward’ she might be responsible for the accident. I told him they’d had plenty of time, they needed to get it together, and that he +would+ call me with regular updates. By the end of the conversation he was calling me “ma’am”.

Then I called my guy and had a similarly emphatic (tho polite) conversation with him. I just started out by recounting my conversation with the other insurance co. He was stupid enough to ask me if I had requested to speak with a supervisor to try to clear this weirdness up. BZZZT! Wrong answer, thanks for playing. I explained they are my insurance company, I paid them for a reason, they are supposed to be my advocate, and all this stuff is +their job+. Not my job to waste time making these phone calls. So they’d better get on the stick with this. I then detailed all the things I expected him to do. It’s never a good sign when I get quieter and start talking in bullet points.

I thought we were getting somewhere until he said ‘we don’t want to make the claim because we don’t want to raise your rates’. !!! So we had another little chat about how I was not at fault, the other driver was ticketed, and I’d be happy to write a letter to the insurance commissioner. That’s when he started calling me “ma’am”.

They should pay me for training this guy. I should not have to tell him to do things like checking with Hertz to see who they were claiming against and getting a copy of her policy. I also threw out that if the old lady’s insurance co. says she was not covered, then as an uninsured motorist I’d be +happy+ to ensure she got a ticket for that infraction as well. That’s 4 points, a $500 fine, and a mandatory court appearance in Colorado. In her state if you get 4 points in 12 months they suspend your license.

Monday afternoon – they both called even tho they had no new information.

Tuesday afternoon – my guy called to tell me they had decided to cover the other driver in her rental car, so now they will proceed with determining liability. There shouldn’t be a big question since she got a ticket and I did not. He assures me he will follow up with them tomorrow and get back to me. I didn’t even have to get emphatic again – yeah.

Wednesday morning – My guys let me know they have determined the other driver was totally at fault due to improper lane change & she was ticketed. Something about going over the facts of Colorado law with a claims adjuster. Buuuuut they couldn’t give me the name of the person they spoke with. Oh yeah, and they won’t send me a copy of the police report. +sigh+

Shortly thereafter I rec’d a call from the other drivers ins. co stating they are going to cover her, but now they need to determine liability. Yes, they have the police report, yes they have all the other claim information, but now they need pictures of my car to proceed. Did I take any pictures? Of course I did. That’s what she said they need to proceed with the claim. Great! I’ll be happy to email them over right away while we are on the phone – what’s the address? Then their insurance idiot told me they won’t accept the pictures by email, I will have to put them in the mail. For security reasons. ??!??! What, because the USPS is so much more secure than email??

She never answered why they need pictures of my car to determine whether their insured is liable – it’s not like they don’t have copies of her ticket and police report. Well, I wasn’t going to play that game. If they are going to make it hard, then +they+ can spend the time and $$ I told her if they wouldn’t let me email the pics over, then they needed to send someone over to take pictures. I’m fine with them spending more effort and $$ on this whole thing. I figure they are going to pay for the rental anyway, so what’s a couple more days? Besides, if they were going to be that suspicious I didn’t want to get caught in the middle. I got emphatic again.

So someone is supposed to call & set up an appointment. It’s 4:45 – somehow I don’t think it’s happening today, hmmm? I’ll give them unit 10 am tomorrow.

Just call me ma’am…

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
14 July 2008 @ 07:20 am
...is just a cigar.

It's an interesting sociological exercise to examine the baggage people use to interpret what one says, writes, and does. The personal mental spin they put on things, which is often out of line with the person from which an opinion originates. It's a normal and expected part of life - everyone does it. The trick is do people realize they are doing so?

I do have a bit of a problem that many people view things through negative glasses, thereby ascribing the worst motives and intentions to things they encounter. Don't get me wrong - I can be a dyed in the wool cynic with a dry, dry sense of humor, so I certainly have my own set of glasses. I guess the difference is I don't wear that pair all the time. I avoid them with people I don't know well. Usually I view the world through my inquisitive scientist glasses, which are much more about neutral observation and data gathering. It's more useful (and fun) to interact with people and learn about their experiences and points of view.

Recently I was questioned and perhaps lightly chided ("I used to enjoy reading your blog but this post gave me pause.") for including data points in the discussion of an event. Failing to enjoy reading my blog (in which I've not seen this individual comment, at any rate) due to the mention of equation variables (data points) is something just I don't understand, perhaps because my training is in the sciences. It's obvious they don't have the scientist glasses, because they questioned the use of one variable, but not another. Their mental spin is quite obvious and predictable. They obviously didn't get the reference to doing the math. These are the days I think my geekiness is really showing...

Today I may amuse myself by switching between various news outlet's coverage of the same story. It's all about the spin, baby!

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
14 July 2008 @ 07:14 am
New batts are up.

Lapis - 15% Cashmere / 15% Silk / 70% Merino in shades of blue, marbled with black and white. This luxurious cashmere blend is a amazing to spin - indulge yourself today.

-the redhead-

All images copyright Red Stone Yarns
-the redhead-
08 July 2008 @ 07:13 am
As emailed to me by a customer yesterday:

You know you have an eye for color when a female hummingbird tries to make advances to the malachite batt.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
06 July 2008 @ 07:11 pm
... I would get sideswiped by a 76 year old black woman in Boulder? Really, my chance of getting hit by lightening is higher. Much higher. We did the math.

But not today.

See how cleverly the moulding doesn't match up anymore? Yeeeaaahhhh - that means the door doesn't open either. Oh, the alignment has gone all wonky, and now it pulls.

So, Monday morning will start with calls to her insurance company. Fun, fun.


-the redhead-
-the redhead-
02 July 2008 @ 03:02 pm
+smile+ & +nod+ +smile+ & +nod+


-the redhead-
-the redhead-
Remember this?

Here's the fleecy details:

2008 Grand Champion White fleece, 632 - cormo, ram, white, 5.75" staple length, 7.15 lbs. It's lovely and I have a +ton+ of it. Undoubtedly some of it will be sent off to Morro for pin drafting.

When laid out properly, the staple length is an amazing 5 3/4".

Lots of fleecy goodness behind the cut - 6 more fleecesCollapse )

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
24 June 2008 @ 06:06 am

Red Stone Yarns fibers are featured in the Get This! section of the summer Spin-Off magazine - see page 30.

Latest Red Stone Yarns update - Red Cashmere Blend Batts

Stop by and check out the amazing Cinnabar batts - 15% Cashmere / 30% Silk / 55% Merino in ruby red. The natural luster of the silk shines throughout this batt. The subtle variegation of the cool reds will give your yarn depth and interest. This luxurious cashmere blend is a amazing to spin - indulge yourself today.

Also featuring Tiger's Eye - 5% Cashmere / 15% Alpaca / 20% Silk / 60% Merino / Angelina blend batts in earth tones. How can you beat cashmere, alpaca, and silk all together?

Gift Certificates are now available - they make a great present for your fellow fiber fans.

-the redhead-

All images © Red Stone Yarns
-the redhead-
Life's good when you're a kid playing outside with your buddy.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
17 June 2008 @ 06:09 am
The fleece judge, Pat Quintana from Taos, was +excellent+. Extremely knowledgeable about sheep, herd management, breed characteristics, and commercial wool needs. Also very well versed on what handspinners are looking for. There are not many judges out there who have such a breadth of knowledge on both the commercial and handspinning sides.

Her commentary was marvelous - she gave great information for both the growers and spinners. I really appreciated that she took the time to explain various aspect of what she was looking for, as well as what she had in front of her. She very graciously took the time to re-explain the basics as she saw new groups of people come up.

I was flattered that she asked me a couple of questions during the morning. We had a lovely chat after I selected & awarded the Spinner’s Choice rosette. I learned a lot, and in turn hope I gave her further insight into the handspinning side of things. It was definitely worth the 4 hours we spent watching her judge. We are fortunate to have her as a judge. I hope they bring her back in the future.

I was very surprised and excited to be asked by Sharon Vair to award the Spinner's Choice Rosette in honor of her late husband Clyde. It was very tough to select a single fleece out of the entire entry. From right to left Robin D, moi, Robin P (grower of the fleece), and Saron Vair.

Maybe I do know a thing or two about good fleece after all these years...

-the redhead-
-the redhead-
16 June 2008 @ 06:55 am
Some years are yarn years, some years are fiber years.

This was a fleece year.

How many fleeces +can+ I carry?

-the redhead-
-the redhead-

Red Stone Yarns fibers are featured in the Get This! section of the summer Spin-Off magazine - see page 30.

Stop by and check out the amazing Bahia batts - 45% Alpaca / 20% Silk/ 35% Merino / Angelina in greys and blues. Silver Angelina adds some sparkle to this elegant colorway. Pamper yourself with this sumptuous alpaca blend.

Also featuring Viridian - 20% Silk / 80% Merino blend batts. The handle of this luxurious blend is incredible.

Gift Certificates are now available - they make a great present for your fellow fiber fans.

-the redhead-