Have been spinning and doing research to open my online Etsy shop. My patterns, including the Angel Sweater with improvements, and the Arsenic & Old Lace Afghan, will become available for online purchase then. We are looking at a start date of September. Also have some new designs cooking–all no sew items for your knitting pleasure! Yarn, both handspun and commercial will be available.

Just checked my exercise diary to find I have been at it six weeks and making steady progress. I have lost 10 pounds, my waist is smaller, and I am in a great mental/emotional space–not to mention I have been sleeping like a rock at night. I began with just cardio–a slow paced walk with variable incline work included (like on the Camino). Now I am lifting as well. I workout five days a week with two scattered rest days. It feels so good.

The four legged children are so happy with me at home, and I think huz and son are as well. We have been playing card games at night and it’s been great! Let me recommend Sabateur (easy peasy), Pairs, and Boss Monster (for those of you who game). I finally found a way to turn off the technology and gather my family around. Yay!

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Finished my first skein for my personal Tour de Fleece. I finished plying my first skein today…counting both plies, the total spun yardage is 1420 yards! See photo below. Tomorrow I spin red wool/silk blend!

Check out Worldbuilders…this is Pat Rothfuss’ charity that supports Heifer International. They have a one week fundraiser this week. I ordered a mystery box of books because I never have enough to read. If there is nothing there that appeals then go visit a The Tinker’s Pack, which also supports Heifer Intl. My autographed copy of “Rogues” arrived today with a novella by Mr. Rothfuss and a new Game of Thrones story by George R.R. Martin. The book can be purchased at the Tinker’s Pack, among other wonderful things!

Went to the gym and had my best workout yet today!

Take care! Mary Ellen💖

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I have lost count of the years it has been since I was first introduced to the writing, the perfect heart-composed prose, that is Mr. Patrick Rothfuss. When I read his first book, “The Name of the Wind” I couldn’t wait to spread the word. An AUTHOR worthy of the name has emerged. I consumed that book…maybe it took me 36 hours total to read.

Because I remember words and stories, reading anything twice is a total snore. There are exactly five books I have read more than once: The Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, Play of Consciousness, Moby Dick, and now, The Name of The Wind. The second reading was as sweet as the nectar of my favorite flowers. I lingered over it as you would a good hot fudge sundae. When I closed the back cover for the second time, I sighed long and content, and ran to the bookstore and purchased my copy of book two of this trilogy. Then it dawned on me…how long until book three? Oh shit. I sat the book down in my closet and refused to look at it. In the closet it was hidden where it couldn’t tempt me as much as a bookshelf out in the open. I finally caved one boring, rainy day but with boundaries.

It took four years between books, and looks like pretty much the same timing for the third. In response to this I have developed a method of reading Mr. Rothfuss’ books. I read 100 pages and put it down for a year. Then I get to read two hundred pages and put it down for a year. I have completed the first three hundred pages and can nearly recite them from memory, and that is fine. Like Melville’s book ” Moby Dick” the subplots and many characters have become old friends I enjoy and treasure. Our visits are sublime. When I bookmark my spot for the day, old or new destination, I sit back and smile…like I used to when reading on a summer afternoon under the old willow tree in our front yard as a child.

Most books I read on a kindle or device these days. However, I read Mr. Rothfuss on the paper page. His stories deserve that respect. I deserve to feel the weight of the book, slide my finger down the page, and to hold the book close. I love books.

Today began my Tour de Fleece. I spun for at least a total of six hours and between 300-350 yards by guess. Tomorrow I hope to finish the current spool and ply my first TDF skein. I have the next stash roving ready and waiting…many, many beautiful colors to spin together into a story of their own telling.

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PLEASE SUPPORT THIS in any way you can! Pat Rothfuss, well known author of “The Name of The Wind”, is running a fundraiser on short notice next week, beginning July 7th AND IM SURE IT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME! He will be running this through a site called: The Tinker’s Pack or you can read his blog here: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com –either way check it out! There will be autographed books, apparel, jewelry, and so much more.

Heifer International, which can easily be googled, is an incredible organization that helps people around the world find ways to sustain and improve their living conditions. It especially helps women, teaching them the skills they need to run their own businesses and support their families. My husband and I learned of this organization almost twenty five years ago and have been making donations ever since. This year I am raising money through spinning during the Tour de Fleece and hope to raise enough to donate a sheep through Heifer Intl.

Please at least spread the word. Pat and his family and the people at The Tinker’s Pack need some help. They are amazing and generous. I hope to be like them if I should ever grow up.

With joy, laughter and much love, Mary Ellen

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Not too long ago, Mark Dillman’s wife took the time to let us know of her husbands passing this evening. Right now it is as if time has absolutely stopped for us all. He was the first person Gary and I met when we moved here in 1996 and has been a constant in our lives ever since.

He was the kind of friend who went to jail with me and left the bail to my husband. He was brilliant, an intellectual but without any arrogance whatsoever. He loved obscure facts…we have played question of the day for many years now…necessitating searches for the most obscure ranging facts to keep he and Gary challenged!

He and Debbie walked every step of the process of adopting Brian with us. He was there on the Tarmac in those pre 9/11 days to help us off the plane with his new nephew.

Although his story telling was often a Big Tale…there was still enough of the ornery in Mark to make you question if indeed it was more true than not. His story-telling was one of my favorite attributes about him…and those stories will be sorely missed.

He and his family were much more than friends…they are the rare people we are blessed with that help us see the world in a more relaxed way and with real clarity. We were blessed to benefit from his Golden Heart…which I know will go on forever. God Bless us all as we remember yet another person who fought the good fight with every ounce of power and dignity possible.

We will always carry you in our hearts and in our actions, Mark…always.

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This must be a bad year for pollen because once again I am recovering from asthma. Doing much better now but clearly nature, the Great Outdoors, and I are at odds as I stay in my own Great Indoors as much as possible.

This afternoon I tucked my spinning wheel up to my favorite chair and nearly filled a bobbin. It was wonderful, especially after oiling the wheel and things flew at an even faster pace. I am spinning an alpaca merino blend but there is significant vegetable matter…which is a disappointment. I also have a tub filled with roving I Kool aid dyed that I really want to play with, but feel like I want to get through this endless brown. Don’t get me wrong, the yarn will be pretty…but I’m always eyeing up the next project.

Found Mozzie sleeping in the bowl on the dining room table…in very Curled Up Cat Pose. The other cats took turns staring at the drive band on my wheel…like–gee, with one leap I could be swinging from that! I could just see the gears turning in their heads. So, end of day the wheel gets put into a closed room again for protective custody!

Apparently, my husband thinks that because he goes to work all day my menopause turns off and has been turning off the air conditioning. No–the hot flashes still are there dear…!

Anyway, it’s good to be on my feet again and back to my fiber arts. Hope all is well with you and as always I look forward to your comments! Have a great week!

Love and Light, Mary Ellen

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Yesterday I finished mending the six couch cushions our dog shredded as a puppy. It took a month or so, what with closing the studio and all. Of course, doing this work at home, the cats were a HUGE help. lol!

Began a new crochet shawl for the soon to be etsy store. Using Noro lace weight and I am loving the look! Today, plan on spinning as my reward for finishing the couch!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Have fun and stay safe!
Love and Light, Mary Ellen

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