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Last night at swing club, we taught dips.  Well, we taught one small, very safe dip, but still.  We taught dips.  For some teachers, this would be a run-of-the-mill night, more exciting for the students than for the teachers.  For me, though, it was a milestone, a marker of how far I’ve come in my dancing.  As some of you know, I really, really don’t like being dipped.  I’ve grown far more comfortable with it over the years, but I can still remember the days when being dipped made me sick to my stomach.  I would never have made it past that without the combined efforts of several friends, including Eeyore, who helped me get over the first hurdles, and Mr. Zoot, who insisted that I was going to be dipped whether I liked it or not.  But last night, I let Bounce dip me, in front of an audience, multiple times.  That, my dears, is progress.

On Sunday I went out to the Wool Gathering with Drusilla, a knitting friend from work.  This is the first knitting event I’ve ever gone to, besides that one time I actually made it to the Dayton Knitting Guild meeting.  There was so much beautiful, beautiful yarn, though I felt better about not buying much of it when I remembered My Precious waiting for me at home.  However, as much lovely yarn as there was, there was even more gorgeous roving and fleece and other fibers ready to be spun, plus gorgeous spinning wheels to spin it on.  I’ve been resisting the idea of learning how to spin for a while now.  My yarn and fabric stash combined are already more than I have storage space for.  Add fiber to that, and I think I might overflow the house.  Plus, spinning wheels are expensive.  Still, when you plunge your hand up to the wrist in a bag full of the most luxuriously soft alpaca you’ve ever touched, it’s awfully hard to resist.  Plus, if I learned how to spin, I could legitimately call myself a spinster (which originally meant a woman who could support herself by spinning and therefore did not need to get married), which makes me laugh.  But still.  I must resist.

Saturday night and Sunday morning I was in a suburb of Columbus visiting with Mr. & Mrs. Darwin, and their charming brood of children.  They live in an enormous house built in 1890, with multiple fireplaces, acres of hardwood floors, and a dinner table that seats approximately 42.  Ok, maybe only 12.  But still.  It’s a gorgeous house, and totally fits the family that lives there.  I had a great time giving one of the girls a knitting lesson, untangling many yards of snarled yarn, listening to WWI songs while helping wash up the dinner dishes, and talking books while drinking what may be the best beer I’ve ever had in my life: a Founder’s Breakfast Stout.  (You can tell you’ve been hanging out with literary people when you go home with a book list!)  The next morning we woke up in time for Mass with the family, and were looking forward to eating breakfast with them too.  However, we had to get back to Dayton as close to noon as possible, so we had to head out without eating.  It was much too short of a visit.  Hopefully we’ll have the chance to rectify that soon!

Frankly, the whole weekend went by much too quickly.  I felt like I rushed from the bonfire Friday night to Columbus to the Wool Gathering to home again exhausted.  Last night when I finally fell into bed, I slept the sleep of the very weary.  It doesn’t help that I’ve been fighting off general respiratory badness for quite some time.  My lungs still haven’t fully recovered from the bed bug extermination, though things have eased somewhat.  The smoke at the bonfire seems to have aggravated things, and whatever germs there are floating around have seized their opening.  So far I’ve been able to limit it to a mild but nagging cough, plus more of the perennial sore throat.  Hopefully, with the right decongestants and enough OJ, that’s all it will become.  We’ll see.

On the plus side, this afternoon at my new work, when one of my co-workers looked out of the floor-to-ceiling windows that make up one wall of our office, there was a herd of nine deer grazing under the trees at the far side of the front lawn.  Word passed quickly, and before you knew it, everyone in the office had flocked to the front window to look out at them in awed amazement.    It was pretty cool.

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