Saturday, September 22, 2012

Well Dang, That Went Entirely Too Fast...

Our day began with a surprise note from Birdman. We are so sad we won't get to see him this year. And, to our surprise (and his, too) he is also sad!
Well dagnabit, we were just getting started. And now-- too soon, too soon-- it is time to pack up and say farewell. I hope you had as splendid of a week as I did. And I am going to go on the record here and say that I am beyond certain that any calories we consumed in excess of our typical weekly intake we surely – surely—burned off laughing.

For this post I’ve got some pics for y’all of Thursday night and Friday. We finished off in style with big lobsters and a surprise puffin party with Mary Alice as the guest of honor. Since I’m so exhausted from jumping up and down on my post-shopping-at-the-Black-Duck suitcase trying to get it zipped-- I remembered drawstring pants but not a drawstring suitcase—I’m going to go ahead and let the pics do most of the talking for me for this post.

Thank you all so much for joining us. Hope to see you on another retreat soon.  

All Eva has to do is start in on her Where the Hell Are the Snacks routine and then.... 
Holden rushes in and says, "Here my darling!!" 
To which Eva replies, "What took you so &%$%#^ long, hottie?"
To which Holden replies, "Eva, talk to the hand!" 
A black sheep in our midst. 
I find that when ordering breakfast before the coffee kicks in, a safe bet is to just say, "Bring me something that matches my yarn."
Today I bought Jewish rubber duckies at the Mall. These gals have everything.  
Ava and I bonded over our shared love of Siggi's yogurt early on the trip. Knowing she coveted my Siggi's bag, I gave it to her as a gift. I learned how to do this from Eva who one year gave me a bag of hers that I admired. I've since taken that bag around the world. Three cheers for bag redistribution. 
Holden, upon being asked to provide healthy snacks, still can't resist including some devilish optons.  
I mean DANG-- don't you LOVE this place?
We were not the only fiber artists. I caught a spider fiber-bombing the church.  
I am really lichen the effect of the moss on this house, eh? I don't mean to brag but does this little photo of mine look like a Wyeth painting or what? 
Another iSky presentation thanks to my phone. 
iSky advanced with iSunset. 
Well, okay, yes, we will settle for a little wine whilst waiting for our lobster.  
Ah, there you are, you little sea bug, you!

Allow me to translate Linda's smile: THIS is what it's all about, people!
Evelyn is a knitting machine. 
Suzette going after a rogue ball of yarn while Jeff offers an assist.  
I might not drink anymore but I sure still can take pictures that suggest I do.  Nice blur, right? This is my impressionistic style.  
Patty sings, "Holden's Got Back," for the talent show.  
Eva convinces Holden to play the role of a bull in her interpretive dance, Toro, Toro!, which she choreographed special for the talent show. 
Mary Alice went MIA but we found her upstairs, about to go to sleep. Unbeknownst to her, we were waiting downstairs with a little surprise. So we dragged her down and Paula did the honors, explaining that we had acquired for her....
Her own puffin! Yes, that's right-- we adopted a puffin on Mary Alice's behalf. She will receive updates like photos and report cards and Tweets from the puffin. (Aside: if you see Paula, just refer to the puffin as the penguin because... well, just because.)
This mixed media creation by Boots Bailey was the vehicle to deliver the  puffin details to Mary Alice. It is now hanging in the Monhegan House dining room where you may purchase it for $8,000. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Sun Also Sets-- For Those of You Not Interested in 5 am

If a knitter drops a needle in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? 
Dear Diary,
I’m telling you, the fun never ends. I know it’s probably not nice for me to brag, but I’m not bragging, I’m just telling the truth. Every morning here I wake up and my work is spelled out for me: drink coffee, relax, eat breakfast, knit, take a walk, knit, eat snacks, knit, eat lunch, knit, do yoga, knit, eat snacks, knit, having knitting class knit, eat dinner, knit. Now that’s a job description I can get behind.

Even the oatmeal here is beautiful.
Today I went for the oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins. I skipped the smoothie because even though it looked really good, let’s face it, my bladder is fast moving toward decade number six and I was already worried the coffee consumption was going to make the hike a little… well interesting is the nice way to put it.

Classy high rise Fairy Loft.
We set out for Cathedral Woods around 9:30 and in no time we were out of the village and into the forest where we saw about a half-bazillion teeny little fairy houses all over the place. I know the ones along the water are listed for more in the MLS, but I spotted a high-rise on a tree trunk that really grabbed me.

We kept on until we came to the water, which at first seemed splattered in yellow paint, as if the seagulls had been assigned to paint the curbs on Monhegan but then, realizing there are no curbs, they just dropped it wherever. In fact, that yellow stuff is lichen as it turns out, just another big splashy hello from Mother Nature this week.
Love on the rocks. Ain't no surprise. 
I spotted two rare green and a rare blue puff-ins.
Things were a little challenging once I got back to the Monhegan House because I was faced with having to wait to have my hot chocolate at the Mall since, poor me, I had to have a massage. I was greatly consoled to discover that, just for me, Mary Alice used the subtle orange sheets on her table. As I was mid-rubdown, MA answered an urgent knock at the door. Apparently Stephen Kress, aka The Puffin Man, was on his way back from birding and eager for a photo op.

MA, the consummate professional that she is, insisted on finishing my massage over my protests that she go wait for The Puffin Man on the lawn. She’d hear nothing of it and to silence me, or to at least get me to stop blathering, she rubbed my shoulders until I was partaking in my old Snore-and-Drool routine. All’s well that end’s well—MA and SK got their photo together.

Dreaming of a Time Machine. 
Then it was off to the Lighthouse Museum with Annabella where we took in an array of amazing artifacts and I continued to grow the fantasy in which I put myself in a time machine and go back to Monhegan circa 1845 and take on the role of maiden schoolteacher at the one-room schoolhouse. Naturally Holden also enters the time machine and travels back with me and he even starts to shyly hang around the schoolhouse admiring me from a distance until the hand of Sue reaches through the machine and pulls him back to his reality of forging peace between the knitters and birders and reading Fifty Shades of Gray aloud to his wifey.

Subtle Orange Sheets.
Yes she knows the Puffin Man!
As 2:30 drew nigh, the panic of dilemma seized me. On the one hand I was loathe to leave the museum, on the other hand I was excited to get to class—this pretty much sums up the Monhegan Island experience for me: I want to keep doing Thing A but then Thing B calls to me. Thing B was really fun today as we did some show and tell, recited our Personal Knitting Histories, shared tips and techniques and learned a piece of heretofore unknown wisdom about why to take up or stick with knitting. This philosophy came from Ava who cheerfully noted: Knitting is such a big world. There are so many ways to screw up!

Amen, Sister Ava.

Take a number.  
Making top Manhattan restaurants seem as exclusive as McDonald's
Suppertime rolled around and I strolled down to the Fish House along with, apparently, everyone else on the island. You have to love a restaurant that is open one hour per day, one or two days per week. Talk about building up demand. And they also take their time to the point we were theorizing that they don’t start catching your lobster or harvesting your mussels until you’ve put your order in. That’s okay—TOTALLY worth the wait. We got in some laughs, we got to see a pair of Island Pugs, and I got to indulge in my favorite pastime, worrying! Today I was worrying that I wouldn’t get my food in time to shepherd the flock down for a sunset as I’d promised.

Linda's show and tell. Holy Mackerel this woman is a fast knitter.
 Well, diary, I’d explain what happened next, but then I’d have to bore you. Suffice it to say that I managed to get the group to the sinking sun and I managed to wolf down a crab roll and I also was allowed to take my bowl with me from the Fish House so that I could wander through the village sharing my mussels with all comers.

I made this happen with my iSunset App.
So as you can see—another busy day of relaxing! Tomorrow is our last full day here and as ever I am kinda bummed it’s going to be done too soon but I am also gleefully optimistic. Because coming here has inspired in me a desire to keep coming here and, so far, so good, this is year five. I think I might just end up like the ladies I met here at breakfast this morning, artists who’ve been coming to Monhegan every year for more than half a century. Such is the dedication this glorious place inspires.

P.S. Here are some more pictures!

Fairy House.
Making waves. 
Still Life with Yarn Balls. Aka: Here, Kitty, Kitty...

Please note that the clouds are, in fact, ribbed. I did this with my iSkyKnit App.
This is the docent at the Lighthouse Museum. I kid you not-- she's from Austin, Texas. Here she demonstrates the UT Longhorns Hook 'em Horns hand move while contemplating a burnt orange Longhorn scarf she's knitting. 


Annabella and I learned this word at the museum. 
When I go back in my Time Machine to Ye Olde Monhegan, I can take with me darning techniques Alison taught me and fix this blankie! 
I crocheted this after just one session with Susan!
Words cannot describe.   
At show and tell Joan tries to convince us there's a mistake. Um, Joan? If I could make mistakes that beautiful, I'd knit every hour of every day.
Alison taught us how to fix holes. 
Holden proved to us that he has been reading Fifty Shades of Gray
I don't know... I think we might not have enough chocolate.. 
Showing stunning restraint, I only ate, like, 14 of these.  
Dolly's lovely poncho. 
That damn Fish House line. 
More Fish House clients, relaxing out back. 
Worth the wait. Totally worth it. I'd mussel my way through that line again anytime.