We’re almost ready for Black Sheep Gathering! Ed’s been cranking out the spindles left and right. If you’re in the area please stop by our booth, just inside the main doors and say hi. It’s fun to meet readers and Jenkins spindle fans. Please forgive me when I seem to be in a fog. I’m terrible about remembering names and faces, a problem made worse when my brain feels swamped by all the stimuli, noise and senses overload.

Exciting news for all you spinners out there who love spinning with your Jenkins spindles! There’s a Team Jenkins group on the Tour de Fleece forum at Ravelry this year. If you don’t have a Ravelry account, and you’re hesitant about yet another social network … hesitate no longer! This year I have spent very little time at Raverly except to swoop in to scope out patterns. When I’m in search for  a certain type I almost always check in Ravelry first – their patterns are practically limitless. And now, you can join the Team Jenkins and spin during every day of the official bicycle race known as Tour de France. The days they race, we spin. Your spinning efforts will be cheered on by all your teammates and there will be some prizes at the finish. The TdF begins on June 30th – just enough time to dust off your spindle, check your fiber stash and decide what challenge you want to take on. The main guideline of TdF is that the spinning project can not be started before June 30th. Just like the bike racers you may prepare ahead of time and get all set for that wild dash at the start of the race on June 30th. Take pictures and post them in the TeamJenkins page of your spinning progress.

Hope to see you there!

The weekend away was just what I needed to restore a sense of balance and positive outlook on life. By noon on Friday I had packed up the last of the orders that were ready to mail, threw my gear into the car and took off for Sisters, OR stopping to pick up Hope and Grace on the way out of town. Despite the forecast for showers and cold the sun was shining between scattered clouds. We weren’t about to let the cold, stiff wind dampen our spirits. Constance had obligations on Friday but drove over the mountains to join us Saturday afternoon where we bumped into her as we were leaving a store. Sisters is known for its scenery, small town charm and clusters of interesting stores. We rented a condo on the outskirts of town where it’s a pleasant walk to downtown. The others spent time browsing through quilt stores, dime stores, used bookstores, clothing boutiques, etc.

I took my spindle and sat on a bench in the Village Green and thoroughly enjoyed spinning whilst people watching.  A family with four kids were happily playing on the playground structure while the mom and dad sat on the grass next to the barkdust covered space watching over their children and quietly talking. The two older kids played tagged round and round, climbing the structure, slipping down the slide, a pole, swinging along the rings rarely vocalizing except to claim, “Tag!”. So much non-stop energy while their younger siblings also energetically climbing, scooted and descended in earnestness occasionally calling out, “Mom! Watch me!” Almost an hour pleasantly passed when it occurred to me how quietly and industriously they played. No shouting, screaming or yelling. They spoke nicely to one another in regular tones of voices, laughing briefly, joyously.

A mom brought a toddler over to play on the structure and though they continued their energetic game of tag they were mindful around the little girl. The parents announce lunchtime and the kids melted away from the structure following their parents’ wake to the waiting car. Mulling over how happily they had played together I marveled at their quietness and thought back to when our kids were grade school age a friend once remarked to me that we were a “quiet family”. I was surprised at the notion but soon realized what she meant. Watching and being near this quiet family and obviously happy family was very refreshing and soothing. Soon afterwards three boys came running and shouting to the playground where they immediately began climbing, jostling to be the first, the fastest, the best. Their voices carried to the far corners of the green, including their obnoxious name calling of each other.  Two polar families. Parent can teach their children to play and engage in wholesome activities without the need to be loud and pushy, they do it by example and setting the tone for quiet interaction within the family as the children are growing.

I took lots of pictures: my time in the park; the rodeo we attended on Saturday evening; small delights and pleasures. Tuesday morning I discovered that I’d lost the transfer cable somewhere along the way.  I ordered a new cable online, it should be here within a couple more days. Until then I’ll leave you with a picture taken last year in Redmond, a town about 20 miles from Sisters that knows how to celebrate and honor Flag Day.