I spent this past weekend in Sheridan, WY, teaching three classes to their knitting guild. What a great group of women! They were interested, engaged, asked some terrific questions, and put forth a lot of effort in the classes. I had a good time and I think they did, too. Alas, I managed to leave my whiteboard and easel at the Holiday Inn, but it's replaceable.
Sheridan is a nine-hour drive from Kalispell. It's nine hours of highway and nine hours of scenery and nine hours of a severe lack of radio stations. I have no doubt that I would have appreciated the trip more if I were a tourist. It's stunning. But I live here and I see it every day, so for most of the trip I was wishing I had borrowed the husband's iPod and loaded it with podcasts to listen to. Thankfully, at least, I wasn't driving in a -20 degree blizzard like I did in February when I went to Billings (Sheridan is 2 hours south of Billings).
I stayed with one of the Sheridan guild members and her husband. They were incredibly gracious and took good care of me. I always volunteer to stay with someone to help save the guild some money, but doing so is always a tricky proposition. Usually it's the very outgoing people who offer to have someone stay with them. I appreciate extroversion in very small doses. After a day of teaching, I usually just want to sit somewhere quiet and knit. My hostess and her husband understood this and were wonderful about giving me some space.
I have to be honest and say that I was really ambivalent about this trip. Knitting has been on the back burner for most of 2011, and I had to give myself a number of pep talks last week to get myself prepped to teach again. I'm still in the process of finding that balance between what I do and what I used to do. An interesting thing happened, though: I came home more jazzed about knitting and designing than I have been in a long time. It was as though the floodgates opened and I have lots and lots of designing ideas I'd like to try (of course, that also could have been a byproduct of spending nine virtually uninterrupted hours inside my brain on the drive home). We'll see how it pans out. I still have that small issue of "not enough hours in the day" to overcome.
Next month I head to Beaverton, OR, to teach at the weekend retreat of the Tigard Knitting Guild. That'll be a long weekend for me because after I finish teaching on Saturday, I am heading up to stay with DD#1. She and I are meeting one of my cousins and my aunt and uncle in Seattle the following day. My cousin just moved to Seattle and her parents are flying out to spend some time there. It's a nice bit of serendipity that we will get to see each other and I will get to spend some time catching up with DD#1. I'll come home on Monday.
And then in November I am heading to Lawrence, KS, to teach at the Yarn Barn. They were one of the first stores to sell my finishing book way back when, so it will be fun to visit them.
It was interesting to try out my new diet "on the road." It's easy enough to eat the way I want to here at home, but not so easy in an unfamiliar environment. My hostess prepared wonderful scrambled eggs and scrapple every morning (the scrapple was made by her husband and he gave me the recipe—I haven't had scrapple since I was in college!). Lunch at the Holiday Inn would have been hard if I had to eat off the menu (mostly sandwiches) but they had a great soup and salad bar so I did okay there. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant one night and I ordered a taco salad without the shell. And then dinner the next night was a salmon filet and tomato basil soup that is still haunting me, it was so good.
I did take a cooler with me that had hard-boiled eggs, jerky, almonds, and string cheese, just in case.
I saw my doctor yesterday and I told him that I am having great fun eating this way. I never feel hungry and I have so much energy it's disconcerting. The only problem I seem to be having is—get this—taking in enough salt. I have to put salt on EVERYTHING or my blood pressure drops and my electrolytes get wonky. He thinks it's just my body adapting to this new way of eating and things will soon normalize. Weird. I think it's because I am eating mostly "raw" foods—raw in the sense that they aren't processed with all the added salt that we normally get in our diets.