Monday, November 26, 2007

My Days Grow Longer, My Yarn Pile Keeps Growing, and I'm Officially Brown

What a day. But first, some yarny goodness from the Yarn Fairy (yes, he's back from vacation).


Totally out of character for me, the first yarn is Colinette Jitterbug in "Sea Breeze", and Spinning Doggies in "Greenie Goodness" and "Fall Leaves".


These are by Enchanted Knoll Farm in "Queen Mermaid", "Gypsy", and "Spruce Woods". I think these might be on a different base than the first yarn I bought from them, but I have to check to make sure. In any event, this yarn is one worthy of drooling over.

I'm telling you, either I'm getting older (impossible) or the days are getting longer (not at this time of year). Today was prison day and, as usual, I had to be at the gate at 7:30 a.m. While I'm normally awake at that time of the morning, trying to fall asleep (so I'm not a total zombie when I'm trying to play my flute) when I'm used to being awake and getting up at 6:00 a.m. in order to be there on time is a different matter. After piggybacking two doses of my meds, I was finally sleepy enough at 2:00 a.m. in order to fall asleep, only to awaken an hour later. I sat up, had a smoke, and don't remember finishing it. I woke up with the phone ringing loud enough to wake the dead (wake-up call) and found the ciggie on the floor. I'm bad that way.

I got to the prison on time and found the chaplain, who escorted me inside in his little golf cart. I didn't even set off the metal detector this time, and the guard was all ready with the wand, too. He asked me what it was that had set it off before, and I reminded him that it was my bra. "Oh!", he said, "did you stop wearing an underwire?" I've never worn an underwire; when you're as big as I am, you shove the wire up into your throat (sagging boobage dragging the bra into all manner of weird configurations), and then the ends of the wire magically appear through the sides and stab you in the armpits. "No", I told him, "I just didn't wear one today." He turned beet red, grinned at me like a bad little boy, and waved me through.

As usual, my boys were waiting for me outside the chapel. I went in first and into the office where I wait for them; they have to be searched before they enter any buildings. After they were declared free of weapons, my three bodyguards came into the office as usual and stood in front of me (I was sitting in an office chair). Cloud (the big Apache) was grinning at me from ear to ear; Rick (biker) flashed me one of his infrequent smiles (you have to earn them); and Stan (the elder) held out his hands. In them were a choker made from pipe beads with a hand-beaded rosette and a rattle made from a gourd. He told me that the three of them had gotten together and made them for me, that I deserved them, and that making them had brought them great joy. Both things had also gone into the sweat lodge with them and been blessed. I have rarely been so moved; I couldn't believe that these men who were serving life sentences and had to battle for their own lives on a daily basis took the time and trouble to make some beautiful items for me. And beautiful they are - the workmanship on both items is exquisite; the rosette is made with colors that would make any knitter weep with longing; the gourd is painted and has my totem animals painted on that, a willow handle that is covered in leather which has been sewn with tiny, perfect stitches, and a waterproofing agent applied that renders the entire rattle waterproof so I may take it into sweats if I so choose. Stan tied the choker around my neck and when I almost burst into tears, they all turned red and stared at their feet. I gave each of them a real hug, not the prison hug, and they almost didn't let me go. Class lasted about two hours today due to some other activity which was scheduled for 10:30, so I gathered my things, said my good-byes, and went outside with Bill, the chaplain. Then it was off to the administration building to check on the status of my brown card.

My paperwork had been approved, so we picked that up and went to the warden's office for his signature. I spoke to him for about five minutes about what I do in class, and then he signed everything for me so I wouldn't have to come back. Off to the New Hires office, where I was scheduled for orientation at 7:00 a.m. Friday (ARGH!), and then to Personnel where I had to fill out yet more paperwork, get fingerprinted, have my picture taken (I look like I have buck teeth and just smelled a skunk), and a machine ground its' gears and spit out a card with a brownish hue and my lovely picture on it. It was also signed (I had to sign one of those electronic pads - I hate those, since I can never see what I'm doing), and the guy doing all the work punched a hole in the top for my whistle (I have a whistle that was given to me in the New Hires office - it's loud!!). I am now officially brown, and after Friday, a full-fledged, card-carrying member of Folsom State Prison (well, it's really the California State Prison at Repressa - they distinguish the new one from Old Folsom Prison with that name instead of just calling it New Folsom Prison like they used to). Yay!

Things are going swimmingly with the online store. I have about 14 vendors lined up and letters out to some others. I've bought a skein of yarn from each instead of asking for a sample; this way, I won't feel obligated to invite them to sell through me if I don't like their yarn. I haven't run across a single dyer whose yarn I don't like; some of the skeins make me swoon and engage in a heavy petting session. Research has begun, and I'll be applying for a license in the next few weeks. Excitement! This is why my yarn pile keeps growing despite my yarn restriction. Well, okay... so I've bought a few skeins just because I wanted them, and even though Jitterbug isn't an indie, it's my one concession (other than qiviut and buffalo and camel and other exotics) to commercial yarn. And here's the really good part - I'll have my resale number by the time Stitches West comes to town. Since I live 20 minutes away from it, it would be a damned shame for me to not attend. I'd better start selling some stuff I don't need or want anymore...

Once we got home today, we had to take the truck into the shop and then go to Enterprise to get our rental car. We're driving (are you ready for this?) a Toyota Corolla. No flair, no sense of style, ugly as hell (I apologize to those of you who own one), and they expect me to... oh wait, I have a Thunderbird. But I never drive the damn thing, so it sits in the driveway with its' cover on. I hope the battery hasn't died - I've gone through about four of them by now because I just didn't use the car enough.

So we've got room reservations at the motel for Thursday and Friday nights; we're going out to dinner Friday night in Sacramento (it feels so strange to be on the freeway coming back from Folsom and not going home to my old house (VERY heavy sigh)) and then back home on Saturday. I had intended to update the Yarn Review site tonight, but I'm wiped out. The pictures are taken, so tomorrow I'll just put the pictures up there and get it back in shape. I think for the time being, I'm just going to flop on the Monster (yes, that's the Monster with my blue bathrobe covering it - don't ask) and work on my knitting. I have a lot to do, and it all has deadlines; in addition, I'll probably doze off and drool all over my clean jammies. So I apologize for not having it done tonight, but my days are growing longer and longer and...

I'm NOT getting older, damn it.


Pixie said...

Wow what a day you had, love reading your blog.. I can see I could be here for sometime.
Mainly posting.. so I can be added to your map lol.
Dribbling and drooling over the yarns you show..
When you wake have a super day

SwissKnits! said...

What a great post!!!
You are doing such good work over at the prison. What a gift that is both to you, and the men that you are working with.
Love the yarn p0rn...