The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dear Friends, Green Guilt, and Wearable Disco Balls

First things first, though--the dear friends. Look at the beautiful yarn sent to me for absolutely no reason (other than her very dear and wonderful nature) by Celtic Jo:
Jo, I apologize deeply for my lousy photography, which manages quite cleverly to capture none of the depth of color or inherent beauty in either of these yarns. The right is a stunning sock yarn in shades of teal (Ms. Knitingale-nip, in other words) and the other a deep sage chenille, just begging to be an elegant scarf. Thank you so very much, Jo. I love them both, and I will post pictures of what they become, just as soon as I find something truly yarn worthy.
Second, the green guilt. Seattle is a green place. By that I mean that it is literally green, what with all the trees and grass and other stuff shooting eagerly out of the ground but also that it is a very environmentally conscious place to be. It is a mark of pride around these parts to have a brown, weedy lawn, because it means that you didn't waste water or use herbicides (ah...Ms. Knitingale LOVES this concept). It is also a mark of pride to have a huge recycle bin and a teeny, tiny trash bin, to carry cloth bags with you to the market, and to ride a bike everywhere. I think this is a very great thing, of course, even as I admit that I fall a bit short. Oh, my lawn is definitely brown and weedy---I have weeds to spare, in fact--but I do drive to work, I don't hang clothes out to dry because I know I'll get distracted and leave it out there until next St. Swithins day (at which point I'll no doubt be delighted to discover the whereabouts of my underwear), and I use plastic bags to dispose of the less pleasant things that come out of my cats. (Okay, fair enough. Nothing pleasant comes out of cats. They are themselves quite pleasant...but whichever end spews forth, it can be relied upon to be unpleasant. But still. You know what I mean.)
Now, about those plastic bags. See, my indoor kitties feel compelled to produce copious amounts of poo, and those little plastic bags from the grocery store are just about perfect for disposing of said poo each morning so that the house retains it's reputation of not smelling like the monkey house at the zoo. I think this is a good thing. Mr. K also thinks this is a good thing. So I get the plastic bags from the grocery stores and I feel guilty and although I know I'll never be held up by the green folk as a shining example, I also don't believe I'm on their most wanted list (which is good, as being chased by people on bicycles waving clumps of broccoli could be terribly frightening). But.
But they recently put in a Whole Foods Market at the bottom of our hill. For those sadly unaware, Whole Foods is a veritable paradise for the environmentally conscious--every organic thing available, including clothing made of organic cotton. Huge amounts of beautiful produce. Everything a person on a limited diet could want--dairy free, egg free, wheat free, soy free, nut free (and some times all these at once, which always makes me wonder what could possibly be LEFT to put in these items, but I'm probably happier without that information. One must retain some charade of innocence.) Also foods for vegetarians and vegans, and food that has no refined sugars, no preservatives (which is a fast trip to moldville in our house, but I always persist in believing that this time we'll eat it fast enough--back to that optimist thing). Point being, I love Whole Foods, and I love knowing that I can eat most of what's in there and I love that it's just a lovely, green place.
Problem is, every time I go there, they ask me the same question that grocery stores ask country wide: "Paper, or plastic?" And I need the plastic bags for the poo thing, and I know I should just say plastic...but I never can. At Safeway, sure. But at Whole Foods? It seems sacrilege, somehow. And I just know that they would think less of me. Hell, an alarm would probably sound and all activity storewide would cease, and an indignant manager wearing an organic cotton shirt would make me put back my blueberry and flaxseed granola and go to the Walmart Superstore, where I obviously belong, to purchase the off-brand Cap'n Crunch that is clearly a better fit for someone of MY ilk. So, because I have green guilt, I get the paper bags that I will never use again (the clumps from the litter box tend to soak through them) and leave myself short of poo bags. I'm a sad, strange little person.
Oh, and if you're thinking I should get the biodegradable cat litter and flush the offending poo away, you're not reckoning with Mr. K's strange bond with the septic tank and his absolute belief that life would be significantly better if nothing were EVER flushed down the toilet. I firmly believe that in his perfect world, I would be willing to attend to my bodily needs beneath a rhodie in the back yard, thus leaving his Precious perfectly pristine and innocent. Seriously, dudes--if I would be willing to drip dry so that no toilet paper would sully it's walls, I believe he might just kiss my feet or something. So no. No flushable cat waste at Chez Hairball. Like I said, just a lot of green guilt.
Now, on to the wearable disco ball. I did some sewing today. This was not the start of the problem. The start of the problem was when I went wandering around the fabric store without a keeper and ended up with two yards of black fabric with irridescent butterflies (in my defense, it was on sale) for the express purpose of making a "new and unusual" scrub top. Anyone want a job as a keeper? Please?
I sewed all afternoon with much assistance:

In the pic above, I thought she was just trying to play with the strings.
Although, it should be clear in this one that she had something terribly important to say. And in the next one:

It should have been screamingly apparent that she was prepared to throw her body between me and the sewing machine if that's what it took. But I ignored the warnings. I disregarded Gracie's wisdom, and now there's no turning back. For I have, indeed, made...

.....a wearable disco ball. With pockets.

So, do you KNOW anyone who would want a job as a keeper? It doesn't pay well....but they'd get to make fun of me. It's not like I don't provide fodder.


  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    (waving my arms around wildly) ME! ME! Pick me! Pick me! Pleeeease, Pretty pleeeease...I wanna be your keeper!!!

  • At 11:31 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    If only cats were vegetarian Florence. Do you use air-miles at an alarming rate hummmm? Do you eat ready-meals in all plastic containers ...I think not. Cats are part of nature's cycle . Heavens my penchant for some dodgy yarns with nylon in them should have me threatened by Green terrorists .We don't have a car so I figure a few balls keeps a few nice Turkish folk in work . I am still proud of myself for having soil when all around people have paved gardens so they will be all perfect and tidy . I guess an intelligent couple like you do more than most if the Greenies of the radical variety get to hear tell them you and the fur folks can turn cat-poo into fuel ...who knows one day !

  • At 6:39 AM, Blogger Faren said…

    Beautiful yarn, I'm sure you will have fun with it! I wish we had a Whole foods market!
    You know...I would wear that top too. Apparently, I need a keeper as well.

  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Kit said…

    If Whole Foods were that fussy about plastic, why would they offer it? Or is this a sinister plot? "Ha, we'll get those evil creatures and save the world like Captain Planet, just as soon as they pick plastic, bwaha!"

    That or they mean "How you payin' for that? Paper-dollars or plastic card?"

    Also I would be careful wearing that top around the mentally infirm or those at risk. Also keep away from crows, squirrels and raccoons. ;)

  • At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Judith in Ottawa said…

    Cannot. Resist. Must. Comment.

    (Jettisoning the manners my mother carefully instilled.)

    You're supposed to drip-dry and somehow he's gonna go NEAR your feet?

  • At 5:28 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ahh, the joys of living in a Green city. My main recycling attempt is bottles, and I figure I'm doing pretty good at that. After all, I have no car, so that's a good part, right? Just take plastic and tell them you're preventing animal waste products from filtering into the water supply or something!

    Hurray for yarns from Jo; should be gorgeous knit up! Give your camera a stern talking-to before next photography, maybe? (Man, they just don't cooperate some times, do they?) And Gracie... Awwwww, so pretty she looks, and boy, she is most earnestly trying to impart something to you in that one pic. I'm thinking one night you'll wake not just to simple nose-smearing, but nose-smearing combined with hypnosis to prevent further disco-ball clothing. (Although it's not that bad; c'mon, it's butterflies.) Whaddaya bet?

    (Oh, and pleeze hie thee to my latest post as soon as you can. I finally got to the family stuff, and I wanna see if I can make you laugh as hard as you've made me. [veg] You are forewarned.)

  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    This is a non-post, just to give you my email address in case you might want it someday.

    Isn't Jo the best? Wish you could have been here with us last Thursday.


  • At 1:21 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Love the disco ball outfit, can't wait to see you modelling it!

  • At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Kathie said…

    Ooh, snazzy! At least you'll be safe crossing the street in the dark.

    I too use those plastic grocery bags for cat poo (I think I just rhymed) and ah yes, know about the green guilt at Whole Foods. I get paper there (we end up using it for various things around the house) but ah ha!- use the plastic bags from Target for cat duty, where I end up doing a lot of my food shopping. So it all works out. Isn't Whole Foods wonderful? I can drop a lot of money there if I'm not careful.


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