From the Swamp to the Prairie

Ten years ago, I moved here to the edge of the prairie from New Orleans and am still in culture-shock. Nice people, mind you, but very, very stressed and uptight about how they are perceived by others. Their lives seem filled with beige. They are desperately in need of some hot crawfish, cold Dixie beer, and a week of non-stop Mardi Gras.

I have a love-hate relationship with this place. I love the change of seasons and the huge sky. And the fact that hurricanes don't like visiting the midwest. But my roots are resisting the transplant to the hard clay and limestone. They haven't forgotten how comfortable the soft, black swampland can be. I have had to abandon the "Big Easy" attitude that celebrates sponteneity and force the "pioneer-farmer" attitude to take it's place. Dinner at 5:30 instead of 8:oo? Going to bed when the sun goes down and waking up before it rises? Working 50-60 hour weeks to keep up with the growing demands of a stressed-out community? AAAAAAAAAGHGGGHGHGHGHG!!! It's enough to make a cajun girl feel like she has developed multiple personalities! I need therapy! Me too! Make that three of us! No, wait, I AM a therapist! Oh no, we're in big trouble now!

So, I did what every disoriented and wigged-out person should do, I developed some obsessions - um, I mean, hobbies. You know, things that will help me unwind and relax. Stress management. I was already a passionate gardener before moving here but now I have gone the extra mile to becoming OBSESSED with growing lush, green southern gardens that remind me of home. Magnolias, azaleas, sweet olives, gardenias. So I burn up all that stress with the back-breaking task of mining the rock hard boulder-sized chunks of clay they call dirt around here, and replace it with truckloads of compost and cow poop to make cushy little beds for my little blooming buddies. Then I install a series of landmines, barbed wire and armed guards to protect the tender sprouts from the evil Bambies, tree rats (aka, squirrels) and vampire bunnies who all have their own little obsessions with gardens. And the weeds, which seem to grow faster, greener, and larger than any of their domesticated cousins. And the hot, burning winds and drought that DO NOT replicate moist, fertile alluvial soil and regular monsoons, no sir. That which doesn't kill me (and my plants) makes me and my obsession stronger.

Unfortunately, living in the Land of Weather Extremes, gardening is unavailable for several months at a stretch. Looking for a hobby that was more suitable for ice storm conditions this past winter, I naively bought a pair of plastic needles (US13) and some yarn (Lion's Brand'Bright & Lofty') and voila! before the scarf was even finished, a new obsession was born! It wasn't long before I accumulated many pairs of needles, many skeins of yarn, a bunch of scarf patterns (I am a Knitting Novice after all) and assorted accessory items no Knitter can possibly live without.

Which leads to the purpose of this blog. Once I began googling for yarn and knitting, I discovered that blogs are an ESSENTIAL item for the obsessed Knitter. I mean, where else will you find an audience for the loving descriptions and pictures of the many unfinished projects in the works? Details of a row gone bad? Confessions of yet another yarn binge to feed the ever-growing stash? An audience that won't think you're crazy, not for a second, because THEY ARE OBSESSED TOO!

So thank you for reading my first blog. Here is a picture of my first scarf. (Abbie aka "bad Beagle" has kindly agreed to model it for me as her way of making up for an earlier indiscretion involving the contents of the litterbox.)

I hope you come back and visit me again. I have sooo much more ranting to do. And pictures of scarves to show off. So, please link to my site (I'm making puppy-dog eyes right now). And remember...obsessed is not the same as crazy!

btw, I'm sorry I don't have any info on who took the gorgeous photos that introduce my blog, but want to say "thanks!"

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