Surprise braid in, astronauts, and more whining


I recently tried a “double corner finish” for each of the 6 braids in this spiral hexagon trivet.

We are coming up on the 10th anniversary Spring Braid In for the Valley Forge Guild. I have been to every single VF braid in! Despite the fact that for 10 years now I have been doing this, it is always a surprise to my husband. It never fails to take him aback.

The two of us, comparing datebooks:

Him: “So, where are you going this time?”

Me: “It’s the braid in. You know, I go every year.”

Him: “Where is this again?”

Me: “Bethlehem. Then after, the three of us – me, Kris, and Dianne –are driving up to Vermont.”

Him: “So… how long will you be gone?”

Me: “Seven days. I always go away 7 days. I leave Thursday morning and I’ll be back Wednesday night.”

Him: “A whole week??”

Me: “Yes. I do this every year, John.”

Him: Sigh.


My first flower rug from back in 2010.  I love the bright colors.

The reason that I am remembering this recent conversation is because inevitably, my husband invites houseguests as soon as it is spring, and usually right before the braid in.

I’ve written about the fact that I do not enjoy houseguests. Well, I do enjoy them usually, but I resent the time I need to spend cleaning up all the wool covering every surface in order to accommodate them. Cleaning is not something that I particularly enjoy. I especially don’t enjoy it when I’m madly rushing to finish my class handouts and finish my class samples and finish my Challenge Rug.

This year it’s a particular disaster, because we just finished getting the whole house rewired about 6 weeks ago, and I STILL haven’t finished unpacking all the boxes that I threw everything into to get stuff out of the way of the workmen.

Now, John’s cousin Victor is coming this weekend. Although I really enjoy Victor, who is just delightful, why couldn’t John invite him the week after the braid in? Why does it always –no matter what the date – have to happen that he visits right when I’m scrambling to get things done???

So now, instead of working on my challenge rug, instead of finishing my class handouts, instead of doing what I want, I am slogging away at boxes and trying to get things to appear neat and orderly for a guest.

If that isn’t enough, my daughter just decided that she HAS to come home from college this weekend. Absolutely has to or she’s going to crack up from the stress of imminent final exams. That means I have a 3.5 hour out, 3.5 hour back, trip to fit in on Friday. I’m sending her back on the train on Sunday. (She can’t take the train on Friday because there’s only one train out to Pittsburgh and she’s still in class when it leaves).

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From the Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding book:  “Stacked Picot” border.  Probably 2010.

Ugh. Thank goodness I have a few more days until Victor arrives. I’m going to need every minute.

At least I got a slight reprieve: John is going away for two days to see Harrison Schmitt. If he isn’t a household name for you, he’s one of the twelve men who got to walk on the moon. He’s also the only scientist-astronaut who stepped on the moon: Schmitt was primarily a geologist. He was part of Apollo 17. He’s 81 now, and going to speak at some reunion event for the Grumman engineers (who built the LEM). John knows a guy who gets him into these events ($100 for dinner) so he’s like an excited kid running around the house packing.


Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17) obtaining samples of rocks on the moon

He’s a total space freak. It’s fun to see him so giddy with anticipation.

Almost like me looking forward to the braid in!

3 thoughts on “Surprise braid in, astronauts, and more whining

  1. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one scrambling to get things done and wondering which ones won’t get done. Looking forward to the 10th year anniversary of your braid in even though I haven’t made it to every one.

  2. My husband is only interest in “what am I going to eat?” We’ve just had our own Woolgathering on Thetis Island and it was wonderful. He ate homemade pizza and pea soup! Lol

  3. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Construction that was scheduled last summer ended up being started this past Monday. I’m surprised they didn’t wait until next Thursday. The sun finally came out so the grass is is growing a mile a minute. Garden beds to be weeded and a truck load of mulch to applied. Dust and dust bunnies? heck leave them be. They’ll only reappear. As for the Challenge – it’s been braided, unbraided and totally changed three times and still not finished. No wonder i enjoy the Braid In so much. It gets me away from all this even for just a few days. Is Thursday here yet ?

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