Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Undelivered Handknit

Undelivered Handknit

Dear everyone, Thank you all for checking in, wondering where we have been these past couple of weeks. Kay has blasted off on a mission to the land of Liberty prints, pet rabbits named Iman, and much-needed fun. I am so dead jealous that I surf hotel listings in London. Kay, I am there with you on your travels. (You can see what Kay’s seeing in her Twitter feed down in the right-hand column below.) As for me, I’ve been on a mission...

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Tyler Speaks!

Tyler Speaks!

Dear Kay, Just wanted to share yesterday’s NPR interview with one of my favorite writers, Anne Tyler. (My friend Joe sent this along–at this point, Joe functions as an oracle, because he will send me a link that dovetails with something I’m thinking about. It’s downright eerie.) Anne Tyler writes novels set in Baltimore. She has been doing this for almost fifty years. She is a publicist’s nightmare–or dream,...

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Solid-Gold Midwinter Survival Tips

Solid-Gold Midwinter Survival Tips

Dear Kay, As the bleak midwinter descends, I’d like to share some solid-gold survival tips that get me through. Tip No. 1: Humidity. Go to the drugstore, past the bunion aids and the section known as Digestion, and set yourself up with one of those cheapass steam humidifiers. I know you’re going to resist this, but listen: once you’ve had a few nights of sleep with your SteamMaster 2000 filling your room with tropical air,...

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Sweetest Baby in a Small Sweater

Sweetest Baby in a Small Sweater

Dear Kay, Please join me in welcoming small Woodie to the world of hand knits. My first grandniece dutifully models the teeny cardigan she got from Great-Aunt Ann. To be clear: while I would like to claim that her proximity to a cotton sweater would bring on this sort of unbridled joy, the fact is that this is possibly the happiest baby in the world. She’s like this pretty much all the time. And she sleeps. She is...

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Brenda’s Blizzard of Snowflakes

Brenda’s Blizzard of Snowflakes

Dear Kay, Snowflakes snowflakes snowflakes. That’s what I’m thinking about. A couple of weeks ago, cruel, merciless Erin tweeted about crocheted snowflakes. Her Tweet sent me into an instant nostalgia spin about the crocheted snowflakes of my youth that my mom found long ago at a Christmas bazaar at Cheekwood. I have exactly one of those snowflakes left, a dumpy and misshapen one which is the fate of treasured Christmas ornaments, I...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 6

Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 6

Dear Kay, Before we begin, I would like everyone to fire up the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Hallelujah” as the soundtrack to this blog entry. Because, honey, on Tuesday, November 29, at 10:42 am CDT, I was singing the fire out of this song, right after Tim The Genius Of The Wires came upstairs and pointed at my heating vent. And nodded. “Is it . . .” I asked. “That’s geothermal. Right there.” It...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 5

Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 5

Dear Kay, We interrupt our ongoing coverage of Geotherm2011 to report that there were little girls in the house for the Thanksgiving weekend. They built fairy houses. They left their purple boots in the hall. They left cryptic drawings all over the place. They did things like eat dry Cheerios, dance spontaneously across the kitchen, and yell “Mom” so persuasively that every mom in the house would respond. They helped feed the...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 4

Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 4

Dear Kay, As the sun set yesterday afternoon, and the yard was at low tide, I realized that I’ve had it all wrong. This geothermal project isn’t about HVAC; it’s art. It all becomes tolerable when you think of it as an expression of some primordial artistic impulse. I think Andy Goldsworthy got his start in HVAC. In my attempt to capture the many maws of this experience–the holes, the vents, the ducts, my slack jaw as it...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 3

Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 3

Dear Kay, Yesterday it got so loud that I fell asleep. Between the (very nice) guy drilling holes in the foundation for the tankless water heater vents, to the final death throes of Hole Number Five, I was like one of those babies who falls asleep beside the vacuum cleaner. New and fascinating equipment continues to show up. The guys operating it are uniformly cheerful and unconcerned about anything going wrong. Either they’re heavily...

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MRS. SHAYNE’S ADVENTURES IN GEOTHERMAL, PART 2

MRS. SHAYNE’S ADVENTURES IN GEOTHERMAL, PART 2

DEAR KAY, I CAN’T REALLY EXPRESS TO YOU HOW LOUD THINGS ARE AT MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW. YESTERDAY MORNING THIS THING SHOWED UP IN MY YARD: AND IT HAS BEEN DRILLING 300′ HOLES IN THE GROUND FOR EIGHT HOURS YESTERDAY AND PROBABLY ANOTHER FOUR HOURS TODAY. THEY JUST STARTED HOLE NUMBER FOUR, OF FIVE. THIS IS ABOUT TEN FEET OUTSIDE MY OFFICE WINDOW. IT’S LIKE A QUARRY. OR THE WORLD’S HUGEST ROOT CANAL. I FEEL LIKE MY HOUSE IS...

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