You know that cough I mentioned? The one I mostly ignored before I left for SAFF, and assumed would just go away? It turned out to be bronchitis. I guess emerging unscathed last year from five days with the Swine Flu Sisters fooled me into thinking I could spend time with Coughing GrandGirls without consequences. I was wrong. I'm on the mend, but it's taking awhile to get back up to speed.
Outside of the constant cough and the car sitting on my chest, SAFF was wonderful. The huge festival is extremely well run, and I bow to the organizers. I caught up with old friends and made lots of new ones. I ate plenty of Goat Milk Fudge (new wonderful flavors: Vanilla/Orange, Mocha, Raspberry, and Mint), whose booth was extremely popular. The weather was perfect- chilly in the morning and shirt-sleeve in the afternoons. The leaves favored me with beautiful colors (the orange/red/yellow Blue Ridge Mountains on my takeoff from Asheville were breathtaking). The songbirds still sang. Biltmore was every bit as amazing as I remembered, and I got to spend 6 days, reconnecting with my sister (who took very good care of me- I'm not very good at not feeling well). Mostly, we ate at our motel, but for the first two nights, we had supper at the Texas Roadhouse, which specializes in huge portions, amazing sweet potatoes, and very good Black Russians.
I am thrilled with how my workshops went (as always, I had genius students)- I taught two new ones (Little Tips and Cheater Knitting Tricks, and All-Day Fair Isle Design). The Fair Isle class had a low-signup but I'm glad for that- it's an intense workshop, and I don't think I'd want more than 6 students at a time. My sister Sandi, who hadn't done much knitting in the last 30 years, knitted her first Fair Isle ever in the previous day's All-Day Hat workshop. Here's what she produced from the Design class:
I didn't do any recreational knitting at SAFF- by evening, I was ready to collapse (teaching is exhausting- how do real teachers do it every day?), so after supper, I just read (4 books, which I will talk about later) and enjoyed spending time with Sandi.
The storms were already starting to brew on Monday. Flights in and out of Atlanta were delayed, and there were tornado and thunderstorm watches and warnings all over the place. I was very glad to be routed through Detroit. All of my flights were bumpy, and most were delayed a bit. It rained and blew everywhere, including on the 75 mile drive home from Watertown. But I made it in and home safely around 11:00pm. If my flight had been scheduled for yesterday, I would still be stranded in an airport somewhere.
We've had 30mph steady winds, with frequent gusts up to 60mph since yesterday morning, rain, and dropping temps. Today, we woke up to this (I had to take a pic from the back deck, because the very strong west wind won't allow us to open the front door):