Marching and Penguins

IMG_3599

Today was the Women’s March. Around the world men, women and children gathered to march for women’s rights. Oh and dogs came too. I found the excitement of being with people who all held out hope for better days energizing. Last year I was in Washington, DC and this year I marched in my hometown Sacramento. Sacramento has the advantage of not having so many people that you cannot move like last year on the Capitol Mall.

As always the signs were creative and sometimes outrageous. We walked to the state Capitol where there was a rally. I had loaded my bike Gidget with flowers to take to the Women’s Empowerment booth. The best part of marching in my hometown was seeing so many people I know: Al, Patricia, Chantay and others.

Today is also Penguin Awareness Day. They don’t usually overlap like this. Along with my Auntie J’s birthday! Now I am going to go on YouTube and look for penguin videos.

IMG_2397

Penguins at the Boston aquarium

Pussyhats and Women’s March

download

I love the way women create together. The Women’s March was a spontaneous reaction to the US election results. Loads of women (and men) thought they’d be celebrating the first woman President. Cue glass ceilings shattering. Instead we shared a state of shock and dismay. What does it mean when a man who grabs kittycats and whose Vice President is hostile to women’s health issues is going to form the 45th Administration?  So after a viral bump and then some rumbles about the organization and sustained enthusiasm from around the USA and then the world (over 35 countries having Women’s Marches too), the Women’s March in Washington and over 270 cities in North America will take place on January 21, 2017.

Sometime in early January friends sent me links to the Pussyhat Project. I knit and I’m going to the March in Washington, DC so it’s like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I scooted over to my local wool shop Rumplestiltskin to buy pink wool yarn and some circular needles and downloaded a couple of patterns for Pussyhats on Ravelry.com.  My knitting is not as fast as it used to be and I have enough yarn for six hats. My goal is to knit four before I leave on Wednesday morning for Boston, then two on planes, and automobiles. It is fun and women are sharing photos on Instagram and women who cannot go to DC are knitting in support. This so reminds me of other women organized events–we ace the details and embellish and enhance until it is something truly special.

download-1

Why am I flying to Boston? Don’t I know that Boston is an 8 hour drive from DC? My son and granddog Dozer moved to Boston in August and I have not visited them yet. I am going to spend some time in Boston before and after we drive to DC for the March. Not sure my son will want a Pussyhat, but he’ll have the option. He is an excellent driver so I will be able to knit, a lot.

#WhyIMarch is to speak out as a woman who has experienced adversity because of my gender that women’s rights are human rights. I am motivated by this election to #staynoisy and to not take the progress women have won for granted.

Making New Friends on MARC

IMG_0412

When I fly to Washington, DC, I often fly with Southwest Airlines to BWI (Baltimore). Then I take the MARC train to Union Station and my college chum Carole picks me up. It is easy and costs just $7 one way. Last night I arrived at 6:45 and caught the shuttle to the train station. Walking outside was like walking into a hot sauna. I moved slowly across the to the southbound platform and sat down.

cicadasSoon I was joined by my new friend Simone from Santa Cruz, California. We could hear the cicadas loudly in the trees behind us. She asked me if I knew what that noise was. I have heard them in New Zealand so I had a pretty good idea. I found a photo on Google images and I asked her where she is from. We had a lovely chat. Later she came back to show me her camera and I asked if I could take her picture.

Then we boarded the train and she came and found me on the lower deck. She told me she was going to tour the White House and I asked her if she knew about Dolley Madison. I encouraged her to look for information on one of my favorite first ladies. Then her brother came looking for her.

This is why I love public transit. You have the opportunity for really fun encounters.

I am in Washington, DC for a girls weekend with Carole. We are going to take the AMTRAK train to Wilmington, Delaware. I will blog along the way.

Quick Knits in Washington, DC Area

I look forward to visiting Washington DC at least one time during the year. College chum Carole lives in Alexandria and it is always good to catch up. My work does not take me to the nation’s capitol as often as it once did. The last time I was in DC was with junior highers from Humboldt County to attend the Presidential Inauguration in January 2013. I was overdue.

I took Amtrak from Greensboro to Union Station in business class. Terrific experience! Sure it takes longer than flying (8 hours) and yet I was able to get work done, nap and saved money.

Love the Washington DC hat on the fireplace mantel (available on Ravelry).

Love the Washington DC hat on the fireplace mantel (available on Ravelry).

Looped Yarn Works is one of the places I like to shop when in Washington DC. In DuPont Circle, this upstairs shop is welcoming and offers great yarns, patterns and accessories for the avid knitter.

I bought yarn for a couple of Debbie Bliss projects for babies and wrote down the names of several patterns available on Ravelry to purchase from home. Plus I bought a couple of charming patterns–one named Harriet Dress (from Blue Sky Alpaca).

Oh joy! The service is great and while we were there small children were learning to knit from a very patient and wise knitting instructor.

Great yarn shop in Alexandria, VA old town.

Great yarn shop in Alexandria, VA old town.

Later the same day we were shopping in Old Town Alexandria, VA before going to Serenity Spa for a massage or facial. We bopped into Fibre Space at 1219 King Street. The vibe is different–more hipster. They make an effort to welcome men who knit. Cool. Worth a visit.