dusting off the dye pots!

I haven't dyed in months. It's too awkward to dye when large and pregnant, so I avoided it for the bulk of my 3rd trimester, but today, I had a hankering for some color and a brand new bump of wool arrived a week ago. My mom came over to snuggle the baby and I used every burner on the stove + 3 electric burners and blazed through a full 22 lb. bump of Merino and about 5 lbs. of BFL in four hours.

Just last week, we celebrated my toddler's 3rd birthday, and I'm sure her gift has nudged me back into feeling artsy. We bought her an easel, and I could wallpaper the house with a weekend's worth of toddler art. Love love love.

Even though my little babe sleeps a lot, he's started to wake more during the night, so I'm imagining an hour of carding each day will be just enough to give me some me-time with my favorite wooly activity without making me go loopier than I already am. I haven't knit a single stitch, and my wheel has been inactive. All I want to do is cuddle the baby, play with my dinosaur-princess-toddler, and keep the house from spiraling into chaos.. and now, card! I can't believe how anxious I am to get into a new routine, and how easy it is to manage sleep deprivation the second time around.


my new little one

I'm so happy to share that my son Ira was born on 11/14 at 4:46am. He weighed 7 lbs 5 oz. and was 21.5" long at birth. It was a wild and fast labor with no gory details that I can remember, though I was in a hazy fog of pain and can't remember much other than I barely made it to the hospital in time - he was out and nursing about 40 minutes after we arrived.

I was discharged from the hospital the very next day, and though I didn't feel quite ready, we packed up and arrived home in time to pick Ingrid up from preschool. I'm still not feeling quite ready (emotionally/mentally) to juggle it all, but I'm fortunate to have both my parents and in-laws nearby for help!

Ira is a sweet and content little fellow. He's perpetually hungry, but other than that - not too fussy yet. He's even started sleeping a 5 hour stretch each night, which is absolutely luxurious for me if I can get into bed early when he starts the stretch around 10pm. Ira seems so strong and hardy compared to his preemie sister - he can already hold his head up for a while, is acing tummy time with plenty of kicking and head rolling and even pushing himself a couple of inches forward on the carpet, and he follows movement and sounds with his eyes - some of these milestones took my little Ingrid months. I'm also convinced he's gained at least 1 lb. since birth! Our only issue was a pinch of jaundice (like everyone else in our family), but he never had high enough levels to need the lights, so we won't be seeing the pediatrician for a full month after his initial "new patient" office visit. He has a full head of short chocolate brown hair, dark navy blue eyes, and an adorable little button nose. I think he's a handsome fella, but I'm clearly biased.

Ingrid is madly in love with her new brother, though I'm seeing the green-eyed monster more frequently, especially when he's cluster-feeding in the mornings and evenings. I'm sure this jealousy phase will pass, but for now, one on one time is still very important to her and we're desperately trying to carve out little niches of time for make-believe play and crafts when the little bear is snoozing.

I'll be adding one hour of MDS&W prep each day starting next week, especially if little Ira continues his current napping schedule, though in all honesty - I'm just not ready to even think about jumping back into fiber just yet. I tried spinning the other day but it didn't work out so well, and I ended up taking an extra-long bubble bath instead. The enthusiasm will return, but until then, I don't want to fret away my little one's sweet babyhood with a strict production schedule. Our family is complete now, so these are my last "newborn days" until grandparenthood, and I plan on savoring them as much as possible. My booth at Maryland might have the same amount of product as last year instead of the extra I had planned, but that will be good enough!


one last batty blast

Ok, here it goes! One final blast of batts from my studio, and then .. well, shipping it all out and making sure I don't have any loose ends hanging, but then - maternity leave! I'm really looking forward to spending the next two weeks puttering around and finishing laundry and figuring out storage solutions for all of this baby gear that I've been digging out.

Here's a collage of the whole shebang that's going up tonight.

I had hopes of finishing up a couple of new RollyBatt colorways, but after a driving band failure on one of my carders (and way too much time spent obsessing over fixing it!), I ended up storing those projects for later. Who knows, I might get the itch to delve into the studio within a few weeks, but I think a break from the studio is just the thing I need to start bonding with my new bub.


tiny details

I've never been *this* pregnant before. By this point in my last pregnancy, I was already holding my wee babe, so going past 35 weeks is a new and slightly uncomfortable experience, though I'll happily take these weeks at home with a tiny kickboxing fetus instead of at the hospital with a tiny milk-refusing preemie.

Last week, I did something really bold for an awkward introvert like myself - I hired local professional photographer Jeremy Wolfe for maternity/spinning wheel pics. I spent the entire day worrying and fussing over silly details like my toenails and hair color, and then after pouring an embarrassingly indulgent amount of time into self-pampering, it rained. Surprisingly, we didn't cancel the shoot and the entire experience was one of the wildest evenings I've had all year. My best friend came along for the ride, holding a flash and helping me laugh off my uncomfortableness.

Here's one of my favorite shots from the night:

When the sky grew too dark, we drove into town and took more photos in an alley, my big ol tummy casting funny silhouettes on a white wall. I can't wait to see the entire collection of images from the shoot, and I'm so glad I invested in documenting this period of my life. After all of that worry and fussing and awkwardness, I read an article tonight called "The Mom Stays in the Picture" and felt even better about my uncharacteristic splurge. Only now, I'm realizing that my mom and my husband's mother are the least photographed people in our family albums. Hopefully I can stay in the picture and not worry about the little details next time someone whips out a camera for my family.

On the studio front, I'm officially unable to continue making ArtBatts, so the few that I've made will get posted with my final update this weekend or in the middle of next week. I always knew that ArtBatts took the most muscle, but oof- they're sending me into flurries of contractions and a reprisal of morning sickness, so I'm calling it quits on that batty format for a while. I'm sticking with Classics and roving this week, with maybe a couple of fresh RollyBatt colorways in the works. I've also gone ahead and made a tough decision to go on maternity leave a couple of weeks earlier than originally planned. We rely heavily on my little businesses income to fuel our family's living expenses, and even though every single week of work counts, I'm physically and mentally in need of a few weeks to prepare for this new little bundle. There's baby clothes to wash, receiving blankets to serge, bookcases to secure (and build), and of course, I've got that crazy nesting instinct to take a toothbrush to the floor.


classically batty

ClassicBatts are stealing my heart and energy these days! Maybe it's because they're my favorite batt style to spin from, or maybe it's because they take a moderate amount of time and require little muscle (as compared with ArtBatts which take gobs of muscle and little time or RollyBatts which take zero muscle and oodles of time).

I made 5 new sets of ClassicBatts last week in quantities of 4 each and just posted them to the shop tonight.

I've got an excess of  luxurious superfine Merino and BFL to work from since the regular 21.5 micron Merino that I card from was out of stock from my supplier, and I'm really enjoying experimenting with both!

In case you're new to my fluff, ClassicBatts are what I started making waaaay back when I first got a drum carder. They're double-blended batts rolled into sweet little balls, and each batt is carded carefully so that plenty of contrast remains. When I started blending ArtBatts and RollyBatts, I needed a name for these cute little bubs, so "Classic" stuck, especially since you'll see versions of these all over Etsy from a variety of mega-talented carders.

Speaking of other carders, I need to fluff my personal spinning stash before maternity leave, any recommendations? Other People's Fiber (OPF in my business accounting records) is always a great surprise to spin from. There's something deliciously unexpected about diving into a batt that has a mysterious center, or contrasts I wouldn't have anticipated. I just might have to go shopping or trading for a few boyish colorways over the next week.



Less than 6 weeks to go until I hit my due date, not that it means anything is going to happen on November 15th, but I'm imagining/fantasizing/hoping that this little bub will arrive that week!

I've been slowing down.

I'm finally accepting that cranking batts out at full-speed is a thing of the 2nd trimester past and have resigned myself to working at 50% capacity until little Ira is born, and then I'll take a nice maternity leave until I just can't stay away any longer, and will start back up with whatever bits of time I can find. I remember carding during Ing's newborn naps, so I anticipate that a similar schedule will resume before the new year. Even though I'd like to start up again soon, I'm giving myself a little bit of extra time, because after all, I've got a toddler to juggle and transition through this life-changing event too!

I'm wickedly honored to share that I was featured in Spin Artiste last week. I'm a huge fan of reading Arlene's interviews with fiber artists that I admire, so to be interviewed myself was a huge thrill! I was originally going to delete the code after the weekend of the interview, but I think I'll leave it up for a few more days ;) I've also reduced shipping to very low flat-rate charges for the remainder of this month.. or should I say, the remainder of my pre-maternity leave time! I honestly don't know whether I'll make it out of this month without a baby.

On a final note, I actually finished a complete project - a handspun woven blanket for my sweet toddler.

She's in love with it, and sleeps with it every night! Her reaction to the blanket is more exciting to me than actually finishing something. I should get started knitting something for little babe, but that might have to wait until here's here and snoozing in my arms.



Everything's packed tight around here right now from my dyed fiber stash to my expanding waistline! I spent yesterday with my dye pots and realized how uncomfortably far away the sink suddenly felt as I pressed up against it to rinse out my dyed wool. Now that my series of summery adventures are over, concluding with SpinQuest last weekend, I'm really feeling the need to buckle down and make the most of my Fall.

I'm wearing the grey dress, running out of lap-room!

I entered the third trimester last week, or maybe the week before.. and the count-down to BabyTime suddenly feels very short, especially in light of all of the pre-Winter fiber prep I need to accomplish to prepare for both Maryland Sheep and Wool and the busy winter months following maternity leave. Fortunately yesterday's dye session was extra successful and I now have 20 lbs. of freshly dyed Merino + assorted fibers such as tencel and faux cashmere to keep me busy for the next week!


Vacationing: Yarnival + the beach!

I'm in between two exciting trips right now, home from the Yarnival in Placerville, CA and now on my way to the beach in Ocean City, MD for a week. Traveling is rare for me, so this summer is a real treat!

The Yarnival was a smorgasbord of inspiration and my usual post-MDS&W burnout evaporated quickly once I slipped off the plane into a wickedly good zone of zero responsibilities. I spent the next 5 days soaking up good conversation, too much sun, and a variety of goods from fellow fiber artists that I've been anxious to meet for years. Lucky me, I came home with a Girl with a Hook hat (one of my goal purchases for the trip), a skein of handspun and a pair of earrings from Neauveau Fiber Arts, a gorgeous handspun lariat from Rose Nectar Fibre Couture, fiber from Oscar and Sophia, and batts and locks from Jazzturtle (Esther and I shared a booth). The highlight of my trip was definitely chatting with everyone. Oh, and the river. I could never forget how good that river felt on my swollen pregnant-lady cankles!

 I came home to a feverish tot and spent the next week doling out snuggles and antibiotics and catching up on terrible children's movies.

Once poor Ingrid was able to attend school again, I got back to work and cranked out two small updates. My favorite colorway came out of this set of ClassicBatts named Bottled Sunshine.

I believe these two updates were among my fastest-selling, there's barely anything left in the ol' shop, and I'm about to run out to the Post Office for my second-to-last trip before my Beach vacation. If you've got your eyes set on anything, nab it quick before I shut down the shop tonight! I've got time for one more PO run tomorrow morning before I pack up my tot and head for the beach with my family.

This second baby, it's a BOY! I know I've posted just about everywhere else so I'm sure it's old news. I'm just excited that I'll have a chance to try something different, and that our little family will be complete with one of each. We're naming him Ira.



Time has FLOWN as usual, but this time I know exactly what has happened - Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!!! All of those late nights paid off and I had a wonderful time vending with my Mom (MarigoldJen) and with help from my good friends Christiane Knight of Three Ravens as well as Adele Michelsen from Looliemom. I left with over 12 giant bins and 4 bags of fiber, and returned home with 2.5 bins, and my tent was mostly empty by Saturday evening. Here's Mom and me during set-up.

I returned home to a very distressed toddler - poor Iggy was not happy at all about the few days I was gone, so I spent the next week providing as much boring routine as possible to help prepare her for what came next - a move across town! (I feel like the Price is Right announcer here..) We lived in a gorgeous remodeled barn on the outskirts of Shippensburg for nearly 5 years, but with a second baby on the way, the open layout of the barn was no longer going to be a convenient or safe layout for our little family. Now we've got much more space, though this new spacious and more cost-effective home is a temporary blip in our efforts to save up for a home to purchase within the next two years.

The move took much much longer than we anticipated - I had to do the bulk of packing and organizing since my husband was busy with odd hours at his job and an exciting radio gig on the side. I pushed for a heavy de-stashing of everything we owned to help speed up the process, and even slimmed my book collection by over 80% - which feels deliciously refreshing!

Just after settling and unpacking and restoring comfort and routine to my sensitive toddler again, another big event - my parents flew out West to be with family during a rough time and had a last minute emergency crisis with their dog requiring a sitter/kennel. He was missing just one of the vaccines required for a stay at a kennel, so I've been dog-sitting/house-sitting for the past week and a half, living between homes with a re-frazzled toddler, spending 2-3 hours each day with the commute. You can probably now imagine why the studio has remained mostly untouched for a full month! Also, it's probably not hard to imagine how anxious I am to shut myself into my new basement cave of floor-to-ceiling fibers and freshly washed fleeces.

I have so many wickedly good ideas on what to do with my newly bolstered stash - the fleeces I brought home from Maryland Sheep and Wool along with some delicious BFL fleeces I ordered from one of my absolute favorite farms - they're all divine! I bought a couple of natural colored fleeces that will absolutely not be dyed, and you'll know why once you see the sweet milk chocolate brown rambouillet and the multi-tonal silvers and charcoals in my ribbon-winning leicester longwool fleece. As usual though, I can't stay away from high contrast bolds and brights, so the natural colors will be a fun spin on the typical Hobbledehoy crankings.

Because of all of these events, it's been very difficult to find the right times to have or schedule updates - usually after a long day with a clingy toddler, I fall asleep while tucking her in! I do have more product to list from MDSW to continue to add, but I also have a full bin of fresh batts and rovings for this weekend's update. Stay tuned, and stay flexible! I'll make sure that a newsletter goes out with my update info ONLY AFTER I'm totally sure that an update is happening that day :)


Spring reflection

This Spring has been such an exciting and dizzying blend of personal and business activity that I can't help but feel reflective now that I'm in the midst of my last week of Festival preparations *and* am preparing to leave this rocky first trimester behind. I turned 29 this month, and there's nothing like birthdays to make you think about what you have and haven't accomplished, and overall, I'm surprised that I'll be leaving this decade with several life goals under my belt including a completed family and a rare opportunity to make a living off of doing something I love.

After several unsuccessful months of infertility treatments, I had convinced myself that it was time to give up on the thought of a 2nd child and pursue graduate school instead - I think I've been hoping for an opportunity to go back to school ever since I graduated - but when we found out the exciting news this Spring that I was expecting, I quickly recalculated those plans so that I could be at home as much as possible for my two kids while still having a chance to work - something that's very very important to me. I love working, and I don't feel like a bad mother for saying that I need to work, full-time even. With a mixture of late night shifts with my carders and part-time daycare, I've got a good flexible schedule for batt-blasting and dyeing and mothering. I hope to continue this routine and schedule until both children enter school - and at that time I guess I'll have a brand new stack of options to explore - maybe I'll have a chance to try out the more artistic side of the fiber arts, or maybe I'll expand and take on a partner.

For now, I'm just feeling very fortunate to be able to play with color and texture all day long - and to have such a encouraging and enthusiastic group of customers and fiber co-workers. I'm also lucky that I've got no one to call off to when the morning sickness hits hard. (I've totally spent the equivalent of 2 work weeks hugging the toilet or trying desperate natural remedies for nausea). I had two nauseous evenings while pregnant with Ingrid and that was it - this is so unexpected!

As for the festival - I'm just a few days away from being 100% ready! I'm throwing a small shop update tonight, mainly to raise money for gas and travel, and then I'm certain I'll return with dozens of beautiful batts to share in my shop. Here's one that I'll be listing tonight, "Geode."

A final note - updates should resume as normal, about every 1-2 weeks, following the festival. We'll be moving across town out of the HobbledeBarn that I love in May or June, but a 3rd floor apartment isn't necessarily ideal for juggling a newborn, a clumsy toddler, and groceries. Also, winter is just too expensive in this place - you don't want to know what it costs to heat a three floor loosely-insulated / mostly-empty barn. Exact moving plans haven't been cemented yet, but I'll have a new basement studio, and while I'll miss the great views from my current studio overlooking corn fields, I'll still have a place for all of this fluff!


oh baby!

Ok, I can finally comfortably announce that I've been out of sorts and not updating my shop as frequently because I'm pregnant with our second child! I'm very excited, but this pregnancy has knocked me out with morning sickness, and I've been a bit of an emotional wreck over the combination of MDSW plans and trying to get organized for a potential move within the next two months.

I've been sitting on a  small update for a week now, and I'm hoping to have a chance to list some of it mid-day tomorrow. I've been anxious to have a European-time-friendly shop update, but I cannot organize it mid-day no matter how hard I try! It looks like I'll just have to pre-draft listings the night before in the future for those updates, which I hope to do once a month or every other month.

Our second baby is due in November, the busiest month of my woolyworkin' year, so I'm hoping to get plenty carded ahead of time so that I can stock up my shop for the months I'll be on maternity leave. That means full-time fiber-blasting this summer, if I can refrain from turning green over the scent of wool. :)  We're really feeling excited over this - the age gap between Ingrid and Baby Next will be about 3 years on the dot, and I hope that they can grow up with a comfortable companionship with one another.. eventually.


Ok, I've hit that point! I feel a little behind on everything. We've had quite the juggle this month with one car in the shop and one specific-very-positive-but-exhausting life-changing news. I'm ashamed to admit, I've had trouble over the past two weeks contacting every customer after each order, and after Paypal multi-order shipping has been non-operational on the only computer in the house hooked up properly with a printer - oy! Expect hand-written addresses until our rocky Paypal situation improves, or until I give in and switch back to Endicia.

Resolution: No update this weekend.
Further resolution: Early bedtime!

Being overwhelmed with good business is a blessing, but I need to make sure that I can keep up with it properly before slipping into bad business.

As for MDSW prep - you have no idea how excited I am to meet up with new and returning customers, play with fiber in public, and hang "Please pet the Batts!" signs all through my booth. I'll be in the Lower Corral, space 21 again. That's way out past the Main Exhibition hall, so if it's raining, wear galoshes and bring a raincoat! I'll still be there! And now, I'm signing off for tea, feedback catch-up, and more carding! Tomorrow, instead of the usual Sunday night update I'll be finally creating my new portal/portfolio website and whipping out dozens of ClassicBatts and Garden Compost batts for Maryland Sheep and Wool.


yarn parade

My original goal of 100 skeins of handspun was probably lofty. I've got a third of that goal, but progress ground to a halt after I ran dry on inspiration. I'm taking a week or two off from spinning to card, dye, and label what I've got.

This week's update was a huge success! I can't believe that I don't have a single oz. of wool left in the shop. Fortunately, I've got a bump and a half of Merino, just waiting to be dyed - so there's more to come in a couple of weeks. I'll add a few things this weekend, but after that, the next larger update will be on 3/11.


MDSW progress

I spent most of last week tinkering with dyes and planning colorways for Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May. Here's one of the products I've been working on : Ply Packs!

 A Ply Pack is a selection of 4-6 pieces of dyed top on semi-luxury bases like Merino/tencel, BFL/silk, Merino/silk, and Merino/bamboo. These cute packages nearly sold out last year at the festival, so I made sure to create quadruple the supply. I like to chain-ply these in random stripe lengths, but I found that most customers made self-striping or two-ply yarns.

My to-do list is daunting and I find myself getting distracted with fresh fleeces - baby BFL, baby Finn, Cormo X Merino, Moorit Merino, Huacaya alpaca.. I'm drowning in a delicious buffet of fine raw woolies! The wash process for me is finally streamlined - divide the fleece into 1.5 - 2 lb. chunks, soak, hot wash w/Dawn, rinse, rinse, hot wash w/Dawn, rinse, rinse - DYE! Most of my fleeces need the two hot washes since they're extra greasy fine wools, though some like the baby BFL can be polished off in just a couple of hours. Here's that baby BFL all dyed up in one of my favorite colors:

At least I'll have some happy farm-fresh fibers in my Maryland batts! It's been a goal of mine to make a slow switch to using about 30% (or more) fibers from small and/or local farmers, and this year I'm finally making progress on that goal. Of course, it's crazy-expensive to use wool from scratch - with a Merino fleece, up to half of the fleece can be lanolin, so if I'm paying $15/lb, that quickly turns into $30, not to mention all of the time it takes to skirt, wash, and pick out VM. Still, there's something really satisfying about starting with raw earthy wool and transforming it into something that's just as soft as the commercial top, but has a crimpy kinky texture and is filled with life.

I'm just going to put this out there - I'm always willing to trade finished product for high quality fleeces with low VM. My faves include anything with a lower 20's micron count, kid or yearling mohair, huacaya alpaca, and staple lengths that aren't shorter than 3".

Aaand, I better log off and finish sorting through pictures for the 2nd half of this week's update. I've got a tiny discount available (Code: HOBTEN) celebrating 6 years of selling on Etsy.


Back in the saddle

Well, we're finally swinging back into our normal routines with frequent trips to the park during this unusually warm weather. I've had the opportunity to  process fleeces outdoors and hang my wool in the sun to dry - something usually impossible in January. Ing is happy to have a chance to run amok in the backyard, though I wish she'd wear boots instead of ruby slippers. She is also finally tolerating a little bit of studio time, helping me package and sort fiber along with weighing every little ball of fiber that she can reach.

I'm in full-swing production mode for Maryland Sheep & Wool with a lofty goal of bringing along 100 yarns. So far, I'm 1/5 of the way there, and have already claimed two yarns for keepsies. This week, I'll start painting tops, beginning with BFL/silk and Merino/tencel. Tops were a quick-seller last year, perhaps because they're hanging outside of the packaging, begging to be squeezed and petted. I'm planning on hanging rovings this year too, though I fear they'll be mangled since they're more delicate. If so, I'll be coming home with a huge personal stash! I'll also be bringing along 150-200 ArtBatts, and am eager to start tinkering with display ideas. A 10x15 tent is huge, and I'll probably go through about 150 lbs. of wool to flesh, er, fluff it out!

Over the weekend, I unleashed a huge update which has mostly vanished, the bulk of it shipping yesterday with a few remaining pieces going out today. My next update will probably be this weekend, and will be smaller - perhaps a dozen ArtBatts and a dozen Classic sets? I'm working on my HobbledeCLUB and ArtBatt subscriptions, so we'll see!


a little update

To say "things have been chaotic" may be an understatement, though all is ultimately going well over here. This month, we've collectively made nearly a dozen trips to the doctors for a secession of illnesses and accidents. I alone have had the flu, then a stomach virus, then a sinus infection, and accidentally splashed bleach in my eye. Poor Ing has suffered the flu, the virus, and now a double-ear infection. I'm guessing it's the season-for-sharing, since half of Ing's classmates were out with various illnesses this month. I'm also supposing I shouldn't have co-slept with Ing when she felt terrible, but sometimes the only thing that will comfort a sad tot is a night of snuggles, and I wouldn't have changed a thing, except perhaps with the bleach incident- but that's a whole 'nother embarrassing story.

It goes without saying, not a lot of work has been happening! Ing's daycare attendance has been dismal since she's felt so poorly, and I haven't felt like spending time in the studio while feeling rotten. I had planned a Sunday update, but with only a handful of rovings, I decided to postpone instead and do absolutely nothing for several days. Resting over the weekend has helped Ing heal, and I should be on the mend by mid-week, which means a possible mid-week tiny update and a very large weekend one. I did manage to dye up an entire bump of Merino wool during the eye of the storm, and I have several fresh new colorways planned for Classic Batts, but to be perfectly honest, I'm waiting until I don't feel like such a Typhoid Mary.


brand new year

It's a brand new year and I feel so refreshed after a long vacation. I wish I wouldn't have ended vacation with the flu, but I'm learning to accept the rotten fact that this hermetic lifestyle leaves me prone to catching everything that my daughter brings home from school.

I just sent out the options for the ArtBatt January installment with the theme Cake Walk, and I'm really excited to hear back from my subscribers on which of the cakes they'd like to have batted-up.

This weekend, I'll also be working on the HobbledeCLUBs, and everything ships out on 1/9. I have capped both clubs at 10 subscribers each at any given time, so that I can not only ship within the first two weeks of each month, but so that I can also really put the extra time into making sure the Clubs are extra special. In previous years, I bit off more than I could chew with subscriptions. Never again!

My next update, originally scheduled for 1/7, will probably have to be postponed until 1/10 due to this flu-bug. I lost out on all three of my work days this week since my kiddo was ill. Most likely, it will be a small update: ClassicBatts, a handful of Rovings, a small set of ArtBatts, a few tinies, and dyed silk hankies. I realize I have postponed updates time and time again, and I can't decide whether I should just announce them on the day they're going to occur, or continue to try and plan specific dates and accept that 25% of the time, I'll have to re-schedule. Suggestions/preferences?