Sunday, June 12, 2016

Getting to Know Mare Fairchild!

Good morning! I’m Mare Fairchild, coming to you from lovey northwest Connecticut where I live with Doug, my significant other (interesting phrase, but better than I would have done had I been left on my own), Miss Kitty, the tiny herding cat, and Asia, my Orange-winged Amazon parrot, my feathered companion of 32 years. 
I have one son who is happily married and living in New York state with my lovely daughter-in-law, Karen .

I am, and have been since the age of 4, an avid reader. My first recollection of book reviewing was my utter dismay at finding out that the Wizard of Oz used tinted glasses and that the Emerald City really wasn't. I won't bother to tell you what I thought of the changes that were made in the movie version. I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, The Three Investigators, and The Hardy Boys rapidly moving on to Agatha Christie at age 9 when I found a damp copy Hallowe'en Party in a summer vacation lake rental. From there on I was hooked and according to LibraryThing I have well over 1,600 books in my home and I have only catalogued through the "M"s on the regular cozies. My books are spread all over the house in a fairly orderly manner: the culinary cozies in the kitchen, the bios/non-fiction in my dining room, gardening/furniture refinishing in the mud room,
vintage/classic in the front hall and living room, the straight fiction on one side of the upstairs, paranormal cozies on the other, craft books in my studio, and regular cozies on 2 walls of each of the 2 spare rooms upstairs. I'm rarely at a loss for reading material. 

I also enjoy knitting/crocheting/weaving and spinning. I have a few counted cross stitch and needlepoint projects going as well as a hooked rug I'm finishing up for a friend. I love spending time in my garden and occasionally host dyeing parties in my back yarn during the warmer months. I hope to have a both a dyeing garden planted this year as well as a "cozy garden" (with plants from various series) by the end of the summer. Now all I need is time. 

My job at a middle/high school library as the A/V tech (audio/visual) lets me spend a good deal of time with some wonderful students and I'm very lucky in that our school has a Vocational Agriculture program so not only do we have a great greenhouse, but I also occasionally get some "goat therapy" in.
We have some kids out there now who are just adorable. 

My comfort places are rather varied. When I feel the need to shake off the day's nincompoopery I head toward fibery things, favorite books and/or shows, and my tea whether it's a cup (so-so day) or a pot (right big stinker of a day). Comfort reads include Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christie, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, and Mignon Eberhart. Comfort movies include The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, any of the old Charlie Chan movies, And Then There Were None (1945), Dead Again, and RED. TV programs are Murder, She Wrote (of course), Miss Fisher Mysteries, The Brokenwood Mysteries, Ellery Queen Mysteries, and Rosemary and Thyme. These are all very conducive to clearing my head and letting me work on my fibery stuff since my I can't just sit and do nothing. In fact, I have project bags with knitted hats ready to go if I feel the need to walk by the lake so that I can work on a hat while I enjoy the view. Just imagine what I could do with a bit more time in my day. 

I recently finished a crocheted wool afghan to donate to the silent auction which will be held at the FFA state convention next month. This is where the state chapter gets most of it's income for the uniform assistance, scholarships, and other forms of help that they offer so it seemed a worthwhile reason to crochet an afghan. I used the yarn that was spun from sheep raised by our Vo-Ag kids a few years ago and I have no idea what I will do next year to follow it up. 

I am part of a fiber group which meets weekly at the local library and we routinely make items to donate. Last year two of us followed the lead of the Ottawa Yarn Bombers and hung out  almost 100 hats, scarves, mittens, and cowls over the winter for anyone needing a warm item to wear. We hung them in trees, on railings, and benches. I have this the bag for this year started. I also donate to the silent auction at school for Project Graduation, I make baptism/funeral gowns for the local NICU, Santa hats for preemies, snoods for a greyhound rescue, and I routinely donate lap robes and shawls to the VA. Even with all of this, I still have enough knitted, crocheted, or woven items to have an online studio and to do several craft shows a year. Really, I just  need another hour or two in my day to do what I want, not what I have to do. \

All in all, I am quite happy staying at home with all of my toys, inside and out, because I can travel anywhere I want to when I pick up a good book or a hank of yarn from some exotic port and I don't have to get a single shot. ;-)