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Crazy fun busy

Little green heart on the windowsill

...and sunny.

Heart in sun and shadow

I *heart* sunny.

Miniature ceramic heart by JD Wolfe Pottery on Etsy / on Flickr; with strong ties to Howling Wolf Sauces on Etsy / on Facebook -- soon to make a delicious, finger-licking appearing here.

Meanwhile, I have had the past two crazy fun busy days off.  Both days have been wonderfully sunny!  We pay the price for that sort of thing in January in Wisconsin and the cost is COLD!!  Just plain cold.

Is three years too long?


Foot path

I skipped out of work a little early yesterday -- which was great because, while I wanted to go to Zumba (and normally don't have time for anything other than a mad dash right after work), I also had to make a stop at the office supply store.  Well, things went freakishly smooth -- I didn't have to hunt or ask for assistance -- and I was out of there in a flash, leaving me a LOT of time on my hands, even after slowly meandering to the dance studio.


What to do?

Double doors

I had a fleeting thought about grabbing my knitting bag, but I drag so much stuff with me the way it is... I nixed that idea.

I updated the normally neglected calendar that I carry in my bag -- some birthdays, a studio opening, dentist appointment.


Favorite view

No new calls on my cell phone.  Heh.  I'm not really that much of a talker.  There are rarely new calls on my cell phone.

I got to clicking around on the cell (oh! there's "speaker phone"!) and found a bunch of old pictures.  I decided that it was time to purge -- that three years (+ two weeks) was long enough.  Plus, I had to scroll past all of these (and more -- here's the set, minus what I deleted outright) whenever I want to access a new one.  I like these photos, though, for a bunch of reasons, so I started sending them in messages to myself.

Truth be told, I still have a couple of even older photos on my phone -- Katie as a new barista.  That's different.

Path to the door

Anyway, these photos were taken on January 13, 2007, while driving around with Maddy while she was logging driver's ed practice miles.  I can't believe it was three years ago.  (I wonder how old my phone is?  I'll bet I'm due...)  You can see her silhouette in the photo above, between the house and the tree.

I had to be productive in some way... well, it's something.

When life gives you lemons...

Actually, I bought the lemons myself!

Yellow I

This week's theme for the 52.5 of 2010 Flickr group is YELLOW.  I have to admit, my first thought was dog pee in the snow.  Yellow is not a prominent color in my January world; there is very little of it in my wardrobe or in my home's decor.  What little yellow there is is concentrated in the kitchen.  So.  I bought a few lemons at the store and gathered all the yellow stuff I could find and started shootin'.

Yellow II

This was yesterday, though perhaps a bit more blue (in a cheerful way) than in reality:


With more of the same today.  It's raining and snow is melting and it's the ug-ug-ugliest part of winter.

Yeah, give me lemons!

Mmmm, now, maybe it's time for some lemonade.

Friday Favorites

Flickr Faves to share today -- some of them tagged with "sunshine," because I could use some of that!

1. Sunshine, 2., sunshine and happiness... [FP], 3. morning sunshine..., 4. ~ whishing U a heavenly Sunshine yellow Sunday~, 5. January 19, 2010, 6. STUN Heavy Metal Shoot, 7. bluee, 8. 13.365 Earth's the right place for love., 9. ~, 10. happy the saturday when the rain stops, 11. knitter's view, 12. the Superkids, 13. Orcutt Afternoon, 14. Chapletown Bay - Co Kerry - Ireland, 15. Happy 2010, 16. New rose, 17. résistance, 18. And so doth end another day..., 19. Merry~Merry~, 20. Falling, 21. Condensed sunlight, 22. christmas hedgehog pincushion, 23. join hands~, 24. seeking the sun, 25. Radiant, 26. neurotic~, 27. retreat~, 28. Missing the Beach, 29. shell lake 1981, 30. Dandelion Pre-Bloom, 31. Say what?, 32. the sun is coming down on me, 33. lilacs, 34. a little sweetness, 35. Greece20, 36. Greece39

Moving on, while looking back...


I think I may have a new favorite picture of my husband.  This is "him" in so many ways.  He's still the chief bottle washer, and I'll bet those flour/sugar/rice/oatmeal jars are the same ones sitting in our pantry cupboard right now. 

I brought out a scrapbook that we started and never finished and found a small bunch of photos from 1984-85 that I'd forgotten all about.

The motel mermaid and me

This was taken on a stop at Seaside, OR, during one of our spontaneous road trips.  We had our morning coffee (documented) and the next thing you know, we were in the car heading north up the coast.  The lovely mermaid was in the parking lot or entry of a motel -- we didn't even stay there, but for some reason we had to stop for photos.  I knit the sweater I'm wearing -- one of my first completed projects!  This might be the only photographic evidence, as it is long gone.


This is at the rear of the House That Rusty Built at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, OR.  It was livable, but not quite finished when I met him -- I tease about the "CertainTeed" wallpaper.  I helped him finish, and we added on, too.  I made a mighty big impression, I guess, with my willingness to pitch in, top to bottom; I didn't flinch when he handed me the shovel to dig the trench for that footing, and there are photos of me nailing shingles on the roof.

The addition, complete

It was one of those "under the radar" jobs -- we framed and closed it up over a weekend, re-using the weathered shingles on the parts most visible from the road (and, say, the searching eyes of a possible passing-by building inspector).  Rusty used a lot of salvaged material in the original construction of that house -- I was fascinated by that.

That's a funky view, above, from the left is a small "garage," an enclosed patio/porch constructed with old glass panels from a greenhouse, and the house itself -- designed for one, adapted for two.  We never quite got around to making it for three or more -- there are sketches around, exploring the possibilities, including the addition of an art gallery and work space.

Yeah, it could have been awesome -- and maybe it would have been -- we didn't have the money to bring it to fruition.  Yes, we most certainly do feel occasional regret at giving that up... and the other...  Well, hell, we'll just never know...


What I do know is that I have been fascinated with other types of "what might have beens" for as long as I can remember.  When I was young, and we'd journey a few times a year along familiar routes to visit grandparents or other relatives, I'd watch for "my" abandoned houses along the way.  Big hole in the roof?  That could be patched up.  Broken windows?  Those could be replaced.  Bare siding?  All it needs is some paint.  Porch falling off?  You'd just need to jack it up over there, add a column over here.  All you need is love...  heh.

Abandonment, ca. 1984

This is one we found in Washington State on one of those spontaneous road trips.  I recall that it was very unsafe inside, but it drew me in.  I have some local photographer friends who specialize in "rural decay" and "abandonment" and I just had to smile when I happened upon these.  And some others -- a little surprised at the foreshadowing of my present interests in photography -- it really has been in me -- more than I thought, and for longer than I thought.

I'd like to say, "Thank You!" for all the anniversary well wishes!!  Yesterday was a nutty day -- my mother had the first of her cataract surgeries and I had to pick her up at the clinic, plus a couple of meetings to attend and errands to run, as well as all the normal stuff I do on my day off (I never did get to laundry -- threw in a load on my way out the door this morning).  By the time Rusty and I went out for a celebratory dinner, I was yawning at regular intervals.  I'd have time to check my mail here and there during the way, and work on a blog post.  Three cheers for Typepad's "draft" feature, by the way; most of my posts lately are written over several hours, dashing in to add photos or write whenever there's a spare minute.  Sometimes I end up losing continuity or things become disjointed that way -- not ideal, but it is what it is.  So, well, thank you reading, for coming by now and then, for coming back.  Thank you.


Twenty five years ago today...

...I wore the ugliest dress in the world while wearing the biggest glasses ever made and got married.  It was a Sunday afternoon, at our little house at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, Oregon.  We had built a small addition the summer before, or we'd never have had the room.

I can't believe I found as many photos as I did... pasted into an old scrapbook we'd started.

Don't you just love Rusty's expression in the second photo?  That's our Justice of the Peace on his left.

Our friends TJ & January witnessed the event.


Shortly after these photos were taken, more friends arrived bearing food and drink and we had ourselves a little pot-luck reception.  I recall doing some knitting during festivities, too.

Lordy.  Can you believe it?

Bad-ass zoom-zoom


The STUN Photography Group "Heavy Metal" photography event was really more of a Photography Spectacular!  I don't know the official numbers, but I'd say there were close to 100 photographers and a couple dozen models -- encompassing the entire gamut of experience -- as well as a half-dozen or so hair and makeup artists.  The location was a working machine shop with two very large areas and pretty good light; props included vintage cars, other "wheels," and some furniture that was brought in, and the utilization of, um, machines.


It was STUN's first event of this nature/magnitude and it was amazingly well-run and -organized.  The bar has been set and it is sitting quite high!


As established, glam/sultry/hot/smokin'/bad-ass/fashion photography is not in my usual repertoire -- or even in my unusual repertoire -- and my experience with "models" is practically nil.  My normal procedure includes squeaky toys, jumping, clapping, crawling around on the floor/lawn/sidewalk/street, making funny faces, and singing nursery rhymes.  Overwhelmed doesn't even begin to describe how I was feeling.


I did crawl around a bit -- I've got the dirty jeans to prove it -- but I'm not sure how these guys would have responded if I'd looked at them cross-eyed or broke out with a chorus of "Baby Beluga."  Though it might have been fun to try.  Maybe next time!


The response to my images has been terrific, and it makes me wish I'd stuck around longer.  It was exciting, exhilarating, and completely exhausting -- very fast-paced with so many people around, and so much to take in and process.  I feel like I wandered around more than anything, just taking it all in -- things were very fluid and always changing.

I'm still feeling overwhelmed by it all -- but super-charged, too -- and I can't wait to do it again!

What I saw along the way

Frosty treeline

I'd been planning to attend a HUGE group photo event for a couple of months, now, and my niece happily jumped in by Christmas.  Called "Heavy Metal," the shoot was held in a machine shop and sponsored by a photography group out of Green Bay called STUN (on Flickr and Facebook).  Models -- lots of models, with the makeup and the hair and the clothes; props -- lots of props with the old cars and the heavy machinery and the tools; and photographers -- lots of photographers, with the cameras and the lenses and the lights, oh the lights -- I was going to know very, very few of them.

My niece's car died last week and I ended up going alone -- which was the original plan.  The location was about a half-hour from from home on the highway, but I didn't want to roll that way.  I plotted a scenic zig-zag course on Google Maps, grabbed the Gazeteer (I really, really, REALLY want a GPS), and hit the road.  I missed the first important turn and didn't realize it for a while.  Yep, lost right off the bat.  Eventually, I found a major highway -- and turned "north," except that I'd actually turned "south" (it was very overcast yesterday and the "sun" was no help at all!) and that was the wrong way.

(It could be argued here that I really, really, REALLY need a GPS.)

Believe me, at that point I had more than a passing thought about just bagging it and going home.  I gave myself the pep talk:  It's good to get out in the world, stretch one's wings, make new connections, renew old ones -- it's an adventure, right?  It worked.  I pulled up my big girl panties and turned north, which is really great because otherwise I'd never have spotted this:

Llamas this way

(for which I had to brake, turn around and go back, of course)  ...or this:

A sign of llama

...both on the same farm.  That llama-in-a-circle sign is a spinner.  I kid you not, my friends, a spinning llama sign.  There was plenty more to see and/or photograph, but it was cold and I was late.

I made it to the shoot.  I shot.  I found a friend or two, some recognizable faces, tried not to be too weird -- but I'm afraid I was (Hi Brett!).  I was a teeny tiny bit out of my element and it was a way lotta overwhelming.  It was completely different stuff than I ever normally shoot, but that's where the stretching of wings and growing comes in.  I've posted a few to the group and have had some good response, and I'll share some here in the next few days, too.


On the way home, I found some more trees.


Should I stay or should I go?

I made a couple of purchases on Wednesday when Ali and I went to Iris Fine Yarns.  The yarn is Misti Alpaca -- my first -- Color #20, and not a color in the whole works that I don't love.  Gorgeous stuff.  I also bought Booties, Blankets & Bears by Debbie Bliss.  Honestly, does anyone do babies like Debbie Bliss?

I attended two delayed holiday parties last night -- they were both delayed 'til the same night, of course -- for my photography group and for DH's art group.  We attended an art opening on Thursday night, as well as one last weekend, and DH is in Milwaukee helping to jury a show of high school student art at the Milwaukee Art Museum today.  It's been pretty artsy-fartsy around here.  Good thing they're all super-fun people!!

I had time to dash over and pick up my new glasses before party time!

New specs!

...and new shades!

New shades, too!

- p.swine

I have been sitting on some very big news for      what seems like a very long time.  In fact it has only been the past month, but if you know me, you can appreciate how long that is for me to keep my mouth shut!



Lighting up the sky with the knit-love II

I had a pretty good day.  I had plenty of clean water to drink and nutritious (or otherwise, but completely my choice) food to eat.  I knew where my family was and that they were safe.  I talked to my sister on the phone.  I washed and dried my clothes in my automatic washer and dryer.  I drove to the bank in my car, as well as to the store, the post office, the coffee shop, the yarn store; I bought coffee, groceries, yarn; read a new book.  None of these very simple things -- things I take for granted every single day -- was easily done by anyone in Haiti today.

The knit-signal's been thrown up; thankfully, you don't see it very often.  Go here.  Do something, if you can.

Ten On Tuesday

Yano10 Best Movies (or Shows) You've Seen (or Will See) Lately

Well, as much as I love movies, I just don't get to the show as often as I'd like, so this will be a mish-mash of whatever I've been watching and enjoying lately.

1.  Sherlock Holmes.  I've loved various Sherlocks & Watsons over the years, but these might be The Ones.  There were some pretty good bad guys, too.  It was our Christmas Day movie.  Loved it!

2.  The Young Victoria.  This one will be seen tonight with at least one of my girls -- maybe all three!  I am really looking forward to it.

UPDATE:  Accompanied by Katie & Ali.  I loved it -- Emily Blunt was wonderful, I thought, and I believe I have a new favorite villain (see Sherlock Holmes).  I wish I knew a little more about the political goings-on of the time, but am only left with a desire to learn and will soon be hunting for a book.  I loved the song playing during credits as we left, and asked the girls if they knew who was singing -- and didn't it sound like Sinead O'Connor?  They didn't know -- and they didn't think so.  I just knew it -- that voice is prominent among those in my life's soundtrack.  I also loved the photography in this movie.

3.  This Is It.  I grew up with MJ; never went to a concert, had to see this movie.  I went with two girlfriends to celebrate our birthdays.  Loved it!

4.  Julie & Julia.  I read the book way-back-when for book club -- and also read My Life In France -- saw the movie in the theater with Katie a while back, rented a couple of Julia Child DVDs from Netflix, and received the movie DVD at Christmas.  And I actually watched the DVD at Christmas.  And peeked in while Ali watched the DVD the other day.  I have not yet had my fill of Julia Child.

5.  Men of A Certain Age.  Ray Romano rocks.  Love the casting.

6.  What Not To Wear.  I have never been a regular watcher, but I love this show and it's been added to the DVR's list of scheduled recordings.

7.  It Might Get Loud.  I bought a very inexpensive set of speakers to watch this movie.  They arrived today, so viewing will commence as soon as I get everything all hooked up.

8.  The Closer.  TNT does seem to know drama.

9.  This Emotional Life.  For some reason, this is being aired over three WEEKS in our area rather than three DAYS like the rest of the world.  I know I could watch it online; I'm recording it because other people in this house are also interested.

10.  The Tooth Fairy.  It's nuts -- this is not my kind of movie, but I think it looks kinda cute.

Yep.  I like TV and movies -- always have -- variety shows (Ed Sullivan), game shows (Let's Make A Deal), crime shows (Manix), award shows of all types, cooking shows (The Galloping Gourmet), talk shows (Johnny Carson), soap operas (day time and prime time), comedies, music -- pretty much anything but fishing, bowling, and most paid programming.  I've actually been thinking of ditching cable for a while now, though, and have recently begun to do research in earnest.  We've been watching less and less; I'd like to find a way to get more of what I do want and less of what I don't want.  Rolling things around to see how it can work for us.  I think it can, I think it can, I think it can.

Crispy on the outside

I've been spending a little more time in the kitchen lately.  There are many forces at play in determining how much I cook -- um, actually, in determining how interested I am in food.  Period.

Sometimes I can't stand that I have to spend time planning, prepping, shopping, chopping, slicing, dicing, opening, pouring, stirring, folding, mixing, measuring, dredging, frying, sauteing, simmering, baking, boiling, broiling, tasting, slurping, sipping, dripping, flipping, licking, wiping, plating, serving, eating, and cleaning up.

At other times, I'm totally into it.

I don't know how many times each winter I need to shout from the mountaintops about Chili All Day.  Perhaps I won't be satisfied until everyone on the planet has had a taste.  I made it during the holidays after watching Julie & Julia and was, therefore, compelled to dry the stew meat (above) prior to putting it in the pan.

Because I do cook this "all day," I think next time I'll hold back the mushrooms a bit.  I like my 'shrooms to keep some texture and color rather than blend in.

This is a day or two later -- it just keeps getting better and better and better -- leftovers for lunch at work!

Did I roast the stew meat for Chili All Day one time last year? or the year before?  I kind of think I did, and it's quite possible I even blogged it, because the other thing I can't get enough of is roasting.

I made Crispy Smashed* Roasted Potatoes again last night to accompany Black Bean Cakes.  The bean cakes is one of the recipes Maddy dog-eared in the Emeril Legasse 20-40-60 cookbook she gave me at Christmas.  I made my own "Creole Seasoning" (minus cayenne pepper, so I might get kicked out of the club), but did not say "BAM" at any time during the cooking.  When the directions said to "carefully transfer them to the hot skillet (the cakes will be delicate)," though, I was definitely channelling Emeril -- hunching protectively over the tender little cakes, picking them up and gingerly moving them -- I could see him in my mind and feel myself mimic his movements exactly!  It was kind of funny.

The bean cakes were described as "crispy and crusty on the outside, but oh so tender and creamy on the inside" -- they were all that!  I didn't realize 'til things were well underway that the description also fit the potatoes.  Our entire meal, which also consisted of tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa, was a study in contrasts.

The next time I make the bean cakes -- and they were so completely wonderful, there is no question -- I may try to dry the beans somewhat after their quick rinse.  I think the patties would be ever-so-slightly easier to handle.  We'll see.

For the record, I got myself to Zumba class on Saturday morning.  The studio is closed this week and I just had to get one in before yet another week off.  No doubt, I was bowled over by the tidal wave of holiday cookies and chocolate, chocolate and cookies, cookies, chocolate, keeping cake, and pie.  I actually fared pretty well through it all, but holiday is over and it's time to buckle down.

*This batch was more like Crispy Broken Roasted Potatoes.  I never realized before how important the first cooking time is; if they aren't boiled to the point of smashability, they'll just break apart under the pressure.  (How did yours turn out, Sharon?)

Good morning!


From the bed in our new bedroom, I could barely see the sun glowing beautifully this morning through this set of Mexican blue-glass glasses.  It was enough to make me get out of bed and grab the camera to try and capture the loveliness.  I didn't quite capture "it" (whatever that is) -- angles. trees and lack of coffee, at that point, combined to equal little patience -- but I captures some pretty Sunday morning light.

It's an eclectic mix.  The "Mexican blue-glass" glasses came with my husband, as did the set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of crabs.  The S&P set was his mother's and one of the crabs has a mended claw; I'm not sure if the glasses were hers or something he acquired on his own.  The swan barometer was made by my glass-blowing aunt -- I travelled with her one memorable summer in my teens, working the regional county fair/festival circuit.  I painted, displayed and sold little glass doo-dads while she demo'd and worked glass over torch behind me.  Awesome summer.  Hot pants and platform sandals.  Bib overalls.  The carnival!  Lemonade.  Billy.

The pigs (pink and yellow) are fair souvenirs from another era -- mid-'80s Tillamook County, OR.  I think they had a popular greased pig contest; I never attended.  The little chicken planters are from my sister.  I knew I had to make a decision the moment I accepted them; I could feel myself standing on the threshold of a small animal planter collection.  Did I want to walk through that door?  Yes!  I decided that I would collect small animal planters, but only small yellow chicken animal planters.  So far, and for all these years, that's the sum total of my collection.  There are not a lot of small chicken animal planters out there.  (Thank you!  I really did not and do not need another collection.)

Various bottles, vases, gifts from the girls over the years (ceramic covered box, paperweight) round out the collection on those dusty, dusty shelves.  The garden room is the smallest room in the house, there's no seating, it's often a mess (animal central in there) (also where the Princess lives, in a cabinet, with all the other housecleaning supplies), but it's such a sunshine-y, happy room.

Happy sunny Sunday morning!

Everybody, let's rock!

I can't imagine Elvis at 75 years old -- that's almost as old as my dad!  Indeed, they're only 8 months apart.  Elvis died when he was 42 -- on my dad's 42nd birthday.  I was with my dad that day and learned of Elvis's death -- it was one of those things, one of those days, the circumstances seared into my brain for life!

Anyway, I'm not a must-visit-Graceland-someday Elvis fan, but I've been a fan ever since I saw the 1968 Comeback Special.  That's my kind of show -- intimate, easy-going, funny -- leather.  I'm sure that an Elvis release was among my first Christmas album purchases (and, yes, it was an album... as in vinyl... LP record), along with Johnny Mathis and Barbra Streisand, part of the indispensible chorus that makes my Christmas.

Note: I prefer the original, black-and-white version of Jailhouse Rock, but it was squishy.  It's one thing to be 75, another to be squished.

Thursday - so random

I've been eating chicken soup a lot lately. Preventive medicine, perhaps.

I've also eaten some those hot dogs that roll around on that little grill thingy -- more of them in the past week or so than in the past several years combined. They used to be Ali's favorite thing to eat -- she was my picky eater. Didn't understand why I couldn't make "good" hot dogs like they did at the gas station -- or even (*gasp*) at school!

Travelling light, I grabbed my camera on the way out the door today... then realized that I'd taken the memory card out and plugged it into the reader. With three different, readily available readers -- integrated into both my laptop and my printer, plus a stand-alone -- I've never directly connected camera to computer, and don't really want to start.

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I was sprung from work a little bit early on Tuesday -- there was still a bit of light -- and I took the long way home.  I started driving with no real destination, but thought of one along the way -- daylight was fading fast and I wasn't exactly sure how to get to the particular vantage point I had in mind.  That won't happen again, as I've printed a general map of the area surrounding said vantage point.

One of my favorite memories is traipsing through a Fond du Lac County cemetery with my sister Sharon, looking for ancestors and other family, Ave Maria blaring on the car stereo -- doors wide open so we could hear it.

Anyway, I made do.  These photos were both taken from the driver's seat of my car -- view to the right/south through the passenger's open window, above; view to the left/north, below.

Looking north


I lost that CD and a whole bunch of other favorites.  I'd put them inside a Pokemon CD case that Maddy had discarded and I think someone accidentally donated it all to Goodwill.

I woke up this morning and thought "foggy" when I looked out the window.  A little while later I heard a loud truck on the street a ways below our house... hm, it sounded an awful lot like a snowplow.  I looked outside again and what do you know?  It was SNOWY not FOGGY!  Sheesh.  Bleary much?

Winter snow/wind advisory all day.

I had my eye doc appointment yesterday.  He made some minor adjustments to correct my astigmatism and near vision, otherwise I'm a-OK.  A stylish young optician helped me choose some frames and then I called Katie to see where she was at -- I can't see a dang thing -- turns out, she was at the pet store practically across the street.  We decided on a sassy new frame, plus another for prescription sunglasses (as they don't make my most-favored magnetic clip-on styles anymore).  (Boo, hiss.)

I treated Katie and enjoyed one of the aforementioned hot dogs and some reconstituted freeze-dried soup, myself, and we had a nice long chat.

That is all.

It's all a blur

Outside Tree LIghts

I'm getting my eyes checked tomorrow afternoon and the timing could not be better.  If I saw you at a social gathering over the holidays, I hope you didn't think I was too weird.  Standing within the socially accepted conversational distance of each other, we might have leaned close to hear, our heads together as we talked -- especially if we were amongst a crowd or there was music.  At appropriate intervals, we would lean away from each other to make eye contact -- and I would lean back just a little bit further... no closer, no further, no just a smidge closer, adjusting, adjusting... until you came into focus.  When the conversation resumed I'd be too far away to hear, quickly leaning in again.

Did you notice?

What a pain in the butt.

Something new!


And OMG, it's even KNITTING!!  Actual knitting content on this here blog two days in a row.  Starting things off nicely...

I joined the UFO Smackdown group on Facebook (and have finished my nephew's Christmas stocking to start!), but that doesn't mean I can't start something NEW!  New year, new day, new yarn, new project!

I've been thinking of starting this sweater for a while now -- pretty much ever since it arrived!  For one thing, however small, it's a sweater and I really neeeeeeed to knit a sweater.  I do.  Need to.  Also, I woke up this morning to find a hank of this yarn on the floor -- a little bit chewed on and kind of linty -- apparently one of three possibilities (I'm bettin' on Duncan) thought it a new cat toy.  That is so WRONG!!  I could stuff it all away for another day, but I'd rather not.

This will be the Kelbourne Woolens Fiddlehead Pullover, the pattern and yarn -- the beautiful and oh, so soft Canopy (color: Cat's Claw) (hmmmm) from The Fibre Company -- which I won not long ago in a give-away (you can download your own copy of the pattern at that link) at The Purl Bee.

I'm casting on today!

Real, actual knitting

I know!!

Christmas stocking

I put the finishing touches on my nephew's way-overdue Christmas stocking last night while watching UP!  Luckily, he was still pretty unaware this year... he woke up on Christmas morning, sat at the table eating breakfast in full view of the tree, totally oblivious to the fact that he should be excited about all the packages underneath -- the ones that weren't there when he went to bed.

Christmas stocking

I started this over a year ago, ripped it out, must have used the yarn for something else, restarted again a couple of months ago.  Colorwork is not my best thing.  I thought I might be able to get away without blocking, but it's clear that I will not.  That thing's hitting the Eucalan bath as soon as I get out of this chair!  Craptastic pictures aren't helping!!

I'm moving stuff around, organizing, visiting, puttering today.  It feels good.

Happy New Year

Haha!  I just read my post from last January 1st and I'm thinkin' that a New Year's Day nap is well on the road to tradition.  I read a book about trains and another about The Grouchy Ladybug and another called Chicka Chicka Boom Boom -- those last two were borrowed from my collection and it's been years since I read them.  Then I snuggled in with a little boy, his stuffed polar bear, and the pig from If You Give A Pig A Pancake and we took a two-hour nap together!  I'm pretty sure I fell asleep first, so mine might actually have been two hours and five minutes.  Man, was I tired.

Last night we did this:

..and ate a lot.  A LOT!!  It was pretty low-key this year, compared to some.  I managed to stay up 'til 11:00 and watched the ball drop in New York; by 11:05, I had my jammies on and was in bed!

I don't really know what to say about the new year... the new decade.  I've been thinking about it a lot.  I had such a great December and Christmas was so wonderful, but the last week of the year has had some rocky patches -- not for me (the year ended great, remember?), but for someone close to me and, oh boy, it has affected me.  I was blind-sided and it kind of knocked me off-kilter -- I was happy and they were not, I had great things to share and they did not, I felt loved and cherished and they did not -- and suddenly I found myself plunging into the gray area where everything is called into question -- e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g -- examining, analyzing, scrutinizing, wondering, pondering, worrying, unsettling, which way we goin', and what's it all about... Alfie?

I hope it is a happy new year.  The past year has had some highs almost as high as you can go and some corresponding lows.  Madeleine became an adult, graduated from high school, made a stellar start at college; Alison bought a business she liked, is growing it into one she loves, owns the building that houses it; Katherine found a job she loves, works with people she likes (a lot), moved into her first apartment.  My sister began her battle with cancer.  Perspective shifts, priorities change, family draws close.  We did some fun things.  I was busier last year than I've ever been -- too busy -- but also happy; I've been thinking about priorities, wondering what/if I'll let go; I worry about stupid stuff.

I'm also taking way too long writing this post.  Happy New Year (a work in progress).