Monday, January 31, 2011

My Pet Rock

This weekend I celebrated my near achievement of resurrecting the Sock Debacle (3 out of 4 1/2 pairs of socks done!) by crocheting a HeArt Rock.  Being in a bit of a midseason funk, I thought if I set up a little Valentine's altar I might get inspired, and it worked!

After admiring my collection of keepsake Valentines either made or given by friends, I decided to make a contribution.

I've been admiring Margaret Oomen's covered stones over at Resurrection Fern and with the help of Molly Dunham's Winter Berries Tutorial over at Foothill Home Companion I made this Valentine's Pet Rock.

I don't think I'll ever look at a rock in the same way again!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Every year its the same old thing, so why oh why doesn't the waiting get any easier?  I love winter, truly I do.  But sometimes, I just don't want to brace myself before stepping outside.  It's not that I don't love the coziness of the season.  I think practically no one can do cozy as well as I can.  Sipping tea, wrapped up in my mother's handknit blankets, cuddling with the puppies, building, burning and maintaining a fire in the fireplace.
All really lovely things, indeed.  Knitting and wearing wooly socks, reading good books, watching silly shows on TV, all lovely distactions.  I even manage to break up the cozy routine with some outdoor fun.  Lots of skiing with Max and friends, snowshoeing, long walkies with the dogs and THEIR friends, and of course there's always the daily trips to the chicken coop to take care of the ladies.  All simply wonderful things.  However . . .

I miss Spring.  It is my season afterall.  There are so many things I love about Spring.  I indulged myself the other day and listed all the things I love about Spring.  Not surprisingly those things have changed over the course of my life.  As a child it was the anticipation of Easter, the bunny's visit, and the basket full of goodies.  In my youth, it was the thrill of wearing new shorts and tee's after a winter of turtlenecks, sweaters, and courderoys.  It was, well, the thrill of being able to bare more skin, for the warmth of the sun.  In my young adult life, it was the renewal of the flowers and the color around me.  And now, just a tick later, I realize what I miss most is the feeling I get deep down in my own roots.  As if something is stirring.  A little spark of energy that wants to make its way into the world and leave its mark.  Rather than take heat from around me through fires, blankets, and tea, I want to feel that fire building within.

But, it's not yet time.  It is the time of patience.  It is the time for watching and waiting. 
Soon enough I will be weilding the shovel, turning the earth, pruning the roses, and planting the seeds.   Soon it will be the time of the Meadowlark.  Soon it will be mornings filled with birdsong.  Until then, I wait.  I wait with my friends whose lives are uncertain, and I hold them in light.  I wait with my sisters whose lives have turned on a dime, and I pray for them.  I rejoice in the return of the light knowing that soon, the earth will give her much anticipated exhale and we can begin again.

Watchul Gnome

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Remembering Marilyn

Yesterday we gathered as community to say goodbye to our dear, sweet Marilyn Rea.  She was my son Max's kindergarten teacher, and she was a blessing to all who were lucky enough to know her.  Max actually started in another kindergarten class, but having spent most of his time in the cubby room for being, well, "boy-strous," she gladly accepted him into her class.  Thank you Marilyn.

She didn't mind that he spent most of his time rolling around on the floor with the other boys like a pack of squirmy pups.  She found great humor in Max and his ways.  She embraced his individuality and accepted his gifts of humor and wit.  Thank you Marilyn.

It occurred to me at her memorial that although Max couldn't be there, she would be happy with what he was up to.  Max was in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area with his Scout troop constructing a snowcave.  He and his troop buddies would be spending the night in 12 degree weather.

She would laugh at the irony of his preparedness as compared to their "Going to 1st Grade Hike."
For his 1st grade hike, Max wanted to prepare his backpack on his own.  So he did, filling it with crackers, a Guiness World Record book, baseball trading cards, and a Junior Ranger checklist.  Marilyn found great humor in him and so many of the children she taught.  Thank you Marliyn.

I was privledged to hear how she had touched so many lives with her grace, humor, wit, song, and dance.  This poem, recited by her family, best sums up the day and what she shared with all of us:

For Love of the Worldby Charlotte Tall Mountain

For the love of a tree,
she went out on a limb.
For the love of the sea,
she rocked the boat.
For the love of the earth,
she dug deeper.
For the love of community,
she mended fences.
For the love of the stars,
she let her light shine.
For the love of spirit,
she nurtured her soul.
For the love of a good time,
she sowed seeds of happiness.
For the love of the Goddess,
she drew down the moon.
For the love of nature,
she made compost.
For the love of a good meal,
she gave thanks.
For the love of family,
she reconciled differences.
For the love of creativity,
she entertained new possibilities.
For the love of her enemies,
she suspended judgment.
For the love of herself,
she acknowledged her worth.
And the world was richer for her.

Goodbye dear sweet Marilyn, you will be missed, and never forgotten.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Family Ties

I had a great day yesterday catching up with my Aunt Betsy, "A.B."  We intended to do some snowshoeing, but the weather had melted most of the snow.  Regardless, we hiked along, in and out of drifts, and although it was a bit soggy, it was wonderful!  She is such a great companion and inspiration.  She has always loved the outdoors, spending her summers at the family cabin hiking, biking, swimming, and fly fishing.

Getting together with family amazes me.  Just when I think I've heard it all, another story surfaces that I never knew.  It's a good reminder for me to take time to connect with my family.

Another interest we share, like some many, is food!  More specifically, homemade candy.  I guess its something that has been passed down through the family.  How lucky am I that she gifted me her homemade nut clusters?  Try as I might, I can't eat just one.  I am looking forward to getting together with her this Spring to make my grandmother's chocolate covered coconut eggs!

Two other items she shared were a sweater knit for her by my grandmother (which she naturally outgrew - yea!),

and a quilted hat sewn by my an aunt in Hawaii.
I guess she knows me and my appreciation for things done by hand.  Thank you A.B. for a great day!  And thank you Pepper for modeling!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sock Debacle

Ok, ok, so I may be a little dramatic.  Not quite a Sock Debacle, but rather than a "Ta Dah!" moment, as Lucy from Attic24 is so fond of declaring, perhaps more of a "Ta Dah Dud!" moment.

Last year my son, Max, was knitting socks in his 5th grade at his Waldorf School.  In an effort to support him, I decided to knit socks along with him.  4 1/2 pairs later it was spring.  I was in love with each and every pair, but not enough to finish off the toe with the dreaded Kitchner Stitch.  Here is the first pair I "finished."  I knit these during the fall and the colors in this bamboo/merino blend reflected Nature's Glory.  My oh my I was inspired!  Even the yarn color, "Citrine," spoke to me.
But wait, you say "How pretty!"  How can that be a "Ta Dah Dud" moment?  Here's how, and its not a new concept "HASTE MAKES WASTE!"  I was too hasty to go through the trouble of doing a sincere effort at the Kitchner Stitch.   Instead, I quickly sewed up the toes so I could walk my pups.  About a mile into our walk I could feel my toes coming through one sock.  Crap!  Off they came and the live stitches were thrown on a holder, and the socks thrown back into my handwork bag until a better time.

Well, the autumn and the holidays came and went, as they will, and the socks are being resurrected.

This lovely pair was intended for my daughter, Rachel, but being 15 and Fabulous, not sure if they'll ever get worn.  Perhaps I will frog the decrease, knit a little longer, and waa laa, another pair for me! 
This pair was intended for my husband, who declared he doesn't like handknit socks.  So . . . I will now have 3 new pair of socks, after I finsih with the dreaded Kitchner Stitch, of course!

Lastly, this pair is intended for my son, Max, who can always use another pair of socks. Bless him, he is actually, genuinely excited by the idea, or a very good actor.  I waited on decreasing for the toes knowing that his 12 year old feet would probably grow some over the summer.

See how good I am at rationalizing my procrastination?

Who knows, perhaps someday soon I'll resurrect my "Ta Dah Dud" moment and have my own "Ta Dah" to share?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fifteen and Fabulous!

It was an exciting day around here yesterday.  Rachel turned 15, and some would say 15 going on 25.  She has quite a strong head on her shoulders, which clashes with mine at times, ahem, but for the most part is an absolute joy to be around.  She is the life of the party and there is never a dull moment in her company.  Her presence demands your full attention, and mothering her has taught me lots.

She was feeling quite spiffy in her bustier from Anthropology and new high heel boots.  Where oh where does she get this sense of style?  Certainly not from her mother.  Fashion was the last thing on my mind at that age.  She inspires me to give more thought to the image I want to project to the world, and this is her gift.

Happy Birthday darling daughter, may your year be as bright and beautiful as you!!

New Year Indeed!

Well . . . looks as if one of my first resolutions would be to start posting on my blog!  It seems as with any of my creative pursuits it comes in fits and bursts, starts and pauses, at least until the kinks get worked out.  So rather than "do nothing perfectly" I think I will "do something imperfectly."

It's been a lovely start to the New Year.  We received our first big snow on the last day of 2010.  Good things come to those who wait!

These 2 gals were more than happy to take in the fresh snow and the added light that it brings.  They are the lowest in the pecking order, talk about cabin fever!, so they were more than happy to escape the coop!  It was such a lovely day, I had to get out and take a stroll through the neighborhood, even if there were more pressing things to do!

Quite beautiful, yes?  I had some company on the walk, although he didn't do much walking.  Pepper prefers to rip through the snow at high speed, until coming to an abrupt halt to sniff.  Try as I might I couldn't get a picture of him face with a snout full of snow, but this picture does indeed capture the moment and his joy of being out of doors.

A lovely quiet way to bring in the New Year!

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