Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks

Because by the time I get done work tomorrow, I won't be thankful for much of anything. And so, here it goes.

I am thankful for big, puffy clouds in a bright blue sky. I am thankful that I can pay rent. I am also thankful that I get to have dinner with my family on Thursday. I am thankful for the strong, beautiful women I am surrounded by, and for the strong, handsome men. I will forever be thankful for chocolate, and for hot tea with lots of sugar. I am thankful to be whole, and to be safe and loved.

I am thankful for my mother, who taught me to be strong and who shows me how to be compassionate and wise and to have fun. I am thankful for my father, who shows me that I have a sense of humor, and that you never have to actually grow up. And who lets me borrow his tools. I am thankful for my sisters, who teach me that I have some pretty killer DNA, and that there is always hope for us, and that we are never alone. I am thankful for my sisters of the heart, who love me completely without reservation, and who teach me about faith and love and art and joy. I am thankful for my man, who teaches me about being loyal and true and who takes such wonderful care of me, whether I like it or not. I am thankful for the internet, which has given me such a wide-spread group of friends. I am also thankful for those internet friends, who give me such a different perspective, who have taught me about generosity, and who share their lives with me so freely and graciously.

I am thankful for yarn, and that I have the time and ability to turn said yarn into something useful and (sometimes) attractive. I am thankful that I have all my limbs and that they are all in working order. I am thankful I live in a place where I have the freedom to go where I choose and to do as I please. I am thankful I have never known true hunger, true hate, and true loss. Mine is a charmed life, and I am grateful each day that it is so. I am grateful for the trees and for the sunlight and for the play of light off the water. I am thankful for the days when my alarm clock doesn't go off, because I hate that little bugger. I am thankful for each morning that I wake up next to the man I love, and each night I can fall asleep next to him. Even when he sneezes on my back at three am and I think I might have to kill him. I am thankful to live in a house full of people who like me, and who are willing to live with me without killing me or locking me in a closet every time I drive them nuts.

I probably bitch about my life much more than is really necessary. It's always easier to dwell on the negatives than to highlight the positives. But really, mine is a pretty good life, full of wonderful people, beautiful scenery, and plenty of yarn.

I hope, whether you celebrate or not, that this Thanksgiving is full of warmth and love and really awesome food. You will all be in my thoughts and my prayers, such as they are.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby, it's Cold Outside...

...and I am more glad than ever of my fiber-lovin ways. I find it very comforting on some subconscious level to be making warm, fuzzy things when the temperatures drop. I don't know quite what to make of the weather we've been having; it was almost 70 degrees (21 C) on Saturday and today it's only 39 (3.8 C)! I've taken to keeping an extra jacket in my car in case I'm out somewhere and the weather has another absolutely crazed turn. There's already forecasts for flurries and for snow showers for later in the week, which reminds me, apparently we can get some vicious ice storms up here. I think I'll stock up on some basics like bottled water and such, in case we're without power. The odds are that we'll be fine, but since we had so many issues with keeping our power over the summer through the thunderstorms, I'd rather not risk it.

Jim and I had Saturday off together, and it was a wonderful day. We used to have Tuesdays off as our day to spend time together and relax, but our schedules are both too different for that now. I miss the ability to go out and have adventures and just explore together, and I made sure I wasn't working on Saturday. We woke up late, had a great breakfast, and headed down to Jersey to take a drive through the woods.

A huge tract of the pine barrens (about 1800 acres at the final estimate) burned a few weeks ago, and we wanted to explore and to see the damage. My family has been camping and driving and exploring in the pine barrens (so named because the soil is sandy and loose and good for pines, but not too many other types of trees) for as long as I can remember, and the section that was burned was our stomping grounds. We didn't see too much fire damage on the trail we took, and what we did see seemed pretty close to the ground. I was a little confused at first, looking around. The undersides of the higher branches were singed, but the tops were fine. It took a little while for me to realize that the tough groundcover must have been burning, but not the whole length of the trees. There was only one portion where a large group of trees were charred, and even then, there were fresh bunches of pine needles sprouting. It was encouraging to be reminded that even such a huge blaze can be healthy for a forest, and that nature comes back pretty quickly when it wants to.

Thanksgiving is only a week away, and I am excited to be going home for it. I love being out on my own, and having a home here in PA, but there's something so soothing about going back home to Jersey for holidays. Spending time with family and friends I don't normally see is all the more exciting and special. And, Momolla cooks! What more can a girl ask for from a holiday? I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the week, and that things to well and smoothly for you all.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

FONANZA!

It's been longer than I really care to contemplate since I've written for the blog. However, I make good on my promises, so here is a picture, which might just let you know why it is I've been holding out on you all.

Ta-DA! Three finished objects and one in progress. The astute among you will notice that only one of these was on my list of ufos. However, the weather here has been a touch psychotic, bouncing between seventy and thirty degrees. And in these uncertain times, my knitterly soul reacts instinctively. I feel a compulsion to make warm, soft garments that can be worn by my loved ones. I almost can't help it, the need to make warm snuggly things is there. I think of it as being a response similar to the geese flying off or squirrels building stashes of nuts and local folks' flower bulbs. I'm preparing for the real cold.



In other news, Jim had a birthday. A big part of the third week of October was spent in cleaning and shopping and various other company-having related activities. We had the great good luck to go the the PA Renaissance Faire in the pouring rain that Saturday (the next day was cool and sunny and gorgeous. of course.) and have an adventure. The whole experience was pretty interesting, and I think perhaps I'd like to go back when giant umbrellas weren't falling over and we weren't completely soaked. Oh, yes. Through all of the massive amounts of shopping, I forgot birthday candles. We, um, improvised. Instead of twenty three plus one tiny candles, there are two, three, and one candles on the cake. I don't think this will earn me the title of domestic godesshood any time soon, but it worked.

Okay, time for some detail shots of my lovely pile of warm. The first scarf, here modelled by my lovely roommate Colleen, is intended for Mr. Jim's Dad come Christmas time. Mr. Jim's Dad, much like Jim, ,works in a shop and is frequently cold come winter. I chose a lovely autumnal palette of colors that will conveniently blend with rust, grease, oil, dirt, and anti-sieze. Also, being acrylic, it's washable. I feel as though I cheated here, I got back to my roots and crocheted this one. It went so quickly, and the fabric is so thick and cushiony. I just couldn't help myself. Really.











A one-row scarf knitted up in some of my first-ever stash-enhancement yarn, this is intended for one of my Jersey Girls. I'm still not sure who the color will suit best, but I'm sure it'll speak to me before Christmas sometime. Honestly, I haven't measured it. Originally, it came down to just past my knees when I draped it without wrapping. Once I washed it, it stretched to my ankles. Mohair blends get tall when you put them in water. Must remember that for the next scarf. (no, really! i learn. honest!)











And last, but never the least, the original random one-row scarf. I finished it off, and decided it needed some fringe. This lovely little bit of color will be gracing Mrs. Jim's Mom's neck come Christmastime. I wish I had a better detail shot of all of these for you guys, but frankly, my camera sucks lots when it comes to close-ups. The colors in this picture aren't as true, the camera seems to have picked up a lot of the blue and the green, but the expression on the lovely model's face is entirely priceless. I think she's either about to sneeze here, or making fun of Jim. These pictures are all taken in my kitchen, and cropped so that the dirty dishes aren't showing. Ah, the magic of photo-editing. So far as the Bureau for Adults Behaving Like Adults knows, there are no dirty dishes. Kate, if you rat me out, I will turn them on you next!







On a much sadder, and not at all related note, one of my favorite grade school teachers died this past week. It may seem a little melodramatic for me to mention it, but honestly, I'm not even ten years removed from eighth grade yet; and growing up in a small town makes it impossible not to keep up with these things. Mr. Stubbins taught me, my older sister, my younger sister, and a part of me hoped he'd teach my own children one day. History and social studies were always interesting and fun, and always my favorite class of the day. Mr. Stubbins was the teacher that most unfailingly encouraged me to write. He had faith in me, and in all his students, and there is a sad, cold hole in the community now. My condolences go out to his family, friends, and the Somerdale school district. Mr. Stubbins, you will be missed.