Saturday, September 26, 2009


Reese and another kid at the playground were commiserating about siblings when I caught this lovely exchange:

Other Kid: "My sister is a . . . " Pause. "You swear, right?"
Reese: "Oh yeah, I swear all the time."
Other Kid: "My sister is a bitch."

Friday, September 18, 2009

writing assignment

Reese had to write about a family member the other day, and he chose me:

"My Mom is a wonderful person. She is wonderful because she is a nerd. Mom listens to Radiolab and podcasts like that. She is a chemistry and physics teacher. I like nerds. That is why she is a nerd and I like her."

This is a compliment, right?

Friday, September 11, 2009


A teacher read this essay today for the high school students, in remembrance of September 11. And though posting essays/poetry/etc. is not usually my "thing," I found it very moving. So I thought I'd share it.

The poem is by Brian Doyle, and I believe it first appeared in the American Scholar magazine. I found it through PBS.


A couple leaped from the south tower, hand in hand. They reached for each other and their hands met and they jumped.

Jennifer Brickhouse saw them falling, hand in hand.

Many people jumped. Perhaps hundreds. No one knows. They struck the pavement with such force that there was a pink mist in the air.

The mayor reported the mist.

A kindergarten boy who saw people falling in flames told his teacher that the birds were on fire. She ran with him on her shoulders out of the ashes.

Tiffany Keeling saw fireballs falling that she later realized were people. Jennifer Griffin saw people falling and wept as she told the story. Niko Winstral saw people free-falling backwards with their hands out, like they were parachuting. Joe Duncan on his roof on Duane Street looked up and saw people jumping. Henry Weintraub saw people "leaping as they flew out." John Carson saw six people fall, "falling over themselves, falling, they were somersaulting." Steve Miller saw people jumping from a thousand feet in the air. Kirk Kjeldsen saw people flailing on the way down, people lining up and jumping, "too many people falling." Jane Tedder saw people leaping and the sight haunts her at night. Steve Tamas counted fourteen people jumping and then he stopped counting. Stuart DeHann saw one woman's dress billowing as she fell, and he saw a shirtless man falling end over end, and he too saw the couple leaping hand in hand.

Several pedestrians were killed by people falling from the sky. A fireman was killed by a body falling from the sky.

But he reached for her hand and she reached for his hand and they leaped out the window holding hands.

I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead and the harrowed families of the dead and the screaming souls of the murderers but I keep coming back to his hand and her hand nestled in each other with such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.

Their hands reaching and joining are the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against such evil hourly evidence that love is why we are here.

No one knows who they were: husband and wife, lovers, dear friends, colleagues, strangers thrown together at the window there at the lip of hell. Maybe they didn't even reach for each other consciously, maybe it was instinctive, a reflex, as they both decided at the same time to take two running steps and jump out the shattered window, but they did reach for each other, and they held on tight, and leaped, and fell endlessly into the smoking canyon, at two hundred miles an hour, falling so far and so fast that they would have blacked out before they hit the pavement near Liberty Street so hard that there was a pink mist in the air.

Jennifer Brickhouse saw them holding hands, and Stuart DeHann saw them holding hands, and I hold onto that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

garden update

I started off the summer posting about the garden we had finally gotten around to planting this year, and I'll end that way too. (School starts for me tomorrow, and for the boys the next day. You'd think I'd be finishing up all my getting-ready stuff instead of blogging about vegetables. I'm taking my mind off of the first day, calming myself, I think.)

You can click the link to see what the garden looked like in May; here's what it looks like now:

The results are a little mixed, as was to be expected, but I'm happy with it. J is too.

The sunflowers are my favorite. They're huge!

Really huge! (Three-year-old added for scale.)

The lettuce also got quite tall. Allegedly this is romaine. I am skeptical.

The squash was going gangbusters for a long time, but it's dying now. We did get to eat some of it, and it was great.

I hpoe this last one gets big enough to pick before the whole thing goes.

Our little pickling cucumbers were really productive.


Last, and actually least, the tomatoes in the Topsy-Turvies. I am shocked, shocked that the Made-for-TV people let me down like this.

And I was so looking forward to lots of yummy tomatoes. Tomatoes in salads, tomato sandwiches, tomato sauce . . . I'm glad my neighbor's tomatoes did well.

So, lessons for next year:
  • Give the squash enough room.
  • Flowers? Screw the flowers - we need the room for the vegetables (see the first lesson). Except for sunflowers.
  • Herbs do very well. I didn't show you the oregano, but it got so big it looks like a shrub. And cilantro is a twofer - the seeds are coriander.
  • No more lettuce.
  • Definitely cucumbers and chili peppers. Both were low-maintenance and super productive.
  • The Topsy-Turvy sucks.
Mmm, I do love a good learning experience. Satisfying stuff.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

new, again

With any sort of luck, this will be my last post about starting a new job.

Wednesday was my first day - just new teacher training, really - at my new school, South Shore Charter Public School. SSCPS is a K-12 school, the first charter school in Mass, I'm told. It was founded with a focus on community service, multiple-intelligence learning, and the belief that school is not just preparatory, that kids need to know that what they are doing now has real value. There's a lot of parent and community involvement, small classes, student-led workshops, and a nice blend of informality and respect. I'm very very happy to be coming back to teaching in a place like this, rather than a more traditional high school. (I'm also happy to have passed the MTELs and gotten my Mass certification, so I can come back to teaching period!)

Of course, with any new job, there are plenty of sources for nervousness. I'll be teaching chemistry for the first time, and while I'm pretty confident with the material itself, running chem labs scares me a little. Also, I was originally going to be joining a science teacher who had been there a few years (Yes, the whole science department consists of two people!), but she has decided to move to be closer to her family. So it'll be me and one other brand-new girl, although we do have an excellent mentor who will be coming in once a week to help us out. An aside, though - how cool is it that the whole science department (including the teacher for the middle grades, too) is young(ish) and female?

It's funny, but the whole way I ended up with this job seems sort of . . . serendipitous (really looking for a less cheesy word here, but coming up blank). I have no recollection of applying for it, though I'm sure I did - I sent out a LOT of resumes. (My process was, essentially, to look for places in Mass that were hiring, check Google Maps to see how long it would take me to get there, and if it was an hour or less, apply.) I was sent an email on a Friday saying they would be interviewing for a week, to leave a message over the weekend, and they would call on the Monday to set up a time. Only, I didn't get the email until Monday. I almost just let it go, figuring it was too late, but I decided to call and managed to schedule an interview for the Tuesday. It was a group interview - a few teachers from the school, the 7-12 principal, a parent, and a student - which I was totally not expecting, and I left thinking I had blown it. Thankfully, I was wrong, and everything happened quickly after that. I had all my paperwork in front of me and had given my notice at Sylvan by the end of the week.

So, here I go again, into something new. I know it's going to be a big change for the whole family. We'll have the "typical" everybody-gets-home-around-five structure, which hasn't been the case for a long time. Jane, in particular, has never gone anywhere full-time like that, though she's quite comfortable at the daycare she's at now. The teachers there have known her for a couple of years now, and have known us since Reese was three, so I'm comfortable with that too. Reese is still at the elementary school, also with a teacher who knows us well (she's been telling him she couldn't wait until he got to fourth grade for a few years now!). What makes me the most nervous is Sam - I wish I could be around more for his first year in junior high. Not that we won't have any time to talk, and for me to stay on top of what's going on with him, but I know it's going to be a lot to keep up with. I suspect my knitting will suffer . . . not to mention blogging . . .

I'll keep you posted, though - if for no other reason than a need to vent!

Monday, August 10, 2009

camping 2009

Camping is . . .
. . . s'mores and sparklers . . .

. . . new sights . . .

. . . and lots of laughing.

We had such a great time this year. The weather cooperated beautifully: sunny 70-80 degree days and crisp 40-50 degree nights. (I shall not speak of the weather we have come home to.)

We ended up spending more time than usual just hanging around the campground, though we did hit the county fair and Crown Point. We visited the latter place at just the right time - they stage a French and Indian War reenactment during the second weekend in August, which we did not know about, and we got there literally just as it was starting up. Kismet!

Our campsite this year was right on the lake, so the kids got to go swimming quite a bit. I spent a lot of time reading, drinking percolated coffee, and eating those s'mores almost every night.

In short, it was relaxing and a lovely break. I look forward to next year already.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

the perils of facebook

I suppose it is inevitable that when you start connecting with people that you haven't seen in a long time, something like this is going to happen.

Yeah. That's a picture of my sister and I, circa 1989, sent by a relative on facebook. I'm the one with the Shirley Temple perm. Good grief.

Friday, July 24, 2009

eye candy Friday: tiltshift is really fun

Tiltshift is a technique you can apply to a photo that blurs parts of it and leaves other parts in focus. The result is a picture of an actual object that looks like it's really a miniature, which is why I've often read the line "It's all nicey nicey in Toytown" associated with these pictures.

You can learn more and see way better examples than my pictures at the Tiltshift group on flickr.

And you can try it here - it's fun and kind of addicting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Despite the evidence of the past few months, there is still knitting going on at my house. And it is not all cupcakes. Anymore.

I knit a LOT of cupcakes, and ipod cozies, and cowls leading up to the craft fair in June. And I like knitting like that - small, satisfying projects - but it got a bit wearing. And now that I've got a new job starting in August (Did I mention that I found one? I'll give details in another post.), I'm not going to knit like that again. I just won't have time. I have re-opened my etsy shop, but just for a little while, until what I have is gone.

Once I was able to knit for myself again, I ignored anything that had been on the needles previously and hit Ravelry HARD looking for interesting patterns. I decided I may want to try my hand at a lace shawl. No, I've never worn a shawl in my whole life, but I don't see what that's got to do with it. I really want to make Laminaria, with this lovely bit of stash. It's a little, well, intimidating, so I did a little bit of practice:

This is the Go Fly a Kite shawl, in miniature. I had a teeny skein of baby alpaca from a local alpaca farm, and I figured I would try a triangular shawl, stopping whenever I ran out of yarn. I didn't quite stop the pattern soon enough to do the whole border (which was going to be really pretty, I could just tell), but I like how it came out anyway.

It's not particularly practical. The best way I could figure to wear it was around my neck, which looks a little Wild West to me. But, again, that's completely beside the point of knitting lace. The vibe I get from lace knitting is: impractical, but fascinating and lovely bordering on magical.

Also, it is IMPOSSIBLE to stop taking pictures of a lace project.

I did pick up my long-neglected Bubble pullover once I had gotten the shiny-new-project thing out of my system. (What, did you think I was going to start the bigger lace shawl at that point? Entirely too consistent.) It's decidedly less interesting than lace. It is an unphotogenic blue blob, growing slowly, slowly.

Which explains why I couldn't stay completely faithful to it. I have good excuse, though: charity knitting. The Slater Mill Knitting Guild is making the Great American Afghan, with different members doing different squares. My square was called Play Yard:

Those BOBBLES, oh. my. god. But the rest of it was very fun to do. :)

Now I just need to figure out what to bring camping in a couple of weeks . . . sigh, I missed selfish knitting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

project spectrum - east

The second theme in this year's Project Spectrum was east. East was associated with spring, and the color was yellow. Why am I using the past tense? Because we are well into the third theme, south (it started at the beginning of July). Nonetheless, I do have some pictures to show, and I figure better late than never (what an appropriate title for this blog that would be).

I did not knit anything yellow during the east theme, but I did make a point of photographing yellow when it crossed my path.

Okay, this last one wasn't during the east theme (it's sunny; that's a dead giveaway!), but it's really cute. And Jane's wearing a yellow shirt, so I'm counting it.

For south, the dominant color is red, the material is metal, and the element is fire. Again, I think I'll be contributing mainly photography, as I don't really knit much with red. I'm looking forward to campfire pictures next month!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

terrible, horrible, etc., etc.


  • I burned my toast, spectacularly. So spectacularly that Sam went to camp and told his friends about the flaming toast, and J went to work and told his friends about the flaming toast, and everybody had a good laugh at my expense.
  • The toilet broke.
  • In the car on the way to work, I spilled coffee on my pants.
  • I had the life scared out of me at midnight by a ginormous moth in the bathroom, not once but twice. That sucker put up a fight, I tell you.
  • Jane wet the bed and ended up sleeping with J and me. For a very small person, she takes up a lot of space.

Today's got to be better, right?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

how my garden grows

the first tomatoes

squash blossoms*


*Question: I know you can eat these, but if I pick them, will I still get squash? I'm thinking probably not, but if you know better - let me know!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

cupcake pattern

These little guys are a lot of fun to make. They are pretty simple, but with a few knitterly details to eliminate seams and also make the knitter feel smart. And, they are just perfect for using up small amounts of yarn.

Yarn: Any worsted weight. So far I've used wool, superwash wool, a cotton/wool blend, and cotton. They all work well, though the cotton is a little tough on the hands with the tight gauge.
Needles: US size 3/ 3.25mm double-points or long circular for Magic Loop. You know which way I knit them. :)
Gauge: Will vary with the yarn. Any worsted weight will produce a tight enough gauge so that stuffing doesn't poke out. And they're cupcakes, so who cares if they're a little bigger or smaller?
Notions: Tapestry needle, stuffing, any embellishments you choose. I used felted beads for the cherries, but there's plenty you could do with these. Cupcake cookbooks are pretty trendy at the moment, and have lots of fun decorating ideas that beg for translation in yarn!

Using your color for the bottom of the cupcake, CO 32 stitches. Distribute evenly over double-points or circular needle, and join for working in the round. Be careful not to twist.
Work k2, p2 ribbing for 15 rounds.
Purl 1 round.
Knit 1 round.
k2, k2tog all the way around (24 st remaining).
Knit 1 round.
k1, k2tog all the way around (16 st remaining).
Knit 1 round.
k2tog all the way around (8 st remaining).
Break yarn. Thread through remaining 8 st and pull tight.

Using your color for the top of the cupcake, pick up and knit 32 st around the cast on edge. Distribute these stitches on your needles and join them for working in the round. Twisting them is pretty unlikely with the bottom of the cupcake hanging off them, but be careful anyway. :)
Knit 3 rounds.
yo, p2tog all the way around.
Knit 3 rounds.
On the next round, go back and pick up the original cast-on stitch (which will now be 7 rounds below the round you're working on) and put it on your needle. Knit it together with the first stitch. Repeat all the way around. (Here is a tutorial with some pictures of how this is done. There's a little bit of a difference; this person did the extra step of picking up a stitch in the cast-on edge, then putting it on the needle and knitting it together with the first stitch in the round. Feel free to email me with questions if you want!)
Knit 2 rounds.
k6, k2tog all the way around (28 st remaining).
Knit 1 round.
k5, k2tog all the way around (24 st remaining).
Knit 1 round.
k4, k2tog all the way around (20 st remaining).
k3, k2tog all the way around (16 st remaining).
k2, k2tog all the way around (12 st remaining).
k1, k2tog all the way around (8 st remaining).
Break yarn and thread through remaining 8 st, but don't pull tight yet. Stuff your cupcake through the little opening. Don't overstuff or the bottom won't be flat and the cupcake won't stand up. Once you're happy with it, pull the yarn tight and tuck in the ends.

Glue/sew a felted bead or ornament of your choice to the top. Or don't!

Enjoy - and I'd LOVE to see some pictures of finished cupcakes!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Alternate title: The Blog Posts I Mean to Write Will Take More Time than I Actually Have

That about sums it up, I think. There will be an arts festival recap, a cupcake pattern, and something about the RI Great Outdoors Pursuit soon. Well, eventually.

But in the meantime, I have to admit, I love getting tagged for memes. So here goes:

What Is Your Current Obsession?
Finding a job for next year! And knitting for myself, after months of craft-fair projects.

What Are You Wearing Today?
Well, I'm at work, and I have a job interview today (!), so I'm wearing Real Grownup Person Clothes. Khaki pants, a blue wrap sweater. I wish I could say a handknit one, but no.

What's for dinner?
I actually remembered to defrost some drumsticks this morning! My husband, with his fabulous cooking creativity, will figure out something to do with it. If it's sunny, that will probably involve charcoal.

What Would You Eat for Your Last Meal?
Indian food. Samosas, and that potato-and-spinach thing I don't know the name of.

What's the Last Thing You Bought?
Sunscreen. Because I am an optimist.

What Are You Listening To Right Now?
Absolutely nothing. It's very quiet here.

If you could go anywhere in the world in the next hour, where would you go?
Hmm. Well, at last night's knitting guild meeting, our speaker was a woman who works in textiles at Old Sturbridge Village. So now I kind of want to go back there.

Which language do you want to learn?
Arabic; some of the older members of my family still speak it. Also it looks beautiful when written.

What do you love most about where you currently live?
The history. Can you tell I've been visiting Slater Mill a lot lately?

What is your favourite colour?
Yellow, and orange.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Probably my jeans.

What were you doing ten years ago?
I had just finished my sophomore year of college. J had just graduated, and we were planning our wedding. Sam was a little over a year old. He may have been sleeping through the night by then, but probably not. We were living in a 3rd-floor apartment near my mom's house, and thank goodness it had air conditioning.

Describe your personal style.
Comfortable? Not as crazy as it used to be? (Jess, no comments from the peanut gallery.)

If you had $300 right now what would you spend it on?
Books for everybody. Games for this kids - they've become obsessed with cribbage and high-low jack recently.

What are you going to do after this?
Get back to work. :)

What inspires you?
Colors, textures. The speaker from last night's guild meeting! (I'll link to her website when I get home.)

What are your favourite films?
I am a big nerd fan of Lord of the Rings. I know there are others, but I just don't watch that many movies. Hmmm . . . we rented The Assassination of Jesse James recently and that was very good. Visually stunning, and with more of an emotional wallop than I expected.

Whose work/designs are you inspired by?
Oh, wow, I don't think I could narrow that down. Norah Gaughan's designs are consistently surprising, beautiful, and interesting. There are others, but I'm drawing a blank here.

Your favourite books?
I like the warmth and humor of James Herriot's books. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Of course, Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien's other books, too.

Do You Collect Anything?
Not really. I have a good bit of yarn and fiber, but those are raw materials more than they are a collection; I certainly don't plan to display them and keep them forever.

What makes you follow a blog?
Well, if it's written by someone I know. :) Also, good writing, humor, and feeling like I have seomthing in common with the writer. Beautiful, inspirational photos, especially in knitting blogs.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Hopefully I haven't done it yet. The good stuff usually comes later in the day, when everybody's home. But so far - drinking my coffee.

What's one thing you dream of doing?
Hitting the lottery and staying home with the kids. And some sheep.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

the only constant is change

I started blogging about the same time I started the process of going back to work after Jane was born. While this wasn't intentional, it probably wasn't quite a coincidence either. It's not an easy process - especially when you, frankly, don't want to do it - and the chronicling of it has been a help.

For those keeping track, I have had three different jobs in 2.5 years of blogging. I taught a couple of physics classes at Moses Brown (a fantastic place, btw, I'll totally send the kids there when I become independently wealthy), I taught some SAT prep classes for Kaplan, and I've worked here at Sylvan, first full-time, then dialing it back to part-time. And now, I'm looking again.

No, I haven't lost my job or anything, but it turns out that working part-time here just isn't enough. I could switch back to full-time, no problem, but that was the evening schedule that did not let me have enough time with the family - not an option.

I've been sort-of looking for a little while, at lab-based jobs or something like that, but I had been shying away from the idea of going back to the classroom full-time. For one thing, my RI certification has expired, and getting it back would require taking some courses, and I can't really do that right now. But also, the last year I taught high school was very hard. And I know, intellectually at least, that there were other things going on at that time that are resolved now, but that really does little to make the idea less scary. I started thinking about it, though, when J (casually - he's a wonderful husband; he doesn't push) showed me an ad for a local Catholic high school looking for a physics teacher.

And I applied. They turned me down because I am not affiliated with a church. As an aside - WTF?? Not to paint all religious school with a common brush or anything, but seriously? My lack of professional certification is a-okay, but my lack of religion - that's a dealbreaker. And they wonder why they are rapidly losing enrollment. All right, rant over.

That seemed to break the stalemate, if you will, and I started looking into it. I found that I can get certified in MA by passing the MTEL exams, since I had already held certification elsewhere. I signed up for those - I'll be taking them in July - and I started sending out resumes.

So far I've heard back from a couple of schools, and I had an interview last week. My timing, as it turns out, sucks. I started looking into this just in time to miss the April job fairs, and I won't get my MTEL results (and hopefully certification) until August. The interview on Friday went really well, and she said she'd like to hire me, but nothing can go forward until I have certification. She is looking to fill four science jobs, though (which is not easy - luckily for me), so she told me to let her know as soon as I get my results. Good news, I guess, but also an ominous harbinger of things to come. I expect a nervous summer capped by a busy August.

And in September, maybe a whole new adventure.

Monday, May 25, 2009

the garden!

I'm so excited, because this is the year we finally planted a nice garden!

We've kicked around the idea of having a vegetable/herb garden for the nine years we've been living in this house, and we've tried it before in a half-hearted ways, but this year? This year we've done it right.

No thanks to me - my original plan was for the boys and I to dig up a patch of grass, add compost, and plant there. 

J had other ideas, ideas that involved power tools. "You'll never be able to dig up a good-size patch by hand," he said. "This neighborhood has a lot of rabbits that will eat everything if we don't fence it," he said. "You don't have enough compost for that," he said.

So, a rented roto-tiller, some lumber, a couple of power saws, and lots of bags of soil and manure later, we have this:

When our neighbor saw it, she said, "Damn - when he builds a garden, he really builds a garden." I could not have said it any better.

We went with a combination of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, including squash, chili peppers, tomatoes (in the Topsy-Turvy!), basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, daisies, and marigolds. And how much of that was from the seeds we planted? Not much. Most of the seeds came up, but a lot of things keeled over and died before we could get them in the ground. I think next year I'll actually do some sort of research before I get started and have some sort of greenhouse set up. The  bell peppers were okay, though:

And I also planted some sunflower and carrot seeds, because I couldn't find those as plants and I wanted them. I'm pretty sure the sunflowers will be fine; less sure about the carrots. 

Anyway, here's hoping for a busy and productive summer in the garden. And many, many kudos and thanks to my awesome husband!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I think I've got a banner I'm happy with. Why, oh why, did the other ones I made keep coming out so frickin' huge??

Anyway, it's over now. I can get rid of the folder of picture attempts I had named "battle of the banner." No, I'm not kidding.

I forgot to put Newton in it, though . . . 

poem in your pocket day

Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and Poem in Your Pocket Day. It is a day to share poetry with others, maybe those who would not ordinarily read it, in a variety of ways - not just poems in one's pockets (though I find that concept thoroughly charming).

I have to confess - I fall into that category of people who would not ordinarily read poetry. I certainly have read poetry, and I recognize its value, but for the most part . . . it isn't what speaks to me.

So what does speak to me? Don't worry; I am not going to rhapsodize about a perfectly elegant geometric proof or a deviously, deceptively simple physics problem - though those things have their charms as well. I think I am just more attracted to the visual. Color speaks to me, and form speaks to me - it's a big part of why I love knitting so much. I could have stayed at the Peabody Essex Museum for weeks when J and I went last November. During the fall I am simply a hazard on the road: a brilliant yellow tree against an equally brilliant blue sky and I kind of forget where I am.

So, in order to share a poem today, I am posting some of my favorite song lyrics. I like song lyrics a lot - perhaps the poems themselves do not readily give up their rhythms to me, but if you show me those rhythms, I can get it. Even now, the words look a little flat on the page to me, if I'm being honest. But I will share them, and I hope the rhythms come through for you. This song is called "The Dumps," and it's by my current obsession, Elvis Perkins.

And yes, I realize sharing song lyrics would be so much more authentic if I passed them to you in a note in French class, but I'll work with what I've got. :)

The Dumps
The heavens are smiling upon us
The great, white, toothless grin of the newborn and the dying here among us
We are starting the living again
You have stopped your shivering
You won't go to the lake in the mirror again
The sea stops tonight and all her little children are hanging tight
As I have stopped my moon-walking, glad to say
It's oh so tired, and so am I, of stalking yesterday
The past will rust in peace
It's been one lousy couple of months, but now we are coming out of the dumps
And everything is calling our names, though the sunshine units are here to stay
Like Adam makes small talk with Eve on their six-month anniversary
They will go home in separate cars
Yes, they will sleep under separate stars
As the heavens are smiling upon us
The ghost white, shit-eating grin of the newborn and the dying here among us
We are starting the living again

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

insert spinning pun here

I completely fail at being monogamous. In craft, I mean - sorry, no salacious confessions forthcoming here. I have been trying, really I have, to commit to Reese's sweater, but the endless stockinette just puts me to sleep. Literally, sometimes. 

So I've cheated. I've played around with felt and embroidery, which has been a lot of fun. Some of the results of that are in the shop, and some of it ended up as gifts. I've especially liked cutting up cashmere sweaters and turning them into scarves:

I've also gotten back behind the wheel, so to speak. I started working on this merino top forever ago. The original plan was to spin half the singles on the wheel and the other half on a drop spindle, then ply them together, the intent being to keep from forgetting how to use the drop spindle, I suppose. What I did forget, apparently, is that drop spindling is a slow process. After over a year of spinning a little at a time on the spindle, with the pile of fiber not getting appreciably smaller (or so it seemed), I gave up. I am, perhaps, a slow learner. I finished it all on the wheel and oh boy is it pretty and squishtastic.

I'm debating putting it in the shop; I have no idea what I'd ever use it for. But I might have trouble giving it up. 

Having launched a bit of a spinning kick, I've started this too:

That's a 50/50 soy wool blend that's also been marinating in the stash quite a while. I'm trying to end up with chunky singles, though I'm not great at that. I like this fiber a lot, though. It's very soft, and a little shiny. I can certainly see why the soy fiber is sometimes called "soysilk." Mmm.

Oh, and one last thing! I have somehow ended up with two copies of At Knit's End by the esteemed Yarn Harlot. If there is any knitter left who does not have a copy of this book (!), leave a comment and it could be yours!

Friday, April 24, 2009

proof that coordination (or lack thereof) is hereditary

J, aged about 14, is riding his bike down the street. He sees a friend from school, waves, and . . . rides his bike into a parked car.

Sam, aged 11, is riding his bike down the street. He aims for the driveway, misses, and . . . rides his bike into the neighbor's hedge.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

the scribbler

I'm writing a real post, honest. It's taking me forever; lately I've had the attention span of a gnat.

But in the meantime, I found this, and it's neat, and I wanted to share.

I'll be back soon, honest.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

good karma?

I must have done something good. That's the only explanation, really, for the shower of good fortune that came my way this week.

On Thursday, I picked up the kids from school and came home to find a package. (Is there anything more exciting than an unexpected package?) Inside was a lovely belated birthday present from Amy. Look!

That's Paca Peds alpaca blend sock yarn, and a project bag she sewed herself. Squee, handmade gifts! It's gorgeous, right? Look at that color; I think it might be glowing. Seriously, look again.

I was so happy my children must have feared for my sanity. I kept saying, "People from the internet are so nice!" To which Sam dryly replied, "Well, Mom, not all of them."

And! Later that same day, J came home with another unexpected present - a Wii fit! It is seriously fun, even if it tells me my "Wii fit age" is 17 years older than my actual age, because my balance is so bad. I kick ass at the hula hoops, though.

And! The next day, J and I had planned a hooky day together. I arranged for Jane to go to her daycare an extra day, and J took the day off from work. It was so nice. We didn't plan anything big; there's not too much you can do when you've only got until early afternoon. We just stayed home and hung out. He also took me out for Indian food, which was especially nice, as he doesn't even really like Indian food.

And! Amy's gift was particularly fortuitous because I finished a pair of socks this week! Socks are my keep-in-my-purse knitting, so it takes me a while to finish a pair. I think these might be my new favorites.

They're quite simple, two-row striping socks. I had this Ty-Dy sock yarn with nice long color repeats, and I was inspired by that Noro scarf that's all over the place, so I just knit from both ends of the ball. I like that they are fraternal twins, and I don't even mind that spot where both ends were green for a long time. Bonus - there's easily enough left for another pair of socks.

And! Yesterday was freaking gorgeous outside! Okay, that probably has nothing to do with my karma, and actually I was at work most of the day, but spring is always good news.
And! Reese made me a fantastic picture.

With a note. :)