Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quiet

I could get lost in that tangle of snowy branches for hours.

This morning my children all slept in late while I consumed two cups of coffee and took a shower (!). Michael was the first to get up. Usually he is the last.

I brought him downstairs with me, and we sat on the couch together--he under the blue blankie I knit for him before he was born, me under a blue wool blanket given to us as a wedding gift, and he very delighted that we matched--and we simply watched the snow falling for a little bit, just the two of us.

(There is 2-3 feet out there! I promised him that later today we'd take him out and put him in it to see how tall it was.)


I was trying to figure out what it was about winter light that is so lovely, aside perhaps from its scarcity. I mean the light that comes inside when there is snow on the ground like this. I usually love warm light, but the snow-light is much cooler. I think it is that it comes from all around--up from the ground as well as from the sky--that makes it especially lovely. Soft light that falls from every angle. It is one of the reasons why I love (and very rarely complain about) snow--if we're to have winter, then let's have the beauty of it!

(Although the repairman who's been working on our bathroom might disagree with me. I imagine we are paying him for the time he's spent shoveling his way out of our driveway. If it didn't seem rude I would remind him to press the gas pedal gently like he's walking on eggshells, not to floor it and dig himself further in ... as Keith so often reminds me. :) )

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Two by Two



Two projects, two books.

I preordered Hunter Hammerson's latest book and it came in on Christmas Eve. A local yarn store is doing a knitalong, so I thought I'd join in with some yarn I got for Christmas. I'm knitting the pattern on the cover. The color is very subtle--a greyish-green silk.

The TARDIS socks are technically a Christmas present. My brother opened a package of bright blue yarn and said, "Um, are you sure you gave this to the right person?" It's been a troublesome knit. First I started the pattern as written and realized it was never going to fit his calves, so I cast on again with more stitches. Then I knit half of the "Police Box" chart upside down. And then I had to rip back because the gusset is much, much too big for anyone, even my wide-footed brother ... argh. I've reknit the gusset on smaller needles and really hope that fixes the problem ... if not, then ...? I may try a short row heel. (Why are heel flaps so popular, anyways? Personally I don't find them very attractive and the fit just isn't as good.)

I've been meaning to read something by Willa Cather for a while. Elizabeth recommended Death Comes for the Archbishop, and my husband saw it on my goodreads list and got it for Christmas. :) I am also excited to start the book about St. Therese. Progress is slow because I've been reading it in the morning before the babies wake up, which isn't that much time. But that's okay. :)

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's Catch Up

I'm sitting here with you and a cup of coffee, wrapped up in a blanket (because our house is COLD in the morning) and wearing my husband's slippers (because our kitchen floor has concrete underneath and is cold even in the summer). (Yesterday Michael said, "Someday we get your OWN slippers, Mama." Probably a good idea.) The kids are still asleep (!!). A lot has happened that I've been meaning to tell you about, so let's start with November. :)


Happy Dominic took awhile to get over the shock that there was a cake on his tray.

Gregory took it more in stride. Of course he got cake!

Usually he's the cleaner eater ... 


The twins had a birthday. It's hard to believe they're 14 months old ... they still seem like such babies to me. (As opposed to Michael, whom I firmly believed was on the verge of toddler-hood at this age.) We had a small party--just grandparents and godparents--and they obligingly wore their birthday crowns for about five seconds before diving face-first into cake.





This guy had a birthday too. 30 years old! November was a big month for us. :)

I would've loved to throw him a surprise party, but he would've killed me. But I did get to surprise him in other ways and throw him a party, so it worked out nicely. Several days before his birthday I went out to a "craft night" ... and came home with his best friend from high school who had flown in from across the country. His face was the best.

And because Keith has fond memories of story-tellers around the bonfire at a friend's house when he was a teenager, I also hired a story-teller who came dressed in a hat and cloak to his party as another surprise. I made a huge pot of chili, we had gourmet s'mores over the firepit (which we bought for the occasion and found out the hard way is not safe to use on our deck ... part of it melted!!), and a friend brought a bottle of champagne. There were tons of kids, and the weather was warm enough to be outside.



The other big thing that happened in November? Our bathrooms fell apart. One morning as I showered the soap rack just sort of ... fell off the wall. And then less than a week later the same thing happened with some tiles in the other bathroom. As I type this post I am waiting for the guy to arrive and install a new facet in the shower ... then hopefully tomorrow they'll start putting in the new tile. It will be nice to have this shower back; the one downstairs is functional but pretty funky.


This post is getting long and the kids are awake, so let's catch up on December another time. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Twelfth Day


Good morning!

I haven't written in this space for almost a month. That was not intentional, but looking back I think it was a bit inevitable. Sickness, out-of-town company, the Christmas season, and this past weekend more sickness ... I guess I needed a time of rest. (More in my head than any place else ... anyone else get "blog guilt" when they aren't posting like they "should" be? Just me and my writerly paranoia?)

Today Keith starts a new job. The commute is further than his last and he had to leave the house at 7am. And so right now I have the house to myself. Everyone is still sleeping; the lights are glowing on the Christmas tree; the light outside my window has that fresh, still quality that only morning light can have. (Well, it looks still from the window. I don't think it actually is outside. Brrr.)

Maybe this will be my new writing time.

This past year has been hard on many different levels. There has been so much goodness in it, but it has been hard. A year of surviving. I've learned a lot in and through survival mode (and the periods of something easier that were sprinkled throughout it), but I'm ready for something more. I want this to be a year of growth. Of fruitfulness.

I'm not exactly sure what that looks like, yet. One thing I've learned in 2014 is that when you aim for "growth" or "holiness" or "virtue" or even something a bit more specific like "patience" as an abstract goal, with only your own willpower and vague ideas of what that means to move you forward, you're not going to get very far before falling flat on your face (and then despairing that growth is ever possible because you're just a horrible human being and whyyyyy ... or is that another "just me" thing? ;) ).

Christmas Baby!

Anyway.

Tomorrow is Epiphany. I think this evening I will make a cake--not a King Cake/Galette des Rois, but a sacher torte, because that's what I want to try my hand at. :) Tomorrow we will have a friend over for dinner for cake and mulled wine and (possibly, if I get ambitious) carnitas. Christmas has been beautiful, but I am definitely ready to move into ordinary time. To reestablish a daily rhythm.

And maybe early writing mornings will be a part of that rhythm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Animals

I am now officially knitting like mad to get everything done by Christmas.

Well, and sewing. The twins are getting a (knit) stuffed animal and a (sewn) cushion apiece. Gregory is getting a cute little dragon, which is all done but the face and the ears and wings.



And maybe horns for the head? I don't know. Right now I'm thinking no horns. (And yes, the arms are crooked. I didn't even notice until I took this picture, grrr. The angle makes it look worse than it is, but I will have to see what I can do about that.) 

And Dominic is getting a polar bear.


Except the face shape turned out a little pointy. Keith and I were laughing last night about how it looked like I was knitting an albino badger. I may undo the grafting and see if I can plump the nose up a bit more with stuffing. 

After that knitting is all done, I may turn back to Christmas stockings. We'll see!

Reading: I zipped through Leviathan and the sequel, Behemoth, and the last book (Goliath) is waiting on my couch. But I've put it on hold while I read Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin, which I am reading with some other lovely ladies who are part of the St. Greg's Pittsburgh Pocket. 

After my crafting has slowed down I am really hoping to post more often here. Life happens and I meant to write about it and then it just keeps moving. Which is a good thing, the moving! But not the not-writing. I need to write. 


Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Finished Stocking ... and Steampunk!


Just a quick picture of Michael's finished stocking. It needs to be blocked and then I'll add his name.

Picked up these books from the library today after reading the first on the Kindle. Steampunk WWI alternative history with zepplins and flying whales. Good stuff!

Hoping to start some gift-crafting tonight!

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stockings


I don't think I'm going to finish stockings for all of our family members by Christmas. Right now I'm aiming for two--it seems a reasonable goal and takes into account other Christmas crafting I want to accomplish. Maybe three since there are three kiddos!

I hit a wall with Acedia & me and turned instead to A Mother's Rule of Life . I can't seem to muster enough focus for non-narrative books right now. It's been very busy around here--in a good way! We've had many birthdays and tomorrow, of course, is Thanksgiving. The snow arrived just in time ... I love snow on Thanksgiving. :)


I have fond memories of it snowing on Thanksgiving when my cousins were visiting, and we went outside and ran around barefoot in it. Because we liked to live on the wild side, you know. ;) 

Michael and I celebrated with some hot cocoa. 


He had a great chocolate goatee afterwards. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.