Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I am glad to be going home for Christmas, but it also seems a little sad that our home will be all decked out and lonely during most of the actual Christmas season. Maybe these decorations will stick around for a bit longer than Epiphany. :)
Our Fontanini Nativity. There are shepherds on the right, where you can't see them; on the left are the musicians (the Little Drummer Boy, a bagpiper, and some other sort of piped instrument that may or may not actually exist). Baby Jesus isn't in the manger yet.
Our mantel, decked out with trimmed branches from the Christmas tree, and extra strand of lights, and two mini stockings. :) You can't really see in this picture, but the stocking on the left says "Casey's First Christmas," because that was a possible name for Keith before he was born, and a sort-of nickname because his initials are KC.
Our TV doesn't usually live in the fireplace, but we've rearranged things to accomodate the tree. When we had friends over for caroling, we played a video of a fireplace on the screen. ;)
The Christmas tree! We don't have a tree skirt yet, or a star for the top, but we have plenty of ornaments--some of mine, some of Keith's, and some that we've started collecting together. And ... it looks really, really crooked in this picture. I don't think it actually leans that much in person. (Maybe it does ...)
Speaking of pictures ... some long-distance friends (who are also pregnant) have been bugging me, so I want to take a "bump" picture sometime soon ... maybe in my (maternity) Christmas dress! :) Probably at my parents' place; but maybe here. :)
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
You remember Uncle Roy on his knees, hammer in his hand, mouth full of nails--a man bending to do his work, calm at last, strangely grateful--a father humbled by hurt, building a ramp for his fifteen-year-old son's wheelchair. [...] He let the hammer speak: one word at a time, one word over and over.Sweet Mary Mother of God slit the man's violet scar to slip her own bright heart inside him. She took his in return, pierced and still bleeding. Enough, she said. Let me love you. She's not afraid of grief. You think I don't know? Tulanie's pain has lifted Roy's rage out of him.
Friday, December 2, 2011
-finish a draft of the book review due Monday
-write a grad student email (still must do that ...)
-grade ALL THE STUFF
-and, ambitiously, get started on my revision due in two weeks. (This would never have actually happened, but.)
Instead this is what I did:
-sat at table and felt tired and sick
-went back to bed
-got up and ate some pasta
-sat around and did nothing until posting here.
Seriously, I am more than halfway through this pregnancy, haven't felt nauseous for weeks, and now morning sickness?? Sigh. I can't complain much, since I my first trimester was easier than it was for other women I know. But it's so frustrating, and I just can't seem to get enough sleep, and it makes me feel like a bum.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
2. I was asked today, for the first time ever, if I was pregnant. (Well, okay, not the first time; but for the first time because I *looked* pregnant.) This made me happy. :)
3. Flannery O'Connor is an amazing woman. Proof: "Writing is like giving birth to a piano sideways. Anyone who perseveres is either talented or nuts." For those of you who have to deal with me/listen to me weep and moan on bad days, just remember I'm giving birth to a piano. Sideways. (Not sure if writing a manuscript prepares one for real labor, or real labor prepares one for writing. I'll get back to you on this in five months.)
4. Today is a soft and velvety fall day and it is wonderful. And my husband gave me money to sustain myself before class since I am without my wallet. So I can't really complain all that much I guess.
Back to grading.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
"Let us not believe that we can love without suffering, and without suffering a great deal. It is our human nature that suffers, our poor God-given human nature which, however, is so precious, that Jesus came on purpose to our earth to clothe Himself with it. Let us suffer without bitterness, that is, without feeling courage. Jesus suffered with sadness. Could we say that a soul was suffering if it did not experience sadness? And could we then claim that we are suffering generously, nobly ... Celine ... what an illusion that would be!"
Monday, August 29, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Our professional pictures haven't arrived yet, but Facebook album by Facebook album, pictures are being uploaded to the internet. So before we head out, here is one of my favorite guest photos from the wedding.
God bless. :)
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Even crazier is that tomorrow it will be three days until I'm married. Three. I can't quite fathom it.
Today I finished seaming the flowers for the tables; my wedding shawl is blocking as I type this; tomorrow I will put together favors.
I talked to my cousin yesterday and she remarked on how I didn't sound very stressed. In general, I'm not--not from moment to moment, although I get stressed very easily when stuff happens, like trying to figure out who's driving what car from church to the reception hall as the bridal party rides in the limo.
There are two things I keep repeating to myself as we pull the last details together.
1. I cannot control everything. Or everyone.
On a conscious level, this is perfectly reasonable to me. But somehow I keep finding myself trying to control things, and getting immensely stressed because there's no way I ever can. Especially when it comes to people.
2. I cannot make everyone happy.
This is kind of related to #1, but it needs to stand on its own because I need to remind myself of it often. So many people are asking for things, either outright or in a more subtle way, without realizing how much extra stress it causes. I can either scramble around and try to make everyone happy, or get angry at them, or ... let it go. I can't carry those things around with me.
All that matters, all that will matter at all come Saturday afternoon, is that I am getting married. To Keith.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
It is my second to last real day in this apartment before I pack up some things and move back with my parents to await the wedding. When I come back—save, maybe, a night here and there if I need to be in the city for some reason—it will be with Keith, and it will not be to this corner bedroom, with its sunny windows and desk in the corner. I am both glad of that, and a little nostalgic.
Right now I am knitting nupps for my bridal shawl, and it isn’t the horrid struggle so many knitters complain of, but a peaceful process. I sit here, all the blinds drawn open, surrounded by trees that wave through the windows, as though I myself am sitting in their branches. There are passing cars and muffled voices, but those tend to fade into the background of my awareness. There is also a chiming from someone’s windcatcher, a series of high, melancholy notes that follow one another sometimes at a distance, sometimes on each other’s heels, and I think I should like to write the story they are telling, the one that pulls at something in my chest and the corners of my eyes.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Just this old one from last week.
To be honest, the shawl doesn't look that much different! Just bigger. I've finished the flower design of the body, and have moved on to the edging, not without a few detours along the way.
Detour 1: I wanted to knit 13 repeats of the flower design to make it a bit bigger. But after reading other people's project notes on Ravelry, I knew it would be a tight squeeze for the amount of yarn I had. And I wasn't about to spend almost $40 on another skein. (Sigh, I wish.) So after the 12th repeat, I gave myself a lifeline and began the 13th, using my mom's food scale to weigh the remaining yarn as I went.
I'm not sure that the food scale was much help, seeing as the space between 40 and 30 grams was about the size of a fingernail. :-P But I chickened out/realized I was being foolish, and so had my first experience of ripping back to a lifeline and picking up all the stitches.
Detour 2: Resigned to having only 12 repeats, I set about knitting the border chart. Nupps were still several rows off, and the pattern was easy to memorize and knit while reading. Until row 5.
That was when things stopped matching the pattern below it in the way I thought it should. But what did I know? Maybe the pattern was supposed to look all random and raggedy at this point, despite the neatly aligned rows of stitches before.
So I kept on knitting, until, halfway through the row, I realized there was no way I had the right number of stitches. So I tinked (unknit stitch by stitch) that half a row. And then the purl row before that. And then the whole row before that, where I had been adding two yarn overs to every chart repeat, resulting in 64 extra stitches. Whoops.
I am now past that point and on my first nupp row, so all is (relatively) well.
As for reading: I am almost finished In the Hall of the Dragon King. Sadly, I have *cough* broken a second Kindle, which means I'm finishing it on my computer screen. Argh. This one wasn't my fault, really. I can't believe it. These things are EXPENSIVE. Sigh.
Anyway, I am off to plan class and pick up a bridesmaid dress and look at wax models of wedding rings and take a dance lesson. Blessings to all and happy yarning along with Ginny!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The fourth and final bridesmaid stole is cast off. Now it needs blocking--probably not until after this summer course is over next week. Two stoles to block, and then the bridesmaids' gifts are finished! The shawl pins I ordered to go with them were waiting for me when I went home last weekend, so I will have to take pictures of them at some point.
I just finished Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri--it's way overdue at the library, unfortunately--and have started In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen R. Lawhead on my Kindle. I know I read this years and years ago, but I've forgotten all of the first book. Actually, I don't think I read it myself--it was my dad who read it to me as a bedtime story. As I read it for myself the first time, I am realizing that this book really shaped the way I wrote my first novel back in high school, though I was basically unaware of it. (No, I never finished the novel, but I got to 150 single space pages. I started rereading it recently. Good times.)
Last but not least ....
.... I have cast on my wedding shawl!
The pattern is Echo Flowers, the yarn sweetgeorgia cashsilk lace in Riptide. Gorgeous .... I'm on the 8th repeat of the body pattern. Not sure if I'll do 12 or 13 total. We'll see when we get there!
(Also cast-off a hat for Japan, but sadly, no pictures.)
Linking up with Ginny.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
For non-knitters (or just non-nuppers), a nupp is when you increase my knitting multiple times into the same stitch--usually making five or seven stitches out of one--and then on the next row you knit or purl all those stitches together. If you have the wrong needles, or your stitches are too tight, or the yarn is slippery, it can be pretty difficult to get all those stitches knit together.
Which is why so many people hate them, including my mother. :) I had a bit of a hard time with them on my Annis, but then I got the hang of them a little ... and no, they didn't look the best, but practice makes perfect, right? And while the Raspberry Dream stole didn't have *nupps*, it did have k7tog which is pretty darn nupp-like--and I had no trouble with it.
Now for my real reason for posting:
My two choices for my bridal shawl are the Swallowtail and Echo Flower shawls. Which should I do? (Imagine them in teal. :) )
I want to cast on today or tomorrow but I can't decide ... so I'm gathering opinions.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Instead, I picked up one of my bridesmaid's dresses so I can mail it to her in Colorado. On the way back I stopped by a friend's house to visit her and her two babies--one of whom is quite new. And I suppose you can't really call the other a baby any more. He is my godson, and he is most definitely a little boy now, with a strong will of his own! It's great to see him interact with his new little brother--he always wants to touch him, and I think he's starting to learn he has to touch him gently, as opposed to giving him a solid whack on the head. But it's amazing to see his awareness of personhood, even though he's only one year old.
Today Keith and I also met with Father Josh, and then the DJ, and even though I did none of the grading I planned to do ... I am wiped.
So yeah ... no yarn along post.
Anyway, I feel this blog has practically become a knitting blog of late. Not that knitting (or knitting blogs!) are a bad thing, but there are other things I mean to blog about and never get around to. But the yarn along keeps me posting, and that's good. :)
Edited to add: I thought I had a new follower but when I check I discovered that I had managed, somehow, to follow my own blog. Wow. I wonder what that sort of thing says about a person?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
But I have cast on a hat for Japan using leftover yarn from Keith's socks. I'm using the Swirl Hat pattern, and it's simple and easy to memorize. I even took my knitting on the bus with me for the first time ever yesterday, and I can easily work on this while reading.
Which is good, because I am currently rereading Gina Ochsner's The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight. Last year I sent my cousin a couple of Ochsner's short stories. She hated them. But I absolutely love them, and I love this novel. Because I love it, I agreed to review it for Hot Metal Bridge. But it's been more than a year since I read it ... which means I'm frantically rereading it so that I can write the review sometime over the weekend. Good thing I like this book.
Speaking of Japan and yarn, I recently won a contest over at Knitting Kninja's blog and received a copy of her pattern, Beetle Tracks, and a skein of Madeleine Tosh yarn.
I am quickly falling in love with Madeleine Tosh. I bought my first skein of tosh sock in Nectar (picture :) ) two months ago, and now have a skein of the same yarn in Thyme to coordinate. At some point these will become a Whippoorwill.
The yarn I won is tosh sport in Charcoal. I'm not sure yet whether I'll use it for the Beetle Tracks pattern or something else.
What a gorgeous silvery grey! Very appropriate for a day that dawned on the heels of a thunderstorm, no? I just love Madeleine Tosh's colors. And I love that the yarn is named after her grandmother. Hopefully I'll enjoy knitting with it as much as I enjoy looking at it.
(Linking with Ginny at small things.)
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
They haven't climbed much yet, but they've started blooming. As of today there are two orange flowers and one yellow. I keep meaning to take a picture of them; maybe tomorrow, if it isn't raining.
And the weekend before last we went to Ikea and bought some lights for over the sink, this lampshade (for a lamp that Keith will bring with him when he moves in), and we also ended up adopting another plant. (I collect yarn; Keith collects green and growing things. And we both collect books.)
I really love the lampshade. The last time my mom was here, I told her that it reminded me of a lampshade in my Great-grandma Ivy's house, and she had been thinking the same thing. It's funny, because I don't actually remember Great-grandma's lampshade, in the sense that I have a picture of it in my mind. But I look at this one, sitting on top of the bookshelf, and I have an image--part sight, part feeling--of sitting in her living room looking at it.
Anyway. Things are going well at the apartment; slowly but surely boxes are getting unpacked and belongings set up and furniture moved to its proper place (at least for the time being). The only bad thing is the fleas which I've finally pinned as the culprit for eating me alive for the past three weeks.
Yes, fleas. Ugh. I have NO idea where they came from; I'm glad, I guess, it wasn't bed bugs or mites or something harder to get rid of, because they don't bite ANYONE ELSE except me. But still, it's gross and itchy and a pain in the butt. On Thursday Keith is bringing over a vacuum and we'll sprinkle powder on the carpet and spray the couch etc and hopefully kill the HECK out of them. (In the meantime, my friend Stephanie tells me that they won't bite you if you take vitamin B. I would like this to be true, please.)
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I'm grateful that my last yarn along post wasn't deleted in the midst of Blogger's troubles last week; but some of the comments on it were, and I wasn't able to respond to others, which makes me sad. So if you commented on my last post ... know that I read it, and thank you!
I've just been knitting along with this final bridesmaid stole--it's a little less than 2/3 finished, unless I poop out after 8 repeats, which would make it almost 3/4.
I have, however, started blocking the others. Two so far. I've been having a little trouble getting all the pins in before this yarn (Kidsilk Haze) starts drying out, so with the second one I used a spray bottle.
AND I now have blocking wires. Lacing them through the edges is kind of tedious, but it does make it easier to keep them straight, and it lets me pull an entire edge a little further rather than attempt to make the thing wider pin by pin (and hoping they all line up in the end).
I only have the one with me, so photos of the other will come soon, hopefully by next week.
I don't really have good photos of this one either ... but here's what I have. It is the third stole I knit; the pattern is Upstairs.
My attempt to model it in the bathroom. Bleh.
I love how this yarn blocks. It has a beautiful sheen to it, and lightweight as it is, it really is warm. I don't have before-and-after pics (although I have some photos from when I was knitting it here and on Ravelry), but here it is side-by-side with a stole-in-progress to give you an idea.
I really do need to get better pictures of it at some point. And definitely at the wedding, but that's 59 days away. (Not that I'm counting or anything. :) )
As for reading--same as last week, except that I've finished What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us. A book of beautiful short stories; I really enjoyed it.