Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Leaves and Colors

I have been parenting solo since Friday, so, not much time for knitting or reading this week. But I met with the webcomic Namesake a few days ago, and ... well, that consumed my life for a few days. Now I'm caught up and have to wait for each page like a normal person. If you like fairy-tales, fanasy, and stories that are very meta ... you should read it. :) (Also if you like Oz. And super cute, not too sappy romance.)

I also recently read Eleanor & Park, which was ... okay. I really liked the beginning, which I thought was very original; not so much the second half. 

I've knit a few more leaves for Michael's blanket. Number 48 is on the needles out of 110, according to the pattern. I might stop at 100, depending on how big it is. (Although when you've come that far and only have ten left, I guess you might as well keep going!) 

My original idea was to stick only to leaf colors--green, brown, orange, red, yellow, plus some blue for the sky peaking through the leaves. But I'm wondering if maybe I should branch out? Maybe try some teal or some other jewel tone? I'm not sure. What do you think? I don't want it to look too "scrappy" ... perhaps I should buy more yarn in some of the colors I already have to keep it unified? 

A skein of teal?
Linking up with Ginny.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Naptime Miscellany

I am eating a taro bun right now, with coconut cream. Occasionally Keith stops by an Asian grocery and picks up all sorts of goodies for our freezer and pantry--pocky and potstickers and panda cookies and seaweed. I'm kind of addicted to the light-yet-chewy texture of these things. (Taro is also our favorite flavor of frozen yogurt at Razzy Fresh. I guess it's some sort of tuber?)

While I'm showing you pictures of my bookshelf (Tolkien is just to the left in that picture), this is our poetry shelf. It is a frequent victim of baby attacks because Dominic can easily reach it while standing on the armchair. And he always, always goes for this book. Never Browning, never Eliot, never Auden. I guess he has very modern tastes. (Also he likes yellow.)

Keith is currently away in San Franciso, for a wedding and to finish going through his mom's belongings. He left on Friday and comes back Thursday morning.

That's six solo bedtimes, people.

It's actually not so bad. (Knock on wood?) Every night once everyone's in bed I've been rewarding myself with ice cream and a glass of wine. Although the ice cream is all gone. The wine helps me sleep. Also at night I've been binge-reading this webcomic (recommended by Molly--thank you!!), but now I've caught up, which is awful. Truly. I hate catching up to webcomics! To be reading pages and pages each day and then suddenly you get three pages a week! It's torture.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I was there, and now I'm here--a CWBN Mid-Atlantic Conference recap

Julie just posted her CWBN Mid-Atlantic recap, so I am finally going to hit publish on this. :)

Photo by Rosie Hill
I've been blogging for ten years.

That's a little embarrassing. I think I've covered my tracks well enough that you won't find the super-old stuff. (Please ... don't try. ;) )

When I started this particular blog, I wasn't quite clued in to the whole blog scene. I was burnt out from grad school, from self-conscious writing for workshops, and wanted a place where I could use my writing to express delight in things.

But I always write for an audience. I've never successfully kept a private journal. I want my words to be read. And as I followed more bloggers, gained followers I'd never met in "real life," and absorbed the blogging culture, I thought: what am I aiming for exactly? Am I just writing for friends, people who are already interested in me for my own sake? Or am I trying to gain an audience of some sort? Do I want to be a "real" blogger, and if I'm not, does it even matter if I only post once a month or less?

When Julie emailed to invite me to the CWBN Mid-Atlantic Conference, it was so validating. I may not have a header on my blog, or an "About Me" page, or even any photos in half my posts. But Julie had remembered my blog! And even where I lived! That meant something, right?

So I signed up and decided this would be my line in the sand. After this I would write again ... and be a "real" blogger.

God blessed me so much through that day, and I feel like I could type on for pages--about Julie and her wonderful hospitality, and how great it was just to sit and chat with her at her kitchen table in her beautiful home; about finally meeting fellow twin-moms Rosie and Abbey in person; about meeting and talking to so many wonderful women; about Leah and Cristina's great presentations, and Meg's talk on prayer that brought tears to my eyes. If I tried to go more in depth about these things, I would never finish this post.

But during lunch we sat in our assigned small groups, and mine was perfect. Abbey and Marie Bernadette have written about it. We were all in the same place--wondering if blogging was something that really belonged in our lives right now, and what it meant for us aside from "branding" and all that stuff that seemed to be for bigger bloggers. Having that conversation openly with others was such an encouraging experience, and I came away from it feeling very refreshed.

I admit I felt a bit sad leaving. There was talk of getting together again during the summer, which is something I couldn't do without it being a genuine road trip; and going back to "just blogging" together was a bit rough.

But ultimately, two words sum up my experience of the conference: refreshment and affirmation. The immediate community I experienced there was a reminder--this is why I blog. I have my communities here in Pittsburgh, which are vital to me. But connections made online are very real for me, too. This blog is a place where genuine companionship, even intimacy, can exist. And I want to be here.

So for me, right now, blogging doesn't look like "branding" myself. But it does look like making this page a more welcoming space (an "About Me" page and updated profile pic?), and engaging more often and more promptly with the comments you all are so generous with, and hopefully posting more often--inviting people in, asking them to stay awhile, to share a part of my life over tea and knitting, conversing about the wonder and beauty and struggle that is a part of our lives.

So thanks for being here. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yarn Along

I took a break from blogging.

I signed up for the CWBN's Mid-Atlantic Conference, which was last Saturday, and gave myself until then. Until then to just let it go, not try to write or even think about writing. (I am always thinking about writing.) Partly because a break just seemed to make sense in light of the last post. And partly because I'd been struggling a bit about writing here.

The conference was wonderful! I feel refreshed and a bit more purposeful about blogging; I've been reminded why I do it, which was something I really needed. I have a half-completed post about it in my drafts folder as I type this. (Which may mean nothing. Sometimes the draft folder might as well be the garbage bin. ;) But I have determination!! And exclamation points!!!)

In the meantime, I am, of course, knitting and reading.

The blanket is for a baby (not mine!), gender unknown. The book is Dorothy Sayer's Gaudy Night, picked up because Haley and and Christy talked about it on Fountains of Carrots, and the other books they've read together have all been ones I love. I am probably committing some sort of book crime, because I haven't read the other books in the series first; I can tell I am missing out on the depth of Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey's relationship, but it hasn't really given me much trouble. I am enjoying it quite a bit.

Linking up with Ginny as usual.