My Constants

Life is forever changing the landscape in which we live.  There will for ever be additions and subtractions, ups and downs, smiles and tears.  I consider myself very fortunate to have some very important ‘constants’ in my life, that I know are always by my side.

For the last 17 years, I have lived hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from my immediate family.  Surrounded by people who were separated from their family as well, friendships turned into family.  People who I would have never known had I not taken the path that I did.  People who I grew to love, and who grew to love me and my daughter in return.  We have laughed together, raised our children together, watch our loved ones go off to war together and held each other’s hands when it was time to cry together.  My life is a much richer life because I have such wonderful people in it.

Hanami Stole

Knit on US5s using Buffalo Gold Lux in Hucklleberry

For the last month, I have been quietly knitting a wedding stole for my friend Wendy.   It has been an honor to knit this for her. There is something so special about knitting for a friend, and I think this is the most special knit I have done thus far.  Every stitch is full of love, friendship and memories.  I am so thankful that she asked me to knit something for her special day.

Wendy and her husband Dave are people whom I owe a huge amount of gratitude.  In October, when I made the difficult decision to move back to New Hampshire, Wendy and Dave (and countless others) held my hand, dried my tears and packed up nearly 12 years of my life in under 45 days.  They fed my daughter and I, put a roof over our heads, and graciously moved all of our belongings down three horrid flights of stairs.  Words cannot express how incredibly thankful I am for their generosity, and moreover, for their constant support and love.

On April 16th, I watched them become Mr. and Mrs. David Clark while surrounded by their family and friends in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Their union brought the family of friends back together from all over the country, and we enjoyed ourselves in a rather large (and exhausting way).

I miss my family, however I am so very grateful for the memories of the past and the memories we will all make in the future.

And to those members of the family who could not be there with us, you were, as always carried in my heart.

xo


Wednesday Turned Into DIY Day, Somehow!

One thing I am going to miss starting Friday is my free time.  It’s been so nice to be able to wander about each day, allowing my imagination and desires to take me where I want to go.  Admittedly, there were many days when I was so bored I wanted to poke my eye out, but still, it’s been nice to simply go with the flow.  I am so thankful for the last few months.  I’m back in a place that I love, and that’s priceless.

One thing I’ve set about to do in my spare time is to teach myself to bake bread.  Today I took a deep breath, made two trips to the store and got busy with some flat bread.  It’s not perfect, could have used about 5 minutes less in the oven, but it’s so tasty.  The extra crisp bottom was easily overlooked by my adoring fans and I’m pretty pleased.

I did a lot of research on bread making, and the one thing I’d be interested to see is if this would taste differently if I allowed it to proof overnight, instead of the suggested hour and a half.  While the bread was tasty, I think it had a lot to do with the rosemary and olive oil I used.  Overall though, the taste lacked some depth.  One way to create depth in flavor is to allow the yeast to do its thing for a long while.  I’ll definitely make this one again.  It was really easy.  Easy enough to make the night before and then bake when it’s time.  I’m going to tinker with the recipe a bit.  Once I get it the way I like it, I’ll share.

One thing I’ve gotten to do a lot of this winter is take pictures.  The problem with taking pictures in the cold is that your hands take a beating.  My normal gloves are just too thick, and my favorite glove liners from EMS just aren’t heavy enough on their own, but they are the perfect weight of fabric for feeling tiny buttons.  Fingerless gloves over my liners ought to do the trick!  Here’s a sneak peak of what I have so far.

Don’t be afraid, but I’m working this one up from scratch, taking notes as I go.  I’ve been in love with the cable pattern for a while, and finally decided that I needed to just get over my fears and start knitting.  Hell, it’s only string, right?  I might just publish a pattern with this one, even though it’s a pretty simple knit.  I managed to finish up with the gusset increases tonight, and I’m expecting to have glove one done tomorrow.  I’m using Three Irish Girls Finely Merino Fingering for these, in Vintage Zinc.

I’m not too sure what is up with all of this productivity, but I’m going to make it work for me as long as I possibly can!

xo


Mmm Mmm Good.

This morning, I decided it was pot roast day.

While many of people will be slaving away over some ridiculously complicated, heavily sauced pasta or steak for their loved ones, I’ll be keeping it simple with something that I love.  All day every day.  There’s no hate when it comes to pot roast.  No whining, no expectations, no demands, just simple tasty love.

I can remember the first roast that I ever made.  I was young, living in Hawaii and had the biggest urge for roast and gravy.  I called my mother and begged for some schooling.  I even called my grandmother for her take on the whole situation.  Both lead me down the same path.  Saute onions garlic and celery in a pan, sear the meat, put it in the oven.  Simple, right?  I add salt, pepper, garlic and thyme, but it’s not hard.  And between the searing and the oven your roast gets a beautiful crispy crust that is the perfect mate for some mashed potatoes.   When it comes to gravy,  cold water and flour…  That’s it.  So good, so tasty.

Since then, I’ve decided that a crock pot makes me just as happy.  It’s easy.  It’s for those of us that are lazy, and when you remember to add in your carrots, onions and potatoes it’s a crock o’ heaven.  I’m a fucking genius, I know.

Can you believe I just took the time to write a post about pot roast?

?!!?!?!!?!?!?!

Here.  Have a cookie.  It’s my blog and I’m doing what I want.

Knitting content tomorrow kids.  I promise.


Perpetual Motion

Somewhere between the here and the tomorrow, I get a little lost.

I forget what I am here for and get so far off track from where I am supposed to be that I can no longer tell which path I am on.  I think I’m just destined to operate this way.  I can’t pick up a book without thinking about what I want to read next, yet there’s always another book between the one I’m reading and the one I want to read…  Maybe even a few of them.  I’ve noticed this is my habit with everything I touch.  I want to do this…. I want to do that…   Is it really so bad to just do whatever?!?

Obviously, there are somethings that stick…  Knitting and photography come to mind, but even within those two things, my mind is constantly moving on to the next thing.  The next color.  The next branch.  The next project.  The next ray of sunshine.  While I’d like to think of these adventures as exploration and self-expression, I often have to wonder if I’m electing the experience over mastery.  Someone commented to me the other day about how a project develops for me, and thought that figuring that out might be a great tool for me.

It might be, if I figure out how it works.  There’s no set in stone starting point..  It’s all what I see when I see it.  It could be how something feels, a color pattern, a movement or a shadow.  To quantify the what and the how is almost frightening and somehow exposing.  I do understand the importance of mapping such an activity, and that it might make it easier for me to focus on a specific, but I’m not sure I want to do that.  Part of the process I enjoy is starting from nothing and moving towards something.  I like the journey.  I love seeing the glimmer in my mind and watching it grow, taking form and shape as I move with it.  To have that drawn out in front of me seems like ball and chain that I’d have to lug around with me every time my mind entered into the voyage.

That being said, maybe it’s part of what I enjoy about not being an expert, to a degree.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to know how to do every little thing in regards to what it is that I enjoy, but I want the freedom of not having to know.  Those of you who have been around long enough know I love to get deep in the weeds, but I also love that I don’t have to go there every single time.  It’s good to have things in life that don’t require thought.  You just pick up what you have and go with it until you don’t want to anymore.

There’s something freeing in the absence of thought that comes with that, and I’m not trading it for the world.


The Truth Is Out There

I had an opportunity to go out and about with blogless Atticus today and take some pictures.

(Which now gives him NO reason NOT to have a blog.  Sometimes you don’t need to write, you just need to see.)

Something I was thinking about while we were out that was brought full circle later that night is the difference between what is seen and what is not.  How we try to find the most perfect of things only to become caught up by the small the way.  I think that too often we focus on what is in the way and forget about what our goal was.  Maybe its was a little pot screaming to be photographed, yet you lack a good vantage point.  Maybe its more than trying to take a simple picture…  Maybe it’s about what’s right in front of you for the taking.

We all look at things in different ways, and rightly so, we all want to see things in different ways.  We’re all striving to find that ‘deeper meaning’ to whatever is out there and it’s relevancy to us as individuals.  If we all saw things the same way, there would be no deeper meaning, and we would all plod along through life like the ashen spirits some would like us to be.  At times, all I think we are missing is a different perspective.  It’s not always something you can see while staring straight ahead.  We often have to do a complete 360 degree rotation before we can really grasp what’s going on.

It’s important to question things – moreover, to question yourself.  If we aren’t asking, we aren’t learning.. We aren’t moving forward.

I find myself always looking for the alternate viewpoint.  When I fail to do so, I find myself moving on.  Perhaps too fast.  Maybe I missed something.  Something I could have seen if I had just taken the time.  Or walked two steps to the left.

 

 


A Top 10 on Monday!

And so yet again, we’ll be getting snow this week.  Tuesday and Wednesday for a change instead of only on Wednesday!  I’m so excited I can barely contain myself!

So without further delay, here are…..

The Top 10 Reasons Megan Can Barely Contain Herself:

1.  More snow means more shoveling!  Why pay for a gym membership when you can shovel.  If you’re lucky you can break ice, too!  (Oh wait, I don’t go to a gym.)

2.  No school for Mini-Me on Wednesday!  (Which is great, because then I get to hear her complain about being bored all day!  Apparently the novelty has worn off.)

3.  Some where out there is a deserted tropical island I can go visit.  (Maybe before I die, cough cough.)

4.  Snow is pretty.  (Until the sanders come out and turn it brown, or it’s too damned cold to go out and enjoy it.)

5.  All this snow will melt and replenish the rivers and streams!!   (Well, unless it melts all at once and we have a flood.  Which would just be insanely GREAT!)

6.  More snow means better skiing/snowboarding!  (Which most New Englanders cannot afford to do.  Super bonus!)

7.  More snow means less traffic.  (Oh, wait.  I can’t get out either.  Nevermind….)

8.  More pictures!!  (Ok, so I got all dressed up for the first snow storm and trudged around in the snow.  I need some serious incentive to do it again…)

9.  It’s great to cuddle up to someone special when it snows.  (The kiddo does not qualify as this sort of special, and well, I’m in a definite dry spell.)

10.  It will be a great day to make a hot toddy or two.  (NO complaints here.  Tipsy shoveling is always more fun than sober shoveling.)

So that’s that kids.  My top 10.  Most people do these on Tuesday, I know.  But since when am I most people?

Besides.  It’s my blog, I’ll do what I want.

Like show you this pretty mitten I am knitting.

Holly Jean Mittens

US 2 needles, Paton’s Classic Wool in Lemongrass, Mercury, and Natural Mix

I know, I know.  More colorwork.  But hey, if I can’t dye my own yarn, I might as well figure out a different way to play with color, right?

 


Happy Cakes

So here’s the tricky part of all of this.

Today’s a non-deep thought day.   Perhaps just a half-deep day.  And how does it match up against my last two posts?  I feel like I drew you in to my dark corner we all smoked cigarettes and drank cheap red wine, only now I’m about to throw on the lights, put on my Donna Reed pearls, shiny patent leather pumps, an apron and play mommy for you.

Which really is a stretch considering most days I don’t think I can even get my own kid’s vote for Mother of The Year.

Saturday I couldn’t take it anymore and bought a hoop to use in place of the diamond stud in my nose.  It’s so dry up here, I’m constantly congested and my stud was driving me nuts.  I constantly had to adjust it, which wouldn’t be too bad if it didn’t require me to insert the tip of a finger into my nostril.  Which would be fine, if it didn’t look like I was picking my nose, or wiping of the remnants of a line.  (I don’t do any sort of coke, but on a bad day, it sure did look like I did.)

I bring the thing home, put it in and Mini-Me tells me that I need to start looking like a mom.  I also bought blue hair dye for her that day and when I suggested that I might like some in my hair she just sighed and said “First you get all pirate and stuff, now you want blue hair.  What’s next?!?”

Pardon me child, I was unaware that there was a certain age at which people needed to start ‘looking’ like moms.  I thought I was just doing what I wanted to do, which is what I thought I was supposed to do!

In retaliation for not looking like a mom, I decided to bake some treats.

 

 

These little tasty treats are Cashew Meringues with Black Cherry Jam.  I subscribe to a blog type thing called the Kitchn which updates about 5 times a day with nifty culinary stuff – gadgets, cookbooks, recipes and the like.  This is the first time I’ve ever tried something that they listed, but I’m pretty happy that I did.  The meringues themselves are very sweet – no flour is involved, just powdered sugar and cashews run through the food processor.  As soon as I tasted one, I knew why the author went with black cherries.  Their tartness is perfect alongside the sweet.  The only thing I will warn you about is that they are crunchy – take this into consideration when you add copious amounts of filling unless you want to wear it.  Nana Pepperoni and I tried it with Nutella instead of preserves and the results were was naughty good.  I’m in love and will be making this one again.

The mini doesn’t like them.  Oh… Gee…. Darn….  Did mommy make a treat that you didn’t like sweetie???  Poor thing..  Maybe you should stop making fun of mommy.

xo

PS

I lurk in cemeteries too looking for neat stuff.  Totally not a mom worthy activity, but there’s only so much stuff to take pictures of in the yard this time of year.  Please don’t tell my kid.  I can’t disappoint her anymore this week.  ;-)

Gothic


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