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Archive for June, 2008

One stitch short

I have returned from the delightful cabin trip to Michigan (we were in this general area), and I am happy.

We didn’t spend a lot of time up there, but the time we spent was awesome. We arrived late on Friday, having survived an hour of bumper-to-bumper sitting (during which we saw four teen-ish-age kids running along the shoulder of the highway oh my god. Idiots.). We went to Wick’s Apple House (and I fully expected them not to have a website) while it rained a bit and bought tasty delicious Vidalia onion-tomato-basil salad dressing, and “Bluebarb” preserves. When we got back to the cabin the weather had cleared up so we went canoeing around the lake, which was beautiful and fun. I love canoeing. I got only a little bit of sun, because it was about 5:00pm when we went out, and because I wore my (handmade) floppy sunhat.

There are no pictures of the canoeing. Some of you may remember the wine-glass incident; there is no way I am bringing my camera into a canoe.

I did, however, take pictures of the campfire because I came over all abstracty.

sparks

fire 13

On Sunday we all slept in until after 1:00pm. Maybe after 2:00pm. It was all overcast every time I woke up so I thought it was very early instead of very late, and there were no clocks. I had turned off my cell phone because I couldn’t get service, I didn’t know where other cell phones were, and there were seriously no clocks in the cabin. And it was LOVELY. I woke up first, ate some leftovers for breakfast, read my escapist fiction novel (the third book in this series), and just sat. I didn’t even knit, though I brought two knitting projects. It was lovely to be still, to be quiet, to not think of the many things that have been making me crazy in the past few weeks, and to just look outside and see green trees and a gentle lake.

I think part of my uptightness has to do with a lack of green space where I live. We are in one of four apartments on the second floor of a multi-business building close to downtown, surrounded on all sides by concrete, streets, and other buildings. We’ve been sleeping with our windows open since the weather got nicer — we hear everything, especially the very loud garbage truck that comes TWICE A WEEK OH MY GOD to pick up the trash in the dumpster (by which I mean “smash the dumpster into the ground a lot, very loudly, at 6:00am”) directly outside our bedroom window. This doesn’t make for a peaceful calm. I find that I breathe easier when I go to my parents’ house on seven acres in the middle of farmland, full of trees and green where it is very quiet. The noises there consist of bullfrogs, cattle, and the occasional coyote. It’s amazing.

Of course, another part of my uptightness is that when I do actually get around to knitting, I screw up.

I skipped one
Click through and see the explanatory and highly sarcastic notes

I forgot to knit a stitch on the Chosen-by-Blog sock, thanks to beer and good conversation, and didn’t realize it until about 9 rounds later.

rip rip rip

So I had to rip it back to where I had ignored that one stitch. And that made me a little uptight. As you might have guessed.

Anyhow, I’m back from the Land of Calm and am determined to bring Calm with me. So far (all of three days) it’s been working out pretty well. Deep breaths and forward thinking.

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I’ve been gone a while, yes. I’m sure it is tragic and heartbreaking to the two of you who read this blog regularly. It’s been a busy couple of days (weeks? how long has it been since I posted?) and I’m leaving with NinjaHusband and the neighbors for Michigan in like an hour, so here’s a brief rundown of my recent activities:

1. My first doula client had her baby last Thursday. It was awesome and delightful and amazing and yes, I totally cried when the baby was born. Good times.

2. NinjaHusband and I got a new-to-us couch, dinette set, and a dresser (for a friend) from his mom on Saturday. We borrowed my Dad’s truck and were on the road FOR SIX HOURS. We started at 5:30pm and finished at 1:30am. HATE. Love the couch and the dinette set, but I do not want to spend so long (3 round trips from our town to the hometowns… ugh) in a car again.

3. Which is funny, because we’re going to Michigan for the weekend and we anticipate a 3-4 hour drive. Hooray crappy Chicago traffic.

4. Knitting has slowed, for no discernible reason. I have pictures of my recent sock mishap, which I had hoped to post and talk about, but the camera is already all packed up, so that’s not happening.

5. I got a massage (hurt my shoulder at the birth) and my therapist asked if she could pass my name on to a pregnant lady who has been looking for a doula. AWESOME!

6. House hunting continues apace, and it is still depressing. Why do I want to live in this town so much? I can’t afford it. *deep breath* We’re going again (we went last night) next week Wednesday, and will hopefully find something glorious and inexpensive. Cross your fingers, mmkay? Thanks!

That’s all I have now, as I have to shower and pack underwear in my bag (because I forgot that most essential piece of clothing while packing last night.) I leave you with another look at a waterfall… have a great weekend!

mouth of the waterfall

Waterfall

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And the fact that I have no children that I am a wretched failure at being a 1930s housewife:

-9

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

But it’s because I’m a careful auto driver, stubborn, and prepare my own breakfast that I am a Very Superior 1930s husband:

104

As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

In other news, I’m still knitting on the baby blanket, still knitting on the single sock, about to rip back half of the purple Sprout cardigan, and still contemplating casting on 500 more projects. And last night I had a dream about Wollmeise. My attempts to save for a down payment are under attack!

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Recording the minutiae

On Saturday we went to Matthiessen State Park with our friends and neighbors Adam and Beth. It was a gorgeous day and we drove the hour drive to Utica Illinois (yes, that Utica) and started walking around, seeing things like this:

ferns and moss

and this:

getting there is half the fun

and after I started taking pictures like this…

lichen

… I was designated the Minutiae Recorder.

Ever since I was a wee girl I’ve always loved looking at small things. My overactive imagination plus a love of fairy tales like Thumbelina made me highly interested in the very small. Hunkering down to see the tiny, feather-like moss tips, or to see inside a bluebell flower, or squinting to see the hidden crystals in a geode made me feel like I was looking into a fairy world or something. I love seeing the tiny bits of life that happen below the usual daily radar; the detail in rocks (leading to fossils! or geodes!) or in plants like the lichen (or maybe it’s not lichen, I don’t know) in the last picture up there… they’re so graceful and delicate and so hidden most of the time that it’s impossible NOT to get a thrill from squinting at them.

Of course, sometimes squinting to see very small things will give you a strong case of nearsightedness and then you have to wear glasses for the rest of your life.

(No real point to this. Just musing.)

Full set of Matthiessen pictures here, if you’re interested.

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