Friday, April 28, 2006

knitting lunch

it's BEAUTIFUL outside here today! i am VERY jealous of the hippie's day off, even if it's not under ideal circumstances. my friend sonya and i decided to take full advantage of the weather and take our lunch and fiber projects outside to the gazebo next to our office building. i worked on my little baby cardigan from erika knight's book, simple knits for cherished babies, which i am knitting with mission falls 1824 cotton (LOVE!!!). sonya worked on the basket she's making for her son's small dinosaurs--she's crocheting it from remnant blanket binding, and it's looking and feeling awesome. my boss even came outside and hung out with us for a bit. all in all, a little yarn and sun has left me feeling rejuevenated for the afternoon. whoo hoo! :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

change in the wind

the hippie is officially unemployed. the company he's dearly loved working with gave up the ghost and quietly slid under the water today. it's kind of strange how calm we both are about this. i guess there have been enough murmurings over the last month that we were both prepared for it. plus, there's a lot of dust to settle still, and who knows where it will end up falling. there are investors who are trying to buy up all the IP and spin it off into something new, and if they do--they will want the hippie. there are other irons in the fire at other companies in other industries. there are potential contracting opportunities. there are possibilities all over. and since he's my official domestic partner, i can put him on my insurance and make sure he's covered if anything happens to his health, which is a great peace of mind to us both. and hey--good thing we didn't buy the new house we almost bought--if we had, we would have been closing on it tomorrow, and can you imagine??! holy crap! so we are renting and can do so indefinitely on one salary. i'd say we are in as good of shape as any family who just lost over half it's income could possibly be. i am actually kind of jealous that he has tomorrow off.

on a rainy wet cold nasty day, jackie recommends...

...expensive yarn!!! today i bought one skein of yarn (300 yards) to make a wrap to wear to a wedding in sweden in may, where i fear it may be cold, but where i still want to look cool and springy. i spent more money on a single skein of yarn than i ever have before or probably ever will again. this is the trap--i filled my frequent buyer's card at my LYS, and that meant $25 off my next purchase. at first, i was like--wow--that's like a whole hat and sweater set for a baby! and then i thought--OR... i COULD buy this $96-dollar skein of yarn i have been drooling on for two months instead... for ONLY $71. hmmmm... guess which won? this is prism's cool stuff yarn in tea rose, and i am in love with it! to the point that i have temporarily revoked my self-imposed no-more-fuzzy-novelty-yarn-ever-again rule and will now go knit something loose and lacey on HUGE needles for ME!!! this stuff is like a pile of cotton candy--whoo hoo!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


this is my newest addiction, and i can't get enough of it!!!
check out cute overload immediately.

new little girl

yesterday my friend kimmie had a baby, a little girl named caroline elizabeth. healthy baby, and everyone is fine, so ther eis much reason to rejoice. and thank goodness it was a girl--i am out of boy-colored yarn!

it's strange for me really--kimmie is my oldest friend--we have known each other since i was eight and she was seven, and we have been through so much together. sometimes close and sometimes not, through high school and college and new york and boys and big moves and advanced degrees and fights and makings up and random crap--the history is just enormous between us. we spent endless hours as young girls talking about what we wanted from our futures--from boyfriends and husbands and children and houses--planning out imaginary lives the way girls do. and i am so happy for her--i know she is living the life she always wanted. and i can't wait to meet her new baby daughter. but the other truth is that i can't really think about her daughter without some major pangs of jealousy, too. all these births over the past few years have been a little bittersweet for me. i love all these children my friends keep having. but man, sometimes i am nearly overwhelmed with the desire to have my own as well. most of the time, i can hold that in check, but when the best friend of my childhood goes and has one, it's too easy to imagine our playing with hers in the yard at thanksgiving. *sigh* please don't take this to mean i am not thrilled for kimmie--i AM! but i am a little sad for me today, too.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

taking a break...

today it's my goal to get every single thing out of the little sunroom porch thing off my kitchen. first i got up, had some cereal and tea and finished a book i knew was going to be a giant distraction all day if i didn't get through it. made coffee. woke up the hippie. made him some breakfast. washed 10M dishes (which took roughly 17 hours). cleaned the kitchen. folded some laundry. set up some temporary shelves in the dining room as a step toward actually organizing my shit. went and got us some lunch (which also seemed to take several hours). ate said lunch. finally got down to business at around 2:30pm. started sorting and moving stuff. i have discovered i have about a 1.5 hour tolerance for it, and then i have to take a break. my first break, i read all my blogs. this is my second, and i choose to write some instead, mostly to bitch about how irritated i am about my day.

1) this task is OVERWHELMING, people! i have NO IDEA how in the hell we have managed to put so much absolute crap into one tiny little room. it's a wonder the cats can even find their food in there.
2) my back hurts, so i keep taking little sit down breaks.

but i am getting there, slowly but surely. once i get this room cleaned out, i still have to clean it, pull 50k random nails and screws out of the wall, do some major putty work, paint it, and figure out how/what i want to put back in there as well as what to do with the rest of it. so yeah--this process sucks more than a little. but when it's done, i will have a place to draw and make things--something i have NEVER had. and that, my friends, will be awesome.

Friday, April 21, 2006

this is julian. a couple of nights ago, we came home and he came running up to us on the street. he had a collar, so we checked it and called the number on it, but alas--the number was old. the guy who answered was like--who? so--we lured the cute and agressively affectionate kitty into our entryway, where he ravenously devoured an entire bowl of food. we set him up with food, water, toys, a blanket, and litter and proceeded to try to find his family. i sent email to our neighborhood email list and registered him as a found animal with the spca and the wake county animal shelters. then we went to bed. in the morning, one of my neighbors had responded to my email--she had used google to find out the person who used to have the phone number on julian's tag, then cross-referenced it with some raleigh websites and gave me a lead. i googled the person in raleigh and found a reference to her at artspace, a local artists' collective. so i call, and this woman used to work there. she's been gone for 2 years. however, the woman who answered turned out to be her friend, so she offered to call the woman for me. 10 minutes later i get a call that goes like this:

"hi. this is steve."
"um...hi, steve."
"uh...i think you have my cat."

after much back and forth in similar fashion, with many ummm's and uhh's, i learned that steve is the ex-husband of the woman whose old number is on julian's tag, and he just moved in three houses down the street from us. he lets the cats run around outside. i mentioned the ravenous eating, and he goes--"yeah, that boy is just a slut for food." so yay! happy ending! although i can't get behind letting your cat out when a) you have JUST moved in, and b) you live a block away form VERY busy streets in two directions. hopefully julian will be smart enough to stick close to home. he really is an awesome cat. this blurry picture is the only one out of 27 pictures i took of him where you can actually see him--he's a blur in all 26 others.

i guess that was kind of a long story for not much, but isn't he cute?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

artist in residence

we spent easter weekend in cape hatteras, where my friends jenn and kristin live. jenn invited us down for the grand opening of her gallery, the blue pelican, which was saturday evening. jenn's selling some of my wire things, in addition to her own beautiful photographs and jewelry, pressed pottery, scarves knitted by a friend of hers, and the artwork of another local artist, stephanie geib. i bought a print from jenn and one from stephanie, and they both look AWESOME against my paint colors at home. we went to dinner with our friends and some of the other artists as well as the 10-year old children of jenn and kristin, chris and bailey, who were both awesome--like a mini-jenn and a mini-kristin. :) all in all, being at the gallery just made my desire to get back to doing some more artwork worse than ever! but i digress...

in addition to the art thing, we also did some tooling around on our own all over the outer banks. we found an awesome coffee shop, the dancing turtle, from which i brough home some lovely coconut creme tea. (i;ll be ordering more soon, as my friend tina is now also addicted to it!) we bought some fabulous foodie sundries from a little hidden gem of a shop called the salty gourmet. we went lighthouse hopping like true tourists--i took a bunch of pictures from the lighthouses, of course. click here if you want to check them out. we visited the lighthouses at hatteras, bodie island, and currituck, the last of which is our favorite. it was cool to see in person these places my mother always painted when i was a child. i was very proud of myself for climbing all those steps!!! we also took a long walk on the beach, which i always enjoy--if i lived at the beach, all i would do would be walk and paint! we also took some time to walk around on the dunes at jockey's ridge--i took pictures there, too, but the pictures just don't convey how amazing they really are. going there made me wish i had taken more geology in college. the thing i love about the outer banks is how it's still kind of wild, in spite of all the development there. you can just FEEL nature trying to take it all back and sweep it into the sea. it's really awe-inspiring to me. were i a woman of leisure, i would go walk the whole thing. being by the ocean always leaves me feeling peaceful. if not for the fact that it's a 6-hour drive, i would go down there more often.

being at the beach for a mere two days has me utterly fired up for the beach trip, which is coming up in only 52 days! whoo hoo! TOTALLY looking forward to that! and to think i have a trip to europe and two more weddings to go to before then--it's nice to have so much to look forward to after the past few months.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

keep on dancin'

last night was the last class of the second ballroom dancing class the hippie and i have taken. last classes are great--all we do is review everything, which means LOTS of dancing time. we are going on to the next level, bronze I, as is the rest of our class, which is awesome. we are actually getting to the point where we can actually sort of dance a little bit. our teacher is this a great dancer, super-Southern, sassy, and hilarious. we have gotten to know both her and our classmates pretty well. in fact, we are going to the wedding of one couple in our class in 3 weeks--the hippie's even going to the bachelor party. :) i am SO glad we decided to take these classes--they are fun as all get out, and they are like an oasis in the middle of our week. we go, we escape, we joke around, we get some exercise, and in the end, we come away a teeny bit more graceful than we were before. i don't know that the hippie and i will ever get to the point of wanting to compete or anything, but we sure do plan to keep going! and man, if you have ever thought about doing this, i highly recommend that you get off your butt and get your feet on the floor! it's the bomb.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

meals on wheels

tonight, i shall be the queen of food delivery. i will be acquiring sustenance for my widowed friend, her mother, and her children and delivering it after work, then i will run over to take something to another friend who is recovering from a rather nasty outpatient surgery, and then i will be running to yet another friend's house to feed her fishes and her plants while she's away. when that's done, i will head home to make more food for the hippie and me.

i swear, as a Southern woman, i find great comfort in this kind of thing. it's something that's taught by example from a very young age, and something that other people do not always understand. food is comfort in times of great stress, sickness, or death. a funeral means a mound of fried chicken and potato salad (which i made saturday morning), and maybe a pie if there's time. it soothes me to cook the things my mother and my grandmother and their mothers made. i feel the generations of women standing behind me, and it gives me strength. and taking that strength to other women is the goal at times like these--and even if it only helps a little, at least that's something i can do.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

too much bad news

i have really not felt like writing the last few days. it's been another week of pretty horrible news for a number of people i love, but one event tops the list by far: a friend from work lost her husband very suddenly this week. i think all of us who worked with her have been more than a little absorbed by her situation--the entire scenario was about the worst thing i can imagine happening to someone. they were young, he was strong and healthy, they have two small children, and yet, a rare and viscious disease took him in less than two days. now she's on her own, and there is nothing much we can do to help her yet. she is surrounded by a huge and loving family rght now, but they will go home, and then she will have us. and we will help her however we can. but my god, the loss! my god, the pain! and my god, the lonliness she must feel! my heart is just weeping for her.

i am definitely ready for something good.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

death by daylight savings time

or maybe i should call this post, "death by new bed." in case any of you were wondering, it is a very very bad idea to go buy a super-cushy new comfy bed the same day that the time jumps forward and you are already losing a precious hour of snooze time. this week has been BRUTAL, people! i just wanna crawl into the yummy new bed between the new sheets and stay there with the window open to the 55-degree night air and with a cat sleeping on my feet where he belongs. there is not enough caffeine in all the tea in all the world to get me past the longing i have in my heart to be lounging in bed right now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

springtime in my yard

in the springtime, one of my favorite things to do is take slow walks through my little yard with the camera and a pair of scissors so i can make little bee bottle bouquets. before my house was a rental property, it used to be the home of a little old woman who liked to garden, and we now get to reap the rewards she left for us. there are things that bloom in the yard all year long, and i try my best to keep them going. not that i have a CLUE what i am doing! anyway, i have pretty much stolen the hippie's camera--i have it in my purse always, and i take pictures with it ALL THE TIME. here are some of the photographs i took last week. and if you want, you can check out the whole set, which is a work in progress and has some pics from back in january as well. flowers make me happy. i am so grateful to the unknown little lady who obviously loved this small plot of land so much and who left me with such a wealth of colors and textures and scents.

Monday, April 03, 2006


i don't get a whole lot of time to myself really. tonight i am alone, and there are so many different things i need and want to do with myself that i am almost immobilized. i am tired, run-down, and emotional lately--there's just been a lot going on. i am still in deep mourning for my lost house, for the friends and families of two people i knew who passed away last week, for my many friends who have received sweeping disapointments and bad news over the last month. and i guess, when i am alone, those things have a tendancy to float to the top a little bit. i don't even think this is a bad thing really--just a fact about how and when i deal with grief and sadness. i do it best alone. and at night. and tonight, i think i just give in. i will be like paul atreides with his litany against fear, only mine will be against sadness: i will let it pass over me and through me, and when it is gone, only i will remain.