Wednesday, May 21, 2008

She said yes and my baby turns 20!

Twenty years ago this moment, I held my new daughter in my arms. I was struck by how tiny and perfect she was, how much she looked like my sister and how foolish I had been to think I would have trouble sharing my love for Trevor with the "new baby".

Twenty. Good grief! Where did that time go? She hasn't been the easiest child and God knows, particularly during her teens, I was ready to sell her off to the traveling circus, but now she's twenty and all those attributes I found so trying have come home to roost.

From the time she was 5-6, I told people she was everything I wanted her to be in an adult woman...strong, independent, willful, unswayed by peer (or parental) pressure to do something she didn't want to...if only she would stifle those characteristics until she didn't live with me, we'd get along a whole lot better! And now, she IS that adult woman and all those same personality traits are serving us both well. She still has her moments, but overall she's become a wonderful person who I love to bits, who makes me proud and happy to be her mom. And now she's twenty. Ye can it be?

And Alana did say yes! T called from Italy a few days ago and you could hear his grin through the phone line. It was, as Alana said, "all perfect"...from the setting, the proposal, the ring, the timing...both sounded as happy as I've ever heard them. I'm thrilled and grateful they found each other and can only pray they continue to grow and thrive together. They are a perfect match and I'm overwhelmed and overjoyed at my own nachis!

Speaking of Alana, despite house inspections, appraisals, cleaning out Jane's and spending far too much time on Ravelry, I have done some knitting! I only bring Alana's name into this because I finally blocked the scarf I did with the yarn left over from her Christmas shawl. It is here....

and here....and here. It's the Scarf with French Trellis and something something border from Victorian Lace Today. (Why is it all those patterns have such convoluted names??)

It was an incredibly quick and easy knit and looks far more impressive than it was to make. Anyway, it's been done forever and now is finally finished, for which I'm happy.

Also on the lace front, I've all but given up on the Spring Mystery the mystery unfolded, I found I just wasn't wild about it. I have a hard time articulating what I do like about lace, but know what I don't like pretty quickly. This just had too much solid area for me and so, since I was utterly in love with the yarn, I used another ball of it to start my first ever faroese pattern from Anne Hanson.

It's started off a little tricksy because of the many charts and I will confess I used the text for several inches before switching to the charts. That was a challenge! I've been knitting off charts for so long, using the text is like flying blind...there is absolutely no sense of the pattern and was so much harder, I was actually shocked.

I'm very intrigued by the styling and, since it is bunched on a 24" needle and indistinguishable as more than a lump of something, I can't wait to see it all stretched out. It's going very quickly, despite the forever lengthening purl rows. But even these have been good as I finally downloaded my first audio book from the library. It's Water for Elephants and I'm loving it! Unfortunately, I can only listen during the purl rows as the knit rows take all my concentration, so it's a slow "read". Maybe I'm too one-side brained or something, but I can't imagine how people do both at the same time! Maybe if it were stockinette stitch or something, but not lace!

Anyway, progress photos (such as they are) are here:

In keeping with my inability to have just one WIP, I'm also working on this little scarf from Miriam's adorable and will no doubt be a Christmas gift for someone, although the color is mine, mine, mine. It's the perfect porch knit, four row repeat that is a cinch to remember. It's only mildly tedious and a good thing to have going when I need a break from the faroese.

I also finished the cotton socks. Note to self: you hate knitting cotton...even if it's only 50%. They are....okay, at best. Love the colors but the fabric itself leaves much to be desired.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I hate spring

The gardener in me cannot stay out of the backyard. I am drawn to it like moths to a flame and it kills me every day I stroll about. There's the lilac where Degan is buried, the crabapple the kids got me for Mother's Day, what, 12 years ago? The rose I dug up from Virginia's yard before she moved to Seattle, the July blooming irises from Diane's garden, the native Columbine I brought from the Whitingham house, along with the heliotrope from there. All the hostas and daylilies from Tom & can I ever replace these things? I can't take them all with me and if I could, what would I chose to leave behind? How could I ever decide. Each has its own history, its own memory and its own place in my heart.

These gardens, these plants have been such an enormous part of who I am and what I do for so long and I will never again have the time, incentive or health to reinvent similar gardens. And even if I could, they would never be the same. None would hold the memories, the stories, the joy of these.

I am drowning in spring fever with no place to take it. The sadness paralyzes me. When there is so much to be done, I want to climb under the covers and pretend this is all a bad dream. I need a dose of Maureen's wisdom to reframe myself...again. It's all I do lately. Emote, stifle, regroup; emote, stifle, regroup. Any and every possible distraction is seized upon like a drug...anything to keep from facing the reality of this state of being.

And I want to slap myself for it! It's not like I don't have a great place to go; it's not like it won't be quite wonderful in its own way, being there. I just hate that its not my idea but being shoved down my throat by the courts who saw Jim at his illustrious best as he spun out his false interpretation of the events. He's so good at lying, no one can top him and, without knowing him, he's so easy to believe. I can't go to the place that makes me so bitter about how our society treats women....I just can't go there.

I don't hate spring. I just hate this one.

Done in by a vacuum cleaner......

I love spring. I say this about virtually every season, but spring really IS my favorite. I drove to the airport yesterday (She's home!) and it was a visual delight all the way. I was assailed with every turn of the road by the stunning beauty of the crabapples, apples, pears, cherries and red buds, all in full and glorious bloom. It never ceases to take my breath away to see these 40' trees covered in flowers. The underpinnings of forsythia, azaleas, tulips, and daffodils made for a picture of riotous color and sensory overload. Even the dandelions made me happy. It's a trip I will miss...but only this time of year!

It's been an odd week of knitting. I got embroiled in a controversy on Ravelry with a KAL that went belly up. It didn't just fold, it imploded and the brouhaha that evolved was of mythic proportion. However, what started as anger and resentment, turned into laugh out loud humor, before coming full circle to anger and resentment once again. I won't even begin to describe it in any detail, because its a tale with so many twists and turns, it would take me all day to draw the frickin' map!

The plus side of it all was making some wonderful friends and sharing a ton of laughs...people can be so funny, given the freedom to express themselves and I sensed it was a first for many. Great to watch that spirit develop and to hear women who may not be used to voicing honest opinion, taking it on and reveling in it. Sergei must have thought I was nuts, laughing so hard at my computer screen, but then I question what perceptions of American society he's getting from living with me anyway!

The negative was that I did precious little knitting or much of anything else, reminding me once again how the computer sucks up time like a vacuum cleaner! I indulged myself even knowing it is NOT a luxury I have at all, but now the temptation has been removed and it's probably for the best.

The last 24 hours got very ugly and I've walked away, having been so misunderstood that I, in my foolishly hopeful way, made it worse by trying to explain myself. I was ultimately accused of name-calling and got several nasty messages about my words. Name-calling? Me! I, known for being the least judgmental person people calling?! just shows how limited the one-dimensional medium of writing can be.

I got so upset and cried, feeling guilty, anger and sad. Then I got pissed...mostly at myself. 100,000 people may be dead in Myanmar and I'm sad because I was treated rudely? Get a frickin' grip!

So, in the end, I'm back to knitting as a solitary sport...and, in truth, not going to be doing even much of that. It really is time to kick into full gear with the move. Still not sure if it's going to happen next month or more into July, but I can no longer allow myself the luxury of being paralyzed over where to start.

Okay, I can hear movement upstairs. She's home!