I cooked for myself last night. This is pretty good news, considering how blue I have been the last few days… Black dog came home, and cooking is the self-love I need but often t…

Source: Self-Love Stew (VEGAN)

 

I needed to see this.

A reminder for Self-Love.

Today.

Tomorrow.

This week.

This last week.

I know that Jack posted it back at the beginning of August but for me, right here and now, it is what I needed.

Body and Soul and Soup.

Depression is a black hole that eats away at me and sometimes I can resist the pull, I find the light and other times…

Other times I fail.

I fail.

Its taken me years to be able to say that.

I, who feel deeply that I have NEVER “failed” at anything in life, feel like I have failed myself.  And it brings me to tears as I type.

I want so much for myself; know that I am so capable of making the best of myself and that my best isn’t this lump of a person sitting here with welling eyes.

Today is especially painful because it symbolizes a waste.  A waste of my time, of my energy and least important of all, of money.

Over the last year I have done very little physical and both physically and mentally I have suffered for it.  Yes, I begun playing hockey and I love it but I could be so much better with a little more effort.  My trousers no longer fit the way they should and I honestly have a box of clothing that live in the spare room; banished for my own folly.  I have running clothes I feel horrible about wearing because they don’t fit but they don’t fit because I won’t put them on…a vicious cycle if ever there was.  I made plans, public statements that I intended to “streak” this holiday season; a 1 mile run every day from Thanksgiving to New Years; and I failed right out of the gate because I failed to do anything. I just…couldn’t.  Early this morning there were two people standing in the Seattle Half Marathon starting line because I encouraged them to join me there and I couldn’t show.  The part of me that wanted someones else to join me in the training journey, to go thru the ups and downs of milage building and physical challenge was just not enough to actually get myself moving.  I have plans, small, manageable plans, to have helped me reach that goal but I just… couldn’t.

And thats the worst part of depression.  The feeling that I just…can’t and not having the words to explain it.  So I put on the happy face and do my best to function without outwardly failing.  I bury myself in trying to be busy around people so I don’t have to rest and be still and just ‘be’ in my own skin.  I need to leave family gatherings early because I cannot deal with the stress, my internal stress, of being around people being happy when I feel so very lost.  I try not to let my friends down and deal with the fallout when they think that somehow my actions are a reflection of their shortcomings instead of a true reflection of my own.  I cry in the shower, both for the fatigue I feel of carrying my mask and for the love I have when my partner sees that I am bearing too much inside and makes my excuses or makes one of himself.

Oddly appropriately to the season that my inspiration today will come from a holiday movie.  “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was not part of my childhood movie rotation but it was for M and when it was on TV the other evening, he hinted that he would rather watch that over the Grinch.  As we own both movies and I know it irks him when I recite, I obliged and Mickey Rooney’s voice filled our home. M said that he really remembered a specific song, One Foot In Front Of The Other and as I think I’ve only seen the movie once, I had to wait to see and hear what he meant.  It too was something I needed to hear.

I made soup already this morning, one close to Jacks recipe without even seeing her post, so out the door I go.

One foot in front of the other,

my vote for a chance to be reborn.

The title comes from a cry uttered by my sister.  She didn’t mean to be hurtful or self-centered, she was truly at a loss for the situation that I had put her in.  She is, unashamedly and quite contrarily to me, a people-pleaser.  She has a huge heart and loves to make people happy and what she had seen as my lifestyle choice was baffling to her.

“What am I supposed to tell people?” was her response over a year ago to my commenting in a private moment between us about her beautiful children and her lovely family.  Her real question was ‘Why don’t you have kids’ and ‘ How do I fit this image of you into my ‘normal/traditional’ oriented world’? 

My response was equally as heartfelt but from a different place altogether.  I’m a very private person except with close friends and the “Me” that is seen by most is a mask.  I am most certainly NOT a people pleasing person though I do try to ensure satisfaction when it comes to general life.  Your opinion of me, however, is not actually important to me and what you think of my life is of no consequence whatsoever.  My response to her? “Tell them?  Nothing, its none of their damn business why I don’t have children.  Tell them that I am a great Auntie and that should be enough”.  But I knew that it wasn’t enough.  Not for her.  Not for me

We haven’t been close sisters.  Sure, we were very close growing up but then I went to University and then across the pond and we never regained that relationship because, in part, of our differences in personality.  For the last 20 years we have not shared our lives, hopes and dreams or fears and reality.  We live in very different worlds with very different lifestyles.  On the surface: She was the traditional one.  She dated, married the guy she began dating her sophomore year of college, earned her career and had kids, all within the same university town and now lives in a way easily recognised as “normal” across millions of miles of the ‘burbs all across America.  Me? I am…different. I dated, kept dating, have had multiple jobs in multiple industries in multiple states.  There is very little “traditional” about me.  I have teal streaks in my hair, have tattoos, piercings and live unmarried with my substantially older than myself partner (though we won’t mention the actual traditional nature of this, especially around the 1920’s).  Very different from each other and both very perfect for ourselves.

Our lives have been so different that when I had my first miscarriage in February 07, about a year after she got married and I got engaged for the second time, I didn’t tell her.  Not that I didn’t want to, I just…didn’t.  It wasn’t about her, it was about me wanting to be private.  In my head, she couldn’t do anything for me from MI when I was in AK and I didn’t really want the attention drawn to my body having a hiccup. I had gotten to 7 weeks and was just getting ready to tell people but my unmarried state helped me keep a lid on my excitement and then the bleeding started.  I told my mother that it had happened when she told me of my sister having one of her own a few years later and I sympathized and prayed for her peace but also kept silent.  She never told me of hers and I never said anything of it.  

Nor did I in late October of 2008.  I had thought I might be pregnant before I left one small town for a job in Anchorage.  My boyfriend at the time used my leaving as an easy out for him to end our relationship not long after I had left at the beginning of August via phone.  I had been ready to tell him that it was certain when he ended things so I felt no need to tell him we were pregnant and it had been such an emotionally and physically difficult time that I was honestly very at peace with losing this baby at 14-ish weeks. 

A few weeks before her eldest son was born in June of 2009, I kept silent again, both about the pregnancy and my loss at 10 weeks.  I had thought my pregnancy a curse for, frankly, being stupid and it wasn’t really something that I wanted to talk about with my mother.  Over time, I did talk with my mother, at great length, about being happy where I was in my life and how honestly happy I was to be single and loving my life and the adventures I was having.  How children just didn’t seem to be in the cards for me and, while it really hurt deeply, I was very glad for my status in life and how I would do everything in my power to be the most kick-ass Auntie in the world for that soon-to-enter-the-world child.  That I was honestly OK with not being a parent was true.

In October of 2010 I vowed that I wouldn’t do…this…again.  I was devastated and just done.  My partner and I had stopped using protection and only a few months into not not trying were successful…for all of 8 weeks.  I didn’t want to “try something else”, I have never wanted to become what I viewed as a petri dish or science experiment.  I could obviously GET pregnant it was the staying that way or keeping it that, literally, escaped me.

So I stopped.   I decided that I was done in the way that mothers who have had their last child KNOW that they are done with pregnancy and wee humans.  I couldn’t face the hope and crushing failure that was my womb and I just knew that it was OK…that I was OK…with everything.  I had a tubal occlusion done in 2013 and cannot now get pregnant without use of first egg harvesting and second a turkey baster and it is a weight off my shoulders.  I no longer have to ride the roller coaster of emotions at each cycle, no longer have to hold my breath or weep at the sight of my own blood.  

I’ve never talked about those weeks of hope and dread and the following weeks of sadness and resignation openly. 

“Tell them?  Nothing, its none of their damn business.”

Its still none of their business and I frankly do not care what others think of me for not having children.  I don’t owe them my story, my piece of my soul, for their inspection, knowledge or critique.  I know that I made the right choice for me, whatever my backstory is. But today I got an email from a friend who really helped with that November of 08 when I was struggling to find something to be Thankful for and she listened as the whole story poured out of me one afternoon over coffee.  She reminded me today that we had shared that moment all those years ago and said that she had hoped I had found healing.  I thought that I had…but, in thinking about it, I realised that I can not heal completely without telling my story.  So I told my sister and with her permission, since she plays a huge role in the telling, I will tell you.  For me, I will tell you.

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In the pre-dawn glow we prepare for a run…

Yesterday was the start of the new year and, not entirely coincidentally, the start of my new 101 in 1001 list.  I spent the last few days and hours of 2014 honing my list and a good chink of the first day of  2015 clarifying, editing and finally writing it to number. I was surprised when the tally came up and I had more than 101 but then I realized that I had spread some things out because I feared being short.  Apparently not!

One of the biggest things on my list was influenced by my Mum and Brother, K.  Both of them thanked me for my Christmas cards but chastised me for not sending pictures of myself and/or, as Mum put it, ‘your adventures’.  I realized that this has been a big failing over these past 2 years and I have missed blogging and ‘adventuring’ so I am getting myself back out there; with pictures to prove it.  My Flickr feed will have more updates and so will the blog, especially since I am going to attempt the 365 Challenge: A photo a day for an entire year.

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The dawn of 2015, Port Townsend and I. Ready for the new year with all the sisu in the world. The real Sisu too…she’s further down the trail!

Which leads me to my Goal for 2015.  My Goal, earning itself the proper “G”, is “Challenge”  In the spirit of this, I am challenging myself to many things and hopefully setting myself up for great success.  I have two year long challenges right now: Project 365 and the 52 Week Savings Challenge.

Project 365 is going to be both simple and difficult because its not just about taking a photo but taking a good one that is also meaningful.  My plan to tackle that is to not only take my phone with me but also plan on bringing my DSLR too when out and about.  There are many, many lists out there for all the ways to “do” this challenge and lots of ways to spark an idea of what to shoot too so I don’t think that I will be lost for inspiration!  Check out Pinterest for a plethora of ideas and challenges for every month…I know that I will!

The 52 Week Saving Challenge is just what it sounds like: saving money every week in proportion to the number week that it is.  Now, you can go about this challenge only one of two ways:  $1 on week 1, $2 on week 2, $3 on week 3 and so on for 52 weeks OR $52 on week 1, $51 on week 2, $50 on week 3 and so on and the latter is the method that I have chosen to do.  Why that way?  Well, even in this spend, spend, spend culture, you can still find some places with better interest rates than others and they are worth searching out.  I like Ally Bank and am quite happy with them.  And think about it: after three weeks, I have $153+ change in my account this way.  The other way I would have $6.  I’ll take the one that looks better, faster please.  Plus, I started this challenge back on the 20th of November because I realized that it would be lovely to have at least $1378 to go into the holiday season with…or travel with!  Here is the site that I got the graphic for my countdown/up that I have hanging to help me keep track of the dates and how its going without the temptation of dipping into the account.

I have other challenges too.  Right off the batt: I am challenging myself to stick with my Smart Coach plan every day for the 24 weeks up to my next marathon, challenging myself to plank for 30 days with each day building time and challenging myself to another round of the Whole 30: 30 days of only fresh fruit and veggies and meats – No dairy, grains, legumes, sugar or alcohol.

Pray for me friends.  January is going to be tough.  And pray for yourselves too…I may be tough to live with as I attempt this!

Once upon a time, a poor college student went shopping with her friends and found beautiful glass piggy bank. He was very sweet and just the type of piggy bank that she was looking for: Solid Glass. Well, not really “solid” because, of course, he was hollow, but the kind of “solid” where he didn’t have a plug in the place of his nose or in his undercarriage where you could pull it out and shake the coins out. Once they were in, they were IN. Period. No cheating possible.

The poor college student phoned her Mum, who laughed at her and told her that it was a silly thing because how could she possibly get the money out in the end but what this student wanted to do was just to save it until it was totally full. She remembered reading a story where someone saved and saved and packed a bank until it was totally full and then bought the thing of their dreams…or gave it all away to charity…it has been a long time since she remembers that story. Either way, she was enamored with that new glass piggy and she used it for all her silver coins for years and years. There were days when she considered tapping into her silver stash but, since the piggy still had space for “one more coin”, it wasn’t his time yet.

And then she moved away from her piggy and it sat, unfed, for quite some time. He was nearly full of quarters, nickels and dimes, the odd penny (though she tried to avoid ‘tainting’ him with the coppers) and a few half dollars. The student had also put in quite a few dollar bills over the years and even a random fiver too. But he was too heavy to pack along with her on her travels so he remained with her Mum and kept her silver safe.

For the past year, the Mums has attempted to reunite the girl with her sweet piggy and has been thwarted multiple times. Until now…sort of. The piggy was lovingly wrapped and packed and shipped and made its journey across the miles. If you never thought that a pig had wings, think again. This one flew for only 3 days to get from Wisconsin to Washington, an especially dramatic feat considering that this is Christmas time! The box containing the piggy made it into the loving hands of the girl who accepted him with joy and love and unwrapped his layers with care until she discovered the horrible truth. The journey had been too much for her fair piggy and he was solid no more. The silver was only a by-product at that moment of discovery and some swinal reconstruction surgery was attempted but, sadly, best efforts were thwarted by the fragility of glass and the dynamics of hollow glass piggy with no interior support avenues construction. It was a sad afternoon.

Since the idea of sitting shiva for a pig was a bit too ironic and I have no intention whatsoever to give up bacon in his honour, I decided to do the next best thing: Put his life savings to good work.  I have been saving that silver since my freshman year in college for a rainy day and one can’t get too much more rainy than a day in a Pacific Northwest winter!  I took the baggy of change with me to the local coin counter machine and let the counting begin.  Actually, the counting had begun at home…There was $30 in bills saved, including one of the old style $5!  It looks really…old…next to the new ones but really, I still like the old style better.  Less Monopoly-like.  Back to the counting:  I let the machine do its work and laughed to myself the whole time I saw those numbers clocking away.  I couldn’t believe the numbers I was seeing.  3- half dollars, 204-quarters, 156-dimes, 129-nickels and 140-pennies (not nearly as few as I though).  For those not counting: $75.95 in change.  For some reason, there was a dime that wouldn’t be taken and, because I was in MI and close to Canada: 0.75 in Canadian change too.  Grand total: 105.95- and I’m amazed.

My piggy money was split, mainly because the change machine wouldn’t take dollars, and put onto an a Amazon card to avoid charges with the $30 in bills going into my bank.  I’m doing the 52 week challenge for savings and while I have a few more weeks to go before I reach the week where I put away just $30, it will help me be ready for that day. I have no plans on what his sacrifice will wrought but I will be very please to make his gift worthwhile.

Maybe I’ll find another piggy and start him off with that odd dime and the old fiver, for old times sake.

Well, Hi there! Its been a long time since I’ve seen you and you look amazing! I’m so glad we have a chance to chat and that I’ve finally decided to take the time to put fingers to keyboard with a blog in my head. Its been too long. Really, really, too long and instead of doing all the round up stuff that many people do once they’ve been away from their blogs for too long, I’m going to act like the military child that I am and have a conversation that just picks up right where I am right now.

Yesterday was the 2014 Olympic Peninsula Fiber Farm Tour! I met some very sweet alpaca at Rosebud and there were a pair of very…frisky…llamas that I refrained from photographing while in their passionate state. I’m sure they wouldn’t have cared, being so single-minded and all, but I would have felt like more of a voyeur.

Rosebud Farms alpacas

There were geese at the WSU extension farm on Marrowstone Island that were less than thrilled to have visitors and they let us know it, in no uncertain terms.
Geese at WSU farm on Marrowstone

We watched a beautiful ram get shorn at Amity Farm and admired his fleece on the skirting table afterwards.
Amity Ram
Amity Ram Fleece
Look at that beautiful crimp!

And, of course, there were fibers that just had to follow me home. I always love (read:spend my fiber budget in nearly its entirety) the tour and I really like that nearly everything I buy and spin is local. Like less than 50 miles local. Everything I got this year is not only local but also new to me in either breed, blend or both.

First up: Something totally not local at all. Well, the fiber isn’t but the blender is!
Merino/qiviut/silk batts from Phoenixx Fibers
2oz of 45% Merino wool, 45% Qiviut, 10% Silk blend from Lauralee of Phonixx Fibers. She recently moved down here from Alaska and we spent a lot of time chatting about ‘home’.

For those of you not in the know, qiviut is musk-ox down and is the warmest fiber on the planet. It is also among the most expensive as the processing is quite intensive and the harvesting can be dangerous. I mean, you can’t shear a musk-ox, or you can’t try more than once because either you or the animal will suffer extensive damage. So that means the fiber is picked up while the critter is shedding. Out in the wilds of Alaska or northern Canada. Where bits of the tundra get embedded. Along with other vegetal matter…the processed kind. And the downy under layer is covered by and interspersed with guard hairs, the thick, coarse, wires that make a musk-ox look like a musk-ox, not a fuzzy cow. Yes, processing can be very, very extensive but the fiber is worth every. Single. Penny. A blend of Merino wool, silk and qiviut is heavenly to pet and will be spun super fine to get every smidgen of yardage out of it and turned into something very lacy. Thats the joy of such warm fibers. You need to/should spin them finely and knit lacy because a dense yarn or a solid piece of fabric would be nearly unwearable because of the warmth retained.

Next was Chloe, a sheep from Nora and Ed of Amity Farms.
Chloe, a CVM / Targhee /Corrie cross from Amity Fibers.
Chloe is a California Varigated Mutant (CVM), Targhee, Corridale cross and has some of the most lovely, sproingy, beautiful fleece that I have ever had the luck to pet. I nearly bought her raw fleece but then saw that there was this already processed available and, considering that I would have taken it to the exact same processer, Barry Taylor of Taylored Fibers, I saved myself the wait time!

Jennie of Ananda Hills Farms and Fiber always gets a portion of my fiber budget and this year was no different.
Silk/Shetland batt from Jennie of Ananda Hills Farm and Fiber
This year I bought a 4.5oz Shetland/Silk batt of, I think, no more than 80/20 proportions. I’ve never tried shetland and silk and always love the shetland from Jennies flock and this fiber just shone and called to me from the table. Jennie recognized me from previous years and as I was petting the batts, mentioned that this one was her favorite and the best blend of the three, in her opinion. If the shepherd thinks that this one is the best AND its not the most expensive one AND the color is something new to me? Sold.

A new seller and breed to me was Finn from a seller from Bainbridge Island who escapes my memory. They do natural dying as well as raising the Finn sheep and angora rabbits and these bundles just had to come home with me. So much so that I had passed on them, left for another farm, disliked the other Finn on offer and drove all the way back to the farm to get them!
Finn/angora 90/10 blend on L,  85/15 on R,  mother(L) /daughter(R)
Finn/angora 90/10 blend on L, 85/15 on R, mother(L) /daughter(R) The daughter fleece has a bit of a blueish cast to it but I’m not sure if that is a fiber thing or what. The seller said that it was all natural and undyed so we’ll see what happens but I love the piebald sheep and the differences in the fiber colors is wonderful.

We had a great time touring and now, with a bank account noticeably smaller than on Friday, I have my fibers and drive to spin. All of it. Right now.

But I can’t. Because I also have to work. And run.

Lets talk briefly about the running because I have to work soon.

Last Saturday I ran the Great Olympic Adventure Trail (GOAT run) with KT, KV and MJ from work and we had a great time. GOAT run Big smiles
Only KV has ever run trails before and this was a challenging run but fantastic. I’m not a converted trail runner but it was great and I’m looking forward to the Defiance 30k in October as my second trail run because of this one. We earned those beers at the end, for sure!Post-GOAT

I also ran my third Seattle 10k at the end of August and PR’d! SEA 10k 2014It was a much better race from the previous year on this course though I’m not sure why. Maybe it was my placement in the pack but either way, it was wonderful. It was my first time not racing with my Garmin and I was afraid of going out too fast or too slow and generally not knowing my pace but I picked one that felt good and was a bit of a push and it was perfect!

New shoes came home with me on Friday and while they are still pristine, I have to change that tomorrow morning. New running shoesIt was going to be today but then I turned off the alarm and then decided to post here instead. No more excuses! I have another half in 2 weeks, the Quilcene Half on the 27th and then two weeks after that the Defiance 30k on 10/12 so I have to keep moving lest I hurt myself. Because I know only I will be hurt if I fail to train.

TTFN!

Yes, you read that right.

Hooker.

Not Prostitute.

See?

Image

Keep reading, I promise that this isn’t really about yarn or crafting at all.

But this does involve a different kind of intercourse…

I have leftovers from the first socks, and the second pair, both boot socks, that I knit for myself and my then boyfriend while out trolling for salmon our first summer together.  I still can smell the sea and the exhaust and know in my very soul the intense feeling of moving down those steps into the dark foc’sle and smelling the drip stove and the interminable damp, seeing nothing but feeling…him…just standing there near me, the closeness of the moment, the feeling of all of my skin just waiting, almost reaching out, for the pressure of touch.

There are many socks of those two and a half years: The pair for my mother that I designed myself, the pair made while fishing next to a glacier in between times of running gear, the pair for my sister that became the first knitting I cut into so I could lengthen them, the pairs that I worked on in the library of the school with the knitting group, the pair I gave to my best friend that he had goaded and guilted me into making for him, the brilliant lime green and purple that I was working on when I said “Yes” in the little cabin on the island off the bridge.  All these remains…all with sweet feeling and smiles are seen.

I have the remains of the blue and grey yarn that became the only pair of socks that I gave away to a non-loved one, not a stranger but not a near and dear friend, because I couldn’t bear to keep the socks that I threw myself into when that same boyfriend ended our relationship.  Now I contemplate wether or not to use it in something that I want to cherish…but I know that I will. The yarn is beautiful in its comforting blues and greys, no longer sad but a reminder.  I have no regrets, only memories of a wonderful time that shaped me.

There are the orange and purple leftovers from a sock club that I was in, colors that never spoke to me calmly but begged to me for creation into wearability, the perfect socks to reclaim myself as I reclaimed my self and looked to the future.  There are many bright yarns from that time, as I built myself back into ‘me’.

The intense of pink and lime green gives me pause to think of the daughter of a companion.  She is strong and beautiful and the yarn suited her perfectly.  Though I originally intended them for myself, when knit in her company while waiting for dinner to cook and listening to hockey, I knew they had to be hers.  I have mixed feelings of that time…the intense blue of my companions eyes from a disquieting setting, made all the more attractive for the soul searing-ness of it all, matched with the closed, never revealing of souls we shared…the bare need matched with the lack of need, an oxymoron of a relationship if ever there was.  In the end of it all, she was the treasure and I’ll use the yarn with joy for her future…and remember those intense eyes.  The dark yarn with the shots of pink and lime green is my own tangible reminder of our connection

The small bits of leftover from my first nephews socks, made from leftovers themselves, will not even make a single row in my work but will be brilliant and an amazing reminder of the hours I spent on the phone and the constant checking of the message machine just in case I missed the telling of his arrival and the miles of blanket knitting I put in.

Discovering the yarn that reminds me of the sea I watched for weeks while waiting for a letter, a note, a phone call…anything…from Him…and then getting them all at once, in the way you do when mail planes are delayed.  The hopes of feelings returned and questioning acronyms all rushing back in tides of learning love and building habits and life together.  I know that I’ll use this yarn followed by the remains of the first socks I knit for Him and remember the joy, admiration and pride in his voice when he showed off my spinning and handmade socks to a friend. And the second, third, fourth and fifth of his sock remains as well…and the yards of the yarn that I was knitting the day we met, now nearly threadbare because it had to be pulled back so many times despite the years of knitting ribbed socks because I couldn’t get his voice out of my head long enough to count to 2; not just because Sisu loves him, not just because he continues to show off his handknit socks with pride every time he wears them, not just because he does the driving so I can do the knitting in the car…but because of all of these things.  Because of the love.

I sway from this project to another pair of socks that I am knitting for an entirely strong girl friend because I know I need her yarn on this project as well.  I have torn the yarn stash about looking for the leftovers I KNOW must be there to find the yarn from a shawl I gave to my inspirational girl friend.  The yarn from two local best friends must be included and I even feel the pull to start another pair of socks for my third rock of a girl friend because it wouldn’t be an accurate chapter if she wasn’t represented.

This is a intensely personal project.  

My love in and of the last 7 years, shown in yarn. 

There will be no rhyme or reason to what yarn lies next to, before or after the next, only that it is a memory of love.

Rough in patches, strong throughout.

I couldn’t ask for more.

It has happened.  

Again.

That feeling of deja vu.

“I know you, don’t I?”

And that, ‘Watch out for the crazy person’ look that you get in return.

Except that I wasn’t crazy.

I don’t think…

So familiar but am totally unable to place him.  

And then the questions start:

“Last name?”

Nope, not familiar.

“Live here long?”

Just moved here.

“Do I look familiar to you too?”

Sorta but not sure…

And then the long looks as we both go about our day and still try to place the other because, by this point, we know we KNOW each other vaguely.

And then it hits him and he asks the right questions:

“Did you live in Alaska?”

Ok, this is a vague one but at least I have a geographical range and its totally right.  Yes.

“And you were with Jamison?”

Wow.  

Just…

Wow

And thats it totally. 

It has been a while.  Quite a while, actually.  Like, nearly 7 years.  And we only met each other in passing a few times.  He was friends with my boyfriend at the time younger brothers and had come over a few times to play Halo with them, a huge 8 person event that happened about once a month or less during fishing season…which was the only time, that one season, maybe two, that I met him. And it must have been just in passing too, because I rarely stuck around for Halo night because I didn’t play.  But then, nearly 7 years later, I walk into the kitchen at work and see him and it is so strange.

Of all the places in all the world, I am now co-workers with someone who I met once or twice in Pelican, AK nearly 7 years ago.

Very weird.

 

And, of course, its happening again today.  I got a notification on Facebook that someone had “Friend”ed me.

And he looks familiar and we have a few of the same friends…

but I looked thru my old yearbooks that my Mum had sent me a little while ago and couldn’t find him.

I know him somehow.

I know I do…

Don’t I?

You ever have those days where you truly crave a food that you know is “wrong” but there is just something telling you that its right?

 

Yesterday, I wanted a doughnut.  And not just any kind of doughnut but a lemon or raspberry filled doughnut with powdered sugar on top.  Warm and fresh and perfect…but that wasn’t going to happen.  There are no doughnut shops in Port Townsend and, considering that it was already 1pm when the craving hit, I felt it better to hold out, have some real food for lunch and then revisit the craving afterwards.  The craving never came back but I thought about doughnuts for the rest of the day, specifically ‘Why on earth am I thinking about doughnuts?’.  A brief sojourn onto Facebook brought it all to light.  Yesterday was over-priced doughnuts day, or Paczki Day as I know it from Michigan, better known to the rest of the world as Shrove (from shrive, meaning to confess; a time when Christians would self-reflect on what they needed help with over the next 40 days and confess sins to they would go into Lent ‘clean’) or Fat (because of the traditional practice of using up all the lard which would be forbidden during Lent) Tuesday and marking the last day of indulgence before the day Lent begins.

Which would be today.

40 days, nearly 6 weeks, of sacrifice.  There is a LOT of discussion over what is acceptable to give up during this time and equally as much history behind what was given up in the past.  If you were to meld all the ideas together, I’m pretty sure you would end up with just drinking water after sunset as practices abound of not eating any animal products, no fruit or wheat and, my favorite just for the wording, “[only] a small meal without vegetable or alcohol”.  I’m pretty sure water is all that is left.  However, in a society that is leaning far from self-abnigation, discussions of Lenten sacrifices are most often met with the question of “Why?” and, as I have found, too many of the ‘faithful’ are unable to answer the question aside from “Because thats what we do before Easter.”

But WHY is this important?  WHY is it something that is done?  WHY are YOU doing it?  WHY is your discipline something that will bring God closer, or rather, you closer to God?

Lent is NOT a time of self denial for our own means to an end but to turn thoughts towards God when we feel that hurt, want or longing for whatever we have given up.  One of my favorite authors, Lauren Winner, writes in ‘Girl meets God‘ about the Lent she gave up reading, everything except her Book of Common Prayer and her Bible, a huge sacrifice for her.  She turned to prayer during those hours she normally would have spent with her books and wrote that she felt that, without her escape into books to turn her thoughts away from anything upsetting and wrong in her life, she had to turn to God.  That her pastor didn’t suggest that she give up reading as someone might give up a much loved dress “…but because it might move me closer to Jesus.  It might move me to my knees.”

This year, because of my feeling of crass negativity in many areas of my life, my discipline is going to be foregoing negativity and mindfully combatting it should I fail. 

I’ve already failed more times than I can count and its not even 11am.

I was angry with myself for having a body that has pain and doesn’t allow me to run right now.  I was irritated and snappish behind someones back after a silly phone call.  I was mentally berating an acquaintance on Facebook for “X is giving up junk food for Lent.  Lets see those extra pounds go away!” I was irritated at myself for failing right off the bat and needing to ask for forgiveness and help being positive within the first hour.

And then I remembered that its only day 1 and I prayed for myself and for others.  That my thoughts and actions and words be uplifting for others.  That not only myself would be affected by my Lenten discipline but that others would be released from negativity, mine as well as theirs.  I am working on this today and for the next 40 days, as always, with Gods help.  And hopefully with yours too. 

I’m at a loss this morning.  Over the last 23 days I have established a new routine that has been ceremoniously ended.  Considering there was a huge ceremony at the start and and the end, there was nothing UN-ceremonious about this process however there is now a gap in my day that needs to be filled else-ways.  I am, of course, speaking of the recently ended Winter Olympics 2014.

I have tried “Olympic” knitting in the past but generally set myself either goals that were too lofty or was not living anywhere where I could even watch the Olympics so it was difficult to get into the spirit of the process.  In 2012 there was a rather large kerfuffle with the USOC and the use of the term “Ravelympics”, namely they were put out that a legion of knitters would ‘make fun of the effort that olympians put forth’ and would, in general, bring shame to the idea of and word of “Olympics”.  There was a huge change on Ravelry to put the legal overkillers at rest and there was launched the renamed the “Ravelympics” as the “Ravellenic Games” and there are a barrage of teams and prizes and rules and basically a massive headache to those of us who, like me, tend to keep to the Yarn Harlots vision of The Knitting Olympics, since it was her invention.  I “boycotted” those games because I was just too angry at both our litigious society and the monster that had been created in people but this year I reclaimed the Knitting Olympics as my own.

My goal was to turn this beautiful yarn:

Seahawk Yarn

from Fancy Image Yarns in the perfect Seahawks colourway into socks for Mike who had been cheering the ‘Hawks all season and was still charged because of the SuperBowl win.

 

1.5 skeins to go around his wide feel later and we have a met goal!Seahawk Socks

I cast on during the opening ceremonies and cast off the second sock on the Friday before the Games ended.  These socks feature the “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” which was a first for my sock knitting but certainly won’t be the last, in fact I’ve already cast on another pair to use this heel with.  It fits so very well and looks beautiful on the foot, mine and Mikes!  Here is a cool interview with the Sox Therapist, creator of the FLKH.  If you are on Ravelry and knit socks, I HIGHLY suggest you buy this heel pattern.  Best $1 I’ve EVER spent on my knitting.

Because being a monogamous knitter is so NOT in my genes, I had to get into another project too and while its not strictly “Olympic Knitting” because it was started before, it was my goal to get it done before closing ceremonies.

This was the inspiration:  ITW Oct 2012

This was the roving:  Bodhi-5050-MerinoSilk

This was the pattern: Song of the Sea

This is the unblocked long cowl that I made from my handspun!

Song of the Sea

It is soaking in its bath of Soak right now and will be laid out to dry as soon as I finish this post here.  The true joy of this project is that it was sheep fluff and worm spit when I got my hands on it and now it is a beautiful, wearable and perfectly wearable object in so many ways.  I need to do more with my handspun because I always feel so accomplished when I have a finished project.

*sigh*

Now its over and instead of spending the morning with Mike on the couch watching CBC and the Olympics live, because the US coverage SUCKED, I have had to find some other way to begin my morning.  Good thing I’ve started running again, beginning again today, because that was the perfect way to put forth my own Olympic effort.  Getting up and going running in the rain and cold?  Yes, it was an Olympic effort and while I’ll not be anywhere close to the 26.2mile maintained 6 minute mile that I would need to qualify myself for a Summer Games in this lifetime, I’ll keep running all the same.

Where the heck did January go?  As I am trying to get back into the blogging saddle, I keep wanting to talk about…everything that has gone on since I last posted and, as it has been just this side of seemingly forever, it is a monumental task that overwhelms me and I don’t post anything.  So here I am, telling you about my day today and my right now:

Craft Lit, one of my long-standing favourite podcasts is going to be starting the reading and analysis of “North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell.  In the excitement building, Heather is having give-aways, in the form of raffles, every day from the site and in posting about it here, I get another entry into the drawing!

 

I am drinking my butter coffee again and I swear that it gives me more energy in the single cup than multiple ones of my traditional coffee (with 2T of Coffeemate) does.  I feel more awake and nearly jittery and while I DON’T like the ‘jittery’, I do love the energy and the ‘must move now’ feeling that goes with it.

 

I frogged a shawl that I was designing and using my hand-spun yarn for because I found a pattern that I love very much and think that it will be perfect for this particular colourway.  First the yarn:  It was was the October 2012 colourway from Into The Whirled club and was inspired by this photo:

Image

Called “Bodhi”  On fibre, mine was a 50/50 Merino/Silk blend that was, as all Cris’ fibres are, a dream to spin. Image

The softness of the merino and the shine of the silk made this lovely to work with.  I kept the braid intact and spun end to end  and then N-plyed it to keep the colour progression intact and LOVE the way it feels and came out.  I have had this finished yarn for ages and have been wondering what I was to make with it.  And then I found this perfect pattern.  The pattern is called “Song of the Sea“(Rav link) by Louise Zass-Bangham who blogs over at Inspiration Knits and who wrote about this pattern in this blog post.  I plan on starting this very soon, maybe even today!

 

I have multiple spinning projects and, like always, multiple socks on the go and I’ll update you with those projects one at a time over the next few days. 

Its good to be back.