Sunday, January 30, 2011


i could write of anything right now,
anything except anne elliot, and jane austen, and mary wollstonecraft.

i could win a pulizter,
if not for this blasted assignment.

my prose would flow like paint onto the canvas of my word processor, and of of souls,
i'd move men to tears,
i'd be a regular da vinci, your everyday rembrandt.

if only i wasn't sitting in this empty room armed with nothing but a laptop and a rubric.

i could change the world with a word,
if this cursor would just stop blinking at me,
and the syllabus would just stop staring,
and it wasn't the sunday before the due date.

if i hadn't been told to write,
i swear.

i could do it.

Friday, January 28, 2011


So I logged onto my old Xanga site. Remember Xanga? Anyway, I had a lot of old poems, thoughts etc. It was so funny and insightful to look into the mind of me, from even 5 years ago. It's funny how much life has changed, how much I have changed. What I wanted, what I thought life would be etc.

It's funny how much I haven't changed. How the little things that make us who we are never change.

I found this poem that seemed appropriate for the season.

"Extended Winter"

Some time ago,

spring was to come,

As it always does at this time,

with its new wet warmth,

and the sun on my winter-worn face.

I anticipated and expected its newness to come,

and my soul even stirred at the thought of it.

But winter, having worn out its welcome,

stays a little longer,

lingering and hovering with its bitter cold,

old and worn out like some dirty rag.

Stale and stagnant like so much old coffee,

that has long since lost its flavor.

It's weird to post old poetry. It's like a love-hate relationship. I always think it's great when I first write it. A year removed though....usually I think it's awful, like I tried to hard or something (I really think I did for this one...really.) At the same time, it's endearing, like an old baby picture, or growth chart, or a scrap book or something. It shows me who I used to be and who I am now. At least I know that winter, although it's grown on me, was never really my favorite. Who knows?

Happy winter everyone!

Image credits: and

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

givING...a "guest" post repost

The other day, I read this post on a blog (yes, its a fiber and wool blog so to speak...its delightful by the way, you should check it out.) The blog is from a fiber farm, but this post isn't so much regarding fiber as it is giving. I loved what she had to say:

"A couple of weeks ago, I was on the way Washington D.C. for a meeting with Tanis when I pulled into a convenience store for a Diet Pepsi. On the way back to my car, I noticed a homeless man huddled up by the side of the building, trying to make himself as small a target as possible for the bitter cold wind. He was bared-headed and his coat would have been inadequate on a day that was 10 degrees warmer.

After I got back in my warm car, after I turned on my seat heaters and adjusted the heat to full blast, after I took my wool coat off because I was suddenly too hot, I realized how miserable I was spending less than a minute out in that cold and wondered what it must be like to have to live in it.

And then I glanced into my back seat and saw a giant box, over flowing with the lovely Red Scarves we, you and I, made for the Red Scarf Project. I wondered briefly if I should have given him one, if the maker would mind it going to a cold homeless man rather than it’s intended recipient, but by then I had arrived at my destination and I put the idea and the man out of my mind.

He wasn’t out of my mind for long though. I have spend some part of every day since then just sick about the fact that I didn’t think to give him a scarf. I can tell you this without a moments hesitation: if I had seen a dog suffering in the cold they way that man was, I would not have walked away and left it there. I know I wouldn’t have.

I can’t imagine how cold he much have been. I can’t imagine the turns his life took to get him to that parking lot. I can’t imagine the misery. I’ve tried. I just can’t.

There is another box of scarves in my back seat right now. Scarves and hats and a few pair of mis-matched gloves. The next time I see someone who looks cold, I will step out of my toasty car and my comfort zone and offer him or her something to help keep them a little warmer.

And I’m asking you to do the same. Please go through your closets and make a pile of the hats, scarves and gloves no one wears and put them in a bag in your car. If you have the time and the inclination, it would be lovely to include a couple of hand knit scarves and hats as well. It doesn’t need to be fancy- warmth is what we’re aiming for here.

I briefly considered turning this into some kind of giveaway but then I realized that would be silly. You are lovely, kind, amazing people and you won’t need any incentive. Please do this for me."

One of my new years "resolutions" was to be a person marked by generosity. I want to be more giving. Anyone who has ever changed or impacted my life has been a person who gave. I don't just mean money. I mean generosity with time, talents, smiles, anything. I mean this as a change of attitude and lifestyle more than I do just a goal to meet.

It's been funny how much giving has come up...everywhere. On Sunday at church it was talked about, in my economics class my professor somehow brought up that economist have found that people who give (in this case money) are overall happier with their lives and their money.

Like I said, I don't know that I have a specific way this will look, but this idea is one thing I think I'll implement into this resolution and into life. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

thanks for votING!

Results are in! I have to admit that I was surprised to find out that the cozy, comfy, calm colors won! :) For awhile I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to abide by the poll results or not, but I've decided to give power to the people and go with it. So calm, comfy, and cozy it will be. I haven't picked a yarn yet, but when I do, you will all be the first to know.

On the note of knitting...Although I will probably start the leg warmers very shortly, I have some other projects that have taken knits!!!!

No, no, no, its not what you're thinking. It's really for a friend of mine who I've known they are pregnant for awhile, but they just found out they are having a baby girl. So I've been brainstorming on what the best thing to knit for a new mom and baby. Ideas anyone?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

knittING news

I'm up. I've been awake since around 6:30. I wasn't really planning on getting up this early on a Saturday, especially my last Saturday of break, but I'm a crazy person so here I sit waiting on my coffee to brew.

I have labeled myself a crazy person because I've realized that anytime Dave leaves while it's still dark (this is usually for hunting) I usually lay awake listening for the sounds of someone breaking into our house. Seriously, it's crazy. I convince myself that someone watched our house, waited for Dave to leave, and is going to break in, attack me, kill our cat, and steal all of our earthly goods (in that order). I need to stop watching Law and Order or something.

Since I'm up though, I thought I'd do a quick knitting post--more of an update on my slow and sad progression as a knitter, but a happy knitter nonetheless.

First of all, the Tumnus Scarf still remains unfinished. It's almost there, but not quite yet.

However (doesn't putting it bold make me sound like a mean old teacher..."However you all need to work on your grammar"...something like that). However (after all that...geesh) I do feel like I have an excuse. For some of my Christmas gifts I knitted coffee cup cozies (is it pronounced cozy, like a cozy cottage, or coozie, like the word cootie but with a "z" instead of a "t"? I'm dying to know).

Here is what they are supposed to look like:

Here is what mine look like (I'll let you in on a sad little secret...this is my best looking one):

It slightly resembles the picture. This is a victory for me.

Here is the pattern if you are a knitter and would like to make one yourself.

I've been thinking for awhile about what I can knit next. I've decided on (drum roll please):

That's right! 1980's, aerobic instructor-like, almost dorky, leg warmers! The ones pictured are from someone's Etsy Shop.

I am so excited to pick out a yarn and a pattern and get knitting on these. I don't know if its the cheesy factor or the cozy factor, but I just love the idea of these. I also can't decide between doing a fun bright 80's color yarn or a calm cozy color like the one here (goal for today's post....use the a form of the word cozy as many times as I can squeeze in). Opinions regarding color are welcome.

Here's my last tidbit on knitting. I promise. I've decided to occasionally find a celebrity who knits and post at the very least a picture every now and then. I think this helps feel less like a 90 year old when I post about knitting.

I got this idea from Martha Stewart (should this really make me feel less like a 90 year old???). She did a short segment on Karen Allen.

You know, from Indiana Jones? Per her interview with Martha, Karen learned to knit from her grandma and has loved it ever since, even through her acting career. She now has her own shop. Not everything she knits is entirely my style, but it's definitely art.

Well, that's a wrap (or a scarf, or a shawl, or mittens, or a cozy...) Sorry I had to.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The 12 9 "Ings" of Christmas

December was busy. I suppose anyone who follows this blog (all nine of you...thanks by the way, I appreciate all 9 of you..really, not sarcastically!:)) is wondering where the one who claims to love Christmas so much went during my favorite time of year. Well, here it is--my 12, or rather 9 (because I couldn't think of 12) "ings" of Christmas.

1. Travel-ing: Dave and I packed our bags and headed out to
warm California. We actually had a very eventful travelling experience going there (and back actually) which included a one night stay in a hotel (if you want to call it a was more like a few hours in Pittsburgh in attempts to get
some sleep, which I think we got less), sleep walking, very mean security guards (one actually made me cry, she was the meanest lady on the planet... combine that with my 45 minutes of sleep, BOOM, tears). On the way back we had delays, a security breech, running through Chicago to catch our flight (yeah, like on Home Alone), and I hate to admit that I was cranky enough to tell the lady who tried to push everyone on the plane in Chicago claiming "I have a tight connection"--"We all do, sit down."...sigh...such is travelling I suppose. At the very least though, I'm thankful for a way to get us from here to there much quicker. :)

2.Rain-ing: We anticipated a lovely sunny trip full of outdoor activities and a maybe even a couple beach days, what we got was more rain than I've ever seen in Southern California. Even having lived there for several years, I've never. seen anything. like it.
It worked out though. It gave us a great excuse to just hang out with friends and family--which is what we were there for. All in all I think we had 6 days of rain and 5 of sun. So we did get some beach time in after all. :)

3.Go-ing...for it!: At my step family's Christmas, one of the cousins had the new Wii game "Just Dance 2"...

I won. :) (Not according to Lauren, but if she recalls the Avril song "Girlfriend", I was the victor.)

4.Laugh-ing: Mostly we laughed at the Californians. For my California readers, sorry, but read on, you have to admit it's true. :)

We laughed at how they drive in the rain. They either go 40 mph and hold up traffic for miles, or 80 mph and end up flipped over. I know its not really funny, but I forgot how big of a deal rain is, especially buckets and buckets of it, to Southern Californians.

We also laughed at the
self centered
individualistic (I'm being nice) SoCal attitude. It permeates the culture. :) Example (one of many): We were walking through a mall with my four year old niece, she dropped the gloves she was carrying so we all stopped while she picked them up. The lady behind us was so put out about it that she shoved her elbow between Dave and I and leveraged her way through saying "ExcUUUUse me!" (They never mean it when it goes up in the middle like that). Wow...but funny.

We laughed at the role of dogs in California. We saw dogs with sweaters, dogs in purses, dogs with purses. We saw organic pet food stores, restaurants with dog seating and dog menus. We saw a dog clothing store called "Preppy Pets".

Dog...the new human. :)

5.Cuddle-ing: With this cute face:

My sister's daughter and my very cute and sweet niece. She's 4 1/2 so Christmas with her was more fun than ever. It was all the heart-pumping, Santa-believing, Toy Story 3, present ripping open a kid (or adult) could ever want.

6.Receive-ing: This was one of my favorite gift years of Christmas ever. I got gifts that meant something to me (Mom, I know we haven't had Christmas yet, you'll be included because I may do an entire "gift post" because I loved this Christmas so much).
Here is one of my favorites:

My dad gave this to me. He used to read it to my sister and I over and over when we were kids. I love it. I've read it over and over since I've been home.

Other gifts worth mentioning that I just loved: a knit kit (lovely, soft, luscious alpaca yarn, scissors with a gold handle that I think elves used at some point, and a holder for small knitting necessities), lots of tea, a dough hook for my Kitchen many things. I may do a separate gift post because I love gifts and what they mean, and the people that gave them.

7. Paint-ing: My sister was painting mini gourds as ornaments this year and I joined her in painting. Here is my favorite:

Yes, it's my cat. Yes, I know that's somehow sad and places me in the same category as Angela from The Office, but still, that's what I painted. :)

8. Hang-ing...with friends and family: I know this is a given at Christmas, but I just felt so blessed by it this year. We got to spend Christmas with family I don't see much but miss all the time. We got to see friends we hadn't seen in so long. We got to come home and spend time with family here. It's like Christmas is being stretched out into days and days of family and food and gifts and makes me think that Judaism is onto something having 8 days of Hanukkah. ;)

9. Refresh-ing: We got to hang out with some good friends who have recently moved out to California. It couldn't have been more refreshing for us. They are the type of people who remind you to keep being who you are and to walk with God and that together with God we can do anything. Everyone needs friends like that. Everyone. Thanks guys. We love you and your family.

I think being away, and coming home was refreshing to. We loved our trip but we were so happy when we got back to our own house, our own bed, our own traffic (or lack thereof), our own routine...being away always makes me thankful for home sweet home. :)

All in all everything about Christmas has been great and its not over for us. We have one more Christmas left this weekend and I'm glad to have one more week with my tree. :)