Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Morning

My little companion, Lance, enjoys sitting in the window while we linger with coffee and papers in the morning. We read and talk and watch our birds and play with the cats. We watch the leaves turn, and fall; watch buds swell in the spring and leaves burst forth and unfold. Lance is there, too.

See the purple mug? That's my Grandma's Morning Fix mug. My son made it 6 or 8 years ago for his Grandma who had come here to live after Grandpa died. We used to joke about her coffee being her morning "fix." So, for a Christmas gift, he and his wife went to one of those places where you paint your own pottery.

After Mom went to live in an assisted living facility, the mug was left behind. I would look at it, but just couldn't bring myself to use it, even though I do love purple! It wasn't because it was Mom's mug; it was the grandma thing. I wasn't a grandma and didn't have any on the way. Because that is all changed now, and because my first grandchild will be born in February, I think that using the mug is OK. I like it.

Sometimes I bring my knitting in here and enjoy the quiet; this spot has been established as a place of peace. No TV noise in here. Rarely I take a phone call here, but mostly not. But the kitties are drawn to the places we put ourselves, and so knitting is often displaced by lap sitters who purr so enthusiastically, I can only set the knitting aside. It is a perfect spot to make headway on a good book, and it is perfect for wine and cheese and olives in the evenings. We love talking over our day with one another here

I played with this picture of Lance's face; sharpened it and over exposed it a little. He sits, usually, with all his feet quite close to one another; he is what I call composed. Often looks like a statue. The flash went off with the picture of his feet, and he wasn't pleased with that so he jumped down and left the room.

Time here is well spent. If this window seat had been available twenty years ago, it would have been empty. I never seemed to be able to take this sort of time for myself when I had children at home. I didn't know how, would have felt guilty about it. Didn't take much time to play with the kitties or the kids. Always felt I had to be going, going, going. Going and doing was easier on me than guilt about not going would have been. Of course, I didn't ponder much or dream back then either; after all, I was living my dreams of being a wife and mother. What more could I want?

Time's passage, experiences accumulated, children grown and gone; these all change a person. One looks at life from the other side at my age. The clutter can pile up in my knitting room, cookbooks can gather off their shelves on kitchen counters, autumn leaves may obscure the lawn for days, and I don't care. I am drawn to the quiet times, to the peace, to joyfulness. I am happy to exchange a vacuum for a string and make a little run through the house, kitties bounding behind. I have found books again and sit with a delicious feeling of having stolen time just for myself. If I put the book down to watch the birds a while, there is no guilt for having stopped reading; industry is not all there is to a good life.

Soon I will be adding grandmotherly activities to this list of life's joys. I know I will be ready; I will show this child the birds and leaves and chippies; we will play with the kitties; we will read all sorts of stories and maybe tell a few, too; we will think and explore and ponder and wonder and dream....


Thursday, November 15, 2007


Yesterday, I took my camera along on my walk with friends. A brief shower overnight left the streets damp and the sun didn't come up over the mountain until our walk was nearly over.

Fall colors are very late in arriving to our mountains this
Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I went on a leaf drive.
Some of the prettiest spots were very quiet places with not another car on the road.

Off the interstate, just a few minutes into the hills we came upon this tobacco barn; it's filled with drying leaves, hanging upside down. It is open on all sides for the air to move through.

Across the street from this tidy stone church is a little stream; really beautiful right now.

We drove back into the Pisgah National Forest. My husband loves to fish; he ties flies in the winter while he watches sports. He often fishes in areas designated as catch and release; that is, he returns the native, brown, and rainbow trout he catches, unharmed, to the rivers.

I love the interesting things one can find when exploring the underbrush, boulders, pools.
Deep in the forest, a haze partially obscured the far mountains. These straight tall trees are tulip (or yellow) poplars.
We enjoyed our peaceful afternoon drive. Even a brief respite like this one is enough to reset our compass, enough to remind us of what is good and true, and some of what we can be thankful for.

Friday, November 2, 2007

SAFF, Pumpkin Bread and Coming Home

The Ag Center Arena in Fletcher, NC and SAFF booths on the main floor.

Wheeeew! I am settling down. My neck and shoulders are a bit sore; my knitting is wa-a-ay behind. My cats have taken up posts on the desk, and spend too much time staring at me, alternating with head-butting and purring, all in an effort to get me away from the computer and ... Ravelry.

Dear Hubby and I managed to get out to a fund raiser for Momentum, Science and Health Adventure Park at the Dove Hangar - a wonderful evening - and we dressed up!

The first week at Ravelry was hectic; the place was bustling and I was loading projects, trying retroactively to find out exactly what yarns I used in this or that particular blanket, reading posts in various groups, and so forth.

I joined a group of folks in my geographic area. I joined a group about blogging. I joined a group of folks who wanted to talk about their own space for crafts. I joined a group of Mason-Dixon Knitting devotees. Each time I opened the computer, I logged on to Ravelry to see if I had mail; mail from "friends" or folks with patterns like mine, or folks who thought we had something in common, or folks I had contacted to say I loved their shawl or their booties or their amazing clapotis. I found favorites among others' projects and watched as some selected projects of mine as their favorite. What a great group of fiber folks!

The weather here grew chilly and I had to turn on the kitties' little warm pad; you can see they don't share well.

I finally finished loading my projects into Ravelry , not counting a dozen I have in plastic bags and am too lazy to post about. Or ashamed that I started them and didn't follow through. Or...well, heck, who cares why they hibernate on the dresser top? I loaded my knitting books into the library feature. That was fun and easy; but they didn't have all my books then. So I need to check back soon and see if the rest of my books can be loaded.

Brought in the pot of rosemary when frost threatened.

Then, I went back to flickr to load more pics and suddenly found I had filled flickr (3M was the free limit; is that megabytes? Did I already tell you this?) and would have to make a decision to BUY more space! Yikes! Was I byting off to much? Shhhh! I decided to dive right into the cyber flickr poster picture thing and for a whopping $24.95 a year, I can post all the pics I want with mega megabytes. Whew!

Last weekend, Martha and I attended SAFF at the Ag Center in Fletcher, NC. It was just fabulous! Great job by all who manned booths, brought animals and wheels, etc.; I came home loaded with yarns; an alpaca Teddy Bear and finger puppets from Peru; and some newfound friends from the fiber world.

Then I began loading flickr with additional pics of the projects already in my notebook. Pictures of the projects in-progress; pictures of the projects (usually blankets) beneath cats, pictures of cats beneath blankets; even a couple of series of pictures showing seaming techniques I have created. Then the pictures had to go from flickr into the separate pages of individual projects. Then, after I did that, I wanted to rearrange them. (This can be an endless process, I am learning!)

Ravelers were out in force at SAFF. I just had to have this yarn from a sister Ravelry addict who had a lovely booth! It reminds me of candy canes in fruit flavors. I bought her solids to go with it, too.

I saw that some project pictures in my notebook were not showing the blankets to their best advantage, not in their best light, so to speak. I dug my first throw out of a drawer and arranged it artfully on the windowseat and rephotographed it. Better! Downloaded to My Pictures, uploaded to flickr, and finally into the project page on Ravelry! (Me, from Squirrel Hollow! Well, I'll tell you that for this old gal, that is pretty good; I am pleased with what I have learned, what I have accomplished with my Ravelry membership.)

Two days ago, my dh wanted to make the pumpkin bread I had planned, so with a little supervision, he produced two of the best loaves I have tasted! Loaded with walnuts and cranberries, and devoid of bad fats, this is a really wonderful snack or dessert. Yum!

I have recently left the little group in Ravelry I joined earlier for my geographic area; left the studio space of my own group, left the others, with the exception of Mason-Dixon. I joined a new group - knitters with cats is the idea - and it's lively and fun. Don't like cats? There is a group in Ravelry for anything you can think of that you are interested in - really! If you don't see it, create your own! (Don't ask me the population of the place, but there are crowds of folks from every walk of life, many places on the planet, all ages and colors and skills and interests...I am loving it! You will, too!)

This Teddy is incredibly soft! With a baby in mind, we couldn't resist!

But, as you can see, I am also beginning to incorporate real life back into the mix with cyber life. I am beginning, with help, to control my Ravelry time. After all, I am on the fast track to grandmotherhood and the weeks are flying by!

Coming home is good for the soul. Now and then it's a good thing to reassess priorities; one can often bring things back into balance with just a little effort. Ravelry (what a ride!) and my knitting will settle into their proper places in my life, along with friends, family, community, home and garden and all the rest.

Time for bed and book and sleeping late; sweet dreams!