Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Think Snow

Soon it will be more than just a dream.
We're gearing up for the anticipated first big snow of the season,
which is supposed to start falling in a few hours.
This morning, while it was still dark and the place was chilly,
my knitting night owl elf brought me this cozy scarf/shawl she'd made overnight.

I'm working on my back-up pair of mittens -  nearly half finished - 
double-stranded for thickness and warmth -
and imagining them forming snowballs
to pelt my kiddies with. :D

The sky is beginning to look ominous.

I couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Some fave'rits...

Way back in the stone age when I first discovered the internet and blogs, 
there was a trend among some blogging people to make lists of "100 things I love," 
and it made me wonder, why would anyone want to know even 10, much less 100, 
of the things that a complete stranger loves, 
not to mention having the time or patience to slog all the way through such a list? 

And yet, at the time, slog through I did. 
Maybe it was the wee peeping tom that sometimes rents out a motel room in my head 
(though really, not often, I don't think - I've always felt like the opposite of a nosy neighbor, 
to the extent that I really do NOT want to know what other people are up to, 
unless I have some specific reason to be interested). It probably had more to do 
with the fact that I was nursing a newborn while keeping a three-year-old entertained 
and therefore I was bored silly to begin with. 
And I found the whole idea of blogging so curious at the time, 
I wanted to see if I could tell anything about the kind of people who did it, via their love lists. 

Eventually, it made me want to make a list of 100 loves for myself, 
if for no other reason than to see if I could identify such a high number of things
I could really say I loved, 
and if so (or not) what might the 100 (or less) loved things say about me? 

(I was on the verge of turning 40 at the time, and in a very self-reflective stage of life, 
but creating lists as a path to self-discovery is something I no longer find necessary
or even very interesting at 52.)

So I never did list 100 things I love, and the time and the trend have long since passed. 
Anyway, I'd much rather spend time just loving the things I love as they actually cross my path 
(especially if the things are people). 

However, I know that some who read my blog are not strangers, and there are 
a few favorite things (not nearly 100 or even 10) lately that I've been wanting
to share with them, and maybe those of you who don't know me will at least discover
something(s) you'll like (if not love).

♥ My favorite song of late - so very favorite -
he found my secret book of soul vibrations:

While you're at it, may I recommend more by Bibio?
Especially A tout a l'heure and St. Christopher (for starters).

♥ My favorite knitting project. 

This shawl the color of moth's wings, which I knit during a summer week 
when actual moths were landing and sleeping and fluttering everywhere I looked, 
and it felt like some kind of animal sign, 
and I had recently discovered the magic of radical self-acceptance, 
and I was knitting the moth shawl in a state of meditation 
wherein I allowed everything that came up to be received as important.
A very deep and hidden memory emerged, 
and it answered a mysterious lifelong question, leaving me feeling transformed. 

And that's what the action of knitting is for, making this project the most perfect knitting experience
I've had, and one I hope will be repeated whenever it's time for buried treasures to be unearthed. 
Also, I love the shawl. 

P.S. I learned that one of the "meanings" of moth magic is inner transformation. 

♥ My favorite special-needs team member's recent words: 

" the child's behavior comes to shape the parent's circularly 
even as the mother's shapes the child's..." 

♥ My favorite George Russell composition - the dearly departed George Russell, 
who used to call my ex-husband "my fave'rit" - 
who was one of the coolest, deepest, realest cats I've ever met and (probably) can ever hope to - 
how I wish he were still among us & how I cherish his memory - 
his song for his favorite, Bill Evans:

 ♥♥♥ "In a minute," George. ♥♥♥

Sunday, November 23, 2014

last-minute mittens

I needed a pair of mittens, and I needed them fast. I went so far as to buy new yarn, 
and I started in right away, lest my paws get caught naked and alone on the very next frigid day
(which could even be tomorrow, for all we know). 

The pattern I chose was simple, straightforward, and cute, 
which are very good qualities for so many things to have (even people) 
and are ones I find especially likable in a knitting pattern, because
 murky noggin x zero time + patience.

Mitten #1 was coming along just fine and not causing any additional noggin murk, 
nor did it take too much time or any patience at all, since it was thoroughly enjoyable to work on. 
There was every reason to hope that my new mittens would be on my paws within the day (or two). 
So I was stitching merrily and innocently along, right up to the part at the top 
where the decreases begin, in order to make the rounded mitten shape, 
when what did I spy but a 
leeeetle teeeny loooop 
popping out where it wasn't supposed to be. 
It wasn't the sweet, cooperative kind of loop that can easily be picked up and fixed 
with a crochet hook, the kind you glance down at with a smirk and think, 
ha! no prob! and quickly and confidently correct.
No. It was the kind of loop that deceives you, confuses you, 
and causes you to completely drop a column of stitches. 
It is a serious situation, requiring surgery, a clear noggin, time + patience. 
And so I had to pull out all those simple, straightforward, cute stitches, 
all the way back to where they are in the above pic.

After doing so, I noticed that this mitten was going to be just a little more snug than
I really would've preferred, so I thought, what the heck, I've already lost half the work,
might as well start over and re-make them in the size I want.

Meanwhile, my poor hands in the icy future day were going numb and chapped, 
and so, having lost a whole day of knitting time, 
I turned to the trusty, speedy crochet hook,
scrounged around and under and behind baskets and bags and hidden areas
of crafty stash, and located exactly, and I mean exactly,
enough yarn (wool, even!) to complete this made-up-as-I-went-along pair of mittens.

And now my future hands have a prayer of staying toasty.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

cold white, warm green

Here's a jolly green made-up-as-i-went concoction:

one large-ish bunch of brocolli, cooked or steamed 'til half soft
one small onion, coarsely chopped
three or four cloves of garlic
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled & sliced
about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
ground black pepper
two teaspoons of turmeric
one bouillon cube
1 can of light or regular coconut milk
4 cups of water
the juice of one lemon

get onions glassy and garlic soft (a little browned is okay) in olive oil 
in a soup pot over medium heat.
add ginger root slices
grind in black pepper
add the turmeric
stir together and cook a few minutes more,
then add the broccoli, the bouillon cube, and the water.
bring all to a simmer
add coconut milk and lemon juice.
transfer by small batches to food processor & blend well
except for the last cup of un-blended bits, or more if you like chunkiness.
stir it all together & eat it while it's hot.

Today's soup is served in this lovely treasure left out by the mysterious roadside gift givers.
It even came with its own fitted glass lid, which, coincidentally enough,
is something I'd just recently made a wish for.*
T'was terribly thoughtful of them to set out something green for the occasion!
(Can you tell we've been binge-watching Downton Abbey on DVD?)

*A freakishly frequent free-stuff-finding phenomenon! I wish for it, and poof! it appears!

  The green soup was for warming up after driving out into the first (surprise!) snow of the season.

Lots of the trees haven't even lost all their leaves yet.

I agree, "keep right" on snowing, Father Winter! :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

adventuring we will go

My little dude's been feeling under the weather.
Bored with being housebound, he asked to go "adventuring." 

Fair warning that there's a severe drought in the adventure department 
of our sticksville town did not divert his pleas.
Neither did his annoyance at my singing,"Adventuring we will gooooo!" 
to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell.
That's determination.

So we set out with no particular destination and nothing in our adventuring satchels
other than a tiny flashlight
and (a few feeble) hopes.
But why is this poorly child so happy? 
Because we actually located an adventure, and it was right around the corner!

We decided to amble down a path we'd never seen before,
and it took us to a place at the riverside we'd never been to
and didn't even know could be gotten to.

There was this creepy old wooden bridge with a long-defunct set of train tracks on it.

(The views were gorgeous, but alas, not realizing we'd be so lucky
as to actually locate an adventure,
i had only my crawpy stone-age cellphone camera
with which to snap up the beauty.)

Then! Shhh! What's that? We heard a rushing sound 
coming from somewhere up ahead, and ever-so adventurously followed it...
 to a small waterfall ~  Who knew?!

Climbing back up the banking, we discovered this wide path through the woods.
Clearly the cool air and coolness of this adventure was doing him good.

Now how far to travel down this unknown trail? 

...Far enough to be well watched over by the trees

and to make friends with a few.

Miles says his hands tingle when he touches them.

We trod on, over patches of leaf-strewn earth that looked like watercolor paintings...

...verrryyyy carefully past evidence of fairies...

and back through the yard of a feed store,
where it was impossible to get these pigs' attention.

However, the chickens found us fascinating. (They don't get out much at all.)
They wanted to hear every detail of our adventure, but alas, it was starting
to get dark, and poorly boy needed to get home & climb right back into bed.

golden milk, greens galore, & glorious growth

Have you heard of "Golden Milk"? 

It's supposed to cure what ails you, so I decided to give it a try.
My sister recommended it to me as a possible help to my frequent* headaches. 
The magical key ingredient is turmeric, so they say.
There were many and various ways to make it, I found when taking a look around.
This simple recipe was the one I followed.
At first the taste reminded me somewhat of Milk of Magnesia,
but by the time the glass was almost empty, the flavor had grown on me.
Maybe not so much that I'd drink it daily -- but perhaps as an occasional warm winter soother.

*(becoming less frequent, thanks to my new chiropractor & eliminating problematic foods)

Daily (or nearly daily) I try to get in as many greens as I can, usually at lunchtime.
As a base I use lots of mixed greens, purples, and herbs -- frequently making use of 
my local grocery store's pre-packaged organic mixed salads, because they are actually 
less expensive than buying each ingredient separately and include just enough for three days' salads,
which is also just how long they stay fresh. 

I don't like the packaging part, but it's a compromise
because of expense, and it's also a big help in getting around my laziness for prepping veggies 
& assures that greens will actually get eaten, instead of going bad with good intentions.

For variety, with each salad I mix in lots of other healthy bits and pieces.
In this one there's wild salmon, red bell peppers, scallions, flat leaf parsley, basil leaves & broccoli.
Other times any combination of sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, garlic, fennel, olives, 
banana peppers, pepperoncini, orange, apple, grapefruit, kale, beets, tuna, beans of many kinds, ginger, 
chick peas, carrots, corn, tomatoes, sprouts, and/or whatever else is easily located and affordable
helps to keep the salad monotony from thwarting my intake of greens. 

Speaking of healthy plants, 
here was my re-potted & rejuvenated flowering shamrock just a while back.
I was so thrilled with how profuse and full she had become...

But I hadn't seen anything yet! Just look at her now! It was hard to get a really accurate picture,
but she's beautifully full and lush, with an incredibly abundant profusion of flowers.

good thing she ate her greens!