Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Have I mentioned that I love baseball? Almost as much as knitting. Actually, I took some knitting to the A's vs. Angel's game, but did not have the guts to whip it out. As we waited in line to exit, I spotted a woman carrying a bag full of needles and a tank top's worth of beige ribbon yarn. Hmmmm. It can be done.
Here's J. doing his Happy Dance after his team hit a home run. We enjoyed a wonderful brunch at his house in Berkely...pan potatoes, mushroom and broccoli quiche, fruit salad, muffins and lemon bars. We talked about politics and baseball, but I did not knit. I am strictly a Giants fan, but I love me some baseball games. The A's games are particularly fun because you can take BART, and it pops you out right at the field. The dd's all love to ride the "train".
Happily, all three girls were in attendance. The two Princesses had a good time cutting it up and trolling for boys (#1.) I had fun too, even though I didn't knit. (Are you picking up on the guilt yet?) We ate peanuts, Cracker Jack (man those prizes suck, don't they?) and all the leftover Easter candy. But I wasn't, well, you know.

Random thoughts for today:

* Dh and I have completely opposite ideas about money. This could be an opportunity for balance, but usually just makes us pissed off at each other.

* My house seems to exist in its own little weather zone. Twenty minutes in any direction will almost always render the opposite of whatever was happening at home. This sometimes makes it difficult to get dressed.

* I will never again have the body I had before my last child. I may need to hold a eulogy for this. I sometimes stand outside myself and watch the stages go by: anger, sadness, denial, etc.

* As a teacher I am evidently considered an expert on parenting. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am also hopelessly bad at Math, and will never teach anything beyond the first grade.

* I miss the carefree days of college and the time I spent in my beloved sorority. I have recurrent dreams of trying to get back in. I think I need more friends.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, April 14, 2006


As the weather continues to be crappy, we had to create our own Spring. P. # 2 and I went foraging for this madrone branch. When inserted into a rice - filled pail it makes the perfect Ostara tree. Over the years we have collected little bits of this and that to hang.
A close up... special basket items from Springs gone by, like the little white bunny bank, the glass candle holder (encircled with rabbits), the ceramic box, figurine and cutest ever egg holders from my mom; special boxes that I reuse year after year and noone seems to mind! And the classic Easter Match Game that faithfully comes in the dye box every time, a hit with all my girls. Brings memories of rainy evenings of baking and stoking the fire. I love the pink glass candles I found at the grocery store, they really have a nice glow.
Flowers from dh (the red) and from my sweet class (the daffodils). More special boxes and a chocolate bunny candle. My orchid peeks over the side, please pray that I will not kill this. I am notoriously bad with orchids.

And the rain keeps coming. When the stable looks less like a sludge pit I'll take pictures of Fanny and her Horse Hotel. Meanwhile I knit on...Greg's hat has a nice start...and read 1,000 Days In Tuscany. Most excellent!

Have a wonderful Easter / Eostar / Spring Fling...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


We've been getting ready for Eostar. These are simply toasted coconut mixed with melted chocolate chips, then pressed into nests and filled with jelly beans. Perfect for a late night chocolate craving...lovely in baskets too.
After dying a few eggs, I used the leftover dye to tint some wool I purchased a long time ago at the thrift store. There isn't a whole lot, and I probably should have dyed it all the same color, but I was feeling inspired and I like these two sherbet - y colors together, don't you? I still have one natural colored skein left. It looks like someone's homespun efforts. I steamed it for 45 minutes to set it. It smells vinegary, but I like that reminds me of Easters past.
I found this picture on P. #2's Magnadoodle shortly before Solstice. I loved it so much I couldn't bear to erase it. It was displayed in my kitchen corner for some time before I hit upon the idea to preserve it forever.

I took a photocopy of it, then used transfer paper to trace it onto a t - shirt. I used three strands of black embroidery thread on a $5.99 khaki colored shirt, referring back to the original for the thick and thin bits.
Today I finally caught him wearing it...we are both on vacation together this week, and it's a rare occasion that I see him in the daytime! Cute, non?

Ah, vacation. Except for the endless rain, we are having a swell time. Fanny is home, snug and warm in her stall. I am so happy to see her from my bedroom window, she nickers softly each time we venture out. Such a sweet pea.

That, along with a stack of library books, a new knitting project (pics later!), and endless time to cook (split pea soup, mushroom quiche, lemon bread, and the aformentioned treats) and we are happy as clams.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Melanie has asked me about Ostara. I thought I'd take a moment to explain my altar tradition. I am a Pagan, a person who celebrates the seasons and rythms of the year. I celebrate Christian holidays too, but I create altars around my house to honor various themes at different times. (The picture above is my Love Altar: that's Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, various symbols of romantic love, and in back a Valentine done by dh last year that I framed.)

Eostar, the Spring Equinox, takes its name from the Goddess Eostar, Eostre, or Ostara, a Germanic Goddess of fertility and Spring. We celebrate this festival at the time when the day and night are equal in length. The balance of the year has shifted - Winter is on the wane and Spring officially begins.

Eostar is a joyful holiday, centered around symbols of rebirth and growth: eggs, seeds, baby animals. But Eostar also has a deeper meaning. Because this is the time of balance between dark and light, it is also the time when we examine all kinds of balance in our lives - in particular, the balance between life and death. Birth is a time when the gates between the worlds are open. The seeds that were buried in the ground return as new shoots. Bulbs sprout and flower. And the dead return from the Otherworld as new beings.

Ostara is the Goddess of dawn and new beginnings. Her name is similar to the word for the Christian Easter, because that holiday took its name from the ancient Pagan Goddess of Spring and rebirth. Another name in the same family is Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of the morning and evening stars. And let's not forget Esther, the Jewish queen whose story of courage is celebrated at the Spring festival of Purim.

We are all Related.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

ostara altar

On the green Kmart scarf: l to r, Horsey Girl's precious sock bunnies; recycled glass egg in a brass wire nest; Fatima with baby; trilogy of green goddesses; Pooh bear for nurturing; Quan Yin, Willendorf mama. Gold coins for money luck, and Princess #1's apple branch wand in front.
Talismans from dear friends (butterfly and cross), and incense holder for sandalwood offerings. Crowned by my favorite Jesus: as shepard. The feeling is calm, blessed and beginning to bud.
A peek at our new fence. Fanny comes home this weekend!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


As you might have suspected, it's been RAINING nonstop here. Water, water everywhere, complete with mudslides, basement seepage, foul tempers and no power. I hate turning on the generator just to use the computer, as it seems self - indulgent, but today - forget it. It's self preserving. It's good to be home, as I believe if my first graders don't get recess pretty soon, they will start eating each other. Thank God for the split contract.

At any rate, I have been keeping busy. Here is the book I bought at Kinokuniya, just one of several that I had. to. have. It's wonderful, the pictures are clean and inspiring, and I want to make everything! I have joined up with the Sew? I Knit! bag - a - long and I have many ideas for a bag. I have to complete it by April 30 but that seems easy enough. The only other project I have planned is Greg's hat, which should be quick and fun...but I digress. You can see more pictures on the Sew? I Knit! site, and you can help me decide which wonderful bag to make! OK! I need help choosing.

Ironically however, none of the bags I'm choosing are actually from the book pictured above. Oh no, that's just a teaser. I'll need complete concentration and no deadline to make anything out of that book. But don't feel disappointed, we will revisit.

Now I have big plans for today: finishing the Olympic Failure socks (still wimping along on those), and reading Julie and Julia. I had read a lot about this book on other blogs and was so excited to find it at the library. Alas, I am not that enamored. For one thing, I thought it was about cooking. It's really not, more about the author's ongoing anguish and drama over a project that involves a lot of uninteresting friends and relatives. I am also insulted over and over by her use of expletives. She even mentions how people reading her blog thought they were a bad idea, yet she continues to use foul language and sexual innuendos to (try to) create humor. Sorry Julie, it's just not working for me. I will, however, finish what I began. It looks like the perfect day... (sound of thunder)
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