Wednesday, February 28, 2007


OK, I'm all done whining now. Who can be depressed when they wake up to this? Scenes like the one above (the view from our front deck) make me feel like the luckiest woman alive...this is why I live in the mountains, and always will.

We were so excited when it started to snow yesterday on our way back from school. My trusty (very un-green) Landcruiser (named Denys) got us home safe and sound. Fire up the wood stove, bake up some homemade macaroni and cheese, snuggle up with your sweetie under a cozy blanket and watch the humongous flakes come down.

I love to have tea at my iron garden table, but not this morning, thank you! Brrrrrrr....

Luckily our fruit trees have not bloomed yet (unlike the ones I see down in town)...the right one is a nectarine that has never beared fruit, but I keep my hopes up. The little golden delicious, a housewarming present, we keep enclosed against the hungy deer. The patterns the snow make are breathtaking, the light exquisite.

Of course we probably don't need enclosures since we have such efficient guards. In fact, we don't see many animals close to the house due to our trusty dogs. Lucy enjoys any kind of weather, and is always up for a romp, snow or no. The snow does tend to make them wacky however...they were up before dawn, running circles through the powder and making a joyful noise.

The Goddess has truly blessed our home...the snow was like a balm, the sun a loving beacon. I'm sure it will be melted again by the time I arrive back tonight, but I am thankful for this reminder: count your blessings, they are many.

Monday, February 26, 2007

happy / sad

Happy: New sock yarn. Beautifully painted purchase from Stitches West last Friday. Cute face painted by little P. just happens to match.

Sad: I am drowning in debt (due to court) and cannot see an end in sight.

Happy: More gorgeous sock yarn. Never mind that I haven't finished knitting up what I got there LAST year. This green makes me want to dance naked.

Sad: Court again in April. Ex does not want to compromise and seems determined to make me bankrupt, all the while being seven months behind on child support.

Happy: New roving for my new addiction. 100% merino, colorway: forest (what else?!)

Sad: Feeling blue, eating way too much, can't fit in my walks anymore....constant rain.

Happy: P. #1 wants to go to art school, hence the last two paintings. I am encouraging her (after all, my bachelor's is in art.) I love the misty look in this girl's eyes...snuggling up to even more fibery love...Corriedale in blue/green (an uninspired name for something downright organic...any suggestions?!) I will be getting more of this - think: sweater. Already planning my first real project, from sheep to me.

Sad: Never enough time to spin. Come home, feel exhausted, do the minimum (cook, clean, prep for the next day), wash, rinse, repeat.

Happy: Oh yeah, more sock yarn. Think: moss, lichen, forest floor. Downright squeezable, and smells good too....kinda....sheepy.

Sad: One lonely mushroom sock, waiting for me to birth her sister. Trying to conjure up the motivation to manifest.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, February 19, 2007

good luck presents

My last (*sigh*) Secret Pal package arrived just in time for Chinese New Year. I spent some time admiring these wonderful stamps before tearing in.

My pal outdid herself, as usual. Chinese silk, in the form of a kimono shaped wine bottle cover, a soft sculpture tray, a little zippered purse and an elegant drawstring pouch containing a padded compact. So lovely and elegant...I love pretty accessories.

The Japanese magazine contains wonderful crafting ideas, adding to my list of want - to - do's. It combines sewing, knitting, even some paper crafts..neat stuff to do with the kids, too.

And the icing on the cake? Luscious strawberry ice cream colored yarn...fingering weight handspun Rowan, enough for a sizable project. I'm thinking about a sweater for the little P....does anyone know any good, simple jersey patterns for preschoolers?

Thank you, Chooi Wah. Happy, happy New Year of the Golden Boar to you and your husband. I have truly enjoyed my second Secret Pal round, all in thanks to you and your thoughtfulness. And imagine my surprise to find out your identity: the author of one of my favorite blogs, Pretty Knit. I have been reading you for months, never guessing who you were.

I call that good luck!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

kinder art

Painted and stitched mittens. Poem on the back reads: "Thumbs in the thumb's place, fingers all together. This is how we warm our hands in frosty mitten weather." Not like the California kids I teach have a clue what that is...but anyway.

I love these torn paper snowmen. Each one has a unique personality, like it's creator. Tearing paper is not easy for most five year old's. They stuck with it like troopers. This makes a nice display above the classroom sink.

I know it's a little late, but I had to flash our Valentine mailboxes...just a simple shoebox, some construction paper and stickers, and voila! The better to deliver our sweet somethings.

I love my job.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I seem to be in a Winter lull. Steps taken forward lead to nowhere. Time is suspended...trying to push ahead feels like wading through deep water. It is time to float.

My yoga teacher, during sadahsana, used to say: Let your mind and body be an empty boat. This is the feeling I am trying to capture. Simple, serene, yielding. There is nowhere to go, nothing to do. I carry on with daily routines....teach and try to stay present...knit and try to finish something (anything!). And yet the pool of Winter is deep, and wide.

The crescent moon is the barge of Heaven. I unite with her across the sky...floating, just floating.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


When in Hawaii we paid a visit to Le Sport Sac. Being a fan of all things Japanese how could I resist Tokidoki?
Here's a peek at the inside, equally cute. And the rainbow zippers! The green zipper pulls! The details are wonderful, the craftmanship unique. It took no time to fall in love. The size is deceiving also...wallet, dayplanner, mirror, lipstick, address book, camera and of course the cell phone all fits snugly.
Not to be outdone, P. #2 scored this new lunch pail last week. Just the right thing for a baby bento and a teensy thermos of juice.

Cute rules.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

winter activity

Here is the rain gauge I got dh for Solstice. We've had two storms in the last ten days, with predictions of more to come. For now, all is calm. But there are always lots of preparations to be made. Life in the mountains during the Winter can be downright treacherous.
The hens are worried, but that is their nature. The coop has been tightened up and the roof secured. Their feet might get a little wet, but if they are smart they will stay under or in their nesting boxes. Oops, I gave them too much credit now didn't I. Did you know there is actually a pet chicken society in Santa Cruz? Sorry, I just can't go there. I love my hens, but they are not pets.
High on the priority list: fixing the back deck. We have a gorgeous set of French doors leading out to....nothing. Shades of the Winchester Mystery House.

Notice all the quality help he's getting here. Pulling nails can be a drag without quality help.

Inside the French doors, the cyclamen keeps blooming, stretching out in whatever direction suits.

I think I'll follow suit.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Time has a way of getting away. It's often difficult to realize that we really have a choice in how we spend our time. Appointments, meetings, commitments and little things like jobs have a way of eating up our time. So, if you had all the time in the world, what would you choose to do?

If you are reading this blog, I'm guessing you'd spend it being creative. Christine, here's Fairy Wings, all spun up and ready to fly! I would spend a lot more time spinning.
Voila Horsey Girl in her latest creation, the Punk Poncho from Generation T. I got it for her for Solstice and it's been an endless source of creativity for her. The perfect antidote for too much TV. And since it's started raining with no end in sight, there's no TV to be had, anyway.

After mastering the Goth Gauntlets she was ready to tackle a bigger project, and I think it was quite successful. I am so proud of my sweet creative 12 year old girl...she even wore this to the dance this weekend!

Hunker down and craft, create, and is the dark time, but we are spinning towards the light.

Friday, February 09, 2007

we miss you so much

Thursday, February 08, 2007

you knew it was coming

I've been tagged for the six weird things meme by my sweet supercyber sis, Sylvie.

I'm not sure these are weird enough, but here goes.

1. I have my navel pierced, but it's pretty likely you will never see it. I am too old to flaunt it any more, but I love having it still, because piercings are really really intriguing to me. The other Kindergarten teacher here has her tongue pierced. I think it's cool.

2. I cannot tolerate dead things, meaning, I cannot touch a dead animal comfortably (forget people). Dh forces me to deal with it myself and refuses to bail me out of chores such as burying the dead chicken that the puppy at the head off of. This causes me a lot of stress.

3. I love how almonds smell, but eating marzipan makes me gag.

4. I now have, as an adult, everything that I dreamed of having as a child: a pretty house in the country, lots of animals, and I'm a teacher. I bet I should be happier, somehow.

5. I was in 4-H for ten years, and came very close to winning the state award for Dress Review twice. I cried into my pillow very hard when I lost the second (and final) time. I was nineteen. I forget to remember that this was my introduction to the love of making things, and the beginning of losing my taste for competition. Which leads me to....

6. Though there is talk around the craft blog world that people ripping off your ideas should be a federal offense, I don't think it's that big of a deal. Personally I think these people sound a smidge self important. It's not like people are going to stop reading your blog, you know. There, I've said it.

Pardon the lack of posts, we have been in a state of deep grief...our little black kitty got sick and very quickly declined....we put her to sleep on Tuesday morning after trying everything we could. Now she is gone forever.

I am thankful to this blog for being a kind of living memorial. What is remembered, lives.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

garage sailing

Yesterday during P. #1's soccer game, I headed back to the garage sale I had seen signs for on the way. Los Altos is an affluent town with lots of nice fancy houses and expensive cars, so I had high hopes. This one was actually IN the garage rather than out in the yard or driveway, so that was the first hint I got that it was actually an estate sale.

Seems the owner had recently passed 89 year old woman, whose daughter and granddaughters were heading up the sale, everything that was left after the family had taken their pick. I fell for the little ceramic bird above, as I love all things with nests. Never mind that it has a few chips.

The garage held many treasures, though by 10:30 (when I arrived) it had evidently been picked over pretty well. I snatched up these wonderful bento boxes, naturally. They also stack.

Then the woman's daughter ushered me upstairs. "There's a lot more inside." She was right...there was a lot more, including the unmistakable presence of the woman herself. Sometimes it sucks being psychic. I did my best to ignore her. She seemed worried...confused...and especially upset that someone had ripped up the carpet and removed the bathroom fixtures in her house.

I grabbed these wooden utensils, admiring the smooth patina and contrasting shapes. Then I hustled back down to the garage again.

I spent a good amount of time rummaging through boxes. Thankfully the garage was ghost free. I loved this wonderful wrapping paper, some still in its original packaging.

This neat little celluloid crumb catcher still works well to clean the tablecloth after dinner, and bears the original Fuller Brush seal on the back. (Anybody remember the Fuller Brush man? My mom used to buy a very effective stain remover spray from him.)
But my favorite score of all? After all, dear readers, lest we forget this is a knitting blog.... Bernat's Gloves and Mittens for the Family, made even sweeter by the granddaughter's nonchalant, "Oh, it's OK, just take it." I was elated.

Thank you, dear Grandma, and may you soon enter a sweet place of peace, ready to move on to your next big adventure. Your treasures will be truly appreciated.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

favorite spots

As the short winter days go on, I gravitate towards my favorite spots in the house. This corner catches some afternoon light, appreciated by the gorgeous orchid sharing space with a couple of oil lamps (we haven't had to use them much yet, thank goodness.) Though notorious for killing orchids, I still can't seem to resist them. I purchased this one with the blooms still closed, for maximum length of enjoyment. Shafts of light filter in and are slowly coaxing them open, revealing maroon spotted throats and yellow tongues.

A long standing battle at our house is to get everyone to take off their shoes when entering. I even bought a little ceramic sign and posted outside the door, but it's sometimes still a struggle. Then I grabbed up this shoe rack at the hardware store, and the entry became more of a place. A strategically positioned chair helps to encourage the task. I think people's unwillingness to take them off speaks of our inability to slow the heck down. It is respectful to remove one's shoes and it carries gentle energy into the house, rather than tracking in the outside world (literally and figuratively.) And it sure is easier on our nice bamboo floors. (Little P. puts hers in the big old thrifted basket.)

But my most favorite spot of all right now is a cozy corner of our big leather couch with a cup of lemon ginger tea and the current sock in progress. I confess to watching more t.v. than usual lately just to have an excuse to knit. I am in LOVE with the Cherry Tree Hill yarn I purchased recently - so smooth, warm, incredibly soft and lovely colors to boot. This colorway is called birch, but since there are no birches here in the redwood forest, it makes me think of mushrooms, or driftwood, or the breast feathers of our local hawk.

As of last night, I'm marching down the heel flap of this one. And there's soccer this weekend!
web counter