Creeds on the Winter Solstice

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As the teen sleeps in on this dark solstice morning, I’ve been catching up on podcasts. On Being’s “Conversation in Music with Carrie Newcomer” really resonated — the minute the episode ended, I tuned in to the unedited version. And I’m already planing to give it a re-listen today as holiday preparations continue.

Life has been, well, messy of late. Too many days and weeks of the sort that leave you drained of energy and spirit. Rest assured, the knitting hasn’t stopped even though the blog went on a long hiatus. But the performance of “I Believe” and Krista and Carrie’s reflections on the “so very holy” details of life left me wanting to start a conversation with my blog and Facebook friends.

If you were to write a creed of the earthy details you hold to be true, what would it include? Here are my shared favorites from Newcomer’s song (video below if you want to give it a listen):

  • I believe in socks and gloves knit out of soft, gray wool.
  • I believe a summer tomato is a cause to rejoice.
  • I believe in the kindness of strangers and the comfort of old friends.

Here are a few musings from me:

  • I believe in the steadying feel of wool winding through my fingers and the metal clinking of needles matching my breathing.
  • I believe my pets are Wim Wenders angels that more than earn their keep.
  • I believe in the sacrament of good chocolate melting on my tongue.

What do you celebrate as “so very holy” in your world?

12 Candles

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Wow. How did that happen? How did we go from this…

my sweetie

…to this in such a flash?!

birthday-skirt

Yesterday, Izzy celebrated her 12th in style. (Nice of the calendar to cooperate and give us a Saturday birthday.) She started the morning making the skirt she’s wearing above at a class courtesy of Autie and Uncle. (Side note: The fabulous fabric at Crafty Planet now has me itching to start sewing again.) Then we headed to Target Field to watch the Twins beat Kansas City (Izzy’s choice instead of a party this year).

twins-gameLast night she declared it a great birthday. (Violet still holds the title of best birthday present ever — and I’m guessing will for many years to come.) What a great 12 years I’ve had being her mom!

Enough Already!

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Last Friday, I awoke to this view outside my hotel window in San Antonio. Sure, I had to work all weekend, but it seemed a fair trade since it was spitting sleet and snow in Minnesota when we headed out to the National Science Teachers Association.

san-antonio

Much of that mess had melted by the time my plane touched back down on Sunday afternoon. And it continued to melt over the next few days. Since I like to think of this blog as family friendly, I’ll skip sharing my initial outburst at awaking to this view today.

minneapolis

Two thing helped cheer me up…slightly. 1) I’d already arranged to work from home today. 2) Izzy gleefully grabbed three FOs to layer up for her walk to the bus.

That said, I’d like to make it loud and clear that as much as I appreciated Minnesota bringing the knitting weather this fall and winter, I’m ready for spring. Now. Enough already and (hopefully) enough said.

Counting My Blessings

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If I were a more disciplined person, I’d keep a gratitude journal. And if that journal did exist, today’s entry (like so many unwritten others) would focus on the blessing that is my daughter. Just look what Izzy was busy putting together this a.m. while she insisted I stay out of the kitchen.

breakfast

That’s coffee, bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and her highly successful experiment: banana-cinnamon buttermilk pancakes. (Totally planning to crib that one.)

11 and countingThis past week marked our 11th homecoming day.*  While we celebrated the milestone on Monday, today I am once again reminded of just how lucky I am that this wonderful child was sent my way.

* On January 23, 2002, Izzy and I traveled home together from Guatemala.

Home Sweet Home

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We’re not completely unpacked and settled, but we’re getting there. Enough so that I didn’t feel (too) guilty enjoying the first lazy Saturday morning in months. And yesterday morning was a gorgeous one — sunny with a hint of chill in the air. So nice after July’s record-breaking heat.

I hadn’t realized how much I missed our three-season porch until I grabbed a cup of coffee and a book, laying back on the loveseat with the backdrop of blue skies and leafy old trees. After finishing up the highly enjoyable The Age of Miracles, I even knit for a good hour. Ah, bliss…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not alone in loving this cozy spot. Both kitties have gladly taken up their porch perches again. (Chloe can be seen peeking in on the right.) And anywhere there’s a lap and a view is just perfect as far as Violet is concerned.

Life is pretty sweet these days and I’m feeling truly blessed. When I made the decision to move back to MN without a job lined up, I was filled with anxiety…tempered only so slightly with the knowledge that I’d been freelancing and saving for the transition and was fully prepared to take whatever contract work I needed while looking for my next gig.

How sweet and unexpected that the universe dropped a dream job in my lap. While the challenge of building a new website is daunting to be sure, I’m loving being back in the world of education and being back at an organization with some of my favorite people in the world. All this while surrounded by family and dear old friends. Bliss squared.

Now, a good six weeks in, I’m finally feeling rested enough after the crazy transition — left my job in ABQ on Friday, drove with Izzy and the pets all weekend, arrived in Minneapolis Sunday night, and was at work Monday a.m. at the new job — that I can start to take moments like yesterday morning. I even blocked a shawl in the afternoon. Photos and that update soon.

Life Part 2: Where We’re Headed

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By this time next week, we’ll be on the road. Destination? Well, here’s a photographic hint.

Mosquito repellent and a book of dog sweater patterns…. Yep, Minnesota! After 3+ years in Albuquerque, we’re headed home. This time, though, the “little CRV that could” will have three pet carriers. May the travel gods of animal spirits smile (or at least not frown) on us.

It’s been a spring of tough decisions (and, as you may have noticed, miles and miles of comfort garter stitching). Thing is, despite a good job (the one that brought us to NM) and some of the best friends Izzy and I could ever hope to make, we belong in Minnesota. (I’ll spare the laundry list of family/personal reasons.) By April, I knew it was time to say goodbye.

We’re excited, not to mention relieved happy that our well-loved home in Linden Hills awaits us. A nice reminder that sometimes the universe has a good reason for dropping obstacles (bad real estate markets, property management struggles) on our path — and that even without those obstacles, the path is always winding.