Thursday, January 13, 2011

dutch breakfast and a long-awaited fo.

Dutch marzipan stollen for breakfast is an idea I wholeheartedly support. I found this bread in a little dutch store in Helen, Ga, on our New Year's eve daytrip.

We got whacked with a ferocious storm this past Sunday, snow falling hard and fast and then a heaping helping of sleet, ice and freezing rain - the dreaded wintry mix. It's all conspired to close school for 4 days (I'm hoping for a 5th) and bring Atlanta to a screeching HALT! which of course is just fine with me. All this shut in time has enabled me to finish my long-languished Central Park Hoodie:
I knit it with 12 skeins of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, purchased from Acornbud's stash. Acornbud, who enabled this sweater big time by hooking me on the Silkroad crack a couple of years before, just by ooh-ing and coo-ing over it in my presence. I gotta say, I adore this sweater, and its buttery colorway, Vermouth. It is warm and soft and squishy. It is a scoach too big, and I am having some misgivings about gauge, but everytime I put it on, it immediately cheers me and restores that "I am a knittah!!" feeling. Which is something, in the dark days of winter, let me tell you. The buttons are a grey and yellow vintage button donated by my knittah friend, Debbie.

So I've been off for a few days, with little else to show. I made some Guinness braised shortribs from a recipe I got from my brother in law, via Facebook. These were so good that I neglected to photograph them, but I assure you they aren't pretty, and they will be made again here at the Atomic Lodge. I played a bit in the snow and ice, and have been spending quality time with the dogs:
It remains seriously cold here, in the 20's, and so we really aren't outside that much, just to feed the birds and putter around in the yard. Our street is still iced in and our driveway remains treacherous, though of course we're taking the CRV out for necessities like pizza and milk. It's all supposed to melt away tomorrow.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

buh-bye 2010!

2010 was right up there with 2005 and 2007 as one of the more, ahem, challenging years of my life. It started off auspiciously and then just spun right out in a sea of sickness, stress and inertia. I am damned glad to see it good and gone, even though I was raised not to wish one's life away nor begrudge the time I'm given. Goodbye 2010, helloooo beautiful fresh new year!!

I like new beginnings. As pagan, I celebrate Samhain as the end of the Wheel of the Year. I celebrate the rebirth of the sun at Yule, and I will embrace the Year of the Rabbit when Chinese New Year rolls around. January 1st is one of my favorite days, in spite of the fact that the whole Christmas season generally feels like too much.

Good things, and generally successful ventures in 2010 included: good employment mojo, in that I found work that pays me well, which is something, in these economic times. I was successful in not drinking one drop of bottled water for yet another year, and in continuing to cook mostly from scratch, and carry my homemade lunch to work on a daily basis. I got the Louet wheel, and learned to spin, opening up a whole new world of crafty love. I knat mostly from stash, and didn't finish much; the Citron shawl, the Pink Ariann sweater which I promptly frogged, a few dishcloths and a couple of hats. I went to Stitches South with my sister, bought a lot of spinning fiber and fell in love with Kollage square needles. My Malabrigo buy-in venture rewarded me with a healthy stash infusion. I continued the Dog-A-Day campaign of working one dog each day, and braved the weather, hot and cold to get Mr. Cricket out and about, facing his fears. He is somewhat calmer and less aggressive, though we still manage him cautiously around strange people. I rode my bike a fair amount, and re-connected with my old friend Elena. Leah came to visit me, and I took a couple of road trips up to my Old Country. I did a whole lot of yoga. I found an acupuncturist who has done wonders for my health and stress issues. I continued my Project Z - the quest for more and better sleep, and am a healthier woman for it. I discovered dolsot bibimbap, which is my new favorite food. I bought a pair of Frye boots, which make me feel taller and tougher. I read a lot of books and I learned to use Promethean projection technology at work. I went to Boston for a week and hung out with my husband's totally fun family. I got a new digital camera and am having fun with it.

Not-so-successful things included knitting a sweater that, in spite of a gauge swatch, was astronomically big on me, taking a job that is just kicking my ass six ways to Sunday, and promises to do so until mid-May, when I leave it. I pulled an intercostal muscle that took a long time to heal. I got sick with every upper respiratory thing that crossed my path. My weight rollercoastered up and down - I swear, that same 10 lbs came and went 3 or 4 times. That isn't actually a bad thing; I've made peace with my body, for the most part. My altar got dusty due to my scanty spiritual practice. I did little to landscaping improvements and I pretty much failed at my housecleaning quest, except on vacation. Family weirdness abounded. I bought yarn which I didn't need, and am now at SABLE status for sure.

Resolutions? I usually make them for Mind, Body and Spirit, but this year, I'm not sure what to resolve. These are the things that are feeling like a logical next step, though:

1. Not buying yarn, and knitting exclusively from stash, including my handspun. Festivals excepted, but I mostly buy fiber when presented with a choice, these days.

2. Not buying new clothes: my job has required me to follow a dress code, and I'm just sick of shopping for nice clothes. I've built a decent wardrobe of 'business casual' clothes and now it's time to stop. Shoes excepted.

3. Yoga at home - I'll still take classes but I'll use more podcasts and dvd's to help me practice more regularly on my own.

I have a lengthy list of other resolutions which I'll spare you for the moment. These are the big 3. Somehow, it seems to be setting myself up to crash and burn if I lay the whole list out here. Something about that adage of "to know, to will, to dare and to keep silent" I guess...time will tell.

I leave you with an offering from my fabulous new blue camera:
These spider plants cast shadows that remind me of the Calder mobiles at the National Gallery.

Ella using Cricket as her pillow: