30 April 2015

As April Comes to a Close

Until I saw some others' blogs today, I forgot that April is National Poetry Month.

When I was in school, poetry was pretty much something I dreaded.  I liked some poems well enough, but apparently missed the "real" point/message all of the time.  And some poems I just thought were plain old stupid.

Once I was in charge of reading things because I wanted to read them, and I didn't have to worry about reporting on them, I came across several poems and poets that I found I truly enjoyed.

Recently, I saw this poem, and fell in love with it.  Since there is still a little bit of time left in the month of April, I'm sharing it with all of you.  I hope you'll like it as much as I do.

Questions About Angels

BY BILLY COLLINS
Of all the questions you might want to ask
about angels, the only one you ever hear
is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

Do they fly through God's body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from the hinges
of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colors?

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
their diet of unfiltered divine light?
What goes on inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall
these tall presences can look over and see hell?

If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole
in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
filled with the silent letters of every angelic word?

If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive
in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume
the appearance of the regular mailman and
whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

No, the medieval theologians control the court.
The only question you ever hear is about
the little dance floor on the head of a pin
where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

It is designed to make us think in millions,
billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:
one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
a small jazz combo working in the background.

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
to glance at his watch because she has been dancing
forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

26 April 2015

Moving Right Along

Ugh.  Day 1 of colonoscopy prep.  I have to prep for two days, since apparently I have an abnormally long colon.  When I did this the last time, it took 5 separate tries before it was completed, and that was after a 3-day prep.  A new doctor told me that the prep has improved, and two days should be just fine.  Sigh.  So let's hope *that*  moves right along, if you know what I mean ...

But, on to more pleasant topics.  After my success with Rechargeable, I was ready to move right along and cast on something new.  As is often the case, socks were my first thought.  I pulled out a skein of Meow Collection Yarn, in the Orange  Tabby colorway, and set it on top of the tall cubbyhole piece of furniture that holds my yarn.  I wanted to decide if I was going to knit regular socks, or some actual pattern.

But at least for now, I'm not knitting socks.  Because the morning after I set out the skein of yarn, it looked like this.


When Koodles Attack!

Sigh again.  I did not have the fortitude to even begin to try and untangle this mess, so I set it aside and moved on.  But it took me a few days to decide.  Then I remembered a project I had been wanting to make for a long time, and pulled out the yarn (fortunately already wound), and printed the pattern.  We were heading to Brooklyn to visit my niece, her husband, their baby, and their pup.  So I chose a project bag, got all of the notions together, and decided it would be my travel work.

I've really been enjoying it, and though I am using size 3 needles, it's going more quickly than I expected.  Here's an in-progress picture for you.


I know, it looks weird.  But this is the beginning of the Multnomah Shawl, which I have wanted to make for years.  Then at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2012 (I think it was that year), I visited the Fiber Optics Yarn booth, and they had one knitted in this yarn, which is their Foot Notes yarn, colorway Blackbird Batik.  I was so taken with the sample, I HAD to get the same yarn to make it!

It's really lovely, and I am enjoying this knit very much.  Yes, I have some other projects that are currently languishing, but I want to keep my mojo going with things that are working well, so this will probably be my primary project, at least for the near future.

And ... maybe one day I can get to the Orange Tabby yarn ...

22 April 2015

Earth Day 2015


Because we don't think about future generations, 
they will never forget us
~Henrik Tikkanen

I hope Earth Day reminds us that this earth is the only one we have.  Behave accordingly.

14 April 2015

Everyday Happy


You may or may not remember that for my One Little Word this year, I chose "mindful."  I wanted to remember to enjoy and notice things NOW, instead of always thinking of what I would do/wear/eat/whatever in the future.

I have been doing a pretty good job of it, to be honest.  And I have been trying to consciously make myself think of at least one good, positive thing about each day.  Some days are more challenging than others, as you can imagine, but it makes me pay attention to where I am and what is happening as it does, rather than as it will.

So, when Carole suggested today's Ten on Tuesday topic, I decided it was just right for me and my word!  I've given it some thought, and had fun making my list.

Ten Everyday Things That Delight You

1.   Dug and the kitties.  They are ridiculous, sweet, cuddly, and sometimes bad (I'm looking at you, Koodle!), but every single day I am glad that they are part of my life.  I always tell them - and I mean it - that I love them more than my own life.



2.  Daffodils.  I love daffodils, and they always make me smile.  The Tim planted some bulbs and this year, they actually came up and are blooming like crazy!


3.  Hugs and kisses.  Every day, I love getting and giving hugs and kisses to everyone in our little family.

4.  Laughter.  I try to find something to make me laugh every day.  Usually it's not hard to do.

5.  Music.  I love music.  A lot of different kinds.  I always have some kind of music in my head, no matter what else I'm doing.

6.  Trains at nighttime. Even in winter, before I go to sleep, I can hear the train whistles at the train station.  No matter where I've lived during my life, this has been a constant, and it is an incredibly comforting sound to me.  It makes me feel like things are OK before I fall asleep.

7.  My neighborhood.  I love where we live, and there is always something to hear, do, see, wonder about, etc.

8.  Neighborhood wildlife.  Squirrels, birds, even the opossum who seems to have set up housekeeping about two blocks away!  Granted, none of the local critters have decided they need to live in our house, so I'm sure that is part of why I enjoy them ...

9.  The Tim.  Being #9 on the list doesn't mean he is lower than everything else, but rather that I couldn't decide whether to include him at all.  I mean, let's face it, I don't know that he "delights" me every single day, but I did include Dug and the kitties, and The Tim is here every day, and is more often than not he is some version of delightful.  ;-)

10. Food.  I love food.  Period.

There are plenty of other things, and the best part of thinking about this is that, as they came into my brain, they made me happy just thinking about them.  I need a longer list!

What would be on yours?

07 April 2015

A Very Happy Knit

Recently, I haven't had as much knitting time as I'd like.  But the good news is, when I did have a chance to knit, I managed to finish something that turns out to be one of my very favorite projects ever!

Milo and Jetsam helped me with blocking:


Such good helpers, right?

I had been to Loop early in March, and they had a sample of this, knit in the yarn that had been specially made for the shop.  The sample was in this color, and I just fell in love with it.  So I bought the yarn and the pattern and went home to get started.


The pattern is actually quite simple, and brilliant - once you actually pay attention, that is.  After a few false starts, it finally clicked, and I was on my way.  I would have probably finished it more quickly except that once I started there was an entire week when, for one reason or another, I didn't get a chance to pick it up.

Pip was quite happy to model the finished piece:


So, you are probably saying, if this is such great pattern, where are the details?  Keep reading.

Project:  Rechargeable
Pattern:  Portfolio Scarf, by Erika Flory
Needles:  Size 7 US
Yarn:  Loop Studio, colorway Cadmium (I used most of one skein)
Modifications:  None
Comments:  This is one of my very favorite knits ever.  The pattern is extremely well-written, and involves garter sections interspersed with sections of lace.  You work one part at a time, and cannot wait to get to the next part!  I named mine "Rechargeable" because I read that cadmium is mostly used for rechargeable batteries.  The yarn is soft, and lovely to work with.  I have already worn this a few times, and it is just perfect for springtime.  I see more of these in the future, both for myself and for gifts.

Rechargeable scarf worn

My suggestion?  You should really knit one of these - you will not be sorry!