Paris

Magical Eiffel Tower

I spent Thanksgiving break in Paris. It was my second time there, but my first time falling in love with the city. I look like a bizarre unicorn in this picture, I know, but Eiffel Tower after dark was just magical. Every day was filled with adventure, and as the year winds down, I’ll share my favorite moments here. Hope you enjoy them!

Perfectly Girly Night

So, yeah, we’re pretty much in agreement.  D.C. is the Bond of my dreams.  I’m not alone.

Can I continue to think like a pre-teen?  Guess what’s on Bravo?  (Like how I know all the tv stations now?)  Bridget Jones’s Diary.  Neal has gone off to sleep, so it’s me and the dogs.  I’m going to make a hot chocolate, get starry eyed over Colin Firth (call me fickle if you like), and alternate between my project out of Scout’s prototype Needles on Fire yarn and my festive Meathead hat

I visited my two LYSs today and picked up yarn for some felted slippers and the Meathead hat, as well as a fabu button and suede handle for a felted bag I am finishing.

Ok, gotta go make that hot chocolate.  Hope you’re having a cozy night, too.

Things That Make Me Happy

1.  Seeing the Yarn Harlot at a fundraiser for breast cancer research.  I haven’t laughed so hard in ages.

2.  The quarter of a locally-made apple cider donut that I just ate.  So yummy.

3.  My swag from Scout.  Pictures tomorrow, but know this:  the Namaste bag?  I can hardly count the pockets there are so many, so smartly placed.  Know this, too:  the sushi kit will make you squeal.  Like an eight-year-old girl who just got her first Shaun Cassidy album (oh, wait, that was me in the 70’s). 

4.  A beautiful new scarf.  Pictures tomorrow.

5.  Dyeing roving.  Pictures tomorrow.

6.  Pippi’s dyed roving in Scout’s shop.  You read right, spinners.  There’s roving over there.

7.  Recovering from leaving my teaching materials (which I spent HOURS prepping) on the counter this morning.  I didn’t realize that I did this until I was half way to work.  There was no going back for them.  Oh, and today was my observation.  Luckily, all those hours of prepping paid off.  I was able to recreate my lessons in about 10 minutes.  The class went well.  I’ll have a debriefing next Monday, so I’ll see just how well.

8.  Visiting with two of the lovely Scissorinas.  Be sure to visit Christine as she’s destashing for some good causes. 

9.  My sister’s birthday.  MB and I love each other like peanut loves butter.  That means we love each others’ birthdays like they’re our own.  So happy birthday, sistah!  XX

10.  Playing with the dogs in the woods when no one else is in there.  Shhh…don’t tell, but I let them run off leash today, and we had a ball kicking up leaves and looking at fallen wasp nests (empty, I assure you).

Limping About Rhinebeck

That’s what I’ll be.  I"ve managed to do something to my right foot while in the woods this week.  It’s all swollen, and I’m walking in a wonky way.  Maybe that’s the best way to recognize me if I’m on your Blogger Bingo Card.

Or maybe you’ll recognize Flat Scout.  She’ll be clipped to my bag for easy viewing.  And she’ll be glad to take a picture with you.  If she gets shy I’ll let her hide inside the bag, but I doubt that…she’s used to traveling about and meeting new people, after all.

It’s been an exciting mail day.  Mama-E’s beautiful platinum roving arrived, along with another that she gifted me, which she named after me!  I must confess to much petting and sniffing and daydreaming about which will christen the spindle I hope to procure tomorrow.  I can’t wait to meet so many bloggers, and Mama-E is right at the top of that list.  I owe that woman a big hug for all of her generosity, not just to me, but to the world in general. 

I also got a delightful package from Wee Wonderfuls: the Fall Stitchettes.  In the last few weeks I’ve had a real hankering to ply a sewing needle, and Wilson and Ernie will fit the bill perfectly.

Wonder why there haven’t been any pictures?  I finally remembered to put the camera batteries in the charger.  I don’t want to be sans camera tomorrow.

Hope to see you there!

Down by the Beaver Pond

Img_1147 There I am in one of those wonky self-portraits that amuse me to no end.  This was taken on Monday’s hike in the game refuge where I walk the mutts almost every day.  At the end of our little neighborhood trail, there are three choices: to the right, which is where Neal usually takes the girls for their morning walk, to the left, which leads to the "big trail" and straight, which goes down a steep hill before it levels out and ends at the beaver pond.  This is one of my favorite spots in the world.  I love the evidence of the beavers, the chewed up trees.  Maddie enjoys wading in what is really a brook, not a pond, and I enjoy being quiet as I listen to the water bubbling by, smell the trees, and bask in the sunlight as it dapples the ground.  Yesterday the girls and I watched in awe as a blue heron lifted from our beaver pond into the trees above. 

When I commuted on the Metro North line each day, I tried to sit on the Hudson side of the train.  I liked to watch for a blue heron that often hung out just past my station.  If I saw the bird, I would tell myself "this will be a good day."  The morning of the attacks on the World Trade Center, I saw it, thought that.  In the months after, when I would see the bird, I tried to maintain my optimism, my faith in it as a symbol of joy.  It’s been two years since I rode Metro North, but seeing the blue heron yesterday made me think of all that other bird had meant to me.

The Best Sister EVAH

Img_1091 My oldest sister, MB, is my best friend.  I’m lucky that way.  I’ve got other really close friends, but you know when your friend is also a relative, well, they’re really stuck with you no matter what.  Plus you get to have your best friend at family functions, which makes for a lot of laughter.

She’s so generous and thoughtful.  See, MB works a heartbeat away from my absolutely fabufavorite yarn store, Threaded Bliss Yarns in Brentwood, TN.  She knows that going to TBY is better than going to a spa for me.  She knows they’re having a blockbuster anniversary sale, and I’m salivating every time Sheila updates the blog.  So MB went in there over the weekend and filled a little shopping bag with pink and purple King Tut cotton.  Wanna see?

Img_1092 Thank you so much, MB!  Love you tons!!

Bells

When I lived in New York I used to make fun of Neal for thinking his road was busy.  He also claimed that our little New England town suffers from insufferable traffic jams in the evening.  Now that I live here in our wooded haven, I have to agree, at least about the busy-ness of the road.  He’s planted over 200 little trees this year in an effort to one day block the sound of passing cars.  Now and then, though, no cars pass for a while and all I can hear is birds chirping and breezes in the mature oaks that ring the yard.  Just now I heard church bells from town.

I love the sound of bells ringing.  They remind me of the summer I spent at St. John’s College in the city of dreaming spires.  That summer was the first time I had ever lived alone, the longest time I’d ever spent away from my then-husband.  It was liberating for me to realize that I enjoyed my own company quite a bit, that I didn’t at all mind eating alone in a restuarant or seeing a play by myself.  I was 30 that year, older than most of the other students, and I soaked in everything I could.  I felt more at home there than I had before or have since.  If I had the means, Oxford would be my permanent home.  The president of the college, at a dinner one night, shared that he had only spent four weeks away from Oxford in his life, and I can understand that. 

One of the most magical things to me was to work at my desk in my little cozy room, a half-pint of warmish Guinness from the college pub at the ready for sipping,  and the sounds of the many bells ringing out, some near, some far. 

With Apologies to Neal

I love me a cowboy. 

When I first moved to NM, I was taken with the men in cowboy boots and hats.  See, on the East Coast, at least my little edge of it, a guy in a cowboy hat.  Well.  Shall we just say poseur?  It’s for real out here.

Last night my Taos Conference girlies and I stepped up to the bar at the Sagebrush Inn, and before long, we were being spun around the dance floor by men who really knew how to dance.  In cowboy hats.  With a patina on them.

It pays to have a cute dancing dress and shoes.  Just sayin’.

Feeling Better

Opened and unpacked one box and found my hairpin lace loom.  Opened the other one that’s been cluttering up the dining room and found my needles.  Phew.  Once the unpacking is done, I’m going to show my gratitude to the knitting higher powers and organize the needles.  And keep track of what I have.  And move along duplicates to needy knitters.  Now.  Where is all that cotton that I packed?

It’s Not Goodbye

Jaywalkers_206 I had no idea. 

None. 

The first time I went to ABQ SnB last spring, I would not have guessed that it would become so important to me.  That the women of ABQ SnB would be so important to me.  But they are.  I will miss them so much.  I’m excited to start my new life with Neal, for us to actually be in the same state for more than a few days at a time, but the downside is that now I’m long distance from my SnB relationships.  But there are blogs, right?  And I’ll be back a few times over the next year. 

We met over Mona’s for a special evening, a perfect evening in New Mexico.  After feasting on delicious food (um, Carmela, could you please come live with me?  Panna cotta for dessert every night would be just fine), we sat around, chatted and knit until even the light by the chiminea wasn’t enough to see by.  Carole gave me a gorgeous skein of her hand-dyed yarn, named "Bev’s Nouveau Army".  Go look at it on her blog; the light isn’t good enough to take a decent picture right now.  Amy gave me a copy of Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert by Terry Tempest Williams, which I’ll read on the car ride home.  In addition to hosting us on her birthday, Mona also gave me a framed copy of this photo, which I admired on her blog back in March.

One of those great New Mexican oddities, and it will find a place of honor in Granby, CT.  So, Scout, Carole, Mona, Noelle, Amy, Lauren, Cari, Beth, Cynthia, Laurie, Liz, Carmela, and all the other ABQ SnB’ers, thank you for being my girlies.  I’m going to miss you more than I can express.  Leaving you all is one of the hardest things about my move.  MWAUH!