Thursday, August 28, 2014

Merrie Days









yellow flower2

robin hood

maid marian

In Minnesota, Labor Day signals the end of summer. It's when the kids go back to school...but also weather-wise, we don't have too many hot days left. But! The best is yet to come! Cool, crisp weather, leaves changing colors...OMG, sweaters!! Fall in MN is the best!

But, for Ian (who will read this and weep a little (a lot!)), I will redirect this post towards summery things. Like the MN State Fair (which would just not be the same without a heaping tub of Sweet Martha's cookies). And drinking Absinthe on the balcony. And collecting teeny crabapples to make sour-applesauce.

I've been reading a copy of Robin Hood written by Alexandre Dumas. I've read other Robin Hood stories but none have ever held my attention the way this one has. Dumas is really the most amazing storyteller.

The pair of green scarves above are inspired by Robin Hood (the sawtooth edge scarf) and Maid Marian (the ruffle edge). I imagine these would be the perfect scarves to wear in the forests of Nottingham, perhaps while fleeing from (or pursuing!) danger, or better yet, exchanging vows of eternal love. Both do seem to happen regularly!

Between reading this and The Borrowers, I find myself in a perpetual state of longing for a life lived out of doors. Perhaps a house in the trees with a kitchen below, a makeshift table with fallen logs for benches. Of course a tiny cottage would be better for wintertime. Sometimes I think I might prefer a houseboat. Or sailboat?

Oh dear...I know that none of it would be sensible. I mean, would I really want to be covered in bugs and have to wash my clothes in a nearby stream? No, in reality, I would not. But in the perfect meadow that my mind has conjured, there is no need to worry about bugs or how we will cook food or stay warm or make money or stay healthy. There is simply sunshine and flowers and knitting and fawns and crickets and streams and groves and merrie men. That's it.

Sigh. For now at least I have the knitting. And Ian too, although he's not exactly what I would call merrie. He's going to be so annoyed that I don't think he's merrie...and that he came after knitting. Annoyed yet not surprised.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Greetings from the Pale Blue Dot


zucchini soup2





yellow flower

This has been a summer of saying yes, of trying everything. It's been a time of discovery and learning and appreciation. Of feeling small and inspired and fortunate and healthy.

I ate a beet pizza! And green beans I picked myself. I'm trying all the foods I used to think I didn't like. Some I still don't like but I will try them again until I do. I read (and truly enjoyed!) a book about organic farming. I looked back into time as the first fully restored face of our state capitol building was revealed. I bought some amazing pieces of art from a talented local artist. I started any and all creative projects that piqued my interest. I learned to love blogging again. I asked myself what the future of this blog will be.

And most importantly: I listened, I paid attention. We can never anticipate the moment when a tiny something from somewhere unexpected will have a profound effect on us...on who we are, on who we want to be. Only, if we don't listen, we'll never hear it. If we don't pay attention, we'll never learn from it.

In listening this summer, I remembered to be kind, to care about things I can't see and people I don't know. I realized just how infinitesimally small I am. I found comfort in knowing we are all small together.

"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Monday, August 4, 2014

Alone Time








extra cat4


Ian was out of town this weekend so I spent a lot of time hanging out with the cats in our one air-conditioned room. Also, there was rollerskating and ice cream eating. And also some bookclubbing (The Book Thief...up next is Turn Here Sweet Corn) and mozzarella sampling. There was reading (The Borrowers: Afloat and Aloft) and tiny tomato picking.

And also there was purple sewing. I assume, by now, that my dislike of purple is a well known fact. Oh my do I hate purple! But not purple flowers or, actually, the only purple things I like are flowers.

I'm feeling very "use it up!" these days and felt inspired to cut up every last bit of purple fabric in my stash. I had enough to make blocks and binding for two quilts. I plan on donating these to Wrap Them in Love.

Extra-Cat was extra excited to see my ironing table in the living room where the air-conditioner lives! She rolled around on it until she rolled right off the side. Just another normal sewing day at our house.

P.S. If I ever send you something made of fabric, it will most likely have been rolled on by the Extra-Cat...sorry in advance...