How Dry I Am

I’ve been on an unexpected hiatus – a little break – a vaca – holiday. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been feeling sort of dry. Dry skin, dry hair (and looking oh-so-grey), dry wit – and a dry well.

I’ve been writing a LOT of patterns in the past few days, doing a lot of math.

When my mind wants to move in that direction, I let it – it obviously knows better than I do in these matters. Numbers have a tendancy to fill my head and make it hard for me to think about other things, like blogging. So I’ve been quiet, but working!

I’m making nice progress on a surplice top which I’m very excited about. I think it will be a flattering look on just about ANYONE, and it’s a fun knit, too! This yarn is stunning – so gorgeous – and it’s been flying off of my needles.

Here the Yarn Place Bel Canto photographed with the Knit Picks Options needles (because they’re wonderful and the project matches them!)

But the blogging was coming slowly, and I didn’t want to force it. Dry well. So I figured instead of pushing it, I’d just let a little snow fall and try to balance myself out. Take some garlic, apply some gold bond lotion and see if I couldn’t ferment a bit.

Cold, Baby!
Hannah had a sleepover on Friday – she was so excited, and had a BLAST! I thought she had fencing on Saturday morning – she’d neglected to tell me it was cancelled due to the holiday weekend – so I was up at 7:00 on Saturday to drive out to Suburban TC only to have her tell me when I arrived at 8:30, “Oh, mom, there’s no fencing today!”

But it was a stunning morning – and I was very glad that I was out, even though I wouldn’t have done it on my own. The sun was shining, the snow was blowing and it was a brisk -10 degrees (wind chill in the -30’s – here’s a photo of my car’s temperature gauge, I’m pointing South)

It makes a person feel ALIVE, I tells ya. And not in the ‘ soccer team stranded in the plane crash in the Andes’ sense of the word…

I remember 2 years ago I was teaching in Chicago during a VERY cold spell. I got into my rental car one day to see -6 and couldn’t believe how frozen I felt. Yet Saturday – as cold as it was – somehow it seemed different. Is my blood thickening?

Since it was the coldest day since we’d arrived, it seemed good to celebrate by rushing for tickets to A Prairie Home Companion. Could there be a better day to stand outside and wait for our number to be called?

A good friend waited with us – Gerry and Max waited inside. So while the girls froze the boys schmoozed. We were soon the proud recipients of the last 4 seats in the theater at $15/each.

Our friend – who lives near the theater and had strolled over to meet us – graciously bowed out since we would have entered into an arm wrestling match to see who got the standing room ticket (After you! Oh, no, after YOU!)
The seats were scattered through the balcony, but close enough to that I could establish mom-eye-contact with just about everyone. Two seats were one in front of the other, so that’s where Gerry and Max sat (so that G could keep an eye on M)

I have to say both kids did really well, even though it was clear they were getting near boredom as the 2 hour show came to a conclusion. I was proud that we could take them to the theater, not sit right next to them, and still have them behave in a respectable manner. Yay, kids!

Gerry attended a Multiple Myeloma group this weekend – he really enjoys getting together with the folks, but he wishes that there were more meetings. The next one was in 6 weeks. I wish that he knew a few local MM folks just to get together every week or so for coffee. Maybe when the weather changes.

I was shocked and very sad to hear that Adina Klein will no longer be the face of Vogue Knitting. I have really enjoyed working with her – she’s a wonderful person and has had a strong and positive impact on both VK and Knit.1.

I’m really sorry to see her go, and hope to see her again soon in a very visible yarn related position, she’s too good to not get snapped up somewhere soon! Here’s a nice article about her by Crochet Insider, with a lovely photo of her, too!

Getting everything together for the taxes was a not-so-fun way to spend the afternoon yesterday, but Gerry and I got a lot of stuff figured out. Now we’re waiting for the 1099’s and other surprises, then I’ll input it all and see how it falls.

The Power of Dreams for 2008
I know that given everything we’ve been through in the past year – and in light of all of the help we’ve received – it may be an odd time to think about dreams. Or maybe not.

When I have these fantasies I ask myself, “Who the heck do you think you are, trying to set all this stuff up…” and I answer, “A mom who wants to make some astounding memories for her family while the making is good…”

Being in a similar situation as a kid – my dad became ill when I was 11 and steadily declined for the next 5 years until his death when I was 16 – I realize how crystalized those 5 years have become in my memory.

I also remember how grey and depressing that time was – and not just because it was Toledo in the late 70’s – and my dad had a whole different set of issues than Gerry does. Alcohol & prescription drug addiction, for one thing…

But ultimately, life is beautiful – life is a gift. In the midsts of the deepest pile of sh*t in the universe, we have the potential to live the joy.

I guess I want my kids to look back and remember the joy when they think of these years we’re going through now.

It took me decades to slough off the layers of pain and hurt that I’d buried myself in during that time – my protective covering – and I don’t want Hannah and Max to have the
same burden.

Dream 1 – Paris with Hannah
I’ve had a dream to take Hannah to Paris in October for over 5 years. Every year something has come up to make the trip not possible (first it was 911, then I became sick the next year. Then my brother died, the next year my cousin had breast cancer surgery, and the year after that I had to travel to LA for business and life was too busy. We all know what happened since then…)

So this year I’m starting a Hannah-to-Paris savings account, and I’m crossing my fingers that come October there will be nothing to prevent us going. I really should look into possible teaching opportunities there in October (although my French is nowhere NEAR good enough to teach in that language!) to make the trip more viable.

Dream 2 – Family Lake Fun in MN
Alternatively, and more realistically, we’re investigating renting a house somewhere in MN (or Wisc) this summer for a week – maybe two – so that we can invite some friends we haven’t seen in a year out from NJ to experience the joy that is Minnesota.

It may work better to find a retreat type place where friends could rent small cabins, too, so that we can be all together but able to find some solitude. And also share the financial burden more easily.

Anyone know of a place like that…?

So I’ll dream about a nice, warm MN evening on a lake with Gerry surrounded with good, old friends.

And I’ll dream about croissants in a cafe, or crêpes while strolling along the Seine, with my girl – while I watch the snow falling in the alley.

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