Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Bridge on the River Why?

I've never really been one of those "anything goes" kinda gals.  I do try to subscribe to a live, and let live sort of attitude, provided no one is in danger or being hurt - you know, that sort of thing - so it may be of very little surprise to learn I've been called, well I've been called a lot of things, and some of them not so untrue, but, a bridge burner once or twice in my life (probably more than that, even!). 

What's funny to me about this is that it's one of those things said in a manner where the deliverer of this information truly seems to believe they've stumbled upon some epic mystery of your psyche;  Some awesome revelation of your most intimate self.  And most of all making you aware that it's a bad thing.  What's shocking to me is how words and definitions have become almost completely subjective today.  How old adages are now twisted, and misused to excuse deplorable behavior is more surprising still.  It seems everywhere we look there's another meddler just shrugging, and reminding us "it is what it is," in the ever so non chalant air, or overgrown brats causing unnecessary arguments and preaching forgiveness at every turn.  And of course, my favorite, the good old fashioned, generic trouble maker with their two-face deception, lies, and the nonstop chatter once your back is turned who lecture acceptance. 

Don't get me wrong, not one of us is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm sure we've all committed any number of "crimes" I've described.  It's when people start making a lifestyle out of making others miserable where, in order to keep any sort of grip on my own sanity, I have to begin to release the ties.  This is the place where the names are called, fingers are pointed, and the categorization begins.  Oh, she's a bridge burner!  Oh, she carries grudges!  Oh, she pretends she's no longer angry with you, but secretly really is!  Perhaps these things have to be said, and these names have to be called in order for those causing all the misery to cope with why you've decided to remove yourself from their chaos.  The reality of it is, the bridge was torched long ago, and each lie, manipulation, hurtful game that is played, and every phony gesture has made the fire burn hotter and faster.  For me, it's after the bridge is gone that I decide whether it's worth replacing with another to meet the same demise. 

The lack of reconstruction is not to be confused with lack of forgiveness, and acceptance, or bitter grudges.  It's quite simply just a matter of saying "no" to something that doesn't work, and isn't healthy for you.  Somewhere along the way forgiveness, and acceptance have been misconstrued into the same thing, and what's more is now they're expected to be synonomous with agreement.  Confused yet?  I know!  It's convenient for these three words to mean the same thing, because once that's the case there's no longer any need for a little something called accountability.  If forgive and accept equal agree, then no one ever has to actually take responsibility for their harmful actions, you know, since now we're all in agreement that it was ok.  See how tidy that is?

What people who are stuck in this framework are missing is that to forgive and accept a person does not mean you have to agree with or invite their negative energy into your space.  This is not a decision based on bitter resentment, and grudges.  It's important to pardon each other of our not-so-awesome moments (we all have them!), and also accept one another for who we've become, instead of feeding the fantasy of who you hope the other will be, and finally to release resentment, and anger from your life letting yourself live from an open, happy, and honest heart. 

After all, they say love is all we need.  I hope we all remember this as we gather with our friends and families during the holiday season, and bring more of it with us into the new year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"I Cannot Endure To Waste Anything So Precious

as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."

Nathaniel Hawthorne
1804-1864

I couldn't agree more, but for those moody,  stormy (or should that be Stormy?) Fall days few things can be so nice as curling up with a good mystery - ghost story peppered with a little American history. 

I was utterly delighted shortly after digging into The House of the Seven Gables to discover how appropriately suited the Gothic tale was to the manic moods of my favorite time of year.  I won't bore you with a totally useless book review.  I always thought, if I'm not supposed to judge a book by its cover, then why would I base my decision to read it on someone else's opinion? 
Besides, how many books have you had fully ruined by reading an overly extensive review? I'm talking to you, Amazon.com reviewers -- it's a merchandise review for an online shopping mecca, not your thesis! My disdain for online shopping, and smug book reviewers aside, I really enjoyed this book, but I'm into stories based on actual places that the author had a real history with ... and I dig a guy who can rival me for run-on sentances. By this standard alone, I knew from the first page this would be a match made in Heaven!

I highly recommend this book if you're in the mood for a nice little mystery, and if the oversaturation of woods such as "plebian," and "beseech" will help you purge the airhead vernacular of today's "literature" *cough*LizGilbert*cough* from your brain before it turns to goo!

Next on deck:  Jane Austen's Persuasion, which is said to be Pride and Prejudice's more mature sister ... a book that completely bored me to tears in High School, and coincidentally made me unjustly hate Collin Firth for the better part of his carreer.  It wasn't until adulthood that I figured out Jane Austen was actually funny, ironic, and sarcastic without being overly cynical.  Another triumph of the institution of American education which firmly adhered to the philosophy of force feeding us the teacher's opinion, and cramming us full of facts solely to be regurgitated back as test answers.  I'm excited nonetheless to sink my teeth into this new selection!

Happy reading!

xoxo


Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Toast!

You're invited to help me celebrate the beginning of the Holiday Season with The Longshoreman's Daughter's new holiday inspired knitted accessories for Fall/Winter 2011-2012!

Photobucket
 

Bing Crosby crooning on the hi-fi, tinkling glasses, crackling fires, northern lights, falling snow, baked goodies, candied treats, and mistletoe...
These are just a few of the ingredients that go into creating the most magical season of the year, and have inspired me to bring you a little collection that I think speaks to Yuletide whimsy, and enchantment.  So deck those halls, roast your chestnuts, and spread some joy to the world, and mebbe wrap up in something snuggly!
xx

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Colors of the Wind


Have you noticed somewhere along the way it has become Fall?

Photobucket
 
It hadn't really occurred to me yet, that is, until I looked outside this week and it was raining golden leaves.  As they swirled, and danced about with their invisible partner I stood silently to watch the display.  It was several moments later when I noticed I'd been holding my breath, almost as if an exhale would've put a stop to the entire production.  I was thankful for the pause.  The calm before the storm, if you will.  I needed it.  I needed to see something beautiful - something occurring without having anything to do with me whatsoever.  The leaves don't need my permission to play with the wind, and the wind certainly isn't asking anyone anything either!  I felt small ... and it was nice.  The time of year has come back around, yet again, and things are changing once more.  Don't forget to let yourself enjoy it.  It's wonderful, I promise!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Last

Friend, whose smile has come to be
Very precious unto me,
Though I know I drank not first
Of your love's bright fountain-burst,
Yet I grieve not for the past,
So you only love me last!

Other souls may find their joy
In the blind love of a boy:
Give me that which years have tried,
Disciplined and purified, -
Such as, braving sun and blast,
You will bring to me at last!

There are brows more fair than mine,
Eyes of more bewitching shine,
Other hearts more fit, in truth,
For the passion of your youth;
But, their transient empire past,
You will surely love me last!

Wing away your summer-time,
Find a love in every clime,
Roam in liberty and light, -
I shall never stay your flight;
For I know, when all is past
You will come to me at last!

Change and flutter as you will,
I shall smile securely still;
Patiently I trust and wait
Though you tarry long and late;
Prize your spring till it be past,
Only, only love me last!

Elizabeth Akers Allen 1832-1911

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Reading

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but when I saw these on the clearance rack how could i resist?  I think somewhere between how do I love thee, and apple picking, these guys have got the season covered.  I love a good Summer read these days, but when I was a kid you couldn't find a more befitting form of torture!  I couldn't reconcile sitting around reading about something when I'd rather be out actually doing something, but now I can't think of a nicer way to relax than soaking in some sunshine, and reading a few lovely lines.
I'm pretty particular about the kinds of things I like to read, I've never been able to pick up just any ol' book and get into it.  That's not to say that everything I read is some award winning, soon to be classic either.  I like rich, full stories written in such a way that involves most, if not all of the senses.  Which is why I was a little skeptical trying out Read it Forward.  Every so often they add a new book to their line-up where you can score a free book to read and pass on typically before it hits bookstores.  What's not to like ... you know, unless of course you don't like the book.  I was lucky with my first attempt.  I signed up for a copy of The Philosophical Breakfast Club, was actually chosen, finished it this week, and loved it!  I was worried it would be smug, sterile, and just factually driven in almost list format, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  It was a full story of four friends, their lives, and how they changed the face of science forever - to this day we still follow the methods they founded.  Anyway, I can't wait to pass it on a story I thoroughly enjoyed!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stretched, Stapled, and Taught

No, I'm not talking about the latest cosmetic procedure, I'm talking about what was delivered to my doorstep yesterday.  Still confused? 


Canvas People was offering a $50 promotional code a couple of weeks ago (which meant a free
8"x10" just pay shipping) so I decided to give it a whirl! The site is pretty user friendly, and straight forward. Just upload your photograph directly to their site, and you're a couple clicks away from having one of your favorite pics stretched onto a canvas. I always recommend doing your own color corrections, and any touch-ups before submitting your photo, but they do offer it as a service if you're a little on the novice side of things. I was nervous to try the service myself, because I knew how I wanted it to look, and I have trust issues!  But I think it worked out pretty well.  Admittedly the canvas did come slightly "damaged" - just a bit on one of the folded corners, and a little dent in the wood frame along the bottom, but nobody's perfect, and it's really not noticeable once it's on the wall, so I'm not turning purple with rage.  Besides, I've painted on canvas, but had never, until now, had one of my photographs on one, so I'm feeling pretty official today, which is possibly putting me in a forgiving mood. 

Overall I'm happy with it, and would totally do it again.  They run all sorts of promotions, and apparently if you're into the whole Facebook thing, you can "Like" them for even better deals, and chances to win contests.  For the price it's an awesome alternative, and more personal option than mass produced, over printed Ikea "art".  I'll stop there before this ends in a Fight Club-esque explosion!

xoxo


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Think Pink!

Yesterday I was a little blue, so today I was thinking pink, and I dare say it worked ... who can be bummed surrounded by this sweet silliness (on a bright, sunny day, I might add!)?

Bringin' back the Barbie toes!
I guess file this under the "Lifestyle" portion of this blog?  This is my most genius "creation" yet!  Toe-socks with the tips cut off, thus making tiny little turtlenecks for my toes.  My feet get super cold when it comes time to paint my nails.  I can't decide if I just have utterly terrible circulation or if I'm so focused on NOT smudging them that I concentrate too much on keeping them "separate" and exposed.  Whatever the problem, I've got a cozy little solution ... you know until I drop dead from PAD at least!


So I took it easy on myself today, emotionally anyway.  Sometimes it's just good to get off your own back once in awhile.  I still struggle with this, but I will say I'm at least getting better with it. 

 I don't know where all these nearly impossible expectations came from, I just know I've had them my entire life.  They can be great for self motivation ... a little rocket fuel to get things going, but it gets exhausting, and is an essential ingredient for good old fashioned burn-out.
For me, air-tight organization is key.  It keeps my brain from

searching (and panicking over) what hasn't been done, what needs to be done, and the whole tornado
of possibilities of what could go wrong because these things weren't accomplished.  I know!  I'm exhausted just reading that sentence!  I'm calling this very short period, the calm before the storm.  I'll be planning everything out for this Fall and Winter over the next couple of days, hopefully knocking a big chunk out tonight if my plan-making stars align (calendar + notebook + really bad, guilty pleasure television).  Forecast looks good so far!  If all this planning goes, er, according to plan (?) maybe we'll get the whole storm to blow over altogether!  Wish me luck. ;-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back to Basics


You're not playing right until you've got sidewalk chalk on your backside!
Every so often, or more like at least a few times a month I slip into my ritual of "overhaul,
shovel out, regroup, and begin again," although I didn't have categories, or tidy little names thought up for it 'til just now, it's something I've done since I don't know when. 

I have the tendency to stress out for the sake of stressing out, it seems.  I try not to identify with it, or allow it to become my "story," but whilst my head is ever reaching toward the clouds, with my feet buried in earth, sometimes I get stretched a little too thin, and have to come back to center to get a grip again ... and sometimes I receive help from the unlikeliest places!

They say, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."  Ok, ok I said that in my yearbook quote, thanks to some guy called Ferris Bueller (I know, lame right?  I used a movie quote *gag*) but I still stand by it!  If you're not enjoying it, you're missing (not only the point, but) "it" completely. 

My winning equation this time?  Quite simply: (Little boy + Sunny day) x (Sprinkler) = AWESOME!  It took me a couple of weeks still to move through the categories listed above, but I'm finally at my Begin Again point, and ready for something new to be born.  Not yet fully recharged, but ready to allow new ideas, new designs, and new creations to flow through me again.  Despite the fact that I'm a highly strung wreck through part of the month (yes, every month), I am thankful that through it all I've been given the ability to slow down, and appreciate everything around me ... even if sometimes I have to be reminded by chasing a soaked critter through a sprinkler (gratitude is a terrible thing to waste)!
When was the last time YOU felt this good?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wrappin' it up!

Here we are at the end of June, and I thought we'd go out with a freebie.  I've worked up an easy to follow set of instructions for a somewhat quick project, and thought I'd share.  This is a perfect Beginner pattern to learn, and even better for the yet-to-begin-ner, so if you've been too timid to give knitting a try grab some needles, and let's go!



We're going to be making, what I call, the Pouch Hat since it looks a little like a sack to stow some treasures in.  It's a bit of a throw back to 90's fashion - Grunge, but cleaned up!  While I know not everyone shares my obsessive love of floral dresses over long sleeved t-shirts, clunky boots, and vulgar amounts of flannel, this hat easily coexists with trendier pieces in even the most updated wardrobe ... and is soon to be my newest favorite!


Yarn: Cherrycola by Red Heart

Materials:
Knitting needles size 9 (5.5 mm)
Yarn used in photo: (1 skein per hat)
Color: Marrakesh by Red Heart
Color: Oatmeal by Vanna's Choice for Lion Brand
Large-Eye Blunt End Needles 6-Pack

Cast on 84 stitches.

Work entire piece in Garter stitch (knit every row) until it measures 12.5" from needle to cast-on edge. 

Bind off. 

Next cut your yarn leaving a long enough tail to sew up your seam once you've folded your work in half with the wrong sides facing each other.  (How can you tell if it's the right or wrong side?  Look at your cast-on row, the right side should lay nicely with your other rows in a tight little twist.  The wrong side is "loopy" looking.)

Sew your seam, but reverse it for approximately the last 3" of your piece by turning your newly formed tube right side out, and finishing the seam from this side.  This will give you a finished looking cuff when you fold it up.


For the cord to cinch your hat, crochet a single chain, or create a single row of successive slip knots using your fingers.  The length depends on how large you want your bow to be, but a good starting point is approximately 24.5". 

Thread the tail of your cord through your large-eye blunt needle.  *Measuring down 2" from the bind-off end of your hat begin feeding your cord through the hat, skipping over 3 or 4 stitches.  I rock my bow to the side, so I didn't begin feeding my cord through the dead center front of my hat.  Using your seam as the center back guide to your hat, measure in about 5" and begin feeding your cord. 

*The cord for the oatmeal colored hat was started 1.5" down from the bind-off edge of the hat.

Weave in your yarn ends, and voila!  You've got a new hat!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Did Somebody Say...

SUMMER?!?!


The weather this weekend has been exceptionally gorgeous, and you know there's only one thing to do on such an occasion (in my book anyway)! 
That's right! Load up and hit the beach, even if it's just a little sliver along the Sound. People 'round
these parts KNOW you don't waste a sunny day inside, no matter what.  No, that's not me on the sailboat -- I wish, I'd be having a total Duran Duran, Rio moment if I had one (when I have one).  Knowing how to sail might be slightly important though...
We were landlubbers this time, well for the most part, that is!  My dad's wife teases me -- when I see a beach I act like I'm about five years old.  This is no secret!  Shoes off.  Pants rolled up.  Soaked by a rogue wave.  Not only do these things happen every time, it's just expected by now.  I wouldn't have it any other way!  Besides, Puppy couldn't have ALL the fun...


xoxo

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Scream

Admittedly not very effectively whilst shoveling this into my gullet, but still...


Sometimes vanilla ice cream just seems to solve all the world's problems ... but make it vanilla caramel swirl ice cream topped with piping hot, home made applesauce, and you've got a transcendental experience on your hands!  There's a lot happening in the bowl, and I had to be quite quick on the camera's trigger since the whole point of this dessert is for the applesauce to be hot like a fresh pie out of the oven, but to eat it before the whole thing melts into a weird sugary soup. 

I happily report: crisis averted!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Everything's Coming Up Roses (fooor meeeeEEEEeeee!)

I've never really been a roses kind of gal, but I could be if this keeps up!

The picture isn't doing it justice, trust me, the bloom was larger than my outstretched hand (spider's legs fingers included).

I had an uncle who loved roses, I'm not really sure why.  He never told me.  I never asked.  But we all knew he thought they were beautiful, and they were his favorite of all flowers.  I think I can see why, now. 

There's something so safe in the reserved nature of a tightly rolled bud.  Long, and sleek; protected.  In full bloom there is also much to appreciate.  Vulnerability at its best, I think.  Delicate, open, and unafraid all at once. 

If "HERE I AM!" could be screamed without causing a sound, I think she's figured out how to do it.

By the way, if you want lots of little deliveries you're not supposed to talk about go here, and see if you qualify!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Christmas in June

Sneaking a peek at a partial Winter 2011 color pallet

I've had several deliveries this week ... one I'm not allowed to talk about (what a tease!), one I'm not ready to talk about (just a little longer), and the one seen above!  It's felt like a veritable Christmas Day around these parts, which is pretty appropriate since this last delivery is all about preparing for the holiday season on Etsy.  What has hot-pink, hairy, Muppet-like yarn got to do with Christmas, you ask?  Well, my deahs, just yoo wait and see! ;-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Breakin' Up is Hard to Do

Engaged in a little re-organizing tonight I came across these gems ... they don't look like "gems" anymore, they've definitely seen better days, but I never had the heart to throw them out.  Tonight, however, I found the courage to finally tell them it's over.
I'd say after 14 years it's well past expiration, granted I probably haven't worn them in the last ten, making it even sillier that I've hung onto them for so long, lugging them from place to place, ensuring safe lodgings in the back of closets.  It was time, my poor dust covered flower shoes with their broken buckles, worn soles, and scuffed toes - they're so deliciously 90s though, aren't they?  No, no I can't ... I have to end it for real this time, I can't take this yo-yo relationship anymore - taking each other for granted, it's just too much ...
... Though, I find myself hanging onto an old love letter or two.  What can I say?  So here I'm sat with peppermint tea, graham crackers, and a late night viewing of Gidget (one of my all time favorite movies) licking my wounds.  But it's nothing a wholesome movie with a wonderful lesson can't cure, you know, if you can get past the antiquated quips on gender roles to see that you always win when you have the courage to be yourself.  Little Gidg's fatal flaw?  Going with Moondoggie when Big Kahuna is the clear choice, but I won't hold it against her.  Now if only surf lessons came with a swingin' pipeline soundtrack!
xoxo

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sweater Song

Two-ish weeks in, and here's what we've got ... me standing on a coffee table, oh yeah and a nearly finished sweater, the back view anyway.  So I'm following the Lionbrand pattern #L0613, if you're a knitter or interested in following along or trying it out yourself.  It's slated to be knit with wool yarn, which totally was not going to work for me, instead I swapped it out for 9 skeins of this (color: oatmeal) which turned out to be a perfect trade off gauge wise. 

I'm not exactly sure why I fell in love with this pattern, or wanted it to be my first sweater, but there was just something about it that made it a bit timeless to me anyway - a little bit now, a little bit '70s, a little kimono-ish like a shrunken down Poiret opera coat all in one, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  And I'm not disappointed I did, I've learned a lot of things I didn't know before to tuck into my repertoire so I can move on making garments of my own design, and that's never a bad thing!

The sweater bug first bit me back in 2009 when this was gracing news stands everywhere I looked.  You'll notice what I'm knitting now is nothing like it, BUT it is a sweater, and once I'm finished I think I'll be able to step it up and figure out how to create my very own variation of that hot-pink dream come true!  We'll see, but before that day comes I've got one collar, and two front ribbed bands to finish on this guy ... stay tuned!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Are You Doing?

Knitting a sweater.  Best line from a mediocre film with great dancing, and terrible writing
otherwise known as Center Stage.  Anyway it's what I'm doing right now ... or attempting, at least. 

This is my first ever sweater, from a real life pattern, not just something I've made up in my head and try to force into existence even though I don't know what I'm doing.  I thought I'd try one pattern before going and doing all that this time.  Day one (Monday) I was already confused by the pattern instructions and went ahead emailing the company for clarification after googling around like a maniac unable to find an answer.  The response I received was very cordial, but to cut to the chase, it basically told me to read the front page of the instructions, and I'd find my answer leaving me shocked and amazed that I had just, in fact, asked the dumbest question ever.  A pretty strong statement considering I don't believe ANY question is stupid ... that is, unless the answer can be found on the FIRST page of the instruction sheet, and you just emailed the company for an in-depth explanation that, you guessed it, is perfectly illustrated ON THE FRONT PAGE of the pattern instructions. 

If nothing else I gave myself a good laugh, and I'd like to imagine the customer service rep responsible for emailing the response to me won some kind of office pool for dumbest question ever answered and she was, in turn, the recipient of a free round of drinks after work.  At least that's how it goes in my head. 

By day two the back panel was finished ... I get a little obsessive like that when I start something new.  Wednesday I found myself resting what is best described as my knitting "claw" ... I couldn't hold out for a classic seventh day rest, but I'm convinced God was never a knitter, however late in the evening I found myself casting on 50 new stitches to start one of the front panels.  I know, I know, I'm taking it easy this time though.  I figure by the time you have to drag out the minty scented sports cream for your knuckles you're over doing it just a bit!

So far so good though, I'm a bit excited, maybe a little too excited for something the color of oatmeal, but I believe there's no such thing as boring neutrals, only boring people.  Hopefully I still believe that when this is finished!

xoxo 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Still Waiting for the Out Like a Lamb Part...

*Looks outside* 

Well here we are in April (already?) and for all you faithful readers I regret to inform you I'm still waiting for my monthly prank call from my mother - she didn't even leave me any instant messenger bombs!- if nothing happens in the next couple of hours I'll have to file a missing persons report. 

I figure today's as good as any to share a couple of recipes.  Yay you!  Ok, so you're looking at the picture and asking, "Girl, do you really drink your breakfast from a champagne flute with a heart shaped fun-straw, and eat strawberries from a crystal bowl all served on a little silver platter?"  Not every breakfast.  Thing is, my 7/11 big gulp cup with a female wrestler on it didn't exactly visually translate.  I do, however, make a fruit smoothie most days for my breakfast, and not one of those icky ones with wacky junk that tastes like it should be served in a feed bag.  No dear, mine taste like they could be served at a beach resort, and if you close your eyes you can almost make out the faint tinkling of a friendly little steel drum.  The point, while it may not be drink your breakfast from a champagne flute, is most definitely to take a moment to spoil yourself, and do special things to make your day a little more magical.  Besides, who doesn't want an excuse to sing about putting limes in coconuts?  So, get out your blender - here we go!

Stormy's Super Awesome Morning Beverage Extravaganza!
(Title subject to change)
Serves 2
(or one very thirsty girl!)

8 - Ice cubes
2 - Large bananas (or 3 small)
3 oz- Blackberries (enough to fit in your palm)
4 - Strawberries quartered
1 - Orange juiced
1- tsp Lime juice
1 inch piece - Ginger root grated
1 pinch - Stevia or any natural sweetener
depending on how sweet you like it.
1/4 cup - Coconut milk

Fill the rest of the blender pitcher with water almost to the top of the fruit, pulse a few times, and liquefy, and that's it!  This exact recipe makes almost 5 cups, or 1.25 litres. 

Once you get comfy making these, play around with what's in your fridge!  Switch out the berries, try more water, less water, more ice ... customize it to fit your morning needs.  Another great addition is 1 Tbs Aloe Vera juice to aide in digestion.  The combos, and possibilities are really endless, but I've found after much trial and error that this recipe really is a simple and tasty jumping off point, and is perfect for anyone with dairy allergies, or not interested in using yogurt. 

This next recipe is even simpler, and excellent for relieving cold and flu symptoms.  So get out your favorite mug, and get your water heating!

1 - Orange juiced
1 inch piece - Ginger root, grated
1 tap of cinnamon

Put your water on to heat just below a boil, while it's doing its thing juice your orange into your favorite mug for a vitamin C blast, and mild sweetener (let's face it, we all turn into big babies when we're sick, and don't want to drink anything "icky"), add just a tap of ground cinnamon (not a full shake on your shaker, but just tip it and give it a little tap with your finger - just a sprinkle), next grate your ginger root into the mug.  If grated ginger bits are going to bug you, grate it into a small strainer, and once your water is hot pour it into your mug through the strainer filling your cup the rest of the way. 

Now here's what you need to know about this recipe, downing this concoction is like having Chuck Norris kicking the stuffing out of your congestion, and you'll be coughing things out as if you're waking out of an exorcism in no time!  Which is excellent for getting well, but something you want to be ready for. 

Bottoms up!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Springing Ahead!

Though I don't know exactly how much "springing" I'll be doing, at least things look like they're
going to be a little less dismal around here ... even if it is just 5 minutes in between rainstorms.  Spring is actually trying to happen, and for once in my life (entire life, no joke) I am thrilled to the core for Daylight Savings.  I'm a fall back kinda gal, but skipping ahead an hour couldn't have come a moment too soon for me.  La Niña is workin' my last nerve this year, as if I don't have enough to deal with in the middle of March's mood swings!

xoxo

Monday, February 28, 2011

Groundhogs are Liars

Who knew?  I mean, they look trustworthy enough.  I could just be cranky since every cold, crisp yet sunny day seems to bring with it another week of rain, dark skies, and even snow leaving me to wonder will this winter ever end?  Did I just say that?  I LOVE winter ... but even I have limits.  I'm ready for something else.  I've got a terminal case of cabin fever, and I'm itching from the inside out for something other than "sog". 

Everywhere I look, soggy skies, soggy trees, soggy doggy, soggy shopping bags, soggy ... well entirely anyway.  But because once it came off my needles, and directly after that moment of "Oh God, did it work?" when I situated it atop my head I gasped with delight, "Perfect!"  And since then, this little guy's been everywhere with me.  Not too big to stuff into a purse as you're running out the door, and definitely not too cumbersome to throw on even when the temperature isn't tooth rattling.  Goldilocks herself couldn't have seen this one coming, especially if she's a reader 'round these parts. 

actually, I've been staying quite dry thanks to this little gem:  I've adequately dubbed The Perfect Hat - not because of my oh-so-awesome knitting skills, well not

There's something about February, Me, and hats ... probably because I'm bundled up to my eyeballs from now 'til April (and if you're a PNW native then you know that can drag out well into May -- and June, but who's counting?).  This time I've nailed it though, not too bulky, not too wimpy, sleek slim fit, and oversized kitschy upcycled flower made from reclaimed fabrics, and felt derived from post consumer plastic bottles (omgodzorz, it's green too!)

Now if I can stop flapping my gums about it, and get some photos taken they'll be listed here shortly ... stay tuned!

xoxo





Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Poison Tree

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
William Blake

I've never been accused of being an actual Blake fan.  That's not to say he's not a genius - I could easily be a complete literary, and poetic dullard.  I think it's just a matter of taste, and for whatever reason he's just not serving it piping hot in my kind of cup.  However the man's got a point (several, in fact) and I'm not too proud to have a pretty healthy appreciation for it.  I have a very mediocre knowledge of the guy, and even less about what others have to say about the man or his work, but upon revisiting some of his pieces I'm finding a little spark of renewed interest, and picking up on what I believe is dry wit, a clear disdain for hypocrisy, and phony behavior alike, and a keen eye for irony.  I can't not like him for any of these things, surely!

And I started thinking.

Through a superficial reading you might be thinking hey, hey he won!  Speaker 1- Enemy 0 ... victory!  Or, that's what you get for creepin' around my garden stealin' apples!  To me, however, it is plainly a cautionary tale.  What is it that you are nurturing?  What aspects of yourself do you cultivate?  Are you wrapped up in getting even by any means necessary?  If so, what exactly is even?  Isn't even typically a few steps beyond fair to begin with, and if that's true when does enough become enough?  How much must we hurt each other to feel satisfied?  Why does hurting another person satisfy you?  And if we're supposed to love our enemies, why exactly are ya tryin' to kill him?  With each question came another, and another after that one, and yet more were to come as I lay reading the words thinking of myself, family, the world, neighborhood, community, lovers, pets, everything and one ... and this went on for quite a while.  It was then I could admit, this writer's not such a hack after all. 

In the midst of this tornado I had a fleeting thought of my mother.  When I was growing up, and even now she is not unlikely to say (yes say, not ask) "What is it that you're bringing to the table?"  What makes you special?  In a world where half the population is made up of the same things that make you, what is it that sets you apart?  Not exactly pertinent at first, and a bit out of context, but I just kept thinking of the bringing and table part, and envisioned this grand feast, and sprawling table of guests full of anticipation, and a fine silver tray brought forth with large, beautiful apples shining like rubies ... and the vision stopped at that point and the words came to me, if your guests are dining on poisoned fruit from your garden, is it any wonder why they stop coming round for dinner? 

And there you sit, alone, with your tainted bounty. 

I just might end up a fan yet.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Going Guerrilla


Yes, sometimes the creative process is as rudimentary as scribbling on notebook paper with a Bic pen, using a hot chocolate canister's lid to draw the perfect sized circle, and laying it all out on the coffee table.  Thing is, many times you just have to strike while the iron's hot or you lose the idea, drive, ambition, whatever.  I can't tell you how many times a great idea has vanished forever on me simply because I didn't stop what I was doing and take a note, or make a sketch for later. 

I suppose now is when I'm supposed to mention the new year, clean slates, fresh starts, and dare I say it ... resolutions?  Well, I'm not going to.  I think especially in our society, we're quite in love with this idea of the do-over, possibly even greater my generation raised on video games equipped with reset buttons.  Don't like how things are going, hey, start over!  While I do embrace a little of that "philosophy" it's not exactly how things go, now is it?  I like the idea of not allowing yourself to be stuck in a rut, and if you find yourself in one, you can get yourself out of one, and start along a new path, but it's not so cut and dry as pressing the reset button.  You bring along all of your old ideas, and actions, and behaviors that got you there in the first place unless you resolve to change those as well as your direction.  What's that they say?  You can't run away from yourself.  I believe it to be true.  So with that in mind, no resolutions were made this year, just the continuation of what I believe I should be living everyday, which is to strive to be the best version of myself I can every single day.  It sounds really lovely to say, but means nothing at all if I don't actually put it into practice, as with most things. 

Back to the coffee table with this irregular girl to her fast moving, small scale operation of putting the craft back in Craft, quite possibly the dirtiest of words in the world of creating ... you know, ever since someone decided sugar cubes and glue were meant to be used together, and that popsicle sticks were a legitimate medium.  Viva la Revolución!

Until next time,
xoxo



"Be kind. Everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden."
-Ian MacLaren