Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas in the Snow

Here are some photos from my Christmas trip up north. So much snow, and sunshine too.

On Christmas Eve, Dad was out on the tractor plowing the road, and Mom and I were shoveling paths. Or rather, I was shoveling. Mom yelled to me that there were more important things to be doing. Upon investigation, I found that she had been working on this masterpiece: 

The old table in the yard provided a good measure for how much snow there was.

There was a flurry of baking on the 23rd:

Which resulted in pulla (a family tradition) and pies:

I spent the 26th at Tighe & Lisia's, helping Tighe touch up the trim in the parlor, priming the floor in preparation for some real flooring, and admiring this freshly fixed-up french door:

 And finally, a glimpse of my new lodgings:
 Since these photos were taken, the kitchen has been partially unpacked, and I put the legs on the table, but not much else has been unpacked. My time has been mostly devoted to shopping and finishing up moving all of my things from the house (via good friends and Zipcar).

I am so very thankful to have many good memories from this holiday season, in among the really tough ones. Sleeping in my childhood bedroom and watching the snow fall at night by the lights on the outdoor Christmas tree was probably better for my soul than anything else could have been these last few weeks. For the first time, really, I'll be starting a new year along with many other new beginnings- new home, new phase of life. I think I'm going to see 2013 in quietly in my own new place, reflecting on the past year and preparing for the one to come. I'll spend New Year's Day unpacking and organizing, which seems an appropriate way to start the year.

All the best to you and yours this year. May your days be merry and bright! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Flying Solo

Hi Friends. I've been away from blog-land for awhile, because my life has been in upheaval in ways that are hard to write about publicly. I think now I'm ready.

Matt and I broke up on December 4th. I don't like to go into too much detail about my personal life on the blog, but I want to acknowledge here that it was not a one-sided thing: we both were in a place where we were hurting each other by trying to be true to ourselves, if that makes sense. Ultimately we could no longer be the partners each other needed, and some of our fundamental differences had become extra clear over the last year or so and were not compatible. We both agreed that this is the best thing for both of us, it gives us both the best chance at a life where we don't feel we have to compromise on things that are part of our core, fundamental needs. Logic aside, it breaks my heart and has been incredibly hard to come to grips with not being with Matt, after four and a half years as a couple. He is my best friend, but currently we are in only moderate contact and trying to figure out how to start our new separate lives.

I made the decision to be the one to move out of the house and find a new place to live. I love that house, and am so sad to leave behind the chickens and the garden and everything there, after all the work we put in, but I am needing to be on my own, in my own space. After staying with my cousin while madly searching for a place to live, I am now in my own little apartment, sans garden, chickens, or roommates, but with all my own things, as crazily scattered around as they are (thanks to an extremely generous friend (Hi, Lydia!), moving of the majority of my stuff was completed on Thursday, but unpacking is another story). New beginnings.

I have spent a lot of time with my family over the last few weeks, and I can't tell you how wonderful and healing that has been. I flew up for several days in the snowy woods with my parents right after the break-up, then came back to Portland and stayed with my cousin while searching for a place to live. Then I went back to the homestead for Christmas with my parents and Tighe and Lisia, where we had a nice low-key celebration in a log house buried under two and a half feet of snow. It was so, so good.

From here, I begin navigating a new phase of my life, on my own, with heartbreak and sadness, but also with hope. I have a week in which to get my little nest in order before school starts up again, which is an overwhelming thought, but I look forward to the organizing and rearranging involved in figuring out how to best run my new little household. There is some shopping to do, some replacing of things that were left with Matt, and a little bit of stockpiling in preparation for going back to school. After a few weeks of limbo, I have my own solid floor under my feet, and tasks ahead that will help me feel grounded again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Slow Stitches

I am a very slow knitter. I learned to knit about three years ago, but I am very start-and-stop about it, and can still count on two hands the number of items I have knitted. I really enjoy knitting, but I am a situational knitter- I tend to do most of my knitting either on road trips or on visits to my parents. I rarely actually sit down at home to knit. Partially because of time, and partially because at this point knitting still takes enough of my brain power that it is difficult for me to concentrate on it with anything else going on.

BUT- awhile ago I finished my first non-square, non-flat knitted item!

A simple cotton baby hat, my first venture into the word of double-ended needles, and I am quite proud of it. It was really quite easy, but next time I'll use a bulkier yarn that doesn't take so long to add up. The dimensions are questionable, however- it would fit a very big baby!

I actually started it back in July...
Driving east near Boardman, Oregon, on our way to Spokane

And finished it in late August...
Driving north on I-5 near Kalama, WA, on our way to the Olympic Peninsula

And didn't remember to post about it until now. 

I finally finished a waffle-weave dishcloth I started back in August:
I finished it at Mom & Dad's over Thanksgiving, although I spaced out and screwed up the pattern in the last inch or two (it being a dishcloth, I didn't go back to fix it :) 

This week I cast on for another one. Maybe I'll finish this one by the time I graduate! :)

Slow or not, I really love knitting, and have the goal of being able to knit substantial baby clothes by the time I actually have babies of my own. In the meantime, I have a couple other babies to knit for. Over my winter break, I will be knitting a couple of squares for a community baby blanket for a classmate who is due in January. Then I'll start working on something for another little one who is due in the summer. Maybe at some point I'll even get it together to join Ravelry for some more inspiration! Until then, slow stitches it is.