Apr 25, 2008


Unrealized plans
Unrealized dreams
Unrealized for a reason
a good reason
a true reason
But sadness exists as I remember these plans and dreams that go unrealized

They happen in different ways
With different people
It is not the same
It could never be the same
So today I shed these tears for those things that will go unrealized

Apr 22, 2008

a nose in need deserves puffs plus, indeed

I have officially cried my first tears about leaving Santa Cruz. At our staff meeting today we went around saying our prayer requests and at the mere mention of them I stood up to get a napkin [Starbucks napkins really are not the softest out there]. A big lump made its way up my throat and my vision was blurry from tears. I had everyone else go first just so I could get to a place where I could speak in something that more than dogs could hear because when I cry my voice shoots up about four octaves. I took a deep breath, and for a moment I thought I'd get through my prayer requests without crying.

Yeah right.

Leaving my family in the Pacific Northwest two and a half years ago was so much different. It was a little sad, but it was mostly exciting. Yay, Haley's leaving for a California adventure! It was the summer that Hawk Nelson's "Letters To the President" came out and their song "California" was on a constant rotation in my head and on my CD player. It was my celebratory anthem. Pack up and move to California? What a great idea, I'll see you guys there.

Leaving my family here is disparate. I have no frame of reference for leaving people I am not related to but still call family. I am not guaranteed Christmas or birthday celebrations with them once I leave this place. I, of course, intend to return, to visit, to keep in contact, but there are no assurances that these things will happen.

So I begin to mourn the loss of their constant presence. I begin to mourn the ability to call up friends for a spur of the moment cup of coffee, early morning run, late night cliffside chat, afternoon movie, meandering stroll, chaparral hike. Favorite coffee shops, restaurants, running routes, benches will be remembered rather than visited.

How do I say goodbye to my family?

How do I say goodbye to these places?

Apr 19, 2008

seed stitch [part deux]

I just sold my first hat. I just sold something I made. I always give BFF a hard time because she tries to sell the things she makes for dirt cheep. Now I love a good bargain as much as the next person and I'm not trying to encourage her to sell her stuff for any exorbitant price. I just don't want her to every undervalue her creativity. Then I was asked what I wanted for the seed stitch hat I made. Gulp. Putting a price on my own creativity, on the manifestation of an idea is much harder than I ever thought. But I did it.

I want to add that for the patter of the seed stitch hat 75 stitches is probably too many unless you have an unusually large noggin. I would think that 70 stitches is probably good. Or you could just use a smaller needle. That does take a bit of the fun away though. I love how quickly a project goes on my 11s. I also love how nubby it makes the seed stitch.

Quite the day...

seed stitch

I love the seed stitch pattern. I see it and I get all cozy inside. I've been wanting to make a hat with this stitch pattern for ages, but the challenge that I felt decreasing and closing the hat would present kept me from it for quite some time. I'm not sure what exactly made me realize I was up to the challenge, but a few weeks ago I bought some beautiful cream colored wool [can't remember the brand and have since tossed the tag], pulled out my size 11 needles and cast on 75 stitches.

This hat is one of my favorites, maybe just because I've been dreaming about it for so long. I thought I had the decrease figured out and had chosen to knit three stitches together so I could keep up the alternation of knits and purls that the seed stitch requires. I was not happy with the way it was looking, so I put it aside thinking I'd either give in and just keep on knitting three together or that I'd come up with some other creative solution.

I was on Highway 1 somewhere between the Morrisey and Highway 17 exits when it came to me. I remembered seeing, what I would consider, a decorative decrease [a decrease done a beautiful but obvious way so it becomes part of the charm of the piece] in a pattern I'd gotten from Sarah SD a few months ago. I thought, and maybe even exclaimed aloud, "Oh I could totally do that!" So I did. And here is the finished result.

So here's the pattern:
Cast on 75 stitches [men's hat] on size 11 circular needles.
Row One: K1* P1 K1 P1 [repeat from *]
Row Two: P1* K1 P1 K1 [repeat from *]

Alternate rows one and two until the piece measures about 5 inches from CO and then begin decreasing
Row One: Continue in seed stitch pattern for 11 stitches then, depending on the row you're on, P2tog K2tog [or K2tog P2tog if that's what will continue the seed stitch pattern]. Continue decreasing this way for the rest of the row 11 stitches, then K2tog P2tog or vice-versa so you continue in the seed stitch until you get to the end of the row. You should have 65 stitches on your needles at this point.
Row Two: Complete row without decreasing.
Row Three: Continue in seed stitch pattern for 9 stitches. Then P2tog K2tog [or vice-versa so you maintain the seed stitch pattern]. Continue decreasing this way for the rest of the row, K2tog P2tog every 9 stitches until the end of the row. You should have 55 stitches on your needles at this point.
Row Four: Complete row in seed stitch without decreasing.
Row Five: Continue in seed stitch pattern for 7 stitches. Then P2tog K2tog [or vice-versa so you maintain the seed stitch pattern]. Continue decreasing this way for the rest of the row, K2tog P2tog every 7 stitches until the end of the row. You should have 45 stitches on your needles at this point.
Row Six: Complete row in seed stitch without decreasing.
Continue in seed stitch pattern for 5 stitches. Then P2tog K2tog [or vice-versa so you maintain the seed stitch pattern]. Continue decreasing this way for the rest of the row, K2tog P2tog every 5 stitches until the end of the row. You should have 35 stitches on your needles at this point.
Row Eight: Complete row in seed stitch without decreasing.
Row Nine: Continue in seed stitch pattern for 3 stitches. Then P2tog K2tog [or vice-versa so you maintain the seed stitch pattern]. Continue decreasing this way for the rest of the row, K2tog P2tog every 3 stitches until the end of the row. You should have 25 stitches on your needles at this point.
Row Ten: Complete row in seed stitch without decreasing.
Row Eleven: Maintaining your seed stitch K2tog P2tog K2tog P2tog, or vice-versa if necessary to maintain pattern, for entire row.
You should have 15 stitches on your needles. Now it's time to finish off the hat. Take a tapestry needle and thread the long end of the yarn through it. Then thread the yarn through the remaining stitches a few times. Pull the yarn through the top centre of the hat and weave in the loose ends.

Oh my goodness I have so much respect for people who write knitting patterns on a regular basis. If this doesn't work for you, if you have questions as you're attempting this please let me know. Oh, I know I said that 75 stitches fits a man's head, and it really does, I tried the hat on and it's too big for me. Good thing I wasn't making it for myself. I think somewhere between 70 and 72 stitches is good for a woman's head. This, of course, means that you'll end up with different numbers of stitches between decreases and at the end of each row you decrease. To figure out how to decrease just take the number of stitches you cast on originally and divide it by four or five [whichever it divides into evenly]. Take that number and subtract four and you'll know how often you have to knit and purl stitches together.
Example: 75 / 5 = 15 15-4 = 11; 65 / 5 = 13 13-4 = 9; 55 / 5 = 11 11-4 = 7; and so on and so forth.

Okay, I hope this makes sense. If not at least I realized my dream of making a seed stitch hat.

Apr 13, 2008


I should mention that I didn't come up with that whole "trust the captain, trust the crew" title on my own. I got it from watching Anne Lamott speak two weeks ago. And she got it from an episode of West Wing. And then she got it tattooed on her leg.

I should mention that going to this event was amazing.

Prior to hearing her and Elizabeth Gilbert [author of Eat, Pray, Love] speak/dialogue I got to enjoy a lovely drive with BFF from Santa Cruz to Bodega Bay. I have to say that we always have a great time in the car together. There's good music, good conversation, and I generally cry on our longer drives, and this drive being a longer one I did cry as we started to talk about dealing with the reality of me leaving.

I got to spend some time with Cousin [Lizzy] and Aunt [Margie] over good food and my new haircut. We enjoyed amazing tortilla chips and the beautiful early spring time weather that Petaluma had to offer us.

I also got to surprise Mamacita and her BFF with my new haircut over a delicious dinner at this amazing Italian restaurant.

The whole day was wonderful. I really should have written about it earlier because I feel like I had so many other things to say about the whole experience that are just no where to be found. They've been lost. It's like Anne Lamott said that night, "You should always have a pen with you because just because an idea is important doesn't mean you're going to remember it." So I've started carrying a pen with me everywhere I go. Just in case....

Apr 8, 2008

trust the captain, trust the crew

Sometimes it is difficult to know where I am headed. I have an idea of the ultimate destination, but I do not know what waits for me between here and there. I know where I am headed now. I know the port in which I am to land. But I do not know what lies in wait for me as I set sail from this sunny port full of friends and family waving and calling, "Bon voyage!" as my boat pulls away from the harbor.

It is possible that the weather will be beautiful. It is possible there will be sunny skies and a favorable wind to get us, my Captain, crew and I, safely to our next destination. Maybe we have enough fresh water and food to get us there without a touch of scurvy or the need to ration our provisions. Maybe we'll be able to rig up a couple of hammocks on deck and take turns napping and reading as we sail from port to port. It might even be the right time of year to see the Gray Whales migrate up north for the summer.

But what if we run into bad weather? What if we encounter Sirens at a moment when I am not well focused on the voyage at hand, but am dreaming of the port that awaits? What if I am drawn to their enchanting music and focus on them and not the dangerous rocks their song seeks to hide? What then becomes of my shipwrecked boat and crew? Is it salvageable? Will we be able to fashion some sort of raft or will we be forced to sit on top of floating luggage, flare gun in hand, until another ship passes by?

As I sit surrounded by my fears I remember that it is not I who captain this ship. The chance and the choice to sail ahead are mine, and on my own the maps, charts and stars confound. But I do not interpret or chart our course alone. I seek the guidance of my Captain and trust the crew He's hired for this journey. He has navigated rougher waters than these, though never before with me in the boat. And so it is with both trepidation and excitement that I ready myself for the journey ahead, thankful for that the Captain of this vessel is not me, but that I am on board and ready to set sail.

Apr 7, 2008

caffeine headache

It's official. I'm addicted. I had my first caffeine headache today. And I hope I never have one again. I suppose I could have remedied it much sooner than I chose to by simply making myself a cup of coffee at home. But then where would my perfect unplanned, all of a sudden day off be. It would mean I wouldn't need to go to Favorite Coffee Shop and sit with my laptop and my thoughts. It would mean I would have to get straight down to unplanned day business after going on a wonderful walk with my housemate in Niscene Marks. It would have meant that instead of watching several episodes of Sex And The City and knitting BFF's leg warmers [they're almost half way done!] I would have had to get directly in the shower and start my day... or worse: clean the disaster area that is masquerading as my room.

I decided that wouldn't do. And I also wanted to really experience this thing they call a caffeine headache for a few hours so I could see what my love of coffee has really gotten me in to. Oh sweet addiction... how much I adore you.

So now I am enjoying my second cup of coffee at Favorite Coffee Shop and am looking forward to the rest of the unplanned all of a sudden day off:
Jeans shopping
New round brush to help with the styling of new short haircut
Perhaps time with BFF
New skein of yarn or two
Movie by myself [one of my favorite guilty pleasures].

I mean really who doesn't love a day that is supposed to be spent at work under florescent light that suddenly turns into a day with no real agenda spent under beautiful April sunshine, with the added perks of good coffee, clothes, and good friends?

Apr 4, 2008

breast feeding

When I was somewhere between the ages of four and five my mom got kicked out of a bakery in Cannon Beach for breast feeding my sister. I have always considered this a great offense. When I think about it I am still appalled they were asked to leave for doing something so natural. It's not like it was overly public. My mom can be very discrete and sneaky when she wants to be, and while I've learned my lessons in modesty, or lack there of, from her I can say with confidence she chose to use discretion at that particular time.

I bring this up because this morning over coffee at my favorite coffee shop (seriously my love for this place and its coffee is bordering on obsession) I looked up to find a mother breast feeding her child. This elicited several emotions:
Shock. I think this is the first time inside a business I've seen this occur.
Embarrassment. Every time I looked up from my computer she was directly in my line of sight and while she's doing this in public it is still a very private thing.
Awe. The comfortability this requires with one's self is impressive.
Love. What a beautiful thing for a mother and child to share.

I am amazed every time I think about birth and children and the ways our bodies are designed to not only produce and grow, but to nourish them. How amazing! Then I start thinking about the fact that my children are already living inside of me, they already, even if very miniscule in size, exist. I can only think about it for a little while before my mind starts to go crazy. I start thinking of myself as a baby factory or something crazy like that. I was created to do more than just produce children, but what an honor to have that be one of the things innate to who I am.

What a gift. What a big decision. Do I, do we, want to consciously choose to bring a new life into this world? I am, of course, no where near being able to make this decision. I mean there are less traditional ways to have children, and it is not a choice to take lightly. But it's not the time. There are other things that need to be produced, nurtured and given time to grow, blossom and bloom before kids enter the picture, become part of my life. And for now those ideas, those dreams are what I hold close, care for, what I nurture and grow.

Apr 2, 2008

betwixt and between

I don't want to be in between anymore. I am tired of living between homes. I am tired of living between families. I am tired of living between one and the other.

I am tired of not being any one place completely. I am in Santa Cruz, but looking ahead to life in Portland. I am an administrative assistant but I am being "phased out" as the end of my employment draws near. I want to be a student but school is still [at least] six months away.

I am tired of looking back at memories and ahead to plans I've made. I wonder if I ever really spend time in the present. If all I have is today shouldn't I be spending at least some time here? But at the same time it is the memories made and the plans ahead that seem to make life so sweet.

I am neither here nor there. And I am annoyed.