Saturday, December 19, 2009

Facing the Shadows

I was not kidding when I mentioned a coming cold, dark season last month. To be honest, the darkness sucks, this time more than most.

Perhaps it's partly because this time, I'm peering into my soul and story intentionally, and in a way that I haven't in many years.

Perhaps it's partly because this time, there are people in my life who matter to me, and whom I supposedly matter to as more than just a face in a crowd. I think it's this part that makes the loneliness deeper and the silence deafening.

Oh wellz.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Final final, finally...

It's an hour before my last exam.
I'm operating on barely 4 hours of sleep.
I've finished my resource sheets.
And I have no clue how I will fare on this crazy final.

It's statistics, of course - which elicits a variety of ridiculous reactions from me... right now, I'm sorely tempted to answer the entire exam in doodles:

(mean square)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An apology. And tea.

So... my last post wasn't intended to be a smash on anyone who likes traditional holiday tunes. I've just realized lately what a propensity I have for disconnection. Some days it's a battle to stay not just physically, but also spiritually and emotionally, awake. Who am I kidding? It's been most days lately, which is why I've taken to just turning everything off. Thus, when I actually turn something on it'd better be good. :-)

I apologize if I offended anyone.

On a kind of giddy note, I like tea.

This time last year, I did NOT like tea. This time last year, I didn't want to even consider tea as a viable beverage option. Oh, but I didn't know what I was missing until this week. :-)

Last spring, I decided I'd give tea a shot & started with the Celestial Seasonings fruity stuff. Why not? There's a tea factory just up the road in Boulder. That was all well and good. I tried some breakfast teas & greys. They were alright too (well, except for the one that tasted like old cigarette smoke smells).

Then my friend Elizabeth gave Jer & I tea for Christmas.

She gave us this stuff:
Tea Gschwendner's Winter Magic
(and their apple pie tea too)

Since I cracked the gift open on Sunday evening and put it to the test, I've had to resist chain-drinking the stuff. It's incredibly delicious. :-)

Thanks, Elizabeth!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Music

You know, sometimes I can get really annoyed at Christmas music. For a decent number of years now, any Christmas-musical sentimentality I have has been tied up in old hymns that remind me what the real story is. (Which is funny, actually, because I spent most of my life despising those dry, boring old hymns for the complete disconnection of belief and action that they represented to me.)

Well... now hymns are anything BUT dry and boring to me, and the Christmas-y ones are no longer confined to Christmas.

Probably about 5 years ago, I got my paws on Your King Has Come, which includes a whole pile of my favorite musicians singing a whole pile of amazing hymns and assorted other awesomes. And in the midst of all the awesomes, I found my favoritest ever Christmas song. Years (and hundreds of listens) later this song still makes me want to dance and cry and be generally absurd for the sheer joy of what God has done and is doing and will do on this broken sphere - and what He offers to the broken souls that walk it.

Without further ado, here's a link to the song:
Jeremy Casella - Joyful Fire

And here are the lyrics (to the best of my understanding):

Bright and shining like the sun
In the middle of a dark, hot night
I was walking through the fields,
I saw it hanging in the sky.

And, oh - some kind of illusion,
I thought I was out of my mind.
This light shone all around me,
It ripped through the dark like a knife -
Just like a knife

There was music in the air
And there was glory in the sky.
I saw an angel of the Lord who said to put my fears aside.
He said, "You've been waiting for a savior,
Well He's born in the city tonight.
You've been walking in the darkness
But you've seen a great light."

And, oh - I swear there were angels
just singing and dancing on high;
This light all around them,
a joyful fire in their eyes.
Oh, love - there was a fire in their eyes.

Oh, love. Oh, love - fire in their eyes

Oh, the righteousness and majesty,
This savior Jesus is our holy king,
Fulfilling every ancient prophecy,
The perfect sacrifice for you and me

So go tell the hungry,
Go tell the poor,
Go tell the widow,
Go tell the broken-hearted,
Go tell the homeless,
Go tell the thirsty,
Go tell the lonely -
the Lord keeps his promises,
the Lord keeps his promises.

* * * * * * *

(By the way, I would highly suggest pretty much all of Jeremy Casella's music. He's incredibly talented and beautifully honest. Check out his website here.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009


It's not often that I get to cram so many favorites into one day:
- great, but mildly unlikely, company
- sweet bike time
- light rail
- knitting
- crisp, clear, cold weather
- soul-searching
- coffee with Jero (I can have coffee again!)

This day was nearly 2 weeks ago and it's been a bit of an anchor in the crazy. God hears my prayers and responds in most surprising ways.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Old Pattern - Kindling Coffee Cuff

A few weeks ago, my husband and I met our friend Becca at the local Caribou Coffee to hang out. I was pleasantly surprised to see a bunch of reusable coffee cuffs, some knitted, hanging around for purchase.

I was also amused... about 2 years ago I made a bunch of my own just for fun but didn't think anyone would want to buy or use one. While re-arranging my craft corner the other day, I stumbled across the pattern I'd worked out for this one:

And so... for your knitting/stocking-stuffing/white-elephant-gifting pleasure, I give you the extremely simple directions for what I decided to name Kindling:

Grab some worsted-weight yarn (like Paton's Classic Wool).
Using US Size 6 or 7 dpns, cast on 36 stitches (a cable cast-on seems to work best!) & distribute them on 4 needles.
Join & knit two rounds in this manner: (K9, p1, k7, p1, k9, p1, k7, p1)

Then repeat this pattern 4 times, or until desired length:
Round 1: K9, p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1, p1, k9, p1, k7, p1
Round 2: k9, p1, k7, p1, k9, p1, k7, p1
Round 3: k9, p1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, p1, k9, p1, k7, p1
Round 4: K9, p1, k7, p1, k9, p1, k7, p1

After achieving desired length, complete last round as follows: (K9, p1, k7, p1, k9, p1, k7, p1)
Bind off.

Here's a shot of the details, sort of:

Happy Knitting & Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 07, 2009


I'm pretty sure that knitter/artist/photographer/designer Jared Flood (of Brooklyn Tweed) is an evil genius.

I've been reading his blog for about two years now, but I've only managed one project that he had a hand in, Smariek's Cap Karma. Granted, I've completed that project about 10-12 times.

Well, I started Koolhaas tonight (sweet hat pattern, check it out), and I'm certifiably addicted. I don't want to put it down, but I really should because it's 1am and I have an early class in the morning. Ah, sweet irresponsibility!! Maybe??

One day, I shall get up the guts to start this or this.

One day, I shall also dust off my camera and take pictures of the projects I've finished lately.