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Sun, Space, and Moving South

My eyes snap open at 8:33 am, and it takes me a moment to remember why I feel so happy and excited. Why there is bright sunshine streaming in through the window and birds chirping outside in early April. All of a sudden I remember, and then cannot wipe the smile off my face as I lie on my air mattress, taking it in all over again.

I moved to North Carolina yesterday.

Some highlights from the combined 30-hour trip:

  • In Pennsylvania, I heard the Third Eye Blind song Semi Charmed Life five times – a confusing occurrence, since that song was released in 1997.
  • In Virginia, a whiteout snow storm forced us to stop for the night at 8:30 pm, which, as two Vermonters moving to North Carolina, we found to be a pretty funny circumstance.
  • The Blue Ridge mountains, cloaked in fog and snow, were our companions on Friday morning when we got back on the road. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
  • There was a very definite moment when things turned from brown and grey to green and sunny. It was somewhere in southern Virginia, and it was a delicious, thrilling moment.

We arrived to a mountain of paperwork at our new apartment complex, which included a list of emergency maintenance situations that are the ONLY reasons to call maintenance after hours. One, in particular, gave us a chuckle: “If you have no air conditioning and the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, OR if you have no heat and the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Emergency. No heat. 60 degrees.

In our new place I have a room devoted just to my crafts (and Brandon’s computer. And guests who come to stay. But mostly the crafts thing.) We have more space than we’ve ever had before and we’re having a fun time figuring out what we’re going to do with it all. Between that and the sunny weather, I think we’re already half in love with North Carolina.

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April 8, 2013 · 1:51 pm

Life’s Big Questions

Questions to ponder at 1:15am on a work night:

Why am I unable to write anything decent before 10pm on weekdays? Also after 10pm and on weekends? Why does Brandon not being here make me so much more freaked out about our apartment? How am I going to get through the next three months without sleeping? Why don’t I knit everything on size 10 needles and have every project come together as quickly as this hobby horse is? I should do more latch hooking. (not a question, but true.) Why do I have to be up in less than five hours? Why is money a thing? How can Paul Ryan be so attractive, yet so scary? Does anyone in the Burlington, Vermont area want to watch my two ferrets for the next three weeks? Why doesn’t November directly follow August? What should I get my Masters degree in? Can I get a part-time job that pays $15-$20/hour? How can I find a career I love? What is it about chocolate and peanut butter that is so frakking good? How can the U.S. land a rover on Mars in just a few years, but they can’t get high speed trains back home? How do I fall asleep right now when I’m so wired? Why can’t I think of better questions? How does Neil Degrasse Tyson know so many things?

Etc.

If anyone knows any of the answers to these questions, please let me know in comments!

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August 13, 2012 · 5:28 am

My Nephew’s Birthday Present

Today was a great day! Why? Because I went to work for 8 hours and then followed it up with an hour of filling out tedious paperwork! Just kidding, it’s because my fall issue of Interweave Knits arrived in the mail, and with it, an idea for my nephew’s birthday present! My nephew is turning 2 in September, and picking out his present is a big freaking deal. Not only is he the most adorable, clever, fun, and sweet nephew ever (other than my other nephew, Riley), but he lives three and a half hours away, putting me pretty close to the top of the list of World’s Most Terrible Aunts. I don’t get to see him that often, and when I do, I feel like we just start to form a bond and then I have to leave again. It breaks my heart every time. Which is why picking out the perfect birthday present is so important! And I am hoping I found it.

First of all, let me just say that a subscription to a good magazine is one of the best gifts I can think of (though this is NOT the gift I’m getting for my nephew), which is why I am so happy that I was given a subscription to Interweave Knits for Christmas. In my opinion, they produce some of the best content, and some of the best, cutest, and – most importantly – most wearable* clothes of any knitting magazine I’ve seen.  Add to that their great online presence with excellent free content and videos, along with their attention to other crafts in addition to knitting, and I think they offer the best bang for your buck. Plus, there is the major point that I consistently like their patterns more than most other magazines, which tend to be hit or miss for me.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t overly fond of many of this issue’s patterns because they just didn’t happen to be my style, but the ones I liked I fell in love with. And one of these, is going to be my nephew’s birthday present. What is this magical item, you ask? It’s a hobby horse, and it’s freaking awesome.

For those of you who do not know what a hobby horse is, the ones you buy in the store look something like this:

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You can purchase this one at http://www.sunny-bears.com/inv/gund/hobby-horse.php

And the ones you make at home look something like this:

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This one can be found at http://www.ms-notsoperfect.com/2011/04/bugz-horsefly-costume.html

Mine was named Trigger; he was made by my mother and was loved to death. We still have him, but I think he’s missing a few facial features at this point. The point of this toy is that a small child with a humongous imagination will straddle this stick, hold it with one hand and the ‘reins’ with the other, and gallop around on his or her ‘horse’, having all kinds of dangerous and wonderful adventures. I loved this toy, and I am hoping my nephew will as well. It is coming at a good time, I think, considering his new fascination with ‘skipping’, which tends to look more like a gallop anyway.

I will post a pic as soon as I can, but for now suffice it to say that this one is very colorful, with a fair isle motif in big blocks of color all over it, and a funky blue mane sticking out the back!

*By this I mean that many knitwear designers either go too simple with their clothes, so they’re boring to knit and to wear, or too complex so the clothes just look silly and no one except a super model or movie star would actually wear them out in public (I’m looking at you, Vogue Knitting.) Interweave Knits strikes a good balance by featuring beautiful clothing that is complex and interesting, but has classic lines and styles that anyone would feel chic and comfortable wearing. This, I think, is the mark of truly good design.

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July 27, 2012 · 1:52 am