Age(s)

Over the last couple years, I’ve been thinking about age more than I usually am. As you people know, I turned 50 last year, which, oddly, didn’t bother me after all – it was a beautiful summer day and I enjoyed hanging with so many of my besties who were cool enough to come out. But time stops for no one, obviously, and last year marked not only my ominous birthday but also my daughter celebrating her 9th, my husband who’s the same vintage as I am famously not celebrating his, our being in a relationship for 18 years (and married for 16), which is bizarre but lovely, my baby J. whose diapers I used to change getting married, and so on and so forth. Looking at pictures from the Nineties has become a bit surreal, and even the early 2000s not only seem but actually are a long while back.

Is that what getting old is? Looking back on things and people and feeling like all of that happened to someone else?

I still love some of the music from those days, and there’s nothing that can bring back the way we were quite like the playlist I like to call Forever Young. It’s all on there, from the Cramps to the Cure to Hüsker Dü to REM and They Might Be Giants. Ha, and the Queens of Disco too, obviously. Remember Divine? You should ;-). I love that song!

Speaking of which, my son turned 16 a couple days ago. He was gone for 4 consecutive weeks, for an internship out of town, and then his girlfriend’s parents took him snowboarding. He came back taller still, his voice has dropped some more, and he’s being more obstinate than before in his quiet powerhouse way. No wonder it made me think of ‚you think you’re a man‘ …

And that, my friends, is making me feel my own age. I can so remember myself shleping him around as a baby, and seeing him be almost as tall as my husband is whacking me over the head with the fact that we have left those times behind for good. Ugh.

My daughter is 9, and she’s beautiful, smart and a riot – but she still insists on my putting her to bed every night, and braiding her hair, and picking out clothes for her. She’s very much a little girl still. I enjoy that, a lot, but I have to say it’s getting to be such a dichotomy, being the parent of these two. When we had her, my son was only 6, so they were both kids for the longest time. And now it feels more like we’re three parents bringing up a kid together.

With my own parents out of the picture before I even became a mom, I guess I’m experiencing only one half of the typical generational handing down of wisdom, recipes, experience, history … which I’m feeling more acutely now than when I was younger. I have no significantly older friends, no mother or father figure to look up to or hit up for advice. In fact, I tend to steer clear of elderly people, probably because I found so many of them so obnoxiously patronizing when I was younger. Maybe things would be different now that I’ve passed the Rites of the Five-O, maybe not. I only hope I won’t be such a know-it-all when I’m older!

And that’s what I’ve been thinking about over this lunch break. Hope it wasn’t too deep or incoherent for you guys.

I have little else to say today other than that I’ve been working a lot, which will only ease up in May, so I’ll probably not be here a lot over the next couple weeks. I’m sure we’ll all live ;-).

And if you have anything interesting to add, I’ll be very interested to hear it, like I always am.

Here’s a few Valentine’s pics from yesterday:

Oh, and my new RayBan readers 🙂

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Have a good February, everyone.

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What’s on Your Mind?

This is how my template greets me when I log onto wordpress, which is genius, because it’s about as certain to get me talking as the well-tried therapist’s opening question ‚How are you today?‘. It’s a common topos in Science Fiction for the cyber intelligence to ask human beings this question, and as everyone knows who is online more that out in RL, it does the job nicely.

But this is me, actually asking you, dear stitch readers, because I really want to know how you guys are doing and what you’re up to. I hope you rang in the new year with (a) loved one(s), and I wish you all the best for a happy and fulfilling year to come. Despite the highly dubious situation of world politics, I have a good feeling about 2018. I’m not going to brood too much about that, and just enjoy the serenity while it lasts :-).

After a comparatively quiet Christmas, which we spent among our little nuclear family of four (five, if you’re counting the cat, sorry Fritzchen). We didn’t even squabble this time, let alone have any epic fights. Tree was lovely, we didn’t make a big fuss about cooking, and we didn’t celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday _at all_ – because he didn’t feel like it. I did meet his cake request, however, albeit with some trepidation. Therefore I am proud to report I now have a new notch in my baking belt, check it out:
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As you can see, it’s a meringue pie (of the lemon variety), and may I say it was as good as it looked – not always the case when I bake, but you obviously don’t know that because I wouldn’t be showing any shitty looking cakes here, duh.

I also made a couple really really nice salads. IMG_4621Lamb’s lettuce with red beets, radishes, green onions, quail’s eggs and goat cream cheese, dressed with a classical vinaigrette. I made that one twice because we loved it so much :-).

IMG_4671Romaine with green onions, orange fillets, fresh dates, roasted pine nuts and blue cheese, dressed with an orange juice based vinaigrette (guess you could call it an orangette ;-). I made it for New Year’s, with my Egyptian bestie Princess N. in mind.

On the crafts front, I have been sooo busy. I did some knitting for a few people before and over the holidays – notably, these lace knit wrist warmers for my mother in law:

They’re in the knitting book I’m currently working on, a whole book about mittens and gloves and, obviously, wrist warmers, and I simply couldn’t resist wanting to recreate their intricate beauty. I just happened to have a gorgeous skein of baby alpaca/silk/cashmere blend that seemed perfect, and I combined it with a thin off-white merino sock yarn to give it a bit more stability.

I’m not gonna lie, these beauties were a challenge to make indeed. Initially, after a few false starts (my brain had some trouble comprehending the chart) it went relatively smoothly. The first mitten hardly gave me any trouble. But then I didn’t immediately move on to the second – big mistake, as it turned out, because my lizard brain or muscle memory or whichever part of the system must have gotten instant amnesia. I needed to rip up the second one three(!) times, which sucked big time. Had I had any other gift option, I would have thrown in the towel… But with way more stamina and persistence than I usually have, I managed to finish them, and my MIL seems really happy with them. She appreciates my making the effort (as she should, she used to teach crafts in elementary school so she def. knows the drill).

I also made socks, socks and some more socks. Everybody seems to want hand-knit socks this winter, and obviously I always say yes. Here’s the models of the last couple weeks:

Upper left went to my favorite girl in Reykjavík, upper right went to my godson here in town, the wildly colored pattern was obviously for my tiny-footed baby girl, and the elegant purple ones went to my worthy Assistant Children’s Birthday Bash Manager C. for her birthday.

Right now, I’m working on a pair for my son who needs them for the ice skating rink (his home away from home during the winter season). They’re made of a very nice hand-spun and hand-dyed grey sock yarn from my favorite local wool shop, as were the other plain-colored ones.IMG_4730.JPGOne of the wonderful, thoughtful, colorful Christmas gifts I got from my dear friend A. in Frankfurt was this crafts sleeve, complete with notebooks, a pretty ballpoint pen and some really cool utensils – sort of like a Knitter’s Leatherman, you probably know the multi-purpose pocket tool gadgets that my son can’t live without, and this is similarly amazing. IMG_4707So, I don’t know about you people, but in my neck of the woods, we’re experiencing this Exceptionally Dark Winter. I can’t even remember having ever gotten this few hours of sunlight in all the 50 winters I’ve been around. It feels like a small ice age, and I’m hating every day that goes by without my much needed lux fix. Despite that, I’ve made the resolution to take a walk every day this year, come rain or shine, and so far, I’ve been good about it. Some days like today, it was actually a treat, for we did get to see the sun.

Checking out now with some pics I took on January 1st by the lake. Sometimes all you need to get lucky is to have a camera on you and randomly press the release button :-).

Wishing you a great start into a happy New Year 2018!

An Advent Post

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See this little fellow? At the Waldorf school, it’s called a snowflake, and they’re one of our staples that sell like hotcakes at the annual Winter Fayre ;-). We made a new batch this last fall, and now they’re all gone!

Luckily, they’re really easy to make: crochet a little white cap, hot-glue it to the top of a wooden pearl, hot-glue a white feather in the bottom, attach a white thread to the cap, and you’re done. I enjoy these simple crafts things, Lord knows I’m not good at many of them, but these I can actually handle. Aren’t they beautiful?

So, how are you coping with the pre-Christmas madness? This year, it took some doing to get me in the mood. I went through the motions: IMG_4458

Made an advent wreath …

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… filled the kids‘ advent calendar with sweets in time before December 1st …

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… baked the first batch of cookies (not even for our own benefit but for the elementary school’s bazaar) …

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… attended the annual decorating of the Christmas tree at the little park next to the elementary school.

But it wasn’t until the night before St. Nick’s day that I was actually beginning to feel festive. So we have this tradition on December 5th. We shine our shoes and set out a little savory snack (we figure the poor guy must be sick and tired of chocolates and cookies, so we give him pickles, cheese cubes and a glass of wine, or a little sandwich and a glass of milk, and this year he got Granny’s homemade cheese biscuits, cocktail tomatoes and some Scotch ;-)). In the morning, the plate is usually cleared, everyone’s shoes are filled with goodies, and he always leaves a note for the kids.

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Usually, after stuffing the shoes, I have little trouble sitting down and writing in the stern but benign tone of voice ‚he‘ always uses. But truthfully, it took the whole glass of whisky to get me there this year… In the end, feeling a bit buzzed and a lot tired, I was basically channeling my own exhaustion mixed with my great love for the kids. I’d say it was the most authentic letter ‚he‘ ever left (saying the kids were one of the sweetest brother and sister ‚he‘ knew, and to not forget to practice their grammar ;-), and confessing ‚he‘ was almost ready to call it a night … And what do you know, all of a sudden, my Christmas Spirit was back, good as new.

Recent events at the elementary school made a bit of a dent in my good mood – actually that’s a whole other post on human rights – but I’m determined to keep the ugly stuff out and preserve my little bubble of happy wintry pre-holiday things.

Last weekend, I started our annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza by making melt-in-mouth Almond Hearts, the basic recipe for which was stolen from Berlinmittemom’s blog. I recommend that blog for reading about all things urban, stylish, responsible moms with a bit of extra time on their hands might be interested in. Ana Luz is a talented, professional writer – and recipes are actually one of the least frequent occurrences on her blog.

Anyway, I appropriated that recipe a couple years ago, and I’ve been experimenting a bit with it ever since. I’ve added freshly grated nutmeg one year (very nice), two teaspoons of powdered ginger (very British), I’ve loaded the dough with vanilla (classic), and added grated orange or lemon zest (dangerously yummy). It’s a very adaptable recipe! This year, I just added my usual pinch of Fleur de Sel, and lathered the cookies with a bright red, orange juice flavored icing. img_4517.jpg

Other strategies for counteracting the gloomy grey skies out there: I light lots of candles. I cook lots of soups. I make the kids hot chocolate after school. I drink pot after pot of hot tea. And I play music, not while I work, because it messes up my concentration, but in the late afternoons and at night. Listen to this piece and feel thankful with me that there’s people in the world capable of producing such pure beauty:

Parce Mihi Domine by Jan Garbarek & the Hilliard Ensemble from the album Officium

Happy last weeks before Christmas, everyone!

After a Hiatus

It feels like forever since I wrote a post, probably because it has indeed been a while. It’s not even the fact I was busy, although things certainly were a bit crazy the last couple weeks. But the truth is, I didn’t really have anything to say. Not sure I do today, so this may turn out a pointless ramble – guess we’ll just have to see.

For those who actually care: what has been going on with us? I finished a book translation. Reason to be happy, definitely, as well as exhausted – my co-translator and I unwittingly made our lives more difficult than necessary by agreeing to submit the book chapter by chapter – not the greatest idea our editor had there, as it ended up being more work for all involved, writers, editor and graphic designer. We’ll know better next time. Either way, it’s a wonderful book, it’s going to be published before Christmas, and it was a joy (as well as a pain) to work on. Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook, whatever the publishers decide to call it in German – it’s a treasure, and I highly recommend it to anyone spirited enough to brave the knitting charts. Look, even I managed a swatch ;-).

My husband is back to freelancing, after almost two years with the same company. He’s in the process of getting back in touch to let people know he’s available once again, doing the networking routine, having coffees and lunches and reaching out to his contacts. Not his favorite, and I don’t blame him. As everybody knows, these things rarely happen overnight, and there’s a strong element of being in the right place at the right time involved to boot. So he’s in what you might call a perpetual state of aggravation. Again, not blaming him, but we all feel it.

The kids have enjoyed 2 weeks off from school. Lots of sleeping in, very little activity and as much fresh air as they were willing to stomach. The weather has been all seasonal (meaning shitty), and we’ve been holing up at the cottage and feeding the wood-burner. Watching movies, baking, making lasagna and chicken soup, carving a fabulous Jack O’Lantern. Oh, and our spoiled city person of a kitty turned out to be a creature of instinct after all, intrepidly catching two (!) mice in a row. Maybe I’m projecting, but to me she definitely looked smug ;-). Thank God there seem to be no more, for now, and no, I did not take pictures.

In between several frantic absolutely-final proofing cycles, I’ve been knitting socks. Tedious, in a way, but soothing in its familiarity also. I’ve kind of lost my mojo for the Dotty Blanket for now. Maybe it’s a summer thing? I’ve noticed I have a tendency to kind of forget about colors once the summer’s gone. Once it’s cold enough outside for me to require wearing a coat, all I’ll wear is black, grey and sometimes deep red. Maybe I’m hibernating.

Apart from the book, I put in quite a few hours of work at my daughter’s elementary school. We seem to have led a sheltered life: there was hardly ever anything to do as a parents‘ rep the first three years. The kids had a (dedicated and very professional) sweetheart of a teacher, and all was running perfectly smoothly. Now, there are a bunch of – how should I put this – different? new teachers, and the kids‘ first experience with being graded was not pretty. Bravo, educational system, well done. My heart breaks for those kids who don’t have parents with enough time on their hands to pick up the school’s slack at home, which is in effect was they expect us to do. Talked to the German teacher to whom it hadn’t even occurred before that there was such a thing as motivating the kids, or trying positive reinforcement instead of bad grades and putting pressure on them. He’s from Bavaria, ’nuff said. (For non-German readers, this means an ultra conservative, very strict, modern-pedagogics-be-damned school system with such a chip on its shoulder for churning out supposedly superior student material. The rest of Germany considers this to be a huge crock.)

Other than that, most of my friends seem to be going through rough patches. Depression here, breakups and relationship trouble there, pubescent teenagers all over the place … sigh. We’re fortunate in those respects: we’re healthy, reasonably happy most of the time, and our own teenager is treating us with kid gloves, considering. He still has a penchant for putting himself in dangerous situations (roofing!!!), but he’s his friendly old self most of the time, he’s not taking any drugs (I think), he does the work for school (some of it at least), and I actually like his friends. Phew, for now!

So, only a few weeks left to this year. Regarding politics, as we approach the end of 2017, we’re no better off than end of last year, are we? Chancellor Merkel seems to be one of the few rulers of this world left who’s not a lunatic, although after elections it’s evident what a large number of her former voters have chosen to root for the idiots on the right fringe, rather than support her patent voice of reason, humanist approach. I suppose that leaves a lot of room for improvement in 2018…

I’m not going to write up a recipe today, but I will show you a picture of the Linzer Torte I made for my friend Ch’s birthday last week.

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The angels just happened to be one of the two cookie cutter choices I had here at the cottage; the other was an Easter bunny. And since it was the 24th of October, and not exactly an Indian summer kind of day, I just thought it was more seasonal. It has no hidden significance whatsoever, neither regarding Ch’s character, much as I love him, nor my perception of self, much as it may be wonky.

These are the stripies I finished today, for the young lady who made me this wonderful T-shirt for my birthday. She’s quite the graffiti artist, wouldn’t you say?

You guys take care of yourselves. Let me know how you’re doing, and what your crafts projects are. My next will probably – can you guess…? A cable poncho :-)).

Oh, Rocky…!

Sweet Transvestite

If you grew up any time after 1975, there was probably no way you missed it. Be it in a movie theater, on TV late at night, or on video/DVD – when I was young, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was literally everywhere. Remember Tim Curry’s iconic smoky, dramatically made-up eyes, deep red lip gloss, the cross-dressing burlesque getup, and the glittering heels …? Oh my! I don’t know about you, but I crushed on him so hard! Obviously, at 15, I was way too young to get even half of the innuendo in the dialogue, but the movie’s whole playful approach to morbidity and decadence spoke to me loud and clear, as did the music. I loved the main character’s no prisoners (nor boundaries for that matter) attitude towards sex, and I could relate (as probably many, many other teenagers) to his credo of ‚don’t dream it, be it‘. Obviously, in the movie, it’s what kills Frank N Furter in the end – but as teenagers are invincible as well as immortal, that’s just details, right…?

Maybe that’s why I never really bought into gender stereotypes so much, or maybe the movie tapped into my disposition towards rainbow colors, I don’t know. It’s probably unsurprising that I unapologetically enjoy steamy gay romance novels, that I love all the characters on ‚Queer as Folk‘, and that I ship Kurt and Blaine from ‚glee‘.

But what brought my doing the time warp down memory lane on? The other weekend, we re-watched Rocky Horror with our teenage son and his girlfriend, who are now the same age I was when I first saw it. I don’t really know what the kids thought, about the movie, and about us, afterwards. Watching this particular movie with them made me feel a bit weird, to be honest, like breaking the Fourth Wall or something. I never watched sexual content with my kid before, jeez. I know it’s not porn, but there are a few kind of … um … suggestive scenes in that movie, and I usually keep my obsessions _to_ myself. But anyway, now it’s done, and they probably – like me as a kid – didn’t get all of the subtext anyway. And of course I’m all about being authentic with my children, so there.

But isn’t it interesting to see how you can still be so caught up in the magic of a movie, after having loved it for decades? Isn’t it reassuring that there still are films like that, even in this short attention span TV show format dominated day and age?

And since I’m already deeply into the overthinking, the fact that I still found Tim Curry as Frank N Furter hot after 35 years got me pondering what makes us ‚like‘ actors via their screen characters in the first place. Obviously we don’t know them from Adam, bless them, and they have absolutely no business sharing with the world who they really are. Still, I can never help reading up on actors I ‚like‘ whenever I get attached to a character on a show or in a movie – easy enough to do these Internet days. More often than not, actors will seem vastly different from the people they play, and still, it makes me have to sort of go through a detachment process sometimes, reconciling their screen persona and what they reveal of themselves when they’re interviewed as ‚themselves‘.

It can get complicated! Say, you love a character like Spock. And then you see Leonard Nimoy being this friendly, serious dude who is a married man and a dad – mind-boggling, right? Does it make you love Spock any less? No, but you may need to accept that Spock isn’t real, and that can be sort of painful – it’s not easy, being a fangirl ;-)).

And then, some of them also seem way less interesting or likeable than their screen characters. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that sometimes they come across as self-absorbed, vain or boring or, or even as a bit on the dumb side. But I have to confess that watching the wrong interview with an actor can make me stop liking a character, and literally stop watching a show altogether: instant detachment happened! Does that make me a highly disturbed individual, I wonder? Or a bit on the shallow side, myself? What do you think? Have you experienced this kind of thing yourself? Hope I’m not alone …

Anyway, we’re back from our summer vacation (which was wonderful, but that’s another post), school’s in full swing, and so is my latest book translation – a very good knitting book on cable patterns. I won’t be doing much else for a few weeks now, and may not post a lot here because I need to sleep. I just had to get this one out of my system, because it’s been on my mind.

Signing off today with my favorite picture from this summer, obviously showing what I love most in the world. Take care, everyone!

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Summer Break

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I’m sensing a pattern here: Total exhaustion before any summer vacation, and long time no post here in blogland. It’s certainly challenging to be a parent representative in 2 schools, especially right at the end of term. Teachers to see off, presents and speeches to be given (not my favorite part of that job, as a true introvert), last minute teacher-parent problems to be dealt with, summer fayre at my son’s school to be pulled off, summer party at my daughter’s school to be attended, farewell parties for 2 teachers at 2 schools – and always, always baking for all of these events. I swear I’m sick of cinnamon buns now :-(((.

The pic above is what we have to look forward to this summer, and I really can’t wait. It’s a sleepy little port in Brittany, and we’re renting a gorgeous apartment on an old property run by friends of friends.

For now, kids and cat and me arrived at our cottage Friday night last week. The weekend was gorgeous and we got to swim in the lake, kids got to spend a lot of time outside, and I got to find mushrooms, always such a treat for my scavenger’s heart.

IMG_2903Few things make me as happy as mushroom picking. It reminds me of my childhood (the good parts), and it’s deeply gratifying to me, walking in the forest and finding delicious food there to boot. Today, my sweet friend N. and I went to the chanterelles spot (they don’t grow just anywhere), for my daughter is a bit of a ‘shroom snob and will only eat those (they’re the little yellow ones in the basket).IMG_2956.JPGThat’s the upside of this unusually rainy summer, I guess – mushrooms go crazy, as do the plants in my husband’s vegetable patch:

My birthday’s coming up this weekend, and I _had_ planned a nice summer bash on the lawn in front of the cottage – but unfortunately, the weather forecast is telling a different story. Looks like my fiftieth will have to take the proverbial rain check. Maybe I’ll celebrate after the summer break so everyone can show off their tans, or I’ll just throw my sweet husband a party in December so we can be a hundred together :-).

In work news, I’m done with The Cookbook now, and it was not easy to let it go after so many months. It felt really good to be part of a project I was completely behind. Usually, I’m working by myself, and I’m fine with that. But it’s also very cool to be able to talk about work with someone who gets it, and not just in general but because they’re also really invested in the same thing. Those who get to work like that all the time are to be envied. And – a thing to keep in mind for choosing future projects.

The next book is going to be a collaboration also – and I’m again fortunate enough to work with a friend on a thing we both enjoy – knitting cables. The book is lovely, and the patterns seem complex and beautiful – and yet again, we’ll sort of establish a new linguistic code as we assign a new set of abbreviations that make sense to knitters. It’s out of necessity rather than anything else – the book’s a bit small for all the info it contains, and the pages are crammed even in English. So for the users‘ reading comfort, we’ll try and give them a set of technical terms that are intuitive and make sense. We have to try and stay within the given layout of the source text, which is a challenge because German texts are _always_ a bit longer than their English counterparts, and we still want people not to have to use a damn lens to read their patterns, so we’re trying to stay with the given font size.

I’ll bet you never really thought about things like that before, have you? Well, that’s what you have us translators for, among other things. Look forward to that book if you’re a knitter – it’s going to be a good one, I promise.

IMG_2955In the meantime, I’m well into my first week of vacation, and it’s starting to sink in that I actually have time off. This morning was the first I actually managed to sleep in, and it felt really nice. It was a rainy day yet again. I cooked for the kids, played backgammon with my son, went mushroom picking with my friend, gave a quote and wrote an invoice, did some minor corrections, and now I’m blogging the night away as my daughter is asleep and my son is busy mainlining The Mentalist of all things.

IMG_2897Check out the wildlife – this stag beetle was leisurely strolling by the other morning just as we were finishing breakfast. It was about 8 cm long (including the antlers if you call them that on insects), and scary as all hell to me. My son was brave enough to make it walk into a tall water glass, slap a postcard on and carry it across the street into the woods. I was not sorry to see it go. May it have a good life on the other side.

Oh, crafts? Well, I’ve been playing with the Dotty Blanket again. I saw a project that uses a different squares pattern that the Granny I started working with, IMG_2810

on Little Woolie’s Instagram account. It’s there on her blog too, you can go check it out. She’s an Australian crafts artist I follow, and she has done a really amazing job with her Wheels within Wheels blanket on a heather grey backdrop. I liked that, and tried with the single crochet squares, but it ended up eating so much yarn, not to mention time, that I lost faith again and returned to my Granny Square style. I made little piles of the different colored dots to see how many I already had and how many more I’d need … and as you can probably guess, I’ve got my work cut out for me. This is not a quickly made blanket … but anything for the little lady, and I have a couple more weeks of vacation to go, so one day at a time.

Here’s the last very cool thing I saw in town before we left – once again, by an unknown graffiti artist – and I think whoever did this really rocks:

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Have a good summer, everyone.

The Ides of May – a Mother’s Day Post

IMG_2302The first ten days of May have come and gone, you know, the bad days when I think about Dead People a lot, and ponder the transitory nature of life. This year, I counteracted with a buttload of work, always a good strategy when feeling morose. Busy days and a couple of late nights later, one job is all but finished. IMG_2288

I’m being supported by my friend F. on this one, who not only has a brilliant academic mind and a keen eye for any typos that might lurk, but with whom I also share a deep love for crafts-related things, so we’re obviously collaborating on the Sewing Book :-).

The other project I’m currently spending most of my work time on is far from done, but we’re about half-way through, and I feel confident we’re doing a very good job of it. I’m co-translating this one with a friend who is in charge of the project, and enjoying every minute of it. We’ve worked together before, so I knew it was going to be good going in, and it is.

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All the while, crafts needed to take a time-out. I finished the pale blue stripies for my sweet A. because I was on a deadline, in fact it’s her birthday today, and although she won’t receive her gift until end of May, probably, I still wanted it to get to her as soon as the logistics of snail mail will allow.

And then yesterday night when I was catching up with all the episodes of Marvel Agents of Shield I missed over the past way too busy weeks with my squad, I finished the latest addition to my Mission To Brighten Up The Grey Couch: The Zig-Zag Cushion.

I’m pleased with how it turned out, and I like how the cushions are not even remotely alike. The next one may be something Granny Square-y, not sure yet, or even a knitted cable pattern, just one color and lots of texture. We’ll see.

For now, I’ve started with a little summery sweater for my daughter. It was one of those spontaneous yarn purchases made with no particular design in mind. I just liked the yarn, and after playing around with it today a bit, I decided it needed a seed stitch, and that I’d make her a boxy sweater, not too long, not too short.

As many of you are probably aware, it was Mother’s Day today – usually a great day for being brought tea in bed, the kids making you your favorite breakfast, and giving you flowers, handcrafted gifts and the likes. And while I got all of that …:

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… the blissful laziness came to an abrupt halt around noon, when I had to say goodbye to my favorite boy for 3 weeks. He’s off to intern on a farm, as part of the 9th grade curriculum. He applied to a sustainable goat farm, got in, and he’s greatly looking forward to working with the animals. Hopefully he’ll even get to learn how to make cheese. How cool is that?

The only downside is the fact we’re not supposed to have any contact with the children over the whole period, and I have to say that right now, 3 weeks seem like an awfully long time to me. I have gone a week without before, for class trips are usually like that also with the no phones policy. But I always have a hard time being away from him, helicopter parent (within reason, at least that’s how I see it ;-)) that I am. Oh well. Kids are supposed to become really independent when doing this, so there. Anything for healthy character development… And although it’s not going to be pretty, no doubt, in the words of the immortal Queen of Disco, Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

Such a great song. There, I feel better already ;-).

And of course I’m not as bad off as the moms of only children, as I have my young daughter who is happy enough to have me all to herself for a while. Today, we did this:

It took me a while to remember the rules, but my daughter refreshed my memory, and then we had a lot of fun with this board game I brought back from Greece once upon another lifetime.

I mended a pair of jeans for her, brushed her hair and watched one of her all time favorite movies with her when the weather did what it does this spring – it turned bad again, so no Fro Yo bar day yet again. And now I get to pour all these mixed feelings into my little speaker’s corner of the www, so I’m guessing the day is drawing to a close on a reasonably content, if not ecstatic note.

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I took this gorgeous pic on the one sunny afternoon we had the past week. We need to count our blessings, right? Hope all you moms out there had a wonderful time with your children today. Have a great week!