Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Silence is Golden...

...so shut up and glitter! That's what my uncle used to tell my mom. But if silence really was golden I'd be a rich blogger, wouldn't I?

Things are hectic here. Christmas gifts on the needles, of course, but I also got laid off last month (severance to be determined, hopefully this week), so I'm in the midst of the roller-coaster of job hunting, interviewing, etc. The job hunting isn't so bad - I'm definitely polishing up my vocab! - but the applying and interviewing and not getting the job thing is really wearing me down. And being home all day with not much to do is not such a fun thing either - contrary to my longings when I was employed! The grass is always greener...

I have a couple posts rattling around, mostly to do with my Christmas knitting - I've found some incredible yarn out there! And there has been more hammering of hazelnuts - this time for baking biscotti (the first batch got sauced up and thrown together with Brussels sprouts - mmm!).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm a Gingerbread House!

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Well, That's Satisfying.

We bought our townhouse in June. The kitchen countertops are tiled in large ceramic tiles, with about 1/4" of grout between - not the best surface for rolling out things like pie crusts or biscuits. And they're hard to clean, too.

But one thing they're good for?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I love knitting these. This is the third one I've done this year. The camera makes it a little more electric-pink than it actually is - it's more of a deep bubblegum. Lamb's Pride Bulky, on size 8 dpns.
ETA: I am not pregnant. This was for a friend who had a hysterectomy. Just to be clear.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Addiction Central

You have got to check this out - I donated 1430 grains of rice before I even realized it. Wow. Thanks to Bub & Pie for turning me on to this!

Monday, November 12, 2007

An Inconvenient Excuse?

Environmentalism is everywhere now. Well, not everywhere, but pretty ubiquitous. Flex fuel! Canvas Whole Foods bags! Organic bedsheets! Even evangelical Christians (a historically anti-liberal-platform bunch) are entering the fray, coming together to agree that we need to be better stewards of God's creation. A gigantic church I keep up with did a sermon series in the summer called "God is Green". The former vice president of the US won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global climate change. I'm not getting ready to deny the effects of humanity on this planet, or say that the American way of life shouldn't have to change just because of some stupid ozone.

I think that the thing that concerns me about the whole climate change/environmentalism/"going green" discussion is the moral overtones it's been imbued with, particularly in Christian circles. Yes, the earth is being exploited and we need to do something about it. But last I checked, girls in Bangkok are still being exploited in the sex trade, and children in sub-Saharan Africa are still being exploited as child soldiers (don't get me started on fair-trade and labor exploitation - I just finished reading Grapes of Wrath). I get the very uncomfortable feeling that many Americans are, in some respects, eager to latch onto "going green" as an easy way to do something that makes them feel good about themselves. There's no dealing with human beings beyond telling the grocery checker, "Oh, I brought my own bags".

I know I'm probably not the best person to take this position, since having a one-year-old considerably limits my contact with other people (think hermit-like existence), which in turn reduces my ability to get a broad opinion on this subject. I'm mostly working off of my observations and some discussions I've had recently with My Hero. I guess it bothers me that the conversations I hear tend toward, "which is better: driving across town to recycle, or throwing away bottles and saving the carbon emissions?" rather than, "which is better: spending quality time with my friends, or saving the $40 I could have spent on beer and sending it to someone who can buy a prostitute out of slavery with it?" After all, if you don't buy the stuff, you don't have to recycle the bottles.

So how about this? Instead of buying $10 canvas grocery bags, learn to knit and make your own. Or buy one of these - fair trade, supporting local economy. Christmas is coming...ever give anybody a duck? Or five?

Maybe saving the planet has more to do with how we treat each other than how big our carbon footprint is. Maybe if we screw in a fancy lightbulb, we should also give the homeless guy on the corner a hat and gloves. Maybe if God commanded us to be stewards of the rest of creation, and His Son commanded us to love one another, they're both right at the same time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Get Thinner Here!

The above exclamation was blinking on a sign I drove by the other day. A weight loss clinic? In that building? Looks like the paint store is taking up all the -- oh. Right. Paint thinner.

I've spent some time since then discussing with myself the implications of the fact that even though the blinking lights were on a paint store sign, I immediately assumed it was for a weight loss clinic. Am I so accustomed to my culture's preoccupation with appearance and slimness that any other option is barely plausible? Seriously, it took me over a block to realize my mistake. Additionally, did the company realize what they were saying? Usually, when you're used to thinking of something from one perspective, it's hard to recognize a different perspective unless someone points it out to you - like that line drawing that's a young lady with a hat - wait! it's an old crone! - wait! You know, the one they always pull up in Psychology class. Had anybody ever walked into the paint store, looked puzzled, and asked about the weight loss clinic?

And what about people for whom English is just barely a second language? How does one explain to them that Get Thinner Here can mean two different things at exactly the same time? I love playing with English, listening to it knot up into itself and then fluidly unravel, like some kind of linguistic jellyfish. I'm looking into getting certified to teach ESL, to some extent because I get such a kick out of the language and want to pass it on, to let these outsiders in on the joke. Because I would hate to see someone walk into an LA Weightloss Center with their dried-up paintbrushes and not understand when everyone laughs.


Finished the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I loved this project, although it got kinda boring toward the end. The pictures weren't as blurry on Flickr...

For those of you who are interested in these things, I used five (maybe six? I lost count) balls of Cascade Indulgence - an alpaca/angora blend that's extremely yummy, as long as you don't have to rip it too often. It's about four feet across, and it's destined to be a lap blanket for My Hero's grandmother, who turns 100 on November 18. She's spunky and spry, living on her own and active in her church.

Also, in yarny and bloggy news, I received my prize for bravest delurker from WoolGathering the other day - a fabulous...uh...stuff bag-type thingy for holding knitting notions - yarn needles, row counter, etc. And a tape measure that looks like a cake! And in case you're just joining us (insert irony here), this prize is the reason this blog exists; the big question is whether I'll be able to keep it up now that I'm not sloshed and waiting for my swag.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy St. Crispin's Day

This speech (from Henry V) is guaranteed to send shivers - especially if read aloud. It is, in my opinion, the best argument for why we should be teaching kids Shakesepeare.

O! that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day.

King Henry V:
What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmorland. No, my fair cousin:
If we are marked to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will, I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It ernes me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace, I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more.
Rather proclaim it presently through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart. His passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the Feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a-tiptoe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day and live t'old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian":
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars
And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. (IV, iii)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

That's What Happens When You Drunk-Blog

So...if any of you (or the two of you) have been trying to link to my blog, I was recently informed that I had a typo in my blog url - it's now correct: iamalpineflower.blogspot.com. You'll notice that the original url had an extra "l" after the p. Shouldn't start a blog after two (large) glasses of wine...this has been a public service announcement.

Monday, October 15, 2007


We have friends who say that God brings couples together and gifts them so that when they have children, one of them will be able to handle blood, and the other will be able to handle vomit. Unfortunately, this weekend our little family discovered that God overlooked us - neither My Hero nor I can handle vomit. The Doodle came down with the stomach flu on Friday night and both her parents just about lost their own cookies during the cleanup. I also have to admit that I was relieved to be leaving for a two-night retreat and didn't have to deal with her the rest of the time she was sick (I think I need to do some penance for that. Poor man!). When I came back, My Hero had come down with it. We're all better now, but quiet. I expect I'll come down with it sometime in the next week - there is little more dread-full than anticipating a GI virus.

The Doodle is still pretty clingy and whiny. This was her first experience with vomiting...tossing her cookies...feeding the fishes...(I had a youth pastor who collected these euphemisms - he was just a barrel of laughs, let me tell you).

In order to end on a positive note, I knitted a hat for my brother over the weekend! Nothing like sitting in a series of lectures to get things done.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cardinal Rule

Gracious, it's been two weeks. No wonder no one's reading this thing...I know the number one blogging rule is blog often. Sigh. Maybe posting a few pics will make it better...

My Hero and I went to Oregon this past weekend. We went with another couple and stayed at a B&B on the Oregon coast, south of Newport. I was slightly worried that we'd be jeopardizing our friendship by traveling together, but we had a blast! We left the Doodle at home with my mom, and although she was slightly traumatized by our extended absence, she's recovered nicely and we had a great time without her. She had fun with Grandma, and Grandma definitely had fun with her.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Anemoi 2.0

There are not too many mitten patterns that I find worthwhile - but I really like Eunny Jang's pattern for the Anemoi Mittens. In fact, it's the only pattern (so far) that I've bought off the internet (Cheap? Yes. Discerning? Also yes. There's a lot of good free patterns out there!). This was my first pair of Anemois, finished at the end of April, just in time for...spring.

I loved the yarn (Koigu), and I loved the colorway of the variegated skein (I like to call it "Burnt Toast & Juniper"), but when I put it together with the cream, the swirls and the crosses on the back got kind of lost - I even tried switching which hand held which color, and it still came out a little muddy. They were my first fair-isle project, and my first time using Addi Turbos (sizes 2 and 1!), and I was very sad when I bound off the second thumb - no more Anemois!

When a friend at work expressed a desire to have a pair of her very own, I was happy to haggle with her (let's face it, they're fun, but if they're not for me or family, I'm not likely to want to do it for free). She's an excellent beader (beadress?), so I'm making this pair for her in exchange for a set of dangle-free stitch-markers (here's an example). I'm using Paton's Kroy, my trusty Addis, and I'm having a blast.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy birthday


...and after.

Happy birthday, precious baby girl. I'm loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And if you're here for yarn...

Behold, the beginnings of the Hemlock Blanket by Brooklyn Tweed. Knit on size 10 circulars with Cascade Indulgence. (Deets on Ravelry) Excuse my crappy digital pic - still learning how to photograph knitting.

Apparently, the only way I can do lace is by knitting the lace row, getting three stitches from the end and discovering I'm off by a stitch or two, ripping the row out and knitting it again. Invariably, the error is in the first repeat, when I should be paying attention to the chart and all. And may I just say that Feather & Fan is not my favorite lace pattern? I think it's so simple that I get cocky or something and screw it up. I'm loving the yarn, though! Alpaca and angora...mmm.
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Let's Jump Right In, Shall We?

Bub & Pie wrote a post today about the difficulty of staying committed to a church when they use guilt to talk you into doing stuff. My Hero and I have been having a similar discussion every Sunday around 12:15 about our church.

For us, the discussion is not so much about the guilt thing as it is just a general embarrassment issue. Why, for example, can't they spell-check the powerpoint? Or tell us where the nursery is (Doodle turns 1 in a couple weeks and I just found out I could drop her off - and we've been going there since before she was conceived!)? At first it was endearing: "Aw, look how down-home they are. Name-tags! Donuts! 'Life' instead of 'like'!". Now that we've been around for a while, we know that the name tags are worn by a handful of die-hard greeters, the donuts are leftovers that have been frozen since last week, and the spelling errors are plentiful.

The embarrassment lies in the fact that this stuff is, in our opinion, on the tacky side. We know that the intent is great but that the execution is amateur at best, pathetic at worst. It makes us reluctant to want to invite our friends - and this is where it gets sticky, every week. The emerging church movement serves to remind everyone that broadly speaking, people our age are looking for high-quality, technologically savvy "events" on a Sunday morning. While I don't agree with that entirely (I think a well-thought-out sermon can make up for a lack of movie clips and light shows), I do think that folks my age expect a degree of professionalism that may have not been necessary (or available) in the age of type-written, mimeographed bulletins - and are apt to write off the entire experience based on poor presentation. I don't think this is very nice of them (or - let's be honest - me), but it's been my experience, both in and out of church.

My struggle is whether it's shallow of me to base my willingness to invite friends (or, for that matter, my own attendance) on some bad powerpointing, or if a lack of attention to typos is somehow indicative of a deeper lack of attention to the lives of those within the congregation. Granted, we aren't very involved right now - I know that involvement increases one's feeling of inclusion - but we also aren't seeing much that's motivating us to get involved. Do I really want to drag other people into this? Do I want to stick around for it myself?

For the time being, we're staying put. We both know that church is not just about whether we think they're succeeding at making us feel good every week. It's a commitment, like B&P said, to a group of people who we may or may not agree with as far as what's Important on Sunday mornings, but who are part of the same body we are and who ardently desire to love and follow Christ. Just don't ask us to wear our nametags.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The way things should be

Autumn is my favorite season. Although daytime in the Mile-High City makes you think it's still summer, evenings and mornings tell a different story. It was 90 or so today, but the clouds have rolled in, rain is pattering on the skylight, and I'm debating about throwing an extra blanket on the bed. It's been down in the low 50s at night lately. I love it. I saw my first turning leaves today! August absolutely crawled by, but now that September's here, I can feel the change in the air - fall is right around the corner.

Before Doodle was born, I would wish that My Hero and I could spend evenings together, curled up on the couch reading in mutual silence, but we always wound up watching TV or trashing our perfectly good evening some other way. I would go to bed disappointed that I didn't get to have a quiet evening. But the baby has done great things for us! She goes to bed around 6 p.m. (thank you, Dr. Weissbluth!) and we're forced to stay in the house, being quiet. The TV is in the room adjacent to hers, so it's too much of a risk just to watch stupid sitcom reruns. Not that we tiptoe around the rest of the house, but it's easier to make a case for peacefulness when someone's sleeping downstairs.

So here we are: cooler temps, rain on the skylight, an empty ice cream bowl, and thee. How much better can it get?

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Doodle!

Here she is. She turns a year old in three weeks. Three weeks! Can you believe it? My Hero and I were just sitting at the computer laughing at how dang cute she is. Truly our pride and joy.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And So It Begins

I know heatherfeather will be amazed. I vowed that if I won a prize in Woolgathering's blog, I would start one of my own, so here I am.

There's all this first-post pressure I've put myself under - am I able to be witty enough? Compelling enough? Will I establish a "readership"? Will I be discovered by a major publishing company and write a memoir or a how-to book or edit a major (to some of us) publication? Probably not. It'll probably just be posts about the Doodle and my knitting, maybe some brief forays into ranting and thinking. With fabulous links along the side to bloggers who have figured out how to use this medium to express themselves wittily and compellingly.

So, come for the links, stay (or, more accurately, come back) for the yarn.