Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!
The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can't be seen
On any other night.

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
Grinning goblins fighting duels,
Werewolves rising from their tombs,
Witches on their magic brooms.

In masks and gowns
We haunt the street
And knock on doors
For trick or treat.

Tonight we are
The king and queen,
For oh tonight
It's Halloween!

– Jack Prelutsky

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Adroitly Placed Word

I'm thrilled to announce that my poem Taphonomy won John Vick's Adroitly Placed Word Award. Many thanks to John for promoting poetry as a spoken form and for supporting poets with this prize! If you haven't already checked out his site, take a few minutes to read and listen to some of the fine poetry there.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Good Things

I've noticed a surge of gratitude among bloggers I regularly read lately.

Michaela Gabriel had a blast at the Vienna Lit Festival and is overflowing with creativity. Her happiness with life is contagious.

Patry Francis celebrated 25 years since meeting her husband by going back to the spot of their first date. She often documents the details that give life texture and joy, whether it's by collecting acorns to compare and describe or by drawing connections between the people she encounters and ourselves.

Deborah Ager finds pleasure in motherhood, whether moving at full speed or stopping to cement a moment of family life. She also treasures time alone, even in the smallest increments, and draws inspiration from the rhythm of life around her.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, has shared the joy of her recent wedding as well as the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from hard work after finally completing her wedding shawl. Her labor of love demonstrates the sheer exhiliration of creating something with your own two hands.


I'm thankful for clear Autumn days that give me the chance to stock up on sunshine before the long Oregon winter begins.

I'm glad I took Emma swimming today and shared what she called "the most fun ever!", as well as the chance to snuggle with Kate this morning when I invited her to crawl into bed with me after her early morning potty trip.

I have yarn and knitting needles, and that always makes me happy.

I love it when the kids are in bed, the dishes are washed, the laundry is in the dryer, and the day sloughs away so it's just me and Dennis sitting down, being together.

And yes, I'm ecstatic about writing. I'm almost finished with my 7th round of 30 poems in 30 days and it feels great. I have a poem up in the new issue of The Pedestal Magazine and I couldn't be more thrilled because it's one of my personal favorites. I hope you'll read it if you get a chance.

Those are just a few of the things I'm thankful for. What about you?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sock Update

Sock progress has been slow but is starting to pick up. My mom was here visiting last week and I barely touched the needles the whole time. The weekend saw some good knit time in front of the TV, though. One of our local stores has DVDs on sale and we got the first 4 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for $16.99 each. It's perfect for knitting, plus if I use wood needles, I have a stake at the ready, just in case.

I stayed up way too late last night finishing up the first of my husband's socks:

I was terrified while knitting that the foot was way too huge, but it fits him just right! And I'm happy to report that Blue Moon was able to supply me with another skein of Blue Brick Wall, so he'll actually have a pair if I ever get the second one knit.

I also started a pair of socks for myself, with Socks that Rock in "Siren Song:"

I had originally planned to try toe-up with this yarn, but wasn't happy with the results so I ripped it out and started over. Now I'm using the Baby Cable Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks and I'm really pleased with it.

Finally, in other sockish news, I received my prize from Romancing the Yarn's Sock Hop Contest yesterday!

This is Sock! by Lisa Souza in the Earth Birth colorway, and it is gorgeous. I am totally loving the colors in this yarn!
I'm contemplating the best pattern to use for it: simple stockinette, ribbing, lace? I'd love to hear suggestions from other knitters.

In the meantime, sock on!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Autumnal Exposé

It's colder this morning than it has been,
the moon sliding like ice high in the sky
and the breeze catching at my exposed ankles
with the nip nip nip of tiny kittens
too weak to harm, too curious to
stop chasing the leaves that have fallen.
It's cold enough to hint whispers
into the air with every breath
but like the neighbor's secrets
they turn to vapor in the sunlight
and float away unspoken.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Bella the Cat

Bella the cat likes to sleep. In summer she curls into the cool embrace of the sink in the guest bathroom. Since Orit hardly ever has company, Bella can remain undisturbed in the basin for hours, until the sun goes down and the house starts to shed its heat. Then she comes forth, slowly stretching her limbs to shake out the drowsies before walking to the bowl of food beneath the kitchen table. Bella never runs, no matter how hungry she is.

Routines change in the fall, when sunlight slants farther into the house through the front window. Bella abandons her reclusive summer retreat for the sun-warmed wood floor of the front entry. She likes to extend a lazy paw toward the hem of Orit’s skirt each morning, pretending to delay her. They both know it’s a game. Orit stamps her foot and exclaims in surprise anyway. Sometimes she even drops her books and kneels next to Bella, proffering coos and cheek rubs in contrition for leaving.

Bella doesn’t mind when the days turn colder, except for Thursday afternoons when Orit does her grocery shopping. The wind bites at her every time Orit opens the door to bring in another bag, so Bella scampers away to the warm spot on the desk behind the computer. Departmental parties are Bella’s favorite part of winter, though it takes her a while to get used to the noise and smell of strangers drifting through the house. Most of Orit’s students like cats. Bella makes sure to change the minds of those who don’t.

When Orit brings Geoffrey home for winter break, Bella sniffs the corners of his suitcase and licks the green residue from his toothbrush. He always pets Bella when he visits, with long smooth strokes from the top of her head to the tip of her tail. But those are usually short visits – on weekend mornings while Orit is getting her coat, or in the evening while he waits for Orit to serve dinner at the formal dining table. Geoffrey’s never stayed so long before.

When the trees begin to bud, Bella spends hours motionless on the back of the armchair, crouched low as she watches every returning bird that flits into the backyard. A cracking sound emanates from her throat and her tail twitches with the coiled energy of her leonine ancestry. Later, Orit scolds her away from the long white web that dangles in the closet, but not before Bella has examined the large tennis shoes and Oxfords that now rest beside Orit’s high heels and pumps. They smell of strangers, human and feline.

Spring cleaning chases Bella from room to room, her feet leaving a trail of small circles across newly vacuumed carpet. Geoffrey carries box after box into the house, slipping cat treats from his pocket to her as he comes and goes. He tells her about falling in love, lets her lick the stranger’s odor from his hands, and repeats the name Kasparov. Bella loves to snuggle into her warm bed after Orit pulls it from the dryer. Now there are two beds instead of one.

Bella the cat likes to sleep. It’s harder this summer, with so many little ones stumbling underfoot, always scratching for a teat. She looks wistfully at the empty sink above her before grabbing the last kitten by the scruff of the neck. She carries it to join the others in a squirmy, insistent mass while Kasparov patrols the hall, sometimes stopping in the doorway to scent his family. Bella watches him pass, his arrogant tail high in the air, his footsteps softly annoying in their free wandering. Then she jumps into the bathtub with a grunt, shoves her wriggling children aside, and stretches out for a long, cool nap.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Originally uploaded by plip1.
October isn't just for socks. It's also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I just had my first mammogram. Have you had yours?

Monday, October 02, 2006


October is here and it's all about the socks.

Lolly is hosting Socktoberfest, a monthlong celebration of socks. There are no requirements or rules, just a chance to get together, talk about knitting socks, encourage others in their sock projects, and share photos of socks in all stages of progress.

Over at Romancing the Yarn it's not too late to join in the Sock Hop and knit a pair for yourself or maybe that cold-footed fella in your life. Check in daily for updates, tips, and photos of men desperate for a good pair of handknit socks. Those who signed up before October 1 were entered in the Sock Hop Contest and I was excited to find out yesterday that I'm one of the winners! I'll post a picture of my prize when it arrives.

This month, I hope to finish the pair of socks I've been working on for Dennis. I'm now on the fourth attempt because I can't for the life of me seem to get the size right. I'm using Socks that Rock in the Blue Brick colorway and working a 2x2 rib down to the heel.

For myself, I'd like to try knitting a pair toe-up. I have a smallish skein of Socks that Rock Siren Song and it would be hard to know how long to make the leg if I started from the cuff down. I also have extremely wide feet and I suspect that going toe-up would allow me to create a better fit.

Then of course there's the Lorna's Laces in Lorikeet that I've promised for Emma, the Socks that Rock in Celestine that I just got at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival a week ago along with the Cedar Creek socks pattern, and a whole ton of sock yarns just waiting to be used. And let's not forget my prize from the Sock Hop Contest - I'll probably cast it on as soon as it arrives.

Yep, it looks like it's going to be a great month for socks. Here's to Socktober!