Monday, October 8, 2018

A Finished Shawl and a Milkbone Mailbox

What's the autumn? A second spring when every leaf's the flower. -- Albert Camus
It's raining today. It always rains in the autumn here: days and days of rain when you strain to remember that time when, in the heat and extreme dryness of the summer, you uttered words to the effect of, "Man, I can't wait for it to rain." Just who the heck said that? Was that me?

In truth, rain is such a nice excuse to find a cozy place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and a movie with knitting and a warm doggy on your lap. I'm grateful to be able to enjoy those things without much distraction these days.

It's Canadian Thanksgiving today, which means a bit of turkey and stuffing and a day off to reflect on the stuff you're grateful for. I feel fortunate to even have time for a quiet moment to reflect these days. I can't help but think back to last year when things were so difficult at my job that I was just concentrating on keeping it together. This year, I sat back and took deep breaths and felt safe and sound. And those are the most treasured feelings on this Earth.

Unsurprisingly, rain means an excuse to bake at our house. I tried out a new bread recipe, which turned out perfectly. We've eaten almost half of it already, so I made a second loaf today. I have yet to meet a person who possesses the restraint to get a homemade loaf of bread to last more than a couple of days. Such people are not of this planet:

I'd also been daydreaming of some orange and cranberry scones, and well, it's important to make your dreams come true:

It wasn't all rain this weekend. We went out on a little impromptu trip out on Saturday while the sun shone and had sandwiches in the park. I was delighted to see the change in colours around me. I will never tire of red leaves in the autumn. They're always the prettiest when they're still on the tree. Many's the leaf I've taken home in my pocket only to be disappointed in their faded glory when I got them home. Better to appreciate them where they belong:

I was stopped in my tracks by this combination of Oregon blueberries against its own red leaves and the green leaves of the ivy entwined in it. That looks like an interesting colour experiment to try out sometime:

Seymour has been busy as well, charming the neighbours with his cute face and waggly tail. One of the old fellas around the corner loves to spoil the neighbourhood dogs with Milkbones, and he has a couple of "biscuit mailboxes" outside his garage for his regulars. This week, Seymour finally got his own mailbox, which he makes sure we stop at daily to check. He's moving up in the world, our wee Seymour:

Meanwhile, I finally cast off on my latest shawl project. I'm very happy with it, even though it took me two days to get the cast off right. I kept thinking I'd have enough for one more repeat, and then I thought, "Well, maybe only half a repeat..." And then I started the cast off a row early, only to run out for the last twenty or so stitches. Well, heck.

So, after ripping back half a repeat and slowly getting all of those flipping twisted stitches back onto my needles, I finally got the finishing rows completed and cast off. It was surprisingly small when I finished, but in classic blocking magic, this thing grew like a miracle pumpkin after I soaked it for a while. I thought I'd only need one blocking square, but I kept having to get up to get another and another as I pinned it out. I simply cannot wait for it to be dry enough to wear...

...which may be a while... maybe after the monsoon finishes...

Meanwhile, I fancied making myself a new hat, so I've pulled these little skeins out of the stash to play around with. They're a wool/silk blend and I'm very curious to see how the colours knit up. In the skein, it looks like a sort of dirty gold, but it knits up, the darker tones seem to be jumping out at me. We shall see...

Meanwhile, the world seems to be a harsher place these days. I feel like everyone is shouting, telling everyone else how wrong they are, and the ones who can shout the loudest seem to be winning the argument. I wonder to myself how much longer it will be when people remember that having an opinion on something isn't necessarily a reason to lord it over someone else. And I wonder how long it will be when we can simply live instead of react all of the time. I feel the need to hide away and watch the hummingbirds in my window and wait for the real world to come back again. Maybe that's cowardice. Or maybe it's my own way of exercising patience. I will continue to refuse to give air time to the selfish people in this world and will always push the good in the world to the surface. I hope we can all do the same.

And also: I'm grateful for you, whoever you are reading these words. Thanks for sticking with me, especially over the last couple of years when I have been a bit lost in the wilderness. Your company means more to me than you know.

Gobble gobble.

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