Saturday, September 18, 2010

The world is flat and I have fallen off it's edge

I have not written here since June, it seems. I have thought of it, the way that one thinks about cleaning the closet or calling a relative that one is not close with. The thought passes. The idea that all this blogging, facebooking, twittering, etc is narcissistic has been coming back to mind. I still maintain that if you use it as a communications tool like all other mediums (like television and radio) it can be useful. I know people who use this medium to share organised, interesting, purposeful content. And if they were to suddenly be on TV or radio they would still be just as engaging. But would I broadcast on channel twelve that my kid said something cute today? Would I go on the radio to rant about cheese or parking meters? Probably not. I am not anyone of note and have no specific interest to focus on therefore what I say holds little relevance for the greater public and it comes down to that - the greater public. This is a public forum and I am broadcasting. But I do not deem what I am broadcasting to be relevant. So I have not posted.
So until I find something relevant to broadcast this channel will go dark.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Before You Grow Up

So I was in the bookstore recently and I picked up this book for a friend of mine.It is called 365 Things to Do Before You Grow Up. He is a dear, fine fellow who is probably at his best when he is reveling in the silly, nonsensical or the simple. By simple I mean uncomplicated. So I bought this book for him to help him remember not to take life too seriously and to make a point of  enjoying life's indefinable loveliness.
Well, I got the book home and realised I wanted to do the list. The 365 things, I wanted to do them all. And I wanted others to join me and have fun with the project too. I have mentioned it to a few people, including my dear, fine freind, and got some positive responses.
I decided it would be nice to start it on my birthday which is this weekend. Wisely MyDear suggested I do one item a week rather that one a day so as not to drive myself mad. That's why I keep him around. He is wise like that.
The first item on the list is celebrate another culture's holiday. Well I hunted around and found that my birthday falls on the Algonquin Strawberry Moon. It is the full moon marking the relatively short wild strawberry season. It is/was believed by the Algonquins that harvesting under the full moon was best to ensure a good crop for the following year.
So I have decided to go strawberry picking on my birthday. I do not know any songs or dances or traditional food (apart from strawberries perhaps) that would traditionally celebrate the Full Strawberry Moon and I dont think I can pick berries in the middle of the night but I can go out and gather strawberries, bring them home and mark the day. So I will.
If you, fine reader, would like to join in my 365 weeks of fun please visit the Facebook Group I have made for the purpose. Just click on the word participate

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gaiman's House

This place is so enormous I have not seen it's edges
I don't believe I have visited the same room twice
Some rooms are filled with light
But most have shadows
     comforting shadows
          chilling shadows
         and wet shadows that cling
Some rooms are damp Grimm forests
Some are deserts with demons and wolves
Some are so cramped I can fit only my fingers over the doorsill
Some rooms are ordinary sitting rooms and kitchens that keep a gentle space
      waiting for my lover, my children, my animals and myself
Some rooms are so silent my breath shatters them and they are gone forever
This room is quiet but not so fragile
This room has great wide windows that look out onto the garden
This room holds my pen and paper

Monday, June 07, 2010

New Original Knitting Pattern

Friar Tuck found himself with idle hands while thinking up new recipes for venison or hare and turning a blind eye to the flagrant breaking of the commandment "thou shalt not steal." So he knit up one of these for each of the green clad gents. Robin Hood and his Merry Men had to endure more than a few damp nights in Sherwood Forest and verily were grateful for the garment.

This is what can happen when MyDear says "wouldn't it be cool if..."

A medieval style men’s hooded garment inspired by Robin Hood. It uses seed stitch, shoulder shaping and short rows.

A great big thank you to Molly Anne Rothchilde @ Ariadne Knits who helped make the idea a reality.

If you want to see other pictures and/or buy the pattern to knit for yourself or a fella you like click here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The latest from Monkey

My name is Woodjerd. 
I am a man and I fish.
I catch candy fish in the jungle.
Would you like one?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Basil, gentle and constant.

I dreamt of her the night after she died and again the night after that.

The day we took her body to the country we saw a coyote on the way there, running in the field beside the road. The fellow looked at us as we drove by. On the way back we saw a raven. We had never seen a coyote or a raven in this place before that day.

John put his ring and a lock of Morgan’s hair in Basil’s mouth before we buried her - so she could find us, he said. She was enshrouded in a blue gingham sheet and settled in the earth under three stones on the hill overlooking the forests and the fields.

That night I dreamt of her, then again the next night. They were nice quiet dreams, no heavy portend or symbolism, just her there and me happy that she was walking and standing in the sun. The second night I told her I knew that in the real world she was dead but that in the dream it was good to see her again.

I have been sitting here mending the sheet where her claws cut a multitude of tiny holes as she struggled to get a purchase in the last weeks. Mending the sheet she died on. I keep wondering if it is morbid to keep it, if I should throw it away, if I should bother mending the many tiny holes. But I have not stopped. 

No one can say she was just a dog. No one can say that any living being could take her place and be what she was.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There isn't anything better than a boy and his dog. From the first to the last you were every inch Stephen's Puppy Rocket. At first you were so small you fit in my purse for an outing to the tamtams. And you grew and grew. As a wily teen you ate through the mattress twice, licked the table while staring us down and ran away more times then I care to count. You were so fast and graceful we thought you must be part Greyhound. We marveled even as we realised you weren't going to stop running down that alley and we were going to have to go get you, yet again. You grew and grew until you had a pointy nose and great big eyes and ears at a permanent readiness for take off. I wouldn't say you were beautiful but Stephen would. To Stephen there was no better friend. You liked beer, you rascal, just like him. You grew and grew and went across the country with Stephen and his love. You were unpleasantly surprised by the rain but you still spent your days under the desk at Stephens feet or groaning and sighing dramatically on the couch. You grew and grew but this time growing older not bigger, and you complained more and needed special food and shorter walks. Stephen knew that you would not stay forever to be by his side, to be his best friend. He knew and we knew but we are still very sad, Sprago, that you had to go - very sad, indeed, that such a marvelous and singular fellow, who was so perfect for Stephen, and such an undeniable and irrepressible personality would today have to go. We are glad to have known you, Sprocket. You are missed.


Better late than never.

Here is the latest journalistic endeavor by me. That's right, it's all about me and what I do. Isn't that what a blog is?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another gem

"Yes, dear."
"Uuuuummmm ... run into town and find a spoon or gears or fish to fix my camera.
"And hurry up or the wild things will get you."

More comics

This time from a loverly little establishment called Wondermark

Click on image to enlarge

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What is Love?

  • Love is when a kid gives you her favorite toy to make your cold go away.
  • Love is when someone e-mails you to tell you all about the wonderful adventures she is having because she wants you to share the experience with her, even vicariously.
  • Love is when your friend gets it when something seemingly weird, gross or silly is important to you and gets on board because it matters to you.
  • Love is when your parent doesn't lecture you on a subject that is making you feel unsteady, just listens and reassures you that you do, in fact, have the answer and can do what you need to do.
  • Love is when your significant other brings something special home for you just because they knew you would like it, proving that you are on their mind even when you are not around.
  • Love is when a friend sends you an mp3 of an old, silly answering machine message you left on his machine and that he has overlaid nice music on to, making it sound all legit and professional, just so you will see how great he thinks you are.
When is it love for you?

If you like the mossy heart image check out it's creator, Laylock, the photographer and the knitter. She seems to have a wonderful sense of love too.

P.S. Tomorrow is Pi Day. I recommend you bake a pie, for yourself and/or for someone else whom you love.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why I have not been blogging much.

So maybe I have been cutting corners by posting comic strips instead of composing thoughts but, I gotta say in my deference, I am living a lot these days. It all revolves around the sorts of thing you don't blog about to the great webby void. I can tell you this, this latest Little Dee comic gave me a small amount of solace. Hope it does for you too.

This is me, seeking joy in the moment.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

For those keeping score at home...

I have posted my very first personally designed, available to the public, original knitting pattern. I don't know if anyone but me knows how exciting this feels. This is, so far, second only to getting a prize for my writing on the giddy meter.
Carry on.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Witches Gauntlets

This knit pattern is for dual purpose cuffs. They are fingerless gloves in one direction and ruffled gauntlets in the other. As I always imagined witches to be naturally practical people and the wool I used is Zauberball - zauber being German for magic- Witches Gauntlets seemed like a suitable name.

Size: Women's

Yarn: Zauberball, (Cranberry Blend)
Needles: 2.75 mm (US 2) DPN

Gauge: 8sts x 10 rows = 1 inch


Cast on 240 stitches.
Join stitches to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.
Round 1: k2tog to end (120sts)
Round 2: k2tog to end (60 sts)
Round 3: *k4, p2* to end
Knit as in round 3 until work measures 3 inches.
At the beginning of the next round turn work and knit back as follows:
Row 1: *p4, k2* to end
turn work and
Row 2: *k4,p2* to end
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 1.5 inches (or as much space as you wish for the thumb hole)
Now rather than than turning work at the end of row 2 rejoin work in the round. In other words, do not turn - simply continue *k4,p2* in the round until work measures 7.5 inches or as long as you wish the fingerless glove side of the work to be.
Bind off, weave in ends and block gently.
Make another to match.

If you like, you can add some tiny buttons and button loops to the thumb hole edge to close it up when you are wearing them as gauntlets.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Present for Dr Cockroach

There are days when you have to wake up earlier than you want to...okay, maybe that describes most days. Sometimes, on those days, something really nice happens first thing that makes the whole idea of getting out of bed feel worth it. Maybe your lover wakes you up in a particularly nice way or you get a piece of good news. It may be as simple as the plant on your window sill is finally beginning to bloom. For me, most of the time it is Monkey who does something that makes everything alright that early in the day. Yesterday was no exception.
The perfect breakfast chat.
When recounting these little events to people something is always lost in the retelling. The unrehearsed perfection, the spontaneity and suprise are all a step removed. Not to mention, how could I imitate her tiny, clear voice? Having the luck to record this conversation means nothing but her crystal blue, earnest eyes are left out of the priceless image of the moment.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Red Planet Pancakes

To me, there are few things more fun than messing with assumptions. When it comes to food I never realized just how hard-wired I was to the look I think food should have until a I drank green orange juice. Before you grimace too much it was a St Patrick's Day lark. My friends and I all made a brunch feast and decided that each food had to be green. So, armed with green food dye we made green pancakes, green syrup, green butter (I think) and green orange juice. None of us could drink the orange juice at first but after closing our eyes and taking the leap we successfully re-wired our minds into thinking that green orange juice was just as tasty are the original color. I won't discuss the health issues associated with food coloring here, just move on.

In the endless pursuit for healthy foods that Monkey will eat I have come to possess a cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, which is called Deceptively Delicious. The principle is that each recipe has a hidden ingredient, most commonly a vegetable or two that fussy children want to avoid. For the child whose preferred vegetables are cucumbers, peas and french fries (not just any potatoes, just the fried ones) this book is a VERY good idea.

The first recipe we wanted to try was "Pink Pancakes." This recipe really messes with assumptions. It contains beets so right away you know they are going to be a funny color but just how funny is a wonder. And man, are they tasty! We have decided they will likely be called "Princess Pancakes" or "Pancakes From the Red Planet" around our house but it falls to Monkey to make the final decision. They will become a regular dish, that is certain.

The original recipe called for pancake mix, which I don't use-preferring to make mine from scratch-and only made a small amount compared what we usually eat. So I modified the recipe and am so in love with the result that I don't think Mrs Seinfeld will mind a little free promotion going her way as I share my modified version with you. If you like this recipe and want to try more "sneaky veggies" recipes (they don't have to be just for kids, you know) run out and pick up her book.

Here is my version:

1 1/4 C milk
      1 C cottage cheese or ricotta
   1/2 C beet puree (best if you puree cooked beets ahead of time)
   1/2 C grated apple
   1/4 C oil
    1 tsp vanilla
         2 eggs
If you want a smoother batter you can put the wet ingredients in the blender but as you can see from the first picture, the "unblendered" version works just fine, if a little lumpy.
1 1/2 C  whole wheat flour
     2 tsp baking powder
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and cook like one does pancakes. If you need help figuring that step out call your mom (or mom equivilant), she probably knows. And voila, red pancakes. Serve with butter and syrup (maple syrup, if you've got it) or omit the vanilla and cinnamon and go savory for lunch or dinner with a spaghetti-like sauce and grated cheese (seriously, try it-remember what I was saying about assumptions). Enjoy!