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So I knit. And I think about knitting. I think about those who knit before me. The lore of knitting and the lure of knitting. It is all about how I knit in my life and what knitting means to me.


Friday 40 - Week 3

  1. Getting back to Chicago in time.
  2. Some things are just too intimate to share. Even on my own blog. And they can't be put into words anyhow.
  3. Still laughing. Always laughing.
  4. Shopping with Gabriel and getting strangely excited about a tent. 
  5. Binge watching Grey's Anatomy.
  6. Alexander and his hugs. They are the best ever. 
  7. This: I'm thankful for getting through the day even when my heart is dying a little inside.
  8. The 'delete' key is perhaps the most powerful key on the keyboard.
  9. Karma will chase you down and command your attention. It really will.
  10. Again, those words that speak the truth, informing what I do and how I move on.
  11. Sometimes, being a 'just' is just fine.
  12. Knowing that separate is not equal.
  13. The Grapes of Wrath is still the best book ever written. 
  14. Making a sock owl with Eva Kay. By the end, she realized she could sew. 
  15. These days, I'm not available for much, so please lower your expectations.
  16. The good news is that since I've said what I have to say, the feelings are mostly gone.
  17. Sometimes, I am the more thoughtful and considerate person. 
  18. Five kids sleeping on the floor in the living room. 
  19. I'm not going to freak out about something if I don't have to. Who knows, maybe I'll start applying it to other parts of my life. 
  20. I can deal with exactly one thing at a time. And at times, that one thing may be wine. 
  21. Alexander is away at soccer camp. I'm sure he's learning to fall and flail just like the World Cup Soccer players do.
  22. This text from George: Mom, I forgot your cell phone number. 
  23. I'm so very thankful my body works and does some pretty amazing things.
  24. By some miracle, and negligence, we are finding time for a summer vacation after all.
  25. The question is, in a moment of despair, are you going to be the type of person to spread your despair on others? I hope not.
  26. This text: Oh God. Clearly ignore the last message... I hate technology! ... It's just been a bad day ...
  27. Knitting again. 
  28. When I misremembered the time of my doctor's appointment by three hours, a lovely lunch with Melanie was much appreciated. They fact that I accidentally stole a sandwich made it even better.**
  29. That's not my hurricane. 
  30. This text from George: Mom, can I have the big e?
  31. Dinner at Rise followed by Jeni's ice cream. Salty Caramel is a little bit of heaven.
  32. When put in charge of making a sign, I will make the shit outta that sign. 
  33. Old videos with all those precious moments captured. 
  34. Gideon: Don't cheat me. Don't cheat yourself.
  35. I'm not sure gas service is necessary. After all, it is July.
  36. Eva Kay: GUUUUYS! It is Free Slurpee Day at 7-11! MOM SAW IT ON FACEBOOK!
  37. Isaac: C'mon Jackie, you know you want one.
  38. Aidan: They're giving away free stuff all week? I'm staying here. 
  39. This text: What can you ask for ahead of time to make that bearable?
  40. Forever Young.

So, there you go.

**I tried to pay for said stolen goods, but they would not let me. 


Friday 40 - Week 2

Yes, yes. I know. I'm two days late. Sorry. 

  1. Space.
  2. I do not take what is not mine.
  3. Quiet in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping but cannot.
  4. Sometimes I write notes to myself to remind me of things I should never forget.
  5. My daughter is smarter than I'll ever be.
  6. The kids are now old enough to roam about the city. Where did the time go? How much longer before they are gone.
  7. George's sort-of mohawk. 
  8. A green dot disappearing into the distance.
  9. Alexander and George still come up to me for hugs. It is the biggest love I have ever felt.
  10. Knowing that strong is the new skinny. And almost believing it.
  11. I have discovered a tremendous amount of relief in a well-timed nap.
  12. Words that can never be taken back and inform the things I do moving forward.
  13. Eva Kay and her massive brilliant imagination.
  14. George falling asleep with his glasses on. 
  15. An attempt at a summer schedule for the kids. We'll see...
  16. I can be alone in this giant city. Sometimes, even in my own house.
  17. I'm not exactly sure which way is forward, but I know I will get there.
  18. Realizing that there are some things that never need to be said again. They just do not. 
  19. Living in a world that is more tolerant and accepting of love in all its various forms.
  20. The boys sleeping in the basement which meant that Alexander would get up for a midnight snack and thus discover the water pouring into our basement which meant that we would not wake up to three inches of water in the basement.
  21. Sometimes people do what they should do. Including suctioning out all the water from your waterlogged carpet.
  22. Alexander showing me his art, saying "Mom, I think this one looks like you." I could die.
  23. Trying to figure out when George is going to think that a joke I tell is funny.
  24. Eva Kay and her Countdown to Highlights.
  25. Vermicomposting. It actually provides me with a tremendous amount of peace. I just love those little worms.
  26. Cohort 6 continues to live on.
  27. Two bikes (neither of which are for me) fit into the car along with two dogs and all the camping gear. This of course proves I am an expert organizer and packer.
  28. Hearings in Minneapolis.
  29. Driving past a place I used to live and knowing life has painfully moved on.
  30. A beautiful day for a big long drive to Voyageurs National Park.
  31. Big skies.
  32. Setting up camp at Woodenfrog Campground. Site #47. It is totally the best one.
  33. I can still make a roaring campfire with a couple of matches and some wood. No fire starter needed.
  34. I did not die from a bee sting, though I have discovered the beauty of Bennadryl Induced Sleep.
  35. S'mores made with Resses Peanut Butter Cups. Yes. They are that good.
  36. Always wishing for more time in nature. Away from it all.
  37. Kinda wishing that sometime Nature included delivery so I didn't always have to cook.
  38. Leaving when it was necessary to leave.
  39. Fourth of July fireworks along the drive home.
  40. Bruises.


So, there you go.


Friday 40 - Week 1

Lots of people think you are supposed to dread turning forty. But I do not. I am excited about getting older because older and wiser really is better. It just is. 

Here I am world. Here I still am.

The two or so of you who read my blog three years ago, may remember my Thursday 37, when I chronicled 37 things that I appreciated every week for a year. Precious little memories I did not want to forget. Sometimes they were things that made me smile or laugh, and sometimes they were simply moments that reminded me how glad I was to be alive, how very good the world is, and how very lucky I am.

I looked forward to and dreaded the Thursday 37. I wasn't always witty, nor was it always easy. And I was both sad and relieved to be done when week 52 rolled around. 

I have missed capturing those simple moments, and long ago decided I needed to do it again. Follow along, if you'd like.

Here goes:

  1. All those little people who are in my life, challenging me, making me laugh, and reminding me that the world through the lens of a child is a marvelous one.
  2. Rain that makes me want to sleep.
  3. Being done with graduate school.
  4. Alexander: Mom, why didn't you send me any mail while I was at camp? I was lonely. 
  5. Knowing that whatever it is, it will be okay. No. It really will be okay.
  6. I have my friends. They hold me up and give me a soft place to land.
  7. Eva Kay: Mama, did you see the picture I emailed you?
  8. Chicago in the summer time.
  9. Super J is MSWonderful.
  10. An early morning birthday phone call from Melanie. Indeed the first person to wish me happy birthday.
  11. This text: Happy happy birthday my gorgeous amazing friend! You are a perfect friend and mother and person... 
  12. A very special birthday card from Aidan and Eva Kay. 
  13. I'm still going camping. It is going to happen a lot more this summer. It really is. 
  14. There is nothing greater than an early morning run along the lake front trail with my Running Partner. 
  15. The feeling of sore muscles after a great workout. 
  16. Knowing that life is Both-And.  
  17. Summers are for sleeping in.
  18. I can read for fun now. First up: Grapes of Wrath.
  19. This from a mentor: Jackie you are not only a survivor, you are a thriver.
  20. No more papers. NO MORE PAPERS!
  21. Not knowing where I will land is okay. It is enough to know that someday I will land. 
  22. It is okay if it is hard. I don't mind hard.
  23. This: By special request, I’m making a rare cameo FB appearance to wish my girlfriend, partner, significant other, best friend, lifelove, adventure-mate, Match-mate, running-mate, Idol-mate, tandem-mate, 415 shredder, co-slob, co-parenter, dinner partner, partner in crime (really), partner in comedy (in our minds), knitter tease, bed maker, house organizer, children wrangler, dog trainer, ice cream eater, wine drinker, quick but short sleeper, and lover a very happy birthday. You are at once my joy and my rock tumbler, and forty is a good vintage for you. Even though I have only known you for a small part of that forty, I am confident you have never been smarter or more beautiful, delicious, confident, funny or fun than you are today. I’m so grateful you came into this world 40 years ago so you could come into mine an eyes-blink ago. I Love You. And I am looking forward to tasting 50. Indeed, 1974 was a very good year, and it keeps getting better. xo d
  24. Beth. Thank god for email. And texting. And the phone. 
  25. Julie. I love having a neighbor to porch drink with. 
  26. My Softs and My Rocks. 
  27. Knowing it is going to be okay, no matter what. 
  28. Struggling with and working through the feelings even though it doesn't really make it better. The feelings just are. And no good can possibly come of pretending they are not.
  29. Too much, too little, too long, too short, I've made too many mistakes. 
  30. Summer is here. No more school lunches to make. 
  31. Learning to sit with it. Whatever 'it' is. 
  32. George is 12. How amazing is that? 
  33. A return to knitting. 
  34. A thank you speech that began "If you are sitting at this table and you have a vagina..."
  35. That quiet feeling of certainty that sometimes overwhelmes me.  
  36. It's not always about me. In fact, most of the time, it isn't. 
  37. Measuring the kids on the door in the laundry room. I could stare at it for hours and breathe in those memories.
  38. The look on Alexander's face when he rings the doorbell. He is always so excited to see me. 
  39. This: I spent some time this morning with the little bits of your soul you are choosing to reveal 37 at a time on your blog.  Those little bits are quite ephemerally beautiful.  Imperfect, yes; sometimes sad, sometimes wistful, even in their gratefulness; always present in the now with a consciousness of the fleeting-receding past and an optimistic wariness of the future.  And as a whole sublime in their raw beauty.
  40. Girl on Fire

So, there you go.



Tiny Stitches

Tiny stitches formed by intricate lace patterns.

It is easy to lose count of them. Easy to lose your place.

Mistakes lead to tedious un-knitting. Painfully taking everything apart.

One by one. Stitch by stitch. 

And then the sigh. Because you have found your mistake.

And though you can fix it (or not),

You know you will go on.


Hexagons on the Other Days

Friends, do you ever have one of those days when you just don't know how you're going to make it through?

I fear this hexagon blanket has put a hex on me. It seems some days I'm am just so in love with it. I'm filled with anxiousness and joy and I can't wait to knit another hexagon. Knitting it makes me giddy. And all swooney inside.

Yes. It is quite a romantic little love affiar, isn't it?

And then there are the Other Days. On the Other Days, I am ambivalent about the whole thing. I could knit for hours and hours and hours without getting much joy from it. And certianly without feeling much love. On the Other Days, my romantic little love affair just isn't. I'm not in love with it. The hexagons aren't giving me what I need from them.

True, there is still satisfaction in knowing I've knit another hexagon. I've come closer to my goal of creating a blanket.

But on the Other Days, the goal I set out with doesn't so much feel like the place where I am now.

It makes me sad, sad, sad.

On the Other Days, I feel heavy-hearted. And quiet. And confused. And I know that it's okay to feel and be those things. But it is hard to look at what those things might mean. Is it possible, after all these hexagons, that my heart doesn't want to have anything more to do with them? Is it possible that the hexagon blanket is going to wind up as something I started but just can't seem to finish? Is the hexagon blanket going to use up all of my time, leaving me to feel all used up in the end?

What I know is this: I knit one hexagon today.


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