Messages from the Great Beyond

Butterflies have been migrating through Yankton lately. Not monarchs — some other orange and dark-colored things. Lots of them. Could be painted ladies, which sound a little soiled dove-ish, but who am I to judge what a butterfly does to pay the bills?

I was watching them flutter past as I drove up Douglas last week, trying to remember what it was that they were supposed to symbolize. A message from the departed? That seemed impractical — why would my relatives choose to send me a message via something that very well might end up schmucked up onto the car grille? “Hey, we have something to tell yo…” [crunch].

In my opinion, haunting one’s dreams is the way to go. Or do what Grandma once did and manipulate an email message from beyond the grave…but that’s another story.

I asked myself who would have a message for me, and immediately it flashed into my head, “OH GOD, AUNT EVELYN, I’ve been letting the bastards grind me down, haven’t I? You said I wasn’t supposed to do that!”

So here I am to share my message from beyond the grave with you, in bogus Latin, no less: Illegitimi non carborundum. I feel like Great-Aunt Evelyn would want you to know.

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15 Months in 2 Days

Early toddlerhood is pretty great. I love my daughter’s total commitment and refusal to acknowledge obstacles. Perhaps this will wear on me as toddlerhood rolls on, but for now, I will enjoy watching her plow her musical walker through the living room, regardless of what might lie in her path. I’ll enjoy watching her try to push it through walls and tables, insisting they yield to her will.

She knows what she wants, and she knows how to demand it, even though she has no words and only two signs. I envy her clarity, her total lack of reasonableness. We share impatience, but mine gets choked down in an effort to be polite, to play well with others.

If she is to be a decent human being someday (and I hope she will be!), she’ll have to learn about compromise and thinking about the needs of others, but I have to admit that I envy her single-mindedness a little bit.

On the needles:
An Elizabeth Zimmerman Tomten Jacket in Peace Fleece. I wasn’t sure I had enough pink to finish the sleeves, so I ordered a skein of darker pink to make the jacket a little flashier. It appears to be somewhat lighter weight than the old yarn, so we’ll see how this goes.

Tan-ish linen stitch scarf for Mike. This will take a short eternity to finish.

Next I’ll be looking at felted slippers and a fresh set of handwarmer thingies out of some bright yellow/orange stuff I picked up at the shop.

Currently reading:
Queen Margot by Alexandre Dumas
Black Elk Lives
Freakanomics (I should hurry up and read this so I can throw it away. Any book that opens with eleven pages worth of praise for itself is probably not worth reading.)

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All you have to do is take a picture

I’d like to post something clever and insightful, but I don’t have it in me. Luckily, you don’t have to have great words to post – you just have to have a picture.

Fiber dyed with black beans, Kool Aid and turmeric.

Fiber dyed with black beans, Kool Aid and turmeric.

Completed Christmas Cowl

Completed Christmas Cowl

Wedding Shawl #1 (pending bride approval)

Wedding Shawl #1 (pending bride approval)

Ok, so it’d be nice if they were good pictures.

The craps player is off for a few days on a pre-baby casino tour. I think the best use of my Sunday afternoon will involve watching a movie (probably The Good Fairy), eating freshly-made lefse and knitting a quick hat for Mr. Spouse.

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Whoops! Looks like it’s been two months since my last post. I am not impressed. I’ve even been to a couple of casinos in that time, so I really have no excuse.

Wait, of course I do. In fact, I have three:

1. Moving
2. Gestating
3. Going full time at work

I hate that I haven’t been writing, but I’m trying to accept the fact that I only have so much energy in a day, and much of that energy is spent trying to get through it.

Today’s energy will go towards knitting a cowl and making cream cheese mints. I should go downstairs and take a picture of our rattlesnake bean harvest, but that smacks of effort. I would like to attack some fiber I tried dying with chokecherries (not very successful), but time is limited. I’m itching to dye some plain fiber with turmeric and black beans, but I think that has to wait until next weekend.

And then there’s Christmas cards. Aw, hell.

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Little Mazurka keeps on rollin’

Time for your post of the month. I’ve been pretty preoccupied with this whole baby-having business to do, well, anything, really. But during last weekend’s garage sale, I managed to crank some fiber through the ol’ wheel and into yarn.


This yarn pile consists of two 4 oz. gobs of singles and a little Tibetan yak 2 ply (that’d be the boring colored stuff in back), with a heart of flashy, sparkly purple fiber from Nashville.

I love spinning singles.

020I also love onions. Let me know if you need some! We’ve got two buckets at home and more waiting in the field.

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stillness and sweet corn

We were out in the country visiting a former neighbor the other night. Her screened-in structure out on the lawn was the ideal place to enjoy a still evening. No cars kicked up dust on her gravel road. Blue jays’ wings produced the only air movement as they fluttered in and out of their nest in the eaves. The sun was setting over the alfalfa field and into our eyes as we talked about the summer.

“Doctor tells me I can’t have sweet corn,” Patty said. “What’s the point of summer if I can’t have sweet corn? It’s the only thing that makes it worthwhile!” Mike and I had just consumed a dozen ears of my brother’s finest, so thinking of the world’s cornless unfortunates made me feel sad and guilty at once.

A local magazine has been tweeting different corn-cooking ideas lately: Microwave it! Cook it in a cooler! “Why bother,” I wonder. Putting a pot of water on to boil is pretty easy. It only takes a few minutes to warm the ears up, and it’s fun to pull them out with tongs. (Mike is a sucker for funnels; I’m more of a tong gal.)

Growing up, one of my favorite parts of summer was those few short weeks when the sweet corn was ripe. I swear that’s all we ate: buckets and buckets of hot sweet corn, soaked in butter with a sprinkle of salt for grit. Even now, I abandon all reserve when sweet corn is on the menu. Mike always laughs when he sees me with spattered glasses, butter and kernels smeared all over my cheeks. I don’t much care. It washes off.

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Slow Moving

I’m feeling better these days, but the long-running sciatic nerve woe means I haven’t finished anything OR been with Mike to the casino in quite some time. It seems wrong to call this a finished object, though. It’s just a little farther along on its crafty journey.

It’s Tour de Fleece time, so I am getting a little more spinning done than usual. Next on the wheel: 2 oz. of yak I bought at the North Country Fiber Fair a few years ago.



My little flower corner is looking nice. Nothing too fancy here, but I like it a lot better than juniper.


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