Sunday, February 28, 2010

So close...

I have been lying low in an attempt to thwart the February Curse. This attempt has been moderately successful: to wit, a relative had brain surgery and did not die! (Interesting to note that if you have a c-section, they keep you in the hospital longer than if you have brain surgery.) On the other hand, I fell off my horse last week, and my boy spent all of today vomiting in various rooms of the house, so there you go. I guess it all kind of balances out in the end, doesn't it?

While blocking out the fact that it was February, I did some knitting: notably, I finished the Anti-February cardigan. (Wow. New blogger thingy for pictures. Strange.)

I love it. (The sweater. Not sure about the blogger picture thingy.) It's a top-down cardigan, in Noro Silk Garden - lovely to knit, and fabulous to wear. Very much Anti-February, as the name suggests.

Then I knit a vest, but I only took pictures of the back. (How much of the February curse, I ask myself, is self-inflicted?)

I'm also knitting a shawl for my gramma. I haven't gotten around to taking a picture of that yet, but the link to the pattern is here. I know I can safely discuss the gramma shawl, because she does not read the blog. ("You write something on the computer? That's nice, dear.")

AND, the top-secret Pirate Mittens for Kathy are done and given, and loved. Everybody say "Argh."

The February Curse did not affect my knitting at all, but it seems to have cast some kind of dark spell on my reading. I only finished one book last week! Honestly! Things are not at all well around here.

And so, in celebration of there being only five and a half more hours of February left, and that I have survived it, I give you the view from my bedroom window at 6:11 this very evening: please note that it is not yet dark.

Spring. It's in the air.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why are so many poems about love, anyway?

To his Coy Mistress
by Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Feminist" is not a bad word.

First, my young onions, go look at this.

Then, once you've had a good slug of something to wash the bad taste out of your mouth, go on over here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Drove my Chevy to the levy, but the levy was dry.

Speaking of trips down memory lane, a colleague emailed me this link - you enter an address and it shows you a picture of that street. You can move the little man on the map up and down the block if you want, and see a 360 degree view of the houses. I've looked at every house I ever lived in... funny how the last apartment building I lived in while I was in Montreal still has that "for rent" sign in the front window. I wonder if it's Apartment 5 for rent?

Where does the time go?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

But what should we do after lunch?

Today I got up early (couldn't sleep) and washed the kitchen floor. I made breakfast, and dusted the whole house (except my office, where I pretend I can't see any dust because every square inch is covered with books). I zipped to Sobey's to buy a few things; I zipped home again and made an apple crisp. I did three loads of laundry. I made bread and set it to rise (I love saying that - very "Little House on the Prairie.") I made lunch. I went to a riding lesson, where I did not fall off but did get very dusty. I asked my riding teacher's husband for some advice about a leaking sink. (If I ever get married, it will be to someone like Keith - he is both handy and kind.) I came home, washed my riding clothes, (that was the fourth load), punched down the bread, and started split pea soup. I baked the bread (made it into rolls, sprinkled with rosemary and Maldon salt, cooked it in a cast iron pan), folded and put away the laundry, knit a couple rows on a new project, cleaned my bathroom. I read for a few minutes here and there, and took frequent breaks to admire my newly completed Anti-February cardigan, which is drying and which only needs its buttons to be perfect. I poured a bit of Drano down the non-leaking sink, and loaded up the dishwasher. I made two healthy lunches for tomorrow.

Now my kitchen is clean, my dog and my son are both fed, and I am filled with contentment. And pea soup.

I love weekends. They're so relaxing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I write poems in copies of Beowulf, too. (Not really.)

"Poem Written in a Copy of Beowulf"
by Borges (trans. by Alastair Reid)

At various times, I have asked myself what reasons
moved me to study, while my night came down,
without particular hope of satisfaction,
the language of the blunt-tongued Anglo-Saxons.

Used up by the years, my memory
loses its grip on words that I have vainly
repeated and repeated. My life in the same way
weaves and unweaves its weary history.

Then I tell myself: it must be that the soul
has some secret, sufficient way of knowing
that it is immortal, that its vast, encompassing
circle can take in all, can accomplish all.

Beyond my anxiety, beyond this writing,
the universe waits, inexhaustible, inviting.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sometimes you just have to say "amen." Even when you're an atheist.

This blogging thing is fun, but it can be very, very weird, too. I find myself in conversation with Real Live People and saying things like "well, my friend Screen Name says this" or "there was a hilarious discussion over on so-and-so's blog" and feeling like a bit of a fool. After all, the people who live in the screen of your computer aren't real... are they?

But they are, and I've been fortunate in reading some really awesome writers. One of those is Mrs. Spit, whose blog I stumbled on one day when I was looking for ways to teach my grade 7s about Subjects and Predicates. (I don't know what teachers did before Google. Honestly. Google has made everything easier.) Anyway, the Missus and I don't always agree on stuff, but I love her blog and she frequently leaves thoughtful and kind and intelligent comments on mine, which I also love.

The other day she wrote this post, which I think is one of the most intelligent things I have ever read. And so, without further ado, I would urge you all to go on over and read it, because I have nothing else to add.

Except for a heartfelt amen. (Which, coming from me, is something else.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Well, now I feel a whole lot better.

Because none other than Balzac Billy said it's going to be an early spring.

We can all relax.