Friday, May 29, 2015

A short reflection while waiting on the train

So, the trip is half over.  Tallin and Helsinki have been's the morning that we are leaving for St. Petersburg and I have an hour to stop and think and reflect and consider this "journey to" that I wrote about last week.

(I'm having an amazing time, btw.  Tallin is a magical city.  I want to move there I think...gotta figure out how to get JBW set up in Estonia!)

Anyway, the journey to the new me:

Things  I know to be true:  I'm more relaxed while traveling than ever before, I'm confident, I like being with people, and I like being by myself.  While i know that home is something I'll get back to I've hardly given it a thought.  Even the kitties who I know are safe and secure and well cared for.

While some of these observations may not seem surprising, they are for me.  In my relationship with the ex I always took on the emotional burdens.  If he was stressed, I acted it out.  If he was angry, I acted it get the picture.  I find that being me by myself is pretty nice.  I'm not having to worry about his behaviors, I'm not acting out his discomfort and I'm not filtering his social faux pas.  It's been amazing, to just go and see and not judge.  Amazing.

Things that surprised me: you remember that beauty that I knew I'd have to find in all of this mess..the divorce and quitting my job and moving across the country and settling into my new life?    You remember that I knew there was beauty there and that I would have to keep searching for it because I didn't want to become bitter and awful and ugly during this whole process.

Well...I found it...and it's right me...I'm beautiful. Inside and out.  In all ways.  And it makes me so profoundly happy that I've comes to tears several times on this trip.  This beauty thing has always been something difficult for me to accept about myself.  Mom used to tell me that I was so pretty and I'd respond that she had to think that because she was my mom...that she thought it didn't make it real.  David used to tell me...but for reasons I'm slowly uncovering I never believed it from him either.

The truth of that is that I wasn't ready to see it.  I didn't have the strength to own my beauty and know that it could be appreciated by others and they not use it for their own purposes.  I denied the beauty in order to protect myself.

I've worked hard to discover beauty this year.  I found it in a place I wasn't expecting.  I fully expected that I would see art, or architecture or history that would bring to the forefront that beauty...and I could learn to create that in my own version of art...I didn't, honestly, expect to find it quite so close to home (so to speak).


So this morning I will head out to see a city that I've always wanted to go to.  Where all kinds of things collide and in a culture and history that I know little about but still feel connected to in some way.  I'm excited because I believe that this second part of my journey will bring me even closer to the beauty within me.  Through the experiences coming up over the next 4 days I'll learn to appreciate and things about myself that I've always struggled with.

Beauty.  It's empowering.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tallin, Estonia day 1

Met up with the tour group this evening after traveling for 23 hours and then going for a walk around the old area of the city.  Some inspirational photos from today! Hugs all!  More when my brain is actually functioning!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

And now I'm all nestled, snug in my bed...

...or soon to be since I have a crazy early departure in the morning.

And I have to give a HUGE shoutout to my friend Rachel who is getting out of her bed at 4 am to take me to the airport.  That's love.  I can feel it.

I'm all packed up.  Two backpacks for two weeks...lots and lots and lots of knitting (pics as I progress I promise)...and so much enthusiasm and excitement I don't even know where to begin.

I'm so excited and yet so that's good...because I've got a grueling day tomorrow.


Because I know you're curious:  The kitties are settled in at the Cozy Cattery.  They have their beds and some toys and other kitty friends to keep them company.  I dropped them off and paid and was shuttled out the door.  I felt a little like a mama dropping her babies off at day care for the first time.  I remember that hustle to the door...the subtle "shove" and no option to look back and make sure they're settling in ok.

I know they'll settle in ok, even Zora who is usually such a snit in public.  I know this because the other cats there were ok and they'll send the appropriate vibes out to my girls to chill, enjoy the view and get to know what it's like being around other kitties.

The Cattery lets the kitties out of their cages for at least an hour each day if they want to come.  I think that's really awesome.  They'll get to run around and see the birds and look at the other kitties if they're curious.  It's going to be great for them, I just know it.

But I sure have missed them tonight.  It's just been me getting all my stuff packed up...and I have to tell you that it's kinda sad packing up my suitcase and not having to drag the cat out one.more.time. :)


Tomorrow will be airports and knitting and reading all day and at some point on Monday I'll arrive in Tallin, Estonia, and begin my amazing adventure.  I'll post pics, I promise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thoughts on travel, staying at home, being satisfied, etc.

I love to travel.  I love to get out and see the world.  I love driving in the country and I love walking around big cities.  I love busses, planes, trains...I love going to folk museums, seeing crafty things, art museums.

I love eating food I've never seen before.  I love trying to talk to people who grew up speaking a different language than I did and interacting with people who grew up with different value systems.

I love seeing the world and learning from it and feeling more a part of things.

I love bringing little bits of those amazing places I visit home with, niblets of food, memories, tshirts.

I love breathing the air and feeling the sunshine and the rain.


I remember a conversation I had with my dad many years ago.  He didn't understand why I wanted to travel and go so much. Live so many different places.  He said he was perfectly happy at home and worried that I wouldn't ever find happiness in my home.

I told him travel for me wasn't trying to find a different home but just seeing and learning about things that I couldn't see and learn from my living room.

I love my home.  I love the home where I live and the home where I grew up.  I love the other homes where I raised my babies and grew into a different kind of adult than I was when I started.

 I love that home roots us, gives us a place to "go home to." To belong and feel safe.  Home provides that centripetal force that allows us to experience all those things that we do when we travel.  All the "foreign" things that could have the potential to really set us off our rockers.  But because we are grounded in something we call home, we have the ability to explore, learn, and maybe change too.  Bring those "foreign" things home and help our home grow into something stronger than it was before.


Being satisfied in my home, the one I'm living in now, has created an amazing freedom of spirit with which I'm approaching this upcoming trip.  I am so excited about leaving and a little sad about leaving.  I've hardly taken the time to plan and prepare for this trip...not because I'm not excited but because I'm so satisfied being where I am that the trip doesn't carry the weight of being that thing my dad feared travel was for me.

Before the divorce I never would have admitted, even thought, that I wasn't happy in my home.  It was a place of refuge and comfort for me.  But I now realize it was also a place of confinement and profound dissatisfaction.  That former home, the one I left only a short 10 months ago, had, in so many ways, begun to imprison me, keep me from developing and growing and exploring.

And all the time, I wanted to get out, see things, do things.

The me now?  I'm so soul satisfied that travel means something even bigger and better and brighter than it did before.  It isn't my "escape from" but my "journey to"...

and the thought of that "journey to" a me that hasn't existed before.  To a me that I don't even know yet.  That's so cool and I can't wait for THAT part of my trip.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I successfully started a project! And thoughts on travel

Yea me!  I started a Pi Shawl (Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Pithy instructions") last night.  I'm using the Madelinetosh Tasty Tosh color of the month--Strawberry Rhubarb Pie--for my Pi Shawl. (snicker!)

Isn't it lovely?

Those are the Marblz double points in size 6.  I've since switched to the interchangeable needle set and will knit away on this at some point during my trip. (I love those needles and not just because they're pretty)  The Pi Shawl is what EZ recommends for trip's easy, pretty mindless, and fairly well contained.  So I'm after it.

And you know what else is wonderful?  I started the project and...then put it in a bag so that it'll be ready to work on when I'm on my trip.  Isn't that forsightful of me not to get it almost finished before I leave???

--- one week I'll be flying across the pond to visit three cities in three countries that I've never been to before.  I'm going to be touring with a group of people I've never met and it's going to be an amazing experience.

I'm finding my prepping for travel compared to how I've always prepped for travel to be rather interesting.  I have a one night lay over in Zurich, for instance.  I just realized last night that I don't have a hotel.  So I booked that.

I realized yesterday that I hadn't yet gotten my data plan for international usage...done.

I have some clothes, but not many.  i haven't even thought about what I'm going to pack in any significant wary.

I just realized that looking at the weather would be nice (high/low temps, that sort of thing).

The fact that I'm not on the schedule that was just put out at work sort of "brought home" how quickly this trip is happening.

Before?  I had countdowns, hotels planned, more clothes bought than I could possibly wear, data plans lined out, food purchased, restaurants in the area of the hotels scouted out.  Everything planned.  Now I'm just coasting along and while I'm excited I'm also living my life right now.  It's fabulous.  And I'm super happy...

Friday, May 15, 2015

So, what do we crafters do when it's time to go traveling?

...plan our travel knitting/crafting of course!

I've spent more time pulling more yarn from my stash over the past week and a half than I have doing much of anything else.

And you know what else I do?

I start the project, just a little bit.  I do this because sometimes I don't like the results I'm getting and realize I need a new project.  Nothing worse than being on a trip and not having access to Ravelry to download new patterns.

I also do this so I don't have to deal with the pain of casting on while being distracted by travel responsibilities.

Now, travel knitting, for me, must be easy but interesting.

Small and portable.

Pretty enough to make me keep going.

And wearable once I'm done without the major need for blocking.


I BELIEVE I will finish all 17 projects that I bring with me.


and you know what's funny?  I've already finished the first of my travel knitting and I haven't even left Reno yet.  Dork.  Pics's drying now, but it's gorgeousness!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

So...what do I do when I go missing?

I was kind of shocked to get on here and realize that the last time I wrote was LAST Tuesday!

I miss you guys, truly I do.  I have so many things to talk about and share...and I don't know how I let time slip away from me.

So, I thought today I'd tell you what I'm doing instead of blogging.

  • knitting and lots of it--I have to get ready for my trip and that means planning all the trip knitting! 
  • thinking about my trip
  • going out with friends
  • cooking food and cleaning my kitchen
  • shopping for my trip
  • looking for a new apartment
  • thinking of new and exciting and awesome things to do at work (have I mentioned lately how happy I am to be working in a place that encourages and praises creative endeavors)
  • thinking--about a lot of things but mostly about how happy I am that I've made a life for myself
  • wondering--about a lot of things but mostly about how blind I was to how unhappy I was
  • taking stock--of all the things around me: life, friends, hobbies, clothes, beautiful scenery
  • watching murder mysteries while knitting (oh, I mentioned knitting already didn't I???)
I've been a bit pensive and anxious too.  I'm starting to take risks...put myself out there, so to speak...but my creativity is sparking back.  I'm coming up with fun things to do--at work and at home.  I'm looking at life from my creative lens and I'm really getting excited about what can happen and what I can do...and it's fun and scary at the same time.

...And I realized on the way to work yesterday that one thing that I've been holding back from --dating--ain't going to be easy no matter how "ready" I think I am or am not.  It's one of those things that I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and do at some point....

But not just yet.  I'm not quite ready.  I want to but I'm not up for the risk. I'm interested but I'm also scared.  I also realize that I've bitten that bullet a bunch of times over the past few months and am honestly ready for a break.  I want to coast for a little while. No pressure (from within or without), living without fear, being happy.

I can deal with that.


Today's picture is of Zora in her new bed.  The place where I'm boarding the kitties while I'm on my trip encourages you to bring a bed, so I got one for them today.  She took right to fact I may never see her out of it except when food is proffered.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The beauty of the place that I live

There is a beauty in the place that I live

A simple beauty that stuns me
A beauty that makes my breath catch
A beauty that amazes me

A beauty that reminds me that not every place is beautiful
A beauty that reminds me that where I came from was not beautiful
A beauty that lets me know that who I am is always (and always has been beautiful)

A beauty that makes me appreciate neutral
A beauty that lives in neutral colors, neutrality of position, neither high nor low, dark nor light
A beauty that is common--all around me

All I have to do is open my eyes to see the beauty
All I have to do is close my eyes and be ok with the things that are past, over, done with
All I had to do was open my heart to the beauty

Because the beauty of now
stuns me
makes my breath catch
amazes me.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

One of the perils of living alone

Last night as I was prepping dinner I sliced into my left thumb.  It hurt.  I don't deal well with my own blood.  I didn't faint, but I wanted to throw a big hissy fit and have someone take care of me.

I wanted someone to feel sorry for me.

I wanted someone to finish making my dinner.  I was hungry on top of panicked...and I had to get that big old knife back out and finish chopping Brussel sprouts and cut up some pickles and mix up the hamburgers.

And then wash up all those dirty dishes.

It wasn't fun being me all alone in my apartment for the first time.

Especially after supper and all the drama was over and I realized that I wasn't able to knit on the Agave socks...could barely manage garter stitch for my Hitchhiker shawl.  Crochet was out of the question. I knew needlepoint would be too.

And I had hours to kill before bedtime.

And I was all alone with no one to distract me or feel sorry for me.

It was a trying night, but I came through it.

No picture today in honor of my sliced thumb.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


The Agave socks are coming along spectacularly if I may say so myself.

I'm past the heel turn and about half done with the gusset decreases (which happen on the top of the foot).  Again, another genius pattern by Cookie A that I LOVE making because I love figuring it out.

I'm doing pretty well cabling without a cable needle, too.  It's only difficult when the purl stitch has to go behind...and then that little sucker wants to drop as far back as it can go, so I have to hold onto it and make sure it behaves.  Getting better at that too, especially now that I know to look for it.


In general life has dealt my family another blow.  I honestly don't have the energy to deal with it.


BUT, 3 weeks until my trip and about that I'm super-duper excited!