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Well, here’s not just one, but two finished scarves that I promised pictures of-
I finished the guy-scarf, and I even made one for my mom.

My mother’s scarf has a bit of a story behind it. I bought the yarn in a small mom-and-pop store in Takamatsu, Japan, trying to find something to buy to support their business. The yarn was gorgeous and reminded me of my mother right away- but I could only afford two skeins. (No credit cards in Japan-land) I was sure I could do something with it. That was nearly 3 years ago! I finally busted it out and got to work, but as I was working, I realized this was going to be one short scarf! So I made a double-knit at the end, basically making a tube where the first end could pass through it and secure without needing to be long and knotted. Does that make sense? ^_^

Life, life, life!
It’s amazing how easy we’ve got it in the modern world. So easy that when things start to tumble a bit, our whole lives kind of fall apart and we can’t keep ourselves together long enough to realize that, in all reality, this is nothing!

As many of you know, I moved from Colorado to Japan, from Japan to Colorado, did a road trip of the US, and wound up in DC, the only city I felt comfortable living in. (I later found out this was due to no building being taller than the Washington Monument.) But the truth is- I don’t live in DC. I’m not living the hip green city life I thought I’d be living. I’m in Maryland, skirting the edge of it all, driving in circles between work, friends, and home. And the work- well- let’s just say I had better work when I was 14 than this job. I enjoy being a waitress- I just don’t enjoy the people I have to serve. How mean man can be! This, in conjunction with other piled-on troubles, just got to be too much.

Some time in October my car was hit while parked on the side of the road- and the culprit tried to drive away. He didn’t get far on account of his tire falling off, so the police got his car, even though he ran for it! How could someone do this? How indecent does a man have to be to run from his own folly? I found out at work that a great many people there had done similar things- hit and runs, and they felt no remorse. What a world we live in!

So I’ve been walking for a month and a half; to and fro. My place is a bit out of the way, and it makes for long days and many activities cut short, but it did make my time feel more precious somehow, and it did force me to focus. On top of it all, I felt like I was finally getting much needed exercise, not polluting the skies with my emissions, and I wasn’t having an anxiety attack over East coast traffic or impending costs of automotive maintenance. There were other worries- rain, snow, ice, and wind, and how to carry all those things I always thought I needed before! Life got simpler. Not easier. Just simpler. And I honestly kind of liked it.

My mother, on the other hand, was feeling all my released anxiety over on her side of the Mississippi. Her child alone in DC without a car? Heaven forfend! So she came out to visit and we went car shopping- and I eventually purchased my first car. (not counting the 81 Corolla bought for me in high school, or the Avalon I just totaled that was my mother’s) So now I have a car. A 2002 Honda Accord. And all the anxiety is back. Worse- the financial anxiety of paying off this car is something akin to suffocation.
The good news is- I can get away. I can drive for miles and hide from the city. I can go to Ikea and pretend I live in a trendy little city apartment like in my dreams. And in reality- I don’t have to drive my car. When the weather is nice, I can still walk. So all is not grey.

And Monday I start a new job. It’s a slow start- a volunteer position at the Smithsonian, which I have been told will transform into a full-fledged federal position as soon as they figure out where to put me.
The urban apartment life is looking closer and closer. Here’s hoping.

So perhaps this drama coming to an end, I can get back to crafting. Wouldn’t that be nice!
I hope you all are enjoying the hints of winter, and small whisper of Christmas- and the impending warmth of Thanksgiving.

(I meant to post this weeks ago, but alas, life got in the way, more on that later!)

When I was little, and went shopping with my mother, she used to always look at the kitchen stores with the windows full of bright, enameled-coated Le Crueset pots. I remember her pausing and sighing wistfully, telling me how much she loved them, and how well they must cook things, and how someday she wanted one in her blue and white kitchen. For the record, my mother’s blue and white kitchen doesn’t actually exist. She has always wanted one- with a Dutch influence I think she picked up living in Europe- and she’s gotten as far as to have many things in her kitchen BE blue and white, as well as having inherited a set of blue and white decorative plates (called Royal Copenhagen Christmas Plates) from my Great Grandfather Marshall which are hung over the top of the cabinets. My favorite is the mermaid:

but having a very eclectic lifestyle has led to having more than just blue and white- somewhat defeating the purpose. On top of that, one day several years ago, now, in an effort to get her to remodel her kitchen, I devised a plan to sabotage her cabinets in order to force her hand. While she and my father were away for the weekend, I painted every one of her cabinets a different color- all in muted Santa-Fe colors- all in a very rusted antiqued look- all very messily done. I have to admit the finished product was pretty cool. Too cool. She still hasn’t remodled the kitchen.

Anyway- her dream for a blue kitchen, and her fawning of the blue enamel-coated Le Creuset pots made them eternally nostalgic. While my mother finally received her pot, and eventually an additional two, I found that I had caught the bug, and was wanting one as well. I knew, however, that it wasn’t really a logical thing to own until one was making dinner often, and could get full use out of it, so I resigned myself to wait until marriage.

or…. today. ^_^ I was walking around Goodwill today looking for a container for things under my sink- and also some grey material for a shark costume for my niece, when I came across a 6 quart cobalt blue stockpot! Whoa! At first I thought it must be a fake- it didn’t weigh nearly enough to be a Le Creuset- and how could one just be sitting here in a Goodwill on the East coast where everything is ridiculously overpriced and totally raked over by everyone… too good to be true. Well, I get home and look it up, and it’s real! It’s not cast-iron, which is why it’s not heavy, but if they made a pot that size in cast-iron, I don’t think anyone could reasonably lift it! So I’m very happy with my $3.50 steel, enamel-coated, cobalt blue Le Creuset stockpot. Hee!

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In other news- my sister sent me a beautiful, old, blue tin full of home-made hot-chocolate! I will post that recipe next along with the story behind it.