Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Belated Birthday Wishes, part 1

I promised you pretty pictures, and so here's one for you:

I used the Khotan pattern (Rav link), by Hunter Hammersen, from the book Silk Road Socks. I used Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere. These belong to my friend J, for her birthday...which mighta sorta been in November. They got finished in January (Christmas knitting, GAH), and I gave them to her when she came over for MY birthday.

In my defense, I originally planned on making her something else (this, to be exact, with this yarn and yarn leftover from The Shrug), and it didn't go well. I tried and tried to get gauge and failed miserably. When the needles I was knitting with were 5 sizes larger than the pattern called for, I gave up and changed plans. That was a week before her birthday. So, for her birthday, she got a card that told her to look over at me so I could show her the gift in progress.

The funny thing with these socks is their color. You can't really tell in the picture, but one of them is actually more brownish than the other one. I was knitting from both ends of the skein, and I guess this is one of the quirks of handpainted yarns... This bothered me when I was knitting them, but not enough to stop knitting one and wait until I could knit them from the same end. Besides, I told myself, they're for J. She'll love them anyway because they're pretty and CASHMERE.

Turns out, she does. Happy birthday, J, and I'm sure glad you understand me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A love letter

Because today seems like the day for it.

From the moment I met you, something was different. In our very first conversation, you called me beautiful. I think, for the first time in my life, I actually believed it. For some reason, before I even saw your face or you saw mine, it was like you knew me. And what you knew you found beautiful. That still makes me smile, as does the memory of that first 8 hour phone call. When we were finally face to face, something just clicked. I didn't know it yet (I think I was afraid to believe it), but you certainly did. We were for each other and there was nothing to be done about it. And so went the first decade or so of our lives together.

These past two years have been a true eye-opener for me. I always knew you were a great husband, and I was sure you'd be a wonderful father, but that conviction was a hazy shade of the reality. Watching you with our little boy is one of the great pleasures of my life. Sometimes I go upstairs "to hide" just so I can listen to you boys play without my involvement. I see so much of you in him, and I hope that continues to be true.

Our road hasn't always been smooth. There have been distances, both physical and emotional, that could have separated us. We have been stronger than any distance. Always, underneath everything, has been a sureness that we are meant. So we carry on and love, because that's what we do.

You bring me joy, and laughter, and peace. You make me smile when I need to, and you let me cry when I have to. You help me find amusement in things that would otherwise make me crazy. You stay grounded when I'm flying off the walls, and you lift me up when I'm down. Thank you for that.

When I was young, I hoped that I would have the kind of love that would stand the test of life. The kind of love that balanced the people wrapped up in it. The kind of love that lifts others by example. I know that I have that with you. No, it isn't always easy; but, what truly great things come easily? And when I look at you across the top of our son's head, or wake up next to you, or hold your hand, or hear your voice on the phone across miles and miles, or see a text on my phone, I light up, inside and out.

I love you (and all that other stuff),
Your Kitten

Nearly perfect.

This Valentine's Day I got to spend all alone with my precious little dude.

It was a happy day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In shock

Today marks the passing of a true musical great. I am simply stunned and I'm honestly having trouble processing this information. A lot of people are posting that they aren't surprised and that she was done a long time's my response.

I don't care.

As a young black female growing up in the South in the 1980's, Ms. Houston went beyond pop star status to me. Idol isn't a proper description, either. Simply put, she represented everything I hoped I could grow to have. She showed me it was possible. She gave me dreams to strive toward. She was beautiful and talented and smart (or so it seemed) and LOVED. I hoped that one day I would be able to find that kind of acceptance. I grew up isolated from a portion of the black community available to me because I was "too smart" and spoke "too proper" (read: white). Watching her handle that same very vocal faction with grace and poise was inspiring.

Yes, her life became a sad and tragic cautionary tale. Her Prince Charming became her worst nightmare and she became her own worst enemy. This only served, to me, to show she was human. I always believed she would eventually dig out of the well she'd fallen into.

Now she won't. And I'm feeling pretty torn up about that.

RIP, Ms. Houston. I hope you have peace now.