Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Now? Later? Never? Too late?

I love Joanna Goddard's blog, Cup of Jo. She always has thought-provoking posts.

This one, on the decision whether or not to have kids, completely floored me. I thought I was alone in my yes...no...right now...never...maybe? fluctuations.

Apparently not.

Disclaimer: to my friend who has just told me she's pregnant, I'm thrilled for you and I can't wait to meet the mini-you; to my friends who have kids, they're adorable and I love them and I think being Auntie Kate is the Best Thing Ever.

Ok, disclaimer finished.

I'm 30 and have been married for almost 6 years. All kinds of inappropriate people (acquaintances, hairstylists, tenuously-related family members) ask me, "So, when are you having children?!" (Close friends, fine. People whose middle names I don't know, mind your own damn beeswax, says the girl on her open-to-the-internets blog...) Some days, I'm desperate for kids. Some days, I can't bear the thought of them. Also, I have some friends-of-friends who are struggling with infertility. I can't even imagine how it feels to get the "oh my gosh you did NOT just ask me when I'm having babies" question if I were desperately trying and spending tons of money on it and failing completely. Which I'm not. But I could be. You don't know that when you ask me.


I work full time. We have a small house. We have a boat. We have one (very cute) car. My parents live on another continent. I sing in a choir with a 2-hour weekly evening rehearsal, 20 miles from home. I love tower-bell ringing, also generally in 2-hour blocks, in the evenings. I love reading for hours in bed. I love lazy weekend mornings. I'm selfish. I like quilting (and spending money on quilts). I go to New York once a year (on a red-eye with a kid or with a stroller? ACK!). The schools around us are really not very good, unless you go to private school, which costs an alarmingly large percentage of my annual salary. Homeschooling, anyone? Then there's the birthday parties (a seemingly endless stream of them at a certain age), the ballet and the ice skating and the bike rides and the park and mom, my shoes are too small and I really need to have that new game and I just threw up and what's for lunch?

I always wanted kids when I was younger, you know, when I grow up. I worked as a camp counselor for years. A lot of my friends have kids (or are pregnant). I love kids. Babies are cute. I make cute clothes and quilts and shoes for them. But these are not campers. Campers go home to Mommy and Daddy at the end of the summer. Babies go back to Mommy and Daddy when they cry.

They're expensive. They smell. They take up ALL your free time. They make you depressed after you give birth and then again when you stop breast feeding, apparently. They're, um, permanent. You're responsible for them. Seriously. PERMANENT. Like, forever. I'm 30, and I still talk to my mom at least once a week. What if I have a kid that turns out to be a mass-murderer? Or, worse, a Republican (kidding)?

Am I ticking? I have no idea!

When I wasn't sure if I wanted a kindle, I asked the bloggie peeps. This feels a little bit bigger than that. I'm really, really glad that I'm not the only one.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Giants quilt, in progress.

My great-aunt has just moved to an assisted-living facility. Her new digs are pretty snazzy, having seen them. She is a HUGE New York Giants fan, so I'm making her a quilt for "her" Giants as a housewarming present.

Here's the inspiration:

And the printed-out templates (reversed this time, even thought it didn't matter because it's a solid).

And the cut-out fabric:

And the fabric on the football-field front, with red zigzag. Now to quilt (straight white walking-foot lines like yard lines, methinks), bind (in red), and send!

Special thanks to the Husband for being the quilt feet.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring rabbit

A spring rabbit, spotted on a pew-end at the Ladies' Guild day out. I feel like he's probably there year-round, but spotting him in spring feels rather appropriate.

I've come across a few things on the internets that shall require making:

Best Banana Bread Ever from Cup Of Jo
Handmade piping from Noodlehead
Potato Knish from Smitten Kitchen
This adorable Tova top from Film In The Fridge
Millet with mushroom and kale from Oh She Glows

I can't do them all this weekend because I'll be singing in the sold out Messiah concert, with the ever-excellent Bury Bach Choir. WOOT! SOLD OUT!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: The Museum Street Cafe

I went to Ipswich yesterday for a haircut, and after some window shopping (and buying Selvedge, squee!), I had lunch at the Museum Street Cafe. The stepson had recommended it on a number of occasions, but we'd never gotten around to eating there. Well, I'll definitely be back. They had a small but enthusiastic (and fresh) veggie menu, with what looked like some vegan options.

I was originally after a lentil salad, but since it was so revoltingly cold and rainy out, I went for the red onion and cheese tart. It wasn't called a tart, it was something else, but I can't remember the name. I did, however, take a picture. It was delicious - really light but also quite cheesy and sweet and sharp because of the caramelised onions. More, please!

I also finished my latest book late Friday. It was a Persephone book. That I found at the Stowmarket Library. While browsing. I know, shut up. I never find anything while browsing at the library. But there it was, in its pretty grey cover, waiting for me! Book no. 72, to be specific, House-Bound, by Winifred Peck. I got a little stuck towards the end, but otherwise enjoyed it. It's a pre-McCall-Smith satire of wartime Edinburgh (called Castleburgh in the book), with entertaining characters and a few fairly emotional moments. What? We're Scottish! We don't have emotions. Well, they seem emotional to this overly-emotional and perky American. There's one of those in the book, too. Teehee.

In springtime news, I kidnapped some forsythia from our back garden and put it in a vase in the kitchen. So yellow and springy! (John brought me some begonias, also yellow, in the background.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Random book review: Jean Auel

I've been working my way through Jean Auel's series, starting with The Clan of the Cave Bear. They're a little bit repetitive, and not particularly intellectual, but I seem to find them a rather guilty pleasure. My favorite one so far was definitely The Valley of Horses, but I've enjoyed them all. If you want to just escape rather wholeheartedly into prehistoric (i.e. before Teh Internets) fiction, go nuts. If you want a high-brow thinky book, leave it. I had a geeky few weeks when Alice Roberts was doing a documentary on the evolution of humans from apes right through HomoSapiens, and she got to the part where the Neanderthals and the early Humans were living in the same areas, simultaneously. Shut up. Just like the books! 

The fourth fifth (really? I've read 4 already?) one is en route to the Stowmarket library. I'm pretending not to be excited. 

Oh, and my mom remembers reading them when they came out and were super popular, back in the dark ages (aka the 1980s).

And now, for a completely random picture of Soho, on a winter afternoon. I love New York.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Your eyeballs are your own again.

Some of you may have noticed - your eyeballs are no longer being sold. Apologies for the ads over the last few months. It just seemed like kind of a waste of time to sell your eyeballs for what amounted to about $10 over a year. All gone!


I've been knitting, on commission from friends at work who admired my fingerless mittens. One pair, in  burgundy (or as close as I could get)...the real colour is slightly less pink thank in the picture below.

And t'other pair. My instructions were: "Purple. And longer than yours." Indeed.

For both, I knitted some love into them. And I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to Buy More Yarn and Knit More Things For My Peeps (That They ACTUALLY Wanted).

In terms of economic viability, well, not so much. But I do have a barter commission for a cowl like mine for my Alexander Technique teacher. HOORAY! For anyone else, I'm open to commissions (you buy the wool and a contribution towards my time, I make the doohickey). No jumpers, please - they take forever!

And while this is most definitely not your last chance, this picture was too good to pass up.

Taken en route to a very excellent Ladies Guild Of Change Ringers (Eastern District) day out today.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Legos are awesome

John found this video. My brother and I used to spend hours building legos, but never did anything as cool as this.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Giant Couscous

I bought myself some yellow tulips. It was an excellent idea. Don't you agree?

We took the mother-in-law for lunch in Norwich, at Frank's Bar, again. New menu, different but equally amazing food. I had grilled aubergine over giant couscous with roasted-fennel creme fraiche. SO yummy.

I finished reading The Gift, by Alison Croggon, last week. It reminded me a bit of Eragon, but I think I liked it better. I've reserved the next one at the library, which I guess is a good indication!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Snowy Vermont

I hadn't been to Vermont since Liz's wedding, 5 years ago. Since there's...um...nothing in Cambridge, NY, where my grandmother's funeral was held, we all stayed in the teeming metropolis that is  Bennington, VT. Bennington's claim to fame is an extremely tall obelisk on the top of the tallest hill to commemorate the Battle of Bennington, which for reasons known only to itself was not actually fought in Bennington. Silly Vermonters. It wasn't even in Vermont - it was in New York! (Granted, only 10 miles away, but still.)

Anyway, Vermont's wintry weather obliged with a very pretty dusting of snow:

Here I am, pointing at the British, I think. At least, that's what the tall statue-dude (General John Stark, apparently) was doing.

And then we found a snowy, covered bridge. Since we were in Vermont, after all.

And then, the following morning, we had absolutely pristine and perfect New England scenes. The monastery (at the top of a very long and extremely steep driveway/road) was serene and beautiful.

Even the birdhouse had snow.

Before the service, we found my grandfather's grave.

My grandparents were very involved with the Monks of New Skete (monks have websites, too!) in their original location in New Canaan, CT, near my grandparents' house, and stayed in close contact with the brothers throughout their lives. The brothers and other members of the New Skete community were extremely welcoming and kind, and included us in their Sunday mass, as well as a short service afterwards. It was perfect, and Grandma would have loved it.