Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sweet Home California

Well I really enjoyed my time in Maine. They managed to throw one snow event (they don't use the word "storm" lightly in Maine, and since there was no loss of life, it was just an event, not a storm) and the coldest day ever recorded in the state of Maine in human history (-50F, somewhere in the next county or two.) And winter is really exhilarating in 10-day chunks. Thinking that you understand winter after spending a week is like thinking you understand prison after a guided tour of Alcatraz. The essence, in both cases, is the ever-lastingness of it all. But I have lived through whole winters, and I realize that 10 days is nothing like the real thing. So it's all good--warm houses, other people who plow, and the stark beauty of bare trees and pale skies.

Coming back to California, the entire palate changes--here, winter is the greenest part of the year, and the sunlight is of a totally different quality. Also, when it's chilly here, maybe 40 degrees, it has the crisp feel of high pressure that you get at 2 or minus 12 in Maine, while the warm balmy feel of 28 degrees in Maine is apparently a result of the low pressure that allowed the heat to reach such heights.

I finished my socks today. They took quite a while--from January 12th to the 29th, with huge swathes of free knitting time. But I like the results a lot. They're currently drying in a towel after I soaked them in hair conditioner, which made them much softer. Pictures will be added in due time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

At Grandma's House

It's wintery outside...

but tropical inside!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wintery Day

not James's favorite job!
Karen's barn
tree with berries
early morning moon over Grandma's house
one sock finished
Stella relaxes

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know

His house is in the village though

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake

The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A little family gathering

Emily is 7 and in the first grade. She looks so much like Hannah now!

Lydia is 10 and in the 5th grade--a middle schooler. She took us to Tech Day at her school to show us around.

Abby is 16 and the queen of snarky humor.

Joanne and Emily rest after a hard day!

Grandpa enjoyed a nice meal and some conversation.

Aunt Karen loves her nieces, Lydia and Abby.

Hannah writes her name on her cup to make sure no one runs off with it. She's now an English major, just like her aunt.

Grandma is making sure no one pulls any fast ones!

Friday, January 16, 2009

How cold was it?

Well overnight, it was actually -27 degrees F. But it's amazingly toasty warm in the house.

And it was a bright sunny day and warmed up to 0 degrees by 11 am,with no wind,

so we bundled up the small children
and took the dog out for a walk in Manson Park.

I'm surprised that the river doesn't freeze, but it is moving rather quickly, and there is ice along the edges.

A lovely winter day in Pittsfield, Maine!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Knitting in Maine

pre-travel sock

After a day's worth of travel knitting, this is how my sock is coming along.

Karen, wearing the sweater that was supposed to be for Mom, but Mom didn't think she would wear it much.

Marta, one of the children Karen provides care for.

Mom in her kitchen, after serving us delicious beefstew with dumplings.

Dad, in the sun parlor, after showing off his tomato plants.

Woodpecker eating suet in Grandma and Grandpa's yard.