Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Amalia's New Year's Message for Bear

Too many times
We've had to fight the onslaught
of enemies at our door.

And so often we lost
the sounds of our voices
Amid the lion's roar.

Tonight we rest and recover
And reflect on where we've been
Tomorrow we wage a war of our own
That I just can't wait to begin.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I sit here, at 9:25 on a Monday morning in my pjs, sipping yummy pumpkin and hazelnut coffee, reflecting on the wonder that is today. It's my fifth day off over the past eight days (!) and although I have a plethora of chores awaiting me, I am in a place of contentment. Zedd is looking at me like he wants to come cuddle me on the couch. Briggs is off somewhere creating mayhem. Bear is at work, so I have the house to myself. Nickelback's new CD is playing on my laptop (the surround sound is hooked up).

Life is good.

I have missed you all, my blogger friends. I'm going to spend the morning catching up on your lives - you have been busy this past week! Then it's off to do chores, but that's okay. I don't mind working after a morning spent so perfectly.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Okay. I'm happy this morning. I admit it. I've been smiling all morning and not just because a) this is the last day of school before Christmas vacation, b) there were giant cinnamon rolls in the teacher's room for breakfast, c) I drove my truck to school today, or d) I don't have to work at job #2 tonight. The *real* reason I'm happy?

I slept last night.

The last two nights, actually. I slept through almost the whole night with only minimal dreaming. I didn't wake before the alarm. It was seven hours of pure, unadulterated, uninterrupted sleep.

It's been a long time since I've slept that well.

I am a very light sleeper usually - rolling over will wake me up (me or my husband). I can't seem to get beyond that dream layer of sleep. I dream all night long and remember those dreams in the morning. Most are disturbing/stressful, so I wake feeling no more rested than I did when I went to bed. It sucks.

But for some reason, the last two nights I've been sleeping better than I have in a long time. I don't know if it's because of the upcoming holiday relaxing me, my body finally realizing it needs to rest... whatever the reason, I feel awesome this morning.

How are you?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Asexual Reproduction (of a sort)

I've always believed that blogging begets blogging. People who enter the blogsophere by following one person's blog inevitably create their own. As they get readers (and commenters), their presence in the blogsophere grows, until they are just too big for one blog to handle. It becomes more difficult to remain true to the original blog's intent, and thus another blog is born.

And so it is with me.

This blog was, is, intended to chronicle my life with Bear. To a large extent, it's a blog about Bear, and me, and our adventures together. As much as I love him, he isn't a knitter or a spinner (I'm working on it. Trust me). So where do I blog about my fiber-related adventures?


I've created that new blog so that this old blog will get back to what it is supposed to be. I love this blog, and I'm sure I will love that blog, too. I hope that those of you who read this one will also read that one, and that any readers I get there will visit me here. And that those new readers will by extension also visit you. Because I love your blogs. All of them. I love reading them, commenting on them, waiting for your newest post. You guys are GREAT at staying true to your bloggy roots - something I'm trying to do here. I want to get back to dishing all of my relationship details and receiving your sage (and sometimes very very funny) advice.

And so, with that in mind, I will post my obligatory Christmas tree photos. These were taken before Briggs and Zedd decided that it wasn't a Christmas tree at all, but a giant holder of cat toys. Bear helped me decorate:

Thursday, December 18, 2008


How do I go Christmas shopping for my husband tonight... when he is going with me? How do I maintain any kind of surprise when he will be in the same stores I will be, and if I leave with a package he will know where it is from, if not what it is. Ugh. Anyone have any suggestions?


PS If you're having issues with the Google map, try the following: Click view larger image, click the orange man above the zoom meter, then click on one of the placemarkers on the left. It should give you a photo of part of my commute. Look left and right by clicking the arrows on the compass at the top left of the photo. Does that help?

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Drive In

Last Friday school was cancelled. It snowed, rained, froze, all sorts of nasty stuff that makes commuting difficult. Today we have a two-hour delay - in the words of my principal, it's "wicked icy." I waited about 20 minutes past my usual leaving time and headed out. I never know how long it will take me to get to work. I drive forty-one miles (one way) on one of the worst roads in Maine. In summer that can be a forty-five minute drive; in winter, it can take nearly two hours. Even in perfect weather, the road is dangerous - in bad weather it becomes downright deadly.
When I finally get to work, I always get the same questions from the other teachers: "How was the Brownville Road today?" "See any moose?" "I bet your commute was bad today, huh?" I shrug my shoulders, nod an agreement, and drop it.

Because really? I love my drive to work.

I will be the first to admit that I curse the logging trucks and plow trucks that make the drive dangerous for small passenger cars. The road itself isn't paved well, so I have to straddle the center line so I don't go off the road into the ditch. There is a twenty mile stretch where there is no cell phone reception, so if I do go off the road, I have a long walk ahead of me. There are no businesses, only a few year round homes... 95% of my drive is straight through the uninhabited North Maine Woods.

I love it.

Because although there are several difficulties, this road is one of the most beautiful, most interesting, most breathtaking roads I've ever driven on. Each day I see wildlife. Moose, deer, fox, coyote, owls, hawks, eagles, crows, ravens, fishers, otters, ermine, weasels, partridge, quail, turkeys, and more. Just this morning there were two partridge in the road, busily pecking at the salt and sand in the road. They didn't look up as I approached. I pointed my car in between them and drove by. As I looked in my rearview to assure myself that I hadn't hit them, I saw them looking at me, necks outstretched as though trying to figure out what had just gone by.
I drive past three mountains, two rivers, a bog, a flowage, more than one lake, mile after mile of forest. Some of the views I pass every day are stunning regardless of the weather. Mt. Katahdin, the last mountain in the Appalachian chain stands stalwart at the end of my commute. Each fall I wait for the day when the mountain gets its snowy cap. I anticipate the spring moose migration each year - some moose I see often enough to learn a little of his or her personality.

With the world's burgeoning population and global warming affecting the entire planet, I find myself incredibly thankful that I drive the road I do. Nowhere else, maybe anywhere, is the natural world on more perfect display. So when people shake their heads in sympathy for my horrible commute, I let them - it means one less person on my road.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Tuesday night on our way home from getting groceries, Bear asked me when we should put our tree up. I shrugged. "I don't really care if we don't put it up at all, actually," I said. "It just seems silly to do all that work for three weeks and then have to take it all down again."
"Are you kidding?" Bear queried.
"No... why?" I asked.
"Because. You're the one who got me back into celebrating Christmas. I didn't celebrate it for years before you. You were the one who insisted that Christmas needs to be celebrated. You made a big deal out of it and made me love it again. Now you're telling me that you don't care?"

It's true. For the first time in my entire life, I do not care about Christmas. I'm not against the idea, but I have no feelings at all either way. It's odd, and it would concern me - but I just can't be bothered to care. I wonder in a detached way why I feel this way, but it's too much work to suss out the reasons so I haven't really bothered. I do feel guilty for disappointing Bear. But should I lie about it? Is it better to pretend to have holiday spirit for his sake or to be honest about it for mine? I don't really know the answer to that question.

I know that part of my ambivalence comes from knowing that we have very *very* little money to spend on gifts. Part of it is because I have no surprise gifts in mind for Bear - he's getting stuff from his list (last year I surprised him with Jeff Dunham tickets and he was THRILLED). A part comes from working two jobs, which leaves me too tired to want to decorate. I'm sure as well that part of my lack of spirit is because of some reason I have yet to discover.

Bear and I are going to the Festival of Lights parade on Saturday night. It's a Christmas parade that culminates in the lighting of the tree in downtown Bangor. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope that it will put a little bit of holiday spirit into my otherwise empty heart. If it doesn't, I don't know what to do to keep from disappointing Bear further.

Monday, December 01, 2008

So how did I do?

Last week I posted all the things I was going to do. Most I accomplished, some I did not.

  • I not only had Saturday off, but Sunday, too. It was wonderful to be able to sleep in both days! Even if by "sleep in" I mean 7:30. It counts!
  • Caitlin's wedding was beautiful - SHE was beautiful. So graceful and elegant. It was a traditional Catholic ceremony, but the deacon was awesome and so it wasn't painful at all. I got to sit with my old band director from high school at the reception. it was AWESOME to see him again, to catch up with what everyone has been up to since graduation. I can't believe it was almost ten years ago! So congrats to Caitlin and her new husband Justin.
  • Bear's Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. He totally spoiled me and let me eat the skin off the turkey (my favorite part) and didn't complain when I didn't eat the peas he'd specifically cooked for me. I was too full on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, and yeast rolls (recipe courtesy of suburban turmoil). I did at least make dessert (Toll House Pie. Ever have it? It's delish).
  • The two knitting project completion bullet was a joke. Although I did get a few inches of T-Licious' stole knit, it's far from done and I was too guilty to work on anything else. I still have about a foot to go, plus fringe. I'm going to try to knit at least two rows a day until I get that sucker done! Bear's trigger finger mitten #2 was the other project... it's about two hours of knitting away from completion. I'll get to it soon, I hope.
  • I got to see my cousins Aaron and Carly on the Martha Stewart show. They even got invited to her farm! To help her out! It was pretty cool. You can visit Aaron and Carly's website at They are amazing.
  • I got my spindle, and it hasn't been far from me since. I LOVE spinning on this thing! For those of you in the [knitting] know, it's a 0.95 oz. Golding spindle. It's aMAZing. Truly.
  • The kitchen table was cleaned off, but it beginning to accumulate crap already. I'll try to clean it off again tonight when I get home. Promise.
  • Laundry isn't completely folded yet. The big stuff is... I just hate matching up socks.
  • I slept in Wednesday! Woo hoo!
  • Sweeny Todd was great. I really loved it. I have several bits and pieces of the songs stuck in my head. It kinda sucks, but at least they are good songs! Plus, Johnny Depp is welcome to stick in my head (or anywhere) any time he wants.
How did you guys make out this weekend? How was Hawaii, Alice?