Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom

Most people that know me are aware that I lost my Mom over 16 years ago to breast cancer. I was a few weeks shy of 17 and as an only child, I think it's safe to say we were pretty close. I realized, however that while losing her is such a part of who I am, most of the people in my everyday life didn't actually know my Mom and it's often so hard for me to explain who I am without having known her.

My Mom wasn't the warm and cuddly bake cookies type and was far from perfect, but she was mine. The few times I remember her actually baking cookies, I'm 99% sure she burned them. She did can some tasty jams and I regret not paying more attention to the process now that I want to learn to can myself! Born and raised in Cambridge (don't say Boston, you WOULD be corrected), it was best to close your eyes when she drove and her sharp, sarcastic tongue with a dose of salty language kept you on your toes. I'm pretty sure she made most of my friends nervous as she was not one to suffer fools and had no problem saying so. Her and my dad had me reading at an early age and I have great memories of regular trips to Cambridge and Boston not only to see my grandparents, but to go shopping in the city and explore museums, whether it was the Harvard glass flower exhibits or the grounds of the Isabella Stewart Gardner. 

When asked by some friends who have suffered some pretty horrific losses recently about how I coped and if it gets easier, I only can say that the pain never goes away, you just get used to living with it.  In the years since losing Mom, I have had an amazing support network of friends and family.  I have an awesome Dad that took me prom dress shopping (Betsey Johnson in Boston, naturally), an incredibly accepting and kind Step-Mom,  Aunts and a Mother-In-Law that have all stepped in when I've truly needed a mom's perspective and friends, good lord I have amazing friends. All that still doesn't stop the unexpected tears when a Grateful Dead song comes up on my playlist and to this day, a passing waft of Chanel 5 can stop me in my tracks.  With Silas, there are so many questions and stories I would love to hear that there was no way my 16 year old brain would have known to ask and that sucks more than you can imagine. 

As we move into our new house and start our life here in Colorado,  I wouldn't trade the life I have with a great Tall Guy and a perfect son for anything and I can only hope my Mom would be proud of the decisions I've made that has brought me here. 

All that said, on what would be her 63rd birthday, I just want you to know how much I miss you,  Mom. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yarn exploring

In a few moments between house nonsense, Silas and I have gone off in search of my new Local Yarn Stores.
When we were here in June, we checked out a few in Denver proper (here and here) and one in Boulder, but now that we're settling in, I'm exploring a bit more.  As luck and awesome friends would have it, a going away gift from "Compound" neighbors Emily and Michael was a gift card to the Recycled Lamb! 
It's a great shop that will only be a few minutes from our house and while this may not make sense to the average person I think it's a good thing that they don't stock Madelinetosh or my wallet would be a lot lighter! 
 Today we wandered further afield and checked out the Loopy Ewe's brick and mortar store in Fort Collins. I have no idea why I didn't take any pictures, but I can say the store was quite impressive. It was nothing super fancy and a ton of well thought out stock.  There was more Madtosh than I've ever seen in a store as well as  tons of Lorna's Laces, Swan's Island and Malabrigo to name a few. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has shopped on their website, but to see it all in the store was overwhelming. While there, Sheri wandered by and we ended up talking for a few minutes. As the Loopy Ewe was one of the first online yarn shops I found 'back in the day", to some extent it felt like meeting a celebrity talking to Sheri. Too funny! I managed to leave with only one skein of yarn in hand, knowing I'll be reunited with my stash that's in storage soon enough.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, Fall has arrived and our cool weather gear is mostly in storage. Over the course of a few days (a baby causes knitting to happen at a much slower pace!) I churned out a new hat for Aaron. I managed to snap this shot before it went straight on his head and haven't had a moment to get an "action shot" since!
yarn- Shelter in sap. About 90% of a skein
needle- size six (first time using my signature needles...whoa!) 
Easy, straightforward, no complaints! case you haven't seen it on Twitter or Facebook, we are official Colorado residents!

We closed on the house yesterday. The Tall Guy has been there pretty much every moment he's not at work since we got the keys ripping out carpet and getting the upstairs ready for hardwod floors to be installed tomorrow. We are still finalizing what we'll do with the bathrooms and hope to have the moving company drop our stuff off sometime next week. In the meantime, we're bouncing between the apartment and house. For the first time ever I'll have more than one bathroom, a garage and a kitchen I can actually move around in. There is a lot I'll miss about city living, but I'm pretty sure a garage and big kitchen more than make up for my former city-living ways. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Things I have learned in Colorado Part II

We're continuing to learn new things daily. This weeks highlights:

Every morning you can see hot air balloons in the air looking toward Boulder. I never thought about hot air balloons as being a normal thing to see. The two specks in the photo below are from earlier this week.  

There are neat-o neon signs, classic cars and sweet art deco type architecture in the most unexpected places. It stands to reason that the dry air which makes me itchy and constantly thirsty is also helpful in things not rusting out! 

After a bit of research, we found that Colorado does have apple orchards. Not quite up to Franklin Cider Mill in Michigan, but we were able to score some cider, doughnuts, pat a few horses (or shrink in fear like I do) and, can you beat the view? I think not. 

Everyone "in the know" warned us that while the climate is amazing here, Mother Nature is a fickle lady. The weather seems to have turned pretty quickly the last few days and Winter IS Coming! There was a dusting of snow on the roof this morning! Wouldn't you know, 99% of our cold weather gear is in storage, so I'm knitting hats up for all of us. Silas got the first one and doesn't seem too impressed about this. 

And... an update on wildlife:  In addition to the previously mentioned prairie dogs, we've also seen a few coyotes and I almost ran over a rather large tortoise crossing the street the other day. After a few trips into the mountains, I have yet to see any elk or bighorn sheep. In the meantime, I'm investigating all the other types of creatures we may see here