"There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere . . . "
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
It's all quiet now. The crane still dangles nearby, but with the cessation of the winds, it isn't such a bother anymore. Transit is still down, traffic is insane, but Ben, Doolin and I are tucked safely away at home, working and cooking and staying out of the way.
And knitting! I didn't show you these socks yet, did I?
I had to photograph these inside due to intense storm conditions, but you get the idea! Socks!
Another busy, delightful weekend is just behind us. Why Monday always has to follow such happiness is beyond me.
Ben, Doolin and I continued our yearly Easter tradition and treated ourselves to a leisurely brunch. This year, we enjoyed a four course extravaganze outside at Bar Boulud, near Lincoln Center. Toward the end, the breeze picked up and we got a bit chilled, but otherwise it was a wonderful experience. We began with pastries and coffee, then I had a decadent yogurt parfait, while Ben warmed up with oatmeal. For my main course, I ordered the mushroom frittata and Ben had the Croque Madam. Then there was dessert! I could barely mover afterwards! Doolin, of course, had a bit of everything and was the happiest puppy in the world.
In addition to brunching, we spent much of the weekend out with friends. We kicked things off with cocktails at Flute, then dinner at Petrossian and more frivolity at Don't Tell Mama. I saw Clybourne Park on Broadway and dined after at Toloache(my absolute favorite Mexican restaurant in NYC). We also snuck in a meal at Eaterysomehow and vowed to stop eating out so much! So I walked the aisles of Whole Foods and bought bunches of groceries, forgetting that we have show tickets for tonight for Nice Work if You Can Get It (in previews on Broadway) and will thus most likely need to grab food out after the show, since I won't have time to cook.
Yes - if you haven't figured it out, I have a life once again! It's amazing how much easier everything is when you actually work in somewhat proximity to where you live!
Those NYC gardeners know what they are doing. The tulips exploded into bloom exactly on cue, just in time for Easter/Passover crowds to invade Central Park.
I confess, I had little time for knitting this weekend. Besides the eating and playing and park-enjoying, much of my time was taken with test driving Fiats and Minis. Specifically, the Fiat Cabriolet and the Mini Cooper Clubman. If you have expert knowledge on either of these car, please shout out! We are in a quandary. We both prefer the Clubman, but the Fiat comes with an unbeatable parking deal....and it's a convertible. Seriously? But the Clubman has a sunroof and feels more safe and sturdy to me. If it comes down to price, we will be getting the Fiat, I suppose. Long term, the Mini Cooper would be a better "investment" but we are essentially looking for a short term solution.
IF we do get a car at all, that is. We are still considering our options. What is NOT an option is me taking the bus to work much longer! I am over it, let me tell you.
But the sock knitting, it stands here.
I am poised to turn a heel. This sock does have quite the interesting heel construction, too - I've not seen anything like it, so i'll give it a whirl.
I confess, I've done nothing. The book is still sitting there, waiting to be read. Nothing is packed and I haven't had time to even dream about the fun adventures ahead. I need to get on that.
I have been chasing daylight to show you my new socks.
These were the fastest, most fun to knit socks for me ever. I think I am getting the hang of this! The yarn is a dream. The pattern - exactly what I needed it to be, for where I was. I suspect that a version of these will go with me down to Belize in a few weeks for portable knitting in the jungle! I just need to track down some more sock yarn.
They took me two weeks only to complete, primarily via NJ bus knitting (with a bit of couch sloth time thrown in as well - I should be knitting blanket squares but I can't convince my knitting-brain of that). Their details are here.
I'm already off and running on another sock adventure. Remember this?
It now looks more like this:
Please welcome the Edwardian Boating Koigu Socks into being! The yarn is bargain-bin Koigu from Purl (only $8 per skein!) While the pattern looks tricky, it's terribly easy to follow by sight and all you need to do is count to six otherwise, so I'm on a roll already. I appear to achieve three pattern repeats on my morning bus ride.
24 DAYS UNTIL BELIZE
Preparation Status: MINIMAL
The countdown is on! And I have so much to do before we leave! And I haven't done a thing!
Okay, I bought a travel book for Belize, but I haven't started reading it yet (oops). However, I have done a tiny bit of online digging about our upcoming adventure. For example, our first stop will be at the Hickatee Cottagesin Punta Gorda.
I think we can handle that.
This place is a jungle retreat near the Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm. Our group will be taking over the entire facility (there are about a dozen of us). The food on-site is supposed to be divine. We have been promised monkeys and maybe a jaguar. I guess it's good that Doolin won't be with us!
I think I heard that we will begin our adventure on a zipline before we even get to the cottages! Anyone else out there like a good zipline? I've braved them in Mexico, Ecuador and Honduras - where have YOU ziplined?
This spring is a bit unfocused so far, and I'm afraid my posts will follow suit. The days are rushing by in a contented blur, most of them at least. After a year on the road, I am still happily adjusting to a normal work-a-day life without planes and strange pillows.
Ben and I have had to time get to know our city once again! And the weather - while not as balmy as it was back in March - has cooperated enough to get us out of the house and wandering the streets.
Amazing how, through my entire master's program at NYU, the arch remained under construction and shrouded in scaffolding. Now, it has emerged, refreshed (rather like I did upon graduation).
The commuting is what it is, for now. We are actually considering buying/leasing a car to cut down on the time and hassle I'm facing. But since neither of us know ANYTHING about cars, it's not going so well. I feel as though it would take me months to become competent enough in car facts and lingo to actually considering taking action. I'm hoping Ben will dig out that Y chromosome and come up to speed a bit more quickly than I could.
While I am on the bus, there are socks.
Meet our next potential candidate, the bright and festive Koigu from the bargain bins at Purl! We shall soon morph into Edwardian Boating Socks, if I have my way.
The diagonal rib socks are...finished! But - I haven't any daylight yet for pictures, so you have to wait. Patience is a virtue! Exercise it! I hope to be back tomorrow with pretty purple to mesmerize you all! (I took some crummy dark photos but I can't stand to even post them. These socks are grand! They deserve...better.)
Meanwhile, Doolin continues to make friends of all shapes, sizes and colors! We have quite the diversified dog park, and our little guy takes full advantage of his options. Currently, he is having a lovely friendship with Peggy, the Burmese Mountain Dog.
They love to play, and Peggy knows Doo's limits pretty well; however, you would be amazed at how very concerned on-lookers become when they see the two of them go at it. Passing tourists especially are positive that 95 pound (and growing!) Peggy is trying to eviscerate our 13 pound Doolin. But the dogs, they are old pros at this now. They take it in stride, and - if a nip or flip is too hard - they both know how to shout "Uncle!"
Although, well, all of that playing does wear them out (our wee lad, at least).
Now we do have another vacation coming up soon - to Belize! I know, it feels like we just got back from Hawaii, but this has been in the works for a while and frankly I can't wait for another break and time away! My intention is to take you all with me this time - I want to blog you through the prep, the flights, the monkeys, the cocktails, all of it! Give a shout out to me if you are interested in following along and that will further motivate me to get myself in gear.
We depart at the end of the month. Start organizing your packing list!
All of the fun and games of my glorious bench time is long past now, a lovely dream or memory blurred by the chaos of a new routine. These days, I commute out to Montvale New Jersey, usually by slow-bus, and haul back to the city at night. Mostly, this is good. I mean, the slow bus sucks (and makes me car sick, and is really, really slow). I have over 3.5 hours of commuting per day. And I have to stand at an unprotected busstop for an indeterminate amount of time each day, just waiting.
But - I get to come home at night. I can see my boy and my puppy every day, even if just for a few hours. No more hotel rooms and airport gates for a while. I get to have a life - my life - back under my control. I can visit with friend (and I did!) I can go out to great New York restaurants on weeknights (we're going here tonight!) And I can just chill in front of the television with my boys if I want.
Mostly, what's new here these days are socks.
I am on my third pair this month! My new knitting criteria for the commuting slog: small; nothing I have to read or watch a chart (see car-sickness above); interesting.
And so....socks. I am running out of sock yarns, actually, and need to hunt some down before I knit myself into a quandary!
These Diagonal Rib Socks are knit in the new Tern yarn by Quince. So far, I LOVE it. The stitch definition is less than some, which actually makes me happy. I'm enjoying the feel of it, and the color is amazing. I wish I'd ordered more. As for the pattern, it was simple to memorize and to count, I don't have to watch it too closely and I am delighted with the look and feel of the fabric.
Now lest you fear that we are all work and socks and no play around here, that is just not so. There has been plenty of play, especially when the weather was warm last week.
Every dog in Manhattan (it seemed) met up in Central Park for a romp. Oreo (and his mum) joined us at on of my favorite spots to hang with the puppies - The Ballpark Cafe - for some wine and merriment.
Ben, Doolin and I have been tooling all about the park, visiting all of the blooming buds and fresh spring puppies on the loose. I have the MapMyDogWalk application on my (new!) iPhone and we are logging in some serious miles (13 of them one day recently!)
I intend to check in here far more frequently now that I'm settled into a new routine with work. I'll have a lot of knitting to do and I have missed my writting.
I don't even have to look any more. These days, I suspect the yarn finds me.
We're just driving down the road and Shazam! - there, not six blocks from our house, sits a yarn shop. This one was extra quirky, located inside a mattress store. So if you exhaust yourself with yarn-sniffing and knitting, you can take a break on a pillow-top, I suppose.
We managed to arrive about three minutes before closing time, but the nice proprietor kept the doors open for us to take a look around.
Yarn shopping...it doesn't take me that long anyway. I can drag it out for hours, or grab-and-go.