Thursday, 21 May 2015

mostly about work

I can't recall if I've ever mentioned on the blog that I work at a coffee shop now - have done for the past eight months or so.  But since today I managed both to bring my camera to work and have the battery charged (things I've been intending to do since last September), I took some photos and thought I'd share.

It's a little independently owned and operated place, and it's quite a fun place to work, most of the time.  I remember when I first started being completely overwhelmed and impressed at how everyone seemed to know all the regulars and their orders - and now I'm one of those people.  It makes me wonder what we'd do if one of the regulars changed up his order.  It would throw everyone completely off balance!  Busy, fast-paced days are more fun than slow ones, but even those can be nice; there is rarely a boring day.  (Though being an introvert working for the most extroverted woman on the face of the planet occasionally becomes... challenging.  Especially early in the morning before I am fully caffeinated!)

One of the best things is that we roast all our own coffee in-house, so you'll never drink coffee from beans roasted more than about 48 hours ago.  I would never have called myself a coffee snob or imagined myself becoming one; but a few months here and I can barely swallow typical restaurant coffee anymore.  This is not always a good thing, especially when travelling! 

Sometimes there is a pretty little flower or star left in the grounds after brewing a pot of coffee.  (These turn out to be difficult to photograph, since if the grounds are fresh enough for the flower still to show up, they're hot enough to be steaming, and steamed-up camera lenses do not clear photos take.)

And sometimes, quite by accident, I manage to make pretty pictures in my lattes.  (Always by accident.  If I try to make "latte art" I'll end up with a strange blobby mess.  But if I'm not thinking about it much I end up with lovely, slightly abstract leafy patterns or, as today, something suggesting a bird.)

But don't worry.  Even if your latte isn't particularly pretty, or your sandwich proves somewhat messy -- I promise they'll taste good!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

In which I recall that I have a blog

So, the blogging thing.  Clearly I'm very good at doing things regularly and consistently!  I'm not sure why but I always seem to lose track of the blog during the winter.  But now it's spring and things are blooming and the garden is getting started and I may, possibly, manage to make posting here a more-than-biannual event.

Obviously, tea is a necessary part of garden planning.

Work and nannying are still taking up much of my life, but we're almost past the chance of frost around here and so I've been spending time planning, prepping, and planting my garden.  We're putting in some larger perennials this year and I haven't begun to tackle those yet, but the kitchen garden is half-way in!

I hope to be back sooner than Thanksgiving, with more garden photos, or maybe some finished-object posts!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tropical Socks

I am finally getting around to posting some of the Christmas knitting!  (Possibly the only Christmas knitting which is actually finished yet - but shhhhh, don't tell anyone that!)

These socks are for my brother's girlfriend, who spent two weeks with us in her first visit to the frozen north.  When I was at her place this summer I was knitting a pair of socks and she dropped several broad hints about wanting some herself, so how could I refuse?  I picked a yarn as bright and sunny as she is, and incredibly soft and warm.

I cannot deny having done some slight engineering and rearranging of the yarn so as to make the stripes line up exactly.  More ends to work in, but it was worth it!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year

Oh Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
    except the days are passed in thy presence,
    in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctify, aids every hour,
    that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
    but may rely on thy Spirit
        to supply every thought,
        speak in every word,
        direct every step,
        prosper every work,
        build up every mote of faith,
        and give me a desire
            to show forth thy praise;
            testify thy love,
            advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters
        of this year,
    with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
            thee, O Son, at my helm,
            thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
            my lamp burning,
            my ear open to thy calls,
            my heart full of love,
            my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
            thy comfort to cheer,
            thy wisdom to teach,
            thy right hand to guide,
            thy counsel to instruct,
            thy law to judge,
            thy presence to stabilise.
May thy fear be my awe,
            thy triumphs my joy.

(Taken from The Valley of Vision.)

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Love beyond all telling

I hope all of you had a blessed and happy Christmas.  I'm late in posting - because I was soaking up time with my family.

It's been a good week.  A week away from work, away from home, but with friends and family, and with time to reflect on the incredible gift we celebrate at Christmas.  Truly Christ is love beyond all telling.

Soon, there will be photos of Christmas knitting.  But for now I'll just leave you with one of my favourite duets of all time, and the song that says "Christmas is here!" to me more than any other.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Music for the third week of Advent

Such a busy season this has been for me this year.  I guess that is part of growing up?  Lots of work, not a lot of time to relax, or contemplate, or even reflect on the reason for all the holiday preparations.

But there is still beautiful music.  This anthem is a new one to me this year but it is lovely indeed!

"Before the marvel of this night, adoring, fold your wings and bow,
Then tear the sky apart with light, and with your news the world endow.
Proclaim the birth of Christ and peace, that fear and death and sorrow cease:
Sing peace, sing peace, sing gift of peace, sing peace, sing gift of peace!"

Saturday, 6 December 2014


The thing about being a knitter is that you are an eternal optimist.  You are always completely convinced that you can finish a project by (or even before!) a completely unrealistic deadline.  Sweater needed in three days and you've only got the back and one sleeve knitted?  No problem, totally got this!  Birthday party on Saturday and you haven't even cast on that pair of socks on Thursday?  Oh, of course you'll have time to finish.  Christmas in 19 days and you only just opened the box containing the yarn (all the yarn) for the eight separate gifts you intend to give (all but two of them on the actual day of Christmas) - and you have to finish two pairs of socks and an elephant for customers before you can start any of the Christmas knitting?  Oh sure, I'll just invent a time-turner and probably figure out how to make every day between now and then have an extra 40 hours, and everything will definitely be finished and blocked and wrapped under the tree by Christmas Eve.  Of course!


Laptop in the photo for scale. Teapot for emotional support.

The thing is I do this every year.  Every year I leave things too late and I procrastinate and I underestimate the amount of available time and over-estimate my knitting speed, and end up wrapping up things with needles in, or worse, just the yarn and a picture of what it's meant to look like someday.  It never changes, and I never suddenly triple my knitting speed in the three weeks before Christmas, and yet every year I'm totally sure that this year, this year that enormous pile of yarn will somehow all be knitted into scarves and socks and mittens and those darling ornaments that I've deluded myself into thinking I'll have time to make on top of everything else, and it will all be finished by the deadline.

Maybe the fact that I've realised I'm delusional is the first step towards doing better next year?

I'll think about it later.  For now, I have to go finish a pair of socks and cast on an elephant.