Knit This: Round Loom “Purls” Of Wisdom (Or Lessons Learned)

What do you see? I see possibilities!

So, I’ve made a few hats on my round looms…and I’ve “frogged” a few, too. You know – rip it, rip it. Actually, after exploring options for adding onto a too-short hat, deciding a slouchy one was just too slouchy, and giving the thumbs-down to the folded-over brims my first hats had (too puffy with the bulky yarn I used), I just unraveled the ones that didn’t make the cut. Re-do time!

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Haiku: The Simple Joy Of Dogs And Leaves

I suspect that our dogs may enjoy crisp fall-on-the-cusp-of-winter weather as much as we do. One is a puppy, so it’s all new to her: frost on the grass, crunchy leaves, the seed pods that have fallen from the tulip poplar (that she persistently attempts to eat). Since she’s just a youngster, she also has an astonishing amount of energy, and we try to help her burn some of it off by chasing a rope tug toy with her older “sister”. It lifts my spirits to see the dogs running through the leaves, hear the crackly swooshing sound the leaves make, and watch the leaves flying as the dogs skid to a stop when they’ve grabbed the toy.

Once grabbed, the dog with the rope runs off, hoping the other will give chase. Our older dog is really fast – when she turns on the “turbo”, you can almost feel the power: those muscular legs propel explosive sprints and agile turns. She runs like a greyhound, and for the sheer joy of it. I envy the dogs those flexible spines, too – they can turn on a dime and reverse direction in a split second, moves that only well-trained human athletes could safely attempt.

The dogs play rough, as dogs do: once, when our puppy was just a small fry (not that long ago), her sister barrelled into her and bounced her off a tree trunk (and she didn’t even whimper!). Aghast, we ran over to check on her and make sure there were no cracked ribs or other injuries; to our surprise, she was just fine and the game went on. I can only imagine how much convalescing I would have required after bouncing off a tree trunk – and the game would definitely have been over.

Hooray for this cold, crisp, dry weather that allows the dogs to go out and play in the leaves – and for the time to watch them, throw those toys, and hear the sounds of nature around me. These are the moments – fleeting and precious – for which I consciously try to be present. One day soon, our frisky puppy will be a mature (sedate?) dog, and these leafy antics will just be a fond memory…or maybe they’ll enjoy this kind of horseplay for years to come!

Poem: The Stoic Snail

I spied a snail, a whorl on its back,

Moving through the grass.

I moved closer to see what business it had

And noticed the crack: jagged, pale.

Something had smashed its shell.

Ah, poor snail.

Your wondrous Fibonnaci spiral –

Fractured,

By an unaware or uncaring shoe, or

Perhaps by an unfeeling lawnmower’s blade?

I saw the snail again, some time later,

Concerned with something in the wet grass,

Gracefully gliding along.

Still alive!

And that shell, so broken –

Bifurcated –

Had repaired itself,

A ragged white scar remaining.

And the snail continued on its way,

Going on with the business of living.

Why this subject matter? I find snails fascinating, and while looking through my (numerous) photos of them, realized that many of the creatures had suffered damage to their shells – those beautiful expressions of the Fibonnaci sequence!

The particular snail that inspired this piece was one that I had seen on several occasions, first with an intact shell, then, later, with a crushed shell. I thought for certain that the snail was a goner, that a bird or other animal would seize the opportunity to pry the mollusk out of the remnants of its house. When I didn’t see it again for several weeks, I assumed it had died…so I was very pleasantly surprised to see it appear in the same area again, with a large white spot on its shell from the repair (calcium deposits). Snails are tough little gastropods…doubtless, they have to be to survive in this world.

  • Good news: some veterinarians even repair broken snail shells, like in this story from The Dodo.

Snails remind me to slow down, take a breath, and marvel at Nature’s stunning display. It is – rightfully – humbling.

Homemade Desserts: Mug Cake Obsession

While looking for a birthday cake recipe, I happened across the phenomenon known as the “mug cake”. Where have I been, right? Seriously, I had no idea that this was even a thing, let alone that it could be made low carb, low sugar, gluten- and dairy-free, vegan…something for everyone’s dietary needs. Since I didn’t want a full-sized cake sitting around the house, I decided to try making a single-serve (paleo if you use coconut milk, gluten-free) coconut mug cake and am hooked!

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Haiku: An Ode To Amazing Black Cats

When I was a kid, a “stray” black cat adopted my family (it turned out that she actually belonged to neighbors). She was a wonderful cat, with a warm, affectionate personality, and when she had kittens, the neighbors said that I could have one, a little brown tabby. Before I could claim that kitten, though, the neighbors moved away with the kittens…and left mama cat behind. So she really did become ours, and she was a truly special girl. I don’t have any photos of her, but I will always remember her as a gentle, understanding friend.
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