21 September 2006

Wednesday's Happiness on Thursday

I could have sworn I posted yesterday, but apparently I didn't. Oops.

Well, we've all been talking about it, but I thought I'd share that autumn has hit the Appalachian mountains too. As soon as I got back from Philly, I knew the weather here had turned. There was that crispness to the air, even when it wasn't chilly. And although the leaves are still green, here and there I'll notice an edge of red, a few leaves falling over the road, the inclination for spectacular color. This will be my first full autumn here in the mountains... I've been so many years in the city, where fall seems to come and go and I've barely had time to notice it. I can't wait to bask in two full months of glorious color, sweaters, crisp hikes, mornings when you can see your breath, apple pies, and fall festivals. I love it.

So, in celebration of autumn, I'm doing my Wednesday "favorite things" today:

1) My new desk.

While in Philly, I took a trip to Ikea, which was supposed to yield a new desk (because nothing makes a girl more excited about writing her dissertation than the excuse to buy new organizational materials. At least, not when the girl is me!) They were sold out of everything - damn undergrads - and I ended up just buying a set of "saw horses" to prop up a butcher block that belonged to my dad from waaaay back, before I was even born. This butcher block was hand crafted especially for my dad (he traded some jewelry for it -- dad used to be a silversmith) and it was a part of my household for as long as I can remember. Last summer, my parents moved to a brand new house and didn't need it anymore. So I took it. All year, it's been serving as a neglected knitting table (when do I ever knit at my knitting table? I knit at my desk, on the couch, in bed, standing in the kitchen, in the car...). So this week, it was reincarnated, combined with my old desk to make an L, and I'm in "office heaven." I love it.

2) Coffee.

Does coffee make the list every time? My mommy bought me that mug. I love it (although I'm trying to abandon my (inherited, I might add) pack rat qualities).

3) My new "thinking socks".

These might look like procrastination to you -- after all, I have two pairs of socks half finished and several other projects either OTK or seriously belated. But -- I love to write, and I'm pretty good at it, if I do say so myself, but I have a very, very hard time in the early stages of writing getting my thoughts on to paper. I had the same problem last summer when I was trying to write my dissertation proposal. What saved me were the cable and rib socks from Interweave Fall '05. They were my first serious pair of socks (I'd invented a pattern the previous winter... sometime, I'll show you pictures) and I knit them with a beautiful shade of Trekking (long before I'd even read a knit-blog and knew how popular the yarn was). Whenever I got stuck, or didn't know how to say something, I'd sit down and knit. Something about the repetative activity, engaging, but not so engaging that I couldn't think, freed my mind to be creative. And after only a few rows, I'd find a solution to my writing block. So... yesterday, I started new thinking socks. These are knit with the impossibly loud shade of Knit Picks memories "Hawaii" (for obvious reasons) and are destined to become my second pair of toe-up, two-at-once socks and my very first pair of plain-jane stockinette socks. We'll see if I get bored. I just wanted something easy that I didn't have to concentrate on.

4) The fact that I'm wearing a sweater this morning.

See that plaid sleeve under the sweater? Oh yeah. I'm not embarassed to admit that is my ankle length, long sleeve, plaid flannel nightgown. Did I mention I'm single (and 75, apparently)? But seriously, I love these L.L. Bean flannel night gowns that look like they come straight from a turn of the century farm house. Maybe it's the part of me that never grew up, that loves 'playing pretend'. But as soon as it gets cold out, I put this nightgown on at night, snuggle down in my cold bed, and imagine I'm living in the Big Woods.

5) The reason I can wear a sweater?

That's the thermostat inside my house. It's 55 outside. It was 55 all day yesterday. Want to see what I wore yesterday? Because it's also on my list:

6) This sweater.

My mom just gave me this sweater. She bought it in Greece when she visited there over 25 years ago. This sweater is not just amazing because I LOVE the fit. My mom told me that when she bought it, she went to a store, picked out the pattern she wanted, got sized for it, and then cavorted around Greece and came back in a few days (a few days!) to pick it up, completed. Folks, they knit it while she waited and it's hand knit!

Edited to say that my mom writes the following:
"I love the pictures etc. on your blog. So much fun to read. The sweater, by the way, was purchased in Mykonos, that picture-perfect island with all the little white churches. And it wasn't really a "store" since I don't recall they had any stores there in 1968 (yup -- I'm really old -- it was the summer I went to Israel and worked picking grapefruit on a kibbutz one year after the War of '67). It was more like someone's house. But you got everything else right."

There are a million more things that make me happy -- like soup (really, I love anything that comes in a bowl and can be eaten with a spoon. Try me), the fact that Julie is coming to hang out at my house tonight (I live forty five minutes from all my friends... they never come here to play), the prospect of possibly finishing my five page proposal (rough draft) this week. But, I'll stop at six. Besides, those are the most photogenic six anyway.

Happy Autumn!


Laura said...

it's getting chilly here too ... i wore handknit socks for the first time this season yesterday.

what a nice list ... i'm having one of those days, and it cheered me up. :)

msubulldog said...

What a great post! It's turned to Fall here, too. All of a sudden. You'd think after 10 years here it wouldn't sneak up on me like this anymore. *grin* Three days ago it was sunny and now it's chilly and raining--for the next six months. Ahhhhh...Oregon. By the way, our coastal mountain range is the spitting image of the Smokies, so it always reminds me of "home". :)

Leah said...

I love the first few signs of fall as well. It's so refreshing!

Thanks for sharing your list as well! It is a day brightner!

Meg said...

Hmm, I'm thinking I need me some thinking socks too. My writing blocks are usually attempted to be cleared by a trip to the kitchen for some tea and biccies. Not very productive, really, and rarely very helpful!
Now that your desk is so well organised, can you remind me whether I sent you my address for the 'drop spindle'? (And don't worry, my dad is not off the hook looking for the real drop spindle!)

amanda said...

Love the sweater! How cool is your mom!? And the mug is perfectly adorable. This was a great post -- thanks for sharing!

Theresa said...

Another lovely post - your dissertation is going to be beautifully written, I can tell! Ah, for fall in the mountains. Just not the same with the palm trees ...

Chris said...

Mmm... coffee. It needs to be on every list, even if it isn't!

Sweaters and big socks - that's what I'm getting the itch for, too. Yay, fall!