Solstice, Reverb2012 week three and another FO

G'day all!

It is the shortest day, the longest night of the year and I am sooooo glad that the days will not get any shorter.  Indeed sunset is already getting later (though sunrise is also getting later, but that is ok cos sunset is the thing I notice more!).  The earliest the sun sets up here in Seattle is 4:18, but because we have a ridge to the west of us and umm well this is Seattle, often it gets dark earlier than that.

In good news on the sun front, we've seen the sun both yesterday and today!  Yesterday was gorgeous for a good couple of hours in the afternoon.

Aurora Bridge, Fremont
And then I got to see sunset, well the sun go behind clouds, at Sunset Hill.

Close enough to solstice.
It is amazing to see how far south the sun is compared to how far north it gets at midsummer.  See the Olympics - the little teensy range in the pic above?  Well at midsummer, the sun sets north of them!

(Am having difficulty finding pics but trust me
that is the other end of the Olympics)
It is totally brilliant to see the changes in seasons, even if it does mean having to survive through some total mank.  Days where it has not stopped raining all day, though I do have a new mantra - it makes things green!  Rain makes things green.  The forecast was for a warmer and drier than normal winter - I am sure the people out on the Olympic peninsula would agree with this at the moment...  They've been having snowstorms all week.

That white stuff on the foothills?  Snow.
It is certainly different to what I've experienced before and anyone who picks on my home city's weather should come up here and see what it is like to play with the big boys.  Melbourne's weather is nothing compared to this.

Solstice also makes it three years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Man, that was not a good Christmas present, though in other ways it was the start of knowing what I was up against.  I remember walking past the local lawyers and solicitors and thinking I'd better go make a will (no, I don't have one even now, yes I am bad).  Alas I am not a three year survivor yet - that has to wait until August next year.  With with any luck I'll get there.  It won't be for want of trying.

So, some of you might like to see another of my quilty FOs.  I'm stringing them out quite well, aren't I?

This is my granny square quilt done in Kate Spain's "Good Fortune."  It was a fun little thing to do and my first quilt with a grey background.  I also learned that I really really really need to use a 1/4" foot when I'm piecing quilts.  Ahem.

Looks pretty good down at the beach.

I think I like the back more, even upside down

That day was so windy...but gorgeous
This was another OldRedBarnCo quiltalong - thank you, Dana, for bringing quilting into my life.  Admittedly I'd probably be a lot richer moneywise if you hadn't but eh.  I am richer in quilts and friends for it.

Onward, ever onwards - there's more reverb2012 where the last lots have come from.

Day 15: What tingled your tastebuds?  What was the most extraordinary dish you sampled in 2012? What made it so magical?
It needn't be the most extravagant dish, just the one that knocked your socks off with its flavour, texture, aroma, freshness, colour, significance, timing… whatever. Relive the magic and help us savour it with you here.

Hmm, what tingled my tastebuds most?  What made me think dreamy, yummy, best thing on the planet, give me more more more?

The things I remember most are:

1) Finding my favourite flavour gluten and dairy free "icecream" in a fairly local supermarket.  Sad, yes?  (For what it is worth, it is Double Rainbow's Mint Choc Chip Soycream.  It is like normal mint chip icecream down to the compounded chocolate bits in it.

2) The fall/winter hash (with corned beef) at Portage Bay cafe.  They only do breakfast/brunch/lunch.  This little beauty is a stonkering meal - it often defeats me and I have to bring some home.  Three scrambled eggs (no dairy) on top of a handful of thin sliced corned beef and winter veg all cooked up on the hotplate... I get it every week.

3) This:
They had to get me a new one with no wafer/cookie.
My sorbet in the Space Needle restaurant.
Pretty mundane, really - I'm not exactly a gourmand or a gourmet cook.  I've done a couple of great roasts recently - if only pork in the States came with the skin on so I could make crackling.  Mmm....

Day 16: Who inspired you in 2012? And why? What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2013?

Who inspired me...  I find inspiration all the time, things that make me ooh and ahhh.  I see knitted things that make me want to knit them, quilted things that make me daydream, colours of happiness, pictures people have taken that make me want to travel, even chats with people that bring amusement and good cheer.  Picking out just one person is too hard.

Day 17: Think of one person whose life you made a difference to in 2012.  What did you gain from this? How will you continue to make a difference in 2013?

Is there anyone out there whose life I did make a difference to?  Maybe my sister, my husband.  My bosses are pleased that I am in their lives, and not just for work stuff (and I am pleased to be in theirs). But someone in particular? I don't do charitable acts just to be charitable or big note myself - I donate and assist behind the scenes.  Gosh, I am really coming up short here.

Day 18:  The colour of you.  What colour best represents the year you had in 2012? And why? What colour would you like to invite into your life in 2013?
Be as literal or metaphorical, clever or crazy, or just plain off-the-wall with this as you choose!  Can't wait to read your responses to this one!

The colour of me.  Just one?  Blue, well more blue green, ultramarine.  Currently it is the brittle blue of cold skies, though more often the grey overcast drizzle and rain Seattle is so well known for. If I am allowed more than on colour, here is the colour of me, loud and proud (though not gay).

These are our colours, though DH wants some more
orange and some lime green and maybe purple too.
In 2013?  More colours please!  Lots of them, but bright, clear colours, not muted or greyed out or brownish.  And some more in my hair too :-)

Day 19: How did you nourish your self?  How did you nourish your beautiful body in 2012? What self-care practices will you take with you into 2013?

I look around me and I see my various ways of nourishing myself.  Books, yarn, material, pictures.  Reaching out to others through things like this blog or knit nights.  I kept up my self care of this blasted lymphedema - I have a pretty purple tie dyed sleeve on at this very minute - and am working on breaking scar tissue down from surgery over two years ago.  I've started working on some lower back issues that I've had for a while - nothing severe or crippling, just enough to be annoying.  I was surprised to discover that apparently my gluteal muscles are not activating properly, which means my hamstrings overwork and tighten up my lower back.  By the time the PT guys are done with me I'll have buns of steel and abs to go with them.  But not yet.

In 2013, I'm going to try to reduce the size of my stash.  Both fabric and yarn have gotten to the ridiculous stage where stash starts being more burden than joy.

Day 20:  What was lost and what was found?  What was lost in 2012? What do you intend to find in 2013?

Sometimes I think I lost my sense of humour and joy in the world in 2012.  There were some dark days along the way (mostly not induced by me).  However, on the clear days here, my heart and soul are lifted by the sheer beauty of this place, and I still find things that make me laugh.  I have not lost my accent, though I am becoming used to the local accent enough now that I don't notice it unless I concentrate.  I managed to lose a few pounds, or at least decrease my measurements, but I'll have to keep working at that now that winter is here.  I'm less inclined to walk everywhere when it is cold and raining and miserable.  Plus I need to waterproof my boots - I thought they were waterproof but apparently not!

What do I want to find in 2013?  Peace, contentment - not the RIP type, just contentment with what I have and who I am.  Also to be able to spread that around.  Or maybe courage, the sort of guts I rarely display, the courage to grab life by the throat and really live it on my terms.

Day 21: What's on the dream list?  What items did you tick off your dream list in 2012? What other, unexpected, dreams came to fruition?  What are the top three items on your dream list for 2013?

You know for someone who spends half her time in lala land (I even have a bag that says so), I don't seem to have much of a dream list.  Most of what I have relates to travel, and to living in a way that pleases me and getting our mortgage reduced at home.  (See reducing, not increasing, stash.)  I have the feeling that when I was diagnosed with cancer, my future disappeared and my dreams, well they went up in smoke and I am still rather afraid to make new dreams.

On my dream list for this coming year is more travel around this place and Oregon.  I've seen photographs of places and events that just make me want to get in the car and go go go, but now is not the right weather.  Getting to Canada would be great too.   It makes it so much easier when you've got a car and you can just get in and go without having to plan and book and rent a car and get whatever they give you.

Also on the dream list?  Stash reduction by making stuff and giving things to needful homes.  If I want to keep it all and it keeps reproducing at this rate, I'll have to get a closet that is a Tardis or something.  A Tardis would be totally brilliant, actually, for moving stuff - it could just leave and reappear somewhere else, with any luck even around the right date.  Anyway, I need to stop replacing stolen dreams with stuff, stuff that ties me to this planet.  See?  I have too much stash!  The Grim Reaper can't take me yet. 

I need to find me.

Well that is your blimmin' lot for the week.  I've got plenty more blather in the tank where that lot came from but really?  Enough for one post.  So



  1. A good look into 2012 and hopes for 2013. You're a deep thinker and a kind soul...I hope you remember to be kind to yourself too.

    And that quilt. Oh that dreamy quilt.


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