My hair's blowin' in the wind…

Be great, feel great, act great.

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I love drinking Yogi Tea because on every bag of tea, there is a little pick-me-up written on the tag.  Tonight’s little blessing, which just so happens to be the title of this entry, couldn’t have come at a more needed time. Last week was a rough one at work, and I started to become afraid that I’ve been putting off grieving for my grandmother, and even for my aunt who died in the spring. It’s almost like my emotions have become some weird Ringling Bros. contortionist who is doomed to stay all twisty forever; lately I have no earthly clue what’s up or down, left or right.   

As a nurse in the ICU, there is a tremendous exposure to death. Sometimes it comes peacefully, but mostly it comes in a traumatic way.  I’ve noticed that I have developed the tendency to intellectualize my own personal feelings toward death. This isn’t so easy- I feel like there are so many emotions that I NEED to feel, but they just aren’t there.  I had coffee the other day with a good friend…her grandfather passed away the day after Mema. Crazy coincidence, right? We were venting to each other about our lives, and I feel safe saying that the general consensus was that we haven’t been feeding our souls. We’ve both been swamped with work, funerals, helping our families, projects, etcetera and so forth, and we haven’t been taking care of ME. I won’t speak to my friend’s feelings, but personally, until that conversation, I was drowning. Completely exhausted, unhappy, eating crap for food, just absolute chaos in my mind. I wanted to quit being a nurse and run away to some green island with nothing but sheep, knitting needles, and an endless supply of yarn.  (Yes, I know that my idea of paradise is totally weird.) My friend gave me some tough love in only the way that she can, and we decided, pardon my French, that we needed to get our collective shit together.  We needed to start eating right, exercising more, cleaning our houses, laughing, and enjoying life again.

It’s completely nuts how having a conversation with someone who is going through the same battles, at the same time, can change your outlook in the span of a 3 hour conversation.  I put my life into a calendar as soon as I got home, and started making lists and reminders of all the things I need to accomplish this weekend, and suddenly it doesn’t all seem like a big, dark pit of despair and clutter. Don’t get it twisted- my house is still a tornado of dog hair and random piles of books and junk mail, but my sink is clean before I head to bed. Dinner dishes have been washed, and I even got some reading time in.  Somehow, allowing myself to fit all this stuff in before I go to bed makes me feel more calm, and less worried about all the mountain of laundry that I need to tackle tomorrow.  Like my Yogi Tea says: be great, feel great, act great. Who knows, maybe soon I’ll actually be able to work through all these feels that I’ve been collecting inside. 😉

Mad love,
Rachel

Crisp, cool, calm.

Life has been insane lately. My grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease ended a couple of weeks ago, work has been crazy, and I have been knitting my fingers off. The later is a good kind of crazy…the kind that actually keeps me sane.  During the week that I was out of work for my Mema’s funeral, I started and finished 2 projects…I could get used to that!

Thankfully, the weather here is starting to cool off, and I’ve been able to pull out some of my beloved woolens and rock the heck out of them! Also, I’m finishing up a sweater that I started in April (eek! To my credit, I stowed it away for a while!) and I’m so ready to wear it!

Here are a few visuals from over the past little bit:

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Back to the swing of things…I’m cooking up a few surprises for the not too distant future. Stay tuned.

Happenings.

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Life is sweet. We recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary! Hard to believe it has already been a year. We were up in Boone, NC with my family, and spent some time hiking and eating good food! I managed to score some Eastern NC peaches (blog namesake, heyo!) from my parents, as well as some really good honey, and some handspun yarn from the Boone Farmers Market. 

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We stayed at our beloved Boone Cabin, which has been in our family since the 1930s! There’s no heat or air conditioning, but being up on the mountain takes care of all that.  There’s a beautiful creek behind it. So many memories come from this place…it’s the closest thing to magic for me.

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We got to spend some time with my parents, my brother, my uncle, one of my cousins. Luckily, we were able to get a hike in before we left. We hiked the Boone Fork Trail, which is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beautiful scenery, and a great workout!

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After we got back home, I was able to have lunch with my cousin Evangeline before she moves off to Kentucky. I can always feel when I need some heart talks…my cousins are more like siblings to me, and we needed some time to talk, laugh, and cry together over a good cold beer and some yummy food.

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Now I’m just enjoying one more day off before a string of night shifts…spending time with some knitting, of course! The top photo is the Mossy sweater…I’m finally finishing the sleeves so I can mail it off to my friend Mandy. I made it for her sweet little boy. The bottom photo is yarn for my husband…I’ve been promising him a hat for the longest time. I guess it’s time to deliver! The lighter gray is yarn from Hood River, OR. We got it on our honeymoon trip to Portland.  It came from Foothills Yarn, where you can hang out with alpacas! Fiber to yarn to garment….it’s a pretty awesome process if you ask me.

How’s that for a whirlwind update? Ciao for now!

Fairy tales and spinning wheels.

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“Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”

             -Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter

For some reason, this quote sticks to my bones this morning. August 2nd marks one year of marriage to my amazing husband. Last week was 4 years of knowing him.  It really is amazing, the people you meet in a lifetime. Real life Prince Charmings who don’t swoop in from the shadows to save you from yourself, but to show you what your true potential is.  The dude is a saint; I mean, he has to be in order to put up with this yarn obsession o’ mine.

Speaking of yarn obsessions and Prince Charmings, my sweet husband bought me a spinning wheel. Bless, he has no idea what he’s in for.  It should arrive in several days, and I am literally spending every waking moment watching YouTube videos on how the heck to use it.  She’s a Schacht Ladybug, and I’m SO EXCITED! In the meantime, I’m still using my drop spindle, working through a beautiful braid of hand dyed merino. It’s really interesting to see how it spins up compared to how it looks while braided up. If you’ve never tried spinning, you totally should. My first attempts were comical, and now I’m completely obsessed.

I’m off to talk to some important folks about sedation protocols in mechanically ventilated patients… Hope you’re having a beautiful morning!

Rae

Time flies when you’re workin’ hard.

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I know it’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve updated. Life has a sneaky way of tricking me into thinking only a few months have floated on by, when in reality, those months have turned into years. So many things have happened in the last year: graduation from nursing school, marriage to my love, new jobs for both of us. I got to stand beside my best friend, with her family, as she married the love of her life.  I lost my aunt to cancer. My grandmother’s dementia has gotten worse…she’s been in the hospital, and is now living in an assisted living facility.  The good comes with the bad. Life is full of ups and downs, says the old cliché. All in all, life is rich, full of love and adventure.

I suppose I’m going to try and keep this little blog alive. I really missed writing, and it helps me tremendously to collect my thoughts. So here goes; round 2…or 3 or 4. Maybe I’ll use this as a way to keep up with my knitting and fiber-related projects. Speaking of knitting…the almost-cardigan in the picture way up there is called the Ramona cardigan. The pattern is by Elizabeth Smith, who blogs at The Brown Stitch. I want to knit every pattern she’s published!

Anyway, here’s hoping that I can keep this up. Back to knitting and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Xoxox.

Long time coming.

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Nursing School has been keeping my hobbies at a strangely uncomfortable distance. As you do, Nursing School, as you do. For a time, I was becoming a master at balance, knitting while studying, mixing pie dough and studying while it chilled in the fridge, but lately, no such thing.

I will say however, that this summer I dug up all of my tomato plants from the garden (they were choking out my peppers) and managed to save a good bit of the little green guys. My best friend’s Mom makes green tomato pickles every year, and I thought I’d try to carry on the tradition in my own way. It’s been hard to stare and stare at all my jars of jeweled green orbs and not sneak a taste, but they’re finally ready! I don’t know that they’re as delicious as Madre Loy’s, but they’re pretty darn close…and somehow I’m inspired to take my hobbies back down from the dusty old shelf.

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