Snow day knitting

 

handspun-scarfgramps

 

Hello, friends! I’ve been, ever so slowly, getting more and more knitting done as the days go by. I’ve had a brief period of not wanting to do any knitting at all, and if you know me you know that I’m never without my needles in hand. I’m always working on something. I guess that comes with the highs and lows of this depression. This last week or so I’ve been back to my usual self when it comes to knitting. I finished the baby’s Gramps cardigan for next winter (just needs buttons), I’ve even made a baby-sized vest for an expectant cousin with the leftovers of the red (also needs buttons, and photographed), and then today I’ve cast on for a scarf for the Mr. It’s a well over-due project that I meant to have to him last year. Oh well, better late than never, yes? It’s, really, the perfect snow day knitting – the pattern is 2 rows and easy to remember so it’s interesting but also mindless enough that I don’t feel like I have to think too hard on it (which is important for during-the-week knitting when I’m feeling brain dead). I might even make myself one out of some lace I have hanging around!

The weather has dumped a lot of snow on us (though I’m sure those in the northern states would laugh at that), and all I want to do is hibernate. And eat. If I never had to leave the house during the winter I’d be pretty content. I often wish the local grocery stores have a pick-up service so I could order online and just drive through and pick it up on my way home. There’s a grocery near where I work that does that and I’m tempted to start doing my shopping there simply for that convenience. I really hate going grocery shopping and meal planning. It was fun when I was 18 and living on my own and buying groceries seemed like the most adult thing ever. Now it’s just a weekly chore that ranks up there with the hatred I have for cleaning the bathroom.

I did manage to spend some time in the kitchen yesterday making lime bars, mostly to use up the limes I had going bad. They’re tart and sweet and a nice, bright treat for these cold and gray days. But sweets, no matter how hard I wish them to be, are not substitutes for real meals. I want comfort food. Stews and soups and fresh homemade bread. The husband is not at all a fan of soup and prefers his to have a lot of stuff in it so it’s less broth and more substance. I just want quick and easy and tasty. It has to be tasty. Maybe I’ll make some chicken noodle soup tonight… that never takes very long to make, and I have all the ingredients. Do you have a favorite stew you make for these cold snowy days?

 

These cookies are for you, Great Grandma

cookiesI woke up today with an absolutely overwhelming urge to bake cookies. Not just any cookies, mind you, but the cookies of my childhood. My Great Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. I can’t explain the overwhelming feeling that I had to make these. It sounds crazy, but it’s almost like my great grandma was telling me to bake them. Pushing me. I haven’t made these cookies in years – not because I’ve forgotten about them but because the recipe is finicky and I never seem to get it right. I either never get them small enough, or I bake them too long… something always goes wrong.

I had to fight back tears as I mixed the dough, dropped it on the sheet, and baked them. And then I stood there wondering what the hell is wrong with me that I’m crying over some chocolate chip cookies. And it became even weirder as, while they baked, I looked her obituary up online to discover that her birthday is coming up. She would have been 100 on Wednesday, though she died the day before her 82nd birthday in 1997. I was in 7th grade.

I have so many emotions today surrounding her and these cookies. And I can’t even remotely explain it. Why? Why today, why these cookies, why, when there’s nothing in my life that has reminded me of her lately, this absolute need to bake them?

And wouldn’t you know it… today, of all days, the cookies came out absolutely perfect. Not too big, not too small. Not over done or under done. Just absolutely perfect. I don’t know that I believe in spirits and whatnot, but I kinda feel like Great Grandma was looking out for me today on the baking front. And like maybe she wanted some cookies.

 

The highs and lows.

Postpartum depression is rough. I thought I knew what depression was. I’ve had times where I’ve been able to acknowledge that I’m depressed but it never seemed to get to the point of being a problem that needed dealt with. But I don’t know that I’ve ever truly grasped what full on depression can be like until being hit with PPD.

Some days I’m just trying to make it through the day. Others are bright silver linings in the big picture, days when I feel more like myself and things are going well and I’m happy and am doing the things I love. And then there are times where I just can’t. I can’t think, I can’t make decisions, I can’t be bothered to make dinner or knit or force myself to pretend to be okay.

I don’t ever know whether I should write these feelings out here or not. It’s so… public. And dealing with this seems so personal. There’s this nagging voice in my head telling me no one cares. I’m just another person in the world with money to spend on a domain and hosting and I’m not special. And there’s this tiny whisper of the voice of reason saying that, damn it, it’s my place to do whatever I wish. And that maybe others need to read that they’re not alone, and that they’re not the only one feeling this way. This internal struggle gnaws at me.

Ultimately, I want to put it here, so this is what you get to read. It’s not pretty, nor is it very interesting. But it’s also not fake, which is something I try to avoid. My life isn’t a magazine to be perfectly styled in photos with inspiring articles. My blog is not my business like it is for others. It’s real. And it’s painful. But it’s also beautiful and happy and wonderful (just at different times). Authentic.

A little peek

quilt-preview

While I really love knitting, there’s something more… instant gratification about sewing. It’s some work to cut the fabric and seam it all together, but overall it goes much faster than trying to stitch up a blanket or a sweater. I can’t show you the full finished product, yet, as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for my friend, so for now you just get this little sneak peek.

In the kitchen together

IMG_9850 breakfastbars1 breakfastbars2

 

We’re quite the pair, my little munchkin and I. He has, apparently, inherited my “I hate naps” trait, which leads to a bit of a tricky day trying to get things done with him in tow. The few times he does nap I catch up on the computer, or I spend it knitting (I have a sweet little Gramps cardigan in the works for him for next winter), or other things that are difficult with a baby. But most days I’m toting him around with me. Upstairs to play while I put away laundry or clean the bedrooms. In the home office/craft room when I need something from there. And, of course, in the kitchen to cook and bake.

I know, ultimately, every room he’s in is interesting – every day there’s new items and sounds he’s noticing. But the kitchen… the kitchen is my favorite place to be with him. The kitchen is where we can go from fussy baby to completely content. He loves to watch me move around the room, opening and closing things, banging spoons on the pots and pans, running the mixer or kneading bread dough. The kitchen is my happy place – watching a few ingredients come together to make something amazingly delicious is like magic. If there’s one thing I hope to pass on to him, it would be a love of the kitchen. Even if all he ever makes is boxed mac and cheese in his adult life (though I really hope he makes more than that. Please, universe, let him be a better cook than that!), I want him to have fond memories of time in the kitchen with his mama. Kneading bread, making jam, canning salsa, etc.

Today I made a double batch of these coconut breakfast bars. I made them last week but didn’t like all that honey in there, so this week I used less. I also skipped the coconut milk and just used water, mostly because I didn’t feel like messing with trying to thaw some coconut milk for it. I’m still not sure I really love these bars, and I feel like they’re missing something, so perhaps next time I’ll make some major modifications to tweak them more for my tastes.

 

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