Ocean’s Shore

We pried ourselves out of town for a few days and found the ocean. I just love the ocean. The way it roars, demanding your attention, and continues to roar, beating thoughts of daily life out of your brain until all you hear is the ocean.

The weather was great and here are some of the things we did: went to the beach and played in the sand (well, our son played), flew a kite, ate blueberries, shellfish was eaten, chocolate chip cookies were baked and eaten, knitted. Okay, I did the knitting.

Being the Washington coast, the water was typically too rough and too cold to go swimming in.  In fact, the water was too cold to go up to my knees in, but it was a sweet retreat to put my feet in the water and feel the sand.

We rented a cottage at Seabrook, which we’d first investigated when we were in the area last year. They have these bicycles all over Seabrook, for residents and guests for exploring.

With my husband driving, I made good progress, and Cabled Coat is almost finished! I can’t believe I would ever be able to say that, but it’s true. I’m almost done with the sleeves and then I’ll knit the collar and sew it all together. It looks like it won’t be finished before the end of the month, but I came pretty close. I think I’ll have it done around the first week of August (notice my lack of commitment to a specific deadline—very me).  Here are the sleeves, in progress:

What are my priorities?

It’s finally come down to this question: What are my priorities? I have less time now and I have to ask myself, Do I knit or do I blog? Do I tackle the load of laundry piling up by the washing machine? Or, do I get 7 hours of sleep instead of 5.5? So blogging, both reading blogs and writing, is losing ground. I rarely get to work on Grand Duchess anymore since I can only work on it when I’m fresh, and with my son waking-up earlier, that morning knitting slot is gone, and with his not taking naps anymore, my afternoon knitting time is gone. On the other hand, I have been making great progress on Cabled Coat and both fronts are done and I am knitting the sleeves, with just the collar remaining, but that comes at the sacrifice of other things, like sleep and laundry. Then add there’s the time I should be spending researching stuff for us to do on our upcoming trip to Europe (rough, I know), and the time I should be studying a little Italian and a little French for the trip, then there are daily meals to cook, the one arthritic 18-year old kitty (Phinney) that needs a daily brushing because her undercoat irritates her, and the other deaf 18-year old kitty (Olivia) that follows me around the house and demands that I sit with her, activities and playdates to do with my son, the garden that needs tending, the relatives visiting town that get squeezed into the schedule, etc., and I feel rather pinched for time and not very cheery or chatty. Thankfully, the third kitty (Zephyr) is much younger than the other two, at about 8 years old, so he doesn’t demand much, except that he causes me much loss of sleep because he likes to go out at night when the coyotes are most active to catch mice, then he vomits the mice on my bedroom floor at midnight.

On the other hand, I do get to go skating once a week for exercise, and there is the new weekly yoga class my neighbors have put together for the ‘hood, and there is the monthly Japanese sweet-making class I take to help give me an outlet. I went the sweet-making class today, by the way, and I’d post the pictures but I either blog, or sort through photos, or knit, or… you get the idea. I need a break, so we’re going to the Washington coast for my birthday weekend, and my husband thinks we could squeeze in a day trip to Portland for the Portland Saturday Market, which I haven’t been to since… before you were probably born. Maybe I’ll blog while we’re away. See ya!

And peace fell upon the land…

Happy Fourth of July! I really do believe in celebrating our country’s Independence Day, but I’m glad it’s over. As with New Year’s Eve, I don’t quite get the need to purchase your own fireworks and set them off in your yard. I don’t think my childhood suffered any loss when we drove to the fireworks display and didn’t have them at home. Our neighborhood resounded with fireworks last night, keeping our son up and crying until very late and terrifying pets and wildlife. Not that I want to go out and hug a coyote or anything, but during lulls in the din they could be heard whimpering and howling in the woods. I felt sad for them.

It’s hard to believe it’s July. July is synonymous with Massachusetts for me.  I used to spend my summers as a kid visiting my father and grandparents in the Boston area, visiting historic landmarks, smelling the freshness of the ocean, going to the beach, eating Atlantic lobster and Ipswich clams, going to antique stores, and taking-in the beauty that is New England.  I miss it.  Having spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, I don’t think I could ever live in New England, and having spent so much time in New England, I don’t think I will ever feel like I am completely living in the Pacific Northwest.  July just never seems quite right to me anymore.  In honor of summers past, I made clam chowder last night. Afterall, it was the Fourth, and there had to be New England clam chowder.

Something I used to do a lot was beach-combing, especially for rocks on this beach south of Boston.

They don’t look that great in the photo, but I don’t know how many times I made the 3,000 mile flight home with at least 5 pounds of these pretty granite rocks in my suitcase. I still have many of them.

On the knitting side of things, here are the pictures of the finished side panel for Cabled Coat and the right front for Rib Knitted Shrug.

Progress on the other side panel for Cabled Coat is coming along nicely now and I’m really bent on finishing, I hope, by the end of the month.

The clock is ticking as we look ahead to our trip to Italy in September, we’ll be in the area of Pistoia for a week and then we’ve added a second week during which we’ll visit the French Riviera, Provence and then go to Switzerland (Geneva) for a short bit, and going back to Paris for a couple of nights, where we might meet-up with my French cousin and her family. I’m a bit intimidated about going to France, since none of us speak French (although I was taught some in school when I was 4), but armed with a phrase book, and being open to trying to speak a little French to get by, as we’ll also do in Italy, we’ve been assured by friends that we will be okay.