…And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
(T.S. Eliot)

And here we are, at the end of another year with the promise of a new clean future tomorrow. I’m not interested in looking back on this year, as it was one of the same old same old years. Instead, I am looking towards 2012 and thinking of the empty unknown, excitement, adventure, and clarity that it holds.

This is the year we will be putting our house on the market. This is the year we will be leaving to go on an epic adventure of the unknown on our bicycles (plans still unmade). This is the year I turn 30 and will change it all in my life in order to catch happiness and solace in myself and my surroundings.

I hope you all have a lovely end to your 2011 and a promising beginning to your 2012.

Looking up on a Friday

September 9, 2011


Thought it was time for another Looking Up post.

Things that make me happy right now:

  • Cooler morning air. Cooler evening air. The signal of the change in season.
  • Making headway on the new backporch (details soon!) being built by us in the space that used to house our old kitchen.
  • A return to hot coffee from a few months of iced coffee (see first bullet).
  • Making good, healthy, wholesome food from scratch every night for dinner, and always having leftovers the next day.
  • Feeling grateful that the old bones in this old rowhome have withstood the intense amount of (more) rain we got this week. So far so good on the no rain *inside* the house. Our basement is dry and our roof is sturdy. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, lost their home, and have to deal with more flooding damage in Pennsylvania due to the overflow of the Schuylkill, Delaware, and Susquehanna.
  • A great guy who works on beautifying my bicycles for me. My Surly Steamroller fixed gear has been lovingly retrofitted, switched over to freewheel, and we swapped out the bullhorn bars for uprights. It’s a lovely lovely smooth ride and I am so happy that I have good, strong bicycles.
  • Hope you are looking to the positives, on this Friday.

    (And on a sad note. The hurricane kitty has passed away in the loving hands of his foster. He was doing well for the first few days and then took a nosedive. I’m thankful for the amazing help my friends provided as I was trying to save him from a life on the streets of South Philly and am sad that he was unable to make it to a long cat life. So it is, sadly, the circle of life.)

    After a storm, new life

    August 29, 2011

    First and foremost, thank you for the birthday wishes! 29 is turning out to be pretty great so far.

    In other news, Hurricane Irene came through here and left Philly with a flooding river. Other than that, we got out unscathed. We bundled down in South Philly armed with delicious food, knitting, the humor of Louis C.K., and crosswords (for me).

    On Sunday morning, Kasy and I rode up to the banks of the Schuylkill River to see the flooding. These were taken at 9:30am and the waters rose even higher later in the day. I know that we’re lucky to not have any damage to our persons or our home and my heart goes out to those who are still dealing with damage, major flooding, injury, and the sad loss of loved ones. While the storm may have seemed like hype to a lot of people (myself included, as I pshawed the warnings expecting nothing more than the rain we did receive) it really did reek havoc in many communities and we are lucky it did not cause more damage and sadness than it did.

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    Hurricane Irene aftermath - Sunday 8/28/11 9:30am

    As parts of the city are still recuperating, we continued on with our home renovations today. I had scheduled some debris haulers to come in and remove demolition waste from the tear down of the back room (where the kitchen used to be). We’re going to be building a pretty excellent back porch in its place. Our trusty haulers came out and upon removing the ply-wood board we had covering the crumbling Sheetrock pile, they discovered a newborn kitten snuggled into the pile of debris. Now, I’ve had animals in my life every since I was a wee one, but this is by far the scariest, tiniest, animal I’ve ever had to handle. I was a nervous wreck. Luckily, I know some great people who are excellent foster parents for the strays and surrenders in our city, and I called one of them immediately after putting the kitten in a box with towels. My friend awesomely handled finding someone to come and pick up the wee kitty, have it checked out at PAWS and passed on to a wonderful foster parent who is well versed in bottle-feeding. It was a stressful few hours, friends, as this tiny life was in my hands and I felt helpless and worried.

    debris kitten

    I’m hopeful that this little hurricane babe survives, even though it was found relatively abandoned with eyes and ears closed and cord still attached. It is a cutie and deserves a lovely cat life, not on the mean streets of stray-cat-ville South Philly. It was also an interesting reminder at how tiny life can be and how tenuous it can be, and how scary change and the world can seem.

    can you handle the cuteness?


    August 21, 2011

    -August 21, 1842 The city of Hobart, Tasmania, is founded
    -August 21, 1878 The American Bar Association is founded
    -August 21, 1942 World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad began
    -August 21, 1959 Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the United States
    -August 21, 1968 James Anderson, Jr. posthumously receives the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an African American U.S. Marine
    -August 21, 1982 Andrea was born


    Today I turn 29. I’m glad that the twenties are almost over. They’ve been up and down. They’ve been happy and sad. They’ve been easy and hard. I’m glad they happened the way they happened, and I’m glad that they are almost totally behind me. Onward and upward, friends!


    June 3, 2011

    Waiting to push down the plunger of my french press coffee and start my Friday.

    Here are some pictures from the week –

    Memorial Day

    Fresh Brewed Iced Tea

    Keeping cool

    Project Spectrum | Green | Backyard Basil

    Friday morning

    As you can see, my camera lens has moved from the REDs to the GREENs. A more comfortable color in my life. I love all the greens.

    Happy Friday!

    April 29, 2011

    Spring has sprung

    We have a great weekend planned, starting with seeing our good friend Maura in her first trapeze performance. The rest of the weekend consists of cleaning, organizing, purging things, and repainting our bedroom. The warmer temperatures have settled into town, here, and it is making it hard to be in a bad mood. Spring has finally arrived.

    Have a good weekend, friends!

    I took a wee break from work to go outside to take a picture of this:

    Blue skies make me want to knit with blue

    and then I looked up and saw this:

    right now

    Inside, a soup just like this one is bubbling away on the stove:

    I love soup!

    All in all, an excellent Tuesday. Hope your day is also going well!

    Feels like a billion years has passed since we last spoke. Probably because my life was consumed by sanding spackle, thinking about sanding spackle, and thinking about life after sanding spackle. Oh, and some work for my job thrown in too.

    So today’s WIP post brings you REAL PROGRESS. That’s always exciting to see, especially when so many projects, both knitting and non-knitting, have that long period of time in the middle where it feels like you’re merely treading water and not getting anywhere. The sanding spackle stage of renovation exists solely in this place. So let’s talk progress. And breathe a sigh of relief at the thought that all that work that you and I do, as we chug along on the projects at hand, actually do lead us to a place of progress and, hopefully, a place of a finished goal (eventually).

    The new kitchen.

    utility room?

    This photo, from Kasy’s flickr account, shows the original state of the new kitchen room. We think it was the original kitchen, that was then turned into some sort of utility/laundry room. Which would be fine, really, if the working kitchen, through that doorway in the back, wasn’t so shoddily created. A badly done addition with barely, if any, insulation in the floors and walls. Every winter, without fail, the water pipes would freeze with the slightest drop below freezing. The real kicker in getting our kitchen out of this room was when the badly done roof started leaking in the corner. Enough was enough. We slapped on a new backdoor, in that doorway (after some much needed rebuilding of the doorjam), and started demoing this utility room.

    Coming Soon! New Kitchen!

    Demolition feels like progress, doesn’t it? Until you realize that the demo stage is only the beginning of the project. There were some bumps in the road, post demo, where Kasy had to heavily patch the brick wall behind the wall we ripped down as well as rebuild the window frame.

    The wall before we started

    Patched big holes in the brick wall

    After that was finished, we moved onto scraping the old glue off the walls behind the tiles we removed. That was a tiresome task, and proved to be more difficult that we anticipated. So we scraped and scraped and came to the realization that these walls will never be scraped down to the nice, even wall we expect in a room.

    New lights!

    working on the kitchen

    Enter the spackle stage of hell.

    Be afraid

    light at the end of the tunnel

    We spackled the 2 walls that previously had tiles on the bottom half and sanded. And sanded. And re-spackled. And sanded more. And we never felt like it would be over.

    But look! It finally paid off! We’re painting now!



    Progress feels awesome. Next up is the floor installation (same bamboo as the dining room and living room), oven installation, and adding all the counters and cabinets. This room will feel so worth the effort when it’s finished.

    right now

    February 25, 2011

    Teetering on that border between winter and spring. Loving that warmer cold air, knowing that the temperatures will rise soon. Friday nights are full of fun, beers, and thoughts of the future. The weekend is full of necessary work on the house of the present. Teetering on that border between now and soon.

    right now

    All I know is that I wish I were in the woods, in a tent, instead of in a rowhome in the deeps of South Philly. Never have I wanted warmer weather. I want to go camping now.

    This week has been a bit up and down in my world, and my head. Possible good things for the future. Stagnant current things still stagnant. Grumpiness with no real direct cause.

    I am using today as a centering day. Trying to stop for a moment, breathe, and refocus. I feel like the past 7 days have caught me a bit in a whirlwind and I need to find my footing again.

    enjoying the weather

    Some things that I’m thinking about to help bring me back to a good place:

    • The soon-to-be bookcase Kasy is building in the living room, and how that piece of furniture will make both of us so happy and excited. Our books are currently boxed in the basement, so it will be wonderful to unpack them and look at them all the time again.

    • The need to organize my studio space in the basement. And for the first time really feeling the desire to get that space finished and organized, instead of feeling weighted by the chore-ness of it.

    • Warming temperatures.

    • Less movie watching and more working with my hands. Feeling less inclined to open the laptop when I get home from work and more inclined to turn the radio on and work on something instead.

    • Meeting with dear Kasy about our touring gear and how it spawns conversations of bicycle touring, traveling, camping, and the great wide future.

    • Open space and vast nature. It is heavily on my mind and will continue to be.


    Have a lovely weekend, friends.