Erka+Days

Reflecting on the Daily

cranes and pho

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I watched seven sand hill cranes arrow across the morning sky, crinking my neck to watch them as long as possible through the spattered windshield, I slowed to a bird watching 20 mph in a hot second with out glanicng to see if someone was right behind me on my two lane. Their heads are a nice arrow wedge in flight, their necks stretch out as long as their legs, lending to a nice balance. Regal, yet dorky, cranes are not as spectacular in flight as they are on the ground doing their crane dance. But as early morning excitement goes, cranes are a good sign. This after seeing a flash of orange on the road, upon closer inspection, I realized that it was a robin, red breast up in the road. Those kamakazi robin dives are not always timed so well it seems.

I created an erk version of pho last night. not too bad really. Amazing what spices blend into. Star anise, cinnamon, fennel, corriander, lime, dried scallops, fish sauce, ginger. I tweeted the erk pho and a virtual tweet fest developed over the recipe, the source and the ingredients. @saveurmag to the rescue. Sparrow the butcher, put me in the beef bone soup broth mode.

Fantasy #64, to sell my hand spun to folks that want to knit it into some goodness. I have been dying fiber, usually 2 – 4 oz bumps at a time that somehow in my imagination compliment each other in some manner. I dye, spin, ply, wash, hang to dry. Then the naming. gah. It is a process. I plan on getting at least 10 yarns up on etsy in the LuckyHeronStudios studio in the very near future.

As we walked the river sunday morning, I watched the birds flash in and out as I watched my toes in boots advance step by step. Cardinals, chickadees, robins, the first red wings, geese, swans, mallards. I will be dying up a few of the above in their honor. Just to have a place to begin. A pallet to paint from. The early spring dun color of the Mitten is splashed with bird color. The river flows fast.

Uncle John and Rose have moved their belongings to their new home above the river. Pop went to the help move while I sat with the spinners.
We went to Grange with John and Rose for dinner. It was very good dinner. The plates were licked clean.

Boomba says “lupo, izza, shoes”. Isabella is growing cheeks, and is very alert, she smiles. We skyped for 2 hours on sunday. A photo of the babyElla sleepin with one hand above her head was uploaded by Fede that almost killed this long distance Nonna.

Uncle John Chipman has had another stroke which has intensified his dementia and is now in hospital/care facility. A massive huge decision for them to make. Patti can no longer safely manage his level of care giving required. A collective sigh for their/our aging. Upon reading the emails, Pop in his silent method of dealing with things, woke up in the 3am hour to read and eat and pace. Hereditary, yes.

The left hand has new callouses on four fingers. The mandolin, her strings mark my tips. I pick out in scales up and down the neck. loosing myself in the notes.

I have very barely planned for the rehearsal dinner or the things we need for when Italy arrives in July. Tamales, a piñata, wine beer, music.

I am gearing up for the 1 year anniversary of my Mother’s passing. Her gifted amaryllis blooms its heart out as we speak as it did on the nursing wing, in her honor.

What a treat to write it all down. Have not done so in weeks, months, almost a year.

Written by erksnerks

March 22, 2011 at 6:54 am

Posted in cook, daily, knit

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I have ten years of journal entries on my desk top. What to do, what to do with such history? The bulk of my ancient hand coded site is gone to swirl amidst letters, colors and links in the land of the lost digits. But my writing down of the family bones remains. I have the urge to upload a few every time I write here, which would encourage me to write and refloat my life into the vortex of web. But why?

I got to thinking this through after the Pop sat on the ancient leather couch to share a moment of our eldest caught in a blue spiral binder. He read aloud a Moo journal from her sixth grade plastic seated desk. It is a rarity that we are caught just sitting, reading aloud. I was spinning, Pop was taking a break from the basement of doom where he unearthed the journal. My daughter wrote about dance, plans, her brother, her classmates, my cooking, spelling pain, the disadvantages of sitting too close to a good friend, despised plastic seated desks and the family. Positive straight forward contemplation. I am left with a smile on my face.

I have begun to knit the top down garter stitch yoke vest (short rows version) by naganasu… I am adding pleats to the front…. nice to knit.

Written by erksnerks

February 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

once again friday

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As far as I can tell it is once again Friday. Another week spent in a chair in front of a computer pushing pixels. Drive in, push pixels, drive out. I have hopes that I get home before the ancient dog poops on the floor. I let the dog out, and search for evidence. Then I cook. Then I eat. I spin or knit. I read, I sleep. I am Drawn To The Rhythm. Now consider what would happen if I were to break the chain and do something else. Would I be disciplined enough to make it happen, or am I too jaded from years of pixel pushing? needing an entire 6 months to just do what eva i wanta.

sassymetrical is almost done. I am down to the seed stitch hem and then on to the sleeves. Knit in my hand spun, merino plied with BLF. A jewel tone of golden green curry plied with variegated magenta, blue teal golden green. I placed a 1×1 rib triangle shape in the lower center back and added a few stitches for a flounce. A note to thyself: there is a reason for an odd number of stitches.

Been listening to Sarah McLachlan all morning. Her voice wraps around you. Imagine her singing with Joni. oooooh. I really wish that I had a functioning set of speakers in my car. I miss listening on loud.

Looking for pac n plays and bouncy chairs. The boy and his maymay are soon here. I dunno how Stefano will stand not having them home for an entire month.

Spinner’s Flock meeting is tomorrow. I look forward to sitting in a room full of the like minded. I need to get more involved tho.

After flock we are going to engage in some serious decluttering of two rooms both nominated as Art Projects of Long Departed Children. Wish me luck.

Written by erksnerks

February 13, 2009 at 4:49 am

Posted in daily, knit

curry no worry

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Sunshine, and melting snow. Drip by drip emboldens the creation of flow, ponds form across the fields and roads and drives. Our drive an ice rink, the gravel below a smooth suggestion of summer dust. The living room ceiling leaks from a damn of ice two stories above. The bird baths are glacial, the largest still has a huge flow of ice and snow. The birds are frantic to clean out the feeders. Robins bounce back and forth through the woods in large numbers, flashes of orange breast, yellow feet and beak startle the rest of us out of or dormancy. The snow has not yet melted in the bog, but I am curious to see how much of a lake forms for a minute and then I wonder how many peepers will announce spring this year?

Duff Liam turned a gracious 30 years old. As he so nicely pointed out his being 30 makes me old. I have known him since his first breath.

I created two curries dinners this weekend. Chicken curry with red lentil dal and cucumber raita. Lamb curry with red lentil dal and cucumber raita. Two curries without worries in one weekend. The later I hauled to Duff’s birthday celebration. I made chicken curry for sunday dinner with BDM because neither of us got any lamb curry at the party. Red lentil dal is an excellent breakfast.

I spun wool left over in my basket from Three Waters Farm, BFL that was blessedly colorful compared to the pound of brown that I spun up last week. Neen chose the brown over a green for his sweater. Need needles for said sweater.

I drove to the yarn store in the brilliant sunshine, through a haze of salt mist and melt. I left the house with boots on but no socks. 40 degrees people not -12. By the time I got to the bridge my feet were getting cold. I have not been in a yarn store to buy needles in a long while. They were knitting mittens in the center of the store. Jillian at the head of the table leading knitters down a path of colorful lace enhanced mittens. Hellos were had and needles were chosen. How I wish I could have just sat down there and hung out for the rest of the day. The lure was huge, intoxicating.

I finished reading Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson last night. I was reading the last chapters and realized that the words said, February 8th. And that February 8th was on it’s way to ending with a full moon crusing across the night time sky. A good luck moment in book reading moments. It was a book that I picked up each night, entangled layers of history and herstory.

We skyped with Moo and Giovanni, Stefano was in and out of coherence as he was glued to the Roma game. Giovanni is growing fast and now smiles on his Mother and gurrgles his commentary. I also had the pleasure of skyping with Neen at length. We talked on tortillas, the Ruins, tripe, brain, travel, culture and radishes. He is doing well, learning lots and expanding his proverbial horizons both gastronomic and historonic.

Written by erksnerks

February 9, 2009 at 8:39 am

Posted in daily

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Dear Mr. MY Boomba,
Sorry that I had to go so soon today. Just wanted to let you know that
you are the most handsome little boy this side of the Adriatic. Stay
away from those with snot and crabbiness so you do not get ill again.
I am saving my coffee money ($16.45 per week x 52 weeks) towards my next plane
ticket to see you when you turn 1 year old. Please note in your
calendar that I will be arriving sometime in late December and staying
through the new year… My plans are between you and I since your
Nonno thinks I should travel in the spring time. He has another thing
comin…..
Okay. Sleep good. Baci Ciao.
Love, your erkanonna

Written by erksnerks

January 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Watching The Inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama and his family put a spell on us. An absolute thrum of emotion, anticipation, expectation and excitement surrounded my office. I watched in tears, as voice, music, and sheer mass of humanity emanated through my monitor and speakers. We sang with Aretha, spoke our vows, and prayed with Reverend Lowery. Can I get one more Amen somebody!

My feet rest on a mat of plastic so that my chair has the ability to go. My feet sit in uber ugly old person clogs so that I have shoes on. My feet are cold. I sit up beside a wall of windows designed and built in the late 40’s. I sit up against this wall of windows to combat monitor glare and feng shui back to the crowd no no voodoo. I can feel the cold side of my body and the warm side. My left foot is cooler than my right as is my left thigh, and tummy… I contend with this push me pull you of warm cold every work day. It is my penance. I have poo-pooed the mighty space heater for years, as inefficient and for sissies. I am now officially a sissy.

Grilled cheese sandwiches graced our plates this evening, a request made by the Pop. I sliced cheddar, taleggio and another unnamed soft goat cheese. I seared onion slices. A bit of chicken breast. I stacked things up and then buttered the other side of the bread with left over ravioli filling of ricotta, parmigiano and parsley. Grilled to oozing a golden brown.

Knitting the zoo llama sweater sleeves at lunch and after dinner. I have begun the decreases and I am glad I remembered them.

Saab has returned from the vet with a functioning drivers side door handle. I no longer have to climb across to get in. Right hand fog lamp is replaced, sunroof has been tightened. Oil has been changed. 237,000,000 plus miles.
SO okay, I forgot to mention that my seat no longer heats.

I spoke to Veda Rose, she did the inauguration, walked ten miles, watched from the Washington monument, she signed off exhausted and exhilarated.

Another day slips by. A momentus one.

Written by erksnerks

January 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Sunday, a snow flake in the midst

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Saturday was ….  house cleaning, library visitation and grocery shopping. Semolina, olive oil, eggs, salt, and kneading love makes for the pasta dough. The long thin yellow counter becomes the work place, a cutting board held to the counter with a huge clamp, the pasta machine in turn clamped to the wooden board. One person feeds the machine with lovely golden dough, the other tends to the filling and sealing, finally plopping ravioli onto a floured cookie sheet. We laugh, we cross arms and bump heads as we do the kitchen dance, wine glasses in hand, flour dusted. Sage butter sauce and or pomodoro. Sausage and onions, or shirmp creates the menu. A champagne toast to the new year, to a perfect intelligent new/old girl friend for my muffin, a new president and the new thrum of society feeling the love, learning to say it loud, we are proud to be alive in this moment.

I decided to make Zuppa di Garno Cuturru for Sunday dinner. I cooked after spending the entire day in and out of the range of the couch reading  and knitting cardigan sleeves (that I ripped out), petting cats and listening to the radio. I cried as the sweet chemical reaction of cut onion hit my face. I cried as I listened to the elderly african american tell his story. A story that includes me and you. I am a child of the 60’s I grew up in a city exercising its rights in racial turmoil, the burning of the Motor city, I watched the tanks lumber up and down scared, listened to the rhetoric and walked the walk of a white girl in a predominantly african american school. I was sheltered by my race but not to the extent of the masses that insisted on leaving the city of Detroit high and dry, without a tax base, their lily white tails between their legs. Either way, I am a better person from the experience. Just sayin’.

I have been reconnected with old friends via facebook. I have looked at my older face in the mirror and wondered what will come next. I have skyped with Moo and Giovanni in Rome and smiled. I have to locate a changing table and a bedtime for the boy, when he arrives he must sleep in style. I have watched the snow fall and the sun shine. Neen is in his element in Mexico, slathering his language skills with masa and pork, cilantro and chile, the hues of the town he is in will put him over his edge in the end I just know it. Returning to the states with its brown and gray and the occasional pale yellow homes will slay his aesthetic.

We watched Darjeeling Limited as we slurped our zuppa. I am reading the gurnsey potato peel pie society and behind the scenes at the museum.

I knit the sleeves to a fair thee well on the Llama sweater, and then I ripped them out to begin the shaping process again. I could not just leave them in such a sad ass state. It was not possible to sigh and keep going.

I wached the birds all day on the feeders. It was definately a laid back sort of day to be experienced on the hog. Not with out it’s quilts but traveled through anyway.

Written by erksnerks

January 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized