Weathering the nor’easter

April 16, 2007 at 4:13 pm | Posted in biscuit recipes, country living, dogs, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, gifts, knitted washrags, knitting, love, marriage, pets, photography, relationships, romance, yarn | 19 Comments

Firefly Finds a Fancy Birdie in her BasementMany of my readers live in in the Northeast, so I suppose many of us are huddled in our homes or offices today, weathering the big nor’easter that came up over the weekend.

I love that word: nor’easter. Couldn’t ever have used it in relation to my life until now. It has such a dramatic, romantic sound to it. Makes me feel as if I should be out by the sea waiting for a ship to come home carrying my love.

I walk along an old stone wall by the sea. My long, dark cape blows and whips behind me, Blu is by my side. We pace to and fro together. Blu is alert, I am determined … praying silently. The wind blows rain past the hood of my cape, onto my cheek, my hair, my ears. The ship is late, my heart dare not move from its position of absolute certainty he will come home. I mustn’t take a breath out of pace with the clear mental picture I hold onto that I will see him this day, that the sea will give him back to me once more. I search the horizon, squinting against stinging ice cold rain. All I find is deeper, darker clouds threatening …

Oh, but wait … he’s just a few miles away in the village, safely working at his computer while I am safely working at mine. Sharp wind blow rain beats against the window panes on either side of my desk, bringing me back to reality. Whimsy. I’m a writer, what can I say.

Fireflys HandKnit Washrag I began my day by taking Blu out for his second morning business walk (he goes out with my husband at 4:00 a.m., and I take him out again about 6:30). He was very professional, he knew exactly what was expected of him and he executed it with the swift efficiency of a dog well accustomed to … well, need I get graphic here?

Later, after tea and biscuits for me and Nutro kibbles for him, we sat together in our fireplace sitting area. I lit candles for extra mood effect, and enjoyed a couple of hours of copy editing for a client with Blu’s sweet head nestled in my lap and the sound of raindrops tapping on our windows. It was another of those moments when I just had to take some time to quietly look at my life, contemplating for a few moments the little things I am grateful for. How many times as I sat at home in Los Angeles I longed to live in a place where there would be storms of note, barns, peace, a sweet dog, and a fine husband.

A long sigh, “ahhhhhhh” moment.

It is a little awkward getting back to the business of this blog, after a couple of weeks of absence. Too much has happened in these few short days to relate in one blog. Blu was ill last week, which was very stressful for all three of us. He had eaten something untoward in the yard (evidently) and had a very upset digestive tract. It weakened him and aggravated the back injury he had suffered when abused in his first home. After a trip to the vet and about 48 hours of antibiotics, he surprised us one morning by suddenly being back to his happy, joyful, playful, nippy self. It was a beautiful thing. Going through this experience only makes us love and cherish him more.

Detail of Fireflys Handknit WashragI have completed, I believe, three more paintings while I’ve been “off the air”. One is about to end at auction at eBay … literally within about one hour of this post. Another was purchased already, but I have posted it at my One Painting a Day Blog. I hope you will take a look at it, because I love the way this particular painting glows.

There is also a painting which I painted in oil on an Italian marble tile. It is up for auction as well, along with another of my knitting Thistleonians. Even if you don’t have an interest in the auction you should at least take a look at the painting because it is pretty cool for it to be painted directly on a tile. I have four more paintings on marble tile I am working on, and will show photos as they come off the easel.

Featured in the photograph at the top of today’s post is a handsome little character my husband and I found in a box in the basement labeled “Easter Decorations” by his mother. The box was old, dusty … hadn’t been opened for many, many years from the looks of it.

I eagerly awaited the opening of the box the day before Easter. Inside we mostly found plastic eggs and plastic grass. There was one ceramic bunny with a broken/repaired ear and the charming dandy of a fellow you see in the photo at the top of today’s post. I couldn’t share a photograph of him with you sooner because of that unfortunate Internet connection problem we had Easter weekend, but wanted to include it today before Easter is too far behind us for the photo to be relevant.

Fireflys Knitting Thistleonian EmmaIn today’s photos you will also see a photo of my latest handknit “mystery” project. It is a washrag made of worsted weight 100% cotton yarn on U.S. size 6 needles. I couldn’t find my little book where I wrote down the directions as I made it up, so I will have to postpone sharing the pattern with you until Thursday of this week. I like this washrag because it is nice and heavy, and the stitch has a good texture to it so it should handle dishes very nicely. It is 10 1/4″ square. I haven’t blocked it, so I pinned it to the pillow you see it on so you could get a good look at it.

Sweet little Emma, the knitting Thistleonian, has taken quite an interest in my knitting lately. She has decided she is ready to go out on an adventure, so I agreed to put her up for auction at eBay so she could find herself a new home. She is a sweety, and I will miss her. However, she will bring good fortune and excellent mojo to whomsoever she next lives with and I am more than willing to share.

The day is getting away from me now, and I have many other tasks to attend to. If you are in a stormy region, stay warm and safe. I will be thinking of you over my next cup of tea down by the fireplace with Blu, waiting for “the Daddy” (as he is now known between Blu and I) to come home.


Copyright © 2007 J.L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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  1. My grandmother had a little chick very simaler to your charming little fellow, I am not sure what happend to him. I am glad that Blu is feeling better! That must have been a rough few days. Emma is too cute! Hope you are staying warm and dry!

  2. sorry to hear that Blue was sick while you were away..but I’m glad that he’s feeling much. 🙂 love the color and size of this new washrag too!

  3. Glad to see you back online, and I am very happy Mr. Blu has fully recovered!

    Take care!

  4. Wow, that’s scary when they get sick. So glad Blu is feeling better (and your internet connection too!) x

  5. so glad you are back. missed you!. happy that blu is better. they are just like children and part of the family. our cat (siamese-persian mix) was 22 years old, had tumors in her face and we had her put to sleep almost 2 years ago. i still miss her terribly. our cocker spaniel is getting old also. just found out he has a tumor on his backside. so sad, but we do have to deal with it. the washrag is beautiful, as i am stuck on knitting dishcloths. can’t wait for the pattern. hope you come up with a match to it so i can have a set.

  6. Such a nice visit; sitting here and reading your most recent post. Thank you for this quiet, meditative moment. And your dish cloth… I thought it was a pretty pillow detail. I can almost imagine enjoying dish washing with such a beautiful cloth.

  7. Good Evening,

    Hope you are staying warm and dry. Our weather is finally improving in Indy. Hope it comes your way. Even though sometimes being stuck inside can be a pleasant pleasure. I hope to have my square in the mail to you tomorrow provided I can get away from work in time. I’ll e-mail you once it is in the mail!
    Sorry to hear about blu, took our little dog, Lizzie to the vet today for a well check up. I’d hate it if she were sick!
    Glad your back on the blog! Can’t wait to see the washrag pattern it is gorgeous!
    Oh, I placed a bid for Emma! I think she would like my house, not very quite but full of love! 3 teenagers!
    Have a wonderful evening! Stay warm!
    Your Friend, Ann

  8. I too believed the dishrag to be part of the pillow…and that would absolutely be my choice for it!

    I enjoy reading your blog! Have a nice day.

  9. I had a similar afternoon, knitting nice & cosy with Tony (our dog) & kids at school, Mark at work, errands done & glad to be inside. Only the edge of the storm hit us, but it was enough to put the power out. Luckily Mark loves flashlights so Tony & I got by & the power can back on just in time to cook dinner.

  10. I hate Nor’easaters! We were taking things out of our flooding basement, and watching water trickle through the basement walls. No romance to it at all! See my blog for some photos we took before the worst of it.

  11. Nice to see you back. Emma is charming and the chick is lovely. It sounds like you are managing to stay warm and comfortable despite the Nor’easters.

  12. Am so glad you’re back. . .I missed you! So happy Blu is feeling better! My son has 2 labs -yellow and black & they’re wonderful! Dogs are wonderful!! Am so looking forward to the directions for the washrag. .I also love the pretty green color you used. I also must tell you how I love the way you write about your cozy fire and cup of tea during the storm. Makes me long for the same! Kathy

  13. I found my soul needing a bit of beauty and I knew just where to find it. You deliver as always.

    Thank you.


  14. Really like your washrag and can’t wait for you to share the stitch pattern with us. I plan to make a few of these for a friend who is moving into a new house this week.

  15. Emma is precious, and if she has any sisters who would like a home, I know where she would be welcome…and by the way, although your new paintings are, as usual, lovely, MY pear is the best!!! (Wait’ll you see what I’m doing with it…). Welcome back – I’m just back from tax season he** and catching up on my reading. Pat the bunny – er, I mean Blu – for me.

  16. Sigh. I love your blog.

  17. Twins!!!! Here’s my twisted purl dishcloth:

    Doesn’t it give a nice look? Only I gave mine away and don’t remember how the back looked.

  18. Aww…poor puppy. SO glad to hear that he is feeling better. Its tough when they aren’t well, as we experience from time to time with my little man Grady.

    You remind me, I’ll have to post on him again soon since he is formally settled into our home now.

    I loved the bit about you on the seawall…this storm definitely made one feel that way, especially living close to the shoreline Sadly, many roads were, and still are, closed for flooding. We lost some trees too.

    Enjoy your fireplace and tea. Glad to see you are back online and all the best with the auctions.

  19. What a pretty washrag! Certainly too pretty to be called a “rag.” I also liked your tile painting of the pear. 🙂

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