It's only 10:35 AM, but so far, it's a beautiful Tuesday.
I went to Helen, GA this past weekend to pick up some Pioneer Porridge from a small, local mill up there (don't worry, they ship, and it's worth it). Their porridge is my absolute favorite breakfast treat, and having a big bowl sprinkled with brown sugar on a cool morning always makes me think fondly of early mornings with my mom, who introduced me to the wonderful stuff. Just smelling it cooking, even if I'm the one cooking it, takes me to the kitchen table in my parents' house, sitting with my mom and talking about everything and nothing while we plan our day. I had to get some for the "you're a part of my life and I love you" baskets that I'm making for a few people. They were originally going to be Christmas presents, then (when I didn't get paid on schedule) they became belated Christmas presents, and now they've become "Happy New Year/I appreciate you" gifts. Who says gift giving out of love for someone can only happen on a few, pre-selected days of the year? Down with that, I say.
On my way up to Helen, I got something of a shock. You've probably heard that Atlanta's been in a drought for the past several months, but nothing has been said about it lately, and it's rained several times, so I think a lot of people (self, unfortunately, included) have stopped worrying or being as conservative with water as they were when it was in the news all the time. Well, the drive through North Georgia was a wakeup call. The whole 1.5 hour drive, I didn't see a single stream, river, or lake that had more than a trickle of water flowing through it. It was an upsetting reminder of just how much we need to always be mindful of how much we take from this world. It's frustrating to me to see the yoga studio running ambient fountains because the owner likes the sound they make when water is in such dangerously short supply. It stirs my need to do something. I feel like contacting appropriate agencies and finding out how I can help, beyond the usual showering rather than bathing, not letting water run, only doing full loads of laundry and dishes, etc. The need to make a difference has once again been stirred in me.
Other than the water-shocker, the trip up to Helen was really lovely. I decided to pull over on the side of the road to stop at a farm (not an agri-tainment sort of farm, just one where all the animals were within sight of the road) and pet a few big, fleecy sheep, donkeys, ponies, and Shetland ponies. There were also goats, llamas, and alpacas hanging out near me, but none of them would get within reach. The sheep were so gorgeous and soft that I was wishing for shears. I don't know how to spin, but to play with that fleece, I'd definitely learn. The only disappointment of the trip was the lack of a yarn shop.
I suppose I owe you some knitting content, don't I? Well, the knitting life provided some frustration last night. I still haven't tried blocking the simple scarf I made. Instead, I've been working on Jesse's hat (putting aside the trial version, as he'd picked out a yarn and we were both a bit eager to see how it knit up). He chose Manos del Uruguay in granite, and it's really gorgeous. See? Not a colorway that I'd normally choose, but it's really beautiful and it's really him. The yarn, you see, is not the source of the frustration. Jesse's head? That's the problem. He's a normal looking boy, but you'd never know it if you were trying to knit him a hat that would fit, sight unseen.
I worked up the hat according to the pattern for the Irish Hiking Hat on Ravelry, and matched it, depthwise, to another hat that I know he's worn before. Even still, when I put it on (knowing that his head is bigger than mine) it didn't even reach my eyebrows. So, of course, I ripped. Being in the zone, as it were, I immediately started going again, leaving out numerous decreases in the pattern, almost doubling the depth of the hat, and finishing with about 2 yards of yarn to spare. He came over and tried it on, and it's still too shallow. Granted, not nearly as shallow as the first attempt was, but it still needs about an inch to an inch and a half more before it's perfect. Which means another $20.00 ball of yarn for a few measley yards. Curse him and his big head. :)
In goal-reaching news, I'm doing well, but it seems that my crazy-distractable brain can only achieve a few goals at a time. I DID get up and run for the first time this morning, though, and it felt really really good. I didn't hydrate enough before (or at all during), though, and I think that hurt me. I ran-jogged nearly 2 miles, which is good for me as a relative beginner. I think I need decent running shoes, though. The ones I have don't seem to be cutting it. Anyone have any recommendations?
So far, running in the morning has given me incredible energy, and I'm just in a darn good mood. I hope the day continues on this upward trend.