it’s about receiving, too, and that’s ok

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, projects

happy boxing day to those who celebrate it and many thanks for all the warm and heartfelt emails that were sent to me this week . . . it gives me a great feeling that so many people enjoy this blog—thank you for letting me know.

i rarely realize the effect of what i am writing as i do it, which is why i guess, i do not think of myself as a Writer. and yesterday’s post is a good example—many of you pointed out that it is a love letter in sweaters and the truth of that hit me so hard last night that i sat back in my chair and took pause. it HAS been a decade of a great love story, it’s true, and i not only hope that david and i will always enjoy this closeness—i know i will fight for it too.

i am so grateful to work within a community that reads through the lines and tells me back the beauty that i might otherwise miss, or the message i sent unintended. we have become close in a similar way, all of us, and i just hope you know how much our friendship means to me, too. thank you for helping me celebrate the great moments life has to offer; the act of sharing them is both free and priceless—and a true reflection of the season.

ok, then, enough mushy-talk!
do you want to see my presents?

well, first, the photos above are snaps from a gorgeous book that rachel sent to us, and i have been gazing through it quite a bit since we unwrapped it. it reminds me of a kaffe fasset book in the way it explores surfaces, shapes, and combinations of textures, both grand and tiny. a really wonderful resource . . you know how i love natural inspiration.

beckie and mark gave us a hand-made rug from a local weaver for our home

and now we have the difficult task of deciding where to put it—front hall? third floor landing? second floor stair hall? hmmm, it’s a tough decision.

two dear friends got together and gave my perpetually chilly feet the best gift ever

i was so grateful when i saw them that i wanted to weep. these are gonna save my life.
(the saga of my quest for warm feet is a familiar story to all who know me well, and i’m hoping that this year i finally will achieve nirvana on that front—see below).

and then there was the much-anticipated group of gifts from david

another wonderful gift of warhol—this time a boxed set of his red notebooks, a series devoted to the old polaroids (i love old polaroids, and treasure the ones my mom has from the 60s). there is also a hand-carved mid-century sheep sculpture (where does he find such great stuff?), and a CD that i’m looking forward to—and then, there is an electronic weather station for my desk.

this is the second time i have received one of these from david for christmas (the first one is in the living room), and it remains a gift which is cloaked in mystery. that is, i am mystified as to why i need this, because usually, looking out the window or sniffing the air is enough to tell me what i want to know about the weather.

but clearly, he feels i must have one (or two). i think the reason stems from the fact that although indeed, i can look outside and tell you the weather, i will spend up to 20 minutes eliciting his opinion of whether or not, considering the atmospheric conditions, i should set out on my bike on any given day. it’s a little dance we do; should i ride my bike with the skies looking like that? does he know if it will be raining/snowing/lightening six hours from now? if it IS raining/snowy/lightening in six hours, can he drop whatever he’s doing to come and pick me up?

basically, i am asking him to predict the unknown, but obviously what i’m really doing, is getting him to talk/pay attention to me one last time before i leave the house (you never know!). and, i seem to be working this out for the first time just now. i guess he could see through all that, huh?
whether or not a weather station will help me make travel decisions is anyone’s guess; whether it will make me stop trying to get him to notice me?—HAHAHA! probably not.

one last surprise that arrived by mail isn’t really a christmas gift, but something i won in a drawing at lisa’s blog—a big box of monkey business

a package designed to inspire me to knit monkey socks (i haven’t yet; OH the shame of it). i have to spin the yarn first, but since i just LOVE the fiber, the temptation will give me a push in the right direction. and there seems to be plenty of chocolate and other goodies here to fuel the desire as well. thank you lisa!

the last item is not a gift at all, but something i bought becasue i need it. last year i started looking around for a good pair of warm boots to replace my old ones.
and when i say old, i mean OLD.

i bought these insulated, waterproof Herman Survivors in 1982, when i graduated from college (they made them for a brief time in women’s sizes and i snagged a pair, though they were way out of my budget). i lived in snowy albany and needed something warm and dry to walk to work in. they served me well over many years, having trekked over countless miles of sidewalk, streambed, woods, and rocky trails (but mostly sidewalks).

after 25 years, the leather is so hard and dry around the foot that it creaks and crackles when i pull them on—but the last straw was finding that the reason they are no longer warm and waterproof is the two large cracks which spread completely across the bottom sole, allowing the elements inside. not good—and i think expecting them to “survive” much longer is a stretch.

for one reason and another i never nailed down a pair last year that were both warm enough AND my size. and this year was looking about the same—no one has size 9 boots in stock after like, july (which totally mystifies me; wouldn’t they make a lot more money if everyone who wanted size 9 could buy them??). i purchased the desired boots about five different times only to be told later they were not in stock.

then my friend debby tracked down a listing for them at pegasus, and i jumped on it listlessly, not really expecting to score. but i DID.

these are the bomb—i SO know now why a cowboy might want to be buried with his boots on.

40 thoughts on “it’s about receiving, too, and that’s ok

  1. Pegasus! That was the store we visited in Woodstock. I actually gave Tom their web address with the hope he’d get me some shoes from there- that place was awesome!

    And I really enjoyed the “love letter via sweaters” aspect of your last post.

  2. about your 1982 boots….if you can find an amish harness maker/boot repairperson, then you can have the boots fixed for a reasonable price and you won’t have to worry about getting your new boots messed up in stream wadings!

  3. There are so many wonderful things in your post.

    I like boots. I had horses growing up and I also did a lot of backpacking and hiking, so if I wasn’t in sneakers I was usually wearing boots. There is something special about boots that fit and wear well – kind of like old friends.

    Hope your feet are toasty warm!

  4. I loved your sweater post yesterday, even though I didn’t get to it until today! What a wonderful way to look back. Your new boots look very nice, what kind are they? I’m glad that you had a wonderful Christmas with lots of fun new things. Have a nice week and Happy New Year!

  5. Ooh! I’m looking for a pair of good sheepskin slippers, so I’d be very interested if you want to share the brand name.

  6. So…..? What kind of boots are those? They’re fabulous looking and I’m really lovin’ the colourway on those socks with the new boots!
    I need me some good boots.

  7. Great boots! Yeah, what is it about the size 9’s. I had to go all over the place last week to find some (don’t laugh) ice skates for myself in Size 9.

    I remember reading a newspaper article that said that shoe dealers are kind of pushed into ordering set assortments of sizes, and that this doesn’t exactly reflect the actual distribution of sizes in the population, or the fact that in general people’s feet have gotten larger.

    At least we can knit our own socks to fit. 🙂


  8. Love the boots. Also love all the other gifts. Adore the weather and bicycle ritual. Very special. I do something similar and never thought about it being the last bit of attention before parting. it is so true. And yes, you do touch so many lives in such a generous open hearted way. thanks.

  9. Lovely, lovely gifts! And, what warm and wooly boots!! I see the woolen theme going on here Anne!

    I have been just a buzz all day! It was Day One of Selfish Knitting Day here – I have #1 Marie Antoinette sock to the heel turn! So, while it was sunny, but cold, outside – inside it was warm as a bee hive!

    Beautiful pattern – and equally beautiful fiber!

    I will be watching for your Monkey Sock to appear!

  10. Oh, the UGG slippers are just what you need to cure the cold feet. I just treated myself to my 2nd pair and I live in them (or the UGG boots). Happy warm feet!

  11. Details on the boots! I too have very cold feet and spend enough time outside in the winter to warrant something indulgent 🙂 Being between a 9 and 9 1/2 I know how tough it can be.
    Nothing like great boots and handknit socks to soothe the soul.

  12. Those boots are gorgeous — if you don’t mind sharing, what kind are they? I’ve been needing boots, and really don’t like most of the namby-pamby ones they have for women (I keep threatening to buy Fryes, but Rick has told me that it mightn’t be good for the ol’ professorial image; I figure, if I look like I could stomp on anyone who doesn’t pay attention, isn’t that a good thing?). It looks like you’ve been taken care of in the most well-deserved sort of way. Happy Boxing Day!

  13. I think it’s probably because you don’t try to “write” that the joys in your live come through so clearly.

    So, how many lace shawls do you see in the landscape book? ‘Cause just the little snippets of the photos look amazing. Oh, and those old boots totally look like they could be re-soled and conditioned.

  14. You and David are so good to each other….and that is priceless!

    I love, love, love your new boots and those slippers are pretty neat too!

  15. I love your old boots. I don’t know why but I think old worn boots are so lovely. I would much rather have a pair of old boots then new boots. Please, don’t throw them away. They need to be saved. They served you well.

  16. LOL I agree with you on the bottoms, I’m a size 9 too and they are impossible to find.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! 🙂

  17. By far, you have the best blog. I love your posts! Everyone is talking about the boots (which I love–share the brand, please), but I want to know where David found the sheep! He’s adorable–the sheep–well, of course David is too! Thanks for sharing all of the good stuff!!

  18. Thanks for showing your swag of wonderful Christmas presents which are lovely.

    I totally empathize with you with the cold feet issue and I’m sure your feet will be kept nice and warm now with your new ugg slippers and boots. The ugg slippers cured my problem, but I have to admit that our winters are much more milder than yours and I am not sure if I could survive a northern winter. We had the hottest Boxing day in the world here yesterday in Perth with it reaching a record temperature of 44.2 degrees. Thank goodness for air conditioning. Talk about one extreme to another. Warming wishes

  19. i loved today and yesterday’s posts…wonderful stuff! i have to show my husband your line up of sweaters. altho i don’t have a lot of time for big projects now (i’m chasing after a 3 and 6 year old AND working full time), someday i do want him to have a hand knit sweater made by me.

    so, for your old boots, try some lexol for the hard leather (and a cobbler for everythign else). my husband SWEARS by lexol and while i would laugh at him everytime he totally soaked something in it, it is VERY good leather conditioner and keeps my shoes, etc from drying out.

    having said that, i do love your new boots. i’m in vermont and i just bought a pair of fashionable nice waterproof boots after being here for 7 years. i’m not too incredibly girly, but some days, functionable snow boots just don’t cut it.

  20. If you take your boots to Charm Harness Shop in Charm they will fix your boots. They will understand. They will not smirk. Go early and go to breakfast in town and then go up to Keim Lumber and visit the exotic wood. “In the deep and the dark of December….”

  21. I understand cold feet and I have the same issue with hands. It is wonderful when you find a solution. I bought battery-heated mitts this winter and am considering heated insoles too.

  22. The matching socks make the boots. 😉 I slog about in downtown Chicago for work in my MUCK shoes. They are awesome, but the sizes are unisex, so I need 2 pairs of socks to be really comfortable.

  23. Your sweater post was wonderful. I enjoy your blog so much on almost every level–the descriptions, the choice of yarn and projects, and your photography. Some day will you tell us how you get such great pictures? What kind of camera do you have?

    I’ve just reached the one-year mark on my blog, and the experience has been far more enjoyable and satisfying than I ever imagined it would be. It has been so wonderful to “meet” other knitters and share their ideas and thoughts.

  24. your sweater port was wonderful… a very beautiful gift

    the boots are great! I have a pair myself and have spent the past 4 winters walking and biking around in them. They are always warm and great for your feet!

    Merry christmas!

  25. Anne- You’re right, footwear is SO important. Men don’t get that, do they?
    It was a love story told in a series of sweaters. My DH has examples of Fair Isle, Gansey and Aran in his closet. And you really have to love someone to knit them a Gansey.

    He looks fab in the red sweater. Well done.

  26. A) Elf boot slippers. I adore mine – but I really am jazzed about yours in chocolate. Wear them in good health.
    B) Outdoor boots – snort. Those are just getting good ‘n broke in. My riding boots are like those – I need to order about 6 pairs and dole them out over the years.

    Looks like a fantastic holiday anyway you slice it. 🙂

  27. If those boots are UGGs (they look just like mine) the real treat is wearing them WITHOUT socks–it really lets the fleece lining do its wonderful, warm, cushiony thing.

    There are so many things I would like to say about your blog… I am grateful for the insight into your process, the inspiration at seeing what you design/knit/grow/cook, and the privilege of having you share a little piece of your life with us. Thank you so much–and Happy New Year! May it bring us all peace.

  28. Great post…as always! Hey, I received some sheepskin slippers too…I love warm feet too!!

    You know, if you come see me and bring your boots I’ll take you to the master cobbler here!!

  29. Sounds like you had an awesome holiday. Great boots!!

    My daughter kept reminding me that it was all about the giving – but then she would follow it up by saying that it meant I would be giving lots of things to her. We had to have a talk about that :).

  30. Lovely gifts! You must be very loved:)
    The boots are so cute! I hope they keep your feet warm.
    I love knitting monkey socks because they’re far more interesting than plain stockinette, but easily memorized so you can still hold a conversation or ride the bus without hauling out instructions. The roving is beautiful!

  31. Hi Anne,
    Thanks for the lovely sweater journal. And I have been looking for such great boots! Haven’t come across those! Share the brand please?
    Keep up the great knits!

  32. It’s all been said, beautiful posts, great boots. Sounds like you have lots of options for repairing your old boots, they’ve got too much soul to be discarded.

  33. Those boots are awesome! What is Pegasus? I don’t understand why it’s so hard to find certain shoes either. Wearing a size 10, I’m in the same boat.

    I love how David labeled his presents to you too. That was so sweet.

  34. Great gifts! And your new boots look like they were worth the wait! (By the way, my gift to myself have finally made it here, so there is now a spinning wheel living in my living room!)
    The book you’ve received made me think of another artist you would certainly appreciate: Andy Goldsworthy. Do you know him? Actually, I don’t know much about this artist, having only seen a documentary about him (Rivers and Tides), but this film was amazing, and I’m sure you’d love it. (Oh, a quick search for his name on Amazon gives quite a few books in the results: I’ll have to have a look at them!)

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