Browse Category by Michael
Adventure, Apartment, babies, Michael, Minnesota

Sweden or Spawn?

Monterey cohousing

Our household has been full of Deep Conversations for the last couple of months. Since we’re settled and working toward getting out of debt, we’ve been trying to figure out some capital-g Goals. Michael, who has researched other places to live as a hobby since he moved to Oklahoma in 1998, told me that he’d decided that he wanted to live in Europe and that he wanted us to have babies.

I balked at this double bombshell, and freaked out quietly for a week or so. Eventually I came up for air and shared with him the conclusion that I would be willing to try for babies or move to Europe, but not both. My ability to cope with stress and change is somewhere below average, so either one will be a challenge, but the combo pack would certainly come with a ticket to madness.

I just don’t want to have kids without a solid community around us. Three years in, I feel like I have enough of a support system in Minnesota that it wouldn’t be out of the question. Michael’s Europe vision includes places like Denmark and Sweden; countries that are full of notoriously reticent citizens. I’m 36. I don’t have another six years to build up a network of friends before getting on the spawn train.

Michael was disappointed and I felt guilty, but we are, among other things, best friends, so we were eventually able to talk about things without my bursting into tears. (Eventually.) It’s a Big Deal, obviously, so there have been LOTS of conversations. Long ones, short ones, gchats and emails. Pro and con lists. Suggestions from friends. No conclusions have been reached, though I’m leaning toward staying in Minnesota and attempting to put my uterus to work. 60/40, though if Michael woke up tomorrow certain that he was meant to be an expat, I’d be able to get my head right with that, too.

Another factor has inserted itself into the equation, in the form of a very interesting apartment coming on to the market. Last night, we stayed over at the Monterey Cohousing Community to get a better feel for it – but more on that tomorrow.

knitting, love, Michael

St. Straboy

The time has come. The time to make Michael a sweater. 


I think most knitters dream of clothing their significant others, but the Sweater Curse is a thing for a reason. My husband is not a little dude. At 6’5″ and with a 53″ chest, I’ve always known that a sweater for him would be a major undertaking. But making him something that I wanted to knit and then being annoyed when he didn’t wear it never seemed like a good strategy for marital bliss.  So (OMG has it been that long??) eight years ago, when the thought first crossed my mind, I promised myself that I wouldn’t knit him a sweater until he asked for one. He’s very hot-natured and we lived in Missouri, so I mostly put it out of my mind.


I did buy the yarn a couple of years ago, though. Hope springs eternal. Between a buy-in and some hoarded LYS work-hours credit, I managed to get three hundred dollars worth of Araucania Toconao for about seventy bucks. When it was delivered more apricot than orange, I traded Rain some knitting for her dyeing services, and obtained a lovely bittersweet.

More time passed, and the seventeen skeins-in-waiting hung out in their bin, waiting for the confluence of events that would allow them their heyday. They became hopeful when we packed up and moved to Minnesota, but our first winter here was quite mild, and they continued to bide their time. When this past winter provided us with seven months of sub-sixty degree weather, they knew their time had come.  Michael said he wanted a sweater.

We sat down together last month and had a deep dig through Ravelry. I did a pattern search (“Pullover – Worsted/Aran – Knitting – Has Photo – Male”) and we started scrolling through the thumbnails. I had 82 tabs open by the time we finished with page sixteen. I’ll be honest, I tried to steer him toward something simple like Big Thaw or Cobblestone, but my husband knows what he likes.  We finally narrowed it down to two patterns, but his clear favorite was St. Enda.

St. Enda as seen at Virtual Yarns

Alice. Fucking. Starmore. People, what Michael lacks in subtlety he makes up for in complexity. Dude knows a good pattern when he sees one.


I timed some rows and did some math, and figure that if I knit for half an hour uninterrupted every day, I’ll be done with the sweater by October. I love him, and he’s worth it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to whine. Wish me (and my wrists) luck!

knitting, love, Michael


I went to my first Knitter’s Guild meeting last night.  It was not bad. Everyone was friendly and there were a ton of people there. I got distracted in the middle of the Savvy Girls presentation, though. They were talking about traveling and knitting, and how to turn regular adventures into yarn adventures. There was an offhand comment about sneaking yarn into trips with your significant other, and suddenly I was off in my own world, thinking about Michael.


Is there a word for sad/irritated/grateful? Maybe in German. I need it every time I hear people talking about their spouse rolling their eyes at “one more row,” telling them they have too much yarn, scoffing at their creativity, disrespecting their craft. Those “Your husband called – he said you can buy as much yarn as you want” signs common in yarn shops get right up my nose, but I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you. Asking his permission? It is to laugh. But you’ve met me.


I mean, come on. Dude bought me a handmade swift and the ChiaoGoo interchangeables for Solstice. (And a Keurig, but that is off-topic.)

I tell everyone that Michael is supremely knitworthy and an awesome knitter’s spouse, and it’s true. Not only does he support me in this thing that makes me happy, he takes joy from seeing my joy. I don’t have to sneak yarn into our trips together; often he’s the one finding yarn shops for me. His giant feet aren’t his fault, and he makes up for them by liking bright and happy colors in his socks. He’s learned the lingo and makes conversation, asking intelligent questions and sometimes making interesting suggestions. I don’t have to excuse my stash to him, he knows what it means, what it’s worth. And I know what he’s worth.

Sometimes I’m lonely up here, and I still really miss my people. But I have my best friend with me.

blogging, food, Michael

App Test

I remembered that I possess a magic phone, and immediately installed the WordPress app. I only have random notepad nonsense to offer this evening.


I quit soda 3+ years ago, but for the past week I have been craving a Dr. Pepper like nobody’s business. I know that if I actually bought one, it would be too sweet and I’d throw it away, but that does not seem to matter to my lizard brain. The only logical answer is a trip to the movie theater, don’t you think?



Michael plays touch football now.

He possesses far more than his share of adorable, but too bad, I’m keeping it ALLLLL for myself.

And then I’m going to sleep.



Michael updated the blog software for me today, and I need to check and see that everything is working properly.  Also, my face hurts from laughing at him – he was just dancing to “Party Rock” while unloading the dishwasher, so I’m going to write about him for my test post.


Tuesday night, getting ready for bed, we were having one of those squabbles that long-term couples get into.  A recurring issue, repetitive arguments, stubbornness and sensitivity on both sides. Hooray for romance. I was looking for new words when my mind slipped sideways into a tangentially related adolescent trauma and suddenly I was sobbing, every muscle in my body clenched; I couldn’t catch my breath.  Before I was even able to identify the panic attack, Michael was across the room and next to me.  He held me until I found control again, and the fight was over.  I’d been angry with him and he’d been on the defensive, but the moment he saw that I needed him, before I even knew that I needed him, he was there. Like my dad said, he’s one of the good guys.

Plus, you know, he gave me his leftover doughnuts today.

friends, knitting, Michael, Minnesota, Ravelry

Why to Have Friends on the Internet, Reason #183

So, Wednesday was a good mail day:


Two brilliant pieces of handmade pottery from Vuboq! Sent in exchange for an orange cabled scarf, which he is being patient enough to wait for until after the Ravellenic Games are over.

I’m captain of our 30-person Team Twin Cities.  Maintenance of the Ravelry discussion is taking a bit more time than I initially expected, but it’s been worth it so far.  Today was the cast on and “Opening Ceremonies,” timed to coincide with the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics.


We had twenty-one teammates at the Chatterbox Pub, providing lots of pattern admiration and mutual cheerings-on.  Michael is on the team, too, because he is awesome and supportive and tall and cute and his head smells nice.

I felt much better after work on Thursday than I did after work on Monday.  This might primarily be a lesson not to put off my lunch break until 5 p.m., in the future.  More on that later, though, as I do have to work tomorrow, and I’m not so pleasant to be around when I don’t get my full allotment of sleep.

Daddy, Michael, random photo

February 21 – A Fave Photo of You

As long as I’m on the shmoopy-memories kick:

Scan 8

This was taken on Summer Solstice, 2002, before Daddy got sick the first time.  He actually had a little belly for the first time in his life.  He was oddly proud of it; he was stick-thin since he was a little boy, and always hated it.  I’d learned how to make willow crowns from our trees out front, and he thought they were awesome.

My hair looks great, my skin is clear, Michael looks so happy.  We’re all healthy and loving each other.   and I had the three people who loved me most in the world in one room (Mom holding the camera).  It was a good part of my life.