Early Light

jenjoycedesign© light & shadow 2

Large patches of trees not burned in their crowns, giving a flooding sense of hope.

This morning as I was taking pen into hand to write my morning journal entry,  I noticed a warm orange glow cast from the sunrise, and giving an intense beauty into the forest. Early morning light sure does give me perspective, and so I grabbed my camera and just looked about.

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My life hasn’t felt very photogenic lately,  so capturing these images suddenly lifts me a little.  It seems always less the subject, and nearly all the light, which makes or breaks a photograph.   And as I have been feeling so overwhelmed with being uprooted during this crazy shuffling about, now seven & 1/2 months since the wildfire, this morning’s sunrise brings a delicate understanding of how both expectation & impatience are troubling me.

As I write this a very big and ominously black raven lands just outside the picture window, on the roof of the little shed next to Tiny House, and seems to be inspecting something. I love the ravens, I am so happy they weren’t away long. The wildlife is indeed more scarce since the fire, but seems to be slowly populating this lonely wood. I have felt thrown out of synchronization with the wild for what is half a year before we moved our Tiny House up here, and I realize this morning that I missed out on a full half rotation around the sun, from 10th of October last year to the 1st of May, being away from this place.  That is a long time for a hermit (merely a soft kind word for agoraphobic) .  I must just … b r e a t h e….. now back up on the mountain. Breathe it in!   This month of May has been such work learning to live and operate inside of a small space. A really small space, and still doing without so much that makes the experience more like camping … as though my ‘real life’ is still on hold.

But life is not on hold,  must forget how life once seemed, and open my eyes to the reality of being here, and now, and this could be as good as it gets.  Still , my knitting design which has been seriously ergonomically tampered with,  nothing in a neat orderly space, but in boxes, here and there, is going to hibernate a spell while we go through more harrowing experience with the demands of the county, which in the end may prove an ironic and impossible situation for rebuilding.

I strive to be happy for what I have.   Namely, my charcoal forest, and sense of place…. the ones I love, and this Tiny House.    I guess I just need more time, figuring my way forward, thinking about what matters. Life is so short, and I feel each day which slips by that even the rhythm of work of my knitting design has become distortingly hazy.   I find I am caught in a sort of reflection of life up to the fire, and am wanting to set in motion the way forward, but frozen peering into that reflection.

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Early morning reflection from window of tiny house.

Life is difficult often, but good,  and everything in its place.

 

Our Tiny House

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Greetings from our  Tiny House in the Charcoal Forest!

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Our Tiny House arrived here at the beginning of May,  and now we have fully nested back in our charcoal forest. It was a major ordeal hauling it up the mountain with low branches over the roads, and a colossal stress, but things have calmed down now and we are getting use to two people and one large dog in a place that is very small. Our tiny house has frightfully few drawers, or closets, but very nice walls, surfaces, fixtures, and huge windows. It is tidy, efficient, artful, and crazy cozy!  I even have plenty of blithe sunny angles to contemplate …

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We’ve managed to get the bare essentials in as best as we could. Jeff made a counter extension into the stair landing so that there is a tiny bit more kitchen counter and a couple shelves for necessaries (ahem, those “drawers” in front of the sink, they’re fake, a tease, just for looks, but no complaints about the deep sink!) , and we still need to put up some shelves and cup hooks and such.  There are two lofts, one with stairs going up to a platform with 5 foot overhead, it is our bedroom & has room enough only for our mattress ( restorative naps like from a nest in the trees !)  and the other loft has a steep ladder going up, over the bathroom, with about 4 feet overhead and which serves as an attic.  The saving grace is that Jeff  built a shed, which is about 25 feet from the Tiny House, and where we have the luxury of temporary storage, all of our clothes, chairs & dressers I collected in last 6 months, and boxes etc… and… a washer & dryer which will be moved to the house when it is built one day.  So that’s me trotting back and forth countless times a day,  and with my knitting trail right at the doorstep,  and all the wildness I am in need of ~~ ho hum,  I tell you, this is “glamping” !

The outside paneling is torched & sealed wood , a method called  shou sugi ban , which apparently has excellent preserving qualities, as well as fits right in with the charcoal forest !    Hunkering down for the long haul now, until our former house is rebuilt.

Knitting as usual…

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And napping…

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I’m so grateful that our Tiny House has super efficient heating & cooling, so I can close all the windows up and it becomes nearly sound proof, which is helping me cope with the loud noise of chain saws and bulldozers of the loggers at work nearby, and eventually the construction of the house. Eventually. Once in a while a huge tree lands with a thud and shakes the Tiny House, but here inside we are safe and far enough away not to be bothered too awfully much.  Still trying to find my former manic wave, while adapting to the big changes going on, but  I wanted to post this for our friends and family who have been wondering how our new living situation is.  That’s us. Here. Now.

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Everything in its place, and life is good.

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In closing, I just wanted to say that I’d love to hear more from you.  I want to encourage some chattiness (plenty of space in the WordPress comments)…so please don’t be shy, and tell me about you!

Petra’s Tam

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Pattern:  St Andrews Harbour (Petra’s Tam)

Yarn:  Alice Starmore’s Hebridean 3ply, in Golden Plover

Details on Ravelry: here

It was a lovely knit!   I do recommend the tam in this pattern “set”, for it is so fetching,  sporty, awesomely sea-worthy, and a totally essential accessory of one’s outdoor wardrobe.  This one is made from worsted weight yarn, and it is a bit fashionably floppy, however, knit with finer yarn such as sport weight, it would be just right. If done in Starmore yarn, I would do better to suggest  Starmore’s Hebridean 2ply.   I want to knit another one or two from my handspun yarn, talked about in Tweed Chronicles  which has so much meaning through a time of upheaval as was my obsession in the months right after the wildfire. So on to the next!

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Meanwhile, I’ve composed a little letter to all of you who follow Yarnings, a new category on Yarnings, entitled “Letter from the editor” ,  to let you know what is going on with us during this time of epic change.

Dear Everybody ~

On to new adventures, and news on every page!    First, our stay at our first holding place did not last long, the landlords want to move back in, and that’s fine, because I’ve longed with a great ache in my heart to live back up on the mountain in my charcoal forest.  Second, the county administration and engineers are making our getting a permit to (re)build hugely difficult and drawn out, adding insult to injury. I don’t really want to talk about details, but we have no real timeline as to when we will be rebuilding, or what we will be rebuilding,  or when we will be living up there in our rebuilt house.  So the original post I made right after the wildfire in October entitled  “Ten Acres ….”   written two days after evacuating our house, flames still smoldering, is now ringing in the rafters as we are in process of getting a Tiny House to park a few hundred yards away from the building site,   nestled right near the trail head to my knitting track in fact.    If I can try to be optimistic, I will tell you that this pleases me a lot, if choices are dreary and few right now, shifting around from city rentals, and not being able to walk in the woods properly has been detrimental to my attitude,  and mental as well as physical health.   Also Emma has been to the vet and back many times in the last months, her wound from her surgery last summer (posted here) never healed properly, and she is cheerily going day to day from stitches to staples, from cone to inflatable collar, but aside from all of that seems to be in good health.    Meanwhile  Jeff has suddenly been laid low from the stress of the whole ordeal of the county, the moving out (again) that he’s caught a bad bug and its developed into pneumonia, but worry not, he is of heroic constitution and never sick, and now on antibiotics will get well soon.    As for me, I’ve thrown my back out and hobbling around, on pain killers,  feeling taped together at best.  Oh, but finally I managed to get a hold of some 90tpi carding cloth, and finally made another jumbo carding & blending board to replace the original , left behind in the wildfire,  (colossal thanks to Adele for lending me your Ashford Blending board these past months! xoxo)  … and so I am ready to get back into tweed-making, visualizing a tiny space in the Tiny House to be my new creative “loft” space.  In fact, I plan on moving into the Tiny House with a good and positive attitude and stop feeling sorry for myself so much.    Years ago we stayed in a treehouse,  (posted here), and I enjoyed myself immensely tucked away up in a nest in the trees,  knitting the hours away, a knitting retreat of retreats! I want to make this new Tiny House feel like that retreat did, and I am visualizing constant knitting & walking, as well as constant gardening.  The garden was the one thing that (mostly) did not burn in the wildfire, so I want to be near it to nurture it and water, and make it an oasis where I can go be with living growing things, and to realize how great it is just to wake to another day.      Wish us luck, and I’ll keep you posted

~~ xxJen   ( aka ‘ the editor ‘ )