November 24, 2010

Whatever Floats Your Boat, I Guess

The cats seem to have forgotten how the Kitty Kottage works.


Posted by Ryan at 06:09 PM | Comments (5)

November 23, 2010

I Feel Some Kindling and Logs in my Future

A photo for my sister in San Diego who wanted to see the snow. By way of show and tell, I held a cup of snow up to the camera while we were Skyping last night but I don't think it quite told the story. (On a separate note, do you know how hard it is to be looking at your sister, holding a handful of snow, and not fling it at her? Is that not what siblings do? However, my laptop and I would've been the only ones to pay the price for that.)


Posted by Ryan at 04:24 PM | Comments (5)

November 10, 2010

And On It Goes...

Dunno if there are still any Dear Readers out there who were involved in or remember Dulaan but, just in case, I wanted to share this little bit of karmic magic.

As I’ve mentioned before, when Cuzzin Tom proposed the project, he declared confidently that I would receive more good back from the project than I could ever hope to put in. I pooh-poohed the idea because (a) he and I don’t share the same religious philosophies and (b) it wasn’t a motivator for me to start Dulaan anyway, so karma, shmarma. But, um, yeah. Along came The Troubles and good things just tumbled out of the sky: First and foremost, belief in and understanding of what I was going through, followed by support, love, friendship, encouragement, safe places to stay when I needed them, beautiful knitted shawls and blankets, chicken soup and other fabulous and nourishing foods, cards, kind words, practical help, emotional help, renewal of floundering kinships, Benny and Joon…I could go on.

So, in a tit for tat, yin-yang way that was logical yet imponderable, the good karma streamed in Mongolia’s direction and the good karma streamed in my direction, but I had no idea it had spread in other directions as well—and had had such long-lasting consequences—until I received this email a few days ago, 3+ years after the end of the project:

(posted with sender’s permission)

Hi Ryan,

So, this is a little weird and unsolicited, but anyway . . . back in 2007, I participated in Dulaan while I was a sophomore in college, and it was this really incredible experience for me, really fulfilling and full of warm fuzzies knowing that my little sweater was going to be warming an ACTUAL PERSON, you know? And I liked it so much, I decided that what would be EVEN BETTER than knitting for people in another country would be GOING to another country and helping people, so that's when I decided I wanted to join the Peace Corps.

And now it's three years later, and I'm in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, teaching English in Filipino high schools, and it's pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to me. I dunno what I'd be doing otherwise. Probably going to grad school learning how to write things that only other people with advanced degrees want to read. Which would suck. So, I know that the whole Dulaan thing kind of ended on a sour note, but I just wanted you to know that it basically changed my life, and I kind of wanted to say thanks. So, thanks!


Emma, thank you so much for this email. As I wrote back, I'm going through another bout of (much smaller in scope) troubles, and it arrived in my mailbox just when I needed it most. I read it a good 15 times and then moved it into my "Keep" folder, where it will stay.

Posted by Ryan at 11:21 PM | Comments (19)

November 04, 2010

If You Fall and Break Your Leg, Don't Come Running to Me!

Joon plays her favorite game: Give Mommy a Heart Attack By Sitting on the Loft Wall 20 Feet Up…


...and Sass Her By Sticking Your Tongue Out.


Posted by Ryan at 04:20 PM | Comments (5)

November 01, 2010

Oh, no!

I have got to find a job soon. With all this extra time on my hands, I'm starting to belie my reputation as The Worst Cook in the Known Universe. For example, something went horribly wrong tonight and I successfully made Jewish Apple Cake. All the darker brown bits? Apple dredged in cinnamon sugar. The pastry part? Flavored with more cinnamon and with orange juice. The white parts on the outside? A pretty, sparkly, tasty dusting of sugar.


As I posted on FB, this thing makes the house smell like concentrated autumnwinterThanksgivingChristmas. It's the smell people, myself included, try to get when they light candles in the fall but get that overly scented, perfume-y, waxy, air-deadening, eye-watering smell instead.

After having had a warm slice with some buttah, I can tell you the phrase "nom nom nom" was invented for this cake. Everybody go now; make one! (Although perhaps at a more reasonable time of the day since, yes, it is after 11 p.m. and I am sitting here eating coffee cake. No way to hide it. Let's just call it an early breakfast.)

Posted by Ryan at 11:05 PM | Comments (6)