this month

this month, the ordinary has been surreal and the surreal has been ordinary. and i desperately wish this month was not so close to being over.

we got tons of snow one day (ok, in virginia 2 feet is "tons") and emma made a ham of herself whilst out on our walks.

homemade snow ice cream? yes it is.

made this patchwork pillowcase for my mom out of africa fabrics.

excited about thrifting finds, like this rust-colored open knit longsleeve. reminds me of the matrix, in a great sort of way.

gingerbread apple cake- deliciously moist, with a caramel top layer that seeped down into the entire cake.

brownie mosaic cheesecake. i love cheesecake, so i made this one with low-carb soy flour and sweetened it with stevia. no guilt! plus it tasted wonderful. evidence? no leftovers of this one, but the poor neglected gingerbread cake is still in the fridge! both repices from smitten kitchen

my cat's got a big heart.

a preview of my latest knitting cast-on! a huge nubby winter cowl.

gotta finish those ghana posts, i know. its comin.
happy new years!

hilton head

these are from the beginning of december, right after i arrived from africa. i was in hilton head, sc, for a few days with my mom and sister.

over the course of this month it has been wonderful to feel like i really have a sister, like she's old enough now that we can be friends.

and of course ive been overjoyed to spend time with my mom. that should go without saying...



all kinds of beauty, on strange eyes and model homme


a few things

here are a few images which have been inspiring me lately. i'm going to knit a hood this huge. i start tomorrow. i purchased gigantic needles today (thanks mom!)

i have many sewing projects in the works. i want to cut up a pair of my leggings and insert panels.

loving the wide skater skirts on these vintage betsey johnson patterns.

as for Christmas, i feel completely detached from it all. I feel cold and dead inside...side affect of my family situation. I did do some wonderful baking today- more on that later.
I have some quotes I've been wanting to put up for forever:

"And it's not 'clever lonely' (like Morrissey) or 'interesting lonely' (like Radiohead). It's 'lonely lonely' like the way it feels when you're being hugged by someone and it makes you sadder"- Chuck Klosterman

"I've cried, and you'd think I'd be better for it, but the sadness just sleeps, and it stays in my spine the rest of my life"- Conor Oberst

Merry Christmas (I guess)
my present this year: finishing my collection of music by the national.


so i'm seeing these photos of high school classmates who just got married (they're still so young). at the reception were all those people, that jr. high, high school, and church community, and they all looked to be having such a great time- why wouldn' t they? and the thing is, i would have gone to the wedding, i wanted to, but the times just didn't work out. but now, viewing these pictures, they look just right without me. and i guess i've known that for a long time, but sometimes i just find myself grasping for a straight answer to the question of "home".


flash forward

roasted veggies with rosemary

biscuits made with naturally low-carb soy flour, served with blueberries and whipped cream


celebrating chrystal's 21st

with mom at marie catrib's (will you believe this is the only picture i managed to take while in michigan?)

i'll keep catching up on my ghana posts, but i thought i'd put down some of my current thoughts. i feel so ordinary, yet so surreal, constantly comparing my day-to-day now with what it would have been in ghana. today i've sat in bed trying to catch up on blog reading and posting photos all morning. i've done some wonderful, therapeutic cookies and worked on several sewing projects. i'm able to go a whole day without working up a sweat if i so wish- in fact, i feel quite lethargic without all that walking all over Legon's campus. and i have all the more motivation to be lazy, what with the foot and a half of snow outside! we haven't had this much snow in virginia in a very long time. and guess who left her snow boots in michigan, thinking she wouldn't need them? yeah. but i'm venturing out anyways. a day and a half inside is enough to have me riled up with cabin fever.
i have no concept of what day it is, without consulting a calendar. my weekend trip to michigan was quite fun, but resulted in an ultimate postponing of my housing decision, as i decided to stay at my friend's parents home for interim. i'm feeling quite scattered, dazed even, after putting a few hours' real though into my after-college plans. grad school? travel? student loans? slave to whatever job comes along? i hope not. it's overwhelming, though. i hope that after this upcoming semester of all classes in my major, and the next semester in oregon, i'll have a more focused idea of what i'd like to get into.
i was able to catch up with chrystal, and talk a bit with rachel, brad, and eric. what a killer past few months we've all had. is it just a part of growing up, i wonder, that the events of our lives are too large and intimidating to be put to keyboard or pen, and demand a face-to-face delivery? that the horror and the pain completely obliterate the option of a quick phone catch-up? it seems so. and of course my mind jumps to the future: how are such friendships sustained over so many miles of distance, with no guarantees of a near-future reunion? i do not know. all i know is i'm thankful for these reunions.
my family members break my heart over and again many times in the run of a day, but i know all too soon i'll be leaving for michigan again. and i learned in ghana that i endure. we all endure.

i'll leave you with some of my new favorite blogs:
hannah and landon
turned out

free travel: sekondi

sekondi is the twin city to takoradi, and by the time we trekked out there one hot hot afternoon, we were all tuckered out. we found a cool retro-decorated hotel with a streetside cafe where we were revived by star, chairmain, and daquah. we then headed over to check out the deserted and gorgeously overgrown train station. after wandering around town some more, we went over to fort orange and got the unofficial tour and lovely panoramic rooftop views. wonderful, sleepy town.

free travel: takoradi

we took a 5 hour bus ride from kumasi to takoradi. tadi used to be quite the trade hub, the lone ranger outpost of the west of ghana. but these past 50 years have seen it somewhat diminished. i loved it. the city is not too big nor too small, and it's shaped like a wheel, with the market at the center and the main streets radiating out like spokes. i loved all the 3-story buildings, leaning with charm, and i loved the relaxed vibe. i could stay in tadi contentedly for quite some time. oh, corrie and patrick had quite the adventure (and had the whole market stirred up in a frenzy) selling tomatoes off their heads for a morning. that was exciting.


free travel: kumasi

all right, now where did i leave off with my ghana postings? free travel. we started out in kumasi, where our calvin group spent 3 days going to museums and such before leaving me, patrick, corrie, and naomi behind to start our journey. we stood in the cultural center with our packs strapped to our backs and waved to our classmates as the plush bus pulled away. kumasi is a bustling metropolitan center, the capital of the ancient ashanti empire. this city was so hectic, and i really liked it. something for sale everywhere! the largest open market in west africa! we basically wandered, buying groundnut balls, talking to market ladies, getting lost in the market, and trying to make geographical sense of our surroundings. one distinct feature of kumasi that i loved is that it's multi-levelled...it's not flat. it has hills and streets that curve and split and connect back together. the pressure to buy was constantly present, which i think stressed me out, though i didn;t notice it till i was away from kumasi. we also were delighted to discover eto- a dish particular to the ashanti region consisting of plantain (dried and pounded into a sort-of flour consistency), groundnuts, groundnut paste, avocado, pepper, and spices. purely delicious!