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Showing posts from 2016

Buh-Bye 2016

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2016 kicked my ass. 
I don't have a better way to put it. It's not a stretch to say that this was the most difficult year of my life. Even worse than the year my mom died and I got divorced. Yeah, that kind of difficult, but piled way, way higher. At least there was no divorce this time. But I'm feeling... scathed. 
I don't know how I made it, but standing in the doorway between years, things are looking pretty darn good right now. Phew! Wow... what just happened? And man, am I tired.
Chances are, you got kicked around a bit too. It was a rough one for a lot of us. If you pay any attention to numerology, it's worth noting that 2016 was a "9" year (2+0+1+6=9). 9 is all about completion, which so often appears as endings and losses. Not always happy stuff to slog through, but with a little distance and a focused shift in perspective, completions and endings make way for beginnings. 2017 is a "10" or a "1." We're in luck! This next ti…

On Safety Pins and Feeling Lost

In the wake of an election that did not go the way I expected or hoped it would, I am so confused about this country I barely leave my house right now. I stay home and knit mostly, which is a valid thing to do, since I'm actually getting paid to do it these days. Still it might also be a little bit cowardly of me. I will admit to feeling kind of lost, and at a loss as to what I might do that will do any good.
"Peaceful" demonstrations in the Portland streets are not just "out there" somewhere, but in my own downtown neighborhood. I look out from the safety of my fifth floor window, and see streams of people marching, shouting, chanting, carrying signs. The signs are all over the protest map, scrawled with everything from "Love Trumps Hate" to "Please Be Nice" to "Not My President" to "F**k Trump." 
These peaceful demonstrations are taken over by a few dark-minded trouble makers, and then I see trucks loaded with riot squa…

The Color of a Siamese Cat

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I like to come up with my own names for things like yarn colors. Somehow, naming the color is like a finishing touch I can give to a handmade piece. It makes it more personal, and even more handmade.
My latest scarf is made in a lovely cotton-viscose yarn that the manufacturer calls "Mouse." After working with it for a bit, it occurred to me that they were way off on this one. My name for the color is "Siamese Cat," and I'm sticking with it.



The Journey Scarf continues to be one of my two favorites to knit. This one, just finished, blocked, and photographed, is available on my website today, but I don't think it will be there for long. As with all the others, if it's not sold in a couple of days, it becomes mine. So far, all of them have found homes though, which is really nice.

I didn't see it coming, but I did wish for it - time to knit all I want, cook when I want, and somehow get paid. Admittedly, there's not a lot of money in hand knitting.…

Audible is My Gym Membership

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My daughter turned me on to Audible a few weeks ago. I trust my kids to steer me to the best technology of the moment. They're always right about this stuff, and they can always help me figure out how to use it if I get stuck. (Like when I finally traded in my 6 year old flip phone on an iPhone and couldn't figure out what to do with it. Lauren simply said to me, "Mom - it's all about the home button." Such wisdom. So helpful.)

Audible is an Amazon service that provides streaming audio books. And it's easy. I haven't actually needed help with it. Lauren got me started by sending me You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero. I wasn't sure this was my kind of book, but I downloaded it, popped in my single earbud (I like to hear the world around me) and headed out the door for a walk. I walked through seven chapters. I didn't want to go home. I just wanted to keep reading an walking - at the same time.



I finished the book in three days, which absolutely never…

Project Hopping

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Most of the time, I have one project going, and I stick with it until I'm finished. Not always though, as I proved to myself over the past week. Today I photographed and listed for sale this lovely dove gray Portlandia Shawl. I really wanted to keep it, but I know I can make another one, and I probably will. If you want this one for your very own, check my Handmade page to see if it's still available. If not, there will be something else in its place before long.


While I was working on this, I got a yarn delivery that totally distracted me. Instead of doing the fringe on the Portlandia, I spent a couple of days starting a new shawl in this amazing cotton/viscose blend. The yarn is like like a tiny knit tube rather than being twisted, and it's so soft and fun to work with, and it has shiny bits! Maybe this one will be mine...


And then, just as I was ready to go back and do the fringe on the other one, a light bulb went out in our apartment.

No big deal, right? A stupid ligh…

I Knit in Public

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After writing the Knitting Meditation post, I wondered if I might grow tired of knitting and let it drift away, as sometimes happens with things that seems like the thing when they first appear. The opposite has happened, actually, and this surprises me.

I missed World Wide Knit in Public Day this year. I was in San Jose and didn't find (or have time for) a knit-in anywhere in the area. When I got back home to Portland, I visited one of my favorite yarn shops, Knit Purl, where I picked up some gorgeous organic cotton yarn (which became the scarf below, that I finished and wore on my daughter's wedding weekend).


I chatted with the woman helping me about how bummed I was to miss knitting in the park with them. As I was leaving, she handed me one of their little I Knit In Public buttons, and in that simple gesture, something in me shifted.


I stuck the button onto the handle of the big polkadot tote I use for a knitting bag (literally stuck it, eventually, with super glue, because…

One Blog Is Enough

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Heads-up lovely readers! I've decided to invite my own self over from my other blog as sort of a guest blogger. I've come to a point in all this blogging where I want to pull all my fragmented parts back together in one place. It just doesn't make sense to me anymore to part myself out and act as though I have separate lives going on. One blog is enough. And I choose this one.


Positively Vegan has been an ongoing project for me for five years. It's been great, and I'm truly grateful for the experience. It also feels like a completed project. There's no reason to do the food thing over there, and the everything-else over here. I'm vegan all the time. It's a part of me, not apart from me, if that makes any sense.

It's not all-consuming either. So I don't want you to worry that I'll be spewing vegan propaganda all over you. That would be dumb. And no fun. Instead, mixed in with posts on all my other interests, projects, and adventures, there wil…

The Pirate

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We live in downtown Portland, Oregon. It's wonderful to be able to step outside our door and walk to almost anything we need or want, to be right in it, to feel like part of the city. It's fun and frustrating, exciting and exhausting. City streets can make a person feel invisible, and yet, they're also like a big meandering stage, studded with spotlights aimed on a surprisingly constant cast of characters.

A lot of people live on the streets here, in varying degrees. We see a lot of young ones drift in and out, with dogs and guitars and sometimes weary looking girlfriends. Did they think it was worse at home with their families than it would be on the cold concrete, eating out of garbage cans? Older ones, almost always men, follow regular routines and daily circuits from bench to doorway to park to street corner. And mentally ill men and women are a regular part of our daily adventures in beautiful downtown Portland.

We know nothing about these people, any of them, but we …

The Glamorous World of Blogging

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Blogging looks like a great way to make a living, doesn't it? You get to work when you want, where you want, wearing your jammies if you want, drinking martinis or coffee or whatever, and eating great snacks from your own kitchen. You get to take the dog out for a walk, meet friends in the middle of the day, take a vacation whenever you want to... Oh, and get paid buttloads of money for it. Right? Yeah? Really? Hmmm...

When the economy tanked and my bead business sputtered out like a 4th of July sparkler, I decided to reinvent myself as a food blogger. Positively Vegan was, and still is, my little vegan online home, while Long Way Home remains in the background as a not so secret hideout where I can talk about anything that interests me in the moment. I love PV, but there's more to life than food.

I started this blog in 2009, and Positively Vegan in 2011. I've written hundreds of posts, shared enough recipes to fill a cookbook, written an online cookbook and most recently,…

Wedding Week and Mother Bear

My daughter, the Beautiful Miss Lauren many of you know, or know of through past blog posts, is getting married next weekend. Her fiancé, Jamie, is a wonderful young man who clearly loves my daughter deeply. I'm a happy mom, and so, so happy for the two of them.

I keep having this whacko dream that I'm in my underwear, wading through a crowd of wedding guests, unable to get past the endless stream of people who want to stop me, ask questions, distract me, delay me. It's ten minutes till wedding o'clock, and I just... can't... seem... to... find... my... dress...

Of course I'm not that much of a mess in real life. I know exactly where my dress is. And my shoes, even! Today is mani-pedi day, and I have all of this afternoon and evening and tomorrow to pack. I could pack our whole apartment in that amount of time, so I'm not worried about running out of time. It's just time to get to it.

The dream is not about the wedding so much as it is about the behind …

Time for a Revival

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I miss this blog. I miss writing it, and pondering things that seem worthy of being written. I've tried to find a way to shift it over to my other blog, but it's not quite right. They're two different, too different things. So I'm bringing Long Way Home back to life, and merging it with Positively Vegan and my website, KimMiles.com. It's all me. Pick out the parts that interest you.

I posted the following, with a few edits, on PV today too, so if you follow anything I do, you have a good shot at being all up to date with me now.

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Notice anything different around here? (No, not my new dress.) It was time to change things up, in order to make way for other changes that I'm not quite yet clear about. You know how that is? Making anything different has the potential to make everything different. And I'm ready for some differentness.

The old PV logo was fine and lovely, but it was never what I really wanted. I just kept it because I had it, and because a f…