Redirect it, yo.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve finally done it. I’ve gone public with this here blog of mine.

This was my very first blog, and now I (omigawd) actually earn a rather comfortable living teaching other people how to blog and do other nefarious things online, which blows me away every time I think about it.

The time seemed right to finally throw off the shackles of the pseudonym I adopted all those years ago, make this thing pretty and fit for public consumption, and make an honest blog out of it.

Yes, I cleaned up one or two posts before attaching my name to it.

No, I didn’t delete that story you liked. It was semi-porntastic, yes, but I just couldn’t part with it. (You’re welcome.)

So please join me over there on the sunny side of the internet, won’t you?

This blog now lives at www.anaccomplishedyounglady.com.


jane eyre - coverJoin us.

Melissa and I are still neck-deep in our Jane Eyre obsession (for me it is a rekindled passion, for Melissa it is new and FRESH) and we are moved by purely altrustic purposes to invite you to share our joy.

Join us in an unabashed and self-indulgent Bronte-Along, as we swoon in unison over Mr. Rochester’s bigamist charms.

In Melissa’s own words:

Required: Watch the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre film version of Jane Eyre

Encouraged: Read the book by Charlotte Bronte

As if you could help it: SWOON

Hoped for and encouraged: blog, tweet facebook about it if you are into it. Basically, I just want others to swoon with :o)

Would be awesome: Craft, paint, visual journal, etc about it! I have been so inspired to paint the characters and research the dress of the times etc, that you might be similarly swept up. If so, I would love to see your work!

Anything else? Suggestions welcome! I will compile a complete list of interested parties so we can visit everyone’s blogs and see what everyone is up to! And suggestions for requirements or encouragements will be added to an official post stating it all. I mean an unofficial post. Yeah.

The bottom line is that I am just so utterly in love with the story that I want others to share it with!



It is my secret hope that we can expand the theme, make it a true tour of the glories of the Sisters Bronte, and move on from Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights, to enjoy Heathcliff’s sullen and vengeful brooding… and perhaps end the trip in a prolonged visit to Wildfell Hall to complete the cycle.

For although I love Jane Austen dearly, I often feel like the Bronte sisters get the short end of the stick. All this Darcying about and Colonel-Brandoning it up is quite well and good, but sometimes a girl just wants some dark and brooding moorland action to soothe her soul.

Am I wrong?

Of course I am not.

Join us.

Jane Eyre - If you must leave me

You cannot resist. Confess it.

I’ve notched another refined accomplishment to my belt today — one that has been on my list for some time. And you’ll be the ones to benefit!

I have unleashed the mighty power of the SCREENCAP:

Jane Eyre Titles

Jane Eyre - You are my true home

Jane Eyre - I will bleed inwardly

Jane Eyre - Call me Edward

I thought you might like to know.

At Mitts’ End

Now that Spring is officially on its way (the forecast is for 53 degrees today! I am all a-twitter and agog!!) I feel that I must finally post some of the fruits of my winter knitting frenzy.

Naturally, I spent a great portion of the winter this year embroiled in a deep obsession with the PBS/BBC series Cranford.  Partly because I will watch ALMOST any British period costume drama they care to serve up (I draw the line firmly at Keira Knightly), and partly because the cast was so wonderful.

I will watch anything, for example, with this divine lady in it:

Francesca Annis

Love. Her.

So Cranford was sweet and light and fun — it didn’t feature a great quantity of the smouldering and agonizing heartache that I prize so much in period drama, but it DID feature some truly glorious knitting that I spent much of the winter trying to recreate.

Mostly, I was obsessed with the many varieties of fingerless gloves (which they would have called mittens) that the ladies of Cranford wore.

I ordered a great big cone of natural, somewhat rough, handspun lace-weight yarn so that I could experiment at will, and while I was waiting for it to arrive (annoyingly, it was backordered for weeks — I suspect I wasn’t the only obsessive knitter so afflicted) I pulled out some gorgeous malabrigo laceweight that I had had in my stash for over two years, patiently waiting for a project that was worthy of it.

After starting and stopping a few times with various combinations of stitches, I decided that I first wanted to see how the yarn would behave in a lacey mitt pattern, so I made a pair in the Spyrogyra pattern from Knitty.com that I had always loved, and gave them to my friend Melissa, who has the tiniest, most delicate paws you can possibly imagine.

Here’s how they came out (beautiful photography by Melissa Averinos, natch):

mitts detail

Mitts in toto

Mitts on paws

See what I mean? How could you not want to knit for delicate little hands like that? I ask you.

So those came out pretty well, but my cone of handspun, oatmeal-colored yarn still hadn’t arrived, so I started up another pair, this one a Cranford-inspired pattern of my own devising, destined for my very own hands.

These had a short cuff of two-by-two ribbing, followed by a simple double-yarn-over lacey loop repeat, followed by very basic stockinette all the way up to a running diagonal lace trim on the fingers and thumb. I wanted to show off the gorgeous shades of the hand-dyed malabrigo yarn more than the Spyrogyra pattern had done, so I suffered in silence through the many hours of laceweight stockinette on size zero needles. The horror!

It was fun. I secretly LOVE knitting on teeny tiny needles.

So those cameout quite satisfactorily, too, and I now wear them every day at work in my freezing office in Cambridge:

simple mitts for me

mitt thumb

mitts and mac

And when THOSE were done, I finally had possession of my cone of oatmeal two-ply. But by then I was so mittened out that I jumped right into a huge circular shawl with a deliciously soft brown trim with the stuff.

It isn’t quite finished yet (almost! dang but that trim takes forEVER to finish up), nevermind blocked to within an inch of its life, but here is a taste:

lacey shawl

I should be able to complete the trim and block it out next weekend, which is just about when I expect the crocuses to start to poke their little heads up out of the ground.

And then it will be time to move on from winter-ish knitting and into some springier sorts of crafty goodness.

I am thinking something soft and green, to celebrate the new season of warmth.

What will it be?

So as you may know from reading my dear fiend Melissa’s blog (which I am sure you do, with the fine taste and discernment that you have) that we are both wallowing around in a deep and exquisite Jane Eyre obsession.

You may recall that I harbored a fine passion for the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre that was aired in the US on PBS in early 2007. Well, I showed that version to Melissa, and it grabbed her by the throat and shook her, hard, just like it did me a few years back.

So I have happily joined her in her throes of watching, rewatching, trolling YouTube for more to watch, of this delightful movie.

Do you remember when I planted all that heather in my front yard?

It was specifically so that I could, one day, have enough heather that I could imagine staggering across it in despair, having left Thornfield Hall after discovering Mr. Rochester’s bigamist designs.

What? That’s normal.

This is what that plot of heather looked like when I planted it:

Heathers early

Last summer, they achieved fully-grown status. (I don’t have any great, sweeping views of them, but I do have a few pretty close-ups from last July:)

heathers in bloom

Best of all, they are starting to naturalize all over the yard:

heather volunteer

Isn’t it lovely to see so much green at this time of year, and remember that it is almost spring? Let’s look at some more of last year’s garden. It is making my heart so light:

Beach Roses in Bud


Wildflowers, white

You should not be surprised to learn that I am something of an untidy gardener. I generally don’t clear out spaces for neat little rows of annuals and perennials, preferring instead to scatter seeds and install adolescent plants where my intuition tells me they might thrive, and sometimes I get lucky and I’m right and they do.

Last summer I planted hundreds and thousands of wildflower seeds. It was a raging success.

This year I will be sowing lupines all over the joint. It is going to rock.

But the real reason I wanted to tell you all this is because it is finally beginning to feel ever so slightly like spring around here — not quite like it is spring, but like spring is not a mere fanciful notion that you and I made up after a carbohydrate binge, wishing we could do more than huddle under our many knitted woolen things and dream of Mr. Rochester for warmth.

This week on Cape Cod, it is slated to be warm (in the mid 40s, mind you!) and sunny. Even on the one or two days that it is slated to rain, it is going to be warm (47 degrees! a veritable summer shower!).

And I cannot help poking around in the garden, looking for the first signs of my newest addition (one hopes) to the yard’s bounty:

Last fall, I planted crocuses.

I made sure to choose the earliest bloomers of the breed, so that my salt-swept riverbank of a yard would have the best shot at some real, honest, early color.

I will keep you posted, my fiends.

Until then, I will stagger across my rough patch of heather, eagerly awaiting spring.

Edward Sea Captain, the originalSometime last summer, I told my dearest fiend {sic} Melissa my favoritest ghost story ever. And she repaid me recently with an amazing gift.

Can I tell you about it?

I’ve been in love with this story since I was 16 years old and read it in a book of Nantucket ghost stories.

It isn’t technically a ghost story.

It’s more like an awesome-mermaid-jealous-lover-reincarnation story.

You know. One of those stories.

Edward (not his real name)

I call him Edward for reasons of my own.

His story goes something like this (in my own words):

Some time in the mid-1980s, a woman walks into the Nantucket Whaling Museum, right near the docks on Nantucket. (This was before the recent renovation and expansion of that wonderful museum. Back then, they had one room right off the entrance in which all the portraits of Nantucket whaling captains were displayed. Now they are more scattered around the place.)

She walked into the Portrait Room. She locked eyes with a portrait of a young, handsome man, and stood stock still for several minutes, transfixed. She knew him — she didn’t know how, but she knew him very well. The experience unnerved her deeply, and when she was finally able to break off eye contact with the young man in the painting, she made her way, shakily, to the information desk of the museum and asked about the man. Who was he?

Oh, the woman behind the desk said, you found the mermaid lover!

What? the woman said (not unreasonably).

The story goes that that young man fell deeply in love with a beautiful mermaid during his travels out to sea. When he returned, his wife here on Nantucket learned of his affair, and she became deeply jealous. Learning that the mermaid had followed him back as far as Nantucket Harbor, she had the local blacksmith forge a slender harpoon, so that she might murder her rival. One moonlit night, she made her way to the docks and pierced the mermaid’s heart clean through with the harpoon, killing her.

Of course it’s nonsense, the museum worker said, laughing.

The woman hurried outside into the bright sunshine, shaking harder than ever.

All her life, she had had a recurring memory, a dream — she always assumed it had been some old memory from the womb, for the vivid memory had always been with her, for as long as she had lived — of swimming back and forth, back and forth, through dark, cold waters.

With a piercing, excruciating pain in her chest.

Now tell me that isn’t an awesome story.

You cannot.

When I was a teenager, growing up on Cape Cod, my mother used to work for one of the ferry companies that ran from Hyannis to Nantucket. We used to get free tickets every year, and I always, always used mine to travel alone, across Nantucket Sound, 40 miles out to sea, preferably on a dark, grey, foggy day.

I would walk straight off the boat and into the Whaling Museum, pay my admission and find that portrait. Every time, hoping to feel the thrill of recognition. Never feeling it. But always, always loving that story.

Last summer, I finally visited the Whaling Museum again for the first time since those days. I had last seen my sea captain during the summer I turned 19, which was my last summer living at home on Cape Cod. Just before I went, I told Melissa the story.

She told me to bring back a photograph of the sea captain. Which I did.

This Valentine’s Day, Melissa painted her version of my sea captain’s portrait for me. And now he resides in my bedroom.

Edward the Sea Captain

That same day, February 14, 2010, I bought a necklace at Melissa’s store in West Barnstable (Yummy Goods) which I had been coveting, and which now hangs next to my portrait of Edward, when I am not wearing her myself:


And they lived happily ever after.

ha! we’re back.

Member that time? That I said I was going to go back to school? Part-time?



I quit my job and went full-time instead. Because I’m a psychopath who can’t do anything halfway. Ever. I commute each day, five days a week, by bus.  Takes about oh say two-and-a-half to three hours each way. WHAT

So um, yes, busy is what I have been. It’s true.  Busy and happy and fulfilled and excited and kind of interested in accounting. Not like in a life-changing, career-path-forming sort of way! Just that way you feel when you totally expected to hate a subject and instead it ends up being moderately more interesting than you thought it would be, enough to keep you interested and engaged and determined to get a really good grade because you really like the professor.

Kidding. I always want a good grade.

So now it’s the winter break, and I have all this delicious time on my hands.  I’m thinking about starting a videoblog. I’m thinking about trying to get an internship doing web 2.0 marketing for a startup that’s all rockstar sustainable and fairly-traded and crap like that.  I’m thinking that I miss the old Dune Shack, where I could always let it all hang out.

So in honor of our renewed acquaintance, here is my Christmas present to you:

You’re welcome.