boh vs. bookshelf.

I’m close enough to moving that I’m willing to fill my tiny apartment with things I’ll need in the lake house. Stuff in good shape tends to go fast around here. Case in point: this bookshelf. The time between replying to the craigslist ad and carrying it into my apartment was under an hour. I’m waiting on most things, but bookshelves? I need those. I’m lucky that I have Boh to keep an eye on this one for me.

Happy Friday!

final stripe.

I’m working on the border of my stripe study shawl now, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to find enough time to finish it before next Friday. (Note how Boh is making a point of ignoring the camera.) So much to do between now and then. Thank you for all of your encouragement! It makes such a big difference, whether it is in the form of sweet emails and blog comments, Easter bread (see picture), or Vladimir the petite lap giraffe’s web cam.

Ethel Louise baked this amazing Easter bread for me, and it sustained me during the last 12 hours of my final written exam. I can’t believe I had the self-control to take this picture before inhaling it. So good.

More soon — knitting and otherwise. Happy almost weekend!

last stripe/last exam.

Yesterday was windy, rainy, and grey. When it became clear that the wind was blowing at speeds that could easily overturn trash cans, I dashed outside and cut a mason jar’s worth of the daffodils which have just begun to bloom. These flowers helped me to get through most of the pile of grading I’ve been hiding from all week.

Boh is struggling to keep his eyes open this morning, which is pretty much how I feel. It has been a long semester, and I am so close to the other side of these exams. One more.

My last exam begins tomorrow, so today I’ll be doing my best to feel ready, by reading more, reviewing my notes, and organizing my thoughts. I’m also going to knit a few more rows on my stripe study shawl. Another row and a half and it will be time to begin the border. I should be able to finish the shawl before the oral part of my exams in a few weeks, and I think I’ll bring this with me as a tangible representation of all of the energy I’ve put into this process.

Onward.

signs of spring?

The first Caesar salad of the season. (My dad’s recipe. Also, further evidence that Boh is my dog. He LOVES the smell of garlic. He kept licking his lips and leaning on me while I inhaled this enormous bowl of salad. So silly.)

First daffodils in the yard.

Shorts! (Only for a few hours, on an unseasonably warm Monday night.)

And then a few days of rain. And reading. Both of which create the ideal conditions for Boh to make this wrinkly face. (And, let’s face it, for me to want to knit instead of work. I’m on my final stripe of the shawl. Pictures soon!)

popcorn.

More deliciousness from Super Natural Every Day: popcorn! And not just any popcorn. This is popcorn made with butter, dijon mustard, and thyme, and it was the perfect incentive for diving into my grading. Grade a paper, eat a handful of popcorn, grade a paper, handful of popcorn, paper, popcorn…you get the idea.

I snapped this picture of Boh earlier– he decided to hang out in his box for much of the afternoon. I think he must have known (because of the barometric pressure, maybe?) that thunderstorms were in the forecast for today, so he was preparing to hide. The storm never came, though, and now soft and steady rainfall is predicted through the night and well into tomorrow. Poor Boh. I hope he didn’t worry too much.

In knitting news, I’m almost to the very last stripe of my shawl. Stay tuned!

cookbook annotations.

Have we talked about this? I write in my cookbooks: dates, love notes to myself, substitutions, impressions. This does not strike me as odd — I write in all of my books — but I will say this: my cookbook annotations might make me happier than all my other marginalia combined. I like to flip through them and think back to the meal, the evening, heck, even the kitchen in which I last prepared a particular recipe. You can see my notes on Heidi Swanson’s Sun Toast in the picture. Here’s the toast:

I made it again today, and snapped a cast iron pan picture:

So simple, and seriously delicious. I may rub garlic on all future toast.

Somebody is excited for spring. (And so am I!) It is getting harder and harder to stay inside and read, grade, and write. A few more weeks of this pace. Just a few.

mail day.

You know what else (besides turning in exam #2) made Thursday a great day? It was a great mail day. Which reminds me of the excitement surrounding the mail — sent ahead, general delivery, to post offices in small towns we’d be riding through every ten days or so — on a cross-country bike trip I participated in nine (whoa!) years ago. The joke was that “mail” day was actually “male” day, a celebration of all things male. There was a long (tongue-in-cheek) list of the kinds of things that were acceptable on male days (I’m pretty sure trampolines were on the list). I hadn’t thought about that in years, but typing out “mail day” brought it back and made me laugh, almost a decade later.

Anyway, I had ordered — and then forgotten about — Heidi Swanson’s latest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. I intend to cook out of this ALL SUMMER, and I have big dreams of modeling my lake house kitchen on much of what Heidi describes about her pantry, kitchen tools, and emphasis on a range of grains and better-for-me flours. I know I’m only moving across town, but I am trying to use up extras hiding in my kitchen cabinets before the end of May. This book is beautiful and incredibly practical. I want to eat everything in it.

This guy got his own “male” day of sorts yesterday. Instead of working last night, I cleaned out a kitchen cupboard, and found a bone I’d been saving (and then totally forgot about) for Boh. He watched it intently (pictured here), tossed it around a bit, and then ran away from it/came back to it several times before settling down to eat it. Male day, indeed.

I really need to get back into reading (and grading) mode this week in order to feel ready for my third exam, which starts a week from Monday. Here’s hoping for a productive day!