quotidian.

These days, I’m up well before the sun, and now that the semester is in full swing, there’s less time for lazy mornings. (For me, anyway.)

Morning oatmeal. I’ve been eating mine with a splash of milk, some agave syrup, and a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter.

Agnes. Perfect for weekend work.

A Bon Jovi pencil. Necessary for writing comments on student papers.

Rutabaga and turnip soup, with New Mexico chile powder.

Boh behind my desk chair, keeping me company.

Pasta with green olives, garlic, and crushed tomatoes.

Resting (Boh) and knitting (me) on the couch. Knitting pictures soon! (I just want to let something I put in the mail yesterday get to where it is going.)

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write like a…

My new inspirational mug, from The Rumpus. Feel free to swap out “write” for “read,” “comment,” “eat,” or “knit.” I’m a little slow to attack the work pile this morning because I know I’ve got a whole day of writing comments on papers and prepping for class ahead of me. And really, I’d rather knit and snuggle Boh on the couch.

He’s just so sweet. And helpful.

And somehow literate? (I don’t know what you think about this photo, but this suggests secret code to me. I was in the kitchen with my friend M., and we came out to the family room to find that Boh had arranged ALL of his bones in a straight line. What could it mean?)

And here he is, politely asking for a bit of my open-faced ham sandwich made with the best (local) deli ham I’ve ever eaten. Sorry, Boh. Ham sandwiches with really good cheese melted under the broiler are for people.

One more food photo, snapped at my friend J.’s house. I brought the salad, she made an excellent risotto, and before we sat down, we both decided that our meal was so pretty that we needed to document it (before we inhaled it and went back for seconds).

And here’s a view of the driveway from the porch. It doesn’t look like this right now, as it’s been a warm week, but this is what it looked like last Saturday morning after I spent an hour shoveling the whole thing. (Which I did partially because I hosted reading group last week, so there were more cars than usual in the driveway, and partially to just get a sense for how long it would take, since I need that information to plan to have enough time to dig myself out and get to campus for the class I’m teaching, if ever I wake up on Monday or Wednesday to a snowy yard.) Hope you’re having a great weekend! It’s about time for us (you know, because Boh will “help”) to get to work.

another post from last week?

Hi, folks. Rooster here. Another doozy of a week — the start of classes (including mine!), and the work of adjusting to a new routine, a new commute (from the lake house), a new pattern for Boh. Here’s hoping I’ll figure out where blogging fits into all of that very soon. All went well this week, but there’s just so much to do. And I’ll keep attempting to cross things off of my ever-elongating to-do list after I write this post. Guess what? I’ve got (gasp) photos of actual knitting!  (Though the knitting occurred last week.)

Here’s that vanilla sock in Plucky yarn I started earlier this month. I began the toe decreases on a bus almost two weeks ago, when I was headed to a bachelorette gathering. I only had super short hiya-hiya circular needles with me, and the decreases were not so fun to try to work with those — just not enough give to comfortably do ssks and k2togs, and the bumpiness of the bus didn’t help. I really should put this back into my bag (with the dpns I need to keep decreasing), especially now that my commute involves a short bus ride each morning and afternoon!

And here I am, working on the border of the wedding hap blanket I’ve been knitting…ahem…as a gift for two lovely people who got married in November. I’m so close. C+A, it’ll be done soon! Promise!

And I’ve got big plans for this yarn. Wedding shawl plans — for my best friend. She’s getting married in March, and she picked the yarn and the pattern. More on this soon. (On today’s to-do list? Wind this yarn!)

I’ve been wearing handknits, especially my cowls, this week. I love this wurm cowl so, so much. Handspun around my neck is one of the best things I can think of right now.

More handspun around my neck. Remember when I made this stripey shawl over the summer because I was sick and didn’t have the focus necessary to follow the instructions for the Daybreak shawl? (One of these days I’m going to actually knit that.) I love the colors, and the drape of this fabric of loosely knit singles is fantastic. And I love how it sort of goes with this cardigan I picked up on clearance at Banana Republic when I was visiting my parents for Christmas.

And then there’s this guy. No knitting in this picture, but an extra dose of cuddly sweetness. I’m happy to have Boh to keep me company as I tackle a draft of a grant application today…

a post from last week.

So I formatted a handful of photos for a blog post last week — and then life got in the way, and it turns out I never actually wrote the post. Forgive me; I’m a little bit frazzled. This is the week before classes start, and I’ve been hustling to get everything in order for my very first course as the instructor of record: I pitched the class, wrote the syllabus, and students enrolled! (I TAed my second and third years of grad school — and enjoyed lots of autonomy and the professional/personal development that accompanies it — but this is the first class that is entirely mine, if that makes sense.) Bear with me as I try to establish a rhythm for the semester.

More reading and Boh snuggling occurred last week.

And an amazing care package arrived from New Mexico: green chile, red chile powder, tortillas, biscochitos, even yarn (made partially of possums?!) from my friends’ recent trip to New Zealand! Boh’s reaction made me smile — he must remember the desert. And he has been extra attentive whenever the green chile and tortillas are out. Good boy.

Morning sweetness.

Creamed spinach. (And a little bit of kale.) Easy and so good.

We finished Stegner last week. I think Boh was sad for it to end — we haven’t been parked on the couch with a good book at all this week. Instead, he keeps wandering into my office, sighing, and collapsing into a pile of sleepy dog on the floor near my desk. It is cold, snowy, and blustery today, but I’m hoping to bundle up and give him an extra good walk.

Hope you’re staying warm/wrapped in handknits, wherever you are. (And stay tuned: there’s some gorgeous yarn on my dining room table right now that I need to tell you about. And cast on with.)

angle of repose?

Boh and I have spent much of the last several days snuggled up on the couch re-reading some Wallace Stegner. I’d say Boh has found his angle of repose, wouldn’t you? (My Agnes sweater is perfect for reading late into the night.)

Also, I’ve been seeing a pair of pileated woodpeckers in the yard with some regularity over the last couple of weeks. I only had my phone handy, so this is the best I could do. Isn’t s/he lovely?

mussels and brussels(prouts).

Last week one of my favorite people returned from a semester of travel in the South. We celebrated with rye and a delicious seafood stew that she made in my kitchen. (I helped. And by “helped,” I mean I poured the rye.)

Mussels!

Sitting down to dinner: big bowls of stew, good cheese, and fancy olives. Yum!

Also, (local and happy) bacon and brussel sprouts. This year, one of my Christmas presents to myself was a small share in a local charcuterie CSA. On my way back into town from my parents’ house, I stopped in for some bacon to go with a huge bag of brussel sprouts I already had in the car. (Big bags of brussel sprouts were on sale in the grocery store near my parents’ house, and I couldn’t resist.)

 

This meal was so good I made it twice, including on New Year’s Eve. I can’t find the recipe I loosely followed (it might be this one), but basically I cooked the bacon in my big cast iron pan, added the brussel sprouts and a generous amount of salt and pepper, and then put them in the oven for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. The second time I made them, I added a little bit of balsamic at the end. These are pure magic.

Alright, off to make soup (and manhattans) at M’s place tonight! More soon.

resolved.

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to develop a writing practice. Writing a dissertation is really different from writing a colloquium paper, or a seminar paper, or a conference paper, or an article draft. I’m not going to sit down and crank this out in a couple of weeks, deadline looming. And even if I could do that, I certainly don’t want to. This is my primary job for the next few years, and I want to like doing it. Which means I need a rhythm, a routine. And now that I’m done with my fall semester and its accompanying whirlwind of research travel, it is time to get settled — and serious — about developing the habits I’d most like to have as a writer, teacher, and historian. And so far so good. I snapped this picture this afternoon, before beginning day 3 of plan write-every-day. Right now, the goal is to form the habit. I’m not necessarily writing the dissertation yet, but I’m writing about it, and thinking in a more dedicated and targeted way about my sources, my actors, and my argument(s). And it feels good to me. (Note to self: remember this feeling.)

Here’s another shot of the office, from the porch looking in. I took this because of the view I was enjoying looking out on Monday. See?

So lovely. I was too busy writing to capture today’s afternoon and early evening light, but it was beautiful — sort of like this, but with flurries of snow.

And because in theory, we all show up here because there is knitting, here’s what I wore to campus (first day back there since the end of August) today: my stripe study shawl, boots, leggings, a dress, and a slouchy sweater. It was nice to say hello to the folks in the office, chat with my chair, and cross a bunch of logistical things off my list. Hooray!

Time for dinner, some knitting, and a book.