settling into summer.

A day on the porch. Here, with coffee:

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A picture to indicate that the coffee, for whatever reason, was just not working.

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More porch work. This time with a huge salad.

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Afternoon light. Porch work with a glass of water. (Flowers from my yard!)

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Morning granola. (Boh supervising.)

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Wide-eyed Boh — a face I love. (He usually makes this face when he is getting belly rubs, but sometimes also when I scratch him behind the ears.)

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And then we went for a morning walk around a reservoir on campus, in an attempt to tire ourselves out before it got too hot.

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On a bridge!

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View from the bridge:

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Happy dog.

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Slow, steady progress on my Avery cowl.

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Chocolate chip walnut cookies. I put most of them in the freezer so I wouldn’t just eat them all, and then remembered how good cookies taste when you eat them right out of the freezer. Good thing this recipe only makes a couple dozen. (Boh and I had a dog/friend playdate this week, and I took a bunch over there.)

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Morning nap.

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Morning…work? We’ve had much cooler temps the last few days, so in this picture, Boh is actually doing the very important work of keeping my toes warm.

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A walk on the bike path during a break in the rain.

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Silliness.

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Mid-yawn.

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We’re trying to settle into a summer routine over here. Hoping it will include lots of good walks, plenty of course prep, some knitting, and maybe a few more batches of cookies. (Where summer means the next few weeks of June! My summer teaching begins at the end of this month…)

a (quiet) day in the life (of boh).

Turns out I did a pretty good job of documenting Boh’s movements yesterday. Together they add up to a quiet, but accurate, portrait of a Saturday filled with dissertation polishing on the porch:

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We started with coffee and some reading. (I’m considering assigning this at the end of one of my classes this fall, so it counts as work, even though it is definitely “fun” work.)

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While I read and drank my coffee, Boh looked at his reflection in the porch window.

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And then he spent some time looking at me, like, hey, we’re ALMOST outside, can we just keep going?

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And then he settled down in the patch of sun under my favorite yellow table.

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And tried to get comfortable.

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He stayed here, in this patch of sun, for a few hours.

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It seems he was so comfortable there that he didn’t even move when I got up to make some lunch.

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Yesterday afternoon, we took a nice, long stroll with our friend R. Boh was very happy to see him; R. stays with Boh at the lake house sometimes when I travel for conferences and research. We walked all through one of my favorite neighborhoods, and ended up here, at the waterfalls that are quite close to town. I’ve never seen this waterfall rage so hard–must be a combination of quick melting and steady spring rain. Boh put his paws in the water.

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More porch working, and then I decided to make a big batch of popcorn. (Boh is just out of the frame. He loves popcorn–or rather, thinks he would love popcorn if I let him have any.) This batch is dusted with a mixture of curry powder, smoked paprika, salt, cinnamon, and cumin. Not sure where I got the ratios (they are just scribbled inside a cookbook now), but I like these spices on popcorn a lot.

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After a break (I just went back to the beginning of Orphan Black because the new season just started, so I’m appreciating anew how amazing Tatiana Maslany is in that show), back to work. Boh napped in what little space I was not hogging on the couch.

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And then, sleepy from our walk today, Boh played at being a lap dog.

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He doesn’t often curl up and stay like this for hours, but last night he found a comfortable spot and just settled in.

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He even let me get out my book.

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I figured we’d sit like this for a little while, and then all of a sudden I’d stayed up pretty late finishing the book while Boh snored. Coffee’s ready, so time to begin today’s version of all of this. Happy weekend, friends.

August?

Whoa. Can we hit pause, please? This summer is moving far too quickly for me. I’m not really knitting (though I’ve got another one of those colorblock bias blankets on the needles), but I’m not ready to be done with this space, so here’s a handful of images from the last several weeks. As you can see, Boh is hard at work. (I am too, though those photos aren’t anywhere near as thrilling.) Hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

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Boh and I went to the Berkshires for a writing retreat. Here we are taking an afternoon hike along a section of the Appalachian Trail.

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And here we are looking out across the Berkshires from the top of Mt. Greylock.

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A local lap around a manmade lake on campus.

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Sweet dog with his favorite bone.

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Farm flowers and pancakes.

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Out for a hike.

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More farm flowers.

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A view from a bridge over the inlet that leads to the lake.

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“Working.”

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I’m dog-sitting for a friend for a few weeks, so we’ve doubled the number of dogs here. These two play hard and then collapse on the couch like this. So sweet.

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This was our first day together. Lots of cuddling, not so much working.

Maybe I’ll have some knitting to share next time?!

peonies to pinwheels.

I picked this peony at the farm last week when I went to pick up my first summer share. It is almost ready to bloom. (And I appreciate that it is taking its time. It’s the perfect company for me as I wrestle with writing a conference panel proposal this week.)

Sweet, sleepy Boh.

New dress and scarf! I wore these to campus on Friday. So comfortable and easy. (And all because I dragged myself to the Gap to replace the jeans I ripped a few weeks ago.)

I had Tango again this weekend. The dogs played so hard that they were happy to hang out with me as I worked on the couch.

And then yesterday we had a last-minute visit from my brother — and his sweet dog, Dexter! We went to the farmers’ market, ate strawberries, olive bread, and french radishes on the porch, and took a nice long walk.

And then I finally transferred my pinwheel blanket in progress to an appropriately sized needle. I’m almost through the first skein of Cascade 220. (And I’m planning to knit it to a 3-skein size.) So far so good! Now, back to Monday!

 

porch life.

Reading. With chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Watching a storm roll in from the porch.

A pinwheel blanket begun. A wedding lap blanket the color of the sea.

I did not take this picture on my porch. What kind of flowers are these? This is a snapshot from a walk I took last week in town.

I don’t know why I snapped this picture. But I did wear this outfit on Memorial Day too, so I’m sharing.

This one needs no explanation.

And now I’m all caught up on photos! (And I managed to sneak a little bit of knitting in there.) The wedding I attended last weekend was lovely, and some new friends I made there took me sailing — in a race! It was so much fun, and the perfect way to spend the Sunday morning after a Saturday spent celebrating a very dear friend.

I don’t have any pictures of this, but today I took my first swim in the lake this summer. I’m looking forward to a lot more of that. And now I should really get some work done today…

FO: floating down.

Which, incidentally, also describes my back pain: floating down in intensity. I’ve got a massage scheduled for as soon as I’m done teaching tomorrow morning, and that should make it a lot better. Thank you for all of your kind comments. I’ve been trying to take it easy while still getting  my work done. It’s going to be another busy week… (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot this semester!) Anyway, do you want to see some handspun?

I thought so.

This is Hello Yarn 75% BFL/25% Tussah Silk in Floating Down, spun as singles. I ended up with just over 400 yards of this delicious stuff. What should I make?

Boh is excited.

Or not. (Silly, silly dog.)

We took a long, slow walk with a friend and her dog on Friday, which seemed to help with my back twinge. Along the way, we saw this bald eagle! (Apologies for the poor photo quality — I took this with my iphone, and zoomed in as much as I could.)

We also saw this Great Blue Heron. Boh and Madigan were too busy focusing on all the Canadian Geese to notice.

I got sorrel in my CSA box this week, and sauteed it with butter and onions and leftover rice. It was delicious.

And last night, I made a big batch of Heidi’s Millet Fried Rice, from Super Natural Cooking. I’d forgotten how much I like millet — and how much I like this recipe. Basically, you cook the millet, and when that’s almost done, you make a super thin egg pancake, by melting butter with some toasted sesame oil in a large pan, beating a couple of eggs as if to make an omelette, and then pouring in the egg. You swirl the eggs around to get a really thin layer, and then fold the eggs over on themselves once they are cooked enough to let you do that. Shortly after that, you remove the egg from the pan, and then stirfry whatever veggies you’re using in a super hot pan, and then you add the millet, some soy sauce, and then you slice the egg pancake into strips and add that, too. I topped mine with onion sprouts and some canned roasted red pepper, both from my spring CSA box. I might have eaten this for lunch and dinner today, too.

Also, last night was Earth Hour, and I participated by turning off as much electricity as possible in my home, and lighting some candles to read by. While I believe that lifestyle activism on its own isn’t enough, I like doing this, and it is nice to remind myself how much I enjoy turning everything off for awhile. I certainly recognize my own privilege in all of this –and that not everyone has the power to make this choice. Still, this is about mindfulness for me. I didn’t really plan ahead, in terms of what I might read, so I was scrambling for something as the official time approached.

I ended up spending part of my hour reading some Mary Oliver poems. The book I’m teaching this week opens with Oliver’s Wild Geese” as the epigraph, which I read to my students on Wednesday. It begins, “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees/ For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.” It was nice to read it by candlelight.

Looks like today’s photos are all in pairs. I like it. Also, Happy April!

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.)