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?

Advertisements

mirror, mirror.

Idlewood. Again. Clearly I need to make another — after my exams. I snapped this picture before heading to one of my reading groups, where we discussed an excellent graphic novel (Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home) and talked about memoir, history, and voice — and about what makes something not feel self-indulgent. Which got me to thinking about blogging, especially because lately I’ve been snapping pictures of whatever I’m wearing (knits or otherwise) and posting them here. (Which seems incredibly narcissistic.)

On some level, blogging is self-indulgent. Really, all writing is. And I’m okay with that. The question we were wrestling with on Thursday night had more to do with the reader’s experience than the decision to write (or blog), and we kept returning to things like empathy, linking the ordinary and the particular to bigger (in this case, literary) themes, leaving space for interpretation rather than limiting how the reader understands and situates a particular moment, encounter, memory.

I want to think more about blogging as a form and as a personal process. How do conversations about blogging connect with discussions about memoir? In these genres, how do form and content interact? Can we identify conventions particular to blogging? In my own work, I’m thinking a lot about how I use the first person — what am I signally by choosing the personal pronoun? Am I actually revealing something personal, or is it a technique to make the reader identify with the “I”? (I’ve taken to calling this the “pretend personal” voice.) How much do I protect or reveal — here? In my academic writing? Once I’m on the other side of these exams, I’d like to spend some time (and space, maybe here?) thinking through, or maybe more accurately, writing with these questions.

Time for another picture of what I’m wearing? Clearly.

No knits in this shot, just a scarf that hasn’t been in rotation for awhile. Still faking it ’til I make it, and most days, I think it’s working. I managed to grade 10 papers yesterday, all dressed up. (She says, still in her pajamas.)

I knit less than five rows on this sock, and soon I’ll be ready to start decreasing for the toe. Ideally, I’ll finish the first sock this week, cast on the second and get through the ribbing before my first exam. That way I’ll have easy knitting handy to help with hard thinking.

Finished the carrot soup leftovers yesterday. There is another pot of this in my (near) future.

yesterday, produce. today, productivity.

And that’s just what was left on the counter when I thought to grab my camera. The first raspberries and blackberries have ripened, so we were able to pick 1 pint yesterday. I also brought home a handful of deep sweet red peppers, a baby eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, orange and yellow carrots, pink and orange beets, rosemary, parsley, and spring onions. (I chose to load up on the heartier stuff this week rather than go the lettuce/cabbage/salad mix route, but all of that deliciousness was available as well!)

I tried out a recipe for onion biscuits from a favorite cookbook of mine (Recipes from America’s Small Farms), but these were only okay. (I still highly recommend this cookbook.) Part of my frustration stems from the fact that I didn’t watch these carefully and they turned out a bit too golden. (Multitasking while baking a new-to-me recipe is clearly not a good idea.) But beyond that, these were too harsh and onion-y, and I cut back on the onion in the recipe. I think these need some cheese, or even something sweeter, like a touch of honey, to counter the super strong onion-y taste. (And I love onions.) I was going for a kind of summery biscuit dinner, so I made a very light tomato sauce with zucchini, squash, fennel, onion, and basil to pour over these. The sauce was delicious, but not an awesome match for these biscuits. You win some, you lose some, right?

Boh, on the other hand, won big yesterday. I picked up a trachea while restocking on Boh’s food at the natural pet supply store in town, and he spent the afternoon working his way through it. Cheap, fun for him to eat and play with, and a natural source of glucosamine. Triple win.

I spun a bit more of the brown alpaca yesterday, and I’m almost through the second three ounces. Plying soon, but probably not today.

My morning has already involved a heavy dose of this, and it is time to get back to it.

boh, a book sale (do, a deer).

At $2.50 a book, I did very well at our local, twice-annual book sale. We’re planning to head back next weekend to check out the fiction, which will be 50 cents a book on Sunday. Awesome.

This picture does not do the subtle colors of Parritch, Targhee from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, justice. I’m planning a three-ply, and this is bobbin number 1. I’m hoping to spend a little time at the wheel today, perhaps in between bouts of working on my last paper of the semester and grading final exams.

Here’s a knits-in-action shot from last week — looks like the weather is going to be cool and rainy again today, which means I’ll be able to wear my Shalom!

Which will bring us back to Boh, Boh, Boh, Boh, Boh.

pancakes/eggers.

A lazy Saturday brunch.

This evening’s activities: prepping for my final sections, snuggling with Boh.

Boh responds unfavorably to my attempts at photo composition.

I’m itching to spend some time with my knitting needles and my wheel. A few more days filled to bursting with meetings and final class sessions, and then I’ll have big enough chunks of time to warrant focusing on my end-of-semester writing, which will likely require some dedicated time for thinking (read: knitting/spinning).

spinning/silliness/sunday.

The sun came out yesterday while I was spinning the first bobbin of my first (of two!) bump of Hello Yarn shetland in Sour Fig, from the Fiber Club. I had to stop and take a picture. Twenty minutes later, my bobbin looked completely different:

I’m super excited to see how this ends up. I’m aiming for a 2-ply dk weight, but this stuff wants to be spun fine, so we’ll see what happens.

And now, the silliness:

I am a lucky girl.

Yep, another picture of this sweater. The fit is a bit awkward, the armholes are huge, the seams are wonky, even the ends are poorly woven in. I love the big ribbed collar, but I think the reason I wear this sweater more than any of the others I’ve made is that it was my first, finished in February 2008.

I wear it to late night reading groups, to dinner at friends’ homes. I pull it on to take Boh outside in the morning, I curl up in it on the couch. I buy groceries and write papers in it. It fits over many layers, even other sweaters, which is often how I wear it. It warms me, in more than the obvious way. I’ve been reading/discussing Rushdie this week, and these rather silly ruminations on my green sweater make me think of something his narrator says in Midnight’s Children. “Reality can have metaphorical content; that does not make it less real” (230, in my 1991 Penguin edition, though this was first published in 1980).

Time to slip my arms into the green sweater and get back to work.