the new year.

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This is what getting ready for a conference looks like, especially as I’m still working to put together appropriate academic “costumes” for myself.

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The conference I attended just after New Year’s was back in DC, which meant plenty of time to see dear friends. And admire bike racks outside coffee shops.

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No trip to DC is complete for me without Teaism. Its proximity to the museum I was working at last winter helped solidify it as the place for comfort food: really good chai, restorative spicy chicken noodle soup, amazing salty oat cookies. The polar vortex extended my DC trip, which mostly meant I ate more of all of the things at Teaism.

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I’ve been borrowing this sweatshirt for more than a decade. How crazy/wonderful is that? (Just when I’m visiting and cold.)

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A beautiful latte at the Tryst inside the Phillips Collection.

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And my lovely workspace inside Champ and N.’s fantastic apartment.

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The hat for P. wasn’t quite right (he tried it on in DC) so I ripped back and reknit it.

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I think it turned out even prettier the second time around, and I’m hoping it fits perfectly. I’m in between knitting projects right now — I need to find something simple and soothing to balance everything else going on in this week before the semester begins. So much to do!

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confession.

It has been weeks since I last did any blog-reading. So it isn’t just that I’m blogging irregularly. I’m also totally behind on everything happening in the knitting, spinning, and cooking blogosphere. I (partially) blame the death of Google Reader. I like routines and systems, and even though I’ve been using Feedly, I don’t like it anywhere near as much. And then, of course, the work is piling up: dissertation-writing, lots of conferences, fellowship applications and (eek!) even a job application or two.

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But this helps, right?

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And this?

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I snapped this picture of Boh hiding amongst the book piles earlier today.

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And here’s what I had for dinner: a farm veggie stirfry. It was just what I wanted to eat — comforting and autumnal, if that makes sense. I’ve spent today (and yesterday, too) getting resettled here after almost two weeks of research in DC. Want to see what that looked like?

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Chai and a cookie at my favorite spot to unwind after a day at the archives.

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Pickling all the things at Champ’s apartment.

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Mini-galettes filled with butternut squash, caramelized onions, fontina and sage.

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DC sunset from Champ’s balcony.

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Homemade rice cakes in both sweet and savory flavors.

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Oh! ¬†And a self-portrait snapped in a well-lit restroom, which I’ll share so you can see my new bag in action.

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It is enormous and I love it. I had a great time in DC, but I am happy to be home. Happy almost October, blog-friends!

time = flying.

Instead of apologizing again for disappearing, I’m just going to share some pictures I snapped since last I posted. I’m feeling rushed in everything I’m doing right now, and I’m just not finding the time to knit, blog, and correspond. Out loud, I’m blaming commuting, but really I think it is just that there’s a lot of noise in my head, so much to do, so much I’m anxious about not doing, so much uncertainty all around. I’m finding it hard to quiet my head at the end of the day. Thanks for understanding if I’m not as present here as I’d like to be while I’m away from my home and regular routine. Sigh.

Want to see some pictures?

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Atrium linking the Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum. Already one of my favorite spots in DC.

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Sunset, with the Washington Monument barely visible behind this tree. Snapped moments after leaving work for the day.

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My new Constitution mug, a must-have for all Americanists — and a birthday present.

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Another birthday mug — my friends know me well. This one was accompanied by some fancy espresso powder for baking. Stay tuned for kitchen adventures with that!

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Birthday flowers from K., who is dear to me and far away. I’ve been enjoying them every morning alongside my coffee and cereal.

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Sculpture Garden. I love this tree.

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The Capitol on a sunny day.

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The Portrait Gallery at night.

Happy weekend — and happy knitting! I’m hoping to do a little bit this afternoon.

unintended absence…

Hi, you guys! Apologies for what has been an entirely unintended absence from the blog! I made it to DC on schedule, but accidentally brought a pretty nasty cold/flu with me. My first week was a bit of a blur, and now that it’s been almost three (?!), I’m finally settling into a rhythm. Here’s a little bit of what that looks like:

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National Archives at night. Last night, in fact. Snapped this on my way to meet a dear friend for dinner.

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My office — and my new shiny piece of technology. (I bought an iPad mini, and I love it. It has already been more useful than I could have imagined for my work. I’m reading and annotating articles and drafts, and using it as a second screen while reviewing documents and making notes. Super awesome.) Also, that’s a bowl of tabbouleh. I’m still getting used to packing my lunch every morning. At home, most days I split my work between home and campus or a coffee shop, and head back to the house to walk Boh and make lunch.

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Birds! I don’t intend to share lots of work stuff here, but I figured that knitters might appreciate these gorgeous, vibrant birds. (One of the people I write about in my dissertation was a naturalist who collected a lot of specimens for the Smithsonian.)

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Yarn! Foxflat was in town, and we met up to do some yarn shopping and tea drinking. Hooray for internet friends who become real-life friends!

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Consider this proof of our lovely afternoon (and my inability to keep my eyes open in photos). I have plans to knit a spring cowl ouf of that super happy Quince and Co. yarn. Also, I’m totally psyched about that sweater Katie is wearing — she posted about it here, and it is even more fantastic in person.

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for now. I’m embarrassingly far behind on replying to comments, but it’s on my to-do list. (Which, by the way, I’m working to digitize. I highly recommend Workflowy, and if you want to check it out, use this link, and we’ll both get a little extra space. No pressure, of course.)

Happy Groundhog Day — and happy weekend! More soon.

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I’m home after a long overdue trip to see a dear friend. (No knitting to share this evening. Patience!) While much of our time was spent sitting around with family, laughing, eating, playing with small cousins, drinking coffee, and even “working” on laptops at the same table, some venturing beyond the house/yard did occur. Though I find myself lacking any photo-documentation that said friend and I did actually manage to be in the same place AND time, I do have some pictures of an evening adventure to share:

I visited the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument as a little girl, and it was incredible to return as a grownup. We drove through the empty evening streets of DC, oohing over architecture and the way the lights illuminated so many landmarks. We walked through the FDR Memorial, and we saw Lincoln minutes before the 143rd anniversary of his assassination. These words on the wall, from his second inaugural address, stood out: “With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.”