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.

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!