saying goodbye.

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A lovely lake sunset, from sometime last week. (After a good swim with a friend.)

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Lounging on the Arts Quad, maybe for the last time.

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A happy dog, on the couch we’re giving away.

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A downy woodpecker — the one I like to think keeps coming back to the black walnut tree in my front yard, and sometimes taps on my porch windows. I stood under this tree and watched her for a solid 20 minutes yesterday morning. This sweet bird (and so many others) have kept me company here. (The yard was filled with birds yesterday–it’s like they knew that I’d packed my binoculars and bird books the night before.)

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And this morning I took my mug of coffee down to the end of the dock.

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I watched sailboats and swallows, and appreciated the morning calm.

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This is the week that I say goodbye. And I’m excited about the next thing–a new home, new town, new job. But this place has been kind to me these last seven years, and I think it will be hard to leave. (Finishing up my summer grading this week, packing up the house, and driving south to my new home next weekend. Stay tuned!)

 

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hello, june.

It seems I managed not to post while in Chicago. I also managed to not knit a stitch in Chicago. Those two statements might be related. Anyway, I did think about casting something on today, so I imagine I’ll have knitting content to share soon.

In the meantime, I am NOT going to show you pictures of how I managed to skin my knee and the top of my foot pretty badly on Saturday walking down to the dock. There is road work resulting in very finely powdered blacktop and gravel that I am now (ahem) aware of. Loose road dust plus a steep descent in flip flops do not make for a pretty result.

But this makes up for it:

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Right?

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So does this.

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And this.

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Tango hung out with us this weekend while his person was busy working long shifts at our town’s annual summer festival.

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And then today, after running a bunch of errands — bank, groceries, library — Boh and I went for a really good walk.

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And then we did some work down on the dock.

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I really did have a great time in Chicago, but it is good to be home.

asparagus everything.

The farm I joined for the spring season had a festival celebrating all things asparagus a few weeks ago. This is beer-battered, deep-fried asparagus. Yum.

And this is asparagus ice cream. Also delicious.

And this is the farm. So lovely.

Can you spot the snake in the lake? This is the biggest one I’ve ever seen here. Don’t worry, I googled extensively the first time something I thought was a stick turned out to have a tongue. There’s nothing here that is aggressive or poisonous. Still, I was glad to be on the dock.

This guy was too busy focusing on the breeze and the sunshine to worry about snakes in the lake. Stay tuned for knitting and spinning. Promise.

my end of the deal.

You know, the deal I make with Boh all the time: he is a good boy, and I take him on good walks. I’ve been slacking a bit with regard to my responsibilities in the W-A-L-K department, especially these last few weeks. With my writing deadline behind me (last week’s colloquium went very well), I set out to make things right.

On Saturday we headed up to campus to wander the little paths, shortcuts, and suspension bridges tucked all around it.

Here we are after our walk. I know Boh just looks worried, but trust me, he had a great time. (And snored for hours to prove it.)

Today it was absolutely gorgeous out — sunny, and into the high 80s. After a busy morning on campus, I took Boh down to one of the parks at the base of the lake. We walked until he seemed a bit too hot (after all, he’s still wearing his spring coat), and then headed back to the house, where he lounged next to my spinning wheel in the shade of my office.

See? What a good boy. I finished spinning the second bump of the Pigeonroof Studios fiber in bronzed teal, and I’m psyched to ply it. Stay tuned for yarn pictures!

word count rewards.

I managed to transcribe a bunch of research photos and write 500 words, so when I got home from the coffee shop, I gathered up my sweet dog and a tasty beverage and headed to the dock. (Oh, and the latte and the brownie I enjoyed at the coffee shop? Those weren’t rewards. I call those “motivation.”)

It was a beautiful afternoon, and it felt like summer: at least 75 and sunny, with just the faintest hint of a breeze off the lake.

Sorry, Boh. You have to actually do the writing to enjoy the reward. I’m realizing this week that it feels good to just focus on one big thing, rather than the pile of tasks on my to-do list. I will need to start easing myself back into grading and prepping for Monday’s class soon, but for now, this glorious weather and the chance to get some of my own work done is really nice.

I was slow to leave the house yesterday, in part because I wanted to make something tasty in my new pot. After flipping through several cookbooks on my shelf, I settled on a recipe for a curry root vegetable stew with dumplings from Amanda Hesser’s huge New York Times cookbook. This is actually the first thing from this cookbook I’ve made — and I can’t wait to go back.

This came together really quickly, and the dumplings were hearty without being heavy. Plus, I got to use up some of my root veggie stockpile. And all I needed to do was heat it up again for dinner after hanging out by the lake with Boh. Win/win.

I’ll definitely make this again. Oh! And I even did some knitting yesterday. Check out my sleeve progress on Kerrera:

I added more decreases, working my way down to the smallest sleeve circumference for a slightly narrower fit, and shortened the sleeves by about 15 rows, as I want to make sure they aren’t super long after blocking. This morning I began the fancy double garter st cuff. More of that if I get a good chunk of work done today…

more booty.

Apologies for the blog silence — I headed home for that baby shower (taking an unfinished booty with me), and then took a brief trip to see my grandmother out of state, and then got back here on Tuesday morning to work on a grant application. Whew! Finished that yesterday, and blogging is at the top of today’s non-work to-do list.

Here’s an iPhone shot of the second booty, just before kitchenering, and then the pair, just before wrapping. My cousin seemed to really like them at the shower — let’s hope the baby does, too! I haven’t done any knitting since finishing these on Saturday morning, maybe because I don’t have any knitting that is both portable and free of charts or counting. I should probably fix that by casting on for something new for me, like socks, though I certainly have lots more baby and wedding gifts to knit over the next several months.

None of these are recent FOs, but here’s the pile of handknits I sent to Occupy Wall Street last week. The weather is getting cold, and these handknits can be more useful there than here in my basket o’ warm things. (Side note: I should really consider knitting myself another hat with a pompom.)

And here’s a shot of the lake. The fall color has been absolutely stunning this year, but even so, the transition to winter is sort of exciting because of the way my view is changing. Now that the leaves have mostly fallen, I can see the lake even from my perch on the couch in the family room.

On blog posts and traffic: I noticed that a lot of people (500+) visited my blog last week when I posted about the first booty. Perhaps they were expecting something else? I’ll let you know if the same thing happens today…

fall.

I meant to post these earlier in the week, when they were still an accurate representation of fall here at the lake house. It is colder now — we’ve had a first dusting of snow, all the plants are now on the porch to avoid frost, and I’m back to wearing my uggs as my around-the-house shoes. There’s a sweater on the chair next to my bed, so I can slip on a cozy, warm layer as soon as I’m out from under the covers. I even trapped a mouse (using a jar and my bench scraper) and let him go at the edge of the yard.

Oh, and I made this amazing cauliflower earlier in the week, maybe the same day I snapped all these pictures of the dock and the yard. I think you should drop everything and make some at your house. Seriously — a friend on Facebook said this recipe changed her decades-long dislike of cauliflower. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. (And I didn’t even add the yogurt sauce or the pomegranate seeds.)

And then there’s this guy. Silly, silly dog. I think he’s pretty happy that I’ve declared November a research-trip-free month. I’m hoping to get into a rhythm, finally, of everything: writing, knitting, cooking, walking with Boh. I think we’re both creatures of habit, and I’m ready to settle into a balanced routine.

Happy weekend!