saying goodbye.

july19 - 5

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

july19 - 4

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

july19 - 7

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

july19 - 6

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.)

july19 - 1

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

july19 - 2

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

july19 - 3

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!)

 

second repeat complete.

I’m realizing that maybe the reason I’ve been returning to blogging more regularly has something to do with the fact that I’m not writing anything in my work life right now. (I mean, I’m deep into course prep and syllabus development, but I’m no longer writing a dissertation.) I’m sure I’ll be back into working through other research materials and beginning an article before too long, but right now, my writing is mostly blogging! (Another reason might be that there is way more daylight and sunlight, and lots more pictures of me and Boh frolicking outside…) So, here are today’s pictures (though we haven’t yet completed today’s frolic):

june3 - 4

Coffee with my canine companion.

june3 - 5

Reading what might be the final book for the seminar I’m teaching this fall. (With Boh’s help, obviously.)

june3 - 6

Yesterday’s┬ápost-gym mimosa. Or, my attempt to solve the problem of how to finish an open bottle of champagne while living alone (and not all in one sitting). My argument is that when combined with orange juice, champagne can be a recovery beverage… And I’m sticking to it.

june3 - 3

I finished the second repeat of the diamond stitch pattern, and the more I knit, the more I love this cowl.

june3 - 1

Obligatory outfit mirror shot — temperatures are back up to springtime levels, though I did need a coat for the trip to the coffee shop.

june3 - 2

I’ve mostly been working at home these last few months, but today, after a sort of slow start to the week, I decided to get out of the house, at least for the morning. It was a great idea. I read A LOT of pages, plus there is a heart in my latte! I appreciated this small affirmation of my plan for the day. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Boh and I have a date with the park!

so, this is happening.

whoamay14

It feels like I just got home, but I’m leaving for a month in Chicago on Sunday. And I’m packing my life into a big rolly suitcase and a tiny carry-on. I’m renting a mildy furnished studio close to the library I’ll be working at, which means I’ve been making tough choices about what to bring. (Believe it or not, my favorite cast-iron skillet is buried deep in my bag. (All of my backpacking/expedition planning has prepared me for this. I might have spent Wednesday pouring laundry detergent, dish soap, cleaning solution, and conditioner into tiny bottles…)

But you don’t want to hear all about that. How about some pictures of the last few weeks?

whoamay01

My dear friend K. came to visit — and by came to visit, I mean showed up and took care of me. We ate delicious things, and she caulked the windows on my porch, sewed a curtain for the closet in my guest room, and cuddled Boh every morning.

whoamay02

whoamay03

whoamay04

Her visit was just what I needed.

whoamay05

Sweetness from this guy.

whoamay06

First flowers from the yard.

whoamay07

whoamay08

And then I took a quick trip to Philadelphia for a taxidermy lecture and demonstration, which was incredibly cool. (Don’t worry; I won’t post any pictures of that.)

whoamay09

Home again.

whoamay10

whoamay11

whoamay12

And then a whirlwind of a trip to New York for a dear friend’s beautiful wedding. And the Met, for their Civil War photography exhibit. And a treat: a manicure and pedicure with an old friend/gracious host.

whoamay13

Boh seems a little anxious about May. He’s not coming with me to Chicago, but he’s got plans that are equally exciting. No fewer than three of my friends are helping out by hanging with Boh while I’m away, and I think he’s going to have a fabulous time.

And now we’re all caught up! I’m certainly incredibly excited about this research opportunity, but I’m also really ready to settle back in on the porch and spend my days writing, cooking, and taking breaks in the lake. That’s what June is for, right?

#forwardonclimate.

IMG_4228

On Sunday I participated in #forwardonclimate, alongside somewhere between 35,000 and 50,000 other people who gathered at the Washington Monument to push President Obama to stop the Keystone Pipeline (#nokxl) and to enact meaningful legislation on climate change. It was a small way to engage, to be sure, but it was pretty cool to be part of a crowd that was larger than the population of my town.

Other things happening this week?

IMG_4230

Croissant breakfast sandwich and a latte in a bird mug at a local coffee shop.

IMG_4231

The closest I’ve been to camping in quite awhile — the furnace needs a replacement part, so I’m staying home this morning to meet the repairman. (Last night we got out sleeping bags and warm layers, and honestly, I slept better than I have in a long time. I really need to go camping.)

Lastly, a Boh report. He’s with my parents, and seems to be having a wonderful time. I miss him terribly, and I’m very excited to see him this weekend — I’m heading to their house for February Turkey Dinner, an annual gathering we host that’s basically a Thanksgiving meal without the rush of the holidays. I promise to snap at least a few pictures of Boh being adorable.

Happy Wednesday!

*Also, the image sizes seem to be a bit wonky today. iPhoto doesn’t seem to want to export them in the size I specified…

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?

febDC1

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

febDC2

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

febDC3

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

febDC4

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!

febDC5

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

febDC6

Sculpture Garden. I love this tree.

febDC7

The Capitol on a sunny day.

febDC8

The Portrait Gallery at night.

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

whoosh.

That, my friends, is the sound of deadlines passing. I’ve managed to stay on top of the stuff with deadlines set by other people, and I’m working on accepting that perhaps I was too ambitious in setting some deadlines for myself this winter break. Really hard to be in the right mindset to finish up a chapter draft while my house (and let’s face it, life) is in disarray. I do not like being in between. I know this about myself, and I should’ve been kinder to myself about what kind of writing was manageable during this period of transition. Lesson learned (let’s hope). In the meantime, I’ve got a head cold, and I’m mostly packed up. Heading to DC today, and hoping to leave the cold behind. Want to see some pictures from this week?

IMG_4072

Boh, contemplating the view from our friend M.’s window and wondering if anybody is going to fix him a drink.

IMG_4067

I finally blocked Agnes, and the neckline is more relaxed now (and so much more comfortable). The length is better too, though if I were knitting this again, I’d add a few more inches so that it hits at the hip when I’m not pulling it down with my hand in a pocket.)

IMG_4064

More Hudson Bay Inspired Blanket knitting. I love the way this is turning out. Endless garter stitch has been exactly what I’ve wanted to work on lately, so this is definitely coming with me to DC.

IMG_4085

Sweet, sweet dog. He’s settled in now at my parents’ house, and it sounds like all is well. The house has been so quiet without him here, and I’ve found myself listening for the padding of paws and the jingle of his collar. I know he’ll be much happier where he is, but this will be the longest we’ve ever been apart.

IMG_4076

A stunning sunset. Almost as if the universe wanted to leave me with a reminder of how much I’ll miss my cozy lake house. Fingers crossed that my subletter takes good care of it while I am away.

IMG_4080

Time to work through my last to-do list and hit the road. More from DC!

the usual?

5jan7

5jan8

5jan6

Things have been rather quiet around la casa Rooster this week. We’re in transition: I’m trying to wrap up some applications and a chapter draft, and I’m also trying to get my house ready for a subletter and my life ready to move to DC for a couple of months. All that means I’m also gearing up to take Boh to stay with my parents. I know he’ll love it there, but I’ve been realizing that “the usual” — which mostly consists of quiet dog-cuddling while I work — is going to change, at least for a little while.

5jan2

5jan1

Also, it’s cold! Hence knits in action. I also recommend squishy garter stitch blanket knitting.

5jan4

5jan5

I love the way this is knitting up.

5jan3

One more sweet Boh picture. Yesterday he figured out that this corner of the coffee table base is the perfect size and shape for his head. Silly, silly dog. Okay, back to the to-do list!

lovely/heavy.

31dec1

As in, good thing the snow is lovely, because it sure is heavy. Boh and I got home on Saturday afternoon. Can you see our foot- and paw prints in the snow? I parked at the bottom of the driveway and spent the last remaining hour of daylight shoveling a path to get the car up to its parking spot at the top of the driveway. And then it kept snowing, which meant I spent much of yesterday shoveling the whole thing again, but in batches because I was sore from Saturday’s shoveling effort. All of that strikes me as a pretty good stand-in for 2012. Some big stuff, some lovely stuff, and a lot of slow, steady working on and working through stuff.

In 2012, I turned 30. I published my first piece. I started writing my dissertation. I taught the first class that was entirely my own. I was the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding. I returned to the Southwest for work and play. All good things, even that birthday. But 2012 was also a solitary year, filled with anxiety about work and life, about the future writ both large and small. Lots of reflection on my choices and what they might mean for what comes next. Lots of working on trying to let all that I have be enough for me right now, while allowing some space for the universe to surprise me. I’m going to keep working on that in 2013.

I read over my 2012 blog posts this morning in anticipation of an end-of-the-year entry, and I discovered that I actually did a fair amount of knitting this year. I completed 12 projects, including a handful of wedding presents and a shawl for my best friend. I finished some long-languishing projects, and even began my first destash. In 2013 I want to just keep going. There are more wedding gifts to knit, and more projects started long ago that I’d like to complete. I also want to knit up some yarn/pattern pairings I’ve been daydreaming about for years (hello, effortless cardigan, aidez, lightweight pullover, daybreak shawl, and others), and I’m hoping to use more handspun. And most importantly, I want to keep knitting as part of the pile of things I do to take care of myself.

I made solid progress towards establishing a writing practice in 2012. I struggled to balance teaching and writing in the spring, and did a better job this fall. In 2013, at least as things stand right now, I will not be teaching; only writing. I’m hoping this flexibility will allow me to create the kind of writing practice I want, and to make it a routine in 2013. And perhaps 2013 will be the year I get serious about my home yoga practice. I dabbled this year, occasionally getting out the mat and doing a few small things — dolphin, bridge, a sun salutation or two — in the morning with my coffee. But it isn’t enough. I could see and feel the impact of three classes a week on my happiness, health, and fitness, and though the two classes I’ve been able to make work with my schedule this year are wonderful, it isn’t the same. So that’s what I’m going to aim for this year: more writing, more knitting, more yoga.

31dec3

And when I finished my final round of shoveling yesterday, the sun came out.

31dec2

This guy knows 2012 is ending, and that in 2013 he’s going to spend a little bit of time frolicking at my parents’ house while I am in DC. (This was Boh’s big Christmas present, and I am so very grateful.) He crawled into my lap yesterday, and I managed to snap this blurry picture. I’m pretty sure Boh’s plans for 2013 are about the same as his plans for 2012: lounge, cuddle, eat, play, snore.

Happy New Year! And from me and Boh to you and yours: thanks for reading.

OWCH.

So, I went to bed last night sleepy after a good day of work and play. And then I woke up around 5 am — or rather, I think I went to roll over, and a not-so-pleasant twinge in my back woke me up. I think my hours of writing are catching up with me. Anyway, it took me forever to get myself out of bed and to the Advil. I was very sleepy, and muttering things like, “I need help. There’s no one here to help me” to myself. (Not helpful.) Poor Boh was very confused. The Advil helped me to get back to sleep, and when I actually got up, it became clear that while I was a bit more mobile than I’d been in the middle of a REM cycle, I was not doing a good job of turning my head to the right. OWCH.

Some stretching, some coffee, and a phone call to a massage therapist, and I’m feeling a little better. I’m functioning, but slowly. (And I’ve got an appointment for a massage.) If this is what 30 feels like, I don’t like it one bit. I’ve got a conference paper and a diss-chapter-chunk to finish up, both of which will likely progress more slowly now that my neck and back are in revolt. Boo. Allow me to distract you (and myself) with some pictures of very pretty fiber:

Floating Down (Hello Yarn Fiber Club, 75% BFL/25% Tussah Silk) singles on the bobbin.

A close-up, pre-soak.

Draped over my arm. Aren’t these colors lovely?

The whole thing, ready to air dry. I’ve got just over 400 yards of singles here, and I can’t wait to cast on something in it. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to take a few days off from yarn and fiber to let this twinge in my neck/back heal, but at least I can daydream about shawl and cowl patterns, right?