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!)

 

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):

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Coffee with my canine companion.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Her visit was just what I needed.

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Sweetness from this guy.

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First flowers from the yard.

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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.)

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Home again.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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

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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?

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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.

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?

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

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

the usual?

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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.

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

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I love the way this is knitting up.

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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!