settling into summer.

A day on the porch. Here, with coffee:

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A picture to indicate that the coffee, for whatever reason, was just not working.

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More porch work. This time with a huge salad.

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Afternoon light. Porch work with a glass of water. (Flowers from my yard!)

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Morning granola. (Boh supervising.)

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Wide-eyed Boh — a face I love. (He usually makes this face when he is getting belly rubs, but sometimes also when I scratch him behind the ears.)

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And then we went for a morning walk around a reservoir on campus, in an attempt to tire ourselves out before it got too hot.

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On a bridge!

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View from the bridge:

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Happy dog.

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Slow, steady progress on my Avery cowl.

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Chocolate chip walnut cookies. I put most of them in the freezer so I wouldn’t just eat them all, and then remembered how good cookies taste when you eat them right out of the freezer. Good thing this recipe only makes a couple dozen. (Boh and I had a dog/friend playdate this week, and I took a bunch over there.)

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Morning nap.

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Morning…work? We’ve had much cooler temps the last few days, so in this picture, Boh is actually doing the very important work of keeping my toes warm.

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A walk on the bike path during a break in the rain.

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Silliness.

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Mid-yawn.

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We’re trying to settle into a summer routine over here. Hoping it will include lots of good walks, plenty of course prep, some knitting, and maybe a few more batches of cookies. (Where summer means the next few weeks of June! My summer teaching begins at the end of this month…)

pretty much all boh, all the time.

Sometimes, this dog is the sweetest.

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And also, quite the ham.

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Gorgeous sunset over the lake.

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What my dear friend Champ calls a fake gin and tonic. (All the treating yourself, none of the gin.) Good for afternoons and work nights.

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Boh, focused on the deer in the background. So. Focused.

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Yesterday I got the official letter in the mail that says I’ve done all the things for the Ph.D. and “should be granted all the privileges of this degree.” (It’s for sending to my employer, because my contract is contingent on actually finishing, but I’m also interpreting it to mean that Boh and I are now required to take really good walks.)

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Like this one, on a path you’ve seen many times here on this blog. It leads to the creek.

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I brought fun reading, and Boh kept an eye on the folks fishing a bit downstream.

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And would not sit still until he’d moved around some rocks and found a good stick.

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And after a good dose of sunshine and creek water, we strolled back to the car.

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Over moss covered logs, and past trees felled by the labor of beavers.

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This guy was so, so tired when we got home.

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And happy. (And after that, we took another walk with the friend of a friend staying with us this weekend. She has completely charmed Boh. And there was ice cream. Because sunshine and spring.) Another beautiful day forecasted for today. But first, pancakes.

…and approved.

That means I’ve done everything I need to do to receive the degree at the end of next month. One more conference next week, but this is the homestretch of a lot of things.

Got notice about final approval this morning. Want to see how we spent our day? (I mean, after a bunch of work and teaching-related emails, which I did not photo-document.)

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I took a blanket out to a natural area owned by my university. Boh licked all the different kinds of grass, and then basked, like this, in the sun. I started a book.

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And then I finished it on the porch, after stopping for my first soft-serve ice cream cone of the season.

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I made multiple trips to the library this evening to return books, because I’ll need to clear out my account before graduation. (But I did make a big pdf of everything I had checked out so I can go back to some of this stuff when it is time to begin the process of revising the dissertation into a book manuscript.)

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And then we did a little more lounging while listening to the new Mandolin Orange album, streaming here. (To be released next week.) I still have teaching work to do, but I’ll prep for tomorrow’s afternoon class in the morning. Knitting soon, I promise!

a (quiet) day in the life (of boh).

Turns out I did a pretty good job of documenting Boh’s movements yesterday. Together they add up to a quiet, but accurate, portrait of a Saturday filled with dissertation polishing on the porch:

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We started with coffee and some reading. (I’m considering assigning this at the end of one of my classes this fall, so it counts as work, even though it is definitely “fun” work.)

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While I read and drank my coffee, Boh looked at his reflection in the porch window.

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And then he spent some time looking at me, like, hey, we’re ALMOST outside, can we just keep going?

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And then he settled down in the patch of sun under my favorite yellow table.

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And tried to get comfortable.

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He stayed here, in this patch of sun, for a few hours.

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It seems he was so comfortable there that he didn’t even move when I got up to make some lunch.

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Yesterday afternoon, we took a nice, long stroll with our friend R. Boh was very happy to see him; R. stays with Boh at the lake house sometimes when I travel for conferences and research. We walked all through one of my favorite neighborhoods, and ended up here, at the waterfalls that are quite close to town. I’ve never seen this waterfall rage so hard–must be a combination of quick melting and steady spring rain. Boh put his paws in the water.

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More porch working, and then I decided to make a big batch of popcorn. (Boh is just out of the frame. He loves popcorn–or rather, thinks he would love popcorn if I let him have any.) This batch is dusted with a mixture of curry powder, smoked paprika, salt, cinnamon, and cumin. Not sure where I got the ratios (they are just scribbled inside a cookbook now), but I like these spices on popcorn a lot.

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After a break (I just went back to the beginning of Orphan Black because the new season just started, so I’m appreciating anew how amazing Tatiana Maslany is in that show), back to work. Boh napped in what little space I was not hogging on the couch.

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And then, sleepy from our walk today, Boh played at being a lap dog.

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He doesn’t often curl up and stay like this for hours, but last night he found a comfortable spot and just settled in.

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He even let me get out my book.

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I figured we’d sit like this for a little while, and then all of a sudden I’d stayed up pretty late finishing the book while Boh snored. Coffee’s ready, so time to begin today’s version of all of this. Happy weekend, friends.

ruination day (april 14)

Gillian Welch’s “April the 14th Part 1” is worth a listen all the time, but maybe especially today. And thank you, friends, for all your kind words and congratulations. It hasn’t really hit me yet that I did this thing. Maybe once I’ve filed the thing at the end of the month?

Anyway, my first few days as a doctor involved catching up on some sleep, eating breakfast on the porch, and taking some solid walks with my sweet dog. (And some actual celebrating.) Want to see?

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Boh, basking in the sun. (I had to laugh–his eyes were closed, but he was holding up his head and sort of nodding as he fell asleep.)

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More beautiful flowers to celebrate. I love spring flowers.

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Our local waterfall, raging after a lot of spring rain.

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Boh was pretty excited about it — can you see that he’s drooling? (This is a little gross, but Boh only drools when he is excited, either on a really great walk filled with good smells, or when he’s playing outside with new dog friends. His drool is really…viscous? So he’ll be running around with a serious strand of it hanging from his mouth. Sort of icky, but also strangely endearing.)

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Celebratory beverage, the first. I have decided that all beverages should be chilled with ice spheres.

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Warm enough for bare legs! Also worth celebrating after such a long winter.

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Porch breakfast (scrambled eggs, salsa, corn tortillas), flowers, and a matching notebook. (For slowly getting back to work.)

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My trusty sidekick, snoring under the table. I’ll take it. No knitting to share right now, but I imagine I’ll be back to it soon…

FO: turnstile.

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I LOVE this. And I can’t wait to make more. I might cast on another TODAY.

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I snapped these pictures very late last night. I figured I’d kitchener the two ends of the tube together right after dinner and then have plenty of time for other things.

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Wrong. The grafting took hours — in part because I haven’t kitchenered anything in quite a while, but also because to kitchener many many stitches you need to have a pretty long yarn tail, and it kept getting caught on the other needles, tangled, etc.

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But worth it? Totally. The stripes are addicting, and I anticipate wearing this (and any others I might make) a lot. My handspun eternity scarves might be the knitwear I wear most frequently, and I think this pattern (or some variation on it) is a great way for me to use beautiful sock yarn. (You know, because I’ve realized that I mostly wear socks with boots, so you can’t see them.)

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In other news, I took this dog on a great walk. It was clear we were going to get pretty muddy — this is a before picture.

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Doesn’t this picture just look like spring? So much growth in the woods.

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Happy dog.

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We were muddier than this toes/paws picture lets on. And we were quite content. (Though Boh needs to work on actually sitting on the blanket I keep in the back of my car for post-walk muddy dogs. He just moves it out of the way…)

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Also, we’ve reached that point in the spring where I can put on a fleece and take my coffee out to the porch. See that new french press? My dear friend D, the person who goes with that adorable dog who visited us last month, remembered me saying that my beloved stainless steel french press was on its last legs. The mesh ripped, so my coffee was rather gritty. That was a year ago. So when D came to visit, he brought this: a bigger press, which is stainless steel on the inside, but has an insulated bottom and handle so I don’t burn myself on it. And the lid has a screen, so there’s no chance of coffee grounds getting into my coffee. Also, no spillage while pouring, which means I can bring it out to the porch. Perfection.

 

a little more.

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Because the weather has been glorious, I’ve moved all of my dissertation writing to the porch. This means Boh has moved the majority of his lounging to the porch as well.

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You know, except when it is dinner time. He knows when that is supposed to happen, and has been waiting for me right here.

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I’ve been making slow, steady progress on Snowbird — the pocket stitches are on stitch-holders, and I’m working my way down the rest of the body. I think the sweater is going to be pretty slouchy in the body, but it fits well in the arms, so I’m hoping I’ll love it and wear it a lot.

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One more. Sweet Boh at a nearby waterfall. We’ve been visiting this one weekly, on our way to get vegetables from the farm I belong to, and Boh loves it there. Happy weekend!

still no knitting…

But I’ve got lots of food, Boh, and the porch. Here’s what’s been happening ’round here this week.

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It was cold enough that I needed my puffy coat to be on the porch. In June.

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No idea what this guy is up to here.

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Chocolate dipped frozen bananas, some with almonds, for an Arrested Development viewing party.

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I just liked this combination of many of my favorite things. That blue pullover vest is maybe the first piece of gear I bought in college when I started leading backpacking trips. It has traveled the world with me, and it is still one of my favorite things to grab when I’m just a little bit chilled.

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A dear friend came to town last weekend, and we made a breakfast feast: toast, fresh tomatoes, a wonderful carrot and radish slaw, and eggs with spinach and fresh basil.

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Bedroom eyes?

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Working while Boh keeps watch.

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More working. Boh not exactly watching.

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Tree along the path behind my house. Hard to see in this picture, but there’s evidence of pileated woodpecker work on this trunk.

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More porch reading — prepping for the course I’m TAing this summer.

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Last night. This dog wanted to snuggle, and I was happy to read a graphic novel while he lounged, napped, and snored.

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This morning: coffee and breakfast (biscuits, yogurt, blueberries, and last year’s canned peaches) on the porch.

We’re easing into summer over here, and trying to balance different kinds of work with at least some summer fun. How is your summer going? Also, what are you guys knitting? I need some inspiration.

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.

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?