hello, april…

Hi folks. Continuing to apologize for rather irregular blogging isn’t what I want to be doing every time I sign on here. But thanks for bearing with me and for reading what I do manage to share. I tried to at least remember to snap some pictures of the non-work stuff going on around here this week, so here’s a bit of that:

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Helping.

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Dumplings also help.

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Tea on the porch.

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Boh keeps watch. (And demonstrates his length! I am always surprised when he sits up straight like this.)

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Weaving in the ends…finished pictures soon!

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More “helping” from Boh.

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Spring sunset.

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Tuckered out. I love those wrinkles. Happy April, folks!

like a lamb.

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Spring! To celebrate, Boh and I headed into town and took one of our favorite walks.

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The falls were raging — I can only imagine how fast they are flowing after this afternoon’s steady rain.

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A couple hours of direct sunlight warmed up the porch enough that Boh and I could work (lounge) there on Saturday afternoon with a cup of tea. (Note: I am extremely upset about the burn marks on my beautiful yellow table, but I’m trying to move past it.)

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Rough life.

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Working on the second-to-last stripe, with Boh’s permission and close supervision, of course.

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A little bit of dissertation writing on the couch today, wrapped in my terra shawl. Perfect for a damp spring day. Back to work — and to eating the Easter chocolate my mom sent me…

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!

FO: nanny’s mittens.

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These little mittens have a big story. Long-time readers may remember when my grandmother, Nanny, gave me all sorts of old patterns and yarn. I donated the yarn and kept the patterns, along with a small ziplock bag with these mittens inside. They were finished, except for the thumb of the second mitten. (And there was a third, which looks to me like something went a bit awry with the beginnings of the thumb.)

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It didn’t take much to improvise a thumb for the second mitten, and now I’ve got a pair. I’m extra excited about this because there’s a great-grandchild in our family now, and this will be her first Christmas. I’m planning to take these mittens to show Nanny, and to remind her that she did most of the knitting, and to ask her if she wants to be part of my surprise: we’ll wrap them up and give them to our family’s newest addition, my cousin’s 11 month-old daughter. The mittens will be a bit too big for her this year, but I’m not sure Nanny will be quite as lucid next Christmas. Sewn, knitted, and crafted gifts from her were always a big part of our family Christmas celebrations when I was little, and I love the idea that there will be something made by her hands under this year’s tree.

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And there’s this guy, holding onto his favorite bone. It has nothing to do with the mittens, but I had to share.

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View from the porch, sometime last week.

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Homemade hummus with toast.

Stay tuned for more holiday knitting…if I finish it in time!

persistent.

Unfortunately, that’s the word I’m using (and the word the PA I saw today used) to describe my cough. Though I started feeling a lot better by the end of last week, there’s been almost a whole second week of coughing, which basically means I’m not sleeping super well. The good news is that the PA prescribed some codeine cough syrup to help me sleep. Here’s a bunch of pictures from this week: lots of dog cuddling, and some knitting and cooking amidst the paper-commenting I’ve been doing.

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Brussels sprouts and bacon, before and after.

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Tuesday it was warm enough on the porch for me to spend the day working at my yellow table. Boh took a really good nap out there.

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Dog cuddling and movie-watching.

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More dog cuddling.

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Peanut butter popcorn, this time with sriracha instead of vanilla. I might have eaten this instead of my dinner on Wednesday.

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The cough was keeping me up at night — tough to get to sleep while laying in bed. On Wednesday night I got out my sleeping bag and slept in my grandfather’s chair.

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Boh is also a master of sleeping in strange positions…

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Bristol in progress. I love how this is knitting up! I’m a couple of repeats in. Can’t wait to wear this! (Or at least see how it looks on my head.)

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My dear friend M. invited me over for dinner last night. This pear and blue cheese salad and some mushroom, rosemary, and cheese-medley pizza were exactly what I needed. (This hearty meal plus some nighttime cold medicine helped me sleep much more soundly last night.)

That’s what I’ve got for now. Happy weekend!

mishmash.

How about another jumble of photos from the last week? I’m writing this from my parents’ kitchen table, mug of coffee in hand, Boh curled up on a blanket on the floor nearby, cardinals at the bird feeder. We’re gearing up to head back to the lake house, where there’s still a lot of work to do before we get to return here for Christmas. I didn’t even bring any knitting with me on this trip. Instead, I graded, and read, and caught up on my to-do list. Once I’m back home, I’m hoping to get some writing done. Let’s see what I photographed with my phone this week:

New shoes. Booties, even. I have some straight-leg skinny-ish jeans that don’t really work with my boots. Not skinny enough to wear boots over them, and not wide enough to comfortably get the boots under them. These were affordable (over at ideeli DOT com, which I’ve had some good luck with), and I liked the gray color. They look great with pants, but I’m not sure I really know how to wear them as booties. Like this, maybe? Thank you for any and all fashion advice.

Writing. With peanut butter popcorn.

Boh guards the popcorn.

Another Dutch baby pancake — I made this one before heading to campus early on Monday morning. I can’t believe how easy and tasty this is. (And I don’t want to know how not good for me it might be to start eating a plate-sized pancake every morning…)

J’s mitts in action! I snapped this photo after we had lunch together on Monday. Aren’t they terrific?!

Boh, in full-on charmer mode here at my parents’ house. I love how he’s got that circular dog bone on his arm.

And that’s what we’ve got. Happy weekend — and knitting — to you!

porch writing.

If you have to write a dissertation, I recommend doing it this way. Seriously.

Working from the porch means you get to watch the sunset.

This morning, I fried two eggs, added a little bit of green chile, and took it out to the porch.

It was a little chilly, so I pulled on my first handknit sweater. (This is how I know it is really fall.)

Fall (okay, and playtime with my neighbor’s dog) makes Boh sleepy. (I wish you could hear the snoring.) Another sign of fall?

Roasted tomatoes.

Roasted tomatoes on homemade pizza. With gorgonzola.

Also, scalloped tomatoes with croutons. I love this recipe. In conclusion, I love fall. (In case you can’t tell, it feels really good to set aside grading and fellowship applications, even if only for a couple of days, and get back to my project. I need to remember this, and aim for a bit more balance in my work-life.)

signs.

I don’t watch¬†Game of Thrones, but I’m pretty sure nothing says “Winter is coming” like a baby mouse scurrying around my dish rack. (Filled, of course, with no longer clean dishes.) This guy hid in this jar-shaped glass when he saw me. After I took his picture, I escorted him to the bottom of the driveway. And then I began the process of investigating for evidence of mice, and scrubbing and disinfecting everything. My love of old houses ¬†means I’m familiar with this process, but I was a little cranky about discovering this mouse late on Tuesday night just as I had finished all of my prep for my Wednesday morning class. Sigh. I understand that the mice are just looking for a cozy place to hunker down. I’m willing to negotiate: they can have the basement (which has an earthen floor — there’s no way I can keep critters out of there), but the kitchen is off limits. Hopefully I can convince them that it is in their best interest to agree to my terms now, before the cold really sets in.

But enough about that. How about some pleasant signs that cooler weather is upon us?

I wore my wurm cowl yesterday. And I totally want another one.

I drank my Thursday morning latte pretty quickly at the coffee shop yesterday. (And finally finished a workable draft of that fellowship application I’ve been complaining about!)

I wrapped myself in my stripe study shawl and sat on the porch with my first cup of coffee this morning.

Aren’t the leaves lovely?

I’ve been spinning! These are Targhee singles in the Sprout colorway from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club (April 2011). In the background you can see what are probably my last snapdragons of the season. Even if winter is still a ways off, the first frost is near. I picked those at the farm on Tuesday afternoon. Happy Friday!

wednesday, start to finish.

Yesterday morning, I swatched for Buttercup with my coffee. I bought the yarn for this three summers ago, when I was back in the southwest the summer after my first year of grad school. It’s Queensland Cotolino, and I’ve got 8 balls of it. 8 balls x 105 meters = roughly the amount required for the XS size. Good thing I’m not working on a Ph.D. in math…

So I swatched on 5s, and got gauge. But then I went down a needle size, because I know that this is going to grow when I block it. I like the drape with 4s, and it isn’t so tight that I will hate knitting it. Decision made. So I unraveled what I had, because I’m going to need every last inch of this stuff. Normally I swatch — for real — and wash and block the swatch to make sure I’m happy. This project officially goes in the “by-the-seat-of-my-pants pile.” I don’t think I’m going to go as A-line flowy as the pattern suggests, though I do want some of the increases. Also, everything I read on ravelry suggests that I should go down a size so that the neck isn’t too low and open. I’m knitting the small, and we’ll see what happens. Worst case? Someone I know will get an adorable summer sweater.

Then I had radish toast for lunch. (Radish toast, in this iteration, is toast, butter, arugula, radish slices, and salt and pepper. It is even more delicious than you think it is. Trust me.)

My progress right after lunch, strawberry smoothie in hand. (Note: I picked a gallon of strawberries at the farm on Tuesday, and I’ve already managed to eat 3 quarts. I’ll probably polish off the last one today.)

No, I do not normally stand like this. But these are the jeans I bought to replace the ones I ripped. And they are straight — or even tapered — at the leg. And that wasn’t clear in the pictures I snapped where I was standing not awkwardly. So here you go. I think I like them.

Boh and I took an afternoon walk with our friend J. and the dog she is taking care of this week. It was lovely.

More buttercup. I’m really enjoying the feel of this yarn, at least right now. And the stitch definition makes me swoon!

So does this sunset — truly the golden hour.

porch life.

Reading. With chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Watching a storm roll in from the porch.

A pinwheel blanket begun. A wedding lap blanket the color of the sea.

I did not take this picture on my porch. What kind of flowers are these? This is a snapshot from a walk I took last week in town.

I don’t know why I snapped this picture. But I did wear this outfit on Memorial Day too, so I’m sharing.

This one needs no explanation.

And now I’m all caught up on photos! (And I managed to sneak a little bit of knitting in there.) The wedding I attended last weekend was lovely, and some new friends I made there took me sailing — in a race! It was so much fun, and the perfect way to spend the Sunday morning after a Saturday spent celebrating a very dear friend.

I don’t have any pictures of this, but today I took my first swim in the lake this summer. I’m looking forward to a lot more of that. And now I should really get some work done today…