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 post-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!

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…)

actual knitting content.

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The large milk bottle sculpture near the ice cream spot on campus.

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An enormous salad of arugula, avocado, hummus, goat cheese, tomatoes, and kalamata olives.

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A self-portrait (do I only snap these when I am wearing a chambray shirt?) intended to demonstrate how much I love the non-lipstick lipstick I bought recently through Mick‘s side project as a Beauty Counter rep. (Full transparency when it comes to ingredients in the stuff we put on our faces? Yes, please.) I never really learned how to wear makeup, but I can appreciate that sometimes it matters to look/feel a little more put-together, and this lipstick does that for me. Maybe you can’t tell that I’m wearing it, but I can tell. Granted, this picture is most likely from a day spent sitting on the couch and/or porch wrapping up my semester.

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I am out of the frame here, grading. Boh is chomping on a tennis ball in my face, trying to distract me.

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Oh, look! Knitting! (Somehow when I imported these pictures to wordpress, it mixed up the order. But I’m drinking my first cup of coffee after a late-ish evening drinking beer with a friend, so I’m not re-ordering them.)

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A lovely walk in the woods with a dear friend who was back in town last weekend.

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Silly, sweet, completely tuckered-out dog. I snap these morning pictures of him on days when he isn’t waiting at the front door to go outside after I put the water for coffee on. Sometimes the weather is lousy, sometimes he’s still sleepy from a big day of adventuring, and sometimes, as in this next picture, he’s waiting in order to ask for a belly rub before we start the day.

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This animal is just too much.

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New bright shirt for summer.

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New favorite book. (I came home from a panel-thing on campus and didn’t even change out of my pretty dress. Just sat down and kept reading. I’ve been reading some post-apocalyptic stuff lately to find something to fit into a particular slot in one of my fall syllabi, and oh my goodness, Station Eleven is incredible and you will not be disappointed. Hard, hopeful, brilliantly structured, grand, and deeply human.)

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Boh, being sweet.

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A walk to our local waterfall. Creek level is high right now.

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Knitting! I’m working on another bias stripe blanket for friends who had their second baby MONTHS ago. (Oops.)

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Happy dog.

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Homemade peanut butter cookies for a going away party.

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The falls at night. I’ve never walked to see them at this time of day (8 pm? 8:30 pm?) and the light on the water was just breathtaking. I’ll be taking more evening walks this summer for sure.

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…

a post from last week.

So I formatted a handful of photos for a blog post last week — and then life got in the way, and it turns out I never actually wrote the post. Forgive me; I’m a little bit frazzled. This is the week before classes start, and I’ve been hustling to get everything in order for my very first course as the instructor of record: I pitched the class, wrote the syllabus, and students enrolled! (I TAed my second and third years of grad school — and enjoyed lots of autonomy and the professional/personal development that accompanies it — but this is the first class that is entirely mine, if that makes sense.) Bear with me as I try to establish a rhythm for the semester.

More reading and Boh snuggling occurred last week.

And an amazing care package arrived from New Mexico: green chile, red chile powder, tortillas, biscochitos, even yarn (made partially of possums?!) from my friends’ recent trip to New Zealand! Boh’s reaction made me smile — he must remember the desert. And he has been extra attentive whenever the green chile and tortillas are out. Good boy.

Morning sweetness.

Creamed spinach. (And a little bit of kale.) Easy and so good.

We finished Stegner last week. I think Boh was sad for it to end — we haven’t been parked on the couch with a good book at all this week. Instead, he keeps wandering into my office, sighing, and collapsing into a pile of sleepy dog on the floor near my desk. It is cold, snowy, and blustery today, but I’m hoping to bundle up and give him an extra good walk.

Hope you’re staying warm/wrapped in handknits, wherever you are. (And stay tuned: there’s some gorgeous yarn on my dining room table right now that I need to tell you about. And cast on with.)

angle of repose?

Boh and I have spent much of the last several days snuggled up on the couch re-reading some Wallace Stegner. I’d say Boh has found his angle of repose, wouldn’t you? (My Agnes sweater is perfect for reading late into the night.)

Also, I’ve been seeing a pair of pileated woodpeckers in the yard with some regularity over the last couple of weeks. I only had my phone handy, so this is the best I could do. Isn’t s/he lovely?

sweetness.

Boh keeps me company while I read.

A glimpse of a favorite handknit and tea with milk and sugar.

Coltrane, ready for bed. (Seriously. Apparently if he doesn’t get tucked in, he waits at the bedroom door. Also, note the paw under the pillow. I love this dog.)

More soon. (With knitting?)

stripe study shawl start.

I stayed up past my bedtime last night just to finish one more row, one more section, one more… I’ve missed this. You know, the need to keep going, the way that everything else gets a little blurry when you’re focused on the squish of the wool, the click-clack of the needles; when the podcast ends and you barely notice.

I didn’t do it on purpose, exactly. I finished terra and I didn’t cast on anything new. I have WIPs, sweaters, even, that I can’t wait to wear. But they’re all in stages that require counting, thinking, more brain power than I really have.

This is dangerously addicting in just the right way. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to take a guilt-free day off. Already I’ve been slapping my own wrists: no, don’t pick up that book; no, not that one either. Even in the shower this morning, my mind was drifting toward the pile of books it might be nice to just get a feel for.

Today is my day off, and this shawl is going to help. Well, this, plans with friends, a rainy walk with Boh, and an evening yoga class.

I’m not sure if I’ll be here in this space this week. Sometimes I find that blogging helps me to start writing in the morning — it gets my fingers moving in a low-stakes (well, lower than 30 pages of exam-writing) kind of way. So I might be here. But I might not.

Either way, I’m sending a great big thank-you out into blogland for all of your words of encouragement. All of this exam reading, more so than other kinds of reading (due to the pace and specificity of it), is necessarily quite solitary. Thanks for keeping me company.

no licking library books!

I snapped this sequence of photographs before lunch yesterday. Strangely, I take comfort in this behavior: it is how I know that Boh is my dog. He’s no longer interested in chewing on shoes; instead, he licks library books. I know, Boh. Some old books have a particularly intoxicating scent. I realize it probably isn’t the best idea to deeply inhale when I enter the library stacks, but I still do — that smell, that feeling — well, it’s part of why I’m an aspiring historian. Can I really blame Boh for wanting to lick a library book or two? “No licking library books!” Not exactly the kind of statement one ever expects to need to say out loud. I laugh every time.

Thanks for your kind words about my last post. Thursday’s tears had to do with general exhaustion as well as a particular task related to this first exam: writing the question. I regrouped and re-thought (and slept a full-night’s sleep — with the windows open), and we had another meeting on Friday.

This week is going to be intense, but I have a better sense of what I am going to do. This weekend I’m going to work through a handful of books, and then I’m taking Monday OFF. I might go to bed at 8…

Happy weekend!