Wednesday, December 31, 2008

News Flash!


Found! One teeny-tiny toy in a game of Hi Ho Cherry-O...

As much as I am glad we found Simon, I'm torn. Playing 'Simon' entails Kidlet telling me exactly what Simon says and then I have to repeat it back in Simon Voice (think Foghorn Leghorn). He's a bit of a mischief maker, saying things I'd prefer he didn't.

I will continue the cleaning, nevertheless.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feeling New

So it begins. It started with a search for a beloved 3/4 inch tall toy from Japan who had gone astray. In the search for Simon (the tiny toy), my desk area became 80% cleaner. Kidlet's room is about 20%. Simon remains is some remote hiding place but the house is benefiting as we are cleaning as we search.

The stack of items for donation grows daily. (Anyone need a good toddler car seat? Anyone? Anyone?) We don't have a whole lot of stuff which is important in 925 square foot house but as soon as things stop being used, they need to go. I'm feeling the New-Year-Clean-Up-Bug hitting me with full force. I am hoping that will be the only bug to hit me...Hubby has come down overnight with some frighteningly bad crud (get better soon, Boo, ok?).

Kidlet and I are designing our New Year's Eve crowns. It's one of the two New Year's traditions that we started last year. The second is to bake a New Year's Day pie (this year will be berry). I'll be making a couple of New Year's resolutions, one is a carry-over from year to year (sit up straight!). The other...hmmm...how about 'live well'? I'm liking it.

Meet you on the other side...2009!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Silence of Snow

Tea, Christmas cookies and I'm the only one awake...whoops! Spoke too soon...Kidlet is up and ready to play.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Priecigus Ziemassvetkus!

(That's Merry Christmas in Latvian)

Happy holidays, friends...hope you are able to relax, enjoy some good food and company, and have some laughs. I've had a bit of a rough lead-up to the holiday but I truly learned a lot this year. Vanessa reminded me that a holiday is a holiday as long as family is together. My mom reminded me that when you are a kid, all holidays are special. Basically, I don't need to force myself to 'create' some special glowing golden memory; that only creates more stress and makes for a bad time. Ahhhh...lesson learned. Must remember to reread this post on November 26th next year.

I can already feel myself looking ahead to the new year. As I was tidying up the house this morning, I was thinking about house projects, reorganization and decluttering. But first, I think I will bury myself in knitting and relaxation (well, as much as I can in between work obligations) and drink a little more eggnog.

Lastly, thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes! It really made my day. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today


I've had blog posts lining up in my head all month about today. Well, I'm going a different route from all the waxing nostalgic or philosophical. Every year, I feel I should have snow on my birthday. The past several years have yielded none. This morning, a fresh sparkling blanket awaited me. A good omen, I believe.

40 feels like a milestone. I mean it in a good way.

This photo is
from this morning. Yeah, I get up early.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Cold

This has been our story for the past week: cold temperatures with snow and a small person with a bad, bad cold. I've been working half days all week, which is a mixed blessing. I've enjoyed being home, but I feel guilty for not being where I'm supposed to be...work. And then there's the guilt of feeling like I really should be spending full days with my tot but then there's that work thing. I'm extremely lucky to a) have a job and b) to have a job that is so understanding and flexible. However, the push-pull of work and home (and don't forget, holiday) obligations have really worked me over this week. I had a major anxiety attack (on the freeway, of all places) that ended with me getting a migraine that same evening. Lovely. I haven't had a migraine in YEARS. Deep breaths. Just thinking about it all gets me all edgy again.

This holiday season has flown by. Between being busy at work and illnesses, I feel like I didn't even really participate. I was sick last weekend, forcing me to miss a get-together and tonight we'll be missing Kidlet's school presentation. The holiday cards are sitting on my desk, unfinished. Presents are stacked in the garage, uwrapped and more presents remain unpurchased. This year has got me thinking that I need to revamp my holiday expectations and practices. I feel like I'm buying a holiday experience instead of creating one. It all leads to so much stress and it certainly doesn't feel good or right. I made a lot of presents last year and that didn't really change my experience either. I'm starting to think about taking a family cruise or traveling south of the border for the holidays next year. Any takers? :)

A display of public gratitude...first, to my Mom-in-Law, I couldn't have managed this week without you. I'm deeply grateful for your help with Kidlet. And one more...thank you, Mama, for dealing with me while I'm in Anxiety Land. You are both so good to me.

This weekend will be spent snuggled down in the house again, trying to get Kidlet better and making more cookies (Piparkukas). Last weekend's cookie was a Danish butter cookie that came out quite nicely. No one around work has one of those big tins of Danish butter cookies this year so this fulfilled the craving (and then some...they were really quite good!). Hope you are managing to do a better job of enjoying the holiday season than I. I'll be checking back in soon. I have posts filling my head.

Friday, December 12, 2008

5th Things and Creatures in the Chest

Strange flu has turned into strange froggy creature living in my chest. I know it evolved because I had to spend some late night schoolwork time earlier in the week and now I’m paying the penalty. Sigh (cough, rumble, cough).

That being said, I’m officially done with the semester as of last night. I BOMBED the poster presentation. I did not realize that I was actually going to have to stand up in front of my 25 fellow students and give a spiel. I thought we were showing, not telling. I am horribly timid in front of a crowd and I lost it, trembling voice, blank mind. But I ACED my paper (200 points out of 200 points, thank you very much).

So, I will jump back in this space with a meme. Noddyboom tagged me for "5 things I do each day to keep my mind healthy". It’s rather ironic that I talk about this subject as I am the most high-strung, stressed-out, anxiety-ridden person I know. Despite this, I do think about this sort of thing quite often even if I don’t do it.

1.. Give yourself a break every once in a while. Granted, I often push on even when it's against my better judgment (this week being a prime example). However, I've been doing this more and it really does help. There were several nights this semester when I thought "Ok, I need to get reading. Get this schoolwork done, woman." and then I realized what I truly needed was to go to bed or do a few rows of knitting instead. So, I'm giving everyone a "give yourself a break card". Use at your leisure.

2.. When you go to bed, leave reality behind. Instead of thinking about all the worries of the day, daydream. Think of the ocean and its salty breezes. Or a forest with quietly falling snow. Or your career as a knitwear designer ala Anne Hanson (whoops, that's my daydream).

3.. Exercise. I surely don't do this enough but when I do, I feel eons better.

4.. Lose yourself in the moment. Don't be in two places at once.

5.. Don't be (too) hard on yourself. I'm miserable at this one but I'm getting better. I try to give myself mental hugs and little treats here and there.

I know my answers were a little weak, but this isn't my best subject. Have an excellent weekend, lovelies...I'll be the one knitting by the fire, bread in the oven. :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Strange Flu

Whew. Last night, I felt like someone was kicking me in the gut repeatedly. Feverish. 'Tis a lovely flu. At least that's all it does, gives you the sensation of getting kicked in the gut and that strange spacey feeling. I dropped Kidlet off at school (over her cries of "No! No! No! I just want to be with Mama!") and slept for 4 hours.

Kidlet is in her I-don't-want-to-go-to-school-because-I-hate-it-hate-it-hate-it phase. Sigh. It was so much easier last Monday and Tuesday when she skipped merrily off to her classroom. It's charming and sweet that she says that she loves me so much she only wants to be with me. I'm trying to save the feeling as I know in 6 years, I'll be way too uncool to be in her presence. I tried to tell her that but she didn't believe me.

So now me and my aching head are going to attempt piling all the Xmas presents in the middle of the floor and sort everything out. I've been ordering gifts for my Xmas list for a couple of months now. I often end up stowing them in the nearest dark corner which could prove problematic for finding them all.

It's either Xmas present organization or finishing my school presentation. I finished the photo part yesterday (wow, the photos are so contrasty, but that's this strange harsh late autumn light for you) and printed out the text this morning. I don't think there's any way I can fit it all on my presentation board. A bit of a problem, no? I only have a couple more days to work on this since it's due in the last class, Thursday. It was a good class, despite any complaining you may have heard here. As I work for a company that heavily invests in environmental causes, it was very interesting to see where the movement came from.

Ok, before I flop over again, I'd better get to working on something.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Avoiding and Some Other -ings

Thinking...about making a doll. I remember this thought being in my head last year too. Must be from watching the Rankin-Bass Rudolph and loving the misfit dolly.

Avoiding...schoolwork! I feel like it officially ended the week before last, despite the quiz I have tomorrow and the presentation the following week.

Enjoying...Shorpy. I like saying 'Shorpy'.

Drinking...eggnog in a brown mug.

Planning...the cookie schedule. This weekend, Pinky's Brown Sugar Fudge, next weekend...? The following weekend, pipakuks. Every year I make the two favorites and choose a new cookie to try. I'm about to dive into the cookie section of the December Gourmet.

Back to what I was Avoiding.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Weekly Update


1. My lappletop suddenly became ill. Poor timing. I was hoping to purchase one next summer but ahem, it came a little early.

1a. Apple, I love you. I was in and out of the Apple store within a few minutes. I attached an ethernet cable between lappletop the old and lappletop the new and two hours later, all my stuff was on the new lappy. No hunting for installation cds and codes. Bliss.

2.
Restarted February Lady! I saw that the instructions I was using for the buttonhole led me to make the same mistake (a stray yarn crossing a couple of stitches) but I found it and fixed it. Nothing can stop me now! Except schoolwork.

3. Have a knitted finished object to show, but I haven’t had time to photograph it. It’s a bit of a mess since I twisted at the beginning and have a few strange stitch issues. For some reason, it didn’t bother me enough to start over.

4. Sicknesses have been racing about the family (excepting me, knock wood).


5. Anxiety issues on the upswing. Hello, holidays.


5a. Trying to remind myself to slow down and enjoy. I have a tendency to just race, race, race in the attempt to get things done in the hopes that I'll have time later to relax. I don't think this approach works as I've tried it for the last 4 years without any great success. Must remember to be in the moment.

6. Some cool things I’ve heard lately…David Sedaris singing old advertisement jingles in the voice of Billie Holiday, my new favorite web radio is Carstairs (found under ‘jazz’ in itunes…totally olde time stuff), Studs Terkel on This American Life, Michael Pollan speaking ever where in liberal radioland about this.

Back in another week or so...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pieces to the Puzzle


1. Paper is 87% done. Only things left are the sorting out of bibliography, footnotes, conclusion and a paragraph where I got it wrong.

2. Exam tomorrow. Should be studying. Look at me, Ma! I'm blogging!

3. Work is...ummm...oh dear. Rough.

4. Do I start a new Thanksgiving tradition by reading a poem at the table? Will I be the only one who digs it? Am I living in a fantasy land?

5. I officially have a doctor! I really like her!

6. I got my hair fixed! Thanks, Lisa! It still needs to grow, but at least it's shaping up.

7. Looking forward to reading what I want, knitting every night, and maybe even watching a movie. Getting ready to load up the ol' Netflix queue (and clear it of the movies I set up in the queue last summer when I thought I was going to watch movies). Holiday break, I love you and I don't care who knows it.

8. Considering a pair of navy patent leather Danskos.

9. Trying to switch back to tea, but I'm really enjoying this cup of coffee.

10. I'm really liking how Aldo Leopold is strongly featured for this exam. One of my favorite books is the Sand County Almanac. Ummm, just trying to bring my attention back where it belongs...studying.

11. The light is awful on today's photo. The birch bark is totally blown out...details in the lights, huh? Never heard of that (obv.).

There. An item for every item in my photo. Ta da!

I apologize for not getting back to your comments. I really love emailing everyone back (that is, if I have your email address) and having our mini-dialogs but things are so hectic. Give me a few more days and I should be back to the norm.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Put Your Head Down and Plow On

Things are going to be koo-koo crazy for a while 'round these parts. The race to the end of the semester has officially begun. Only three more class sessions, one of which is an exam (next week), one is our project presentation and one...well, I don't know what's in store for us for that extra class. I'm going to be a studying maniac this weekend, studying both my exam notes and the spring class schedule. Remember how I said I was floundering, not knowing what I was doing in school? I still don't know, but when I see the new class schedule with all those possibilities for learning sitting right there in front of me, I get excited. Right now it's down to History of Photography (I need one more art history class for my minor), Women in American Society, Propaganda Art 1925-1945, or Pathologies in Modern China...rad.

In light of the busy-ness, I think we will be moving to an even lighter schedule of posting for a while. It doesn't mean I won't be thinking about y'all, because I will. Enjoy your weekend! I'll be eating muffulettas, studying, and hopefully taking a walk or squeezing in the last 20 rows of my cowl.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sure to Shine or One-Fifth

Think I will riff on Andrea's list and make an abbreviated version...20 things.

1. snowflakes
2. poetry
3. buttons
4. birds
5. NPR
6. sharp pencils
7. dark clouds
8. sandwiches
9. coffee
10. mary janes
11. firelight
12. glitter
13. Sriracha
14. daisies
15. stripes
16. pie
17. dogs
18. smooth stones
19. books
20. pancakes :)

There. See, I'm not all doom and gloom posts. Thanks so much for all of your nice hugs and comments on the last post. Much appreciated.

(title is a lyric from "Diamond Girl", Seals & Crofts)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Feel Free to Skip This One (The Ramblings of the Discouraged and Sleep Deprived)

So far the measly three hours of sleep I got doesn't seem to be affecting me (much).
My body decided that I would take a little ride with anxiety last night.
Pounding heart. Chills. Eyes wide open. And me telling myself "Enough already. Yeah, yeah. Stress, schmess. Can't we just sleep?"

* * * *

I was reminded last night that I haven't written a research paper in 18 years. We received our rough drafts back from our professor and while it wasn't totally lost in a sea of red editing marks, I was hoping the draft would be returned to me with a glowing review and a note that as soon as I sort out my footnotes I would be done.

It's kind of a synopsis of how I'm feeling about school right now. I'm feeling old and I just want to finish. I am losing sight of the end goal and my drive to get there is fading. I know that I would like to move on to a different career, but I have nothing specific in mind. It feels so distant since I can't do more than a class at a time...ugh. I'll stop complaining. Complaining is just ugly.

* * * *

I think you can guess what my weekend holds in store for me but I'm sure I'll figure out a way to finagle a few more rows on the cowl (officially 1/3 finished). Knitting with this fancy silk yarn is rather pleasant, but it isn't playing nicely with my circular needle. It keeps getting caught on the join, which is truly miserable on the rows where I have to do an extra wrap of yarn. I am trying to knit loosely but the yarn is so smooth, it naturally tightens itself up on the cord portion of the needles. Once the cowl is off the needles, I have a couple of tiny kitties (mew!) to finish and then it's back to the February Lady, which perhaps I should call the April Madame? My self-imposed 'finish by February' deadline seems to be a little out of reach now but you never know...the winter school break approacheth (yay!).

Whew. Sorry for such a gloomy gus of a post. Sometimes I just need to get it out of my system and writing it out really does help.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New Day Dawning

Hopes running high. Teary eyed. Pleased with the good sportsmanship in the speeches. More tears. So proud.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I know, I know...just like a broken record...

You've been hearing it from every quarter but I'm going to tell you too,

Vote, my dear friends.

If you are having trouble finding your polling place (eeep! the big day has arrived! where do I go?!), try this site. I know it's partisan, but it will still tell you where to go. You can also try looking up your county voter's registrar's office online.

And for a good laugh, check this out.

May your chosen candidate win!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Always Keep a Diamond in Your Mind

It was not the weekend I expected. I awoke on Saturday morning with an insanely swollen gland in my throat that was painful to touch. I was tired and achy. Date night was canceled. I walked into the garage to pick up my airy scarf that had been blocking; some beasty had rolled on it and it was a crumpled mess, straight pins all over the floor (I can't believe nothing happened to the Dink in the process). I started to tear up. I threw the scarf. Kidlet came and patted my back. Hubby made a restorative dinner. We drank wine.

While I straightened up the kitchen after dinner, Kidlet and Hubby carved the pumpkin (yes, on November 1st). As I listened to Kidlet and Hubby talk, my heart began to soar. Mentally, I started to list all the things that 'speak to me', that make my heart sing: jazz from before the 1970s, good homemade bread, looking at Latvian patterns, Fellini's films, Moomins, dogs, the outdoors, good sportsmanship (strange, I know), and most of all family, family, family. The actual list I made is much longer than this but I thought I'd share a few snippets. Composing it really filled my cup (and not just with wine, but that's on the list too) and brought me back to the present, feeling ever-so-grateful. I needed to let go of my expectations and enjoy the ride where ever it took me. Always a good lesson to remember, eh? I highly recommend making a list. It will bring you up, I promise.

(title brought to you by the Tom Waits' song "Diamond in Your Mind")

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ghoulish

I will be the rag-tag pirate, Kidlet will be a flower fairy or Glenda of the Wizard of Oz (depending what day you ask...all the same costume, however), Hubby is abstaining. Hoping you receive more treats than tricks today...

***

After the crazy push through all the stress, I'm left wondering, 'what do I do now?' I have a bunch of school stuff coming up, but not much I can do at the moment. Holiday plans are starting to settle in my mind. Guess that means I have to...relax? No, no, no...must scrub the house from top to bottom and then bottom to top. Has anyone else read Little Miss Busy? This is my biography.

I really am going to relax this weekend! Hubby and I have a fancy date at which I will wear my finished Airy Scarf. I will cast on the February Lady again (for what? the third time? fourth?). I will continue work on the cowl I cast on yesterday (in super fancy yarn). I will bake bread. I will ignore the yard work. I will walk in the park and collect leaves. I can't wait. I hope you have a similarly happy time awaiting you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lost: Mind. If found, inquire within.

An old friend used to tell me that she wished she could pull her brain out of her head and gently rinse it in cool water when she felt overwhelmed. I can relate.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scattered


Feeling scattered but I want to write something, so that's what I'm going to do.

The new tradition...
big Sunday night dinners. You know, the kind with mashed potatoes and gravy.

The old tradition...
Sunday morning pancakes, alternate weekends waffles. This tradition may need to be adjusted after 7 years. Time for a little change.

I'll be really glad when...
I can turn in the rough draft for this paper on Thursday.
I cast on for the ol' February Lady again.

Not liking...
this sore throat that just won't quit.
how red poor Kidlet's nose is.
how my laptop keeps freezing up right at a time when I am very dependent on my laptop.

Liking...
making holiday plans in my head (already).
Kidlet's interest in the election.
when the golden leaves float down from the trees like butterflies.

Howsabout you?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Contrast


Here's a nice photo to contrast the icky feelings that I'm having right now. I'm cranky with Kidlet since she's been playing her sniffle card a little hard. She told me this morning that she didn't feel good and when she looked up at me with the big watery brown eyes and the little red nose underneath those, I bit. I said she could stay home and she started to grin. She said she just didn't want to go to school because she hates it. I then muttered under my breath something like "you'd better get used to it, sister, you'll be going until you are 18."

Apparently the trouble stems from a sewing lesson. She can't remember how to do the knot or sew the button to the fabric so she is frustrated and therefore hates school. Why couldn't she have picked up some of my better traits? I have little patience myself. If I can't pick something up and do it properly the first time around, I become extremely frustrated. Case in point: February Lady Sweater (I'm doing a little side-blogging).

So here I am, at home for the morning, sick myself (it feels as though I have swallowed two spiked golf balls) doing a little essay avoidance. Better avoid the avoidance and get back to it...geology of the Steamboat Ditch! Here I come!

We'll be back to a more-or-less regularly scheduled not-so-grumpy post soon...

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm taking my Kidlet with me to vote today and I'm proud.

We have early voting here. Vote early and vote often! Just joking...sorta.

Tossed and Turned


Whew. What a whirlwind.

Saturday, we rode bikes to the pumpkin patch. The ride was lovely: warm with a cool breeze, rain sprinkling on and off. We took the hayride this year. It was a great fun, riding through the trees and pumpkin fields (bump, bump). We had our pumpkin patch cohorts up for dinner which was chaotic but fun.

Saturday night was a nightmare (for one small person, it was just exhausting for the two big persons). All night long, Kidlet would sleep for a bit and then 'wake up' (I use the term very loosely here) and cry. We tried to snap her out of it, since it seemed like she was in some sort of nightmare-loop. We never could. We tried watching a DVD, reading books, all lights on...nothing. She was calm during those activities, but it was crying time again when the lights went out. I 'slept' (again, I use the term very loosely) with her for what was left of the night. I thought she may be getting sick and while she does have a doozy of a sniffle, I think Kidlet just needed a quiet day lumped in a big chair. And that's exactly what she did all day yesterday. Me, I was a maniac doing 5 loads of laundry, making a big Sunday dinner, and eeeking out what I could on the ol' Ditch essay.

I can't say with much conviction that I'm glad I'm going back to work today (especially since it's going to be a working night too), but there is a tiny bit of me that is glad for some bit of normalcy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (I Hope)

Yesterday: 97% on my exam (beam, beam). Lots of knitting done in between duties (before class, waiting for laptops to boot at work, after school).

Today: The last CSA basket with dried beans, homemade bread, potatoes, squash, greens and indian corn. Drinking chai tea. Toast and Rock 'n Roll Friday.

Tomorrow (I hope): Pumpkin patch on bikes with bike trailers attached. One for small children, one for pumpkin bounty.

What have you been up to?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Cut and the Crunch

This is a photo from Friday. Now everything looks wilted in the yard except for the brilliant scarlet sumac. It'll be back to its seasonably warm self again this week.

Feeling the school crunch. My not-so-rough draft for my paper is due in just two and a half weeks and I only have approximately two pages of ten written. I've got a fair amount of info but not the required geological data nor any sort of flora/fauna inventory. I don't know where my subject falls on the township grid map. Every night I tell myself I'll get some work done, but then I start nodding off while I put Kidlet to bed. Sleep wins. I've started putting out deadlines for myself but knowing how the next couple of weeks are stacking up between home and work obligations, it's feeling a little grim. How do people do it? Ummm, right. They don't do the 'run away to New Orleans for a rollicking seven years' followed by the 'I'll find a profession that doesn't need schooling', followed by a child and lastly the 'Hmmm, maybe I do need schooling' trick.

So, a new informal poll... if you were living with a haircut you absolutely can't stand, would you

A) Ignore it and "let it grow, let it grow, let it grow" (despite the fact your hair grows at a glacial pace). Wear scarves and lots of styling products in an attempt to get by until it is in a better place.

B) Try another stylist and see if they can 'fix' it (after you find a new stylist AGAIN)

C) Cut it off! You know you were oogling the uber short hair that you saw in the Paris issue of Gourmet magazine, on the Sartorialist, and perennial favorite Jean Seberg.

I'm hoping next time I write you A) my paper is at least 3/4 finished and B) my hair has grown two inches. But I know I'll write before either one happens.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Five Things Friday

Haven't done this one in a while...

1. IT'S SNOWING!!! I wanted to post photos but we didn't get out in it until right before we had to leave the house.
1a. Because it is snowing, this means I get to wear the Clapotis! I'm wrapped up in it right now and it's so cozy and soft. This is going to be a daily wear for me until I knit something I love more. That will be tough.

2. I cast on for my 'finish by February' Lady sweater last night. This morning when I looked for a cardigan to wear I remembered that I haven't bought any cardigans because I thought I would knit them all. Yeah. So that means I will be wearing one of two cardigans that I already own for the next several months or possibly until next fall.

3. Test is done! Test went ok!

4. My new coworker is a camera addict too and said that he knows a guy that might be able to get me a super cheap deal on a Holga. Woot!
4a. I took my first roll on the Lomo! Must drop off this weekend.

5. Kidlet is done being sick (I think)!
5a. Maybe we will go to the pumpkin patch?

That's it for me. This weekend, I'm hoping to get some schoolwork in amongst the knitting, knitting, knitting. And cooking. And eating. And laughter and fun. Hope you do the same (well, hopefully you won't have to do the schoolwork).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

They call this studying?


Big exam tonight and I'm studying the patterns of light as they dance across my notebook. The actual page I'm looking at has writing but I'm not really seeing it anymore. I get to a point in my exam prep where I'm looking past the list of terms and essay notes. If I study much more, it will be like a a dam has been breached and all the info will tumble out of my mind, tossing Pinchot, Muir, Bartram and Cary together like debris from floodwaters.

Kidlet is sick (tummy blehs) so in between making toast for her and patting her head, I'm taking this time to tidy the house and glance at my exam notes. Wish I could stay the whole day with her but I have to go to work too.

It's a perfect fall day outside: wind blowing through the trees, cool air, and the promise of clouds tomorrow. Trees are finally making up their mind that it might be time to turn. Remember: native trees turn color, those imported from Europe don't. Back to studying.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Toiling!

It's like pulling teeth, this research project. While I was amassing more useless data for my paper, I found this juicy tidbit of information. Since I cannot share it in my paper, I thought I'd share it with you.

From the Reno Evening Journal, July 22nd, 1926...

"Zach's Whiskers Two Feet Longer Since Injury

Zach Wilcox, well known Carson pioneer, who took second prize at a '49 celebration in Sacramento two years ago for the longest and most luxuriant beard when his whiskers measured slightly over twelve feet in length, has arisen from a sick bed and upon measuring his hirsute adornment, found it to have grown nearly two feet during his period of confinement which was approximately a year. His whiskers now measure fourteen feet flat. Zach has for years been a familiar character around the streets of Carson, riding his bicycle with his pet parrot on the handle bars."

Now how the heck can I compete when there is news like this? My research has to do with water rights, drought and taxes. BORING.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Warm Before the Storm

This morning a warm breeze was rushing through the leaves, making a wonderful swishy noise. Clouds are gathering. We are in for a cold front! I can't wait. I'll be breaking out the tights and scarves this weekend. Ok, maybe that's premature but I can dream, eh? In any case, bread and honey wheat pumpkin muffins will be in the oven. Walks in the park, taking photos of leaves and inhaling the cool, fresh air. Casting on for the sweater? Maybe. Oh, and don't forget...do a major reorganization of my term paper and study for a test. Right. I'm going to go back to my fall daydreams...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Love is in the Mail

Rebecca took pity on me and my lack of cool toy cameras and sent me a Lomo Supersampler to borrow. How awesome is that? Very. I put the film in today and will be playing (well, when I'm not working, that is). And along with the 'how to' book was a Lomo inspiration book and a little journal (perhaps it can be a Lomo album... :) ). She's a nice one, that Rebecca.

And also waiting for me in the mail was the long-awaited yarn for my February Lady. Not quite the perfect blue I was searching for but I think it will do quite nicely. Cascade 220 Heathers in 9452, summer sky heather.

Yesterday truly was a day where my mailbox spilleth over. I also received my latest installment of the Moomin comic strip series as well as a couple of Christmas presents for Kidlet. Yes, I like to try and get my ducks in a row early.

Time to get busy...I wish I could say it was "get busy taking interesting photos and knitting" but I'm actually at the library finishing up a little morning research before I go to work.

Monday, September 29, 2008

An Informal Poll

When you find you are in the middle of a book that is boring/not well-written/just isn't what you are in the mood for, do you...

A) Drop it! Life is too short for bad books!

B) Pick up another book and plan to come back to the set-aside book later (whether you do or not is another question).

C) Keep on, keepin' on. Show some fortitude and finish the book.

Just curious. No, I'm not in the middle of a book and seeking an enabling comment so I may put it down...nope, not me. Ok, it's me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Much better, thank you.

Quiz is over (I think I played it in the key of 'B'). Tire is holding air. I have an appointment this morning to fix said tire and I am looking forward to the time to knit and work on my school paper. A blessing in disguise, eh?

I am always happy when there isn't a full appointment book for the weekend. The only things penciled in are a sweet girl's birthday party and some bread making. There are about half a dozen 'you really should' type things that could use doing, but I think I'll let the weekend pull me wherever it would like to go. Pssst...weekend? Want to go for a drive to the mountains to look at leaves and eat cookies? Yeah, me too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yeah...THAT kind of day

Upon the advice of Dominique, who suggested I visit Nina today, I drove over to my favorite bakery to take a break, have a gelato and study for tonight's quiz. I get back to my car, "Hmmm, that back tire looks a little low." Yeah. There's a gigantic industrial-sized nail poking out. I drive to three gas stations, attempting to find air. As I wrestle with the air hose, I see blood on the hubcap, "Hmmm, strange." I have somehow scraped a finger and am dripping blood.

At least I didn't have to go to school this afternoon to do work on my project. The day is looking up, right? I had gelato, for goodness' sakes.

Today was good, today was fun, tomorrow is another one. Must remember that.

Today

I awoke at 4 a.m. and didn't fall back asleep until 20 minutes before the alarm went off.

My hair is tucked under a scarf, due to the most unfortunate hair cutting event two weeks ago.

I fell down the stairs at work.

I have leave work in the middle of the day to look at research paper materials, meaning that I will have to pay for parking at school twice.

I have a quiz tonight, for which I have not studied.

Is it Friday yet? I'll even settle for 10 p.m. tonight, the time that I will I get home (and pour a glass of wine, wrap myself up in my clapotis shawl and sit on the patio by the light of the moon).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumnal Ramblings

This morning there was a breeze coming in from the north, carrying the scent of wood smoke and damp. As I sit here now, I hear the calls of geese. This is all a bit unusual for here, but could it be? Happy Autumn, y'all!

Another harbinger of autumn...I attempted to buy new jeans this weekend. Note, "attempted". If they didn't make me look matronly, they showed bits that really don't need showing. Ten pairs tried, empty hands on the way back to the car. Do you have a brand by which you stick?

Kidlet and I started a project last night, making a spooky haunted house scene out of cardboard. It's going quite well. We have the house cut out and it has its first coat of paint. We'll reveal our results when we finish.

Kidlet's obsession with Halloween continues. Yesterday she told me she wanted to shelve the fairy costume (which is 90% assembled) and wants to be a witch. I told her when we made our decision with costume number one, we would need to stick with costume number one. Thankfully, we've come up with all sorts of details that have kept her interested in sticking with the fairy, such as carrying a little bag of 'pixie dust' (glitter) to sprinkle on the streets.

Enjoy your first day of fall. Eat some candy corn or bake an apple!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Change


My favorite tidbit learned in class...

The trees, bushes and grasses that turn brilliant colors in autumn, whether frost touches them or not, are the plants that are native to our country. The flora that stays green (excepting conifers, of course) was imported with the Europeans. As the European climate tends not to experience the vast range of temperature that the American climate does, their plant life stays green until it just gently withers away. Basically the native plants know what's coming (bitter winter) and the European plants have no clue.

I'm dressed like an autumn leaf today: deep purple t-shirt, yellow cardigan and red mary janes (and jeans). It's really only about 5 degrees cooler than usual but I'm trying to embrace the upcoming change.

Busy times ahead with school and life. Today on the way to school, Kidlet asked me if we could go camping in the distant mountains and look for rubies. I thought it was a brilliant idea but it will have to wait at least two weekends, possibly more. I need to make an effort to get us outside more often. We are able to easily access the outdoors but it feels like we haven't spent much time in it lately.

Here's to hoping we all get outside this weekend and breathe in the fresh air. Enjoy the last weekend of summer. Celebrate with an ice cream cone perhaps? You know I like my ice cream.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yellow

...a little later than last year. Today, I spotted the first spot of yellow on the mountaintop aspens while driving back to work from a short library trip.

I'm Collecting a Collection

A "one hour" collection inspired by echoes
Quiet weekend, no obligations. I got a limited amount of schoolwork done (my internet browser locked up and I lost about an hour's worth of research) but on the bright side, I did get my milkshake (boysenberry). I didn't finish the scarf but that's primarily because I'm not sure when to stop. What's a good length? Every pattern I see says "knit until it's long enough". As this is not for me, I don't know what is 'long enough'. Any thoughts? We're at 65" right now.

About the one hour collection...Kidlet and I went to the park on Sunday afternoon. The playground was filled with boys with toy guns, dramatically groaning and flopping about on the ground when 'shot'. Kidlet was scared of them so I suggested we go to the arboreteum. We walked through all the 'secret' paths and pretended we were fairies. First we were forest fairies, then night fairies, then water-mermaid fairies. Kidlet collected the magic leaves and I found the piece of pine. Goodness, it was a beautiful pine with long, drapey boughs that gently swung in the breeze. It was an excellent way to spend an hour.

Three things I love right now: the cooler evenings/mornings, my new top with a hood that makes me look like an elf, Monday night dinners alone with the Hubby. What are you in love with right now?

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Culinary Schools Want You"

...was the subject of a spam email I received this morning. As I was driving home from class last night, I thought "What the heck am I doing? I'm going to be going to school FOREVER. I want to be done and moving into a different career NOW." I got that spam this morning and thought, "Hmmm, maybe I need to go back to an old career...cooking." Hmmm, probably not. Despite the work being enjoyable, I could never do it again as the pay and the hours are terrible.

A roller coaster-y week. I got a hair cut that I despise. My hair girl left town and I am in-between stylists. There is a girl at work that has hair similar in texture to mine and she has a wonderful cut. I went to her stylist who chopped and thinned my very thin hair into nothing and now I look like a chubby old squarehead. A coworker remarked yesterday, "Are you gaining weight?" Lovely.

I got some work done on my term paper by taking a half day off work. I think I could eek out 3, maybe 4, pages of the 10 that I require. I've got a long way to go but at least I feel I have a foundation on which to build.

Looking forward to a weekend with limited commitments. Might go look at a new dining table (our ancient 50's dinette is on its last legs, for real). Work on school, school, school. Try to bust out the rest of the charity scarf. I really need to do yard work but probably won't. Maybe I should gain more weight and make these Raspberry bars that Tracy made? Or get a milkshake? Whatever I do, it's going to be low key. Hope you have a relaxy weekend too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Gonna Knit Me a House

With the cooler mornings, I'm dreaming of knitting, knitting, knitting. It's not really cool enough to wear a sweater yet, but I like to think ahead. While browsing Soulemama, I saw the beginnings of this sweater, the February Lady Sweater. Gorgeous! I decided that once I am done with my charity scarf and hat, unraveling and restarting hubby's socks (more about that in a moment) and Fantine, I think I may cast on. I think it would make a lovely spring sweater in a robin's egg blue. Or better yet, I'll knit it in "Miller and Paine blue" which is pretty much robin's egg blue but with a hint of grey (my mom and I named the color after a department store in Lincoln, Nebraska, that wrapped your packages in light blue boxes). One of the the things I love about the February Lady Sweater pattern is that is "made to fit a grown ass woman" (heh heh). Pamela also entreats you to "immediately" purchase Elizabeth Zimmerman's A Knitter's Almanac. I figured I can't cast on right now, but I can at least buy the book. It's long been on my 'need to purchase' list. It arrived yesterday but I haven't had time to take a peek yet.

I'm not feeling the love for the sorta-kinda cable pattern I've been doing on hubby's socks so I'm going to start over. I think I may just do a basic rib pattern instead. I feel like the cables are holding me back. I put them down ages ago and it's been so long that I can't remember where I left off. I need something that is portable and pick-upable at a moment's notice without needing to refer to a pattern.

And no, I'm not going to knit a house but at our friends' house, we discussed knitting projects we had seen online. The latest one I had seen was a gas station (note: not entirely knitted but still interesting).

Monday, September 08, 2008

Flying

It was such a wonderful weekend filled with friends old and new, all mixing together in a happy bunch under the balloons and over chocochip cookies and later, breakfast. I was a little stressed out attempting to clean the house and get everything ready for balloon day festivities (Kidlet "Every child must have their own flashlight"...me thinking "Oh crud! When will I find time to get every child his or her own flashlight?") but it all fell together quite nicely and a good time was had by all (I hope!) .

I didn't get many good photos this year, thanks in part to the Polaroid. It started acting up, spitting out film without exposing it. I was counting dollars as each unexposed photo popped out. Grand total: $8 and change. When I started a new cartridge, strange shadowy streaks appeared along one side of about half a dozen photos. I let the Polaroid go and used the digital. I could see I was taking the same photos that I took last year so I stopped trying so hard and just enjoyed the company.

Kidlet has the first sniffley crud of the school season and I have a dash of it as well. Poor thing was pretty limp this morning but rallied to go to school. Hope we can overcome quickly, things are too hectic around here to be down for long. Speaking of it, off to the land of hectic right now...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

So Good

We went to Fairytale Town (always a lovely time) and the zoo (mixed feelings about zoos). Kidlet and I ate cotton candy and cookies.
We had dinner at a friend's house and watched bits and pieces of Fantasia via their projector. 'Twas magical.
I did a bunch of yard work and random house chores (felt so good to be done!).
I baked the bread. Not one of my usual recipes, but it was still tasty.
And may I mention again, I dropped a class! Woot! Woot! Woot!
Enjoyed cool weather. Shared laughs and yummy food. It truly felt like a long weekend.

I snapped a pack and a half of Polaroids. It felt extravagant but good. Using expensive film makes me hold back my itchy trigger finger which means that I am probably missing out on the really good shots. Despite my 'holding back' in the hopes of saving film for my supposed can't-miss shots I had several failures and as that film is like gold, it was disappointing. I'm noticing that even mediocre photos get a nod of approval from me just because I like the tones that the Polaroids get. Maybe I need to find a cheaper way to get that tonal satisfaction with photos that are properly composed, eh?

I'm trying to get started on my paper for my remaining class. It's a very small, local topic and all my searches thus far have brought up next to nothing. Looks like I'm going to have to do some research away from the computer. It's been so long since I've had to do this sort of thing, I've forgotten all the basics. See, if I had stayed in the dropped class, I could have been getting my refresher course in all this. And if I had stayed in the dropped class, I could have lost my sanity too. Bonus! Or wait, didn't my sanity already made its way out the door ages ago?

Ok, onward...short week countdown to the balloon races!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Day


Robins are eating the grapes we left for them on the grapevines. I've been hearing their voices coming from under the leaves all morning. I'm starting to think we should have left more; we harvested too early so the grapes we've been nibbling are pretty tart. Yesterday I saw the brightest bird that I have ever seen. I couldn't identify it. It was entirely bright orange with two black bars on its wings. Beak was small and rounded (grosbeak or finch style) and it was similar in size to the sparrows that were desperately trying to chase it off.

I will no longer be complaining to you about school stress. I'm going to unload myself of the burden of one class later today (horray!). I feel miles better already.

The photo on this post is just the result of some strange settings in my camera. I haven't been taking many photos lately. I'm really pining for a Holga and many other film cameras right now (despite the fact I have a borrowed Nikon under my desk). Maybe I should pick some film up for the Nikon today.

Enough procrastinating, back to my school reading...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hello, My Name is...Stress (and other tidbits)

Whoa. I spent most of last night trying to escape the panic attacks and force myself to sleep. When I did fall asleep, I dreamed of stacking up slippery mattresses so I could climb out of rooms that had doors up by the ceiling. I keep trying to bring myself back to reality. I read quickly and can organize my time well. I remind myself that there are only two papers and the drafts we need to turn in are just part of the process, not separate papers. I'm just not used to having to balance the work of two classes. I told myself I was going to push, pull or drag myself through this semester no matter what, but...well...I'm nervous. What am I doing on this path? Sometimes I'm not sure.

Ok, I've spewed enough.

When I was talking about knitting the other day, I forgot to mention the new Interweave Knits. I adore the Estes Vest. It looks awfully tough to make (pockets!) but I'm tempted.

Whatcha got planned for the weekend? I'm so excited that there's a cold front coming, cooling the area down by 20 degrees on Monday. I plan on baking bread and making a fish stew. Kidlet has requested a park trip and we are going to tackle the annual craft closet organization. AND get this, I just found out I get to leave work early today. Now, how's that for extended weekend! Woot! Hope your weekend is full of lovely surprises! Hugs!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Last of the Pleasure Reading

I've been cruising through a few books and thought I'd relay my thoughts before they become entirely muddled with environmental history texts.

I picked up on a friend's recommendation The Golden Compass. I'm so far out of the loop, that I didn't even know there was a bunch of hub-bub over this series and that it was made into a film. Well, now that I read it, I can understand why there was a bunch of hub-bub. Such fun! It's vaguely Narnia-esque, with its talking animals and adjacent worlds. I would have loved this as a kid but I'm still really enjoying it now at my advanced age (ha ha). I raced through the first book, took a break to read A Moveable Feast and then dove right back in to read The Subtle Knife, the next installment. The last of the trilogy is sitting on my nightstand now, but it will need to wait.

So, as I mentioned a while back, I wanted to reread some Hemingway. I picked up A Moveable Feast, started it and then stopped for The Golden Compass. I picked up the Feast again and, eh. It was ok. I like the straightforward style of writing but I never was moved by any of the characters. I feel like a fool criticizing Hemingway but there you have it. I was indifferent. I'd like to give To Have or Have Not a reread over Christmas break just to see if something that was less of a memoir would be more enjoyable.

In my 'let's reread what we read when were a teen' vein, I've started The Great Gatsby. I can't remember what I thought of it the first go 'round (maybe I shouldn't have burnt all my journals at Burning Man after all? Just kidding, it was the best decision ever.) but I am liking it well enough so far. However, I'm only about 40 pages in and I'll be stalling out to read Children of the Sun for the enviro history class.

Speaking of class, off to the first one in three hours...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can't stop sneaking bits of chocolate today. Nope. Can't stop.

Shall we talk about knitting and other clothing matters? Let's!


I finally finished Clapotis (only 8 months after starting it! woot! I'm such a fast knitter...ha ha...). It's so soft and cozy. I can't wait to wear it! I'm so anxious to try it I might even try it at the upcoming Balloon Races, since it starts before dawn and is chilly-esque.

I'm chugging away at my charity knitting. It's a scarf using the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf Pattern. I started it this weekend and it's about a foot long. As I was knitting on Sunday, I somehow discovered how to purl continental. It's funny, I've been knitting continental for the knits but the purls...I just never got around to really figuring it out or even investigating it through online tutorials. Well, I just happened upon it and boy howdy, I'm thrilled. I'll never need to let go of my left needle to purl again.

I'm already dreaming ahead to the next big project (after the matching charity hat, a couple of tiny kitties, and oh yes, I still have a sock on the needles for hubby). I'm definitely thinking 'sweater' and I believe I have made my final decision: Fantine. I already have the pattern and I think something that's so simple (and fast with the bulky yarn!) will be exactly what I need in November when I'm freaking out over term papers. Oh wait, I take that back...it will be perfect in November while I lounge around looking at my neat and tidy stack of finished papers (all with the grade of 'A', right?).

Lastly, I'm in love with this and this. Wow. Now that's a pair of seriously talented ladies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear, dear. Ohhhhh...dear.

So. I'm figuring I have until Thursday to knit like a madwoman and then it will be all over. School will start, I will have my two classes and then I will be a crazy historian. Well, yesterday morning in my email box there is an email from one of my professors. I have 70 pages of reading due on Thursday. I stayed up last night and got it done but whoa! Slow down, speedy! We haven't even met for a class yet! Since this professor said the syllabus would also be ready, I decided to log on to the school website. I see my other class in there so I figure I may as well know what I'm going to be up against in total. I find out that the other class is going to be some crazy writer's workshop with peer reviews, meetings with professors and oral presentations. We will be laying the ground work for our senior thesis. Huh? I had some African history waaaaay back (20 years ago, for those keeping track) but I certainly don't know on which subject I want to write my thesis. I haven't had enough history classes yet. As I was busily freaking out, I was trying to ponder what I would work on for this class. Right now, I'm tossing about culinary history in 20th century America. Thesis, schmesis.

More posts upcoming...a knitter's update, book reports and general life and love.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Coffee and a bear claw for breakfast. My hair is soft from the rinsing it got at the icy, cold mountain lake. Salty french fries and a Dr. Pepper. Catching up with friends down at the park. A ton of polaroids stacked on my desk and photos still in the camera. 8 rows knitted. Yesterday was pretty good.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunny Days, Busy Days


I can't stop taking photos of this sunflower. Please! Someone stop me! I've used almost a whole packet of Polaroid film! This one I particularly like for the strange static sparks that are running down the side. Funny thing is I don't think I planted this sunflower in this spot. I had planted several down the hill about 6 feet away. I'm happy it showed up because it's the only one that popped out.

Took Jake out for a spin this weekend on the dirt. I was scared to hit a rock too hard, despite the fact this is a cyclocross bike and they are meant for beating up. Have I mentioned I love this bike? I do. However, I have a wandering eye. Hubby has been perusing bikes new and old and I have a tendency to look over his shoulder. Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about some old bike I'd like to turn into a coffee shop hopper but then I remember I chose this bike for it's all-around utility. No further bikes needed. A scooter however...wait a minute. Ok, I'll come clean. I have a long, long-standing love affair with the Vespa. I'll save that love poem for another day.

I'm on a crazed nesting streak. Maybe it's going to be a long, cold winter? I'm redoing Kidlet's room, getting rid of all the outgrown clothes, toys and books and finding new storage solutions so we can see what actually she has. I'm already looking ahead to doing something similar for our bedroom (aka 'the library', aka 'mess').

I went to the school bookstore and purchased about half the books I need for classes. $100 already! Yikes. I am (dare I say it?) a teensy-weensy bit excited for school. I am awfully scared about the workload, but the learning...I'm excited.

This week will be a crazy one, some work and some play. Kidlet's summer program has finished so I'll be taking a couple days off to squeeze the remaining juice out of summer (what am I talking about? It'll be hot until November.). Wish I could take more time off but with work being as it is, it can't be done. I'll revel in what I can. Tonight: Sicilian Summer Salad with fancy French wine and friend from NYC.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today is Thursday

Today, I cleaned the bathroom, swept the kitchen floor, unloaded the dishwasher and ran two loads of laundry (did not fold). I saw the two hummingbirds. I made my yogurt/cereal/flax/berry breakfast, rice cereal for Kidlet. I brewed a pot of orange pekoe tea. I made a sandwich for lunch. I set up a sprinkler. I took Kidlet to her Nonna's house. I splurged on a coffee to take to work. I drove to work in the burgeoning heat. It's cold in my office. I'm still achy from my mystery ailment. I am going to eat a peach soon. I'm thinking about knitting.

How's your day going?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

3 Random Items on Tuesday Morning

1--The word 'verdant' is just not used enough.

2--I think we have black chinned hummingbirds. Their little high pitched squeeks when they battle each other over the morning glories are so darn cute (even though they are fighting).

3--Sometimes you just have to splurge and buy a tiny cappuccino, despite the fact it is your last 3 dollars. It'll make your mysterious achy ailment feel (a little) better.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A little weekend followed by a bunch of knitting. Y'know, the usual business.

Pie Report: the crust was thin (I couldn't find my usual recipe and the one I used didn't make enough) but the filling was good. I added just a tiny bit of sugar so it was pretty tart, but I'd rather have it tart than sticky sweet.

Felt half-sick all weekend. Kinda achy, chest feels cruddy but not enough to keep me immobile. This meant no lake time or biking. Despite thinking I didn't have enough yumpf for leisure activities, I somehow managed to bake a pie, make a veggie stew, wash the porch windows, mop, vacuum, change the sheets, run errands, do 4 loads of laundry and some weeding. I probably should have gone to a lake or biking, eh?

Finished birdy number two for next week's birthday boy. I gotta bust out some nests (one long overdue for Kidlet) but Clapotis is calling louder and louder. I only have 4 or 5 pattern repeats and then I'm done! That's about 50 rows, but they fly along now that I'm decreasing every row. I'm starting the 'what shall my next project be' daydreams. I have a long-promised itty bitty kitty to knit for my mom and I also made a commitment to making some warmies for those in need. But looking beyond that...do I look forward to tackling my first sweater? More lace? Some complicated-sounding fingerless gloves? I'm leaning toward sweater, but that requires a big yarn purchase. Everything else I have, ready to go. Ahhh, daydreams to fuel my work life. Speaking of work life...off to it.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Kidlet whistled for the first time today. It was an accident, but now she understands how it works. She managed to get one other little whispery whistle out before reverting back to saying 'wheet! wheet' while putting her hands up to her mouth and pretending to whistle.

A little overwhelmed with stuff which just makes me want to do absolutely nothing.

Nothing except toast marshmallows. I'm still down for that.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I got to take Jake out for a spin this weekend. I love that bike. I made the perfect choice.

I put some limeade in the fridge to make limey sno-cones tonight.

I sewed the legs on a little knitty bird this morning.

The light outside at 5:45 a.m. was delightful.

Drinking tea again.

Busy, busy.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The New New Rules

1--Friday morning shall now officially be known as "Nutella Toast and Rock 'n Roll Morning". You know you are on the right track when the music makes you think of riding the Music Express at a carnival.

2--Enjoy!

I had some other rules, but I'm deciding they got in the way of rule number 2.

I bid you to follow rule number 2 this weekend! Hugs all around...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Change is a'comin'

It's only the end of July, but I can already feel Summer rush past. The temperatures are down to the high 50s at night. Sunrise is happening later and sunset earlier. I know Summer in our neck of the woods tends to go on and on until I'm begging for 12 minutes of Fall before we hit Christmas, but I feel it's slipping through my fingers like sand. What happened to the camping trips? The s'mores? What happened to the s'mores, for crying out loud?!

Luckily, August and September are usually pretty good months...balloon races (with chocochip cookies), state fair (ferris wheel and soft serve), more mountain lake trips (followed by lunch at the Char-Pit). But school is one month off and it feels like the end of freedom. Go straight to class, do not pass go. I'm really dreading it. I try to remind myself that it's my ticket to a new career, but as my career goals are still kind of nebulous it makes the final goal that much more intangible (I'm just getting a history degree to get out of the undergrad as quickly as possible and then the masters will be for what I really want to do...whatever that may be). I guess I'd better just throw myself headlong into what remains of Summer and try to be in the moment as best I can.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Say Hello to Jake


I did it. I am now a happy bike owner, once again.

I need to take it back down to the shop to get the brakes adjusted since not having much in the way of brakes makes for an interesting ride when flying down a hill. But all in all, it's very good. I was going to wait for the back order on a sexy Italian bike, but I decided to get the one that I actually was able to take on a test ride. It feels like a Cadillac, smooth and strong. My body, on the other hand, is not so smooth and strong.

I am so out of shape. Before Kidlet, I was a yogini. I'd finish work and go to yoga class a couple times a week (ahhh, back in the days when I had something called "free time"). And before my plantar fasciitis came on strong, I was a runner. I miss yoga but I miss running most of all. I distinctly remember one of the last long distance runs I did, a 12 mile run on trails with Kiko amongst the sunflowers. I was trying to train for a full marathon but my body was breaking down so I abbreviated my goal and managed to do the half. I hope my bike and I will become as good of friends as me and my running shoes once were.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jaune


Whew. I made my last contribution to yellow week with just a couple hours to spare. Yellow squash on a yellow table with a yellow wall. Now that I look around, there's a fair amount of yellow in my life. It's a cheerful color to live with. I'm just not that good at finding it, (despite the fact my whole living area is painted yellow).

Thanks for hosting a lovely week, Tracy! It's been a good challenge and has me looking around with a little more attention (always a good thing).

Ok, I'm beat. It's off to bed and my latest books...have a swell weekend, friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yellow: Mediocre


Or how about 'Yellow: Medi-ochre'? Bwa ha ha...I crack myself up.

When the yellow challenge was set, I started looking around my everyday surroundings. I knew I would capture some of the many, many yellow flowers that have overtaken my yard. But what else? Oh! I have brilliant idea! Take a photo of the curb! It was so much cooler in my head, but when it came out...eh, not so much. I've taken so many yellow photos today but none of them made me proud. I'm sure I could have done better if I got over my "I feel so goofy (fill in awkward position here) taking photos of (fill in mundane subject here)" feelings. Tomorrow is another day. Another golden, sunny day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good Night Sweetheart


An impromptu night of backyard camping. The new(er) neighbors in the rental quieted down just as it got dark. Kidlet was fidgety and talking, talking, talking.

"Is that a planet? Is that one a planet too? Are they all planets?"
"Sweetie, there aren't that many planets in our solar system. That one looks like Venus and that one looks like Mars. The rest are stars. Or airplanes."

Yip, yip, howwwwwwl....a coyote chimes in with the crickets. We sleep in the cool night air.

Kidlet loved it.

Me too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Walk Around the Yard



It's the height of summer and I'm looking at the yard thinking "hmmm...what do I need to do to make the yard better next year?" I like to make our yard hospitable for wildlife. This year, I'm seeing an absence of bees but more butterflies. Tons of birds (as always) and last night we even saw a toad. Here's what I want to add, some for beauty, some for critters...

--Clematis. A neighbor has one growing all over the remnants of a dead tree and dang, it's amazing. I tried one once and it promptly shriveled up and died.

--Cosmos. They used to be plentiful in our yard but they have disappeared. Maybe the birds ate the seed?

--Mums. I buy 'em at the store sometimes and try to put them in the garden and...you guessed it, they shrivel up and die. But I am ever hopeful. Try, try, again.

--Queen Anne's Lace. There's a ton out here by work. Thinking about collecting some seed and sowing it. So pretty.

--More poppies! My fave!

--More gladiolas. I have a lovely stray peach gladiola that I always forget until this time of year when it pops out in all its peachy-ness.

--Wildflower Mix. I've annually tossed it all around the yard with varying results. I think I'm going to try a different brand this year. 3 years ago the brand that I've been staying true to did me well. Ever since, I've got nothing. Hoping to get some more bees with the right mix.

--Peony. Peony. Peony.

--Less yellow! A funny thing to say during yellow week, but all I have in my yard is yellow with a smattering of white.

Are you making plans for fall planting? I always think when fall rolls around I'm going to remember what I think I might want for the next season and I'm always way off since everything has died back by that point. It's good to take notes now.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rain and Rides


The air is thick with the scent of rain this morning. A giant flash of lightning roused me from a dead sleep. I thought it was my alarm at first (as I have a Moonbeam Clock) but I realized it wasn't 6 a.m.. I waited for the thunder. A low, long rumble rolled through the sky. I love summer storms just as long as they don't spark a fire in the hills.

A couple of battered blooms to start off yellow week. I'm loving the hunt for yellow.

I'm dreaming about bikes. Really. I wake up and feel like I pedaled a leg of the Tour. I test-rode several this weekend and they are all lovely. Trying to decide which direction to go...flat bar road bike or drops? Touring? Cyclocross? I have to say, cyclocross bikes are winning my heart as you can do just about anything on them. I like to be prepared.