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 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 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 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.


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...