Friday, December 24, 2010

And happy holiday to all...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The treats are made (Piparkukas, Pinkie's Brown Sugar Fudge, Alt-Malt Milk Slab), none of which were smooth sailing (but they all taste fine). The dog knitting hit a snag when I forgot 26 extra rows on the tummy. A grocery trip still needs to happen, two more days of work...and you know what? It's all ok by me. There have been a few moments of "Why didn't I plan this better?!" but in general, I'm feeling more free and easy about it all this year. I can see my husband shaking his head 'no' when he reads this, but maybe I'm learning to let things ride. Well, at least I'm giving it my best shot.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Knitting a Dog

I've been knitting like mad since school finished for the semester. I'd be so productive if I didn't have school. I guess that's my carrot at the end-of-the-school stick: more knitting. Right now, the bizarre creature pictured above is in the finishing stages. I had insomnia last night so I used my time to sew up all the paws and weave in any ends that I won't be using for seaming.

The pattern is the Pembroke Corgi from the book Best in Show. Knowing my Kidlet's predilection for this short, foxy pup, I wanted to try and make it before the holidays as a stocking stuffer. I love knitting stuff like this, where you are constantly wondering how it's all going to fit together. The face looks like it may be a bit narrow, but hopefully a good stuffing will fill it out.

I found the book on Amazon. It hasn't been released in the US yet, but it is slated to come out domestically in February. If you want to try your hand at one of the dogs from the book, here's a pattern for the Jack Russell terrier.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We went to a cookie decorating party last night. It was nice to be in a warm house with laughter and children running wild. The sugar cookies and frosting our friend makes are unparalleled.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow, Followed by Rain, Soon to be Followed by Snow

It snowed like mad yesterday and now it's blowing and raining on top of it all. Transportation this weekend will be an adventure! (I'm trying on a positive attitude.)

Discovered another knitting podcast I enjoy: Cloudy with a Chance of Fiber.

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Composition is a discipline; it forces us to think. If you want to 'get in touch with your feelings,' fine — talk to yourself; we all do. But, if you want to communicate with another thinking human being, get in touch with your thoughts. Put them in order; give them a purpose; use them to persuade, to instruct, to discover, to seduce. The secret way to do this is to write it down and then cut out the confusing parts." --William Safire, by way of the Writer's Almanac for December 17, 2010

I've been thinking a lot about writing, not only here but for my scholarly endeavors. What is it I want to communicate? I guess it's time to carry on and find out. I think my four month blog break is over.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Lightbulb Moments

There's a blog I've been following for a while that never fails to leave me inspired and feeling positive, The Improvised Life. It's about art, design, food, creativity, simplicity, mistakes, frugality...fantastic.

I'm in a cocooning phase. I've been doing less online and more around the house. School is just two weeks away (ouch) and I'm trying to make the most of it. I'm full of ideas and want to try and get things tried out and squared away before the big drop in free time. I think this summer flew by about 50% faster than any other summer on record. Am I the only one who thinks so? While next week is supposed to be hot! hot! hot!, this week has cooled down and has the slightest touch of (dare I say?) fall. I don't know if I'm ready, but I'm trying to learn to be positive about change.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A 41 Update

I figured since it's my 41.58 birthday, I'd try a little update since I've been pretty scarce from el bloggy.

1. Enter something in the state fair competitions IN PROGRESS …and I’d better get a move on! It’s coming together pretty well; I’ve got some parts where I’m not entirely satisfied but it still has quite a bit of charm.

2. Feel the ocean’s mist on my face WOO! Last weekend…

3. Have at least one evening alone with the Hubs Well, if you count going out to a couple of dinners, then this is done.

4. Camp! Preferably at least half a dozen times. How about half a time? Heh. We left in the middle of the night on a party weekend at the desert lake. In about a week, we’ll be spending a few nights out at Great Basin National Park. Can’t wait!

5. Make a pair of Latvian mittens (my heritage!) At least I found the book but I have too many projects going right now. Maybe after I finish Kidlet’s socks.

6. Figure out how to fit exercise into my life IN PROGRESS I was walking regularly until it got HOT. I guess I’m still figuring.

7. Find a film camera with which I can get along DONE! Polaroid 210, I love you. Now, I just want a new digi cam…

8. Write a poem

9. Take care of at least one outstanding house project IN PROGRESS (always in progress). We replaced the bathroom mirror (with a mirror that only I can use: too tall for Kidlet, too short for Hubs). I painted the entry and hope to finish the touching up this weekend. Then I have to get all the pictures and artwork ready to finish it off (and get a new front door).

10. Plant as many seeds in the yard as I can Many of the seeds were nibbled to nothing but I managed to get some basil, peas, and toms to grow. The flowers, not so much.

11. Do a month long project (self portrait a day, drawing a day, knitting a swatch a day…) Ummm…I tried a ‘list a day’ in June, but that got dull. How about ‘study every day’ starting in about a month. Sigh.

12. Make and send at least one postcard

13. Visit my Grandmother regularly

14. Get a massage IN PROGRESS We have a woman who gives chair massages about once a month (of which I have been taking advantage) but I think once school is up and running, I’ll make an appointment for the full deal.

15. Make ice cream (without an ice cream maker) I’m considering getting an ice cream maker. I’ve got so many fantastic recipes that I’ve been hording for years.

16. Play a video game. It's been so long... :)

17. Knit at least two sweaters (does it count that I have one cast on already?) I’ve stopped and restarted the cast on sweater but I’ve totally lost interest in it. I think it needs a larger needle for a more fluid fabric so it may need to be frogged AGAIN. Oh well. It’s a learning process, right? I also have second sweater cast on but it’s not getting much attention until my state fair project is done.

18. Always try the library first when there is a book I want to read In progress, but I find much of the time the library doesn’t have what I want.

19. Figure out my plan for the rest of my school career IN PROGRESS Sigh. I just don’t know if being a librarian is going to happen. I’ve been reading quite a few trade blogs/newsletters and outlook: grim.

20. Ride a Ferris Wheel DONE (and I’d do it again)

21. Skate (ice, roller, or both) ICE

22. Finally become a public radio station member

23. Find the perfect cake recipe IN PROGRESS. I’ve got a beaut of a frosting, but I’m still looking for the cake.

24. Learn to take care of myself. PERPETUALLY IN PROGRESS but yes!

25. Make butter with Kidlet DONE

26. (Re)learn how to do yo-yo tricks

27. Braid my hair Will my hair ever grow?

28. Eat an oyster pan roast

29. Drink a gin and tonic (when school is out) DONE! And I may have to have one again tonight.

30. Watch New Orleans win the Superbowl (heh heh) DONE!

31. Pull out my clarinet and toot a few notes

32. Go back to visit the ichthyosaur

33. Have ice cream for dinner Big failure. Kidlet and I always forget that she only marginally likes ice cream.

34. See the Nutcracker

35. Embroider Moomins on something (a bag? a shirt? a pillowcase?)

36. Go to the drive-in

37. Dance more.

38. Make cheese Maybe when the weather is cooler?

39. Do a little guerilla knitting project I have the idea, but haven’t done it yet. It’ll be good quick knitting for when I’m back in school.

40. See the Gees Bend exhibit when it comes DONE

41. Build the biggest fort I have ever made with Kidlet In planning stages. I’ll build it when her friend who has been away for 9 months comes back to town next month.

Have a loverly weekend and stay cool…

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Little Monday "ing"

Considering...ripping out the majority of my front yard (i.e. the junipers, aka 'the fire hazard') and making an edible front yard.

Feeling...totally sapped and irritable from the heat.

Daydreaming...of the weekend (already)! San Francisco, here we come! dad (who would have been 69 this coming weekend). I'll be sure to raise a glass of wine to him in SF.

Wishing...I had a more knitting time. My state fair project is actually coming together (after many false starts).

Eating...leftover cucumber-arugula-lemon-jalapeno-avocado soup with berries on the side for lunch. And almonds. Always almonds.

Coveting...this album and a bunch of Moomin/Tove Jannson related books on

What are you "ing?"

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

This Summer I Will

...wear Converse with skirts
...listen to world music
...drink gin and tonics autobiographies of old movie stars and kid books
...gorge on fruit

Friday, July 02, 2010


I've loved the blog Habit from day one. The posts over there have brought me to tears, brightened my ugliest mood, and inspired me to look at things in a different light.

This month, everyone can take part! Check out the flickr pool. I spent a lot time over there this morning. Maybe I found my new 'do something for a month' project...

Monday, June 28, 2010

In the Summertime

We went from the 'pleasant' summer weather to 'ugh, this is really freakin' hot' summer weather in just a couple of days. The hills (and my yard) already look bleached out, the thought of turning on the stove sounds miserable, and I toss and turn at night.

Perhaps the tossing and turning at night is due in part to the punches and kicks I've been receiving from Kidlet. She has been sleeping with me while the Hubs is on his annual epic bike tour. I'm anxiously awaiting the day he rolls in through the front door, not only because I prefer his sleeping style but I just plain miss him. As Kidlet and I continue the grind of work and school, we try to make it feel like a mini-vacation as best we can. We have had some success: a picnic on the river and a trip to the beach with friends, nights with Grammy and Nonna, slurpees and swimming pools; but all the same, we wish Greg were back (and that we were all going on a real mini-vacation).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solstice and Such

Happy Jāņi!

I won't be jumping any bonfires, but I'll eat some cheese and drink a beer after work.

Happy summer!

Friday, June 18, 2010

This Morning I Am...

...making sno-cone syrup
...swatching for a sweater
...feeling sneezy (allergies)
...watering the yard
...mentally preparing for a big work day
...trying not to let daydreams of the weekend distract me

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And then it began to hail...

I awoke at 5:00 to a little 'ding, ding' and at first thought it to be the doorbell but no, it was hail hitting the air conditioner unit. Then it was all thunder, lightning and rain. A patch of blue and calm. And now it's time for round two...I just saw the hail.

This song is going through my head...

Monday, June 14, 2010

And thus concludes my list experiment...

I just can't keep up! To have a quality list, one must spend time and effort, neither of which I have much of at this moment. Anyway, it's supposed to be summer, a time to relax, right?

Back with the normal blogging fodder (which often includes lists), shortly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eight items I find necessary for camping:

1. Fluffy pillow
2. Glass for wine
2a. Wine opener (or screw top wine)
3. Marshmallows and sticks for toasting them to perfection (golden crackly exterior, gooey interior)
4. French press
5. Chips. Salt = good, when camping
6. Books (although it seems I never open them)
6a. Except for the flora/fauna i.d. books, they get a lot of use
7. Warm coat, I always get cold
8. A good attitude (sometimes mine gets misplaced)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A small list of things that make me smile...

1. The sound of Kidlet's laughter
2. Kiko prancing around when I get home from work

3. Fog
4. Listening to music that moves me (latest, can't stop listening!)
5. Engaging in witty repartee with Hubs

6. Watching Kidlet play BBall

7. A cloudy day after a slew of sunny ones (or the reverse)
8. Pie

9. The open road
10. This little video of this otter pup (via The Daily Otter)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Three Things I Thought about upon Awakening this Morning

1. The scary nightmare I had. A psycho killer (qu'est-ce que c'est) had come and taken Kidlet. He kept her for years and didn't hurt her (just took creepy photos that weren't creepy on the surface but were creepy all the same) and then he came back to kill me when Kidlet was about 14.

2. The song "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" as performed by Stevie Wonder

3. And the ever present question, "What do I have to get done this morning before we leave the house?"

After I told Hubs about list item 2, he promptly put "Signs" as performed by Tesla into my head where it sticks still. Poor me.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A list of a few things I'd like to be, now that I'm Grown Up

Some of these things are already "in process," but they asked to be mentioned.

1. archivist
2. research assistant
3. artist
4. feminist
5. knitting/textile historian
6. children's librarian
7. positive
8. art historian
9. sno-cone stand owner (I can't let it go, can I?)
10. a more careful driver
11. a grower of food
12. historian of women

Monday, June 07, 2010

A List of Favorite Places in Photos

1. The mountains of Colorado where I spent ages 9 through 14. (Me and my Papa on the tree platform he made for me, July 1980)

2. New Orleans. Living there for 7 years, you'd think I'd have picked up a camera, but no. All the photos I took of the place are mental. Hubs took this one from our balcony on Decatur Street, circa 1995ish).

3. Ruby Mountains, NV. That's me and my best Bunny poking out of the tent (circa 2000?).

4. Pyramid Lake, NV. Very possibly, the most incredible spot on earth.

5. King's Beach, CA. My fave Tahoe beach. It's old timey and family oriented.

6. The beach areas of the Pacific Northwest. That Washington/Oregon trip last year was fantastic. Here's the waterside...

...and the beach side (two different spots, however).

Where are your favorite places?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Three Things I Wish I could Figure Out (a list made when I'm tired and somewhat cranky at the end of the weekend)

1. I wish I could figure out what camera suits me. My current camera and I don't really get along. When I push the 'macro' button, I mean 'macro,' not 'maybe macro.' I want an analog camera that I can relate to as well. I picked up another Polaroid (yes, the sort that takes the extinct 600 film) and some of said extinct film but alas, the film is bad. I'd like to find something that's easy to use that has some personality. The search continues.

2. I wish I could figure out how to not be such a fearful and negative mother. Yeah.

3. I wish I could figure out how to get back to my deliciously deep nights of sleep. The past several nights have been less than stellar.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

My Day...a visual list

1. Awoke at 5:20 this morning. I think I took this about 5:40 and grumbled about my macro function only sporadically working on my camera.

2. Breakfast! Backstube! Happy time! (And Kidlet is super into comics and Tom and Jerry lately...)

3. Weekly provisioning. Went to first farmer's market of the season and Kidlet tried to talk me into bringing home a sweet pup (the S.P.C.A. has a booth). Those are marionberries and ollalieberries(!). Hit the grocery store too.

4. Quiet time. Iced tea, spacing out, thinking about camping gear, reading a book about being a locavore on the cheap ("eh" sort of read, thus far).

5. Birthday party. First real hot day of the year and it made me feel a bit flattened by the end of the party. Met some nice folks (and one nice dog).

6. Home. Quesadillas. Top Hat. And very, very soon, I'll be in bed, under the ceiling fan with The Westing Game in my hand. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to be reading this book. I haven't read it since I was 9ish and wow. I must have read this a zillion times because it is all familiar, but I still don't know what happens next. Ellen Raskin was a definite fave. Good night, all!

Friday, June 04, 2010

A List of Sno-Cone Flavors I Wanted to Try but Never Did

an old, blurry snap of a small sno-cone aficionado

1. Dragon's Blood (the syrup sites now seem to call it "Tiger's Blood" and it's a "blend of berry and melon flavors")

2. Wedding Cake

3. Anything with sweetened condensed milk

4. And this one I never heard of before, Silver Fox ("an almond vanilla taste")

I don't know why, but I always ordered 'raspberry,' 'lemon,' or 'lime.' Booooorrrring. When I get back to New Orleans some day, I'll have a sno-cone every day until I've tried them all. Why can't there be a stand around here? Perhaps I need to fulfill a dream...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Day Three: List of Items Considered on the Way to Work

1. Wearing Converse with a skirt. Am I too old for this? Do I care?

2. The sky is amazing. Dark clouds, white fluffy streaks, blue skies.

3. Wondering what the veggie box holds for today (it had parsley, spinach, eggs, radishes, green onions).

4. Enjoying shuffle on the ipod: Traffic, Ghana Special, Ahmad Jamal, Elliott Smith, Tom Waits.

5. Mentally taking photos.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


The color names have changed to a certain degree and new colors have been introduced (Jazzberry Jam, anyone?), but I heart Crayolas. I also thought they tasted nice (but only when I was small).

Favorites of childhood:

1. Mahogany. Yes, Mahogany. I don't know if it was the unusual name or the image of deep reddy-brown, shiny wood it conjured up for me, but it was my favorite.

2. Yellow-Orange. I love(d) that bright sunny color. It's not as anemic as plain Yellow, but bold and full of good cheer.

3. Purple. Purple was my most favorite color, but not my most favorite crayon (see nos. 1 and 2).

Favorites now:

1. Midnight Blue. This may be more because my Mama always told me that it was her favorite when I was little. I could never figure it out because I knew her favorite color was red. Maybe it was the romantic name...

2. Plum. I still got a thing for purple.

3. Thistle. Love the name, the flower, and the pretty color.

And other oddities:

1. Cadet Blue. I always liked the name, but really disliked the color.

2. Sky Blue. I felt like it was "sky with smog blue," it's not a clear, bright blue at all.

3. Brick Red and Maroon. They always made me feel bilious. Ok, not that extreme but I hated using them. Still not wild for them in Crayola form, but in real life, they are just fine. Maybe if they had called them "Claret" and "Cabernet"...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

June! Lists!

And hence began my month of list-o-mania...
I will be posting a new list every day for the month of June. I'll go easy on myself for day one.

Four books on my nightstand:

1--The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I haven't read this since I was a child and...whoa. I certainly did not understand this book when I read it at the age of eight. All I cared about then was that the children found an amazing place, hidden from the world. I'm in the last chapter (I fell asleep last night, book in hand) and that last chapter is definitely worth the price of admission.

2. The Groucho Letters by Groucho Marx. I had wanted to read this for ages (I had first heard about it here), long before the current household obsession with all things Marx. As Kidlet says, I wish the Marx brothers were alive and part of our family. He was a damned clever and funny fellow.

3. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan. In my quest to start reading more children's/YA literature for my (fingers crossed) possible future post as a school librarian, I picked this up at the book store. I haven't started but it's about a family that flees Mexico, becoming California farm workers during the Depression. It's won a slew of awards and looks quite interesting.

4. Playa Works by Bill Fox. Bill Fox was a guest lecturer last semester in my 20th Century Art History class. He spoke of art as a means to find elegant solutions to environmental problems and as a reaction to these problems. Our mini library at work had this book available so I picked it up. I'll be interested to learn more about our environment here, the high desert.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Days!

There's something so wonderful about the last work day before a three-day weekend. The possibilities, it's wide open. Will I dig another garden bed (and fill it up)? Will I finally crack open that blackboard paint and paint the door? Perhaps have a picnic?

All I know is that I'll have a gin and tonic, take a photo with the new Polaroid, make a lasagna and knit. If I do nothing more, I'll be satisfied.

Hope you enjoy your weekend too!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seen today...

Western Tanagers and more Cedar Waxwings. I've just started exercising after a very long (six year?) hiatus. I've been hiking on extended breaks in the hills above work. Right now, the hills are gorgeous, filled with indian paintbrush, phlox, lupine, and mule's ear. As mentioned, the birds have been good too. I saw an osprey last week, hovering by the river, as well as the perpetual swallows, diving and soaring.

I was starting to think of chucking the blog since I've been so quiet for so long. However, that will soon change; I have decided in my quest to have a 'project-a-day' month, June will be the month of blogging. I will be doing a list-of-the-day as inspired (as always) by Hula.

Besides, how could I chuck the blog so carelessly when I've reached the four year mark? Nope. Keep on, keepin' on.

Friday, May 07, 2010

So Far...

I've been finished with school for the semester for just over 24 hours and I have already:

--finished a knitting project (abbreviated Damson)
--watched a Fellini film (La Strada). I adore Giulietta Masina.
--cleaned out a bookshelf
--started on the laundry

Some of this is due to the fact that Kidlet lost her voice due to some random sniffly thing so we stayed home today.

Other exciting things that happened today:

--my oven almost caught on fire. Pop-pop-pop and a big white flash and I have to replace the bake element (again)
--a leak appeared under my kitchen sink. Oh joy.

Wish I could talk Kidlet into a nap so I could join her, but oh well. Time to tackle another little project...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

5 New Things I Dig:

1. Book Scout. For the budding MLS candidate (me), reading this blog is de rigueur.

2. Listening to the Spilled Milk podcast. They have the skills to make you laugh as well as make you hungry.

3. My newly acquired habit of alternating my nightly reading. I now have a children's/young adult book on the nightstand along with a more adult title (and I don't mean adult in the 'hotcha cha cha' way). I finished The Penderwicks last night and found it charming.

4. Listening to the Coffee Break French podcast (I access the free version via itunes). I figure I should brush up my skills in the language that I took for the longest period of time. I took French for three years, Italian for two, German for a semester and Spanish for a quarter. I wish I had taken more Spanish! Italian is my favorite, despite it being the least useful.

5. Opala Vinho Verde. I tried it for the first time this weekend and was so pleasantly surprised. Gentle fizz, fresh, light (and cheap!). I found my bottle at Whole Paycheck...ahem, I mean Whole Foods.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 this thing on?

Last night was the first night we got to eat dinner outside and it looks like the same will happen tonight.

Trying a new pizza dough. Three pizzas will be made and toppings will include: pesto (with mozzarella), bbq shrimp (mozzarella/cheddar blend), and a veggie with red sauce (mozzarella).

Triple chocolate brownies made.

Wine ready.

I finished my paper on Futurists vs. Dadaists on Thursday. O blessed day!

I'm starting to get back to real life. And as a matter of fact, I'm going to sign off and go plant some yogurt containers. Sadly, this fantabulous weather is a "this weekend only" affair and snow is forecast for Tuesday night. Be back sometime, maybe in less than a month, maybe not. Cheerio and toodles!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Imagine my delight when I found this...

I'm glad someone is doing the thing that I've been telling myself that I'm going to do for about 3 years now. Visit Knit 4 Peace to see what this knitter has been up to.

I've actually got a guerilla knitting project set up in my head, but it won't actually come to fruition until this fall, muwah ha ha!

The Marxist Party

Somebody turned 6 (it wasn't me).

She chose a Marx Brothers party. We're all very olde timey around here. Her favorite movies are An American in Paris and Singin' in the Rain. Anyway, it didn't turn out to be a particularly Marx-y party with witticisms tossed about like raindrops but I think everyone had fun.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Random and Useless Information that I Call a Blog Post

Spring is only vaguely springing but I'm looking for signs everywhere. The mini-daffodils in the back yard are up but the trees barely have a bud. The weather is up and down (snow today, temperature in the 60s tomorrow).

Well, I could babble on about Futurism and Dadaism (the subject of my term paper that I need to write) but that might not be great blog fodder. As a matter of fact, I'm feeling fresh out of blog fodder and have felt that for quite a while. I barely have time to think in snippets, much less form a fully rounded thought. It might be time for me to rethink/overhaul the whole blogging thing. I'll keep you posted...oy! The pun! I'm not posting...yeah, I need to get out more often. Have lovely weekend, friends!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Family Portrait

It was another beautiful weekend (although not quite as warm as Kidlet's get-up might imply; she runs warm). I'm attempting to make good on my promise to start getting in shape this year. Kidlet and I went walking on Saturday and our little fam went bike riding on Sunday. Kidlet is on a trailer bike and it works great (and no! We didn't pay that much for ours! Yikes!). Now we just need to get her on her own wheels...

Just as the weather grew lovely again, the sky is dramatic and full of patchy gray clouds this morning. Rain is in the forecast today, snow tomorrow. I love the rain, but the snow I could do without (at least until I get new tires for the car).

Is it looking like spring in your neck of the woods? Or is it still just a daydream?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cedar Waxwing

As I walked out of work yesterday after a truly long day, I heard birdsong I had never heard before. I looked around and saw these beauts in a tree. There were about half a dozen and they were so sweet for me to wait for me to get my camera to snap a few shots. Cedar Waxwings have a little tufted feather on top of their heads and as these were juveniles, they were a soft gray with cream bellies brushed with yellow. And those bandit masks? Cute, cute, cute. I've never seen them before; perhaps they were heading home for spring?