Wednesday, June 30, 2010
So today, per the suggestion in FVF, I bought a dozen wide-mouth Ball jars and went to work filling them with some of the staples necessary to cook the way I want. (Bonus: I also got to use my label maker!) Things like wheat berries, bulgur, barley, couscous, and a nice variety of rice and beans. Stef went with me to the farmer's market, where we got some produce, and also organic butter and tofu.
Of course, Steve and I ate out tonight. But there's always tomorrow!
On the way back to Blacksburg, we stopped at a natural foods store. We wanted to eat at their cafe, but it was closed on Mondays, so we were out of luck.
I liked this mix of coneflowers and black eyed susans.
I left Tuesday morning to drive home and treated myself to lunch in Crozet at the Mudhouse. Delicious iced tea and a lemon iced, vegan ginger applesauce cake. Yummy.
Now I'm home and need to photograph the yarn I bought from Mosaic, as well as the progress I've made on the baby blanket. I think I'm up to fifteen squares now, which leaves ten to go plus the seaming and border. I'm also halfway through a Noro striped scarf with half priced yarn I couldn't resist buying while I was out there, despite my Noro stash at home. But half price? Who could resist? Not I, that's for sure.
Friday, June 25, 2010
She does some good things with my camera that I don't seem to be able to accomplish, like this beautiful macro shot.
Steve planted sunflowers this year and I love them.
Here's one of the few pictures I took on vacation. For some reason, I just didn't take too many this year, maybe because the beach photos always look the same. This is one taken in early evening.
And this one in the glare of the day.
I started and finished a basic baby boy hat for my niece to take to a friend of hers.
And this is the market bag I'm working on, although it's slow going on size 15 needles cause my hands hurt if I spend much time on it. Love the colors though.
Knitting Addiction has started carrying Classic Elite yarn, so I picked up a skein of soft yellow,
and one of gray. At $11 for almost 500 yards, I think it's a great deal. I'm thinking shawlette or scarf, or maybe one of each. Easy on the hands for sure.
This stuff I bought because of the shop sample. It's a Blanket Buddy, made from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. So, so soft.
And I bought these two skeins on impulse, but the little bit of knitting I tried with it didn't make me happy. I hope to find something to make with it but I'm not sure just yet. Exactly the type of purchase I don't need to make, eh?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Oddly enough, I didn't take many vacation photos this year. Maybe because this is the schedule I followed most days:
- Light breakfast
- Beach time (8:00-11:00 a.m.)
- Book store/coffee shop or yarn store
- Nap time
- Beach time (after 2:00 p.m.)
- Beach time (6:00-8:00 p.m.)
All in all it was a very relaxing time, we had gorgeous weather, and I got to spend time with my oldest daughter and my youngest stepdaughter, as well as my mom, dad, sister, and nieces; today was incredibly hot though, so hot in fact, that I only did one beach stint.
With all the beach time, I managed to read three of the six books I brought with me, plus one that I bought while I was down there.
A Disobedient Girl--a riveting plot that had a twist at the end; I highly recommend it.
All the Living--a sparse book that was very readable; reminded me of another author, who's name escapes me, although the blurb suggests Marilynne Robinson's style, so maybe that's it.
Girls In Trucks--I liked this, but I felt like I had either read some of the chapters in short story form or I had tried to read it before and skimmed a lot of it. Good, but not as good as the other two.
The Likeness--I loved this one; it's the follow-up to In the Woods, which I also loved. A densely written mystery set in Ireland that kept me up late reading it, just like her first one. So, so good.
I also bought yarn, but I'll show those off tomorrow. As for the actual knitting, I started and finished a baby hat for my niece to give away, I finished a baby sweater that had been languishing in my UFO pile, I started a cotton string bag but it made my hands hurt so I put it aside, I started a pair of handwarmers, but didn't like the pattern so I frogged it, and I finished three more squares for the baby blanket. Not too shabby.
Now I'm going to try and cool off, as it's still over 90 degrees outside (at 10:00 p.m.) and hovering around 80 degrees inside. Summer hit us fast this year.
PS Playing around with Blogger's new templates; what's your opinion?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I'm having a terrible time deciding what knitting stuff to take. The clothes I'm taking are in the washer, the books are stacked in the book bag, but I'm completely stymied about what to take in the knitting category. Weird.
While trying to decide last night, I picked up an unfinished baby sweater and worked on it, but now I need another skein of yarn (which I may have somewhere around here already) to do the sleeves. So I'll probably take that. But what else?
Meanwhile, the students' last day was today and it went smoothly. Lots of tears from the 8th graders as they leave middle school behind, but not too terribly many from the teachers. At least not over the kids. We shed our tears at our farewell luncheon for two retiring teachers, one of whom has stage 4 lung cancer. Very tough to deal with, especially as she's had a setback and was looking awfully worn down. And is now on oxygen.
Makes my knitting "problem" seem rather petty.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
It just dawned on me yesterday that because of this, we have to eat everything in our freezer/refrigerator before Friday! Yikes! So last night I broiled the mahi mahi and salmon that was in the freezer, microwaved a couple of bags of vegetables, and made some rice to go along with it. An unexpected feast at this time of the school year.
These jeans look so cool; I think my youngest would love them.
SO glad I posted about my packing yesterday, otherwise I would have forgotten my beach chair! The house I'm staying at has beach chairs available, but of course mine is my favorite. Thanks for the comments! As for the books I listed, I meant to link them so you could read the blurbs, so here they are again.
All the Living, by C. E. Morgan
A Fortunate Age, by Joanna Smith Rakoff
A Disobedient Girl, by Ru Freeman
The Wish Maker, by Ali Sethi
Atlas of Unknowns, by Tania James
Monday, June 14, 2010
I remember a family vacation we took when I was sixteen; we went to Arkansas to visit family and stayed with them at a lake for a week, water-skiing and swimming all day. I don't think I came out of my suit except to sleep (and that was because my mom made me) the entire week. It was blissful.
Anyhow, I'm leaving from work on Friday around noon and heading down to the Outer Banks for a week with my family. My parents rent a house every year (this is either the 9th or 10th year) and my sister and her family and I and my family are included. I've had to wait until Saturday the past few years due to graduations, but this year I get to leave on Friday. And since no one from my family is going on Friday, I get to go earlier than usual. Steve is bring S down Sunday night (she has to work the weekend), and Mere and R are coming on Saturday.
I picked up the supply of books yesterday from the library. This was the group I had reserved after reading a copy of Poets & Writers a week or so ago.
- All the Living, by C. E. Morgan
- A Fortunate Age, by Joanna Smith Rakoff
- A Disobedient Girl, by Ru Freeman
- The Wish Maker, by Ali Sethi
- Atlas of Unknowns, by Tania James
I also have a bag of books that are more in the "beach book" style, that I picked up at the thrift store and library book sales over the past month or so. Those are the kind I usually take so I can just leave them there when I finish them, but the library books are calling my name this year.
I think tonight will be about getting my knitting together. I know I'm taking the baby blanket squares and I think I'll take a couple of UFOs just to see if I can get motivated. But I'll also be visiting Jeanne's shop so who knows what else I'll end up with.
Oh and the clothes? I'll pack those Friday morning, as usual. What kind of packer are you? List maker or a throw it in the bag packer?
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I liked his title.
Notice whose skull is being x-rayed?
This book was my favorite; the student is artistically talented.
I love the size of this boulder coming at the little house!
She had a nice mix of computer and hand drawn.
I thought they did a nice job and I plan on assigning this project again next year, as the students enjoyed it and I think it achieved my objective of making them review for the final exam.
I finished the mitered hand towel from Mason-Dixon; I like the colors but they look washed out here.
Now I'm working on another juniper bonnet to give my hands a rest from the thick cotton. S picked out this color combo, but she told me she wished I had reversed the main and contrast colors. So if I have enough peach left, I'll do another one. I love this pattern.
And to round out the randomness, here are some links for you to follow.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I really would like to make these coasters, but I don't know if I'm up to learning a new skill (crochet) just now.
Speaking of making useful items, I was finishing up a hand towel in class (the kids are doing projects and I'm monitoring from a distance) when one of my students asked me what it was. When I told her it was a hand towel, she asked me if I knit all my towels and "stuff". I told her no, but I could tell she was feeling kind of sorry for the poor teacher who couldn't just go out and buy ready made "stuff". Too funny. I was going to post a photo of it, but I have to do a re-take tomorrow with better light.
Steve and I dropped S off at work this morning and then wandered around a bit, but now we're home just puttering around. I'm grading my end of term projects and Steve's napping in the chair. Grading projects is usually a pain, but these are actually interesting. I assigned an "ABC Book of Physical Science" and gave them five days of class time to work on it (a key factor if you want completed projects, and perfect for this time of year). I think I'll take a few photos and post them. I'm definitely keeping some of the best ones to show next year's group, as this project will be a keeper.
That's about it for the weekend plans. Started another Juniper bonnet using stash yarn to give my hands a rest from the cotton knitting.
Only four more days of school! (Don't hate.)
Chelsea had a lovely post about seasons and cycles that resonated strongly with me as this is the time of year I end up feeling cranky and stressed, and today/yesterday/tomorrow is no exception.
We have a number of students on out-of-school suspension (OSS) today due to a food fight in the cafeteria yesterday. Also, a couple of girls went home on OSS yesterday due to treating a substitute teacher disrespectfully and then giving me loads of attitude about it. Should be kind of quiet on our team today as a result. I'm actually going on an AVID field trip to a local university today, so that should be fun, if a little hot. This will wrap up the week of crazy overscheduled school events. Only next week left before summer, and it goes without saying that I can't wait!
I'm hoping to make it to our local WWKIP Day this weekend. There's one in Williamsburg on Saturday and one in Norfolk on Sunday, so maybe it'll work out. Hope your weekend is a good one!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
M2 really liked the changes I made in her room. I have started to use it as a sewing room, so I put a desk in there and moved a few things around. I didn't want her to feel I was pushing her out of her room but she's rarely here anymore, especially since she isn't going to be home this summer, other than a visit here and there. So I am glad she was okay with it.
Actually, I'm thinking that if I knit the petal bib again, I'll use some of this yarn, as I like it better than the Rowan cotton. Maybe because it's mercerized? I'm not sure I know what that means but it must mean something, right?
Hope your Tuesday is a good one!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
I finished the Juniper Bonnet last night. I can't quite visualize how it'll look on a baby but I did love knitting it. Now I have to find just the right ribbon for the eyelet at the bottom. Rowan's Milk Cotton was a good choice of yarn I think, nice and soft and drapey. This hat also uses a Rowan yarn (I think), the denim one. Or maybe it's not Rowan. At any rate, I love this yarn but I'm not loving the hat. I'm thinking of frogging and using it to make a sturdy bib. Opinions?
You can't see it in the photos, but I used a fancy cross-stitch setting on the machine and followed the fake rick-rack design to add stability. The pattern suggests you add strips of towel on top of the cotton, but I didn't want to cover up the sheet pattern. I have some other sheets that are much more washed out looking that I plan to use and I'll do the towel strips on those.
Friday, June 4, 2010
This is one of the rosebushes Steve planted last year.
- Participating in a pickup faculty kickball game--despite being out of shape and lacking athletic skills, I did it for the fun. And it was. Even though I still ache in places I had forgotten could ache.
- Sitting at Elliot's on Tuesday reading a copy of Poets & Writers that was there and listing authors I want to read. My list includes Douglas Glover, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nicola Keegan, Reif Larsen, Ru Freeman, Ali Sethi, and Joanna Smith Rakoff. I have never heard of any of these authors but like a good treasure map, one never knows what gems one will find. Also on the list are these titles: All the Living, by C. E. Morgan, Atlas of Unknowns, by Tania James, and Men & Dogs, by Katie Crouch.
- Sex and The City 2--didn't think I'd like it but I saw it with a group of women for a birthday get-together and it was fun. Fantasy, but fun.
- Spending my $10 thrift store gift card (frequent flier punchcard). Bought a beat-up wicker trunk and five magazines at bargain prices. Who cares if the Coastal Living magazines are six years old? I sure don't.
- Enjoying mint tea at Elliot's after work on Thursday while waiting to pick up my stepdaughter from her job. And talking with her before heading home to fix our delicious vegetarian dinner.
What did you do to treat yourself this week?
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Creativity is showing up at home too. I am knitting on a bunch of different things (don't judge), and the latest is the Juniper bonnet using a skein of rose-colored Rowan Milk Cotton. So pretty and old-fashioned looking and an enjoyable pattern to follow too.
I'm cooking some too. I've pulled out my battered copy of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook and am planning to try at least one recipe a week. Maybe more once school's out. Last week it was the Broccoli & Tofu in Spicy Peanut Sauce (delicious!) and tonight I made the Mushroom Yogurt Pie in a Spinach Crust. It was quiche-like, except it only required one egg and used yogurt instead of cream or milk. Also, very, very goood. I'm hoping the slice left over will make it till morning so I can have it for breakfast.
Other recipes queued up from the book are: Savory Vegetable Cheesecake, Mushroom Mystery Casserole, Pasta w/ Artichoke Hearts, Marinated Pasta Salad, and Moroccan Orange-Walnut Salad.
What are you cooking up this week?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Going back to work today after the three day weekend was smoother than I expected. After I got home, I straightened up some of the yarn piles and rearranged my needle jars. I have four categories of needles now: the rooster holds the tall straights, metal and wood alike, the seahorse container holds the shorter straights, again, a mix of metal and wood, a clear green vase holds the longer dpns, and a striped metal pencil box holds the short dpns. It's amazing how much fun I had doing that. I did work on the petal bib from One Skein. Thanks to the miracle of online tutorials, I can now purl 2tog through the back loops, although it was a big pain for me to do so.
I really like this idea, both as a way to use some of the piles of fabric (sheets) I've been buying and also as a really cool way to take food to potlucks.
I like these but I doubt I'll make any, although I guess you never know.
Now I'm off to bed so I can get up early for the last SOL test this year. History this time, so no stress for me. I plan to knit another baby hat while proctoring. Our faculty is playing a game of kickball after school as a stress reliever. Fingers crossed that I don't injure myself