Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday, Jan. 8: Cold!

It's been a quiet, routine weekend, but, once again, it's zoomed by! Yesterday was steely grey, cold, and still, feeling like it was desperate to snow all day. The snow did start around 7 pm, and we got about 4 fluffy inches, then today was clear, cold, and sunny. Tonight is due to be brutally cold.  We filled the bird feeders as a sign of solidarity, I guess. . . . Wow. So lucky to have a warm, roomy, comfortable house and lots of good food.

So: I have
*packed up the three watches and one lap counter that need new batteries;
*written to Senator Collins (ahem);
*gotten Officially Started on my Cafe Bastille cable pullover;
*watched a movie (!!!): "Begin Again," which I enjoyed;
*had two good workouts;
*made two interesting bread experiments;
*gone to church;
*talked to Julie for over an hour on Saturday;
*read various things;
*finished writing and editing a professional article. . . .

Not so bad.

More to do, but that felt good.

A five day week ahead! Both of my sons are in their places: N. in Nantes after a weekend in Tours, and L. back in Portland, ready to start back at his building job (brrrrrrr) after a week of vacation in NYC. Onwards!

Closing with a view of my present from N!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Friday, Jan. 6: Friday, Friday, Friday!

A. and I are settling into our empty nesting phase: N. is in Nantes with his host family and his Euros, getting his life arranged for a stretch; L. has taken a week off and is in NYC visiting friends but still communicado and very happy; school has restarted w/ a busy four-day week featuring a hair cut, an eye dr's app't (my eye is fine, despite the Weiss dot, etc.), and the general malaise and flatness of coming back to school. That will fade as we all reconnect, get motivated, and move on, but I am still ecstatic that it's FRIDAY!

*Great yoga class yesterday, AND I was given a massage certificate by a Secret Santa !!!!

Goals for the weekend:
*potting another amaryllis, this one for school
*knitting on my sweater and watching a movie.
*thank you/holiday notes.
*church--trying to get back into that mode.

Some pics. . . . because. . . .

Sparkly toes from stocking polish! 

Nate's magnum opus, stage one complete!


New Year's Eve: penne a la vodka

A rare sight.. . . 2017 detente? 

So. . . Matt's no Knead Artisanal bread is rising, I have some laundry to do and Christmas boxes to put down stairs, a run and a shower, and then. . .KNITTIN' TO START! Yikers! 

N is settled in Nantes, and now off to Tours for a weekend group bonding activity. Into January!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday, Dec. 17: Snowy Saturday, Boy Home. . . .

Deep, calming breath, with happiness lying under it. Saturday morning, following a short (we had a SNOW DAY ON MONDAY! WHAT BLESSING!) but super-busy week: Tuesday: three stop errands to get all the bits and pieces for various ornament swaps, Secret Angels or Santas, etc; Wednesday: dr's appt/checkup; Thursday: picking up the euros I ordered for Nate on top of the usual homework club/yoga + making bread and salad for Bo's gathering on Friday; Friday: dropping off the car for four new tires and a headlight (yes, I was driving a deathtrap around), getting a ride into school, meeting to discuss next year's plans, Readers & Writers Group meeting 2:30 - 3:30, 4:30 ride to Bo's, lovely time and dinner there, then ride to Harmon's to get my car (I feel so safe on the road now! It's like driving a tank!) at 7:45, and home by 8!!!!!

*But. . . . . I finished my grad class work for this 3rd class on Monday (that was a focused and intense snow day, but so so nice to have!), so I have a relatively empty weekend upcoming, and one that sort of snuck up on me! Nate just got home last night late late in an effort to avoid the snow that we are having even as I type, and he is asleep up stairs with his belongings scattered all around the house, but safe and sound.

I may make sugar buns to welcome him home (for elevenses, as I think he probably got into bed around 3 am or so); I hope to finish my "Regular Guy Beanie 2.0" in lovely blue Malabrigo today and then make Lyle a knitted pincushion, maybe while finishing listening to The Secret Garden. I could/should also go for a run and finish up the Ridgefield Christmas box so I can mail that off Monday. And we are renting a big rug shampooer to do the living carpet because either Zeus or the cats left many suspicious wet spots after our weekend away. So there are items on the to do list.

BUT: I don't have a lot that I have to do that I don't want to do.

What a blessing!

And I am sitting with my strong coffee by the propane fireplace listening to my favorite Kate Rusby sing in her lovely Yorkshire accent on Sweet Bells (go buy it for yourself and brighten your December!) and things are good. Outside, it's been record-settingly cold, the dark is rising on many levels, and social discourse seems awry; nonetheless, it's important to strengthen our hearts and souls to provide the light, hope and strength we need to move forward.

Edited to. . . shift this post from my (mind-bogglingly boring) grad class blog (not even posting a link) to this one. And to add some pics:

View from my comfy chair to the patio!

My current love. . . . on 5th attempt to get it right!

Katniss awaits the magic warmth machine

So symbolic it makes my eyes water. . .

So there are some thoughts and images for a still snowy Saturday that is still filled with free space and potential!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Oct. 23: Well hello!

Busy year, even as it is different from the past. . . . Good year, but also a demanding one, especially in contrast to my darn-near-heavenly summer.

Sooooooo: am taking a Using Technology to Enhance PBE class as class #3 in my Profiency-Based Education graduate certificate. That has meant a lot of on-line time with a central purpose, so I have not shared here a lot.

I hope to get back to this, and also find a midpoint for my time demands. My yoga teacher has talked about the change of seasons and how that switch tends to make us ungrounded, and I guess I'd echo that heartily right now.

Ungrounded. Oh yeah.

But this is good news. We can watch The Durrells on Corfu. . . . on our own time!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday, Aug. 21: A week, and much to look forward to, left!

N's last day at Williamstown; one week of vacation; final steps on a lot of projects, and possibly some rain tonight! Yay! Here are my reads of late (two duplicates as I can't screenshot half a row!). .  . Time to prep for church!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wed., August 10: Finished a Memorable One!

A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Tale is a mind-blowing book. I read it slowly, sometimes needing a break for a simpler story-line and less nuance, but I'm glad I persevered. Still amazed that it was not until the end that I realized that, in this novel about creating narratives by reading them and creating realities by living them (and a blend of both ideas, too), the protagonist and her husband have the same names as the author and her husband. As a student used to say, =Mind.= =Blown.=

So don't even start with what the book is about: love, death, family, the internet, human cruelty, WWII, the tsunami of 2011 and resulting nuclear plant meltdown, human cruelty, nature, dreams. . . with a big helping of Japanese cultural aspects that tend to make me uncomfortable (suicide clubs, cosplay, etc) and a terrific grandmother figure. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time to come.

View all my reviews

Lovely, going-to-be-hot morning after a nice Tuesday that featured an early run (great to get it done but I am fearful that my soreish foot is turning into plantar fasciitis), some good work and projects, and then a fun trip to Bar Harbor to see "Love and Friendship" with Heather and Lori. What a treat! Today, I finished my book above, chatted online with some friends, and am planning to go make a fabric checkbook cover because 1. heck, I can! and 2. I don't like those ugly cheesy plastic covers but don't want to pay for a better one!

Andy is due home tonight. I plan to swim around noon. . . . and then repair my SUP, read some Lady Susan, and make dinner of some sort. Onwards!

**What a lovely, lovely summer. We need rain badly, but I am trying to treasure what is precious since I am not in charge. **

Also, as support for the Olympic viewing and filler knitting in place of 100000000 pairs of booties:

Not my idea, not my choice of pattern or colors; inherited partway finished (up to the white arrows, really). I found a general pattern and added more shaping and more color, finished the collar, and did the button band the other night. I hope to do the next button band tonight (?) so I can sew it up and block it soon. Can't wait to see what a good bath and shaping can do for it. Then: who needs/wants a big ol' non-Lopi Lopi sweater? :)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Saturday, August 6: Rich Summer Continues!

     We need rain, badly, but might get some tonight––of course we had planned to go see "Comedy of Errors" at Fort Knox––but the rest of the summer is rich, full, and lovely. We had a wonderful five days on Taylor Pond, courtesy of the California Whites, and enjoyed stunning weather except for a hazy afternoon when we went to see the unabashedly fun "Ghostbusters 2". Much fun in the sun, the water, and with family:

Last Sunday A and I returned home, sighing a bit, and settled into our quieter but wonderful life here. I read Ta-Nehisi Coates's amazing piece Between the World and Me, worked on an experimental tank top with the Sorbetto pattern (nearly done), and actually managed to pull off a leisurely summer knitting group meeting with Dawn and Jen on our patio, breezes, a lovely rhubarb-cornmeal tart, and lots of fun talk and knitting! And. . . banjo lessons! And . . . . some monumental salads

We've also gotten my beloved Corolla up to the dealership for a major (okay, overdue) spa treatment of $2k proportions (but we hope that holds her for a few years!), I attended a good one day PBE conference in Brewer with Heather, put on by the State, and I finished my second of four PBE classes with a perfect score (booyah!) but, more importantly, a sense of how to do research at the graduate level and some rich topics for investigation. Hmmmmm. 

Lyle is pondering next steps, and Nate is pondering the end of his incredible, intensive, powerful, crazy, exhausting summer apprenticeship at Williamstown Theater Festival, and is due home in about two weeks. I plan/hope to finish some projects (tank, checkbook cover, and inherited sweater, I'm looking at you three!), repair my SUP and use it, do some writing course planning for school, hike some, see more friends, and do some summery stuff I can't do otherwise. Mostly, I want to continue to love and appreciate this time, soaking it in. Onwards, gently and with awareness! 

ETA: WOOT! WOOT! A sewing victory!

I rarely have these. . . . at least beyond quilts and pj pants! I am slow, often reluctant, overly cautious, or downright dense about sewing, especially adapting patterns to fit my particular self. However, the free Sorbetto tank pattern (linked above) was a success! I am so late to that party that the blog's comments are closed, even for this summer's Sorbetto sewing party, but I am so tickled that I'm sharing anyway: 
AND will sport that product to church tomorrow! 

A couple quick remarks: using parchment paper for my cutting-out pattern version was great, and much easier than trying to adapt the standard-paper model I pieced together from the pdf. That was a hint from the online community. Thank you!

Another trick that delights me is this idea of how to make my own bias-tape: here's the link, and thank you to "Creative Daisy" who showed the way and saved me from ordering a limited gadget. I liked making that tape for the neck and arm holes so much that I decided to use it on the hem (1" size) too--also to add a bit of length and give more heft to weight the front pleat a bit. I really enjoy it, and I'm delighted to think that, with this tutorial as well, I can do a much better job on the edges of future quilts, as well! 

The learning! The learning! The learning! I really loved it!