Monthly Archives: September 2009

Lists: an excuse for poor transitions

(1) We went to the pumpkin festival Saturday for the community garden.  It was fun and easygoing.  I have only one picture of this weekend, so here are the spoils from the fundraiser side of things (aside from the pumpkins and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, of course):

That there's a tie-dyed onesie by our garden steward, and a recycled metal candy cane ornamet by her sister.  Rad.

That there's a tie-dyed onesie by our garden steward, and a recycled metal candy cane ornament by her sister. Rad.

(2) Went boating with a friend today.  Since Brad needs to know how to drive a boat for his job prospect (still a prospect at this point; I’ve gotten used to the uncertainty for now), I set up a time to go out and drive Lori’s boat.  I’ve only really driven a big boat on a big shallow lake when I worked for the state — it sure is easier to drive a smaller boat in a deep reservoir, with only one engine, that sits high in the water.  Piece of cake (if you can get it started)!  So now Brad has at least one afternoon of small boat-driving experience for his interview, which is better than none.  A more painless, delightful interview preparation can hardly be imagined.  The maples are flaming red at the top of the canyons, the cottonwoods are brilliant gold, and the aspens are starting on their way to the same yellow color.  Plus, I got to spend a day with Lori, which hasn’t happened for, oh, I don’t know.  Years?  Awesome.

(3) I have no hair.  I mean, I have some, but when I put a stocking cap on, I may as well have none.  Therefore, I am searching for a winter hat style that will not make me look so … bald.  Next stop is beret.  I hope it isn’t too ridiculous.  Stop after next is Rasta.  I hope even more fervently that that’s okay.

(4) Baby C’s first birthday is coming up.  Unfortunately, Brad will be flying out for his interview the morning of, so I guess we’ll observe it a day early.  Does anyone have any good suggestions for what to do?  I’m blank.


This and that

(1) No crochet edging for the Danish tie shawl, after consideration. Sorry, Anne. I do still like the idea, though, truly, and I will look for another project for which a fussy edge like that would be suitable. I think it would be better on a solid-colored item, since I’d prefer to do the edge in two colors. A baby blanket comes to mind and oh! I have a niece on the way this winter! And I’ve been thinking of a round baby blanket, just because they’re cool.

(2) Brad’s traveling to NY in a couple of weeks for a face-to-face interview. Sounds good to me, like we might be a-movin’. But I probably shouldn’t pack yet.

(3) Despite the uncertainty in #2, I dropped my Wetlands class, fearing I would not be able to finish it along with a move. The class requires a project regarding an actual local (to me) restored wetland — dudes, for what I know, all the water will be frozen in NY by the time I get there if I do get there at all. There’s a lake within walking distance that qualifies to my mind (and to various definitions) as a big honkin’ wetland, but I don’t know what, if any, restoration has ever been done on it. Also, it may well be frozen over, not sure if I mentioned that. Must I learn to ice skate right off?

(4) A friend of mine recently came through serious surgery with flying colors.   Hooray!  Her positive story has restored my faith (a little) in the medical community. That faith was about destroyed by my father’s experience with very serious illness a few years back. It contributed substantially to my choosing to have Baby C at home with a midwife last year (which was a great choice. Granted, it’s not entirely the same thing as, say, serious pneumonia or heart trouble, but still. It’s all hospitals. It’s related.)

(5) The fambly went to the State Fair for a song on Sunday. A good time was had and I discovered there is actually a local tatting organization. And also that when you are buying fresh-made ice cream, it’s just stupid to get the size called “Iddy Biddy Baby” instead of the size called “Double Scoop.” Stupid. Learn from my mistake, friends.

It marches on

I had a birthday this past week.  I tried to post a little blurb on Facebook, but apparently I am Facebook retarded.  I also am failing (repeatedly) to send messages there successfully (so Hi Lori! if you’re reading here. I’m trying to talk back to you, I’m just not good at it!)

For my birthday:
(1) I discovered that eating an entire box of Star Crunch in honor of the big event is a habit perhaps best left in one’s twenties.
(2) Brad cooked yummy steaks, so I was an omnivore the for the day.
(3) He also chose a great gift — the book “Backyard Homestead.” He is talented at giving good gifts that are not anything I’d thought of.
(4) We went to see a movie (the day after the birthday). This would be the first time away from the kids since, um, February. Which is a loooong time. I normally hate movies, but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to one, and I was just in the mood. The movie was silly and entertaining and did not make me want to kill myself (that is my number one criterion for whether or not I’d like to see any particular movie. If you like my criterion, do not under any circumstances rent Mystic River. You’ve been warned.)
(5) I double-checked and confirmed that I have still not outgrown Lyle Lovett. Nope, still going strong with the Lovett lovin’ here.

Organic hydric soil bedtime story

The next bedtime story I make up to tell H will totally feature the twin characters of Mucky Peat Histosol and Peaty Muck Histosol, drippy young superheroes.  Thank you, Mitsch and Gosselink, authors of my wetlands text.

But no thank you, M&G, for leading me down the fanciful but wrong path of believing that billabongs and oxbows were the same thing.  I mean, you said they were, right there in chaper two!  Then you took it back later, in, uh, chapter seven or something.  I am so disappointed.  If you hadn’t given me new characters for stories, I would still be mad.

New canner

Yesterday Brad canned.  I had my hands kind of full with a verrrrrrrry cranky baby and a sort of lippy kindergartener, so Brad performed most of the labor.  I stood just outside the kitchen with a baby on my hip and gave directions.


That’s 5 12-oz jar plus two 8-oz jars of pickled dilly beans (I usually do pickled beans with thyme, but the thyme, it is sad this year, and the dill is a-okay.  I still have a couple of jars from last year for comparison — I will be sure to provide a review when they’ve been directly compared.  To an audience with bated breath, I’m sure).  That’s also 8 pint jars of straight-up tomatoes.

The other cool thing about these two batches is that all of the produce is from our garden.  I was keeping track of the estimated value of our harvest.  We exceeded the $50 rental fee some time ago and I quit tracking it.  Despite the extreme cracking-and-rotting-on-the-vine of some of my tomato variety choices, the garden has definitely been a success.

The Upstate NY love

So not only does Brad have that job prospect in upstate NY I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (did I mention, too, that it’s in a park?  In?), but now he has another interview at another SUNY campus also in Upstate NY.  Is NY calling us?  Or teasing us?   This new prospect is outside a park, of course — that kind of thing comes along only once in a lifetime.  No, I lie, since the little town of Baker, NV had an interesting possibility a couple of years ago.  We did really consider moving to extremely rural NV to live right next door to Great Basin NP.  In the end that one seemed a bit tooooo much way out there.  Though it sounds silly, one of the drawbacks of leaving The Place Where I Live is losing the delicious proximity to Great Basin (as well as other stunning places, some even closer.  Some even visible out my bedroom window.)

I need opinions on the crochet edging on the shawl in my last post.  That’s a shameless solicitation, folks.  Maybe my photos are inadequate for judgement…

That got sort of large

Here’s my Danish tie shawl.  Is it finished?  Hanspun Danish Tie_blocking_091009_2I don’t know – it’s blocking.  The crocheted edge in the pattern is rad.  But I can’t decide about it.  Decide for me, please, people.  It’ s a two-color, deliciously fiddly edging, what with chaining one color, dropping it (off the hook!  completely!), chaining the other one over top, fastening to the shawl edge, then going back to the first color and doing it again.  It looks like a bicolor rope around the edge.  But still.  I’m just not so sure.

Hanspun Danish Tie_blocking_091009_1It is large, large enough to tie around my waist without added cords.  Once it is dry, I will try that again and ponder.  It messes up the corners, obviously. Every inch of yarn in it is handspun.  The maroon is 100% mohair and it’s worming a lot, but I’ve decided to love the texture it adds.

Here’s another finished object, too, which could not be unveiled here until it had been received by its intended owner, my mother.  Rippling Waters_082809_2This was a fun one — I like lace on a garter ground quite a bit.  My mom seems to like it.  My mom’s pretty discriminating about handmade items, so I am glad this one was a hit.  The yarn was delightful, as it turned out (it’s a 2/28 silk from Colourmart, not available anymore.)

Details on both projects can be found at my Ravelry page,which you know, you can’t see if you’re not a Raveler.  I figure if you’re not a member you’re probably not that interested in the details anyway.

Abort and redirect. With cobbler.

Today a family hike was planned.  Normally, this goes well.  H has developed into a good hiker, and Baby C has gotten used to his baby backpack thingy.  It seems that each hike grows a little more strenuous than the last and H has been game all year.

Today the gameness was over.  He sat down in the middle of the trail and loudly and in very clear, complete sentences, announced his intention to not go on.  He said it was too steep (????)  So we went back down after only about a mile, and had a picnic instead at my favorite mountain reservoir.  Of course, I forgot my camera for the whole shebang.  Just trust me.

Then there was peach cobbler for dessert.  I will eat anything with sugar in it, likely much more of it than anyone might reasonably expect, but I do have my preferences.  Pie is low on the list, unfrosted cake is just above, frosted cookies above that, then frosted cake, then fruit crisps, then cookies, and then cobbler.  I think cobbler tops it out.  And peach cobbler is the best of them all.

I live in a peach-producing area.  And I’m married to a cobbler-producing man (as well as producing an occasional cobbler myself).  Lucky me.


“A cutoff meander of a river is called a billabong in Australia and an oxbow in North America.”  (from my Wetlands textbook)

North Americans, can we please, please switch?  I mean, the word oxbow is all right and all, but I’d feel so much better about my interest in hydrology if I could talk about billabongs instead.