Sunday, September 14, 2008

Blue skies at last

This last week has been very rainy and humid and just dreary. The grass didn't stop growing one bit, and if I venture out to mow, it will leave big ruts in the yard. But it isn't all bad. All of that raining meant lots of time inside knitting, reading and internet surfing -- altogether happy stuff. This doesn't even include movies and lunch with friends.

The rain cleared up part way through the day yesterday and the sky is the brilliant blue of autumn. I can't remember fall beginning this early in previous years, but I'm ready to start nesting and cleaning and baking.

Finally, here's the requested pesto recipe:

½ c. olive oil
¼ c. water
¾ c. fresh Parmesan, grated
½ c. pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 c. packed basil leaves
½ t. salt

Blend ingredients.

Sometimes I substitute walnuts for pine nuts and parsley for basil.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sock of Hope

So there is some hope that one day things will feel normal again. As evidence, I submit the Sock of Hope a.k.a the Spring Forward Sock from Knitty.

I had been rendered unable to knit anything more complicated than a dishcloth. (Stress is all about humility. Seriously.) Technically it was possible to knit from patterns. I had before. But now, my brain refused to count, to think, to follow a pattern. I gave up and knitted dish clothes. Then I tricked my brain and knitted Kitty Pi, which requires a small amount of counting and pattern following. Last week, I blatantly knitted a sock. The toes still need to be stitched up and the other sock made, but this is progress. One day I might be able to knit a sweater!

The weather here turned decidedly cooler. I chopped up beef stew ingredients and tossed them in the crock pot. Tomorrow morning I'll turn it on before I leave for work. I'm looking forward to the cooler-weather cooking. I'm also looking forward to coming home to a home-cooked meal tomorrow. It will be the perfect evening for planning what to plant in the garden this fall and to freeze a couple of batches of pesto.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back in Town

I just returned from a lovely week in Madison, WI, which I spent with my sister, her husband and their two boys. The boys are adorable and as well-behaved as is possible at ages one and two. I cannot say the same for the adults, and it was a delight. As with all good vacations, the time was relaxed and unstructured with lots of long chats, naps, and giggling.

We ventured off to several yarn stores. Lakeside Fibers is closest to her house, has a huge selection of yarns, and they offer all kinds of classes. In the back of the building is another shop -- a coffee shop with a view of the lake. I believe it was then that I realized my life's calling is to drink coffee and knit in yarn shops. This is similar to the dream of drinking coffee in bookstores. I haven't figured out how that will generate income for me, but one day inspiration may strike.

The Sow's Ear in Verona also had a terrific selection of yarns and an extremely friendly staff. They were amused by my one-year-old nephew's delight at seeing yarn when most people would have been stricken with terror. When they learned I was from Kansas, they wanted to know all about the Yarn Barn: "They have big advertisements in every magazine!" Sadly, I haven't been to the Yarn Barn and couldn't tell them about it. Perhaps that will be the next place (besides Twist) where I drink coffee and knit. I wonder if coffee is allowed there.
Usually at the end of a vacation I'm tired and ready to come home. This time, I just wanted it to go on and on. I knew the cats were getting good care and attention from Jill. My parents minded the garden. There were no worries. I was having fun with my sister and enjoying an idyllic college town, dammit. Through some amazing act of will power, I still managed to make it home. As a reward for actually returning, the house was cleaner than I remembered and the cats were sweet. The garden looked good and I had a lunch date with two friends on Saturday. Things are actually pretty good here in do-dah, and I'm glad I came back.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reality Show

I'm tuning in tonight for my new favorite reality show: Sarah Palin. Each time I think I've heard the most astonishing thing about her or the McCain campaign, a new most astonishing thing pops up. Save a seat in front of the tv for me. I can hardly wait to hear her speech.

My sister is in the kitchen making an apple crisp. I made a taco casserole. We've got our Woodchuck cider and our knitting. I've made it to the foot of the Spring sock and my sister is knitting a table runner from Rowan tweed. This is a good way to spend an evening.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Lazy Days

This is a lovely weekend. Lots of time sipping coffee, knitting, sitting around with my feet up, and chatting. Sometimes I knit or read, but when that gets too intense, I take a nap. I could get used to this.