Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade in Review (2002 and 2003)

I can't remember a blasted thing about 2002 except that we got pregnant in May. I was sick all the time, and then I went to a very prestigious and exhausting conference at the end of June, which is where I officially determined that I was preggers... and well, it just didn't go well. I was widely known as The Fat One who Keeps Throwing Up and Belching (in the nicest possible way, of course.)

February 17, 2003: horrible ice storm. Multiple neighbors call to offer their snowmobiles or 4-wheel drive trucks to convey me to the hospital, if necessary. I try to be reassured that a midwife lives in the apartment underneath mine. Fortunately, I make it until the 19th (the official due date) and am safely conveyed to the hospital to have my labor induced. Sometime after dinner, Son #1 is born! I immediately chow down a vanilla milkshake and a large burger to celebrate.

I don't sleep much for the next few years. This might have something to do with why I don't remember most of the details.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mittens, Mitts, and Scarves

Continuing the round-up of photos: here is some knitting from the summer. The '08 Summer Olympics made a great backdrop for simple knitting. I still haven't found time (or pattern) to make the matching hat, but I made a super-long scarf and warm mittens from some discontinued Noro Kureyon that I bought at Webs.

Last winter I made myself some fingerless mitts to help keep my fingers warm during tennis season. They worked out so well that everyone else in the family keeps borrowing them. I've promised a set to DH and plan to make some for other members of the family for next Xmas.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The decade in review (2001)

The year started off badly, with a lot of stress surrounding our wedding plans and fights over guest lists and flowers for the altar and so on. DH's grandmother was also doing very badly, health-wise, so we ended up punting our Big Wedding Plans and having a small family ceremony in her living room on March 23rd. Ironically, his grandmother ended up hanging on for another 3+ years, but this was one of the last moments she was really mentally alert and taking things in.

We didn't live together immediately. DH was still working on his PhD and I had to teach, so we continued our commuter relationship for another 10 weeks. Then I moved up to NH for the summer and we lived in a crazy huge old house for three months, interrupted only by...

Our honeymoon! Three weeks in the Phillipines and Hong Kong. Pure magic.

Then DH moved south with me in late August. He would continue working on his PhD while I supported us. September 11th was the first day of classes... I will always remember that we thought Jason was pulling our leg when he came down after first period and said that a second plane had hit the WTC. While none of my students lost parents in the attacks, several lost relatives or neighbors.

I don't have any specific memories of that fall or winter.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The decade in review (2000)

In 2000, I was about four months into my first "real job" - as a math and physics teacher at Mercersburg Academy. Mercersburg is a small rural town in south-central Pennsylvania. I had moved there partially to please a boyfriend, who then promptly broke up with me. (He thought he might be in DC but ended up in Boston.) My favorite uncle died just a month after I started my job. I did have my beloved pooch, Penny, to keep me sane and prevent me from being too lonely.

I remember that I taught four classes: Conceptual Physics, Honors Algebra II, and two sections of PreCalculus. I had some wonderful students and some terrible ones. I coached tennis and played the carillon, and lived in Swank Hall with about forty 10th, 11th, and 12th grade girls.

That summer, I returned to Dartmouth to try to finish my PhD in experimental physics. What a joke! My advisor had washed his hands of me and was actually getting ready to quit, although we didn't know it yet. My mother was moving and trying to sell the house. I had a terrible time between dealing with my melt-down in my academic life and not knowing where I'd be living from week to week. And yet... it was also the most important summer of my life, because the DH and I started dating! We'd been friends for the previous four years but somehow never got the timing right, romantically. By the end of the summer we were unofficially engaged; we got the ring at Thanksgiving and finished meeting each other's extended families at Christmas.

I don't think I have any photos from that era; if I do, they're on paper in a box somewhere.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Good pasta sauce

My husband rocks the creative pasta sauce. Me? Not so much. I tend to be overly traditional. In this case, I used some old ideas from him to make up something pretty tasty and healthy, too.

1/2 large eggplant, diced, salted, sat, drained, dried, and fried in a couple tablespoons of oil
one 28-ounce can of tomatoes with basil
one large onion, diced
two cloves garlic, minced
one 16-ounce can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons currants
1/4 cup applesauce

Saute onions in a little oil until mostly caramelized. Add garlic and stir until just starting to turn golden. Add tomatoes and beans. Simmer about 20 minutes. Add eggplant, capers, currents and applesauce and stir until heated through; serve over chunky pasta.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

pictures of mittens

My gig is mittens. I make them for my children, for my children's friends, and for my students. i've finished a number of pairs in the past 6 months but had the pics trapped on my camera... until today. All mittens were made with Cascade 220 Superwash on #3 wooden needles (16" circs from KnitPicks.) The last two patterns are my own design.

Rachel's mittens: they're based on The Druid Mittens by Jared Flood, but in a slightly thicker yarn so I had to use different cable patterns. By her request, they're fraternal rather than identical twins.

Cormac's mittens: for a 5-year-old, with his initials and a rather large Norwegian star. Also by request, fraternal rather than identical mittens (his little brothers are fraternal twins.)

Rory's mittens: also for a 5-year-old, in her favorite colors. She liked the "boxed-in" look of this design, which is new to me.

Next up: scarves and another set of mittens!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

loving Knitty

I do this every quarter, don't I? I adore Knitty, love so many of their patterns... and still haven't knit anything published by them.

Someday. It will come.

Right now, I love
Diversions: love love love! Noro sock yarn should work for this, don't you think? But first I have to learn how to knit backwards...
Quadrat: probably looks terrible on my body type, but that side-to-side cable look is just awesome.
Mr Darcy: finally, a sweater my husband might actually like!
Aibe: such cool cables, such warm mittens.
Bitterroot: gorgeous.

In other news, I finished four projects in the last week. Pictures to follow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

today I am grateful for

1) family
2) friends (particularly those who want to eat sushi with me!)
3) the ability to read
4) having enough money to buy the occasional thing of sushi, or good book
5) a heated apartment
6) a friend's dog
7) my knitting, and the ability to do so
8) being healthy
9) loving my job
10) being able to sleep in tomorrow morning!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ten Authors

Out of left field, a list of 10 authors whose work I will buy without even reading a review or back cover... presented in no particular order.

1) Neil Gaiman: my loyalty to Sandman and, more recently, The Graveyard Book, is such that I will read anything else he writes. I will also watch any movie that has any relationship to him
2) Patricia McKillip: I can't remember the last non-brilliant book she wrote. Alphabet of Thorn and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld still top my read-again-when-sick-or-sad list.
3) Robin McKinley: I wish we could clone her to get more books out of her brain. Sunshine was brilliant. I still hand The Hero and the Crown to teenagers every year.
4) J. D. Robb: note that I do NOT read Nora Roberts on a regular basis. However, I can't get enough of the tales about Eve Dallas and her unit. I read the entire series this summer. Good thing the woman is so prolific!
5) Donald Kingsbury: I believe he's only written three novels, but two of them are still sentimental favorites of mine: Geta (Courtship Rites in the USA) and The Moon Goddess and the Son
6) Barry Hughart: I don't know what happened to him after Bridge of Birds and its two sequels, but I'll buy his books if he ever gets back into publishing.
7) Lois McMaster Bujold: I named one of my kids after a character of hers. My husband and I bonded, while dating, over our love of her novels. Once again, I wish we could clone her to get more volumes out of her. Start with either Komarr or Curse of Chalion if you haven't read her already.
8) Connie Willis: I hear we're finally getting the next of her time-travel books out in the winter. To Say Nothing of the Dog is one of my all-time favorites, so I'm eagerly awaiting the next one.
9) Sherri S. Tepper: I have a love-hate relationship with a lot of her books. They aren't easy reading, and some of them make no logical sense (Six Moon Dance, I am looking at you here) but the writing and the themes are so compelling that they stay with me. My favorites are Raising the Stones and Northshore/Southshore.
10) Terry Pratchett: He says that he is almost done with publishing as his illness gets worse. I will treasure any last volumes he can churn out before the inevitable end. Start with Guards! Guards! but read everything of his.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This isn't like New Year's...

OK, I lasted for 2 days.

In my (feeble) defense, yesterday stank like a week-old carp. By the time I came home (11:15pm) I was too exhausted to think about anything other than bed.

I carry my knitting bag around with me but haven't touched the needles in almost a week.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Well, I'm exhausted and coughing; both my kids seem to be sick, too.

I have a huge pile of tests to grade and no time to knit.

Bleah? Yeah. Fortunately there's always silly math poetry:

A dozen, a gross, and a score
plus three times the square root of four
divided by seven
plus five times eleven
is nine squared and not a bit more.
- Jon Saxton

Sunday, November 1, 2009

30 posts in 30 days? Hah!

Every year I vaguely yearn to participate in Write a Novel in a Month... but until I quit teaching, that will not be happening. (End of volleyball season. Fall term final exams. Grade and comments for 68 students. And that's just the first three weeks...)

So instead, I'm trying to jump on the bandwagon with this Post to Your Blog Every Day for a Month thing. Glad I read about it today instead of tomorrow.

Possibly I will even download photos from the camera at some point!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Ten things that make me feel old:

1) When I realize that I'm legitimately old enough to be the mother of most of my students. (23 years older than the youngest ones!)

2) When I look for books I loved in high school and discover that they've been out of print for almost two decades.

3) When it's 80's Day at school and I have this brief pre-caffeine flash of thinking that everyone suddenly looks NORMAL.

4) When I hear music on the radio, happily remember it from my high school days, then realize that I'm listening to the Oldies station.

5) When I realize that I haven't been a size 10 in almost 8 years.

6) When I tell people that was a natural blonde in high school and they don't believe me (it's brown + silver now)

7) When I realize that my good friend's son is about to graduate from college... he was born our senior year of high school!

8) The realization that I will have to get bifocals pretty soon.

9) Meeting mothers of my sons' classmates who are over 10 years younger than I am... wait, aren't they too young to have kids? Well, no... I just started a little later than they did.

10) Strangely enough, every time I remember that I remember the "Challenger" crash.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The value of the blog

I just amused myself by rereading last year's entries in the blog. I now understand its value: it reminds me of random bits of my past. Like the coughing crud. Or why the red socks ended up being for my younger son when they were clearly styled for my older son.

In other news, I'm tired and I have to cut 10 girls from the volleyball team by Thursday.

I have too many WIPs to count, but the most important ones are these:
Mittens for RK (styled like Druid Mittens but with different cables, about 50% done)
Socks for my mother (yep, they're still not done. They spent almost a year under my dresser in their little bag.)
Mittens for DL
Red Scarf (for the Red Scarf Project)

I was just trying to remember that last great thing I cooked but I can't remember!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What to love...

in the new Knitty?

There's a lot there - the editors' taste really matched up with mine this time!

Hex: I love the geometric shapes, but rectangular shawls aren't all the practical for me... I wonder if I can cut it down to a wide scarf?

Riverbanks: I wouldn't do it in Noro, but the concept and pattern are just about perfect for me.

Margot: if I ever knit myself a sweater, this is probably it! I love the boatneck, the top-down construction, and the little slits on the side.

Clandestine: gorgeous, like everything Cookie A. designs.

HatHeel: sheer wild genius. This will probably be First On the Needles as I need to get working on my sons' winter socks.

Kernel: lovely, just lovely.

Midsummer: elegant and clever, but I worry about how the leaves will feel inside my shoes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I've actually been knitting up a storm, but am 'way behind on the photos, as always. I finished two pairs of Evangeline mitts for friends; they're identical, even coming from the same skein of Cascade 220 Superwash (and knit on #5 needles), so I only offer one photo here:

And in other news, I love flowers and I love my new camera:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bitten by the quilt bug

I've knit a lot of things in the past six weeks, but the only thing currently worth photographing is this:

Monday, February 2, 2009

A meme

Stolen from Wendyknits:

Your name: Al
a 4-letter word: Aunt
boy name: Alexei
girl name: Alicia
occupation: Amenuensis
color: antimony
beverage: ale
something found in a bathroom: ants
place: Alaska
reason for being late: absent-minded
food: applesauce
something you shout: a-ha!