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.