She’s Got Benjamin Button Eyes

IMG_2217 Since I left New York in 2004, I've worn the same three pair of glasses: sunglasses for driving, regular glasses for movies and night driving, and reading glasses.  Yesterday was my first eye exam in a while (I did go two years ago, but most of the appointment was taken up with the doctor's railing against English teachers.  He and I are no longer seeing each other.), and I discovered that I am an anomaly.

My eyes are getting younger. 

Seriously.  At one point, my new doctor said that I have the eyes of a ten year old.  I no longer need the two pair of glasses for distance.  I have a slightly worse Rx for my readers (aren't they cute?  And, yes, the lenses darken in the sun.  I read outside a lot.), but my distance vision is nearly perfect.  A long cry from where it was when I got my first pair of glasses in fifth grade.  I wanted to be Meg from A Wrinkle in Time, so I was fine about the glasses, but still.  They do get expensive.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a BIG announcement. 

Listy Monday

1.  I started a new lace project: the Shetland TriangleImg_1056
from Wrap Style.   That’s Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in Turquoise, should you need that information.

2.  I may or may not have broken the smallest piggy on my left foot.  Nine days ago I stubbed it, and although the swelling has gone down, it hasn’t gone away.  This hurts a lot.  I know there are people with far worse ailments, but indulge my whine, please?  I’m loathe to bring it to a doctor for confirmation.  Neal has informed me that the doctor won’t do anything for it anyway, so why get all aggro when I’m kept waiting for half an hour?
  Img_1050

3.  This is a picture of a chair in the sun.  There is sunshine, and with proper bundling, it is warm enough to sit outside and take in a dose of it.
4.  I have low tolerance right now for morons, negative people, and drama.  This is because there have been some negative, moronic things going on that are merely excuses to create drama.  I’m not going to say anything else about it as I refuse to engage in drama.  Last time I checked, I was out of high school.  No offense intended to non-dramatic high schoolers.
5.  My boyfriend’s back.  Hey la, hey la, My Bond is Back.

Cheesecake!

Img_1013My oldest nephew, Neal, and I have a long-standing debate about which is the best cheesecake around.  Steve roots for Cheesecake Factory, Neal for the local David Glass, and I remain faithful to my beloved Junior’s Most Fabulous.  This is the sort of debate that can only be resolved with a Challenge, and so on Saturday we gathered relatives, friends, and neighbors to sample and rate each cake.  A homemade entry won the night.  I’ll admit that the David Glass was my favorite, but only with the caveat that the Junior’s cake did make the longest journey and may not have been at its very best.

Should you have your own Cheesecake Challenge to wile away a winter night, I recommend serving Cafe Boheme.  As my package store guy predicted, it was as big a hit as the cake.

What do you recommend for entertainment on these cold, late winter nights?

The soup, the soup, the soup is on fire

Knitting_lady_of_the_lake_jacket_00I do more than mope about my writing and visit my mailbox.  I knit, too.  I’ve been taking every free moment to work on my Fleece Artist Lady of the Lake, which will be my first adult-sized sweater.  I purchased the Ebony colorway, which is more purple than black.  I don’t wear much purple, but the shades range from dark-almost-black to pale-sort-of-gray, and I think the jacket will be adorable with jeans or some of my work pants.  I’ve got about 8" of the body left to knit, then the sleeves and collar.  I plan to block the body before I knit the sleeves, and as I think about my schedule, I realize that I have to let go of my hope of wearing this to Rhinebeck.  Maybe if I had another week, but I don’t think the whole festival is going to wait on my finishing this sweater!

This is my second year at Rhinebeck, and I don’t have much of a shopping list.  I’d like to get a pretty darning egg, and I might look at hand cards, although I don’t think I’m much into processing fleece.  I’m not sure about that, though.  I’d like to get some new fibers to spin, but since my closet is burgeoning with fiber, I need to be restrained.  I guess I’m going more for the social aspect than anything else, and who can blame me?

If you need to feel better about yourself for whatever reason, I"ve got a story to share.  Last night, after my conversation with my dissertation chair, I felt relieved.  For the first time in a while, I felt like my normal, optimistic self.  I tend towards Pollyanna-ism, and I like that.  I don’t like to be crabby and sad and doubtful.   

Neal came home as I was chopping up potatoes and leeks for one of my favorite soups.  I was feeling so good that I wanted to cook.  I am not often a happy cook.  In my first marriage, my ex did the cooking.  He liked it, and he is an amazing cook.  I was spoiled by rarely having to think about dinner.  Just a little background so you understand that I truly was feeling better if I was happy to be in the kitchen. 

I covered the veggies with water and turned the burner to high to get everything boiling the way you do for soup.  Then I decided to catch up on my blog reading for the half an hour of simmer time that my soup required.

Did you catch that?  Yup, the burner was on high, and the soup was meant to simmer.  Neal was outside watering the plants he’d moved over the weekend, and I was blissfully reading away in the office at the other end of our little house. 

I heard a sizzle, then I smelled something awful.  I ran to the kitchen to discover my error in temperature. 

Yes, people.  I burned soup.  I burned soup. 

I admit that I have a few dishes that I make well, but that I’m overall a lame-ass cook, but this tops everything.  The house still stinks, and the pot is still soaking in vinegar.

The worst of it?  Neal said that he thought that the burner was on too high, but he didn’t want to say anything to me.  During my funk he questioned something I was doing in the kitchen, and little brat that I am, I offered him the knife to do the chopping himself if he didn’t like they way I did it.  He said he was scared to question me again.

I really wanted that soup.  It was smelling pretty damn good until, you know, it burned.

Doggies and knitting and grading, oh my!

Thanks for the birthday wishes for Neal.  Lizzie asked about the third dog in the picture; that’s Charlie, Blogless (not for long) Sara’s sweet pup.  I’ll tell you a secret: I’ve been sort of vying for a third pup in our house.  Neal’s best friend just adopted her third dog, a chihuahua.  While I’m not usually a fan of little dogs, baby Aisha has changed my mind.  She’s so funny and bossy, and, well, I’ll be frank with you.  I could make outfits for a chihuahua.  I want a living dolly.  There, I’ve said it.  Think of me what you will.

I’ve realized over the last year as I’ve worked independently on my dissertation that I’m highly motivated by reward, but even more motivated by punishment.  Again, think of me what you will.  To that end, I’m finding that I need something to urge me onward with revising the novella section of my project.  I’ve struggled all month with a third short story, and I’m not making progress with it.  I"ve admitted a temporary defeat, but I’m not allowed any more failure in the next month.  I’ve decided that I can only knit on my Rhinebeck sweater on days that I do my Treadmill Journal.  Reward and punishment, all rolled into one.

Tomorrow’s a big day in New York City:  Cara’s Spin-Out in Central Park.  I originally thought I’d be going, but I decided that I need to spend the day with Neal.  We’re going to have an adventure tomorrow, and then in the evening I’ll be engaged in some grading.  My students turned in their first paper today, and that will keep me plenty busy for the next week.  If you’re going to Spin-Out, though, I hope you have a blast.  I can’t wait to hear all about it.

I’m off to walk my mutts, who lack in adorable outfits.  I need a chihuahua, don’t you think? 

Cirque du Chipmunk

Maddie fancies herself the bane of the woods.  To date she has yet to catch anything that still breathes (although she’s managed to grab a few, how do I put this delicately?  …a few dead things), but I give the mutt props for her effort and dedication to the task.

Neal reported that during Tuesday morning’s walk, she chased a chipmunk up a smooth-barked tree.  After a few attempts to climb the tree, she gave up.  Mere seconds later, the chipmunk, surely an acrobat, bounced off of Neal’s hat, onto his arm, did a triple roll dismount to the ground and scampered away.  Let’s see Mr. Jingles do that!

A New Friend

Img_1218_1 Two weekends ago Neal and I stopped by the local Grange for its fall rummage sale.  I picked up a pyrex pie plate, six linen napkins (to be used for sachets), and this sweet lady, all for two dollars.  She was the first thing I saw when I walked in the door.  I’m not big on tchotchkes, but I couldn’t resist her.  Now that she’s had her photo shoot, she keeps me company on the little side table next to the chair where I write, grade, spin, and knit.  I wonder what she’s got on the needles?