Thursday, August 21, 2008


is for Jam. Yes, I'm still behind, but still working on catching up. I grew up making jam with my mother, who made it with her grandmothers. It solves a perennial gift giving dilemma, and provides a delicious taste of summer in the midst of a Minnesota winter.

This is my jam total so far this summer (minus a few already given as gifts). On the table for this picture are 78 jars of jam.

There's raspberry
and Rhubarb (this is more like spread than jam as it was an experiment that didn't quite set).
Still to come? Grape Jelly if the concord grapes survived our weird summer of weather.

Most of my jam lives in closed boxes to keep it out of the light. But I keep a selection in our little corner cabinet to grab quickly for gifts:
Seeing all that jam on the table makes me feel a great sense of accomplishment for the hours spent prepping fruit and cooking jam. Plus I know how much I'll appreciate the fresh fruit taste come winter. Store bought jam just can't compare.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


is for iPod.

Mike and I gave each other iPod Nanos for Christmas last year, and though it may not be the most romantic gift ever, it ranks up there in the most used for both of us. My blue one accompanied me every day during reading season, allowing me to block out noisy coffee shops, office chaos, and concentrate on my files.

It also was key when I was training for the Grand Canyon New Years hike, getting me through quite a few long workouts, both at the gym and while traveling.

This fall, my iPod will travel with me to at least 3 states, making plane rides and airports more bearable, and catching me up on books I've not had time to read.

Which brings me to one of my favorite things about my iPod. Although I'm capable of (and regularly do) knit while reading from either a computer screen or a book, there's something very pleasant about listening to an audio book while knitting away. So I is for iPod, my faithful companion.

PS: See that extra layer of plastic on this thing? Those that know me are aware that a) I am a klutz who drops things and b) that I like to be able to just throw things in my bag and not worry about them. The hard plastic protective case accomodates both of these tendencies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

H for Hedgehog. When I was a kid, my family took care of the science department hedgehog (creatively named Sonic) for an entire summer. What I remember the most of that is the snuffling noises Sonic would make.

A couple of weeks ago, Jen brought her hedgehog, Mina to Knit Night. She was on her way somewhere else with her, and it was too warm to leave her in the car, so we had a special guest at Knit Night. As you can see, we were all enchanted with her.

Here she is with Carly:
With Maggie:
In close-up:
And finally, with Jen:
(oh, and my memories of the snuffling? Totally accurate.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Playing Catch-up, Again?

My summer blogging laziness apparently took over, since I haven't posted in almost a month. There's been knitting and spinning, but mostly there's been being busy.

So, a few things I missed:

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Graduation to the Hubby!

Mike and I drove all over the Midwest, visiting our friend's babies, seeing my grandparents, and attending an amazing Hindu wedding. We also visited the sights in Chicago, and spent lots of casual time hanging out with people we don't get to see much of these days.

A quick photographic recap of things that have happened since my last post (no pictures of the babies cause I'm not sure how their families would feel about them being posted on the internet):
Visiting the new Grizzly Coast exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo, featuring a water fight between the 3 Grizzlies!

Finding out that Mike has the wingspan of a Bald Eagle:
Seeing Sue the T-Rex at the Field Museum:
Being distorted by the Bean in Millenium Park in Chicago:

Fireworks over Navy Pier (from a boat out on the lake):
And for a wedding that was a multi-day affair, there were a lot of different outfits:

(and I'm actually missing one that I managed to get no pictures of). As has become par for the course this summer, I have lots more pictures, knitting, spinning, and ABCalong to catch up on, etc. I'll get there eventually!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Day at the Beach

Hey Flan,
Friday, in celebration of The Hubby finishing his undergraduate degree (!!) we took a day and went to the beach. I was ensconsed in a UV Protection tent and wearing 50 spf sunscreen along with regular clothes (as opposed to swimming attire) and - of course- still managed to get sunburned. Pasty people really do not belong on a Florida beach in August.
I re-read Matilda, a wonderful book and thought about knitting. Turns out holding the book and knitting needs more talent than I possessed.
We were visited by a friendly heron. At least, The Hubby said it was a heron who was molting- looked like a tall, skinny, brown bird to me, but I don't really know.

Mr. Bird helped The Hubby fish all day (even during the rainstorm that drove me to the car). I knitted on the way over and knitted in the car whilst listening to my audio book. All in all, it was a very nice day.

So... The knitting front.

Anyone else started their Christmas list yet??

So far I have:

3-4 sweaters

3 scarves

1 felted vest

a "few" pairs of mittens- might have lost grip on reality there.

2 baby hats

1 regular hat


2 pairs of socks- yeah, I know I don't knit socks, I have no idea how these got there.

That does not include the blanket and christening veil for future little niece to be, who, inconveniently, is arriving during manic knitting season and not after. Guess it's a little too late to ask them to change the due date. I told The Brother that they could name it after me and if they did I'd knit her twice as many gifties. Somehow he didn't seem very swayed by the offer...