Wednesday, May 5, 2010

C'MON now

so, i'm tapping away productively at my computer at work and i glance outside hoping to catch a glimpse of the sandhill cranes during their spring migration (I work right smack next to a migratory bird refuge)...and this is what i see:

ummm...snow? actually, i just saw the snow. i made katya go stand out in it so i could take the picture.

for crying out loud, people, it's MAY. enough already. give us summer.

i'm going home to knit. sheesh!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Boreal Hat Trick

this is an unbeatable combo: wild cranberries, wild blueberries, and raspberries from the yard. a half-gallon each, a little sugar and some pectin...

...a bit of cooking time...

...and you have the Boreal Hat Trick (as named by Cob)! Dea wanted to know how to make jam and i had some extra berries in the freezer from last summer, so we gave ourselves a little reminder of one of summer's biggest treats.

That's Dea doing the sign for berries - we hope to see that one A LOT this summer! :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

two firsts

two amazing things happened last week. (truth be told, in a house with a 5 month old, amazing things happen all the time, but these two deserve particular mention...)

On Tuesday, Teresa finished her FIRST knitted project. this after a looooooong spell of her claiming that she wasn't interested in knitting, didn't have the patience, was too much of a perfectionist, blah, blah, blah. i patiently waited through these excuses, never once putting any pressure on her, until she came into the fold on her own.

her first project, a beautiful and happy sweater for a lucky little girl! Garter stitch, shaping, two kinds of seaming, button loops - Teresa learned a lot! i think she's hooked - she's got another sweater and two hats on the needles already. here it is in detail:

the other is something i've also been patiently waiting for the right moment ... there's an old knitter's tale that predicts whether a child will grow up a knitter or not, based on whether they grab a set of needles when first presented them. now, babyG's a visual guy and he's the child of two knitters, but you never can tell what a kiddo will do, so i've been worried about this (yes, knitters worry about whether their kids will knit...). so, on the auspicious day of Teresa's first completed project, i decided to peer into the future just a wee bit, to see what might happen. and this is what happened:

and a babyG's been working on holding things, but he's never encountered two thin sticks as a challenge to his grasp. i think he did marvelously!

here he is on his own with the needles. i don't know what you see, but i see a little child dreaming of the wonderous things that will one day spring off these needles.

it warms a mama's and friend's heart to see such accomplishments.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


this is where i sit most days, alternating between sleeping baby and eating baby. if you've talked to me on the phone in the last month, i was likely sitting right here.

motherhood (and cute sleeping babies) takes a toll on getting out and about.

especially at -20F when even inter-species differences are erased in favor of a wood burning stove...

lucky for baby galen, people come here to visit. at 3 weeks, his Bimpy (maternal grandma), who came all the way from the east coast to oogle over him:

then, his auntie Malia, who taught him to smile:

and his Apa, who takes naps with him.

so lucky, this boy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

14 friends, 16 blocks of love

yesterday, kat asked me and Cob to meet her for lunch. there was a small group of folks who wanted to give us "something." i wasn't allowed to know what it was, or even who constituted the group. i dutifully showed up, snarfed down a pizza while knitter after knitter joined our group and Kat leaned casually against a large-ish box. all of these women are good friends of mine and had apparently been conspiring since May (since MAY, people!) to produce what has to be the most beautiful baby blanket ever made.

14 friends, 16 blocks of love. all individually knitted by women of amazing skill by themselves, much less joined in force to produce Baby's first blanket.

there is no way i could detail every square, but here is a sample of their collective handiwork.

by Maria, felted slipper knitter extraordinaire:

by Dorte Dissing, who's been knitting since she was a kid and (gasp!) can do it without a pattern:

by Kat, who i think i taught to knit about 8 years ago, and whom i now call when i have questions:

by Hope, who taught ME to knit 12 or 13 years ago (and whose method of teaching i still use when i teach now):

and the whole thing -- already doing its job keeping Baby warm and wrapped in stitched love.

a huge purple thanks to Cara, Dorte, Barton, Dea, Kat, Nicole, Maria, Theresa, Ruth, Normie, Charms, Kalin, Hope, and Lynn. i would say that such a project means more than i can say, but i'm guessing that each and every one of you know just EXACTLY what this means to me.

thank you.

Friday, July 31, 2009

here comes the sun

every year, i try to grow an experimental crop in the garden to see what i can nuture into this world. usually these experiments fail. Cob never misses an opportunity to remind me of the Okra Year, when i told myself that i could convince a plant that has never felt a cool dry summer to produce in sub-arctic Fairbanks. i admit that i fell short of my visions of cases upon cases of pickled okra, one of my favorite things in the world, but i consider it a success that my little plants produced one, very perfect okra. it was good.

this year, you might say i'm trying two experimentals - my sunflowers and you can figure the other one out from this picture.

but check out that sunflower! i'm 5'7" for reference - this thing is a behemoth and its siblings are no slouches either. here's the close-up:

can you imagine a thing of more beauty? it delights me to no end that this was a simple seed in my hand last April. now it greets me out the kitchen window every morning. oh, and the bumble bees like it too. growing sunflowers made me realize why bumblebees are colored the way they are.

some might say that growing sunflowers in the land of the midnight sun is hardly experimental, but it is for me. i don't think the point is to introduce an exotic (like okra?) so much as to do something new, even if it's only new to you.

fingers crossed that my other experimental turns out just as lovely, just as wondrous, just as surprising (but maybe a little less tall and attractive to bees)...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

the other white meat

it's that time of year again...early summer in Fairbanks when the wild roses bloom,

...and the irises unfurl their delicate, ephemeral petals...

...and the pig gets roasted!

The Hollingsworths and friends host an annual pig roast in honor of Jamie's birthday (that's him on the left and that's his pig roaster in action) every mid-June to the delight of a fairly motley group, including me and Cob.

this is Teresa, nothing motley about her - oh no! wife of said birthday boy and hellcat extraordinaire. this belt buckle was actually made for her by one of her grad students - what kind of advisor do you have to be to get THIS as a gift???

the annual pig roast is a true Alaskan event with all the expected trimmings: large quantities of meat, potluck fare, outside with the mosquitoes, lots of kids, and of course, a blue tarp.

me and the birthday boy - with his new flaming suspenders. The Big Guy (what we like to call him) has more suspenders than you can shake a stick at - he even offered me some for when my pants start falling down in a few months! what a guy!