Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Last Day of June

June is over, and this has been a busy one for us--Tim's defense and graduation, the end of term, moving out here--but it did seem that June lasted a long time. I hope the summer lasts as long!

Lead with the knitting!

The only thing I've been knitting on consistently is Citron, and it is growing!

This is kind of a fun knit--it is straightforward knits and purls, and some crazy increases and decreases (on every first row of a pattern repeat, you increase in every stitch! And then you decrease them all in row seven, creating the little ruffley bit). I like it. The yarn seems to be working well too.

Cooking
I don't really cook fancy things, and I'm not a great cook by any means (that would be Tim), but I did spend much of Friday making this:

It's crab bisque--from scratch---served on a weirdly angled table at sunset (I really don't know what I was doing here when I took this photo).  Tim made sourdough (yes, Mandy the Sourdough Starter is here at the coast with us).

The only thing I didn't do was catch and clean the guts out of the crabs--I made the stock from scratch. It turned out very well and I think the stock needed to be a bit stronger. But I was very pleased that I made something that didn't suck.

Visitors
There is a gang of four guys that come and hang out every so often. Here's the leader.



Other entertainment
Last night we watched "Old Man and a Gun" with Robert Redford which was fine (not great, but not violent and not disturbing, so a good calm movie) (about a bank robber).

I'm reading a really interesting book called "Magic for Liars". It is interesting. The premise is sort of along the lines of "what if Kinsey Milhone investigated a murder at Hogwarts" and there you go. A teacher at a school of magic is murdered and a PI named Ivy goes to investigate--she is hired because her twin is a teacher at the school. Anyway--it is good and there are lots of suspects and the title comes from the fact (I think) that Ivy, who does not have magical powers, suggests that she does have them in order to get to the bottom of the case. Or she might be an unreliable narrator, I'm not sure. Anyway, it might be a fun read for summer if you like things like that (note: the magic school is nothing, physically, like Hogwarts, and students take things like English and physics.

Let's end with a sunset.
As one does. We've had some amazing ones this week.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Back at the beach

The dogs and I drove back out to the coast yesterday through POURING rain and it was a bit tense--several accidents on highway and just stupid driving. So I'm here now through the 4th and a bit beyond.

Jessie Cat


Jessie had some blood drawn yesterday, and when they brought her back in her carrier, her carrier had this award. It cracks me up. Anyway, she may have some thyroid issues and Tim and I had a long talk about the summer and Jessie. We don't feel great about leaving her in Eugene, even with a cat sitter, for long stretches of time, but we also don't think she'd love going back and forth in a cat carrier. She is also pretty destructive and we don't want her to wreck the new house. So we think we'll create some type of enclosure here for her, especially if she is going to need meds (our vet thinks she may have some kind of thyroid issue). She's 15 and that plays into our thoughts as well. We'll figure it out. Thank you for all your good thoughts.

Little stitches
I finished this yesterday evening.

It looks better from a distance but here is a close up.

I love doing these, if you haven't already figured that out!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A good day in Eugene

Today was a stormy day (hello climate change--we lived here for 19 years without any thunderstorms and now they are becoming frequent). Pilot doesn't like them, Comet and Jessie cat ignore them.

New project

I started a new Christmas counted cross stitch this trip (I brought to Eugene embroidery, knitting, and this counted cross stitch). (Oops).

This is done in whites and blues and I think will be nice. You can already see the first two of the four  (maybe?) trees.

The eye doctor
I had my annual eye doctor appointment today. My eye doctor is a sort-of friend--she's a woman about my age and we've had some great conversations about small business marketing. I really like her a lot, but it takes FOREVER to have an annual exam for a few reasons. First, she has all kinds of crazy machines that look at your eyes, and that takes a while to collect the data, and for her to analyze it. Second is that we have to have a quick 'catch up on life' and that ads ten minutes or so into the appointment. Third is that the person who orders contacts and glasses is wacky (in a good way) and fun to chat with.  Then I went to the grocery to pick up some things that aren't usually available at the Chester's grocery in Pacific City (I'm looking at you, shallots).

And this happened.
Our neighborhood grocery store is part of a chain and is the smallest store in the chain. I'd describe it as a bit more upscale than the Safeway but not as pretentious as Whole Foods. It gets an interesting mix of college students, neighbors that are kind of like me, hippies, and parents visiting students.

And today, in line behind me (and it was basically me and these people in line), were Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross.

I had heard that they have a ranch in a small town north of Eugene, but I have no idea why they were at my grocery store. I wanted to say something to them but all I could think to say was "My twinster Kim is pretty much your biggest fan on the planet and she is going to freak when she hears you are behind me in line" but instead I just smiled at them and they smiled back. Katharine Ross has a terrific smile. And just hearing Sam Elliott speak is music.

The butterfly bush

It has begun.


Tink update

Our vet went to check on Tink yesterday, and he drew some blood for some tests, but thinks she should be fine to breed. He suggested to Ann that she put Tink and Kokopelli in a pen together for a week and to just let nature take its course. Apparently nature has taken its course several times, so hopefully this will take.

Back to the beach

Jessie the cat is going to the vet in the morning and I have a phone call at 11, then I'm heading back out to the coast, assuming all is well with Jessie. It is kind of weird to be 'visiting' here but this is the summer to figure things out.



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tuesday Catch Up

Even though I wrote a pretty long post yesterday, I forgot a bunch of stuff! I'm headed back to Eugene this afternoon (with dogs) for a couple of appointments: new cat sitter, eye doctor for me, vet for Jessie cat.  

Little stitches

I really like these mandala-type projects:
The original pattern had this done all in yellow, but instead I'm doing it in yellow, light blue, and dark blue. The light blue is a bit hard to see (as is the yellow).  

Reading

I read "At Briarwood School for Girls" which is about students and teachers at a boarding school dealing with two things: a potential Disney historical theme park moving in and a ghost. I hoped it would be more about the former, it was more about the latter, with one character tying them together. It was OK. 

I also read another Elin Hilderbrand novel called "Summerland"--I like these because while they are kind of escapist (they're all set on Nantucket island), they're about real people who live all year round on Nantucket Island who are living side-by-side with people who visit their town just on vacation. I relate to this a bit because we are in-betweeners here--we don't live here full time but when we live here we LIVE here---we shop at the grocery store and the hardware store, we get mail here--but we're still not 'living' here. It is just kind of a different life.

Yard work

 One of our tasks this summer is to try to rid the property of the Himalayan blackberries. They have pretty much overrun the property (the hill in front of the house, surrounding the driveway, and separating the house south of us from us). They take a ton of work (or goats) to get rid of, but we'll get there. However, we are now facing a new weed--wild cucumbers, a vine like weed that wants to choke everything out. "SAVE THE HIMALAYAN BLACKBERRIES" we chant as we rip these out. Anyway, we have a lot to do there and hopefully this summer we'll take care of them. We (Tim mostly) has done a great job of clearing out the yarn so the dogs can have a good place to run around with no fear of blackberries.

I think that's it! Let's end with a sunset, shall we? This is from last night.




Monday, June 24, 2019

A Real Weekend!

With Tim done with his dissertation, and graduation ceremonies complete, we finally had an entire weekend to, well, have a weekend! It was great, busy, fun, relaxing.

Errands. Lots of errands.

We are trying to find a small bed side table or dresser for the guest room, so we travelled to a few estate sales and a furniture store til we found one workable (not good, but workable) at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Lincoln City. We had a great lunch at a brew pub there, and also brought this beauty home:

We had thought about having it on a planter (not hanging) but we decided we didn't buy that for a deer snack.

Hiking
We walk a lot here, and yesterday did a new hike at a state natural area called Sitka Sedge. It was about three miles around a wetlands and out to the beach.


The tide was out.

This is a photo of fog rolling over the inappropriately named Cape Lookout.


This looks almost like a painting we have.


And finally---the beach, and our rock from a different direction.

Knitting

Aquiline is done, and is blocking. It will need an ironing but I don't have an iron here.

This yarn is so soft.
It has a fairly simple picot bindoff that is sort of unpronounced (hence it needs ironing). The colors are so cheerful! I'll take another photo in the sun later.

In other news
The political situation--ugh. Republican senators walked out of a vote on cap and trade to address climate change in Oregon, so there's not a quorum to vote. The governor ordered State Troopers to go out and 'round them up'. This is not the first time this has happened in state legislatures, and it is not just Republicans that act like spoiled children in this way. This has got to stop, and I appreciate efforts to bring the poisonous discourse in line.

Ravelry took their own steps to address this (banning hate speech, which they have described as any pro-Trump messaging) and are now facing the inevitable slings and arrows from this decision.

Let's end with a sunset.




Saturday, June 22, 2019

Fridays are for Folding

Iris Folding

I toted all my card making stuff (not that much, really, just two boxes) out here, as our utility room has a long and kind of high counter that makes it perfect for doing crafts. I have a plan to make Christmas cards for this year (we never send out that many) and I found a Christmas tree template so I gave it a try.

These turned out OK--I have quite a few sets of origami papers but none are quite in the Christmassy colors I was looking for (this is not a surprise to me). I also have limited cardstock and this green is not the best. So these are not my 'a list' cards, but might be 'b list' cards (haha I don't really have an a list and a b list). I'm actually thinking I might take the 'b list' cards and make a hanging banner, but not sure.

Anyway, here are the good cards:


And here are the not good cards:


But the cutting of the 'window' and the folding went really well. I do enjoy iris folding, and need to find some different green card stock (or find red. Or gold. Or silver).

Solstice

We stayed up late last night in honor of the solstice, and it still wasn't dark out when we went to bed.

I have not seen it completely dark since we've been here. I guess I'll see if on July 4, where there will be fireworks over the beach. Pilot will hate it but it should be cool to watch from our perch.

Dickensian

We are watching a clever series on Amazon Prime called Dickensian. The premise is that someone has murdered Jacob Marley, and the suspects are all characters from A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and Bleak House. We watched the first two episodes while frantically googling who all the characters were (we had forgotten that Lady Dedlocke, for example, was previously known as Honoria Barbary). Anyway, it is quite lively and enjoyable with good acting.




Friday, June 21, 2019

Doing all the things

The to-do list
Finished a few things on the list and it was enough so I could feel my brain switching off from working all the time. That's a good feeling!

Citron
I've been wanting to knit Citron for a while and cast on for it the other day (I only had two projects going! That isn't enough!). I also unearthed (while packing) a skein of yarn that is somewhat watermelon colored. It is a cotton (not my favorite) made up of multiple strands of yarn (not my favorite either) but Citron is pretty straightforward and it seems to be going OK.

Weather Report
Yesterday would be sunny one minute and cloudy the next, with a shower thrown in here or there. Tim just called out 'it's raining' and I guess that is summer on the coast! I'll take it. It was just cool enough last night for a little fire.

The Neighbors
Yesterday I was coming home from the grocery store and as I turned onto our street I was greeted by a number of swifts, two ground squirrels, and a bunny sitting right in the middle of the street, unwilling to move. There are eight deer that are roaming our area--one of the families down the hill feeds them (oh well). This guy was trotting up our driveway as we drove in from our anniversary dinner last night.

The neighbors' garbage cans all have bungee cords because bears. I still haven't seen a bear but I'd like to--from a long distance.

Anniversary dinner
We finally had our anniversary dinner last night at the River House, probably the nicest restaurant in Pacific City (don't laugh! There are probably ten restaurants: The River House, two pubs, a dive bar, a mexican restaurant, an asian restaurant, two bakery/sandwhch shops, a breakfast place, a pizza place that we never have gone to, and the Fancy Hotel with High Prices and Small Portions (we haven't gone there either. OK that's 11. Anyway, we went to the River House which is mostly fish and all the fish comes fresh off the Pacific City dory fleet. We shared the following things: Crab Bisque, Calamari, Crab Ravioli, and Rock Fish and Chips. And then had truffles for dessert.

It was absolutely perfect.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Can you see them now?

We walked by the tree with the fledgeling crows and three of them were sitting out to bask in the sunset. Can you see them? I've increased the contrast to help you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It doesn't seem quite real

This is only my second full day living out here and a little voice in the back of my head keeps whispering 'you'll be going back to real life soon.' While I am popping back to Eugene next week for a few days, I have to kept telling myself this is our real life (at least for the summer).  We have a post office box (no mail delivery here, but now I know Lezlie at the Post Office!). We had lunch at the taco shed on the beach (and then went and looked at the bunnies) and were back home within an hour! I got carry out lattes at Megpies yesterday! We got some more furniture yesterday!

We bought some stressless chairs and ottomans to match our stressless sofa. It's all a bit on the mid century modern side but honestly, I have no idea what exactly my taste is. All I know is that I am loving clean lines right now.

Little stitches

This one is done.

I really like the two-dimensionality of it.

To-do's

I've been working in the mornings and then not working in the afternoons, which is generally how it goes for me in the summer. I've finished two big things that had real deadlines--two external reviews of candidates up for tenure and promotion at other schools. These are very important tasks and I'm so honored when people ask me about my opinions on their junior faculty. The two cases I analyzed were very different but both pretty good and I'm hopeful both people will get tenure.

I also have been conceptualizing a new study (even though I said I wouldn't start any more new studies) (oh well). This one is examining brand communications during pride month. I have a theory in my head that people want brands to be advocates (e.g. work to create systematic change) yet brands want to be allies (people in power supporting people not in power). How does that affect brand perceptions? I think there's something there but not sure.

 And some brands are just silly.

Anyway, there's a lot of interesting work on the differences between allies and advocates and this could turn into a foundational study or it might just be nothing.

But first, I think I need to rest my brain a bit.



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

And it is summer

I'm still in the frame of mind that all the stuff needs to get done now, but I'm here and it is beautiful and life is good. For whatever reason, I was up around 5:30 (AGAIN!) and Pilot and I got up and sat on the deck and listened to the waves and watched the fog roll in. It was a nice way to start the day.

Anniversary!

Just two crazy kids who gave one another the same anniversary card.

Three days of knitting
And I have half a foot to show.



Crazy sky last night

Insert heavenly chorus of 'ahhhh' here!


And on our walk

We took the dogs for a long walk after dinner last night (Tim made dinner and it was delicious---steaks, farm corn, homemade bread, and a salad we didn't eat but we will have for lunch today). We walked past a fallen tree branch and I noticed something interesting about it--

Let me see if I can sharpen it up for you.



Well, that didn't work. Anyway. You'll see two 'black holes' in this picture--one in the upper left hand corner and one on the right side of the tree trunk about halfway down. Those aren't black holes--they are two baby crows! If you look at the bottom on the right hand side you can see that there is some kind of nest there. We walked by it and Pilot started nosing around and then we saw the first one, followed by the second one. They seemed large but not yet ready to leave the next, apparently. Mama was flying overhead and not pleased.

The To Do list

I wrote out the summer to do list and even crossed one thing off of it, and need to remind myself I don't have to do everything this week. I'm always like this in the summer. I'll be a totally different person by Friday. 


Monday, June 17, 2019

Processing

I couldn't sleep last night--just processing the weekend, plus Pilot was a bit anxious as I was in Eugene and Tim is at the coast. I was up by 5:30 so we'll head out to the coast this morning--the last load of laundry is in the washer, the car is 80% packed, and I need to finish up the last few things and then load up the dogs and off we go.

Today is our anniversary--number 24! I'm not sure what the plan is but we'll enjoy being together.

Last night I staged all my stuff to take out for the summer, and it looked a little overwhelming:

This is what happens when you're craftnostic--yes I made up that word.

I have lots of crafts I like to do--I'm taking out knitting (of course), embroidery, card making, and cross stitch. I took the water colors out last time.

So yes, you'll be seeing more rocks, more sunsets, more ocean, more animals, and hopefully more crafts in the weeks to come.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Celebrations: Complete!

It's been a busy and fun weekend.

Saturday: Tim gets doctored!
We left about 7:30 am to drive up to Corvallis for Tim's graduation. We parked at his advisor's house, brought stuff inside, and then walked with Dominique (his advisor) to campus (a little over a mile). I departed from them as they left to line up and I went to the football stadium where I found a seat (I brought knitting, so that helped to pass the time). I got there a bit after 9:40 and the procession inside the stadium started at 10:30. It took over half an hour to seat all 4000+ graduates (isn't it fascinating how every school has their own special take on graduation?).

After speeches speeches speeches Tim was hooded and then he walked across the stage and had his name read, and shook hands with the President. By the time all that was over, it will about 12:30. I met up with Tim and Dominique, and we headed back to Dominique and Steve's, where a bunch of Tim's colleagues and one of his committee members came by. It was a beautiful day---it was in the high 70s and we sat outside and chatted and ate good snacks. We left there a bit after 4:30 and then drove home. We were pretty tired but happy-Tim thought it was a perfect day and that is the most important thing.

Sunday: more graduation!
I got to school at about 8:30 this morning for our honors' reception. Before our school ceremony, we recognize all the honors students, the outstanding students in both grad and undergrad programs, and a couple other awards. That was over a bit after 10, and then I hung out with colleagues before I had to walk over to the Journalism school ceremony venue. I put on my 'wizard robes' and then our J school ceremony started at noon. We graduated more than 600 students in the ceremony (out of a total of 700). I hooded 7 of our Master's students and I was IN TEARS! I got so emotional. This is the first class in our new program and they were all wonderful. The ceremony was over at 2:15, then I met a lot of parents. It was fun, although I get sad at graduation time.

Now I'm home--Tim drove over the coast this afternoon and I'm finishing up a few things and needed a little down time. I'll go over in the morning.

Oh yeah
I finished Botanique! It is now drying after its bath.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Breath has been caught

I had a good day with a lot of 'me' time yesterday, much needed after the week so far and the weekend to come. I had a good walk with the dogs, some knitting time, a fun lunch with colleagues, minimal work issues, and I was able to start organizing thing for our summer-of-living-in-two-places

I had earlier ordered some storage bins from Amazon since I'm multi-crafting now and want to be contained for the time on the coast. So I have two bins for paper crafts, a bin for embroidery, and a bin for yarn and patterns (and a bag for other yarn, and a project bag).  I get so AFRAID I won't have what I want when I want it, even though I'll be back here every week or so and there's a Joann's nearby, but whatever.

I have control issues. This I know.

I keep pushing to get Botanique done--I've started the last section before the bind-off:

And the whole thing looks good:

I don't have any huge summer knitting plans at this point, although I certainly have enough yarn for anything in the bin!

This morning I'll head over to the farm to breed Tinkerbell to see if she'll take for next year. Then I'll weed whack. Then I'll do some more organization. Tomorrow is devoted to Tim's graduation: we'll leave the house before 8am to drive to Corvallis (about an hour away)--Tim needs to be there at 9 and the ceremony starts at 10 (note to self: find a sock to knit). Then his advisor is having a little party for him, so it will be a full day.

Sunday I need to be at my campus at 9am for celebrations until 2:30 or so. Then more organizing.

The hot weather has gone away and it's supposed to be in the high 70s all weekend. That sounds like celebration weather!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Kathy's Q and A

*Do you have a favorite summer sound?  I like the noise of aspen leaves in the wind.
Do you like the sound of  waves? Absolutely.
Does the sound of children singing make you cry? No, it often makes me cringer.
Are you alert to every car sound your vehicle makes? DEFINITELY. I hear something--anything--and think "omgIhavetogototherepairshopnownownow"
Do you like the sound of thunder? Love it. Pilot the dog hates it. And fireworks.
Do you wear earplugs to bed? I can't wear anything to bed, except an eyeshade if I'm traveling.
Do you like the sound of organ music? Sometimes.
Do you like canned laughter?Nooooooo
Do you listen to podcasts with head phones or ear buds? I don't really listen to podcasts. 
Does the sound of horses hooves make you happy? Of course Kathy!
 

And that's (almost) a wrap

A school wrap, not a knitting wrap.

Crazy week
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were just nonstop STUFF, non stop presentations, issues, problems, etcetera. But I just submitted my grades and we have to have graduation weekend (Saturday is Tim's in Corvallis, Sunday is mine here) and then....summer....ahhhhh.

It's time, really. Many programs ended at the end of April AND had an entire "Maymester" and we're still slogging through. Of course, those programs go back--in some cases--the first or second week in August, which is barely the halfway mark for our summer.

Today, I have a departmental lunch and I have a vague summer 'to do' list in my head but I think I'm just going to have a Me day.

It's also been beastly hot--95 degrees last two days, breaking records all over the place. This is August weather for us! It is cooling down to normal today, so good for that.

Little Stitches

These little projects are such a comfort when Im stressed.

Alpaca Party

I hosted our Masters' students at the farm yesterday.








 CHACO! Three weeks old.

It was fun. I'll miss them.

OK on to relaxing now.

Monday, June 10, 2019

And here we go

It's the start of finals week--it begins with meetings and student presentations (my masters students) from today through Wednesday, then a party Wednesday afternoon at the alpaca farm. Tim's graduation is Saturday, mine is Sunday. And in between, I need to get things organized to head out to the coast.

We're still trying to figure out the balance--Jessie Cat will stay here, because she is destructive, and one of us will probably come into Eugene each week, but we have a good (and flexible!) pet sitter so that should work out OK.

Botanique

I think I'm on the second-to-last section and I should double down and just try to finish this during the week, but we'll see. At least I won't have to tote out all four skeins if I don't get it finished.


Weekend

There was yardwork, there was finishing dissertations (Tim), there was grading (me), there was hanging out on the deck and watching Tim cook (obviously me). He did our first 'smoke' of the year and made ribs and chicken, so we're set with food for the week.

Reading

I finished "City of Girls" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was good, especially the first half. It is getting a lot of raves, and I'm not sure it is that well deserved of raves, but it kept my attention to the end. I didn't zip through that much.

Not much else to report--I've been working on a new little stitches and I also bought some plastic bin organizers because I'm doing too many crafts! And I need to keep them organized. So I feel a bit more organized now, which basically means I've dumped all my embroidery stuff into a little bin. Little victories.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

A post about animals

Classes are done, and the term ended up with a horrible faculty meeting yesterday. I have stuff next week and then graduations next weekend. Then, off to the coast.

Yesterday was a sad day for many of my online friends as they had to say goodbye to beloved family pets. Oh Kathy, Bridget and (another) Kim in Nashville, I wish I could give each of you a hug. It is so hard to lose our lovies, and there are sad holes in our lives with their passing. My thoughts are with you all.

I finished this month's little stitches pretty quickly, and it will be perfect for the coast.

We have lots of wild rabbits on the coast so this will be a great tribute to them.