Thursday, December 30, 2010

So far it's been a quiet and somewhat lonely holiday season here at Chez Swanknitter. I treated myself to a Christmas feast of a selection of cheeses and smoked salmon with crackers followed by brownies, accompanied by a cleanskin Reisling. Today was the first really hot day of the summer, that is, hot enough to turn on the a/c. After all the rain earlier in the season, right now we could use some. The berry bushes are covered in black jewels of flavour. I made a batch of jam, but I've also enjoyed several bowls of berries with cream. These are loganberries and some boysenberries. Their new growth is so enthusiastic this year that it's hard to get near to pick them.

The past few days I've had a recurrence of the knee problems I had before my replacement. I have no idea what has caused this, but the knee is sore and the muscles are spasming again. I think I overdid a bit in my rush back to normalcy and need to take it slower. It's very difficult when so many things cry out for attention not to get into action. My major downfall and character flaw.

I finished In Defense of Food, which should have been a magazine article instead of a book. If you've read The Omnivore's Dilemma, you will know what Michael Pollan is about. I believe him and would like to follow his precepts, except sometimes is difficult to eat the right food when you don't know where it has come from or how it was grown. That's one reason I'm so passionate about my veggie garden. I started The Algebraist by Iain M Banks but my hands struggled with its size. This is the first time I am seriously considering buying the Kindle edition of something I own in paper. I am reading Kathy Reich's Mortal Remains on the Kindle instead.

I think I've reached my destination in the family tree business, altho there is still lots to do yet. I got back to William the Conqueror thru yet another bastard line. So lots of baronets and influential Normans in the tree but I don't need to go any further back than that, but need to document the intervening links. Fortunately there seems to be a fair group of fellow genealogists working the same lines.

On the fibre front, I am knitting socks for myself out of the merino & bamboo blend I spun recently, I am knitting a winter scarf for X2 out of various natural coloured wools. It's knit the long way so there are stripes for each new yarn, It's in seed stitch and is almost done so I'll get a photo before I post it. I could not face any more alpaca to spin so poked around in the stash and pulled out a gorgeous hand painted rope of BFL (blue-face Leicester) in gorgeous mossy greens. It's from Briar Rose and of course it's a dream to spin. I have to pace myself with the spinning and knitting because altho I love doing both, my hands often tell me the next day that I over did it. See a pattern here?

Over the holidays I learned that another dear friend of mine going back to grad school at UNC had passed away the day after my sister. She was only 72. She was first an instructor when I was studying African linguistics, and helped me learn Hausa, which is an extremely difficult language. I got good enough that I could read literacy pamphlets and write simple stories but I am sure I don't retain a single word. She became a friend and we kept in touch through the years. I was unable to meet with her on my last trip to Chapel Hill due to family obligations (hers) and now I know I missed the last chance to see her. She was one of the friends I was hoping to move back to be near.

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