Thursday, February 25, 2010


I can't really call it procrastination when the end result is scones. Productive avoidance?

Recipe: Cream Scones from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. My all-time favorite recipe--so easy and versatile. This batch has 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger inside, and I always brush the tops with butter and sprinkle on some turbinado before baking.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 6: Rain, Rain

A persistent rain kept me from a walk this morning, but I wouldn't trade it for all the sun of summer. It made hunkering down with a cup of coffee, the dog, and some Death Cab (perfect rain music) all the cozier.

And knitting--can't forget the knitting. I retrieved the Lace Leaf Pullover from my knitting basket on Saturday when I ran out of yarn on my commissioned project (remind me to reveal that), and I'm already past the little leaf motif (which I am quite taken with) and on to the rounds of plain stockinette for the body. When you've got a mountain of discussion posts to read, it's nice to have something simple in your hands. If I had the time to watch my knitting, the yarn (Twisted Sisters Jazz) would be entertainment in and of itself. It's been a while since I've worked with a handpainted yarn, and it's fun to watch the color variations come into the fabric and layer atop the shades from the previous round.

But I'm going to have to forgo knit-watching for a while here--we've just passed the first quarter of the semester, and things are starting to speed up!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 5: Just like Spring!

As promised, here is a photo of the mountain turning green. The bottommost layer is a fine fuzz of green grasses and wildflowers. Above that, the brush--bursage, brittle bush, and creosote--are all coming out with their leaves, filling in the space around the perennial spots of green, the cacti.

Unfortunately, all this green is being helped along by a hot sun. I will (grudgingly) accept the arrival of shorts weather in March, but for the remaining 13 days in February, I want to be able to take a morning hike in pants and a t-shirt without overheating.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week 4: Fresh Start

I'd hoped to go for a hike this morning and bring you guys back pictures of the mountain turning green, chubby little quail puttering among shoots of grass and wildflowers that have sprouted from all our rains. The only thing is that it was supposed to rain today. Not a problem as far as keeping me inside--since our big storm, we've reverted to our pattern of little, short rains. But the deal was that if it did, I got the car. If it didn't, las hermanitas got the car.

Talk about stacked odds.

There's no way I could walk to the mountain, so I took a hike around the neighborhood and down the canal, thinking I could find some good sidewalk graffiti left by construction workers, or a particularly gnarled tree, or something to photograph. Turns out, I could've given you guys a sweeping vista of the mountain from the entrance to the canal path (oh, the irony), but I forgot my camera in my haste to leave before the dog realized I was taking a walk without her.

So you'll have to be happy with a 2-week-old picture of a cactus, taken on the mountain, and pictures of little green things and quail will have to wait until next week.

I am not totally crushed here: This morning I finished the Hermanita Warm-up. That was the last of my Christmas knitting, and now--finally--I am free to start fresh and focus on new knits. Woohoo!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week 3: It Never Fails

Well, it's Monday again, and guess what? I haven't gotten anything done.

Clarification: I got in a hike (picture of the telegraph lines above the trail), and completed my correspondence--which would have gone better if it involved me in an Empire-waisted dress with and a writing desk, not me in a Skellington hoodie with Gmail and Safari dropping my wireless at every opportunity. Now, I am attempting to get all my assignments for the week in order, but the clock is winning, and I'm going to drop everything half-done to get ready for a concert for which the tickets were bought eons in advance. I hate that--'cos it's all going to be there, half-done, when I lurch out of bed too early tomorrow morning.

In other news: did anyone else catch the annual dose of pop culture that is the Grammys? I took the opportunity of a couple stationary hours to knit and knit and knit on the bottomless pit that is Hermanita's Warm-Up. Since everyone can't stop by to work a round and see the bottomless-pit-ness in action, there's a picture looking into its depths.

As always, the show had its moments, but there were also several moments that made me shudder. Like the Jonas Brothers. And the Kings of Leon, some of whom also happen to be brothers. I'm noticing a theme here.

Also shudder-worthy was the Zac Brown band, which beat out Silversun Pickups as best new artist. *What* were they thinking? I mean, I would argue that Carnavas was the album that "established the public identity of the artist," as the award criteria states. But but rather than quibble, how about we give the award to the people with talent?

I managed to keep knitting while thoroughly dissecting this and basically the entire show con las hermanitas y mamá tambien, and wonder of wonders, I now only have two inches to go before dividing for the Warm-Up front and back. Take heart--knitty news may soon prevail!