Monday, August 27, 2012

August Waning

Sigh. I just spent half an hour composing a post in Flickr only to find it disappeared without any sort of apology, just a "something went wrong, try again later" message. Such is technology. Trying again:

I can't believe time is slipping by so quickly and on one hand I feel like nothing is happening, other than the general rhythm of home and work and trying to sleep and do the right thing. But as I was typing that lost post, it didn't seem so nondescript:

We returned on Sunday from the interior, where we'd gone to celebrate Myla's 3rd birthday. It was nice seeing family again so soon after the reunion. We ate well and watched kids play in the jumpy house and generally enjoyed being outdoors in summer weather. We did see quite a bit of blackened acreage from the fires we've had in the past month on the drive over. That was a bit scary.

M and I made the trip a bit more of an adventure by testing what we hoped would be a lightweight camping theory, using the back of the truck rather than bringing a tent. This was an utter failure. After a miserably uncomfortable hour or so trying to sleep on the wrong sized air mattresses, he decamped for the house, leaving me more room but also a chillier environment. The dogs took turns visiting us. Despite lack of sleep, we do have a lot of great ideas for making it better, which was the point of the exercise.

I'm knitting a scarf for one of those garment drives and it's coming along well. It's an excuse to practice cables. I've also knitted a couple of small things using silver wire rather than thread and it's something I'd like to add to my repertoire. It means I'll have to practice finishing pieces too--that's always one of my challenges for fiber knitting as well.

I've finalized plans to visit Grandma at the end of September and I'm very excited about that. It coincides with Dad and Ginny's visit, so it will be great. We're staying a little boutique hotel in downtown Spokane, which will be a new experience for me. I don't usually see anything of Spokane. And we'll see Grandma's new digs too.

In home improvement news, we worked with a work friend's nephew and got ourselves a custom gate. He's just a young guy starting out and not too talkative, which is always a bit of a puzzle when it comes to creative projects. But I think it turned out really well! M dropped it off at the powder coating place this morning. I'm grateful he knows about installation, what kinds of metal can be welded, that sort of thing. I appreciate how it makes my life easier!

In cultural news, I've been to a couple of exhibits in the City. I met up with Liz and Rachel and we took in a Man Ray/Lee Miller show at the Legion of Honor. I didn't know much about Lee Miller and I came away feeling more knowledgeable about photographic history. And of course I really appreciated being with the gals. I feel like I never see enough of them. M and I went to the very last day of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young. It was as crowded as I had anticipated, but it was also more inspirational. I hadn't known about the details and workmanship in his garments and I really enjoyed seeing the playfulness of some of his collections.

For some reason these things seem related: after hearing a story on the news I'm trying to redouble my efforts to reduce plastic consumption and I'm canning. Yes, I finally got over my fear of poisoning people with botulism and am putting up cherries, blackberries, peaches, and salsa. I'm also gritting my teeth and ponying up the extra for the local milk in glass bottles as one way of keeping plastic at bay in my life and using it to make yogurt. I was bringing reusable bags to the store back in the '90s, but now I want to take it to the next level. I'm eschewing hair gel and bags for veggies too. We'll see how long this lasts, but it's almost like a brain teaser trying to reduce plastic. I'm also spending a lot of time over a hot stove. I have a greater appreciation for what it takes to save food, as well as the recipes from my 1972 Joy of Cooking which always seems to steer me in the right direction as far as balancing effort and convenience.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Descendants of Julia

Mom, Janice by suzipaw
Mom, Janice, a photo by suzipaw on Flickr.

Geese have been honking overhead for a few weeks now. I have to turn the porch light on when I get in my car to go to the gym early in the morning. The county fair is coming to a close. All signs that summer is on the wane.

But this summer was made really special by our every-three-years-ish DoJ reunion. Almost all of us made to the shores of Lake Ontario at the end of July, some of us delayed by terrible storms. But once the skies cleared we were treated to unusually lovely, humidity-free weather, perfect for swimming, croquet, eating meals out on the lawn, boating, and a trip to Niagara Falls. We also played cards, ate really well, sat around under the willow and by the lake, went to Brown's Berry Patch, and relaxed generally. The East Coast clan were very generous hosts, creating comfy space for us all to be together in various social configurations--thank you for that, dear family!

I think photos from the reunion will make for a good photo book project. I'll steal some from Kalyani and hope to grab from other photographers too. Here are a few of my faces: