I heard this question over the weekend from a handful of caring friends, and I haven't posted in a long stretch (at least by my usual standards), but I am fine. Very busy, but happy.... my back is healing up and last week gave me far less trouble. I start a few weeks of physical therapy tomorrow, and spent time last week getting caught up on tasks I couldn't complete while laid up. Preschool started on the other side of our building, and even though our infant-toddler Headstart program is year-round, it added to our load, with extra energy and visitors abounding. I now have a Sunday-Monday weekend, but took Saturday off from the LYS in order to attend a once-a-year event with DH and his fraternal 'brothers' of ECV... we had a great Officers' Dinner with friends out of doors in a lovely Downieville yard Friday evening, then I attended a fun ladies' tea on Saturday morning.
The ladies gather at Donna's house and have a fantastic brunch and visit while the guys are busy doing 'guy secret stuff' and I have gotten to know several fine people over the years.
This year, we had our dear friend Wit and his new sweetheart Nancy staying with us over the weekend, so I was her tour guide to Downieville for the day... we had a fun time, shopped 'til we dropped, and ate lunch in cool comfort at The Grubstake... the temps have been hovering in the mid-90s here and being outside just isn't as much fun when you are sweltering.
Nancy and Wit pose in our kitchen... we have known Wit for close to 15 years, and were happy to see him in love and thriving. Wit is a beekeeper and also goes throughout the San Francisco Bay area extracting wild bee hives that have settled in peoples' walls, sheds, etc. He will be one of my primary sources of information for the posts that I am researching on bees, beekeeping, and Colony Collapse Disorder. These posts will accompany the progress reports on my Bee Fields shawl, which I plan to knit as a prayer for the health of bees in the face of a changing environment..... our food supply depends heavily upon creatures we either ignore or take for granted, so I hope to be able to enlighten my readers about the truly amazing work they do and the plight they are facing at this moment in time.
I have postponed starting until I can get truly finished with about three other WIPs.... most of those participating in the KAL will be done before I even get started, it appears.
Yesterday, I got together with much of our immediate family for a birthday luncheon to celebrate Nikki's 24th birthday today.... we had a fun time dining on Mexican food followed up by Coldstone ice cream.
I didn't take many pictures, but in this one, DS Jesse is entertaining Mason (DD's boyfriend's three year old son) by arm wrestling while we wait for lunch to arrive. He also drew several entertaining pictures for him, and had 'marker races' with each of them using a different color and drawing as fast as they could, then trying to figure out which color had covered the largest area... I love to see how creative and compassionate my (adult) children grew up to be... they are my best FOs!
I have spent much of today working on the abundance our garden has given us. The tomatoes are cooking up into a sauce out n the solar oven, while the chard was blanched and frozen for enchiladas later in the year...
We have been picking peaches all week, trying to get them off the tree before they fall off and go to waste... we have eaten peach smoothies for breakfast, peaches and cottage cheese for lunch and peaches and ice cream for an evening snack, and most will go in the freezer to become jam or cobbler when it is cool enough to cook! That is some of my fresh peppermint in the background, as well as a honey bear from Wit.
Here's a before photo as these clogs are having their day in the washing machine as I compose this post between stops and starts... they have agitated somewhere around an hour total so far. I can't count the frequent turning off, fishing out of suds, checking against my garden clogs, then getting to the stage of shrunkenness to be able to press out some of the water and try them on as part of the felting time, but it is much longer than the time it has taken for any of the bags I have made to date. I just hope they will fit!
Diamond Square has been my carry-along project, and has grown steadily... I now have the two diamonds that form the V-neck in front done and am working on the same stage on the backside... this is
a fun knit and I am really loving the colors... if I didn't have so many projects waiting in line, I would probably want to start another Just One More Row pattern as soon as I finished the top; it is easy to remember the routine while making each diamond, yet exciting to anticipate each next step in the construction process... I have tried to weave in my ends as I go, but will probably be complaining about that step when I am done with the knitting, however there is NO sewing (sweet!)
As you can see, there has been quite a bit going on to keep me away from the computer! However, I have been working on another post (trying to find some before and after pictures has kept me from completion) that will appear later this week, and DH and I are taking a mini-vacation Wednesday and Thursday, so I will have nice mountain photos for you by the end of the week. It's not that I don't love all of you... really! I am so grateful that so many people even cared enough to write and ask "Are you all right? Where have you been?" What a charmed life I have.