March 22, 2010

victories great and small

Victory cake!

To be clear: the cake itself was not a victory. It was the first of its kind I have made from scratch, and the icing was good, but the cake came out tough. Not dry, but pseudo-brownie texture with crusty edges. Not great. And not sure where I went wrong.

Yeah, that chocolate pie was better. BUT, the Victory Cake was in celebration of Bryan's victory, in particular: the paper he submitted at the previously mentioned conference won! They sent him home with a stack of books and a check, which was very nice of them. Maybe he will SHARE THAT CHECK WITH HIS SUPPORTIVE WIFE. But, you know, he won it so... whatever. Toby and I are proud of him, regardless.

In the realm of minor victories, here are some knitting updates for you. This t-shirt turned out well, but not as nice as I was expecting, I'll admit it.

I do like that leafy pattern in the middle, though. Here's a picture of the sleeves. Ack, that bumpy neckline!
I love this soft baby alpaca wool that turned into this hat. If it were made from something lighter, it probably would be more slouchy and I could wear it farther into springtime, but I'm okay with the bulk.

SO SOFT. I have been wearing this one a lot, often because I hate the length/cut of my hair is at these days and it makes it easy to hide it/distract from it.

We had a tease of a warm week last week, but now we're back to chilly rain. THIS is the March weather I remember. Spring is moody, but I don't mind it most of the time. It seems in this part of the country (and where I grew up as well) this is one of the first bright signs that spring is coming.Mmmm, forsythia. One day when we have a house of our own I would love to plant this stuff in an unexpected corner and watch it liven the place up every spring.

March 20, 2010

go it alone

My husband is away this weekend presenting a paper at a conference, and my lack of vacation time kept me from tagging along, which is absolutely nerdtastic but disappointing nonetheless. This academic journey of his has become more of a team effort than ever, with both of us sharing the uncertainty and burdens and changes that have rolled in. So, I'm sad to miss this first, more public accomplishment in person. But hopefully it's just the first of many.

In the meantime, Introvert Anna was really really REALLY looking forward to some alone time. Not that I expected the routine would really differ from when he's home; it's not like I go to bed with a full faceload of makeup or have perfect hair around the clock when we're both here, and five days alone means a break from that or anything. I expected to function pretty much the same, other than maybe cooking something I know he doesn't like and watching stupid tv that would otherwise invite him to mock me.

But heavens to mergatroid, people, have I ever felt like a single parent this week. And I'm not even a parent to a human. Granted, my child is a fairly high maintenance dog, and cannot be carried around in my purse for my convenience. The poor guy has sat alone for whole days while I'm at work, and then to attempt to make it up to him I've taken him for a long walk, sprints fetching at the dog park, and an exhausted walk home. On Wednesday, this was followed by a trip to the grocery store, the liquor store for some wine, and then a round of dishwashing(which is quite the undertaking without a dishwasher, sometimes) and risotto cooking. And then I turned around and it was 8:45. And I hadn't even eaten yet. Since I had to be up at 5:30 the next day I should have just skipped a few steps and eaten in bed to save time.

Now, those of you who are parents to one or more human children, don't even comment. I know what you're going to say. I promise. And I know that I DON'T EVEN KNOW how crazy nuts it can be. And really, I'm not worn into the ground or anything- but I am very glad it is finally Saturday, and I don't have a schedule looming over me and gobbling up all this alone time I thought I was going to get to savor all by my sweet self. I guess it's good to know that I can get done what needs to get done, even if I don't love how a touch of bitter disappoinment tastes going down.

Even now, I need to chase down all the black Toby-hair dust bunnies running amuck, and scrub the bathrooms down. But, those don't have to get done. What does have to get knitted is a wee baby blanket, and of course I can't do that without a cup of tea and a movie. My prioritizing skills are remarkable, I know.

March 10, 2010

oh, the warmth in your eyes swept me into your arms

In the last week, literally four unrelated individuals have recommended the band Mumford and Sons to me. And after watching video after video on youtube, I have wholeheartedly jumped on the bandwagon, and this blog post is the proof.

Why I like them: 1) British. 2) Banjo. 3) Beautiful, rich, juicy lyrics- sometimes interesting references to faith. 4) Every melancholy, brokenhearted band has a place in my life in my dreariest of days, but these guys are relentlessly hopeful and fun. The energy in their videos is palpable, which makes me want to see/hear them live. Here. Look.

March 7, 2010

family outing

This weekend brought our first taste of spring for the season, which meant lots and lots of walks- two yesterday, and two today. Hamilton is spread over and along the Niagara Escarpment, and although none of them rival the big one, the escarpment is littered with waterfalls.

This one is Tiffany Falls, one of 125 waterfalls in Hamilton. Hopefully those wee people can give you some scale. It was a beautiful walk, and I do mean walk, because the car ride to get there took longer than the walk itself. Which is what sold Bryan on the whole deal.

The water was cold but the air was mild and the paths disastrously sloppy. Toby did his darndest to take us out, towing us down slushy stretches with determination, but we didn't have any wipeouts. I think he was mad we wouldn't let him go for a romp in the just-thawed water.

Yeah, he's prettier than me.

If all the waterfalls are as accessible as this one, we'll knock off the remaining 124, no problem.