Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Love Potion

I have absolutely no idea how or why my daughter decided to write out a love potion recipe today.  Or why putting strawberry flavored milk in the sun with salt and pepper is a central component of said potion.  But my, life with her is interesting.  

What would your love potion recipe include?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Simple Pleasures

...my life is all about the little things since my return to the U.S.:
  • novels from the library that I read on the chaise in the evenings
  • knitting on a rainy afternoon
  • cooking with sage again (couldn't get any in Quito--lots of other great herbs, but not sage--and it's one of my favorites)
  • talking with my sister on the phone
  • A tall glass of ice water with lemon on a hot day (although my current obsession is Tazo passion fruit iced tea--finally got some to make for myself!)
  • home made granola from this recipe
  • the coolest, comfiest of sundresses in a heat wave
  • having our sitter come so that we can get out, alone, for a little while
What simple pleasures are filling your life these days?

Monday, June 17, 2013

This Sunday

It was a most ordinary Sunday:

  • I went for my usual walk in the morning, after sleeping in a bit.
  • I talked for a while with one of the neighbors.
  • We had to do a lot of organizing, and grocery shopping.
  • The kids played with familiar toys, read books, played outside, and drew.
  • I sipped my favorite tea in my favorite tea mug.
  • I  knit, and read (but not at the same time).
  • I listened to NPR off and on all day.
  • We all ate favorite foods.  The kids were particularly enthusiastic about snacks.
  • I baked blueberry muffins in the cool hours of the evening.
So, why did Anya say "It feels like we're in a fancy hotel?" at one point, while eating about her 10th snack of the day?

Because we are home after five months away.  Our Quito apartment was nice...but it wasn't home.  It's not just "stuff"--though that's part of it.  It wasn't the atmosphere in which we relax best and most deeply.  They weren't the walls, rooms, and objects with our stories in them.  Here, in New England, it is.

Hope you all had a lovely Fathers' Day.  We're planning to celebrate ours next week!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Measuring Progress

I am in the middle of PACKING, which I hate.  I wrote once about my hatred of traveling in the post Traveling Checklist.  I  plan to panic all week.  

Meantime, I am doing some last-minute work at the Museo de Medicina, where I am finding lots of great stuff in journals there (they have some of the Boletin del Ministerio de Prevision Social!!!--I know, I'm a total nerd).  I'm also thinking back on how much I have accomplished with this research trip, despite unexpected interruptions and distractions. 

I was going to try to count the number of images that I have taken, but that was just way too overwhelming. So, instead I checked the size of my various folders from the trip.  

I have taken enough images to fill 31 gigabytes of space on my hard drive.  Plus I bought about 45 years' worth of Comercio on CD from Cotocollao--that alone is 165 gigabytes, saved on an external hard drive b/c there isn't enough space left in my computer. 

There, I feel better now.  I got a lot of stuff.  Now I just have to find time to read it all... (Of course, Howard asked if I got 30 GB in the past couple of days right after I wrote that, and he rather deflated my mood.)

Hoping to survive the week and the trip back home so that I can wake up in my own bed on Sunday...

Friday, June 7, 2013

This Moment

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and rememberAmanda Soule

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finally! Part 2

The lightness of being here is feeling quite bearable to me. 

1) Mothers Making Latin America is submitted (thus, the Finally).  

2) I have enough time to wrap up a few things in some of the archives--and, with the manuscript in, I can really focus.

3) Soon I'll be home.  We've all been missing home this past month.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


(Howard will be shocked that I put a photo of me on the blog...)

I've been doing a lot of knitting while in Quito--mostly cowls and hats and fingerless gloves.  Small projects, easy to do around work here. Simple knitting relaxes me at the end of long work days. These kinds of projects also allowed me to pick up new knitting skills without feeling overwhelmed. 

But I also tackled a sweater project.  I've tried these before.  It went okay for my kids, but whenever I tried to make a sweater for myself, it just never worked.  This time I decided to try a top-down, simple sweater.  It's the Annabel Cardigan from Quince & Co. (www.quinceandco.com).  

I loved this pattern.  So often, I am confused by patterns, but this was not only a simple knit, but it has clear instructions.  And no sewing!  It was supposed to have longer sleeves, but because I like my sweaters big, the sleeve opening began kind of low--and that would have made the sleeves awkward.  I decided to just make it short sleeved, and I really like that (this also drastically decreased my time knitting on dpns).  I can wear it with a tee shirt without getting all itchy from the wool.  

It's not perfect, but it will do.  The other patterns I tried weren't really more complicated--they just didn't come out right, maybe b/c I have kind of a hard body for sizing.  Even this is kind of big, especially around the neck/shoulders, but it's workable.

I'm now back to small projects until we leave, but I am hoping to find room for more yarn in my bags so that I can bring some Andean wool goodness home and use it for more projects there.  And really--yarn squishes down, so it shouldn't be too hard to find room for it, right??? Right???  

Now, those three stacks of books are another matter altogether.  I think I'm going to be buying another suitcase for the trip home...

What accomplishments have fueled you lately?