Thursday

[cooking] Raspberry Clafoutis

Went raspberry picking last weekend at a local farm:

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It wasn't particularly easy breezy- I went first thing in the morning before the temp really got crazy but it was still a lot of crawling around and trying to look at the bushes from an upside down angle (to get the berries that most people miss). I was sweating buckets after a couple hours. 

Look at this cutie-patootie calve in a pen near the farm stand:

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Back at home, all the berries I picked rinsed and spread on cookie sheets:

A gallon of raspberries. Clafoutis coming up...

75% went into the freezer (freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag once they're frozen- they stay nice and whole), some were set a side for my sister, some I set aside to add to yogurt for breakfast throughout the week, some were used for clafoutis:

Clah-foo-tee! #clafoutis #raspberries #raspberryclafoutis

Oh la la. A custard-y French dessert (normally made with cherries) that is mostly eggs with very little flour and sugar. Tasted very bright and "berry" delicious.

I picked these at Lincoln Farm in Bethel, VT. They have different varieties and will have pick-your-own through September (!!). It's best to check their Facebook page for address and hours; they stop doing pick-your-own periodically when the bushes have been picked over and need to wait a few days for the unripe berries to ripen.

Blueberry season has started and I might try a new pick-you-own farm in Hartland this weekend.

Wednesday

[spinning] Tour de Fleece 2018

Tour de Fleece has becoming pretty much the only time of year that I spin yarn any more. I missed out on a week because of travel but managed to quickly spin 4 oz of wool into a low-twist single-ply before I left:

Spinning for Tour de Fleece. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

Once I returned home, I started into some very pretty white/purple/blue/green:

Getting back on to east coast time. 🕖😵☕️ And spinning. 🐑🌀#tourdefleece #teamcatitude #teamcoffee

I'm spinning it so ridiculously thin:

I am #spinning this so thin. The plan is to chain ply but it’s going to take 10,000 hours to spin all four ounces. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

Because I want to chain-ply it to finish. It will be fingering-weight when it's done. But now it's taking forrrreeevvveeerrr to spin the 4 oz. I'm not even halfway through and TdF is over next weekend. I'll have to keep on spinning past the end date to spin up all the fiber I pulled from the stash. 

Lavender harvest seems to coincide with TdF, so I'll be cutting back all the lavender after work and bundling/drying. This makes the house smell so nice!

Tuesday

[gardening] Daylilies galore

Get ready for pictures of daylilies. I came home from San Diego after only a week away and nearly all the daylilies have started to bloom!

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We got some good rain yesterday and the next few days should be so nice. Things are blooming like crazy and I've got to enjoy it- things are looking like rain/storms all next week.

Monday

[travel] San Diego

Had a work trip to San Diego last week. Got to see lots of co-workers from across the country and attended some good talks. It was sunny and hot but there's always a nice breeze from the ocean.

Attended a Padres game, my first ever pro sporting event:


I'm an electric scooter convert now. When I first arrived to the city and saw everyone going here and there on Lime-S scooters, I was like, "Lol stupid." I tried it. It's cheap, easy, fast and FUN. It was faster and cheaper to get from my hotel to the convention center on a scooter than taking the trolley. These scooters were everywhere- easy to find, FUN, easy to lock/unlock from your phone, and FUN. Scooting along the boardwalk in the sun at 10-15 mph with the press of a button? FUUUUUUN. I would never say no to an electric scooter when visiting a city now.

Mostly ate at social events and sponsored parties- which saves money- but the food is always somewhere between meh to terrible. I did have a dinner out at a Turkish restaurant that I wanted to make sure to visit while I was out there. Got the falafel (I always order it when I see it- and I've never been thrilled. Maybe I'll stop ordering it.) and a proper adana kebab (so much yum with this) so I can try to recreate it at home.

I even managed to get onto the water for a bit:

So long, San Diego. ☀️🚤💦

Went to the big party at Balboa Park Thursday evening- the highlight here is always the bands and museums. Saw some nice Korean artifacts, paintings (van Gogh and Matisse and Dali, oh my), and photographs.

Friday was a full travel day- I didn't get home until midnight. But it was so good to be home. And I got a lot of travel crochet done.

Tuesday

[vermont] Pearl Crescent Butterfly

Speaking of butterflies:

Pearl crescent butterfly. ⚪️🌙 #pearlcrescentbutterfly

Pearl Crescent Butterfly on a daisy. I've seen many yellow and black Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies around but they are a bit more apprehensive of looming phones taking pictures.

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No craft stuff done yesterday. Got home from work and it was 150F in the house and 115% humidity (roughly) and had a PILE of CSA veggies to take care of. You know what I don't love doing when it's 150 degrees out? Cooking a ton of vegetables. But I really don't have room for it all in the fridge so I cooked down a bunch of chard and kale together. Sauteed up zucchini, onion, tofu and garlic for a vegan stir-fry. Local beer bratwursts cooked with peppers and onions. Did rice in the rice cooker. 

Siiiigh. I complained to Penny the entire time I did all the cooking, "Penny, it's so hot. Why am I cooking all this, Penny? Penny, come here. Penny, get up off the tile floor, you're making me jealous. Penny." At least she kept me company. Or the floor was cool and it was too hot to move. Either way.

I need romaine recipes. Like, seriously. I have two heads of romaine lettuce the size of... heads. Large human heads. 

Monday

[cooking] Butterfly Cake

I had a hankering for something lemon-poppy, so I whipped up this cake:

Butterfly Cake

I love these Nordic Ware cast aluminium pans. I've never had a problem with any batter sticking- the cakes always come out cleanly. I've made a castle, a house, misc designed round bundts- all it takes is a dusting of powdered sugar to finish but it looks so impressive (and the pan does all the work).

And... it's so tasty!

Lemon poopy seed

So that was my baking project Saturday morning before the weather got horrific. Temps in the high 90s (heat index peaking at 106) and suuuuuper high humidity. The house stayed fairly cool on Saturday and I did a lot of fabric cutting for quilting. Sunday was just a complete waste. Couch surfing and staying in front of a fan.

But I found some new shows that I love. Plebs on Hulu (hilarious) and Hollywood Weapons on Netflix.

Friday

[misc] TGIF

We had a good amount of rain over the past couple days, which was very much needed. The orange daylilies finally popped open:

Orange daylilies started blooming today.

Now we're moving on to the hot hot summer weather. Mid-to-high 90's with dreaded high humidity. 

TGIF. Made it through another week of teaching. I don't have another class until August- WOOOO.

Going to keep working on the Lost in Time shawl this weekend. I really had no time to work on it this week so I wasn't able to finish it :(

Tour de Fleece starts soon so I've started piling up all the fiber I plan on spinning (but will probably only end up spinning a quarter of it).

Going to cut some more pieces for quilt blocks.

Will cook some things- most of which will probably ham related. The maple-cured, bone-in leg of ham that I bought at Cloudland Farm last week has been amazing- the best ham I've ever had. We've been eating bits of it here and there in different dishes. I going to try to use it all up this weekend. But I think by this Sunday, I'll be making some summertime ice cold Korean noodles: mul naengmyeon and bibim naegmyeon.

Monday

[cooking] Rhubarb

Went to cut some rhubarb at my mom's since hers is so much redder than mine. 

I made some muffins:

#rhubarb muffins. Whole wheat with flax meal. #baking #muffins

The muffins were good- white whole wheat flour and some flax meal mixed in. I could have used more than the 1 cup of diced rhubarb.

And simple syrup:

#rhubarb simple syrup. 💗🍹💗

I've been using this for plain "rhubarb soda" (syrup + plain seltzer) and an even better cocktail:

Rhubarb cocktail o’clock 🍸

Rhubarb syrup, lime, vodka, plain seltzer. Perfect for sipping on the porch while I shake my fist at the chipmunks and woodchucks and tell them to "Git outta heeeeeere!"

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Pretty chill weekend- mostly because it was drizzly the whole time. Thoroughly cleaned the house, which is annoying but so satisfying when it's done. I don't particularly enjoy vacuuming, so I find distractions (lemme just wipe down all the windowsills in the house first... and start a load of laundry... I think it's high time to clean Rocky's cage... boy, the tops of these blu-ray cases are pretty dusty- I better dust off all the blu-rays... Look at Murderface asleep on the bed- I should give him some snuggles and pets and scratches...). But, the vacuuming got done in spite of all my efforts to the contrary.

I  pulled out my dwindling supply of fabric for the quilt I'm working on and starting looking for new quilt blocks to cut pieces for. 

I think I'll be able to finish my crocheted shawl this week. I started rummaging through my leftover sock yarn for a contrast color for the border. Not sure if I should do a solid color or get wacky and do variegated. 

Teaching this week so busy busy busy. I'm not taking any time off for the 4th but I will be traveling for work the week after, which I'm so looking forward to. 

Friday

[vermont] Eshqua Bog Natural Area

Took a quick trip to Woodstock to check out the blooming Showy Lady's Slippers at Eshqua Bog Natural Area:

Eshqua Bog

It's a nice little spot and handicap accessible. It was a beautiful day- perfect for the first day of summer:

Eshqua Bog

The boardwalk isn't too long- the trail does extend into the woods and loops back around but I didn't have time. I just came to take pictures of the rare orchids:

Showy Lady's Slippers

The really do look like adorable pink slippers with white ribbons you can tie around your ankles:

Showy Lady's Slippers

I should take a look around the marsh/bog areas around my house and see if there are any... probably not but I can dream.

Showy Lady's Slippers

I returned home via Pomfret so I could stop by Cloudland Farm and buy all the meats. I got some ground beef, chorizo, beer brats and a large bone-in, maple cured ham. Oh the things I'm going to make with that ham. 

Thursday

[quilting] More squares...

Last weekend was too hot to crochet, so I went back to quilting. I had several piles of pieces that I cut a long time ago, all I had to do was sew them together:

12 inches:

Too hot to knit or crochet, I decided to get back to quilting. Forgot how much ironing there is... 😅 #quilting

9 inches:

#quilting

8 inches:

#quilting

Basically all the squares I've made so far have been 12 inches or larger. I was working with whole fat quarters of fabric. Now I've got piles of smaller pieces and so the squares are getting smaller. I have a book of quilt block patterns that range from 6 inches to 15 inches- I'm starting to have to cut pieces for smaller squares. Which is nice, right- it means that there's a finish line... somewhere? 

Wednesday

[crochet] Lost in Time

After finishing the green socks and Fox Paws, I went back to a long neglected crochet project:


Lost in Time shawl. I really missed the boat doing this shawl in many different colors (was worried about too many ends to weave in- Fox Paws cured me of that) but I am enjoying the subtle shades of grey. 

This is sock yarn I got on wicked sale at Webs ages ago- I think I bought six 200gr balls and I'm on ball four or five. Will keep going until I use it all up- the rows are taking forever to complete at this point but it's really chewing up the yarn quickly. I plan on doing the border in a contrast color just for a pop of something different.

This is what happens when I get up from the couch and don't call fivesies on my seat:

Aaaaaand I lost my seat.

Actually, it still happens even when I call fivesies. Penny.


Tuesday

[gardening] Mid-June Flowers

Things blooming around the house since the end of May.

Yellow irises, should probably dig 'em all up and divide this fall...

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Common Siberian irises:

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Dianthus, which smells so nice. My mom said she wants some of these.

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A rose bush that survived the winter:

Rose bush survived the winter. Given to me last year by my uncle at my dad’s memorial service, it’s a nice reminder- especially since it’s bloom time seems to coincide with Father’s Day💞

There are a couple iris that I planted years ago (bagged root from a big box store) and have been waiting for blooms ever since. This year- they both bloomed!

Iris

Iris

Sooooo ruffley. #iris

Worth the wait. They're very large, showy and many blooms per stem. I hope to see more of the same next year.

Last year I brought home all kind of iris divisions from work. They all seemed to survive the winter but just one bloomed and it's a stunner:

The only iris to bloom from a pile of divisions that I brought home from work last year. Hopefully more blooms next year! #iris

First daylily of the year popped open:

First #daylily of the year! 👏👏👏

Here's one of those starry/constellation petunias:

Woodchucks really did a number on this #petunia when I first got it but it has come back after moving to the #flowerbedbed. 🌌

When I first brought this home from a local garden, I kept it on the ground, behind the garage, at the end of the hosta bed, to keep it out of mid-day sun until I found a place to plant it. It was too enticing for the woodchucks and they chomped it all the way down to the dirt. I still brought it down to the flowerbed bed and put it in. And it has come back, which I am so happy about. I love how unique it looks.

Columbine:

Columbine

Some sweet william volunteers popping up here and there around the front flowerbed:

Sweet William

Green Wizard coneflower.

Green Wizard Coneflower

I've been diligently spraying the regular purple coneflower with stinky liquid fence, to try to dissuade
the woodchucks and hopefully get a nice show this year. We'll see...

Native oxeye daisy blooming (while I wait on the shastas):

Oxeye Daisy

Silvery lamb's ear on the left. Yellow loosestrife on the right:

Lambs ear. Yellow loosestrife.!

The lamb's ear is juuuuust starting to bloom and I can't even say how much the bees love it. The flowers were absolutely covered with big bumblebees all last summer.

New to me this year (I can't remember planting it!), false indigo:

#falseindigo new to me this year. Can’t say I remembered planting it... ‍♀️

We finally got some much-needed rain yesterday. I was getting pretty sick of carrying jugs of water down to the flowerbed bed every day.