January 2010

So gardening went fairly well this summer, considering I had a job and could not fuss over it as much as I wanted to. I harvested a small pile of soybeans (they actually were not remotely prolific with flowers and pods), a bunch of pickling cucumbers which became pickles through the magic of vinegar and spices (it really does feel like magic!), 2 tomatoes, lots of rosemary and basil, some catnip, and several small cayenne peppers. So for my first season of attempting a container garden, I felt pretty good about it.
Now that it is cold, the garden has actually become quite the habitat for birds. I didn’t really clean it up at all, after it got cold, so its all spiky with stems and covered with dead leaves.
This morning brought me a bunch of juncos:


Foraging for food in the snowy garden.

I have been feeding them since the “blizzard” last month, and just switched out a bowl of frozen in carbonite seeds (which were very well protected, assuming they survived the freezing process) for a more accessible bowl. This attracted way more birds, and also provided much entertainment for my cats:

Cats hunting

Kitty-cat TV in full swing.

Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures, I was attempting not to spook the hunters or the hunted, and totally forgot to bring my telephoto lens on this backyard safari!


Melissa stumbles out in front of the computer, looking a bit dazed. She’s disheveled, there is something that looks suspiciously like vulture poo on her shoe, she has a grape smashed in her hair, and her right hand is completely swathed in bandages.

Right, so, I guess anyone who is still vainly checking this blog for updates might be wondering what the heck happened to me in June…since I essentially vanished with only one small reference to a “vacation”. In order to update you in the most entertaining and least rambling way possible, I give you the “Where the heck was Melissa (extremely condensed) PHOTO MONTAGE”!!

Vacation in the Caymans

Grand Cayman: This is Peabody, he didn't want to be held.

Camp makes people crazy.

What happens to me after a summer as a zoo camp coordinator. That is a red-tailed boa, he was better behaved than some of the children, and he stole my watch!

Big Mountains!

Some big mountains in British Columbia. We were there for a wedding!

It was a well traveled and crazy few months. I snorkeled in Grand Cayman (where a moray eel surprised me and I screamed bloody murder and surprised him). I worked the summer at the Elmwood Park Zoo (where I managed to get bit by a cockatoo and did not curse in front of my camp kids and also got unbelievably dirty at various times). I went to Canada for the first time ever (it was cold and beautiful and I need to go back). All in all…I had fun…but did not have much time to update this blog.

The good news, though, is that we have FOs!! I finished a thrummed mitten in ivory and blue and brown for my mom (the 2nd half of LAST YEAR’s Christmas present, which was the 1st mitten, of course). A zig-zaggy baby blanket in green and yellow not actually very superwash devil yarn (yarn to remain nameless to protect the less than innocent), which I was so angry with by the end that I sent it off without taking its picture. And, the best of all:

Baby sweater

Nice modelling, eh? He's a natural!

The baby sweater has been sent to its new owner, who hopefully has not already outgrown it. It was an interesting knit, since I essentially made it up as I went along, and so adorable when I was done that I wanted to eat it on ice cream. Note the ridiculously twee little puppy button!
Blurry Puppy Button

It's twee, and you know you love it!

The pattern is in my head, the yarn is Fiesta Baby Boom in Madrid, the button I bought at Rosie’s Yarn Cellar in Philly. Next up, I’m working on a scarf (I know, right, totally unlike me!) in Noro, and a super secret project which I hope to be able to post about once I am done. Stay tuned for more sabbatical pictures, as well as some actual recipes(!!) which I’ve been puttering around with lately. Cheers!