Small Victories

Slowly, our summer improves. Since summer easily extends through September, there is still plenty of time to enjoy weekend afternoons and many evenings on the patio. Last Sunday, we finished off a batch of Limoncello Fizzy Sangria that we had made for a lab member’s moving away party. It was a big success at the party and very refreshing. It also looks good photographed with the sun shining through it:
Limoncello Fizzy Sangria
We got the recipe from 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks by Kim Haasarud. The publisher is Wiley, who I thought published mostly textbooks. Hmmm….

I also finished knitting a crazy sock:
Chouwa Sock #1
The pattern is Chouwa from Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner. Chouwa means harmony, and this sock obviously bypasses that concept, but since I have so few wild socks, I say it’s a keeper. The best part of knitting this sock was that I figured out how to knit stockinette in the round while reading. Using my iPad, and making the text large, I was able to read and knit simultaneously! This made the stockinette portion fly by, and I didn’t have to decide whether I wanted to read or knit.

Now, I can knit many of my more vividly colored variegated sock yarns into simple stockinette socks without becoming bored to tears. That is a victory in my book. I even started a new sock in that very vein:
Cinco de Mayo sock WIP
That yarn is Seacoast Panda (merino/bamboo) in Cinco de Mayo. And it’s stripey!

Kitty #34 would like me to say that reading and knitting is nothing compared to her victory. She made it up onto M’s lap!
Kitty #34's victory
Usually as she walks around she keeps up a constant meowing commentary, but one morning she was quiet, and she took M by surprise (I’m told she was in “super secret kitty, silent, stealth, invisibility mode”–something beyond human comprehension). He let her stay up there, blissed out, for several minutes; he even pet her a bit, being careful not to rub his eyes before washing his hands. Lucky for Kitty #34, he isn’t super allergic to her. She purred, which she informs me was real love-purring, whereas when she sits on my lap, she pity purrs. Hmmm… Pity Purring…like one of my babysitters when I was little would say when she thought we were fibbing about something, “My Great Aunt Fanny.”


This has not been the easiest summer. Just when I thought things might ease up a bit at work, I needed to rapidly get some data done to help a labmate get a paper ready for publication. And just as I was getting started with that, I found out my younger grandmother (only 96), Grandma Adeline, was in the hospital with pneumonia and kidney failure. She only survived a day in the hospital, where all they could do was make her comfortable. So, we hurried back to the Midwest for her funeral.  She had planned her funeral, and a deacon of her church, who was a close friend, led the service with great love and sincerity. She was very smart, was a wonderful story teller, and had a great sense of humor, so she will be missed.

Then it was back to California to all those experiments to do and all the housework and laundry to catch up on. When I am under stress, I have trouble focusing. And since I am normally able to focus bizarrely well, a lack of focus is all the more upsetting. I must have at least 6 books started. I have so many socks started, that I can’t knit any second socks until I finish another first. Even though I have a third of a sweater done, I’ve swatched for several other garments and large projects. I have two FOs to weave in ends and block. It’s all a little too much right now.

I finally downloaded a whole raft of pictures from the small point-and-shoot camera I carry in my purse, and I’ve chosen some of my favorite images that cheer and calm:
A neighbor’s tree in bloom
Pink cherry blossoms
Kitty #34 looking disgruntled; she’s probably wondering where M, her true love, is.
Kitty #34 disgruntled
Kitty #34 wondering why M, her true love, won’t let her up into his lap (he’s allergic).
M and Kitty #34.
A neighborhood view during an evening walk (I love the light).
Intersection Lake and Marina
Another view of our neighborhood.
Lake Blvd.
Roses at the university arboretum.
M making cocktails.
M making cocktails