5 trips to the beach - I started the summer with a long girls' weekend at my friend's beach house, followed by one pretty successful camping trip and three very successful day trips with my family. Visits to knitting or craft shops are not usually on the agenda when I'm with Russ or the kids although Russ doesn't mind if he can browse around in a nearby bike shop while I'm exploring. Paige went with us on our last trip the day before my birthday on the 23rd. Our first stop was in Arroyo Grande, where Paige and I purchased these cute little fat quarter packages at The Quilt Attic. Let's see, that's been over a week ago, and they're still just decorating my sofa table. I do have plans for mine, the summerhouse seat cushion from Posy Gets Cozy. The pattern looks really easy and fun. I think Paige is planning on sewing a pillow with hers. Now all I have to do is inspire both of us to actually complete them.
Eight books read - One day this summer. I posted on Facebook that I'd had a wonderful day with Russ - "coffee at our favorite coffee shop, shopping at Lassen's Market (health food store), and a trip to the library where we checked out ten books." Accusations flew from many of our ex-students that we are book nerds...like that's an astute observation, ha, ha. Most of my reading has been fairly light although I am currently reading a book I've intended to read for years, A Passage to India, which I'm enjoying quite a lot. Among my lighter reading accomplishments, I just finished The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Shop, which I started a couple of times this spring and just couldn't get finished. I have to admit that I was drawn to it mostly for the cover. II even like the feel of the dust cover. In fact, the copy I read is a friend's, and I may have to go out and buy my own to display on my coffee table. Wait a minute, I don't have a coffee table. Maybe I'll buy one, so that I can display it. I'm kind of over the "knitting" themed books, but I did enjoy the plot of this book and especially the setting, the coast of England. Other than that, it's not exceptional, but I don't think it's supposed to be. I like the author, Gil McNeil's writing better than Debbie Macomber's. Neither one of them are exactly wordsmiths, but their writing is easy to read without making you feel like your brain is atrophying either.
Numerous sourdough pizza crusts baked - I've had a lot of fun with my sourdough starter this summer, and I really can't count how many time we've had pizza dough using it. I went through a phase where I tried to be original; the rosemary - lemon crust, where I added a tablespoon of fresh rosemary and a couple of teaspoons of lemon zest to the dough went over pretty well, On the other hand, the consensus seems to be that my old recipe with just starter, half King Arthur unbleached flour/ half King Arthur bread flour, two tablespoons of olive oil, and two tsp. of salt is the best. Last night I made BBQ chicken pizza, the lazy way with Trader Joe's BBQ sauce, but Paige and her friend were more adventurous. They used ranch dressing on one half of their pizza with red onions, basil, "fake chicken," and a mix of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. It was everyone's favorite...well, except for Kai.
Knit mindless simple items - I did knit a couple of pairs of socks, one pair that I ended up unraveling, but mostly I've been puttering around with easy knitting projects. I've had fun with felting even though I've had some failure. Two of my ex-students brought me a pink gerber daisy on my birthday, so I had to knit the pot a little cover with the last of some Lopi yarn I've had for almost twenty years. I'm almost embarrassed to post my other recent accomplishment, one little coaster. I used an "applique heart" pattern from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments I knit it mostly to see if the yarn would felt, which it kind of did.
I could brag about other non-knitting related summer accomplishments like:
- playing at least
fiftyone hundred games of ping pong on our ping pong table that Russ bought for $10 from our neighbors, and which I chastised him for wasting money by buying
- watching almost every episode of all nine seasons of Anthony Bourdain:No Reservations on Netflix,
- spending endless hours outside willing my tomatoes and zucchini to ripe and trying to find the perp who keeps eating my basil
- taking two-hour naps nearly everyday
- going to a farmer's market almost every week
...but that would make it seem like I'm a boring person, and I don't want to admit that.