did you ever have one of those weeks when you felt harried and frantic to keep up the whole time but had nothing to show for it at the end?
the nice thing about blogging is that you actually end up with a record of your activities—it’s not to say they are all productive but at least you can account for your time!
we finished out last week with an incredibly wonderful friday at massachusetts museum of contemporary art—AKA massMOCA—where david, my mom, my cousin, and i explored the installations, sculpture, and paintings throughout the buildings and grounds.
i love this kind of place, where the history of what the buildings used to be provides a pervasive and insistent background to my experience of its new use. the ability to display REALLY large artworks at the proper scale is just astounding; we were overwhelmed at every turn.
like this hallway/ramp left intact from takes you from one floor to another—it looks like a mineshaft. i swear i can hear the strain of carts creaking their way up from ground level heavily burdened, then the clattering rumble as they return to be reloaded.
the rest room was one of our most favorite works of art, with its rough-welded, black steel stalls and long work sinks.
halfway through our day we took a break to share a picnic on an outside deck—my mom had packed sandwiches, salads, and fruit. the weather was spectacular.
after that we explored the boiler house and anselm knifer annexes, both fascinating. this is my favorite photo of the day; isn’t the light just beautiful there? david and i were equally transfixed by the atmosphere in the boiler house.
wow; it was just so great to have a chance to visit this place. we don’t have anything like this where we live now and it’s one thing i really miss about NYC—the privilege of stopping in just anytime to world-class art exhibits.
on our last day, my mom and i took a ride to nearby middeburgh, NY to shop at the produce farms there. since our tomatoes are not very productive this year and i hadn’t seen any bulk tomatoes in ohio yet, i thought i might have more luck buying a bushel there to take home and put up. i wasn’t wrong.
i could have bought a carload of that eggplant—it looks so good! we picked up a variety of vegetables and fruits for dinner and to fill my mom’s fridge, plus my bushel of canning tomatoes and few big heads of garlic for planting later in the fall.
my mom had been worried that all she had for dinner was lentil soup, but by the time we added fresh sweet corn, sautéed bok choy from my cousin’s garden, green beans i’d brought from our garden, and some left over pasta, there was plenty, haha.
the next day we packed up our car and headed home with supplies to fill our labor day with end of season kitchen chores. those hours in the car were our last quiet rest hours for the whole week, i think.
first thing the next day i got myself out to the garden to see what needed picking—that would be everything. plus i had left some tomatoes to ripen on the counter while we were gone. even though my friend barb had been over to pick beans on saturday, there was a full basket to get in on monday. good thing i got out early, because the rest of the day was rainy and dreary—perfect for spending time in the kitchen.
even though i had a backlog of desk work to do, this is the time of year that when nature calls one must report for duty.
i thought it would be quicker work than it was though; it ended up taking all day to get those tomatoes peeled, cooked, and puréed.
but SO worth it. i think we now have plenty stored up for winter sauces and other dishes.
any tomatoes we get from our own garden i plan to roast and put up a little at a time, like this pan of garlic-and-oil roasted heirloom tomatoes. i had enough here to make some calamari sauce for dinner and put a carton in the freezer. i have another batch that’s ripe now which i’ll cook with green beans freeze for side dishes.
speaking of green beans, we had the best dish the other night, based on a suggestion by ellen—blanched beans, drained and cooked in oil til they char just a bit. i used sesame oil and added a tablespoon of red pepper chile sauce at the very end—fantastic; we gobbled those up. i could have eaten just that for dinner i think!
also on the way home from albany i finished knitting the bocce hat i brought for a travel project to alternate with my secret knitting project. i had washed it when i got up and while i cooked, it dried.
now it can join the others in waiting for its photography, which hopefully will be happening this week (left to right, bocces in vegan yarns fifo sport, ecobutterfly organic pakucho cotton, and studio june springy sport). once we have photos, we can release the pattern.
whenever we travel, we always have our mail held at the post office and when we finally got it on tuesday, there was a package containing a sample of stephanie pearl-mcphee’s oatmeal stout cowl, knit by our dear friend cherie in three shades of our very own confection worsted yarn.
stephanie designed this cowl, and infinity scarf, and some fingerless mitts with clara parke’s new CVM yarn, but before steph could release the pattern, the yarn was sold out (cuz clara makes gorgeous stuff that everyone loves!). she kindly mentioned that our confection would be a nice substitute, so we asked cherie to knit one.
that stephanie is always right about yarn and knitting—confection is lovely knit into this design, because in addition to being soft and squishy, it has beautiful drape—perfect for achieving those plump warm folds we like for this kind of cowl. and we have a good range of shades to play with—use three or five, whatever.
we also are just about ready to add the sport weight of this yarn to our shop pages, in case you like a lighter accessories. i think we’re just waiting for the last couple shades to arrive from the mill; we’ll be sure to announce when it’s available.
meanwhile erica O has started an oatmeal stout KAL in our bare naked wools group on ravelry. if you’re a fan of cushy yummy QUICK knits and a fan of the yarn harlot, why not grab a pattern and join us?
oh, and did i mention i was signed up to run a half marathon today to round out my week? yeah and right up to the last minute, i wasn’t sure i’d be able to participate—i’ve been rehabbing and ankle injury and back to running for only about a week.
i had to decide by yesterday what i was going to do—sit another one out, switch to a shorter race (there was a 10k as well), or stick to the half and do it as a walk/run event if need be?
the thing is, i REALLY wanted to participate in this event—the entire course was run right in my neighborhood; these are streets i run every time i go out—it was my race! so i bit the bullet and committed to the whole shebang.
i got up early and felt good; my ankle was a little stiff, but i had no discomfort and no pain. the morning was quite cool (low 50s) but looked to be the start of a real beauty of a day. i literally only had to walk about ten blocks to the start line, so i got myself downtown just a little before 7:30 when the race began. i had decided beforehand that i could walk whenever i wanted and told david i would turn around and head back at the slightest hint of trouble. after all, i knew i would never be very far at all from home.
still, i was nervous.
and guess what?? i didn’t have to do any of that! i started at a light, slow (for me) pace and felt great; omg, before i knew it i was at the halfway point and i hadn’t even really thought about the fact that i was running the whole time, i was enjoying myself that much.
i actually didn’t even walk once, which is a major breakthrough for me; i ALWAYS have to walk just a little. i think starting out with such a cautious pace was really good for me, even though it’s very hard for me to do when i’m feeling tip-top. it’s so easy to start out too fast and wasted my energy at the beginning. not that the end was easy or anything, but i made it in great time, considering everything and i learned a LOT.
only a few minutes slower than my usual half marathon time—plenty to be happy about there. i placed fourth in my age group, just shy of a prize. but i got my reward—i am BACK, haha.
on the way home i had an overwhelming yen for baked macaroni and cheese; but no energy to make it. fortunately i remembered there was a wee, single serving dish in the freezer from the last batch i’d made.
well, a happier girl never there was; color me content.