here we are in albany, enjoying a weekend away from home. even though these times away are far to short, ti’s still nice to get a few hours extra sleep each night and slow down the pace a bit.
always before we leave there is a mad dash to tie up a bevy of loose ends in an attempt to get a little ahead of the game for our return.
by wednesday night, i had almost everything done—i had picked all but the last minute vegetables and cooked whatever was sitting around in the fridge and on the counters . . .
first, all the tomatoes got cooked down and puréed
to make a base for my favorite italian stew, ciambotta. almost everything in this pot is form our garden, yum! the only ingredients we didn’t grow are the carrots and celery. i made it with all my preferred ingredients—onion, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, celery, carrot, potato—and also threw in some slices of larger okra, since it is plentiful and i’m looking for any excuse to use it.
omg, this came out ssooo good! it’s the first time i’ve used our potatoes this year and they taste aMAZing. i uaully put in extra since i love the potatoes in this dish.
i boxed up a big carton to bring along to my mom’s and left one at home so we can enjoy it when we return.
by wednesday night i was 95 percent ready; i just needed to bake some fruit bars after knit night and pick the last of the vegetables on thursday morning.
but i even got a little ahead of schedule when no one showed up for knit night. i knew barb was away but none of the others came, probably due to the torrential rain that came down just about the time we opened.
back across the alley i scurried, turned on the oven, and started mixing ingredients. even an extra hour feels like a bonus when preparing to leave for the weekend.
the next morning was bright and cool and i was up early to strip the garden of as many beans, okra, tomatoes, chard, and other ripe items as i could. these tomatoes could sit and ripen fully indoors while we were gone. and my mom just loves fresh produce, so we packed a big box of tender green beans, chard, and all the rest.
off we went!
i drove the first half and then david took over. the first thing i did after taking over the passenger seat was to pull out my sweater back and get going on adding some inches. hehe, then i fell asleep—it happens on every trip; become hypnotized by the road and fall asleep for a stretch. but not for long, just enough to rest my eyes and soon i was back at work.
between then and the next morning i added two more rows of blocks and had just one more to go before starting the armhole shaping (and a considerable reduction in the stitch count, always a bonus).
yesterday was mostly filled with errands and cooking, but after supper, i picked up again. having brought just one project to work on has been a good thing in this case and i’m making excellent progress toward a finished sweater.
i’ve completed the armhole shaping and am working my way up to the neck shaping; it won’t be long til this back piece is complete. i brought an extra set of needles so i could cast on for the final sleeve piece and have something extra-portable to take along for knitting at the picnic on sunday. i am determined to finish this sweater very soon and if i can get the pieces all finished over this weekend, i’ll give myself extra points, haha.
today was the big day—our first family picnic in a number of years, but what a great day we had for a good turnout of at least 150 people. four generations of my mom’s family (on her mother’s side) got together to eat and have fun, as we had nearly every labor day weekend of my childhood and young adulthood. above is the oldest living generation—my mom and her surviving cousins (there used to be a lot more!), children of the the original nine sisters and brothers of my grandma’s generation.
it was really nice to see so many of my cousins removed again (second generation) and to introduce them to david and other new members of our family. there are actually a LOT more of us than are represented here; a lot of my generation couldn’t make it this year.
everyone contributed information to add to the family tree, so we should know soon to what number we’ve grown since we started having the annual picnic in the 1960s.
this is the third generation—children of my cousins and second cousins. the fourth generation are all babes in arms at this point, and for some reason they did not have that group line up for photos.
my mom’s family has always been very camera happy—we have an excellent collection of family photos that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. they never minded spending a little money on capturing the good times and life’s milestones. this display is made up of photos form past picnics—i noticed that it almost never rained, haha.
i did bring my knitting and work don that sleeve that i cast on, but truthfully, there was so much to do and so many people to hug and talk to that i didn’t get much done. still, it was nice to have a little quiet time to sit with david under the trees and knit while we watched others play volleyball.
we’ll be heading home in the morning; i will catch up with you later this week once we are there. hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and are heading back to work refreshed.