home plate

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

well, here we are, back in ohio.
i forgot all about the new steps until beckie pulled up in front of them last night (thank you again beckie for picking us up from the airport!), but ooohh, what a great sight to come home to.

i ran up and down a couple of times after admiring them from the sidewalk, then marveled at the evenness of the landing and the nice pattern they used in laying the concrete. so much better than what was here before . . .

ok, so maybe i was a little punch-drunk after being in a plane all day, hehe.
it feels like months since i’ve been here . . . not in a bad way, but still, it was sooo-o-o-o good to sleep in my own bed last night.

this morning came all too soon and when i opened my eyes, i knew the moment of truth had come—time to go out and face the mess of an untended garden. since it was too early for my repaired computer to arrive, i didn’t have any good excuses to avoid getting to work.

not that it was ignored by any means—beckie, anne c., and a few others were extremely generous in coming over to pick stuff while we were away and beckie even cooked up some big batches of tomatoes from what she picked (bless her). but anyone who has a vegetable patch knows that all sorts of pesty infestations and overgrowth can run rampant if a gardener turns her back for even a little while.

hahaha, i laughed out loud at the neat pile of 2-foot-long squash in the corner (foot added for scale) and then got to work adding a few more that were still attached to the vines.

other than a few sick tomato plants (normal for this time of year in our humid environment, i think), everything looked healthy and was loaded with produce.

david cooked and froze twelve quarts of tomatoes before he left home—way to go david—and beckie cooked up about twelve more that she refuses to keep and insists she doesn’t have room for.
i discovered that david also spread a big batch of tomatoes to ripen on the porch table, which were more than ready now.

these i washed up to cook this afternoon; maybe it’s time to think about making paste since we have so many quarts of puree already.

now the porch table was free to spread out today’s pickings—it’s all about the rotation system this time of year.
meanwhile, we have an abundance of cherry tomatoes too

while i have the oven on to make paste, i’ll dry these as well (click here to see how it’s done). the dried tomatoes are much more compact to store and add an amazingly flavorful punch to stews, sauces, curries, and chili.

and while i’m doing that, i may as well roast up all that eggplant to freeze for winter, too
(my goodness—who’da thunk all that would come out of just six plants?). if i wait, the pile will just get bigger.

i have to admit, it’s a little overwhelming, heh. just writing about it makes me feel exhausted. maybe a nap first, eh?

and for sure, i won’t do anything with the greens til tomorrow or the next day.

i just can’t face the idea of them right now (and they’ll be fine . . .)

anyway, let’s talk about knitting—that’s really what we’re here for.
by the time we left vegas, believe it or not, i didn’t have much left in the way of projects to knit on the plane.

while i was oregon, i knit two mates for the nate socks i knit in july. then i knit three pair of boy socks in las vegas. and i started another sock that i’m keeping under wraps, at least for now (plus, i have to figure out the next part, so that project is stalled).

between the two places, i also finished both sleeves for my gray maze sweater.

they just need to be sewn in and the garment washed to block it. i’ll finally have the new charcoal gray sweater i started—what—three or four years ago?? the cool thing is, it’s still exactly what i want for the in-between seasons. light fabric, neutral color; it will go with lots of things.

i have a little blue lace cardigan in the same yarn, that i wore a lot at sock summit, so i know it’s a good weight for chilly days that aren’t truly cold.

by our last day, what i had left in my unfinished knitting queue was a brand-new project that i didn’t start yet (before i left home, i so thought i’d have the time and inclination to start something new, HAHAHA!) and the nightingale stole.

the choice then, was clear—i was not going to start a brand-new project while traveling. period. (ok, maybe if it was a sock—but it’s not).

with a total of about nine hours of sitting time ahead, i took out my trusty nightingale stole and got to work. it’s truly an easy pattern for me at this point, though i still need to have the chart handy for the edging, since i work on it only in fits and starts.

anyway, i think i added about another foot to the length yesterday and feeling very sure i was getting close to being finished. so this morning while i was taking pictures, i measured it.


not even close.
dang. it just doesn’t grow, you know?
i am alternately afraid of two things: A) i will dutifully knit to the estimated length and it will double in size when i block it, thus making it far too long or B) i will work until i’m just a hair shy of slitting my throat, and stop, no matter how short it is of the estimated knitting length. i’ll be completely fine with that until i’m definitely NOT ok with it and wonder what’s wrong with me that i could not have stuck with the silly thing just a little longer so as to have a piece i love.

maybe i should take care of this mail.
and processing all those tomatoes is starting to look really good to me, too . . .

after a nap.

34 thoughts on “home plate

  1. there are no ripe tomatoes around here yet…no one planted the early boy or girl this year and the other varieties are horribly slow this year. sigh. my white ghost eggplant are just beginning to put on a fruit or two, too.
    glad you’re home safely.

  2. I love the new steps! They came out great. I can see why you wanted to run up and down them. 🙂

    My tomatoes have been a little slow but we get a few tomatoes everyday. Not as many as last year but yummy all the same.

  3. Welcome home! To quote Elizabeth, there’s no place like home! I so enjoyed Amad and his socks. They are truly made for someone who will love them.

  4. Look at all those wonderful tomatoes! I so miss my grandpa this time of year. He used bring buckets of tomatoes to our house every week. By September we would start considering putting them on our breakfast cereal just to find a new way to eat them.

  5. Your new steps and landing look great.

    It always surprises me how much food a garden can produce. A lot of work at the outset, but something to enjoy the rest of the year.

  6. Definitely a nap. And I know that feeling you’re having about nightingale – there’s no winning on that one! Are you thinking you might do a pattern for the lacy blue sweater? ‘Cause it’s really really fab.

    Welcome home! 🙂

  7. The steps are lovely. Knitting is lovely also but you’re a tease to make us wait to see even a bit of it stretched out with pins. The veggies? I’m filled with envy. Glad you had a wonderful time!

  8. welcome back home! I understand the garden sentiments; we’ve had rain for two days and I shudder to think what ripened during that time.

  9. the steps and the garden both look really great. Thanks also for sharing some of your trip with us. The story of Ahmed’s sock obsession is very cool. I hope he becomes a knitter in his own right.

  10. Amazing produce, which is aptly named in your veggie garden! Perhaps you could block what you have knit so far on Nightingale (keeping it on the needle), and try to judge from that how much more you want to knit. Just a thought.

  11. Your home looks so welcoming! It must be good to be back. As for the garden, well, I’m having serious produce-envy right now! (Ok, to be honest, I have no work-that-comes-with-it envy, though… One more reason why I admire you!)

  12. I’m lusting after your tomatoes. All of our tomatoes — as well as those of most people I know in our area — have been hit with tomato blight, effectively killing them off in record time. 🙁 We got one ripe one before they bit the dust. I’m still getting some cherry tomatoes, but it is only a matter of time until they succumb as well. So sad. 🙁 Enjoy your crop, though! 🙂

  13. Holy cow!!! I want your squash plants. I love seeing all of the veggie/garden pics. and don’t you just love coming home to new home repairs that have been completed while you were gone? It’s like a new house you didn’t have to work for.

  14. I gasped to see the size of the squash – the foot for scale really makes a difference! Wow.

    And for length – why not put it on a string and do a quick-n-dirty block to see how long it is? I often do that with sweaters when I get worried.

  15. Welcome home Anne! You could make some great ‘uncooked’ tomato sauce with that bounty! Cut in half, squeeze out seeds and grate them into a pot. Stir around for a couple of minutes on the stove with a little olive oil, garlic, basil and toss w/pasta. Just enough to combine, but not enough to really cook the sauce. Yum. Love the little dried cherry tomatoes–I’ve done that w/the Roma’s too sometimes. You are such a prolific knitter–you got a lot done while you wee gone. I’m looking forward to the next project!

  16. Welcome home!
    Oh my, here come the tomato pictures again! We have none, none, I tell you! I would love to dive into that pile on your table!

  17. Anne- It is great to be home- you’re house looks amazing.

    Just think of how happy you will be to take a batch of fresh sauce from the freezer in January.

  18. Isn’t it _nice_ to be home! My poor hubby got stuck in TX another two days and he’s just about fit to be tied. I’m still envious of your garden this year.

  19. Thank you for re-printing your tomato paste recipe. I made it last summer and went to look for my copy just today and could not find it in my recipe mess. I have plenty of cherry tomatoes this year so I think I will try to dry them.

  20. Wow! Seeing all the wonderful veggies from your garden makes me wish I had the energy to start one of my own. I would do more with my yard if I didn’t have issues with the sun. I need my own personal gardner…a handsome…who likes to model knits. 🙂

  21. Welcome home. Your new steps look great…the picture of the steps and the porch make it look like a mansion!

    What is the pattern for the “little blue lace cardigan”?

  22. What a beautiful harvest! I wish I could say mine looked the same upon my return. Sadly, most of our tomatoes have rotted. We did get some delicious zucchini and summer squash though. Enjoy the bounty 🙂 BTW – love the new steps.

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