Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fay's leftovers

We're getting a lot of rain here; it appears to be Hurricane Fay's leftovers. As a result, a dead tree decided to drop a limb or two yesterday, and it just glanced off of my car. I meant to label the photo "collision" but somehow I wrote "collusion." That was a weird slip! Yes, I think it's a conspiracy...that evil tree did this on the first week of term AND while I'm dealing with the book proofs! The tree needs to be taken down. I was hoping the professor would arrange to deal with it. No such luck. He's completely booked up with a short course with 8 AM lectures (yuck) and a semester-long late afternoon class. (Yes, we hate the department scheduling committee about now.) Oh, and my car isn't too damaged and is now parked on the road. We concluded that if the professor's battered Taurus wasn't also parked on the road that day? It would not just be battered, but beaten. Lucky parking, huh?....our cars do spend a lot of time resting on the street or in the driveway, since I work at home and the professor walks to work.

As for me? I don't really enjoy the detail-y aspects of proofreading. I'm observant, which may be a mixed blessing. I don't enjoy dealing with editing (it often introduces mistakes as it attempts to clarify) and it makes me defensive about what I wrote in the first place. I also find once I start being, umm, nit-picky, I can't stop. It's not a nice part of my personality. I look forward to the end of this proof business...I can say that Fiber Gathering is beginning to look like a real book, and it looks pretty good. :)

I've been distracted by a few positive things. Our new cedar chest arrived. Years ago, before we were married, my professor bought me a "hope chest," a cedar chest that I'd admired. It's handmade by the Graham Family and usually they sell their products at the Carrboro's Farmers Market. Over time, we've admitted that a knitwear designer accumulates woolens. A lot of sweaters...and those sweaters that might fit the professor? Take up 3 times the space of a normal garment. These cedar chests fairly reek of that volatile cedar oil, which dissuades moths. It also reminds, in a comforting way, of my childhood gerbils and guinea pigs, whose bedding included cedar chips, but that's another tale! Since we may well be leaving next spring,(assuming all the Canadian paperwork goes through properly) we decided to honor the good craftsmanship of the first chest, and order a second to match. I'm still learning not to walk into it, since there didn't used to be furniture there, but it's already got a few sweaters and two blankets inside. It'll be full soon!

The garden's squish plants that volunteered are revealing their secrets. It looks like we have one potential butternut squash...the weeds are mostly lemon balm that is taking over my yard in a very fragrant way. The other squash confuses us. It seems to turn darker green as it grows, and it is circular, with ridges. What do you think? Acorn? Kabocha? Pumpkin? How long will these take to mature? Squash gardeners, please advise in the comments...

Last, but not least, you should know that all your comments made this week's beginning (with the 6 AM grouchy professor wake-up) much more bearable. Thanks for all your kind words about my storytelling...and about that little boy. Although I love knitting, lately my hands hurt from all the projects I am working on...and it's not much of a living. Some day, I hope to be able to sell a book or two of essays, a novel or stories. Fiction or non-fiction, I really like writing. It's just hard to sell the stories, so for now, I am fitting it in when I can. Thanks for reading and for giving me an excuse to keep spinning yarns, woolly or otherwise!


Blogger Nancy said...

Mystery squash isn't a pumpkin nor an acorn squash. Almost looks like a coyote melon which is inedible, but coyote melons don't normally grow in your climate...they grow by the wayside in Arizona and other hot, dry places.

August 26, 2008 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your cedar chest. Good thought. Having met the professor, I know what you mean about sweater volume. He's one tall dude! (I say this coming from a family of tall people, too.)

August 26, 2008 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Sarah Jean said...

We still keep my grandmother's hope chest in the foyer; the cat hides under it every now and again. =D I'm sorry I can't be more helpful about your mystery squash...I have absolutely no idea about gardening.

August 26, 2008 at 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The garden's squish plants." That's what they plant in Redmond, Washington, home to Microsquish (okay, yes, I do live in Silicon Valley with a geek husband.)

Gorgeous cedar chest. And I love the reference to hamster and gerbil cages, because that's what the childhood memories mine brings to me, too!

August 27, 2008 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

It's a white acorn squash. Here's a picture of one on this website.
Harvesting information here.
Winter squash is ready to harvest when the skins get hard. When our plants die is normally when we harvest ours.

August 27, 2008 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger knitalot3 said...

Sorry about your car, but I'm glad that's all the damage you sustained. Be sure to keep up with the hurricane repellent!

I love your cedar chest. I have always wanted one. Is there anything special you have to do to your woolens before putting them in there? Do they absorb oil or get stained?

August 27, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Hey Lisa! Nothing bad happens to your woolens in a cedar chest. They smell a little cedary, but nothing gets stained or oily. After a while, the cedar smell fades. I hear some people re-sand their cedar chests in order to maintain the smell. I mostly leave it be. I'm not a terribly serious housekeeper--if the furniture required upkeep, I wouldn't know it!

August 27, 2008 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god. That chest is lovely. I have a little one and a big one and they are filling up, but I have nowhere else to put another one. Still, I covet those!

August 29, 2008 at 7:22 AM  

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