Tuesday, June 19, 2007

She Works Hard...

...for the strawberries. Today was share pickup at the farm and they had a special deal going: weed the strawberry patch for 20 minutes and you get to pick a pint of strawberries (a bonus to your normal share limits). Weeding suits my OCD habits well, thank you very much, so I signed myself up. And here is a small sampling of my rewards...there weren't many left by the time we got home because we gobbled them down in the car. Nothing beats a warm strawberry right off the vine, if you ask me. I am learning so much from taking this little part-time job. I worked on Monday and at 4, finished. Finished! In teaching, there is no such thing as "finished." There is always more grading you can do, a kid you can have a meaningful conversation with, this committee meeting or that committee meeting to get to, and lesson planning to create and then tweak. But I actually finished this job and then it was time to go home. And, as a bonus, I didn't have any emotional ups and downs (a class going really well or a class going really poorly, a nasty parent email that messes up the rest of your day, a set of bad papers that make you think you are the worst teacher ever) and so when I left work, I just left. Finished. What a concept.

During the school year, a day off is largely spent decompressing and so I'm only marginally creative during the school year. But today I had a day off from my summer job and there was no decompression necessary. Again, what a concept. So I accomplished a great deal. I finally sat my butt down and broke out the knitting machine. Oh. My. God. I have heard so many negative things about these contraptions that I was sure it was going to leave scratch marks or something all over my arms, but it was a charm to set up and to work. It does catch here and there, but it mostly seems to be due to the pressure I put on the carriage as I run it across, and I'm learning as I practice. Ironically, the ONLY difficult thing about setting this all up was untangling the crapola yarn they sent to practice with. It wasn't going to center pull, so I had to wind it myself, which turned into a 60 minute knot. Anyway, I whipped up a big chunk of knitted fabric and then tried cables with mildly disastrous results. I'm going to worry about binding off later because it seems to take a little thought. Yahoo for a new crafting toy!
And even though it was over 90 degrees today, that new yard sale plate was SCREAMING at me to put cookies on it. So here you have PeaNOT Butter Cookies (the real kind will kill Andrew, so I'll save them for a day when he's really driving me nuts...ba dum dum cha!) from this cookbook here. I substituted cashew butter for the (deadly in my house) peanut variety, and it really does the trick. These are a little crunchy on the bottom and soft in the middle. Oh my. They were my lunch and my dessert and there are a bunch left, but you're going to have to get your butt over here soon, Meg, if you want any. As always, with impeccable timing, I can see Meg walking up to my door as I write this. I highly recommend buying the cookbook if only for the to-die-for strawberry ice cream recipe made with sour cream. We'll be heading out to pick-your-own strawberries this weekend so I'll be blogging about its goodness soon enough.
And, finally, I promised that I'd be blogging more about crafts, so here is one of the mitts I made for my secret Etsy pal. They'll be in the mail this week, I swear. They are a little out of season at this point, but they just weren't happening in the last month of school. They can be a good reason to look forward to Fall.
So that's it for a mondo-crafty day.

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