Last Day of Fall Break

From my vantage point on the sofa, I’m enjoying a quiet cup of tea before everyone else wakes up. I’ve already taken the pup to the park, who promptly joined my husband back in bed after wolfing down his breakfast. Monday it’s back to school, and today the last day of not rushing in the morning. The place is quiet, the day is overcast and quite fitting for November. The forecast says 70% rain.

Yesterday I came back from the country after two weeks. While I worked, my husband, who had 2 weeks off, sorted out the garden for the winter. Being out there without the children was strange. For the longest time, that cottage was our vacation spot, our weekend retreat, the place where we spent all our free time, as a family. It’s been a minute since we’ve spent time there as a couple. I mean, there was some online, phone and Facetime parenting going on, but ultimately the days went mostly without interacting with them, and it gave me a sense of what things will be like once they move out. They’re six and a half years apart, so I always sort of had my daughter pegged as The Little One, while consciously moving through adolescence with my son, who is now 20 years old. My daughter just turned 14. While his life had always revolved around same-aged peers, she is growing up exponentially faster, it feels. Sometimes she’s allowed to join her brother and his friends for parties now (he’s a cool dude like that, and always takes her home around midnight before the older ones really let loose). I am realizing that it’s a matter of time until they’ll both be out of here, aaaaand I’ve got some serious detaching to do!

Just as with having children in the first place, nothing really prepares you for this. We’ve all seen parents take their kids to college, putting on a brave face, chins quivering, in movies. We’ve heard about the cliché helicopter moms who don’t know what to do with themselves once their offspring leaves the nest, and start aggressively Forever Young-ing (Yoga, pottery, or cougaring and/or day drinking, as the case may be). But the experience is quite another matter, I’m sure, and inconceivable for anyone whose life has revolved around their offspring for the better part of their adult life… What will I be like? Time will tell. My son always points out that I’m lucky I got the dog when I did, because it allowed him to quietly extricate himself without much ado. And he’s not wrong. I mean, he still lives here, but he’s got his own life, pretty much. We see him when we see him. Mostly for meals ;-)). But what does that mean for our daughter? Will I have to get a second dog?!

So over the last 2 weeks my husband and I spent more time together than usual. Me taking long walks over lunch is a pretty common occurrence, but him coming with me never happens during the week, him being a slave to company hours. It was nice, and although I was working, it wasn’t my usual full time, but more a matter of five, six hours a day, a comfortable pace. The thick tome I’ve been busy with for weeks now is about halfway done, and I’ve just sent the editor the first chapter so she could see how I was doing with it. The deadline is another 3 months away, so it’ll be fine, or so I hope, let’s see what she has to say.

We spent a lot of time outdoors, soaking up the Indian Summer we were blessed with (while at the same time cringing at the really low water levels in the river and lake!). Here’s a few colorful pictures of foliage and such.

Due to my reduced work schedule, I had evenings off, and therefore plenty of time for crafts. Since my last post, I made:

A red scarf for self :

A pair of birthday socks with a lurex glitter thread for the young lady

A pair of gauntlets upon request, also for her

And I put in some work on the Aubergine Sweater, which has meanwhile progressed to the sleeves stage:

Realizing that I found the first sleeve too tight in relation to the rather roomy body, I unraveled it yesterday and will decrease at a different pace than the pattern suggests. Not the author’s fault, I made the sweater baggier than she said, too ;-). If you go and invest in cashmere it needs to be just so. I had stopped working on the project in the first place because I was planning to follow her pattern and use the Italian bind-off method (new to me), but found that I didn’t like the way it looked at all. Probably my own doing because I hadn’t practiced it after watching a tutorial. Not all things that seem straightforward online are actually easy to do, surprisingly! But that’s okay, I’m happy with the good old knit-purl bind-off!

Wow, that was a lot of knitting, I’m realizing. If only I were getting paid for that, instead of for this:

But I’m not complaining. I love my work, and this book, an educational manual for aspiring writers of genre fiction (Sci-Fi, Fantasy and horror), is a lot of fun to do. It warms my nerdy heart, and it taps into my knowledge of literature and linguistics as well as into my decades long expertise of these genres in literary, cinematic and television form, as a recipient.

No recipes today, but I can tell you I made some really good risotto with wild mushrooms last weekend. Contrary to everything I was ever taught, the recipe calls for chopping them up and adding them right after the onions and rice, before wine and broth and cheese, as opposed to sautéeing them and folding them in at the very end. It’s a revelation, and I have my dear friend M. to thank whom I will henceforth bow to as the Queen of Risotto, always.

Have a lovely weekend, friends, and thank you for dropping in and reading this.

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