atwitter: january

A few things that got me all worked up this month:

A Series of Unfortunate Events. I listened to several of these books on tape with H and Lulu way back when, and have only just started listening again with Mr. T.  I’d forgotten how brilliant they are. They’re hilarious, if you have the warped sense of humor that my family has inherited, for better or for worse. I wouldn’t even consider reading them aloud–not when Tim Curry does it so much better, Mr. Po’s hacking cough and all. And if, like I am, you are a wordlover—a term which here means someone who takes a slightly odd pleasure in the sound and meaning of words–you will appreciate Lemony Snicket’s tendency to employ words and phrases not typically found in children’s books, and also to explain their meanings. You would not believe how these words and phrases managed to creep into Lulu’s vocabulary when she was younger; now I have a seven-year-old son whose conversations are embellished with gems like, “with all due respect” and “dwarfed in comparison”. (Do I recommend these books for other seven-year-olds? No, I do not. As you can see in Mr. T’s drawing, they’re full of death and darkness and malevolent adults. But if you have a seven-year-old with older siblings who is twisted already–enjoy!)

a series of

It’s kumquat season. I love having these beauties sitting in a pretty bowl on the counter, and popping them into my mouth as I pass by. An acquired taste, I suppose, but I find them irresistible.

kumquat season!

Studying India. Such a fascinating culture, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. We were lucky enough to start our explorations just as the fabulous Story of India appeared on PBS–hopefully they’ll replay it if you missed it. The kids have each come up with a project–Lulu is planning to make an Indian dollhouse, inspired by this stunning Frida Kahlo studio dollhouse. And Mr. T is thinking about making a model of a banyan tree out of Model Magic, with creatures in and around it. Should be fun…

Taking a break from an endless knitting project. So I’ve finished the sleeves and the back of my Sweater Coat with Lace Pattern.

sweater coat with lace in progress

I’m generally a ridiculously monogamous knitter, but I’m taking a break to knit myself a pair of Toasty mitts. I’m adding thumb gussets because I think they look nice and adapting the pattern is good for my math brain.

toasty in progress

What’s that you say? It looks like the same yarn as I’m using in the sweater? No, Silly, the sweater is Sublime Kid Mohair, while the mitts’ yarn is Rowan Kid Classic. But it would seem that I’ve fallen into a slate blue, mohair rut and I can’t get out.

Making yogurt. This was my first try, inspired by The River Cottage Family Cookbook. Lacking a pilot light in my oven, I tried to make a “warm place” by putting my crockpot on low, and lining it with several cloth towels. That still seemed to keep the milk too warm, though. The finished yogurt tastes good, but is very runny. My Danish, yarn shop-owning friend–who ought to know a thing about making yogurt–suggested wrapping the warmed milk in towels and just keeping it in a cooler to insulate it while the bacteria develops. I’ll try that with my next batch.

making yogurt

New blogs. A couple of particularly beautiful ones: good + happy day and the habit of being.

So what has you all atwitter this month?

6 comments… add one
  • Barbara Jan 31, 2009 @ 20:00

    Patricia, I have a post on my blog about my favorite method of making yogurt. It involves a cooler, but not towels.

    What has us atwitter: a lengthy (2+ months) visit from my parents (yay!), a new part-time job for me, and getting geared up for this years garden.

    I am also on an unintentional knitting hiatus, which I need to get off of, as I still owe my mother her Christmas present!

  • melissa s. Feb 1, 2009 @ 9:36

    Holden and I just finished ‘the bad baginning’ and loved it! He had fun pointing out some of the characters in Mr T’s drawing.

    Atwitter for us: Blue Yonder’s book of days (
    Tom Cruise’s dance at the end of Tropic Thunder (I’m not a TC fan, but his character just cracked me up!!)
    And, this chocolate zucchini bread recipe: YUM!!!

  • Carrie Feb 1, 2009 @ 10:26

    “… if you have a seven-year-old with older siblings who is twisted already–enjoy!…” Oh how true, you crack me up! I feel like I should post that disclaimer on my son! And what a great drawing !

    I am a twitter with…creature drawing club…wilderness survival training…reading The Generals- about Grant and Lee and all sorts of civil war time history ( all the info for a really good historical novel- where is sharon kay penman when you need her!)…kamana naturalist training…chess for children…and vegetable soups.

  • susan Feb 3, 2009 @ 10:53

    We have a mozzarella making kit we’re going to try out. Maybe we’ll do yogurt next. Yours sure looks good.

    We’re atwitter with American History. We’re watching Founding Brothers and we read the Declaration of Independence which has some parts that struck the kids’ funny bones. Such as:

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    A Series of Unfortunate Events makes me cackle.

  • cristiano Feb 3, 2009 @ 16:30

    It appears you are almost done with that sweater and those toasty mitts. Does that mean my Icelandic sweater will finally go into production? Having a nice warm wool sweater in August is perfect in sunny California. Slate Blue Mohair would be wonderful!

  • patricia Feb 3, 2009 @ 16:42

    As much fun as it is to write these atwitter posts, it’s even more fun to hear what you all are doing. Fascinating stuff! And so quirky!

    My dear Cristiano, it would seem that you’ll have to wait until next winter (at least) for your hoppipolla sweater. Men’s sweaters have got to be as time-consuming as lace sweater coats. After this project I’m knitting tiny things. Hats for rodents… pencil warmers…

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