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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
So what has you all atwitter this month?