Last week I was blessed with the bounty of many friends. I received two gifts from two friends recently returned from England, and another from a dear, dear friend as a half-birthday gift. Apparently, though, I remain so excited over the receipt of these wonderful gifts that my hands shake resulting in blurry photos.. *smile*
From the Wholly Spirits company, Carol brought me a bottle of 12-year old Speyside single malt, called Love Shovel (no I haven’t tried it yet.. I’m saving it for some as-yet-to-be-determined special occasion):
From Time Traveling Traders, Tori got me a pair of sterling silver and amber earrings – the first pair I’ve worn other than stainless steel piercing rings in over seven years:
And from her travels in Wales, Betsy brought me a enameled brooch of the Welsh Red Dragon, in honor of my many “baby dragon”* days this past spring:
I am well and truly blessed, not only by these gifts but also by the presence of these three truly wonderful women in my life. Each of them, in their own way enriches my life beyond words and I am grateful they each choose to call me a friend.
Moving on to less sentimental thoughts, I cast on a toe-up sock on Artisan’s Row with the Yarn Pirate sock I got from my Gnome Swap pal:
At the time I started it, I didn’t have a plan for the leg, but have since decided on the Sprung Socks pattern from the Keyboard Biologist. I’ve started it since this picture, but think I’ll have to rip it back out since I seem to have skipped half a pattern repeat at the very beginning. These will be my plane knitting for my upcoming trip to Long Beach, so expect a finished picture sometime in the next week or so.
Yesterday was our office’s midsummer potluck, which, at the request of one of our student workers, was centered on cheese cakes. I’ve been wanting to try a recipe posted by TwoSheep since it was posted, so this was a perfect opportunity.
It turned out well, if I do say so myself. This is the first cheesecake I’ve ever made that didn’t crack, and it was creamy and smooth without being underdone. I took a picture of it after I unmolded it from the springform, but am too lazy at the moment to go get the camera to upload it, so you’ll have to trust me that it turned out beautifully. I also made a butterscotch sauce to drizzle over it (recipe from The Joy of Cooking) and let folks add that as they wanted. And it went over very well.. even with no fewer than 8(!) cheesecakes, there wasn’t a single piece left at the end of the day!
I was hoping to get some updated pictures of the garden in here, too, but after spending the day at the Hokah Fun Run, it’s about all I have in me to put out the sprinkler to make sure the tomatoes don’t shrivel up and die. Suffice it to say for now that the garden is doing very well, there are tomatoes on the plants (still small-ish and green, but there), the onions are almost ready to harvest, and I finally got around to thinning the carrots, radishes and peppers. I might try to take some pictures tomorrow morning, but given that I have a noon flight, that might not happen. Especially if I don’t actually manage to pack tonight.
* There are times in my job where it is assumed that I have either more authority or greater sway with those who make the Big Decisions(tm) than I do, largely because I report directly to our Provost, who in turn reports directly to our Chancellor. I have repeatedly assured people that even with such a direct reporting line, my influence is small and rather limited, however this doesn’t seem to stop them from assuming otherwise. This results in me often being frustrated because I *can’t* actually effect change on the level that others assume I should, nor can I mete out retribution on any grand scale. One such day, I expressed this feeling by stating that I felt like a baby dragon, because I’m not big enough to breathe fire, so all I can do is stomp around and “rawr”. Betsy decided that was a very apt definition, and hence, “baby dragon” days were born. So it seems I now have two animal “totems”, as it were – monkeys and dragons.