Summer Break . . . or Slacking Off in the South

The summertime magnolias were in bloom at my husband's family home, where we went
for a visit today.  

While today, Sunday and Father's Day, I attended church and spent time with family, for the last week or so I've been enjoying summertime slacking off.  I probably should keep a daily diary and therefore avoid boring unwary blog readers who happen upon this post, but I did have a rewarding time today recalling this past week.  If only life could be this way year-round . . .

Saturday:  Knit and read in the early a.m.  Met two female friends at Katz's Deli for blintzes, lox, and rye bread and then drove to Lake Wylie in South Carolina.  Helped friends--who share similar ages, same profession, and comparable lack of technical expertise--unpack, inflate and assemble new kayaks (which were recently purchased by one of the women).  Lugged monstrously heavy kayaks down long path to lake.  Paddled kayaks in lake--all of us in awkward prone positions with kayaks spinning around in circles.  Decided to eschew problematic paddling for swimming in lake. 

Soon had to drive solo to friend's nearby place to make sandwiches as she was nauseated and shaking a bit from either low blood sugar or the morning's exertions.  Back at apartment saw images on kayak cartons and realized we’d assembled boats incorrectly and had been  facing backwards with seats incorrectly buckled in (hence our flat-on-our-backs paddling positions).  Returned to lake.  Ate lunch.  Remedied kayak problem and spent afternoon paddling.  Met nice young Hispanic couple uncomfortably squished into tiny rubber boat.  Let them have a more comfortable experience trying out one  double kayak while we swam, and then we chatted with them for a while.  Returned home to dinner cooked by thoughtful spouse.  Knitting and viewing of Doc Martin in the p.m.

I'm making these socks with Rowan's new hand painted Fine Art Sock Yarn, a mixture of wool, silk, baby mohair and polyamide.  This new yarn has an amazing texture and comes in beautiful colors.  It is sourced and spun in South Africa. Click HERE to see an interesting pamphlet from Rowan about this new product.  

Friday:  Knitting and reading in the a.m.  Went to local YMCA to take yoga class and swim.  Picked up healthy lunch food from Harris Teeter (vegetarian sushi, fresh cherries, etc.) and visited friend who is stay-at-home mom.  Ruined benefits of healthy activities and noontime meal by eating  large serving of chicken nachos accompanied by sweet orange tequila drink with husband at a Cantina 1511 in the evening.  (Note:  I do have two children who appear glaringly absent from my weekly activities, but my fifteen-year-old has a busy social calendar to manage as well as grueling football workouts each day, and the thirteen-year-old is at the stage where he prefers staying in his room to actually going anywhere with his embarrassing parents.    My husband has been dragging my youngest to the YMCA for much-needed physical activity each day, though, and I plan to force same son to go kayaking this week.)

Thursday:  Knit and sewed in the a.m.   Picked up 1970’s serger (a gift from my aunt) from repair shop where I’d dropped it off on Saturday.  (New sergers are very expensive and this good, heavy Bernina does a great job.)  Bought a Starbucks and then went to Cottage Yarn, where I spent three hours sitting and knitting and chatting.  The store’s owner, Lyn, showed me a great stretchy Norwegian cast on for socks.  Returned home for dinner and knitting socks. 

I finished this dog sweater on Wednesday, using scrap worsted-weight wool.  It's a gift for the dog of a friend who lives in Italy.  

Wednesday:  Knit and read in the a.m.  Had lunch with aunt at retirement village--more like country club.  Enjoyed time with her.  Wished longingly that working moms not of age for senior citizen communities could live with classical music piped in, restaurant meals served all day long, and hair salon, sauna, pool, workout room, and studios (woodworking, painting, and sewing) as well as a library available within short walking distance. 

Next went to mall and shopped for an outrageously expensive but well-worth-the-price bra at Nordstrom's.  (Thank you Peaches for great service and expertise and for pleasing advice that I had a good figure and should wear "tighter pants.")  Had an iced coffee at Dean and Deluca afterwards.  Experienced sticker shock seeing cold green beans in display case for $14.50 a pound.  Drove to Whole Foods with wares that seemed like a bargain after visit to prior establishment.  Purchased some ready-made salad to accompany family dinner.    Finished knitting A Sensible Shawl from Jane Austen Knits Fall 2012. 

I knit  my  Sensible Shawl in a wool-alpaca mix yarn from Debbie Stoller.
I was beginning to wilt taking this picture on a sunny June morning.  

Tuesday:  Knit and read in the a.m.  Traumatized husband by going on a cleaning tear.  Removed mattress and box spring from bed in master bedroom.  Underneath found horrific mess I'd suspected was lurking there--my dog Stella's stash of toys, food wrappers, and even some unanticipated petrified French fries (Stella, for some untold reason, isn't a fan of potatoes and must have inadvertently brought the fries upstairs when she'd stolen some fast food wrappers or bags from the trash.)   Vacuumed and shampooed carpet under bed.  Also washed and bleached dust ruffle.  Exhausted, decided to escape further domestic duties by going solo to discount Tuesday movie, The Internship.  Gleefully gorged on a large bucket of popcorn with generously applied helping of self-serve butter while viewing mindless entertainment.  Later attended Tuesday evening knitting night at Cottage Yarn.  Enjoyed eating chocolate truffles during knitting breaks.

Stella looks so innocent here . . . naughty dog.  

Monday:  Knit and read in the a.m.  Met friend and co-worker Tonya at 10:30 for knitting and conversation at Starbucks.  At home cooked heaping amount of burgers, chicken, and fish on grill for family lunch and future informal meals.  Relaxed.  

I started out the week working on this lace wrap from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders but put it aside for a bit.  It's always good to have lots of WIP to suit a variety of moods and situations.  

Sunday:  Shirked familial and religious responsibilities.  Knit and read and sewed in the morning and went with female friends to see afternoon movie (Oblivion) with a plotline as bizarre as its leading man, Tom Cruise.  Followed up movie with indulgence at Ilios Noche restaurant--two glasses of red wine, hummus and pita, and vegetable plate with risotto, huge Italian beans, and broccolini.  Felt very guilty at end of day for self-indulgent, expensive behavior but, obviously, continued in same direction for remainder of the week.    



  1. Liz you are a funny writer. I loved the post. I love your shawl!!!
    I will put the sock yarn on my WISH list.

    THe kayak picture you painted was nothing short of HILARIOUS.

    You do get out a lot!! That is key to sanity at this stage in our lives that is for certain.

    Kudos to Peaches for a good bra fit..nothing like it!

  2. Your past week sounds delightful :) Your shawl is beautiful! I also love the bright dog sweater and the sweet pic of poor innocent Stella there ;) Glad you had a lovely week.

  3. I so enjoyed reading this! You have such a lovely way of writing - engaging, humorous and entertaining! Your week sounds pretty good to me and I wouldn't describe it as slacking off either! You never slack off, Liz! Please do not look under any beds when you come to stay - just in case I do not have time to shampoo the carpets which while I hope do not harbour French fries (although you never know in H's room!) could probably do with attention! E x

  4. You certainly have been busy, definitely making the most of your break! Doc Martin and plenty of knitting are both great choices. I always feel as though movies are better in the summer, I have no idea why. I'm excited to see how the socks turn out, the yarn is very pretty. I find daily journaling to be a very useful activity, the difficult part is making it a lasting habit.


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