The extra time I've had in Oak Park, necessitated by my visa issues (now resolved--it came Tuesday morning, so I'm set for my flight tomorrow), has actually been really nice. I got to relax a bit after a very busy year (I still tend to think in academic year terms, unsurprisingly), and particularly after a pretty stressful last few weeks. This was enforced by the fact that for the first week I didn't have access to my computer, due to having left my power cord in Toronto. We've been reunited, but I still haven't done much work. However, those extra ten days have let me do some things.
- I got to see a bunch of tv finales! When I made my original plans, I didn't really think through the fact that I'd be flying away on the same day as the Lost finale. What was I thinking?! I'm intrigued by where a number of shows are going, and so this has been oddly nice. I also watched the end of American Idol, which I don't usually watch regularly. My parents, do, though, and my mother is OUTRAGED that Adam didn't win.
- I helped my mom put in her vegetable garden. This meant: tomatoes, herbs, eggplant, peppers, and cucumbers planted as plants, and patty pan squash, turnips and beets planted as seeds. The turnips are already sprouting, too, which is fun.
- Rhubarb experiments! See those huge leaves in the background there? That's the rhubarb after I'd cut off several pounds of rhubarb stems. When I got here and saw the plant, I told my mom about the amazingly good rhubarb sorbet I'd had a few weeks before. She replied, "well, I have an ice cream maker." And so we experimented, and made some remarkably good rhubarb sorbet, and some slightly less good, but still tasty, strawberry-rhubarb sorbet. Yumminess all around, really.
- I finished my green sweater, though I have yet to block it or sew on buttons. Still, the knitting's all done, with an improved collar, I think. Pictures, though, will have to wait until I'm back from Russia and can block it. After that I started one of my Russia projects--the forest path shawl, in a lovely lightly variegated alpaca lace weight yarn.
- I have tried to help broker a peace between cats. Ziti and Sophie are actually doing remarkably well together. My mom got Ziti a collar with a little bell, so Sophie knows when he's coming. This actually seems to have helped a lot, and Ziti appears not even remotely phased by having this put around his head. He scratches there a bit more than before, but hasn't tried to get it off. The funniest thing so far to happen was a few days ago, when Sophie was sitting on my lap. I then called out for Ziti--and she got very mad! She whipped her head around to stare me in the eye and hissed with all her little body. I apologized for offending her, and apparently we're now OK. And Ziti's just a big galoot, who alternates between wanting to chase Sophie and being completely under her little paw--the second funniest thing that's happened is Sophie hissing and him immediately flopping over in submission to her will.