Monthly Archives: October 2015


Lyra swaddled in hospital blanket with hat, eyes open

Lyra Arch Donaldson, born October 19, 2015

Lyra with one finger to her mouth, eyes closed

Thinking already

Ben holding Lyra in hospital

New dad

Jenny in hospital gown holding Lyra

New mom

Ben holding Lyra in car seat leaving maternity ward

“Let’s go exploring.”

first family photo

First family photo

Ben holds Lyra for Sudo to inspect

Sudo checks out the new arrival

Lyra in twinkle swaddle, eyes open, hand to mouth

Lyra at home



Filed under baby

Fall gardening

Columbus Day this year was beautiful and unseasonably warm; we’re still waiting for the baby to show up, so in the meantime I figured I’d take advantage of the good weather, free time, and my mom’s gardening enthusiasm/expertise to prepare my container garden for the colder parts of fall and winter.

We went to Mahoney’s Garden Center in Winchester to find a couple small evergreen-type shrubs to put in the pots in the front of the house. Back at home, we spent about an hour and a half pulling out dead plants (calibrochoa, lobelia, wildflower mix, sweet pea), transplanting others (mostly herbs, to bring inside once the weather turns colder), and potting the new evergreens with the dusty miller, which is still thriving. We also potted some narcissus bulbs from spring and put them in the basement; hopefully they’ll bloom again next year.


terra cotta pot with evergreen cedar and dusty miller

terra cotta pot with evergreen cedar and dusty miller


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Filed under gardening, plants, seasons

Neighborhood walk and fall foliage

tree with red and green leaves

tree with red and green fall leaves

tree with orange leaves

tree branch with reddish leaves against blue sky

tree with orange leaves

Ben and Sudo

Orange paper lantern flowers

Purple balloon flowers

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Filed under animals, plants, seasons

Does art imitate life?

Here’s a greyhound carousel figure we saw at the MFA:

Carousel figure of a greyhound

Here is an actual greyhound:

Sudo lying upside-down on the couch, front legs outstretched

Sudo belly-up, asleep, mouth open

Sudo asleep with tongue hanging out

You can see why horses, not greyhounds, are the traditional carousel animal of choice. Horses are also better suited to carousels speed-wise; greyhounds tend to have two speeds, 35 mph or 0 mph. Wear your safety belts, kids, or learn an important lesson about centrifugal force! Or just choose the pony.

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Filed under animals, arts and crafts

Cooking as nesting

I haven’t started scrubbing the grout yet, but I have been busy in the kitchen:

  • Oatmeal pecan cookies (recipe from Joanne Chang’s Flour)
  • Broccoli potato cheddar soup (recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Soups)
  • Pizza (Trader Joe’s pizza dough for the crust, homemade pesto with basil from our garden, mozzarella, broccoli, grape tomatoes sliced lengthwise and placed face-up so the juice doesn’t make the pizza dough soggy)
  • Oatmeal craisin cookies (recipe from Flour)
  • Sweet potato pumpkin carrot soup (butter, onion, 2 sweet potatoes, 1 can pumpkin, carrots, bay leaf, vegetable broth)
  • Chocolate chip cookies (Tollhouse recipe, with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt on top when they come out of the oven)
  • Chicken Parmesan over orzo
  • Applesauce with three different kinds of apples from the farmers’ market
  • Potato vegetable soup (butter, onion, garlic, 2 potatoes, carrots, broccoli, vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste, frozen corn; finish with cream if feeling decadent; puree half for a nice thick base)
  • Brownies (the Ghiradelli mix from Costco)

And Ben has made a couple Smitten Kitchen recipes:


Filed under food, recipes

Knitting for baby

From March until July of this year, I worked on a baby blanket for a friend’s baby. It took a very long time to finish, not because I didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but because I chose a thin yarn and small-gauge needles. The baby was about 9 pounds at birth and I’m sure the blanket no longer even covers him. I had some extra yarn (a la Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen) so I thought I’d make a hat. I found the simplest pattern I could on Ravelry (“a quick and easy baby hat“) and started…

Knitted hat

…but apparently I inverted the hat at the same time I started decreasing – you can see the stockinet stitch reverse – so it sort of looks like an acorn. Which would be cool if it were earth tones instead of resembling Funfetti cake, but…oh well.

Fortunately, one of my colleagues is an immensely more talented knitter than I, and is also immensely generous; she made this absolutely beautiful, incredibly soft (seriously, so soft you just want to rub your face against it like a cat rubbing against someone’s ankles at the top of a staircase) baby sweater.

Teal baby sweater with three white buttons

We also received some other handmade items from friends who are vastly more talented at making things than I am: a wonderfully soft, heavy crocheted blanket (which we were told gets softer with each wash), a greyhound doll that smells like lavender, hand-painted blocks with a celestial theme, a pillow covered (literally!) in references to picture books, and a crocheted pine marten.

Off-white crocheted blanket

Rocking chair with blanket and pillow

Pillow made with fabric printed with characters and letters from children's books

Reverse side of pillow with Goodnight Moon fabric

Hand-painted blocks with initials LAD

Greyhound doll in red overalls with blue buttons

Greyhound doll from back with criss-crossed overall straps and white-tipped tail

Greyhound doll with white feet and red overalls

Pine marter, books, greyhound doll, and ring stacking toys on a shelf

Crocheted pine marten, brown with yellow patch at throat

Many thanks to our crafty and caring friends.


Filed under arts and crafts, knitting