Sunday, April 03, 2011

Spring Scenes

I was invited to do a poetry reading at the University of California, Merced last week, so I hopped in my car and took the drive down to the Central Valley.  I had a lovely time on campus, reading to a receptive audience of students, and chatting about Chicano literature with Manuel Martín-Rodríguez the faculty member who invited me, and with his graduate assistant Martha Acevedo.  That's me in the orange (store bought) sweater. 

The trip had many other benefits: I got out of the torrential rain zone here on the north coast.  We've really been soaked this year.  I also got to visit with my parents, sister, and nieces, who live within a short drive of Merced.

Spring had sprung at mom's house.  Here she is in her garden with Handsome her cat.  She's wearing the Corrie vest I knitted her for her birthday last year.  She has assured me that she's wearing it a lot.

Her tulips were in bloom, and Handsome was enjoying his sunbath in the grass.  God, it was nice to see some sun.

Baby, one of my parents' other cats, also kindly posed for me.

 I took a different route back home, as highway 101 had suffered a major mudslide near Garberville since I'd left.  The highway has been closed down for days, though there is some hope that it will open tomorrow.  I returned home on highway 299, and caught this view of Lake Shasta from my side window.

This is a beautiful drive, and at the summit, there was a considerable amount of snow on the ground.  The day after I got home, a mudslide temporarily closed 299 as well,  and I felt lucky to have negotiated the highway closures without getting stuck.

When I got home, the skies were grey, but the azalea in my front yard was putting on the best show in years, and some red tulips were also showing themselves.

I returned to the Top Down Raglan sweater I'm making with Laura Chau's free pattern and a bag of Noro yarn I couldn't resist buying recently .

The sweater is knit in one piece from the neck down, so there's no seaming.   I'm in the home stretch, making my way down the second sleeve, and I'm thinking of adding some embroidery over the fabulous long color changes for which Noro is famous.

While I was gone, Fatty kept the knitting basket warm.


Rian said...

It's always nice to get a break from the cold, wet, gray and get some warm sun. When we lived on the central coast I used to drive up to Paso Robles and walk around just to thaw out. In summer.

Fatty is doing a great job.

DebbyMc said...

Beautiful, beautiful pictures! What a lovely drive. The kitties are all so precious. Each one of them! I love Fatty in the basket...too sweet and cozy!

Judy S. said...

Glad you made it back OK, Barbara! 101/1 can be challenging. Love your Noro some sweater amounts around here somewhere. Now if I can only get the link to work.....

Magpie Sue said...

Thanks for the pictures! We've had patches of blue sky last week but now are enduring a week of rain and gray. I think our poor tulips are all going to drown before they have a chance to open.

Handsome is aptly named. The picture of Fatty is priceless!

sophie said...

You are a lucky girl. I'm glad you missed BOTH landslides. Mother Nature keeps life in Northern California exciting, doesn't she?

I love the vest you knit for your mom and the Noro sweater in progress.

Debra Spincic said...

If I were your mom, I would never take that vest off! What a great vest it turned out to be & so is the sweater you are knitting now.

Always fun to get a new view for a change!

Judit Szolnoki Király said...

No death! Only there is one thing what is forever: the Life. Who love each other will you see in the Heaven. I think there is only one heaven!
Sorry for my poor English I am Hungarian. Thank you for your writing and the nice pictures! Judit from Hungary who have lost the dearest one last year and too much furry friends but not forever!