Mary Anne Mohanraj

Journal

October 24 -- 9:03 AM

A very delayed house project finally happened yesterday -- we added two new small windows to the kids' playroom (part of the finished attic), alleviating the gloom. We should've done it in the initial house remodel -- we talked about it, but somehow, it fell off the plans. But finally added, and it looks great from the outside -- like whimsical little eyes, flanking the trim that faces the old chimney. Two eyes, and a nose -- there's a face on our house now.

Interior shots after they've added the interior trim and I've had a chance to clean up a bit.

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October 24 -- 8:05 AM

I have nothing scheduled today, for the first time in quite a while. Well, nothing beyond watching Kavi and Kat's kids starting @ 11 (half-day at school, due to conferences), and Neha coming by in the afternoon to work on DesiLit stuff. I am waffling between trying to write, even with them here, and just giving up and planning on today being a cleaning-the-playroom / running errands / random e-mails / goofing off day.

I think I may split the difference -- 2 hours of writing first, while the house is quiet (have to drop Anand off at preschool first), and then randomness the rest of the day. We'll see!

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October 23 -- 2:00 PM

Can I tell you, it is both incredibly frustrating and incredibly satisfying teaching the early American literature survey course? I mean, on the one hand, we are just dipping into one text after another, dip, dip, dip -- for example, today we covered Uncle Tom's Cabin in 45 minutes! Okay, we only covered the first three chapters, because seriously, that is all you have time for in 45 minutes, esp. if you're trying to discuss Stowe's work in the context of Puritan tradition, transcendentalism, etc. and so on. But still doing close reading of the text! Frustrating!!!

And then on the other hand -- OMG, we are reading SO MUCH GOOD STUFF. I mean, seriously, this is like America's Greatest Hits here. I don't think the students have any idea what a treasure trove they're casually walking through (okay, racing through at breakneck speed), but hopefully some fragments are lodging in their consciousness, and maybe, I can hope, they will go back to these books over winter holidays and re-read them at their leisure, for the sheer pleasure of it?

A girl can dream.

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October 23 -- 4:44 AM

My hand isn't used to writing, so every time I grade papers, I need to take breaks every few papers. So my house gets really clean. So far this morning (since starting grading @ 4), I've made the bed, loaded the washing machine, cleared the bedroom floor, folded a load of linens, put them away, and spent a few minutes in deep contemplation of what I might want to stencil in the hallway. It's all about giving my hand a rest, really. Couldn't possibly be a procrastination technique…

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October 22 -- 1:09 PM

It is tricky modeling infant hand knits when you have no actual infant on hand. I am not sure either Paddington or the doll quite convey how adorable I hope this owlie sleep sack and hat will look on its intended recipient. Let's just hope that it a) still fits when it arrives to her, and b) that the parents have a moment's breathing space to snap some adorable pics. If not, ah well -- we can just use our imaginations. :-)

Free pattern for Owlie sleep sack and matching hat by Teresa Cole

Yarn (less than a skein): Blue Moon sock yarn, heavyweight, color Spinel

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