You, of course, did not realize I'd left. I had not mentioned it. But I did leave. And now I have returned.
My boyfriend, who shall remain nameless, and I spent the weekend in Muncie, visiting my grandmother. We met my father and brother there and had a wonderful time. I love getting to spend time with my family. It's relaxing, like a deep, intellectual sigh, and I love how my boyfriend, who shall remain nameless, fits into the mix. I am often reminded that some people dread spending time with their families, or enjoy the company of their families as long as it's kept to small doses. I feel very lucky to have such good people in my family. I can't spend enough time with them and would be satisfied to turn out like any of them later in my life - even the wackiest, most idiosyncratic of them is a really good person.
We stayed at the McDowell-Nearing House, and if you're ever in Muncie, I highly recommend you stay there. The proprietor, Jane, is very friendly and an excellent cook! Her breakfasts were much heartier than I'm used to...in a good way...and absolutley delicious! Breakfast on our first day was a slice of pound cake, fresh fruit, a breakfast casserole, cheesy grits and this baked apple...sausage....thing....God, it was good. Plus, of course, coffee and various types of juice and tea. After 3 mornings of this, my body was begging me for a salad, but I said, "NO!!! This stuff is GOOD!!!" My brother had to leave at the crack of dawn this morning with no time for breakfast, so she left him some cake and yogurt in the fridge. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. I have nothing but glowing, wonderful things to say about this place!
Brought some knitting along, didn't get much done. I guess I did, but it's a long, thin thing, so progress isn't really the spectacular kind. No, you don't get pictures yet. :-P For my upcoming birthday, my boyfriend, who shall remain nameless, got me a bread stone! With it, I made this. I'm getting seriously into baking bread. I've discovered the world of no-knead bread, in which one can have bread-dough ready to rise and bake on hand in the fridge at all times. You can find a basic recipe here (adapted by the New York Times from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François).
In other news, I returned home to discover three things. 1) I did not get a fellowship for next year, which is ok because I need to teach at some point anyway. 2) A good friend of mine got tenure. w00t!!! 3) Another good friend of mine from undergrad was accepted to the department of design studies here at UW Madison. This means not only will I have a good friend with whom I go way back living here in town, it means my friend is TOTALLY GETTING A PH.D. IN KNITTING, I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING, PEOPLE!!! Yes, you heard right. Ph.D. In knitting. HOW COOL IS THAT???