As Usually Happens

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One thing I consistently lose is track of the time. You will often hear me say on an all to often basis "Where did the time go?!" Crazy! I DO NOT know where September went. It flew by so quickly I could hardly keep up with myself. Another thing I have done consistently is take a daily photo (I hear Mary's voice in my head encouraging me). By way of catching you up I'll give you a quick synopsis of this montage.

~On September 3rd I picked a container of raspberries and we had a few for dessert that night and finished them with breakfast the next morning. Freshly picked raspberries just can't be beat (and we're still picking!)

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~On the 4th day of September I finished On the Spice Market! Since the heat spell broke about 10 days ago, I've been wearing it almost daily. It's a beauty and I'm very happy it's done. The colors are vibrant and the pattern interesting and always entertaining. 

~During the heatwave we had days of smokey air as so much of the west was on fire. Oregon and Idaho smoke filled our valley and made the air dangerous to breath. On the good side, the heat made the garden burst with squash, tomatoes, beans and it brought on the corn, too.

~As the sunflowers unfurled and turned their faces to the sun  the pyracantha produced it's vivid orange berries. The bushes aren't as prevalent as when I was a kid (I know why-the thorns are vicious!). When I spot one it brings on childhood memories, reminding me often of the large hedge at my grandmothers house. 

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~Before I knew it, here it was near the end of the month and time for our knitter's retreat at Alta! We had a great time and reprised our Korean facial masks (kitty face edition), adding even more participants for the face, hand, and foot spa treatments. Warning: laughing is a major side effect.

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~And then, winter arrived! At least at 9,000 feet! Thank goodness the guys who carried our luggage up 64 wooden stairs also volunteered to dig out my car.  I was so happy they were the ones to wrangle 10" of snow off my car.  The snow was confined to Alta Resort with a little more at Snowbird, and the roads were mostly clear as Cheryl and I made our way home. 

~The colors are starting to change in the valley, the days have been a mix of gloomy and gray, sunny and clear. We've had nice evenings in the garden and Smith has been clearing it out and readying the soil for sowing of garlic bulbs, while putting the rest of the garden to bed for the winter. The process will take all month (which will make him happy). 

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~My sister Leeann is staying with me off and on as her husband deals with a major health issue. The hospital is very near and she lives a distance away. She is a lovely guest and I am so grateful I have a place for her. Please send your good thoughts and prayers to her and her husband. He is getting stronger everyday and for that we feel blessed. 


Impromptu

There is always something fun about serendipitous happenings. Last evening I walked over to the garden because the day was lovely and the end of day promised to be beautiful. I didn't take a bag with me (big mistake) and ended up with an armload of tomatoes to carry home. Oy!  

One of the gardeners who hangs out with Smith was there picking ears of corn from his garden. A big pot of water was starting to boil in the garden's outdoor "kitchen".  He said a few others were gathering for a mini-cookout. He hoped Smith was coming, but alas, Smith was working late. He said I should stay. So, I did. First, I ran home to cut up my tomatoes and grab a coat (it was chilly). 

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Unfortunately, I didn't think to grab much more, but Alan had a knife, paper plates, a pat of butter, and I had salt and pepper in my car (don't ask). Only four of us were there to indulge in the delightful feast of freshly picked corn on the cob (the best ever), and sliced tomatoes. No forks, no napkins--only the essentials of friends and good food. We cleaned up our mini-feast just as the sun started to set.

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The cold and clouds of last evening were a portend of things to come, as this morning we're having a rainstorm like we haven't had all summer. I predict we'll be seeing snow on the mountain peaks from this one! 

Happy Weekend, everyone! 


Good-bye August!

UnnamedWhen Mary learned I did not take photos every day, she was a little surprised. She had a little talk with me and I told her I would work on being more consistent. Then, my phone died and I ended up replacing it with an iPhone. Collecting daily pictures became easier when Mary told me about an app  she used to "Collect" her daily photos into calendar form (which was not available for Android). The app made taking photos more fun and it keeps me focused, as I don't want  miss a day. Only once did I end up taking a photo late at night when I remembered I hadn't even taken my phone out of my pocket. Thank you for your help, Mary! 

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Hello September! 

You have such potential to be a beautiful month and I hope you live up to that potential. On our trip up the canyon we could see the leaves changing to a dull rusty brown. Mountain color will not be your catch phrase. The very hot dry summer has take its toll on fall hues, as our summer was 6 degrees above normal, the hottest summer on record. September, your cooler days and nights will be very welcome.

September, you make being outdoors more enjoyable and your change on the landscape is interesting to watch. I have to say I'm not fond of the waning days, with light disappearing from the evening sky, but your sunsets can be exceptional. The Knitter's Retreat scheduled for your last weekend is something we all look forward to and this year is no exception. But, please, September, take your time, linger, PLEASE. You're a month we all love to celebrate! 


Walking is One of My Favorite Things

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And, one of my favorite places to walk is around Silver Lake. While I walk the lake trail my antenna are up while I carefully scan the willows looking for ears or antlers. You never know when a moose is sitting in the cool grass seemingly unseen by the eyes of walkers by. Smith saw fresh moose scat along the trail so we felt certain moose were about. 

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We made it out to the first dock and eyed the beauty of the lake. As I looked towards the trees I spotted a big cow moose stripping a sampling aspen. She was hidden within a copse and deep into shadows. We walked back along the trail and easily found her (once we knew she was there) but couldn't get a good photo because the shadows were so dark. 

The morning was comfortable, but the day was already starting to heat up and I had forgotten my hat. The sun was brutal as temperatures this week are nearing record highs, but the back side of the lake trail winds through a pine forest and we continued along the trail. As we rounded the lake and headed into the trees we bumped into a volunteer ranger who told us of a big bull sitting in the reeds near the end of the trail. She told to keep an eye out as only his rack and his ears were visible. 

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Can you see him? His ears bounced and his rack danced, as he must have been scratching, or eating. We were delighted to have seen two moose, but when we turned back to the trail we saw the cow had left her shaded copse and was heading out into the grass. Despite the heat we took off in her direction, passing the parking lot and walking about a quarter way around again.

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She was big, beautiful, and enjoying her stroll through the shallows of the lake. I loved the way she leisurely walked along, dripping with water, slowly pulling up grass and looking about. What an amazingly large creature she was! We watched for a long time and finally decided to head back to the car, but half way there we were told by a passing couple that a group of three (more) moose were sitting in a meadow back up the trail. We turned around and backtracked to the meadow.

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The meadow is off to the side where the trail forks and heads off into the mountains. There they were, in a lovely shaded quiet meadow, a big bull, another cow, and smaller moose, likely a calf, of which we could only see its ears. Over on the left of the photo, near the top of the gray rock, you can see the rack of the bull, and back in the trees there sits the cow, who looks more like a big black rock. Somewhere in the bright green shoots sits the smaller moose, only seen by wiggling ears (to the naked eye), but which was not visible in any of the pictures I took. You'll just have to believe me that all three were there. 

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It was a Five Moose Day, not a record (six is my record) but exciting nonetheless. I going to credit Bonny's elk for bringing us luck on our hike. 


Not (Yet) Unraveled

Last February (I think it was), I took my first stitches on this eternally long project. Spice Market has been a little more than I bargained for, but I have been slowly moving forward. There were times I thought On the Spice Market not to my fancy, but as I worked I grew more fond of her colors, patterns, and overall design. As she nears the end of the line, we have made friends and I expect we'll have a very happy winter together. 

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On the reading front I've been doing quite well in the Bingo department. Over the next week I should have my fourth Bingo. Only a few of the books I read were out of my comfort zone, or not to my liking. I know what I like and what I can get through and, while I didn't pick books just to get a Bingo, I read what I liked and found places for them.  

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I've listed favorites at the bottom of my page. I would also add the last book I read, All the Pretty Horses to that list. The plan is to read Pride and Prejudice in order to finish up my card. Four Bingos will do it for me, which is more than I thought I'd have in the end. No "Coverall" for me and I'm good with that. 

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I made a trip to my favorite local book seller and picked up a small stack of books for future reading. (In the foreground you can see a few postcards that arrived that same day.)  I've started Celine (the green cover) and I'm hook on the story and the character.  

I don't read as much as I thought I would (winter will change that-methinks) nor do I knit as much as I'd like. Life has a way of keeping one busy and the calendar I thought would be empty day after day has not proved so. As I said yesterday, I am very grateful life can be this way. 


On Monday

Like so many of you, yesterday, I too had the experience of finding crescents every where. 

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We ended up having an impromptu eclipse party with our neighbors who share the same drive way. One person had glasses, we had a colander and a box with a pinhole. Then I noticed the crescents and we all became fascinated. The sun was 92% blocked here in Salt Lake and we could tell the light was softening, the temperature dropping (3 degrees). We talked and laughed and shared until the sunlight had almost fully returned.

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Smith and I decided to head to our favorite spot for lunch. We had just ordered and found a seat (boy, it was crowded!) when Susan and Barry walked in! The serendipitous meeting was all the more exciting as it was it was Susan's birthday! Smith decided we had to all be outside and he horned his way into table on the patio. We sat in the shade and chatted far longer than intended before we said goodbye. 

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Later in the evening, as the day started to cool down, we worked in the garden. Many other gardeners were there and we talked as we watered, comparing zucchinis, and assessing the how beautiful all the gardens looked this year. As Smith and I walked around the garden I learned we actually had peaches this year! They're a week away from perfection and they are a complete surprise to me. I thought all fruit was lost in our last freeze on May 7th. 

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Don't tell anyone as I want to make sure I get a couple just at their ripest juiciness! Aren't they beautiful? 

We enjoyed this perfect day together as Smith had the day off. Everyday my heart is near to bursting with gratitude as I can use my time as I see fit (most of the time). Life truly is fabulous and fun. 

 


Nothing is Better

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Few things are better than having time to do as one wishes and I am learning there is nothing wrong with sitting to knit and/or read for awhile. I have a favorite spot on the couch and I hunker in with pillows at my back and a pile of knitting at my feet. Of course I have a pile of  books and periodicals at my side and often a book in my ear.  I spent an hour or two indulging my love of the word and the feel of yarn flowing through my fingers.

As it turns out I've hit my first Bingo and should have another before the end of the week. After that I expect to move to the bottom of the page and work on getting a third Bingo before the month is over. In a perfect world, I'd make the fourth Bingo, but I don't think I'll be able to read the whole row (with the Magpie Murders at the center) before Labor Day weekend ends. I will not, however, give up hope!

The project is On the Spice Market, which I though I'd be knitting forever, but as it turns out, I'm nearing the end of the color spot rows and will soon start the sequence of end stripes. This shawl gone much faster than I thought it would. Since my knitting is usually just about the process, I don't remember much about a project if all goes well, I only remember if things go badly. I've had a few bumps and a few rows unraveled, but over all the knitting of OtSM has gone well. 

Make sure you visit Kat to catch up with everyone else who's coming Unraveled on Wednesday


Catching You Up

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Celebrating - Still!  When last I posted you knew this was going to happen. My office threw retirement party in my honor. I can't tell you how surprised (and happy) I was. My office friends are people I will never forget and never give up. One of my girlfriends said she had never seen a smile that big and beautiful on my face--ever. I have to admit it was a pretty great day. 

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Traveling - The very next Monday I took off for my date with Will! Camille and I saw Guys and Dolls, Midsummer Night's Dream and Shakespeare in Love. I enjoyed and loved every single play, each one excellently played. 

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Visiting - My sister, Neena, was kind (and generous) enough to invite us to dinner two nights in a row. She knew eating in Cedar City would be dangerous for a celiac (and she was right). We were treated to delicious duck the first night, and perfectly grilled grass fed beef the next. Her hilarious and kind husband, Don, was also there, but got short shrift in the picture department (he took this one of us). 

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Sightseeing - Camille and I took a day and drove up to Cedar Breaks to see the glorious canyon that is so majestic, unique, and impossible to photograph. We were there at the time of the wildflower festival and saw nearly every color of the rainbow represented in flower form. 

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 I tried and tried to get a good picture of the canyon, which glowed in the cloudy light. Hoodoos became dimensional, while the canyon's depths felt dizzyingly hypnotic. Like I said, it is nearly impossible to do justice to the canyon's color and perspective with a camera lens.   

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Delighted by - TIME! I've been running non-stop since coming back home, that is, until today (yesterday as you read this). Between time in the car (Camille drove the whole trip), and snatches of time here at home, I've been able to finish the long suffering socks. This is my fourth pair of perfectly stripy socks in the last year. I am finished with stripy socks, for now. 

Reading (and listening) - I've finished four books since retiring and have two more in the works. Lab Girl, was the latest and my favorite of the lot. I credit Vicki with my desire to read this book as she gave it 5 stars, which it truly deserved. Hope Jahren's writing on science never got boring or became difficult to understand (for a non-sciency person). This book is a memoir about her life (her very interesting life) and the story is fascinating and packed with emotion. This is a great book to listen to as it's read by the author who isn't afraid to tell of her weaknesses (and strengths) throughout.  

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Hanging - Pictures in my bedroom, which have been sitting around since we finished painting the room, about (or over) a year ago. I also hung pictures above my desk and have more pictures yet to go (which is why I stocked up on nails).

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Walking - I took a walk around Silver Lake (my first since last summer!) and found many wildflowers still in bloom. I missed the Silver Lake iris, but caught the tail end of the elephant head and bog orchid season. I found a columbine which had color, which was exciting, as I have only ever seen pure white at the lake. I didn't see a moose, but did see a doe and her fawn (too far away to photograph). I expect my trips to Silver Lake will increase as summer's days decrease. I have a chance to enjoy summer before it's over and for that I am very grateful!