Remembering

I've found it is very easy to walk away from the blog when things start to tilt. There were numerous reasons my voice fled, but two things came along that knocked me off my feet.

Dad last time i saw himDad (2013)

My father passed away on April 29th--not necessarily unexpectedly, but rather suddenly. He was 88 and worked to stay active until the last. He had two buddies, and the three of them liked to drive around and look for new places to explore. For many years they were able to hike the trails of Arizona, but the last couple of years they've explored the back roads in a truck.

The week or so before he'd told me about a day trip they'd taken to a mountain they liked to explore. When they started back down they ended up on the opposite side they'd intended and got a little lost. He laughed as he told me they had to follow the railroad tracks and find a place to cross before they could get back on the right road. He had a blast and said the three of them (one friend older than he) had made a list of places they still needed to see. He certainly loved the landscape, an appreciation he passed on to me. Putting together his memorial service is my next hurdle.

FamilypictureThe last time we were all together (2009).

UnclebobUncle Bob (2012)

A week later we got a call from Smith's cousin letting us know dear Uncle Bob was in hospice. Two days later he passed, which only added to our grief. Grief is heavy. It weights down the heart and changes ones view of the world, at least for awhile. Maybe forever.


Poems Fit Perfectly in Pockets

I always have a poem in my pocket. In a small notebook I keep in my purse, the notebook that keeps my to do lists and grocery lists, I will copy a poem--one that is small enough to fit on one page and which speaks to me on that day. I have a couple of shelves of poetry, but the books I pick up most often are Mary Oliver's, as I know many of you do, too. 

The book I have been reading from most often this spring is A Thousand Mornings. Since I am a morning person, the poems speak to my heart. It was hard to chose only one from the book, but I bring you....

An Old Story

Sleep comes a little while. Then I wake
in the valley of midnight or three a.m. 
to the first fragrances of spring

which is coming, all by itself, no matter what. 
My heart says, what you thought you have you do not have.
My body says, will this pounding ever stop?

My heart says: there, there, be a good student.
My body says: let me up and out, I want to fondle
those soft white flowers, open in the night. 

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Thank you, Kym, for reminding me to participate today!

Poem in Your Pocket day, by the Academy of American Poets 


Daily Sound Track

Peararchway

Swimming out of the fog to bring you the 10 Albums I Love, brought to you by Carole's Ten on Tuesday. I have these 10 albums on my iPod (as well as many others I love). Several of them are also in my car and I listen ALL the way through almost every time I listen.

John Coltrane - Love Supreme

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (or Sketches of Spain)

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

Gary Clark Jr. - The Story of Sunny Boy Slim

Joni Mitchell - Blue

Van Morrison - Moondance

Beethoven's Op 133

Aretha Franklin - Aretha's 30 Greatest Hits

Bob Marley - Legend

Let it Bleed - Rolling Stones

Santana - Santana

What's on your list of favorite albums?


Get Out

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As spring warms the air, the flowers start to bloom, and the days grow longer, I love to be outdoors soaking in the warmth of the sun and feeling it on my face.

1. Garden: Watching the garden come awake, the garlic comes first, then potatoes make an appearance. It's time to plant peas, carrots, beets, radish and lettuce. Soon we'll be able to make freshly cut salad.

2. Walk: Early in the season I enjoy walking to the garden as there isn't much to carry home. Later in the season I'll wish for a wagon to haul the harvest home. Maybe that's something I should look into.

3. Picnic: We enjoy eating out of doors, whether the patio or an impromptu gathering at the garden. Going up one of the nearby canyons and finding an open picnic spot is another fun way to spend an evening. The birds will serenade us all through dinner.

4. Read (or Knit) (or Sew): Sitting on the patio with a good book while the wind chimes tinkle and the clouds roll by, is my idea of heaven.

5. Visit: While in the garden we visit with other gardeners and, at home, we'll visit with our neighbors. When friends come for a visit we'll serve drinks on the patio and revel in the fresh air after being cooped up in the house all winter. Yay, spring!

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6. Watch the sunset: Sometimes we'll drive out to the Great Salt Lake, or find a place to view from a higher vantage point, but often we walk to the school yard next door, which gives us a full view of the changing sky.

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7. Watch the sunrise: I step out my back door and watch the sky turn from pink to gold. It's easy, if I get out at just the right moment.

8. Drive through the canyons: The canyons are minutes from our door and I love the drive up any one of them just for the fun of it. I know Big Cottonwood like the back of my hand and love the twists and turns, the beautiful sights of rising peaks, and rushing waters of the stream below.

Crocus

9. Watch spring awaken the earth: The crocus have been coming up in waves. Wave one came through a couple of weeks ago and wave two is happening now. I have white blossoms with purple bases, lavender blossoms, and pale yellow blossoms that look so delicate and sweet. I hadn't realized I'd planted so many and I'm very pleased to see they are so lovely.

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10. Just be: One of my favorite things to do is look up into the blue sky, watch clouds come and go, or the jets and their contrails float by. The best time to be outdoors is now before the heat of summer and while the sun is bearable and enjoyable. One day may offer snow, rain and chill, but the next day could be warm and glorious. Take time to enjoy the sampling of all mother nature has to offer. 

 Ten on Tuesday brought to you by the inimitable Carole


Weekending After Another Break

This is where I say, life has had a way of getting "in the way". I had to look at the calendar to see what I'd been up to, as the past week has been a a whirlwind. Suffice it to say, the week was full of busy fun. I'm not great at remembering to take pictures and I'm not great at chronicling my life for the blog, but there was a jazz concert, an afternoon at the movies to see a special production of As You Like It by Shakespeare, and a evenings out with girlfriends. There was even a little time with Smith. It was a great week! And then, it was the weekend!

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After work Friday, I set off for a much needed haircut. I thought I'd share this photo is of "my mountain" from the shop, which is just a few miles south of where I live. The day was beautiful, but because there was a  northerly breeze, it was cooler than it appeared. I was more than ready for a haircut and asked how long it had been. They told me less than 4 weeks! My usual is 5 weeks. But, then she then they said hair grows more quickly in the spring than in the winter. Did you know? Do you know it is spring? I am here to attest it is so. 

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As you can see the apricots are in bloom and this week a winter storm is forecast for 2-4 inches of snow in the valley! In the 5-6 years we've been in the garden we have never had a single apricot. This year is true to form. At least I had a few minutes to commune with the beautiful blossoms. 

I have not had much time (or much inclination) to do any sort of crafting. I have a sock on the needles and a sweater, too. I have not put a stitch into my Alabama Chanin T-shirt, but I have been reading, spending a lot of time with friends, and generally enjoying a life is as it should be! 


Welcome Spring!

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The garden near our front door is dotted with crocus of white, orange, lavender and purple. Last fall we planted over 100 bulbs and their coming up in small bunches, dependent on the amount of sunlight they receive. Some have barely started to peek though the ground and others have already come and gone. This little patch of white and lavender is my favorite, so far. The first day of spring was sunny, but the warm winds forecast of a coming storm. It's hard not to begrudge the cold temperatures, but we are in need of more snowpack and the ground could use a drink. The tug of war between winter and spring will g back and forth for awhile, but spring will win in the long run.

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Smith under-the-stairs greenhouse has been put to use the last few weeks. The tomato starts are looking particularly good! They'll be ready to put in the ground by the time planting season is here. I can't wait for the garden to start producing deliciousness for our table. Root vegetables are already in the ground (radishes, beets, carrots) and spinach has been planted, too. The only thing we have to loose is a few seeds, so the gamble of gardening has begun! 


So Many Years

Over the years I've taken many knitting classes, several from Nancy Bush, who is our resident guru of all things folk, especially all things Estonian. Nancy taught me to knit socks (cr. 1995), lace, colorwork, and anything folk oriented. She brought in other designers, such as Elizabeth Zimmerman (I missed that class) and Sally Melville. Wooly West was a fabulous shop and we Salt Lake knitters were very fortunate as Nancy brought the world of knitting to our feet. 

This weekend our local Knitter's Guild sponsored classes from the inimitable Nancy Bush and I was fortunate enough to take the Estonian Lace Sampler and a Roositud class. I took the same classes many years ago (maybe 15ish years), but enjoyed them just as much this time around, maybe more. 

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The classes were a birthday present to myself, as today is (are you ready for this,  my 66th birthday. Also, over a dozen years ago I started this blog, so this day holds a double celebration. My life changed the day I hit publish for the first time (2550 posts and 72,000 comments later) and I cannot tell you how fortunate I am to have so many dear friend, near and far, seen and imaginary, as I do today. You have all made my life better, richer, broader, and more dear. Thank you, friends. 


Sky Watching

24827187204_eefbf1ccb3_oThe one thing you can count on around here is the sky is going to put on a great show. This is the sunset a week ago last Tuesday, which turned out to be the perfect photo to play around with on the Waterlogue app. Since inversion season passed the sky has mostly been blue, but we've had a few small storms move through.

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Monday morning a fog bank moved through just as I was leaving for work. The drive was a little challenging, but the mood created by the fog was quite unusual. Within the hour, the sun was high enough in the sky to clear the fog away. The rest of the day was clear, the blue sky highlighting the newly white mountains.

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 Yesterday, just as Smith was leaving for work he turned back to tell me the sky was afire. I went out in my nightclothes and stood in the cold to snap a few photos of the golden, spectacular, sunrise. 

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When I'm not watching the sky, you might be surprised to know, I am knitting a sock. My sock drawer is in imminent danger of becoming devoid of hand knit socks. I may not be able to keep up with attrition, but my plan is to do what I can to replenish the waters of what has become a drought of sock knitting. Needles this small are not friendly to my arthritic hands and I can only knit a few hours a week. However, I'm determined and have made good progress. I love the red/gray/black stripy-ness of this sock yarn, Biscotti and Cie's, Loopy Herman. 

Happy Weekend, my friends. I have a three day-er ahead! Yay me!