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April 2014
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June 2014

Memories

Every time I have a holiday weekend I hunger for more. The weekend was packed with a variety of fun, and since my memory isn't what it used to be, I'm going to do my beat to remember it all. Let me see what sort of list I can make of my memories. I am a bad blogger, because I leave my camera behind and enjoy the moment. But, I am justified in this behavior as just last week I read an article that said you remember better when you aren't constantly snapping pictures with your camera (phone). 

1. Saturday we woke to rain, and since rain is always needed in this high desert, we were not unhappy about it. Smith's plans to spend the morning in the garden were foiled as was my trip to Red Butte Garden with Cheryl. The rain gave Smith and I a chance to go to breakfast, and since Stephanie had recently old me one of our places was now open for breakfast AND had GF options, we took the opportunity. 

2. Later, instead of a hike around the garden, Cheryl and I went to a LYS and a local Vietnamese restaurant for a yummy bánh mì. The rain stopped shortly after we started our journey and the afternoon was beautiful! 

3. Since I was alone for the evening, I treated myself to a mani-pedi. I love this bit of pampering and my resulting red toes. (I also had the treat of a glass of wine with my roasted salmon dinner).

4. Sunday Smith and were up early to spend time in the garden before he left for work. We picked a boatload of luscious lettuce. The weather was perfect, with blue skies and a tiny bit of crispness to the air. After Smith had gone to work I went to pilates (I'd also been to class on Saturday), which is a great way to start the day.

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5. Later I met Cheryl and Monica at SnB. We always have a good time. But, Sunday was special, as Cheryl brought me a flower from her Audrey plant and it looked great until Monday night when it started to wilt. 

6. Sunday night Smith and I went to Susan's to see her fabulous container garden. We visited and puttered around the putting green. The evening air was cool, but to be out on the patio was a delight. Summer has truly arrived. 

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7. Monday Cheryl and I were able to go for our walk/hike around Red Butte Gardens. I saw the fading blossoms of the beautiful wisteria, but many more of the flowers at the garden were in full bloom. The plants at the garden are exceptional and flowers were everywhere. We ran into varieties we didn't know existed, although Cheryl knew more than I did. The afternoon turned hot, but not unbearably so. I think we both got a little sun on our cheeks (despite the sun screen). Pink cheeks are just another sign that summer is here.

8. We went back to Cheryl's to freshen up and after that we stopped by another LYS to have a refreshing cup of tea. We checked out the yarns and had a bite to eat. It was a nice way to finish off our afternoon together. 

9. As I waited for Smith to return from work I typed out this ToT list. I had a feeling Carole was going to ask for 10 things we did this weekend. 

10. I also spent time finishing my book group book and tried to calm Moxie who isn't doing well and suffers with a little anxiety. Smith and I enjoyed a traditional super of burgers and chips, as our nod to the first summer weekend. 

I hope you had a glorious weekend!!


Let The Mystery Be(gin)

Carole talked about it yesterday and I know several others, including Kym and Patty, are on board. Some of us have ordered yarn, and some are using stash (always a good idea). We're going to join Kirsten in her 2014 Mystery Shawl and you can, too! We're waiting with bated breath for June 1st to come.

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I couldn't resist the gradient yarns from Black Trillium and ordered (what else) a beautiful gray called Crater. The lightest color is in shades of pale silver and the darkest is dyed a semi-solid black. I'm looking forward to seeing where this mystery takes me.

Last year I joined without a clue of what the shawl would be. Kim helped with colors, colors I had no idea would create one of my favorite shawls ever, Germinate. I've worn it to death this past year and I've thought about knitting another, because I love it so.

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Mystery KALs are always a gamble, but nothing ventured, nothing gained and, since Kirsten's designs have always been up my alley, I'm going for it.

Enjoy your long weekend and I hope your weather is as fine as ours!


DOS Ate My ToT

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Well, some of you may have noticed that this blog, and all other Typepad blogs, completely went off line yesterday. You wouldn't even know Typepad or Zeneedle existed, if you didn't already know. It was maddening and disconcerting, to say the least. This is the second DOS attack to take us off line in as many months. Who knows what will happen next.

I was unable to do anything blog related yesterday and decided not to try, as it was just an exercise is futility, so I walked away and didn't even look at the computer once I got home. I had a restful and relaxing evening with Smith, whom I hadn't seen much over weekend. I feel I have an excused absence for ToT, but this morning all seems well and I've got a few things "I Want To Try" that I can jot down. 

 1. I want to try…making this flourless chocolate cake. The only thing I need is 8oz of chocolate. I have everything else on hand.

2. I want to try…to go to Cannon Beach to visit a friend who has a house on the beach. She’s been inviting me to come for years and I must try to make it this year.

3. I want to try...and get Smith to take time off work and go on a vacation with him.

4. I want to try…to get to NYC! I’ve never been!

5. I want to try…painting watercolors again. I’ve tried in the past, but I really should try again.

6. I want to try…the anti-gravity class my gym offers. I’m afraid to hang upside down and, because I’m so ungraceful, I might need to wear a helmet.

7. I want to try...to grow healthier. Sometimes you have no control over what happens to your body. I want to control the things I can control and to become strong enough to overcome what I can't. If your body is healthy and strong, do all you can to keep it that way. 

Happy Tuesday! What's on your "to try" list?


A Fair and Gentle Weekend

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The weekend looked cooler than it was because of a light layer of clouds that moved in and out. The sun was diffused by the clouds and the resulting blue sky looked like linen. We hit 80 both days, a comfortable, welcome warmth that put a smile on everyone's face. 

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Even though it was before Memorial Day, I wore my white pants. The fashion police do not live in my neighborhood and, to my mind, it is now summer! 

Friday afternoon a freind called and asked if I'd go to the Robben Ford concert with her on Saturday. It had been a while since we'd met up, as she lives part of the year in another city. We enjoyed a lovely evening of laughter, Mexican food, and music. 

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Sunday as usually a busy day of grocery shopping and readying for the week ahead, which, I must confess, is not my favorite way to spend a day off. However, it's a necessity and the delicious muffins I made will make up for it when I have my morning snack today.  

The weekend was wonderful because it was spent with in the warmth of friends, family, music, and summer, but I'm already for the 3 day weekend ahead. How was your weekend? 


Today

Watching~~The scrub jays fly off with peanuts I just set out for them. They hide them in my planter boxes and the rain gutters. Their not very particular, as long as the peanut can't be seen.

Reading~~Independent People by Halldór Laxness, the story of a sheep farmer in Iceland during the early years of the 1900s. He is a tragic hero whose pride drives him to believe in independence at any cost. This author not only fills this story with strife, sorrow, love, death, and poverty, but with humor, and descriptions that fill the heart. It is slow going, but rewarding reading.

Knitting~~Merle! I used Custom Fit to tweak the pattern to fit me. I'm in between sizes and didn't want it as relaxed as the orginal pattern.

Dreading~~I can't really think of anything I'm dreading at the moment. I know several people who have "stuff" going on, which makes me feel grateful for what I have.

Listening to~~everything from Sketches of Spain, to Gary Clark Jr., to Courtney Barnett's Avant Gardener. This year I plan to add to my jazz collection, as it's the music I love best. There's a bunch of new indie music I like, too.

Thinking about~~What I'm going to serve for dinner when Smith's niece and her partner come to visit Friday night. They live in Berkeley so we rarely have a chance to see them. It should be a great night.

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Celebrating~~the sunshine! It looks like it will be warm enough to have dinner on the patio for the first time this year.

Planning~~To stencil my Alabama Chanin T-shirt this weekend (if time allows), because I can do it outdoors. My one worry is AC likes her T-shirts a little more snug than I do and I may have made a mistake by following her pattern.

Itching to~~bake the same muffins I baked last Sunday and found to be delicious! They exceeded my expectations!

Wine

Drinking~~Hess Chardonnay, but it's not my favorite. I'm a fan of a Sauvignon Blanc and think I'll stick to it for the summer. For the time being, I've given up my weekly shot of rye. My ulcers need more time to heal.

Needing to~~plan the grocery list for weekend shopping, and to figure out which nights we'll both be home for dinner next week.

Organizing~~my CDs and trying to get them digitized. It's a big job and one that gets pushed aside when time is short.

Inspired by~~The women on this blog. I'd like to have a little more style (albeit a more subdued style than the personalities on the blog). The women show that gray haired "older" women, usually invisible to many younger people (ask me how I know), can be beautiful, too. Seeing the varity of hair color on the models in the latest Wool People gave me hope.

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Delighted by~~The time of year, the weather, the flowers, the sun.


A Garden Update

Monday started with blue skies, but shortly after lunch the skies clouded over and we had yet.more.rain. We were not amused. Even the veggies would like more sun and the bees would like dry pollen to take back to the hive. Tuesday the weather improved and so did our moods. The rest of the week looks sunny. You can count me as one who is extremely happy about the warmth.

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From our home garden boxes we've harvested salad greens the last couple of weeks, but the wet weather has driven them to bolt early. We have a fresh crop planted, but it will be a few more weeks before home grown salad graces our plates.

Alans garden plot

The community garden is coming along slowly, as we were (overly) worried about frost and didn't plant. Our neighbor decided he was in too big a rush and planted everything he thought might survive. He now has a head start on everyone else in the garden! If only ours looked that good.

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It looks as if the asparagus was hard hit by frost this winter and, to top it off, the same precipitation that halted our greens is quickly turning the few asparagus into fronds. We were lucky enough to snag a few early spears for Saturday's dinner.

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The robins have been intrepid, eating seeds, worms, and tiny new seedlings. We don't begrudge them the few morsals they take, as they hop from garden to garden, spot to spot and never stay for long. I love watching them as they watch me.


Brain Matters

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Couldn't get my ToT list finished until this morning. This is thrown together in a big fat hurry, but there is SO much I wish I know about so many things! Thank you, Carole, for the brain stimulation!

1. Astronomy - I would love to know more about how the heavens move and how to find constellations I only know by name. I'd love more about the planets and the cosmos in general.

2. A (the) Camera -  I'd love to know more about using a camera. My camera (I do fairly well), Claudia's camera (still a complete mystery), and what I really want in a camera when I decide to make a change. Vicki was talking about her smart phone camera and I need to take my investigation in that direction. 

3. Literature - Even though I read many "literary" novels, I'd love to understand more deeply what the author is saying. Many authors use other sources, such as mythology, events in history, or a human condition, as basis for their stories. Sometimes I feel at a disadvantage before I start reading.

4. Knitting - If only I could read all of The Principles of Knitting and retian the lessons. Every time I knit I learn something new (that's what friends are for!) and I love it. I wish I had a knitting brain like Elizabeth Zimmermann's. She was a genius. 

5. Cooking - It's the knife skills that cause me a load of trouble, but also, I'd like to be able to know how to make food look and taste as good as it does in a restaurant. It's not that I can't read a recipe, but it's having the knowledge of doing the right thing at the right moment that pulls a dinner together and makes it special. One thing I do know...it's a lot of work to cook daily meals.

I'm stopping at 5 because I ran out of time yesterday and I'm running behind today. The world is full of interesting subjects. I'd love to know more about music, math, and how the body works, too. It's a great and wonderful world we live in.

What is on your list of things to know?

 


Moody Weekend

Mother Nature was not amused by Mother's Day. She has been moody all week and I'm not sure what brought one her darkness. The wind, cold, and rain has damped everyone's joy of spring. We'd love to have a few days of sun, which look to be coming. 

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There was a short reprieve Friday afternoon, but, short it was as Satureday and Sunday were as moody and gray as ever. 

Friday pm clear

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I hear tell it will be in the 80s by weeks end and this is music to my ears! I'm ready leave my puffy coat behind and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin! 

May blue skies be coming to your part of the world, too! Happy Monday. 


Complete

It was a hurried shoot, not well planned, perhaps, not well executed. In the few minutes I had before rushing out the door, I threw the Hayward on, while Smith followed me out to the patio with camera in hand. We did what we had to do to bring the finished Hayward to you.

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I made a few modifications, such as, lengthening the body and adding short rows to the back. Also, I used the decreases Susan suggested, which you can see in this post. The sleeves were not lengthened, as I felt they would be a bother, pulling against the sweater every time I moved my long arms. I am not a fan of a tugging and pulling sweater, nor a fan of a sweater I have to tug and pull to keep in place. Hayward moves with my body beautifully.

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The sweater is on the huge side, measuring 48" across the bust, but it works! The way the sleeves sits is why the body drapes with ease. I like it more than I thought I would and I find it very comfortable, like a big comfy sweat shirt, although not as bulky and, certainly, more elegant. 

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The yarn is Sunday Knits Nirvana 3-ply, a merino/cashmere blend that feels more like cashmere than the content would lead you to believe. The whole garment weighs nothing and feel as soft as breath against my skin. I feel confident I'll be wearing this sweater throughout the year and I now know why Susan knit two of them. As Cheryl commented, it's nice to have a sweater success!!

Ravelry details here.


There Was a Weekend

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And, I amidst erranding, chores, and enjoying time outdoors, in our beautiful weather, I took a little time to do some crafting. First on my list was to finish Hayward. Finishing took a little longer than I'd intended, but she is done and I am left scrambling for a time to take pictures.

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Can you tell what's going on in this picture. I've been working towards starting my Alabama Chanin project and this weekend I "deconstructed" two T-shirts. The black will be the top layer and the gray the peek through bottom layer. I found paper to use for the pattern and I'm readying to cut my stencil design from poster board.

It has taken quite some time to gather supplies and I am now ready to get the T started.  Production will be slow, as time is catch as catch can, although, this coming weekend I may be able to cut the stencil and, if I'm lucky, do the stenciling. In retrospect, a kit would have been so much easier, and perhaps, no more expensive.

I've been listening to books, as they're portable and I can do other things while I listen. I'm 4 books into the Flavia de Luce series (very cute and entertaining) and I've been downloading Agatha Christie stories from the library when I can. They are both fun to listen to while I enjoy other pursuits. If you haven't tried audio books I highly recommend listening to something light for your first foray, as it takes a little time to get into the habit of listening and not having your mind wander. Once you have an "ear" you'll love it!