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May 2014
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July 2014

What's Up?

I have been WATCHING the peregrine falcon box atop a building in downtown SLC. The DWR has a camera set up and I've watched the little ones from eggs to fledge! Two flew out of the box on Monday within an hour of each other. It was quite a wonder to watch. One lone bird is in the box and it will probably fledge today, a couple of days behind its siblings. I will be watching closely to see when it takes the jump. 

I told you about my obsession with READING Faulkner, but I had to pick a lighter book, as I can't always listen to a story that is dense with description. I picked The Shifting Fog, but have been unimpressed. When I can sit and read I'll start Hunting and Gathering (recommended by Kym).

You know my main KNITTING focus has been TTL Mystery Shawl, but I am also putting in time on Merle (when if I can).

For the most part I have been LISTENING TO books, but once I half gave up on Shifting Fog I turned to podcasts for my entertainment. I'm fond of This American Life and Select Shorts, but also, love The Alton Browncast and Book Riot (recommended by Mary).

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This photo has nothing to do with this post, but I thought it worth sharing.

I've been on the Alabama Chanin web site nearly every day THINKING ABOUT which kit I want to buy. They have an option to choose your own style and color and they'll put together a DIY kit to your specifications. I'm more than happy to let them stencil for me as my one attempt met with abject failure. I just need decide which style and take the jump.

The one thing I've been CELEBRATING is summer! The long days and warm temperatures feel like heaven.

We are PLANNING on go to the Utah Arts Festival tonight. I enjoy seeing the many artisans and exhibitors and would really like to see the performance art troupe Australia's Strange Fruit.

Mainly, I'm ITCHING TO finish the Mystery Shawl and get on with other projects. When I started the shawl I didn't intend for it to be my main knitting, but that's not the way it worked out. Hopefully, the shawl will be finished not long after clue 5 is released.

It's summer! My main options for DRINKING consists of three things...water, iced tea, and white wine. In that order, but not in equal quantities.

I know this has been on every list I've made but I am still NEEDING TO clean out my pantry. The project needs to start with the big closet pantry in the basement which houses some of my extra kitchen "stuffs". Truthfully, I don't need anything in the larger pantry, as I rarely even go into it. We store a few food items, but it's packed with old baking pans and serving dishes (from Smith's mom). Decisions need to be made.

I've been good about ORGANIZING my bedroom closets and drawers, but I haven't tackled my jewelry drawer or my sweater cupboard. They both need a thorough going through and cleaning. There are many items I don't want to part with and which I wear often, but, in reality, I could get rid of 80% of the things I've been hoarding.

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Our cooking has been INSPIRED BY the garden as we've been able to harvest peas, beets, kale, carrots, (one lone zucchini) and onions. The garlic will soon be pulled but it needs some time to dry before it has much flavor. We're looking forward to a summer of good, fresh eating.

DELIGHTED BY the fact that Smith has the rare pleasure of a Sunday off! The plan is to make sure all chores are taken care of on Saturday so we can enjoy a quiet morning together. Even better news is he has July 4th off. How many times have I been a Holiday loner?

What's been on your mind lately? Anything you'd like to share?


From Dark to Light

Do not look at the picture in this post if you do not want to see Through The Loops Mystery Shawl

I have been knitting on the Mystery Shawl and haven't wanted to show pictures in case someone wanted it kept a secret, but I'm going to show it today because it's the only thing I've knit for the last 3 weeks. The Black Trillium Gradient has worked well until Clue #3 when the contrast in shades created strong striping. The stripes were knit in order to mitigate a solid line of a new color and, in the all of it, I truly think it will work out. The eye should pass right over the stripes when seeing the full effect of the color-shaded lace.

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It looks pretty nice, don't you think? This is through clue #3, so I have two more clues to knit. I'm working on clue #4 now. The color in the photo is bluer than the actual yarn which is charcoal gray. I'm looking forward to a dramatic end to this shawl as the last shade is nearly black.

During my quiet time this weekend an unexpected thing happened. I started listening to William Faulker's "Light in August". I listened as a did a few chores and listened as I grocery shopped. I listened as I cooked and I listened as I knit. I became so rapt in the story I couldn't break free. It was like a python had wrapped around me and help me as tightly as it could. There were times I did not breath, as the descriptions of time, place, people, and emotion held me fast. Finally, after hours of listening (around chapter 10) I realized I had to break free. It took all I had to stop the book and come back into my own life. I'll have to wait for another day to resume the story, as it held too tight a grasp on my mind.

Have you read a book lately that held you in its pages?

Check out Ginny's blog. Knitting and reading posts were her idea. You can join along, too.


Happy Birthday to Someone

There are as many ways to celebrate a birthday as there are people in your life. I've had many wonderful celebrations over the years and here are 10 Things for ToT for you to try (as if you didn't already know how to celebrate).

Do you have a birthday to celebrate in your life soon? 

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1. Send a birthday card through the US Mail and write a note to tell them how much they means to you. Mail is a rarity and a hand written note more so. It doesn't take long to buy a card (you can pick them up anywhere) and sign your name. You can even buy postage stamps on-line.

2. Give baloons and/or flowers.

3. Make a favorite dinner and bake a cake from scratch.

4. Wish Happy Birthday on Facebook or with a phone call. You could go so far as to send an e-card, but make sure you personalize it.

5. Wish Happy Birthday in person. A smile and a hug, or handshake, goes a long way.

6. Take them to a play or a movie with dinner either before or after.

7. Give a gift of your time, either by giving a handmade gift, or by giving time to help with a task.

8. Give something the person they have always wanted (if it's within your budgetary guidelines).

9. Entertain with stimulating conversation, singing a song and, you could even, throw in a dance just for the fun of it.

10. Throw a surprise party. Every 10 years Smith plans a surprise party for me. He's surprised me every time, but the biggest surprise was 2010. I truly had no idea he had something up his sleeve.

Post 2300! Not that that has anything to do with anything.


Peaceful

Thank you for your very kind thoughts about the passing of our dear Moxie. He is ever present in our lives. Every time I went to leave the house I thought about walking him and every time I came home I looked for him at the door. Even though he wasn't there, we tripped over him in the kitchen and, every time we went up or down the stairs, we stooped to carry him with us. He is with us in our hearts throughout every day and he will be forever, but it will take awhile before I stop seeing him in the corner of the eye. 

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Tuesday Smith's nephew was in town for the day. We had a great visit and it was wonderful to see him, as it had been a number of years. Wouldn't you know the day he comes to town it was one of the coldest June days we'd had in 20 years? It was still cloudy when we went into the restaurant for dinner, but when we left the sky looked amazing. The mountains were snow capped, the clouds swept by cold winds through the blue.

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By Thursday the sky was clear and the air was considerable warmer. The days have been slowly warming up since.  

I spent most of the weekend alone (Smith is working almost every weekend), but Saturday I had a chance to take a friend to lunch for her birthday. 

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Lucky for me she loves sushi and, lucky for us, the sushi chef likes us. He made up a special sunomono (a non-traditional cucumber salad) in celebration. It tasted even better than it looked. 

The weekend was peaceful, quiet, and I accomplished a few tasks I'd been putting off. Not every weekend can be this way and I was glad for the slower pace, as my week is going to be busy and full. 

Did you have time to relax and enjoy some quiet time this weekend? 


Our Boy

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We had a tough day yesterday, as Moxie went downhill fast. Saying good-bye is a very hard thing to do, but it's also a gift we can give to our best friends. He was a funny, sweet, independent boy, with a lot of moxie and we will never forget him. 

Good-bye sweet prince, Moxie. 


Blue-tiful

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Over the weekend the skies put on a great show. The weather was mostly great, with a little cool air and wind thrown in. Since then the air has cooled considerably, with gray clouds moving in, bringing with them a day of rain and cold!

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Summer has been good to us and we can hardly complain, but a day of cold was a bit unexpected. Speaking of gray...the sweater I'm knitting is charcoal gray (as discussed earlier) and the Mystery Shawl (by TTL) is also gray, as is the other shawl on my needles. However, my one track mind may be in the process of change, as I just bought this gorgeously blue yarn from Anne of Wooly Wonka Fiber fame.

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Anne's yarn is comprised of unique blend of 60% merino/20% silk/20% yak. Did you get that? It's part YAK! Yes, it feels just as soft and silky as you might imagine (if you can imagine what yak down feels like). To make this yarn even better, yak wool is naturally odor resistant. Are you thinking socks? This yarn would be perfect for socks, but I'm thinking (what else) a shawl!


Movie-less

We rarely go to movies and, in fact, the last time we were in a theater was Christmas Day. We have cable and access to the big movie streaming company, but we only use it to watch a few TV shows, sans commercials. The DVR is full and once in awhile we watch something we've recorded, but rarely do we watch a movie. During the summer months we're out of doors and, if I'm home alone, I never turn on the TV. You could say, I'm not a fan. I am a media dud.

The two movies I have watched over and over again are "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Bull Durham". Other than that....

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Instead, I give you a picture of one of our at home dinners over the weekend, grilled chicken and garlic scapes. The scapes in our garden were pecfect for harvest and, if you don't know what I'm talking about, they are a finite delicacy, a bonus that grows from the hardneck garlic. Smith said all the garlic should be ready to harvest later this month. It's our fourth year for growing it and we've become big fans of our own garlic. 

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On of the gardeners threw a wildflower mix into a unused garden plot and we now have a riot of color to greet us as we enter the garden. You can also see our raspberry bushes in the background. 

Even though I have no list of Ten, I hope you'll share your favorite movie. What do you watch again and again? 


Weekending

~Three days off work and a five day weekend resulted in a luxury of time. 

~Wednesday we spent the day with Smith's brother and sister-in-law, as they took a long layover in SLC on their way from coast to coast. We hadn't seen them in nearly 5 years and we had a wonderful reunion. 

~The next day, between meetings, garden care, fitness, and other odds and ends, we had a nice lunch together and a delicious dinner at home. 

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~Friday we did one of our favorite things, something we hadn't been able to do in a year or so...we went to Silver Fork for breakfast and I enjoyed my long time favorite, trout and eggs.

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~We then took a walk around Silver Lake. The foliage around the lake is very green this time of year and the wildflowers are just starting to show up. We spotted a patch of shooting stars, with a few wild geraniums and bluebells popping up along the path.  

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~Later that evening we enjoyed the company of friends and ate one of my favorite foods, sushi! It has, also, been awhile since I've been able to make it to my favorite sushi bar. 

~Friday was also a once in a lifetime occasion, as from the garden we watched the strawberry moon rise over the Wastach Range on Friday the 13th. 

~The garden is spectacular in the moonlight and I get a kick out of seeing my moon-shadow. The moon enjoyed playing hide and seek between the clouds, which made it all the more mysterious and awe-inspiring. 

~Speaking of mysterious, I was able to work on my Mystery Shawl and made it through clue 2 after a bit of back and forth knitting. 

~I admit to not paying much attention to the household things I needed to do. I will attempt to fit them into my busy week. 

Did you have a great weekend? I hope so!

Karen, of Pumpkin Patch, has taken over the Weekending series from Amanda and, she's off to a fine start. Many participants are posting their weekending fun in her comments. You can, too!

 


Bottoms Up

Carole's ToT request was for 10 Favorite Summer Beverages. The list came at the right time, as I need some new ideas to add to my repertoire. Smith and I have the next 3 days off (together!) and we want to relax, head to the mountains (picnic!), and general enjoy the luxury of time. Drinks will be a necessity, as well as an indulgence. I can't wait!

1. Water, cold and/or iced, garnished with nothing, or a variety of choices (mint, lemon, lime, orange, or strawberries (any berry). Use your imagination and enjoy the best refreshment known to man.

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2. Ice tea-Tazo Lotus Blossom, good old Lipton black, Lemon Ginger Snap, or if I'm feeling regal, Royal Golden Safari. I have a big bunch of mint right outside the back door and a leaf, or two, is a nice garnish for almost any tea.

3. Cold white wine, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

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4. Lemontini ala Terry.

5. Cheryl's hubby makes a very nice grapefruit "martini" and his latest is a watermelon "martini".

6. If I could (but a good one just isn't GF), an ice cold beer! If I must have a beer there are one or two GF beers that are ok.

7. Ice tea from Lone Star Taqueria, which is fruity, with just the right balance of sweet and bitter.

8. Sangria~although I haven't made it in years.

9. G&T (gin and tonic for you teetotalers). Tonic does something weird to me, so I no longer drink G&Ts but I do think they're super refreshing.

10. Fresh lime~another drink I haven't had in years, but as a kid this was a favorite of mine. It was a big deal in the 60s and 70s and I think it was a soda (Sprite or 7Up) with lime flavor, a fresh lime and, sometimes, a maraschino cherry as garnish.

Come on over! You're welcome to join me in a toast to summer!


Moxie and Me

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Our boy is still doing well, but while he seems happy and he eats and willing takes nice long walks, he is weak and frail. We walk around the neighborhood and he's walked upto a half a mile, but usually, We don't go quite that far.

We took a selfie, ala Mary and Holly.

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You would be hard pressed to find anyone who would complain about the weekend weather. The mornings were cool and comfortable, the afternoons in the low 80s, near perfect I'd call it. I took a walk to Wheeler Farm, sans Moxie and bought a few things at the farmers market

Smith worked through the weekend, but Sunday night he was able to come home early. We had dinner on the patio, enjoying the last hours of light in the weekend. Moxie was by our side. What dog doesn't hope for his share of dinner? 

What was the highlight of your weekend?