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September 2015
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November 2015

Waiting for Winter

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Here in the valley the trees still have their leaves, although they are starting to change color and drop to the ground.  The temperatures have been warm and many flowers still bloom. In the garden we still have marigolds, anemone, a renegade bachelor button or two. At Red Butte we saw many roses still showing off their blossoms and yesterday, Cheryl showed an iris that thinks it might be spring. The temperatures are about to change. We hear rumors of rain and possible mountain snow, but so far, rumors they stay.  I will admit, there is a hint of winter in the air.


Our Day Together

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We walked around the lake, what better place to be on a gorgeous fall day? At that elevation, not many leaves were left on the aspens, just one tree in 10,000 had its golden curls.  The water went from choppy from the cold wind, to clear as glass in about 3 1/2 seconds.  

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After the lake we drove up and over the mountain down into Park City and, because the day was clear (thank you breeze), we stopped to see the view from the top of the pass. We could see all the way to the Uinta mountains and the low hanging clouds that always dot their skies. 

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The day was fine, the weather warm and gentle, one of the last amazing fall days we'll have this year. The weather has turned towards the cool, even the cold, as a storm approaches and the skies cover with gray. We enjoyed our beautiful day together, with time to talk, time to walk, and time to laugh.  We know there will be many more perfect days, but for now, we head back to work, to face the chill of coming weather, and to find scraps of evening time to spend together. This is life. 


NaBloPoMo

At this point, I am only toying with the idea of posting every.single.day in November. I'm not sure I want to put that kind of pressure on myself, as there are days I just do.not want to post. le sigh  As my mom would say, "Would you follow everyone over a cliff if they are jumping?" Apparently, as I have followed many friends into this month of angst for the last few years. In order to encourage and stimulate the imagination, Carole has asked us for 10 Tips/Ideas/Topics for Daily Blogging in November. NaBloPoMo or Bust!

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I have ONE big one. 

TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING!  (My biggest failing.)

2. DO everything that comes your way. Don't shy away. DON'T FORGET THE CAMERA!

3. Print out a calendar and plan ahead. Use a theme (there are many to choose from) per day. 

4. Commiserate with friends on themes and play off each other (Ten on Tuesday is an excellent example).

5. Knit and take pictures of your progress, or not progress. Just talk about it. This is, by and large, a knit blog community. 

6. Craft your heart out and talk about it. DON'T forget the pictures. We like pictures. Even a picture can be enough for a post. 

7. Look back at old posts and use the pictures or repost them. It's very likely few have gone back through 12 years of posts and read just.that.one. 

8. Look back at old family photos and find a story for #TBT (Throw Back Thursday)

9. When you eat, blog it. When you drink, blog it. When you play, blog it.

10. Just do it (or don't). There is no reason you MUST do this, but it can be fun and a little challenge never really hurt anyone. You might just learn you CAN do it (can you tell I'm trying to convince myself) if you WANT to do it.

Hanging out with your buddies is never a bad thing. One theme I' going to reprise is Saturday Sky, just to remind me of the very kind, Sandy, who make Saturday Sky a "THING" way back in the halcyon days of blogging. Join me if you'd like and show off your sky!  Let's have some fun! 

 

 


Long Weekend

In order to use up some vacation time that's just been sitting around collecting dust, I took Friday and Monday off.  There were several "need to do" things on my list, a few errands, and a whole lot of time to do as I wish. The highlights were, as usual, left undocumented, something I'm going to need to change if I decide to do NaBloPoMo.  

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Friday, Cheryl and I had a lovely breakfast while my car was spiffed up. If I had any wits about me I'd show you the beautiful breakfast I had at The Oasis Cafe. I was so pleased to find they can easily make a gluten free meal. That afternoon I spent time in the garden talking with friends who were cleaning out their garden beds. I ate a dozen dozen beautifully ripe raspberries from a neighbors garden (with permission), which were the best raspberries I've ever had. 

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Saturday I spent the morning with a wonderful bunch of knitters and knit on a sweater, a project I have kept a secret from you for no real reason (other than I never get around to it). That night I had sushi with a friend and she suggested we see Meet the Patels. It was laugh out loud funny and sweet, a movie I would highly recommend. I didn't think to take a picture of our evening until we were walking out of the theater. 

Sunday morning Smith made me a breakfast of potato latkes, a real treat as he had just picked the potatoes the day before. I feel very spoiled when he takes the time to make up a batch of deliciousness, especially his very own home grown, hand picked delicacies. Because this meal was impromptu, we did not have apple sauce on hand, so I minced up an apple and served it on the side and it was better than apple sauce as it had some crunch, was sweet on its own and tasted just like apple (what a revelation!). 

Sunday night I went to The Martian with another friend. This year I have been to very few movies, maybe one or two all year, and here I am seeing two movies in one weekend. My heart was in throat the whole movie. I felt his loneliness, I felt his exasperation, sorrow, and his determination. I usually don't care for blockbuster, sci-fi genre anything, but this movie was really good (if you suspend disbelief).  

My movie recommendation weekend is over, but my weekend continues though today. Smith has the day off, too, and we have loose plans to DO something.  If I can get enough coffee into him we might be able to set off early on an adventure. 


The Stitching Goes On (and on and on...)

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There are many pieces to the Alabama Chanin market bag, but, I just realized, only the two largest need to be stitched. I've finished stitching and cutting one side and will soon (I hope) finished the second. There are a few more motifs to outline then I'll cut and reveal the red below. Seaming will be next, both the lining and the bag itself. When the project first arrived I was a little intimidated by the amount of work--so many pieces! Sewing it together seemed a very long term task (and a far distant), but after seaming my AC T-shirt, I am no longer worried. It will be a joy to watch the bag come together and be usable. Whether it's knitting or sewing, or any other creative pursuit, it is the process. 

You may or may not be a fan of Alabama Chanin and you may or may not be a fan of Rosanne Cash (really!?), but my guess is you're a fan of creativity, which leads me to suggest you read this post from the AC Journal. Natalie's interview with Rosanne is spot on, with her brilliant questions and Rosanne's thoughtful responses. It won't take long to read and I highly recommend you do so. Also, I think I'll add Rosanne's newest memoir, Composed, to my TBR.


Traveling On

When I travel, which isn't often, I try to pack as little as possible. Also, if I'm driving and I can fill up my car with my comforts of home, I WILL, but if I'm flying I try to go with a single bag (as you probably do, too). Carole asked for "10 Things You Take In A Travel Tote Bag" and I took this to mean I can have MORE than 10...but I stayed with the game. 

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1.The pink bag right in the middle holds my toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, make up (what little I wear), medication, shampoo, and all that sort of thing. You know the drill.

2. A book! I must have a book with me and my current favorite, and most recent purchase, is Mary Oliver's Felicity.  I read it in one setting and I will read it again and again. Reading Mary's poetry first thing in the morning, and just before going to bed, makes for nice bookends to my day.

3. Lotion. My skin is very dry (due to our very try climate) and I'm constantly reaching for a bottle of hand lotion. Usually, I have a travel size on hand, but at the moment, big is it.

4. The Kindle Paperwhite is there to represent my phone (which is often in my hand). Who would go anywhere without their smart phone?

5. My favorite blue hairbrush. Wouldn't it be sad to get out of bed and be unable to brush ones hair?

6. A nightgown. I like wearing one to bed.

7. A black T-shirt, which one can wear anywhere.

8. A granola bar just in case there isn't any GF food available or I decide to dye of hunger. 

9. A shawl, as I'm always on the chilly side. I have an over abundance of shawls, but that doesn't stop me from knitting more.

10. And, last but not least, in the Jessalu sheepy bag, a project to knit or stitch.


Weekend!

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You may, or may not, have heard I have a new car.  RIP poor old Toyota. There should be a picture of my car at the top of this post, but I never got around to making that happen. Other things that you won't see today are the gimlets (basil lime gimlets) a friend and I had Friday night and I have no pictures of my Saturday night. I am a terrible blogger (but, I hope to get better).  You will see, the pictures I took Sunday while visiting Red Butte Gardens for first time in a couple of months. 

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I arrived mid-morning to clearing blue skies and warming temperatures, as there had been a little rain the night before. Strolling through the grounds it was easy to see fall was winning out over summer. I stopped to take a picture of the spectacular view and, as I turned around to continue my walk, I spotted this fuchsia in a nearby hanging planter. It was an unexpected delight, with its delicate blossoms of pastel lavender against silver green background.  

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The plants are either fading to burnished tones or turning exceptionally bright colors. I was impressed with the hibiscus as produced one last glorious blossom while its leaves were on their last gasp. 

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In Utah, most of our fall colors are shades of gold, but once in awhile you run across a tree that stands out. Our autumn is just beginning here in the valley, although it's long past on the peaks. As the days cool and the nights grow shorter, the trees will drop their colorful clothes and start to show their bones. Over the next few weeks we'll watch as autumn gives way to winter. I just hope the descent is slow. 


My (Oh So) Slow Fashion

One exciting day last week. I finished my first piece of Alabama Chanin slow fashion. Most of my inspiration for starting the whole slow fashion/Alabama Chanin phase of my crafting life, came from Vicki (as you well know). Her vision and her constancy are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

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After I bought all the books and ogled the AC Journalfollowing the blogs of people who sew, and watching their Instagram feeds, I decided to take the plunge. I am in awe of Vicki who will start from scratch, reuse old Ts, do her own dyeing, and/or stenciling (even cutting the stencils), then air brush the design onto fabric, but I will only stitch if it is easy to put the project together.

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It was January when I took the first stitches on my Magdalena DIY Shirt. Stitching was easy and I would have been finished months ago had I not decided each petal would that much more spectacular filled with beads. Beading was slow, but worth doing, as I'm very happy with the shabby chic elegance. 

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After months of working with tiny beads of all sizes, sewing the T-shirt together was a piece of cake. I think I'll do another, sans beads, with more stitching detail, because sewing was the fun part. 


When the Unthinkable Happens

Over the weekend, Carole and Dale lost a dear friend, which brought up today's subject for Ten on Tuesday, 10 Things You Can Do To Be Supportive When Someone Dies.

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Grieving is often hardest after friends and family have gone back to their lives and the bereaved is left alone. Maybe a week or two, even maybe a month after the funeral, your friend will face a quiet house and a ton of grief and it's likely they'll need you more after the dust has settled.

 1. Call and catch up on a regular basis. Listen to anything they have to say. Yes, this might require a phone call instead of just texting. 

2. Suggest something they might like to do, something as simple as going for a walk.  It's very likely the bereaved will be processing their grief for quite a long time.

3. If an event is coming up, like Halloween, take them a special treat and make sure they're not left to the ghosts and goblins alone. Decorate their front door, send them cute notes, and  cards in the mail.

4. Make sure they have some place to be on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some people have family, some don't.

5. Don't be afraid to ask them what it is they need, although, some people don't even know what they need. Let your friend know (by your actions) you're there for them. Every day, every month can hold a new landmark. Every holiday, every event will bring up new grief.

6.  By making other friends aware you may find willing compatriots to help lend a helping hand or listening ear. Create a circle of support, love, and listeners.

7. Listen to silence if that's all your friend has to offer. Just sit next to them and let them grieve quietly, but be there if they need you.

8. Share pictures with your friend that they may not have. Maybe you have enough to share that will make up an album or a little book. Share memories and stories as you sit together.

9. Don't forget your friend on the first, second, third anniversary. Time may have passed but the pain and loss will be strongly felt.

10. Celebrate with your friend (if they are up to it) the life of their loved one. Be kind, gentle, not needy of your own grief. Surround your friend with love.