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April 2016
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June 2016

Relaxing, Being, Doing

Sunday's pop-up showers did very little to dampen our spirits or put a damper on the joy of summer fun. Monday's weather was just as picture perfect as you'd want the first day of summer to be. We used up every minute of our days off as best we could and we're still out there having a great day today!

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1. The first thing I did to kick off my summer was to get a pedicure. My toenails are now a happy summer blue and I enjoy wearing sandals to show off the color. My fingernails are my usual buff only, no polish, thank you. 

2. Smith worked late Saturday night, but I enjoyed a nice evening out with a girlfriend. Girlfriends are the best!

3. There has been a whole lot of reading going on and I am happily ensconced in two fabulous books. I'm listening to Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee, and reading (in good old book form) Chicago by Brian Doyle. I LOVE this book. Doyle wrote one of the best books even, Mink River

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4. Sunday morning I visited my mother's grave, left flowers, and told her I missed her. I've visited her here for 26 years and in a months time both mom and dad will be here.

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5. Sunday evening we visited my niece, Shauni, and had dinner with her family. After dinner she gave us the gift of playing my father's viola. Dad gave it to her a few years ago when she was playing with an orchestra. He had played in community orchestras throughout his life and was so pleased to pass on this lovely legacy to his granddaughter. 

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6. Monday Smith helped Shauni's husband, Jordan, till a patch of ground in their backyard. I stopped by the garden center and bought the plants needed for their first vegetable garden. Now in the ground are tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers, a great start!. Jordan was as pleased as he could be to have a chance to dig in the dirt and create a garden in his own backyard. I predict success will be his. 

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7. Smith and I had the chance to just kick back and relax, sit on the patio, and look up at the incredible blue sky above our heads. I was able to  knit, or read, or chat with the occasional neighbor who stopped by. I sipped ice tea and daydreamed. Usually we have little time for this much chillaxing and we enjoyed every little moment of it. 

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8. I printed my BOTNS Bingo card and found books on my TBR that fit into many of the squares. I may easily get one Bingo, but not sure I can, or want to, go for a black out. I will be asking for suggestions on certain squares as I fill in my card. 

9. I also started AsKatKnits Summer KAL and knit on my sock.  It won't be finished this weekend, as I had hoped, but I am very close and should have a finished pair by the weekend! I also wound the yarn to ready for the TTLMystery Shawl KAL. Wednesday I will begin and hope to get off on a good start. Needles are ready.to.go!

10. Smith and I have still more weekend to enjoy, as we have today off together, too! YAY! We are going to fit in as much work, errands, fun, kick-backing, and joy as we can. Summer is off to a grand start!

You can read more ToT posts over at Carole's blog. How did your first summer weekend go? 


KAL Squared

Thank you so much for your kind wishes and condolences. Grieving has its ups and downs, made all the more apparent because the memorial is a month away. My family is working on Dad's memorial and looking forward to the day we will all be together. However, that isn't the only reason for my blog silence, in fact, I'm not sure I can even pin-point what it is, but I've decided when the motivation strikes, I'll blog, or at least, try to. 

At the moment, I am happy to report I'll have a 4 day weekend. AND, Smith and I will have 3 of the 4 together! We can't remember the last time we had that many days in a row off TOGETHER! Smith has had very few holidays off at all. The luxury of time is something neither of us have on a regular basis and we're looking forward to luxuriating. This weekend we may tackle a few home improvements and/or maybe take a day trip. BUT, doing "nothing" is at the top of our list. There may also be exploration of a new cocktail recipe (or two). I need to stock up on lime!

Part of my plan for tomorrow is to do some organizing, contemplating, deciding, and joining. One thing I know for certain is I'll be joining Kat's summer KAL.  This is a KAL with NO rules(!) and, since I have a few things I'd like to finish up, plus a couple of new things on my "to knit" list, I jumped to join. As an added bonus, Kat's KAL comes with recipes and cocktails! I have been knitting socks (which I may have already told you) and might be able to finish them this weekend. I'll count them as my first finish of the KAL! Win-win! (I typed "wine"-is that a sign?) 

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As soon as Kirsten announced her new Mystery Shawl KAL I knew I had to knit along. Every one of her mystery shawls has been a big win and Germinate, Liz Christy, and Algiers are in regular rotation and are more oft on my shoulders than most of my other shawls. I feel like I can't lose by joining.  Another win-win! The pattern calls for two color of yarn and since I had a few skeins of beautiful gray Marianated  Yarns just sitting around, I thought they should go to work. I think I've decided on the two darker grays, Steady Rain and Build an Ark, because this has been a pretty wet spring. 

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I may be overly ambitious with my declarations as I'm in the midst of shoulder PT. Knitting (and computering) has caused considerable pain in my shoulder and arms, but with the help of my doctor, and now the PT, the issues are being addressed. I've been able to knit (for short periods of time), plus work on the computer without additional pain (a big win, because that's what I do for a living). In addition to KALs I'll be doing my PT homework!

This weekend looks to be a big WIN-WIN all around!  Here's to the kick off of summer!


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.