Generosity

23882135932_72698d2014_z

Our Christmas of 2015 was filled with all that's good. We spent with friends who are generous, talented, and who throw great party. Our dear friends Monica and Steve had a crowd over for a Christmas Day feast. Monica not only cooked dinner for a large group, but she also made cookies and treats for everyone to take home (YES, me included!). She is a friend who goes above and beyond. Sadly, I left my camera at home, so you only get a small representation of the treats she made.

23622510679_8b11b3c5cb_o 
Just as everyone dreams, snow fell Christmas Day covering the ground giving us a picturesque (if not treacherous) day. That night, just as we were leaving to head home, we saw the full moon. It was lovely night cap to our wonderful day.  The day after Christmas, Boxing Day apparently, was picture perfect, with the blue sky making the cold nearly bearable. Smith had the day off which meant we could meet friends for lunch. This time of year is all about sharing time with friends and family and, with our family so far away we feel grateful for our friends. 

20151226_203858-2

Our fun didn't stop there, as we were invited to have dinner at now-blogfree-Susan's. Cheryl and Larry were there and, once again, we had a really great time. Susan talked us into doing a Yankee Swap, but Cheryl and I were unsure. Holy cow, we had way more fun than expected, with Cheryl bringing the most sought after gift, a unicorn head!  Smith opened it first but Susan's DH thought it too good to pass up and he took possession. (Maybe you had to be there.)  Life is tough when you're a Mets fan, just sayin'.

24012761425_a2756ec1ce_k

A week or so ago our power was out for a few hours and I mentioned how I'd spent the evening wrapped in fleece reading by flashlight. Susan was incredulous that I hadn't wrap up in the warmth of something wooly. She generously gave me her latest project, a huge and beautiful Nuvem. I feel so fortunate to have a warm, cozy, BIG blanket of a wrap whenever the cold starts to creep into my bones.

23386293373_31f5079b84_k

I have been knitting! And, to do my own bit of paying it forward, I started a pair of gift mitts using Gale Zucker's new pattern Trip Mitts. They're quick knitting and have a fun, rustic, and very charming look. Did I mention how much fun I'm having knitting them?  They're just what you need when a little instant gratification is in order. I'm ending my year by knitting this pair and starting 2016 with another gift pair (just to even things out).

How are you beginning your knitting year? Something fun, something adventurous, something for yourself?

Have a very Happy New Year, friends!

 


Currently

20151205_202707-1

Listening to....We went to a concert Saturday night (Jeff Hamilton Trio) and we have been listening to the CD we bought while there. FANTASTIC!

Thinking about... The fun weekend we had with not one, but TWO date nights. We saw Spectre, the newest Bond, which was too long, but kind of fun. 

20151205_152237

Dreading... The inversion, commonly known as the "dreaded inversion". It's here. I'm just dreading it will stick around.

Planning... To turn blue again.

23547543836_4a9c9dfe30_b

Celebrating... Chanukahmas (all month long) We love to celebrate the light!

Drinking...Water, wine, whiskey and tea

Itching to...Finish my AC bag (maybe soon!)

Needing to... Shop for Christmas

Organizing... I should be organizing my time, but it seems to be slipping through my fingers. 

 How are things in your world? 

 


Day 20: A Smaller World

One of the reasons I started an account at Postcrossing was to bring the world to my door. The idea of getting mail from around the world was very enticing. It's unlikely I'll ever travel outside the USA and it's even more unlikely I'll travel the around the world, but a postcard in my mail box from Germany, Ukraine, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, France, China, or Brazil, makes the world feel a smaller place. I have postcards from all across the world, over 160, so far.

20151119_165444-1

The postcards can be anything the sender likes, but my listed preference are of landscape, costumes, crafts, birds, the sky, and something a little different, but used in many cultures, the umbrella. 

22735970499_b65816fbc1_k

I now have a little collection of umbrella postcards and another of birds. Many Postcrossers send pictures of their landscape, native costumes or crafts. Some send a postcard they find funny or poignant. Everyone writes a little something on the card--sometimes a lovely note, sometimes a simple greeting. Any postcard is a welcome sight in  my mailbox. 

20151119_165342-1

When my postcard arrives at its distant destination my address is given to another Postcrosser somewhere else in the world. I never get a postcard back from the person who sent it, unless we agree upon an exchange or become pen pals. The point of Postcrossing is to connect the world on a small scale and with a postcard you start a chain reaction of kindness and connection, final destination unknown.


Our Day Together

22527273291_56d10cb1e3_h

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.  

22530005091_3d7a8c0af8_k

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. 

22328394828_e75374b02b_k

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. 


Five Things About My Weekend

21939725732_16878cbea9_k

1. Friday counts as part of the weekend (in my estimation) and the rain and thunderstorms that day were impressive and exciting. My view, as I returned from lunch, was of a huge black cloud full of lightning and thunder. I tried numerous times to capture the lighting, but it evaded my camera lens. 

21953313751_c85534e603_o

2. Saturday, just as I was driving away from the library, and heading to dinner with a friend, the tiniest part-arc of a rainbow appear at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. You can see I was stopped at a red light and not snapping pictures whilst operating my car. This little bit of rainbow delighted me and I, for once, I was happy to stop at the light. 

3. I have no picture to share for number three, but the the churros I had for dessert, following a delicious taco dinner, were wonderful. I ate them before I remembered to take a picture, but the crunchy outside and soft warm center (dusted with sugar and cinnamon, dipped in whipped cream and/or chocolate) created a mouth full of joy. 

Do not worry, I am not dead or ill as the next photo might suggest.

21917370536_d067e2523e_k

4. I had a bit of a disaster while trying to fill one of my fountain pens. I wanted the last drop of ink from the bottle and ended up squirting it all over my hands, my face, and my shirt. I am a novice fountain pen owner (my pens belonged to Smith's mother) and I am trying to get the hang of filling cartridges and converters. I am grateful the ink washed out of everything except my fingernails (which will be clear of blue soon enough). 

21944398045_83886b655e_o

5. Sunday dawned clear and cool, with beautiful blue skies and entertaining clouds. Smith had the day off (yay!) and after breakfast, we took a walk, taking time for a little photo shoot (which you'll see later in the week). Because we had most of the day together, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful day and spend time on the patio, grilling dinner and making the most of our day. 

How did your weekend go? Did you have a lovely one whether rained on or no? 


After the Fact

Well, since all the cool kids did it, I decided to print off a BOTNS Summer Bingo card and see how I did...after the fact. 

20150915_141826-1-01
The Xs cross through a subject I wouldn't have read given the chance. A few squares are left blank as not one of the 20 books I read came close to fitting in a squaret. (Although if I'd had this card earlier, I might have tried.) Some books I moved just to get a Bingo and I think that's fair. In the end, that trick gave me two Bingos.  In full disclosure, I did cheat by refreshing the card until I had a one that gave me a chance and I think that's fair, too. My guess is few of you took the first card you were handed, right? 

My favorite books of all that I read this summer were the 4 books by Elena Ferrante, known as the Neapolitan novels.  If you decide to read even one, you must read all 4, as they only get better with each story. The last one, recently published, was the best of all! 

If you have any questions about the books I've read I'll answer them and I'd love to know what your favorite book of the summer was, Bingo or no! 


A Week in the Life

Hallo Blog Friends-

The last two weeks, as well as the week ahead, have been overly busy both day and night. Decidedly, chronicling is not my forte and I have been negligent in keeping up with photos and/or words. 

20205188343_cac66077b3_h
Last week Smith and I went to one of the last Bees games, courtesy of Susan who was away on an amazing adventure. We had a great time watching our team lose. Near the beginning of the game the opposing teams pitcher didn't like the mound and it took over 15 minutes to fix his problem and add a new pitching rubber.  How many Iowa Cubs does it take to fix a pitching mound? Ah well, we had a good time regardless of our 8-2 loss. 

20638176238_2bc96d831c_h

The next night we had dinner with my sister, Jana, who is marrying her partner, Kaylee next week. I will do my best to take picture of the brides, as I think they will be beautiful together. We're looking forward to welcoming Kaylee to our family.

20816773692_d6b0e463e0_k-2
The skies have been smoky, which creates a pall of yellow over the skies. Some nights the sunsets are spectaular colors of red and orange, but most of the time, at least where we sit, the skies are a ghastly haze of gray and yellow. We're hoping for a south wind to help clear the air. 

20638298968_b25975b988_k

Sunday I did something you'll never believe (I barely believe it myself), I finished AND BLOCKED my TTT Mystery Shawl (which Kirsten has renamed Liz Christy). Liz was a "gorilla" community gardener in NYC and the shawl could not have a better name (imo).  

I'm busy, and happy, and having a great time away from you all and hope you're having a great time celebrating the last month of your summer, too.