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.

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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.


So Many Years

Over the years I've taken many knitting classes, several from Nancy Bush, who is our resident guru of all things folk, especially all things Estonian. Nancy taught me to knit socks (cr. 1995), lace, colorwork, and anything folk oriented. She brought in other designers, such as Elizabeth Zimmerman (I missed that class) and Sally Melville. Wooly West was a fabulous shop and we Salt Lake knitters were very fortunate as Nancy brought the world of knitting to our feet. 

This weekend our local Knitter's Guild sponsored classes from the inimitable Nancy Bush and I was fortunate enough to take the Estonian Lace Sampler and a Roositud class. I took the same classes many years ago (maybe 15ish years), but enjoyed them just as much this time around, maybe more. 

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The classes were a birthday present to myself, as today is (are you ready for this,  my 66th birthday. Also, over a dozen years ago I started this blog, so this day holds a double celebration. My life changed the day I hit publish for the first time (2550 posts and 72,000 comments later) and I cannot tell you how fortunate I am to have so many dear friend, near and far, seen and imaginary, as I do today. You have all made my life better, richer, broader, and more dear. Thank you, friends. 


Generosity

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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.

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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. 

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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'.

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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.

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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

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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

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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. 


Five Things About My Weekend

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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. 

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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.

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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). 

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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?