3TT - January

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If you've been reading my musings of the last 14 years you'll know I do not like January, but this January does not deserve a bad rap for the usually bad reputation of past January's. There may have been a week or so of inversion, but overall she was warmer, softer, a little more generous, and seemed to blossom into a new, happier self. But, GOOD-BYE, JANUARY!

1.The amaryllis that came into my life were real show offs and I'm glad there were chronicled throughout the month. The show continues into February as Crimson's second stem is in full bloom and the third is just starting to show signs of opening. I told Kym I plan to buy a dozen bulbs next year, as  I would like to have a real amaryllis forest for years end.

2. Happily, I finished a sweater in January and received yarn for a second! My arms used to ache after hours at work. Typing at an uncomfortable desk was not good for them (or for me), BUT, those day are over and I can now knit when I like. My hands and arms can even do a little needlepoint (sometimes), and stitch (which I do daily with Vicki), as well as knit, knit, knit. 

3. Thank you, Mary, for introducing me to the Collect App and encouraging me to take one picture a day (at least). On a couple of occasions I've had to take last minute pics before heading to bed, but, overall, I enjoy finding moments that bring delight and joy. This year I'm also trying to collect and organize my pictures on Flickr and Instagram. 

All that is left to say is HELLO, FEBRUARY!!  I love your light and your bluer skies. You might even bring in a little more snow. Your a good month, February. 

Carole's got a few more participants of 3TT over on her blog. Take a look!


One, Two, Three

This could be a Throwback Thursday, as well as a Three Things Thursday. Last week I looked at my stash closet and thought it might need a bit o'organizing. As it turned out, I did not do anything with my 3 bins of stash, but I did find a box of memorabilia I hadn't looked through in awhile. 

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Inside I found my mother's eyeglasses and, according to the label, she wore them when she was 14 years old. Mom's name and place of residence are also typed on the label. The feeling I get in my chest when going through memorabilia is priceless. It's mix of joy, sadness, love, and a flood of memories. Mom drove us, her children, by the old house she'd lived in at that time. I remember the car trip very well. The house was big white Victorian, once a grand house, that had been broken down into various apartments, now in a bad part of town. Shortly after our quick trip past the house it was torn down. 

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Also inside the box was the sweater my dad had worn for a portrait about the time he and mom were engaged. He was 20 years old. The sweater was locally made of an unknown fiber, one that will last long after everyone of us has gone. 

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The sweater, and the little bootie below, took me on a search for the photograph album my sister had created for each member of our family.  I think my dad was very handsome. My parents were married in the spring of 1949 and in the spring of 1950 I came along. This is my 6 month portrait and I feel fortunate to be old enough that I have a hand-painted photograph. Not that I like being old, but you know what I mean, right? Surely color film did away with that profession.

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Don't you think I'm cute? I do! All the color on this photograph, including every single polkadot, is painted. I am wearing the red and white felt shoes, of which only one remains. These three items spark that joy everyone talks about and they will be in my possession until I am gone. The box is large and full of treasures. I wonder what else I can dig up. 


Today

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Today, just as the Solstice arrived (9:28amMST) the sun came through the clouds and lit up the ice and snow that had fallen during the night. I ran out to snap my photo (fully clothed) and had a nippy wind enveloped me. Tis a very chilly day and I was glad I'd decided the roads were too icy to drive to exercise class earlier.  

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Hopefully, the roads will be in better shape when I head out for lunch with a long time friend. I have enjoyed my week of celebrating with people dear to me. Tomorrow night my niece and her family will be here, so it's also day of grocery gathering and last minute errands. I will try to finish up details, as I'd like some time doing as Mary does. Smith works late tonight and twinkle lights and knitting are on the agenda. 

Also, inspired by Kym, I'm making a Solstice playlist to accompany my day. She and her commenters have quite a few suggestions of which I have several already on my Pod (#lovemyipod). 

Happy Solstice, everyone! Head over to Carole's to see other 3TT posts. 


Currently

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Watching...all three of the amaryllis grow, their buds coming through at varies stages. The spendy bulb has only a tip of a very red bud, but the other two are pushing through and there may be blossoms during the gray days of mid-January when they are most important. 

Reading...this interview on NPR with Jason Isbell and Amanda Shire (his wife) which is well worth your time to read. It's called Naming the Beast and they speak up on subjects many people shy from or ignore altogether. They are brave and talented and use their dual voice to share their thoughts. There are two videos included in the interview that showcase both musicians. 

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Knitting...with friends! The best time to knit is when you're with friends. And, sleeve(s)!! My sweater is growing--always slowly--but happily, for me, growing! 

Listening to...Not Christmas music. My current favorite is Lotta Sea Lice by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. The pair are good friends and the both love to play with words and phrases. Their music is poignant, at times, and humorous at others. NPR had them on as guest DJs on All Songs Considered. They share their inspirations and songs from the album. I'm a big fan of NPR music, as I hear a broad range of genres and hear what's new in music. 

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Drinking...with friends. The best time to drink is when you're with friends. Fisher is a new (old) local beer and Larry brought Smith a couple of quart cans as a gift. That's Cheryl, photobombing the photo of their three beers and my lowly glass of wine. I've never been more envious of beer drinkers. 

Planning...to take a watercolour class from Liz Steel. I may not be much of an artist, but I will have fun learning the process. I like her style and her step by step instructions. Working outdoors, on the go sounds fun, too. Since our winter is going to be mild (and snowless) I may as well. Most of the needed supplies are in hand and I'm planning to get them organize and start work on the first three steps of class before the January 10th start day. 

Itching to...get outdoors and walk, but my knee needs surgery, which can't happen until I see my cardiologist on January 11th. When I get the all clear, I'll see the ortho and (fingers crossed) get the knee working, pain free, again. 

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Celebrating...3 years of Postcrossing (and 900 postcards!)!

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Delighted by…Santa caught in the tree! I'm not sure he will get free in time for Christmas! 


November 3 - Reading in the Park

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As I wandered along one of the old trails in Murray Park I realized there were a few houses abutting its boundary. Along the fence line I could see a red bench sitting next to a little red house and I new immediately it must be a "Free Little Library". I've found other libraries around the valley and stopped to look through some, even dropping off books once in awhile. The next day I went back to the library and added a few books to its top shelf. The bottom shelf holds only children's books. I plan on checking back to see if there is anything I'd like to read and, when I have a book to spare, I'll drop it by. Next summer I think I'll sit on the bench and read awhile. Do you have any little libraries in your neighborhood?  Would you consider starting one? 

Happy Weekend, everyone!


November 2 - Tiptoeing In

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 1. Our autumn has been long, glorious, and luxurious, just as autumns should be. The leaves have been showy, vibrant, and languorously lovely. The trees had the benefit of a wet June, which, despite the hottest summer on record, brought the colors into their most vivid colors.  

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2. September and October have been dry, no snow, no rain, no damage to the trees or the leaves. Blue skies have been the perfect complement to the reds, golds, oranges. I don't think there has been a more beautiful autumn in the last dozen years.

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3. I've been walking through Red Butte Gardens, through our neighborhood, and through our city park, Murray Park. I lived near this park during my high school years, I still do, and I've enjoyed rediscovering it, noting some of the excellent changes made over the years. Recently I found a little treasure in the park, which I think I'll save that for another day. 

Today you can head on over to Carole's and read (or join) the other blog who have joined Three Things Thursday


November 1 - Will She or Won't She?

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Since I've retired a few things about my crafting time and place have changed. We bought new furniture, the lighting changed, and the number of projects begging for time grew. I worried about not being able to fill a day with meaningful tasks, ideas, and goals, but that has proved to be a silly worry. There has been no problem filling the hours of the day. I don't know when I had time to work, which is not something I thought I would ever say. I LOVE being retired.

Back to the subject at hand. I've taken over one end of the new couch where I can spread out my projects and all can be within view. I bought a new light with multiple bulbs, which lights the room to varied degrees based on need, and I've given myself permission to sew, knit, and/or read based on my desire. Sometimes I do both as I listen to so many books. I've got 2 projects on the needles, plus an Alabama Chanin T in progress. You may have noticed they are all in the same color family. Truly, I'm not sure why I get myself into such ruts, but I need to shake up my world of color. 

Today is Unraveled day with Kat and gang. Head on over and see what everyone else is doing, too. 


As Usually Happens

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One thing I consistently lose is track of the time. You will often hear me say on an all to often basis "Where did the time go?!" Crazy! I DO NOT know where September went. It flew by so quickly I could hardly keep up with myself. Another thing I have done consistently is take a daily photo (I hear Mary's voice in my head encouraging me). By way of catching you up I'll give you a quick synopsis of this montage.

~On September 3rd I picked a container of raspberries and we had a few for dessert that night and finished them with breakfast the next morning. Freshly picked raspberries just can't be beat (and we're still picking!)

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~On the 4th day of September I finished On the Spice Market! Since the heat spell broke about 10 days ago, I've been wearing it almost daily. It's a beauty and I'm very happy it's done. The colors are vibrant and the pattern interesting and always entertaining. 

~During the heatwave we had days of smokey air as so much of the west was on fire. Oregon and Idaho smoke filled our valley and made the air dangerous to breath. On the good side, the heat made the garden burst with squash, tomatoes, beans and it brought on the corn, too.

~As the sunflowers unfurled and turned their faces to the sun  the pyracantha produced it's vivid orange berries. The bushes aren't as prevalent as when I was a kid (I know why-the thorns are vicious!). When I spot one it brings on childhood memories, reminding me often of the large hedge at my grandmothers house. 

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~Before I knew it, here it was near the end of the month and time for our knitter's retreat at Alta! We had a great time and reprised our Korean facial masks (kitty face edition), adding even more participants for the face, hand, and foot spa treatments. Warning: laughing is a major side effect.

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~And then, winter arrived! At least at 9,000 feet! Thank goodness the guys who carried our luggage up 64 wooden stairs also volunteered to dig out my car.  I was so happy they were the ones to wrangle 10" of snow off my car.  The snow was confined to Alta Resort with a little more at Snowbird, and the roads were mostly clear as Cheryl and I made our way home. 

~The colors are starting to change in the valley, the days have been a mix of gloomy and gray, sunny and clear. We've had nice evenings in the garden and Smith has been clearing it out and readying the soil for sowing of garlic bulbs, while putting the rest of the garden to bed for the winter. The process will take all month (which will make him happy). 

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~My sister Leeann is staying with me off and on as her husband deals with a major health issue. The hospital is very near and she lives a distance away. She is a lovely guest and I am so grateful I have a place for her. Please send your good thoughts and prayers to her and her husband. He is getting stronger everyday and for that we feel blessed. 


The Beauty of December

December is the season of lights, which I admit, bring to me a sense of wonder and awe. I can stand before a display of lights my mouth agape, my eyes wide with joy,  oblivious to the world around as I am transfixed by beauty I behold. I love the light (as I'm sure you know by now). 

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We spent Thanksgiving with our friends Monica and Steve (a wonderful day) and as we were driving home that evening we caught sight of a well lit tree off in the distance. We drove up a side street that led to a small cemetery and found at its center a very large tree covered with white lights. It was ethereal, magical, and we exclaimed to each other, with delight and wonder, how beautiful it was. As rarely happens when you're an adult, we were filled with awe. It felt like a gift to be among the first to see it.  

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The sunrises and sunsets are quite wonderful this time of year and the cloud displays before, after, and during a storm can surround the mountain tops with garlands and crowns. You know I love my mountains and winter can really bring out their unique beauty. White, snow covered mountains and clear blue skies are are also commandingly exquisite. 

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This time of year the golden glow glorifies our view in a way that isn't seen during the other seasons. December's light is the beautiful of the year and I must fill my heart and soul with this beauty before January's dingy skies move in.

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December is filled with with wonderful people, friends and family, parties and gatherings, (which is when I keep my phone in my pocket). I'm hopeful there will be time for Smith and I to be together this month, as well. 

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December offers more time indoors (demands it, actually), and that means more time to knit (maybe blog). I hope to be able to show you the TTL Mystery shawl I finished, and the Julianna shawl that's nearly off the needles. December's cold and snowy days offer the gift of knitting and reading time.

Just as Bonny said in her December post, December marks the beginning of the return of light. Solstice is a day of celebration and joy. I so look forward to the shorter nights to come. 


In My Ear

When reading an audio book, all activities are best done alone, that is, unless the person you're with is enjoying the same book. Smith and I have different taste in books and, therefore, we each have our own iPods. Usually, we only listen to books when we're alone, but it is a known fact that Smith becomes very talkative if I have my earbuds on. It is a little rude (unless you have an agreement of silence) to wear earphones when someone else is in the room. 

The best thing about audio books (or podcasts) is alone time is quality time and/or time can be spent doing duel duty. Who doesn't like to multitask? I have had an Audible account since 2006, June of 2006, which means I've been listening to books for 10 years. I don't know what I'd do without my iPod.

Ten Things To Do While Listening to an Audio Book 

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 1.Take a walk and watch the sunset (or the moon rise).

2. Clean the house. (Vacuuming may be a challenge). 

3. Take the bed apart, do the laundry, put the bed back together. Fold (the rest of) the laundry. This is the time moving slowly can feels right. 

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4. Care for the garden. Plant. Water. Weed. (Sit back, relax and enjoy your accomplishment.) Weed again.

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5. Knit up a storm (but if you need to read the pattern, stop the recording until you can pay full attention). The picture shows most of the accouterments in my knitting bag. (Side note: I love Leone Violet Candies.) 

6.Mindlessly surf the web (but turn off the recording if you're going to read something). 

7. Exercise in the way you like best (although, swimming may be a problem).  Also, I listen while doing my PT exercises.

8. Prepare a meal (alone). Even doing the dishes isn't so bad if you've got a book in your ear.

9. Do nothing (which is OK!). Just listen (it's an awesome experience)!

10. Sit on the patio with a cup of tea, or better yet, a glass of cold white wine, or a cocktail. Listening to an audio book makes everything better. 

Ten Things To Do While Listening to an Audio Book is brought to you by Carole.