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.


Poems Fit Perfectly in Pockets

I always have a poem in my pocket. In a small notebook I keep in my purse, the notebook that keeps my to do lists and grocery lists, I will copy a poem--one that is small enough to fit on one page and which speaks to me on that day. I have a couple of shelves of poetry, but the books I pick up most often are Mary Oliver's, as I know many of you do, too. 

The book I have been reading from most often this spring is A Thousand Mornings. Since I am a morning person, the poems speak to my heart. It was hard to chose only one from the book, but I bring you....

An Old Story

Sleep comes a little while. Then I wake
in the valley of midnight or three a.m. 
to the first fragrances of spring

which is coming, all by itself, no matter what. 
My heart says, what you thought you have you do not have.
My body says, will this pounding ever stop?

My heart says: there, there, be a good student.
My body says: let me up and out, I want to fondle
those soft white flowers, open in the night. 

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Thank you, Kym, for reminding me to participate today!

Poem in Your Pocket day, by the Academy of American Poets 


Make Me Happy Ten

Carole asks, 10 of Your Favorite Things Right Now 

Alabama Chanin T - I've almost stitched all the leaves on the front of my beautiful T-shirt.

Plain Ol' Gray - She's coming alone nicely (albeit slowly).

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Love notes - Smith leaves me a love (sticky) note nearly every day. Yes, I know how fortunate I am.

Fountain pens and the fun colors of ink I collect. Bonus, hot Pink!, Hydrangea blue, and Black Roses.

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Sumo citrus - This is the strangest citrus I've seen in awhile.

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Neko Atsume - I've never played a  game on my phone, but this one only requires one to feed the cats and occasionally spend some "fish" for new toys. Bonus, the cats leave you "fish" when they visit. Double bonus, they bring you cute little mementos.

Weather - Not too cold, not too hot, light snow, full sun, cloud play...it's all been happening over the last few days and it's likely to continue.

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Tiny crocus leaves coming up in my garden. The last minute bulbs we planted last November survived! I can't wait to see which color reveals itself first. I wonder if I'll see any snowdrops this year.

Mark Bittman cookbook-Sunday night I followed one of the simple recipes and made a beet/carrot dish with Moroccan spices. It was delicious. Bonus, the carrots were freshly picked from the garden, as they're a vegetable that winters over well.

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Other knitters at the hair salon! She was knitting strips of color. We had little chance to speak, but she was more than happy to allow a picture. 

 Do you have a favorite thing of the moment? 


Here They Come to Save the Day!

Jessica

My Ten on Tuesday is brought to you by Girl Power! There are a few TV shows in rotation around here, but not on regular schedule. We often record episodes we never get around to watching. We're slowly making our way through Netflix episodes of Jessica Jones, which I find very dark, but fascinating. Marvel Comic characters have not been on my radar, but I see why people are drawn to the whole idea of heroes who can save the world from the bad guys.

I also decided to only go with women, as I think TV could do a better job of showing women in stronger roles and not only as dim-witted, one-liner characters who need a man to save them.
"You've been kidnapped! List the 10 TV show characters you would want to help you."

Jessica Jones - She has super-human strength and withering, angry looks on her side. (We'll not talk about her drinking problem.)

Lady Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey - Lady Mary has come into her own and she's learning how to get things done.

Amy Farah Fowler from Big Bang Theory - She's funny, extremely intelligent and slightly odd. I think she would give the kidnapper a run for his money. She is a neurobiologist, after all. (In the meantime, I hope she'll save me.) 

Olivia Pope from Scandal - She's got a team  behind her, just as long as she can hold off the President.

The women from The Bletchley Circle  - Four women who saved the world during WWII could certainly get me away from a kidnapper.

Agent Carter - She knows how to get things done behind the scenes and can take down any man with a well placed punch.

Hetty from NCIS - She lived through the cold war as a special agent and knows more than any spy on earth. She'd have no trouble finding me and killing my kidnapper.

Trouble from Grimm- She's another woman with super-human strength and she sees trouble coming. I know she could find me and take my kidnapper down.

So, tell me who would save you!

 


A Silent Poetry Reading

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Cloud Fishing 

To fish from a cloud in the sky
You must find a comfortable spot,
Spend a day looking down
Patiently, clear-sighted.
 
Peer at your ceiling:
Where a light dangles, hook & line
Could be slipping through.
 
Under the hull of a boat
A fish will see things this way,
 
Looking up while swimming by — 
 
A wavering pole’s refraction
Catching its eye.

What will you catch?
With what sort of bait?
Take care or you’ll catch yourself,

A fish might say,
As inescapable skeins of shadow
Scatter a net
Over the face of the deep.
 
by Phillis Levin -  Poetry (2016)