Wild Wednesday

19954351785_d565e57046_oI totally lucked out with this shot. While the jays grab the peanuts I snap and snap pictures, one after the other, and sometimes get lucky as I did last Thursday. Dad was hiding a peanut in a nearby tree, mom is on the ledge and baby is the one flying.

The scrub jays endlessly entertain me as they fly between tree and bush, side to side, gliding through the air with ease.The baby still has a beautiful pristine tail and perfect wings that have not been beat up by time. He hasn't begged or fluttered his wings in the baby way for some time now, but he does call for mom and dad if he's left alone for too long. He/she searches the skies for wanted company (or if magpies are in the area) and calls and calls. However, the pretty little thing seems to be doing well alone and is left to his/her own devices.


Blueberry Day

Some climates are lucky enough to grow bounteous forms of blueberries and cranberries, which I'm sure you've seen on Carole's blog, blueberries don't grow as well in Utah because our climate is more arid. The blueberries I find are seasonal and when I can find organic, plump, fresh and glorious berries, I buy them. Often I end with a large bag of frozen berries from the Big Box Blue Warehouse store. 

I eat blueberries every day. I love the pop and flavor in my mouth and the healthy benefits they give, but I am not a baker, in fact, I really don't like to bake because baking GF is an art I have no desire to pursue. I'll toss a boxed cake or muffin together once in awhile, but that's about it. Which means my list will not include much in the way of baking. I eat GF and I take the easy road. No pies, no cakes.  So, today I give you the abbreviated version of Ten on Tuesday

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1. Almost every day I make a bowl of GF oatmeal. I have a special way of making it. It take 2 minutes and 3o seconds in the microwave (I breaking the time into segments and watch carefully for spillovers). After it is fully cooked, I sprinkle on a little coconut sugar (1/2 a tsp) and toss in a handful of blueberries (frozen or fresh), then sprinkle a little bit of crunchy GF granola. It's a tasty ritual, which I enjoy with a small pot of tea. 

2. I love blueberries, whether fresh or dried, toss into a green salad. If they're fresh they pop in my mouth and deliver all their tasty sweetness. Dried blueberries are very good, but hard to find and/or expensive, but if I run across them I'll enjoy their chewy goodness.

3. I love eating a handful of  blueberries right out of the fridge. I love the freshness and the flavor, each little berry covering my tongue with its tart sweetness. 

4. Once in awhile I'll make a smoothie, but it's not a usual event. Blueberries are very good at disguising other flavors, like greens. 

5. We love our coconut milk ice cream and my favorite thing to put over the top is a mix of berries, or just blueberries, depending what's on hand.  That's my treat when it comes to good, sweet things to do with blueberries. 

What is your favorite way to eat blueberries? And, can you pick them fresh where you are? 


Weekending After a Break (Did you miss me?)

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My weekend was 3 days long, due to the celebration of Pioneer Day  Pie 'n Beer Day. Smith and I had lunch together, enjoying pizza (The Pie has great GF pizza) and home brewed root beer. We spent as much of the day together, doing errands, working in the garden, and, also, fit in a trip to the local nursery to pick up seed potatoes for fall crop. I found elegant stones and shadows of plants, stamped into the cement and enjoyed looking down to find the treasures, as we walked around and looked at the plants. 

Friday nights plan to go out with a friend fell through, so I spent the evening on the patio reading, sipping wine, and watching the occasional firework that filled my night sky. The neighborhood loves their fireworks and I did not feel left out of the celebration. 

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Saturday I made a trip to my favorite garden, Red Butte Gardens and found a wealth of beautiful blossoms, buzzing bees, and even a baby bunny hiding out behind an information sign. 

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Sunday Smith had the day off and we made a Farmer's Market run just to have an early lunch of delicious tamales. We bought salsas for our afternoon snack, and enjoyed wandering around looking at the beautiful produce, but we did not buy, as our garden is bursting with the goodness of the earth. Later that night we had a lovely dinner and prepared ourselves for another work week.  

Why is it that even a 3 day weekend is gone in lightning fast time?


Only Two Days

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Many of us bemoan the oh-so-short weekends that leave those of workin' a job only two days to play.  But, my weekend was kicked off in great style, as I had dinner with a friend, even ate churros for dessert, and then watched as the setting sun did its best to amaze us. 

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My Saturday was filled with a family reunion, time Uncle Cliff, my mom's brother, and a visit with my sisters.  We played Bingo, the traditional game of our family reunion. My grandpa worked for the Rio Grande and when they closed down Union Hall he was the recipient of their Bingo cards. Last year I didn't come close to winning a single game, but this year I won four times. I guess things even out over time. 

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It was fun to catch up with my sisters for an afternoon. Leeann lives about 40 minutes away, but we're always running in different directions and rarely take time to meet. Melanie lives in Arizona, but promises we'll see each other more often as her daughter now lives in SLC. 

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I'll let you in on a family secret. Last year I told you about my father's side of the family and my Great-great-great-great grandfather who was a polygamist. This year I found out my great-grandfather on my mother's side (her step-father) was also a polygamist. He even went to jail for not divorcing his 2nd wife. Polygamy is no laughing matter, but I got a kick out of this picture. 

The weekend also included time in the garden, time with Smith, time at the farmers market with Cheryl, a little time to knit, and not enough time to do a dozen other things I'd like to fit in.

So tell me, how did your weekend go? 


The Early Days

Something shifted in my life, I'm not sure exactly what or why, but before 2010 I was more productive when it came to knitting (and probably, everything else).  I've been thinking about some of the very large projects I've knit in past and, while searching through the blog, found two of the very large shawls from the early days.

HangingvinesOne of the largest shawls I ever made was Hanging Vines, which was knit with Judy's beautifully dyed single from her company, Ball and Skein. I remember how quickly the lace repeat was committed to memory and how easily the yarn flowed through my fingers. Once finished, I carried it along on a hike and had a great photo shoot at Willow Heights Lake.

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The next big shawl, and one of my most favorite shawls ever is, Hidcote. The photo shoot for this shawl is a forever favorite too, as Smith and I took pictures when we visited Bryce Canyon where the views can't be beat!

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The shawl is gigantic, soft, elegant, and simply stunning. I'm not sure I ever wore it again, but it's going to a fine new home, as my sister will be wearing when she marries in September. I'm sure this shawl will engulf her, but I think she knows I'm surrounding her with love.

Happy America's Day, friends! Have a safe and delightful 4th of July!


My Home

Carole asked us to come up with "10 Things You Love About your Home" and I had to think about it for awhile. We've lived in this place for 35 years and it is getting a little tattered and dated. It needs new carpet, new furnishings and a new a/c unit, new kitchen, and a few other repairs.  But, when it came right down to it, I had no trouble coming up with a list for ToT.

1. I love that we live in a condo, which is more like a row house or a townhouse, with 3 floors (including a basement). We have no lawn to mow, no snow to remove, no roof to replace, and a mailbox that drops the mail right into the house. Condo living is the best.

2. I love that we have a big front lawn and tons of trees throughout the grounds. We only care for our front garden (if we choose). The other big amenity is the pool!

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3. I love that when I drive home this is the view I see. 

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4. I love the stained glass window, made by a dear friend, which sits above the front door. I like that the front door faces north and the living room stays a little cooler because of it. But as you might guess, the back of the house faces south and that can make the patio unbearable in very hot summers. Like now.

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5. I love our patio, when it's not 105 in the shade. We use the patio much of the spring and fall and some summer evenings are very comfortable, too. (Just not right now.)

6. I love the layout of first floor and the open living room, kitchen, and dining area, as it has a nice flow and (if we like) it is easy to entertain (not that we have in years).

7. I love that our bedroom is large, large enough we were able to build in a wall of cupboards and drawers, as well as an area for a TV (rarely used) and a small stereo. 

8. I love we have a dozen large closets.  If you care to know--in the basement we have a double closet in the bedroom/office. In the hallway there is a double closet and a single closet, as well as, a space under the stairs, and to make the basement space even better, a large walk-in pantry. The main floor has a paltry pantry, a broom closet, and a coat closet. Upstairs we have a wealth of closets, the deep and double wide linen closet, double closets in the guest room, and a walk-in closet in our bedroom. Unfortunately, they are all stuffed (not by me, I might add). 

9. I love our new furnace (the one we replaced was 44 years old) and that it works with our ancient air conditioning to cool the house. THANK GOODNESS!

10. I just asked Smith what his favorite thing about our house was and he said "YOU" and I am now in tears. 

And, as everyone else is likely saying today, there really is no place like home.


You Might Say It's Hot

The weather this weekend was what you might call blistering. It was 105 on our patio both Saturday and Sunday. It felt like a blast furnace when you walked out the door. We did our best to stay cool, mostly by hibernating.

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But, Saturday, we decided it was too hot to cook, so we headed to our favorite Mexican place and ate dinner on the patio. We weren't the only ones enjoying shade of the umbrellas and eating guacamole (and drinking ice cold drinks).  Later that night, after it had cooled down to 97, we walked over to the high school to watch the sunset. We could see the air quality was poor, but the sunset was beautiful, nonetheless. 

Beading progress

My indoor activity was beading my Alabama Chanin T-shirt and I made good progress. Placing each bead is time consuming and slightly fiddly, but I've only a couple more small petals to do on this side of the T. On the other side of the neck, I've only started to cut the detail. Nothing about the process says fast, but I'm enjoying every stitch. 

I'm looking forward to the the weekend, as I took Thursday off to spend with Smith, which means I'll have 4 days off. We can only hope the weather will cool down by then. 


A Little Alcohol*

Susan wanted to take an art class and asked (on FB) if anyone would like to join her. I signed up right away, as the art form looked like fun. Painting with alcohol paints has no form, no exactitude, no sketching, no drawing, just, movement of color.  (Just search for "alcohol ink painting" and you'll get the idea.)

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Our teacher, Sarinda Jones, gave a demonstration of the medium, shared a few of her techniques, then set us free to work with our own creative juices. The class was a little fast and furious, fun to do, but too short, without much time to play, but, nonetheless, we had a good time. Eileen, Susan, and I want to try it again and we have plans to do just that.

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Susan put a lot of thought into her piece, puzzling and planning what to do next. We each created a couple of pieces and had fun with the process. 

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In the beginning I had no notion of where I was going or what I was doing and I now know I used too much of the blending solution. It made the colors run together and took away the texture.

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After the pieces had time to dry (which doesn't take long) I went back for a second layer of tweaking and liked the results a little better. The class gave me a better idea of the medium, how the colors and elements work, and I look forward to more play time with this art form. 

*No alcohol was imbibed during this event. 


Who's Your Daddy

Just so you're not confused, this is my dad about the time he was engaged to my mom, maybe even a little earlier, which is cr .1948-49.

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This is where I admit I don't really remember, or know much in any case, about TV dads. Most of what I think I remember is what I watched as a kid in the 1950s. My TV watching was limited and after I left home I didn't pay much attention. Even today, I don't know much about TV. So, when Carole asked us to list our favorite TV dads, I was at a loss. Furthermore, I admit, I had to Google TV dads! Seriously, I couldn't think pasted Leave it to Beaver and Ben Cartright, but Google did its job and my memories came flooding back. Here's my Ten on Tuesday list of my Favorite TV Dads. 

Ward Cleaver -Leave it to Beaver

Andy Griffith - Andy Griffith Show

Dick Van Dyke - Dick Van Dike Show

Robert Young - Father Knows Best

Ben Cartright - Bonanza

Ozzie Nelson - Ozzie and Harriett

Sky King- Father of a GIRL!  

Archie Bunker - All in the Family

Tom Corbett-Courtship of Eddie's Father

Cliff Huxtable - The Cosby Show

I loved Sky King (Google didn't help me there), Leave it to Beaver and the Dick Van Dyke show. As it is I only watched small portions of the other TV shows, so if you really want to know more about TV Dads you'll have to follow the other ToT posters. But, before you go, tell me your favorite TV Dad. 


Green Weekend

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Smith had the weekend free, which is a very rare occurrence and we took full advantage of the time. Our front garden was denuded, which was our wish, and we spent the weekend planting anew and making the garden our own. The garden had not been updated since the 1970s and we felt the bushes needed to be removed and the ground replanted. Withe the consent of our neighbors we added the Japanese Maple and planted shade loving plants, which should fill in over time. The idea is to add ground cover as needed. I'm very pleased with the way it's looking, so far. 

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Smith harvested the first of the garlic from our big garden and it looks like this year will be a banner year. With the temperatures climbing we try to keep the garden watered and the early plants from  feeling deprived of moisture. It means at least a trip a day to keep the garden hydrated.

The weekend was spent in a blur of gardening and time with friends, loving the sun, wishing the summer were longer, and enjoying the heat. Truly, you'll think I'm crazy, but I am happy to soak up the sun (as I've said) and enjoy the heat as I can. The temperatures will climb into the 100s this week and will be even hotter next, which I will admit, is a little too much (and too early) for my delicate constitution (JK), even if it is dry heat. In any case, bring on the summer!