Three Good Things

The Think Write Thursday topic for  today "is to write about 3 good things that happened this week. We all know that focus on the GOOD is GOOD for us so let's do it!" 

35048349454_2103eaa287_h1.  A while I posted about my newest hobby, Postcrossing. Every few days I receive a postcard from a different Postcrosser somewhere in the world. This week I reached the milestone of 650 cards (coming and going). I have "met" some of the nicest people from hundreds of cities.  In just a few words we share our hopes, dreams, a little about our lives, and the local where we live. The world feels smaller, closer, more connected.

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2. Packing (yes, me!) for a trip to Southern Utah. I have a date with Will and company. I'm heading south with Camille and we're going to see Guys and Dolls, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Shakespeare in Love. Since I haven't been to the Festival in years, I'm very excited! 

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3. One good thing that's coming up is tomorrow is my LAST DAY AT WORK!! I am sad to leave my work friends, as they are all caring, lovely people. We have worked together for many years, through thick and thin, through change after change, and milestone after milestone. I feel very fortunate to have had them in my life. Every photo in this post is from my office view. I see it in the morning when I'm walking into the building and I'm going to miss it very much!

On to a new adventure!


Piled High & Unraveled

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This beautiful pile of knitting (3 projects) and sewing (Alabama Chanin T-shirt), plus oodles more great crafting ideas, are awaiting my attention. I have stacks and stacks (shelves and shelves, too) of books to read and explore, plus tons and tons of other things ways I'd rather do than sit in front of a computer screen wishing my life away. Friday is my last day in the office and I hope to have more time to spend attending to my projects and ideas. I'm rather stoked about that!

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I'm closing in on a Bingo and might even have one by Friday! I'm nearing the end of Home by Marilynne Robinson, which is the middle book of the Gilead Trilogy. I loved Gilead and Lila, but have not found Home quite as compelling. However, it's still good reading. Maybe if I'd read them as they were published I would have been more receptive, but I don't think Home has as strong a story as the other two. 

Kat has a listing of all the other participants with Unraveled Wednesday posts, so head on over!


Beginning

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Last Friday my yarn arrived from The Woolen Rabbit, a beautifully Blush (the lightest color) with the perfect compliment of Sweet Cheeks. So pretty, so lovely! I am ready! For the last four summers I've joined Kirsten's TTL Mystery shawl KAL.  Of all the shawls I've knit, three of my most worn are shawls from Kirsten's TTL Mysteries. I am a user of shawls of all colors, sizes, and styles. Winter's chill is kept off with the extra layer of lace and summer's artificially cool air conditioning about drives me wild. Knitting is a slow process any more and I take a long to finish a project. In between beginnings I forget how wonderful it feels when starting something new, something mysterious, something lacy. Kim's Opal might be my favorite yarn ever.

I am beginning the count down to July 14th. It hadn't crossed my mind to check how many days were left in my worklife, but yesterday Bonny reminded me I had only 23 days to go! How did that happen? I am thrilled! The company can't extend my stay as I'm heading out on a road trip July 17th!  I see knitting, reading, and lots of time with friends (among other things) in my future. Yay, summer! Yay, me! The countdown begins!


Waterlogged Unraveling

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Yesterday was chilly, rainy, dreary, which was bad enough, but a water main leak, added insult to injury. The leak had gone on for some time as the lawn was saturated and our neighbors tiny garden emulated a pond. The management dug a hole to find the pipe and diverted the water away from the houses. A contractor has been called to do the digging and replace the broken pipe. I don't think our home was ever in danger, but the lawn and sidewalk may not be as lucky. The repairs could happen Thursday, maybe Friday, or even into next week. At least the beautiful hostas in my little front door garden will not be troubled. 

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My reading is going as slowly as my knitting, but The Essex Serpent is in my ear and (so far) living up to expectations. I've enjoyed getting to know each character, in turn, and find the story entertaining and interesting. The mystery of the serpent has me wishing I had more time to listen. Going even more slowly is my rereading of LaRose. Last year I listened to this book, but reading has a way of taking me more deeply into the story. Roz Reads is a group that comes together to fully explore a book and immersing myself in the book makes the discussion more fulfilling and interesting. I love listening to books, but seeing words on paper can be very powerful.

34483594923_45a36d1da7_kTo end on a bright and colorful note, this past weekend I was able to plant our carport pots with brightly colored petunias. Petunias may not be a favored flower, but I've tried all sorts of pants and nothing holds up in excessive heat of summer (which, so far, hasn't made an appearance) nor to my usual neglect. The petunias are expected to thrive no matter the conditions (that's my expectation, in any case). 

Last week I forgot to link to Kat who is the friend who started this whole Unraveled Wednesday fun.


Unraveled By Stripes

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For the past year I've had a bit of a thing with stripes. This is my fourth (and final, for now) stripy pair of socks. In started this year long odyssey because I was inspired by Carole's colorful stripy socks, as well as, aided by her pattern Picot Edged Socks. Knitterly Things Vesper Sock yarn is also a big draw, as it create perfectly spaced stripes. I'm taken with the latest offering "Boardwalk Games" but think I need a break from my current run of stripes only sock knitting.

I'm far from a Bingo, but I have finished two books and started two more. Moonshine is a book I recommend to NO ONE! It was too vulgar and strange and I could only make it half way through. It's my Bingo and half way (in my book), with a tale this bad, is a win! I finished Midwinter, but found it a little too spare, even lackluster, but Melrose did a good job of framing the differing avenues grief can take. I'd rate it a 3 1/2. At least I know my next book is a great one!

I've started to reread LaRose, which is Roz Reads choice for June. I am just as brokenhearted the sec0nd time through and enchanted once again by Erdrich's prose and story telling acumen. This is a must read, imo.  I'm also starting another book I've wanted to read for months, The Essex Serpent. I'll keep you posted! A few of the books titles I had written on my card have changed and I expect a few more will over time. This card is a WIP and one that will be tweaked and bent over the course of the summer.

So, what's the last book your read and are you playing along with Summer Bingo?


6 on 6

June 6th sneaked in and smacked me upside the head. So many, too many, things are happening. I decided to take a cue from Honoré and write a 6 on 6 post for today.

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Our weather went from freezing (literally) to near 100 degrees within a couple of weeks. Nature is crazy, this year more than any other! In actuality, the garden is doing well with the weather extremes, but I think they'll be happy when a cool down comes in the end of the week. Smith and I went to a small local nursery last week and bought flowers for the patio and a few more peppers and tomatoes for the garden.  I'm excited about the garden, more so this year than in the past, because...drum roll, folks....

My retirement date is July 14th!!! Seriously, I had doubts this day would ever come, but a few stars aligned and helped it happened.  The plan is to make my new life into something that doesn't involve a job, or at least, a full time job. Summer looks like a blank pallet ready for me to mix the paint.

I'm working on my Book Bingo card, but because last week was just so busy, I'm feeling a bit behind in my reading. That is something I think will change (in July!!!). The list of books I want to read grows and grows and I may be doing some finagling to get a few titles  work--like putting a round pegs into a square holes.  I am the boss of my Book Bingo, right? Sing it! However, I do not see a Bingo in the near future. 

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I knit, therefore I am. Yes! Knitting feeds my soul. It is my social life, my creative life, and the "thing" that grounds me. I'm quite in love with the two projects on my needles and I am anticipating the TTL Mystery Shawl, which is set to drop on the 15th! Kim from The Woolen Rabbit has my order for two beautiful colors of yarn (Think Pink!) and I'm ready and willing to get started. On the Spice Market may be set aside for the month, but here's a little 411 about it. The yarn is Marianated Yarns Dragon Scales Set, with Steady Rain as the main color. If I had to guess, I'm about a third of the way through.

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Clever Octopus collects craft supplies that are no longer wanted by other crafters. They have yarn, fabric, paper, tiles, beads, paints, etc., etc., etc. (on and on). Instead of buying brand new supplies you can pick up perfectly useful, and almost like new, supplies for your projects. If needed they offer guidance to help with your effort, plus they have organized classes. A few weeks ago I took a mosaic class at the Clever Octopus (Susan was there, too.) I signed up for the class, as it's an art I've long wanted to explore. My rather primitive blue bird makes me smile and I learned a few techniques in one short evening. The mosaic brick now greets visitors at my front door. Did I mention I'm retiring?! Exploring new crafts, ideas, and techniques is one thing I plan to do with my "free" time.

I joined the neighborhood community center and have been going to water exercise classes. The ladies are fun, talkative, and welcoming.  Some have been going for years and have a lot of tips on what to do with your time once retired. They told me about the senior center next door, but I don't feel like a senior citizen! The workout has been good for my hip, but I'm headed for X-rays because the pain is fairly constant. Hopefully, strengthening the muscles will only do it good! 


Hello Friends

Truly, I was shocked to see my last post was on March 7th.  The intent, at that time, was to stick around and continue to post when I could, but life–I guess that's it–just got in the way.

BBingoI am totally incapable of capturing a digital version of my card.

To get back into the swing of things I'm planning to join in the fun of summer knitting and reading. Thank you to Mary for stepping up to keep Book Bingo alive! She's created new Bingo cards, adding some great genres, as well as, hosting the link on her side bar. I pulled a card, hit refresh until I got a card I was excited about and I'm thinking through possibilities. Reading away the summer–from Memorial Day to Labor Day–does not sound like a bad idea! I've a few ideas and I'm exploring a few more. Suggestion from friends are very welcome!

SpicyBad pictures abound!

My next plan of action is to join Kat's Summer Knit-Along for the sole purpose of finishing the two projects I have had on the needles forever! AND, perhaps starting something new (hopefully, a sweater).  My knitting mojo has been back and forth, strong and weak, certainly not at full steam, plus I've been distracted by reading and stitching an Alabama Chanin t-shirt.

I thought I'd stop in and say hello, tell you I'm planning to come back (if anyone is around to read) and catch you up with what's in my future (and past). That's the plan! I've missed you all!

I'm looking forward to more Unraveled Wednesday posts!


Sock Stories

In October of 2009, a time I was known as an obsessive sock knitter, I signed up for Kirsten's Mystery Sock. I liked the pattern so much I started a second pair, and knit them so quickly, both pair were finished by the end of the month, which was quite a feat (hahaha). However, one pair was uncomfortable, the only difference being the yarn used. Both yarns were lovely, but, perhaps there was a difference in row gauge. The other pair I still wear all the time and they fit nicely, but the uncomfortable pair was relegated to the back of the closet.

Sock knitting waned from my usual habits in 2011, which means my sock drawer has had no replenishing. If a pair wears out, a hole is left in the drawer with nothing to fill it and, sadly, as it turns out, 2016 was a very bad year for the drawer. Many of my longtime sock companions bit the dust, some of which could be repaired, but many were beyond hope or help.

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Because I could see the attrition rate was high I knew something needed to be done. My feet cannot tolerate anything other than hand knit socks and the solutions were few: start new socks (and I did) and, (two quicker solutions) stitch up a few holes, and rescue any abandon projects. I dug around the closet, found the banished sock, ripped the toe off (it was painless, I assure you), and picked up the stitches. Thank goodness I had plenty of yarn, as the used yarn was quite a curly mess. To make sure they fit this time around, I added a repeat, then reknit the toe.

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You can count me one very happy person as the Sunshine socks now make my feet very happy!

You might remember the one and only pair of socks I finished last year. I loved their red/black/gray stripy-ness and decided I had to use more of my stash and knit more stripy goodness. (My sock stash has been gathered over many years and holds much secret potential).  This time I picked a Knitterly Things Vesper Sock called Fire and Ice. How I love this colorway! I was totally entertained and the only thing that slowed my progress, this time around, was knitting two shawls (not one, but TWO. I'll tell you about them later, we're talking about socks, remember?) 

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As you can see the Fire and Ice socks came out beautifully and I am thrilled to have them on my feet. It is still winter in Utah, although spring does get a day or two to call her own once in awhile. The momentum of sock knitting is still with me, which means as soon as one pair is finished another pair is cast on. For color inspiration I went with spring! 

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See? More stripy goodness (and there is still more in my stash!). Deets later, friends. 


Yes! Howdy March!

I've been waiting for you ALL WINTER!

I LOVE you March! Let me count the ways.

1. I LOVE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! You can hate on me all you want, but I love it. Time change is a sign of spring and I love spring! Plain and simple. #bringitonicantakeit

2. Well, March IS my birthday month so it would hard not to like March for that reason alone! Right? I may be getting old (my body lets me know daily), but I enjoy a good reason to celebrate and any birthday is worth celebrating. cheers

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3. May may be known as the flower month (April showers and all that), but March is when the first colorful blooms start to show off. Pansies are coming alive (if you planted them last fall) and bulbs, bulbs, bulbs! Daffodils, jonquils, crocus, and early tulips have a way of making their way out of the ground and into the added sunlight. They will make themselves known by growing up through several inches of snow and they will survive, even thrive, after being pounded down by the worst of weather conditions. Spring is intrepid and so are her flowers. #lovemesomeblossoms

4. Sunlight, sunlight, sunlight, sunlight.  Nuf said.

5. March is a month of varied conditions, which (can) include many warm days, days that are all about patio time! I enjoy the fickleness of March weather. Sun, snow, rain, or all three on the same day...I'm speaking of pure entertainment. There may be  acts you don't care for, but it's a matter of hours, or maybe minutes, before better weather comes along. Spring is a roller-coaster ride of conditions. Wheeee!

IMG_0061This was last week--the sign now says 2 weeks to Spring Planting!

6. GARDEN! Time to plant root vegetables, broccoli, cabbages, and if you're very brave, peas and lettuce. You'll only lose a few seeds if things freeze. This is a gamble worth taking, believe me! #justdoitidareyou

7. March is my Bloggiversary! Vicki tallied our time in blogland at 13 years! OMG! It all started in 2004 and that seems eons ago. There was a "gang" of us, many of whom no longer blog, but we're still friends (phone calls, emails, snail mail, Instagram and FB (which, if you can stand it, is a good way to stay connected).  I'm happy to (still) be here. 

8. March is the beginning of long, light-filled evenings. On Thursday evenings throughout the winter a group of us gardeners g0t together at the local burger spot. We talked garden talk, making plans, egging each other on, and betting on who would have the first peas. This month we plan to meet in the garden and cook our own burgers on the grill. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we can enjoy our first garden evening (maybe towards the end of the month). 

9. Renewal! Everything I've mentioned about March helps awaken me from the funk of winter's dark and chill. The changing sky, the warming air, the longer days, and the smell of the earth, fill my senses. I am reminded that life is ever changing, that the worst is oft short-lived and, always, from the dark comes light. Spring fills me with hope as I reconnect in a visceral way to nature. I no longer need to stay deep within my home, cowering from the frost and gray--I know the light and warmth are coming.

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10. I am looking forward to seeing the gardens at Red Butte come alive during March. February, your snows covered the little snow drops, which I didn't get a chance to see. BUT, March days will surely be warmer and the bulbs will start to show off, creating beautiful flower beds of many colors. (The new water conservation area opens in May!) #gardensforever

Welcome, March! I LOVE YOU! 

Think, Write, Thursday brought to you by Carole and Kat


Blog Limbo (or Limbo Blog)

Thank you, for your emails, messages, comments, and snail mail! You have lifted my spirits and made me feel appreciated and loved. I have to admit, the luster of blogging has worn a little thin and I am struggling to come up with content. It isn't that I'm not "doing" stuff, I am knitting (and have several finished projects), reading (book after book), hanging out with friend here and there, and, admittedly, dealing with winter's blahs (maybe not so well). 

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Not to sound down on myself but (what is is), my Month of Letters never really got off the ground. I have loved receiving letters and I'm working my way through replies, but my daily missives have been more like "once in awhile" missives. I struggle a bit with the "daily" thing and I can't really tell you why. I knit daily and read daily, but they feel like a reflexive things, something ingrained and a part of me, not something extra. This is the first year I've had a problem meeting the MoL goal. Writing and receiving mail is a real treat and you can't do one without the other. I guess I could make the excuse that life is busy and I have felt stressed, but busyness is just an excuse for not following through and it is time for a change. (Don't you just love the new Oscar de la Renta stamps?)

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In any case, I've come to say hello and to try and regain the habit of blogging, because I need to do a better job of staying in touch with my friends. Have you missed my mountain? In January we had day after day of the "dreaded inversion", but the air has been cleaner since February 1st. This is the time of year for crazy mixed up weather and, after several days in the 60s, winter has returned. The good part is all that mountain snow! Look at how the peaks are weighted down with the glorious white powder. Makes me wish I could ski! 

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During the warm spell, a few of my crocus decided to make an appearance. Their day in the sun was short-lived, as nature goes through her usual tug-o-war. Just wait 5 minutes...