When You Can Use the Word Meshuggeneh

Birdbutt...you should! 

In truth, it's been nice to not think in blog. I have one or two posts in the works, but I haven't had time, or inclination, to pull something together. We have family coming in this weekend, which means planning is taking all my energy and mental power. But then, I started thinking about Ten on Tuesday, and then, came up with a few words, I decided to play along.

1. Maddening - (Smith says I can be) It is hard for me to make decisions and Smith is usually the one trying to get me to make the leap. Colors of paint, tile for bathroom (did finally get there, but it took great effort), where and what to eat....it's all crazy making.

2. Muzzy - I am often confused, vague, or unsettled in my thinking. See above. I can "think" for hours and end up going round and round without ever making a decision.

3. Messy - When I'm working on a project I have stuff everywhere.  Only when push comes to shove do I get my act together and straighten everything up. Smith is the same way. Did I say family is coming? I hope they don't look in the closets. Something could fall on their heads!

4. Magnificent - Aren't we all?

5. Miraculous - If not for the "miracle" of modern medicine I would not be here. Over and over (3 times or more) I have been saved from certain death. I am a walking wonder.

6. Mature - As in aged to perfect.

7. Mediocre - Not great at any one thing, but I keep trying to up my game (a little).

8. Matter-of-fact - I have a tendency to tell it like it is.

9. Mellow or manic - Take your pick.  I can often go with the flow, but there are times I am anxious and on the verge of freaking, but rarely go all the way to freaking. I enjoy the mellow more.

10. Meshuggeneh - hahahahaha 


Keeping It Cool (Or a Day Late and a Dollar Short)

I know I'm setting myself up for a lot of haters, but baby, I love summer! Yes, the 102 degree days and 80 degree nights are a little excessive and uncomfortable, but they are short lived. Winter is LONG and it is cold for MONTHS, so I'm not going to complain and, I know how to stay cool. 

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1. Go Up! Walking or hiking  in the canyons is a great way to stay cool, see some wildlife, and enjoy a new crop of wildflowers. Life is cooler at 10,000'. 

2. Keep water, ice tea, cold beer, and cold white wine in the fridge. And, lots of ice to keep anything you enjoy drinking cold. Hydrate. Water is best, but enjoy your favorite iced drink no matter what it is.

3. Get your housework and yard work done in the morning before the temperatures climb. It's much easier to exercise early in the day, too. 

4. Turn your a/c to a comfortable temperature and spend some time relaxing. Put your feet up and read or knit. Everyone deserve a break from activity when it's too hot to do anything.

5. Head to a grocery store (usually the coldest place around) or a movie theater (second coldest place around).

6. Don't cook. Eat something cold! Salads with fresh veggies, cold poached salmon, and ice cold watermelon (with a spinkle of lime) are my favorites.

7. Eat a rootbeer float, ice cream sandwich, or a dish of ice cream topped with something else cold. One must enjoy the flavors of summer.

8. Sit on the patio under a mister and enjoy the cool breeze and slight spray of water it creates. (I realize this may be something only a westerner would employ.)

9. Head for a pool and enjoy getting your feet wet or, even, taking a dunk. 

10. Spend time below ground, in a cave or a basement. In Utah almost every home has a basement family room and when it just gets too unbearable, that's where you'll find us. 

Utah celebrated all weekend (Pioneer Day!) and some of us (me) didn't want to come inside to play on the computer. I may be a day late for Carole's Ten on Tuesday, but I still wanted to join the fun!


Celebrations

Time away from the blog stretched on longer than I'd intended. I feel I have many good excuses, but excuses they are. If I divide my life into sections of work, home, and family, there isn't one section that isn't in some sort of upheaval. This weekend afford time for peace, time for calm, time of love, and time to regroup. 

This weekend my family came together, from places all across the country, to celebrate Dad's life.  He taught his children to love nature, love music, to be strong, independent, and generous. All 7 of Dad's children were here along with many of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Three of Dad's 4 living siblings were here (which wasn't easy) and many of their children also came. It was wonderful to see cousins I hadn't seen in quite some time. 

This weekend was mostly about Dad, but there were other things going on, too. 

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1. This weekend I listened to my family make beautiful music together. My sisters, nieces, and nephew played two of Dad's favorite hymns at his memorial service. My sister plays the harp, another sister the piano. My nieces and nephew play string instruments, and one of my nieces sings like a songbird. 

2. I listened to my sister and my nephew eulogize my father's capacity for love and acceptance. 

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3. I heard a member of the Armed Services Honor Corp play taps for my father. (I sobbed through the whole thing.)

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4. I watched the Honor Corp gave a gun salute in honor of my father's service during WWII. 

5. As the oldest child, I received the flag from a member of the Corp. I was verklempt as thank them for the flag and for their service to our country.

6.  The weekend wasn't just all about family, it was about friends, too. Sunday I helped a friend move and along with all the work there was love and laughter, too. 

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7. I admired the work of the tile guy who had set in my crazy choice of tiles for the new shower. May I just say how happy I am it looks even better than I envisioned. The contractor, and the tile guy, who were both a little skeptical, admitted it was great. There is still more work to do to finish the job. 

8.I organized and cataloged my inks, cleaned and filled a few of my pens, and wrote postcards, notes cards, and letters. 

9. I fit in a little knitting (working hard on my TTL Mystery shawl) and reading (working towards a Bingo). 

10. To finish off the weekend, Smith and I had dinner out with our neighbors, then came home to watch fireworks from our balcony--the city park to our left and the country club to our right. 

It was a fabulous weekend all around. 

Today Smith and I continue the long weekend by enjoying a day off together. We may head to our favorite spot, but we might decide to try someplace new. I'll let you know later.

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Thank you for the love, condolences, and support you have given me over the last month since my father died. I am very happy he is now at rest. I miss him and I know he would have loved the coming together of his family and the celebration that honored him. 


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.


Relaxing, Being, Doing

Sunday's pop-up showers did very little to dampen our spirits or put a damper on the joy of summer fun. Monday's weather was just as picture perfect as you'd want the first day of summer to be. We used up every minute of our days off as best we could and we're still out there having a great day today!

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1. The first thing I did to kick off my summer was to get a pedicure. My toenails are now a happy summer blue and I enjoy wearing sandals to show off the color. My fingernails are my usual buff only, no polish, thank you. 

2. Smith worked late Saturday night, but I enjoyed a nice evening out with a girlfriend. Girlfriends are the best!

3. There has been a whole lot of reading going on and I am happily ensconced in two fabulous books. I'm listening to Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee, and reading (in good old book form) Chicago by Brian Doyle. I LOVE this book. Doyle wrote one of the best books even, Mink River

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4. Sunday morning I visited my mother's grave, left flowers, and told her I missed her. I've visited her here for 26 years and in a months time both mom and dad will be here.

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5. Sunday evening we visited my niece, Shauni, and had dinner with her family. After dinner she gave us the gift of playing my father's viola. Dad gave it to her a few years ago when she was playing with an orchestra. He had played in community orchestras throughout his life and was so pleased to pass on this lovely legacy to his granddaughter. 

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6. Monday Smith helped Shauni's husband, Jordan, till a patch of ground in their backyard. I stopped by the garden center and bought the plants needed for their first vegetable garden. Now in the ground are tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers, a great start!. Jordan was as pleased as he could be to have a chance to dig in the dirt and create a garden in his own backyard. I predict success will be his. 

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7. Smith and I had the chance to just kick back and relax, sit on the patio, and look up at the incredible blue sky above our heads. I was able to  knit, or read, or chat with the occasional neighbor who stopped by. I sipped ice tea and daydreamed. Usually we have little time for this much chillaxing and we enjoyed every little moment of it. 

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8. I printed my BOTNS Bingo card and found books on my TBR that fit into many of the squares. I may easily get one Bingo, but not sure I can, or want to, go for a black out. I will be asking for suggestions on certain squares as I fill in my card. 

9. I also started AsKatKnits Summer KAL and knit on my sock.  It won't be finished this weekend, as I had hoped, but I am very close and should have a finished pair by the weekend! I also wound the yarn to ready for the TTLMystery Shawl KAL. Wednesday I will begin and hope to get off on a good start. Needles are ready.to.go!

10. Smith and I have still more weekend to enjoy, as we have today off together, too! YAY! We are going to fit in as much work, errands, fun, kick-backing, and joy as we can. Summer is off to a grand start!

You can read more ToT posts over at Carole's blog. How did your first summer weekend go? 


Daily Sound Track

Peararchway

Swimming out of the fog to bring you the 10 Albums I Love, brought to you by Carole's Ten on Tuesday. I have these 10 albums on my iPod (as well as many others I love). Several of them are also in my car and I listen ALL the way through almost every time I listen.

John Coltrane - Love Supreme

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (or Sketches of Spain)

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

Gary Clark Jr. - The Story of Sunny Boy Slim

Joni Mitchell - Blue

Van Morrison - Moondance

Beethoven's Op 133

Aretha Franklin - Aretha's 30 Greatest Hits

Bob Marley - Legend

Let it Bleed - Rolling Stones

Santana - Santana

What's on your list of favorite albums?


Get Out

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As spring warms the air, the flowers start to bloom, and the days grow longer, I love to be outdoors soaking in the warmth of the sun and feeling it on my face.

1. Garden: Watching the garden come awake, the garlic comes first, then potatoes make an appearance. It's time to plant peas, carrots, beets, radish and lettuce. Soon we'll be able to make freshly cut salad.

2. Walk: Early in the season I enjoy walking to the garden as there isn't much to carry home. Later in the season I'll wish for a wagon to haul the harvest home. Maybe that's something I should look into.

3. Picnic: We enjoy eating out of doors, whether the patio or an impromptu gathering at the garden. Going up one of the nearby canyons and finding an open picnic spot is another fun way to spend an evening. The birds will serenade us all through dinner.

4. Read (or Knit) (or Sew): Sitting on the patio with a good book while the wind chimes tinkle and the clouds roll by, is my idea of heaven.

5. Visit: While in the garden we visit with other gardeners and, at home, we'll visit with our neighbors. When friends come for a visit we'll serve drinks on the patio and revel in the fresh air after being cooped up in the house all winter. Yay, spring!

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6. Watch the sunset: Sometimes we'll drive out to the Great Salt Lake, or find a place to view from a higher vantage point, but often we walk to the school yard next door, which gives us a full view of the changing sky.

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7. Watch the sunrise: I step out my back door and watch the sky turn from pink to gold. It's easy, if I get out at just the right moment.

8. Drive through the canyons: The canyons are minutes from our door and I love the drive up any one of them just for the fun of it. I know Big Cottonwood like the back of my hand and love the twists and turns, the beautiful sights of rising peaks, and rushing waters of the stream below.

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9. Watch spring awaken the earth: The crocus have been coming up in waves. Wave one came through a couple of weeks ago and wave two is happening now. I have white blossoms with purple bases, lavender blossoms, and pale yellow blossoms that look so delicate and sweet. I hadn't realized I'd planted so many and I'm very pleased to see they are so lovely.

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10. Just be: One of my favorite things to do is look up into the blue sky, watch clouds come and go, or the jets and their contrails float by. The best time to be outdoors is now before the heat of summer and while the sun is bearable and enjoyable. One day may offer snow, rain and chill, but the next day could be warm and glorious. Take time to enjoy the sampling of all mother nature has to offer. 

 Ten on Tuesday brought to you by the inimitable Carole


Warmth of Wood

Since today is a Ten on Tuesday day, and I have a few cherished objects made of wood, I thought it might be time to make an appearance and share the most special pieces with you. 

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1. As a child, I played with the jewelry my mother kept inside this box. Most of her jewelry was costume quality, which meant she didn't mind if we played with them, but only if we asked permission.

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2. The Japanese table in my living room is the only piece of furniture I care for and would save in the case of a fire. The minute I saw this table I knew I wanted to have it in my life. I've never felt that way again about any other household furnishing.

3. The Japanese box atop the Japanese table, holds a special place in my heart, because Smith and I bought on a trip we took to Seattle (many, many years ago).

4. My rocking chair belies the comment I made in #2. I care very much about my chair, although it can no longer be used as a place to sit.

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5. This box, handcrafted by a dear friend, is one of the most beautiful pieces of woodwork I've ever owned. The photograph does not show its true beauty or charm.

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6. I have several Shaker boxes which I bought with the intent of stitching the lining and etui to adorn the inside. This is the only box I completed before my interests turned to other pursuits.

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7. This African spice bowl was given to us by a dearly departed friend. I keep a few little treasures inside, but mostly, I'm sad to say, it only gathers dust.

8.  I have a multitude of elaborate, handcrafted spindles I no longer use. Each one is unique and simply elegant, a piece of art even though it sits on a shelf.

9. Plus, I own a Schacht 40th Anniversary spinning wheel, which also never use. I keep it dusted and think about using it from time to time, but the act of spinning never calls. 

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10. Long ago a friend asked me to stitch a newborn baby's name on a christening gown. He repaid me with this gift of a Navajo weaving fork, which is more dear to me because of who it is from than it is for its price.

Each item on this list hold a very special place in my life, many marking special occasions or events. I feel very fortunate to have each and every one of them, as well as the memories they invoke. 

 


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!