Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

I bought an expensive bulb to replace the sad and sagging amaryllis that flopped. One of our local nurseries specializes in all things beautiful and this bulb came highly recommended. I have been waiting and waiting. 

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Sadly, I am about to give up. Do I give up? There is no cost for staying vigilant for a couple more weeks, but I have been watching and waiting for this and the two amaryllis below to do show some sign of life since Thanksgiving. There is so much hope in both pots. 

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 Can you see the tiny bit of green coming up on the right? I thought it was a bud, but it's turned out to be just leaves (again). This may not be the year of pretty red blossoms in the Smith house. Oh well, there's always next year. 

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And then, there is the Christmas cactus, which I bought because of Bonny's beautiful specimen. I had hopes it would rebloom this year as I have kept it alive--which is a feat.  Even though it looks good, it shows no sign of blossoming, only a few new leaves. I am not the best at plant care. In fact, I go beyond benign neglect, sometimes forgetting about them altogether.  It's no wonder my expectations are not met. It may be too late to do much, but this week  have tended them, kept a check on their water needs, and have even considered picking up some plant food for the cacti(?).  Oh well, there's always next year. 


Deep Breathing

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As I opened my computer this morning I found there were no blog posts in "draft" form and, even worse, few pictures of the weekend on my camera. So, I went out in  my nightgown to snap a picture of Happy Buddha in his fresh snow coat. He is not fazed.  

The weekend was quiet, except for the mini snow storm, which IS news, but I am saddened by the very real news  that ____ will be here to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, created only a year ago, and Grand Staircase Escalante which was created more than a decade ago. Every day feels more a horror story. I am fazed, but I think of Happy Buddha and work to find balance. 


November 14 - Love Monday

Smith had yesterday off and since I have everyday off, we made the most of it. You gotta love a guy who decides the best way to start the week is by cooking for you. 

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This isn't the best picture of potato pancakes ever, but when Smith decides that latkes are the best way to use the last of our homegrown potatoes, you know it's going to be a grand day. We rarely bake so there wasn't a drop of baking powder in the house. The pancakes were flatter than a pancake, but tasty nonetheless. 


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The day was warm and beautiful, the perfect kind of weather to enjoy the out of doors. Smith loves spending time in the garden where there is always work to be done. He and a friend cleaned up the garden of someone who has had some trouble. They removed old crops and vines, then tilled compost into the ground. Smith had a great time and loved helping someone out. The recipient was very happy her garden will be ready for next year. That's a win-win. 

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Last night we went to our first JazzSLC concert of the season and enjoyed a fantastic show. Cecile McLorin Salvant has a voice she plays like an instrument, a full range of song and sound, mind blowing sometime, excellent all the time. This reduction of Nobody will give you an idea. We loved the show! 

Monday turned out to be perfect way to start a week.


What a Week

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Loving--my friends, who have been amazing in their support because of last Friday's craziness.

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Thinking about--how very, very fortunate we were last Friday when Smith was in a horrendous car crash. A heavy bar (trailer stabilizer) that shouldn't have been on the freeway came crashing through his windshield. Grateful doesn't begin to cover the way we feel. Grateful, amazed and stunned that Smith wasn't injured (or worse). He's having occasional flashbacks, which will pass with time. The car sustained a few thousand dollars damage, but it's fixable. The above picture is of the windshield. The door post is the reason the bar didn't come all the way through. Friends and family--you float my boat. 

Looking forward to (as well as) Dreading--a master bathroom redo. Our world will be in major upheaval for a few weeks, because the bathtub is being removed and the ancient tile replaced. The house is 45 years old and we owe it a little upkeep. Mostly, I'm feeling sticker shock at the cost.

Knitting--when I knit, which hasn't been much this week, I am working on the TTL Mystery. I am only half way through the first clue. Maybe this weekend there will be progress. 

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Dreaming--about the day we can get a dog. Meet Margo's schnauzer, Leo. He let me scratch behind his ears all evening. I know that special spot schnauzers love scritched.  I have puppy/dog fever, but I must wait a little while longer. 

Listening to--Everything from Led Zeppelin to John Coltrane (as well as a book). 

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Drinking--something wonderful and citrusy that Margo concocted when I visited her on Tuesday. She lives in one of our amazing canyons, which is lush with greenery this time of year, plus, it is full of wildflowers (you can see them behind Leo). We had a girlfriends night out, with fish tacos and a lot of conversation. 

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Reading....you can see the next few books in the queue. I just heard from the library that they have one more on hold for me (!)! I am well on my way to a BINGO (or two)! 

Planning....Dad's memorial while he waits in my living room.

Delighted by...my finished socks! Pictures soon. If I show you now I'll have no reason to blog next week.

Watching...The sky and waiting for it to change. Hopefully, the heatwave will break and cooler air will move in. Summer is here.


Some of This and a Little of That

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Stella's second blossom is in the background, fully in bloom, but Sadie ended up stealing the show. They both brought a lot of color into my life and I have missed their show.

I have a long story about our needing a new bed and Smith walking into the electronics section of the furniture store to find iPads on sale. Instead of telling that long and boring story (we did find a bed), I'll cut to the chase and show you the first app I put on my new mini. Yes! I now have the Waterlogue app. Sadie looks pretty grand in her watercolor portrait. 

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My work life has been all consuming and coming home from work to get back on a computer has been about the last thing I desire. Add to that is the major inversion working to cover the sun and fill the air with lavender and yellow tinged layers of pollution. 

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Within the next couple of days I expect this mountain, as well as the sun, to completely disappear. There is no relief in sight, as the only way to scour the air is a wind that will bring in a storm. It could be a couple more weeks...at least. The inversion is the sole reason I dislike winter so much.

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BUT, my birds have come to visit frequently and they offer much joy and entertainment. I leave my desk infrequently, but when I can, the first thing I do is look out the window to see if they're nearby. As soon as I drop peanuts on the ledge, they pop out of the brush and jump to the task. I don't know what I'd do without their companionship and silliness. We've been together for years, about 5 or 6, I think and I hope the relationship lasts for a long time to come. 


Waiting for Winter

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Here in the valley the trees still have their leaves, although they are starting to change color and drop to the ground.  The temperatures have been warm and many flowers still bloom. In the garden we still have marigolds, anemone, a renegade bachelor button or two. At Red Butte we saw many roses still showing off their blossoms and yesterday, Cheryl showed an iris that thinks it might be spring. The temperatures are about to change. We hear rumors of rain and possible mountain snow, but so far, rumors they stay.  I will admit, there is a hint of winter in the air.


In My Office

Another week with lack of blog posts cannot and shall not be. I am here, still trying to keep all the balls in the air. The office seems to be a place of urgencies, which leaves me ready to collapse at the end of the day. However, there is always something going on in the evenings and collapsing is not on the agenda.

Why oh why, is it I cannot pick up my phone and snap and picture?? This lack of thinking is why I haven't joined something like 365 (and no--it would not spur me on).  I am going to try my best to see if I can create something from "nothing". 

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This is how I personalize my work space. The tray under one of my computer monitors holds a few oddments; washi tape (which I have never used but have/had intentions of doing so), a sand dollar from Whidbey Island, WA, and a schedule of pay-dates (very important dates to know). The assortment of "sign here" stickies are used on occasion, but always at the ready.

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On the wall of my desk is a sticky note from Smith, which he long ago tucked into my lunch box.  When I happen to glance up and see it I take it as a bit of encouragement to get through the day. Not only do I use a boatload of sticky notes in the office, they are our #1 mode of communication when we're passing in the night.  The tea mug I bought at my favorite tea shop sits atop a coaster that was a gift from Vicki and it reminds me of all my faraway friends who are there silently sending encouragement, too. 

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One of my favorite things on the desk is a beautiful calendar by which I watch the days pass.  Each monthly scenes is peaceful and season specific. I love turning the page on a new month and seeing a new beautiful landscape (soon!).

My work day is full of paperwork and staring at a computer screen (or two), but having a few dear things near me gives me a feeling of home.  I may as well make my space my own. 


In the Pink

CrabappleIs it possible to get sick of seeing spring flowers, pretty pink blossoms, or for that matter, any flowering plant?

This week I'm trying to keep many balls in the air, and sadly, I'm not a very good juggler. When I have a few minutes I head out into nature, either Red Butte Garden, or into our own little garden where the garlic and peas seem to be doing well. 

The other thing that helped me disappear was a book (I just finished it last night), The World Before Us, where the ghosts held me fast. Beautifully written, part ghost story, part mystery, and certainly a story of searching--searching for answers, searching for memories, and searching for self. This is a book I recommend, as it captivated me, although I have a hard time saying exactly what it was that hooked me. Perhaps, it was just the all of it. 

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There has been a bit of knitting, a little beading (which I'm totally in love with) and, well, as I said, a whole lot of balls to be kept in the air. When I learn to be a better juggler, I'll be back. 


Upheaval

You've seen the wall of my patio in many finished project photos...

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..you've seen, and maybe even sat in, the red (plastic) chairs.

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 You've seen the lantern covered with snow, rain, and knitting...

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 ..as well as, the rocks (and debris)  of my zen garden.

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The wall is being replaced with white plastic, which Smith and I really don't want, but, when you live in a condo, someone else rules and you get what they want. The wall will be fine and we'll do our best to cover some of its whiteness. The lantern will return to its spot in the corner, the rock will be washed and put back in place, and next summer we'll find new furniture.

Hopefully, it won't be too long before everything is back in its place and we'll be able to hang out before the temperatures turn too chilly.


Creatively Speaking

The focus of my creative pursuits has been knitting, with a little of this and that thrown in from time to time. I think about picking up spinning again, but the muse hasn't arrived to call me. Lately, knitting has been taken the bulk of my leisure time, which goes for a premium, at the moment. 

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However, some of that time has been eroded away with the addition of my smart phone. Taking pictures, and adjusting the photos for the best outcome, has offered me another way to be creative. Some of you have asked which apps I use to enhance my pictures and the app I find I use most is Snapseed, although I use it in conjunction with other apps, such as VSCO Cam, Instagram, and Afterlight. More apps are created for iPhones than for Androids, and while there are a couple of apps I'd like to have, I find, overall, I'm happy with my choice.

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There is another road I've been enticed down, a bit of a slippery slope, so I hear, and that's the Alabama Chanin road. Hand-sewing isn't new to my repertoire, as I once considered myself an embroiderer, but embellishing clothing and hand sewing a garment together, wasn't anywhere on my radar. Vicki's projects were my first introduction to the AC style and my imagination was immediately captured. 

I held off as long as I could, but eventually had to give in as the attraction was too great. Instead of a garment, my choice was the already stenciled, cut and ready to sew market bag. The process has been enjoyable and rewarding. I'm looking forward to the next step of cutting some of the shapes so the bottom layer to shows through. Stay tuned.