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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You've seen the wall of my patio in many finished project photos...
..you've seen, and maybe even sat in, the red (plastic) chairs.
You've seen the lantern covered with snow, rain, and knitting...
..as well as, the rocks (and debris) of my zen garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We're all asking the same questions...where did summer go? How can it be September? Some of us are sad to see September arrive, even though it's a beautiful month, full of color, the changing light, and garden bounty. The temperatures of August were cooler than normal and precipitation above normal, which are the main reasons I'm nostalgic for summer's warmth.
Sunday, Smith and I had an unexpected morning together, which meant he could accompany me to the farmer's market. Smith had breakfast and I had GF muffin from GF2, while I did my shopping and watched a couple of people blow huge bubbles. Children scurried to reach up and pop them as fast as they were formed. I enhanced the bubbles with a camera app to make them more visible. Fun, no?
Last week I took Thursday off and we spent the day together, fitting in some of our favorite things to do and even a few chores, as we could. You would expect we'd take a drive up the canyon, breakfast at our favorite spot, and then take a walk around Silver Lake, and we did!
The recent rains had created puddles in various places around the lake and the best photo I took all day was of pines reflected in on the water.
The weekend was wonderful, three day weekends always are, as they offer time for a little bit of everything; time with friends, time for knitting and sewing, time to exercise, cook, and garden, as well as time to regroup to face the work week ahead. I'm happy it will only be 4 days long!
Did you do something memorable this weekend?
This week the sky has been a mix of gray and blue, with gray winning out more often than not. Last night we had another drenching rain, but since Smith planted onions yesterday, that's not a bad thing.
This week the robins have started their day at 5:30am. They're calling in spring and spring is listening. Surely, winter will have her way again before spring wins out, but for the foreseeable future, we're looking at 50-60 degree days and rain, if any precipitation at all.
This week my first (of hundreds) crocus made its way through the detritus of winter, a failed winter, as the woodruff never disappeared or died back. Since March is looking warm, and both January and February were above normal, chances are winter doesn't have a chance. If you're buried in snow I'm not trying to brag, because we'd like more white stuff.
This week Claudia sent me a challenge, her old Pentax camera. She's kindly giving me a chance to try out a more complicated camera. Last night I studied the manual in hopes some of the instructions would sink in. After trying to take a picture, and complaining to Smith the pictures were just black, he replied "maybe you should remove the lens cap". TRUE STORY! I felt a little like Lucille Ball (without the red hair).
Um, perhaps, by Monday I'll have a picture or two to share.
Friday's are quiet days at the office, as everyone is working to catch up their paperwork of the past week. I was typing a letter when my boss came running past my desk with the shocking question of where to find the closest fire extinguisher. He said the dumpster behind the building was on fire. We had to break the glass to get to the extinguisher, where upon he ran out the back door to try his hand at putting out the fire. Smoke billowed up but after emptying the tank into the depths of the can, smoke still poured forth. The fire department had been called, but the police arrived first. One , then two, then three cars pulled up the scene, each with an extinguisher in the at the ready. The police in turned emptied their three onto the fire to no avail. And we waited, still, for the fire truck.
When the big red truck arrived they were unable pull into our driveway, so had to drag a hose across the fence from the property next door.
It didn't take long to put the fire out, as they pumped water on it from the truck and raked through the trash to make sure the fire was totally out.
The diversion was welcome, but too short, and before long, we were back at our desks catching up with paperwork and hoping for another diversion that would take us outdoors, once again, into the beauitful day.
Saturday was a busy day around here. Smith finished painting the guest/fiber/junque room and helped me put everything back in its place. The job wasn't just a paint job, as he had to patch where the 1970s intercom speaker had been and a crack in the wall. He did a great job and the room looks fresh, bright and new. In the next couple of years I hope to replace some of the furniture and make it a cozy place to read, knit, and comtemplate.
I'm going to employ the age old blog trick of randomly rambling. However, if I reveal too much I may have nothing more to say the rest of the week.
February is not January and you have an idea of how happy I am about that. The longass month is gone and it won't be back for 11 more months and with that thought comes relief!
February has so much good packed into a short period of time. There are two things I'm going to keep an eye on this month...the length of the day and the mailbox. So far I have mailed 3 letters for "A Month of Letters" and plan on, at least, 20 more. I will send another today and may even send multiples some days.
The inversion is still with us during the morning hours, but the arc of the sun is higher in the sky, which means there is a good chance sunshine will break through leaving us with a sunny afternoon and the orange hazy glow of a setting sun. It is better than being socked in all day through.
As per usual, I made a silly mistake in my knitting and had to take out several inches of the back of my (future) sweater. Quill languishes, but only because I do not have 4 hands (nor hours and hours to knit. I still love her.) A new, finished sweater is the carrot that keeps me knitting, although knitting is still about the process. I'm loving the yarn and the ease of stockinette.
I just finished a very good book, an intense story, written in a unique style. The Colour of Milk is the tale of a young woman growing up on a farm in 1830s England. It is a heart-wrenching story, which has stayed in my thoughts, and at 160 pages you can read it in a day. Yes, Carole, I read many sad books, but they're SO good!
Ran out of time to take pictures, as the days are just not long enough (as yet), so all you get today is my rambles.