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November 2017
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January 2018



Today, just as the Solstice arrived (9:28amMST) the sun came through the clouds and lit up the ice and snow that had fallen during the night. I ran out to snap my photo (fully clothed) and had a nippy wind enveloped me. Tis a very chilly day and I was glad I'd decided the roads were too icy to drive to exercise class earlier.  


Hopefully, the roads will be in better shape when I head out for lunch with a long time friend. I have enjoyed my week of celebrating with people dear to me. Tomorrow night my niece and her family will be here, so it's also day of grocery gathering and last minute errands. I will try to finish up details, as I'd like some time doing as Mary does. Smith works late tonight and twinkle lights and knitting are on the agenda. 

Also, inspired by Kym, I'm making a Solstice playlist to accompany my day. She and her commenters have quite a few suggestions of which I have several already on my Pod (#lovemyipod). 

Happy Solstice, everyone! Head over to Carole's to see other 3TT posts. 



Watching...all three of the amaryllis grow, their buds coming through at varies stages. The spendy bulb has only a tip of a very red bud, but the other two are pushing through and there may be blossoms during the gray days of mid-January when they are most important. 

Reading...this interview on NPR with Jason Isbell and Amanda Shire (his wife) which is well worth your time to read. It's called Naming the Beast and they speak up on subjects many people shy from or ignore altogether. They are brave and talented and use their dual voice to share their thoughts. There are two videos included in the interview that showcase both musicians. 


Knitting...with friends! The best time to knit is when you're with friends. And, sleeve(s)!! My sweater is growing--always slowly--but happily, for me, growing! 

Listening to...Not Christmas music. My current favorite is Lotta Sea Lice by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. The pair are good friends and the both love to play with words and phrases. Their music is poignant, at times, and humorous at others. NPR had them on as guest DJs on All Songs Considered. They share their inspirations and songs from the album. I'm a big fan of NPR music, as I hear a broad range of genres and hear what's new in music. 


Drinking...with friends. The best time to drink is when you're with friends. Fisher is a new (old) local beer and Larry brought Smith a couple of quart cans as a gift. That's Cheryl, photobombing the photo of their three beers and my lowly glass of wine. I've never been more envious of beer drinkers. take a watercolour class from Liz Steel. I may not be much of an artist, but I will have fun learning the process. I like her style and her step by step instructions. Working outdoors, on the go sounds fun, too. Since our winter is going to be mild (and snowless) I may as well. Most of the needed supplies are in hand and I'm planning to get them organize and start work on the first three steps of class before the January 10th start day. 

Itching to...get outdoors and walk, but my knee needs surgery, which can't happen until I see my cardiologist on January 11th. When I get the all clear, I'll see the ortho and (fingers crossed) get the knee working, pain free, again. 


Celebrating...3 years of Postcrossing (and 900 postcards!)!


Delighted by…Santa caught in the tree! I'm not sure he will get free in time for Christmas! 

Not Quite Eye Candy

38177670685_43a633d5c9_oA storm is coming and the air is being mixed, the quality a little more healthy each day. We could have snow on Saturday. A.tiny.bit. A very tiny bit in the valley and a little more in the bereft mountains. Some resorts have had to close and this storm may not hold enough snow to change dilemma. If you look straight up the sky is blue, but grayer towards the horizon. I can see my mountain, but not the Oquirrh Mountains across the valley, as they are still shrouded by a haze. The sun is still diffuse and the air a little on the yellow side. Improvement is welcome!

Happy Weekend!


One, Two, Three


About a year ago I decided to join the Lion's Community Center as it was across the street from my office and not far from our hone. At first I walked the track a few times a week, but when my knees started giving me trouble I looked into swim aerobic classes. When I was still working I could only make it to class once a week, but after retirement I started taking a second, and then a third. Now I go at least 3 times a week and sometime more. The classes are at 8:30, which gives me the rest of the day to do as I need (or wish).


Amaryllis watch has been successful! A nice big bud has coming through in the big box of two The second amaryllis has leave shoots and I think there is the hint of a bud. The Fancy-smancy, bulb which is in my office, has a single leaf growing at a rate that could win the world record for slowness. Kym warmed me fancy bulbs are SLOW and she is right. 


This is my #2017bestnine from Instagram. Everyone of the pictures is brought to you by My Retirement! All the smiles, the time to hike, the weekend getaway to the Shakespeare Festival and Alta, the sweater beginnings, and even time to garden, are all because time is my own. I couldn't love retirement more. 

Joining Carole for 3TT. Check out what everyone else is doing, too! 

Why I'm Unraveled


Monday, around 11:30, filtered by dense air, the sun peeked through the branches of the pine  outside my office window.  Usually the sun comes in and warms my room all day. I knew this could be the last day our mountain was visible. As I turn away a shadow flickered in the corner of my eye and I turn back to see a siskins, or a nuthatches, dancing through the limbs. Every surface was covered with frost and the air around me was chilly. 


That night, as we drove to dinner, it was foggy, as the cold thick air was filled with humidity. By morning many trees were covered with hoar frost, the sky was steel gray, and the mountain completely obscured. The inversion had clamped down over our valley. The temperature stays between 25 (for a low) and 30 (for a high) during inversion periods. 


No one enjoys inversion season, that is unless you head up to mountains, which are bereft of snow, but are a balmy 55+ degrees! That's why it's called an inversion. (get it?}  Smith and I spent part of his day off looking for furniture (gifts to ourselves) and as we were driving home (sans furniture) the sun decided to break through for awhile. This picture may give you some idea of what we're dealing with. The air is worse than the picture shows. The weather peoples tell us a storm could be coming through this weekend (maybe) and the winds could stir the air (big maybe) and bring some relief (maybe). They do not want to get our hopes up, but we have our fingers crossed. Today, we are socked in, again. 


But, in my other world, knitting and reading, things are going really well. I put the body on hold and have started a sleeve. The color in the photo is far from true. The actual color is deeper, more berry and red. I'm reading Eva Trout and while I had trouble getting used to the language, and the seemingly choppy style of her writing, I've grown used to the rhythm. I enjoyed Elizabeth Bowen's other books more, but I think I'll end up liking the story. I wouldn't stick with it otherwise. Life is too short to read bad books. I am also listening to the last in the series of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I have had more fun reading this series than anything I've read in a long time. I heartily recommend all three. 

I'm joining Kat and gang for Unraveled Wednesday

Some Fun Stuff


Friday was a good mail day, although with my Postcrossing addiction, almost every day is a good mail day. This postcard arrived from Russia, a Russian bear in a (what must be) hand knit sweater, with the added plus that the sender had written a very nice note on the back. We're all all about connecting to the world at large. This postcard, along with another I received, was nice on its own, but a great package also arrived.


Cara had decided to do a little destashing, via her Instagram account, and I was the lucky recipient of this pretty yarn. I had to have it as it is self-stripping and I've missed my self-stripping sock addiction. I had to wind up the yarn immediately as my sock drawer is still losing more than it's gaining. Sock knitting must continue as often as possible. Stripes are easy (with Carole's Picot Edge pattern) and pretty yarn is always a plus. This is called Electric Slide by White Birch Fiber Arts. 


You were right about my need to be patient when it comes to an amaryllis blossoming. The fancy-smancy amaryllis has growth! Can you see the little tip of a leaf coming up? Kym said that fancier bulbs can take longer than the "store-bought" bulbs.  All three amaryllis are now sending forth shoots. Time will tell if that includes blossoms. 

And, thank you for your help and suggestions on the Christmas cactus. Your comments and links were very helpful as I learned about its needs and I may have narrowed down the problem. Since I bought the cactus in full bloom last year at Christmas time, I'm fairly sure it is a "Thanksgiving" cactus. All its needs seem to be met (water, cool nights, light, but one thing is lacking and that is the darkness it seems to require. I will try covering it and see if that stimulates flowering. There is always next year, but the cactus grows and looks beautiful, nonetheless, and I will keep hope. 

Cold Mountain


The mornings have been in the low 20s, the days in the high 30s. Days of the "dreaded" inversion are on the doorstep. Soon, this will become the disappearing mountain, as the clear air is eaten up with the smog and fog. Until that happens I am enjoying the sun, even through the filter of inversion, it still warms the skin and feels good on my face. I'm absorbing vitamin D as much as possible! 

Thank you the comments and links about the amaryllis and cactus. After reading through all the information I've come to the conclusion the problem with the cactus is light. I will start covering it at 9:00pm to give it total darkness until morning. The place it sits is cool enough through the night and light enough during the day, but lights are always on around it. We'll see if that works! Thank you for your help!!

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. 


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. 


 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. 


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. 

Tis Wednesday and I am Unraveled


Unexpectedly, my sweater growth! I am nearing the end of the body, about 5" more, then I'll put the body on waste yarn and knit the sleeves. Checking the fit and length will be more accurately figured if all pieces are as they should be. Monogamy has paid off and I expect to stick with this sweater (Brickyard) until it's finished. I am so very excited to be knitting a sweater and telling you about it, as well!

Also, I readeth. The book group I belong to, Roz Reads, has posted books for the first few months of 2018. I've read them all, but will reread, as I want to be ready for a discussion of each. In the meantime, I am reading my own choices, the first being Eva Trout by Elizabeth Bowen.  I read To the North a few months ago and just loved it. Eva Trout has been a little more difficult to get into, but about 4 chapters in (they're short) and I'm hooked. In my ear I have The God of Small Things, which is a reread, but since I read it in 2005, or so, I hardly remember a thing.

Two books the group discussed the last two weeks were, Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson and Hunger by Roxanne Gay. Hunger was an add-on group, as Roz thought it an important book. We all agreed and discussed it in depth for 2 hours. Both books come highly recommend by our whole group. I also read We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. You can read his essays in The Atlantic, but his commentary about each essay is well worth the time. All three authors are award winners and all three authors will make you think outside of your own world perspective. 

Two books I read for fun were Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (of Jessica Jones fame) and The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. Bonfire was okay, if you like whodunits, but The Golden Compass was marvelous. I will continue on with the series as I loved Lyra. 

Today I'm going to run by the library and pick up a copy of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. I've heard good things about the story and I'll let you know how it goes. 

I'm Unraveling along with Kat today. 

Deep Breathing


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.