3TT - Of This and That


For some time now I've wanted to stop by a vintage shop that's on my usual route. Their time of business and my time of leisure haven't quite coincided until last week. My main reason for stopping was to look for vintage stationary and to see if they had porcelain teacups that weren't outside my budget, as most teacups in vintage store are. I don't remember the name of the shop, but she had one box of usable stationary and the most beautiful pink teacup (Wedgewood) that was the nicely priced. Score! Exciting!

Last night the sky above the garden looked painted, so vibrant and clear. The clouds were the tail end of a cool (?) mass that just made the humidity higher (20% is high around here) and rose our hopes for rain. Rain it did not and no precipitation is in sight. We're burning up, wildfires rage, mostly man caused, but now we have new fires due to dry lightning. So far, July has been its usual dry, hot, miserable self. 


One of our gardeners has spend the last 6 years growing artichokes. No one has ever seen artichokes grown in Utah, but she's babied her plants along and now gets about 50 chokes a year. She leaves one or two to blossom which is one of the most wondrous sights. The flower looks very much like a large thistle. I love how the bees burrow down between the spikes to reach the pollen (one is in the lower right). This blossom is about 4" or so across and about as vibrant a purple as you'll ever see. 

Have you seen anything wondrous this week? 

Making lists on 3TT with Carole and the gang

3TT - January


If you've been reading my musings of the last 14 years you'll know I do not like January, but this January does not deserve a bad rap for the usually bad reputation of past January's. There may have been a week or so of inversion, but overall she was warmer, softer, a little more generous, and seemed to blossom into a new, happier self. But, GOOD-BYE, JANUARY!

1.The amaryllis that came into my life were real show offs and I'm glad there were chronicled throughout the month. The show continues into February as Crimson's second stem is in full bloom and the third is just starting to show signs of opening. I told Kym I plan to buy a dozen bulbs next year, as  I would like to have a real amaryllis forest for years end.

2. Happily, I finished a sweater in January and received yarn for a second! My arms used to ache after hours at work. Typing at an uncomfortable desk was not good for them (or for me), BUT, those day are over and I can now knit when I like. My hands and arms can even do a little needlepoint (sometimes), and stitch (which I do daily with Vicki), as well as knit, knit, knit. 

3. Thank you, Mary, for introducing me to the Collect App and encouraging me to take one picture a day (at least). On a couple of occasions I've had to take last minute pics before heading to bed, but, overall, I enjoy finding moments that bring delight and joy. This year I'm also trying to collect and organize my pictures on Flickr and Instagram. 

All that is left to say is HELLO, FEBRUARY!!  I love your light and your bluer skies. You might even bring in a little more snow. Your a good month, February. 

Carole's got a few more participants of 3TT over on her blog. Take a look!

One, Two, Three

This could be a Throwback Thursday, as well as a Three Things Thursday. Last week I looked at my stash closet and thought it might need a bit o'organizing. As it turned out, I did not do anything with my 3 bins of stash, but I did find a box of memorabilia I hadn't looked through in awhile. 


Inside I found my mother's eyeglasses and, according to the label, she wore them when she was 14 years old. Mom's name and place of residence are also typed on the label. The feeling I get in my chest when going through memorabilia is priceless. It's mix of joy, sadness, love, and a flood of memories. Mom drove us, her children, by the old house she'd lived in at that time. I remember the car trip very well. The house was big white Victorian, once a grand house, that had been broken down into various apartments, now in a bad part of town. Shortly after our quick trip past the house it was torn down. 


Also inside the box was the sweater my dad had worn for a portrait about the time he and mom were engaged. He was 20 years old. The sweater was locally made of an unknown fiber, one that will last long after everyone of us has gone. 


The sweater, and the little bootie below, took me on a search for the photograph album my sister had created for each member of our family.  I think my dad was very handsome. My parents were married in the spring of 1949 and in the spring of 1950 I came along. This is my 6 month portrait and I feel fortunate to be old enough that I have a hand-painted photograph. Not that I like being old, but you know what I mean, right? Surely color film did away with that profession.

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Don't you think I'm cute? I do! All the color on this photograph, including every single polkadot, is painted. I am wearing the red and white felt shoes, of which only one remains. These three items spark that joy everyone talks about and they will be in my possession until I am gone. The box is large and full of treasures. I wonder what else I can dig up. 


Becky sent me the link to my 2018 books! I was thrill to see the banner and the count still exist. Thank you, Becky! Below My Year in Books you can see the star ratings I gave each one. 

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My 2018 is starting out well as I have one book read with a star rating of 4.5. The next book, Never Let Me Go, won't get that high a rating, but I have a couple more in the wings I think they will be better. When I read a book my expectation is to be educated, enlighten, told something I did understand and through fiction I feel that's what happens. Empathy and understanding for people who I would never get a chance to meet grows. Learning of our differences, but also finding out they are just like me only perhaps living in circumstances they cannot control or change.

Books take me to other worlds or societies, to places I would not survive if given the chance, but that the person in the book shows the strength and character TO survive. I want to understand, to absorb all that I can, even if I can't live that life. How fortunate I am to be able to read a variety of books that bring those worlds to my doorstep. 


My days are spent on amaryllis watch as the three plants I bought will produce 5 blossoms. This first one to bloom is out performing all others, but the other two bulbs are spending their energy on doubling down. I think this one is going to be a beauty. I can't keep my camera away. This blossom is a temptress, a chanteuse, and a time hog. Isn't she amazing? I guarantee she'll continue to show off for you. The other two will be something marvelous when their time comes, too. 


 When I watch TV I don't exactly watch. I'm not a fan of TV but I enjoy a few shows on Netflix or PBS. When I "watch" I'm either knitting or working on jigsaw puzzles. During the winter we watch a lot more TV than we do in summer. Because I only work on puzzles sporadically, they don't get much time or attention. This one took about 3 months to do and it was fun until everything except the pink feathery wings were left. Every piece was the same color and I had a devil of a time finding the edge pieces and filling in the shapes.  It was maddening, at times. New Years Eve I sat down with the last 30 pieces and didn't move until I had finished the whole bird. She's a very elegant swan and, in the end, a fun puzzle to do. Now she's tucked back into the box ready to give back to Cheryl, who can decide her fate. I now have a Wasgij puzzle to do.  What do you do when you watch TV? 

Three on Thursday is happening over at Carole's blog. Check out what everyone else has on their mind, too.



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. 

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! 

November 23 - Grateful Day


The first blog I read this morning was Bonny's and her quote by Henry David Thoreau, which said it all. "I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual." The perfection of that quote hit me in my heart. It is truth.

Since July 13, my last day of work. I have said to myself on a daily basis, "I am so grateful for this life." I feel it, I say it, I acknowledge it daily, because I never thought I would be here. Retired and loving it. I haven't even begun to tap all that I want to do with my one "precious life" (as Mary Oliver calls it). 

First and foremost I must acknowledge my gratitude for sharing my life with a wonderful man. I couldn't have picked anyone more kind and generous. I am fortunate and so deeply grateful. 

Second I am daily grateful for my home, the warmth, the light, the food that is there without worry. My daily life takes for granted my car, my mundane tasks of grocery shopping, or of buying dinner out. I have SO much more than so many others. My heart is near to bursting with gratitude. 

There is so much more that fills my heart with gratitude, not least of which is technology. By the grace of opening this screen, I have at my finger tips a wealth of friends, some near, some far. Friends I see regularly would not have come into my life without the internet. Friends I have never met would not be in my life without the internet. I feel I am the most fortunate person in the world. I have so much. I have a wonderful life. I could not wish for more. 



November 16 - 3TT


Every day this week I could have shown you pictures of amazing sunrises and sunsets. For today's picture I had to run out of the house, nightgown flowing, slippers flopping, just to stand in the gusty winds (storm's a coming) to capture this bit of delight. 


I bought this amaryllis with so much hope and joy, but it has done nothing but disappoint. No buds, not one, only leaves coming up all sorts of places you don't expect leaves, and then, they just flop over without warning. The bulb has plenty of water, but flop go the leaves. A few days later they might start the process of standing upright again, only to flop down. I confess to trouting for the pot, which is white ceramic with a little red stripe. I saw Christmas blooms in my future, but sadly that appears not to be. I will vacating my house of this bulb and starting fresh, hopefully with better luck. This time I went big time with a double bulb planter and I'll find a new single bulb for this cute pot. 

Last, but not least, I bring you a new musical find. A few days ago I heard Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile's Guest DJ gig on NPR  (I'm a fan of All Songs Considered), which lead me to buy their collaborative album. After listening to it through a couple times I ended up humming Over Everything for the rest of the day. 

You can find more 1, 2, 3 Things posts over on Carole's blog.

November 9 - 3TT

I'm stealing the 3TT Title from Vicki because I thought it clever! Today I'm joining Carole and gang because it's Thursday. 


1. Today is actually the day I have nothing whatsoever planned to say (or do). I got up and out of the house early today as I take a water exercise class three days a week at the community pool. The early class is small and much less noisy  because few chatters in the group (and few kids are up at the hour). We're there to get it done and get on with our day.

2.This is the prettiest leaf I've been able to find this fall. Most of the leaves are off the trees (our grounds crew is happy about that) and the Christmas lights are almost up. I just listed two of the best reasons for living in a condo (snow removal and lawn care or two more). 

3. Today is a quiet day with no obligations or plans. My first order of business is to call the doctor and see if I can get that MRI scheduled. The next thing is going to be reading for awhile and then I might splurge and get a manicure. I never paint my nails and usually go for nice plain buff shine. The nails have grown to dragon lady length and I'm more of a short as possible girl. 

Happy Thursday, everyone! 

November 2 - Tiptoeing In


 1. Our autumn has been long, glorious, and luxurious, just as autumns should be. The leaves have been showy, vibrant, and languorously lovely. The trees had the benefit of a wet June, which, despite the hottest summer on record, brought the colors into their most vivid colors.  

2. September and October have been dry, no snow, no rain, no damage to the trees or the leaves. Blue skies have been the perfect complement to the reds, golds, oranges. I don't think there has been a more beautiful autumn in the last dozen years.


3. I've been walking through Red Butte Gardens, through our neighborhood, and through our city park, Murray Park. I lived near this park during my high school years, I still do, and I've enjoyed rediscovering it, noting some of the excellent changes made over the years. Recently I found a little treasure in the park, which I think I'll save that for another day. 

Today you can head on over to Carole's and read (or join) the other blog who have joined Three Things Thursday