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September 2017

Three Numerous Things on Thursday

Too many to number... plus UNRAVELED! Checkother 3TT posts here, and Unraveled here.

Jün and I got up and hit the floor running yesterday morning and, other than a few minutes at lunchtime, I didn't sit down until after 8:00 last night. We had such a GREAT DAY!!

We were a little late for Tumbling because while walking to my car...

DIGGERS ON MY STREET!

After Tumbling, we went to the P.O., paid the electric bill, and took the long way to lunch (we had to kill a few minutes before they open). We've gone to the same sub shop for lunch for three weeks in a row, we order the same things, and Jün makes sure we sit at the same table. Next Wednesday is the last session of Tumbling (already)! I told Ali that I want to continue this overnight tradition, but probably not every week... I enjoy every minute but I don't get a thing done (or very little).

Anyway, by the time we got back...

DIGGERS AT MY HOUSE!

We started with a seat on the porch, but soon, it was front row all the way baby!

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The workmen were all SO nice and SO patient. We watched from start to finish, and then watched as they pulled the old fire hydrant at the end of the street... for HOURS! At least a couple.  :)

Then he wanted to go out back and pitch some more walnuts. On Tuesday afternoon, I had watched the next door neighbor's lawn service guy rake all the walnuts from her yard over to mine (instead of into the ravine, as he might have done) (thanks buddy), so we got out the big guns: a wheelbarrow in addition to shovels for both Jün and me.

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Not the same size anymore!

By the time we'd unloaded two loads, my back was killing me so we took a break -- juice & a book!

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I was excited when I had notification earlier in the week that my pre-order of My Journey To The Stars by Astronaut Scott Kelly had shipped, arriving just in time for Tuesday night bedtime reading... reprise on Wednesday! By Wednesday, Junah put his hand to my mouth at just about every turn of the page. He had QUESTIONS & REMARKS! I just love how spongy little minds work. Related: A Year In Space is available to watch on Amazon Prime, and Part 2 debuts on PBS next month. Also, Scott Kelly's Instagram photos (@stationcdrkelly) from space were INCREDIBLE.

Speaking of READING, here's what's on my list right now:

  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs - pages. (Oops - due at the library yesterday, renewed online today... love technology!)
  • Yellow Crocus - audio. This one has been on my list for a while, and I've wanted to listen to another book narrated by Bahni Turpin, too!

And in KNITTING:

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I ran out to take a photo before losing light on Tuesday, and bound off shortly thereafter. This is Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows. Weaving in ends was the perfect activity last night, and will continue tonight at Knit Night. I will block after taking care of the ends, and then determine whether to knit the i-cord border all the way around... that will depend on how much I love it. I love it now, but don't know if I love it that much!

I haven't done a #tbt Throwback in a while, but a few copies of this were on my desk today:

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That's Kate, as a flower girl, on the cover of a local magazine that I used to do typesetting for; the bride is an old friend who used to style my hair back in the day (and she probably still would, but lives too far away). I don't know what happened to them, but there were some other even cuter photos of them, if you can even believe that (Kate stole the show!).

What are you reading? What's on your needles??


Autumn Leaves

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Back yard favorite.

Junah & Gin helped me pitch walnuts down the hill on Sunday (where, someday, I imagine there will be an actual "walnut grove"). I thought we had a banner year a couple years ago, but no... I don't remember ever seeing the back yard literally carpeted with walnuts. Jün was using a shovel!


Random Friday

I still don't quite get how it works, but there's a hose at my outside faucet and that's where our water is coming from right now. It's flowing "backwards" into my house from... somewhere/I don't know where. "Free water," they said. Woohoo. It works. It's weird, but it works.

The water/sewer contractor does not work on Fridays, so... bleh, see ya next week, fellas.

I've pushed the new fridge delivery as far as I can: November 4th.

At least I'm able to drive down my street and park in my own garage. I don't really mind that I've had to park my car two blocks away all week, but it's weird.

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Kate snapped this photo of some of my potatoes the other day. I made some more last night... and there's only enough for probably one more meal. So sad! They're so good. I am definitely planting more next year, somewhere/somehow!

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Cabin decor (in the bathroom). Maddy's been super into paint-by-number lately, so I thought of her every time I saw it.

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New aubergine boots... MAKE ME SO HAPPY! I was a rebel and wore sandals to work yesterday (thankfully, I had some socks in my tote bag and wore them instead for much of the day). We went to an art opening at UWGB's Lawton Gallery last night and boots were perfect.

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Yes! That's Kate's gallery.  ;)

There were some interesting pieces:

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Carol Emmons: RetroSpectacle. The installation surveys three decades of work by Carol, UWGB Professor Emerita in Art & Design. There's much to see and it is quite something.

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There's usually something at an art opening that catches my eye in the crowd, too. I loved this wrap!

Have a great weekend, will ya? Whatcha got planned?


Unraveled + 3TT - FO: Another Striped Hat

Ooops, a day late with the Unraveling! Things got away from me yesterday. We're all a bit frazzled 'round here for some reason... all that heavy equipment outside, shutting off water, temporarily hooking up water, new refrigerator delivery delayed... everyone's been so nice, but... frazzled!

THREE THINGS THURSDAY

One -- A Finished Object! I knit a hat for Gin/Jün while we were in the U.P. I cast on Saturday morning in our cottage as we drank coffee. I continued while Rusty walked the blustery beach at Whitefish Point, and as we made our way from here to there and everywhere. I finished on Sunday as we watched the Packer game on TV. This photo is after the 3-needle bind-off but before sewing the side seam -- I had to take my opportunity to dash outside while there was still a bit of natural light!

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  • Ravelry Project Page: Another Striped Hat for Gin
  • Pattern: This is what I did (an unvented pattern as follows)
    • CO 98 sts (includes 1 selvage st at each side)
    • Work 2x2 rib for 2” (begin each row with slip and k1 or p1)
    • Work in stockinette stitch, with or without stripes, for approx. 6.75" (including ribbing)
    • Knit half-way across, then fold & manipulate needles as needed in order to work 3-needle bind-off
    • Sew up side seam
  • Yarn:
    • Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids (Pinks #48 & 21)
    • Malabrigo Yarn Rios (#57 English Rose)
  • Needles:  US 6
  • Start to Finish:  October 7-8, 2017

Two -- Reading. Ali was working on Tuesday morning when I stopped at the coffee shop on the way to work. She said with a wink that Jün was planning to sleep over again! That was fine by me! He was excited to find the books we'd read the week before still upstairs:

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The Little House has been a favorite since I was a child, and I'm so happy to read it again. Bushbaby was a favorite of Maddy's -- likely purchased at a book fair!

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There was an old Living magazine up there, which we paged through... those cookies on the cover were quite interesting! And he pointed to Julia Roberts in an ad and said, "That's Maddy"!

Then Harry hit the scene!

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He found all of Maddy's well-read Harry Potter paperbacks on the bookshelf and was apparently quite intrigued! He pulled them out -- plus a couple of others -- and added them to the reading pile!

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He seemed happy enough with my reading of one random page from each book in the stack!

In terms of my own, I am still reading Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages) and listening to Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am enjoying both quite a bit, even though it's been slow going. "Big Magic" came out of nowhere... I'm not usually into self-help-ish books very much, but her TED Talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, is still one of my favorites -- and I fell in love with her voice.

Three -- Knitting. Yeah. Woman [continues to] Make Her Own Arrows.

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I'm on the final section, which I'm knitting as a color "shift," these are the colors I've chosen -- now I just have to get going! (once I'm less frazzled)

Joining Kat/Carole for Unraveling/Three on Thursday -- check them out!


Sunday: Seney National Wildlife Refuge & Kitch-iti-kipi

The wind & rain was hard enough to wake me up on Saturday night, even before the front screen door got caught and started banging! Sunday morning dawned lovely & bright, though.

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We began with leisurely coffee & breakfast, then cleaning & packing up for the trip home.

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After all of my whirlwind travel this year -- especially the dashing through Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Saint Louis -- Annie says that perhaps I should consider adding a day to all of my future travel plans.

I didn't take that advice for this little jaunt, but that's exactly why we only went to the U.P.!

We checked out right on time and headed over to the Seney National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy the 7-mile Marshland Wildlife Drive. Yes! I spotted the eagle nest (but not eagles). It was so beautiful and quiet... except for the trumpeting swans and whatnot. We spotted a few swan families -- the young swans almost as big as their parents, but still unmistakably gray.

From there, we drove toward Manistique and Kitch-iti-kipi (The Big Spring), and was that ever worth the price of admission (even Rusty agreed)! I am sure that this would have been incredible even in the rain, but I'm so glad that it was sunny & bright!

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We're waiting for the self-operated observation raft to return, top, and Rusty's straight across (in pink) peering through the middle of the boat during our voyage, above.

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He's looking at something like this! Those are all fish... and their shadows. If you look closely, you can see some circular patterns in the sandy bottom and those are where the water that feeds this spring bubbles through -- at the rate of 10,000 gallons per minute! It was mesmerizing. All of it.

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The water is super-clear! And chilly!

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Twice, I heard a fish jump, and was then even more mesmerized by the "waves of light" left by the ripples as they moved across the water, the shadows crawling across the sandy bottom; I barely captured it in this photo (dumbstruck, I was)!

We drove down to Garden in the Garden Peninsula, had lunch overlooking the bay, and then hit the road for home in earnest. We arrived at around 4:30 -- in time to sit down and enjoy the second half of the Packer game with Kate (we won, yahoo!).


Saturday: Tahquamenon Falls & Whitefish Point

It was a damp  & drippy on Saturday morning. We'd planned to visit Tahquamenon Falls, and figured that a waterfall would be pretty even in the rain... and, since it was raining, thought we might practically have the place to ourselves.

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Hahaha. Well, we got the first part right, though the rain let up and it was barely a mist by the time we arrived... to find a nearly full parking lot!! 

That's the Upper Falls -- one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It is beautiful beyond words!

We drove up to the Lower Falls and took a quick look... while also incredibly beautiful, there was a bit of a hike to get a really good look... but mostly there were people! Instead, we decided to visit Whitefish Point; Rusty was intrigued after seeing a billboard!

But first, a quick little lunch at the park concession stand.

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My share of a dish of "Michigan Pothole" ice cream for dessert!

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A drippy drive.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Whitefish Point Light Station are located at Whitefish Point.

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a.k.a. Graveyard of the Great Lakes.

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The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her

I was in high school about 30 miles south of Lake Superior in 1975, and the wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald was huge news.

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While Rusty took a blustery hike around the Point...

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I worked on a new hat for Gin that I'd cast on over morning coffee.

We re-traced our steps through Tahquamenon on our return, and decided to check out one of the hiking paths. It was a short, squishy little hike and we didn't go very far, but I found so many mushrooms!

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I'd recently gone to a presentation about mushrooms at our local nature center, so it was really fun to spot some that we'd talked about! Nature is cool.

On the way back to our place, we drove by a derelict motel and were intrigued enough to make a u-turn in order to investigate more.

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This, one of many roadside motels that we passed by, reminded us of a storybook cottage/village. Unfortunately, most are in a similar state, though I'd argue that this one holds some treasures within. It was as if time stood still... someone turned that sign to "CLOSED" one day, and never looked back (though I think they might still live next door). Recession, astronomical gas prices, changes in the way people spend their vacation time... whatever the reason they closed in the first place (and not terribly long ago, as all of the little cottages had satellite dishes affixed), the weather is definitely taking it's toll now.

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We returned to our little cottage long enough to wipe a little of the mud off of ourselves and watch a bit of sunset before heading out for dinner. We went just a few miles up the road to Chamberlin's Ole Forest Inn -- where we didn't have a reservation because, I don't know... we seriously underestimated the goings-on of October in the U.P.! It was only a half-hour wait, and a gorgeous evening to sit on the porch with a cocktail. Rusty enjoyed stuffed whitefish and I had the most delectable pan-fried bluegill. It was cozy & charming!

Stay tuned for Day 2!


Weekending: Pure Michigan

Rusty & I skipped town just as soon as we were able on Friday, headed north to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a quick weekend getaway.

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We stayed in a little cottage at Lakeshore Resort on South Manistique Lake that I'd found on Airbnb. After stopping for dinner and crossing from Central to Eastern time, we didn't arrive until about 11pm... unpacked and went to bed, set for a full day ahead!

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It stormed on both Friday & Saturday nights, and was rainy & wet on Saturday, but we managed to do the things & go the places we'd wanted (and then some), and the colors were beautiful! I brought along this pair of Merrell clogs that Ann had given me when  she moved to Spain. I'd never worn them and almost gave them back to her over the summer, but I'm so glad I didn't! They were perfect for some of the "squish" hiking we did, but comfy & cute, too; that's always where I'm at in regards to shoes, no matter the occasion! ;)

I'll be back with more -- details & photos (so many photos)! I hope you had a great weekend!


TGIF!!

Eight years ago!!

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We just had Knit Night here last night. I'd hoped that the remodel/update would be complete, but it hasn't even started yet! Contractor fell off a ladder just before it was scheduled to begin and has a new titanium elbow to show for it... indestructible now! No firm date yet, but it'll hopefully happen in the next month or so. Sheesh.

Anyway, today's the anniversary: Ali's owned this little gem for EIGHT YEARS already!

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Jün wanted to do some watering the other day... and I ran inside to grab an actual camera! I need to do this more often. I love my phone for ease & portability, and the picture quality is pretty amazing, but this...

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Three Things Today

One.

This is getting old real fast. Even Junah seemed to have his fill yesterday, though we did spend a fair amount of time peering through the front door, sitting on the front porch, and standing on the sidewalk to observe operations.

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Usually, I'm leaving for work as the workers arrive, but yesterday (my day off) we needed to have our vehicles moved by 7am or we weren't getting out until end of day. Same for today & tomorrow. They're finishing with the water line & new fire hydrant, then beginning the sewer line work at the other end of the street. Next week, from Monday-Thursday, we won't have street access at all, as they will be replacing the sewer line. Ugh, the schlepping...

Two.

On Tuesday, Junah finally had his first sleepover at our house since he was around a year old. He said yesterday that he'd like to stay at my house EVERYDAY, so I'd say it was a resounding success!

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Good morning! He woke up so happy... and so snuggly!

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Trains before breakfast!

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Trains after breakfast!

Jün was the lucky recipient of a very nice hand-me-down set of tracks and we had fun with different configurations. Fresh batteries for James, the engine, made for happy times!

Tumbling was terrific! Participating and engaging a bit more each week! Yesterday, he even hit the mat.

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We stopped for an early lunch and I'm glad we did! That boy was hungry (and so adorable).

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He has recently discovered the wonders inside my "depression glass cupboard," which, over the years, has evolved into a bit of a treasure box. In addition to my favorite green glass pieces, it holds some of the kids' elementary school ceramics, origami birds that my cousin made in remembrance of Sharon, Christmas ornaments that Sharon made, some ceramic pieces made by Grandma Blum (including an epic failure that she kept to keep her humble and to demonstrate to her students that it happens!), a pewter vase that my mom made in an art metals class in the '70s, so many mouse figurines, a few photos, some shells, old marbles, dried/preserved flowers, souvenir shot glasses & vintage spoons... just all sorts of trinkets.

He especially likes the marbles and all the little porcelain eggs. He's gentle & careful, and so far, so good.

Three.

I had a hair appointment yesterday. Kate, my stylist, gave me a little trim and some '70s tousled waves -- I believe my hair is the longest it's ever been. Ever!

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I think I had dried tears & snot on my shirt (there was one little melt-down prior to going home yesterday) and I'm wearing no makeup (yay, shades), but I felt like a million bucks when I took this selfie in the Home Depot parking lot (waiting to meet Kate). I particularly love how my "highlights" are showing here. I'm nearing the beginning my 60th decade on this planet... um, hello, I think I'm ready. BRING IT!!

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Head over here to read about more Things!


Unraveled Wednesday - FO: Oblique!

After nearly 10 years... it's FINALLY an FO!!

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Originally intended for myself, I've "outgrown" it; Maddy instantly loved it and, well, isn't she adorable? Photos by Kate! And lots of 'em... because it took so long for me to finally finish, and it's a pretty great sweater!

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Why so long? Good gravy, I don't know!

It was a contender for Finishing in the 2010 Olympics and I wrote, "I want this one finished most of all."

Here's how that went:

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At Opening Ceremonies:  All of the pieces were knit and blocked.  I needed to sew them up, knit the collar, attach buttons.

At Closing Ceremonies:  Sleeves are sewn in and collar is underway.  I've had several false starts on that collar, and some difficulty determining Right from Wrong -- I'm pretty sure I'd have made it if I'd been thinking more clearly.  Three-quarters of the way, I tore it out completely and started over last night.  I'll be casting off tonight and all that will remain are side and sleeve seams and the sewing on of three buttons.  I cannot wait.  I love this thing.

Um, yeah. I loved it and yet...

It looks like the buttons might be a bit wonky, and it might need a snap... but I'm not sure how much it'll actually be buttoned anyway, so we'll just see about that. I'm thrilled that it's finished and even more thrilled that there is someone else who loves it!

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Reading: Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages)

Listening: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert


Dear October,

You're looking to be another fairly quiet month with just enough "fun stuff" to keep it interesting! (Not the least of which is delivery of a new refrigerator!)

Rusty & I are planning a quick weekend get-away (we're getting good at that) to the U.P. The weather looks a bit iffy at this point, but I'm hoping we can get outside to enjoy a little hiking, lots of lakeshore(s), a sunset, a couple of waterfalls. We're pretty good at indoor stuff, too, though! The resort cottage looks cute and I'm looking forward to checking it out. My favorite part of the description of the general area is that there's "an ATM machine and a gas station." Yep, that's just my speed for a U.P. vacay.

Tumbling continues every Wednesday through this month and then it's over already! It's so much fun to watch Junebean progress each week, and I love having a little one-on-one time with him.

I did a better better in September than I did in August with the 1 Second Everyday thing, and here's to a better October!!

From where I'm sitting, I think that my Arrow shawl could be finished by month's end. I have wound a pink & green Crazy Zauberball to make a helical-striped hat for Gin (a.k.a., portable knitting). I've also pulled a few projects from the depths and need to make some more decisions!

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One of those things is this Log Cabin Throw that my mother was working on. She didn't make the top; I'm pretty sure it was acquired at an auction. It was in a bag with another, much larger white piece of fabric (backing), and a package of lightweight cotton batting. Was she hedging her bets?

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I don't know much about it (or quilting in general), except that it appears it was made by sewing the strips onto another piece of fabric. I assume that Mom bought the backing fabric, and that she had begun to sew, but only just -- one of the tiny red center squares has been stitched in the ditch (by hand). And that's where it's at. There's no batting, no obvious (to me) plan for binding/finishing.

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The backing has been basted to the front with blue thread in one direction only. I'm not sure of the course or how to proceed.

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What do you think? It's so cute and I've always loved the Log Cabin design... it would be fun to finish it somehow. Carry on? Start over? Use batting?

Well, anyway, I'm looking forward to a fairly quiet month because once November rolls in, it's going to be GO-GO-GO until the new year. It's all good -- excellent, in fact -- but GO.

Love, Vicki


Weekending: Almost perfect

On Friday night, we bit the bullet and finally ordered a new fridge! I've only been yearning/threatening about this for years. Our current fridge is the last of the original appliances that Rusty & I bought in 1985. The fridge space in our kitchen is quite limited, though, and it hasn't been easy to find a style both that I like and that fits.

Early Saturday morning -- at 2:22am, to be specific -- I woke up and wondered how we were going to get the new fridge into the space! And, for that matter, how we'd get the old one out! I just glossed over all of the info I saw about that, I guess, because if I finally found a fridge that more or less* fit into the space, there was no question that it was going to happen. Period. I spent an hour tossing & turning, barely able to keep from getting up & grabbing a tape measure (the first thing I did when the sun came up), and we definitely have a pickle. It can come in the front door and it's a straight shot to the kitchen from there, but it'll be all hands on deck to lift it over the island (pretty sure the delivery guys will have no part of that)! Ditto the old.

*Um, yes. There's a cabinet above the fridge that's going to be reconfigured. I spent some time on Saturday cleaning out & organizing the pantry cupboard so that I could empty that cabinet for removal.

Hopefully, we'll take delivery on Thursday afternoon/evening. Stay tuned, though, because the heavy equipment is making its way ever closer and we already had a UPS driver unable to navigate to our house one day last week.

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In other news -- SURPRISE!! I spent some time with a couple of super-cute kids!

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The weather was great, so we spent a lot of time outside -- walking/scootering to the park, playing on the playground, eating hot dogs & burgers (there was a baseball tournament going on so lots of kids, and the concession stand was open). When we got back home, we gathered walnuts in the back yard and chucked them into the ravine, had some fun with chalk & water (it's been a favorite activity this summer), changed clothes & threw in a load of laundry, and had some fun indoors.

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I owe Junah a new pair of shoes! Ali just bought these the day before... he used them for scooter brakes.

The ball got rolling over the weekend in my workroom, too. I spent a few really good hours getting things cleaned up & organized, and making plans. I frogged one project, and wound yarn for another (that's been on my mind for months). There's plenty more to do but I'm feeling great about the progress!

I hope you had an almost perfect -- or maybe even perfect -- weekend, too!