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Ten on the Last Day of June

...a TUESDAY!  Wow.  I took a day off of work yesterday and SLAMMED I AM!!  It's good, I like to be busy, but I have begun tossing and turning at 2:00 a.m. the last two nights and I'm wondering when that's going to catch up and WHAM me.  Attendance has been a bit sporadic of late, but perhaps a good workout at Zumba tonight will help with the ZZZZZs.

Today's TEN ON TUESDAY: 10 Guilty Pleasures on TV
I haven't been watching as much TV lately, so this is going to be a little bit of an "all-time" list -- and I thought even that would be hard to do, but it's not...

  1. Dancing With the Stars (DVR is permanently set for this one)
  2. Talk Shows -- Johnny Carson, Phil Donahue, Mike Douglas, Dick Cavet, Ellen, Craig Ferguson (I've recently set the DVR to record Craig's monologue every night)
  3. Variety Shows -- Ed Sullivan, Sonny & Cher, Bob Hope Specials
  4. Dark Shadows (could never watch that at home... always had to go to a neighbor's house)
  5. American Bandstand (was never on at a good time for me, as Saturday mornings were reserved for cleaning house when I was growing up and fun stuff had to wait 'til chores were done)
  6. Rock Concert & Midnight Special & MTV (back in the day) (I want my MTV!)
  7. Classic Movie Matinees
  8. After-School & Saturday Morning TV -- The Monkees, The Beatles, Leave It To Beaver, Gilligan's Island, Star Trek, Tom & Jerry
  9. Stay-home-from-school TV -- Let's Make A Deal, Password
  10. Crime Shows -- CSI, NCIS, Law & Order, The Closer

I'm asking for good, healing thoughts, wishes, prayers, and all sorts of lucky stars today for my sis.

Weekend update

It was a busy weekend.  DH participated in the Spring Green Arts and Crafts Fair over the weekend and lodged at the River View Inn Bed and Breakfast. I thought that sounded kinda nice -- especially the B-and-B part -- so I drove down on Saturday afternoon to join him. I had a mid-morning Sunday appointment in Madison, anyway, so it worked out nicely. Oh my god, was it ever HOT and HUMID on Saturday, though!

The heat, Michael Jackson, Garrison Keillor and the little bit of A Prairie Home Companion that I heard on the way to the B-and-B, and GK's talk of dreaming and MJ's death, combined with sleeping in a strange place in a strange bed -- and not very well -- along with the weird associations made in the subconscious, conspired to make me remember part of a dream of my own in which I learned that Andy Williams had died. I haven't remembered a dream in ages. My only explanation is the close association -- in my life and mind -- between Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond, and then between Donny Osmond and Andy Williams. Strange things/associations happen in dreams.

This is probably the first record I ever played over and over... tiny little record player with a Mickey Mouse design; Highland Park, IL; first grade; love this song. Andy is alive and well.

Spring Green is also home to Nina's Department and Variety Store, which has been on my list/map for quite some time. Truth be told, I stopped at Nina's before I even found DH at the art fair -- unfamiliar with Spring Green, I needed to ask someone for directions to the hardware store in front of which was DH's booth. See? How it all works out? Nina's reminded me a lot of my local Five-and-Dime, but amped up several notches. While my local variety store pretty much carries ONLY Red Heart and Sugar and Cream, Nina's has a little bit of that -- and a LOT of REALLY GREAT stuff! I'm sure that with the upscale tourism clientele in Spring Green, there is much more demand for better quality fiber. The yarn department is small and compact, but bulging with books, tools and totes, and yarn in every weight, from mainstream stand-bys to independent dyers. I am always a little bit flummoxed at yarn stores like this along my path -- I want to stop, but have no expectations and no pressing needs, but a big desire to support them. I ended up with two hanks of small-project sale yarn.

On the way home yesterday, I stopped to see my sister and the boys -- and ended up staying for dinner. Addison was in the beginning stages of a summertime cold, poor little guy. I helped Mack perfect his web-shooter.


Spidey rules.


It's been feeling more like summertime, though we have a few cooler and potentially wet days at the start of the week. I hope the predicted improvement occurs toward the weekend -- sisters from both north and south may converge for the holiday weekend!

Sad, sad week


Think Farrah Fawcett had any influence on my style?  I wouldn't have admitted it at the time, but it's pretty undeniable.  Heh.  Admit it.  You, too, if you're anywhere near my age.

The news about Michael Jackson... man, it's been hours and I'm still stunned.  I didn't get a thing done all night -- I tried, but I spent the whole night listening to and/or watching MJ music videos, old and new.  We Are The World.  It was Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond, for me, when I was growing up.  We're all about the same age, and I had a serious crush on them both.  I used to write fan letters, BEG my mother to let me buy 16 Magazine (and the like), spent much of my allowance on 45s that I'd spin in this weird damp room in our basement on Schaefer Street... it wasn't my bedroom (ick), but I kind of made it my hang-out room (kind of ick, too, but at the time I shared a bedroom with my mom... I NEEDED a Room Of My Own, and that was it!).  One Bad Apple, ABC, and a LOT of David Gates and Bread was played in that room.

We have lost three incredibly huge icons this week.  Do they get any bigger than this?  Ed McMahon.  Farrah Fawcett.  Michael Jackson.  Rest in peace, all.

Habu love

It was my day off yesterday.  It was hot and I wasn't really fit for the public eye, but when Iris Fine Yarns called to say that my Habu Root Sizing Silk was in... I just had to go for a drive!

Habu Root Sizing Silk 

So worth it.

Habu Root Sizing Silk

I had fun photographing it.

Habu Root Sizing Silk

The first repeat of my Transverse Scarf scarf is complete -- and I only had to rip and start over ONCE!  I might have been able to muddle through and fix my mistake if I hadn't also dropped a stitch without realizing it -- and yanked once a bit too hard.  Yeah.  I love that Mim has both charted and written the lace pattern.

Habu Root Sizing Silk

This fiber is wonderful and I am so in love with the color -- a gorgeous gray-purple that is pretty true in the photos.  It is so lustrous and beautiful.  According to Mim's pattern, the scarf will need to be washed numerous times in order to wash out all of the root sizing and plump up the fiber... oh, my, this is my kind of knitting.

Knitting: Baby caps


I love knitting little baby caps -- they're a great way to use up odd balls of yarn, they're small and lightweight, they make for "cool" knitting, and they're finished UBER quick!

Both of these patterns are from Blankets, Hats, and Booties: To Knit and Crochet, by Kristin Spurkland, which I borrowed last week from my wonderful public library.

The cap above, knit from the bottom up, is the "Diamond Brocade" pattern.  It's quite a simple pattern, as long as it is read correctly -- noting where the asterisk marking the beginning of the repeat actually IS rather than where it could be.  I ripped that little bugger almost a half-dozen times before it sunk in.  The yarn is vintage Ravelry Classic Elite Nature's Palette Double Knitting Cotton from my sister's stash.  I still have quite a bit left.


This cap, knit from the top down, is called, simply, "No Gauge."  I knit it using some Ravelry Mission Falls 1824 Cotton left over from the leftovers that I used for the Mack Truck Sweater.  There's still some more of that, too.


It's hot.  We're all feeling lazy... though some of us can't actually BE lazy.

Makes you think all the world's a sunny day

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summer

"Kodachrome," words & music by Paul Simon

Oh yeah.

I love to take a photograph -- though it won't ever be with Kodachrome again!

Here's a "preview of the sneak peek" posted for Brad & Jen on the Victoria-Pictoria Custom Photography blog -- we had a Saturday afternoon super-mini-session a couple of weeks ago.


This one's a little unconventional, but I absolutely love it...  I love that you can read so much about Jen as a mother in her body language -- and I can relate to that.  You can't even see her eyes -- but you know what's there.

This wonderful photo, the changes in my family, Francesca's quote posted the other day... it all has me feeling a wee bit misty and nostalgic today.  My babies may be flying the coop (and jumping out of airplanes!), but my identity is still very much defined by motherhood and I will always relate to mothers of young children...and babies.

Luckily, I'll be meeting with a handy newborn and her family on Sunday!

I'm dieing to shoot a birth.  I wrote a few times, long ago, about my interest in the work of doulas... this meeting with newborns and new moms and kids to talk and take pictures seems to play to that a little bit.  Kind of a lot.

Shaping things... my life...

Continuing to ask myself what moves me...

Are you asking yourself?  What kind of answers are you getting?


Maddy JUMPED out of an airplane yesterday!

She actually told me the plan a few weeks ago already but I haven't thought on it much.

My first reaction was, "Oh NO!" followed by, "Hey, I wanted to do that once."  Then I half-seriously asked if I could go along and take pictures.

I didn't go along -- neither to jump nor take pictures -- but maybe next time.  I've already been informed that there's a next time!

(It's hard not to go steppin' down the '80s Dance Mix YouTube Trail after watching Anita, June and Ruth jumpin' around up there!)

I worked hard, hard, hard all weekend!  I took a pergola sun break on Saturday -- oh, my, it was a gorgeous day!  Katie and I took a walk up to the coffee shop in the evening.  It warmed up quite a bit over the weekend, so DH and I installed the air conditioners in the windows upstairs and down yesterday.  We didn't need them... yet... but soon, I fear, and now we're prepared.

Summer has arrived!  Yay!  We can stop complaining about the cold and rain and commence the complaining about the heat and humidity!

I finished knitting an adorable little baby cap on Saturday and started another last night.  All of a sudden, babies are appearing all over.

Blogkeeping:  Just so you know, I haven't been receiving notification of comments... some, but not all (sometimes not many), and there appears to be no rhyme or reason.  Not the best at replies in the best of times, this just adds another wrinkle to the situation.

Finally, it's nearly time for Claudia to JUMP on her BIKE and pedal for the MS RIDE!!!  The race is THIS SATURDAY, so the prize parade is in its final week -- and has started off beautifully.  Check it out.  Donate if you can; I know it's tough this year.  I guarantee: living with MS is tougher.

Saturday sky with clematis


It was kind of yucky yesterday -- hot and very humid at times, a little bit of rain.  This morning dawned beautifully, though, and another clematis bud is opening.  That makes four, so far, with at least that many more buds.




Happy Saturday!


We rode Amtrak's Hiawatha Service from Milwaukee to Chicago late on Saturday morning.


On Saturday afternoon, we saw Dan Zanes & Friends in concert.  It was a FANTASTIC show and he was not nearly as frantic or frenetic as I feared.



Maybe it's the hair...

Mack had a shirt autographed, and also one for his dad.



There were all different colored lights in the lobby areas of the theater -- the colors are WHACKED!

After the concert, we walked over to Millenium Park and goofed around by Cloud Gate (aka, the Bean).  We had hot dogs and ice cream for supper, and then walked back to our hotel.  Some guy wanted to sell us tickets for Mary Poppins for $10/head and the kids for free or something ridiculous and it was tempting, but boy, were we tired!




Annie and I shared a king-size bed with the boys between us and, holy cow, I haven't slept with a kid in a while... foot in my back, foot in my ear, foot in my back again, toe in the eye... yowza!

On Saturday, we walked 300 miles from our hotel to the Field Museum, dropping our luggage off at a rented locker at the train station on the way.  It didn't look that far on the map.  And, okay, it was maybe three miles.


We met Sue.  Annie and the boys made a plan.



I was very excited about the trilobytes.  They are the Wisconsin State Fossil, and I love them.  I doubt that I'd love them if they were alive right now, but I adore them as fossils.



We saw lots and lots of dinosaurs, and learned many things!



We saw some other displays -- one about Egypt and one about Native Americans -- but there's just not enough time in a day!!  We took a cab from the museum to the station and hopped aboard the very roomy Amtrak Empire Builder for a ride to Columbus.  I didn't want to get off!

My regularity...

...encountered some irregularity!!  Wouldn't you know, the day after I make a proclamation about being regular, it all goes to hell.  It turns out that I orientated alongside Maddy nearly the entire time -- except for about 45 minutes yesterday afternoon when I snuck out during the most yawn-inducing part of the program to check out Herschnerr's.  I heard over the radio on the way into town that they happened to be holding a WAREHOUSE SALE and that was it, I had to go!  The break was great, but I was rushed and didn't dawdle... and didn't buy a thing.

Orientation was actually not half bad!  It appears that they've learned a lot after holding these year after year.  The schedule was tight and they packed in a lot of information -- but more than that, it was a very tightly adhered-to schedule.  The presenters all seemed very knowledgeable about their subjects and well prepared -- some of them were downright entertaining.  I laughed!  I laughed about sending my youngest to college, about financial aid, about changing majors* five times in the first year, even about FERPA (one of the stupidest ideas we've ever had).

So, other than my run to Herschnerr's, I was listening to presentations with Maddy or with other parents, or going someplace to eat or listen to more presentations with Maddy or with other parents, or watching the stars in the planetarium sky, or driving or sleeping.  I didn't get the laptop out once and the camera barely saw the light of day.  I forced myself to cast on and knit a row for a new baby hat last night or there'd have been no knitting, either.  I didn't think ahead at all about suitable knitting for listening to presentations because I wasn't really intending to listen to ANY of them!

Not that there wasn't knitting in the air.  The Krafti1 was there with her eldest and recognized me.  Can you believe it?  We ran into each other a few times -- and she was knitting way up top in the back row of the theater where most of yesterday's programming took place.  Also, last night, I spotted someone knitting on the steps to one of the main buildings -- Maddy and I were in a rush to find the planetarium, so I didn't get a chance to speak.

I heard part of a quote today that has stuck and I must share.  It is from The Bridges of Madison County, Francesca speaking to Robert:

When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children; in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave they take your life of details with them. And then you're expected move again only you don't remember what moves you because no-one has asked in so long. Not even yourself.

I feel fortunate that I sort of prepared for this -- probably from the minute I turned my back and left Katie in her dorm at Humboldt State and cried my way back to Wisconsin six years ago.  It took some experimenting, some trial and error, some stretching -- none of which I regret -- but I did remember to ask myself.  And I think I have found what moves me.  It makes me tingle, anyway.


Shooting into the bean at Millenium Park and the boys walking towards it, hand-in-hand.  So sweet.  I never shared!  More to come...


*1. She was a psych major when we arrived at orientation, a registered biology major when we left.

Channelling Imelda?

"I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty."
The Wit and Wisdom of Imelda Marcos


I never used to have a thing for shoes -- and I still don't, really, in that I don't have a closetful -- but I'm thinking that I could... have a thing for and a closetful of shoes.  'Specially of the Keen variety... and some others.  I've photographed my one and only pair of Keens (see above) a few times, with subliminal encouragement from the fact that there even is such a thing as the Keen Shoes Group on Flickr!

M's Keens

So, I was official party photographer for Mack's birthday party on Saturday, and I nearly plotzed when I saw these wee pink Keens on a 1-year-old guest.  This was the first baby I ever photographed (when she was 6 weeks old), so I'm somewhat acquainted with Mom -- and, thankfully, she admitted to having a thing for shoes and feet, too -- so she didn't think I was too whacked when I asked to photograph her baby's shoes.

L's Keens

And then, after the kids gathered up all the pinata goodies, I saw some of the loot stashed in these... slightly larger, purple ones, belonging to a 3-year-old.

I don't think anyone saw me take that photograph.  ; )

Today is my last day of work this week.  I'm off (very early tomorrow morning) to college orientation with Maddy for the next two days.  I'm not sure how much orienting *I* will need, maybe some.  I'll have some new toys to play with, some work to do (bringing the laptop) and, while there isn't a LYS anymore, Herschnerr's isn't too far away.

I hope to be blogging from afar -- if there isn't wireless on campus (yeah, I'm staying in the dorms!), maybe it's not too hard to find.  As of now, yesterday, I have renewed my commitment to blogging.  I'm aiming for nearly everyday (weekdays, anyway), and I'm aiming for fun, entertaining and chatty, maybe sometimes informative and even inspiring, possibly with occasional knitting.  There will be cooking and gardening and a few pictures.  So, yeah, Hi, I'm going to be more regular!

Speaking of knitting, Harmonia's Rings has me so wound up I don't know which end is up and can't tell the right side from the wrong.  I made a frantic call to Iris Fine Yarns yesterday to inquire about my Habu order -- would LOVE to start Transverse and take that with me tomorrow!  If the yarn's not in today, though... yeah, well, Herschnerr's is on my list there, isn't it?


You may recall my first-ever stop at Sisson's Peony Gardens in Rosendale, WI, two weeks ago.  Here's a refresher:

The charming old sign


There were a few early varieties blooming, but a million more buds-in-waiting.  The big picture looked like this:

Two weeks ago

Looking to the west (from the "front" or main entrance to the garden)...

Two weeks ago

Looking to the east (from the rear of the main section).

I was in Madison over the weekend for Mack's birthday party and stopped again yesterday on my way home.  I'm thinkin' this is peonies at their peak:

A row of peonies

White peonies

Pink peonies

Yeah.  This is where the pictures say a thousand words, "amazing" among them.  The scent was divine.

* * * * *

It was a fun weekend -- there was a kid party on Saturday and a family brunch yesterday, lots of terrific food... and cake(s)!  One of the best parts was my Mack-and-Addison alarm clock yesterday morning.  Mack didn't  hang around long, but Addison crawled into bed next to me and said, "I'm by you," which is outshined in melt-your-heart sweetness only when snuggles right in and says, "Hold me."

* * * * *

One more thing...


Happy Birthday, Sharon & Karen!!  Love, Your Big Sis.

Hi. I've been busy!

It's mostly a good busy.

Except this morning when Ali called in a panic because her ESPRESSO machine wasn't working... at the COFFEE shop and she didn't even think she could open!  She can brew coffee and has some toddy made.  But wow.  No espresso!  After letting my own wave of panic pass, the cooler head said, "Breathe. Things happen. You can only do what you can do!  (What can you do???)"

Well, here's what:  I printed some "apology coupons" and dropped them off, and suggested that it was an opportunity to recommend other menu items -- a smoothie, a cuppa tea, or an iced toddy latte!  You don't want these things ever to happen, but it's a good learning experience and one that Ali can turn to her advantage... say, when she updates her business plan... because that's still the goal.  Or something like that.  Repairs are underway.

Hi Sharon!!

My sister called last night to remind me that I haven't blogged much this week and she misses me.  I've definitely thought about blogging, but along with the aforementioned busy comes boring -- at least in terms of the blog -- plus the crap weather wasn't doing much for overall mood.  It's better now.  The weather.  Sunny and warm, woohoo!

So, let's see, what's the buzz?  On Monday I worked, went to Zumba, did some photo work, knit a few rounds, read a little bit, went to bed.  On Tuesday I worked, met with some local photogs, did some photo work, knit a few rounds, read a little bit, went to bed.  On Wednesday I met Mom for a quick cup of coffee, had a photo shoot, did some photo work and bookkeeping (x3), read a little bit, went to bed.  On Thursday I worked, went to Zumba, did some photo work, took photos as Katie put finishing touches on her three crostata di lamponi e miritilli, read a little bit, went to bed.  Laundry was stuffed into a few of the cracks, I ate a lot of cereal for supper... keep forgetting that I have bread dough in the fridge!

See?  Kind of boring.  This weekend, I'm heading to Mack's fourth birthday party and some photo appointments.  Next week, I'm only working two days, then heading with Maddy to her college orientation!  I'll bring the laptop and camera and see if I can find something interesting to blog about.


I am hoping that my order for Habu root sizing silk will be in by then so that I can be working on my Transverse Scarf!!  I have been chomping at the bit to start!!


I'm still knitting Harmonia's Rings and it's fine and I'll love it, but it's on circs and if wasn't for the mysteriousness dreamed up by Sivia Harding and inspired by Cat Bordhi (it still rather escapes me, how this is going to turn out like it's supposed to), I'd have sent it to the marination chamber long ago.  Plus, it's warm out now.

I'll tell you, though, all I've been THINKING about knitting is Mim's Transverse Scarf!  The stitch pattern, the fiber, her beautiful photos -- which, because I have no yarn yet with which to start one of my own, she has kindly granted me permission to post here -- have all combined to slay me.  It's true.

Happy Weekend!!

Chilly weekend!

Baking bread and stirring up a pot of soup isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind for an early June meal. Heh. This was not your typical early June weekend. Not only did I make soup and bread, I turned the furnace back on, too.


1. Artisan Bread!, 2. Bread on the peel, 3. Spinach, 4. Cream of Spinach Soup

I have a tiny twinge of guilt about the furnace... and being wimpy.  Tiny twinge.  A warm tiny twinge.  We have a big old house with hardwood floors throughout and, while I love the way they look, I do have thoughts of carpeting now and then... especially in January.  My guilt was lessened some when I opened the gas bill and saw that, because of my reprogramming of the programmable thermostat last winter, my monthly payment will be going down.  I've earned a few warm days in early June -- when it's supposed to be warm!


1. Friday ride, 2. Getting ready to ride

I knew on Friday that I'd better enjoy every nice minute, so sat out on the front porch for a while.  Katie knew that opportunities for biking over the weekend would be few, too, so Mickey and I watched as she took off.  The girl bought a new bike and has been a cycling fool!  Lovin' it.


1. Mickey, 2. Mickey, 3. Mickey, 4. MickeyOh, Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind!

We never really had stormy weather over the weekend, just craptacular weather.  Where is the stormy weather, by the way?  It seems like we've hardly had any flashing or rumbling, no tornado watches or warnings (which is OK, really), or even much good cloud-/sky-watching this year.

I felt bad for all the kids who had graduation parties planned, and also for the various festivals going on... the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival and the Greek-Serbian Festival, to name a couple.  I was determined to eat Greek, so we donned jackets and grabbed umbrellas late on Saturday and (quickly) enjoyed souvlaki and baklava.  Attendance was so bad that, by the time we got there, desserts were being sold 2-for-1... what were they going to do with it all???  I ended up with a small tray of baklava and another of a dessert that I don't remember the name of, made with most of the same ingredients but looking more like shredded wheat.  All of it to-die-for.

I didn't leave the house yesterday.  I watched the Tony Awards and tried to fix my screwed up Harmonia's Rings.  I thought I had it conquered, but no... I've got some tedious tinking ahead.  I sat back and enjoyed the show, instead, and thought of Terry so many times!!  She sent me a camera-phone shot of the stage!  Loved the awards and I want to see every single show!!  LOVE Billy Elliott, LOVE Hair, LOVE Rock of Ages, LOVE Jeff Daniels, LOVE that crazy lady show, LOVE LOVE LOVE!!


Good grief, some days it's really hard to get a post off the ground.  I have started no less than four times today.  Either I can't string thoughts together cohesively -- which I usually just dub a "Random" post and be done (truth be told, it's pretty much what I mean by "Noodlin'") -- or I can't catch a thought at all, or when I do catch one it just doesn't seem interesting enough, or the color is off...


The irises at the labyrinth garden were beautiful last night, but I may have overdone it a bit in the processing.  Or maybe not.  It's getting so that I can't even tell.  They were gorgeous and I was shooting into the light a bit -- it changes things.

The weather is going to change, that much I know.  I can feel it in my ankles and when I can feel it, you can usually see it, too.  It sure is gorgeous today, but that'll all be changing soon.  We'll be lucky to see 60 over the weekend.  The only good thing is that there's a good chance for STORMS, especially tonight.

A stop after work last night ran a little longer than expected, so I missed Zumba.  I am definitely going tomorrow morning -- I actually love starting my Saturday that way and, really, only wish that the class started an hour earlier.  My next visit will necessitate the purchase of a new punch card for future visits!  That'll be 10, plus another 5 or so that I paid for individually.  I have not lost any weight -- not an ounce -- but try stay optimistic and hopeful that it will happen eventually.  (Please?  I'm not asking for Twiggy!)  I've been eating better, trying (that word!) to eat less, drinking less soda and more water; I'm moving more, feeling and sleeping better; my knees hurt less.  I'm not encouraging the knees by talking about them much and if we can get back to "normal" soon enough, I'm more than willing to forget this painful episode ever happened.  Oh, I am loathe to talk about sore knees, cankles, support hose!  What next... you wanna hear about my hearing?  What??

The labyrinth garden is not on a route I take often these days, and haven't stopped since last fall, but I had my camera and it was a lovely evening...


I've yet to walk it.  I will.  Maybe you can find one near you!


This wind chime is huge.  I love the sun flare in this photo -- especially the rainbow "notes" at the bottom of the chimes.

A couple of iris from home with the borrowed lens before I had to send it back.  Yesterday.  DH did the deed.


The blue-gray bokeh in the photo below is my celtic "tombstone" from Target's Halloween collection a few years ago.  It's a year 'round garden ornament at my house.


I did some work last night and then took the rest of the night off and KNIT (imagine that!) while watching reruns.  I just made the second set of increases on Harmonia's Rings and am nearing the end of the first (of two) balls of yarn.  I stopped at Iris Fine Yarns on Tuesday night and ordered the Habu Konyaku Root Sizing Silk for Mim's new scarf, Transverse.  I ordered purple!  I haven't been able to stop thinking about Transverse since I saw it, so I had to take action.

If the weather is tolerable at all, I'm hoping to visit a local Greek/Serbian Festival tomorrow.  Food is my main goal, accompanied by music and dancing.  Otherwise, it'll just be a weekend at home and there's plenty to do there.  Next weekend, I'll be at a party celebrating Mack's 4th birthday, if you can believe that!



Congratulations Madeleine!!!  XOXOXO

It was 300,000,000,000 degrees when Katie graduated, and 200,000,000,000 when Ali graduated, and a comfy 70 for Maddy!  That, and it was all said and done in less than an hour and a half.  I heard the principal bragging that they broke all sorts of graduation records!  It was perfect.  There was an after-party at a local sports park (batting cages, go carts, miniature golf, etc.) and then an after-after-party/bonfire at a friend's.  She's sleeping in this morning!

Doesn't she look happy?

Meet the Quirks

I have my work cut out for me today -- lots of photos to process from various shoots, projects to complete, portraits to deliver; laundry and "day off" around-the-house stuff; and a graduation tonight!  Even though I've known all year long that Maddy was a senior, the fact that she'd actually graduate and be finished -- that I would have NO MORE CHILDREN in the local school district in any capacity at all -- just kind of slammed me the other day.  I'm still catching my breath and shaking my head!  Wow.

I'm just popping in with another quickie this morning...

I love a quirky photo.  These are two of my favorites (so far) from Friday evening's shoot with my sister's family.  This is not your standard "say cheese," look-this-way, color-coordinated family and that's the last type of photograph they'd want.  I wouldn't even be able to take a photo like that with these people.


The photo above is taken shooting down from the deck off the kitchen at the rear of the house.  The yard slopes down quite a ways, too.  I processed it using a technique that mimics the use of a "tilt-shift" lens -- making the subjects appear miniature and (sometimes) as if they're part of a model.  I love how the chairs make it pop... there sure is a lot of green, otherwise, isn't there!?!


I knew I'd love this one the second I shot it!  It's all about stance, posture, body language, relationship, footwear (coveting those Keens!)... I especially love the discarded toy, but truth be told, the garden hose totally makes it.  Heh, it just wouldn't be the same without it!  I love this more than I should.

Have a terrific Wednesday.

Cross-blogged at Victoria-Pictoria.



The Empire Builder didn't pull into Columbus until about 5:30 last night and I still had to get all my stuff together at my sister's and face the hour-and-a-half drive home.  That after a very busy and very, very, very fun weekend in Chicago... more on that as the week progresses.

The drive home went much better than expected, and a planned stop helped to break it up.  At about the half-way mark is a little town called Rosendale where, right on the highway through town, there's this:

The sign at the gate

I must have driven past Sisson's Peony Gardens a million times before I noticed it several years ago... and then drove by a half-million more times before I finally stopped.  Last night.  With camera and borrowed lens.  It was a little breezy, though, so not the greatest conditions for flower portraits.  There were a few peonies blooming, but the vast majority are June bloomers and the real show won't be for another week or two.  Judging by all the buds, it will be spectactular -- and I will likely have opportunity to stop again!

The charming old sign

I loved the old sign, mounted to the fence at the rear of the garden.  The peony varieties were all clearly identified and the garden itself is very well tended.  It's evident that there's a lot of community effort and pride poured into that little garden.