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Our last full day in Vegas...


...was a day of touring by various methods.  I'd forgotten that #1 on my list when we had the car was driving to the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.  I really wanted a match for Osh Vegas!  I knew it was a bit of a hike from Planet Hollywood... but too far??  We decided to walk in that direction -- we hadn't gone that way before -- past MGM, toward M&M World, and ask someone who looked like they might know if a) it was walkable and b) within walking distance.  I asked a store clerk, who hemmed and hawed a bit, but in the end we all decided it was -- or, if it wasn't, we'd just turn around or catch a cab or a bus or something.  We bought a day-long bus pass along the way.


New York! New York!

It was a long walk in the morning sun, past long-gone hotels and casinos, not always on a paved sidewalk, but not battling any sort of crowd, and we made it!  Jumping for joy!
The whole bus thing on that end of town was... well, I suggest figuring out how it works BEFORE the buses start going by.  We walked back up a ways and eventually caught a Deuce.  We had front-row seats on the upper deck and a somewhat entertaining driver who left the PA open, so we heard some interesting goings-on from passengers below, and decided to take it all the way up -- the poor man's tour of The Strip -- figuring the bus would just turn around and head back.  It sort of worked like that, but kind of not.  In hindsight, we should have stopped at Fremont Street and caught an Ace back; instead, we disembarked and reembarked on the same bus (front row seats again, tho!)... and it was a very long tour.

By then, we were hungry!  We had a little something to eat and took some time to rest at the hotel before heading back out again.


We walked up toward The Venetian, where Sharon (a fan of The View) met Whoopi Goldberg outside of Madame Tussaud's.
The final destination was Fremont Street Experience, as recommended by our brother and several others.  This time, we caught the Ace bus (there and back) for a much quicker ride!

We saw (and these photos are from) the Don McLean's American Pie show.  We also saw Doors Strange Days, but I only listened and watched that one.  Worn out and with a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call looming, we didn't stay out too late!

* * * * *

I had a fabulous time in Fabulous Las Vegas!  Thank you, Sharon, for the idea -- and for letting me run with it!  For one who doesn't often plan these things, I think I planned well -- and, more or less, things went as planned.  I left wanting more -- there's plenty that I did not see (neon graveyard, for one BIG thing) -- and that's a good thing!  About the only thing that could have made it better was coming home having won a little jackpot -- just a little one!

* * * * *

Tom Jones at the MGM Grand in August.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday road trip


I'll try not to load this post with too many photos, but no promises.  It was all so fantastic and I took a bunch.

Tuesday was road trip day.  We rented a car and #1* on the list was a visit to Hash House A Go Go for breakfast, #2 was Gail Knits, #3 was Hoover Dam, and #4 was Valley of Fire.  Red Rock Canyon was a late suggestion for #5 from a valet at Planet Hollywood -- who did not blink, by the way, when the answer to "Where are you going?" was "To a yarn store!"  In fact, he told me of a similar trek while on vacation once with a girlfriend -- he wasn't all that enthused, and I'm not sure he had full understanding, but he was aware of the need to seek out yarn stores on vacation, and he did not judge.  Heh.

#1.  Hash House A Go Go!  Thank you, Caro; seconded by Susan!!  (May I suggest that the next time you're planning a trip somewhere, throw it out to Facebook -- I had the most wonderful response from people I know and trust!)

Yeah.  Even Sharon's simple eggs, ham and potato breakfast was huge.  I had a hash made with fresh mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and fresh spinach with my biscuit and egg.  I'd seen the Hash House A Go Go location at the Imperial Palace, but we drove to the one on Sahara because it was "just down the street" from...

#2.  Gail Knits!  Thank you, Jennifer!  I didn't take any photos, but I did buy a Crazy Zauberball to remember the visit to Vegas and to use in my current Parcheesi project.  We also talked bratwurst and cheese curds with an employee (maybe a customer?) who'd once lived in Wisconsin.

#3.  Hoover Dam.  I didn't do any planning for this visit, just knew that we needed to go.  We didn't go on an organized tour, either, though perhaps we should have -- amazingly beautiful and completely fascinating, in any case.


This bridge., this bridge is SO DAMN HIGH.  I don't think I'd ever be able to drive over it, or even be driven over it.  Really and truly.  I'm not sure I'd be able to walk over it... maybe straight down the middle and without looking either left or right -- straight ahead, eyes on the prize (the other side), baby!  Maybe I could crawl over.  I get vertigo just thinking about being up there.
#4.  Valley of Fire.  We drove a few miles into Arizona before turning around and driving back over the dam, then into Lake Mead National Recreation Area on our way through Valley of Fire.  Simply gorgeous.

It got too late to also visit Red Rock Canyon, so #5 became a stop at In-n-Out Burger, instead.  (Thanks, again, to Jennifer!)  Really, terrifically, YUM!!

And then we went "home" -- Planet Hollywood -- and enjoyed a lovely sunset.


Sharon and I agree that without this little road trip, we'd both feel very differently (not as good) about our trip to Las Vegas.

*#1 was supposed to be the Las Vegas sign!!  Ooops!  Tomorrow is another day.

Can you believe I went to Las Vegas?

Srsly.  I've never actually articulated my Top 10 Places To Go... but if I did, I don't think Las Vegas was in there.  Italy, Ireland, Greece, St. John, Newfoundland, Labrador, Arizona, St. Louis, Charleston, Disneyland... they'd be in there.

Now?  Well, I could go back!

I maybe should have been a pilot... this is my second-least favorite seat on the plane... even so, the view from up there is one of my favorite things in the world.

It was 59F, cloudy, and windy when we landed.  This was the (fisheye) view from our room.  That shut me up right quick.  The Bellagio (and fountains), Caesar's Palace, Mirage, and Paris -- with Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe (and Barry Manilow) -- all right there.  I never tired of the view.

Monday morning dawned "quiet" and clear -- and warmer!


Barry Manilow was next door at Paris!

But not right away warmer, so we spent some morning time viewing the auto collection at the Imperial Palace.  I could easily fill my fantasy 20-car garage from this collection.


This one's for Mom & Joe -- who are driving through Italy as we speak!

Donny and Marie were at the Flamingo -- next to Barry Manilow at Paris and across from Cher at Caesar's Palace.

Margaritas in ridiculous light-up souvenir Planet Hollywood glasses (we fell for it!) at lunch!
Our big event on Monday was seeing the Cirque du Soleil show "LOVE" at the Mirage.  Loved it!

Saturday quickie

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Post.  Quickie POST!

Irises are blooming!

I'm prepping for departure... doing laundry, weeding in the garden, visiting with and/or going out to lunch with girls, downloading music to my MP3 device (also known as a cell phone... which may or may not change in the near iFuture).

I downloaded two old albums by Rickie Lee Jones last night -- the self-titled debut and Pirates.  I have loved that voice since Note One and I'm not over it yet.  I figure I'm not stuck in a time warp because in the same sitting I also downloaded some songs by Jay-Z.

One more sleep...



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A mental image came to mind as I uploaded these photos to the blog of the position I was in, the time of day, and my location in the (front) yard to capture these photos of my Japanese fern.  Um.  Yeah.image from 
I forgot to take a Macro May photo yesterday... these are from a few days ago.  I'm a little bit scattered today and seem to be tending a lot of little fires -- and even putting some out!  I'm also jotting down notes left and right -- things to do before I go, things I need to do while I'm gone, things I need to do when I get back.  It's all jumbled up -- mostly in a good way, though.  I'm really looking forward to a fun get-away trip with my sister!!


Daisy, Daisy

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Maddy arrived home last night with the first year of college tucked under her belt!  She came bearing daisies -- not for me, they were a gift to her -- which made for a lovely "Macro May" subject in the late-day sun through my studio/office window.  (One of these days, I should hook up the tripod and trigger.)

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Despite some weird delivery shenanigans, I received the 15mm Canon Fisheye lens that I rented from  I placed this order on Monday morning and the lens was in my hands/on my camera yesterday.  FedEx delivery on Wednesday (conveniently, my day off) was expected, but not guaranteed, so since a signature was required I had it delivered to the coffee shop instead.  Ali took delivery of a UPS package -- totally not for her address, and definitely not a camera lens.  I'd nearly given up on the Wednesday thing when I had a phone call at 7:20 pm from the bridal shop that my lens had been delivered there -- down a ways and across the street!  Sheesh.  They were open 'til 8, so I made a bee-line.

The "smiling sidewalk" perfectly sums up my feelings about the photo above!

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I'm going to have fun with this thing in Vegas -- and, hopefully, timing will work for a couple of shoots I have on tap yet at home.
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Easily amused, I'm lovin' this freaky photo, too.  My fresh new pedi, sporting new sandals (I used to wear them all.the.time, but thongs for the first time in years), the flattened dandelions, Roxie, my hair hanging down -- my swollen ankles can't even bring me down.  Heh.

Busy days behind me, busy days ahead... Viva! on the horizon.

Northwoods Jaunt, Day 3: No photos

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Well, one photo -- taken on Sunday for Macro May, after we arrived home!  Moss rose on the verge.

After DH took the knitterly photos at Wren Cafe on Saturday afternoon, we drove over to my sister Karen's.  We borrowed the Garmin that we gave Maddy at Christmas and I've fallen in love all over again, detouring our way from Point A to Point B, never worrying about getting lost.  I don't know about you, but my sense of direction, which used to be amazingly good, has completely gone to hell in recent years.

Karen had bought and delivered a load of fresh dirt that morning, and my BIL was busy redistributing it with a shovel to flower beds all around the house when we arrived.  After two days of sitting and visiting, DH was downright eager for physical activity and he helped make quick work of the remaining dirt pile.  My sister loves it when DH is along on visits; he's helped with numerous repairs, over the years, as well as building larger projects such as a bookcase and a deck!  Yes, a deck!

We've often joked about swapping husbands for a week -- work farm style.  Karen would get some of her home improvement/repair projects knocked off and I'd get a freezer full of fish and game.

Anyway, I can't remember the last time I visited at Karen's.  I used to go up there a few times every year when the kids were little, and she'd come here.  Yikes!  I think it's been a year or maybe almost two, which seems unreal.  Theoretically, this could be the last time I visit at that particular house, too, as her husband has a new job at a distance that's too far to commute everyday.  She's lived in her house almost as long as I've lived in mine.  I can't imagine packing up to move.  Thankfully, she'll be finished with her job in another week and will have more time to devote to all the details.

So, I had a garden tour and we enjoyed a great dinner, followed by wine and port sampling 'round the fire pit.  Jena, my niece, was in the northwoods on Saturday, also, to shoot a wedding, and she rolled in (pooped) after the reception.

Sunday morning didn't dawn as well as Saturday, so I snuggled extra-long under the covers.  Rather than doing photography, I talked photography with my niece on Sunday.  We had dueling laptops going for a while, showing our stuff, and I saw Lightroom in action up-close-and-personal for the first time.

It was a swell visit to wind up a really great weekend -- I haven't had one so good in a long time.  Spending an extra day someplace -- one full day -- is the only change I'd make next time.

And now -- I am readying for the Las Vegas vacation!  The car has been rented (with GPS, see above), and I've rented a fun fish-eye camera lens (which should arrive today).  The purse/camera/knitting bag "personal item" did well on its trial run -- more about that soon.

I also had a light bulb moment in regard to traveling with my current knitting project.  I am knitting a blanket in small sections using many colors.  The "small sections" part is great in terms of travel, the "many colors" part is not; however (*light bulb on*), I realized that I do not have to carry all of the many colors with me at all times.  I need only carry with me the few colors (at this point) that I am using on the section currently being worked!  I can pack the other colors in my other, less accessible, carry-on bag.  Woohoo!!

Northwoods Jaunt, Day 2: Morning Has Broken


At the head of the bed in our room at the farm, instead of a headboard, was a large north-facing window.  As day began to break, all I needed to do was lift my head off the pillow a bit to see the sun rise over the horizon.  I'd wanted to get up early and get out with my camera, but was quite happy with the sunrise situation from bed.

Considering it was a "vacation Saturday," I was up very early -- out right around 6 a.m. -- a fact that I shared with DH's uncle, whose farm this is, when we visited him later in the morning at the long-term care facility where he now lives.  I am very happy with the images I captured on the farm, but my favorite memory -- the one that will come to mind every time I view these photos -- is the happy expression on Uncle's face when I was telling him about my early morning and how much I enjoyed poking around his old farm.


The resident barn cat is the exact opposite in coloring of our Roxie, and much like her in temperament.  This is a barn cat that could just as easily live in the house -- and might even prefer it.

The sailboat in the corn crib was DH's grandfather's.  It hasn't seen the water in quite some time.

We walked down to the cemetery after breakfast.  It was still pretty early... and very dewy.  My jeans were wet and my shoes were squishy as we walked back.


There were cows in the barn recently, but the notes were old, old, old!

While DH continued with the visiting on Saturday afternoon, I had a little break in the action and a most enjoyable visit with Ms. Kmkat at Cafe Wren in Luck, WI.  Cafe Wren is an adorable cafe -- a converted old house, great color, local artwork everywhere -- and offers a fantastic Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwich for lunch.


This is the third time we've met up to knit, eat, drink, talk and laugh together, and I'm thinkin' it won't be the last.
We have too much fun not to want to do it again!!

Northwoods Jaunt, Day 1: Down on the Farm

Shadow on the barn

I took Friday off and drove with DH to the great northwoods of Wisconsin for some lots of visiting.  There was a nice gathering of almost everyone we in the area of DH's uncle's farm on Friday evening -- Aunts Bev, Dodo and Ruth, Uncle Rudy, cousins Linda, Carol and Kent, first-cousin-once-removed Chris!

From my seat where we visited in the 3-season porch, I noticed the shadow of the garage creeping up the side of the barn as the sun fell -- the windows on the barn perfectly placed so that it looked like a tiny little shadow house.  I was a good little visitor, but I squirmed in my seat as I watched that shadow until I couldn't stand it any longer!  I couldn't bear to let the opportunity pass, so jumped up and bolted out the door, grabbing my camera and shooting some farm stuff in the late day sun.


Not to forget Macro May!

The Farmall

Farm flare

The Farmall tractor -- with flare!

The Oliver

The Oliver.

The barn

I came back in with my knitting (as of last night, two of the six Parcheesi squares is fini!).  It was fun to spend an evening on the farm -- in the country.  I've never had a rural address, and think I'd like to someday... if I can ever leave my present, practically perfect place.  (I'd also like to try an utterly urban address someday, too!)

I hope you had a good weekend.  I'll be back with more tomorrow -- Saturday was nearly as perfect a day as could be imagined!  But today is Monday, after all, and there's lots to catch up on in all areas of life.


So, I've been planning a trip to Las Vegas with my sister.  As a vacationer, I have never really been much of a planner -- I'm more of a "If You Go, You Will Have Fun" type of vacationer.  So it is with some surprise that I find myself happily planning this little vacation and pondering the mundane details.

Yesterday, I was focused on the rental car.  We plan to rent a car on one of the days to visit Hoover Dam, drive into the desert, and visit Gail Knits!  And some other places -- probably places to eat.  The question was: "intermediate" or "standard" (not "full size") car or "intermediate SUV"?

My sis wrote back and said that she likes all of the decisions I've made so far, so whatever I like.

She also mentioned that she wanted to zoom in closer to see all of the details on my nightstand.


Macro May!  Those fibery bits are actually the ends of a "Hemp for Haiti" friendship bracelet -- kids today don't call it what it is... MACRAME!  Heh.  Anyway, that Opal sock yarn ball band is folded and very well worn because it, too, was carried around in my pocket for quite some time!

DH and I are heading out for the weekend as soon as the laundry is done and I can pack.  I'm also packing my "personal item" -- camera bag/knitting bag/purse -- giving it a trial run in prep for the upcoming Vegas trip.  I'm bringing the laptop, but connection will be sporadic.  We're packing a lot into the weekend -- visiting DH's northwoods relatives tonight and tomorrow, meeting up with Ms. KmKatt tomorrow, and also visiting with my sister and her family tomorrow night-into-Sunday.  We'll stop by to feed some starving college kids -- Maddy and her BFF roommate -- on the way home, as they strap in for Finals Week.

Have a great weekend!!



I'm ticked off at my 60mm macro lens for it's fickle auto-focus performance, so pulled out the 24-105mm macro late last night, which can't go nearly as close.  The light was horrible, I was uninspired, and there was nothing very photogenic.  Anywhere.  Heh.

That's a corner of my bedside table.  I prefer Grandma's old sewing machine, which I used for 20+ years, but it doesn't fit.  I love the new table, which we practically stole from the home improvement store (I love a bargain!).

I rarely use bobby pins, but usually have one (or six?) in my pocket.

Can you believe that I didn't have a single hairband with me at Zumba on Monday night?  Ali had to bring one for me from home.

My gigantic Michael Perry bookmark is from last year's Fox Cities Book Festival.  I'd been using it to hold my place in Eric Clapton's autobiography, but I recently finished that book and returned it to Mom.  The book I'm currently reading, Just Kids (on "Short Loan" from the library for the second time and overdue as of Monday... finish it, already!) is being marked with my David bookmark that a book club friend brought me from Italy.

Speaking of books, I'm aiming to finish Just Kids this weekend.  I like it just fine -- quite a lot, actually!  I'll miss our next book club meeting on the 26th -- they'll be discussing The Help -- because I'll be in Fabulous Las Vegas with my sister.  I have the book and want to read it, but doubt it'll be coming to Vegas because it's hardcover.  I'm thinking that I'll bring Olive Kitteridge or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society or How To Knit A Love Song (did Katie return that yet?) or one of the other 20 books that I keep shuffling in my To-Read stack o' books.

I'm not sure which bookmark I'll use.

Anyway.  I'm a huge collector of paperclips, too, and I stuff a lot of notes in my pockets.

Kleenex.  (Always.)

There's a tag there that I cut out of a new "shapewear" article -- the fourth or fifth such thing I've bought in the past few years and the only one that I really like, probably because it's for the easier-to-shape top part of my bod rather than the resistant-to-change/get-this-tourniquet-off-me/pray-I-won't-need-a-bathroom bottom.

I had to get the scissors from the bathroom.  It's a pretty lousy bathroom scissors, so I'll see how it goes in the bedroom.

The scissors is in a bowl that my dad turned.  He had some other turned wood pieces with him during his visit.  I have lots of pieces, gifted and gathered over the years, but I chose a salt & pepper mill set for each of the girls.  They were thrilled.  (Note to self/girls: Thank You card!)

There's the tag in there from my first Victoria's Secret purchase in a million years -- a bra.  I went to get fitted.  Finally.  I don't really like the bra that much.  Dang.

I used to buy a lot of nightgowns from Victoria's Secret back in the day... when a gown was actually a gown -- yardage -- with buttons, tucks, and just the perfect balance of ruffles and lace.  They were romantic.

I have decided that I am not romantic.  I am passionate, but not romantic.

What else is in there?  Burt's Bees lip balm, a fold-over magnetic "Quebec" bookmark that I found in a library book a long time ago, a plastic bread bag closure (a.k.a. yarn bobbin), and the label from a ball of Opal Hundertwasser.  The label makes me smile.

I didn't dress for the weather today.

In which there is knitting and randomness!


Ohmygosh, did you wonder if I'd given it up for good?

Color changes

No way.  The knitting of 18 red squares for Parcheesi didn't make for exciting blog fodder, though.  I briefly thought -- a couple of times -- about knitting a third or half of them, getting on to the exciting part, then going back and knitting another third or the remaining half... but I know myself well enough, by now (sometimes!), to know that once I moved on to "the exciting part," going back would be, like... well... just not very likely and then there'd be another big ol' UFO weighing me down.  It seemed best to just forge ahead and put Phase I/Red Squares behind me.

Square 1 (in progress)

WooHOO!  Now I'm on to Phase II/Framing Squares in Color and, oh, how I'm going to love, love, love this part!


  • It's a Wednesday and I'm working; Friday off this week, instead.
  • A visit to the Northwoods is on tap this weekend, with a possible knitterly meet up!
  • Wondering why, for the past week or so, one of my blog feeds takes 24 hours to update.
  • It's chilly again, with plenty of rain in the forecast; I am SO READY for warm.  (Any time now, Ma Nature!!)
  • Actually, I think we'll see the elusive sun-and-70s combo next week!
  • That should prime me nicely for the sun-and-90s that I hope to visit the following week.
  • My smile got bigger and bigger this morning as the list of celebrity birthdays was read:  Bruce Boxleitner (one of the cutest cowboys ever, ca. How The West Was Won), Gabriel Byrne, and Steve Winwood among them.  I used to borrow Traffic LPs from the library.  Arc of a Diver is one of the albums I'd want on the deserted island...
  • Twin Sons of Different Mothers is another...

Have a great day!

Macro May

Am I easily humored these days, or what?  Every time I think "Macro May," I think "macrame" -- and, trust me, before the month is out there will be a macro shot of macrame for Macro May!


Scamp.  He's the most patient of our three cats when it comes to me and my camera -- especially close -- but this was his limit on Sunday.


Mother's Day tulips from Kate!

Trying to decide whether and/or which lens to rent for the trip to Las Vegas -- I'll have to order soon if I'm gonna -- input welcome!

Weekend on the road


We had Mother's Day brunch at Annie's on Saturday.  Three of Mom's five kids were in attendance, along with a sprinkling of grandchildren, two sons-in-law, one husband, one ex-husband, a former brother-in-law, and former BIL's new girlfriend!  It's been said before, but I'll have to say it again... my sister Ann sure knows how to do brunch!

Mom's Day bow

Mom has a couple of trips coming up -- a first-time visit to Japan and a return trip to Italy -- so we slipped some Euro and Yen into her card for a surprise!  Sharon wrapped up a fun, 5-high tower of boxes; each box held a ceramic heart -- made by JD Wolfe Pottery, similar to this one -- one for each of us, the largest no bigger than about four inches, all perfectly nesting together.  That was a big hit, too, as you might imagine.

Welcome to Osh Vegas

Except for yesterday, it was a pretty crappy weather weekend (which, in my book, includes Friday evening), causing two of three scheduled photo shoots to be cancelled.  Thankfully, I was able to do the one that's been waiting the longest.

Osh Vegas Palms Resort

I made a long-overdue photo stop on the way home.  This sign appeared a few years ago on the west side of US Hwy. 41 just south of Oshkosh -- home of OshKosh B'gosh clothing, Chief Oshkosh Beer, Oshkosh (Truck), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and Country USA -- and, now, Fabulous OSH VEGAS!  It's always tickled my funny bone... and two weeks from today I'll be living it up in Fabulous LAS VEGAS for the first time ever, and so... well, you know, I just had to!

Let's see, what else?  I had a nice snuggly time with Mack & Addy, though an unintented head-butt by the youngest resulted in a split top lip (mine), which wasn't as bad as it could have been -- and, really, pretty amazing that it's never happened before considering the angle and position of some of my crooked teeth.  My kids always whanged my glasses or nose rather than mouth or chin -- each has its own special hurt!  I helped Mack suit up for another go at learning how to ride his two-wheeler without training wheels -- helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads, and shin guards!  He went a good 20' on his own... next thing on the list is learning how to stop!

I had a Mother's Day text message, a phone call, and a couple of visits from my girls.  A hot fudge sundae with extra cherries, a little knitting, and watching the long awaited and DVR'd Saturday Night Live hosted by Betty White -- which did not disappoint -- nicely rounded out the weekend.

I hope yours was good, too!







The stuffiness in my nose has apparently moved north to my brain and I am pretty much useless today.  It doesn't help that it feels as though we've been plunged back into the depths of February/March.   A little sunshine would make me wanna give a damn.  (Have I mentioned the low energy?)  I'm sure I'll recover -- I'm already on the road!

In case I don't get back here before then, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and Happy Weekend to all!  And to all a good night.  Heh.  (But really... I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow morning -- the only day in recent memory and foreseeable future that it'll even be possible!  Wish me luck.)



I came home from the dentist yesterday with a new toothbrush.  And, when I say "new," I mean, "Holy crap, what are those green things? It looks like they might hurt? I've never seen anything like that before!"

I love a new toothbrush, but wasn't sure I was going to love this one.  I do!  I love, love it!  It's so... stimulating, which is the point, I suppose.


A toothbrush is pretty boring, though, so how about some more pretty lilac blossoms?


I can't get enough of them!


My sore throat is MAYBE a little tiny bit better this morning.  Gah!  I hate being sick.

Oooh, smell this!

Oh, how I wish you could!


I had a dentist appointment this morning and, in general, it's all good.  I've decided to start working on my Dental To-Do List -- because emergency dental work rates right up there with root canals (not that I've ever had a root canal, but I've heard... and I don't EVER want to have one) -- there's $$$ in crown work to be done (dental insurance should cover about half), the first and worst will be done in June.  Yippee.

I met Michael and my dad for lunch at the coffee shop, then Dad came over to my house for a short visit.  It was nice to see him.  He's been having a great visit with siblings, and had good fishing over the weekend.  Brunch on Saturday...


OMG, can you smell those lilacs?  I have one pretty darn scrawny lilac bush, but I picked a bunch (most) of flowers this evening and the bouquet is sitting just off my right shoulder.  It's just heaven...

Today is Day 3 of a bothersome sore throat and, oh, was I ever tired this afternoon.  I took some meds and had a little nap, and was so warm and snuggly under the covers that I did not want to get up.  *Sigh*  But I did.  I'm the definition of "low energy" today!

Wanna play?

Square in progress

Parcheesi!  I'm knitting a baby blanket version of Janine's Parcheesi Afghan.  (There's plenty of inspiration of the Rav variety.)  I've only just started, so it'll be a while before we can play.  And I'm going to be riffing quite a bit, I think, so maybe it won't even be playable in the end.  I'm looking forward to having some fun with it -- with The Process.

Seeing red

I've knit about 6 of 18 squares so far.  Hoping I have enough of this red yarn.  I love that it's not solid red.  Don't love that it's so darn unphotogenic.  I have a couple-few reject squares in reserve, just in case I run short.

My dad's rolling through for a quick visit tomorrow.  I'll see him again at "Mother's Day" brunch on Saturday before he heads back home.  That'll be interesting.  ; )

Busy weekend with babies & bugs

The babies part was fun; the bugs, not so much.  There was also cooking.  But let's start at the beginning.

I had the most wonderful photo shoot on Saturday morning (little preview here), ending a bit of a photography break (at least as far as people are concerned, but I guess in general a little bit, too).  A repeat customer, the session had its challenges, but was oh so rewarding!  Six months ago, I had a newborn (with personality) in my viewfinder...


...and now...OMG, isn't he adorable?

What a difference six months -- arguably, the most amazing months -- makes!

Also?  I love babies.  (I know, big surprise.)  That is all.


I was on weekend kitchen duty.  I didn't want to be, but didn't really have a compelling argument as to why not.  So, I cracked open the Flat Belly Cookbook -- it's my go-to (plus, I really want to drop a few pounds... NOW!) -- and found a recipe we hadn't tried yet, Creamy Seafood Casserole.  Saturday was also the start of Macro May on Flickr, so, of course, I took pictures.

On Sunday, I made another untried recipe from the same book, Crab Primavera with Spaghetti, except ours was sans crab (we had grilled turkey burgers on the side) and with low-carb linguini instead of spaghetti (because it's what I had).  OMG, what's not to love about roasted veggies tossed with with fresh basil and tomatoes, and cooked pasta?  If I'd been smart, I'd have thought to roast the veggies on the grill!  (Next time.)

I recommend both recipes with enthusiastic thumbs-up!


On Sunday morning, I had another photo shoot with a 3-month-old baby boy.  I haven't finished developing those photos yet, but they should be ready before long.  Oh, the sweetness!

I wanted to get a little yard work done on Sunday afternoon, but it was SO nice (nice on Saturday, too, but so windy) that I took a little time to just sit in the sun.  I have the pink shoulders to prove it!

The sunning didn't last long -- I never did worship the sun much (though I was thinking that a nice, comfy chaise could change all that).  I got off my butt and started some weeding in the succulent garden.  The weeding quickly evolved into ant eradication and further descended to unearthing a bees' nest.  I remember now why my interests may have wandered elsewhere these past few years.  Bugs = BIG ICK!  I dug stuff out -- including a grub, or maybe it was the queen of something -- and shook off ants for as long as I could, and then handed the shovel to DH and hit the shower.


Day 2: Macro May -- more babies!