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January 2017
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March 2017

FO: Project Peace Cowl



Knitting in the round on a circular needle is my least favorite way to knit. I loved the whole idea behind this project, but didn't have any "peaceful feelings" about making it until it was suggested that the pattern be modified. Of course!

I did a few calculations and ended up provisionally casting on 45 stitches, working a 3-stitch I-cord in contrasting color on each side of the 39-row pattern. I knit and knit and knit -- 210 pattern repeats, and finished with a 3-needle bind off.

It turned out quite nice. I might have made it a little wider and/or a little shorter, but it makes a nice couple of nice loops 'round my neck right now, and I love the colors.

_ _ _ _ _

Hey, it's FRIDAY!! I woke up this morning to snow mingled with "wintry mix" and a couple flashes of light followed by rumbling... THUNDERSNOW!

Tomorrow is the final day of the Best Picture Festival and I'm looking forward to that, and then the OSCARS on Sunday night! Tomorrow's line up is Fences, Lion, Arrival, Manchester By The Sea, and Moonlight (which I've already seen, so will likely skip... five movies in one day is a lot!).


There's going to be some serious stash-busting/leftover-using pom pom making around here. So fun!

Happy Weekend!!

An afternoon out


I picked up Jun at around noon yesterday for an afternoon outing to the park.

As, predicted, it was a crazy gorgeous day for February! 65F and sunny... and just a little bit weird because it's February! Well, I'm not in charge of the weather, so the only thing we could do was take advantage and enjoy!


The ground is soft and wet. A truck had apparently driven to that light pole to change the lamp, leaving an enticing little furrow leading right to the playground. The playground itself is made of soft, porous rubber material enclosed by a circular concrete walkway -- CLEAN & DRY!! It's pretty ingenious stuff, and I'm guessing that it's probably recycled.

So much to explore.



So much climbing to do!


So much fun to be had!! (Isn't he adorable in his "basemall" cap?)


After the playground, we went over to Culver's for some frozen custard.

It was SO GOOD! He had two scoops, and I had an offered spoonful.  ;)

Then we went to the grocery store. He's such a great helper! He picked out some veggie chips and an orange for himself, and a Hot Wheels car!


Change is comin'. Winter Weather Advisory from midnight tonight until noon tomorrow... wintry mix and then snow. We could get 6" - 14". I don't have to like it, but it is a bit more February-like.

Can't help but wonder when it'll be nice enough for another afternoon at the park!


Well, it was sorta like this...


And this...


I picked up my new prescription sunglasses on Friday.

On Saturday, I spent the afternoon & evening at the movies; Best Picture Festival, Day 1.

Sunday was busy with chores, but I spent a little time with the kiddos -- bikes, trikes, wagon rides, and walking around the block.

It was a gorgeous weekend! Hard to believe, I'm sure, if I tell you that with a high of 53F today is the "dud" in the middle of this little stretch of thaw we have going on.

Wednesday looks to be the best of the bunch and it's my day off (YIPPEE!), and then we return to the harsh cold snowy reality of February-into-March.


I fully admit to being a procrastinator of the highest degree!

I get the important stuff done on time -- rarely early, mind you. Heh. I work best under pressure and definitely with a deadline. Always have.

Right now, I'm knee-deep in a couple of book work-type things that I'd put off -- or maybe worked at a bit, but needed time to develop a process that worked and find my rhythm.


Then there are things like this. Christmas presents for the kids. I didn't finish them until after Christmas, and I am okay with that because it's such a crazy time for everyone. When they were finally finished? Jun was mindlessly cuddling and fiddling with his bear rug and worked out one of the "safety eyes" in a matter of minutes. Since then? Gin managed to dislodge the other eye. Ugh. I think I've figured out how to secure them better... but it means taking apart both finished bears, making the fix, and finishing them again.

I especially hate doing things again! Those are the things that I am particularly good at procrastinating about... like dusting and vacuuming, too.

Read other Think-Write-Thursday contributions here. To sign up for the weekly prompts, click here.


Are you aware of the month-long #yarnlovechallenge on Instagram? You can read more about it and the people involved at @yarnlovechallenge, and there's also a Ravelry group.


It has provided a very welcome relief from daily things, and one small yarny=happy photography-related thing to focus on/think about each day. You can find my #yarnlovechallenge photos -- and more -- on Instagram here.

Today's prompt is FAMILY and the photos are wonderful!


This is one of the photos I posted today. My mom (in the middle) taught me to knit when I was in 1st grade. My sisters all have knit at some point. Sharon was definitely the most adventurous right out of the gate. Karen knit a sweater for herself when she was in college, but it was a huge disappointment -- likely a result of poor yarn substitution, more than anything, and the resulting trickle-down of that decision. Annie has knit on and off over the years; she & Sharon knit a sweater for me one Christmas.

I had a couple of starts & stops -- in high school and as a young adult -- I learned something, though, and became a little more accomplished each time. When I picked it up again, as a young-ish mother, it was for fun. And then blogging came along and knitting became incredibly interesting and... empowering, even... all the shared creativity and knowledge and discussion... about knitting! It's been an amazing, fulfilling journey and now it's a rare day when I don't knit, at least a little, and connect in some way with friends I've made because of knitting. It all helps keep me grounded and sane.

Thank you. 

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy the distraction, too, whether or not you choose to participate.

Love Is...

Love is always bestowed as a gift -- freely, willingly, and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.

--Leo Buscaglia

Leo.  ❤

Once, many years ago (I was still in high school), Dr. Love visited our area and my mom took us to hear him speak. I bought one of his books (LOVE) and he signed it... I am pretty sure that I still have it! It was a pretty big deal, and is a terrific memory... about which I was reminded when I read Kym's post today. Thanks!!

Happy February 14th!

Weekending: That's LIFE!

Yep. After nearly 13 years of blogging, I finally have my own domain name. Flummoxed for years because had already been claimed by a yarn store (which I still hope to visit someday), the choices for domain names have greatly increased over the years and, well, .life seems to be more what it's about here, anyway.


See it?? You don't have to change a thing, if you don't want to; it's still a Typepad blog, and will continue to work.

Weekending... consisted of book work on Saturday, babysitting the grandkids on Saturday night, and a day-trip to the northern 'burbs of Milwaukee with the girls yesterday -- including Gin -- for some shopping!

Meanwhile, I've finished Pussyhats for my cousin (in the mail) and my hair stylist (to be delivered this week), and have begun a kittycat version for Gin.

It's another long, busy week at work... but looking forward to Friday off. And New Orleans gets closer everyday.  ;)

FO: Rainbow Warrior Cowl


I dyed the "colorful" yarn back in November. I kept one hank for myself, and must have taken the other to the shop. For the striped cowl, I combined it with some indigo yarn that I'd dyed at some earlier date and I love how it turned out! In the knitting up, the other colors played very well with and toned down even the brightest bright yellow, and the solid indigo helped to subdue it all even further. Not that I don't like brights, but YIKES!



Also, new specs.

Have a great weekend!


We left for Florida on a Wednesday. Our flight departed mid-afternoon from Milwaukee, which meant that I didn't have to reschedule a morning dental appointment! (Also, clean teeth for vacation!) Our flight landed in Fort Lauderdale around 7; Rusty claimed luggage while I picked up the rental car. Our Airbnb was in Lake Worth, about an hour's drive north.

We had no big plan for our trip, but a nice List of Possibilities -- art events, galleries, museums, restaurants, beaches, parks, sites. We woke up every morning and decided what we felt like doing!

On Thursday, just to get a feel for it -- and because "road trip" is very much a part of our Vacation MO -- we drove about half-way to Key West. We stopped in downtown Lake Worth for a quick breakfast, and this is the first thing we saw upon entering our chosen establishment:


A couple of Rusty's prints! These were among a few licensed to an Italian fine art publisher some years ago. It's fun to run across his art in the wild!

We drove a bit past Islamorada, stopped a couple of times (there really isn't much "beach" in the Keys), had some lunch, and then made our way back -- with a short visit to Everglades National Park. We hiked a couple of short boardwalk trails... and it was gorgeous! I wouldn't be opposed to returning and exploring more of that park.



Friday was our anniversary and I really wanted to do nothing more than relax at the beach. And so we did.



We rented a couple of chairs and an umbrella and soaked up the sunshine! I think we arrived around 11 and left around 3. We really lucked out weather-wise, so the beach was busy and people-watching was fun!

One of the things on our List of Possibilites was a visit to the Lake Worth Arts Center to see some surfboards. The last day of the exhibition was Saturday, and we had it penciled in on that day, but discovered by chance that the center was having an open house on Friday evening.


It was called 15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers. I don't surf, and Rusty's definitely more into body surfing, but his brother was super into surfing back in the day and even had a surfboard repair shop -- where Rusty worked for a while!

It was Palm Beach Art Week -- a big expo and a bunch of other events happening. The expo was also on our List of Possibilities, but on Saturday, we opted to go back to the beach instead! (We really lucked out with gorgeous weather!)


I did a little knitting and followed along as friends and family posted about their experiences at various Women's Marches. Rusty went swimming...


...with his phone. And the car key. Luckily, the key was fine... the phone, not so much. (Replacing that was first order of business upon our return home.)

We drove up to West Palm Beach on Saturday night for an alternative/benefit art fair. We ordered dinner from a yummy vegan food truck parked outside; there was food, drink, music, and lots of art! It was a beautiful evening and the event was very well attended... okay, a little crowded at times.

Sunday proved too windy to enjoy lounging at the shore, so we ticked another item on our List of Possibilities by visiting the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. We were interested in seeing both the gardens and an exhibition called Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed of the sometimes mind-blowing origami (click on the link for a few exhibition photos).

The gardens were lovely.


The bonsai were fascinating.


I'm wearing a pair of the more artsy & unique Green Bay Packer earrings in my jewelry box, because after the artsy stuff, it was off to find a "Packer bar" for the sportsy stuff. (It was official, with a framed proclamation and everything!)


I also changed into a more appropriate shirt on the way! We were definitely among friends... unfortunately, things did not go our way that day and the Falcons won. Oh well.

I've updated my Travel Map!

US-Visited - 1-27-17

I ticked off Kentucky, as well as Florida, realizing that Kate and I did more than drive through KY when we went to Asheville; we stopped at a little museum there, too.

So, Florida! I'm still almost certain that I wouldn't enjoy being there in the humid summer months, but it was a pretty great place to visit in January.

_ _ _ _ _



Where do I look?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!

Dear February,

I don't usually look to you for comfort, inspiration, warmth... or sunshine... but, boy, I sure could use all of that and more right now. (Thank you for the sunshine this morning!)

On the bright side, one of the best things you have going is the continuation of this trend:

December 21, 2016:


January 24, 2017:


February 2, 2017 (this morning):



We've gained :22 of daylight in just over a week, and over an hour since winter solstice, a pace that will only be picking up as we move toward spring and summer. Thank god.

Edited to add: My weather app is Weather Underground (available on Google Play here). (I also like the desktop version.)

Another thing to look forward to is this year's Best Picture Festival -- four Best Picture-nominated movies will be shown on the 18th and five on the 25th -- just in time for the Oscars on the 26th. I am growing with a nice group of friends, some new since the last time I attended BPF. I took advantage this week of $5 Tuesday and a willing companion to see Moonlight in advance; it's the last movie in the BPF line-up and I already know that five movies in one day is at least one too many for me, so I'm happy to knock one off the list!

And at the end of the month, I'll be heading to NOLA for the first time ever, to spend a few days there with my sister Ann. She'll be here from Spain, attending a conference, so I'll have some time to relax and explore. I've had some excellent suggestions, so, in addition to a couple of yarn shops, I also have museums and restaurants on my list. And a cemetery.

I seem to be all about bright spots, sunlight, daylight, and a little bit of moonlight! Maybe it won't be so bad after all, February. It sure helps to have some things to look forward to.

Love, Vicki

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