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Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...


I'm headed to New York tomorrow morning for a few days of hanging out with Kate -- I haven't laid eyes on her since we parted ways at Gatwick on March 21st! She's certainly been absent for far longer, but she's been doing so many things -- residencies and/or shows in London, Leeds and Lisbon (hm, there's a ring to that), a trip to Scotland and vacation in the Highlands, a visit to Berlin -- and I'm anxious to catch up face-to-face. She'll be staying in NYC for another week or so after I leave, to do the Greenpoint Open Studios show in Brooklyn again, then head to Los Angeles for a long weekend of work-y/art stuff there, and then finally home around the middle of the month. Anyway... I'm planning to get together with a few other people in NYC, too; we'll see how that all pans out!

Meanwhile, here are 3 Things on my NYC list for this visit:

1 -- Landmarks: The Statue of Liberty and Strawberry Fields.

2 -- Parks: Central Park and the Highline.

3 -- Museums: The Whitney and the Tenement museums.

Strawberry Fields and Central Park may seem like the same thing... but they're not! Luckily, the Whitney is right by the Highline. The Tenement Museum has been on both of our lists for a long time. The tourist in me really wants to visit Lady Liberty.

I have high hopes for all of those things!!

_ _ _ _ _

The photo above has nothing to do with going to NYC! Ali drew a lovely rainbow on the sidewalk on Memorial Day and I thought it made for a nice photo to show off a new pedicure and sandals ! Maddy loves Chacos and she ordered a pair for me (with her discount) for Mothers Day -- Z/Cloud Llama Angora (I had to have them).

Here are a few more photos from the weekend... I had the big kids overnight because Ali & Rod went to an out of town wedding.


This little being is starting to WALK!!


It's been incredibly busy, but I'm committed to stitching every single day!


I haven't taken a knitting class in quite a few years, but sat down last night for INTRO TO BRIOCHE at my new LYS... which, I noticed on the way in, has gargoyles perched atop!

I am so excited to join Carole for Macro Mondays this summer!! I was sad that I forgot about Macro May... for 2 seconds. I'd mentioned to Carole that Macro-some-month-other-than-May could be fun, for something different -- different things in nature, especially -- and she came up with the Monday idea and it's just perfect. Maybe you'll join us, too! If you don't have a macro lens, just take a close-up. My first photo will be taken with my phone because I'm not taking the big camera to the big city. The keyword is STEADY! Use a tripod or something to stabilize your camera/phone, and a remote shutter release or time delay.

OK. That's all I've got!

May on the downhill slide

What a crazy month! I can't believe it's Memorial Day Weekend already! Spring has been awfully slow to start in these parts, and it sure doesn't feel like the end of May.

  • Airbnb guests every weekend (at least), and that continues through June.
  • Ginny's 3rd birthday!
  • A quick overnight get-away to the lakeshore.
  • Make.Do pop-up shop at Casting On (my new local LYS).
  • A new furnace & air filtration system installed. Now I have a "smart" thermostat and an app (which makes me happier than it probably should).
  • Mother's Day!
  • Ginny's ballet class!
  • I bought a new vehicle!
  • And I'm heading to NYC in a week.

Plus book club, knit night, a long overdue hair appointment, a pedicure (first of the season)!


With all of that going on, I let #memademay (among other things) slide this year; however, I've been extremely focused on making this month, continuing to stitch on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket every single day!


Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Day 50 of #the100dayproject was reached this week and I'm nearly finished with the embroidery portion of Sleeve #2. I'll break out the beads & sequins over the weekend!

I've also been knitting, continuing to work on my Entrelac Scarf.


And I knit a wall hanging during the last episode of Game of Thrones.


I still have to attach it to a stick and hang it up, but what a fun & quick project! One skein of super bulky yarn, an evening of knitting with super big needles, and voila! The (free on Ravelry) pattern is pineroot by jennifer dziuba-leatherman.

I'd recently been thinking about needing to replace my car... even more since the exhaust system was the loser in a scuffle with a chunk of ice a couple of months ago. Then I noticed another something under the car dragging on the ground (nothing serious & an easy fix, still...). It's been a great car, but it's 12 years old, is closing in on 166,000 miles, and there are a few other things.


I wasn't seriously looking, but have been driving Kate's Subaru Forester a lot since she's been gone and really love it, especially the heated seats and the sunroof! A couple of vehicles on a downtown lot had caught my eye, and I took a good hard look on Mother's Day when Ali & I happened to walk by. There was a 2011 Ford Escape that ticked most of my boxes, plus it was one of those one owner/low miles deals at a great price... seriously, an 8yo vehicle with 40,000 miles. I took it for a drive on Saturday -- it still had the new car smell and was super clean. Weirdly (or not), I noticed that even the wheels wells were practically spotless. Well, the gist of it is...


It doesn't have heated seats and I'd have chosen a different color (this is "Gold Leaf Metallic," aka "tan"), but it does have a moonroof (a sunroof with tinted glass), 4WD, and SYNC/Bluetooth (which I still have to figure out), and IT'S MINE -- I love it!!

I missed Ginny's dance lesson this week because of my first hair appointment since October 31st (I'm beginning to channel Rapunzel), but the kids all came over afterwards for a while so Ali could do some prep for an event.


I'll have the big kids for much of the day & overnight on Saturday while Ali & Rod attend the out-of-town wedding of some friends.

I'm looking forward to the holiday weekend and a short work week to follow! I'm heading to NYC a week from today to spend a few fun days with Kate before she goes all-in to prep for this year's Greenpoint Open Studios show.

Have a great weekend!

Part 3: Spain - Valencia (wrap-up)

Our time in Valencia was so different this visit compared to last because of Las Fallas. The daily events, the crowds, the noise, the fireworks. We stopped at Mercado Central and that, in a nutshell, highlighted the difference between our two visits to Valencia -- it was all but deserted! Many businesses close altogether for the final few days of the festival.


We didn't fail to notice that it was spring!


Or the interesting logo of one of the Falla artists (maybe that was just me).


We had plenty of time before La Cremà, so took a walk around The City of Arts & Sciences. We'd visited before at night, so it was nice to see in the daytime. It's so beautiful and... other-worldly.


Contributing to the noise of Las Fallas is the fact that every kid in the city has a small box of their own fireworks to shoot off! Often carried around their necks, they're about the size of a shoebox (a boy in the photo above is carrying one on his arm), and there are entire stores and catalogs devoted to the selling of items with which to fill it. I saw young boys setting up/blowing off their own mini-mascletà type displays. I saw young fallera in traditional dress, no more than 4 or 5 years old, plopped on the ground and lighting off firecrackers. I saw old men toss extra goodies into kids' boxes as if handing out candy at Halloween. It was all quite something. And I didn't see anyone get hurt.

On the day after La Cremà, the festival officially over, most people went right back to work/school. Ann, Brian & the kids had an extra day off, but laid low and prepped for their return to work/school the following day (which would be our departure day).

Rusty took off for some time at the beach.

Kate & I took a walk to Old Town. We found some lunch, did a little shopping, and made our way to The Church of San Nicolás, aka The Valencian Sistine Chapel.

It was all pretty incredible, but the ceiling was over the top (as it were... heheh). Not an inch was unadorned, and so much gold!

We walked over to The National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts with the intention of going in, but were were already on overload and this was the EXTERIOR of that building...


I can't imagine the visual overload awaiting visitors within... we put it on the list for next time! (With a nod to my mother who always left something for next time, no matter how likely it was that she'd actually return... it was the idea of it, looking to the future, holding out hope.)


It was a beautiful day! And it was so festive with all those flags flying.


I think we saw this facade last time -- I know we were right there -- but there's also a "skinniest house" right there and last time there was a market of some sort in the square.


It's so cool, though, isn't it?

In our wanderings, we also found ourselves at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and you'd never have known that a 9-story tall, wood & papier mache graffiti-decorated sculpture was burned there mere hours before.


"We were standing here," and I'm taking the photo within feet of where the sculpture was located.

We had a nice dinner and final evening together in Valencia. Ann, Brian & the boys were off to school & work the next day, and Rusty, Kate & I shared a cab to the airport for the next phase of our trip.


Randomly, this is Addison's favorite snack and, I have to say, it would also be mine if I could find them here (or anything even close)! They're like flat crispy bread sticks -- smears of dough, actually -- studded with sunflower seeds. Yum.

And with that, have a great weekend!!

Unraveled Wednesday: Yep

Joining Kat & the Unravelers to share what I'm knitting and reading.

I started a new Entrelac Scarf on Sunday evening, and as early as then I was questioning whether I liked the width.


Again on Monday night while I knit... and again last night. I did not keep very good notes on the previous versions that I knit; neither were my pictures very good. But I think this may be a bit of deja vu.


It sure is pretty.


But I'm not going to have that question niggling at me -- louder and louder and with more and more regret -- so I did some literal unraveling just this morning.

I'm ready to start again. I'll be happier with 24 sts instead of 32, a longer rather than wider scarf.

On the reading front, I am listening to Lincoln in the Bardo for the second time -- starting again almost 2 years to the day that I finished the first time. I am one chapter from the finish of My Brilliant Friend... I was planning to read that last night but I was too pooped.

I'm off today... chiropractor appointment, a stop at the P.O. to mail some paperwork to England, some errands to run, Ginny's second ballet class (squee!), and book club after that! I just realized that I have a 3-day weekend ahead and I'm looking forward to that. I really want to do a little (machine) sewing!


Weekending: Mother's Day

Two-thirds of my kids are out of the country, but the remaining one-third and I had a marvelous day!!


We took a few photos and... Ginny!! That girl pretty much stole the show! Personality is oozing from every pore.

A local floral designer had a pop-up shop at Kaukauna Coffee & Tea, so Ginny and I ran up there (so I could buy myself a bouquet), but by the time we got there -- a mere :30 after it started -- all that was left were two bunches of fresh eucalyptus! Obviously, it went over way better than anyone expected.


I bought the eucalyptus, anyway, and combined it with some bleeding heart and fiddlehead ferns, fresh from my garden, to make bouquets both for me and for the Airbnb guests due later in the day.

After photos, Ali and I walked down to meet our friends for "Momosas" and brunch and, boy, did we have a great time! I can't remember the last time we all got together, and it definitely won't be so long until the next.

On our way back we took a detour for a stop at the antique mall. We ran into a dealer that used to be in my mom's antique mall, who I haven't seen in years. Ali was in late elementary/early middle school when I was managing that mall, but she remembered her, too. It was really fun to catch up!

I continued sewing, trying some new things:


And started a new knitting project (after a week of virtually no knitting whatsoever):


I think this yarn will make a fun Entrelac Scarf! It's Melilla by Cascade. Perhaps there will be enough progress to warrant a photo for Unraveled Wednesday!

Our last Airbnb guests had a problem with the lockbox and, in trying to figure it out, I accidentally reset the combo... and it became a big problem for me! I tried cracking the combo a few times, but eventually took my spare key to have a couple of copies made...


But I continued trying to break in! Adding to my list of talents, and with a bit of help from Rusty in the manufacture of "tools of the trade," I "cracked" it on Saturday afternoon!

I can't believe it's been two months since we were in Spain & England!! I still have to write a couple of posts to wrap that up. Now that everything involved with an overseas traffic/speeding violation has been taken care of, I might be more in the mood...


39 of 100

It's Day 39 of #the100dayproject!


There's a random selection of images from the previous couple of weeks or so. I've finished Sleeve #1 and am currently doing the embroidery & appliqué on Sleeve #2. I've already done a little beading, but the majority of it will be done last.

It's been a couple of weeks, people! It started with An Evening with David Sedaris, followed by a day off and getting the Airbnb ready, CPR/AED/First-Aid & Blood-borne Pathogens training, a couple of meetings, a birthday, an art opening/overnight at the lakeshore, a Make.Do pop-up shop at my LYS, a new furnace installation, another meeting, a first ballet class, another event... plus, I worked all five days this week.


There is plenty happening/to do, but I'm looking forward to Momosa Day and brunch at 313 Dodge with Ali, her bff Abbey, and Abbey's mom Ellen -- one of our favorite mother-daughter duos!

I'm only a tiny bit sad that I forgot about Macro May and #memademay, but #100daysknitorious2019 is plenty. I don't need any more on my plate right now (I'm delighted that I recognize that!). Maybe I'll do Macro September or October, instead.

3TT: Ginny!!!

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

1 -- We celebrated Ginny's 3rd birthday last Thursday!!


Little Superhero (all.the.heroes) Gin is getting feisty... standing her ground these days and taking no shit (esp from her big brother).

2 -- Last night was her first-ever ballet class!

The first few minutes were very reminiscent of dance classes with Junah, in which there was almost zero participation... it's just not his thing, and that's OK (we tried). Ginny girl had no interest at all in floor work and stretching last night. Once the dancing started, though, she was all in. Whew! And so darn cute.

3 -- Ginny's Rye Socks -- modeled!


I finished Malina's pair on Sunday, both pairs from the same hank of yarn, so they have matching sister socks.

Random bonus photos:


❤ ❤ ❤